Child rights panel to frame mental health policy for Goa

first_imgPANAJI: Armed with a mandate from the Central Commission for Protection of Child Rights(CCPCR), the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (GSCPCR) has embarked on a serious exercise to draft a mental health policy for children in the State.The groundwork began earlier this week at the initiative of the GSCPCR, which got key stakeholders to discuss various aspects of the proposed policy. Sources close to GSCPCR chairperson Sushma Kirtani said the policy is expected to be completed in two years.According to representatives of the Commission, child abuse as well as mental problems related to child abuse, tobacco consumption, substance consumption, suicidal tendencies, and schizophrenia have been on the rise in Goa as reported from time to time by various child rights groups.The policy would seek to put a mechanism in place to identify the problems faced by children in educational institutions, special schools, and children identified as out of school (in 2016-17, the State had identified 463 out-of-school children, most of whom were children of migrant workers coming from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha and Bihar, according to an exercise done under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan).The policy will cover all children facing mental disorders, including those with substance abuse, disability-related mental disorders, disorders related to physical or sexual violence, and children in prisons rehabilitated in State children’s homes.The strategy would be to formulate guidelines forimplementation as well.The stakeholders discussed under-reporting of cases due to the stigma attached, especially in case of the girl child, as a factor that needs course correction through education and awareness. The role of media as a stakeholder in education and awareness generation, and in prevention of suicides, would be part of what could be the first such policy in a State.last_img read more

Odisha villagers in panic after wolves kill sheep

first_imgThe killing of dozens of sheep possibly by a pack of wolves in Niali and adjacent areas of Odisha’s Cuttack district has triggered panic among villagers, who have been spending sleepless nights for over two weeks now.Despite the Forest department personnel attributing these deaths to attack by wild animals, villagers suspect that a ‘mysterious creature’ is behind the killings. The Cuttack Rural Police have asked villagers to form defence committees comprising volunteers and police personnel to check such attacks.The Animal Disease Research Institute, Odisha, has collected samples of sheep carcasses for study. In most of the carcasses, intestines had bulged out while the liver was not in place, indicating attacks by wild animals. Fisheries and Animal Resource Development Minister Damodar Rout said there were reports of 150 sheep being killed by wild animals. “Wolves are present near the Vanaragarh forest patch close to Niali. Sheep has no defence mechanism. Wolves are devouring its liver because it is soft,” said Prasanta Kumar Mishra, Divisional Forest Officer of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar city division.Two traps set“To dispel doubts, we have set up two traps. From the pug marks, we have identified the animals to be wolves,” said Mr. Mishra. The forest department is now considering installing cameras.“We have advised villagers to keep the sheep in well protected sheds. As the sheep are left in the open, it becomes easy for the wolves to attack them,” the City Division DFO said.last_img read more

NGT to take up stubble burning case on October 30

first_imgThe National Green Tribunal on Tuesday said it would consider later this month the steps taken by the Centre and Punjab and Haryana governments to check burning of crop residue by farmers to curb air pollution. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar deferred the matter for hearing on October 30 after lawyers appearing for both the parties sought adjournment of the case.The green panel had earlier said “we expect no individual, body, department, panchayat, associations to directly or indirectly recommend or promote burning of crop residues in Punjab, UP and Haryana.” On the last date of hearing, the green panel had said the “serious” issue of stubble burning by farmers was still going on and had sought the response of the Centre as well as the Punjab and Haryana governments on the issue. It had earlier asked for names and details of all power houses and biomass-based energy plants that can use crop residue for power generation and had directed Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab governments to provide a detailed strategy of how happy seeders (machines to sow wheat without burning of paddy crop residue) or balers can be given to farmers. The tribunal had also sought a reply from the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) as to why it cannot take the stubble from the farmers under its corporate social responsibility programme for the “general cause of environment”.The NGT had on October 11 directed Punjab to produce the farmers after the State said it had provided assistance to some of them to encourage them not to burn crop residue.The tribunal had taken exception to the fact that even after more than two years, nothing substantial has been done with regard to stubble burning. The Punjab government had earlier said it had taken Kalar Majri village in Nabha Tehsil of Patiala district as a model project for implementing the directions of the NGT and to sensitise the farmers. Earlier, the NGT had also asked Punjab to look into the problems faced by the farmers and directed its counsel to seek instructions on whether compensation could be provided to them for disposing their agricultural residue while giving them liberty to engage any agency of their choice. It had warned the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan that it would stop the payment of salaries of government officials if they failed to come up with an action plan to prevent stubble burning, which triggers heavy pollution in Delhi-NCR.last_img read more

Chandu Chavan hasn’t been court-martialled: minister

first_imgPune: Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Sunday denied that Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chavan, who strayed over the LoC during the surgical strikes last year, had been court-martialled, saying instead that “disciplinary action” had been initiated against the soldier.“One must understand that there has been no court martial in the first place … There is nothing wrong with him (Mr. Chavan) as a soldier … he is a good lad. But he committed three mistakes. I will not reveal in what condition he crossed the LoC as it would not be fair to the Army or to Chavan,” the Minister said, speaking in Dhule district.Mr. Chavan’s first mistake, said Dr. Bhamre, was that he left camp without informing superiors. “His second mistake was that he took his weapons with him, and his third was to cross the LoC.”Mr. Bhamre said the punishment following a court-martial cannot be a mere two-three months in jail, but is much more severe than that. He said media reports had distorted events of the proceedings against Mr. Chavan.“Furthermore, his job in the Army is secure and he has not been thrown in any jail,” the minister said, stressing again that the Indian Armed Forces had merely taken disciplinary action against him.Mr. Chavan, who hails from Dhule district’s Borvihir village, was handed over by Pakistan in January as a ‘goodwill gesture’. The Pakistan armed forces’ media wing had claimed that Mr. Chavan had wilfully crossed the LoC on September 29, 2016, and surrendered himself to the Pakistan army.Last week, the Indian Army court sentenced Mr. Chavan, serving with the 37 Rashtriya Rifles, to two months’ imprisonment and forfeiture of two years’ pension as penalty, after the soldier pleaded guilty of deserting his post without permission.Mr. Chavan’s grandmother had suffered cardiac arrest and had passed away after hearing that he was in the captivity of Pakistan’s armed forces. His family has said that he has already suffered enough during his time in Pakistan.last_img read more

Causes behind Brahmaputra turning black could be natural: Union minister

first_img He added that according to the preliminary findings, the path of the river was temporarily obstructed after an earthquake in Tibet on November 17.“There is a strong possibility that the colour (of the river’s water) has changed due to natural reasons,” the minister said.Congress MP Ninong Ering, representing the Arunachal East constituency in Parliament, had recently written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard, noting that the water of the river changing its colour was an unusual phenomenon in the winter months.In his letter, Mr. Ering had also pointed out that there were reports of China constructing a 600-km tunnel in its Yunnan province to divert the Siang water to the Taklamakan desert through the Xinjiang province, even though the neighbouriong country had denied any such development.He had mentioned in the letter that the reports of the Tsangpo (Siang or Brahmaputra) being diverted had appeared a few months back. Although China had denied it, the matter remained an area of concern for India, the Congress MP had mentioned in his letter to the Prime Minister.“After these reports appeared, the water of the river Siang has turned muddy and slushy. It has been two months since the Siang turned black and contaminated. It is an unusual phenomenon. The reason for the river getting dirty is unknown. I have already put up questions for discussions in Parliament under rule 377. But since the House is not in session, I am requesting you to use your good office to seek the reason for the river turning muddy in this season, when the water is usually crystal clear,” Mr. Ering had written in his letter to Mr. Modi.He had also pointed out that there could be no reason for the river getting contaminated in the month of November other than a possible heavy land excavation on the Chinese side, adding that it had to be verified by an international team.Certain reports claim that the water of the river have become unusable and that a number of fish had died in the river in the recent past. Understanding the Brahmaputra and the annual flooding in Assam A preliminary study has found that the water of the Siang river, which originates in southern Tibet and becomes the Brahmaputra upon entering Assam through Arunachal Pradesh, is turning black due to a recent earthquake in the region, Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal has said.“We have been getting reports of pollution in the river and its water turning black. The Central Water Commission (CWC) has started looking into the matter recently and people have been sent to the internal areas,” the Union minister of state for water resources said here on Sunday.Also Readlast_img read more

Five soldiers trapped under snow in Kashmir

first_imgFive soldiers swept away in heavy snowfall near the frontier posts in Kupwara and Bandipora remained untraced after more than 24 hours on Tuesday, while an Army porter’s body was recovered.“Two soldiers slipped down the slope in the Naugam sector of Kupwara. Three soldiers went missing from a forward post in the Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez in Bandipora,” a Srinagar-based Army spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, told The Hindu.An Army official said an 11-member patrol team of 36 Rashtriya Rifles was on an inter-post movement around 8.30 p.m. on Monday when three jawans slipped into a ravine. The posts are close to the Line of Control in the Bakhtor area, more than 200 km from here, of Gurez.“A specialist team from the High Altitude Warfare School reached the site and started rescue operations, which are still on,” the official said.Two soldiers of a patrol team of an officer and 10 troopers of 20 Dogra fell into a ravine at Naugam around 5 p.m. on Monday. The specialist team was unable to reach the site on Tuesday because of heavy snowfall, officials said. Preliminary reports suggest heavy snowfall, which started on Monday, caused these accidents. Over four feet of snow has accumulated in these areas. Ghulam Qadir Khan, an Army porter from Kilshey village of Tulail, fell to death during snowfall. The body has been recovered.Deputy Commissioner, Bandipora, Sajjad Hussain on Tuesday asked people in the Gurez and Tulail areas not to venture out in avalanche-prone areas till the weather improved.Snow in the plainsThe plains of Kashmir Valley also witnessed the season’s first snow spell in the past 24 hours, badly affecting road connectivity. The national highways connecting Srinagar to Jammu, Leh and Poonch, besides the Mughal-Sinthan Top, Jammu-Doda and Arnas-Mahore highways are closed.“Men with machinery are busy clearing snow for vehicular movement,” said Colonel Awadhesh Singh, Director, Works, Project Beacon, Border Roads Organisation. Sonum Lotus, Director, Meteorological Department, said Kashmir would witness “a gradual improvement in the weather conditions from Wednesday”.last_img read more

Nagaland CMO files FIR against fake exit letter

first_imgThe Nagaland Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) has filed an FIR against the circulation of a fake and forged resignation letter of Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang and his Cabinet colleagues on social media. The FIR was lodged at the Kohima police station on Wednesday by the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister, the police said. According to the FIR, the letter head of the Chief Minister of Nagaland has been forged and a fake letter number has been given. The signature of the Chief Minister has also been forged and the fake resignation letter is being circulated on the social media. The FIR stated that the forgery was very serious and amounted to cyber crime as also spreading rumours with an objective to create confusion and unrest in society. The Kohima police said thy has registered a case and the investigation is in progress.last_img read more

ULFA says it can check illegal migration from Bangladesh

first_imgThe United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) wants to do what the Border Security Force has allegedly failed to — check illegal migration to Assam through the Bangladesh border.Eight leaders of the outfit, who met the Centre’s interlocutor A.B. Mathur along with Home Ministry and Central intelligence officials in New Delhi on Monday, proposed the raising of an unarmed battalion comprising ULFA cadres to form a second line of defence along the border.The ULFA claims to have about 2,000 members in ceasefire mode.“There are reports that BSF personnel take money from Bangladeshi people to allow them in illegally. We told the Centre only indigenous people, passionate about protecting their homeland, can do the job of checking infiltration sincerely,” ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia told reporters after the discussion towards a formal peace accord. “We have proposed the creation of an unarmed battalion comprising our boys as a second line of defence to stop people who slip through BSF’s vigil. This will also provide rehabilitation for our cadres,” he said.Mr. Chetia said the peace talks that began in 2010 would lead to the disbanding of the ULFA after a few issues are sorted out. These include withdrawal of cases registered against the outfit’s members ever since it was formed in 1979 to fight for Assam’s sovereignty, Scheduled Tribe status for six ethnic communities and ensuring land rights for Assam’s indigenous people.The outfit had in 2011 submitted demands to the Centre seeking amendment to the Constitution for protecting the rights and identity of the indigenous people. The demand has gained currency after protests over the Centre’s bid to push the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill of 2016. The peace deal with ULFA is expected to be sealed before the 2019 polls but Centre is reportedly keen on inking it soon to isolate the Paresh Baruah-led ULFA (Independent).last_img read more

Assam man arrested after woman dies of burns

first_imgThe police in eastern Assam’s Bokakhat town have arrested a man on the basis of a woman’s dying declaration that he had sexually assaulted her before setting her on fire.Minutes before the woman died at the Jorhat Medical College Hospital on Wednesday night, she accused one Tirtha Sarma of setting her on fire. She also said the man, a resident of Bokhkhat, had sexually exploited her.Suicide claim But the police on Thursday said that evidence pointed to the woman having committed suicide. “There is nothing in the CCTV footage to suggest the man set her on fire. But he has been arrested on the basis of her dying declaration. We are awaiting the autopsy report,” Manabendra Deb Roy, Golaghat district superintendent of police, said.The woman, an Adivasi in her early 20s, was a domestic help at the residence of Badan Sarma, the father of the accused, for three years. She was dismissed a year ago, the police said.last_img read more

Civil society group to form task force to address poverty in Goa

first_imgOver 20 experts, who were part of a round table organised by an NGO on Thursday, decided to form a task force to prepare a roadmap for the State government and create an enabling environment to address issues of livelihood and poverty. Charudutta Panigrahi, mentor at Forum for Integrated Development and Research, said, “This round table brings together the intelligentsia, policy makers, implementers, experts from business, governments and development practitioners to explore the dynamics in livelihood and economic growth of Goa.”The experts included former MLA and Goa EDC chairman Sidharth Kucolinkar, MAIT president Nitin Kukolikar, Advocate Yatish Naik, senior journalist Shashwat Gupta Ray, Sangita Naik of Goa IT Professionals, Soter D’suza of the local self governance movement, Monoj Parab of Revolutionary Goa, and president of DRAG Avelino de Sa.Issues addressed at the round table included data gaps and institutional capacities to make livelihood the central theme of development for future generations. The focus of the meet was to strengthen analytical and institutional capacities to design and implement pro-poor State development strategies. It was also decided to bring about policies in line with sustainable development goals, encouraging gender empowerment and equity in distribution of benefits of growth.The experts felt that in the wake of stagnating and decelerating growth in significant sectors like tourism and mining, there is a need to design interventions to help communities access alternative sources of livelihoods such as IT without compromising the inherent skills and resources of the State’s youth.Mr. Panigrahi said, “The group was concerned about the issue of people migrating in search of a better life, which has been rising steadily in Goa. Some of the ideas shared included initiatives to reduce the rapid migration from rural areas, develop employment strategies and build local capacities.” Siddhartha Behera, director, FIDR, emphasised on the need for a ‘one stop shop forum’ for the State to take forward the livelihood discourse with due representation from the communities.last_img read more

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