Thursday, August 24, 2006


Madhya Pradesh forms youth network to combat AIDS

Bhopal, Aug 24: Madhya Pradesh is forming a network of youth, called the Red Ribbon Clubs, to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS.The networking process, started recently, is part of the state's strategy to overcome the deadly disease that has affected 1,806 people so far."Considering that 40 percent of AIDS patients in the state belong to the 21-30 age group, the government has decided to establish Red Ribbon Clubs to safeguard People Living With HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) and curb the menace," said an official source.The launch of the first such club Aug 22 by the Madhya Pradesh AIDS Control Society (MPSACS) in partnership with the National Service Scheme (NSS) and Unicef is a first step in that direction, the official added. The red ribbon is the global symbol created in 1991 by Visual Aids in New York that stands for solidarity with people living with HIV and AIDS. It is aimed at uniting the people in the common fight against the disease. "These clubs will go a long way in preventing the killer disease from assuming epidemic proportions since information is the key to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS," said Anil Gulati, Unicef communication officer for the state."We need to involve young people who can act as agents of change and help spread awareness on the issue," he added. Said Salina Singh, the MPSACS project director: "Similar Clubs would be a reality in all schools and colleges so that students can help spread awareness about the disease and its prevention."As many as 500 NSS cadets administered oath as members of the club would be trained to act as peer counsellors. The cadets would then form similar clubs in their respective colleges.

--- IANS
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

SATI resurfaces in MP

Outlawed Hindu practice of `Sati' resurfaces in Madhya Pradesh village

Tulsipar (Madhya Pradesh), Aug.22: Madhya Pradesh Police on Tuesday confirmed that a village woman had committed `Sati', the ancient but outlawed Hindu practice of wife burning to death on her husband's funeral pyre. Police said that the incident took place in the village of Tulsipar in the state's Sagar District. They said that Janakrani, a woman in her 40s decided to jump onto her husband Prem Narayan's funeral pyre as it was lit. Villagers, they said, were caught off-guard by the step and added that no one had forced her to commit the act. Villagers said that Prem Narayan had died on Monday morning. His body was set alight by his family and villagers, after which people left for home. Thereafter, Janakrani left her house after returning from the cremation ground, telling people she had to attend to some work. When the villagers went looking for her, they discovered part of her flesh and bones on the pyre. The last incident of Sati, involving a 65-year-old woman, took place in Madhya Pradesh in 2002. The most high-profile sati incident was in Rajasthan in 1987, when 18-year-old Roop Kanwar was burned to death. The case sparked national and international outrage. Police charged Roop Kanwar's father-in-law and brother-in-law with forcing her to sit on the pyre with her husband's body, but the two men were acquitted by a court in October 1996. Sati, or the practice of a widow immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre, is believed to have originated 700 years ago among the ruling class or Rajputs. It was then called Jauhar and involved royal Rajput women going below their palaces and burning themselves after receiving news of the defeat of their men in battle. This was done to avoid being taken captive by the victors. The custom was outlawed by British colonial rulers in 1829, following demands by Indian reformers like Raja Rammohan Roy. Although the practice of sati has been virtually non-existent elsewhere in India after the British banned it, about forty cases have taken place since India’s independence in 1947. Twenty-eight of these cases have occurred in Rajasthan, mainly around the Sikar district.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

They waited as flood water receded....

Aug 15, 2006 1700 hrs

Bhopal floods...

Neeraj was the lucky one, valiant efforts of the local people was able to save him from the water which flooded Bhopal, the capital city of the state of Madhya Pradesh on the Sunday night, but his elder brother was not so lucky. His body was recovered by police from Mahamai Bagh in Bhopal today.

As the water recedes people in Bhopal were seen trying to come to terms with the loss of their beloved ones and the property. For thousands the unfortunate few hours when water gushed into their localities from the overflowing drains they had lost almost everything.

Rajgarh Colony in Bhopal is a low lying slum areas of ward no 16 of the city household materials like beddings etc. was lying cluttered and damp with water on the streets. Hundreds of women and children were found waiting for help. Nobody had visited them. ‘A mother of two’ in the area said it has been two days since they had anything to eat. Police had arrested their ‘men’ in these areas as they had taken to streets, to protest for the problems they were facing. Dead animals like rats were found in the stagnant flood water still seen on the streets. Many had expressed fears of spread of the some kind of epidemic. No bleaching powder spray has been done to prevent any kind of epidemic. Residents of these localities were drinking water which was available, which may not be safe !

In Gautam Nagar another area in Bhopal city, where water levels had touched 10 – 15 feet in height, people were trying to come back to terms with the loss but it may take days or weeks before the life gets back to normal. Similarly in Tila Jamal Pura, another low lying area of the city people had only lost their belongings but even the animals like goats, which were bread earners for few. Lot of them were awake all the night, some with fear and others were trying to recover their belongings from dirty flood waters. Some local volunteers here had gathered courage and collected some money and were found cooking ‘puris’ which they were distributing among people to help them to get some food, may be better then waiting for the district do something. Sitara B of the same locality was feeling frustrated and vented her anguish when local elected representatives and media visited the area. May be it helps bring some relief to the affected...

yours truly - anil
(these are personal opinions of the writer)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

floods update - madhya pradesh


69 dead due to floods in 18 districts of the state in last few days. Incessant rains had stuck the state and many rivers and drains in urban areas had overflown leading to losses worth 6950 crores. About 40,000 houses have bene affected and thousand of cattles have been lost due the floods in the state in last few days. 79 relief camps have been set up in various places in the state to support about 38 595 affected in the state. Bhopal reamins the worst affected with 16 dead in the capital.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

47 feared killed in Madhya Pradesh floods

47 feared killed in Madhya Pradesh floods

Incessant rains across Madhya Pradesh caused havoc Monday with 47 people feared dead, several areas submerged and major trains halted outside the city as army personnel were deployed in rescue operations. In Bhopal, 12 people were confirmed dead and 13 were missing as the state capital recorded 28 cm rainfall in the 24 hours to Monday evening - a record since 1973.The army had to be called in several areas under deluge, as many low-lying localities were inundated. A wall of the governor's residence caved in due to the heavy rains. After many years, the 12 gates of the Bhadbhada Dam here were opened Monday due to heavy inflow of water and neighbouring districts were alerted for a possible flood. Vehicular traffic from here to neighbouring areas also remained paralysed, as floodwater was flowing above bridges over many rivers and rivulets. Traffic was suspended on the Bhopal-Indore, Bhopal-Hoshangabad and Indore-Nagpur roads. Train traffic was disrupted as the engine of the Rapti Sagar Express derailed Sunday night near Midghat in the Bhopal division of the West-Central Railway. Over a dozen long-distance trains including the Rajdhani Express, Bhopal Express, Karnataka Express, GT Express and Kamayani Express were stopped outside the city. "The trains would be allowed to enter the Bhopal station only after the rainwater recedes. Many trains bound for south and western parts are plying behind the schedule," said a railway official. While almost all schools in the city declared holiday Monday, attendance in state and central government offices was thin. Irate residents in several localities protested the laxity of the administration in relief work and lack of drainage facilities.Elsewhere in the state, 15 people were killed in Badwani, five in Ujjain, four in Burhanpur, three each in Mandsor and Dewas, two in sagar and one in Jhabua, according to officials. Three villages in western Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain district were partially flooded though the situation has improved in other parts with water levels receding.The met department forecast heavy rains in Sagar, Rewa and Jabalpur divisions.Ujjain sub-divisional commissioner Jaideep Govind said assessment of losses had begun and directions been given to disburse the relief amount. Heavy rains also affected normal life in Hoshangabad, Balaghat, Mandla Jabalpur, Chhindwara and Seoni districts. Seoni town has been cut off with water flowing four feet above the Seoni-Chhindwara road. At Hoshangabad, the Narmada river had crossed the danger mark. A few other rivers, including Parvati and Kalisindh, were in spate.
--- IANS

Monday, August 14, 2006

Heavy rain lashes Bhopal and parts of Madhya Pradesh

1520 hrs, Bhopal, Aug 14, 2006.

Normal life was thrown out of gear in over two dozen low-lying localities in Bhopal the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, as incessant rains lashed the city since last night. Heavy downpour inundated vast areas and has caused extensive damage to houses, slum clusters and roads. About 11 people have been feared dead, three are said to be missing, while several areas have submerged. Water was as high as three to four feet in many low lying areas of Bhopal today morning. Major trains have halted outside the city as water flowed through the streets. Rains have stopped for a while now, while district administration is trying to pump water out of the low lying areas of Bhopal. It has set up eight relief camps in the city to help people who have been inundated by the water which has entered the residential areas.

Reports of heavy rains affecting normal life in Hoshangabad, Balaghat, Mandla Jabalpur, Chhindwara, Seoni and Vidisha districts have also been received. The town of Seoni has been cut off with water flowing four feet above the Seoni -Chhindwara road. Important rivers of the state are flowing above normal. According to the met department, heavy rains are expected in Sagar, Rewa and Jabalpur divisions over the next 24 hours.

- anil