Saturday, October 27, 2007

RTI is development you can see


The villagers of Boru in Gujarat, under the stewardship of Gulambhai, decided they would no longer tolerate the lack of healthcare facilities in their village. Using the right to information, they fired off a series of questions to the PIO. And things began to change.

India is marching ahead with RTI.............

Boru is a small village in Kalol taluka, Gujarat. It is home to approximately 2,500 people belonging to Hindu, Muslim, adivasi and other communities. Like most other villages, Boru has its own problems. The roads are in bad shape, electricity is scarce, and healthcare non-existent. The road to the taluka headquarters at Kalol, around 5 km away, has long ago had the metalling washed away; perhaps it was never there at all. Built under the prime minister’s village road construction scheme, only the first kilometre of the road is properly tarred, the rest resembles a dust bowl. That first kilometre seems to have been enough to please the inspectors who okayed the expenditure.

Health is another serious problem in Boru. There is no primary health centre (PHC) in the village. Government policies allow one PHC for a population of every 30,000 people. It is usually placed in the largest village in the cluster. Boru’s inhabitants can only avail of free medical services at the designated centre 8 km away, rather than in Kalol which is closer. If the road to Kalol is a dubious ‘facility’, the 8 km road to Jantral is a figment of someone’s imagination. When ill, the villagers have little option but to pay Rs 15 to get to Jantral by public transport and be treated for minor ailments. There is absolutely no provision for more serious, sudden and life-threatening emergencies, and none for childbirth. Most deliveries are done at home by local midwives. If complications set in and professional help or a caesarean is needed, it is almost impossible to quickly transport the woman to the PHC. Women have been known to deliver and die on the way to the healthcare centre, and it is not unusual to see four or five men carrying a woman in labour on foot all the way to the centre.

In these circumstances, the government-provided health worker becomes vital. She is supposed to visit the village three times a week, provide immunisation and supplements, and look after the needs of TB patients, children and pregnant women.

Boru is lucky if the health worker visits three times a month. When she does make an appearance, she sits in one place. If people approach her, well and good; if no one comes, she leaves in around an hour.

The villagers have been complaining about lack of medical facilities for the past four years. At the very least they want a sub-centre that will make childbirth less risky. Complaints to the PHC, to the MLA and several other authorities elicited the standard response: “We will try our level best to do something and find a solution.”But after four years the village is still waiting for that ‘best effort’. Nothing has changed. No sub-centre has been sanctioned and the people continue to suffer.

Then along came the Right to Information (RTI). Gulambhai, a concerned citizen of Boru, decided he had had enough. It was time to ask a few questions and at least find out what the healthcare provisions for his village were. He applied to the local health centre doctor who doubles as its public information officer (PIO), asking specifically what assistance could be provided to patients and what facilities were available for pregnant women; the number of health workers assigned to Boru, how often they were required to visit, and what their responsibilities were.

Under the Right to Information Act, this information must be routinely provided by government departments to the public without specific requests being made. Disclosure of names, designations and other particulars of PIOs who are responsible for processing applications for information, and details of their functions and duties along with the powers of all officers and employees associated with the Act is part of every department’s statutory duties. But since the information was nowhere to be found, Gulambhai submitted his ‘request in writing’.

Almost immediately -- and certainly before any response was forthcoming -- things on the ground began to change. The villagers were pleasantly surprised and pleased at the makeover of the health worker. She started visiting regularly (almost everyday), provided basic healthcare, and made sure to visit every mohalla. The visits had an immediate impact on general health in the village. Meanwhile a month went by with no response to Gulambhai’s inquiry.

Pleased with the outcome of their small foray, many villagers didn’t seem to care much that the information asked for was still not forthcoming. Change had come about; their problems were being addressed and there seemed little point in wasting time or energy going into appeal against the PHC doctor and chasing up the information.

But Gulambhai and a few others were convinced this was not the end of the story. They felt it was just as important to get the information. The sudden change in behaviour of the health worker could be temporary. To ensure its permanence it was necessary to make norms related to the provision of healthcare visible and widely known to all. So Gulambhai decided to change his strategy.

He sent the doctor a reminder asking about the status of his application. Three days later, the PHC doctor landed up on Gulambhai’s doorstep (some villagers joked that he must have lost his way; a home visit by a government doctor was unheard of!). Aware of the honour being bestowed upon him, Gulambhai brought out the tea and biscuits.

The doctor asked where Gulambhai had he learnt about the RTI Act, who had taught him to make an application, and how he was going to use the information. Gulambhai explained that a lot of people like him in the village had attended trainings and were well aware of the new law. He himself now devoted a large part of his time raising awareness about laws and rights and procedures among his fellow villagers. He had learnt that it was only when people knew their rights that there would be real change in society. All that said, he heaved a sigh of relief and sat back proudly.

The doctor was surprised. He assured Gulambhai that he would personally ensure that the health worker came regularly. He also suggested that Gulambhai or any other villager visit him at the PHC and draw his attention to any problems they had. But there was no mention of the information Gulambhai had asked for.

The visit from the doctor earned Gulambhai new respect and status in his village. Most of all, it indicated the subtle shift in power that having information and using the law allows in the unequal relationships between bureaucracies and the people whom they are meant to serve.

A week after the doctor’s visit, Gulambhai received the information by post. The villagers were thrilled. The replies were by no means as detailed as had been asked for, and it had taken almost twice as long to get them as is required by statute. Much of the information was what the health centre PIO was required to provide anyway, without request. Logical pursuit of the inquiry would have thrown up questions about events of the previous years: Where had the medicines to be distributed gone? What were the finances allocated to healthcare in the villages, and how had they been spent? Who was supervising the errant health worker? How was their performance assessed?

But for now these lines of inquiry were not going to be pursued. Nor was the system going to change radically. The villagers believed that the provision of regular services and the personal visit by the doctor were in themselves a huge success that more than made up for any technical lapses in the provision of information.

This is what the right to information is. It is power, it is democracy in action. It is development you can see. It is participation you can hold in your hand. It is accountability that comes to your house. It is transparency you can witness in your village.

By Navaz Kotwal

Source: InfoChange News & Features


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Hi-tech building plans threaten to displace Valanthakkadu’s dalits


The tiny island of Valanthakkadu in Maratu panchayat, off Kochi, is a unique ecosystem. Barely a kilometre from the national highway, in the midst of the commercial capital of Kerala, this 246-acre island is surrounded by the richest mangroves in the south of the state. Situated in Vembanadu lake, Valanthakkadu is home to a variety of fish that are unique to estuaries, as the lake itself is a mixed waterbody of salt and fresh water extending to hundreds of kilometres to the east and spread over the districts of Ernakulam, Alapuzha and Kottayam.

Until a few months ago, Valanthakkadu was a sleepy village populated by no more than 44 families, all of them poor fishermen who eked out a livelihood from the surrounding lake. The main sources of livelihood were fishing, collecting shellfish like clams, growing prawns in enclosures, and cultivating a particular variety of rice, known locally as pokkali, a unique variety seen only in these parts. The rice plants grow above the salt water while their roots are sunk in the lake’s bottom.

Valanthakkadu’s unique social and ecological system is now under threat: the island is being eyed by builders and land developers. Around 200 acres of private land, which had been left untouched for generations, providing people with common fishing and farming grounds (they normally remain submerged, except during summer) have already been taken over by builders with a view to developing the area into a ‘high-tech city’ that will bring in huge investments and money.

As workers from the builders’ firms descended on the island in large numbers, and began cutting down the mangroves surrounding the village, the people rose in protest, turning the small island into a battleground between the developers on one side and the local population on the other.

“We have lived here for generations, and all of us supported ourselves with the natural resources available on the island,” says Sahajan, a young man in his 20s, who is now a leading activist with the recently set up Committee for the Protection of Valanthakkadu. He points out that, except for a few youngsters who are employed as casual labourers in the city’s booming construction industry, the entire population of Valanthakkadu depends on the island’s rich ecosystem for their livelihood.

Sahajan says people are unimpressed by offers being made to them by builders and developers who have promised the state government that the high-tech city they are planning will generate 75,000 new jobs and modern houses for those who live on the island. “Why do we need those houses? Without the ecosystem we will have no way to survive here,” Sahajan says.

There are other features of the island too that will come under threat from the so-called ‘development’ of Valanthakkadu. On a recent visit to the island I realised that of the 44 families living here, except for one Christian family, all the rest are dalits belonging to the Pulayacommunity. As untouchables in a caste-ridden society, they were sent to this uninhabited island in the midst of the lake generations ago. Now they are being uprooted again, as much of the land is originally owned by rich families who live on the mainland. Each local family owns around 15 to 25 cents of land, while a major share of the land on Valanthakkadu is owned by outsiders whose properties have, until recently, been hired as common fishing and cultivation areas.

Most families have their own fishing nets and other traditional implements that are now being predominantly used by women or older people as the youth prefer crossing the lake in search of jobs outside. The island is connected to the outside world through a ferry manned by 65-year-old Vasu Chettan, who says he earns around Rs 50 a day.

It was evening when we went out onto the water; small fish were jumping on its still silver surface partly obscured by green hyacinth. The boat landed at the foot of the primary health centre, the only public institution on the island which doesn’t even have a primary school. The few scattered houses, some of them tiled and concrete structures, can be reached through narrow footpaths. Most of the houses are modest dwelling places; fishing nets and other implements hang from their walls.

There are two types of fishing nets: the prominent one used by men who go out onto the lake in boats and swing the nets wide, and the smaller variety that’s used by the women who tackle smaller species of fish. Women also collect clams and other shellfish, diving deep into the waters. The nets are woven in such a way that younger fish can escape.

“We go fishing early in the morning and sell whatever we get at the market across the lake,” says Biji, a 36-year-old unmarried woman. She says her mother Chinnamma, 65, takes the fish to the market and normally comes back with Rs 50 to 60 a day. “We have no other income; our brother is bedridden and we don’t know what we will do when we are forced out,” she says.

Ambika Gopi is a mother of two. She was on her way to the lake with her net when we met her. A former president of the island’s microfinance group, Kudumbasree, Ambika says her family’s only income is from fishing. They recently bought a small boat and fishing net with a loan of Rs 10,000 from the microfinance unit, and have to repay Rs 350 towards the loan every month. She has two children -- a college-going daughter and a son who is admitted to a private course for which Ambika has to shell out Rs 400 a month. “The new owners of the land are not allowing us to fish and we will face doom if the government does not intervene to save us,” she says.

Most of the families on the island share Ambika’s concerns. But except for a few activists like C R Neelakantan, a nuclear scientist-turned-environmental activist who is associated with the Valanthakkadu Protection Committee, not many people from Kerala’s public life have bothered to come here to investigate. One exception is Kallen Pokkudan, a dalit activist and campaigner for the protection of mangroves, who is known for his heroic efforts for the preservation of mangroves in Kerala’s northern parts. “Pokkudan came here and was horrified by the way this precious ecosystem is being wantonly destroyed,” says Neelakantan who accompanied him on the visit. An expert in local mangroves, Pokkudan was able to identify 12 varieties on the island. He believes this is the largest system of natural mangroves in the southern part of Kerala.

Neelakantan said the Valanthakkadu Protection Committee has petitioned the state government against the destruction of the island’s fragile ecosystem; the committee has also filed a petition in the Kerala High Court against any move to destroy the mangroves.

Meanwhile, Kerala’s chief minister has instructed the industries department to take note of the people’s concerns before any MoU is signed for development of the proposed high-tech city. But the local population remains sceptical about these promises, fearing they are powerless against the immense capital resources of the developers.

By N P Chekkutty


Source : InfoChange News & Features



Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

True Confessions of a Child Abuse victim

ALL OF US know that child abuse is a crime. We read books and articles on the issue, condemn it, feel sorry about the victims, criticize those who commit this crime and carry on with our daily chores. There are only handfuls among us who have the courage to defend their children against this crime. What are the rest of us...? Cowards.

This is the story of my friend, Abhilasha Suri, 24 (name has been changed on request). As the world observes the United Nations Day today, I would like to share a few instances from Abhilasha’s life that changed her outlook on life forever.

Abhilasha was born in a nuclear family in Delhi but was sent to stay at her grandparents’ house in Saharanpur, UP, only after a week. Both her parents were working and could not afford to stay at home and look after their infant daughter.

When Abhilasha was four years old her grandmother passed away and her parents were left with no other option but to take her with them. For Abhilasha, her grandparents were her mom and dad. In the last four years she had never heard from her parents who lived in the city and could not take out the time to meet their daughter.

Abhilasha was supposed to move in with strangers at the age of four. Adjustment problems soon began for the girl. She was unaware of the changes that were to take place. Her parents left for work very early in the morning and came back in the evening. They often left her in the care of neighbors who neglected the child completely. If Abhilasha ever complained to her parents about this, she was scolded.

Both parents were impatient with the child and even started to spank her on small things. Abhilasha was traumatized about having lost her grandmother and her own parents failed to understand her. She stopped trusting her parents and from then on kept her thoughts only to herself.

At the age of seven, Abhilasha was playing at a neighbor’s house when Vijay, their eighteen year old son came to her. He was the only person who spent time with Abhilasha. He’d bring her chocolates and candy and play with her. Little did the child know of the evil intentions behind his sweetness. Vijay told Abhilasha that he would give her the sweets if she touched him and kissed him. It was the first time she was sexually abused.

At the age of thirteen, Abhilasha was at her cousin’s wedding when her uncle (father’s brother), molested her. She wanted it to stop, but was too embarrassed and humiliated to say anything to him. She went numb and couldn’t gather the courage to face him. Afterwards, she felt guilty, even though it wasn’t her fault. A few weeks later, she gathered her courage and told her mother about what had happed. To her dismay, she was told to shut up and never speak a word about it with someone else.

According to her mother, her relationship with her husband could destroy if she said anything about his brother. No one would believe it.

After giving her board exams, Abhilasha went to visit her aunt and her three daughters in Kanpur. She was in the kitchen one evening preparing tea, when her aunt’s father-in-law molested her. Abhilasha says, “I was bewildered by the fact that someone my grandfather’s age could do something so nasty. Where was god and why did such people exist?”

Complaining was not the solution, so Abhilasha decided to fight the enemy on her own. She knew that no one would support her. The only hope she had was from her teacher. When her school re-opened, she approached her class teacher, who empathized with her. Abhilasha felt relieved and thanked God that at least one person in the whole world trusted her.

But her hopes were soon crashed to the ground when her parents were informed about this. They stopped Abhilasha from going to school and began to lock her in the house.
Abhilasha was not allowed to visit her friends, receive any phone calls and was kept concealed within the four walls of the house. “Even the neighbors did not know that I was in town.”

Then one day, she managed to escape. She went to a police station and complained, but nobody was ready to listen to her. They too, eventually called her parents and she was taken back home.

Then onwards, Abhilasha, once a bright student began to perform badly in her exams (she was appearing privately). She lost track of all her aspirations and nothing ever mattered to her. For two years she lived in isolation. When she turned 18, her parents could not threaten to lock her up or beat her. She began to live on her own.

She suffered from chronic depression and often had mood swings; she could not differentiate between well wishers and enemies. She began to take drugs and alcohol as she thought it could relieve her from her worries. Multiple affairs and life on the fast lane became her lifestyle. She resorted to giving physical pain to her own self by cutting herself with knives and blades forgot all about love and hope and gave way to self-destruction. She felt that she had been killed by her own parents.

She found a father figure in a man, 22 years her elder. When she sought love, he made love to her. Soon, he hurt her by denouncing her physical appearances. It broke her heart. Abhilasha sought and found affection in the company of her women friends.

Then she met Mahe through a friend. He was on a visit to Delhi. They seemed to click instantly and became very good friends. She confided in Mahe about her life and he seemed to understand. He told her that she felt her life was over because she had stopped looking beyond what happened to her.

Mahe said, “You need to prove it to the world that you are not what you seem to be. You must live a normal life because there is nothing abnormal about you. I think you must have children of your own and protect them from all that has happened to you.”

Mahe eventually proposed to Abhilasha but she is unable to decide whether she should go ahead and marry him or fight her fears on her own.

Abhilasha says, “I realize that in our country people lack awareness about their children’s rights and cannot defend them from pedophiles because they are scared to ruin their family name. Mothers are scared to protect their children because they do not wish to spoil their own marriage. After all, what will they do once their husband throws them out?”

Nishtha Bajaj, psychologist says, “Child abuse in the form of neglect, physical and sexual abuse is prevalent in the society but very few families are able to protect their children from its evil clutches. This is because of lack of awareness and the overall set-up of our society. Children are not educated in the family to say No around someone they feel uncomfortable with. They don’t even know what is happening to them most of the time. Parents need to trust their children and keep them away from any possible danger.”

Kanika Chawla, teacher says, “A child usually confides in one of the parents. If your child ever reports of any incident that is likely to trigger suspicion, you must not feel embarrassed to discuss about it and must raise your voice. Your child will appreciate that and it will enable him/her to trust you more often.”

Child Abuse in a rampant problem glaring in our faces. It is our children we happen to be talking about and we need to protect them. We need to make sure that the laws in our country are implemented and we mustn’t let the criminal walk away as this will only encourage him.

Listen to your child and believe him.

Never scold your child if he approaches you with a problem.

Tell him to raise his voice if he feels uncomfortable around a stranger/relative/person.

Never leave your children with neighbors, friends, relatives, servants, and drivers
Spend quality time with your children.

Remember that your child is your responsibility and any particular action can destroy or build the faith.

Never make the child feel guilty for something he/she is not responsible for

If your child behaves strangely due to some reason discuss it with him

If your child suddenly stops socializing, talk to him

If he/she refuses to go near a specific person, do not force him



Child abuse can destroy a life. The person may go away but the scars are left behind forever. It is impossible to erase them from the victim’s memory. It often becomes a lifelong saga.

None of us would want our precious little ones to grow up troubled and unable to trust anyone. Abhilasha sleeps with the light on…. would we want something as scary as this to happen to someone we love? Imagine living a life of constant fear and anxiety, unable to take ant decisions… unwilling to even trust one’s own self.
By Simara Starr

Source: http://www.merinews.com/

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

UN Day: Fight Global Warming, ensure World Peace collectively


THE birthday of the United Nations was celebrated all across the globe commemorating the establishment of the organization on October 24, 1945. In 1971, the UN General Assembly recommended all member states to observe this day as a public holiday. New goals are set each year, former achievements are discussed, meetings and conferences are held on this day each year.

The biggest challenge faced on a global platform this year is the issue of climate change that needs to be adressed without further delay. Global warming is one phenomenon which is hitting the world with all its might.

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General has appealed to one and all to come together and fight this challenge. He said that ‘business as ususal’ is a business at risk and collectively the whole world can face down this challenge.

The peace process in Nepal is facing unparallel challenges and the UN has urged parties there to reach an agreement on future steps. Realistic targets need to be set for the elections timetable which were scheduled to be held next month but have now been postponed. According to reports, the UN mission in Nepal (UNMIN) is monitoring arms and armed personnel to serve the purpose of fostering confidence and goodwill. On the eve of UN Day, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal issued a statement welcoming a recent decision by the country’s cabinet to institute quotas for recruiting women and members of marginalized groups to fill vacant posts in the Nepal Police and Armed Police Force.

Disarmament still remains the top priority on the UN agenda. Weapons of mass destruction have always posed a threat to the very existance of humanity. We don’t want another Hiroshima-Nagasaki but the hunger for aquiring more nuclear weapons by countries stands as the biggest challenge before us today.

In a message to the 57th Pugwash Conference held recently in Italy, Ban Ki-moon said: “Developments in science and technology are raising hopes that new innovations could contribute to improving the quality of life of people throughout the world.”

However, it is important for us to focus on disarmament in order to maintain global peace.

Dr Rahul Rai, Director of Indian Institute of Human Rights says, “The United Nations and Human Rights are interlinked. Today, we are faced with the problem of climate change which is s global challenge. It is not a problem being faced by India alone, but we need to begin with imparting the right education at the school level. Emphasis must be laid on elimination of carbon emmisions which is the biggest reason for global warming.”

Alok Vats, CEO of AN Info Solutions opined, “ There are ample policies and rights in India, but they are hardly implamanted. An individual motivation is required to see to the implementation of the various rights, only then can India become free from the vicious circle of social evils.”

Dr Tanuja Trivedi of Indian Institute of Human Rights adds, “ I think that disparity and poverty are the biggest challenfes being faced by our country today. Majority of Indians working aboroad are facing the problem of discrimination. Motivation needs to be present at an individual level in order to implement the various policies and rigts in India. A massive campaign needs to be started in order to motivate every individual.”

Gagandeep Singh, an exesutive working with an MNC states, “ People working abroad in the same company are paid three-four times higher han what we are paid in India. There is a lot of discrimination at every step.”

Children remain the most vulnerable segment of the society. Despite the number of Child Rights in our country, there is lack of awareness and implementation. Everywhere innocent children are being exploited ruthlessly. Whether they are in our homes serving as domestic help or are being sexually abused children all over the world are the worct victims. There are a number of children who have lost their families in war, have been abused by their loved ones, have resorted to becoming street urchins because their families could not afford to feed them. Thousands of children are sold each year and become bonded labourers, they are illtreated and are often beaten mercilessly. Who is to be blamed for this?

Dr Trivedi opines, “Children suffer the worst part of abuse in a minimum lifespan. It is the duty of grown-ups to see thst children are protected and we must feel responsible towards the society.”

Indira Ilias, a schoolteacher, says, “ Both children as well as their parents must be educated about their rights. Human Rights awareness needs to be created in a big way. If people are not aware of their rights there is no way they can get them implemented.”

Evern after 60 years of independence, India is still struggling to free itself from the viscious cycle of poverty. According to a recent report 70 per cent of Indian are living below $2 per month.

Dr Rai says, “ The irony is thet we are not a poor country at all but people in India cannot even nake ends meet. We are the largest democracy of the world and are still struggling with the issue of poverty. We display the worst Human Rights records in the world. There is complete lack of governence in our country and I feel that it is people like you and I, every individual who is to be blamed for our own plight. We are not living in a monarchy but in a democract where it is the people wno govern. Thus, we must stop blaming the government and take the responsibilit for our individual actions.”

It is the duty of each individual to fight the various challenges that are piling up in our society today. We must take initiative to make this world a better place and set individual goals for ourselves. We need to stop playing the blame game, only then can we achieve eternal bliss and harmony.

By Rachel Arora

Source: http://www.merinews.com/

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

EU unveils Blue Cards for immigrants

BASED ON the United States Green Card, the EU (European Union) has unveiled a Blue Card for skilled immigrants aiming to attract top talents to the European Union to combat the problems related to the ageing population and declining birth rate. The Card will help skilled workers, including engineers, IT experts, MBAs, doctors, nurses and legal experts to travel and work in any country within the European Union. This is a great move indeed!

Unveiling the Blue Card, European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom, and Security, Franco Frattini, told the media that the card would entitle migrants with more than three years’ work experience or a university degree to work in a member state under the “fast-track” immigration reforms. They will also be allowed to bring in their families after six months of their migration.

It is observed that the EU currently trails behind the United States and Canada in attracting overseas talent. With the issuing of Blue Cards, the EU hopes to attract more skilled immigrants to the member countries, thus making the 27-member bloc more economically competitive.

Specially directed towards Asia and Africa, these Blue Cards will definitely give an edge to the willing migrants to move to their favourite destinations and settle down there. Until now, skilled people from these regions used to go to America and Britain more than any other country in the world.

According to Mark Mardell of BBC, “the proposal is controversial and some countries are sure to oppose it.” British ministers say that they are studying the different facets of the Blue Card, but reportedly they are not keen on the card, preferring to develop an Australian-style points system. Some politicians in the Netherlands and Germany are also hostile and the Austrian government has condemned the plan as ‘a centralisation too far’.

As of now, we would have to wait for some more time to know about the complete picture of the Blue Cards. For now, it is good news for the Indian brains that are planning to migrate to any EU member county and settle down there.

By Shekharjyoti Kalita

Source : http://www.merinews.com/

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Justice delayed, not denied in Madhumita Shukla murder case

THE ADAGE ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ has proved untrue in the much publicised murder case of Hindi poetess Madhumita Shukla. She was killed four years back. Now, with the verdict from a Dehradun session court punishing high profile criminals prove that though justice was delayed, it was not denied. This verdict has strengthened the common man’s trust in the judiciary.

No one is above the law. If a person intends to indulge in crimes using his clout, political power, status and influence, he won’t be spared. Punishment to a sitting MLA and former minister of Samajwadi Party, Amarmani Tripathi, his wife Madhumani, nephew Rohit Chaturvedi and another person, is a wonderful example of true justice has been meted out to a commoner despite the power and pelf of the culprit.

Though one of the accused Parkash Pandey was acquitted due to the lack of evidence but those directly and heinously involved in the crime were punished. It relieved the nation. This milestone verdict warns all high profile criminals that if they sow crimes they cannot reap acquittals. Not always.

The love affair between the MLA and the poetess was well known. When it was under wraps there was no problem but when it surfaced, it became too hot and sleazy to handle. Skillfully (read craftly), Amarmani and his spouse decided to get rid of the poetess, the former minister’s beloved. Madhumita was slain in the paper mill colony of Lucknow, in May 2003.

Alike other crimes, this murder evoked nationwide outrage, which provoked the politician to play dirty game with the case. Using his influence and clout, he tried to scuttle the justice. Also, the goons of minister, ever since the murder took place in 2003, were threatening to family members of Madhumita. Then on the base of a petition filed by Nidhi Shuklla, her sister, in February 2007, a division bench of the Supreme Court transferred the case to session court of Dehradun, from Lucknow to ensure a free and fair trial.

At last truth triumphed. The DNA sample of the foetus – Madhumita was pregnant when she was killed – matched with Amarmani’s DNA. The authenticity of love letters exchanged between the two was proved with the help of handwriting experts. Most importantly, almost 79 witnesses appeared in the case against the culprits.

It’s no doubt that now Amarmani will take his case to higher courts for appeal against the sentence. He has every right to do so but the question is: Can he easily prove himself innocent? What about the solid evidences against him and others?

In some way, it is justifiable to see Amarmani behind the bars. With his sentence, other culprits in politics might take a lesson that bad intent yields bad results. The crucial question is why don’t people reject such criminals as they imperil the society. People should not forget that when Amarmani contested his last election from Maharajganj constituency, he was in jail. But, he had won the election even then. Should the electorate repeat the same mistake, is a question that haunts most right-minded people.

By Ashwini Ahuja

Source: http://www.merinews.com/


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Why We Age - - Theories and Effects of Aging

Overview
The study of aging - gerontology - is a relatively new science that has made incredible progress over the last 30 years. In the past, scientists looked for a single theory that explained aging. There are two main groups of aging theories. The first group states that aging is natural and programmed into the body, while the second group of aging theories say that aging is a result of damage which is accumulated over time. In the end, aging is a complex interaction of genetics, chemistry, physiology and behavior.

Theories of Aging
By understanding and describing how we age, researchers have developed several different theories of aging. The two categories are: programmed theories and error theories.

Programmed Theories assert that the human body is designed to age and there is a certain biological timeline that our bodies follow.

Programmed Longevity: Aging is caused by certain genes switching on and off over time.

Endocrine Theory: Changes in hormones control aging.

Immunological Theory: The immune system is programmed to decline over time, leaving people more susceptible to diseases.

Error Theories assert that aging is caused by environmental damage to our body's systems, which accumulates over time.

Wear and Tear: Cells and tissues simply wear out.

Rates of Living: The faster an organism uses oxygen, the shorter it lives.

Cross-Linking: Cross-linked proteins accumulate and slow down body processes.

Free Radicals: Free radicals cause damage to cells that eventually impairs function.

Somatic DNA Damage: Genetic mutations cause cells to malfunction.


Genetics and Aging

Studies have demonstrated that genetics can play a major role in aging. When researchers adjust the genes in certain mice, yeast cells and other organisms, they can almost double the lifespan of these creatures. The meaning of these experiments for people is not known, but researchers think that genetics account for up to 35 percent of the variation in aging among people. Some key concepts in genetics and aging include:

Longevity Genes: There are specific genes which help a person live longer.

Cell Senescence: The process by which cells deteriorate over time.

Telomeres: Structures on the end of DNA that eventually are depleted, resulting in cells ceasing to replicate.

Stem Cells: These cells can become any type of cell in the body and hold promise to repair damage caused by aging.


Biochemistry

No matter what genes you have inherited, your body is continually undergoing complex biochemical reactions. Some of these reactions cause damage and, ultimately, aging in the body. Studying these complex reactions is helping researchers understand how the body changes as it ages. Important concepts in the biochemistry of aging include:

Free Radicals: Unstable oxygen molecules which can damage cells.

Protein Cross-Linking: Excess sugars in the blood stream can cause protein molecules to literally stick together.

DNA Repair: For an unknown reasons, the systems in the body to repair DNA seem to become less effective in older people.

Heat Shock Proteins: These proteins help cells survive stress and are present in fewer numbers in older people.

Hormones:The body's hormones change as we age, causing many shifts in organ systems and other functions.


Body Systems

As we age, our body's organs and other systems make changes. These changes alter our susceptibility to various diseases. Researchers are just beginning to understand the processes that cause changes over time in our body systems. Understanding these processes is important because many of the effects of aging are first noticed in our body systems. Here is a brief overview of how some body systems age:

Heart Aging: The heart muscle thickens with age as a response to the thickening of the arteries. This thicker heart has a lower maximum pumping rate.

Immune System Aging: T cells take longer to replenish in older people and their ability to function declines.

Arteries and Aging: Arteries usually to stiffen with age, making it more difficult for the heart to pump blood through them.

Lung Aging: The maximum capacity of the lungs may decrease as much as 40 percent between ages 20 and 70.

Brain Aging: As the brain ages, some of the connections between neurons seem to be reduced or less efficient. This is not yet well understood.

Kidney Aging: The kidneys become less efficient at cleaning waste from the body.

Bladder Aging: The total capacity of the bladder declines and tissues may atrophy, causing incontinence.

Body Fat and Aging: Body fat increases until middle age and then weight typically begins to decrease. The body fat also moves deeper in the body as we age.

Muscle Aging: Muscle tone declines about 22 percent by age 70, though exercise can
slow this decline.

Bone Aging: Starting at age 35, our bones begin to lose density. Walking, running and resistance training can slow this process.

Sight and Aging: Starting in the 40s, difficulty seeing close detail may begin.

Hearing and Aging: As people age, the ability to hear high frequencies declines.


Behavioral Factors

The good news is that many of these causes of aging can be modified through your behaviors:

By eating foods loaded with antioxidants, you can minimize damage caused by free radicals.

By exercising, you can limit bone and muscle loss.

By keeping your cholesterol low, you can slow the hardening of your arteries and protect your heart.

By practicing mental fitness, you can keep your brain sharp.
Lifestyle factors have also been shown to extend life. Rats and mice on a calorie restricted diet (30 percent fewer daily calories) live up to 40 percent longer. Positive thinking has also been shown to extend life in people by up to 7.5 years.



Source: http://longevity.about.com/od/longevity101/a/why_we_age.htm





Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Rights and Responsibilties of Residents of Old Age Home

Dear Friends Can we ask our Government / Authorities to give Following - Rights and Responsibilities for Residents of Old Age Home / Retirement Township / Residential Care Facility for Elders.

A. Each resident of a residential care service has the right:

To full and effective use of his or her personal, civil, legal and consumer rights;

To quality care which is appropriate to his or her needs;

To full information about his or her own state of health and about available treatments;

To be treated with dignity and respect, and to live without exploitation, abuse or neglect;

To live without discrimination or victimisation, and without being obliged to feel grateful to those providing his or her care and accommodation;

To personal privacy;

To live in a safe, secure and homelike environment, and to move freely both within and outside the residential care service without undue restriction;

To be treated and accepted as an individual, and to have his or her individual preferences taken into account and treated with respect;

To continue his or her cultural and religious practices and to retain the language of his or her choice, without discrimination;

To select and maintain social and personal relationships with any other person without fear, criticism or restriction;

To freedom of speech;

To maintain his or her personal independence, which includes a recognition of personal responsibility for his or her own actions and choices, even though some actions may involve an element of risk which the resident has the right to accept, and that should then not be used to prevent or restrict those actions;

To maintain control over, and to continue making decisions about, the personal aspects of his or her daily life, financial affairs and possessions;

To be involved in the activities, associations and friendships of his or her choice, both within and outside the residential care service;

To have access to services and activities which are available generally in the community;

To be consulted on, and to choose to have input into, decisions about the living arrangements of the residential care service;

To have access to information about his or her rights, care, accommodation, and any other information which relates to him or her personally;

To complain and to take action to resolve disputes;

To have access to advocates and other avenues of redress; and

To be free from reprisal, or a well-founded fear of reprisal, in any form for taking action to enforce his or her rights.


B. Each resident of a residential care service has the responsibility:

To respect the rights and needs of other people within the residential care service, and to respect the needs of the residential care service community as a whole;

To respect the rights of staff and the proprietor to work in an environment which is free from harassment;

To care for his or her own health and well-being, as far as he or she is capable; and

To inform his or her medical practitioner, as far as he or she is able, about his or her relevant medical history and his or her current state of health.

Its high time that the Authorities get into action and give power to our Elders to live with Dignity.

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

A Day At Old Age Home-True Story

There are lots of experiences and special days in one's life. What I want to share today is a one such day that is never going to be forgotten by me. A day that brought such a lot of happiness and satisfaction to me. One of the most memorable days of the week.

Like most Christian kids who could manage to sing, I too was send from home to join the church choir. It was my third year in the choir , when we had a new parish priest who joined our church. He was a person who very particular on the choir singing well and so made choir practice twice a week. We all enjoyed meeting up twice a week and even to hear the priest sing. (He was an amazing singer) At the end of one such practice session, the pastor told us that after that day's practice session would be a special practice.

He just told us that it would be something like a surprise and we were asked to get whatever little pocket money we could. I kept thinking the whole two days of what could this surprise be. On the awaited day, all of us turned up right on time, with whatever money we had gathered. Then the pastor came ready to break the surprise. He greeted all of us and asked us if we knew the specialty of the day. We all exchanged looks, all equally blank. Then the pastor gave a wide smile and said, "Today is Grand Parent's Day". And our pastor went on explaining what he had in mind for our day.

But, there were few, who sat without expressions from the time they had entered. More than the happy, smiling ones, they came to my notice.

We were going to visit not one or two, but many many grandparents who have no family with them. Yes, we were going to go to an Old Age home with small gifts for all of them. All of us were very excited and did'nt know what to get them and how to entertain them. We walked our way to the Old Age Home and on the way bought a nice big cake. We had carried a guitar and a tambourine too. That's all these little amateur musicians had. We all entered this old but big building, it was run by some sisters of a particular congregation. The compound of this Home was built and maintained beautifully. There was plants and flowers blooming everywhere. We followed our pastor into the building, with mixed feelings and emotions. We were soon greeted by a very warm looking nun, who guided us to a hall.

We were supposed to conduct whatever we wanted in the hall. We all looked around the hall to see what we could do. We blew balloons and hung them all around the hall. We then cut out chart papers, wrote quotes, stuck pictures and stuck it on the wall. We made the hall as colourful as possible. Then we placed our cake on a table and told the Sister that we were ready. Then came in all the grey haired sweethearts, some alone, some couples, some groups. Then they all got themselves seated on the chairs we had arranged in the hall. Then our pastor greeted them all and wished them first.

Then it was our turn. Robert, the famous one with talking, greeted all of them and told them that we had come along to make their day a little special. Then we all gathered in front and started singing songs for them. Though we had started with some Gospel songs, we did sing some melodious Love songs too!! I just noticed all of them. Most of them were single grandparents whose spouses had expired. The other few were couples. Most of them were smiling and singing along too when we had started singing. But, there were few, who sat without expressions from the time they had entered. More than the happy, smiling ones, they came to my notice.

Slowly, the scene out there started changing. There were many many smiling faces. While some of us sang, the others sat beside them and spoke to them. Most of them could converse in English. I still remember one Anglo-Indian couple, they were so adorable!! The husband walks up to Robert and asks him for the mike, Robert though surprised, happily gives it to him. Then, he sang a beautiful number and said he dedicated it to his the 'love of his life', his wife. Though spending her whole lifetime with her husband, she went pink at this cute dedication.

At the same time, there was another couple that caught my eyes, they were in each others arms dancing!!! And oh my, they were amazing, I bet I couldn't dance like that! Then we kept singing songs till we felt we were out of songs!! At the same time,two of us, cut the cake into several pieces to be distributed. At that moment, the Sister in charge of the Home told us that there were diabetic people amongst them and they couldn't have sweet. Our faces dropped, but we never gave up, we coaxed her so much that she eventually agreed.

Then, we went to each one them and gave them their share of the cake. Most of them had sparkling eyes and were so excited on seeing the forbidden delicacy!! When we went distributing the cake, there were so many grand fathers and grand mothers who were almost in tears, either telling that they miss their grandchildren or we resembled one of theirs. One of the grandmothers just pulled me by my hand and made me sit beside her. She told me about her son who is working in the US, and found it difficult for him to look after her so left her at this Home. She told me that her son's daughter (that's her grand daughter) looked just like me and had the same smile. I just hugged her and kissed her. Both our eyes were full, I had no words to say.

Most of our dear grandparents spend an old age of loneliness and insecurity. They spend their second childhood in their old age. They too want to be loved and looked after in their old age, they become like attention seeking children. Most of the ones in Old Age Homes don't complain, they just say that, my son or daughter has to go on and I cant be a burden for them! It is left to us to decide how happy their old age can be. You don't need any special day to make them feel their worth. If you have never told them how much you love them, say it before its too late.


By: Anitha Theresa Abraham

Source: http://living.oneindia.in/


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sundowning, Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

What is Sundowning?
People with Alzheimer's disease and many other forms of dementia are often at their best early in the day. As the day progresses, however, a patient's memory and ability to carry out tasks can deteriorate. "Sundowning" is the term used to describe the increased confusion and agitation that occurs later in the day and evening and sometimes into the night.

Sundowning is more common in the moderate to severe stages of Alzheimer's. There is evidence that Alzheimer's disease damages or disrupts the parts of the brain that control the circadian rhythms, the body clock and the sleep-wake cycle.


Sundowning is Exhausting for Caregivers and People with Dementia

A difficult thing about sundowning is that toward the end of the day both the person with Alzheimer's and his or her caregiver are tired and not always at their best.
But if you know that sundowning is a feature of dementia then it can be less frustrating.


Signs and Symptoms of Sundowning

Sundowning occurs in the later part of the day and in the evening. Behavior can include the following:

Increased agitation

Increased anxiety

Increased confusion

Restlessness

Less cooperative

More argumentative

It is important that you do not misinterpret the above behaviors. It may be that people with Alzheimer's disease are behaving the way they are because of other things. Are you being more demanding? Are you making unrealistic demands? Are they suffering from other physical discomforts (noise, continence problems, medications, illness, pain) rather than sundowning?



Strategies to Minimize or Prevent Sundowning


Make sure sundowning is not the result of physical illness or medication.

Caregivers need to be flexible in their approach and in their expectations.

Avoid caffeine drinks in the afternoon and evening.

Have non-glare lighting.

Be soothing and try to be undemanding. Try to make the person with Alzheimer's feel safe and secure.

Make sure the person's physical needs are met, i.e. that they are not hungry, thirsty, or constipated.

Avoid too many naps during the day.

Soothing music may help relax them.

Provide stimulating activities in the day without exhausting the person.

Remember that a person with Alzheimer's does not have control over their behavior.

Sundowning strategies do not always work the first time, or even the second or third time. You have to find out what suits each individual to minimize the problematic behaviors of sundowning. Keeping a diary of different strategies and their results over time can help you isolate some important key features. Medical intervention or medication may be required if things do become too difficult.

Posted from reference by Ms Hendi Lingiah, Clinical Psychologist, France

Source : http://alzheimers.about.com/



Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Skilled Nursing Homes is not for All Seniors

What exactly is a skilled nursing facility? The definition of a Skilled Nursing Home is a medical facility offering similar services as a hospital, providing care for the appropriate seniors with optional long-term or short-term care. The price of skilled nursing home care is slowly rising every year. However, skilled nursing homes are an excellent choice for those who require medical professionals. But they are not for every senior. Some seniors just need help with their activities of daily living (ADLs)such as dressing, preparing food, going to the bathroom, or bathing. Is it necessary for a senior to be in an expensive skilled nursing facility when all they need is assistance with their ADLs?

As a matter of fact, there are a number of elderly folk who are in skilled nursing home facilities who only need help with their ADLs, due to the lack of experience and the knowledge, they are unaware of the options that are accessible to them. Skilled nursing homes supply solutions for patients with complicated medical issues. The problems the residents could have may include mental illnesses such as dementia, physical illnesses like major infections, wound care, IV therapy, tube feeding, and physical/occupational therapy.

There are many attainable alternatives to skilled nursing home care if a senior does not need the 24 hour service from a skilled nurse just to help them prepare a meal. Retirement housing options are abundant across the United States, assisted living, private, manor, or senior living communities are just a few of the facilities offered.

Assisted living is a considerable alternative for elderly people who just need a little help to get them through the day and probably also one of the most common for retired seniors. A great benefit of assisted living is the resident can live in their own home, apartment, or retirement community and have a care-giver come over and cook them lunch or help them get dressed or what ever they need help with to get them through the day. The resident still has their privacy and freedom in the comfort of their own space. Every assisted living home is licensed for one or more levels of care: Supervisor, Personal and Directed. They also are licensed for up to 10 residents. Basically, assisted living homes are homes that provide care for seniors who incapable to live alone and just need help with the ADLs, and do not require skilled nursing home care.

However, if the senior has a lot of problems and needs assistance with medical issues then a skilled nursing home facility is probably their best bet to get the care they need. A skilled care nursing home is required to customarily have other professionals on board to assist with patients needs. A social worker is typically on staff to assist the residents with their emotional problems and arrangements for the patients after care discharge. Occupational and physical therapists work within the structure of care, reporting progress to the doctors and coordinating specifically ordered therapies. The med nurses generally take care of administering the patients medications and prescriptions. Lastly, the activities director who is in charge creating and running social interaction between residents and planning their daily activities.

Individuals contemplating a skilled nursing home should investigate their choices and options of their individual situation before making their decision. There are different types of nursing home care options to choose from such as assisted living nursing homes. Other senior living communities include facilities that provide senior living services in a private nursing home.

By Michelle Oldani

Source: http://pr-gb.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27946&Itemid=9

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Men and women have different retirement views, priorities, study finds

In Canada Men expect to work part-time; women prefer to volunteer

Men and women are not necessarily in sync when it comes to planning for retirement and envisioning what their lives will be like once they retire, according to a study conducted for Bank of Nova Scotia.

The study identified several key differences. Among them, men are more likely than women to have thought about retirement planning.

As well, men expect to work part-time in retirement while women are more likely to volunteer, while women want to spend more time with family and friends.

“It’s not surprising that men and women have different visions of their retirement from a lifestyle perspective,” said Trudy Hofley, director, Scotia Private Client Group, Vancouver and Victoria, in a release. “However, it’s precisely because they have different views that it is important to have a retirement plan that takes into account individual needs and reconciles both financial and lifestyle goals.”

The study examined attitudes towards retirement and lifestyle priorities of Canadian couples with at least one partner over 50 and still working and preparing for retirement.

Ten per cent of men and 16% of women admit they have not given much thought to retirement at all. However, when asked what one thing worries them the most, 51% of men and 53% of women indicated some aspect of financial security (e.g. having enough money, cash flow or outliving their finances).

To the extent they have thought about retirement, 44% of men state they have thought about both financial and lifestyle aspects compared to only 34% of women. However, more women than men, 30% versus 26% respectively, said they have only considered the financial aspects of retirement.

With respect to how the genders plan to spend their time once they’ve retired, 45% of male respondents said that they expect to work part-time while only 34% of women have the same expectation. Women, at 54%, are more likely to volunteer or take on charitable activities compared to 37% of men.

On the subject of the role of family and friends in retirement, 23% of men said that they are mainly interested in spending time with just their spouse or partner in retirement. Overall, only 15% of Canadian women felt the same, with 30% saying that it important to have an active social life with a large circle of family and friends.

The Couples Retirement Study was conducted for Scotiabank using TNS Canadian Facts’ online panel. Respondents for the survey were couples that are married or in a common-law relationship, with at least one partner aged 50 or over and working full-time, and having household investable assets of at least $50,000. A total of 489 couples participated in the online survey between April 17 and April 29.

Source : http://investmentexecutive.com/

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Senior Moments: Old age can be challenging but liberating years

The third age is no longer a brief intermezzo between midlife and drastic decline ... (instead, it) has the potential to become the best stage of all, an age of liberation when individuals combine newfound freedoms with prolonged health and the chance to make some of their most important contributions to life. - Mark Freedman, author of Prime Time: How Baby Boomers Will Revolutionize Retirement and Transform America.

Old age can truly be the most liberated, and liberating, time of a person's life. Free from the responsibilities of parenthood, and retired from the 9-to-5 routine, many seniors find challenge and exhilaration in the opportunities available to them. One of the calf-roper contestants in the Senior Pro Rodeo Association, age 86, said, "If I quit and sat down in my rocking chair, I'd be dead in a year!"

A 75-year-old client once told me that he was golfing with some recent acquaintances and was expressing amazement that a golfer in the party, who said he plays every day, was 86. The other golfer, to whom my client addressed the remark said, "Well, I'm 85!"

Many seniors participate in the Senior Olympics, travel with Elder Hostel and other such groups, and volunteer helping other seniors who are not as fortunately healthy. In fact, more than half of the people attending the national political conventions are AARP members. That means they are over age 50. That is a generation that was raised to be politically active; they understand the thrill of being able to participate in the political process and view voting as a patriotic duty. They know that the best way to lose your right to vote is not to use it.

In an online article, Aging in America: Coming to Terms with the Inevitable, Diane Wagner, a therapist at the Midwest Institute for Rehabilitation at Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Illinois, writes: "Unfortunately, some older persons are unable to reap the full benefits of their golden years. ... Some may become disabled ... (but) a growing problem relates to the leisure values of older adults. Some people do not value leisure as an important aspect of their lives. They do not realize the physical and emotional benefits of healthy leisure and that recreation involvement can help make a senior's life healthier and happier."

True. Senior Moments knows at least one senior who, having worked very long and hard during her working years, was horrified when she visited friends living at a West Coast Leisure World and realized they enjoyed playing cards and games during the daytime! She never learned to value leisure as an important aspect of life nor to appreciate the physical, mental and emotional benefits of healthy leisure time. It is very difficult for people who viewed work in that way to learn to value anything that might not be considered "work." When these individuals are unable to "work," and unable to make good, full use of any leisure time, they have a difficult time remaining physically well. The focus is on what they are unable to do (work, drive etc.), not on those positive things they can actually do. Negative focus is not healthy for anyone, but it can be mentally and physically devastating for a senior.

Soon, for the first time in history, there will be more Americans over age 55 than those under age 18. In less than a century, approximately 30 years have been added to our life expectancy. Old age has become, says Laura Cartensen of Stanford Today Online, for the first time in human history, a usual stage of life.

"Yet," says Cartensen, "old age is a time that few people look forward to. We have come to associate old age with dementia, poverty, physical frailty, depletion of Medicare funds, indeed, bankruptcy of the federal government." Senior Moments believes that such a list encompasses the most pessimistic way of looking at aging. People have not been living to really high ages for very long, and science, medicine and the culture itself still have much to learn about aging and its effects on the individual. Part of the reason the elderly were so revered in cultures of the past is because there were so few of them. The challenge before all of us is to transform and translate the wonderful news of increased life expectancy into actually maintaining meaningful, enriching and productive life during those extra years.

Senior Moments does not intend to belittle the many challenges of old age, nor the fact that it can often be downright depressing. Still, think of the comment from Linda Ellerbee, popular journalist and author, "Look at my face. See the lines, especially the ones around the corners of the eyes. They speak of laughter, including the best of all laughs, the one you have at yourself. The wrinkles? Honestly earned, every one of them. The lips? Thinner, but the smile is still wide, and nothing is as beautiful as joy in an old face." Keep smiling.

By Jackie Byrd

Source: http://www.bowieblade.com/


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Child Protection Division of NISD - Govt Of India

Background

Realizing the need for an effective service delivery to children in need of care & protection, National Initiative for Child Protection (NICP) was launched by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment through the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD) and CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF). NICP aims at building partnerships with the State Departments of Social/Child Welfare, CHILDLINE Service and allied systems for protection and promotion of children's rights.


Target Audience

As categorized by the JJ Act of 2000, the primary target audience for Child Protection Programmes are children in need of care & protection and children in conflict with the law. However, for training & sensitization purposes NICP focuses on functionaries of juvenile/childcare institutions being run by NGOs & State Governments/UT's, Judiciary, Members of Juvenile Justice Boards & Child Welfare Committees, Police, Public Prosecutors and other functionaries working under juvenile justice system in the country.



Child Protection Division of NISD is responsible for building capacities of service providers, promoting research and documentation in the areas of child protection & juvenile justice. It implements National Initiative for Child Protection (NICP) which is a major national initiative in the areas of child protection and juvenile justice in collaboration with Childline India Foundation.

To every child a childhood is the vision of National Initiative for Child Protection (NICP). It hopes to achieve this by facilitating a clear understanding of Child Rights and Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000. As defined by Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), NICP intends to create awareness among the people about child’s Right to Survival, Right to Protection, Right to Development and Right to Participation. In addition, it also aims at sensitizing and training members of the allied systems on Juvenile Justice Act 2000 to familiarize them with the procedures & provisions of the Act vis-à-vis helping them to understand their role in effective implementation of the Act.

Aims & Objectives

The basic aim of NICP is to establish links with the allied system to ensure best interest of the child. Through training and sensitization of allied systems, it aims to facilitate :

Clear understanding of and commitment to Child Rights, Child Protection and Juvenile Justice in the allied systems

Advocacy on issues related to the protection of Child Rights and Juvenile Justice

Greater access to services such as health care, education and justice

Development of specialized services where needed

Allocation of resources including time, attention, money and infrastructure

An attitudinal change from seeing the child in need of care & protection as a problem to seeing them as a failure on the part of the system



Activities for Child Protection
The activities of Child Protection Division of NISD broadly includes training & capacity building of personnel working in the areas of child protection, advocacy, facilitating policy implementation, research and documentation in the field of child protection and juvenile justice.

Training

Training & Capacity building of personnel working in the areas of child protection is one of the main activities of Child Protection Division implemented under NICP. A few important training programmes which are organised by the Institute on Child Protection & Juvenile Justice include :

National Consultation on Review of Implementation of JJ Act 2000

National meeting of NGOs working with Children in Need of Care & Protection

National level Training of Trainers Programme on Juvenile Justice

Orientation & Training Programme for Police Personnel

Training on Counselling Skills for Street Educators

Regional level Training Programmes for Government functionaries on JJ Act 2000

State level Training Programmes for Government functionaries on JJ Act 2000

Regional level Training Programmes for the members of Juvenile Justice Board and Child Welfare Committee on JJ Act 2000

State level Training Programmes for the members of Juvenile Justice Board and Child Welfare Committee on JJ Act 2000

Regional level Training Programmes for NGO functionaries on JJ Act 2000

State level Training Programmes for NGO functionaries on JJ Act 2000

Training on Specialized Care for the Children Infected & Affected by HIV/AIDS


Brief introduction of some important programmes conducted by Child Protection Division are as follows :

2-Day National Consultation on Review of Implementation of JJ Act 2000 with the Secretaries of Department of Social/Child Welfare for all States/UT's, with the aim to orient State Secretaries to its salient features, to review status of implementation and develop a Plan of Action for the effective implementation of the JJ Act 2000.

2-Day National Meeting of NGOs working with Children in Need of Care & Protection to provide a platform to NGOs working in this field, to voice their concerns and discuss emerging issues with the representatives of the Ministry and NISD. It also aims to bring together NGOs receiving grants from the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment for various children's projects and those working with the children, but not receiving grants from the Ministry.

5-Day National Level Training of Trainers Programme on Juvenile Justice for developing a cadre of master trainers, throughout the country. The programme aims at inculcating a helping attitude in the participants for the comprehensive growth and development of the child, developing effective training skills in order to be able to train JJA functionaries, orienting them to participatory training methods, creating a clear understanding of the provisions under the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000, and enabling them to inculcate the ability to work as a member of a team.

3-Day Orientation & Training Programme for Police Personnel aims at sensitizing and orienting participants to the Juvenile Justice Act 2000, sensitizing the officer trainees to deal with children in interface with law, and creating clarity and understanding of the roles and responsibilities of police officers in the juvenile justice system.

3-Day National Level Training Programme on Specialized Care for Children Infected & Affected by HIV/AIDS aims at helping participants understand the situation of HIV/AIDS in their region/state, creating basic understanding of HIV/AIDS, understanding the rights of a child with HIV/AIDS, developing skills for communicating with these children, highlighting the role of family and community towards them and understanding importance of referral services and networking and linkages

5-Day National Level Training Programme on Specialized Care for Children Affected by Drug Abuse aims to capacitate service providers working with children affected by drug abuse for providing necessary information on issues and problem to children affected and to capacitate community leaders and school authorities to create an enabling environment on issues related to children affected by drug abuse.

3-Day Regional Level Training Programme for Government functionaries working in the institution established under the JJ Act 2000 aims at sensitizing and orienting participants to the JJ Act 2000, to create clarity and understanding of the roles and responsibilities of different personnel & agencies in the implementation of the Act, to create an understanding of the concept of vocational training and skills for implementing or networking for such components and to develop skills in handling children under the Act.

3-Day Regional Level Training Programmes for Juvenile Justice Board Members, Police and Judiciary aims at orienting & sensitizing JJB Members, Police and Judiciary on JJ Act 2000 and its provisions.

3-Day Regional Level Training Programmes for NGO Functionaries aims at orienting & sensitizing personnel working in NGO run homes/institution on JJ Act 2000 and its provisions

Research

The Child Protection Division of NISD is responsible for conducting research & compiling data on child protection issues. Through Child Protection Division NISD is implementing an "Assessment for available interventions and need for services for children in need of care & protection (including children infected & affected by HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse)" on behalf of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and UNICEF India Country Office, New Delhi.

This is a collaborative effort between MSJ&E, UNICEF and NISD. Literature review of the current status of affected children was carried out and on the basis of secondary data an interim Report was drafted highlighting the availability and need of services in 8 key States namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tamil Nadu.



The activity aims to

Assess the requirement for services for children in need of special care & protection especially for the children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, children affected by drug abuse and trafficked & sexually exploited children

Assess available interventions/programmes for such children

Identify service gaps in the implementation of programmes for children in need of care & protection

Recommend strategies for initiating child specific programmes for such vulnerable group of children

It is an ongoing activity, two Regional Consultations have been organised to discuss needs and gaps in services. The suggestions and reccomendations received is being analyzed and the final report on the activity is being prepared, which will be published & disseminated soon.


Contact for more info:

Shri Satyendra Prakash, IIS
Director
National Institute of Social Defence
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
West Block-1, Wing-7, Gr. Floor,
R. K. Puram, New Delhi- 110 066 INDIA
Phone: 91-11-26100058/ 26103452
Fax: 91-11-26100058
Email: director@nisd.gov.in / nicp@nisd.gov.in



Source : http://socialjustice.nic.in/social/welcome.htm


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

'Women...in my life'

I was born,
a woman was there to hold me.......... my mother

I grew as a child......
a woman was there to care for me.......to play with me.......... ..my sister

I went to school.....
a woman was there to help me learn....... ....my teacher

I went wrong in college
a women was there to help me to correct............my girl friend

I became depress, whenever I lost
a woman was there to offer a shoulder ............ my wife

I became tough......
a woman was there to melt me.......... ..my daughter

When I will die
a woman will be there to absorb me in.......... ...my motherland


Salute to Women

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Thanmathra :film on Alzheimer's Disease

Malayalam film Thanmathra Directed by Blessy of Kazcha fame,tells the story of a middle-aged secretariat employee named Rameshan Nair, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The story is inspired from Padmarajan's short story called Orma.

Rameshan Nair (Brilliantly played by Mohanlal) lives in Thiruvananthapuram with his wife and two children. His father (Nedumudi Venu) had wanted him to become an IAS officer, but Rameshan was unable to fulfill his father's ambition. He is now hoping to make his son, who is a plus two student, an IAS officer, and this has been a wish of "three generations", he says. For his son, Rameshan Nair is a "friend, philosopher and guide". It was then that he starts forgetting his office files and bike keys, and is diagnosed of Alzheimer’s disease.

Memories are the most precious things in Life. The horror that our memories are leaving us one by one - that would be a terrible feeling. One would have expected Blessy to make a film fully exploiting the talent of a great actor like Mohanlal, showing the tragedy of Rameshan Nair as he slowly sinks into forgetfulness. Rameshan forgetting minor things, Blessy abruptly converts him to a totally broken person overnight, after which he doesn’t even recognize his wife and children. In the whole of second half, Mohanlal's role is something like that of mentally retarded person.

Thanmathra has several scenes crafted touchingly, mainly portraying the relationship between Father and Son. Rameshan Nair narrating his childhood days in which he had lied to his mother, and his son crying and admitting that he had also lied, Rameshan Nair creating a mock fight with his father as he is about to bid farewell to him - all are examples. In another memorable scene in the second half, Rameshan Nair recognizes his childhood girlfriend, as his wife stands and watches them helplessly.

It is a beautifully made film about Alzheimer's Disease, sure to touch the hearts of the people who see it. There is no entertainment value as such but it portrays a real life crisis faced by a close knit family really well.



Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

No Aging in India:Alzheimer's, The Bad Family, and Other Modern Things

This book is about age, and about its appearance and disappearance in the making of knowledge. It is rooted in a sense that our practices of thinking about society, culture, the body, and the nature of our times would benefit from sustained attention to age as a kind of difference, one particularly relevant to how individuals, groups, and events are imagined and articulated as things in time. Age as difference has long been a dimension of certain kinds of contemporary critical and interpretive work, notably a philosophical concern with the relation of death to meaning and value and a psychoanalytic concern with the formation of subjects. But these are fairly singular narratives of age, defined through particular junctures, endpoints, or stages, and I have in mind a broader and more sparse conception.

I write as a medical anthropologist, and the way I will work toward such a conception of age is through a study that focuses on how people comprehend the body and its behavior in time. The focus will be on loss, and decay: decay of the body, its reason, and its voice, its ability to be heard as a speaking subject. The focus, in other words, is on senility, and by that I mean a process rooted in the material changes of physiology and political economy and in a diverse set of social practices that determine how generational and other sorts of difference come to matter. Language here is critical. To call things dementia, a clinical term, presumes a focus on the pathology of the individual. To call things Alzheimer's , a pathophysiologic term, presumes a focus on a particular set of cellular and subcellular processes resulting in a certain neuroanatomical picture. Calling things senility leaves open the hierarchy of relations between the varieties of material and social process at stake in understanding loss, voice, and the body in time.

Most philosophers and scientists are compelled by the nature of the questions they ask to choose between these varied processes, or at least to order and to rank


To read about this intresting book click: http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft658007dm/


Posted by Hendi Lingiah

Source:http://alzheimerdiseaseinindia.blogspot.com/2007/10/no-aging-in-india-alzheimers-bad-family.html


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My experience in India

Approaching Ageing and Senior Care in India


Dear Friends,

This is following the welcoming messages and positive reactions to my postings I received after joining the forum. It is my pleasure to share information’s with you on any subjects related to the development sector in India, public health policy issues, and more specifically senior citizens welfare and the topic of Alzheimer Disease. I regularly send my views on this website and take time to read your valuable contributions, paying attention to each of your responses.

French clinical psychologist based in France, I am from Indo-Mauritian origins. Born and brought up in France, I graduated in French Universities and started working in mental health institutions and social services. I came to India first in 2005 as a tourist and met the fascinating country of my forefathers.

But my interest for Alzheimer Disease started in 2006 when I came back to India this time to work. The NGO I joined was established in the field of senior citizen’s welfare, very well-known at that time for opening a retirement township for retired people whishing to live an autonomous and still active retreat. This township included a small structure devoted to elderlys affected at the early stage and further by Alzheimer Disease. It was a nice residential set-up of eight comfortable rooms with bathroom and one common activity room; it was located in a country side part of India. That premise needed to be developed and enhanced, routine, assessments and residents health care, even material aspects had to be looked after.

All that year, was a challenge for me as I wasn’t familiar with the disease. We started working with doctors and psychiatrists and I have done in cooperation with them the follow-up of patients, the interviews with families, the local staff supervisions… I also coordinated medical visits and interventions and even do night duty. In my task I was helped by the team onsite, it was tough time sometimes as I had to learn everything at the same time: disease signs, local languages and English, get used to the conditions of living, as it was an isolated site and the difference of culture with France. It was interesting professional experiences in a foreign country broaden my mind and my interest to the field of ageing and Alzheimer Disease.

Today back in France, I decided to continue in that field and share my experience with you. It was my pleasure to contribute to the welfare of senior citizens in India. I know there are not enough specialists entirely devoted to this field or their action is limited due to lack of fund and good will. But these days in India, Ageing and Senior Care have started to become an issue and the government has started to react by integrating it in his public health policy. Let’s hope Indian Health Ministry will maintain a constant pace, be vigilant to any abuse, set-up official guidelines and implement strict standards.

Anyway Caring always raises ethical issues and in emerging countries where awareness has to be developed and where the Economy is fast growing, we must make sure the public health policy keep focus on Care and Welfare more than on Earning.

It is our duty to work together in this aim; a satisfactory society for its citizens is a society responding to their needs.

Ms Hendi LINGIAH, Clinical Psychologist
lingiah_hendi@yahoo.fr




Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

All in your name

Does your name begin with: A
U are not particularly romantic, but you are interested in action.You mean business. With you, what you see is what you get.You have no patience for flirting and can't be bothered with someone who is trying to be coy, cute, demure, and subtly enticing. You are an up-front person. You often don't get hints & you ever pass any. Brains turn you on. You must feel that your partner is! intellectually stimulating, otherwise you will find it difficult to sustain the relationship. You require loving, cuddling, wining, and dining to know that you're being appreciated. Your mate's physical attractiveness is important for you. You tend to be very Practical, & not very emotional Your choices are very good & can only lead to trouble. You are very self satisfied & egoistic.

Does your name begin with: B
You give off vibes of lazy sensuality. You enjoy being romanced, wined, and dined. You are very happy to receive gifts as an expression of the affection of your lover. You want to be pampered and know how to pamper your mate. You are private in your expression of endearments, and particular when it comes to love. You will hold off until everything meets with your approval. You can control your appetite & feelings. You require new sensations and experiences. You are willing to experiment.

Does your name begin with: C
You are a very social individual, and it is important to you to have a relationship. You require closeness and togetherness . You want the object of your affection to be socially acceptable and good-looking. You see your lover as a friend and companion. You are very sensual, Needing someone to appreciate and almost worship you. When this cannot be achieved, you have the ability to hold out on affection until you receive this.. You are an expert at controlling your desires and doing without.

Does your name begin with: D
Once you get it into your head that you want someone, you move full Steam ahead in your suit. You do not give up your quest easily. You are nurturing and caring. If someone has a problem, this turns you on . You are highly passionate, loyal, and intense in your involvement's, sometimes possessive and jealous. You are very sharp & talented often with sense of humour. When people bother to look deep inside they cannot resist what they see. You are stimulated by the eccentric and unusual, having a free and open attitude. You get jealous of other people and lose your temper.

Does your name begin with: E
Your greatest need is to talk . If your date is not a good listener, you have trouble relating. A person must be intellectually stimulating or you are not interested sexually. You need a friend for a lover and a companion You hate disharmony and disruption, but you do enjoy a good argument once in a while-it seems to stir things up. You flirt a lot, for the challenge is more important. But once you give your heart away, you are uncompromisingly loyal. You will fall asleep with a good book. sometimes, in fact, you prefer a good book to a lover.

Does your name begin with: F
You are idealistic and romantic, putting your lover on a pedestal. You look for the very best mate you can find . You are a flirt, yet once committed, you are very loyal. You are sensuous and privately passionate. Publicly, you can be showy, extravagant, and gallant. You are a born romantic. Dramatic love scenes are a favourite fantasy past time. You can be a very generous lover.

Does your name begin with: G
You are fastidious, seeking perfection within yourself and your lover. You respond to a lover who is yourintellectual equal or superior, and one who can enhance your status. You are sensuous and know how to reach the peak of stimulation, because you work at it meticulously. You can be extremely active-never tiring out. Your duties and responsibilities take precedence over everything else. You may have difficulty getting emotionally close to people.

Does your name begin with: H
You seek a mate who can enhance your zest for life ,fun & everything You seek for. You will be very generous to your lover once you have Attained a commitment. You are very affectionate & very strong. Your gifts are actually an investment in your partner. Before the commitment, though, you tend to be very careful with your every move and equally cautious in your involvement's often as you believe that you have to look out for yourself. You are a sensual and patient lover. You will hold off till everything meets your full approval. Yo! u are a perfectionist.

Does your name begin with: I
You have a great need to be loved, appreciated... even worshiped . You enjoy luxury, sensuality, and pleasures of the flesh. You like necking spend hours just touching feeling & exploring. You look for lovers who know what they are doing. You are not interested in an amateur, unless that amateur wants a tutor. You are fussy and exacting about having your desires satisfied. You are willing to experiment and try new modes of expression . You bore easily and thus require adventure and change. Your commitments don't last very long & you often tend to stray. Loyalty is not one of! your strong points. You are more sensual than sexual, but you are sometimes downright lustful.

Does your name begin with: J
You are blessed with a great deal of physical energy. When used for a good cause there is nothing to stop you, except maybe that they aren't always used for the good. (you could dance all night.) You respond to the thrill of the chase and the challenge of the mating game.You can carry on great romances in your head. At heart you are a roamer and need to set out on your own every so often. You will carry on long- distance relationships with ease. You are idealistic and need to believe in love. You have a need to be nurtured deep within.

Does your name begin with: K
You are secretive , self-contained, and shy. You are very sexy, sensual, and passionate, but you do not let on to this. Only in intimate privacy will this part of your nature reveal itself. When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, you are an expert. You know all the little tricks of the trade, can play any role or any game , and take your love life very seriously. You don't fool around. You have the patience to wait for the right person to come along. You are very generous & giving, often selfless. You are kind-natured & sweet, which is found to be attractive by many. You are a good friend.

Does your name begin with: L
You can be very romantic, attached to the glamour of love. Having a partner is of paramount importance to you. You are free in your ______expression of love and are willing to take chances, try new sexual experiences and partners, provided it's all in good taste. Brains turn you on . You must feel that your partner is intellectually stimulating, otherwise you will find it difficult to sustain the relationship. You require loving, cuddling, wining, and dining to know that you're being appreciated. "You require loving, cuddling, wining, and dining to know that you're being appreciated ".

Does your name begin with: M
You may appear innocent, unassuming and shy; but we know that Appearances can lie. When it comes to sex, you are no novice but something of a skilled technician. You can easily go to extremes, though, running the gamut from insatiability to boredom with the whole idea of love. You can be highly critical of you mate, seeking perfection in both of you. It is not easy to find someone who can meet your standards. You have difficulty expressing emotions and drawing close to lovers. You are often selfish, thinking you are always right no matter what. You never give in. Winning is your prime desire- at any cost. You often forget friends and family and you live for the moment.

Does your name begin with: N
You are emotional and intense . When involved in a relationship, you Throw your entire being into it. Nothing stops you; there are no holds barred. You are all-consuming and crave someone who is equally passionate and intense. You believe in total freedom . You are willing to try anything and everything. Your supply of energy is inexhaustible. You want to be pampered and know how to pamper your mate. You also enjoy mothering your mate. You often have the greatest love affairs all by yourself, in your head. You are very imaginative.

Does your name begin with: O
You are very interested in fun activities yet secretive and shy about your desires. You can re-channel much of your energy into making money and/or seeking we. You can easily have extended periods of celibacy. You are a passionate, compassionate lover, requiring the same qualities From your mate. Love is serious business; thus you demand intensity, diversity and is willing to try anything or anyone. Sometimes your passions turn to possessiveness, which must be kept in check.

Does your name begin with: P
You are very conscious of social proprieties. You wouldn't think of Doing anything that might harm your image or Reputation. Appearances count . Therefore, you require a good-looking partner. You also require an intelligent partner. Oddly enough, you may view your partner as your enemy...a good fight stimulates those vibes . You are relatively free of hang- ups.You are willing to experiment and try new ways of doing things.You are very social and sensual; you enjoy flirting and need a good deal of physical gratification.

Does your name begin with: Q
You require constant activity and stimulation. You have tremendous physical energy . It is not easy for a partner to keep up with you. You are an enthusiastic lover and tend to be attracted to people because of their ethnic groups. You need romance, hearts and flowers, and conversation to turn you on and keep you going.

Does your name begin with: R
You are a no-nonsense, action-oriented individual . You need someone who can keep pace with you and who is your intellectual equal-the smarter the better. You are turned on more quickly by a great mind than by a great body. However, physical attractiveness is not very important to you. You have to be proved to be worthy for a partner. You have a need to prove yourself the best. You want feedback on your performance. You are open, stimulating & romantic.

Does your name begin with: S
For you, it is pleasure before business. You can be romantically idealistic to a fault and is capable of much sensuality. But you never loose control of your emotions. Once you make the commitment you stick like glue . You could get jealous and possessive. You tend to be very selfish often regarding yourself as the only human being on the planet.. You like being the centre of attention. You are very caring sensitive, private & sometimes very passive. Turned on by soft lights, romantic thoughts. When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, you are an expert . You know all the little tricks of the trade, can play any role, or any game, and take your love life very seriously. You don't fool around. You have the patience to wait for the rightperson to come along. You are very generous &am! p; giving, often selfless.

Does your name begin with: T

You are very sensitive, private & sometimes very passive. You like someone who takes the lead. You get turned on by music, soft lights & romantic thoughts. You fantasize & tend to fall in & out of love soon. When in love you are romantic, idealistic, mushy & extremely. You enjoy having your senses & your feelings stimulated, titillated & teased. You are a great flirt . You can make your relationships fit your dreams, all in your own head. Once you put your mind to something you manage to stand by it and see your dreams through. You aren't very good at expressing your feelings. You like things your own way. You do not like change, you like to hold on to things. This may not always be good because if given an opportunity things may develop into great thing! s. You work your way to the top. Attention must be given to what others say because even though you don't want to hear it their ad.

Does your name begin with: U
You are enthusiastic & at your happiest when in love . When not in love you're in love with love and always looking for someone to adore. You see romance as challenge. You are a roamer & needs adventure, excitement freedom. You enjoy giving gifts & looking good. You are willing to put others feelings above yours.

Does your name begin with: V
You are individualistic & you need freedom, space & excitement. You wait till you know someone well before committing yourself. Knowing someone means psyching her/him out. You feel a need to get into his/her head to see what makes him tick. You are attracted to eccentric types. You believe that age is no barrier. You are good at responding to danger, fear & suspense.

Does your name begin with: W
You are very proud , determined & refuses to take no for an answer when it come to love. Your ego is at stake all the time. You are romantic, idealistic, often in love with love itself, not seeing your partner for who she or he really is. You feel deeply about love & tends to throw all of your self into a relationship. Nothing is too good for your lover. You like playing love games.

Does your name begin with: X
You need constant stimulation because you get bored quickly . You can handle more than 1 relationship at a time with ease. You can't shut off your mind. You can do 2 things at once. You are very talented.

Does your name begin with: Y
You are sensual & very independent. If you can't have it your way, you will forget the whole thing . You want to control your relationships which doesn't work out too well. You respond to physical stimulation. However if you can make money you will give up the pleasures of the flesh for the moment. You have a need to prove yourself the best. You want feedback on your performance. You are open, stimulating & romantic.

Does your name begin with: Z
You are very romantic but show feels that to love means to suffer. You wind up serving your mate & attracting people who have unusual trouble. You see yourself as a lover's saviour.





Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.