Bihar takes new route for Swachh Bharat catch-up

first_imgFour years into the Swachh Bharat programme, Bihar has finally given up on a model of only allowing community-based incentives for toilet construction. Two weeks ago, the State switched to allowing individual household-based incentives, according to Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation. His department is responsible for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan-Grameen, which aims to end the practice of open defecation in rural India. With just over a year to go for the October 2, 2019, deadline to become open defecation free (ODF), Bihar is the second worst performing State, lagging behind with almost 66% coverage. Only Odisha, with 62.5% coverage, fares worse.“Earlier, in Bihar, the whole village needed to be declared ODF. Only then was the compensation given,” explained Mr. Iyer on the sidelines of a press briefing on Thursday. “Now, whenever you build your own toilet, you get paid.”Under the Swachh Bharat programme, States were given freedom to tweak the way the scheme was implemented. Every household building a toilet was eligible for an incentive of ₹12,000. Some States paid the incentive only when the construction was over, while others paid it in parts during various stages of construction. Several States also used neighbourhood peer pressure to increase the speed of toilet construction, by declaring that no one would get paid until the entire village was declared ODF.“It worked in Haryana,” pointed out Mr. Iyer.However, different economic realities in Bihar resulted in frustrated villagers waiting for their neighbours to construct toilets before payment was sanctioned. The change in strategy could now help Bihar catch-up, said Mr. Iyer.last_img read more

CJ Perez powers Pirates

first_imgCJ Perez. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLyceum brandished its newfound depth even as Mapua showed it can survive without that same amount of firepower.With CJ Perez dishing out an all-around game in his first NCAA game in three seasons, the Pirates justified the preseason hype with a 96-75 beating of contender Jose Rizal U Tuesday in the Season 93 men’s basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Meanwhile, the NCAA Management Committee immediately overturned Perpetual Help’s 69-65 victory over St. Benilde after the Altas showed up with the wrong uniform in their season debut.Tipoff for the noontime clash was delayed for close to an hour before the league decided to push through with the game since both teams wore dark jerseys, which was only designated for the Blazers.Perpetual Help also forfeited its game in the juniors division to St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, which still won the game, 64-60. Gilas gets break: Iran resting Haddadi El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend “We try to stay in the moment. You always try to get better. We’re gonna be up against the number one team after this game. We’re just excited and glad that we got this win.”Perez, who transferred to Ateneo in 2015 before moving to Lyceum last year, pumped in 22 points and 10 rebounds, but committed seven of the Pirates’ 21 turnovers, which remained a concern for Robinson.“I got too excited and too eager,” said Perez, referring to his errors.While there was no shortage in manpower for Lyceum, the Mapua Cardinals squeezed the best out of the nine players who suited up before leaning on clutch plays from Andoy Estrella to subdue Letran, 78-75.Emerging as Mapua’s go-to-guy following the decision of two-time Most Valuable Player Allwell Oraeme to sit out the season, Estrella buried a step back triple with 5.2 seconds remaining for the marginal basket.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img The Pirates’ firepower was on display with seven players scoring at least seven points, including Perez, a former San Sebastian standout, who presided over a second half blitz to roll past one of the teams tipped to challenge San Beda for the title.Lyceum outscored JRU, 53-38, in the second half where the Pirates swarmed at the Heavy Bombers at every opportunity, forcing turnovers and translating them to easy baskets on the other end.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsLyceum coach Topex Robinson refused to get carried away by the performance, saying the Pirates are far from a championship team.“Obviously it’s a good output, but you don’t win a championship in the first game,” said Robinson, whose squad faces defending champion San Beda in an early clash of favorites on Friday. China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Lady Spikers, Tigresses recover winning groove

first_img“I guess we just got reminded that the season is not yet over, and losing thrice doesn’t mean we’re done,” said La Salle team captain Desiree Cheng, who drilled in 17 points on a remarkable 70-percent kill rate.La Salle committed just 10 errors the entire game, a world of difference from 37 errors it made in losing to University of the Philippines last week.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“We entered the [UP] match with no pride and not realizing the name printed in front of our uniforms,” said Cheng.UST, which was a point from sweeping Ateneo in its last outing before losing in five sets, took its ire out on Adamson University, 25-15, 25-12, 25-16. Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Unlike in that loss to the league-leading Lady Eagles, UST didn’t rely too much on explosive scorer Sisi Rondina and rookie Eya Laure this time.Instead, rookie playmaker Fe Galanza gave lefty hitters Caitlyn Viray and Dimdim Pacres a lot of looks at the ball and both responded with 14 and 12 points, respectively.Rondina, playing decoy perfectly, scored 10 points after wasting a 35-point output against Ateneo. Laure led the Tigresses with 17.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Ababa takes clubhouse lead with a 70 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDefending champion La Salle and University of Santo Tomas wasted no time bouncing back from stinging defeats, hammering out straight-sets victories on Wednesday in UAAP women’s volleyball at Filoil Flying V Centre.The three-time defending champion didn’t take chances against a young National University side that pushed the Lady Spikers to five sets in the first round, methodically dismantling the Lady Bulldogs this time, 25-20, 25-18, 25-10.ADVERTISEMENT Google Philippines names new country director Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgivingcenter_img Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles MOST READ PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess View commentslast_img read more

DARKER SHADES OF GREY

first_imgIt is 9:30 am on a cloudy August morning. Kajal and Nilesh wait for us at the Mandsaur Courthouse with Nilesh’s brother and sister. The streets are empty except for a Maruti Omni parked under some bushes, in which Kajal and Nilesh had arrived. As we reach, the first thing Akash Chouhan asks for is their Aadhaar Cards. “This is very important,” he says.Chouhan, 27 is a final year law student and runs a local NGO called Nayi Abha Samajik Chetna Samiti, that runs rescue and advocacy programmes for women forced into prostitution. As we leave them to gather documents, Chouhan says, “Cover her face up. Don’t disclose this to anyone. We’ll be back in a couple of hours.” Also Read – Remembering Sudhir PhadkeAugust 31, 2018, was one of the most important days for Kajal and Nilesh. Kajal had run away from her home in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh to get married to her boyfriend, Nilesh, in Mandsaur. They are both Banchchada, a community infamous in the state for forcing their girl children into prostitution. Essentially, a community that looks at women/girls as cash cows, but fails to keep them as safe as the animal itself. The “tradition” is rumoured to have started when colonisers arrived in the northern parts of the state. Court dancers of monarchs were forced to perform sexual favours for them, which in turn kept them and their families safe. Following this, families continued to enforce this on their adult daughters as a way to put bread on the table. Also Read – YOUR HEALTHY FESTIVE PALATEKajal and Nilesh wanted to get married as soon as possible because Kajal’s parents were threatening to sell her off into prostitution unless Nilesh could come up with Rs 15 lakh. The money was to compensate for the money she would have made from being forced into prostitution. That is why she ran away. Chouhan had, through his NGO, single-handedly, in a day, arranged for Kajal and Nilesh to be married at the courthouse, made sure the police gave them protection and their blessings, and sent them off to an unknown place for their honeymoon, so they could hide from Kajal’s family members for a few weeks. “Once men in the community saw the potential for making money by doing nothing but forcing their daughters into prostitution, they jumped on it,” Chouhan says. Now at least four to five generations of men in the Banchchada community have grown up knowing that they can earn money just by having daughters and pushing them into this trade, he adds. In Neemuch, Mandsaur, and Ratlam districts, there are 72 Banchchada villages. In these villages, women outnumber men and there are more than 2,000 minor girls being forced into prostitution, mostly by their parents, according to Chouhan. While the number of women who are in the trade is at least four times that, there is no way of confirming how many of them choose prostitution and how many are forced. Girls are given hormonal supplements as soon as they are ‘inducted’, to make them look older, with the supplements often being used indiscriminately, with no regulated dosage system in place. Chouhan says that increasingly men are asking for younger girls “who look mature”. According to locals, the practice of forcing minors into prostitution started only about 10-12 years ago, owing to these demands from ‘clients’. Unsurprisingly, the advent of internet and pornography on mobile phones has led to such fantasies in the men who visit these girls, Chouhan says. Nita’s story Nita (name changed), 17, was forced into prostitution by her alcoholic parents when she was 13. “I had just gotten my 6th Standard results and I had passed. I was waiting to start the 7th Standard after the summer holidays. One day, my mother brought a man home and asked me to go into a room with him,” she said, describing how girls/women are “initiated into the trade”. “Three to four women held me down on the bed as the man forced himself on me. The women gave me oils to make sure I didn’t resist,” she continued. “I screamed and shouted for it to end. This happened every time until the girls finally broke.” As far as she can recall, Nita said she was visited by at least 100 men a month in the span of four years. Her charges, decided by her parents, ranged from Rs 100 to Rs 300. Considering the lower end of the range, Nita made her parents at least Rs 4.5 lakh over the course of four years. After four years of being raped every day, Nita was rescued in a raid led by Chouhan and the Madhya Pradesh Police. She now lives in the same house as her parents, who had soon got out on bail. However, she lives in a separate room with minimal interaction with them while they continue to urge her to go back into prostitution. “My mother is now upset because I’ve found someone I love and want to get married to him. They don’t want that for me because they won’t be able to use me to earn money once I get married,” Nita said. The man she is referring to is a truck driver from Uttar Pradesh – one of her ‘clients’ – who had raped her on several occasions while she was ‘in the trade’. She plans to get married as soon as she turns 18 and move to UP. Trauma The situation in these three districts is nothing short of dire. As in Nita’s case, there are countless instances of rescued girls/women developing Stockholm Syndrome, where they end up having affectionate relationships with their abuser as a way to get out of an abusive situation. In fact, apart from the extremely limited way that the physical trauma of being raped is treated in rescued women and girls, there is no way for the victims to even recognise or understand the different kinds of mental trauma they might be going through. With no access to mental health practitioners, there is no way to gauge the amount of mental trauma that victims go through. For women who are in the trade by choice, there are not nearly enough health clinics for them to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases on a regular basis. Usually, women have to travel more than 50 km to get to a health clinic in Mandsaur to get tested. Moreover, there is a social stigma with regards to how victims should be rehabilitated. There is a prevailing ideology among most men in the area, according to which, the only way for women and girls to get out of this abusive circle is for them to get married. While there are institutions in the area that provide basic education for rescued girls and women, there is no infrastructure in place to provide vocational and skill training for them, so they can become financially independent. Organised trade From time to time, the police conducts raids in these districts and rescues about 10-12 girls at a time, sometimes more. However, months after these rescue operations, the parents get out on bail, wait for things to cool down, and continue with their business. Customers are easy to come by because of where they are located. Girls and women station themselves at small huts along the highway connecting Ratlam, Mandsaur, and Neemuch. Truck drivers using the highway often just stop at these huts that look like paan shops at first glance and either go into a nearby house or invite the girls/women into their vehicles. Despite having come under police scanners multiple times, the “trade” is extremely organised in the way girls and women are trained to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour. Young girls are taught to spot government vehicles, police vehicles, or media persons; they are trained to run away the moment they see a camera. The usual practice is that if one of them notices a suspicious vehicle or person, a photo of the vehicle is circulated in a closed chat group and the entire community goes underground.last_img read more

If I wanted to live in Hollywood I would have moved there

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter Residents on Coulter Court in Langley saw their neighbourhood transformed into a winter wonderland for five days. Not everyone got into the spirit. (Katya Stano) The Township of Langley touts itself as “one of the most film friendly municipalities in B.C.’s Lower Mainland,” but becoming a hit with the film industry has also produced a new drama: conflict between those who want film shoots and those who don’t.“One house makes all the money and the rest of us just have to put up with the noise and the set-up and no parking,” said Katya Stano who lives on Coulter Court.A five-day film shoot wrapped up Wednesday on Stano’s cul-de-sac. A location scout had gone door-to-door before production began and offered residents $250 if they agreed to have their properties covered in snow and Christmas decorations for the duration of the shoot. Advertisementcenter_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Some neighbours felt the disruption was worth more and asked for $600. Stano says the owners of the house where the main filming occurred were rumoured to have received $1,000 a day.“It pits neighbours against each other,” she said, adding that the friction isn’t worth it. She declined the film company’s offer to put snow and decorations on her property for payment.As the number of film productions in B.C. rises, opposition has also grown. Proponents say these productions bring cash to municipalities. The film industry invested $35 million in the Township of Langley’s local economy last year. Facebooklast_img read more