Will miss protest site which witnessed our hardship, say farmers at Ghazipur border

News Network
November 20, 2021

New Delhi, Nov 20: Om Raj excitedly shows his small diary carrying details of all the friends he made at Singhu border, while Manak Singh says he will miss the protest site which witnessed their daily hardship for over a year to convince the Centre to repeal the farm laws.

Sitting with his friends on a cot near temporary tents set up at Ghazipur border, Raj (85) said the protest venue now feels like home and that the agitating farmers have developed a deep bond with each other.

The farmer, a native of Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, shows his diary in which he has meticulously maintained details of all the protesters he has befriended in the past one year.

"See this is my tenth diary and there are hardly any pages left. I have maintained details of all the farmers I met here and became friends with over the period. We all stay in touch. The bond that we developed here has only become stronger. I also plan to visit them,” Raj says enthusiastically.

At Ghazipur border, one of the three prominent venues of the anti-farm laws agitation, protesters were filled with excitement following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of repealing the controversial farm laws.

Another protestor says he will definitely miss the venue after he will return to his village.

Asked if he ever went to his hometown during the last one year, Raj recalled that he visited his native place on just two to three occasions and returned within a few days.

Since the last two months, the elderly farmer has set up a small venture which he starts at around 10 am and closes by 5 in the evening. He says the intention behind it was just to have some ‘gupshup’ (conversation) and pass the time with other farmers.

He also showed the spread of the products for sale -- bidis, matchboxes, badges and flags.

"When the farmers get bored, they sit here and pass time. I sell bidis and matchboxes which usually fetches me around Rs 100 a day,” he said.

Manak Singh (77), a native of Amroha district in Punjab, says, "This spot has become our place for chit-chat. We will stay here until all the laws are repealed as per legal procedure. We will not go unless all our listed seven demands are met by the central government. This announcement by the Centre could have also been done with upcoming elections in mind."

Having braved severe weather conditions and other hardship during their protest, the farmers say this has only made their brotherhood and will power stronger.

"If the government would have made this announcement earlier, we would not have suffered so much," a protester rues.

Meanwhile, a few tents away, 68-year-old Ram Kumar Sharma, hailing from Nithari village in Noida, had been serving ‘langar’ (free meals) from morning till night, at the protest site for nearly a year now.

Sharma, who is also a member of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, says he comes around 10 am and leaves at night after the last langar is served.

“I have been organising the langar with the spirit of social service. I will miss the farmers after they will leave the site,” he says.

“I do not want to see anyone going back with an empty stomach. I am myself a farmer and do not want to see anyone hungry,” he adds.

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News Network
November 23,2021

amir.jpg

Kuwait City, Nov 23: Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid has been reappointed prime minister, state media said on Tuesday, and tasked with forming a cabinet that would be the Gulf OPEC oil producer's third this year in a domestic political standoff.

State news agency KUNA said Sheikh Sabah, prime minister since late 2019, was reappointed by an emiri order issued by Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah. The government had resigned on Nov. 8 in the standoff with the elected parliament.

Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah last week temporarily handed over some of his main constitutional duties to the crown prince, his designated successor, including naming the prime minister and swearing in the cabinet.  

Before doing so, the emir had accepted the government's resignation as part of measures to end a months-long deadlock between the government and opposition lawmakers. He also issued an amnesty pardoning political dissidents to defuse the row.

Several opposition MPs had wanted to question Sheikh Sabah on various issues, including the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and corruption, despite a motion in March that had granted him temporary immunity.

The row had paralysed legislative work, hindering fiscal reform efforts, including a debt law that would allow Kuwait to tap international markets.

State finances are set to improve this year thanks to higher oil prices, after the coronavirus downturn led to a budget deficit of 15.4% of GDP in the 2020/21 fiscal year.

Kuwait has given its legislature more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies, including the power to pass and block laws, question ministers and submit no-confidence votes against senior government officials.

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News Network
November 15,2021

Bengaluru, Nov 15: A consumer court in Bengaluru has ordered the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to pay Rs 1,000 as compensation to a passenger for failing to pick him up from the designated bus stop.

67-year-old S. Sangameshwaran, a resident of Banashankari in the city, had booked a return ticket to Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu from Bengaluru on a KSRTC Airavat Club Class bus on October 12, 2019.

While returning from Tiruvannamalai on October 13, 2019, though the passenger reached the designated bus stop on time he was not picked up and instead received an SMS containing the details of the trip and contact number of the conductor.

When the passenger called up, the bus conductor maintained that he had already left Tiruvannamalai and blamed him for turning up late. The elderly man had to take a bus to Hosur in Tamil Nadu and another bus to reach Bengaluru.

Sangameshwaran filed a complaint against the KSRTC Managing Director and General Manager with the Bengaluru Second Urban Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

The KSRTC maintained that the complainant is not liable to receive compensation as per the law. It argued that the case should be dismissed as it happened in Tiruvannamalai which is beyond its jurisdiction. It maintained that the complainant was sent an SMS about shifting of the bus stop.

It also said as many as 23 passengers boarded the bus from the changed location.

The consumer court didn't agree with the arguments of KSRTC as it failed to produce any evidence. The consumer court ordered the KSRTC to pay a compensation of Rs 1,000 for the inconvenience caused to the complainant, who is a senior citizen and asked it to refund the Rs 497 as ticket fare and an additional amount of Rs 200, which he paid as fare in other buses to reach Bengaluru.

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News Network
November 25,2021

New Delhi, Nov 25: For the first time, India has 1,020 women per 1,000 men, according to the Phase-II report of the fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5).

This is the first time in any NFHS survey or census that the number of women on the sex ratio is more than men. In the 2005-06 NFHS-3 report, the ratio was 1000:1000. However, it went down to 991:1000 in the next NFHS report in 2015-16.

 “The improved sex ratio and sex ratio at birth is also a significant achievement; even though the real picture will emerge from the census, we can say for now looking at the results that our measures for women empowerment have steered us in the right direction,” Vikas Sheel, additional secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Mission Director, National Health Mission, told Hindustan Times.

Even though the sex ratio of 1020:1000 is a significant milestone achieved by the country, the gender ratio at birth in the past five years stands at 929.

The government on November 24 released the factsheets of key indicators on population, reproductive and child health, family welfare, nutrition and others for India and 14 states and UTs, clubbed under Phase-II of the 2019-21 NFHS-5.

The states and UTs that were surveyed in the second phase were Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The findings of NFHS-5 for 22 states and UTs were covered in Phase-I, which was released in December last year.

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