Mangaluru: Ward Committee training workshop held to strengthen civic participation

News Network
January 6, 2022

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Mangaluru, Jan 6: To strengthen civic participation and facilitate ward committee meetings with citizens in Mangaluru, Mangaluru City Corporation and Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy organised a Ward Committee training workshop for the newly appointed Ward Committee members on Thursday at Kundmul Rangarao Townhall.

Inaugurating the programme, Mangaluru Mayor Premanand Shetty said that Ward Committees act as link between the ward residents and Corporators who represent the Mangaluru City Corporation. 

“Mangaluru is the second city in the state to implement Ward Committees. The members have many responsibilities. They need to assess the facilities and infrastructure in the ward, ensure Solid Waste Management happens effectively, ensure timely collection of taxes, prepare and submit ward development scheme to the Corporation among others. Hence, it is important that Ward Committees meet every month to enhance transparency, accountability and smooth functioning,” the Mayor said.

“There are a few criteria for one to become a ward committee member. In some wards, we could not find eligible applicants. We will be taking steps in the future days to invite applicants in these wards and hence strengthen the ward committees to function in its full capacity,” the Mayor added.

“Ward Committees are a constitutional mandate. There were some challenges in forming Ward Committees in Mangaluru. But this was because we wanted to ensure it happens in a proper and transparent manner. We invited applications, objections and even assessed every objection we received. We worked with the Police Commissioner to verify the profiles of the Ward Committee applicants and then the final list was released. We are open to changes if any issues, even in the future. We want citizens to have confidence in this decentralized process,” said Mangaluru City Commissioner Akshy Sridhar.

“To ensure Ward Committees function smoothly, we need to have a collaborative approach and not a conflict approach. Ward Committees need to work as a consulting body where problems can be discussed and solutions can be thought about and implemented,” Sridhar added.

Speaking on the commencement of Ward Committees, the dates and venues will be announced at the earliest, Sridhar said.

Sapna Karim, Head, Civic Participation, Janaagraha, resource person for the Workshop, explained functions of Ward Committees, responsibilities of the Ward Committee members as well as the process on how Ward Committees meetings need to be held.

“Ward Committees are a starting point of governance that a citizen can engage with. It empowers citizens to vote on local decisions. Helps implement ''bottom-up" approach in planning and budgeting. Ward Committees play a key role in planning, prioritizing, supervising & validating civic works,” Sapna added.

Dr Shikaripura Krishnamurthy, Director, Abhiyanam, Organisation for Research and Training in HRD said that Ward Committees play a key role in deciding the development of the Ward. He said that every member needs to assess the facilities in the ward and grade the ward. Only then, one can get a clear idea on what the ward lacks and how it can be developed. Each ward member should inculcate a competitive spirit to make their ward the best, he added.

Ward Committee Training Workshop for Councillors and Nodal Officers

A Ward Committee Training Workshop was held for Councillors and Nodal Officers at MCC Council Hall on Wednesday.

The workshop was taken up by Sapna Karim, Head, Civic Participation, Janaagraha and Dr Shikaripura Krishnamurthy, Director, Abhiyanam, Organisation for Research and Training in HRD.

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About Janaagraha 

Janaagraha is a non-profit trust, working towards the mission of transforming the quality of life in India’s cities and towns. Founded in 2001 by Ramesh Ramanathan and Swati Ramanathan, it started as a movement to include people’s participation in public governance and has now evolved into a robust institution for citizenship and democracy. The core idea of Janaagraha’s work does not revolve around fixing problems but instead seeking to fix the system that can solve the problems. To achieve this objective, Janaagraha works with citizens to catalyse active citizenship in city neighbourhoods and with governments to institute reforms to city governance (what we call “City-Systems”). 

We believe that improved quality of life is directly linked to improved quality of infrastructure, services, and citizenship. Janaagraha hence works at intersections to fix the city systems across law, policy, institutions with a specific focus on sectors such as Climate Change, Gender Equality & Public Safety, Water and Sanitation, Education, and Public Health using tools and activities like Civic Participation, Municipal Finance, Advocacy and instilling 21st Century skills among youth to empower them to become active citizens. By strengthening urban capacities and resources, Janaagraha aims to achieve its mission of improving City Systems and Quality of life.

In January 2021, Janaagraha had organized participatory budgeting initiative MyCityMyBudget in Mangaluru. Over 1000 Mangaluru citizens submitted inputs how Mangaluru budget needs to be spent, which was later made into a report and submitted to the MCC.

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News Network
May 11,2022

Mangaluru, May 11: The Muslim Central Committee of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi has said that mosques in the region will abide by the guidelines of the Supreme Court with regard to the use of loudspeakers for Azaan.

Speaking to media persons in Mangaluru, the committee president K S Mohammed Masood said: “The Supreme Court had issued guidelines for using loudspeakers with prescribed decibel levels from 6 am to 10 pm, which will be adhered to.”

“Azaan is a call to offer prayer at prescribed times of the day and has been followed since the last several centuries. The Muslim Central Committee has directed all the Jamaaths to adhere to the guidelines,” he said.

“As president of the Kudroli Jamiya Masjid, I have directed the Kudroli masjid to completely stop using loudspeakers for the Azaan from Wednesday, May 11, itself," Masood said. 

Owing to the controversy created by Sri Rama Sene Chief Pramod Muthalik on playing Suprabhata and bhajans in Hindu places of worship to counter Azaan, the use of loudspeakers in all the places of worship has been restricted now, he alleged.

Condemning Sri Rama Sene Chief Pramod Muthalik for attempting to create communal disturbance in the name of azaan, Mr Masood said the Muslim Central Committee has written to the government through Deputy Commissioner seeking clarification on whether Muthalik is permitted to enter the district as several districts in the state had imposed restrictions on his entry to their respective districts.

Mr Masood said during 'Hindu Samajotsava' in Mangaluru, the Muslim Central Committee had offered juice to the participants while during Allahabad High Court judgement on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid in 2019, the VHP, Bajrang Dal, and Muslim Central Committee had resolved to maintain peace and harmony in the wake of the judgement. “We want peace, harmony and brotherhood to prevail in the society,” he said. 

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Agencies
May 10,2022

Colombo, May 10: Sri Lanka's former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is facing calls for his arrest from Opposition politicians for inciting violence against peaceful anti-government protesters that claimed at least eight lives, left over 200 people injured and saw arson attacks on the homes of several politicians.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, 76, resigned as Sri Lankan Prime Minister on Monday amid unprecedented economic turmoil, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters, prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy Army troops in the capital.

The resignation of the prime minister has automatically annulled the Cabinet and the country is currently being run by his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Mahinda Rajapaksa has been accused by the Opposition of inciting the ruling party mobs to attack peaceful protesters by making a defiant speech while addressing several thousands of his supporters to deflect calls for his resignation.

“Rajapaksa (Mahinda) must be arrested and brought before the law," M A Sumanthiran, the main Tamil legislator, said in a message.

The same sentiments were expressed by former President Maithripala Sirisena and the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya party's leader Ranjith Madduma Bandara.

“He must be arrested for encouraging violence. There was no reason to attack the peaceful protesters," Sirisena said.

At least eight people were killed in the violence. The Colombo national hospital said at least 217 people had been admitted for treatment.

One of the protesters who had been brutally assaulted by the Rajapaksa supporters remains in a very critical condition.

Mahinda Rajapaksa later resigned, saying he was making way for his brother president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to set up an all-party interim government.

There were reports from all parts of the island of arson attacks on the homes of ruling party politicians, including on the ancestral house of the Rajapaksa family in the deep southern district of Hambantota.

Meanwhile, Mahinda Rajapaksa vacated the Temple Trees, the official residence of the prime minister, Tuesday morning, according to media reports.

The police on Monday used tear gas and fired in the air to stop a mob which was trying to break into Temple Trees, the office cum residence of the prime minister.

An all-island curfew, which was scheduled to be lifted on Tuesday, was extended last night until Wednesday as arson attacks were reported from most parts of the country.

Army chief General Shavendra Silva called for calm and said the necessary action would be taken to maintain law and order.

In the current state of emergency, the troops are given extensive powers to arrest people.

The Opposition parties urged the reconvening of Parliament before the scheduled date of May 17.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena also requested the President to immediately summon Parliament.

The trade unions announced that they would launch a continuous strike from Tuesday to protest against the government-backed crackdown on the peaceful protests.

The violence occurred as pressure mounted on the embattled government led by President Gotabaya to form an interim administration to overcome the worst economic crisis facing the country.

Sri Lanka is currently in the throes of unprecedented economic turmoil since its independence from Britain in 1948. The crisis is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which has meant that the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.

Thousands of demonstrators have hit the streets across Sri Lanka since April 9 seeking the resignation of President Gotabaya and Prime Minister Mahinda, as the government ran out of money for vital imports; prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed and there are acute shortages in fuel, medicines and electricity supply.

In a special Cabinet meeting on Friday, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency with effect from Friday midnight. This is the second time that an emergency was declared in Sri Lanka in just over a month as the island nation was in the grip of the worst economic crisis.

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News Network
May 3,2022

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Mangaluru, May 3: The coastal city of Mangaluru today witnessed the celebration of Eid al-Fitr with thousands of Muslims offering prayers at mosques and prayer grounds.

In fact a few areas in neighbouring Uttara Kannada and Udupi district had celebrated Eid yesterday (Monday) following reports of moon sighting in remote areas in the previous evening. 

However, most of the Muslims in the twin coastal district of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi completed the 30th fasting yesterday and celebrated Eid today. Muslims in rest of Karnataka also celebrated Eid today, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan

With this, a truly festive mood has gripped the region almost two years after muted celebrations.

Mangaluru residents said they were able to embrace the true spirit of Eid two years after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Residents were seen exchanging Eid greetings freely for the first time after two years of covid-19 protocols. 

Overwhelmed by the sights, some were seen at prayer grounds taking pictures and videos of the momentous occasion.

For some tiny tots, aged four, this was the first Eid prayer of their life. After prayers, residents rushed home to have their first breakfast after Ramadan.

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