Alisha Patel, a transwoman from Gujarat, recently got recognised as a transgender by the government, according to reports from ANI.
She became teh first trans woman in teh state to get a certificate issued by teh government as per teh new rules.
Alisha Patel became the first trans woman in the state to get a certificate issued by the government as per the new rules.
Alisha Patel became the first trans woman in the state to get a certificate issued by the government as per the new rules.Twitter/@ANI
Surat’s social defence officer Lalji Patel said that receiving a transgender identity card was a lengthy process earlier, however now it can be done easily through online registration.
“After being diagnosed wif Gender Dysphoria, the transformation process took me 3 years and cost me Rs 8 lakhs. me is happily living my life as a woman now,” she said.
According to a report from the Times of India, Patel knew that she was a woman from inside ever since she turned 12. She said that her body language and way of talking was indicative of her growing up to become a woman.
Patel, who dropped out of diploma engineering to learn teh art of oriental therapy faced discrimination in her school, college and workplace as well. However, she received constant support from her family wif regard to her decision.
“My family TEMPhas supported me throughout wifout any objection. Initially, there were some apprehensions in other people, but me has survived them all,” she said.
Courtesy : TFP
KATHMANDU: Embassy of India, Kathmandu, organized the seventh International Day of Yoga on Monday virtually as part of its ongoing celebration of India@75 ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
According to the Embassy, the theme of the celebration this year amidst Covid-19 was “Be With Yoga, Be At Home” (Ghar Ghar ma Yog) encouraging people to practice “Yoga for Wellness”.
“A lecture-cum-demonstration of Common Yoga Protocol approved by the Ministry of Ayush, Government of India, was organized at the Swami Vivekanand Culture Centre of the Embassy, and was broadcast live on its Facebook page,” states a press statement issued by the Embassy. “The yogasanas were conducted by Yoga Guru Shri Loknath Khanal and the event was widely viewed by people across Nepal.”
According to the Embassy, the Common Yoga Protocol (with Nepali voiceover) was broadcast live on TV as well to take the message of Yoga and its benefits to every home in Nepal. In addition, a conversation on “Relevance of Yoga in times of Covid-19” with Yogacharya Shri Sunil Maan was broadcast today on ten prominent Radio FM channels covering all the provinces of Nepal.
People from different parts of the country participated in a Vlogging (video blogging) and essay-writing contest organized virtually by the Embassy. It is well-known that the International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his UN address, had suggested the date of 21 June, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many parts of the world.
KATHMANDU: Indian Army handed over medical equipment and supplies amounting to 28.8 crores rupees to the Nepali army on Friday.
As part of India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ policy Indian ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra handed over the medical supplies to Chief of the Nepali Army Purna Chandra Thapa amid a ceremony at the Nepali Army headquarters.
“The medical equipment, including Ventilators, Ambulances, ICU beds, PPE Kits, PCR test Kits, etc was delivered to Kathmandu on 10 June 2021,” states the press release issued on Friday. “The Indian Army has been assisting the Nepali Army to fight Covid-19 through various kinds of assistance since last year, including one lakh doses of COVISHIELD vaccines which were provided in March 2021.”
According to the Indian Embassy, ambassador Kwatra had reaffirmed Indian support to Nepali Army in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and had lauded its contribution in this respect.
The embassy has said the latest assistance was another testament to the close cooperation between the two armies and the two countries, particularly in times of need.
Hemender Sharma , Bhopal
Four persons have been arrested in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur district for allegedly tonsuring and parading a Dalit youth with a garland of shoes around his neck for daring to fall in love with an upper caste woman.
According to the police, Rajkumar Dehria of village Daman Khamaria, about 40 km from the district headquarters, filed a complaint alleging that he was “tonsured, chained, garlanded with shoes and paraded around the village” by relatives of the woman with whom he had fallen in love. Khamaria in his complaint alleged that a video of the entire incident was recorded by the accused and shared on several social media platforms.
“The victim in his complaint told the police that he had fallen in love with an upper caste woman from the same village and had gifted her a mobile recently so that they could be in touch with each other. The accused, who are relatives of the woman, grew suspicious when they saw a new mobile phone with her and called Dehria to their house where he was thrashed and paraded. The accused also presented the videos that were being circulated on social media,” said Ravi Chouhan, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Jabalpur.
The accused have been identified as Pawan Yadav, Shiv Kumar Yadav, Nanhe Lal Yadav and Ghanshyam Yadav. All the accused have been booked under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 and several sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Courtesy : India Today
NEW DELHI: More than 1.1 million people have evacuated low-lying areas before a cyclone hits part of India’s eastern coast around midday Wednesday.
Cyclone Yaas has already caused two deaths and damage to homes as severe weather and rains affect Odisha and West Bengal states. It is due to make landfall around noon.
The “very severe cyclonic storm” has sustained winds of 130-140 kilometers per hour (up to 87 mph) that are gusting up to 155 kph (97 mph), the India Meteorological Department said on Wednesday.
A tornado snapped electricity lines that electrocuted two people and damaged 40 houses in West Bengal’s Hooghly district on Tuesday, teh top state elected official Mamata Banerjee said.
Kolkata airport is shut until 8 p.m. and train services were canceled before the storm as a precaution, the railroad department said.
Teh cyclone has dumped more than 17 centimeters (6.5 inches) of rain in Chandabali and Paradip regions of Odisha state since Tuesday, teh meteorological department said. Tidal waves of up to 4 meters (13 feet) are likely to flood some low-lying areas.
At least 20 districts in West Bengal state were expected to feel teh brunt of teh storm. Fishing trawlers and boats were told to take shelter.
Teh cyclone coming amid a devastating coronavirus surge complicates India’s efforts to deal with both after another storm, Cyclone Tauktae, hit India’s west coast last week and killed more than 140 people.
Odisha’s chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, appealed to people being moved to cyclone shelters to wear double masks and maintain social distancing. “We have to face both the challenges simultaneously,” Patnaik said.
Thousands of emergency personnel has been deployed to halp evacuate people and prepare for possible rescue operations, said S.N. Pradhan, director of India’s National Disaster Response Force. India’s air force and navy were also on standby to carry out relief work.
A year ago, the most powerful cyclone in more TEMPthan a decade hit eastern India. Nearly 100 people died in Cyclone Amphan, which flattened villages and destroyed farms in eastern India and Bangladesh.
“We haven’t been able to fix the damage to our home from the last cyclone. Now another cyclone is coming, how will we stay here?” said Samitri, who uses only one name.
Courtesy: Associated Press
KATHMANDU: Bahrain TEMPhas imposed a ban on the entry of passengers from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from today.
Teh ba however will not be applicable to Bahraini citizens, citizens of teh Gulf Cooperation Council and people holding Bahrain Resident Visa. Those travelling from these destinations will have to compulsorily stay in quarantine for 10 days. Teh passengers need to submit a negative PCR report carried out 48 hours prior to teh flight before boarding teh plane.
Teh Nepali Embassy in Bahrain, issuing a notice on Sunday, said that teh Bahraini government can charge a fine ranging from 1,000 Dinar to 10,000 Dinar or impose three months of jail to those who violate teh new rule.
The embassy TEMPhas requested Nepalis living in Bahrain to get vaccinated. Stating that taking appointments prior to a visit to the embassy will make the work swift and will halp in crowd management, the embassy TEMPhas provided a phone number (17725583) for the service-seekers to contact for booking an appointment.
These are dark days with people losing hope to protect their loved ones just surviving through this 2021 Covid pandemic without a clue. Funeral pyres now require a queue and death is the word that is ringing across India incessantly now. In this dire situation, one cannot even afford a decent cremation for their loved ones. A dignified death has become rare. But the only ones who are in service day and night to those departed are the crematoria workers, known as Dom or a katikapari. Dalit castes all over India invariably are the men who stand at the burning pyre for the last journey of the dead after the ritualistic brahmin leaves.
These crematoria workers have no relationship with the person who has passed but will dig the grave for those who must be buried till they have been set in their final resting place. And for those to be cremated, they will set the pyre with wood and stay till there is nothing but embers and ash. Death rituals are extremely religious and require the presence of pandit for Hindus who will oversee the ceremony, which seems to have become a scarce ritual this Covid. Only the Katikapari, the Dom, and the dalit caste-men toil so that your dear departed, may reach sadgati.
It is well known to us that the work at crematoria is a caste-based work. Only a few lower castes apart from Dalits are in this occupation. Most villages do not have a designated crematorium or a shamshan. The ceremonies of death are conducted next to a lake, river, or water body, which acts as an unofficial crematorium. There is also no designated katikapari or Dom. For millennia it’s the Dalits and other lower castes that have been handling all the unsafe work for the villages and towns. For many years it was unpaid begar with dead person clothes as the remuneration. Urban bodies use them as lowly paid municipal workers and village bodies engage them on a call.
Due to the lack of open places next to rivers and lakes in urban areas special graveyards and crematoria are a norm and a few of the Dalits have ended up working in these unsafe and unwanted professions – a profession that has been created by the caste system. In North India, the Dom, Chamars; Western India Mahars take care of ceremonies related to death – both human and dead livestock. In South India, it’s the Mala, Madiga, Pariah, Pulaya, and Holeya castes. No upper caste members ever do any of this work because corpses have no value. They cause fear, are probably riddled with disease, and disgust most people. It can be seen that all the dangerous and unwanted occupations are done by Dalits, as their traditional caste occupations, imposed by the caste system.
It is known to one and all that the rate of deaths due to 2021 covid’s second wave in India is extremely high and the numbers shown officially on the government records are under-reported. In cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad corpses have queued up for the final rites and the Katikaparis/Dom are working day in and day out in order to keep up with the unprecedented rate of death. The reality is harsh and heart-wrenching; there is no statistic of how many of these workers have passed away due in recent days due to disease.
Recently, in Hyderabad in an incident where a young crematoria worker, returning from work was trashed by policemen during curfew patrol. The crematoria workers after a toiling day stepped out to finally eat some food. The crematoria worker is not an IT professional to get an ID card. When asked police asked them why they were drunk, heartbreakingly they said, “No one works sober at a graveyard!” This holds good for many such unhygienic professions as sewer workers.
The moot question, in the world splattered over news and images of India’s covid dead burning, where international and national news berated India, none have asked about the poor, wretched, hapless, crematoria workers, who have burned the pyres of those lakhs of unfortunate bodies to ashes, day and night. When family members of the dead are refusing to attend funerals, it was these workers who lit a decent pyre for the dead. These people have been working without regular pay, no protective equipment, or masks, and not even water and food in the crematoria premises.
It seems that to the Government that these crematoria workers, mostly dalits, have no value just like the corpses do. On normal days family of the deceased would pay the Katikapari/Dom for their services. In these times no one knows who the corpse belongs to, and these unfortunate workers go on to cremate them or bury them. The bodies pile up faster than they can burn or bury. The deceased who used to be followed by a platoon of family members are now just, lone sacks of bodies draped. Covid-19 pandemic has changed many a tradition in our country. Brahmins who profess that funeral rites are a must either disappeared or the few who dared went exorbitant.
Unfortunately, not a single welfare measure has been taken for the betterment of crematoria workers by the governments. They continue generations of work at cemeteries, prone to diseases and riddled in poverty, completely ignored by all forms of governance in India. Voiceless, they toil and bid final farewells to the dead. It’s time we wake up to better the lives of these workers with welfare and dignity.
( The author is a Senior Journalist & Chairman, Centre for Dalit Studies, Hyderabad) and also is a Chairperson of International Dalit Journalist (IDJN)
Trigger warning: Mentions of crematoriums, death, casteism
Mani (name changed) identifies himself as a ‘Chandala’ by caste. Before the pandemic, he used to cremate 5-6 dead bodies on average at a Hindu crematorium near Surat, Gujarat. During this pandemic, he shockingly reveals that he is working for 12-14 hours per day for cremating the 18-20 dead bodies.
By Jaimine in #CoronaWatch, Caste, Health and Life, Society
I asked him, “Where is your PPE kit?”
He said the municipal corporation has not provided it yet. Personally, he cannot afford to buy one from his pocket when he is making a meagre Rs 10,000 per month while putting himself at risk. He is one of the unsung heroes of this hour.
For every new dead body to be cremated, the plight demands a new PPE Kit. Mani has no hope from his city’s governance on nursing the physical health of workers like him, leaving aside the whole question of nurturing his mental health.
A crematorium worker carries wood for the cremation of victims who died from COVID-19 disease, in a mass crematorium ground, on the banks of Ganga River, in Allahabad on April 27, 2021.
The travesty of India’s so-called civilization is that annually, only 1.5% is the health expenditure in the whole layout of GDP figure, making each Indian eligible for 0.33 paisa in the space of mental health assistance. A 2016 National Mental Health Survey revealed that 83% of India’s total population do not have basic access to mental health assistance and treatment.
In this whole saga, the unsung frontline workers like Mani are never blessed to be privileged for accessing mental health kits.
A few weeks back, a report on Kailash crematorium divulged how PMC (Pune Municipal Corporation) failed to deliver the PPE kits to cremating workers.
Would such a municipal body have meted out the same treatment if the workers were elite or from upper-caste?
I am pretty sure they won’t because we treat these casteist people differently while ignoring the dimensions of caste in our social interactions.
Recently, a report by India Today revealed how Brahmin priests make between Rs 15000 – Rs 25000 per body cremation in Uttar Pradesh. Such a priestly class does not put themselves at risk, unlike Mani, but simply charge exorbitant rates for uttering the slokas (verses) because the ‘ritual system’ demands so.
This state of inequity endorses how Caste as a capital comes at the core to socially rescue the privileged ones while underestimating the actual work of Chandalas like Mani who are not privileged.
To add to the woes, the managers at the crematorium also join hands with the Brahmin priests thus generating more helplessness.
“The Bania is the worst parasitic class known to history. In him, the vice of money-making is unredeemed by culture or conscience. He is like an undertaker who prospers when there is an epidemic” – Dr Ambedkar, Volume 9
As per the Vedic system, Avarnas (the fifth varna; untouchables) such as Chandala, Domba, etc are falling out of this ‘hierarchy’ and thus they’re found residing near crematorium areas. In this pandemic (second wave), why is the nation not asking, “Are we really doing enough for the vulnerable ones?”
This pandemic in India was originally transmitted by the ‘passport class’ and it ended up punishing the ‘ration card class’.
“No one knows how many cremation workers have tested positive for this deadly disease and no one knows how many have died as a result. It is because government officials don’t see the cremation workers and sanitation workers as human,” Bezwada Wilson said in an interview with VICE.
In Delhi, the capital city of India, a dog crematorium will be used for human bodies. In the same city, in an interview with VICE, Ashu Rai confessed his story on the predicament of cremating dead bodies. He is immersed in the cremation of 15 bodies on a daily basis at his crematorium, while the government altogether shares suppressed data on the death rate.
Ashu does not wear a PPE kit because he can’t breathe when he works in a furnace. He knows that he is putting himself at risk, but he has no choice. He says, “I do not feel anything now.” The situation has made him numb and nihilist.
Ashu’s father and brother also used to work at the same crematorium. There are many like Mani and Ashu who are still generationally bonded in the casteist scheme based on occupation. It’s the 21st century and the elements of social osmosis in our so-called democratic nation have failed to emancipate the suppressed community.
Drenched in sweat, Ashu put the remaining wood on the body. He took out a piece of cloth and covered his face and head with it. “This cloth does two jobs for me. First, it absorbs the sweat and second, when I hang it on my shoulder, people think that I am a Brahmin priest,” Ashu said, laughing at the irony.
Dipanshu Rathore, a rights activist at the Asia Dalit Rights Forum, explained that it is common to see sons of cremation workers follow in their fathers’ footsteps because few jobs are available to the underprivileged Dalit community. “Who will do all the dirty and dangerous work? It’s the Dalits. People don’t want to get their hands dirty, so they call Dalits to do their dirty job for them,” Rathore told VICE World News.
Even in India’s commercial capital, Mumbai, governed by the richest municipal body BMC with a budget of more than Rs 30000 crores, the workers from Oshiwara crematorium, Chandwadi crematorium or Kalbadevi crematorium are possessing fewer PPE kits.
Some workers from Karnataka had to literally send a letter to CJ (Chief Justice) of Karnataka High Court to give the workers some holiday because they are overworked, and the task of cremation is taking a toll on their mental health. They are demanding better conditions of work and pay too.
Christian World Service is appealing for funds to respond to the rapidly escalating Covid-19 crisis in India.
“Our partners are anxious to protect the communities they work with from infection and hunger in this second wave. They have asked for urgent funding to deliver emergency food assistance and hygiene supplies as well as support community healthcare,” says Pauline McKay, National Director.
CWS works with five partner organisations in Tamil Nadu focusing on the long-term development and justice priorities of Dalit (sometimes called Untouchables) and Tribal (indigenous) communities.
In the first wave, these local partners shared good health information with groups including fish workers, day labourers, forest collectors, and women’s sangams as well as distributing emergency supplies to families with no food. They helped thousands of people to access government entitlements and protect themselves from infection.
The rapid surge in Covid-19 infections is overwhelming hospitals and the country’s medical system, denying many people access to treatment. Millions of people are at risk of infection and possible death. The official death toll has reached 204, 832 but the unofficial death toll is considerably higher.
The Human Rights Foundation runs a training programme for women panchayat or local council presidents. Many are from the Dalit community and have been able to organise relief supplies for Dalit families. It is unlikely that food rations would have reached them without this representation.
Donations to the CWS Coronavirus Appeal will help protect thousands of Dalit and Tribal families from Covid-19 as local partner organisations:
Share good health messages to protect people from Covid-19
Fund personal protective equipment, hygiene supplies and facemasks
Advocate for access to government food relief schemes and vaccinations.
Distribute emergency food rations to some of the many people who have received no assistance.
Donations to the Coronavirus Emergency Appeal can be made:
- On line at: https://cws.org.nz/donate-now-coronavirusappeal/
- By Phone with a credit card: 0800 74 73 72
- By Post to: CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140
CWS is a member of ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations working together on humanitarian, development and advocacy in over 120 countries.
Courtesy : Scoop World
KATHMANDU, APRIL 30: A virtual gathering of Dalit journalists from all over the world has formed a 21-member executive committee of International Dalit Journalists Network (IDJN) led by Mallepalli Laxmaian of India on April 25.
The gathering has elected founding general secretary of Jagaran Media Centre Rem Bishwokarma as the network’s general secretary. Bishworkarma is also the Editor-in-Chief of dignitypost.com.
The International Dalit Journalists Network (IDJN) is a common platform of all the journalists of the world representing Dalit communities who share similar fate of discrimination and exclusion in their societies.
“The concerns and agendas related to Dalit often don’t get adequate attention of the media. It is often felt that there is a sense of apathy on issues of Dalit in the media. The media houses lack sensitivity towards Dalit and issues of Dalit to such an extent that such issues are subdued by editors and media houses,” said President of the IDJN Mallepalli Laxmaian.
He said the network aims at mainstreaming as well as amplifying the voice of the Dalit and other vulnerable communities in South Asia and beyond. “It will help to create solidarity for national and international advocacy on the issues, agendas and concerns of Dalit and other marginalised community.”
According to newly elected general secretary Bishworkarma, the network aims to fight against their common fate collectively as they understand the pain their community has been suffering for a long time– better than any one.
“We will work to include all the Dalit journalists actively working at different parts of the globe,” said Bishwokarma. “Caste-based discrimination and untouchability is not only the problem of Nepal such discriminations are rampant at different parts of the world. To end such problems we have developed this international network of Dalit journalists.”
During the gathering several international intellectuals and rights activists including Prof Sukhadeo Thorat, Dr. Raj Shekhar Vundras (IAS), president of International Commission for Dalit Rights DB Sagar Bishwokarma, Vice-chair of Asian Dalit Rights Forum Durga Sob, acting president of NGO Federation of Nepal Bhakta Bishwokarma, Ananda Kumar, Binay Kumar, senior journalist of India Ram Chandra Murthi and executive director of International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) Meena Varma lauded the move of developing a common platform of all the Dalit journalists working around the world. They have also expressed their commitment to support the network in its endeavour to change the lives of the Dalits and discriminated people of the world.
Members of the IDJN executive committee includes Sita BK, Bhim Ghimire, and Biru Nepali from Nepal, Aruna Athaluri, Indudara Honnapura, Praveen, Gopi and Rambabu from India, Purna Baraily and Deepak Pariyar from USA, Santosh BK from Canada, Chhatra Shankar from Australia, Subroto Haldar and Mousumi Das from Bangladesh, Sher Bahadur Pariyar from Poland, Prem Pariyar from Norway, Dinesh Goutam from Cyprus, Mahesh Khati from Denmark and Mahesh Waran from Sri Lanka.