Tag Archives: India village labour

#CPM-SITARAM #YECHURY’S LIFETIME CHANCE TO MAKE A MARK

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

Sitaram Yechury’s elevation as CPM’s General Secretary.

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There is enough space for even fifty more political parties to enter the political arena of India, provided they are different. Today, most voters, if you were to ask them individually may not be quite happy with the existing political set ups because of their huge ideological and integrity deficit. And, this was one of the main reasons why AAP was seen as a game changer that came with the cult of Mohalla sabhas and volunteer style of canvassing. The ideologue was so very powerful and had the potential of swallowing, every other family run political party barring BJP. And, AAP also came with an eye-catching tag of acting as a party that was opposed to VVIP culture, and these promises coupled with the halo of Anna Hazare and the much relevant ‘India against corruption’ agitation, appealed immensely to the tired and helpless Indian population. There was a great amount of cheer and hope that AAP had brought along; and seeing this the traditional and family owned parties were overawed by their fast track success. But they too behaved like any other political party and after attaining 67 out of 70 seats they renounced austerity, imbibed VVIP culture and started street fights for petty political gains. Today, Arvind Kejriwal is seen no less than a dictator and a great stickler for power, position and perks. And, so once again the voters of India and more so of Delhi felt cheated and stabbed.

BJP too was seen as a messiah after the scam ridden UPA rule; when the voters thought it will bring, the much awaited “Acchey Din” but sad to say it still remains a distant dream as nothing has changed on the ground. And, they too came with huge promises of doing away with VVIP culture but ventured into doing just the opposite, which one can see on TV day in and day out. Their courtship with PDP just to acquire power with a pro-Pakistani Government has confused the voters beyond compare. And, their somersaulting over land acquisition ordnance is not understood by many Indians.

Congress on the other hand is riddled with financial and social scams, where it did not even leave Subhash Chandra Bose over his mysterious disappearance. Other regional parties run by families have their own personal agendas of filling their coffers and looking after only a section of the society. And, with all of this what else can the Election Commission do, than scratching its head off and on.

So, under the circumstances one feels CPM through Sitaram Yechury can revive the Party in a big way only if it can be a party with a difference. For let us understand no ideology is old and irrelevant for it recycles and comes back.  India is known for old wine in new bottle and we alone had a car with nine lives- Ambassdor, on the Indian roads even today. What is out of fashion today, will be the fashion tomorrow. And, let’s not forget the rich and mighty of India, once again have started behaving in a irresponsible manner and so a balancing factor is very much required.

So best of luck to Mr Sitaram Yechury and tweak your party to the aspirations of the emerging youth-force of India.

SC: RETHINK LAW ON JUVENILES INVOLVED IN HEINOUS OFFENCES

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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Court’s Stand Puts Pressure on Centre- Cabinet likely to take up bill

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    Supreme Court as usual has done extremely well. In coaxing the centre to have a re-look at the law. Providing mild punishment to juveniles when they are involved in heinous offences. In fact the Supreme Court has requested Parliament to differentiate between juveniles involved in innocuous and serious crimes.

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    In today’s day and age. Children mature much faster. And, from an early age of around eight to ten years they learn to handle mobiles, smart-phones, Tabs, Computers and even NET-surfing. They go global to compete with the best or the worst of the world. They do not dwell so much on the noble values of their parents. But get more influenced by the heft of materialism. The strings of loose morals that manifest in their parents and families.

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    A case in point could be Aakash in Gurgaon. Who could not be reformed as a juvenile. Recently he was held for a second murder at the age of twenty one. The first being at the age 14. When he killed his school mate with the revolver of his macho dad. That he carried to school.

    Read, the column below that appeared in TOI recently; an eye opener.

GURGAON: Gurgaon Police has arrested Aakash (21) who shot his friend dead in a city market on March 25. This was Aakash’s second murder. Seven years back, when he was only 14, Aakash had smuggled to his school – Euro International in Gurgaon — a revolver that belonged to his father’s friend and shot dead a classmate with whom he had a scrap a few days back.

According to sources, acting on a tip-off, a police team carried out a search operation around Sultanpur Lake on Sunday night and arrested Aakash alias Ashu and his three associates from a Mahindra Scorpio which was parked there. He evaded arrest so far by hiding in parts of Himachal Pradesh and then in Rohtak district. Cops recovered two illegal pistols from the vehicle. On Monday morning, all four accused were sent to three-day police remand by a city court. “All the accused have confessed to their role in the murder. We are questioning them further and hope to solve the case soon,” said Ved Prakash Godara, DCP (crime).

In his confession, Aakash reportedly told cops that Manish Kumar alias Bihari (23) repeatedly tried to kill him after a dispute over money, leaving him with no option than to kill him first in “self-defence”.
“Aakash has told us that more than a year back Manish sought his help in recovering around Rs 1.5 lakh from a third party and promised to share the money. Once Manish got the money, he refused Aakash his share and they had a fight over it. Aakash claims once Manish forcefully stopped his car with the intent of killing him but he escaped narrowly. Another such attempt was made during a friend’s wedding in Manesar,” an investigator told TOI.

Aakash then planned to kill Manish with the help of three other friends, one of whom is undergoing trial for the murder of a village sarpanch in 2011.

The three aides have been identified as Ashok alias Mental, native of Gijhi village, Manjit alias Monu, resident of Titoli village in Rohtak, and Manish alias Moga, native of Dundahera village.

While Manjit and Manish have no past crime record, Ashok is undergoing trial for the 2011 murder of Dalbeer Sarpanch of Nayagaon-Nayabas village in Rohtak.

On March 25, around 9pm, the accused came in a car and shot Manish Kumar at point blank range while he was eating momos at a stall in Sector 21 market. The victim, a native of Muzaffarpur in Bihar, himself was a history-sheeter and had been booked in several cases of murder and theft. He was recently released after serving a jail term for attempting to murder a lawyer in Kapashera.

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ARTICLE: LIVELIHOOD SECURITY IN RURAL INDIA – CHALLENGES

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    Livelihood is the means by which a person or household makes a decent living over a period of time. ‘Livelihood Security’ has been defined differently by various institutions, entities, and scholars. In a broad sense, it implies dignity, in a secure and just society. Being able to withstand stresses of death, disease, natural disasters or even economic slumps.

    It means adequate and sustainable access to income and resources to meet basic needs. Including adequate access to food, potable water, health facilities, educational opportunities, housing and time for community participation and social integration. As said by W. Somerset Maugham, ‘There is nothing so degrading as the constant anxiety about one’s means of livelihood.’

    Swaminathan (1991) has defined sustainable livelihood security as, ‘livelihood options that are ecologically secure, economically efficient and socially equitable in order to underscore three aspects- ecology, economics and equity.’

    In simple terms, job and income are the most critical components of ‘Livelihoods.’

CHALLENGES IN FRONT OF INDIA

    With 60% of India’s population employed in the agriculture sector, that contributes only 15% to India’s currently sulking GDP, challenges of livelihood security in India are getting more and more complex each day. Farm based jobs have remained stagnant due to structural changes in the Indian economy. The share of primary sector in GDP has progressively declined from 26% to 15% between 1998 and 2013. While, the share of the rural population, which was dependent on this sector, has reduced only marginally. This means India’s development models have to be robust enough to deliver dignity of life and sustainability of livelihoods at a scale. And in a pluralistic context that cannot be compared to any other country in the world.

FRAGMENTED LAND HOLDINGS

    India is a land of small farmers. According to Agri-Census 2000-01. Out of around 120 million total land households in the country, there are an estimated 98 million small and marginal holdings. The average size of small holdings is 1.4 ha which has squared down from 2.3 ha in 1971-72. The small holding character of Indian agriculture is much more prominent today than ever before. Though from efficiency point of view, small holdings are equal or better than large holdings. Poverty for small holding farmers is much higher than other farmers as small holdings do not raise enough agricultural income, so as to lift the marginal and small farm households above poverty level.

LOW LEVEL OF FORMAL EDUCATION:

    Education and skills are important for improving farming practices, investment and productivity. The low level of farmers’ education limits public dissemination of knowledge. The NSSO Farmers’ survey shows that awareness about bio-fertilizers, minimum support prices and WTO is associated with education levels.

    The literacy rate and mean years of education for unorganized farm workers is 53.4% compared to national average literacy of 74%.

FINANCIAL INCLUSION:

    Access to finance is critical for empowerment of rural communities. Though various initiatives have been taken by the Government and civil society organizations to mobilize the poor into self help groups (SHGs) and provide micro credit, much needs to be achieved. And as per the NSSO 59th round results:

  • 4% of farmer households are financially excluded from both formal and informal sources.
  • Overall, 73% of farmer households have no access to formal sources of credit.

GLOBALIZATION CHALLENGES:

    Increasing globalization has added to the problems faced by the small holding agriculture. The policies of huge subsidies and protection policies by developed countries have negative effects on small holding farmers in developing countries.

INSUFFICIENT CAPACITY BUILDING OF BENEFICIARIES:

    Out of the estimated 70 million rural below poverty line (BPL) households, 45 million households still need to be organized into SHGs. A significant number of these households are extremely vulnerable. In the absence of aggregate institutions for the poor, such as SHG federations, the poor households could not access higher order support services for productivity enhancement, marketing linkage, risk management among others. Most of the SHGs remain crowded in low productivity and primary sector activities.

POOR ABSORPTION OF TECHNOLOGY:

    ICT can play a significant role in taking best livelihood practices to the rural poor. However, absorption of technology remains poor in the countryside primarily due to lack of basic IT infrastructure, poor penetration of the internet and lack of awareness. Though mobile penetration has been robust, rural internet penetration has been estimated at just 6.7% in December 2013. There is a huge scope for open source software technology suitable for low resource settings especially for the under privileged communities.

WOMEN’S OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT OF LAND:

    There are 400 million women who constitute 33% of the total population of India as per Census of India 2011. Land, in a rural agrarian economy is the source of food security, income and credit power. On the other hand, Indian agriculture is being progressively feminized with women doing the bulk of work. While 63% of India’s rural male work force is engaged in agriculture, the figure is as high as 79% for women. Women are increasingly engaging in pre-production, production and post-production activities abandoning the taboo associated with women ploughing the fields. Average farm labour by women in rural production is 55-66% of the total labour.

    In contrast to the large proportion of farm labour contributed by women, only 9.3% of rural women actually own land. In most of the landless and semi-landless families, women and children suffer from acute poverty, malnutrition and illiteracy. 83% of women engaged in agriculture don’t own the land. Since women don’t own land, they are not recognized as ‘farmers’ in Indian agricultural policy even though they are working on it full time- thus labour on their own land.

    HUMAN RESOURCES:

There is extreme dearth of qualified professionals willing to work in livelihood programs. Though management graduates can develop competency to handle livelihood projects. They are generally wired towards running businesses rather than managing livelihood issues which are connected with heterogeneous stakeholders and participants. Therefore, a special thrust to entice skilled professionals to work in this field will be a key challenge for the Government.

    So, it still remains a big challenge for India to uplift the marginal rural poor.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

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