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Gulf News

Fancy dress, culture and inspirational stories as India marks children’s day

Published: 13:41 November 13, 2017

Akhel Mathew, Correspondent; Lata Rani, Correspondent; Nilima Pathak, Correspondent; Pamela Raghunath, Correspondent

New Delhi: Children’s Day is celebrated in India on November 14, the birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.

Most schools in India hold fancy dress competitions, painting contests, cultural programmes and fairs organised by children, for children. 

Let the children play

Here’s what some young people in India have to say about their hopes and dreams for themselves and their country:

Tishya Dubey
13 years, Grade 8, Navy Children School, Goa

I would love to see my country rise to greater heights and be a guiding light to other nations. Along with holding peaceful relations with other countries, I dream of an India with a high literacy rate. This aspect will gradually eliminate poverty, as more jobs would be created. I also wish to see my country become the greatest power — in terms of new inventions for the future of mankind — and a model nation as far as cleanliness in concerned. Striving to work in its interest, I hope to become a journalist. Since I am courageous and aware of my social responsibilities, I am aiming towards my goal. I not only find that journalism is a noble profession, it is also quite challenging and can satisfy the adventurous streak in me!

Amisha Sharkanya
15 years, Grade 10, Sulabh Public School, New Delhi

I dream of seeing India a richer, happier and healthier place to live in. I want to see it progress in all fields. Sadly, though people are becoming selfish and thinking of self before society and nation, how I wish people upheld great moral values, civic sense and love for the nation. There should also be justice, as we see so much disparity regarding caste and class everywhere. That could be the reason I dream of becoming a doctor. My even bigger dream is to some day be able to set up a hospital for the poor. Along with that, in my leisure time I desire to work towards improving the sanitary conditions of the poor, who are forced to live in unhygienic surroundings.

 

Siddharth Chugh
14 years, Grade 9, Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, New Delhi

What I want from India is that we restore the most important thing the Britishers took away from us. That is: our culture. I find Indians aping the West. And I want people to see the reality and accept themselves for what they really are and not become slaves of western thinking and mentality. By doing this, not only will we grow confident as a people, but also set an example for the coming generations. My desire at present is to become an engineer. And once I have established a strong financial base, I want to try out as many possibilities for the good of the nation. I would want to explore new avenues, meet new people to have a different perspective to life and live it to the fullest.

Saanvi Vasdev
10 years, Grade 5, Amity International School, Noida

I dream of my country as a prosperous, popular, safe and peaceful place. Since we see and read so much about unclean and polluted environment in most cities and towns, I very much want that India becomes a clean and green country. Apart from having healthy citizens, we will also attract tourists from across the world, which will help build our economy. To see my country grow further, I shall take up a job and become self-reliant. My dream is to become independent and do social service for the needy.

 

Vihaan Saxena
7 years, Grade 2, Amity International School, New Delhi

My dream for my country is to become a superpower. When I grow up, I want to become a scientist. I would work on invention of clean energy sources. I would also build a spaceship that would help me travel to deep space and explore various other galaxies. In my spare time, I would also create a time machine to see how people lived in ancient times in India and recover lost knowledge and science. And when I wake up from my dreams, I shall go to school and attend classes to learn and work hard to fulfil my dreams!

 

 

Faiza Anwar Khan
12, Sixth Standard, Loretto Convent, Chembur, Mumbai

“I’m fond of all my subjects in school but English is my favourite. That is why I dream of becoming an English teacher. English is a language that helps us to communicate with people from any country. There are so many TV channels in English which give a lot of information. Though I speak Hindi at home, and my national language is Hindi, I love chatting with my friends and brother in English.

“My hometown is Aurangabad and the only other places that I have visited is Hyderabad and Mahableshwar. I hope to see many other places in India when I grow up. My hobby is playing hockey, music, dance and applying ‘mehndi’ (henna) on my hands.

“I live in Mumbai which is crowded and people do not take care of it. It is my dream to see Mumbai and India become clean and where lovely plants and trees are grown everywhere. I also hope and dream that every Indian child goes to school and every person is honest.”

Hari Murthy
12, Seventh Standard, Our Lady of Perpetual School, Chembur, Mumbai

“After I finish school, I have decided to take up hotel management since I am impressed by my cousin who is studying and working in this field. My dream is to become a chef in a big hotel and then run my own restaurant after gaining experience. I always help my mother in cooking and my favourite dish is paneer tikka.

“My dream is to see big buildings being built in India so that every Indian has a nice house to live in. I also wish my country becomes clean since it is in a bad state now. In the place where I live, people throw garbage near my house. I do not want to see people going to the toilet in the open. “I enjoy playing football with my friends and watching Tamil movies, especially in which actor Surya is the hero.”

 

George Mathew
Age 14, Class 8, Mar Athanasius International School, Kothamangalam, Kerala

I dream of a tobacco-free India. Our country is losing too many people to cancer and other diseases caused by tobacco usage. This is a health hazard that we can and should put an end to. When I walk around, I can see shops selling tobacco and a lot of people smoking or chewing tobacco. This is avoidable and we must work towards a tobacco-free country.

I have not firmly decided on my dream, though I have a few. One thing that I wish to do is to join the Indian Foreign Service. Being part of that service, I will be able to spread the message about India around the world and influence people everywhere to contribute to India’s growth.

 

Tiya Elizabeth Jose
Class 10, Age 15, The Village International School, Thodupuzha, Kerala

I dream of an India where women are empowered and are secure. They should be able to move around with safety and security. India must eradicate its poverty. In Kerala I do not see much of it, but I am aware of the poverty in different parts of the country. Our nation must also have clean cities, and good politicians.

I would like to make enough money so that I can help a lot of people. I dream of doing charitable work. I have come across people who need help. There are a lot of orphans and others in our country who need assistance. They too have their dreams in life and I want to help them fulfil those dreams.

 

Amisha Rajshree
Class 11

“I have seen the rural populace in the grip of utter poverty. During my visits to the villages, I came across the poor people somehow filling up their empty belly and survive. Balanced food was not even the back of their mind.

Rampant corruption is yet another problem gripping the country. I have heard people and even read in newspapers giving bribes to officials for even small works, like for issuance of birth certificates or availing the old age pension. I want to fight against corruption and poverty. They are blots on the face of my country.

As for myself, I want to become an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer to executive these plans. A district magistrate is in charge of a district having enough power to executive the welfare plans. It’s strange that even seven decades after independence, the poor country men are yet to get the benefits of government’s welfare schemes with full freedom.

Becoming an IAS officer also involves a lot of prestige and glory in the society and I want to achieve this task. None from my family has qualified for this job.

Kumari Ishika, Class seven: My country still lags behind in matter of technology as compared to foreign nations and I want to develop many facilities for the country men. I want to improve the current system which is not in sync with the changing times.

Although many technological changes have taken place in the past few decades but there are still many areas which needs proper attention. Good books still remain out of reach of poor students since they don’t have enough money to buy. Moreover, we can’t purchase just every book. I wish to develop apps which provide all the study materials free of cost.

As for myself, I want to become an IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) engineer. None in my family is an IIT engineer although my grandfather worked in engineering field. Also, IIT engineers are in great demand across the globe and I love to work for top companies like Google and Facebook which have attractive salary packages.

Source : http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/india/india-children-s-dreams-for-the-country-and-themselves-1.2123706

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT | LUCKNOW | 22 October, 2017

The floods in 2013 had left Kedarnath in Uttarakhand devastated and 20-year-old Vinita was one of them.

A resident of the Deoli Vanigram village in Rudraprayag district where 34 men had died, she was one among the many who lost her husband. The village came to be known as “Village of Widows” since there were no men left.

Vinita shifted to her parents’ home in Kumri village and was living there until she met Rakesh Kumar, a  taxi driver from the same district. Rakesh encouraged her to stand on her own feet but their relationship was frowned upon in the region where widow remarriage is still a taboo. However, the couple opted for a court marriage in May 2014. They had to leave their home after the court marriage and stayed in another place in the same district. This week, the couple married again in the traditional way at the Gopinath temple in Vrindavan and  Sulabh International, which works for the welfare of widows in the country, organised their marriage.

“Her marriage before the community is not just an act of courage but a learning that women’s lives do not end if she is left alone due to some reason,” said Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International. Vinita , who now has two children, said, “When I lost my first husband, people there treated me as a pariah and no one would even talk to me. The local people would not even accept a court marriage so I decided to get married in a traditional manner,” she told reporters.

Source : http://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/11363-kedarnath-widow-opts-traditional-remarriage

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DIWALI

(Hindustan Times/Getty Images)

Diwali

XAVIER GALIANA/AFP/Getty Images Indian widows light earthen lamps or “diyas” during Diwali celebrations at Gopinath temple in Vrindava, India on October 16.

For five days each autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in the southern hemisphere) pockets of the world shine brilliantly for Diwali. The Hindu festival of light celebrates good over evil and commemorates the return of Hindu deity Rama to his birthplace after victory against the demon king Ravana. Participants light oil lamps and candles, shop, decorate their homes, exchange gifts and pray. Here is a collection of photos from Diwali celebrations around the world.

Copyright © 2017, Chicago Tribune

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, International, Photos, Press Releases, Sulabh News.

By Casey Leins and Stephen Mays Oct. 19, 2017

Otherwise known as Diwali, the holiday celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

Widows light Diyas and sing religious songs on the eve of Diwali at Gopinath Temple, on Oct. 16, 2017, in Vrindavan, India.

Widows light Diyas and sing religious songs ahead of Diwali at Gopinath Temple on Oct. 16, 2017, in Vrindavan, India. (BURHAAN KINU/HINDUSTAN TIMES/GETTY IMAGES)

Indian widows light Diyas during Diwali celebrations at Gopinath temple in Vrindavan on Oct. 16, 2017.

Indian widows light Diyas during Diwali celebrations at Gopinath temple in Vrindavan on Oct. 16, 2017. (XAVIER GALIANA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

 

Source : https://www.usnews.com/news/photos/2014/10/22/photos-hindus-celebrate-festival-of-lights?slide=12

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Manish Arya / On 2017-10-17

The marriage of a young widow was solemnised in presence of around 500 widows at the historic 400-year-old Gopinath temple here evening. The event was sponsored by Sulabh International, an NGO working for sanitation and widows.

Bride Vinita Devi was a widow from Uttarakhand who lost her husband in the 2013 Kedarnath flash floods, and bridegroom Rakesh is from the temple town of Vrindavan.

Vinita Devi (23) is a mother of two and was trapped at her in-laws house in Devlidhani village in Rudraprayag district for two months after the natural disaster. She later left for her native village Kamodi in the same district to take care of her ailing mother but could not make the ends meet.

“Her marriage before the community is not just an act of courage but a learning that women’s life does not end if she is left alone due to some reason,” Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International.

Over 500 widows from different ashrams in Vrindavan attended the marriage as part of Diwali celebrations. Sulabh has taken the initiative for the welfare of widows after the Supreme Court’s intervention a few years ago.

Every widow is given Rs 2,000 per month by the NGO which takes care of their health and other needs and takes measures. The NGO has provided the government-run shelters in Vrindavan five well-equipped ambulances for providing timely and adequate medical assistance to those living there.

Source : http://www.consumerinfoline.com/8648/kedarnath-disaster-widow-ties-the-knot-in-vrindavan.htm

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News18 English

“Widow remarriage is a matter of personal choice. So there can be no law for this. If widow remarriage was considered socially or culturally unacceptable, then there can be a law saying that widow remarriage is not prohibited,” says Meera Khanna.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:October 17, 2017

Widows light Diyas and sing religious songs on the eve of Diwali at Gopinath Temple. (Getty Images)

New Delhi: In August this year when the Supreme Court formed a panel to devise a working plan to uplift the condition of widows of Vrindavan, the division bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta also stressed that the committee should suggest ways to ‘encourage’ widow remarriage.

The six-member committee comprises Suneeta Dhar of NGO Jagori, Meera Khanna of Guild for Service, activist and lawyer Abha Singhal, lawyer Aparajita Singh and one nominee each from NGOs HelpAge India and Sulabh International.

“India does not need any new law for widow remarriage as it would infringe upon the fundamental right of choice and that more employment-linked skill training was needed for the widows to avoid the vicious circle of cultural marginalisation and economic deprivation,” said Khanna.

The committee has been given a deadline to submit its report by November 30 and the panel is currently in the process of studying all the recommendations. It would select the best ones and devise a working plan to rehabilitate and uplift the widows of Vrindavan.

“Widow remarriage is a matter of personal choice. So there can be no law for this. If widow remarriage was considered socially or culturally unacceptable, then there can be a law saying that widow remarriage is not prohibited. Many of these widows who are in the older category do not want to get married,” said Khanna.

Khanna also pointed out the perils of ‘forced’ widow remarriage if a law comes into force. “There are cases where a large property involved… then in an attempt to keep the property within the family, the widow is forced to marry the elder brother of her deceased husband. So, this practice should be stopped. Remarriage is about choice and a law cannot govern it,” said Khanna.

The panel member said the big question is: “How social security schemes can be developed so that economic deprivation of widows does not take place?”

One of the most plaguing issues in Vrindavan has been sexual exploitation of widows. “Migrant women are always vulnerable to sexual attacks,” Khanna told News18.

“There are multiple levels of vulnerabilities. This vulnerability starts at being a widow, then due to a patriarchal society, there is cultural marginalisation, social discrimination and economic deprivation. Hence, vulnerability to sexual assault, molestation and exploitation,” she explained.

Khanna said a ‘statement of purpose’ which was earlier devised by a National Commission for Women (NCW) panel might be of help to tackle the sexual exploitation menace.

“Some of the members from our SC-formed panel were also members of the NCW committee. We had made a SOP on how the government-supported widow homes should function, particularly to prevent sexual assault,” said Khanna.

She said unless widows of Vrindavan were empowered economically, they will continue to be at the mercy of others. “Widows are vulnerable citizens of the country. It is duty of the state to ensure that their vulnerability is not exploited. For this, they need employment-linked skill training.”

“I would suggest that we have to move away from the welfare-based rehabilitation approach for widows to an entitlement-based approach. If there is an educated and wealthy widow, would anyone have the guts to tell her not to enter a puja area?”

Source : http://www.news18.com/news/india/vrindavan-widows-need-jobs-not-new-remarriage-law-member-of-sc-panel-1548477.html

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, India, Photos, Press Releases, Sulabh News, Uttar Pradesh.

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In a departure from tradition, a young widow’s marriage was solemnised in the presence of around 500 widows in the 400-year-old Gopinath temple of Vrindavan.
Gaurav Saigal
Gaurav Saigal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Vinita Devi (centre), a former widow, was married to Rakesh Kumar and the ceremony was solemnized in the presence of 500 widows at the 400 year-old Gopinath temple in Vrindavan on October 16, 2017. Vinita was widowed in 2013, when she lost her husband in the Uttarakhand floods. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Vinita Devi (centre), a former widow, was married to Rakesh Kumar and the ceremony was solemnized in the presence of 500 widows at the 400 year-old Gopinath temple in Vrindavan on October 16, 2017. Vinita was widowed in 2013, when she lost her husband in the Uttarakhand floods. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

 

 

For the widows ushering in the remarriage, this was their Diwali celebration.  (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Vinita, seen walking out to the courtyard of the Gopinath temple for the ceremony. ‘I think more women should come forward and take decisions of their lives on their own, whether it is about education, career or choosing a life partner,’ she said. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

A widow (centre) watches Vinita’s marriage ceremony from the sidelines. In a major departure from tradition, remarriage was celebrated in the city where most widows take refuge. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Over 500 widows from different ashrams in Vrindavan along with local residents attended the grand ceremony, which was possible due to the intervention of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak of Sulabh International. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Rakesh Kumar (left) smiles at the solemnization of his marriage to Vinita Devi in Vrindavan. They had a court marriage in 2014 but lacked societal acceptance, hence Sulabh International stepped in to help them with the ceremonial rituals. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

The wedding, organised by Sulabh International, which works for the welfare of widows as part of its human rights and social reform initiatives in the country, was completed with all rituals. A ‘mandap’ was decorated with flowers in the courtyard of the temple. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

In a departure from tradition, a young widow’s marriage was solemnised in the presence of around 500 widows in the 400-year-old Gopinath temple of Vrindavan on Monday.

Vinita Devi, 23, who lost her husband in the 2013 Kedarnath landslide, tied the nuptial knot with Rakesh.

For the widows present in the marriage, this was their Diwali celebration. “Her marriage is a message for the society that believes a woman’s life ends if she becomes a widow,” said Manu Ghosh, a 90-year-old widow in Vrindavan.

After she lost her husband, Vinita (a mother of two) remained confined to her in-laws’ house in Devlidhanigram in Rudraprayag district for two months. Later, she left for her native village Kamodi in the same district to take care of her ailing mother. But, she soon started facing the grim realities of life as a widow, with no money for herself.

In 2014, she married Rakesh in court, but did not get social acceptance. Hence, to get social acceptance to her marriage, she decided to marry him with full rituals.

The marriage, organised by Sulabh International that works for the welfare of widows in the country, was completed with all rituals. A ‘mandap’ was decorated with flowers in the courtyard of the temple.

Over 500 widows from different ashrams in Vrindavan along with locals attended the marriage. “Her marriage before the community is not just an act of courage but a learning that women’s life does not end if she is left alone due to some reason,” said Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International.

“I think more women should come forward and take decisions of their lives on their own, whether it is about education, career or choosing a life partner,” said Vinita, who will now settle in Uttarakhand with Rakesh, a driver.

Vinita has not planned her life, but said, “I wish to do something that can provide good education to my children,” adding: “I have taken a bold step, and hope the future will be bright.”

Source : http://www.hindustantimes.com/lucknow/young-widow-s-marriage-solemnised-at-gopinath-temple-in-vrindavan/story-uvhyQkgsyOpxw3QB64C7MP.html