Showing posts with label social. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social. Show all posts

Racism in the time of Corona!

2:40 PM
Racism in the time of Corona!
Nothing can be an excuse to be Racist!

As the pandemic of Corona virus is spreading throughout the world, it is not only spreading fear but also bringing forth the worst face of Racism across the world. The Asian communities residing in Europe and US are facing constant hostility and racial abuses on account of spread of Corona. So is the case with India. As reported in some social media and published in the Indian Express yesterday, some female students from Darjeeling and Sikkim were racially abused and discriminated in many parts of Kolkata. A person racially abused some students calling them ‘Corona’. Even when confronted for his racist remarks, the person seems out rightly unapologetic about his wrong doing. A student shared his experience saying that people refused to sit near him, even when the public transportation was crowded. Since the news about spread of Corona from China to rest of the world, people with Mongoloid features (from North East states, Darjeeling, Ladakh etc) have been target of racial abuse in many parts of country. Though people with Mongoloid features in India face racism in everyday lives and is not a new thing for us but to face such discrimination and abuses at a time of major health crisis is truly disgusting and deplorable. We express our unconditional solidarity with the aggrieved students and vehemently condemn this racist act in strongest possible words. We demand immediate strong legal action against such racists under appropriate provisions of IPC. The larger society should also deeply introspect on their discriminatory, irrational and inhuman practice of Racism.

An Appeal to the Govt. and People of Darjeeling, Dooars and Terai to take measures against spreading of Corona virus

Darjeeling, Dooars and Terai region is situated in a very vulnerable zone, as we share borders with countries like Nepal & Bhutan and with other Indian states. The neighbouring state Sikkim and country Nepal has already started taking strict preventive measures. The closing of schools/colleges/universities are a welcome move but the administration needs to take further concrete precautionary steps in our region. We cannot afford to remain complacent. The government should introduce screening test (thermal fever testing) in Bagdogra Airport and at other entry points into our region. We also appeal to the people to voluntarily postpone/delay all social gatherings (marriage, community meetings etc), religious, political, cultural or festival gatherings, and sports events for coming 30 days. Even the arrival of domestic tourists should be stopped for at least 30 days in our region. In larger public interest, even malls and cinema halls should be closed for next 30 days. Even countries which have good government health facilities like Italy are facing difficulties in controlling the spread of the corona virus, so prevention of spreading of the virus is the best strategy to fight against it. We would like to appeal to the public not to believe in any unsubstantiated rumours, fake news circulated in social media and unscientific claims (like alcohol consumption, ayurvedic medicine or consumption of Cow Urine /cow dung curing Corona) regarding this disease. Measures like regularly cleaning hands with soap, using hand sanitizer, avoiding crowed places, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth, should be followed. Let us all follow WHO guidelines (, coordinate and cooperate with government health officials and follow their directions in case of any further development. Right now we should not Panic but we should definitely be extra careful and take all precautionary measures!

At this difficult time, let us unite and collectively fight against both Corona and Racism!

Gorkha Students, JNU                                 

GlenburnTea Worker has to pay 188 days of work to stay in their Resort

8:58 AM
IS IT FAIR: Glenburn Tea Garden Workers Will Have to Work 188 Days to Afford One Night Stay in Their Resort

Various terms are used to make the tourism-based out of tea gardens sound romantic - 'Heritage Tea Tourism" though is the most popular. Not many bother to ask whose heritage?

These days the companies that own tea gardens are also running exorbitantly priced tourism operations. Without any of the benefits trickling down to the actual tea garden workers. They have no share in profit earnings from the tea gardens or the tourism that is run in their backyard.

The subversion of tea gardens, into a tourism hub has been very subtle and on the very sly. There is no provision under the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act, 1953, for such subversions of tea garden lands. The act specifically specifies that "the land can only be leased out for tea cultivation. The lessee or the company, without reducing the plantation area, may use the land for horticulture and growing medicinal plants on an area not more than 3 percent of the total grant area of the garden."

Yet numerous tea companies are running tourism activities, with whose permission?

Look at this, a one night stay for an individual at Glenburn Tea Estate costs roughly Rs 25000 per night. Yes, it includes food and transport and other facilities for the guest.

But do a rough math.

To be able to afford to stay ONE NIGHT at Glenburn Tea Tourism resort and enjoy the associated facilities, a tea garden worker from Glenburn has to work for 188 days - over 6 months, (assuming s/he can save all her/his wages during that time).


The tea garden workers are only asking for the implementation of the Minimum Wages Act in the tea gardens of Darjeeling and Dooars. All of your support is needed.


Separate ministry or policy for mountainous state - IMI

6:35 AM
Separate policy push for mountain states

Vivek Chhetri (Telegraph)

Darjeeling: A civil society group seeking separate development policies for hill states renewed its demand on Friday at a meeting in Darjeeling attended by representatives from 12 hill states.

The Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI), floated in 2011, draws members from different walks of life including bureaucracy, politics, academicians and students among others.
Separate ministry or policy for mountainous state

"We believe (government) policies do not really take into the account the realities in mountainous areas. The schemes are drawn up in Delhi and many of the schemes and policies are more suited for the plains," Fantry Mein Jaswal, secretary of the IMI, said after the meeting on Friday.

The IMI has representatives in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Bengal (Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts) and Assam (Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao).

"Probably, (we need a) separate ministry for mountainous states or at least separate policies for hilly states," said Jaswal.

Some changes appear to be taking shape after the IMI's efforts. The ministry of environment, forests and climate change has now created a separate mountain division.

But more needs to be done, IMI representatives stressed and added that most chief ministers of these states had warmed up to the idea. "We have been holding annual summits since 2012 and have been working on different fronts," said Jaswal.

"The project will continue till March 2019 and an Indian Himalayan Region level compendium will be complied to look into these issues," said Praful Rao, president of the Darjeeling Himalayan Initiative (DHI).

"We had the first meeting in Darjeeling. Such consultative work will be held in all hill states," Rao added.

All you want to know about AAY Ration Cards in Darjeeling

8:45 AM
NO!! AAY Ration Cards Won’t Make You A Refugee – Know the TRUTH About AAY Ration Cards

Writes: Upendra

Darjeeling is a strange land, here people don’t bother with issues that should actually concern them, but they will happily believe in rumors, and start to outrage.

Some of you may remember when a rumor started that “SALT (of all the things on earth) was running out of stock,” and our people rushed in like crazy to shops buying numerous kilos of salt at triple the price.

A few months ago, rumor spread that keeping a bottle filled with blue liquid will keep your house safe from stray dogs peeing into it. In every neighbourhood in Kurseong, you could see people dangling a bottle full of blue liquid, many of which were themselves getting peed on gleefully by the neighbourhood dogs.

Such is our land.

So it comes as no surprise that today OVER SMART idiots are rushing in to spread panic among the people that the digital ration cards being distributed puts us under AAY status, which will make us “Sukkumbasi”. Even those OVER SMART morons who till four or five days ago didn’t know what “Sukkumbasi” actually means, are busy commenting online and spreading rumor on the ground that Bengal government is hell bent on making us “Sukkumbasi” by issuing AAY ration cards.
TRUTH About AAY Ration Cards
TRUTH About AAY Ration Cards
Numerous people, many of whom are readers here in TheDC have shown their concerns but many are simply based on rumors that have spread to such a proportion that it appears that people are actually believing in them, here are sharing some FACTS in the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) format. Some may refer to as "AAY Guide for the Dummies” so that everyone can under the issues involved.

Answer: AAY means Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) initiated by the Govt. of India in 2000, which aimed at reducing hunger among the poorest segment of the population by making Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) benefits more substantial in terms of both nutrition and cost. In West Bengal, AAY was introduced in October 2001.

AAY contemplates identification of poorest of the poor families from amongst BPL families covered under TPDS and providing them with 35 kgs of foodgrain at a highly subsidized rate of 2 per kg for wheat and 3 per kg for rice.

Answer: This is a complicated question, but here is a layman’s answer – i) due to the laziness of the West Bengal government ii) Seeding the grounds for Upcoming Elections.

i) Due to the laziness of the West Bengal government
Under the regulations, the identity of the families eligible for AAY have to be made by local elected representatives - Panchayat and Municipal Commissioners. However, due to the laxity on the part of WB government they could not fulfill this duty.

In a Supreme Court ordered investigation a report was prepared in 2011 “Food Entitlements in West Bengal: Survey on Supreme Court Orders,” wherein it was found that, “the state [Bengal] government is providing subsidised food grains to less than sanctioned quota of 35.66% of the population.”

Remember, Darjeeling hasn’t had Panchayat elections since 2000, so majority of our people deserving of this facility were being denied the same since the time AAY scheme was launched.
Now, subsidies for these schemes come from the Central Government, and if a state is unable to show utilization, they do not get the funds for the same.

So there was this additional free quota which West Bengal government had to use, and by design or default, people in Darjeeling – those who needed to be brought under this scheme had not been properly included so far. Hence, before the 2016 elections were announced, Mamata Banerjee declared that she would include all the 'left out people' under subsidized ration scheme.
ii) Seeding the grounds for Upcoming Elections.

But most important of all, elections to municipalities will be held at the end of this year, and elections to GTA will be held in 2017.

So Mamata in all likelihood Mamata is giving this short-term benefit, so that she can come and say in her bhasan "hum ne aapko 2 Rs mein 35 kilo chawal diya hai.... aagar aap hume vote denge toh 1Rs mein 35 kilo chawal ka byawasta karenge"

This as far as we are concerned is an ELECTION STUNT.

Answer: On January 27th, 2016 Mamata announced a scheme called “Khadya Sathi” under which 7.5 crore people in West Bengal would be eligible for Rs 2 a kilo ration. In addition to AAY beneficieries, who will get 35 Kg of grains for Rs 2/kg, Khadya Sathi scheme includes:
1) Priority Householder (PHH),
2) Specially Priority Householders (SPHH) and
3) Rajya Khadya Surakhya Yojana-1 (RKSY-1)

All these cardholders will get 5kg of foodgrain per head per month, at the subsidised price of Rs 2/kg. The only difference between AAY and these other schemes is that, while under AAY people get 35 kg of food compulsorily, in other schemes you get upto a maximum of 25kgs. So if you have only 3 members in your family you are only entitled to 15Kg grains under other schemes, while under AAY you will get 35kgs even if a family has just 3 members.

Currently EVERYONE 9.2 crore people in West Bengal have been made eligible for subsidized ration, irrespective of their income.

Answer: In addition to existing AAY recipients, the newly included group would include 33 lakh people of the Jangalmahal region, 12 lakh drought-affected people of Purulia district, 11.24 people, including tea garden workers and their families, 3.11 lakh Cyclone Aila-affected people, people living in the Hills region of Darjeeling, 3569 people of Singur who had lost their land, and 1700 homeless people of Kolkata.

Answer: We can bet that majority of the people who are using this term, may have learned of it only 5 days back. To the uninitiated, “Sukkumbasi” means “landless” and is also synonymously used to denote "Refugees"… and no AAY cards will not make us landless or refugees.

Answer: We are not sure why people got this notion that including someone under AAY scheme will mean that we will be made to forgo our land rights. Those people who are spreading this rumor, and those believing in it need to get their head checked.

Ranchi has a good mental hospital.

Answer: NO, whether you can access loans or not will depend on the type of loan you are applying for, and also on many other factors including your Income. The only thing that WON’T EFFECT your loan application is YOUR RATION CARD.

Other than specific government schemes, how much loan you will get will depend on how much tax you have paid… as reflected in your PAN account. So pay your taxes on time and keep your income tax files clear, instead of worrying about a ration card.

Answer: For all those snubs out there, who are saying “we are not homeless, we are not slum dwellers, we are not coolies, we are not terminally ill” etc… here is the GOOD NEWS… if you are worried that having an AAY Card will impact your social status, then all of you can simply head to any Food and Supplies Office, and SURRENDER YOUR CARD.

When you do so, you will get an option to fill for other type of card, but remember, you will still get ration grains for Rs 2 a Kg, only this time your quanitity will go down from 35kgs per month, to 5kgs per person.

We are hopeful that this short Q and A will help majority of you to understand that imposition of AAY on everyone in the hills, is perhaps the ONLY GOOD THING, that Wasted Bengal government has done till date, and our people don’t want it cuz they are NOT “homeless, slum dwellers, coolies, terminally ill etc” harey…

What a joke… remember even Bimal Gurung and our MLAs and all the businessmen you see around will be carrying AAY cards, and while you OVER SMART individuals will perhaps go and submit the cards, as it hurt your ego at being given the same facility as a homeless person, these NOT SO DUMB POLITICIANS will continue to rake its benefits.

Under the law AAY should compulsorily include ‘ALL PRIMITIVE TRIBAL HOUSEHOLDS’ so we are guessing that takes care of all the people who are Tribal or, want to become TRIBAL…
Help us in spreading this positive rumor instead – AAY RATION CARD NA HUNE LE TRIBAL STATUS PAUNDAINA HARE…. Let’s see if this gets spread around like wildfire or not.

In all seriousness though, we request all our readers not to surrender their ration cards, as this is a Govt initiative, and it is benefiting us... given that the Central Govt is all for cost savings and removing subsidies, they won't tolerate this wastage of funds.... and we are 100% certain after the Municipality and GTA elections are over, Wasted Bengal government will remove majority of our people from getting AAY benefits again. So our honest suggestion is, ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS...

If you have to protest, then protest against imposition of Bengali language in our ration cards, instead of protesting against AAY status.

Via TheDC

Drinking water crisis in Barakothi in Mirik’s Panighatta tea estate

1:11 PM
 Queuing up entire nights for a pail of water


PANIGHATTA (MIRIK) 27 Mar 2016 The apathy of the political leadership and local administration has left the residents of Barakothi in Mirik’s Panighatta tea estate with no other option but to fetch drinking water from a considerable distance as the water available locally is too contaminated to drink.

The situation is expected to worsen in Barakothi in the coming months unless help comes by way of summer showers to replenish the area’s main water source, which is drying up quickly. There are 133 eligible voters in Barakothi from the 44 households in total, and they want to cast all the 133 votes to that candidate who would succeed in ensuring adequate and clean drinking water supply were he to win.

Barakothi has been deprived of potable water since October 10 last year, the day when the garden was shut down by its Kolkata-based owner. And there is no sign of the garden reopening anytime soon despite several rounds of meetings. When the garden was operational, a tractor used to supply water to Barakothi by fetching it from a source downhill some 1.5km away.
Drinking water crisis
Drinking water crisis- file photo
Now, the residents have to trek the entire distance down to the stream where they have to queue up for hours and sometimes even entire nights for their turn. "The water flows in a trickle and it takes nearly an hour to fill a 20-litre jar,” said 65-year-old Maili Tamangni. “Sometimes during the day the water runs dry due to the heat forcing us to fancy our chances at night.”

Anup Thapa, a government teacher with Sishu Siksha Kendra, said the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration has already sanctioned Rs16 lakh for a water project and engineers have inspected neighbouring Potong tea estate where the main source of water is located. He also informed that work is going on to connect a pipeline to the main source, which is about 20km from Barakothi. However, the locals said such assurances come only before elections and nothing changes afterwards.


Bharatiya Gorkhali Welfare Association Initiatives

9:48 PM
Bharatiya Gorkhali Welfare Association is a non-political, non-profit social organization of the Indian Gorkhas of Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Bharatiya Gorkhali Welfare Association has done numerous services for the welfare of the Gorkhas in Karnataka. Some of its major activities are listed below:

1 . It has obtained a 2% reservation for Gorkhas under the OBC category for admission into government colleges in Karnataka after fulfilling certain criteria.
2. It provides scholarship to meritorious students from Class 1 to Class 10.
3. It has provided various vocational courses to resident Gorkhas.
4. It has been instrumental in procuring from the government 12 houses for resident Gorkhas.
5. It has held numerous cultural and sports events for the Gorkhas of Bangalore from time to time.
6. It provides a helpline for resident Gorkhas in times of emergency.
7. It is recognized by many areas and states in India including Darjeeling and Sikkim as a socially responsible organization and maintains good relations with major organizations in those areas.
8. It provides career counselling and placement assistance for the Gorkhas.

Bharatiya Gorkhali Welfare Association Initiatives
Bharatiya Gorkhali Welfare Association (BGWA)logo

SAHAYOG – This is a BGWA initiative for providing free accident insurance to its members. It was launched on 25 January 2009 at the occasion of the 14th General Body Meeting of the BGWA. A group of students and members from the unorganised sector, who do not get insurance cover from their employers have been provided insurance. This initiative will spread to all the members of BGWA who lack such insurance cover.

BGWA can also arrange for health insurance to its members at a very low premium. Sahayog has entered into a partnership with a reputed NGO to help facilitate the paperwork and claims procedure for the insurance policy so that the members will have a steady support in their times of need. Additional facilities of Sahayog include opening of a bank account (with debit card facility) for the members from the unorganised sector.

AASHWAS – A BGWA initiative, is a series of career counselling, personality development and vocational training workshops. As an attempt to attain its objective of advancement of the Gorkha community, Aashwas (Nepali translation being "Reassurance") has been organised by corporate and industry professionals residing in Bangalore. With the enthusiasm and drive to share professional wisdom and acumen to the budding sections of community, Aashwas provides a ready forum to students and professionals alike, wherein ideas and concepts are freely discussed and exchanged - all within the hope that the younger generations of our community become aptly equipped to take on the professional world as and when they do so. To those from the non-corporate arenas, Aashwas is roping in stalwarts from respective industries in order to buttress their positions and growth prospects thereon. Kindly note that Aashwas is a social welfare initiative of BGWA, wherein NO remuneration has been charged by the professionals in mentoring the attendees. A list of Aashwas mentors have been prepared who will offer professional guidance to those seeking career counselling in various fields.

SAJILO - BGWA's initiative "Sajilo - Hami Sabai Ko Lagi" is aimed at sharing information amongst us, which would be useful in our daily lives away from home. We request you to email us at any information that you may have on the areas listed below and the same will be posted on this site. If you would like to post details regarding "Sale of Vehicle & Furniture", please do provide your Name and Contact Number so that once the post is made,  interested people can get in touch with you.

Via bgwa

Manipuri Gorkhas appeal for protection of Constitutional rights

11:09 AM
Imphal, August 31 2015: Gorkha community leaders of the State have submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister today seeking protection of the Constitutional rights of Gorkha minority community in the event of passing of Bills as per the agreement between the State Govt and JCILPS (Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System).
 Manipuri Gorkhas appeal for protection of Constitutional rights
Tracing back the history of first Gorkha settlement to the early 19th century during the reign of Maharaja Gambhir Singh, the Gorkha representation said the present Gorkhas of Manipur numbering about 50,000 - 60,000 are descendants of the earliest Gorkhas settled before 1951.As such, they should be given a status of permanent local Manipuri Gorkhas.

The land possessed and owned by the Gorkhas (both patta land and grazing reserve land) should not be affected by the proposed legislation as the Gorkhas owned the land under various provisions of the existing laws, it said.

The memo also clarified that the allegations labelled by different bodies regarding the exaggeration and projection of extremely high population of Gorkhas and its impacts are baseless and unfounded.

The contributions and sacrifice of the Gorkha commu- nity for the country should be recognized and honored and no Gorkha should be humiliated, tortured and harassed in any part of the State.

The unique history of Gorkhas of Manipur should be well recognized, the memo urged.

The signatories of the memorandum are Shiva Ku-mar Basnet, Pradhan, Kangla- tongbi GP, Bhumi Prasad Basnet, Member, Sadar Hills ADC, Hari Prasad Nepal, Gaon Bura, Irang Part-I, Ganesh Ghimire, chairman of Leimakhong Area Gorkha Association, Rajen Rai, secretary, Manipureli Kirat San- gha, Mani Kumar Limbu, president, Sanskritik Surak-sha Parishad, Manipur, Subol Singh, chairman, UKADS Laxmi Prasad Khatiwada, social worker, and general secretary of Bhartiya Gorkha Parisangh, NE.

The memo further pledged to always support the genuine demands of the people of Manipur under the provision of various existing laws and the Constitution.

It hoped that the new legislations would not infringe the Constitutional rights and liberties of the Gorkhas of the State.

Source: The Sangai Express

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