Timesdelhi.com

December 14, 2018

Government creates awareness about rape through street theatre

Delhi/India/Politics by

A screech lasting for five minutes jolted thousands of viewers on a freezing Friday evening in Delhi’s Central Park.

On the fourth anniversary of the Nirbhaya incident, the Delhi government organised a solo act by renowned theatre actor Shilpi Marwah which received a big round of applause. A solo act titled A Women Alone and a street play Dastak was performed by Asmita theatre group. Directed by Arvind Gaur and performed by Shilpi Marwah, the solo act was a success.

Thousands of people under the open programme Nirbhaya Sada: The Fight Continues witnessed back-to-back satirical plays that questioned a woman’s status in society.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was the chief guest of the event said, “People often ask me what has really changed after the horrendous Nirbhaya incident. Law alone cannot change the fear that has gripped citizens. Women’s safety is a big concern. It needs to be addressed. “

“Gender bias still prevails. Our education system deliberately tries to hinder progress. A subject like Mathematics has numerous examples where in the framing of mathematical problems we see Ram going to work and Sita working at home. Even fairy tales indulge in body shaming,” added Sisodia.

Delhi’s Water Minister Kapil Mishra, who was present at the event, urged citizens to ensure a just society. The programme ended with a street play, Dastak, by artists of Asmita theatre group.

44 thanas to focus on crimes against women

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The citizens of the national Capital will never forget December 16. Four years ago, a young woman was brutally gang-raped by six men in a moving bus in 2012. And four years on, it feels as if nothing has changed.

However, in a bid to change things the Delhi Police has identified 44 police stations in the 13 districts considered “sensitive” police stations as they will specially address crimes against women.

Out of the 44 police stations identified sensitive nine are in South Delhi including Hauz Khas, Mehrauli, Sarojini Nagar, Safdarjung Enclave, Fatehpur Beri, Vasunt Kunj North, Vasunt Kunj South, Nebsarai and Malviya Nagar. It is also believed that these 44 police stations will also be installed with various kinds of CCTV cameras to monitor the on ground situations.

Despite continuous efforts and patrolling in their respective areas the police have failed to curb crimes against women in the Capital. Statistics valid up to November 30 show that 1,981 rape cases have been reported in 2016 whereas 2017 rape cases were reported in 2015.

Police officials however claim that things have changed for the better. “Cases of molestation and outraging the modesty of a woman in South district has gone down by around 30 per cent. The patrolling teams and women officials at every police station are available and deal with women complainants on a one to one basis,” said DCP, South, Ishwar Singh.

But recent events seems to counter the police’s claims. On Friday, a 19-year-old woman was raped inside a cab in South Delhi’s Moti Bagh area.

Despite police patrolling and the presence of police officials on the road, the police only got to know about the incident after the victim had spotted them patrolling in the area.

Government, LG push for ‘local area plan’ to curb pollution

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While Delhi’s air quality continues to remain ‘very poor’ despite a change in weather conditions, the Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung have now pushed for a ‘local area plan’ to curb air pollution.

According to government officials, this will be a first-time experiment of its sort in the Capital. The average air pollution (PM 2.5 levels) is higher in some areas in Delhi like Anand Vihar and RK Puram.

“Pollution readings for the city were higher by 20 per cent because of high pollution in Anand Vihar. Special attention should be given to the area in terms of bringing down combustion levels,” said Chandraker Bharti, Secretary (Environment), in a meeting headed by the LG on Friday.

Friday’s meeting was the fifth air pollution review meeting chaired by the LG since emergency measures were introduced on November 7 to deal with the alarming pollution levels post-Diwali.

“On top priority, Anand Vihar—one of the monitoring stations of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC)—will be made dust-free. This will be followed by RK Puram and Punjabi Bagh,” said a senior environmentalist from the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), who also attended the meeting.

The plan includes paving the Anand Vihar bus depot to reduce dust, introducing measures to control the Ghazipur landfill fire, and adopting dust control measures at the Integrated Freight Complex here, said officials.

Bharti also flagged the issue of vehicles on city roads. The government, in a study done by the Delhi Traffic Police, has identified around 200 bottlenecks on major corridors. They will be decongested to bring down emission levels.

In the last meeting, the LG had instructed the Transport Department to prepare a detailed plan to promote the use of public transport.

The Transport Department has been asked to consider the possibility of reducing fares in all DTC buses, to promote the use of public transport, at least for the next two months, especially keeping the winter months in mind.

Meanwhile, the DPCC said it has closed 42 units of polluting factories in industrial areas and 81 in redevelopment areas.

Govt helps 1 lakh students to become literate through reading melas

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Until September this year, reading full sentences was a distant dream for 13-year-old Sundar Kumar who now feels himself to be fairly competent in reading.

Sundar is one of the several thousand students who had attended the Reading Campaign, an initiative by the Delhi government to turn non-readers into readers under its Chunauti scheme.

“I used to get confused while reading complex sentences but now I read out stories to my younger sister,” says the Class VI student at Shaheed Hemu Kalani Sarvodya Vidhayalay, Lajpat Nagar.

After a baseline test conducted in Sundar’s school in September last week, he was selected in the non-reader Nishtha section. Here, he was not only given extra-coaching by the teachers in classrooms but was also taught by volunteers and teachers at the reading melas for six consecutive weekends.

On Friday, the results of its reading campaigns organised in all government-run schools in Delhi were presented to the state government by the Directorate of Education (DoE).

“The results of Delhi government’s reading campaign are found to really encouraging. It has been revealed that one lakh students have learnt to read advance stories in Hindi after the campaign,” said Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia.

The reading campaign was launched on September 5 this year on the occasion of Teacher’s Day to target the students of class VI to VII after a survey revealed that most students of Class VI in government-run schools were unable to read. The target was set to make them able to read Hindi fluently by November 14, Children’s Day.

“As per the baseline assessment, earlier, only 25 per cent children in Class VI could read an advanced story but now it is 46 per cent. Similarly, only 52 per cent children in class VII could read an advanced story, now it has risen to 64 per cent and in class VIII the percentage of students who can read advanced stories has gone up from from 55 per cent to 68 per cent,” Sisodia said.

The target of these reading campaigns was that by Children’s Day students of Class VI should be able to read Hindi fluently,” he added.

According to the government, out of total 6,323,70 students enrolled in class VI and VII in government-run schools, the campaign focussed on 3,59,152 i.e. 57 per cent of the total enrolled children.

The Delhi government’s reading melas have proved to be a hit among students as well as parents. Several parents, who also attended the melas, claimed to have learned reading and writing basic sentences.

“Earlier, I couldn’t read or write but after being taught by the volunteers at the reading melas, I can now sign instead of putting thumb prints,” says Sunita Kumari, a resident of Lajpat Nagar.

MCD to switch from paper files to iPads during meetings

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The BJP-ruled Municipal Corporations of Delhi have decided to take the ‘digital’ route at its standing committee meetings. Making a shift from paper files to iPads, the south civic body members will sift through their meeting agendas on tablets.

In a first, the move is aimed at switching to a ‘paperless’ mode of working. Leader of the House Subhash Arya, who was the first one to be given an iPad on Friday, happily read out some of the points to be approved from the tablet.

“While the corporation had earlier passed a resolution in this regard, the initiative has just been launched. The idea is to modernise modes of working, and save paper to cut down on costs,” said Shailendra Singh, Standing Committee Chairman, South Corporation.

“This is just the first step before we adopt a paperless system,” he added.

The tablets will be given to all committee members, including the Chairman, and other officers of the committee, as well as heads of all departments.

“We will save Rs 1.5 crore annually, which is spent on printing the agenda and the cost of paper. This will help store information digitally, which will be a major shift from traditional paper work,” said South Corporation Commissioner PK Goel.

The iPads will come fitted with a 32 GB memory card.

The civic body aims to save Rs 4.05 crore over a period of three years by doing away with paper.

“We expect to procure around 15-20 devices at an estimated cost of Rs 28 lakh. By next week, committee members will be given tablets,” said a senior official.

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