Malala speaks her heart out in Malayalam

malala-yousufzaiMalayalam version of Malala Yousafzai’s popular diary has been released by Kozhikode- based publisher ‘Insight Publica”. The book titled "Malala Yousafzai: Oru Pakistani School Vidyarthiniyude Jeevitha Kurippukal (Malala Yousafzai: The Diary of a Pakistani School Girl) is a collection of her diary entries, interviews and the script of a documentary.

At a tender age Malala became a voice against the denial of female education. She gave the oppressed new ray of hope to fight for their rights even if you need to shed your blood for the righteous path.

Malala reported the problems under Taliban rule for BBC from 2009 under the pseudo name "Gul Makai'. It paints a picture of the conflict-ridden Swat region in Pakistan. Her reports, in the form of the diary, invited the wrath of the orthodox community, especially Taliban. On October 9, the world looked on in horror as the 15-year-old Pakistani activist for girls' education fought for her life after she was twice shot in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunman.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 November 2012 06:33

Padmaprabha award for Sara Joseph

Sara-Joseph-02Novelist, woman activist and environmentalist Sara Joseph has been chosen for this years prestigious Padmaprabha Literary Prize. The award consists of a cash prize of Rs.75, 000 and a citation. The award would be presented in a function to be held in Kalpetta during December 2012 and noted writer and veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar will present the award. The jury comprising KP Ramanunni as president and Vijayalaskhmi and Rafeeq Ahmed as members elected Sara Joseph.

Sara Joseph worked as lecturer in Sree Neelakanda Verma Govt Sanskrit College, Pattampi and Government Victoria College, Palakkad and in Government College , Thrissur. Her major novels are Alahayude Penmakkal, Mattathi, Athi, Othappu and Oorukaval.




Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 November 2012 05:50

Nirbhaya Scheme for Women & Children launched in Kerala

Adding a new chapter to the raging debate of ensuring the safety of women and children in the highly literate society of Kerala, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, launched the pathbreaking ‘Nirbhaya’, in Kochi on Sunday.

The unique venture is an initiative of the state government, to guarantee security for women and children.

The policy recommendations for Nirbhaya, formulated by a five-member expert committee chaired by Sugathakumari, have now been approved by the cabinet.

Former director of public instruction Lida Jacob, bureaucrat Sarada Muraleedharan, danseuse and social activist Mallika Sarabhai and Sunitha Krishnan, director of Prajwala, an NGO, are the other committee members.

Through the innovative scheme, the government aims at making the state women-friendly where women can safely travel even at midnight.

The chief minister has gone on record saying that special fast track courts would be set up for the early disposal of sexual harassment cases and other cases involving violence against women.

“The suggestion has already been sent to the Chief Justice for consideration. Further steps will be taken after getting the opinion of the Chief Justice,” Oommen Chandy said.

Nirbhaya (fearless) mainly focuses on a three-point agenda - prevention, prosecution and protection. This comprehensive policy and action plan with multi-stakeholder convergence will also cover legal reforms and the creation of a corpus fund for rehabilitation and relief.

In prevention, major areas of intervention lie in sensitising society, empowering vulnerable groups, targeting contributing factors such as alcoholism, gender discrimination and consumerism.

The scheme also aims at providing proper rehabilitation facilities to help the victim to heal, recover, empower and reintegrate back into society.

Prosecution is another area of intervention where strong laws have to be formulated to ensure rigorous punishment for the culprits which will be a deterrent for such criminals.

The policy focuses on child abuse, commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking, which constitute the worst forms of sexual violence in the state.

“Increasing cases of atrocities against women and children is a danger signal which needs to be rectified. Media reports on increased violence against women are shocking which reveal that women and minor girls are not safe even in their homes and educational institutions,” the chief minister said.

The scheme is being jointly implemented by various government departments like social welfare, SC/ST, police, health, labour, and local self government in coordination with NGOs.

As part of the initiative, five rehabilitation centres will be set up at various places of the state which will provide facilities for education and employment to the victims.

The government will also provide a specific budget provision for the implementation of the policy recommendations of Nirbhaya.

As per the new scheme, local bodies, Jagratha Samithis and Kudumbasree will be at the core of grassroots interventions related to prevention, identification and rescue as well as rehabilitation of cases of sexual violence and sex trafficking.

Jagratha Samithis, under the Kerala Women’s Commission, at panchayat/local self government level will be the core committees for implementing the Nirbhaya programme.

In addition, there will be district Nirbhaya committees and a state level coordination committee which will closely review the status of the programme and monitor the functioning of local bodies, departments and institutions.

An anti-trafficking squad will be constituted which will establish contact centres at transit points like bus stands, railway stations and airports.

Toll-free helpline numbers and help booths under the jurisdiction of each police station will be set up to assist the victims in getting immediate help.

The squad will protect the victim from media exposure and will ensure that the victim gets access to immediate trauma care, medical care and protection within the minimum possible time.

During the inaugural function, the toll-free helpline number was launched by Mallika Sarabhai. Minister for excise and ports K. Babu inaugurated the Nirbhaya shelter homes.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 August 2012 13:50

Free generic drugs in Kerala from November 1st

medTo soothe the burden of patients the state government has decided to distribute 952 varieties of generic drugs free of cost from November 1st.In the first phase of this scheme the generic drugs will be distributed in  five medical college hospitals and general hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode irrespective of the APL, BPL divide. In the second phase the drugs would be given through eight other general hospitals and 15 district hospitals, and in the third phase, through taluk hospitals, community health centres and primary health centres of the state. The scheme is intended to help the patients from drug manufacturers and distributors who are charging exorbitant prices for medicines.

The drugs have been adequately stocked and doctors have been given guidance in prescribing the drugs. The Kerala Medical Service Corporation Limited (KMSCL) has also supplied generic drugs for diabetes, blood pressure and kidney disorder to all the primary and community health centres. This is to bring down the price of drugs for lifestyle disorders. KMSCL has also supplied 81 varieties of antibiotics, 21 for respiratory disorder, 51 drugs for cardiac disorder, 59 for ENT, 20 for gynecology related treatment and 55 for mental illness. The 107 varieties of cancer drugs supplied through the Regional Cancer Centre, has been now made available in all the medical college hospitals and in Ernakulam general hospital.

For patients who have complaints regarding the supply, special liaison officers have been deployed in these eight hospitals. Complaints would be redressed by a committee comprising of doctors.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 November 2012 06:14

Vidya Balan appointed Brand Ambassador for promoting Sanitation in India

Noted Bollywood actor Vidya Balan was roped in by the Ministry of Rural Development and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation as brand ambassador to spread awareness about sanitation and cleanliness in the country. Talking to the media after meeting Balan here, Union Rural Development Minister Shri Jairam Ramesh said she will appear in ad campaigns to propagate construction and use of toilets. The Minister informed that Balan is the first brand ambassador of the Ministry. According to UNICEF-WHO Joint Monitoring Programme Report 2010, nearly 60 per cent of India's 1.1 billion people still practice open defecation and close to 58% of all open defecations in the World is in India. Shri Ramesh said that Vidya’s involvement will make the campaign to end open defecation a national obsession. The key areas of intervention on sanitation that may be focused upon are- propogating construction and use of toilets by all, habits of hand washing, personal hygiene and managing waste.

Talking to reporters, Vidya Balan said that this role will work a lot because they are working on a national movement. She said that it is a matter of great honour for her to become the brand ambassador of sanitation campaign and added that it needs to become a national obsession. She has agreed to give her time for the campaign for two years and will be fully involved in the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan--the restructured version of the Total Sanitation Campaign. It may be recalled that India loses 54 billion US dollars that is about 24,000 crore rupees a year due to poor sanitation and hygiene.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 August 2012 13:51

Social welfare Dept to launch schemes to mark anniversary

mk-muneer-newMinister for Social Welfare M. K. Muneer said here on Friday that the Social Welfare Department would launch a series of programmes in the coming weeks to mark the first anniversary of the UDF government.
These will include formal inauguration of the ‘Nirbhaya’ scheme for protection of women victims of violence and other atrocities and distribution of tri-wheelers to disabled and cancer detection programme for women in Thiruvananthapuram
The Minister announced that the government would soon bring new policies on older persons and nutrition. The proposed Child Rights Commission would be formed soon. Anganwadies would gradually be upgraded as pre-school training centres and new buildings would be constructed for them.
Mr. Muneer said that legislation would be brought for protection of mentally challenged. Arrangements would be made in all districts for care of those cured of mental illness. Guidelines would be drawn up on use of funds earmarked for older persons, disabled and children. Various concessions would be granted to orphanages, and care of inmates would be improved.
He said that a ‘hunger-free city’ programme would be implemented in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollan cities this year. A scheme would also be launched for care of children orphaned by death of parents in accidents. Rs. 1000 a month would be provided as assistance to unwed mothers among tribals.
He said that the Department planned to set up old age homes at Arattupuzha, Wayanad and Idukki. ‘She toilets’ would be set up in Thiruvananthapuram city shortly. The State Women’s Development Corporation would advance Rs. 45 crores to women entrepreneurs.
He said that the Department had carried out a number of projects during the past year including starting of work on Gender Park in Kozhikode. Similar parks would be started at Kakkanad in Kochi and Poojappura in Thiruvananthapuram. The Department had reported 1188 vacancies to the PSC by holding an adalath to determine the vacancies.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 November 2012 06:54

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