Twenty employees of Beed District Civil Hospital in Maharashtra have been dismissed from service for submitting fake certificates of being the offspring of freedom fighters in order to get jobs under the reserved category, an official said on Friday.The government’s dismissal order came after the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) gave its ruling last year, in which it confirmed that the certificates submitted by these 20 employees were bogus.“Twenty employees- seventeen class IV and three class III- were dismissed from service with effect from today (March 1). The government issued their dismissal order on Thursday,” district civil surgeon Dr. Ashok Thorat said.In 2004, these employees had produced bogus certificates of being sons or daughters of freedom fighters in order to get a job in Beed district hospital, he said.
India missed the boat. Both literally, and by way of a damning metaphor.The dinghy which ferried the Pakistani terrorists and their weapons through Indian waters to the fishermen’s village in downtown Mumbai last November, somehow escaped the attention of our Navy and Coast Guard personnel. Or so, the government would have us believe. After all, the country’s coastline stretches over thousands of kilometers and our resources are limited, our protectors tell us with a wistful sigh. Family members and relatives of Sanjay and Rita Agarwal, who were killed in a militant attack, light candles around their photograph during a vigil outside the Oberoi Trident Hotel in Mumbai.Has the average Indian citizen swallowed this shameful explanation? Is he convinced that nearly a dozen persons from a neighboring country could literally sail through our intelligence and security systems – a major and crucial component of our defence infrastructure – and ant up a huge cache of arms and ammunition in a five-star hotel room in a previously targeted city without the active connivance of local officials? Or is he waiting for a more sinister scenario to unravel in the subsequent investigations – namely, that men and material were smuggled in after marine and border security officials were handsomely bribed, much like their (now convicted) predecessors at the Konkan check-points who let in the RDX explosives, which blew up several parts of Mumbai in March 1993?If Mumbai ever builds a 26/11 museum on the lines of the commemorative project for the 9/11 victims at New York City’s Ground Zero, that little nondescript dinghy should find an exalted destination. What better symbol of India’s most disgraceful intelligence and security failure in recent times? And what better reminder of two missed opportunities – first, to eradicate or at least contain the terrorist menace; and second, to overhaul our domestic polity – that also went abegging.The immediate aftermath of the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai was the most opportune moment to strike at the very root of that terror. Which, in this case, means the terrorist training camps and hideouts in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) as well as in Pakistan itself.India has stood and watched with impotent rage as terrorists have kept striking at its people with unchallenged impunity and got away with mass murder for over two decades. The U.S. State Department’s annual report ranked India, which recorded 2,300 deaths to terrorism in 2007 among the “world’s most terror-afflicted countries.” How long are we to issue “strong” official statements from the Prime Minister’s Office condemning such acts that “will not be tolerated,” when all we do in reality is to continue tolerating them? Walk the talk, and stop spouting ridiculous platitudes.Every available shred of evidence, including the testimony of the lone terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab, who was captured alive, points to a Pakistani hand in the attacks. The flood of incontrovertible clues forced even the Pakistani government, which denied any link to the attack, to concede that the pepetrators are non state Pakistani actors, some of whom have since been put under “house arrest.”However, television news reports clearly establish that these suspects are still operating brazenly in Pakistan, addressing rallies and giving television interviews. “House arrest” seems to involve little more than added security cover, including a bullet-proof car, at government expense. A television channel telecast an entire half-hour special detailing the Karachi mansion of Dawood Ibrahim (prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts) and a former Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad has openly admitted to having been driven past the mansion by his Pakistani chauffeur?There is clear justification for “surgical air strikes” at specific targets in Pakistan to dismantle and demolish the apparatus that spawns, nourishes and sponsors terrorists and their despicable acts. Any military strategist worth his brass will attest to the fundamental rule-of-thumb that surprise is a key factor in devising an offensive strike. Issuing threatening statements without backup action allows the enemy time to mobilize resources and prepare for an attack. The Indian government did just that, and played into Pakistan’s hands. The Pakistanis drummed up the canard that any attack from India would force them to shift troops from the Afghan border to the Indian one, thus prompting the US government (keen to ensure no let-up in its “war against terror” against the Taliban) to fly in Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to the sub-continent with the stated purpose of defusing tensions. In effect, Pakistan played for time and won.The global outrage gave wide latitude to the Indian government for targeted offensive strikes. New Delhi had broad domestic support for decisive action. And largely because citizens of 11 nationalities fell victims to the terrorists’ bullets, world opinion was in our corner as well. US President-elect Barack Obama summed it up when he pointed out that every sovereign nation has the right of self-defence, and therefore would be justified in striking back.However, a coterie of intellectuals and peace activists began a chorus denouncing the military option as emanating from “hawks, hotheads and jingoists,” and endorsing the Congress government’s no-action stand as mature restraint. Some sagely cautioned the government against adopting the militaristic posture that led the United States into the disastrous invasion of Iraq after 9/11. But there is an obvious difference between the two attacks. The Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) we are facing are real, not imaginary terrorists – and so is the havoc they have wreaked on our people.While a passive form of “Gandhigiri” is touted to solve the terrorism problem, there is also talk of “coercive diplomacy.” But the half-baked Gandhians got their comeuppance when it was revealed that the Mahatma, when approached by the then Indian Army Chief Kodandera Madappa Cariappa to deal with the marauding Pakistanis in 1947, in fact told the general that he should follow his dharma (duty) as a soldier and defend India at all costs.Political Anger Gujarat state police inspector Subhash Raval, center, inspects the documents and identity cards of fishermen at a coast in Porbander, 412 kilometers (255 miles) west of Ahmedabad. Security has been beefed up in coastal towns and ports after terrorists are suspected to have used the Porbandar port to reach Mumbai.Soon after the Mumbai attacks, public anger against the country’s politicians reached an unprecedented peak. It was fuelled by several incidents:• Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, despite being warned against it, chose to grandstand before a handful of his supporters next to the Taj Palace Hotel even as the attacks were ongoing inside the building. He told them (as well as the byte-hungry television cameras) that his state administration would donate Rs. 10 Million ($200,000)to the martyrs – considerably more than what the Maharashtra Government offered. It was a crude and naked display of political oneupmanship by the BJP honcho against the Congress state administration in Maharashtra.• What got the public’s goat was that the very same right-wing Hindu politicians (Modi, L.K. Advani, Bal Thackeray, among others) who had riled against Anti-Terrorist Squad Chief Hemant Karkare for his unrelenting pursuit of the saffron brigade during his probe of the Malegaon blasts, were now singing his praises in death. Not surprisingly, Karkare’s widow refused to see Modi when he paid her a condolence visit, and also rejected his monetary reward.• News that the commandos who cleaned out the terrorist-affected spots in Mumbai at great risk to life and limb, came from all regions of the country also sparked outbursts against Raj Thackeray whose campaign against non-Marathis living and working in Mumbai has won him political brownie points. Noting that the man himself was nowhere to be seen in public during the attacks, people were quick to point out that it was left to the likes of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan (a Malayali raised in Karnataka state) and others from Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi to defend a traditionally multi-racial city at the cost of their lives.• Miffed at being turned away by Unnikrishnan’s grieving father, Kerala Chief Minister G. Achhudanandan remarked most callously that if it were not for the son’s death, not even a dog would care to step into the Unnikrishnan home.• BJP’s token Muslim leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi put his foot unerringly into his mouth when he declared on national television that fashion-conscious city-bred women who wore lipstick and other accessories had no right to protest on the streets against politicians.• Asked at a press conference to account for the state security force’s apparent unpreparedness to tackle a terror attack, Maharashtra’s Home Minister and Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil tried to play down the Mumbai attacks (in which nearly 168 were killed and more than 350 injured) by opining that “such minor incidents keep happening in a big city like Mumbai.” Patil was forced to resign.• Patil’s boss, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, met a similar fate. Opting to sight-see the badly damaged Taj Palace Hotel a day after the grenade and gunfire attacks, Deshmukh chose to include in his touring party his Bollywood comedian son Ritiesh and film-maker Ram Gopal Varma. Wags wondered if Varma’s next potboiler starring Deshmukh Jr. would be titled Picnic at Taj Palace.• State Revenue Minister Narayan Rane, a local politician who had earlier strayed from the Shiv Sena to the Congress and now expected to be named the new chief minister of Maharashtra, rebelled publicly when he was deprived of the post. In retaliation, he also threatened to name politicians who, according to him, had colluded with the terrorists in the attacks. In a swift response, a social activist filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against Rane demanding that he name the concerned persons as the allegation of providing logistical and financial support to terrorists had national-security implications.• The country’s rulers were not spared the scrutiny and the ridicule after news reports exposed that the budget for providing security to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Sonia Gandhi family was increased from Rs. 11.7 billion ($234 million) last year to Rs. 18 billion ($360 million), while that for the National Security Guard (commandos assigned to protect the general population from terror attacks) was actually cut by Rs. 10 million ($200,000) to Rs. 15.8 billion ($316 million).• Add to this, the disclosure that an additional Rs. 25 billion ($500 million) has been allocated to protect politicians of various political parties. And scandalously, among those enjoying the cover is a certain Mr. Sajjan Kumar who has murder cases pending against him. Kumar is no exception. National Election Watch, an independent monitoring company, has documented that one out of every five legislators elected in the recent state-level polls is tainted with a crime-ridden past, and that between 2003 and 2008 – an entire national-level electoral cycle – the wealth of candidates countrywide grew by 400 per cent. For a few days in the week following the Mumbai attacks, the world witnessed a rare phenomenon: Indians, especially Mumbaikars, taking to the streets protesting against their politicians and their system of governance. It raised hopes of a revolution of sorts. But tragically, it petered out, leaving behind some gnawing questions: Was the outrage restricted to the elitist South Mumbai community, which was most affected given their preference for five-star socializing? Was it deep and powerful enough to impact other social classes in less urbanized parts of the country often labeled the other India?Whatever the reason, the nation missed the boat on an historic double opportunity – to strike a blow both against terrorist camps in Pakistan and against corrupt and inept politicians at home. Where’s Karachi?Mumbai may have lost its reputation as a safe metropolis, but its resilient citizens never lost their sense of humor even in the darkest days of the terror attacks. Here is a sampling of the many SMSes that did the rounds, lampooning politicians who sought to make political capital out of the terrorist crisis, a reluctant finance minister ordered to take over the home ministry portfolio, a loud-mouthed starlet who sought to mix patriotism with pleasure, and even the apocryphal double-speak of the Pakistani establishment.Worry not about terrorists coming in by boat, they will all end up dead. Worry more about those who come in by your vote.Ramu Varma ne do Sarkar banayi, aur ek giraayi.Q: What did Vilasrao Deshmukh say as he quit office? A: Hey Ramu.Let’s pray that P. Chidambaram brings down terrorism the way he brought down the Sensex.Rakhi Sawant on the Mumbai attacks: I wish I was airdropped during the rescue operations. I’d have danced in skimpy clothes, seduced all the terrorists and killed them one by one. If I get killed doing that, I don’t mind dying for my country.The Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad accosts a high-ranking Pakistani official. HC: We demand that your government should hand over Dawood Ibrahim to India. Pak Official: Where do you think he is?HC: We know he is in Karachi. Pak Official: Where’s Karachi? Related Items
So here it starts again. Every election cycle, we have to go through the same argument. We are asked by all the Indian American Republican candidates to support them not for their politics but for their being of Indian origin.The Indian American Leadership Initiative, which does very important work, has launched a “10 in 10” program, to help elect ten Indian Americans to federal office by 2010. Varun Nikore of the Initiative vowed that by 2010 we’ll have two desi Senators and eight desi Representatives. The move was launched in November 2001, at the height of the anti-desi backlash as a result of 9/11. It was optimistic then, and it remains optimistic now. But I’m with Varun: it is better to be optimistic, to set outrageous goals, so that we can motivate each other to attain them. I’m with you Varun: 10 in 10.The 2000 Census showed that there are about 1.7 million Indian Americans. The Indian American Center for Political Awareness took this figure and calculated that, if we had a system of ethnic representation (which we don’t), this should translate into three U.S. Congresspersons and forty-five state legislators. There are currently no Congresspersons of Indian origin and a handful of state legislators. As Varun put it, “We have a lot of work to do to fill this enormous gap.”Since 1990, when Kumar Barve won his post to the Maryland House of Delegates (where he is now Majority Leader), Indian Americans across the country have run for elected office. They are now water commissioners, state representatives, school board members, and district attorneys.There has been an upsurge of interest in elections, not just among the second generation that is coming of political age now, but also among the first generation, many of whom have become naturalized and increasingly confident about their place in the United States.These are good times for our electoral life in this country, and it is only correct that we have a host of organizations at work to bring us to the polls and to encourage us run for office.From Southern California comes a new organization, the South Asian American Voting Youth run by Tanzila Ahmed, and from Boston comes another one, SouthAsianVotes run by Reshma Saujani (currently the coordinator of South Asians for Kerry).These groups recognize that only about a third of Indian Americans who are eligible exercise their franchise, and among young desis the percentage is lower.We don’t have statistics for South Asian youth specifically, but among Asian Americans between the ages of 18-24, the numbers of those who registered dropped from 50% in 1990 to 35% in 2000. SAAVY has been created to help register young desis and get them to the polls – to conduct political voter education in a non-partisan manner, in the style of groups like Project Democracy.We do need to register to vote and get to the polls. That is essential not just for the presidential race, but for all local and regional races. Participation is essential for our place at the U.S. table. If we don’t vote, we won’t get taken seriously when public policy is formulated and our issues will be ignored.It is true that money buys entry into the halls of Washington, but for a community to rely upon its wealthy to open doors, is false: the wealthy among us will begin to dictate our issues, which may end up being their issues and well in opposition to the bulk of us.The only way for us, ordinary desis, to get our views into the DC halls is to organize as a bloc and vote in large numbers. Among Asian Americans, there is a movement known as the 80-20 Initiative that believes the following: Asian American votes are evenly split between the two parties, and that means that neither pays any attention to the community and its issues. If we can draw a larger number of our community to one party or the other, then we can have leverage on that party. African Americans and Latinos overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic Party – this has given them power not only in the making of appointments, but also in the foregrounding of some issues that are important to African Americans and Latinos. (By the way, many African American and Latinos who live in the nether region of the U.S. economy would say that they have been fundamentally attacked by the two parties who have relied upon debt, prisons and workfare to constrain their freedom; but that is another story.)The 80-20 Initiative believes that politicians are interested in their next election, whereas political parties have to have a longer memory, this is why the Initiative is interested in an investment in a party and not just in this or that politician.I don’t believe that either of the two parties are capable of solving the major problems that beset this country and our world. Both are in favor of profits over people and both are wedded to warfare over social welfare. Nevertheless, the Republican Party today is a party of evangelical zealots and warfare extremists, of fat cats and running dogs.This is the reason why every time a desi who runs for office on a Republican ticket has to tell us that their politics should not matter, only their ethnicity. The most recent candidate to do this is Nikki Randhawa Haley from South Carolina. Running for the South Carolina Assembly she expressed the opinion, “Does it matter for the Indian community whether a candidate is Republican or Democrat? What we need is more people in political office. The candidate’s party affiliation is irrelevant for us as a community, at this time.”At this time it is most relevant to know if a candidate is part of an extremist political party (such as the Republicans) or one that is willing to listen to the world and its own population (although much of the Democratic Party is deaf to the crises of the impoverished).We don’t hear Swati Dandekar, Upendra Chivukula or Peter Mathews (all Democrats) telling us to avoid their politics and concentrate on their ethnicity: each of these candidates leads with their issues because they don’t have anything to be embarrassed about. Dandekar stands for economic rejuvenation of areas wracked by job loss and against the death penalty, and she worked as co-chair of the Kerry campaign in Iowa.Chivukula’s platform includes rethinking how we fund our education (and to contest the link between property tax and schools, which enables rich districts get better schools), defending open spaces in our communities, and benefits for children of immigrants especially so that they can get in-state tuition for college.Mathews, who is a relentless campaigner, recently said of his run for Congress this year, “The main reason I am running is that America is at a crossroads. The U.S. is involved in an expensive quagmire in Iraq. Some $150 billion has already been spent. I want us to have more multilateral, new and responsible foreign policy. I also want to bring funds back into my district which is heavily minority.”These candidates tell us what they stand for, and they don’t have to hide behind their ethnicity to get our attention.We don’t have accurate surveys of desi political attitudes. However, the bulk of desis who run for political office do so on the Democratic Party (or Green Party) ticket and they run on liberal platforms. My own research among desis suggests that we are against immigration controls, we are against the death penalty, we are for the right of a woman to control her own body, we are for better wages for working people, we are for better care of the elderly, we are for health insurance coverage for all, and we are generally interested in peaceful solutions to conflict rather than war.Among the second generation, I tend to believe the liberal trend is even deeper: and there are many second generation desis who would call themselves progressives and radicals rather than liberals. At the South Asian Awareness Network gathering in Ann Arbor, Mich., earlier this year, I was pleased to see that most of those who participated held very progressive views on diverse issues, from Israel to Women’s Rights. On college campuses, where I often travel, there are always a group of second generation desis who have formed a progressive caucus outside the South Asian Students Association, to work alongside, to push their peers to more liberal or radical positions.For all our diversity, we are a fairly liberal community with regard to our lives in the United States (our positions on the homeland may be far less liberal, but that’s certainly another story).The Republican Indians, who claim to be against affirmative action and ethnic tokenism, speak loudly about their ethnicity and softly about their links to the extremism of the Bush government. The classic example of this is the current Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. In October 1989, Elaine Chao told the Washington Times, “I’m an American first. I’ve never viewed myself as an Asian American.”This view is resonant with the general antipathy held by the Republican administration for ethnicity and ethnic assertion. However, at the same time, Chao was national chair for Asian Americans for Bush-Quayle. She wanted the support of Asian Americans when it came to her own position in public life, but she savagely attacked Bill Lann Lee’s confirmation to be U.S. assistant attorney general for civil rights because Lee supports affirmative action. Why didn’t Chao support Lee regardless of his politics? Because Republicans don’t. They are ideological and partisan. They ask us to support them regardless of their extremism, but they won’t support people who disagree with their own framework. This is hypocrisy and it bears remembrance when we hear from people like Randhawa Haley.Chao and people like her disguise their hatchet job for the extremists with their ethnicity.As journalist Sonia Shah put it, “Chao has shrouded her right-wing stances and hard-core corporate mindset in soft-core identity politics.” In other words, Chao likes to talk about being an “Asian immigrant” and to give us her false story of uplift (the real story is in Laura Flanders’ excellent Bushwomen, from Verso Books) as a way to not talk about her support for the corporate pillage of the global village. When Chao was appointed Labor Secretary, far too many Asian Americans fell over backward to be jubilant. Dan-Thanh Nguyen of the National Pacific American Women’s Forum offered a more sober view: “Chao opposed Bill Lann Lee, she opposed affirmative action. She’s affiliated with the (ultra-right wing) Independent Women’s Forum, she’s anti-union, and Asian Americans are supposed to be glad because she’s Labor secretary? She is somebody’s American Dream. But not ours. Not everybody’s.”We are a bunch of savvy voters, and we don’t get taken in by this façade.The substantial desi voters of District 18 in New Jersey (Edison and New Brunswick) sent Jesal Amin (Republican) home and elected the Democrat. I hope that this represents a national trend.We need more desis in politics, but not at any cost. They have to be desis who are aware of our community’s complex demands and needs, they have to be desis who recognize racism and anti-immigrant sentiment, who will stand up for us when the time comes.They have to stand up for us, all of us, not just the fat cats who claim to be our leaders and have set themselves up as heads of this or that faltu organization.So, Varun, I’m with you: 10 in 10. But let us organize and send 10 progressive desis to Washington, and not 10 who will offer ethnic cover to the zealotry of the Bush war machine. Related Items
The audience at the Pune racecourse on Sunday witnessed thrilling races and vivid cultural displays at the Southern Command Gold Trophy, which has been the highlight of the racing season since its inception in 1948. The Southern Command is the oldest field Army in India, having come into existence more than a century ago, and was instrumental in the integration of the princely States post-Independence. It has made its mark in modern warfare, having fought the 1965 and 1971 wars, and has been at the forefront of disaster relief and humanitarian assistance operations across Southern India.Cultural diversity Personnel from the Army also showcased their cultural diversity and traditions through band displays, a Kalaripayattu performance and a tent pegging demonstration.Six military bands — Bombay Engineers Group & Centre Band, Kirkee; Maratha Light Infantry Centre Band, Belgaum; Mechanized Infantry Regimental Centre Band, Ahmednagar; Artillery Centre Band, Nashik; 15 Punjab Band, Mumbai; and 4/5 Gorkha Rifles Band, Aundh; marched along to fifes and drums. There was also a Kalaripayattu performance by a team from the Madras regimental centre in Wellington, consisting of 19 soldiers from Kerala and Tamil Nadu who have won several accolades at the international level. A martial art technique from Kerala, Kalaripattayu has been practised by warriors since the third century BC, as they attempted to master weapons such as the spear, sword, shield, and bow and arrow. Meanwhile, the tent pegging demonstration was conducted by horses and cadets from the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla. In this practice, the rider manoeuvres his horse to gallop close to the ground target, with the help of a lance, and hit it. A practice used to disturb enemy camps, tent pegging is one of only 10 equestrian disciplines officially recognised by the International Equestrian Federation.This occasion was graced by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Command, Lt. Gen S.K.Saini, (AVSM, YSM, VSM), who presented the Field Marshal Sam Maneckshaw Memorial Trophy and the Southern Command Gold Trophy to the winning connections.
From K J M VarmaBeijing, Jul 14 (PTI) China today warned of “decisive response” if any provocative action is taken in the South China Sea to enforce an international tribunals verdict against Beijings expansive claims in the strategic region.”I want to stress that if any one wants to take any provocative action against Chinas security interest based on the award China will take a decisive response,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters.Responding to questions on the impact of the verdict given by a tribunal appointed by The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), he said it was “unlawful” as it was established at the unlawful request of the previous Philippine government.The award issued by it will not have any effect on Chinas existing policy, he said.China has reacted furiously to the tribunals verdict on Tuesday which said that Beijing has no grounds for its claims in the strategic region, through which USD 3 trillion passes in trade annually.It has said that it will not abide by the decision and yesterday warned that any insistence to enfore the verdict could turn the resource-rich area into a “region of war”.Chinas expansive claims in the South China Sea rivals those of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. (More) PTI KJV ABH
Young sporting stars Manika Batra, Lakshya Sen, Dutee Chand, Mehuli Ghosh came together for India Today Mind Rocks Youth Summit 2018 held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. Speaking in a session ‘Ready, Steady, Aim The Gold Rush’.Manika Batra, who won two gold, one silver and one bronze medal in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games and then bagged a bronze medal at the Asian Games 2018, stressed that Indian performances are getting better from past one or two years and have been receiving support from government and the federation. Also, a huge fan of Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff, Batra said, “Not just me but everyone else is working hard and everyone wants to beat China. We are working hard.”Like Batra, ace sprinter Dutee Chand also requested constant support from government.Also read – Mind Rocks 2018: Manika Batra, Dutee Chand request constant support from governmentDutee Chand, who won two silver medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta, described her hardships when she was called a man to fighting her case which ended into a glory for her in Indonesia. “2014 was hard for me. I had prepared a lot for Commonwealth Games but four days before the game, I was thrown out of the team. If it would have been others, either they would have left sports or life,” she said.Also read – Dutee Chand proud of being first athlete to fight against hyperandrogenism ruleMehuli Ghosh, shooter said, “I have Youth Olympics next month in Argentina and then Asian Airgun and then nationals.”advertisementAlso read – My life changed after Commonwealth Games: Manika Batra at Mind Rocks 2018On being asked the reason for success of juniors in shooting, Ghosh’s personal coach and mentor Joydeep Karmakar says, “The youth is fearless but I have a word of caution. From what we have seen, failure is inevitable but you have to make sure the number of matches or games you win have to be the big ones.”SESSION VIDEO | PHOTOSGhosh’s role models have been Joydeep sir, Apurvi Chandela and Abhinav Bindra are my role models.
Many rural school districts in Northwest Iowa have had to cancel school or have late starts because of snow this winter, and it’s been worse across the rest of the state.That’s led to the Iowa Department of Education getting a lot of calls and questions as the number of school days canceled by winter weather continues to mount.Director Ryan Wise says making up the days depends on whether school districts set their yearly calendar based a set number of hours or a set number of days.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/DAYS.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….of the year” :17School districts had to tack missed days onto the end of the school year or cut short spring break to make up missed days before the hour option was added with a change in state law 2014.Wise says it’s become the calendar of choice.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/DAYS2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….remainder of the year” :18Schools that use the 180-day calendar need to have students in class for a minimum number of hours to qualify as a day.Each district makes its own decision on when the weather is too bad to hold classes.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/DAYS3.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….that call”. :09He says in some Iowa districts over 10 days of school have been missed because of the snow.
zoomImage Courtesy: Havyard Norwegian shipbuilder Havyard has christened the first battery-powered ferry ordered by transportation company Fjord1.The christening ceremony for MF Husavik was held at the yard in Leirvik in Sogn on May 14.“The competition for these assignments was tough, and it’s very motivating to witness the christening of our very first battery-powered ferry which is almost ready for delivery,” Lasse Stokkeland, Executive Vice President of Havyard Ship Technology AS, commented.This is the first of thirteen battery-powered ferries with autocrossing functionality that will be built for Fjord1 at Havyard Ship Technology in Leirvik. MF Hausvik will operate the Husavik–Sandvikvåg service in Hordaland county.Autocross, a system for automatic fjord crossing, has been delivered and developed by Norwegian Control Systems. The system calculates the course and speed, as well as acceleration and retardation, that results in the most efficient and economical crossing. The autocross system is monitored by the captain, who can take over manual control if necessary.As of May 8, 2018, Fjord1 had an existing fleet of 64 ferries with a total capacity of 5,453 PCE, in addition to four passenger boats.In addition to the existing fleet, the company has 22 hybrid electric ferries to be delivered over the next two years. Thirteen ferries are being built by Havyard, three by Tersan, three by Sefine, two by Cemre and one by Fjellstrand.
Salvador (Brazil): Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata put a dent in Lionel Messi’s hopes of finally landing a major international title as Colombia began their Copa America campaign with a 2-0 win over Argentina on Saturday. Martinez struck a stunning opener on 72 minutes and fellow substitute Zapata sealed the win three minutes from the end after Argentina had dominated the second half of this Group B encounter in Salvador. It had been 20 years since Colombia last beat Argentina at the Copa America. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ Medvedev”We knew it had been many years, I’m delighted but the Copa isn’t finished,” said Zapata. “We’re going to enjoy this win.” This was supposed to be World Cup quarter-finalists Colombia’s hardest group test with matches against Paraguay and Asian champions Qatar to come. Argentina haven’t won a major tournament in 26 years and were beaten finalists in the last two editions of the South American showpiece, as well as the 2014 World Cup. “The players know there is a long way to go and we have two matches left,” said Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’ships”The important thing is to stay on the right path and correct our mistakes.” On paper at least, this promised a thrilling attacking spectacle between two star-studded forward lines. For Argentina, five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi was joined by Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria, while Colombia could count on James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado. But it was two players who began the game on the bench that took the chance to steal the headlines. “The most important thing is that we all put in a huge effort, it’s a great day for everyone,” said James. It was a fast and furious opening that proved too helter skelter to produce any genuine chances. Colombia were the first to threaten on 16 minutes when Falcao laid off a Cuadrado cross for Martinez, whose shot was deflected behind. Argentina gifted Colombia an opening with time running down in the first period as goalkeeper Franco Armani and center-back Nicolas Otamendi played themselves into trouble deep inside the area. Falcao robbed Otamendi and tried to tee up James but Guido Rodriguez got back to nick the ball off the talented playmaker’s toes. Moments later, Martinez wriggled free down the right and picked out Falcao but his shot was blocked. Colombia had been much the better side, dominating possession and chances, with a subdued Messi, as so often for his country, a peripheral figure in a goalless first half. – Decisive substitutes – “I think we were a bit nervous in the first half because it was the first match of the tournament,” admitted Messi. Argentina created their best chance so far in the opening minute of the second period as Leandro Paredes let fly from 30 yards, sending the ball whistling past the post with goalkeeper David Ospina scrambling to his right. Messi briefly came to life, nutmegging Davinson Sanchez to burst into the area, but the tireless Wilmar Barrios got back to crowd out the Barcelona superstar. Argentina had their tails up and Paredes thrashed in a shot from an angle that Ospina did well to punch clear. What had been a petulant affair threatened to boil over when Cuadrado was booked for a foul on Messi that sparked a brief melee of pushing and shoving. Colombia were in danger of losing their heads and Cuadrado was quickly withdrawn by Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz. Argentina were by now well on top and Ospina made a smart low save to deny Otamendi’s header, before Messi headed the rebound wide. But against the run of play, Colombia struck a hammer blow to Argentina and Messi’s Copa hopes. James spread a delightful crossfield ball out to Martinez, who cut in from the left wing and thumped a stunning right footed shot into the far corner. “The second half was worthy of Argentina,” said Scaloni. “When we were in our best moment, they scored on the counter-attack.” And four minutes from time, Martinez found overlapping full-back Jefferson Lerma, another substitute, and his left-wing cross was stabbed home from close in by Zapata.
New Delhi: Coffee tycoon V G Siddhartha’s flagship Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd (CDEL) had seen its current liabilities double to over Rs 5,200 crore last fiscal, while his unlisted ventures for realty and hospitality may have similar levels of debt, according to regulatory filings with stock exchanges and the corporate affairs ministry. Siddhartha, who went missing and his body was found on Wednesday after 36-hours of intense search, had a number of entities that borrowed money from a gamut of organisations, including banks and financial institutions, for his non-coffee businesses. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalA letter, purportedly written by him, had surfaced after he went missing on Monday evening that cited pressure from banks, investors and tax authorities. “I would like to say I gave it my all. I am sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me. I fought for a long time but today, I gave up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares, a transaction I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend,” Siddhartha purportedly wrote in the letter. BSE-listed Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd (CDEL) had a total current liability of Rs 5,251 crore as on March 31, 2019, up from Rs 2,457.3 crore a year back, as per a filing to the bourse. CDEL’s promoter companies — Devadarshini Info Technologies, Coffee Day Consolidations, Gonibedu Coffee Estates and Sivan Securities — had also borrowed heavily from time to time.
Advertisement We are truly saddened by the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Wayne Leung. Canadian Stage sends condolences to everyone at @mooneyontheatre, friends and family. https://t.co/A0leHjweaM— Canadian Stage (@canadianstage) July 19, 2019 Advertisement Facebook RIP, @wayleu. I’ll miss your huge smile, your thoughtful criticism and your complete love of the arts.https://t.co/E5UHOm4zDz— Glenn Sumi (@glennsumi) July 19, 2019 Leung, 38, was managing editor at Mooney on Theatre, a popular Toronto theatre website, and over the years he contributed hundreds of well-written, observant reviews to the site. READ MOREREMEMBERING WAYNE LEUNG (1981-2019) MOONEY ON THEATRE’S MANAGING EDITOR 2012-2019Paying tribute to Wayne Leung (1981-2019): passionate theatre advocate and MoT Managing EditorI first met Wayne in 2011 when I interviewed him for the position of Assistant Editor at Mooney on Theatre. I remember sitting across from him with my Managing Editor at the time, Mira Saraf, and feeling like I was interviewing myself. It was an eerie feeling. His philosophies on theatre and business felt like a complete match for mine. Even the examples he used when answering questions often felt like word-for-word matches to ones I’d used in my own interviews for other positions. READ MORE We didn’t know Wayne Leung personally but our interactions with him through @mooneyontheatre were always pleasant and professional. Gone too soon. May he Rest In Peace.— Toronto Queer Theatre Festival (@TQTFest) July 20, 2019 LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter We were very saddened to learn of the passing of theatre critic Wayne Leung, managing editor of @mooneyontheatre. We’ll miss him at the opera house. https://t.co/9RdUPf6LIL— Canadian Opera Company (@CanadianOpera) July 19, 2019 Advertisement A real shock to learn of Wayne Leung’s death last night. I always enjoyed chatting with the @mooneyontheatre writer and editor about theatre in various lobbies around Toronto and the few times we had drinks…— J. Kelly Nestruck (@nestruck) July 19, 2019 I didn’t know Wayne Leung personally but certainly booked him into a huge number of shows. Our thoughts go out to our friends at @mooneyontheatre and Wayne’s friends and family.— Tarragon Theatre (@tarragontheatre) July 19, 2019 We are very saddened by the sudden loss of Theatre Critic Wayne Leung and send our sincerest and deepest condolences to the @mooneyontheatre family. https://t.co/y5TBi1pZ6N— Luminato Festival (@Luminato) July 19, 2019 IN MEMORIAM: WAYNE LEUNG, 1981-2019Beloved Toronto theatre critic and champion of diversity always greeted you with an enormous smileWayne Leung, one of the most beloved theatre critics in the city, died earlier this week.“It is with great sadness that I announce the sudden passing of my brother, Wayne Leung, on July 15th from a suspected heart attack,” wrote Leung’s brother Howie on Facebook yesterday. “I am in shock and can’t believe I lost my brother at such a young age.” Login/Register With:
As India gears up to safeguard its eastern coast against cyclone Fani, prevention is the reason to prioritise any step in the wake of the approaching cyclonic storm. Prior warning issued by India Meteorological Department puts Odisha on high alert as the storm will approach its coast in a matter of hours, and there is a strong likelihood of the storm to approach the adjoining districts of north-central Andhra Pradesh on May 03. IMD predicts heavy to very heavy rainfall in few places over the coast of Odisha and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh on May 03 and 04 while West Bengal will see light to moderate rainfall in most places and heavy rainfall in isolated places near the coast. This information comes well in time as it can allow adequate safety measures to be put in place. Fishermen are advised against venturing out in the southwest Bay of Bengal at this time. Indian Naval ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai are put on standby should they need to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake humanitarian aid distress relief work, evacuation, logistic support, and for providing necessary medical aid. The Eastern command of the Navy has thus assumed a high degree of readiness to render requisite assistance. The Bay of Bengal is the birthplace for regional cyclones due to high temperatures, humidity, rainfall, sluggish winds, and a combination of other geographical reasons. Fani is the first tropical cyclone of this season that has developed in this hotbed. As far as natural disasters go, most of them have been precipitated for anthropogenic reasons. Floods happen because of haphazard urbanisation, clouds burst because capitalist development happens with utter disregard for the environment, earthquakes are also not the most inclement of calamities. It is not the geographical process of a sudden violent change brought by nature but the destruction that it causes that makes considering disasters valid. Cyclones cannot be attributed to anthropogenic reasons but cloud seeding is an effective method of mitigating the disastrous impact of a cyclone. Disaster preparedness essentially is a measure of what one can do to avert or mitigate a disaster, not how well rehabilitation happens after disaster strikes.
Rabat – King Mohammed VI inaugurated a local medical center at the Sidi Moumen district in Casablanca on Monday.The project is in line with King Mohammed VI’s approach to improve medical services for all citizens, especially for vulnerable groups. The construction of the project, which is sponsored by the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity, was launched by the King in October, 2016. Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported that the facility will benefit nearly 500,000 people in the region.The center will include consultation rooms, emergency rooms, maternal and child care, as well as a section specialized in cardiology and ophthalmology consultations. It also includes an oral care unit, as well as a medical analysis laboratory, a sterilization unit and a medical unit. Other welcome inclusions are an orthopedic rehabilitation unit and a medical-technical center. MAP added that the facility is equipped with the latest generation equipment. The medical center has 21 general practitioners, emergency doctors and specialists, as well as 38 nurses.The project is among the list of other medical facilities that King Mohammed VI inaugurated throughout Ramadan.On May 16, King Mohammed VI opened the Regional Center for Oral Hygiene in Rabat’s Yaacoub El Mansour district.
Rick Hansen, founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation, awarded Mosaic Stadium with the highest accessibility rating of Accessibility Certified Gold. Lynn Giesbrecht / Regina Leader-Post Some football fans say there were a few fumbles in Mosaic Stadium planning Explore the features of the new Mosaic Stadium Receiving this approval from Hansen is significant, said Fougere.“When he casts his view on our stadium and says that we’ve got a gold standard, we are very, very proud of that,” said Fougere. “This is a shining moment for us.”But while the stadium’s score was high, it wasn’t perfect, and Hansen said the RHF will be passing along a list of recommendations to the City of Regina on what can still be improved.“We can always do things better and we’re going to talk about that,” said Fougere. “I’ve told Mr. Hansen that we’ll have that conversation with our administration (and) with him about how we up that score to make sure it gets even higher.”The importance of creating accessible facilities is only increasing, said Hansen. He noted that as the baby boomer generation ages, the number of people living with a disability is also rising.“We have to be able to not just deal with this because it’s the right thing to do as a charitable concern, we also have to do it because it’s a fundamental human rights opportunity and mandate of our country,” he said.“We have to normalize the idea of accessibility and keep upping our standards as we go forward.”The RHF looks at a number of factors when rating a site, said Hansen, including transportation to the site, parking, ways to get into the facility, washrooms, seating and wayfinding systems. Once the RHF has come up with its score, it submits the information to the Canadian Standards Association, which looks over the data and gives its approval for the accessibility firstname.lastname@example.org Related From its initial planning through to final construction, Mayor Michael Fougere said Mosaic Stadium was always intended to be an inclusive space for people with disabilities — a dedication that was rewarded when the stadium became the first in Canada to be rated Accessibility Certified Gold.On Saturday afternoon, Rick Hansen, longtime accessibility advocate and founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF), presented Mosaic Stadium and the City of Regina with the award.“We want to make sure that we are recognizing advancements and accomplishment in the area of building accessible and inclusive facilities, spaces and places where people with disabilities live, work, play and learn,” said Hansen.The Rick Hansen Foundation rates sites out of 100 on how accessible they are. Any site with a rating of 60 or more receives the designation of RHF Accessibility Certified, and any site that hits a score of 80 or more becomes RHF Accessibility Certified Gold.With a score of 82, Mosaic Stadium is the first stadium in Canada to reach this gold standard.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Hansen said he was particularly impressed with the facility’s integrated supports for people with not just mobility challenges, but also hearing and visual challenges — something he said a lot of places lack because they only focusing on mobility.“This is a more inclusive and universal design standard that serves the most benefit for the most people,” he said.
The UN Office at Vienna (UNOV) will honour the three individuals and one non-governmental organization (NGO) on Wednesday evening at a Vienna City Hall ceremony. Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Vienna Mayor Michael Häupl and UNOV Director-General Pino Arlacchi are among those expected to attend.”In the fields of drug abuse and crime prevention the UN cannot depend solely on the actions of governments,” Mr. Arlacchi said. “To turn around the hearts and minds of all the world’s citizens, we are counting on local organizations and dedicated grassroots leaders to be involved in their communities. The Civil Society Award focuses world attention on those who have found successful ways to reach their fellow human beings.”This year’s winners include Saida Benhabyles of Algeria, who has focussed her civil society efforts on human rights, women’s rights and working with victims of terrorism. Despite continuous death threats from Algerian terrorist groups, she was the driving force behind the Federation of Associations of Victims of Terrorism.After witnessing the effects of war on children in Burundi, Athanase Rwamo founded two NGOs to protect children from hunger, exploitation and the effects of drug abuse and AIDS. Through Mr. Rwamo’s initiative, 400 children have been integrated into stable family structures, nearly 300 housed in shelters and more than 200 have found employment.Meanwhile, Veronica Colondam of Indonesia joined forces with several other individuals to set up Yayasab Cinta Amak Bangsa, which means “loving the nation’s children.” Using a UN-sponsored theme, “Turn on music, turn off drugs,” the group’s band, Youth Against Drug Abuse, has spread the message to schools in Sumatra, Java and Bali.Instituto Mundo Libre, a Peruvian NGO, assists the nation’s youth – particularly street children – to escape drug abuse. The programme has an 89 per cent success rate and has rehabilitated more than 700 street children. It has also trained some 65,000 people in 14 Peruvian cities on the prevention and treatment of drug abuse.The award was established in 1999 by the Austrian Government, the City of Vienna and the UN Office and comes with a $100,000 prize, which will be shared by all four recipients. Each one will also receive a medal and a certificate.
A MAN HAS died after a serious two car collision in Thurles, Co Tipperary on Friday night.At approximately 10.40pm the 22-year-old was seriously injured when the car he was driving collided with a second car on the N75 at Rathmanna, Thurles.He was taken by ambulance to South Tipperary General Hospital with serious injuries and later transferred to Cork University Hospital where he was pronounced dead late last night.The driver of the second car, who was also aged 22 years, was taken to hospital with minor injures and later discharged.Forensic collisions investigators carried out a full technical examination at the scene and Gardai in Thurles are appealing for witnesses to contact them.Anyone with information is asked to contact Thurles Garda Station 0504 25100, or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.
Croatia has announced a 24-man squad for next month’s World Cup in Russia with head coach Zlatko Dalic confirming that one of the defenders will be removed from the final listThe likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona midfielders Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic respectively will be leading the charge for Croatia this summer, who will be hoping to do better than their group exit from four years ago in Brazil.“I didn’t have many dilemmas … I firmly believe in these players,” said Dalic, as reported on The Statesman.“One of the stoppers will be removed from the list.”The 24 players will gather in Zagreb this weekend and will face former world champions Brazil in a friendly on June 3 at Anfield with another match against Senegal five days later in Osijek.“I wanted strong matches to see our situation, to correct some things,” continued Dalic.“These two matches will give us a real picture,”Euro 2020 Qualifiers Betting: 06/09/19 Stuart Heath – September 6, 2019 With the international break in full-swing, here at Ronaldo.com we are going to take a look at Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifiers match-betting odds.With a…Croatia 24-man World Cup squad:Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco/FRA), Lovre Kalinic (Gent/BEL), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb)Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas/TUR), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria/ITA), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool/ENG), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Josip Pivaric (Dinamo Kiev/UKR), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Matej Mitrovic (Club Brugge/BEL), Duje Caleta-Car (Salzburg/AUT)Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid/ESP), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona/ESP), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid/ESP), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina/ITA), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan/ITA), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka)Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus/ITA), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan/ITA), Nikola Kalinic (AC Milan/ITA), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim/GER), Marko Pjaca (Schalke/GER), Ante Rebic (Eintracht/GER).Croatia has been drawn in Group D for this summer’s World Cup alongside Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland.
Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A large crowd of nearly a thousand people turned out for this weekend’s Industry Appreciation Day on the Kenai Park Strip, on Saturday. The festivities saw local politicians, community groups representing issues, and numerous industry leaders tending booths. Industry Appreciation Day AwardsOutstanding Individual in Oil and Gas – Mark NecessaryOutstanding Support Business in Oil and Gas – Unocal Retirees AssociationOutstanding Business in Oil and Gas – All American OilfieldOutstanding Individual in Commercial Fishing – Bruce GabrysOutstanding Support in Commercial Fishing – Jeff BergerOutstanding Support in Commercial Fishing – Alaska Marine Safety Education AssociationOutstanding Business in Tourism – Wildman’sOutstanding Individual in Tourism – Cindy ClockOutstanding Support Business in Tourism – Alaska RailroadOutstanding Support Business in Health Care – Central Peninsula Hospital VolunteersOutstanding Individual in Health Care – Dr. Nels Anderson, M.D.Outstanding Business in Health Care – Seldovia Village Tribe Health and WellnessExceptional Service to the Community – Herb SettlerSpirit of Industry Appreciation Day – Bryan ZakDon Gilman Award for Service to the Community – John Torgerson Governor Mike Dunleavy who is touring the Kenai Peninsula gave a brief speech during the event. “The Kenai really likes to celebrate.”The annual event is organized by the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District and hundreds of volunteers. Individuals in oil and gas, commercial fish, tourism and health care were honored during the annual award ceremony. The awards were presented by Tim Dillon, executive director of KPEDD, Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel, Micciche, and Representative Ben Carpenter. Senator Peter Micciche: “We are so fortunate to have oil and gas, fishing, health care, and tourism all here thriving on the Kenai. Even with this recent recession, we’ve done fairly well.” Indy App Day 003Industry Appreciation Day is an annual event to showcase local business and community leaders in fields such as fishing, oil and gas, health care, and tourism. The celebration took place from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Kenai Park Strip and featured raffles, frozen T-shirt contests, buoy pull races and free food.
A Ketchikan minister is going barefoot for a month, in hopes of raising awareness of the need for shoes among the world’s poor.While only part way through his month-long project, Peter Epler has gotten a feel – so to speak – for what many people deal with all the time.Epler’s bare feet are a little weird in downtown Ketchikan. Most people here and in developed countries around the world don’t think twice about wearing shoes, beyond which pair matches which outfit.Download AudioPeter Epler, a pastor at Ketchikan Church of the Nazarene, is going barefoot for a month to raise awareness of the need for shoes in third-world countries. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)Some places, though, there’s a shortage of affordable shoes, which can be a health and safety hazard.“(People) walk through dirt roads, sewer systems, manure, sharp rocks,” he said. “Kids get cuts on their feet and infections because of what they walk through, so they can lose their feet or die from the infection. So, shoes tend to save lives in third-world countries.”Epler is a pastor at Ketchikan’s Church of the Nazarene. That church and other Nazarene churches in Alaska are working together to raise money for an international charity that provides special shoes for kids in developing countries.The group is called Because International, and the shoes they provide are made to last five years.“They grow five sizes in five years, so roughly kindergarten through fifth grade,” he said. “And they’re working on a second pair that will take them up to ninth grade.”And will they actually last five years?“Yeah, they’ll last five years,” he said. “The rubber on the bottom is made from the rubber you make street tires from. And then they used high-quality leather and industrial snaps. So, these things are very sturdy. It’s multiple iterations. This is the final product they put out. They’ve been working on it for years.”Many churches involved in the campaign are raising money through their congregations. Epler is taking it a little further in hopes of involving more community members. So, to raise awareness, he’s pledged to go without shoes for a month.Peter Epler holds a pair of shoes developed to “grow” with a young person’s foot for about five years. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)About a week into it, Epler has had some new-to-him tactile experiences.“I’ve got a blog that I’m kind of keeping track of my own experiences: Things I’ve stepped in that you take for granted with shoes,” he said. “I’ve stepped in unidentifiable wet substances on a hot, sunny day, I’ve stepped in dog poop. I’ve stepped in gum. That was not my favorite. There was a sticky, warm quality to it that was distasteful.”The point of going barefoot is to attract attention, and hopefully engage people in conversation. Then Epler can talk about the campaign and hand out cards with information about how to donate.Sometimes it works. Sometimes, not so much.“Most people give me the once-over stare, like ‘Who’s the crazy guy without the shoes?’” he said.That was the case as Epler and I walked through downtown Ketchikan. He received a lot of furtive glances.“Yeah, the glances go from head to toe and they kind of linger, and they look away,” he said. “I tend to wait until someone leans a little in for the conversation before I’m like, ‘Here’s the card and information.’ Because I don’t want to creep people out. It’s enough that I’m the barefoot guy.”Epler said the campaign is, indeed, raising money, although it’s difficult to say how much in total. People in his church have given about $600, but the cards he’s handing out direct people to not only the church’s web page, but also to Because International’s main site. He said that’s a way to reach more people.“Some folks might not be religious and might not feel comfortable donating through a church and that’s fine,” he said. “They can still go to theshoesthatgrow.org and donate. “Epler isn’t the only one going barefoot for the cause. He said a few other people in his church, adults and kids, are spreading the word, too.“I think kids are the key to this,” he said. “They can relate very much to other kids and they have this unashamed ability to buy into an idea and advertise it quite well, because they’re bolder. They can do a lot of good. Kids can make a lot of difference. And because this project is for kids, I think getting kids involved is the best way to go.”With several weeks left in the campaign, Epler predicts his feet will become sturdier. And, so far, it’s not been a bad experience.“I’m feeling more connected to the world around me, which I didn’t expect: sticky things, smooth things, soft things, temperature changes, from going inside to outside. These are things I was completely unaware of before,” he said.So, Epler’s barefoot campaign is raising a different kind of awareness for himself, along with helping the public learn more about a global need.Here are links to the Ketchikan Church of the Nazarene campaign: http://www.ktnnaz.org/#/shoes ; Epler’s blog: https://acommonpastor.wordpress.com/ ; and Because International: https://theshoethatgrows.org/
Vikarabad: MLA Dr Methuku Anand commended Indian Medical Association for setting up a free medical camp. Inaugurating the free medical camp near the village panchayat in Madgul Chittampally, he said that health was wealth that can be achieved by keeping surroundings clean and thus avoiding spread of diseases. He said the people of the village should take advantage of the medical camp and congratulated the doctors who set up a free medical camp. The patients were then given free medicines. Dr Sabitha Anand, Dr Bhaktavatsalam, Dr Deepa, Dr Pawan Kumar, leaders Gopal, Pandu Chigulla Palli Ramesh, Prabhakar Reddy, Vijay Kumar and Ananth Reddy were present.