Stories from Quick Reads and India
The website MujeresMundi, directed by Peruvian Belgium-based communication specialist Xaviera Medina, is involved with the awareness campaign It's a girl against infanticide feminicide in India and China:
Girls are killed in a gendercide routine in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century. Incredibly, however the issues involved have barely registered the attention of the international community. How to explain the strange silence in the face of the biggest human right issue?
The piece includes an interview with Evan Grae Davis, producer of the documentary film l It's a girl!, who says “I wouldn’t have consider myself as an activist until I started to produce and direct It’s a Girl”.
South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) blog reports that as many as 12 dams are either being planned or are under construction to satisfy the increasing water demand of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in India. The Tribals and other affected groups have long been strongly opposing these projects but most people in Mumbai seems to be unaware of their struggles or impacts of these projects.
All of these dams fall in eco-sensitive region of the Western Ghats. They will together submerge more than 22,000 hectares of land, including nearly 7000 hectares of forests, lakhs of trees and more than 750 hectares of Tansa Sanctuary. They will affect a minimum of 100,000 tribals who depend on the forests and their ancestral lands for livelihoods. These dams include Kalu, Shai, Balganga, Susari, Khargihill, Bhugad, Pinjal, Gargai, Middle Vaitarna, Barvi and Poshir, among others. These are in addition to the dams already constructed for MMR water supply.
Vachana Sahitya is a form of rhythmic writing in Kannada language that evolved in the 11th Century C.E. and flourished in the 12th century. Subhashish Panigrahi reports (co-authored by Pavithra Hanchagaiah and Omshivaprakash HI) in Wikimedia blog that Two Wikimedians along with a Kannada linguist have converted 21000 verses of Vachana Sahitya in Unicode and made available in Wikisource, an online digital library of free content textual sources.
It is important to talk about this. I want to show this video in all the areas where ‘Saptami’ is celebrated. People give it so much importance even though it is a rather strange celebration. Why don’t they celebrate their daughters who keep their houses running, the cattle fed and the water tanks filled? Why just their sons? The tradition and rationality behind it are so deeply carved into people… but we can change it.
Kaushik Sengupta, a self-taught social documentary photographer, is the creator of a photo essay featuring Mr. Sandip Karan of Kolkata, India. Mr. Karan is known in his area as ‘street dog doctor’ because of his caring love for street dogs. Till-to-date, he has rescued and treated around 2500 street dogs in his own locality and adjacent areas. The photo essay can be found in his website, in Galli Magazine and in the Invisible Photographer Asia website.
The Women's Rights Campaigning: Info-Activism Toolkit by Tactical Technology Collective is a new guide for women's rights activists, advocates, NGOs and community based organizations who want to use technology tools and practices in their campaigning. This has been developed in collaboration with advocacy organizations from Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Egypt.
Bhopal, the capital of the Indian State of Madhya Pradesh, lies in the North-South corridor of the migratory path of birds coming from Northern Asia, Russia, Afghanistan, China, Mongolia etc. Blogger Proloy Bagchi reports that several species of migratory birds which used to congregate in and around the Bhojtal (former Upper Lake) in Bhopal in large numbers, apparently, have avoided this city this winter. Two reasons cited by bird-watchers for the absence of the birds are: 1) human disturbance and 2) pollution in the Lake waters.
That’s Twitter – it makes a joke out of serious issues and takes jokes seriously.
- comments blogger Purba Ray while discussing Sunanda Pushkar’s sudden death who underwent a Twitter spat with a Pakistani journalist. The unusual death of the wife of Indian minister Shashi Tharoor has created a lot of controversy pointing fingers at Twitter.
The WIN – Blogadda conference will take place in Mumbai on February 9, 2014. This conference is claimed to be the the biggest offline Indian blogger conference where a mix of Bloggers, Industry Specialists & Influencers will talk about how blogging today has grown to be an optimum platform for expression.
“I will not forget what happened today, one year ago”
This video was released by Video Volunteers on December 16, 2013 to commemorate Nirbhaya, who died in the 2012 Delhi gang rape incident. The incident was the only conviction of 706 reported cases of rape in Delhi that year. Statistics indicate that in India a woman is still raped every 22 minutes. The conviction rate for rape stands at an abysmal 25%.
This video provokes interesting discussions on the reasons why rape and sexual violence continue.
Social media is also the space for innovation and creative thinking. Milind Deora [Union Minister and incumbent MP from South Mumbai] boasts of being the first candidate available to the electorate on WhatsApp and BBM, and provides an interactive mashup map to track all his activities and initiatives. Like BJP’s Poonam Mahajan, Deora too has his Facebook and Twitter pages linked, with one feeding information into the other.
Social Samosa reviews how the Indian politicians in Mumbai have taken to social media for their election campaigns.
We got a law that upped the punishment for rape, as well as broadened the definition to rape in a grand promise to more and more people – when the fundamental problem was that people who were raped as per the old definitions and punishments weren’t getting justice already in a country with one rape in seven minutes, but not one rape judgment.
Vidyut at AamJanata questions whether the newly enacted rape law in India is really helping women.
Sarah Ann Loreth published a report in Flickr Blog on how US photographer, writer and educator Brooke Shaden joined forces with an organization called Blossomy to travel to Kolkata, India, last year to help teach photography to survivors of human trafficking, giving them a chance to learn to create and tell their stories. The next step is to:
bring a school of photography to Kolkata, India in which the individuals going through those shelter homes have access to free education in exchange for a certificate in photography as well as the opportunity for a future in a career that can provide confidence and hope.
Many people are confused about the meaning of Indian “headshakes”, and how to communicate using same. That may explain why a satirical video deciphering different types of Indian headshakes has gone viral.
The 1:44 minute-long video, titled “Indian headshakes, what do they mean?“, has attracted more than 1.2 million views since it was published in YouTube on February 16, 2014. And it has generated interesting reactions on social media platforms such as Reddit and Twitter:
I have always loved the Indian headshake – but now I LOVE it even more. This is brilliant. http://t.co/eHxIyKqJjc
— geeta pendse (@geetapendse) March 1, 2014
Paul Mathew, the video's writer and director, told the BBC: “If we had known that this video was going to get such awesome viewership we would have shot it better.”
Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Amit Topno from Torpa Block, Jharkhand talks about making a video that brought about a positive change that had potentially saved the lives of 5000 people across 35 villages in his state. When his video explaining the problem of lightning strikes and the inaction of the authorities was screened to villagers, journalists and local government officials, the rest was easy. They pressurized to secure permissions to install lightning conductors in 50 schools across Torpa Block.
Proloy Bagchi reports that outdoor air pollution in Bhopal, the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, has risen to an alarming proportion mainly from the emission of the transports. The blogger slams at the inaction of the state government and stresses the importance of reducing this pollution. According to WHO outdoor pollution causes cancer, more so than passive smoking.
Blogger An Ordinary Citizen writes:
Many in Bangladesh are inquisitively looking at the development of Aam Aadmi Party in India and hoping that a similar phenomenon may develop in Bangladesh.
Co-incidentally the success of the Aam aadmi party has inspired a group to float an Aam Janatar Dal –Common Man’s Party –in Bangladesh. The tentative launch of this party will be on January 17, 2014.