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Assam suffers huge losses in this year’s flood

Correspondent

Guwahati, September 30, 2014: Assam has suffered huge losses in terms of lives, property, cropped land, dwelling units and infrastructure in three waves of flood this season. The last deluge wrecked havoc in Kamrup and Goalpara claiming several lives and leaving behind a trail of destruction.

The Revenue and Disaster Management Department has collated estimated reports from 23 flood-hit districts of the State viz., Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Darrang, Dhemaji, Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Goalpara, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup (Metro), Kamrup, Karbi Anglong, Karimganj, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Morigaon, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, Tinsukia and Udalguri.

Altogether 67 persons lost their lives in this year’s flood.  42,03,609 populace of 4446 villages have been affected rendering tens of thousands of people homeless. Besides, 54,088 houses have been fully damaged while 82,095 houses partially damaged.

At least 800 relief camps have been set up housing 7,57,467 inmates. Altogether 3,72,178.40 hectare of cropped area has been affected and 10,91,493 livestock has been affected during the flood.

More than 884 roads, 86 RCC bridges, 113 SPT bridges and 125 culverts have been damaged. A number of breaches have taken places at Ranganadi, Morapagladia, Dohkonia, Brahmajan, Solengi, Chatran, Doulapathar, Nonoi, Brahmaputa, Jiadhal, Buridehing, Krishnai, Damas and Saralbangha embankments.

A final assessment of the damages caused by this year’s flood is being compiled by the concerned departments. 

GoM to study impact of floods in Assam

Correspondent

Guwahati, September 29, 2014: A Group of Ministers (GoM) of Assam government will be constituted to study the causes of devastation wrecked by the current wave of floods in Kamrup and Goalpara districts and to suggest suitable and effective measures for mitigating the risk of flooding.

The announcement to this effect was made by chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday.

In a statement here, CM Gogoi said that the decision to constitute the GoM has been taken following his visit to flood-hit areas of Goalpara district on Sunday where the officials of the district administration in a meeting apprised him about the havoc wrecked by the current wave of floods resulting in loss of lives and property.

The GoM would make a thorough study of the flood situation in this particular belt after consultations with experts from disaster management, water resources, hydrology and other fields and submit its final report to the Chief Minister for necessary steps.

The GoM would also formulate suitable strategies to help put in place measures that will reduce medium and long-term disaster risk and a programme of emergency reconstruction to restore access to essential services in the short term, complemented by longer-term measures to improve flood modeling capabilities.

IMAGENATION for social change through music

Correspondent

Shillong, September 26, 2014: IMAGENATION is all set to sway Shillong with yet another of its bold initiative - the Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival that will be held at U Soso Tham Auditorium on September 27. Supported by the Department of Arts and Culture, Government of Meghalaya, the Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival will bring 30 renowned musicians from across the country to sing about peace, hope and reconciliation, providing wholesome entertainment and bringing everyone together through music.

Other associates for the event are Asian Confluence, Hotel Polo Towers, NIIT, etc. The performance line-up for the Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival includes some of the most celebrated music bands in the Blues and Jazz scenario like Lou Majaw, 4th Element, Rudy Wallang Band featuring Andrea, Fringes, Arjun Sen, M Trio, Ronojit Chaliha, Adiel Massar, Plan B, Parvati La Cantante, etc.

Speaking to the media at the press club today, Ian Khongmen, Imagenation, said, “The Shillong Blues & Jazz Festival is just a drop in the ocean of music, but it brings together extraordinary musicians who are committed to and have made this art form a way of life. They come in all shades and colours, from the metros Delhi, Kolkata and mainland India to collaborate and run in the same groove with their brethren from the Northeast.”

“Blues & Jazz is but an evolution of the music culture. It is symbolic of our times and indeed breathes life into the music industry and still remains the foundation of a tradition that has evolved for many years”, he adds.

Campaign to protect Amur Falcons

Correspondent 

Kohima, September 25, 2014: In a campaign to Welcome, Protect and Provide a Safe Passage to the Amur Falcons in the State, the Forest Department of Nagaland has appealed the public, government officials, village councils, GBs, army and

paramilitary, NGOs, students and people from different sectors of the society to provide a safe passage to the migratory birds which are expected to arrive very soon during their migration from Mongolia, Siberia Northern China and Japan.

The Amur Falcons are expected to stay on till November 2014. The synergetic effort of the people of Nagaland protected and provided safe passage of the visiting Amur Falcons in 2013 in the State and has brought laurels, both nationally and internationally.

M/s Silver Back Films Ltd. U.K., an internationally reputed firm has sought permission from the Government of Nagaland through the Government of India for Filming on Amur Falcons and showing efforts of protection of the bird by the people of Nagaland to the world. The Chief Wildlife Warden of Nagaland, Satya Prakash Tripathi said that India is a signatory of International Convention on Conservation of Migratory Wildlife Species and therefore we are bound to protect
and provide safe passage to any migratory bird passing through Nagaland.

The Department also states that the Amur Falcon is protected under the Wild Life (Protection) Act. 1972 wherein the trapping, killing and selling of Amur Falcons is a criminal offence punishable with three years rigorous imprisonment or with  Rs. 25,000 fine or both under Section 51 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The Government of Nagaland has also decided to divert development funds of village for environment protection, in case of killing of the bird in their respective village.

Flood situation in NE grim, Meghalaya badly hit

Correspondent

Shillong, September 24, 2014: Incessant rain driven floods and mudslides have created havoc in Assam and Meghalaya states in northeast India. 25 people have so far reported dead and several missing in Meghalaya in past five days while the toll in the region touched 40.

Five districts of Garo Hills region in Meghalaya have been severely hit. The District administrations with help of disaster management jawans are engaged in rescue relief operations.

Nearly 100 makeshift camps have been opened in Assam and Meghalaya. Border Security Force (BSF) is also providing assistance to the affected people in both the states. 

Tarun Gogoi seeks Chinese investment in NE

Correspondent

Guwahati, September 21, 2014: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi wanted Chinese investment in northeast India from what committed by President Xi Jinping during his recent visit. Jinping had assured a USD 20 billion investment in India in different sectors.

Gogoi said the northeast has genuine claim on any big investment in the country. Moreover the region is immediate neighbour of China.

"We don’t have problem in investment in Gujarat. We should also get a share of China's investment in India considering the significance of this region with the neighbouring country, he opined. 

ONGCian gets first medal at Asian Games

PR

Agartala, September 20, 2014: The first medal for the India has been won by ONGCian at the Asian Games 2014 at Incheon, South Korea. Opening India’s medal tally, Shweta Chaudhary, pistol shooter from ONGC has got the bronze medal.

As always ONGC has the strong presence at the Asian games this time also contributing 40 athletes to the Indian contingent.

ONGC’s efforts in sports promotion have been well recognized at the highest level with President of India presenting the company with ‘Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar” in the year 2014.

Pastor in trial over child trafficking

Correspondent

Kohima, September 19, 2014: A pastor was sent to 15 days in judicial remand over an alleged child trafficking case originated in Rajasthan. Dimapur district session court judge ordered jail custody of Pastor Jacob John after he was produced before it.

Government prosecutor and the defence counsel examined John and six witnesses. Other witnesses including the investigating officer would be examined in the trial court later.

Jacob was detained in March 2013 by the Rajasthan police after it was detected that he was running illegal homes in state capital Jaipur for children trafficked from the northeast.

8 of the 53 children rescued from the illegal homes are from Nagaland. The probe subsequently handed over to Nagaland police after a case was registered against him at Jalukie police station under Peren district.

Jacob John is also facing charge of sexual abuse on allegations that some of the children in the homes were sexually harassed.  

“Racial prejudices against Nepalese and North Easterners”

PR

New Delhi, September 15, 2014: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in its interventions with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Broadcast Content Complaints Council, International Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India today call for immediate stopping of the broadcast of one of the “Champions League T20 - T20Nights Are Back!” advertisements for promoting stereotypes and racial prejudices against the Nepalese who are considered as the same people as of the North Eastern India because of Tibeto-Mongoloid  features.  

In one of the advertisements, “Champions League T20 - T20Nights Are Back!”, one of the Nepali looking youth says, "Wo Raatein Bhi Kya Raatein Thi, Nach te teh, gaate teh, chilla te teh, purra mohalla ko, haami toh jagate teh” (what nights were those nights, used to dance, used to sing, used to shout, we are the ones who used to wake up the entire locality)"- implying that Nepalese work as night guards and wake up the residents of locality. The same is being repeatedly broadcast with distinguishable heavy, Nepalese accent in various TV channels and FM radios.

“In North India where Nepalese and North Easterners are considered being the same people because of their same physical features, such stereotyping only promotes racism and acts of racial violence. Though unconnected to the advertisement, yesterday i.e. on 14 September 2014, two Manipuri boys Mr Lulminlal Haokip and Mr Lepmin Len were attacked at Munirka village, New Delhi after they protested when some local youths made fun of them. In fact, the North Easterner being called Nepali or "Bahadur" derogatively often leads to such incidents. The Bezbaruah Committee set up by the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India in its recent report stated that 86% of Northeasterners living in Delhi had faced some sort of racial discrimination while crimes against Northeasterners have gone up by 270% in the last three years.” –stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.  

“Though Nepalese serve in various sectors including in the film industry, they are often stereotyped as night watchmen/guards in mass media and this creates inferior impression about the Nepalese and by implications the North Easterners among the viewers. These acts of stereotyping are reprehensible and justify the need for a law against racism in India.”- further stated Mr Chakma.

Sports has consistently been used to combat racism across the world but cricket, which is the most popular sport in South Asia, is being used to promote stereotyping and racism. The advertisment reflects extreme lack of sensitivity which is one of the root causes of racism in India.

50 % journalists suffer from spinal-related problems

Correspondent 

Guwahati, September 12, 2014: Over 50 per cent of the city’s journalists are suffering from spinal conditions like cervical spondylosis, lumber spondylosis and slip disc. This came to light during a free physiotherapy camp for journalists at Guwahati Press Club today organized by Diganta’s Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre (DPRC). 

The camp, in association with Guwahati Press Club was organized to commemorate the World Physical Therapy Day. The physiotherapists diagnosed and treated various pain related ailments of the participants in the camp. Over 70 journalists registered at the check up camp to get their ailments treated by the physiotherapists.

During the check up, it was found that 55 per cent attending journalists are suffering from spinal-related problems. Nearly 22 cent journalists are suffering from muscular pain like myofascial pain syndrome, repeated stress injury etc. On the other hand, 12 per cent journalists suffer from arthritis and multiple joint pains while 11 per cent suffer from postural disorders and general body pains. 

Earlier, the camp was inaugurated by veteran journalist Dhirendra Nath Chakrabarti and was also attended by executive editor of DY365 Pranay Bordoloi, Guwahati Press Club secretary Nava Thakuria and news editor of Amar Asom Gautam Sharma among others. The participant journalists were treated by Dr Vineet Kumar, Dr Daisy Moni Deka, Dr Sailen Bhadra. 

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