Monday, October 20, 2014

UN Woman launches campaign in India for greater participation of men in promotion women's rights

The UN Women launched a campaign in New Delhi on Saturday, aiming at ensuring greater participation of men in promoting women's rights and gender equality.

"We need boys and men to work with us. 'HeForShe' is a global solidarity movement to end gender inequality by 2030. The goal is to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change in the effort to achieve equality. When women are empowered, the whole of humanity benefits," UN Women Representative, Rebecca Tavares, said.

The 'HeForShe' campaign in India was launched by Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. UN Women believes that it is critical to engage all stakeholders in support of women's rights, including the active participation of men and boys.

Emphasising the need for sensitising the youth on issues related to gender equality, Gandhi said, "The WCD ministry has started many initiatives over the last four months to empower women including: the one-stop crisis centres for women, the national mission on malnutrition, and the 'beti bachayo beti padhayo' campaign."

The campaign launch coincided with the ongoing 'Rendezvous' festival at IIT Delhi, in which this year's theme is 'SHE', a social awareness drive. UN Women is partnering with MenEngage, an acclaimed international forum that mobilises men and boys from around the world, to advocate for gender equality.

MenEngage will be hosting the 2nd Men Engage Global Symposium 'Men and Boys for Gender Justice' which will take place between November 10 and 13. Abhijit Da from Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ) shared that, "masculinity is a burden on men and boys. We need to break this mindset and this is the aim of the MenEngage."

"A UN Women booth is designed to get students to pledge their support for gender justice by signing up to the campaign. The HeForShe Campaign is a solidarity movement forgender equality developed by UN Women to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women's rights," said Tavares.

The campaign was officially launched on the September 20 at the UN General Assembly. Since then 100,000 men have pledge support with 4000 in India. UN Resident Coordinator, Lise Grande said, "We hope that men and boys raise their voices against inequality and commit themselves to equal partnerships. This is how progress will be made."

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-un-woman-launches-campaign-in-india-for-greater-participation-of-men-in-promotion-women-s-rights-2027329

NGO’s main aim is to help Indian youths’

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20, 2014:

Affirmative action is needed to help members of the Indian community overcome their socio-economic malaise.

MIC vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan said the setting up of the New Affirmative Action Movement (NAAM) was to boost the economy of Indian youths.

NAAM, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), is focused on developing the economy of Indian youths through entrepreneurship, business financing and human capital development.

NAAM will also focus on agricultural activities to help youths.

Its founding president Saravanan said, to take Indian youths to the next level, there was a need to empower them economically.

He pointed out that an Indian youth earning RM2,500 a month would find it difficult to buy a home, adding that NAAM aimed to change this.

He said at the moment houses cost about RM500,000 in the Klang Valley and this was out of reach of Indian youths.

The deputy Youth and Sports Minister told The Rakyat Post that many Indian youths were not highly educated and by going into the agriculture business, they could earn a proper living.

He added this would take them away from being involved in social ills.

NAAM estimates that a youth could easily earn RM5,000 a month from agriculture, Saravanan said, noting that the amount could go up to at least RM20,000 if they worked hard and diligently.

“There is very strong support for it from people from all walks of life,” he said, adding that some 30,000 people had joined NAAM.

He added the government had allocated RM37 million for programmes under the foundation.

Developing a successful business in agriculture was not something that could be done overnight, he said, pointing out that it would take at least five years.

“Wait and see whether NAAM is successful, that is the attitude being taken by many people,” Sarvanan said in explaining the approach taken by some in deciding whether they wanted to come on board or support the foundation.

Meanwhile, the Tapah Member of Parliament said the foundation planned to help at least 3,000 youths.

“To make it easy for them to apply for NAAM programmes, offices have been set up nationwide to help applicants.”

Source: http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2014/10/20/ngos-main-aim-help-indian-youths

Naidu throws Vizag open to ‘CSR colonies

Visakhapatnam returns to normalcy, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is all set to knock at the doors of India Inc to rebuild colonies damaged by cyclone Hudhud, as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Reportedly, Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Murthy is the first person to have been approached to build a colony, with 400-500 houses, for the fishermen who lost everything in the cyclone. Pending final response from her, officials of the Industries and Information Technology departments are now preparing a list of other corporate houses, to enable Naidu to dial them up for help. Reliance, Wipro, Adani Group, Aditya Birla, Mahindra, GMR, GVK, NTPC and Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) are others on the list.

Murthy initially offered Rs 5 crore to the CM relief fund, but Naidu asked her to double the amount. The state will match the amount and jointly a sophisticated and safe colony for fishermen will be constructed. Naidu is stated to have said that even his family-owned Heritage Foods should be approached for the purpose. Spiritual-service institutions such as Ramakrishna Mission will also be approached.

Vizag collector N Yuvaraj indicated that land for the colonies will be provided by the district administration and construction material will be supplied at discounted rates. On completion, the colonies maintenance will be handed over to local bodies. Chandrababu also asked the AP government employees' joint action committee to build a colony. The employees contributed their two days', salary which comes to a little over Rs 125 crore.

Source: http://www.mumbaimirror.com/news/india/Naidu-throws-Vizag-open-to-CSR-colonies/articleshow/44882185.cms

Sunday, October 19, 2014

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Road to Save Lives


The hapless death of his cousin owing to a lack of emergency medical care after he was hit by a vehicle was a wake-up call for Piyush Tewari. Shocked at the fractured state of road safety and emergency medical care in the country, Tewari made it his mission to change this.

“He was just 16. And nobody came to his aid even as he lay covered in blood on the road and pleaded bystanders for help,” says Tewari who quit his job as the managing director of a US based private equity fund three-years back to dedicate himself completely to his mission. In 2008, a year after the incident, Tewari founded Save Life Foundation, a non-profit NGO that aims to bring down the number of accidents in the country by creating awareness on systematic emergency care and advocating policies.

The organisation which works on the core areas of accident prevention and post accident response has been awarded NGO of the Year (2014) by the Rockfeller and Edelgive Foundations and has won the Rolex Award for enterprise and the Ashoka Fellowship (2013) among other laurels.

“Our initial idea was to facilitate bystander care for accident victims as a whopping 50 per cent of deaths in accidents occur due to delay in medical care. But we realised police personnel were not trained in emergency trauma care while onlookers avoided intervention in fear of legal hassles,” says Tewari.

To encourage bystanders to help accident victims, the organisation has appealed to the Union government to introduce a Good Samaritan Law that would protect good samaritans from harassment and intimidation. The NGO is also working towards facilitating a comprehensive legal framework to ensure trauma services across the country.

“An ambulance alone is not enough. It needs to be equipped and properly staffed to handle patients in critical conditions and there needs to be a system that enforces it,” says Tewari. With India registering the highest number of road accidents in the world with eight deaths per hour, Tewari attributes the mortality rate to bad road behaviour—a fallout of poor licensing system and inadequate education of drivers, poor enforcement of traffic rules, shabby road designing and engineering as well as vehicle engineering and finally a lack of trauma care for victims.

“To address these issues, government departments like the police, regional transport office, health etc. have to work together. While, foreign countries have dedicated agencies that bring these departments together, we sadly lack the same as a result of which India incurs a massive economic loss of 20 billion dollars per year,” says Tewari, while pinning his hopes on the proposed Road Transport and Safety Bill (2014) to bring about a national agency for road safety.

Currently operating in New Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, the organisation is helped by bodies such as World Bank, WHO, Global Road Safety Partnership, Harvard Medical School and Mahindra and Mahindra among others. It imparts training on emergency medical care to police personnel and volunteers under its Jeewan Rakshak programme and has trained over 6,500 police personnel over a span of three years. The programme covers three main techniques to save a critically injured victim and is free of cost.

The organisation has also come up with anticipatory driving and accident prevention training (ADAPT) certificate as a part of which it reaches out to truckers and drivers of heavy vehicles in trucking hubs like Jharkhand, Faridabad and Gujarat and educates them on road safety.

The NGO which has petitioned the Supreme Court on the loopholes in the current Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 is currently working towards curbing movement of trucks carrying protruding rods which cause 9,000 deaths in a year.

Tewari, who is currently planning to expand the organisation to Jammu and Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh, says the NGO is on the lookout for volunteers. “They can just do their bit by referring victims to us or help us with law enforcement by posting pictures of traffic violation through email or social networking sites,” he concludes.

Source: http://www.newindianexpress.com/lifestyle/health/Road-to-Save-Lives/2014/10/18/article2482889.ece

From Canada to a city madrassa

LUCKNOW: It is a humid September morning. A group of 40-odd students is waiting for their teacher in their all-girls madrassa. Most of them are wearing a veil. Until last year, none of the students could speak, read or write a word of English. But now, most of them can converse with each other in the language. Reading and writing abilities are also developing at an impressive pace.

All of this is thanks to their English teacher. Though a citizen of Canada, it wouldn't be wrong to call India her motherland. Thirty-year-old Catherine Larouche was born in Kolkata and after spending 10 years there, her family returned to Canada.

Catherine spent her formative years at Loreto School in Kolkata. She learned Bengali and made friends there. Her parents worked for 10 years in India with an NGO of Mother Teresa which works for people with learning disabilities. Back in Canada now, they continue their work with an offshoot of this NGO there.

But Catherine has since returned. She came to India for research for her PhD in social anthropology, which she is pursuing from McGill University in Canada. She is researching about 40 organizations of India working on community upliftment for her subject 'Muslim charity and community development'.

Catherine still visits the NGO where her parents used to work. "Kolkata in my initial years helped me open my mind to different cultures of india and her people".

In Lucknow since last September, Catherine has been working as a volunteer and teacher in a madrassa, meeting various organizations functioning for community development. She has completed her BA and MA in anthropology from Canada.

"For 11 months I have been working as a volunteer in a madrassa owned by Shahnaz Sidrat in the Old City. I am teaching English to the madrassa girls and toiling to learn Urdu there," says Catherine.

"Before coming to Lucknow, I studied Hindi in Jaipur for two years to communicate with the local people. I chose Lucknow for my research work as it has a dense Muslim population and a rich history," she says.

Catherine's interest was allured towards the Muslim culture a long time ago. During her childhood, she had heard stories of both Hindu and Muslim culture and traditions.

"I have also heard plenty of stories about work done by Indian Muslims for charity".

Catherine says huge amounts of donation are given to Muslim organizations and as part of her research, she is trying to find out the work done by these organizations for the upliftment of the community. "These associations use the donations, given in the form of 'khums' and 'zakat' in a way to benefit the needy," she adds.

About the people of the city she says, "People of Lucknow are very helpful and welcoming. Wherever I face any problem, they are always there to rally round. This is a very special thing about Lucknow which makes it different from other parts of the world".

Fond of sheermal and biryani, Catherine says "I have made substantial changes in my lifestyle to live in Lucknow. I changed my food habits and my day-to-day living. I try to carry Indian attires to look like just any other Indian girl".

What Catherine loves most about being in Lucknow is Urdu.

"It is a bit difficult for me to understand but sounds sweet," she adds.

"I love to teach madrassa girls. Being from conservative Muslim families, they try to learn English and make efforts to use the words which I teach them. In the madrassa, I am surrounded by young women of different age groups. They could be anywhere between 20 and 45 years of age".

Mariya Saman, a student of Catherine, says "It's great to have a Canadian citizen as a teacher. Her style of teaching is different but beneficial. Many girls of the madrassa who were never acquainted with English now read the language correctly under her guidance".

Catherine says she will go back to Canada after September and look for a job there.

"However, I will be happy to work in India if I get an opportunity. I will try to search for the post of a professor or work in an international NGO".

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/From-Canada-to-a-city-madrassa/articleshow/44872444.cms

NGOs push for better sanitation, clean drinking water in schools

PUNE: The toilets and premises of the New English School, Sasanenagar in Hadapsar was in a sorry state until a few days ago when the volunteers of P M Shah Foundation started a cleanliness drive in the school. The focus was on providing better sanitation facilities, clean drinking water and toilets and a garbage free surrounding.

The foundation engaged the students in the drive and decided to dedicate one day in a week to cleanliness and maintain a healthy environment with clean washrooms and classrooms.

The various NGOs and corporate companies have shown a keen interest in the Union government's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and have offered to build toilets in schools, take up cleanliness drives at regular intervals and conduct sessions on personal hygiene and clean surroundings.

Chetan Gandhi, director of P M Shah Foundation, said, "We conducted a survey in city schools asking them what defined quality education and majority of them replied that 100% results in board examinations defined quality. None of the schools paid attention to the cleanliness of their premises, sanitation facilities or even hygiene of the students. Hence, we decided to initiate a cleanliness drive and reach out to as many schools as possible and coax them to maintain cleanliness."

The foundation plans to take up nine schools in a year and the volunteers will go to these schools on a fixed day in a week and educate the students on cleanliness and hygiene.

Shobha Jaykumar, principal, New English School, Sasanenagar, said, "Our school has a new look since the cleanliness drive. The students have also shown interest in keeping the surroundings clean and have started monitoring every corner of the premises."

Corporate companies are also utilising their corporate social responsibility (CSR) fund for cleanliness drives in schools. The Persistent Foundation has decided to construct toilets at civic schools and construction of the first toilet began at Pandit Deendayal Upadhay Vidyalaya at Erandwane.

Another city-based NGO, Shreya has initiated cleanliness drives in zilla parishad schools. Reshma Mahale, the founder director of the NGO, said, "We will start the drive in schools in rural areas of the district. We have about 100 college students as volunteers, who will be going to these schools once in 15 days for the next one year and conduct a cleanliness drive. From washrooms to playgrounds, the volunteers with the help of students would undertake cleanliness activities and imbibe this habit in students and teachers."

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Pune/NGOs-push-for-better-sanitation-clean-drinking-water-in-schools/articleshow/44872882.cms

Health NGO files PIL against reservation

Public Health Organisation, an NGO, has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court challenging Maharashtra government’s decision to provide 16 per cent reservation to Marathas and five per cent quota to Muslims in MBBS and post-graduate medical courses.

The PIL, filed by PHO chief I.S. Gilada, was mentioned before a division bench, which had on October 14 allowed the petitioner to carry out certain amendments and clubbed this matter with other petitions challenging the reservations for Marathas and Muslims. The petition is expected to be heard on November 5 along with other petitions on the reservation issue. Mr Gilada’s PIL highlights a sharp reduction in the number of post-graduate course seats in the state.

Maharashtra is the only state which has introduced “earmarking in constitutional reservations”, where reserved category candidates in merit list are given seats of open category even though they may have applied in the reserved category. This takes away another 20 per cent of open seats, leaving just 30 per cent to the open category, says the PIL.

The Maratha and Muslim quotas will leave less than 15 per cent seats for Open General Category, it says. It alleges that the Medical Council of India’s “haphazard” policy and favouring of private colleges had led to shortage in PG seats.

Meanwhile, the high court directed the state to consider increasing the retirement age of teachers at medical colleges from 62 to 70, which is one of the issues raised in the PIL, and file its reply.

Source: http://www.asianage.com/mumbai/health-ngo-files-pil-against-reservation-827

Mumbai NGO turns to policing for a cause: Has reunited over 8,000 'missing' children with their families




The Supreme Court has finally cracked the whip on state governments for their abject neglect in handling cases of tracking missing children or reuniting runaway kids with their families.

And while the state machinery is expected to get its act into order only now, an organisation in Mumbai has been doing the police’s work instead for about eight years now.

Fourteen-year-old Rakesh Sahu, a native of Jhansi, fled his home in the hope of attaining the same stardom as Shah Rukh Khan.


Sahu had self-learnt some dance moves before he arrived in Mumbai but instead of making an entry in to the glamourous industry, he become just another street child, earning his livelihood by picking trash and selling it to scrap dealers.

While living on the streets of Mumbai, Rakesh, like most other street children, also took to whitenerinhalation addiction.

Lack of care and protection makes these children highly susceptible to addictions and sexual or physical abuse at the hands of elder children and others.

Fortunately for him, Rakesh would be reunited with his family soon enough, thanks to the efforts of Samatol Foundation who found the boy at a surburban railways station in Mumbai.

The organisation counselled and convinced him to join their five-week manparivartan camp.

On the last day of the foundation’s camp, the children are reunited with their families.



NGO volunteer Lata Wankhede, 30, run away from her home when she was eight

Ever since it opened in 2006, the organisation has reunited about 8,000 such children with their families .

“Every day, 150 to 200 children arrive in Mumbai for various reasons and many of them end up on streets.

"So far, our efforts are merely a drop in the ocean.

"We lose our sleep over the fact that 6,000 children turn up in Mumbai every month, and that is our only motivation,” lamented Samatol Foundation founder Vijay Jadhav.

The organisation has eight volunteers who monitor the various railway stations across the city in shifts and there is never a day when these volunteers return empty handed.

Lata Wankhede, 30, is one such volunteer.

She too had run away from her home when she was eight and ended up living on the streets of Mumbai.

“It takes about an hour to counsel minors and convince them to join the camp.

"The longer the child has stayed on the street, the more difficult it is to convince.

"So we keep an eye on children who have just alighted from trains,” said Lata who knows the lingo of the street kids as she, too, grew up as one of them.

This comes as a great advantage for her as it enables her to break the ice with runaway children who are often to rude to strangers who ask them too many questions.

Senior BJP leader Sanjay Kelkar had once visited an event organised by the foundation and was “so moved by their work” that he “decided to join them”.

Since then, he has been instrumental in allotting them space for shelters at Thane and Murbad. Samatol Foundation’s claims can put any state police force of the country to shame.

“Give us a child from any corner of India and we will trace his/her home in two days flat,” said Jadhav without a trace of arrogance.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2798509/mumbai-ngo-turns-policing-cause-reunited-8-000-missing-children-families.html

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

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‘Build confidence in people on India’s strengths’

The country’s value system is its capital and asset and leaders should build confidence in people on India’s strengths and capabilities, according to S. Gurumoorthy, economist and social thinker.

He spoke at a function organised here on Thursday by Rotary Club of Coimbatore to present a Vocational Excellence Award to Ravi Sam, Managing Director of Adwaith Lakshmi Industries and chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) – Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Gurumoorthy said the country has a tradition and way of life. In 1750, China had 34 per cent of world GDP and India had 24.5 per cent. In 1880, India had 16 per cent of the world GDP.

According to studies, by 2030, there would be just three major world powers – China, India and the United States. “We need to build confidence in businessmen and produce leaders who will inject confidence in the society,” he said. Culture and tradition keep the society united. Hence, there should re-education, change in public discourse that will highlight the living value system in the country, he said.

Accepting the award, Mr. Ravi Sam said Coimbatore is a city that is known for entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility (CSR). The city is what it is today because of the CSR activities.

Several measures are needed now, especially on the infrastructure front. All voluntary and industrial organisations need to work jointly for the growth and development of the city. Encroachments on water bodies need to be removed, the city needs more green space and a museum. The museum can be developed on public private partnership, he said.

Anil Srinivasan, pianist, who was the guest of honour, said art and artists can serve the community in different ways.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/build-confidence-in-people-on-indias-strengths/article6510183.ece?utm_source=MostPopular&utm_medium=Coimbatore&utm_campaign=WidgetPromo

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Crisis of the world


End Hungry in the world


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Enrolling More Girls


Girls Count invites entries for an online photography competition


Each Click Counts 2014

Are you a photography enthusiast?
Do you have the eye to see the hidden meaning in a frame?
Do you believe that photographs have the power to change? At Girls Count, we do!

With this belief, we are launching our photography competition - Each Click Counts 2014. The theme of the competition is - "Raising daughters in India."

Many studies suggest that raising girls is more difficult than raising boys, making families opt for gender biased sex selection. Daughter aversion is the major cause of the declining sex ratio in India. Social systems, infrastructure, cultural and gender norms, and traditions play a major role in having and raising a girl child. At present, the scale is tipped in favor of the boys. Skewed sex ratios can have far-reaching adverse social consequences. Evidence from regions with sex ratio imbalances indicate that it contributes to increased violence against women, trafficking, increase in practices such as polyandry, oppressive and limiting gender norms and increase in crimes.

We invite all photographers (both amateur and professional) to send in pictures highlighting practices or situations that skew this scale, or examples of overcoming these barriers and positive change.
How to submit an entry

· Download the entry form by clicking here.

· Send in the filled in entry form along with your photograph/s to info@girlscount.in

· Every submission is composed of:

o - An entry form

o - A high-resolution photograph in JPEG format, a minimum of 2 MB in size.

o - If necessary, a parental permission form for artists under the age of 18.

· Participants can submit up to 3 photographs. Each photograph will require its own entry form, and digital submission.

· All submission file names must include the Artist Name and Photograph Title. For example:“HinaKapur – Softly Speaking.”

· Submission Deadline: Friday, 31st October 2014, 6:00 PM (IST)
Award Categories

Jury Awards

A jury nominated by Girls Count will choose top two entries based on specific judgment criteria.
Winner of the Best Photograph selected by Jury will receive a Flipkart Voucher worth Rs. 5000/-
Winner of the second Best photograph selected by Jury will receive a Flipkart Voucher worth Rs. 2500/-



Popular Choice Award

In the Public voting category, all the photos will be posted on the Facebook page of Girls Count and one photograph with maximum votes will be chosen. Online Voting starts on 3rd November and ends on 9th November 2014.
Winner of the Best Photograph selected by Public voting will receive a Flipkart Voucher worth Rs. 2500/-



Best photographs will be displayed at a photo exhibition which will be screened at various colleges across Delhi. Best photographs (along with due credit to the photographer) will be also be made part of the bill boards and banners of Girls Count displayed across Delhi.
Contest Deadline

6 PM, 31st October 2014





ATTENTION photographers!

Girls Count is organising an online photography competition EACH CLICK COUNT 2014 with the theme 'Raising daughters in India'. Participate in this unique competition and make your entry count.

Get more info here: http://www.girlscount.in/photography-competition

Hunger levels in India still ‘serious’, shows global hunger index report

Date:Oct 14, 2014
Report released by US-based non-profit indicates that 2 billion people in the world suffer from hidden hunger, affecting their health and productivity

Photograph by Sayantan Bera
India has improved its ranking in the new Global Hunger Index report released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a Washington-based global non-profit. The country has been ranked at 55 among 76 countries, above Bangladesh (ranked 57) and Pakistan, (also ranked 57). But Nepal and Sri Lanka are better placed than India in the index ranking. 
The last GHI report appeared in 2005, in which India was ranked below Pakistan and Bangladesh.
IFRI analyses and records the state of hunger worldwide
The 2014 GHI report shows that progress has been made in reducing absolute number of hungry people. However, there are still 16 countries where hunger is alarming or extremely alarming. Burundi and Eritrea are both classified as “extremely alarming”. The report has categorised countries with high hunger levels into three groups—serious, alarming and extremely alarming.
The state of hunger in developing countries as a group has improved since 1990, falling by 39 per cent, according to the 2014 GHI. Despite progress made, the level of hunger in the world is still “serious,” with 805 million people continuing to go hungry, according to estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the report points out. 

Hidden hunger
This year’s report focuses on another kind of hunger which is generally overlooked: hidden hunger.

Hidden hunger, defined as deficiency of micronutrients, is affecting 2 billion people globally, says the report. This shortage in essential vitamins and minerals can have long-term, irreversible health effects and by affecting people’s productivity; it can also take a toll on countries’ economies, says the report.
According to report, the highest GHI scores—and therefore the highest hunger levels—are in Africa, south of the Sahara and South Asia.
South Asia saw greatest absolute improvements since 2005. It saw the steepest absolute decline in GHI scores since 1990. Progress in addressing child underweight was the main factor behind the improved GHI score for the region since 1990, says the report.

Where India stands
According to report, India is no longer ranked second to last for underweight children. It is now 120th among 128 countries on child under-nutrition, an improvement from the 2009 report.
The index shows that India has been successfully dealing with the problem of underweight children, which shows a fall in GHI score to 17.8 from 24.2.
India’s GHI score declined by 26 per cent, or 6.4 points, between the 2005 GHI and the 2014 GHI, outpacing the drop seen in other countries in South Asia in the same time period. India now ranks 55 out of 76 countries, before Bangladesh and Pakistan, but still trails behind neighboring Nepal (rank 44) and Sri Lanka (rank 39).
Meanwhile, India is no longer in the “alarming” category. India’s hunger status is still classified as “serious”, according to the GHI.

Govt set to tweak MNREGA, club it with NDA’s skill development scheme

New Delhi : Arguing that MNREGA – the flagship programme of the UPA regime was used for pure partisan purpose, the NDA government is set to undertake a ‘thorough review’ of scheme.

Giving reasons for its decision, the Rural Development Ministry on Thursday suggested that it could be linked with skill development programme, a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Rural Development Ministry on Thursday came out with reasons for its plans to reform the scheme and suggested that it could be linked with skill development programme, a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Contending that the scheme has earned ‘quite a bad name’, a note issued by the Ministry said that under it there was “lack of genuinely demand-driven implementation mechanism (and) non-transparent functional structure”.

It also noted that there was “absolute lack of collectively thought-out development projects leading to complete delink between requirements of the village and the activities carried out under the scheme”.

Quoting various studies and excerpts of CAG reports on MNREGA, the Ministry said, “what is urgently required is a thorough ‘review’ of the scheme by independent organisations and individuals, essentially from those who so far have never been involved with MORD (Ministry of Rural Development) schemes.”

Source: http://freepressjournal.in/govt-set-to-tweak-mnrega-club-it-with-ndas-skill-development-scheme