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Posts tagged India

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India marks three years without polio, but challenges still remain

PBS NewsHour report on the effort to eradicate polio in India, where it’s been three years since the last reported case:

MUFTI MUKARRAM AHMED, Imam (through interpreter): People thought that in the polio vaccine, they placed some medicine to sterilize people. They think that just like in the time of Sanjay Gandhi, when sterilization operations were going on, they think now, instead of doing operations, they can just give this medicine to the Muslim community and our men and women will not be able to have children.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: He was among many religious leaders who were approached by doctors and the U.N. agencies, reassured of their intentions, and brought on board to endorse the polio campaign.

Also coaxed in were Bollywood megastars like Amitabh Bachchan.

Pretty cool that their aggressive campaign has been so successful.

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INS Sindhurakshak tragedy: 6th body found, international firms help in rescue operation

The Times of India (TNN) reporting:

Navy divers continued efforts to open the forward escape hatch on INS Sindhurakshak, for a third point of entry into the damaged submarine, even as sources said a sixth body was found on Saturday.

While efforts were on to recover the bodies of other sailors, all of whom are feared dead, salvage firms from countries like Norway and Singapore started assessing the mangled submarine.

The New York Times reported on this a couple of days ago when only four bodies had been found, and they explained that boiling water inside the submarine had prevented earlier searching of the vessel, and had also likely incinerated many of the bodies. That is absolutely terrifying.

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India sends its last telegram

Nirmala George, AP:

India’s last telegram went out late Sunday, marking the end of a service that millions of Indians had relied on for fast communication for more than 160 years.

The telecommunications ministry said it lost $250 million in the last seven years and that it was time to put an end to the service.

I have this sudden urge to send a telegram.

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In India, a Fatal Gang Rape Sparks Violent Protests, Demands for More Protection

Some shit is going down in India about rape and the treatment of women. PBS Newshour covered it yesterday:

The fury across India has been building for nearly two weeks, since the 23-year-old medical student was gang-raped and then thrown from [a] bus in New Delhi.

Sexual assaults are rife in India, especially in New Delhi, where, on average, there’s a rape reported every 18 hours. But, this time, the extreme brutality of the crime ignited outrage that turned violent with street battles between protesters and police. The protests have continued this week, amid growing accusations police and other officials are dismissive of sex crimes.

Meanwhile, another tragedy, mourners gathered yesterday in Punjab state for the funeral of a 17-year-old girl who reported being gang-raped in November. She killed herself Wednesday after saying she’d been humiliated by police.

NPR South Asia correspondant Julie McCarthy also talks about how poorly the Indian government has been handling this.

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A movie star makes India confront its taboos

AP report on social issues and TV in India:

Shining light on inequities like the rampant abortion of female fetuses, caste discrimination and the slaying of brides in dowry disputes, actor Aamir Khan has reached an estimated one-third of the country with a new TV talk show that tackles persistent flaws of modern India that many of its citizens would prefer to ignore.

"Satyamev Jayate", or "Truth Alone Prevails," is a clever blend of hard news and raw emotional appeal — part 60 Minutes, part Oprah. Its influence has even prodded the notoriously lethargic government machinery into action, though it’s too soon to know what policy changes may be in the works.

The issue the article spends the most time on is the abortion of female fetuses, which is a disgustingly enormous problem in India. Even just using an ultrasound machine to determine the sex of a fetus has been illegal since 1994. It hasn’t helped.

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285 Indian Girls Change Name from "Unwanted"

Chaya Babu of the AP with a story that’s great but then also terrible in that it happened at all:

Hundreds of Indian girls whose names mean “unwanted” in Hindi chose new names Saturday for a fresh start in life.

A central Indian district held a renaming ceremony it hopes will give the girls new dignity and help fight widespread gender discrimination that gives India a skewed gender ratio, with far more boys than girls.

And then there’s this, which is just frightening:

Such ratios are the result of abortions of female fetuses, or just sheer neglect leading to a higher death rate among girls. The problem is so serious in India that hospitals are legally banned from revealing the gender of an unborn fetus in order to prevent sex-selective abortions, though evidence suggests the information gets out.