Folktrails Ep #4: Tale of a Band bringing soulful music from the forests of Bastar

In this episode, we are going to hear the music of Bastar, which is based on the sounds of the jungle. Bastar is one of the biggest tribal belts of India famous for its greenery, ancient culture and also infamous for Naxal problems. The band named after its region Bastar preserves hundreds of years of old music traditions of tribal people. The band is also promoting peace in the Naxal affected region.

Photo- Bastar Band

The band founded by veteran theatre artist and Padam Shri Awardee Anoop Ranjan Pandey. As the band was originated in Naxal dominated area, the founder had to face a lot of struggle to form a team and take the band to national and international platforms.

The tribes have preserved their music for thousands of years and the music is still pure and unchanged. They discovered this music from their encounters in the jungle. Bastar Band’s journey started with documentation of the varied music found in the area. The founder of the band Anoop traveled across the Bastar region to explore the music and collected a number of songs and indigenous instruments. He then formed a team of tribal people from across the region.

It was not easy to form a band in the Naxal affected region due to in conducive circumstances. The objective of the Bastar Band is to bring peace in the area and they go by the cry ‘Banduk chhodo-Dhol pakdo’ meaning ( Quit guns and pick up drums). The presentations of Bastar Band have been widely acclaimed throughout the world. The band had gained a lot of popularity after performing at the opening ceremony of commonwealth games hosted in India in the year 2010.

Photo- Bastar Band

So this was the forth episode of folk trails. Leave your views about the episode in the comment section.

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छत्तीसगढ़ के आदिवासी बच्चों की पहल, होस्टल में बनाया किचन गार्डन, रोज एक घंटे मेहनत कर अपने लिए उगा रहे सब्जियां

कांकेर जिले के चारामा ब्लॉक स्थित पण्डरीपानी गांव में स्थित प्री-मैट्रिक आदिवासी बालक छात्रावास में विद्यार्थियों ने मिलकर पोषण वाटिका बनाई है। छात्रावास की इमारत के पीछे के खाली जगह को इन्होंने तैयार कर इसमें पोषण से भरे विभिन्न साग-सब्जियों के पौधों लगाए गए। रोजाना एक घंटे की मेहनत कर विद्यार्थी यहां पौधों की देखभाल करते हैं।
छात्रावास के अधीक्षक भीखम सिंह धु्रवे ने बताया कि छुट्टी के दिन छात्रावासी बच्चों द्वारा पोषण वाटिका में एक घंटा श्रमदान किया जाता है। इसके अलावा छात्रावास के कर्मचारियों द्वारा भी अपना योगदान दिया जाता है।

जैविक विधि से उत्पादन
पौधों में सिर्फ  जैविक खाद का प्रयोग किया जाता है। यहां से उत्पादित सब्जियों को छात्रावास के रसोई में प्रयोग किया जाता है। भीखम सिंह धुर्वे बताते हैं कि वाटिका को तैयार करने में कृषि विज्ञान केन्द्र कांकेर का सहयोग लिया गया था। यह वाटिका दो वर्ष में पूरी तरह तैयार हो गई है। 
वाटिका में एक दर्जन सब्जियां, 20 तरह के फल
वाटिका में इस वक्त लौकी, बैंगन, सेम, टमाटर, अदरक, हल्दी, कुंदरू, धनिया, मेथी, पालक, मिर्च, और अरबी-कोचई लगाई गई है, जिसे छात्रावासी बच्चों द्वारा उपयोग किया जा रहा है। बाजार के रासायनिक उर्वरकों से उत्पादित सब्जियों के बजाय वे स्वयं के द्वारा जैविक खाद से उत्पादित सब्जियों का प्रयोग कर रहे हैं, जिससे उनके सेहत में सुधार आया है, साथ ही पर्यावरण संरक्षण के प्रति भावनात्मक जुड़ाव भी हुआ है। इस वाटिका में फलदार पौधे कटहल, मुनगा, केला, पपीता, अमरूद, जामुन, काजू, बादाम, लीची, मौसंबी, चीकू, अनार, बेल, नारियल, आंवला, शहतूत, आम, नींबू, इमली और सीताफल इत्यादि के पौधे भी लगाए गए हैं। जिले के कलेक्टर केएल चौहान ने पोषण वाटिका के इस स्वरूप को सभी आश्रम-छात्रावासों में भी लागू करने के निर्देश दिए हैं।

Child Labour: With more than 7 lakh child labourers, MP among top 5 states in employing children

To understand the status of implementation and impact of recent amendments in Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act (CLPRA) 2016 in Madhya Pradesh, the Campaign against Child Labour (CACL), Hifazat Network in collaboration with CRY – Child Rights and organised a state level consultation in Bhopal on Saturday.
Representatives from Police Department of Madhya Pradesh, Department of Labour Madhya Pradesh, Childline and various Civil Society Organisations participated in the one-day long consultation at Pastoral Centre of Bhopal.
The CLPRA 2016 bans all child labour upto the age of 14 years. However, it makes an exception where a child is permitted to work only to help family, in family enterprise or as a child artist after school hours or during vacations.
Also, the current list of hazardous and non-hazardous occupations and processes (derived from the Factories Act 1948) is seen to have been framed considering the risks and challenges of the working adults but not the adolescents, and hence needs a thorough relook.

In the wake of recent amendments in Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 2016, CACL, and Hifazat held a state level consultation in collaboration with CRY – Child Rights and You, where stakeholders converge to analyse status of implementation of CLPRA and the way forward
Photo- CRY

Addressing the consultation, Assistant Labour Commissioner, Bhopal Jasmine Ali said “According to Census 2011, Madhya Pradesh in among top 5 states where highest number of child labourers was registered. However, we are committed to improve this ranking and make MP child labour free. The work plan to end child labour is in place now and targets have been fixed for every district. We are constantly trying to make, the operational issues less complicated and fixing responsibility of police to register the FIR is one among the steps taken in this direction”
Talking about ground realities related to child labour in the state, senior IPS officer, Dr GK Pathak said “We have law in place to curb child labour but there is a need to strengthen the implementation process. Especially, in rural Madhya Pradesh, there is a need to develop a system where every child not attending school even for a small span of time should be tracked. Most importantly, while, rescue efforts are essential but without proper rehabilitation we cannot ensure a safe and happy childhood”.
According to the Census 2011, MP recorded total 7,00,239 child labourers. As MP is among 5 states that contribute in over 50% of the working children country, it becomes really important to understand the implications of amended CLPRA in the state.

Over 50% of the working children is concentrated in just 5 states (Census 2011)
Photo- CRY

Sharing his views on the status of child labour, Programme Head, CRY (North), Subhendu Bhattacharya said, “India’s national target set in National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC) 2016 as well as Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) clearly states that it will make all efforts to eliminate child labour by 2025. On the other hand according to census 2011, MP registered more than 7 lakh child labourers. The census also states that 60% child labour in the nation is concentrated in agriculture and allied sectors. Thus, in a state like MP where agriculture is the prime occupation it becomes really important to recognize and find solutions to curb child labour in agriculture as it is a huge challenge for children to balance work and education”.
“According to Sustainable Development Goals child labour should completely stop by 2025. It is a matter of concern how state government is going to do it when government does not even have exact numbers of child labourers”, shared State Convener of CACL, Rajeev Bhargava.
CACL members expressed that, the amendment in CLPRA Act 2016 fails to address its purported objective of prohibition of child labour from all occupations and processes. The legislation does not put family & family-based occupations, agriculture and allied sectors, sports & entertainment industry under the purview of the hazardous / non-hazardous list, legalising such work.
“The only way we can change the child labour scenario in MP is by working together to ensure children complete their formal education, so that they are not pushed to enter labour, and this cannot happen without total eradication of child labour from the country. The recent amendments in CLPRA needs a relook and we are ready to work with government and other stakeholders to find solutions and alternatives for the same,” Ashok Kumar, National Advocacy Convener at CACL, concluded.

CRY study: Almost Half of Adolescents Addicted to Internet

One in every three adolescents who were exposed to internet has gone through negative experiences of some kind or the other, a recent study conducted by CRY – Child Rights and You has revealed.
Findings of the study further suggest that a staggering 75 per cent among the adolescent users have no clear knowledge of the minimum age required for creating any Social Media (SM) accounts; and as many as two among every five users are open to accept requests from friends of friends and/or complete strangers, thus becoming more vulnerable to online threats and hazards.

Credit: PA

In a bid to assess the impact of internet and to study the pattern of its usage among adolescents of Delhi and NCR, and also to understand the benefits and risks involved, CRY – Child Rights and You, a 40-year-old Indian non-profit organization has recently conducted an exploratory study in collaboration with Forum for Learning and Action with Innovation and Rigour (FLAIR). The study is named ‘Online Safety and Internet Addiction: A Study Conducted Amongst Adolescents in Delhi-NCR’. Findings of the study have revealed important trends associated to internet usage, safety and addiction among adolescents.

Study Highlights
• 1 in every 3 adolescent go through negative experiences at cyber spaces
• Almost half of the adolescent users (48%) display any level of addiction to the Internet
• 75% among the adolescent users lack proper knowledge of the minimum age required for creating Social Media accounts
• 93% of the adolescents in Delhi-NCR have access to the internet at their home

The study that was conducted among 630 adolescents across eight schools in Delhi-NCR within the age group of 13 to 18 years showed that adolescents had considerably easy access to the Internet, with 93 per cent of the respondents accessing internet at their residence. It also revealed that 60 per cent of the boys and 40 per cent of the girls among the respondents owned their own device. Almost half of the respondents reportedly used two or more devices to access the Internet.
Explaining the objective behind the study, Soha Moitra, the Regional Director of CRY (North) said, “Online safety emerges as an important protection aspect to the well-being of children and youth. While, CRY recognises that the internet is a vital medium for participation and expression of children, it is the duty of parents, communities, the state, and the society at large to ensure that children are both protected and empowered to protect themselves from online addiction and threats. This was the premise of undertaking the study, where we intended to understand children’s knowledge, practices and lived experiences of the online world.”


The study further highlighted that 80 per cent of the boys and 59 per cent of the girls had social media accounts, but nearly three-fourth of them across the gender divide had no proper knowledge of minimum age for creating social media accounts.
According to Soha Moitra, the extensive exposure of under-age users to the cyber-space raises a serious concern. “In the Indian context, the usage of internet among the masses (adults and children) has grown exponentially over the last decade. While this growth is fantastic since it opens up massive avenues of opportunities for people, concerns over online safety continue to linger and manifest themselves in increasingly sophisticated ways,” she said.
Talking about the way forward, Soha said that the report demonstrates that the threats of various internet-harms are undisputable. There is a lot of work to be done to recognise, understand and address them adequately at all levels of family, community and the state.
“The objective of ensuring online safety of children can be  achieved through stringent policies and legal provisions addressing the issues of empowerment and knowledge enhancement of children and communities, and strengthening the monitoring and redressal system in order to ensure that the online world is an enabling and protective environment for people, especially children”, she concluded.

Some Trends as Revealed by the Study

  • 40 per cent of the respondents used Internet as a studying-aid, while 38 per cent of them used it as a resource for extra-curricular activities.
  • 76 per cent of the respondents used internet for less than two hours per day. Eight percent of the respondents said that they accessed the Internet for more than four hours a day.
  • 80 per cent of the boys and 59 per cent of the girls had social media accounts. 31 per cent of the users had more than two accounts.
  • Three in every five adolescents (63 per cent) of the respondents said that they accepted friendship/connect request only from people they knew, while the rest said they accepted requests from friends of friends and strangers.
  • According to the study, home is the place where maximum access to the internet happens from. More than 93 per cent of the respondents said that they accessed the internet from their residence.
  • One is every three adolescent users reported going through negative experience on the internet, while around 10 per cent of them disclosed being subjected to cyber-bullying.
  • Only one in every two adolescents reported cyber-bullying incidents. It is also noteworthy that cyber-bullying was seen less among adolescents who did not have social media accounts and who did have knowledge about NCERT guidelines for Internet Safety. However, they experienced it due to some or other reason.
  • Only 35 per cent of the respondents had knowledge about NCERT Internet Safety Guidelines.
  • Nearly 90 per cent of respondents knew the minimum age for buying SIM cards.
  • Findings also suggest that maximum number of respondents accessed the internet from their parent’s devices.
  • According to the study, internet addiction tended to increase with age and was greater amongst those adolescents who had their own room at home, had their own mobile devices, and did have both working parents.
  • The study suggests that 48 per cent of the respondents displayed any level of addiction to the internet, while, severe internet addiction was observed in only 1 per cent of the respondents, mainly among boys. Among the internet addicted, majority of them (70 per cent) were adolescents.
  • Study also says around 10 percent of adolescents reported being victims of hacking of profile/misuse of account, but this decreased sharply with age. One in four adolescents also reported seeing a morphed image or video, and only 50 percent of them reported the incident.

Health Checkup After 28 Yrs: C’garh Team Walks 15KM To Reach Bastar Village, Finds 70% Population Suffering From Malaria

Under ambitious Malaria-free Bastar Campaign, Health Department’s team is going all the way to remote far-flung areas to provide malaria diagnosis test and treatment facilities. Health Department’s team walked around 15 Kms on a hilly path to reach remote village Gogunda of Konta block in Sukma district for malaria test.

The team held three-day check-up camp in the village and did malaria test of 856 individuals, out of which 587 were diagnosed with malaria and were provided immediate medical treatment. They were given ACT-kit and primaquin tablets. At the camp, 87 children were vaccinated. The team also distributed mosquito nets to villagers.

The team of Health department conducting malaria test in village

Gogunda people informed that health department team has visited their village after 28 years. Under Malaria-free Bastar Campaign, 15 members of the department’s team reached the village on January 28. The path to the village was extremely difficult, so the team members had to travel 15 Kms on motorcycle from Samsetti village to Pariya-Gadgadpara, but there was no pathway further to ride motorcycle, so they had to walk nearly 15 Kms on a hilly path to reach Gogunda village. Team members kept encouraging each other all the way to go on despite the difficulties.

Villagers with health team

The team included District Programme Officer Rohit Sharma, Konta Block Medical Officer Dr Kapil Dev Kashyap, Chirayu Team’s Dr Ved Prakash, Rural Medical Assistant (RMA) and Supervisor. They were accompanied by Gogunda Sarpanch, Secretary and Aanganbadi workers, who showed them the way to village.

Member of health team marking house of village as ‘diagnosed’

During the three-day camp in Gogunda, when the health department team fell short of the test kits, then ANM and two Mitanins of Samsetti Sub-Health Centre travelled nearly 30 Kms on motorcycle and by walking to bring the kits required at the camp.

ट्विटर पर देशभर के किसानों ने चलाया हैशटैग, किसान को दिन में बिजली दो

राजस्थान, मध्यप्रदेश सहित कई राज्यों के किसान सिंचाई के लिए रात में मिलने वाली बिजली से परेशान हैं। कंपकपाती सर्दी में आधी रात को सिंचाई करने खेत जाना इनके लिए जानलेवा साबित हो रहा है।

मध्यप्रदेश के झाबुआ के पेटलावाद ब्लॉक स्थित गोपालपुर पंचायत में शाम के वक्त बच्चे-बुजुर्ग सभी अपने घरों में लौट रहे हैं। इसकी वजह है यहां की कड़कड़ाती ठंड। रात में गांव का तापमान 5 डिग्री सेल्सियस के नीचे पहुंच जाता है। हालांकि, जब सब लोग घर जा रहे हैं तभी गांव के कुछ लोग ऐसे भी हैं जिन्हें ऐन शाम के वक्त खेत की तरफ निकलना पड़ता है। गांव के दो किसान दुलेसिंह खापेड़ और गोपाल सिंह खापेड़ अपनी टॉर्च, एक माचिस और कुछ सीखी लकड़ियों के साथ खेत की तरफ निकल चुके हैं। पूछने पर बताते हैं कि शाम में 8 बजे के बाद कभी भी बिजली आ सकती है और इस वक्त फसल की सिंचाई करना बहुत जरूरी है। गांव के बाकी किसान भी ठंड से बचने की व्यवस्था कर खेतों की तरफ निकल रहे हैं। ठंड से बचने के लिए ये खेत की मेड़ पर अलाव जलाते हैं और बिजली आने का इंतजार करते हैं।

झाबुआ जिले के किसान दुले सिंह और गोपाल सिंह बिजली आने के इंतजार में अलाव जलाकर बैठे हैं

मध्यप्रदेश के दूसरे इलाकों के किसान भी बिजली के शेड्यूल की वजह से रात में ही पंप चलाकर सिंचाई करते हैं। देवास के सतवास गांव के किसान राजेश राठौर बताते हैं कि उनके यहां कागजो में तो ठंड 4 डिग्री के करीब बताते हैं लेकिन खुले खेत में पानी लगाते समय लगता है कि पारा माइनस में चला गया हो। हाथ पांव एकदम सुन्न हो जाते हैं, लेकिन पर्याप्त वोल्टेज के साथ बिजली रात में ही आती है तो सिंचाई करना मजबूरी है। इंदिरापुरी गांव के किसान मोजीराम नायक ने बताया कि सिंचाई के समय उन्हें फसलों के ऊपर बर्फ की सफेद परत दिखती है, जिससे ठंड का अंदाजा लगाया जा सकता है।  

हरदा जिले के कई बड़े किसानों ने सिंचाई का काम मजदूरों के ऊपर छोड़ा हुआ है। वहां के गावों में मजदूर खेतों में झोपड़ी बनाकर सिंचाई करने का काम करते हैं।

देवास जिले के ठानी गांव का किसान राजेश राठौर रात में 10 बजे खेत में पानी लगाता हुआ

दरअसल, ठंड बढ़ने के साथ फसल की सिंचाई जरूरी हो जाती है। जवाहरलाल नेहरू कृषि विश्वविद्यालय के प्रोफेसर डॉ. गोपी कृष्णा दास बताते हैं कि इस वक्त खेतों में सिंचाई करने से जमीन के भीतर की गर्मी उपर आ जाती है और फसल को पाला से बचने में सहायता मिलती है। अगर ऐसे वक्त में सिंचाई नहीं हुआ तो रातोंरात फसल खराब होने का खतरा रहता है।

अब ट्विटर पर चल रही मुहीम

किसान स्थानीय स्तर पर दिन में बिजली देने की मांग उठा रहे हैं। इंदौर, हरदा, देवास सहित कई जिलों में जनसुनवाई के दौरान इस तरह की मांग की गई, लेकिन अब तक कोई सुनवाई नहीं हुई है। यह परेशानी सिर्फ मध्यप्रदेश की नहीं, बल्कि राजस्थान, हरियाणा, उत्तरप्रदेश सहित कई राज्यों के किसानों की है। परेशानी से तंग आकर किसानों ने एकसाथ ट्विटर पर हैशटैग ‘किसान को दिन में बिजली दो’ के साथ महीम छेड़ रखी है। पिछले 10 दिन से रोज 1000 से अधिक ट्वीट के साथ किसान इस अभियान को चला रहे हैं।

उज्जैन जिले के खेतों में इस तरह ओस की बूंदें ठंड की वजह से जम जाती हैं।

भारतीय किसान संघ से जुड़े युवा किसान शुभम पटेल भी ट्विटर के इस अभियान से जुड़े हैं। ग्राउंड टेल्स के साथ बातचीत में उन्होंने बताया कि ट्वीट कर किसान अपना हक मांग रहे हैं। जिस तरह इंडस्ट्री को दिन में बिजली की सुविधा मिलती है उसी तरह किसानों को भी मिलनी चाहिए। इस मुहीम में सिंचाई के समय राजस्थान के बारा के दो किसानों की मृत्यु का मामला भी उठाया जा रहा है और रात में सिंचाई को किसानों के लिए जानलेवा बताया जा रहा है।

क्या है सरकारों का रुख

मध्यप्रदेश में इस वर्ष अक्टूबर से पहले दिन में 10 घंटे बिजली दी जाती थी, लेकिन किसानों ने मांग की थी कि भूजलस्तर कम होने की वजह से दिन में एक साथ बिजली देने से उनके बोरवेल सूख जाते हैं। मांग को मानते हुए रात में 6 घंटे बिजली की व्यवस्था की गई जो कि ठंड आने के बावजूद जारी है। मानसून के बाद भूजलस्तर सुधरा है लेकिन फिर भी बिजली का शेड्यूल नहीं बदला। उर्जा विभाग के अधिकारी ऐसा करने में आधारभूत ढ़ांचा की कमी और तकनीकी खामियों की वजह से असक्षम है। मध्यप्रदेश सरकार ने किसानों की मांग पर अब तक कोई विचार नहीं किया है। राजस्थान के मुख्यमंत्री अशोक गहलोत ने इस साल की शुरुआत में ही किसानो को दिन में बिजली देने की व्यवस्था करने को कहा था, लेकिन अबतक बिजली विभाग की तरफ से ठोस कदम नहीं उठाए गए हैं। 

NCRB Records 388 Crimes against Children Each Day

More than One lakh 40 thousand crimes against children have been recorded in 2018, which means as many as 388 crimes were committed each day in the year. This is revealed by the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) latest report, published on 9th January 2020. Overall, crimes against children has increased steeply over 500% in the decade over 2008-2018, from 22,500 cases recorded in 2008 to 141764 cases in 2018.
The other startling fact remains is that in 2017-2018 crimes against children rose by a sharp 10%, while the overall crime in India rose by just 1.4% over the same time-span. In terms of the rate of cognizable crimes against children (rate of crime is population adjusted – it gives number of crimes for every 1 lakh population of children), India witnessed a rise from 28.9 to 31.8.

Representative image

Further in-depth analysis of the NCRB 2018 report done by CRY – Child Rights and You reveals that kidnapping and abduction still stands at the top of all crime heads against children. Overall, 62,668 number of K&A (kidnapping and abduction) cases were registered in the year, which saw a rise of 15.7 per cent over the previous year (2017). 
Crimes under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act stands at the second single largest category of crimes committed against children with 39,827 cases registered in one year. In addition to crimes reported under POCSO Act,  9312 cases of rape under section 376 IPC were also recorded.  

Analysing the latest NCRB data, Priti Mahara, Director of Policy Research and Advocacy at CRY – Child Rights and You said, “While on the one hand, the increasing numbers of crimes against children are extremely alarming, it also suggests an increasing trend in reporting which is a positive sign as it reflects better awareness among people. It also provides a direction in which government interventions must be made and evidence needs to be created. While some major efforts have been taken to ensure child protection, a lot more is needed to see expected results on the ground.”

Representative image

Cases under Cyber Crimes / Information Technology Act against children also saw a steep rise of 48 per cent over the previous year, as 117 cases were reported under this crime head. 
A closer look at the state-wise segregation of crimes against children reveals that the five big states, namely Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi and Bihar account for 51 per cent of all crimes in the country. While Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 19,936 recorded crimes (14% of total crimes), Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are the close second and third with 18,992 and 18,892 crimes registered respectively. Delhi tops the list when it comes to rate of crime against children at 147.2 while the national average is only 31.8.
The report also suggests that children are in no way more protected in the shelter homes. Cases of sexual harassments in shelter homes against women and children reportedly increased by 30 per cent, from 544 cases recorded in 2017 to 707 cases in 2018. More worryingly, 32 per cent of cases against children under the Juvenile Justice (JJ) ACT were committed by care takers / in-charges of Juvenile Homes. 
A total of 67,134 children were reported missing in 2018 of which nearly 70% were girls.
Deliberating on what’s to be done, Priti Mahara suggested that “Financial investments must be adequately increased with a focus on prevention of crimes against children and the identification of vulnerable children and families. Strengthening community level child protection system is also a key to prevention. While there is growing evidence of the precarious lives that children in India are leading, it is essential that this evidence is used to effectively inform policy and programme initiatives”

Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Courts Asks MHA Why No Summons Served To Dow Chemical

The first class magistrate of Bhopal District Court (Heeralal Alawa) issued summons to Under Secretary, Legal Cell-IS II Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India to present itself on 20 February 2020 and explain why it has not been able the serve the summons to The Dow Chemical Company under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty since 2014. This summons to MHA has also been issued on the application of Bhopal Group for Information & Action (BGIA)

Members of BGIA had hosted a protest on occasion of 35th anniversary of Bhopal Gas Tragedy (File Photo/Manish Chandra Mishra)

Despite 6 summons issued by the Bhopal District Court since 2014, CBI has not been able to produced the authorised representative of Dow Chemical Company in the Bhopal District court. The Ministry of Home Affairs which is the responsible agency to serve the summons to a accused living in another country under the MLAT has not taken a single step towards invoking provisions in MLAT to ensure that summons against Dow Chemical, USA are indeed served by the Department of Justice, USA.

The first class magistrate of Bhopal District Court (Heeralal Alawa) issued summons to Under Secretary, Legal Cell-IS II Division, Ministry of Home Affairs (source- BGIA)

The Bhopal Group for Information & Action (BGIA), an NGO working for survivors of the gas leak tragedy, had filed an application in this regard. The representatives of BGIA expressed satisfaction that finally the Judge has summoned the representative of Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the inordinate delay in being able to bring a representative of The Dow Chemical Company, USA. The criminal proceedings against Dow Chemical to make Union Carbide Corporation, USA, its wholly owned subsidiary, appear in the ongoing criminal case on the disaster of 1984 which has killed over 25000 people.

National Girl Child Day: On an average 16 girls were kidnapped & abducted in Madhya Pradesh each day

On an average 16 girls were kidnapped or abducted each day in Madhya Pradesh in the year 2018. This has been revealed in latest National Crime Record Bureau’s (NCRB) report “Crime in India” -2018 released recently. According to the report, Madhya Pradesh registered third highest number of cases of kidnapping and abduction (K&A)of children among all states in the year. Total 7951 victims were recorded under the category of kidnapping and abduction where 72.53% victims were girls.
Further indepth analysis by Child Rights and You (CRY) revealed that 27% rise in cases victims of kidnapping and abduction of minor girls was recorded in 5 years i.e between years 2014-2018. The NCRB data states that the number of girl child victims of K& A increased from 4546 in 2014 to 5767 in the year 2018. There was a considerable decline in this number in the year 2015 when this figure decreased to 3590 but it again jumped to 4091 in the year 2016.

Out of total children kidnapped or abducted in MP 72.53% were girls –NCRB 2018
Pic- CRY Representative image

The NCRB data also revealed that teenage girls are prone to kidnapping and abduction in MP. In all 94% cases of kidnapping and abduction of girls were reported in age group 12 -16 years and 16-18 years. This percentage is 92% at national level. The NCRB 2018 data suggests total 2219 girl child  victims were of age group 12-16 years and 3214 girl child  victims were of age group 16-18 years in Madhya Pradesh.

Analysing the data Regional Director, Child Rights and You (CRY) North, Soha Moitra said “This is alarming that 94% of minor girls who were kidnapped or abducted in the year 2018 in MP were of age group 12 to 18 years. Usually, there is a generic response towards such trends that girls of this age group elope. This is high time we should break this narrative as these girls might be pushed into child labour, domestic trade and even sex trade”.
55.8% rise in cases under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in a year in MP
Another important fact revealed in the NCRB data was rise of 55.8% in cases reported under POCSO Act in a year. In the year 2017 the number of cases registered under POCSO Act in MP was 1569 which increased to 2445 in the year 2018. MP reported 3rd highest cases registered under POCSO Act. Maharashtra topped the list with highest 6233 cases followed by Uttar Pradesh that reported second highest cases i.e 5401.
MP reported highest cases of minor rapes under Sec. 376 IPC in 2018
Madhya Pradesh topped the list of states reporting highest number of cases of minor rapes (Sec 376 IPC, Excluding Rapes under Sec 4&6 of POCSO Act). In all 2830 cases of minor rapes were recorded in MP in the year 2018.

On the occasion of National Girl Child Day on January 24, Child Rights and You (CRY) highlights some important facts related to crime against girl child in MP Picture- CRY Representative image

Expressing her concern over the present scenario of girl child in Madhya Pradesh on the eve of National Girl Child Day, Soha Moitra said whether it is about safety, health, education or nutrition, girls are vulnerable at every stage. While some major efforts have been taken to ensure child protection by the state government, a lot more is needed to see expected results on the ground.  There is a need to build confidence of girls at a tender age to empower them physically as well as mentally. CRY does that through bringing together adolescent girls and providing them a platform where they can share their concerns and participate in age appropriate discussions. The 40 year old non-profit organization believes that a sport is one of the vital tools to give wings to their dreams”.

Shocking! Look who is behind the death due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in Bihar

The outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar this year, which claimed the lives of more than 180 children, portrays the bad healthcare and infrastructure of the Bihar government. A few months after the outbreak, a group of journalists and social workers came up with a survey, showing the real cause behind this outbreak. The survey released on November 13 at Muzaffarpur says that 96.5 percent of children who were affected by Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) belonged to the underprivileged section and scheduled castes and tribes. The survey revealed that 97.8 percent of the family of children affected by AES could not earn more than Rs. 10,000 a month. The mainstream media had criticized government hospitals for allegedly not providing proper health care, but the survey revealed that 92 percent affected families appreciated the job of doctors and hospital staff. Pushya Mitra, a senior journalist and one of the prominent persons behind this survey tells us more about the findings of the survey. Please Subscribe and share this podcast.

Ground Tales: A tale of malnutrition-free village

Manish Chandra Mishra

Madhya Pradesh is ranked amongst few of the worst states of India in terms of nutrition and infant mortality rate. But there are some great initiatives taking place in small villages to overcome these issues that are worth sharing. Kotagunjapur, a village inside Panna Tiger Reserve has conquered malnutrition with kitchen gardens. The village that does not have access to roads and electricity has now attained freedom from malnutrition, something that even bigger villages and cities have been unable to achieve. Villagers realized that they are extremely poor and cannot afford dear vegetables from the market because of which their kids and women were not getting proper nutrition, leading to increase in malnutrition. Some social workers helped them develope kitchen-gardens in every household where they could grow iron and vitamin-rich vegetables and herbs. In a period of four years, the condition improved drastically. The villagers started getting fresh vegetables every day and that showed a positive impact on their health. The story about zero malnutrition villages is still untold. Ground Tales spoke to the social workers and the residents of Kotagunjapur to know more about the model and the struggle to make the initiative popular amongst villagers. We also interacted with activists behind this initiative who played a pivotal role in popularising the kitchen- garden concept to tackle the problem of malnutrition with a zero-budget plan. Listen to our podcast at


Ground Tales: East Pakistan’s refugee recounts the horror of 1964 communal riots

In light of discussions over NRC and ridding India of “outsiders”, Ground Tales spoke to a senior citizen Sunil Sarkar who came to India as a refugee in 1964, after the riots in Pakistan and was welcomed with open arms India. Now a citizen of the country, he recounted his ordeal disclosing how the horrors of those days still haunt him and India, his new motherland gave him a new life.