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Meghalaya: Shillongites extend helping hand to Kerala flood victims without govt aid

 

By SHWETA RAJ KANWAR | August 21, 2018

Late July witnessed severe flooding in the state of Kerala due to unusually high rainfall. Kerala’s worst floods in nearly a century has left more than 350 people dead within a fortnight, while more than 82,400 people have been rescued, mainly from Chengannur, Pandanad, Aranmula, Aluva, Chalakkudi, Kuttanad and with all 14 districts of the state placed on high alert.

While the government from most states of Northeast India have announced funds for assistance to Kerala flood victims, Meghalaya is yet to make any announcement due to reported fund crunch.

However civil societies and organizations in Meghalaya are working in their own individual capacities to help their fellow brethren in Kerala.

MOX – Movement of Expression in Shillong are hosting a Friendship Jam this Saturday at Mellow Mood Cafe in Shillong. This will be an evening full of music and the proceedings from the event will go directly to the Chief Ministers Fund in Kerala.

Speaking to TNT- The Northeast Today, founder of MOX – Movement of Expression, Mrinal Paul informed that the people can donate any amount of money at the event and the proceedings will be directly transferred to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund while adding, “The people need not be apprehensive about the fact that their contributions may not reach the source. We will ensure that it does”.

Movement Of Expression abbreviated as MOX was founded by Mrinal Paul, an alumnus of St. Anthony’s College, Shillong, Meghalaya with an aim to connect, create and converge various talented youth and provide them a platform to showcase and highlight their talents.

Another organization called Spread the Love-Shillong is doing its part in helping Kerala in flood relief operations.

Speaking to TNT in this regard, founder of Spread the Love -Shillong Dr. Mansankara Jyrwa informed, “Since it will not be very practical to send material itemds from Shillong to Kerala, we are looking mainly at collection of funds to help them with their necessities. Right now we are collecting only accepting donations in the form of money from Shillong and we are channelising it through the Bethel Ag Church in Bangalore. And if need arises, I myself with the team of doctors will go down to Kerala and help the victims there from the medical point of view”.

Spread the Love -Shillong was started a year ago in Shillong and comprises of a group of doctors, teachers and social workers. They have conducted various dental health camps in and around Shillong as part of their initiative.

He also informed that a Press Conference will be held tomorrow to apprise people of the situation and to seek aid from them. the venue and time is yet to be known and will be updated soon.

The members of Sree Narayana Guru Cultural Centre (SNGCC), Shillong have also requested anybody from Meghalaya, who is affected by the floods in Kerala to contact the following numbers for any assistance. 9436101241, 9436103472, 8129868499 (KN Babu, Chalakkudi), 9490753656 (Mohan Kumar, Vishakapatnam). This is aimed at ensuring that people from Meghalaya get a helping hand.

Eflu Shillong also organized a fund raising campaign for Kerala floods and the amount collected has already been sent to the destination.

It may be cautioned that a fake bank account attempting to collect funds in the name of Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund has been busted recently. The fraudulent account with number 20025290179, claiming to be the bank based from Trivandrum has been shared widely on social media.

It may be recalled that Manipur has donated a sum of Rs 2 crores as relief funds to the flooded-affected state of Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh has announced Rs 3 crore as immediate assistance, Tripura Government has decided to donate Rs 1 crore financial assistance, Nagaland has announced Rs. 1 crore flood relief and Assam government donated Rs 3 crore financial assistance for the relief activities in flood-ravaged state of Kerala.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has extended Rs. 700 crore as financial assistance to rebuild the flood-ravaged state.

Our source at ground have also informed us that the relief operations in Kerala are in full swing and the water is gradually receding. However, there is great need of funds for buying clothes, sanitary napkins, medicines, clean water facilities

The safest and preferred method of aid right now would be to deposit any amount directly to the Kerala  Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. The donations are exempted from income tax as well as Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010.

Contribution can be made directly by going to donation.cmdrf.kerala.gov.in. Once the transaction is successful, you will get a payment success notification on the display as well as on your email address. This includes a certificate from the principal secretary (finance) as well as a 100 per cent tax exemption certificate.

In case you plan to send to mail a cheque/DD, you can address it to

The Principal Secretary (Finance) Treasurer,
Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund,
Secretariat,
Thiruvananthapuram – 695001

If you choose to donate online, account details are as follows:

Account number: 67319948232
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: City branch, Thiruvananthapuram
IFS Code: SBIN0070028
PAN: AAAGD0584M
Name of Donee: CMDRF

Those wishing to donate can also use the digital wallet PayTM to contribute to the fund. An icon on the home screen will guide you to the payments page. Additionally, users can use the link m.p-y.tm/Kerala-CMDRF. No additional charges are applicable. A QR code is also available for those who wish to use

(NOTE– Do you know know of anybody who is willing to donate or are accumulating funds for Kerala flood relief? Get in touch with us so we can help you spread the word)


You can get in touch with us at shweta@thenortheasttoday.com and web@thenortheasttoday.com

“Give me blood and I will give you freedom!”- Remembering Bose on his 121st anniversary

0

January 23, 2018

Ahead of the Republic Day celebrations on January 26 comes another day that reignites the fire of patriotism in each one of us. And that is the birth anniversary of the revolutionary freedom fighter, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on January 23. Netaji was among the key figures in the Indian independence struggle by driving the British out of the country. During the Second World War, he led the Indian National Army known as Azad Hind Fauj in forming alliances against the British. His famous slogan that sparked patriotism in the hearts of people is Tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhe aazdi dungaduring the fight for independence. These words, even today continue to inspire many.

Netaji led the Indian nationalist movement in East Asia and also established the Azad Hind Radio station in Germany. He believed in the teachings of Swami Vivekananda’s on universal brotherhood. On Netaji’s birth anniversary, here are some important facts about him.

#1 Bose was excelled in academics and secured top ranks in school and university. In 1918, he completed his BA in Philosophy with a first-class score.

#2 In 1920, he cleared the Indian Civil Service examination in England. Wanting to participate in India’s freedom struggle, he resigned from his civil service job on April 23, 1921.

#3 In the late 1920s and 30s, Bose was a fierce leader of the Indian National Congress. Although he was the Congress President in 1938 and 1939, Following differences with MK Gandhi, Netaji was expelled from Congress leadership in 1939. Thereafter, he started openly attacking the Congress’ foreign and internal policies.

#4 He was jailed during various instances for his stand for complete independence, during the period between 1921 and 1941.

#5 Bose was against Gandhi’s non-violent approach to freedom and spoke about violent measures to drive away Britishers.

#6 He started a newspaper called Swaraj and also served as editor of the Forward, a newspaper started by Chittaranjan Das. Netaji was elected as the President of All India Youth Congress Committee and the Secretary of Bengal State Congress in 1923. In 1930, for a brief period, Subhas Chandra Bose served as the mayor of Calcutta.

#7 He travelled across Europe so as to seek an alliance to attack the British government during the outset of the Second World War. He met leaders including Benito Mussolini, however, was put under house arrest by the British until his escape from Indian in 1940.

#8  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on visiting Subhas Chandra Bose memorial hall in Kolkata on August 23, 2007, told Bose’s family, “The Japanese are deeply moved by Bose’s strong will to have led the Indian independence movement from British rule.”

Compiled by Shillong News Desk with inputs from India.com

Featured image courtesy: India Today

What ‘Matrilineal Meghalaya’ should learn from Sikkim Govt’s stand on women!

 

Date: September 25, 2018

To 

The Editor

Shillong News

 

Respected Editor Sir/Madam,

Land and property rights in certain states of Northeast India have invited several critiques in as far as the rules and regulations laid down on the basis of customary laws are concerned with respect to the indigenous population of each state.

Recently the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) in Meghalaya was embroiled in controversy in the month of July this year after it gave its approval on a social custom bill that would strip a Khasi woman of her ST status and all privileges associated with it if she marries a non-Khasi.

READ | Meghalaya | Khasi woman marrying outside tribe to be stripped of ST status, benefits

Interestingly, the KHADC bill came just a month after the LR&DM Dept Govt of Sikkim in June this year released a notification laying down the guidelines on property ownership for Sikkimese women married to a non-Sikkimese, making her eligible to inheriting her parent’s property.

In what had come as a major relief in terms of property rights to the Sikkimese women who have/had married non-Sikkimese men, LR&DM Dept Govt of Sikkim in the month of June released a notification laying down the guidelines on property ownership for Sikkimese women married to a non-Sikkimese.

ALSO WATCH | KHASI LINEAGE BILL 2018: Protecting Customs or a mere Political Stunt?

The notification read–, “It is hereby directed that, notwithstanding para 23 of Sikkim Registration of Documents Rules 1930, any document regarding transfer of property which has been presented for registration by a Sikkimese women married to non-Sikkimese, may ordinarily be registered and the ownership of the property on her demise shall be governed as per the existing rules and regulations prevailing in the state.”

While on one hand, the KHADC Bill invited resentment from various sections of women in Meghalaya pertaining to the discriminatory nature of the Bill, the order by LR&DM Dept, Sikkim was hailed by married Sikkimese women who were demanding their right to parent’s property, thus making them eligible for the same.

This stark contrast presented above depicts an irony- one that may have been ignored for far too long but which came into the limelight (or should we say, made itself very prominent) in so called ‘Matrilineal Meghalaya’ only recently, where the youngest daughter of the Khasi family becomes the custodian of the family property (But note that ‘custodian’ here does not imply inheritance of the same).

As per the KHADC proposed Bill, the Khasi woman would be stripped off her ST status and even the aspect of ‘custodianship’ of ancestral property if she happens to marry a non-Khasi person. But let us note here that in any way, she is never inheriting ancestral property but only gaining custody over it.

So, my point here is that- Were all the hailing slogans for ‘Matrilineal Meghalaya’ only a facade to veil the patriarchal mindset? Where there is an attempt to even dictate a Khasi woman about the person she should/should not marry thereby putting her ST status as well as other benefits at stake, does it portray the staunch mindset of many people who believe women should be at the beck and call of a man?

I think the Sikkim’s Government’s stand on land and property rights and most importantly, on women ought to serve as an example to ‘Matrilineal Meghalaya’ and the bodies laying down customary guidelines! Is anybody listening in Meghalaya??

NAME WITH HELD ON REQUEST


The writer can be reached at shwetarajkanwar@gmail.com & shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

For latest news, stories, videos and features from Northeast India visit: https://www.thenortheasttoday.com

Will A. L. Hek’s son be convicted or released?

By MAYBORN LYNGDOH R | April 09, 2018

To,

The Editor

Dear Sir/Ma’am,

Following a recent incident of a Meghalaya MLA’s son being involved in a tragic road accident that led to the death of a cop associated with Shillong Jail while critically injuring another constable of Meghalaya police, a question that has been lurking in people’s mind is that, “Will the minster’s son ever be convicted or will he be out on bail for he happens to be the son of Meghalaya  Health Minister, AL Hek.

READ | Meghalaya: Mercedes driven by Health Minister’s son hits motorbike killing a cop, injuring another

 

An aggrieved Shillongite’s rant on sky high petrol prices

 

Date: September 30, 2018 

To

Editor

TNT – The Northeast Today

 

India’s sky high petrol prices | ‘I might as well take a taxi… but for how long?’

Petrol and diesel prices across the country have been on the rise since April and continued rising on Friday with rates hitting new highs as oil marketing companies (OMCs) increased their costs.

ALSO WATCH |Toby from Shillong sure knows how to drive!

Petrol prices touched Rs 81.63 per litre in New Delhi, Rs 89.01 per litre in Mumbai and 81.05 in our dear Shillong city as on September 15, 2018.

I drive to work from Rynjah to Nongthymmai every day. It is not a very long drive and yet, I feel a burning hole in my pocket as I visit the petrol pump more frequently than I used to. Of course, I run errands for my job and my family too, but it has never sent me to a never-ending spiral of ‘I’m going to take a cab tomorrow instead’ everyday.

Meghalaya: ‘UDP committed biggest blunder by promoting Conrad Sangma as CM’- says proscribed HNLC

And even if I were to take these cabs, how long until they begin charging us a lot higher? The issue of the difficulties of even getting one is something different altogether. It is only a matter of time until the taxi fares in the city will rise and the drivers cannot be blamed for it.

Most establishments have shied away from the problem. The Delhi High Court said that daily change in fuel prices was an “economic policy decision” of the central government. The central government on the other hand, urged the states to take action.

Meghalaya: Man gets hit in the head with sword in neighbourhood clash

Some state governments have decided to take measures to curb the problem. The Rajasthan government had, on Sunday, announced a 4 per cent cut in the state VAT on petrol and diesel. The government of Andhra Pradesh has also announced a similar reduction by Rs. 2 per litre.

Now, I am by no means an expert and I only write as a concerned driver and citizen, but despite the fact that the trimming of excise duty and VAT will strip away government revenue for a while, I firmly believe that it will be worth it in the long run.

Yours truly,

A concerned citizen


You can also contribute articles, opinions and letters to the editor for our website by mailing them to us at web@thenortheasttoday.com and shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

We welcome your comments at web@thenortheasttoday.com

Shillong’s sad love affair: The ‘Traffic Lights’!

Shillong News | February 20, 2018

The city of Shillong never lagged behind when it comes to technological advancement but the sad part of it is its ‘momentary nature’. The government aimed at taking this hilly region to whole new levels with the introduction of automated traffic posts but after the sanction and allocation of huge funds, the project never saw the light of the day. Posts were installed but were dysfunctional from the word go…leaving hopes being crushed like grapes! This became one of the most humiliating ventures of the Meghalaya Government.

ALSO READ: 5 Things to do in Shillong!

By Nawaz Yasin Islam

The famed yellow posts to beautify the city remains a topic of endless ‘cigarette and tea gossips’ and much has been written and complained. With authorities drifting from this ‘greatly successful’ venture, the ‘timid’ population is left with ‘promises of a lifetime.’ It is nothing different from villages that are not electrified. The ‘bolt’ of electricity comes years after the installation of poles. We surely are in the path of progress.

The current state of affairs will ensure that Shillong never becomes a destination for the shooting of a sequel to Madhur Bhandarkar’s acclaimed Bollywood movie Traffic Signal. But who cares, Shillong can be the backdrop of a perfect spoof to the movie!

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