Dare to Care for Adolescent Girls Poor Status in India

Ahmedabad :  Fourteen year old, Sejal Baria was beaming with joy to share her story of grit. Baria, a 10th standard student travelled from remotest tribal village of Gujarat to talk about adolescent girls challenges which are affecting thousands of girls like her in their communities.

Baria and her young team, part of “Dare to Care”, a  UNICEF child rights projects, were successful in  rescuing three minor girls from getting married  at an early age in last three years in her village.

DareDevil IPL team member meeting with Dare to Care girls. Credit : Unicef India

DareDevil IPL team member meeting with Dare to Care girls.
Credit : Unicef India

 

 Baria said, “It is common  in our part of village to get the girls married before they attain the legal age of 18 years. They get married by 13-14 years. It was not an easy task to convince parents of minor girls to call off the marriage. We took help & support from the village heads to persuade families not to marry the minor girls. We got success eventually,”

Despite the progress in expanding the access of girls to education, health and social services, millions of adolescent girls still face difficult obstacles in their lives, experiencing various forms of discrimination, exploitation and abuse on account of their age and their sex in India. According to National Sample Survey office(NSSO) 2007-2008 report,  almost  40  percent  of adolescent girls in between 14 and 17 years  in India are not attending school. Also, District Level Household & Facility Survey  of year 2007-2008 reveals that around 40 per cent  girls in India marry before the legal age of 18 years.

Baria was among 11 adolescent girls who came from different parts of Gujarat to  share their “Dare to Care” UNICEF  initiative with  popular Delhi Daredevils team of Indian Premier League(IPL). As part of the UNICEF initiative, these girls have been trained on child rights issues. Thy have have been doing exemplary work at the village level to fight against social issues like child marriage, child labour, gender disparities, etc.

DareDevil IPL team greeting Dare to Care girls. Credit: Unicef India

DareDevil IPL team greeting Dare to Care girls.
Credit: Unicef India

This was one of the rare occasion when these girls met with national and international  cricketing icons in real life. They were excited and talking with foreign cricket players despite the language barrier.  

Gopi Boghil, 17 years from rural area from Bhavnagar, said, “Child labour is most rampant in our villages. The families prefer to send their kids to work in fields than in school as it adds  to their family income.Our team of 20 volunteers meet parents and convince them that if their children education is continued, they can earn much more than what they earn today.”

“However, poverty does push many children to leave their village and go to work in farms outside their village”  added she.  Bhogil dreams of becoming an air-hostess.

Moved by the stories of the girls, Jaydev Unadkat, Daredevil IPL players, looking sombre , said. “The confidence among these girls are commendable. They are doing amazing work in empowering other girls. It was a humbling experience to listen to them.”

“As a cricketer our responsibility lies in spreading their message, making people more aware and supportive of adolescent girls situations  in the country.”

The Delhi Daredevils team has been advocating for an overall protective environment for adolescent girls through the IPL platform and various other public forums.

Ross Taylor, New Zealand cricketer and part of Daredevil IPL team still reminisces about the infamous Delhi gangrape case. Taylor said, ” The shocking Delhi incident made headlines in New Zealand newspapers,”

After her interaction with the girls, Taylor said,” The language was a barrier but  girls were confident in asking questions on cricket. It was humbling experience interacting to them on various issues they face as a girl,”

The three key messages of this initiative are investing in girls education as  it is great investment in building her and her family future,  no child marriages as it affects their education, lower economic status, less livelihood opportunities, and they have little say in their home and to encourage girls to express and participate more. 

It is time we all  dare to  care to address grave issues affecting half  of the population in the country.  

Click here to read more on – Date to Care  

Official Hastag : #DaretoCare 

( Communicate Karo was invited by  UNICEF India  to meet Dare to Care girls & Dare Devil IPL team members interaction )

 

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India Witnesses First Social Media Prime Minister in Narendra Modi

India got its first social media prime minister in Narendra Modi.  The three time chief minister of Gujarat will soon sworn as the 15th prime minister of India after his landslide victory trouncing the ruling United Progressive Alliance led by Congress. During the general election 2014, Narendra Modi became the second most-liked politician on Facebook behind only  Barack Obama, president of United States of America. Obama is also popularly called “first Social Media President of USA”.

Modi’s tweet proclaiming the victory of the Bharitya Janta Party(BJP) is testament to the fact that people are connecting with political leaders online.  The tweet  has become the most retweeted tweet from India in Twitter’s history. Till May 18, 2014, it has received 68,750  retweets and had been favourited 29,000 times.

 

Maximum RT and Favourited  tweet in India till now.  Pic: Twitter

Maximum RT and Favourited tweet in India till now.
Pic: Twitter

This was the first social media election for 1.2 billion strong India with the advent of Social Media giants in India, namely Facebook and Twitter, whose users run into million from urban areas to rural areas. Modi  from Bhartiya Janta Party gets the credit for first initiator on social media platforms when most of the politicians were busy ridiculing the emerging social media tools as “waste of time” and impersonal way to connect to masses. Even, Lalu Prasad Yadav, former chief minister of Bihar, known for his rustic behaviour fell for Twitter. He is now an active twitter user keeping intact his humour on the micro blogging site.  Earlier, he had criticized the use of social media.  In run up to the elections,  Facebook, the US based social media giant came up with  dedicated  Facebook ELECTION TRACKER to monitor political conversation on elections in India.

According to Facebook, “From the day elections were announced to the day polling ended, 29 million people conducted 227 million interactions (posts, comments, shares, and likes) regarding the elections on Facebook. In addition, 13 million people conducted 75 million interactions regarding  Narendra Modi.”

 Modi has 14.3 million fans — The Fastest-Growing Number on FACEBOOK  and  4,158,031 followers on TWITTER , the micro blogging site

In India,  814 million were eligible voters, and the interest in this year election was palpable — a record breaking 66% voter turn -out.In few of the parliamentary constituencies in Gujarat,  the voter turnout  crossed 70 %.  There is no denying to the fact that people, young & old are  turning to popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to talk  & engage on politics. In India, Facebook already had relatively high penetration in India, with 100 million active users.  According to published article in Quartz “On April 30—the day that 89 of India’s 543 constituencies went to the polls—696,000 election-related tweets were sentSince Jan1, the breakdown of tweets for the various national candidates/parties has been 34% for Narendra Modi or his Bharatiya Janata Party, 27% for Arvind Kejriwal or the Aam Admi Party, 4% for Rahul Gandhi or the Indian National Congress.”

The Facebook Election Tracker sums up the story well for elections in India- BJP and Narendra Modi tops the chart, while congress stood at last behind the newbie Aam Aadmi Party, on the last day of the elections.

BJP and Modi tops the chart, congress at the bottom.  Credit: India Tracker/Facebook India

BJP and Modi tops the chart, congress at the bottom.
Credit: India Tracker/Facebook India

The general elections 2014  reemphasized the fact that do not  underestimate the power of a tweet or a post in this globally wireless connected world! Modi landslide victory has proved all the social media critics wrong, especially his political opponents who we were more critical of his communication strategy of using social media extensively.

Social networking giant #Facebook said “29 million people in India have made 227 million interactions through posts, comments, shares, and likes about the elections from the day they were announced.

General Elections 2014 on Facebook  Credit : FacebookIndia

General Elections 2014 on Facebook
Credit : FacebookIndia

Rahul Gandhi, scion of Gandhi family and the face of Indian National Congress (INC) during general elections has no social media presence. Despite the fact that, he  is the young face of  Congress.

Today youth in India is social media mobile & savvy. They are tweeting, posting, sharing  from everything under the Sun.This time, youths were very much part of this elections and they participated in a big way.  They are vociferously demanding for a better future, jobs and amenities.During Modi’s victory speech in Vadodara, the parliamentary constituency from where Modi won by a margin of over 5 lakh votes, he gave due credit to role of social media in spreading the message  of ab ki baar Modi sarkaar far and wide”

Narendra Modi respecting the power of social media in his victory speech has stated that- “Due to social media, lies & false promises of several leaders could not go beyond the podiums of their rallies! More power to social media ,”

It is yet to be seen how social media euphoria translates into real work on ground level.  This will be watched closely by online & offline !



Road Traffic Injury is The Number One Killer of Adolescents- WHO Report

Road Injuries  are the biggest killer of  teens globally. The road injuries top 10 causes of death among adolescents in both male & female, according to recent released report by World Health Organization (WHO). The report  titled “Health for the World’s Adolescents : A second chance in the second decade”  recently got released.

According to the report, “There were an estimated 1.3  million adolescent deaths in 2012, most of them from causes that could have been prevented or  treated. Mortality is higher in boys than in girls and in older adolescents (15–19 years) than in the younger group (10–14 years).”

Traffic injuries are man made disaster getting aggravated by poor policy & law  implementation in India.  Also, poor road designing risks the lives of people, especially, pedestrians & cyclists on the roads in India. Traffic fatalities have spiraled, however the preventive measures at government level have not been encouraging to stop this growing epidemic.

The report compares the 10–14 and 15–19 age groups, males and females, and different regions of the world. 

 The report states that  “Road injuries are among the top five causes of death in all regions, all age groups and all sexes, except among adolescent females in the African Region (although, with a mortality rate of 11 per 100,000 population, the rate of death from road injuries among adolescent females in the African Region is higher than the rates of death from this cause in any other region). 

Pic : The Hindu

Pic : The Hindu

 

About the report :  Health for the world’s adolescents is a dynamic, multimedia, online report  (www.who.int/adolescent/second-decade). It describes why adolescents need  specific attention, distinct from children and adults. It presents a global overview of adolescents’ health and health-related behaviours, including the latest data  and trends, and discusses the determinants that influence their health and  behaviours. It features adolescents’ own perspectives on their health needs.

Global Media Reacts on NARENDRA MODI Landslide Win in Indian Elections

The media reaction to landslide victory of BJP in general elections 2014. Photo  : Siddhanth Suchit

The media reaction to landslide victory of BJP in general elections 2014.
Photo :Reuters

A  Quick analysis of front page headlines from popular newspaper/TV in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, USA & UK’s on verdict given by 1.2 billion strong India. It is interesting to read the tone & tenor in these headlines! The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), the main opposition party in India had a landslide victory winning 285 seats out of 543 parliamentary constituencies. The BJP lead National Democratic Alliance won 340 seats. BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will be next prime minister of India.

India

BJP Aaandhi Flattens Clan Gandhi- Times of India 

India Places its Faith in Moditva- Times of India

Hunkaar Tally- Hindustan Times 

MODI- Indian Express 

India is Modi. Modi is India- Economic Times

MODI’S Moment – MINT 

Prime Minister Modi – The Hindu

Pakistan

BJP knocks out Congres- The Dawn

Modi wave sweeps India- The Nation 

Modi storms to historic win in Indian elections-Pakistan Observer

Bangladesh

Modi wins landslide victory: The Daily Star,Bangladesh

Landslide win for Modi, BJP- Dhaka Tribune,Bangladesh 

Modi crushes the fort of Congress- The Bangladesh Today

USA

Congress Party Concedes Defeat as India Backs Modi-The

New York Times 

Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi heads to victory in Indian

election- Washington Post 

Narenda Modi Is India’s Next Leader-The Wire 

Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi claims victory as India’s

next Prime Minister- CNN

India’s Narendra Modi leads conservatives to election day

victory- Chicago Day Tribune 

India’s pro-business Modi storms to historic election win- Reuters 

Landslide win for Indian opposition party- USA Today

England

Congress admits India poll defeat- BBC

Modi wins landslide victory in Indian election- The Daily Star/Reuters

Narendra Modi wins India election with landslide victory- The Telegraph 

Narendra Modi’s landslide victory shatters Congress’s grip on India – The

Guardian

Can Modi Do a Barack Obama in General Elections 2014 ?

Social media in India is an evolving trend, and this general elections result might start a new discourse for elections to come. However, it will be interesting to wait and watch, whether the popular online sentiments, and the millions likes, thousands of share and million tweets can translates into REAL VOTES .

A comparative analysis of USA President Barack Obama and BJP Prime Minister candidate, Narendra Modi in General Elections 2014

 

General Elections 2014 in India, A Litmus Test for Social Media

Social media in India is an evolving trend, and this general elections result might start a new discourse for elections to come. However, it will be interesting to wait and watch, whether the popular online sentiments, and the millions likes, thousands of share and million tweets can translates into REAL VOTES .

Communicate Karo

This  General Elections 2014  in India is going to be a litmus test for Social Media too, other than the traditional political rhetoric .  The expansion  & reach of social media platforms have grown phenomenally in last five years in India.  In  General Elections, held in year  2009,  social media has no influence & reach . In  General Election in 2014, social media is buzzword among politicians and electorate alike.  For many of the electoral battle in urban  India,  Face book likes and Tweets  will be a deciding factor in winning or losing of a candidate.

General Elections 2014- A social Media Litmus test

According to a report published in April 2013 by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and the Mumbai-based Iris Knowledge Foundation, Face book users will “wield a tremendous influence” over the results of the polls in 160 social media sensitive constituencies of India’s 543 parliamentary  constituencies.

 The two popular social…

View original post 626 more words

General Elections 2014 in India, A Litmus Test for Social Media

This  General Elections 2014  in India is going to be a litmus test for Social Media too, other than the traditional political rhetoric .  The expansion  & reach of social media platforms have grown phenomenally in last five years in India.  In  General Elections, held in year  2009,  social media has no influence & reach . In  General Election in 2014, social media is buzzword among politicians and electorate alike.  For many of the electoral battle in urban  India,  Face book likes and Tweets  will be a deciding factor in winning or losing of a candidate.

General Elections 2014- A social Media Litmus test

According to a report published in April 2013 by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and the Mumbai-based Iris Knowledge Foundation, Face book users will “wield a tremendous influence” over the results of the polls in 160 social media sensitive constituencies of India’s 543 parliamentary  constituencies.

 The two popular social media platforms, Face book, with over 90 million users  and twitter, a micro blogging site, has over 33 million  users in India. With less than two day to  go for General Elections 2014,  one of the big question remains how much social media  will influence the outcome of  elections in India ?

 Young & social media active voters in India 

General elections in India are BIG but this time it is also YOUNG.  According to Election  Commission of India,  the total electorate  is approx.  814.5 million compared to 713 million in 2009. This  marks an increase of more than 100 million electorate.

There has been a remarkable increase in the enrollment of electors in the age group of 18 to 19  years. Over 23 million electors are in this age group. Electors in the age group of 18 to 19 years now constitute 2.88% of total electors, against 0.75% in 2009.

So, there is major push from political parties to “Catch them Young”  voters,  and what better place than social media platforms.  According to  We are Social, over 213 million  Indians  are using the internet,  17  per cent of total population and approx 94  percent of these are on Face book, 78 per cent on Google plus,  and 67 per cent on Twitter. The Mobile internet penetration  has reached  to 11  per cent. The  young populace  are spending over 2 hours and 26 minutes  on an average on social media.

Political Parties Hitching to Social Media Bandwagon

The main two political parties- Bharitya Janta Party(BJP), the first mover on social media platform,  &  Congress  have invested highly in social media promotions & outreach in a bid to capture  the mind space of the voters. Also, Aam Aadmi Party with its unique social media strategy is making inroads to garner online attention. They are making the best use of social media platforms to woo urban & young voters active on social media platforms  from innovative  online promotion, to tweet chat, Google + hangouts, Facebook live, dedicated You Tube channels  to  WhatsApp, a mobile messenger service.

BJP’s prime ministerial candidate  Narendra Modi’s (NaMo  on social Media)  takes the lead in social media popularity chart, followed by former union minister Shashi Tharoor,  who was among the first to be active on social media platforms.   Now, there is a mad rush among  politicians to hitch the bandwagon of social media before it is too late.  Even, veteran leaders   Mulayam Singh Yadav  of Samajwadi Party and Lalu Prasad Yadav  of  Rashtriya Janta Dal , who once detested “Computer” and “English Language”  have bitten by the social media bug.

Today, young voters are social media active. They  are  voicing their opinion and canvassing for their popular leaders on social media platforms and influencing decisions within  their contacts,  household with a close reach to information on their laptops or on mobile handsets.

 Election Comission of India Gearing Up For Social Media 

Election Commission of India sensing the power  & impact of social media has already  issued  strict guidelines for using social media platforms  by political parties.  This is for the  first time, Election commission will keeping a close eye on the expenditure incurred on social media promotion.Mobile and internet technology is changing the face of election observation, too. ECI will also be live streaming the voting from selected polling stations in the country.

 

Social media in India is an evolving trend, and this general elections result might start a new discourse  for elections to come. However, it will be interesting to wait and watch, whether the popular  online sentiments, and the millions likes, thousands of share and  million tweets can translates into REAL VOTES  .

 

-Kumar Manish (@kumarmanish9)

** The article can be republished with due credit to  its original author.

 

The River and the “I”

…it was one of those innocuous moments in life when one wakes up in state of disbelief oblivious of beauty which unfolds in its transient presence.

One fine morning, I found myself standing on the edge of a flowing river, a river which was tempting and oozing with cornucopia of love, her scintillating beauty splashing on her crystal clear ambrosia.ImageStanding close to the river I can only admire her beauty. I started walking along the bank to grasp every drop of her beauty. The two captivating green eyes, calm & caring, from the depth of river started following my soul.

As i walked along her, I felt the sensation of her curves meandering in her bloom through rocky and terrain surface. Her supple arms opened up, a deep urge from inside urged me to quench my thirst from her ambrosia of love.

It was difficult choice for me to whether just walk along the bank grasping her innate beauty or should take a deep plunge for her womb. Suddenly, a whiff of fresh air brought the tiny droplets of her which touched my carnal desires.

I saw her unblemished bosom opening up like an oyster with a milky pearl lying inside it, radiant and throbbing with life. Captivated, I sat there dangling my feets touching her. A tinkling sensation invited me to have a bathe in her pristine beauty.

Got one step closer, I spread up my arms, closed my eyes and took a final plunge in a world of uncertainties. I was there inside her. Feeling every single droplets of her absorbing me into her. My own naked self got reflected in her serene flow of water. My animal instincts started battling with her, but she undeterred holded herself as I crossed all the barriers. Her green eyes lit with wild desires and in a moment it vanished. Now, I was there into her thrusting, crushing and battling. I slipped into her nectar, sipping the burning sensation.

Immersed in her tranquilizing beauty. I went deep and deep to search “me” and i lost the “I”.

India Experiments with Car Free Sunday Streets & Bus Day to reclaim streets back for people

Get creative on the streets to get heard and noticed. A new wave of people-centric innovative campaigns has reignited the concept of “cities for its people” in India. These new initiatives are supported by citizen groups & nonprofit organizations with able support from media and local government bodies to capture the hearts of the people.

Car free Sunday Streets in Gurgaon

Ciclovia (Car-free Sunday Street) in Bogotá, Colombia, is a hit and a trendsetter in the transformation of that city from a car-centric to people-centric. The Green Living Blog of The Guardian mentions   “Ciclovía a weekly, city-wide, car-free day in Bogotá that puts 76 miles of roads, including La Septima – the city’s main commercial centre – off-limits to cars. It’s been running since 1974”.

In an earnest effort, cities in India are trying to replicate this phenomenon in various forms and styles to bring people, communities and other stakeholders together to witness streets free of speeding private vehicles, no blaring horns and a cleaner environment.

People-level advocacy and indigenous campaigns can help a lot in convincing decision-makers to create infrastructure that encourages the idea of people-centric cities. The three important criteria to make these campaigns succeed are:

  1. engagement (online and offline);
  2. people network;
  3. momentum.

There is a strategic need to embolden policy-level advocacy with strong people-level advocacy on ground level. People need to be the champions of this street renaissance.

Cities in India are bursting at their seams. They are choked with traffic jams, engulfed into toxic air pollutants (like winter smog in Delhi, capital city of India) with ever-increasing numbers of private vehicles on the roads, an insatiable demand for parking spaces, and a rising number of traffic accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists.

The mushrooming giant serpentine flyovers are making the cities’ skylines uglier day by day.

According to the Ministry of Road Traffic and Transport, (press release for Road Safety Week January 1- January 7, 2014) “over 100,000 people are killed in traffic in India annually”. This staggering figure translates into 275 people dying an unnatural death on roads in India every day of the year.

The Times of India report suggests there are now 200 times as many motor vehicles (including two-wheelers) as there were 50 years ago (from 0.7 million in 1961 to 142 million in 2011). The worst affected are children who are slowly losing their neighbourhood parks to these cobwebs of car parks.

The 2006 National Urban Transport Policy, a national level policy made by the Ministry of Urban Development, was formulated to address an onslaught of private vehicle dependence and maddening traffic with an emphasis on “moving people and not just vehicles”.

But it has failed miserably in the way it has been envisioned.

Read the Full Article Here : http://bit.ly/18XN993

Dial “*325#” on Mobile to access free of cost Political Candidate history

Now,  access political candidate fighting election with push of a call on your mobile phone free of cost.  In run up to upcoming general elections in India, New Delhi based Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and  Facebook, social media giant have joined hands to provide citizens up-to-date candidates’ information on the mobile phone in an easy and an accessible way. 

The information will be available on upcoming state assembly elections and Parliamentary (Lok Sabha) Elections to help  voters make an informed choice.Voters In India will now be able to access election candidates’ criminal, financial, educational, professional etc. information directly on their mobile via Facebook using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). USSD is a technology that helps people access facebook on phones without Internet. USSD is a technology that all GSM phones (over 90% of all phones today) across prices and complexity are equipped with. USSD allows text experiences on phones that are richer than SMS and cheaper for the user than mobile Internet.

How to access the information on election candidates for free-

Access to information has never been simpler, faster and cheaper — all users have to do is dial *325# from their mobile to access Facebook and select the election menu (option 6) or directly dial *325*35# to access the election menu for no charge.

According to a press release issued by ADR, Voters will be able to know the poll worthiness of candidates — their educational, criminal and financial information — at their fingertips and choose wisely. Simply voting in an uninformed manner is not enough, citizens need to make an informed choice.

The great Indian Tamasha of Politics

The press release quotes Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy, Facebook India, said, “Over 82 million Indian citizens access Facebook regularly, and an increasing number of users access the platform on mobile. Our goal is to enable citizens to get involved in issues of governance. We are delighted to collaborate with ADR on this important initiative.”

The USSD election feature will allow citizens to access information more easily and will enable them to make an informed choice. 

-with inputs from ADR press release.