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Use social media as political weapon: Malala to youth

Monitor News Bureau

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Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai encouraged youngsters here to use social media platforms as a political weapon and on issues that they truly care about, such as equality, women’s rights and education.
The 20-year-old activist warned of the danger of discrimination on social network and the media in her remarks on Thursday during a press conference at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico City, reports Efe news.
Yousafzai said if online discrimination persists, people will start thinking that they need to hate Mexicans, Muslims or Catholics.
“Thanks to technology, young people could now be more involved in the politics of their countries,” she said.
When asked about the xenophobic remarks of US President Donald Trump which usually appear on his social media accounts, Yousafzai said that his behaviours were wrong.
She said although people should follow their tradition, culture and nationality, they should not follow the hate because it hurts others.
Yousafzai was also concerned about the situation of women in Latin America and called for equal right to education.
Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize when she was 17, making her the youngest Nobel laureate to date, began her fight for equality at the age of 11, resisting the fundamentalist Taliban’s prohibition of local girls going to school.
She was also a blogger for the BBC under a pseudonym, which allowed her to tell the world how her country had been caught up in terror.
Yousafzai, who got accepted into the Oxford University, said that there were countless benefits a country could receive if it educated children.
She also expressed her concerns about the refugees from Latin American countries who have been displaced along the borders of Mexico and the US.
Although Yousafzai praised the works and efforts of President Enrique Pena Nieto, whom she met earlier in the day at the presidential palace, she concluded that there was still a long way to go for Mexico regarding the issue.
Malala Yousafzai said she looks up to the likes of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and other world leaders who fight for equality.


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Treated worse than bonded laborers: No country for Safai Karamcharis

Bisma Bhat

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Srinagar, Feb 19: It has been two months since Riyaz Ahmad, a sanitation worker at Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), has taken a day off. His work starts at the break of dawn when he holds long-handled broom to clean the streets.

 “I was directed to send my son, who is still studying, to work then I can take a day off to visit hospital. I was suffering from severe chest infection,” Ahmad said.

Another sanitation worker said he was instructed to take day off only if his wife would stand-in for him at his workplace. “We have to work in two shifts to clean Srinagar. If someone is sick, he cannot take a day off because there is dearth of sanitation workers in SMC,” he said.

 

The current manpower is not able to cater to whole Srinagar despite double shifts. Against the need of 7000 Safai Karamcharis, there are less than 3000 workers who have to cover 246 sq km area of Srinagar.

Chairman, Safai Karamchari Union, Ghulam Mohamad Solina said that they never stop cleaning city no matter what conditions they face.

“More than 40 years have passed since 1600 men were recruited as Safai Karamcharis’. At that time  city had 17 wards only. Around 1000 people have been taken as daily wagers in recent years. Now, Srinagar has extended to more than 35 wards but the manpower is same.   We need at least 7000 people to cover whole Srinagar,” he added. 

An official at SMC said Srinagar has expanded to 74 electoral wards, 35 administrative wards with population of more than 15 lakh and three lakh households.

The official noted that apart from human resource shortage, they don’t even have sanitation equipment and proper safety gear for Safai Karamcharis. “We only have 40% of transport available for carrying garbage,” he said.

Chief Sanitary Officer, SMC, Syed Nissar admitted that they need at least 6000 Safai Karamcharis to cover entire Srinagar.

“New rules have to be framed. According to 1970 rules only 500 budgetary posts are available. Recruitment of Safai Karamcharis is under consideration for which new rules are being framed,” he added.

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Hundreds of candidates singled out: Baramulla Medical College tweaks rules for nursing posts

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar:  Career of hundreds of trained nurses is at stake after Government Medical College, Baramulla, arbitrarily tweaked eligibility rules and sought applications from M.Sc (Nursing) pass-outs to fill up the vacancies of 10 staff nurses.

Under Indian Nursing Council (INC) rules, the eligibility for staff nurse is B.Sc in Nursing, while M.Sc is the preferred qualification for academic posts like tutor, assistant professor, associate professor and professor.

However, an advertisement by Government Medical College, Baramulla, has left out candidates with B.Sc nursing and diploma holders in nursing..

 

According to the advertisement, there are 10 vacancies for staff nurse with eligibility criteria as “MSc Nursing from recognized institute in relevant subject along with experience”.

Wasim Ahmad, a nursing graduate said eligibility criterion is clear violation of the norms set by the Indian Nursing Council.

“As per the rules, those with three-year and six-month diploma programme in General Nursing and Midwifery or GNM and B.Sc in Nursing are the ideal candidates for the job,” he said.

He noted that though the people with M.Sc degree can apply for it, singling out B.Sc and diploma holders is a sheer injustice with other candidates having lower qualification.  

Another female nursing graduate said this advertisement came as a jolt.

“I am desperately in need of a job. I have the basic qualification for the post, but they are taking candidates with M.Sc degree. This is totally unacceptable,” she said.

Principal, Government Medical College, Baramulla, Dr Abdul Hamid Kathoo said the advertised posts are temporary. “This is not a permanent post and is specifically a need-based appointment,” Dr Hamid said.

Medical Superintendent, District Hospital, Baramulla, Dr Syed Masood said the recently advertised posts are not for the “routine staff nurses”.

“The posts demand specialized nurses. This is the reason why we have created only 10 posts. Also, the candidates are nobody to determine the criterion of the particular post. The posts have been created after much deliberation,” Dr Masood said.

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All party meeting: NC, PDP, Cong say no to Panchayat polls till leaders are released

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Feb 18:  Efforts to convince political parties to participate in the Panchayat polls suffered a major setback on Tuesday when Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Conference (NC) and Congress reiterated their decision to stay away from the election citing prolonged detention of its leaders.

Chief Election Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar held an all party meeting on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming election for vacant Panchayat seats in the Union Territory.

However, the representatives of National Conference, Congress and PDP told the CEO to release the mainstream leaders in order to their participation in the election.

 

PDP’s Surinder Chaudhary, who was flanked by Narinder Singh Raina, walked out of the meeting claiming that they are not allowed to conduct political activities freely in J&K.

“I walked out of the meeting, when we realized that Chief Election Officer was bereft of any agenda. I clearly told him that the meeting was called very late as two phases of Panchayat elections were already over. We demanded release of our president,” he said.

Chaudhary said they told the CEO that democracy is nowhere seen on the ground in Jammu and Kashmir. “Our leaders are detained under Public Safety Act. Only BJP is being allowed to carry out activities while security and vehicles of rest of the political leaders have been withdrawn,” he said.

National conference leader Ratan Lal Gupta said the party is of the view that the situation is not conducive for holding elections. “The meeting should have been called much earlier to know the view of political parties about holding the polls,” Gupta said.

Congress vice-president Ghulam Nabi Monga, who was accompanied by Party Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Sharma, said they raised issues of freeing detained leaders and allowing parties to conduct political activities.

“We asked CEO to ensure releasing detained leaders, their free movement and lifting of restrictions on political leaders, if they want us to participate. Otherwise the government should defer or postpone elections,” Monga said.

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