Posts tagged ‘Maharashtra’

27/06/2016

For single women in Maharashtra, owning land can be the difference between life and death | Reuters

Rajshree Gungoo, a chatty 27-year-old with a quick smile, speaks up at a gathering of about 40 women discussing the challenges facing single women in Maharashtra.”It’s very difficult. I don’t have a husband, I don’t have a son, even my father doesn’t want me,” she says, her voice breaking. “I am alone and powerless to do anything.”

She breaks off, using the end of her saree to wipe her tears. Around her, others nod and mutter.

In drought-hit Marathwada, the state’s poorest region, there is an unusually high number of single women. Some were widowed after their farmer husbands committed suicide because of debt; others were abandoned because they didn’t produce a son, while some were left behind when their husbands left to search for work.

Alone and without financial support, the women and their children are usually thrown out of home by their in-laws, denied ownership of the land they worked on and any compensation from the government.

They are also taunted and harassed by communities who believe a woman is nothing without a man.

“In this country, single women are the most vulnerable category – they are neglected by the government, by society, even their own family,” said Vishwanth Todkar, secretary at Paryay, a charity that works with marginalised communities.

“Every day, every hour is a struggle for them – to get a home, get land, even their identity cards, which are in the name of the father or the husband. They face humiliations constantly,” he said.

Source: For single women in Maharashtra, owning land can be the difference between life and death | Reuters

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21/06/2016

India’s suicide farmers’ widows face living death | Reuters

At the age of 24, Joshna Wandile and her two children were thrown out of the house she shared with her in-laws after her farmer husband hanged himself. He left a pile of debts after years of drought laid waste to his land.Wandile is not alone. More than 300,000 farmers have killed themselves in India over the last two decades, leaving their widows battling with the state, moneylenders, in-laws and their communities.

While widows in rural India are often ostracised and abused, farmer widows have it particularly tough, activists said ahead of International Widows’ Day on Thursday.”I had nothing when my husband died – he sold everything in the house, even the cooking vessels, to pay the creditors,” said Wandile who lives in Vidarbha in Maharashtra, among the worst affected by farmers’ suicides.

“I couldn’t even feel sad. I could only think: where will we live? How will I earn enough money? How will I keep us safe?” said Wandile, who was married at 17.

Maharashtra, which is struggling with its worst drought in four decades, accounted for more than half the 5,650 farmer suicides in India in 2014, according to official data. Some estimate last year’s toll exceeded 3,000.

“Bankruptcy or indebtedness” was the most common reason cited. Most were small farmers, with holdings of under two hectares.

There is little information on the families left behind who struggle to claim their right to the land they till and the house they live in, while battling archaic stigmas that dog their every step.

Source: India’s suicide farmers’ widows face living death | Reuters

10/08/2015

5 Things to Know about Foxconn’s Overseas Ambitions – WSJ

Foxconn, Apple Inc.’s major assembler, has signed a preliminary deal with India’s Maharashtra state to invest $5 billion in factories and research facilities in coming years. But the company, officially known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., has a history of making ambitious statements and floating investment ideas that haven’t materialized. Here are five things to know about Foxconn’s overseas ambitions.

Deutsch: Foxconn Logo

Deutsch: Foxconn Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 India isn’t its first billion-dollar bet

In 2011, Foxconn agreed to invest $12 billion in Brazil to create a new supply chain that it had hoped will generate jobs. But four years later, Foxconn’s investment in Brazil has been much smaller than the pledged amount. It is still struggling to improve the manufacturing operations at its plants for iPhones and iPads there citing its inefficient labor force. The company has also been in talks for a new plant investment in Indonesia for years.  The Indonesian government once said that Foxconn would invest up to $10 billion, but plans remain in limbo due to political snags.

2 Why India?

While China remains the world’s largest smartphone market by shipments, India has the biggest growth potential for the next 5 years, says Bernstein analyst Mark Li. India recently raised taxes on mobile phones imported to the country to 12.5% from 6%, spurring global handset makers to look at ways to manufacture devices locally.

3 Sign of shift in manufacturing to India from China?

Analysts say it is unlikely that India will overtake China to become the company’s main production base in the next few years as China has an well-established supply chain ecosystem. India still lacks good infrastructure and favorable tax and labor policies, making it a less attractive destination for tech manufacturing.

4 Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou always aims for the best deal

The agreement with the Indian government is non-binding. Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou usually gives a rosy picture about the company’s potential investments when he negotiates with government officials. But only a few investment plans materialize as he wants favorable terms including big tax incentives and free land that most governments can’t accommodate.

5 Foxconn seeks other investment opportunities in India

The company and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are in talks to jointly invest about $500 million in Snapdeal.com, a five-year-old Indian e-commerce startup. The deal would give Foxconn a retail foothold in India where it has experienced booming demand for smartphones. Foxconn is also setting up a new production site for Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. in India.

via 5 Things to Know about Foxconn’s Overseas Ambitions – WSJ.

21/07/2015

Traveling on India’s Roads Is Getting More Dangerous – The Numbers – WSJ

Traveling on India’s roads is getting more dangerous. In 2014 there were 141,526 deaths due to road accidents in the country, up from 137,423 a year earlier.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is set to introduce the Road Transport and Safety Bill in the upcoming 18-day session of Parliament, which starts Tuesday.

It would be India’s first separate legislation to govern road safety. Counter-intuitively, the legislation would reduce penalties for offenses such as drunken driving or speeding, but road-safety campaigners say that would make the law more likely to be enforced.

Until then, some numbers from the National Crime Records Bureau that show how safe it is (or isn’t) to travel on India’s roads.

39.2%

The percentage of India’s accidental deaths in 2014 that were the result of traffic accidents.

May

The month in 2014 in which the most traffic accidents were reported in India. Accidents that month accounted for 9.2%, or 44,106 out of 481,805 of the total traffic accidents that year.

3 p.m. – 9 p.m.

The time the largest number of traffic accidents were reported in 2014, making up a total of 34.2% of traffic accidents that year.

2.9%

Amount fatalities from road accidents increased by in 2014, from a year earlier. Road accidents overall increased by 1.8% in 2014.

31.39%

Percentage of road accidents in India in 2014 where at least one person died.

Two wheelers

Type of vehicle most often involved in fatal road accidents. More than one in four (26.4%) of accidental deaths on roads involved motorbikes, scooters and other two wheelers, followed by trucks and lorries at 20.1%, cars at 12.1% and buses at 8.8%. The statistics do not say if this included bicycles.

National highways

Roads which saw the highest number of accidents, contributing to 27.5% of total road accidents. These roads makes up just 1.58% of India’s total road network. State highways had a share of 25.2% of total accidents. The national highways also saw the most fatal accidents – accounting for more than 32.5% of the total deaths on India’s roads in 2014.

Uttar Pradesh

The state with the most road traffic accident deaths in India in 2014 –16,284. Perhaps not surprising, since it is India’s most-populous region. The state was closely followed by Tamil Nadu at 15,190 deaths and Maharashtra at 13,529 deaths.

Speeding

The cause of most road accidents in India in 2014–accounting for 36.8% of total accidents, causing 48,654 deaths and injuring 181,582 people. Dangerous, careless driving or overtaking caused 137,808 road accidents, the data showed, resulting in 42,127 deaths and injuring 138,533 people. Poor weather caused 3.2% of road accidents, while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol contributed to 1.6% of total road accidents

via Traveling on India’s Roads Is Getting More Dangerous – The Numbers – WSJ.

03/02/2015

Drought hits 90 lakhs farmers in Maharashtra – The Times of India

Nearly 90 lakh farmers in Maharashtra have been impacted by the drought that has devastated the kharif crop, official data shows. The figure is almost on a par with the population of Sweden.

Maharashtra is already known for its farm crisis and reports the highest number of farmer’s suicides in the country. The drought — brought on by a delayed and inadequate monsoon — is set to deepen the distress for its cultivators.

It comes close on the heels of the crop distress wreaked by the hailstorms last year which hit cultivators hard.

Data with the agriculture department show that two-thirds of the state’s 1.37crore farmers have been affected by the drought which has impacted mainly the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions. These areas have historically been the most deprived in the state.

via Drought hits 90 lakhs farmers in Maharashtra – The Times of India.

18/12/2014

India Power Lines to Get $1.2 Billion German Revamp With KfW – Businessweek

German state-owned bank KfW Group will spend 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to refurbish India’s electricity network for carrying more renewable energy from sources such as solar and wind.

KfW agreed to loan Power Grid Corp of India Ltd. 500 million euros to build new power lines and signed deals with India’s government for two loans totaling 125 million euros for grid projects in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, it said today in an e-mailed statement. The deals are part of a support package of 1 billion euros, it said.

“Demand for power in India is rising unremittingly,” said Norbert Kloppenburg, a KfW board member. “The expansion of transmission is the task of the moment because of the great potential of renewable energies.”

via India Power Lines to Get $1.2 Billion German Revamp With KfW – Businessweek.

07/08/2014

One lakh children go missing in India every year: Home ministry – The Times of India

On February 5, 2013, a Supreme Court bench, angry over 1.7 lakh missing children and the government’s apathy towards the issue, had remarked: “Nobody seems to care about missing children. This is the irony.”  (Ed note: 1 lakh = 100,000)

English: Children in Raisen district (Bhil tri...

English: Children in Raisen district (Bhil tribe), MP, India. Français : Enfants dans le district de Raisen (tribu Bhil), M.P., Inde. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Close to one and a half years later, government data show over 1.5 lakh more children have gone missing, and the situation remains the same with an average of 45% of them remaining untraced.

Data on missing children put out by the home ministry last month in Parliament show that over 3.25 lakh children went missing between 2011 and 2014 (till June) at an average of nearly 1 lakh children going missing every year.

Compare this to our trouble-torn neighbour Pakistan where according to official figures around 3,000 children go missing every year. If population is an issue, then one could look at China, the most populous nation, where official figures put the number of missing children at around 10,000 every year.

National Crime Records Bureau, in fact, deciphers missing children figures in India in terms of one child going missing in the country every eight minutes.

More worryingly, 55% per cent of those missing are girls and 45% of all missing children have remained untraceable as yet raising fears of them having been either killed or pushed into begging or prostitution rackets.

Maharashtra is one of the worst states in terms of missing children with over 50,000 having disappeared in the past three and half years. Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh are distant competitors with all recording less than 25,000 missing children for the period.

Worryingly, however, all these states have more missing girls than boys. In Maharashtra, 10,000 more girls went missing than boys. In Andhra Pradesh, the number of girls missing (11,625) is almost double of boys (6,915). Similarly, Madhya Pradesh has over 15,000 girls missing compared to around 9,000 boys. Delhi, too, has more girls (10,581) missing compared to boys (9,367).

via One lakh children go missing in India every year: Home ministry – The Times of India.

04/08/2014

With court ban on illegal mosque loudspeakers, some Mumbai Muslims oppose street prayers too

The performance of religious practices in public spaces has occasionally caused friction in Indian cities. On July 30, the Bombay High Court addressed one particularly vexing source of strain when it asked the city police to take down all illegal loudspeakers attached to mosques in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

The court’s directive came in response to a public interest litigation filed by a Navi Mumbai resident against the unauthorised loudspeakers during prayer time at mosques. The court specified that all illegal loudspeakers, whether installed at mosques or at Ganesh or Navratri pandals, should be removed “irrespective of religion, caste or community”.

Even though the loudspeaker issue has been repeatedly politicised in Maharashtra (in 2010, the Shiv Sena had demanded a blanket ban on all mosque loudspeakers after the party was booked for violating noise norms at its Dussehra rally), several Muslim activists came out in support of the court directive.

But the call to prayer being announced on loudspeakers is not the only Muslim practice that some members of other communities complain about. In densely-populated cities like Mumbai, when large numbers of devotees gather to pray their Friday namaz, the congregation often spills out of the mosques and into the streets outside, hindering traffic and pedestrian movements for up to 30 minutes.

For many Muslim activists, this phenomenon is as much of an inconvenience to the public as the loudspeakers. But they believe the government has a greater role to play in helping to solve the problem.

“Nobody really likes to pray namaz outside on the streets, because it inconveniences so many people,” said Ghulam Arif, president of the Qartaba Wisdom Club, a Mumbai-based non-profit organisation that works on social issues. The only reason the practice continues, he said, is because the community is too large to fit into the existing mosques.

“The government could give Muslims the permission to organise Friday prayers in open grounds and maidans near mosques,” said Arif.

The community has been recommending a specific solution to the problem for nearly two decades: allowing mosques to expand by granting them additional floor space index. Increasing FSI  – the ratio of plot size to the height of a building that can be erected on it  –  would mean a greater number of floors to accommodate more worshippers.

via Scroll.in – News. Politics. Culture..

10/12/2013

Anna Hazare begins fast for Lokpal Bill – The Times of India

Veteran activist Anna Hazare launched an indefinite hunger strike at his village to press for the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

English: Hon. Anna Hazare in Nanded , Maharastra .

English: Hon. Anna Hazare in Nanded , Maharastra . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the chilly 6 degrees Celsius temperature sweeping Maharashtra\’s Ahmednagar district, Hazare went on his usual morning walk and then started his hunger strike near the Yadavbaba temple in the village, under the banner of his new organization, Jantantra Morcha.

The Jan Lokpal Bill, also referred to as the Citizen\’s Ombudsman Bill, is an anti-corruption legislation drafted by civil society activists, seeking appointment of an independent panel to investigate cases of corruption.

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via Anna Hazare begins fast for Lokpal Bill – The Times of India.

21/08/2013

India’s Maharashtra state bans black magic after killing

BBC: “The Indian state of Maharashtra has enacted emergency laws banning black magic and superstition, one day after a prominent campaigner was killed.

In this Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 photo, people pay last respects to anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar who was killed in Pune, India

Anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar, 71, who campaigned for the law, was shot dead in the city of Pune on Tuesday by unidentified gunmen.

Many businesses closed to protest against his killing and chanting demonstrators marched through the city.

He spent decades campaigning against what he called “fraudulent” practices.

Critics accused him of being anti-religion in a country where mysticism and spirituality is venerated.

But in an interview with the Agence France-Presse news agency two years ago he rejected such charges.

“In the whole of the bill, there’s not a single word about God or religion. Nothing like that. The Indian constitution allows freedom of worship and nobody can take that away,” he said.

“This is about fraudulent and exploitative practices.””

via BBC News – Narendra Dabholkar: India’s Maharashtra state bans black magic after killing.

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