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Again, Himachal CM warns schools to refrain from caste-based discrimination with students or face stringent action

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SHIMLA- Ahead of HP Assembly Polls in 2017, the CM presided over the 11th annual convention of Koli Kalyan Board, in Kullu on Thursday. The CM assured the people that stringent measures would be taken against those found guilty of racial discrimination and showing indifferent attitude towards children of low castes, particularly in schools by differentiating them with others.

Anyone found indulging in the crime and indifference towards such children would lose his job immediately. This applies to all government schools and other institutions of learning, he said.

All children will sit, study and eat together and anyone found discriminating the children on basis of caste, colour, region or religion would be fired from the job,

said the CM

The Deputy Commissioner was also given directions to ensure that any such incident does not take place in their respective districts. He said that if anyone reports any such incident, strict action would be taken against the defaulters by the government apart from the punishment under law.

Though, the government claims successful eradication of caste-based discrimination, it is true that such cases did come into light recently. In fact, the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had presided over the first ever meeting with H.P. Koli Welfare Board and H.P. Sant Ravidass Kalyan Board in February 2016 in which he had received serious complaints from the Koli Samaj and Ravidas community regarding discrimination with the students of Scheduled Caste communities in serving of mid-day-meal in some schools and Anganwadi Kendras in the State. 

He had warned that it is a criminal offence and action will be initiated against those teachers or Anganbari Sahayikas/workers who were found guilty as per the law. He had even directed to serve the mid-day-meal to the students roll number wise so that no student feel humiliated.  

The CM claimed that gone are the days when the people use to draw a line parallel between higher and lower castes, he said adding that the people belonging to low caste were not allowed to enter the religious places and participate in religious ceremonies of upper caste people.  The temples are open to all in the State. People of any region and religion can pay their obeisance at any temple owned and controlled by the government, he said.

 We do not discriminate and divide, but believe in taking everyone along. We do not believe in casteism and the government was working equally for welfare of all, he said.

It takes time to change the thinking which dominated our society in past and can only be changed through education and sociology-economic development of the society, which can be achieved through education only.

Congress believes in secularism and this was the basis of development of the country, the CM said. 

The CM assured that the government would construct Raghunath Temple in Kullu, which would be open to all and not a private temple as being claimed by a royal scion of Kullu.

Virbhadra Takes a Jib at Kullu MLA

Taking a jibe at sitting Kullu MLA, the Chief Minister said, ‘Bhagwan Sabke hain, kisi ek Vyakati Ki sampati nahin’ (God is of everyone and not a private property of an Individual) especially when it is the presiding deity of the people of Kullu valley. The government would construct a huge temple of Lord Raghunath, he said giving direction to select a suitable place and land for the same.

He stated that the Koli samaj should provide a suitable piece of land for construction of Ambedkar Bhawan in Kullu and the government would provide adequate assistance.

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Misc News/Press Release

Snow, rain in Himachal bring little respite from prolonged dry spell

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Snowfall in Shimla

Shimla: As a little respite from the prolonged dry spell that has rung the alarm bells, some districts of Himachal Pradesh are today witnessing scattered to heavy rain and light spells of snowfall in upper parts of Shimla.

The hospitality industry is cheering at the news of light snowfall in Kufri and Narkanda as snow draws more tourists. An ongoing spell of light snowfall was also reported from Sanjuali adjoining areas.

Chamba and Kangra districts were reported to have received a good spell of rain at the time of writing.

The Meteorological Department, Shimla, has predicted snow and rain across the state on 23-24 January. However, thereafter, another dry spell has been predicted by the Met.

As per the meteorological department, the chances of snow or rain are scarce after these two days.

Until yesterday, the temperature in the State was recorded about 6 to 7 degree Celsius higher than the month of January usually witnessed in the past.

The popular cities like Shimla were staring at a dark future this year due to 100 percent dry spell since last November to this day. On the other hand, if post-monsoon rain deficit is considered, it has risen to alarming 46 percent.

Due to the dry spell, the forests of the State were burning due to frequent fires. The rain is likely to extinguish it.

During the previous week, over 100 incidents of forest fires were reported. The fires have destroyed a lot of flora and fauna.  

The peak winter period is about to be over and the State had so far witnessed anomaly in temperature, which was reported have increased by five to six notches upto yesterday. Th

The maximum temperature in Shimla, which otherwise was famous for its bone-chilling winters, was reported to be about 20 Degrees Celsius – about 7 notches above the usual temperature during winters.

In case the state did not receive sufficient spell of rain/ snow during these two days, the two largest sources of income for the state agriculture and tourism will be hit hardest.

Earlier, when the pattern of weather was normal, the State used to receive three to four spells of snowfall by this time with the accumulation of upto 30 to 50 cms snow.

The water level is fast decreasing. The illegal as well legal boring throughout the State for commercial purposes is also adding to the woes related to the groundwater level.

Effect on Agriculture   

The farmers were not able to plough their fields due to the paucity of rain or snow. The Rs. 3,000 crore apple industry is also not out of danger yet. The rain is likely to save the apple trees from burning due to pesticides.

The fresh or new plantation was also in danger. In Himachal, out total 12 states, eight districts namely Shimla, Kullu, Mandi and Kinnaur are the leading producers of apple, which are in dire need of snow.  

Lack of required amount of moisture in the soil for germination of seed had created consternation among the farmers as their seed would have gone waste otherwise.

In Himachal, 70 percent cultivable area is dependent on rain. The farmers would be doomed if the god of rain remained penurious about the rain and snow.

HP Government’s Review Meeting with the IPH Department

The Chief Minister had yesterday called a review meeting of Irrigation and Public Health Department along with the concerned Minister Mahendar Singh Thakur.

So far, the state government was apprehensive about the possible drought-like situation. The government said the state might face acute shortage of water. The IPH department was advised to get ready to deal with the water-shortage in advance.

The water supply schemes could be affected leading to a shortage of drinking in all major towns. The IPH department has been asked to explore the possibilities of installing more hand-pumps and arrange for water tankers if needed.  

Threat of Jaundice Outbreak

The State government has also admitted that the jaundice outbreak threat does loom large in Shimla city as water sources are drying up. Several cases of jaundice were reported during the current month. The Shimla Municipal Corporation has advised people to boil water before use.

The farming community, fruit growers, and hospitality industry are expecting more snow and rain during next 24 hours. 

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Himachal makes HIV/AIDS test mandatory for all expectant mothers

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HP Aids control Society

The cases of AIDS are increasing in the State. Currently, the official number of the people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) is around 5700 in Himachal.

Shimla: The State government on January 22, 2018, launched the nutrition scheme for children living with HIV-positive in Himachal Pradesh. The launch was announced by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur during an awareness campaign organised by the HP State AIDS Control Society to mark the National Youth Day.

The purpose is to deliver nutritional supplement and boost immunity of around 400 HIV positive youth up to the age of 18 years. In addition, it aims to enable them to lead a normal and healthy life.

The government has made it mandatory for every expectant mother to go through the HIV test. It would prevent passing on of the virus to the baby in case the mother is HIV-positive.

The cases of AIDS are increasing in the State. Currently, the official number of the people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) is around 5700 in Himachal.

The government said the awareness campaign should be intensified in schools and colleges including organisation of skits, street shows, which are effective ways of communicate to the masses.

The education department will work in close coordination with the health department to provide special facility to educate all children living with HIV-positive.

HP AIDS Control Society also organized a Red Ribbon fair on the Ridge along with flagging-off a half marathon.

The AIDS Control Society also launched its official website and twitter handle.

Further, there is a dire need to initiate massive awareness campaigns about this disease up to rural areas. The Non-profit Organizations (NGOs) and individuals will have to come forward and supplement the efforts of the health department in creating awareness.

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Video: Fire in Shimla’s Gumma devours Rs. 40 lakh property  

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Shimla: In a tragic incident of fire breakout in Gumma area of Kotkhai region in Shimla district on Saturday, about six rooms of a three-story building were lost. The fire brigade saved the two storeys and buildings adjacent to it.

No loss of life was reported, but the estimated loss of assets was initially assessed at about 40 lakh rupees.The owner of the house was identified as Rohit Chauhan.

Rohit’s mother was alone at the house when the fire broke out at about 3 PM. His mother called for help. However, the fire gutted six rooms on the third storey along with all belongings by the time the fire service reached the spot.

gumma-fire

The cause of the fire is believed to be a short-circuit.

While the other two stories housed shops, the third one was Rohit’s home.

The district administration has given Rs. 20,000 as a relief to the victim family.

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