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Misc News/Press Release

HP Govt counts its schemes for disabled, old age, widows, SCs/STs



HP Government schemes for disabled, old age, widows

Shimla: As the Vidhan Sabha polls are approaching, the Himachal Pradesh Government is counting its achievements during its tenure of five years. The number of announcements, inaugurations, and foundation stone laying ceremonies etc. has increased several times during last few months.

Bhartiya Janata Party alleges the Chief Minister is making announcements for which he has no budget at all. 

However, the Chief Minister is not ready to admit any faults of his government. In his speeches and statements, the state has witnessed massive development in every field ranging from infrastructure, health, education, youth employment etc. 

In a similar statement released on October 1, 2017, the government claimed every section of society including physical and mental challenges are enjoying equal rights.

Referring to very recent Cabinet decision taken to increase maternity leave to 180 days, the government claimed the women and men are equal when it comes to education and wages.

For disabled youth, government refers to Rs. 1500 per month allowance under Skill Development Scheme and unemployment allowance of Rs. 1500 per month.

Young able-bodied man/woman who willingly marries a person with 40 percent to 74 percent disability of either sex is Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 50,000 for persons with 75 percent or more disability.

Though the Disabled Student Union of Himachal Pradesh alleged the government of denying them scholarships for the lack of budget, the government claims disabled persons are receiving financial assistance for education purposes.

SC/ST/OBC are receiving housing subsidy of Rs. 48,000 to Rs. 75,000 for construction of new houses. The ceiling for the availing benefit was increased from Rs. 17,000 to Rs. 35,000.

Financial assistance to the trained applicants belonging to SC/ST/OBC for the purchase of sewing machines per beneficiary has been enhanced from Rs.1500 to Rs. 1800

For purchase of tools for carpentry, blacksmithing, weaving, and spinning the subsidy has been fixed at Rs.1300 per beneficiary with an income not exceeding more than Rs.35, 000 per annum.

A Rs.36.64 lakh new old age home with the capacity to accommodate 50 inmates was constructed at Basantpur.
The award for inter-caste marriages is now Rs. 50,000.

Old age disabled and widows, who are between the age of 60-70 years with a family income of Rs. 35,000 or less per year, are receiving a grant of Rs. 700 per month. This amount is Rs. 1250 per month for those who are 80 years or more without any income criteria under. These funds are granted under the H.P. Old Age Pension and Relief to Disable Rule and Widow Scheme.

Widow and persons with 40 to 69 percent disability and a family income of Rs. 35,000 or less per annum are receiving Rs. 700 per month Under State Widow and Handicapped Pension Scheme, claims the government. There is no age bar under these schemes.

Lepers are being given rehabilitation allowance at Rs. 700 per month who are not in Government /Semi-Government/ Boards/ Corporation/ service or do not come under any pension scheme.

T.A./D.A. and maintenance expenses and transport facilities to the victims of atrocity, his/her dependent and witness has been given during the investigating and hearing the cases registered under the under Rule 11 of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities ) Act, 1989.

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Misc News/Press Release

DC Kangra confirms abduction of 3 Himachalis in Nigeria, CM seeks Centre Govt’s help



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: The Deputy Commissioner of Kangra today confirmed that Nigerian sea pirates have held three men hailing from Kangra hostages for ransom.

The state government said it has taken up the matter with the Government of India and requested the safe release of all three hostages.

The step came after the news appeared in regional media.

The State government claimed that in a communiqué to the Western Africa Division, Ministry of External Affairs, the state government said the three youths namely Sushil Kumar, Pankaj Kumar and Ajay Kumar, who belong to Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh have been kidnapped by the Nigerian pirates as per the confirmed report.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has sought the intervention of Union government to ensure the safe release of three hostages.He hoped the union government will act fast and get the hostages released safely.

You can read the entire matter here in HW’s previous article.

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Misc News/Press Release

Govt silent over safety of 3 Himachali youth allegedly held hostages by Nigerian pirates for ransom



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: Three youths hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, who were serving in Merchant Navy, have reportedly ended in the hands of armed Nigerian sea pirates as hostages. The armed pirates hijacked their ship and demanded a ransom of 11 million nairas (20-22 Lakh INR) from the parents of one of the hostages.

The details are scanty as no official confirmation has been made by the State or Centre Government. It is not clear when they were abducted. 

The news broke out when Raghubir Singh (62) of Nagrota, father of one of the hostages, reached media yesterday.  

As per the information given by Raghubir, the other two men included Pankaj Kumar of Samloti and Ajay Kumar of Palampur.

The three men were currently working for a private shipping company named Max Marine Services in Cortnou Benin.

On March 12, the parents of one of the abducted youth, Susheel Sharma (37), who was the captain on the ship, received a call through a satellite phone. Susheel told the parents that he along with two others had been held hostage in some jungle. He told the parents about the pirate’s demand for ransom in exchange for their release.

On March 21, Himachal had received a shock after the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed, while speaking in the Parliament, the killing of 39 Indians in Iraq including four men from Himachal. Three of them hailed from Kangra while remaining one belonged to Mandi district.

Now, this fresh case of abduction has again jolted Kangra.

Surprisingly, as alleged by the parents, the Centre or State Government have not given any reaction to the situation.   

The district administration also said it was not aware of the situation.

The parents also alleged the shipping company of keeping them in dark whenever they contacted it to know whereabouts of their son. The owner of the ship told the parents that a negotiation was ongoing with the pirates.

However, recently, the owner stopped picking up phone calls from the aggrieved parents.  

Ultimately, the family on March 18 approached the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the Prime Minister, Modi,  through a mail with their plea to intervene and rescue their son.

However, the parents allege that they did not receive any satisfactory response from anyone. 

As per the statement of the parents, Sudhir had told them that they are getting only one meal per day. The pirates will starve them to death if the ransom is not paid, Sudhir had told the parents.

Now, the parents do not trust the company anymore and have put their hope on the Government.   


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Misc News/Press Release

Man killed as stone rolls down hill, breaks through moving HRTC bus window in Kullu



Bizzare Bus Accident in Himachal's Kullu

Kullu: A big round stone rolled down a hill and broke through the window of a moving Himachal Pradesh Road Corporation (HRTC) bus that was heading towards Kullu from Rampur today. The accident occurred near Luhri in Kullu.  A co-passenger who was sitting beside the deceased also came in spate and received injuries.

However, the deceased, who was identified as Manohar Singh (60) of Tippal village in Anni, died on the spot.  The injured was identified as Vijay Kumar of Kumarsain. He was taken to hospital in Rampur. 

The death came from nowhere and picked up its prey within a fraction of a second, said the eyewitnesses. The stone hit Manohar right on his head, which was badly crushed.  

Other passengers were horrified by the bizarre and sudden manner the stone broke through the window like a bullet.  

A police team from Luhri rushed to the spot and took custody of the dead body.  The elected MLA Kishori Lal Sagar also arrived at the spot on hearing the tragic news. The body was later handed over to the family after the postmortem.

The district administration provided Rs. 20, 000 to the victim’s family as immediate relief. The HRTC also announced Rs. 10,000 as relief money.  

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