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Shimla NGO Rubbishes Its Allegations of Fraud Against Cancer Aid Society

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Cancer Aid Society Lucknow

Shimla- Cancer Aid Society, an NGO based in Lucknow, recently raised objections to the serious allegations labelled by a Shimla-based NGO, Umang Foundation, against it.

In May 2017, the Chairman of Umang Foundation, Ajai Shrivastava, had written a letter to then Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in which he had labelled serious allegations against the Cancer Aid Society and the district administration of Shimla. He had alleged that the Society, in convince with government schools, was using children to collect donations from localities. He had challenged the authenticity of the Society and had demanded an investigation.

However, on March 28, 2019, Mr. Shrivastva issued a clarification in which he has rubbished his own allegations against the Society.

In May 2019, I had written a letter to the Chief Minister of HP demanding action against the NGOs collecting funds through the government school students as I had a personal experience in this regard. This news item was published in media,

he informed.

The students who came to my house to collect donation in the name of cancer patients mislead me and misquoted the said Cancer Aid Society,

Mr. Shrivastva clarified.

He said recently Dr Piyush Gupta of the Cancer Aid Society Lucknow contacted him and clarified the position of his organisation.

I am fully convinced of his version. I have come to know the Cancer Aid Society Lucknow is doing exemplary work in the field of Cancer Awareness in the country. I had no mala fide intention to defame the Cancer Aid Society Lucknow.

He said he wanted action against only those NGOs which brings bad name to the NGO sector and good organisations like Cancer Aid Society Lucknow.

Since I never intended to harm or defame the Cancer Aid Society Lucknow, I deeply regret the inconvenience caused,

he added.

The Society also wrote to Himachal Watcher and brought the matter to our attention.

Dr Piyush Gupta briefed us that Cancer Aid Society is an ISO 9001 NGO, having special consultative status with United Nation’s Economic and Social Council.

It’s also a registered participant of the World Health Organisation’s Global Coordination Mechanism on Non-Communicable Diseases. The NGO has represented the Country in several international and national conferences including the meeting for the control of NCDs in 2011 and 2014 review meeting at United Nations Headquarters New York as well as World Health Organisation Headquarters Geneva in 2015 etc, Dr Piyush Gupta told HW.

It is duly registered as a Society since 1987 and is working across the country legitimately under Section 12A and 80G of Income Tax Act, which is mandatory for receiving donations within India as well as under FCRA for receiving foreign donations, he informed.   

We are fulfilling all statutory compliances legally and have received several National and International Awards as well as over 20 International Scholarships including the prestigious US Government’s Cancer Prevention Fellowship by National Cancer Institute,

Dr Piyush Gupta said.

He added that the Cancer Aid Society has demonstrated community level model across the globe, and this model has been replicated and scaled up successfully for awareness on Tobacco, Cancer and other NCD’s – causes of 71% of all deaths globally.

He explained that to keep the upcoming generation free from NCDs, the Society organizes Cancer and NCD Awareness Programs free of cost in Institutions. It distributes free awareness literature to prevent Non-Communicable Diseases as well as for early detection of cancer by identifying the symptoms.

These efforts can save precious lives as 80% of cancers are detected in advance stages when they become untreatable and require Palliative Care. This care is lacking. In absence of any Government support, the Society depends solely on small voluntary donations from the community,

Dr Piyush Gupta said.

Environment

Himachal First State to Complete Assessment of Snow Leopard and its Wild Prey

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Snow Leopard Population Assessment in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-The assessment of snow leopard population in Himachal Pradesh has been completed by the state wildlife wing in collaboration with Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) Bangalore following the protocol aligning with the SPAI (Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India) protocols of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Himachal Pradesh has become the first state to complete assessment of snow leopard and its wild prey.

The state has an estimated population of up to 73 snow leopards.

It is the first scientifically robust estimate of snow leopards and its prey for the State. Since snow leopard is the state animal, the study assumes great significance for Himachal Pradesh.
The exercise revealed that snow leopard density ranged from 0.08 to 0.37 individuals per 100 sq.km., with the trans-Himalayan regions of Spiti, Pin valley and upper Kinnaur recording the highest densities, both of the predator and its prey, mainly ibex and blue sheep.

This study covered the entire potential snow leopard habitat of Himachal Pradesh: an area of 26,112 sq.km., utilising a stratified sampling design. Camera trapping surveys were conducted at 10 sites to representatively sample all the strata i.e. high, low and unknown. The camera trap deployment over the mountainous terrains was led by a team of eight local youth of Kibber village and more than 70 frontline staff of HPFD were trained in this technique as part of the project. Snow leopards were detected at all the 10 sites (Bhaga, Chandra, Bharmour, Kullu, Miyar, Pin, Baspa, Tabo, Hangrang & Spiti) suggesting that snow leopards are found in the entire snow leopard habitat in Himachal Pradesh either as resident individuals of a population or as dispersing individuals navigating through these connecting habitats.

Another revelation from the study is that a bulk of snow leopard occurrence is outside protected areas, reiterating the fact that local communities are the strongest allies for conservation in snow leopard landscapes.

The NCF and wildlife wing collaborated in the effort and it took three years to complete the assessment. MoEFCC had launched the First National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India, on the occasion of International Snow Leopard Day. You can read the complete protocol here.

Snow leopard is the icon of high mountains of Asia. In India, they inhabit the higher Himalayan and TransHimalayan landscape in an altitudinal range between approximately 3,000 m to 5,400 m above MSL, spanning c. 100,000 km2 in the five states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. This area contributes to about 5% of the global snow leopard range.

Snow leopards occur over a vast, relatively remote and difficult to access mountainous area. Together with their elusive nature, this makes a complete population census of snow leopards an unfeasible goal. Even their distribution remains unclear. For example, recent surveys show that they do not occur in 25 % of the area that was thought to be their range in the state of Himachal Pradesh Their density is expected to be variable in space, dependent on several factors such as habitat suitability, prey availability, disturbance and connectivity. Variation in density across space also poses the risk of biased sampling, and, indeed, most of the snow leopard population assessments conducted so far across the world are biased towards the best habitats.

Feature Photo: Pexels/Charles Miller

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Records 81% Turnout in 3rd Phase of PRI Polls, Congress Makes a Come Back in Theog MC after 20 Years

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third phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The third phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutes in Himachal Pradesh recorded around 81 percent polling on January 21, 2021. The elections were held in 1137 Gram Panchayats in this phase. The highest 94 percent polling was registered in Lodhi Majra Panchayat of Nalagarh development block in Solan district. This information was released by a spokesperson of HP Election Commission

District-wise, Sirmaur recorded 85% turnout, followed by Solan (85%) Kullu (84%),Chamba (82.8%), Mandi (82.7%), Una (81.1%), Shimla (82%),Una (81%), Bilaspur (80.3%), Hamirpur (78.1%), Kangra (78%), and Kinnaur (70%).

 Further, 48 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation also cast their votes.

The Spokesperson said that the poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state.

Counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on January 22, 2021, at block headquarters.

Congress made a come back to Theog Municipal Council after 20 years. While Vivek Thapar was elected as the Chairman of the MC, Reen Roy was elected as the Vice-Chairman. Congress has already registered wins in Rohru and Rampur MCs and Chopal, Kotkhai and Sunni Nagar panchayats.

Theog MC Polls 2021

Congress After Registering Victory in Theog MC Elections

The HPCC chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore, while speaking to media persons yesterday, said that of the total seven Wards of the Theog MC, Congress has claimed victory on four wards while remaining three Wards went to independent candidates. Congress alleged that BJP had left no stone unturned to pressurize, lure, and threaten elected members to gain their support. 

Rathore mocked at the defeat of BJP MP’s bother in Mandi district. Further, the candidate in Ghumarwin of Bilaspur – home district of BJP Chief Jagat Prakash Nadda-  had also faced defeat, Rathore said. BJP candidate in Sujanpur – home to Union Minister for State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur-could also not register a victory and lost, he said.

Congress also registered a victory in elections to Parwanoo MC. Kuldeep Singh Rathore, said that winning candidate Nisha Sharma joined Congress yesterday. She had won twice from the same Ward on BJP ticket. This time, she was denied ticket and fought the elections as an independent candidate. 

Parwanoo Counciloor Nisha sharma

Nisha Sharma Joins Congress

Rathore alleged that the government has been trying to threaten Nisha by registering a fake case of illegal construction. Similarly, husband of Chandrawati – another Congress councilor in Parwanoo- who runs a depot was fined wrongfully yesterday, Rathore alleged.   

While BJP has been making claims of victory on the majority of seats, Congress had been terming it as a bluff.  Also, it had been alleging BJP of misusing government machinery. Independent candidates are being bought and allurements are being given to winning Congress candidates, Rathore alleged.  

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Himachal: 80% Voter Turnout in 2nd Phase of Panchayat Polls

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Second phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Election Commission informed that the elections for 1208 Gram Panchayats were held today in the second phase in which around 80 percent polling was registered.

Overall, 75 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation cast their votes as per the standard operating procedures.

The highest polling has been registered in Nandpur Gram Panchayat of Nalagarh developmental block of Solan district where the voter turnout was reported to be 96 percent.

The poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state. The counting of votes for Pradhan, Up-Pradhan and members was under the process and the results were awaited till late evening. The counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on 22 January 2021 at block headquarters.

Election-related process and results have been uploaded for the general public on sechimachal.nic.in.

The election for third and final phase for 1137 Panchayats would be held on 21 January 2021.

The first phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions in Himachal Pradesh was held in 1228 Gram Panchayats on January 17, 2021. The overall polling percentage in the first phase was reported to 77.50%.

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