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Cold wave continues unabated in Himachal

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Cold wave continues unabated in Himachal

Shimla, Jan 31 (PTI) The piercing cold wave conditions continued unabated in Himachal Pradesh as there was no significant change in?temperatures across the state.

snow-shimla

While arctic conditions prevailed in high altitude tribal areas with mercury staying 15 to 22 degrees below freezing point, Keylong and Bharmaur areas recorded minimum temperatures at minus 11.8 degrees and minus 10.6 degrees Celsius respectively.

Kalpa, Manali and Bhuntar shivered under biting cold wave conditions with mercury hovering around freezing point at minus 2.4 degrees, minus 2.

Himachal Watcher is a Himachal Pradesh Based Non-Funded & Independent Online English Magazine

News

Himachal Reports 3,942 New Cases, 45 Deaths from Coronavirus Including 12-Year-Old Boy in Last 24 Hours

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himachal pradesh daily corona news

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh reported 45 new fatalities due to coronavirus on Thursday taking the total death toll of the state to 1,724 according to official data provided by the government. Kangra district reported the highest number of deaths with 17 casualties in the last 24 hours while Shimla and Solan reported eight new fatalities separately.
 
On Friday the state’s total Covid cases reached 1,18,729 as 3,942 new infections were reported in the last 24 hours. There are currently 2,7,756 active cases of infection in the state. Solan district also reported a 12-year-old patient of coronavirus who died due to severe symptoms of Covid-19 that included acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The deceased had no other pre-exiting medical conditions, according to the health department. 

Today, a total of  18698 samples were taken. Till now the state has sampled a total of 15,90, 372 citizens in the state. The Covid test results of  12,630 people are still awaited. 

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 6, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

daily cases may 6
Meanwhile, with the rising number of cases, the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to impose a corona curfew effective from May 7 i.e. Friday. The curfew will come in effect from 6 am on May 7 to 6 am on May 17. During this period the state government will go ahead with its vaccination drives. Assembly of more than five people is not allowed under the curfew, however, in case of a wedding ceremony or a funeral up to 20 people can gather with the permission of the District Administration.

Also Read: HP Govt’s Corona Curfew Guidelines: Read What’s Allowed, What’s Not

With the spike in cases across the country, the government of Himachal Pradesh has introduced some precautionary measures for travellers planning to visit the state. For anyone who wants to travel to Himachal Pradesh during the curfew duration, a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours is mandatory. This rule is applicable for those travelling to the state by air, rail, and buses.

To boost the number of medical staff on the ground, the state government decided to rope in final year students from MBBS, nursing, and contractual doctors in Covid hospitals. According to a notification, the state will be paying an incentive of Rs 3,000 per month to the fourth-year medical students while final year nurses will be paid Rs 1,500 per month for their duty in Covid wards. On Thursday, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur also launched a dedicated Covid-19 Helpline at ‘Mukhyamantri Sewa Sankalp Helpline’ 1100 for facilitating people regarding covid related issues.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Casualties for May 6, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

Daily COVID-19 deaths in Himachal PRadesh on may 6

Coronavirus deaths in himachal in 2021

 

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HP Govt’s Corona Curfew Guidelines: Read What’s Allowed, What’s Not

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HP Govt Curfew Guidelines 2021

Shimla-A corona curfew was imposed in Himachal Pradesh as the number of daily COVID-19 cases and fatalities continue to spiral upwards. Yesterday, the state had reported 3842 cases and 32 fatalities, according to the statistics of the state health department. 

The annual examination of 10th standard of Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education was cancelled. It was decided that all the students would be promoted to 11th class by the Board as per the norms suggested by CBSE for its students for the 10th standard examination. It was also decided that 12th standard examination of Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education and annual examination of colleges would also remain suspended till further orders. 

Corona curfew would remain in force in Himachal Pradesh with effect from 6 AM of 7th of May,2021 to 6 AM of 17th May 2021. The corona curfew, however, would be different from a complete lockdown in many ways.

Also Read: Corona Curfew in Himachal Pradesh From May 7, Public Transport to Remain Operational, Educational Institutes Closed Till May 31

During this period, depending upon availability, vaccination would continue in places as notified by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Himachal Pradesh from time to time. Eligible people as advised by the department will be allowed to travel to the designated CVCs in their vehicles /taxis/auto-rickshaws by following guidelines.

HP Government has notified the new standard operating procedures (SOPs) which are as given below (unedited):    

  1. People desirous of / required to undertake testing for Covid-19 shall be allowed to travel to designated Government / Private Covid-19 Testing Centre in their vehicles /taxis /auto-rickshaws by following guidelines to that effect.
  2. During the curfew period, assembly of more than 5 people shall be treated as unlawful.
  3. However, a maximum of 20 people only will be allowed in gatherings related to marriages /funerals with permission of the District Administration.
  4. Government and Private offices/establishments shall remain closed. Government employees will work from home a shall not leave their headquarters without permission.
  5. All educational, training, coaching institutions, etc. shall now remain closed until 31st May 2021. However, MBBS(4TH and 5th year), BDS (4th year), Nursing classes(3rd year) only will continue. Physical conduct of the examinations by State/ national/ International bodies shall be allowed on a case to case basis by the respective Departments with due intimation to all concerned authorities.
  6. All cinema halls, malls, market complexes/ Bazar/ gyms/ sports complexes swimming pools/ entertainment parks/ theatres/ auditoriums/ assembly halls and related activities and similar places shall remain closed.
  7. Liquor shops /vends, ahatas, bars will remain closed.

During the corona curfew, the following activities are allowed: 

  1. All health services (including AYUSH) to remain functional, such as:
  2. Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, telemedicine facilities
  3. Dispensaries, Chemists,  pharmacies, all kinds of medicines hops including Jan Aushadhi Kendras and medical equipment shops.
  4. Medical laboratories and collection centres
  5. Pharmaceutical and medical research labs, institutions carrying out COVID-19 related research
  6. Veterinary Hospitals, dispensaries, clinics, pathology labs, sale and supply of vaccine and medicine
  7. Authorized private establishments, which support the provisioning of essential services, or efforts for containment of COVID-19, including home care providers, diagnostics, supply chain firms serving hospitals
  8. Manufacturing units of drugs, pharmaceutical, medical devices, medical oxygen, their packaging material, raw material and Intermediaries.
  9. Construction of medical/health infrastructure including the manufacture of ambulances

Financial sector: following to remain functional:

  1. Bank branches and ATMs, IT vendors for banking operations. Banking correspondents (BCs), ATM operators and cash management agencies.
  2. Insurance companies
  3. Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFCs) including Housing finance company (HFCs) and Micro Finance Institutions (NBFC-MFIs) with bare minimum staff.

Co-operative Credit Societies

Efforts should be made to operate with minimum staff and they should be encouraged to Work from Home wherever possible and feasible.

Public Utilities

  1. Operations of oil and gas sector, including transportation, distribution, storage, retail of products, for example, petrol, diesel, kerosene, LPG etc.
  2. Generation, transmission and distribution of power at the state level.
  3. Postal services, including post office
  4. Operations of Utilities in water, sanitation, and waste management sectors, at municipal/local levels in the state
  5. Operation of Utilities, including the movement of vehicles and personnel, providing telecommunications, DTH and internet services, including maintenance of telecom towers and recharge facilities for prepaid mobile connections.

Commercial and private establishments  as listed below

  1. Ration shops, including PDS and neighbourhood/roadside/street corner shops, dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal feed and fodder, fertilizers and pesticides including their transportation, warehousing, and related activities. These establishments shall follow all Covid-19 safety procedures and shall mandatorily close by 6 PM
  2. Hotel, restaurant and dhabha shall operate as per already issued SOPs by Department of tourism
  3. Home delivery by operators/online delivery of all goods/services by e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Blue Dart, DTDC,
  4. Myntra etc.
  5. Retailers of food and grocery items shall also be allowed to provide home delivery services
  6. Print and electronic and social media
  7. Telecom, internet services, broadcasting and cable services/DTH and optical fibre
  8. Petrol pumps, LPG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets.
  9. Power generation, transmission, and distribution units and Services
  10. Government-approved common service Centers at Gram panchayat level
  11. Cold storage and warehousing services.
  12. Private security services and facilities management services for maintenance and upkeep of office and residential complexes.
  13. Establishments used/ earmarked for quarantine facilities
  14. Shops dealing in construction equipment and supplies such as cement, iron, chips etc

Transportation

  1. Inter-state and intrastate movement of Public transport shall continue with occupancy restricted at 50% and subject to SOPs issued by Transport Department.
  2. Passengers travelling to the state by air, bus or railway shall register on the e-pass portal of the HP Government before the commencement of the journey.
  3. Movement, loading/unloading of goods/cargo(inter and intra) including transportation of all goods is allowed.
  4. All goods carriers whether loaded or unloaded
  5. Member of print and electronic media with valid ID cards shall be allowed to move in vehicles as per SOPs and covid protocols.
  6. All vehicles belonging to Government/local bodies or authorized organizations involved in essential services, emergency and COVID-19 Management Shall be allowed to play.
  7. Inter and intrastate movement of goods/cargo for inland and exports.
  8. Transportation for all medical personnel, nurse, paramedics staff and other hospital support services.
  9. Private vehicles subject to a limit of 50% occupancy with COVID appropriate behaviour and protocols shall be allowed for emergent  reasons,
  10. All agricultural, horticultural, animal husbandry and related activities to remain fully functional.
  11. Farming operations by farmers and farm workers in the field(sowing, nursery preparation, land preparation, irrigation, planting, harvesting, threshing, processing and packaging etc.
  12. Any other activities related to agriculture, horticulture, floriculture like procurer distribution, packaging, warehouse, mantis, cold storage, shops dealing with agricultural machinery and its spare parts, fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides etc.
  13. Collection, processing, distribution and sale of milk and milk products by processing plants including transportation and supply chain.
  14. Operation of animal husbandry farm including poultry farms and hatcheries, fisheries and livestock farming activities.
  15. Industries/Industrial establishments both government and private sector
  1. All Industries operating in both urban and rural areas with strict adherence to SOPs and COVID-19 safety protocols.
  2. The Deputy Commissioners shall monitor the SOPs which are to be strictly followed by the industries in their operations. The head of the Industrial Unit/Corporate office shall regularly brief the DC in this regard.
  3. Construction Activities will be allowed in both government and private sector
  1. All construction activities, contract works at sites along with the associated movement of vehicle/labour in this regard.
  2. The SOP is to be followed in the government as well as private construction sites and movement of personnel vehicles to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  3. Offices of the Gov’t of India, its autonomous/subordinate offices will remain open, as mentioned below:
  4. Defense Forces, Central Armed Police Forces, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Disaster Management and early warning agencies(IMD, SASE, CWC), Airport Authorities of India, Railways, National informatics Centre(NIC), Food Corporation of India(FCI), NCC & Nehru Yuva  Kendra(NYKs) any other central Government office engaged in essential services or assisting in the management of COVID-19 at minimum capacity and shall encourage work from home.

Offices of state government, its autonomous bodies and governments will remain open as mentioned below.

  1. Police, Homeguards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management, prisons, municipal services along with offices dealing with essential services remain open and will function without any restrictions. Further HPPWD and Jal shakti department shall function with minimum staff following covid protocols.
  2. District administration and treasury (including field offices of Accountant General) will function with restricted staff, however, delivery of public services shall be ensured and necessary staff will be deployed for such purpose.
  3. Forest offices, staff/ workers required to operate and maintain zoo, nursery, wildlife, fire fighting in the forest, water in plantation,  patrolling and their necessary transportation movement. The Forest office include forestry plantation and related activities, including the Silviculture  
  4. All other Departments of state government shall remain close during the lockdown period.
  5. People with disabilities, pregnant and lactating women, the person with comorbidities shall work from home.

Offices of the Private/ Civil society sector:

To encourage work from home for their staff.

General guidelines:

  1. Face coverings/masks compulsory
  2. Physical distancing must
  3. Spitting punishable
  4. Safety and protection of vulnerable people 

Following people are advised against outdoor movement:

  1. Lactating and pregnant women
  2. Children below 10
  3. Seniors above 65
  4. People with comorbidities.

 

 

 

 

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Opinion

The Western Himalayan Beda Tribe and their Struggle for Existence

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By- Prof. Harish K Thakur, Chairman, Department of Political Science, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. He is currently researching on the Beda Tribe and this piece highlights some of his findings.

Tribal people have over the centuries undergone stages of unplanned development and have suffered a great deal from the changes made to their natural habitats. Even the planned efforts from within and outside have many a times changed the complexion of the tribe for all the wrong reasons, which have been done without proper insights on the specific tribal lifestyle and hence the desired results were not achieved. The government of India also has many a times introduced certain changes to protect the indigeneity of tribal life with the aim to help them integrate with the mainland, but the socio-economic problems of the tribes still evade solutions and require reconsideration and readjustments. As in this age of technology the sanctity of the tribal life has been seriously endangered. However, the ones who have so far survived are being marginalized and many are at the verge of extinction. Beda is one such tribe of Ladakh which has witnessed a drastic dilution over the recent decades and is struggling for existence.

 Origins and Composition

The origins of the Beda tribe of Ladakh are unclear, but they are considered as the first settlers of Ladakh. Also, many from within the tribe approve of their origins in Himachal Pradesh mainly from the Kaza area of the Lahaul Spiti District. Ethnically they reflect strong Mongoloid features with a broad flat face, wide nostrils, broad nose, and prominent cheeks. According to the latest Census Report of 2011 their number is said to be 420. They live primarily in Nubra and Indus valleys of Leh and speak languages of the Western Himalayish language family which includes languages spoken in neighboring Kargil District as well as Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Western Tibet and even Baltistan. Majority of these people were Buddhists but many in the recent decades have embraced Islam. The primary reason behind this shift was societal segregation as a many people from within the tribe believed that shifting into a newer identity would change their fortunes. As according to many members of the tribe the Ladakhi mainstream community have been quite ruthless and indifferent towards them. The Beda people are placed at the lowest rung among the Ladakhis, especially in Leh as the other people of the district do not participate in their funeral ceremonies and this forms the height of discrimination. However, the services of the Lamas (to the Buddhists) are always available on such occasions, but this poor social placing of the tribe seems to be one major reason behind the deliberate attempt to assimilate with the Muslim community. But even Muslim Beda’s are called by the name ‘Beda’ and face discrimination which does not completely make them discrimination free.

 Estrangement and Disenchantment

The people from this tribe used to earn through musical performances by playing upon lutes (Surna) and drums (Daman, Dhap) and by doing such kind of performances they would beg for grains, sattu or coins. Now a days, many of them have been earning their livelihood through other ways. The followers of the traditional Beda culture from within the tribe are significantly declining over the years, while the factors behind the decrease in numbers primarily seems to be social discrimination, poverty, unemployment, impact of globalization, non-ownership of land, technological advancement, increased literacy, and unacceptability among especially the Beda youth. But according to the field investigations the primary reason which has led to the dilution in the number of their population adopting their traditional culture, seems to be the trans-migration of the members from the Orthodox-Buddhist community in the Beda majority areas. These orthodox influencers according to the Beda’s question their cultural beliefs, and that invariably gives them an inferiority complex, many say that those people are too rigid and even after the consistent appeals by the Dalai Lama himself to those people things remain the same. In addition to that the general indifference towards the community is very high and their non-acceptance on egalitarian basis at different social, economic, political, and cultural levels has led to the Beda estrangement from the larger order and disenchantment from the whole system.

Effects of Globalization

It is not a hidden fact that globalization annihilates localism and cultures of closed societies and at the same time also endanger the very existence of tribes and remotely inhabited autonomous cultural groups which have sustained themselves through centuries through their close relationship with the geography and environment of the area. This globalization and the resultant consumerism, marketing, increased tourism and most importantly the development drives on account of projects, infrastructural facilities, defense build up and exploitation of natural resources have endangered the Beda identity over the years. With the availability of the latest means of entertainment, musical instruments, and performers the significance of the Beda performers has gone down especially in the areas of origin. In the investigations it was found that many members of the tribe were disinterested in their traditional occupation since it did not fetch them much monetarily and thus wanted to migrate.

Many of them also have been doing kuligiri (labor work) with construction companies or the Indian army that helps them earn more. Lack of government jobs on a permanent basis is another area of complaint for Beda’s and they regard unemployment as one of the major reasons behind the decline of their traditional role and culture. On the other hand, the same has also led to most of the youth being engaged in formally educating themselves. The Beda’s have understood the significance of education in this era of globalization and hence, are sending their children to school. But with that being said, again massive discrimination has been reported against them in schools, specifically concerning non-deliverance of scholarships to their children. Thus, even in this era of globalization, social discrimination is rampant at this needs to be dealt strictly, so that the confidence of the community could be restored back in the system.

The Way Forward

Inclusion of marginalized people especially of an area that carries a strategic importance becomes more significant on account of national development and security and thus to safeguard the cultural heritage of the Beda’s a lot needs to be done. Thus, in this concern, it is strongly recommended that at least one member of every Beda household (the total number of posts required may not exceed 100) should be ensured in a governmental or semi-governmental job. Similarly, jobs regarding Beda music and practices could be reserved in the departments of Youth and Services, Cultural Affairs, Information and Broadcasting, Drama Division, Radio Stations, Public Relations etc. Also, more Beda’s should be encouraged to get their wards registered in schools, but this can only be achieved by effectively utilizing different scholarship schemes, provision of free uniforms and mid-day meals to children. Education should be made free for them till the matric level to remove the financial burden on this poor tribe. Also, the youth of the Beda tribe should be encouraged to especially get technical education so that their career safety could be ensured. Different long and short-term career-oriented courses (diplomas and certificates) should also be introduced according to the actual requirements of the UT. They should also be made aware of different tribal welfare programs and schemes through school and college education.

Thus, the government should do whatever is in their arsenal to halt the final obliteration of the Beda people and help the tribe in their struggle for survival.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Himachal Watcher or its members.

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