Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Relatives of Balaji Trimanwar allege candidates made to run 26 km without medical help; VJAS-Mumbai Mirror
|Publication: Mumbai Mirror ;||Date: Sep 21, 2011;||Section: City;||Page: 4|
Relatives of Balaji Trimanwar allege candidates made to run 26 km without medical help; Vidarbha JanandolanMumbai Mirror Bureau email@example.com
He ran for a job, but ended up dead. A youth who participated in a 26-km run organised by the state forest department for aspiring guards in Yavatmal district last week died a day after the race. Balaji Trimanwar, 23, fell into a pit, apparently due to exhaustion, and never got back on his feet.
His family members allege that he was not provided any medical care for more than two hours, and this led to his demise. They, with the help of a farmers’ advocacy group, have approached the Maharashtra Human Rights Commission to seek compensation.
Balaji hailed from Yavatmal district. He was among thousands of candidates who took part in the gruelling run to qualify for interviews for posts of forest guard on September 12. Mumbai Mirror, in fact, reported this archaic recruitment drive of the forest department (Bhaag basanti, MM, September 13).
“Balaji was my brother’s only son, and he desperately needed a job,” said the youth’s uncle, Amrut. “On September 12, he left his home at 8 am to enter the race. At about 11.30 am, he fell into a pit and lied there unattended for more than two hours.”
Amrut claimed that forest officials took Balaji to a government hospital at only 4 pm. “When he was brought to the hospital, he was not making any movements. We then decided to shift him to Sanjeevani Hospital, where he passed away the next day,” Amrut said. Some forest officials, however, blame Balaji’s kidney condition for his death. Kishor Tiwari, the chief of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, said that 1,240 job aspirants fainted during the run because of the heat. The samiti has approached the rights commission to seek compensation for Balaji’s family. “This practice of organising the race is 130 years old; it was introduced by the British. The forest department should either chuck the race or pare down the distance,” Tiwari said.
RECRUITMENT DRIVE OR A CRUEL JOKE » The archaic and inhumane forest recruitment rule makes it mandatory for aspirants to run 26 km to qualify for an interview » Last week, thousands of candidates from Thane circle ran for the forest recruitment test in a single day » Those who do get these forest patrol jobs are unlikely to ever run 26-km as part of their working day » Applicants to the Police Service only have to run 6-km as part of their physicals » The National Defence Academy entrance requires no distance running at all
Balaji Trimanwar, 23, died in Yavatmal on Tuesday
Chintamani Karpat was among the many candidates who collapsed during the race
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Land Bill will hit dryland farmers, says VJASRamu BhagwatRamu Bhagwat, TNN | Sep 8, 2011, 08.08AM IST
NAGPUR: Vidarbha Civil Society Collective and Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) have raised strong objections to provisions in the National Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill 2011 tabled in Parliament on Wednesday. They demanded that the Bill be redrafted to safeguard interests of the dryland farmers and other landowners.
"The Bill has ignored all suggestions made by the civil society and farmer advocacy groups. A month ago the rural development minister Jairam Ramesh had sought the suggestions from the people. It is clear from the final draft that the proposed law is nothing but a move to smoothen the process of transferring to corporates drylands of farmers in areas like Vidarbha," Kishore Tiwari of VJAS alleged.
He demanded that the Bill be scrapped and sent back to a parliamentary committee for redrafting to safeguard interests of dryland farmers and to ensure food security. This is essential as the Bill has included provisions for conditional acquisition of multi-crop land as well, Tiwari stressed. The Bill is against the fundamental rights of farmers in distressed regions like Vidarbha who are already reeling under huge debts and willing to selling off lands as government policies had made agriculture uneconomical, said Tiwari. If the law is implemented, farming community in Vidarbha will be eliminated, he added.
The Vidarbha Civil Society Collective, a grouping of a number of social and civil rights organizations held a public discussion on the issue last month after Jairam Ramesh sought suggestions on the draft Bill. The group then sent a letter to the Union minister listing its observations.
It was of the view that the Bill was against the preamble of Indian constitution. There was hardly any material difference from the draconian Land Acquisition Act of 1894 that it seeks to replace, the Collective opined. VCSC has also found that the Bill reduced the government to a 'service agent' of the multinationals and corporates. There is no clear demarcation about public and private purposes in the Bill, it said.
Nitin Chaudhary of Lokadhikar Manch said the Bill did not give space to women and youth to be part of decision-making rendering them vulnerable when their land is sold. The compensation offered is far less than the market value. Moreover, there is no mention of farm labourer who will be rendered jobless once agricultural land is acquired, he said.
VCSC has also demanded that instead of the district collector, the local panchayat and gram sabha should be empowered to deal with the land acquisition process from the beginning. It has sought an assurance that there would be no damage to environment because of large-scale land acquisition.