Sunday, December 30, 2012

A letter from Namita Bhandare

Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM
A time for grief but also a time for action
We have a long fight ahead. But we will win
Photo courtesy Facebook
Dear Rector,
Yesterday was a sad day as we woke up to the heartbreaking news of the death of the 23-year-old medical student who was subject to a brutal gang rape, beaten and then dumped on the road on the night of December 16. 
Today, we share the same feelings of sorrow, hopelessness, anger and frustration. Yet, I believe that while this is a time for grief, this is also a time for action. This is a time to say: enough. 
Our petition has gathered over 88,000 signatures. It is important to make every voice count and to send a strong message that we will not continue to tolerate sexual violence against women. 
Tomorrow, at 10 am, I am going to the office of Justice J.S. Verma who is the head of a three-person committee that will submit its findings and recommendations on issues of safety of women. I will be submitting our petition with all the signatures (yes, all 2,700+ pages!). 

It is important to keep this campaign going. I am writing to you once again to request you to sign this petition and forward this email to your friends and family.

The Justice Verma Commission is accepting submissions until January 5. We don't have a lot of time. If you would like to make additional suggestions, please leave a comment as 'reasons for signing this petition'. I will be collecting all the comments and submitting them to the committee.

We have a long fight ahead. But we will win. 

With warm regards,

Namita Bhandare via
A letter from Namita Bhandare 
PS:  Help us reach out to more people by forwarding this email to your friends or share it on Twitter and Facebook.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

An Afghan guard holds a baby

An Afghan guard holds a baby while the child's mother is processed through the medical entry control point at Bagram Airfield, Parwan province, Afghanistan, Dec. 2, 2012. U.S. Airmen with the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Group and Afghan guards processed residents needing services ranging from basic clinical care to student vocational programs. (DoD photo by Senior Airman Chris Willis, U.S. Air Force/Released)   12/02/2012

An open debate on violence against women at Ldh

Sat, Dec 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM
A bill must be passed in parliament at earliest
such crimes are generally committed by the well connected people
LUDHIANA, 21 December 2012:A comprehensive strategy has to be evolved through administrative, socio political and judicial measures to combat the inhuman menace of violence against women. This was the consensus arrived at after open debate on violence against women organized by the All India Working Women Forum (AITUC), Punjab Istri Sabha and Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha Ludhiana today at Shaheed Karnail Singh Isru Bhawan Ludhiana. Dr Narjit Kaur –Convener of the forum said that it was heartbreaking and sobering to read the morning papers and realise how low we have fallen as a society and as human beings. A group of drunk middle aged men raped a young physiotherapist and brutally assaulted her and her boyfriend. Even if the girl survives her physical injuries, the mental scars she bears may not be erased for a lifetime. What sort of wicked and depraved men they must be to so casually and easily rob the joy and health of a harmless young girl at the threshold of womanhood and life and reduce her and her family to utter despair?

Mrs.Gurcharan Kochar – President Punjab Istri Sabha Ludhiana cautioned that it brings us to the urgent question of what needs to be done to prevent more of our daughters being deprived of their happiness, esteem, health and often, their lives. To act strongly and firmly. The female foeticide, honour killings and discrimination against the girl child are a reflection of  gender bias prevailing in the society. This needs to be condemned  and corrected.

Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha said that such crimes are generally committed by the well connected people who feel that they will go scot free after committing the crime. The economic gaps which have increased in the last about two decades have further marginalized the already deprived section of the society who have become more vulnerable to violence.

The meeting proposed following measures to meet the situation.

1.      All concerned men and women holding any position of authority and whose voice can be heard  by many, should publicly express their outrage and concern.

2.      A bill must be passed in parliament at the earliest wherein the outcome of rape cases must be decided within 45 days by a fast track court. Strong punishment must be meted out to the rapist and he must be publicly humiliated.

3.      Police reforms must be undertaken immediately. Political intervention in the police must stop.  If any police station refuses to register a complaint of rape, there must be a strong and well -defined punishment for the concerned officer.

4.      Laws in relation to sexual harassment at workplace should be enacted in consultation with women orgnaisations.

There should be one page devoted in the daily newspapers to women’s safety. This page should exclusively list crimes against women. Detailed identities and addresses of culprits involved, photographs and daily progress on brutal cases (ie who has been apprehended as yet, what punishment has been given etc)

5.      All employers should make their own  workplaces  as safe as possible for women.

6.      There should be several options for safe travel for women including exclusive buses and taxis, train compartments and plenty of well-lit public toilets. These should have female staff manning them as well.

7.      All parents, when rearing  their children, should place a very strong emphasis on not letting them use violence. Gentleness must be inculcated from the start in boys especially.

8.      All schools should make self- defence, especially for girls , a mandatory part of the curriculum.

Others who spoke at the meeting include Maj. Sher Singh Aulukh – President BJVJ, M.S.Bhatia – Organising Secretary BJVJ, Jit Kumar – General Secretary Punjab Istri Sabha Ludhiana, D.P.Maur – General Secretary Joint Council of Trade Unions Ludhiana.  

 An open debate on violence against women at Ldh

Friday, December 21, 2012

Daughter Delight

Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 10:31 PM//12/20/2012 10:55 AM CST
U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Richard Winstead hugs his daughter during a homecoming celebration on Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan, Nov. 17, 2012. Winstead is assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 141, which completed a deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington.
(USA Dod) Daughter Delight

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Candidate Climb

12/12/2012 05:17 PM CST
Marine Corps Officer Candidate School students negotiate the Montford Point Challenge obstacle course at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Dec. 8, 2012. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Celebration, 2012 at CMC

Students mesmerized all and filled the whole air
Ludhiana, 10th December, 2012Advent is the time to share love, joy and peace with others. College of Nursing, CMC, Ludhiana celebrated Christmas. The programme began with a welcome speech by Principal Prof.(Mrs.) Ponnamma R. Singh, after which all the dignitaries, guests, teachers and students joined the college choir to sing the congregational hymn.
The opening prayer and the Christmas message was given by Rev. Rogers. The whole gathering was then enlightened with the message from the Director Dr. Abraham G. Thomas. He remembered the old staff and their dedicated services towards the institution as many of the alumni graced the occasion. The soulful and pleasant carols by students mesmerized all and filled the whole air.

Continuing with the Christmas merriment College of Nursing students presented the Christmas play “This is Christmas” which showed God’s love for mankind by sending His only begotten Son for our salvation and this love has to be reflected in all of us.

And then came the most awaited moment i.e. “Arrival of Santa” who had a merry time with the gathering and distributed gifts among students. At the end all enjoyed the fellowship & relished the banquet together as a family in beautifully decorated and illuminated College of Nursing.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Face of Defense:

12/07/2012 08:30 AM CST
Soldier, Sailor Provide Troop Services
By Army Staff Sgt. Jeff Neff
Provincial Reconstruction Team Kandahar

KANDAHAR CITY, Afghanistan, Dec. 7, 2012 - Day-to-day operations at Camp Nathan Smith here wouldn't be the same without Army Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Currier and Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony McRoberts.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Currier, left, and Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony McRoberts work in the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team's personnel section to provide much-needed services to troops based at Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar City, Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jeff Neff
The duo work diligently behind the scenes in the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team's personnel section as they provide much-needed services to KPRT members.There isn't much that happens without their involvement, from personnel rosters and daily tracking to service members' finances, awards, and promotions.
When the mail arrives, soldiers and sailors wait patiently outside while Currier and McRoberts drive over and get it. Mail is an issue near and dear to all and serves as the lifeline from family members to the troops.
McRoberts, who's been in the Navy for two years, was born in Colorado Springs, Colo., and hails from Midland, Mich. He is based at Naval Air Station Coronado in San Diego on the USS Ronald Reagan. He plans to complete his bachelor's degree in information systems management.
McRoberts concurrently works as a Counter Radio Electronic Warfare Master Gunner. Being a CREW Master Gunner consists of radio frequency engineering for electronic warfare jamming systems involving reacting to and countering radio-controlled explosives.
Texas-born Currier is from San Antonio and now calls Newport News, Va., home. He is an Army reservist from the 450th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) and has been in the Army for 22 years.
Currier served in a variety of duty positions, starting as a combat medic in the 1st Cavalry Division. He later served at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and then deployed to Iraq where he was in charge of a military police aid station.
Currier would later deploy to Kosovo where he served as first sergeant in a civil affairs detachment.
The Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team is a civil-military organization consisting of U.S. Navy and Army active-duty and reserve members who conduct operations to support the growth in capacity and capability of the Kandahar provincial government. KPRT works closely with other military units, civilian agencies, contractors and nongovernmental organizations to support the Afghan government's progress toward sustainable stability.
Related Sites:
NATO International Security Assistance Force

Thursday, December 06, 2012

U.S.-Mexico border

12/05/2012 04:19 PM CST
Guardsmen Continue Security Duties
By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

Courtesy Photo by this blog
WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2012 - As many as 300 National Guardsmen will remain deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border for another year as part of a border security partnership between the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, according to a statement released by DHS today.The deployment is part of a newly extended agreement to strengthen security and facilitate legitimate trade and travel, the statement said. National Guardsmen operate in support of some 18,500 U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents along the southwest border, enhancing surveillance through the use of air assets and state-of-the-art detection and monitoring capabilities including aerial observation, photo imagery and communications support.

In the statement, DHS credited DOD support for the arrest of nearly 20,000 illegal immigrants and the seizure of more than 100,000 pounds of marijuana since March.

A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said more than 330,000 illegal aliens have been apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border during the first nine months of this year, and more than two million pounds of marijuana and 6,000 pounds of cocaine have been seized.

In 2010, President Barack Obama authorized the temporary deployment of the National Guard along the southwest border to assist law enforcement with the interdiction of illegal aliens, drugs, weapons and money coming from Mexico.