Workshop on
'Ethics of Reporting in Situations of Emergencies/Understanding the Context and the Actors'

Organised by the Women's Feature Service and International Committee of the Red Cross.

India's Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptullah said at a workshop in Delhi that journalists do commendable work under adverse conditions. She was speaking at a workshop, 'Ethics of Reporting in Situations of Emergencies/Understanding the Context and the Actors' organised by the Women's Feature Service and International Committee of the Red Cross.

Heptullah, then narrated a number of instances about how journalists covering the Parliament would be on duty throughout the day without food and water. "This included women journalists too. I often made arrangements for tea, snacks and water for the journalists covering Parliament as I understood the difficult conditions that they work under."

The Head of Regional Delegation, Mary Werntz, said that devastation in human cost is staggering. "There are debilitating injuries, communities are ripped apart, hospitals are destroyed and starvation is happening. The media is a messenger in how the world sees the suffering of people."

More on http://southasia.oneworld.net/news/journalists-work-amidst-grave-dangers-indian-minister#.VBgArFdc9ac

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Extracts from Kashmir Floods Situation
Updates Up to 13 September 2014
By Arjimand Hussain, Rawalpora, Srinaga
Prepared with Additional Inputs and Edited by Mazher Hussain, COVA,
Hyderabad

Most News Headlines on Kashmir floods continue to fall short of capturing the intensity of this calamity. I have put together some points which our friends in media and humanitarian agencies could use in their communications to capture the enormity of the crisis:

Critical Immediate Aid Requirements

- Critical aid requirements include: boats, drinking water, medicines, water purifying tablets, food, warm clothes, Beddings and Quilts (Razai), baby food, milk, liquid hand sanitisers, women's hygiene kits, children's hygiene kits.

The Disaster and Its Impact

  • This is the worst flood Kashmir has witnessed in over a century
  • Close to 5 million people are affected by the floods in Jammu & Kashmir - 4.5 million in Kashmir valley and half a million in the Jammu region*.
  • Some 3 million people and their homes are submerged mainly in the districts of Srinagar, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam, Baramulla, Bandipora and Budgam.
  • The submerged and affected people include Indian and foreign visitors and Indian construction workers - whose number is estimated at half a million.
  • Flash floods in Jammu region has also resulted in disruption in road services in the district of Rajouri, Poonch and Reasi.

Disruption of Essential Services

  • Drinking water and power services are suspended since Sunday (6th September) in Srinagar and other flood affected areas. Power has been restored to some areas close to Srinagar airport.
  • Acute shortage of drinking water has now triggered second displacement - with the displaced people seeking shelter in places with drinking water. Such drinking water facilities are mostly available on the highlands in the peripheries of Srinagar and beyond.
  • Water-borne diseases have started to surface with children being the worst hit. A sudden spike of diarrhea, fever, vomiting is being witnessed among children. Adults are affected too.
  • Medical services are the worst hit in the flood-hit Kashmir at the moment. The region's only care hospital SKIMS, Soura has not been submerged. However it can at present only be accessed by tiny Ganderbal district and some areas of Bandipora, Sopore and Baramulla through a long and treacherous road along the Wullar Lake. It is also accessible to some areas of Srinagar on the east side of Jhelum - from Noorbagh to Babademb areas.
  • Srinagar's main emergency hospital SMHS Hospital, G B Panth Children's Hospital, Dental Hospital, JVC Hospital are submerged in water. There are unconfirmed reports of at least 40 children dying due to submersion in G B Panth Hospital. Bone & Joint Hospital Barzulla was initially submerged but remains damaged and mostly inaccessible. Chest Diseases Hospital, Dalgate remains out of bounds. Private hospitals like Noora Hospital, Modern Hospital, Khyber Hospital, Ramzana Nursing Home, Tahira Khanam Nursing Home, City Hospital Tengpora, Sheikh ul Aaalam Hospital Karan Nagar and other private hospitals remain submerged in water.
  • Privately-run Ahmad Hospital at Nowgam with 25-beds remains the only hospital accessible from Srinagar airport. This hospital is presently providing whatever possible medical care it could.
  • There is acute shortage of life saving medicines in the flood affected areas, with medical shops having run out of stocks.
  • There are unconfirmed reports of people having died of natural reasons and their bodies remaining un-burried due to flood water and lack of mobility in the flood affected areas.
  • Bodies of individuals dying of natural reasons lie in the upper floors of some Srinagar hospitals. Some people have been buried temporarily on higher grounds outside their family graveyards.
  • Due to lack of access to medical care, child births are taking place in domestic settings in vast submerged and flood-isolated areas. People with health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and other critical illnesses are at highest risk due to unavailability of medicines.
  • There is severe shortage of essential commodities. Markets - wherever free of water - have run out of stocks
  • Due to submergence of critical go-downs in the commercial hubs of the flood affected areas, particularly in and around Srinagar, an acute shortage of supplies is likely to emerge in the next few days, which has a potential of creating large-scale disturbances.
  • Srinagar's commercial hub Lal Chowk, administrative districts, including civil secretariat, government TV and radio stations, Police headquarters, High Court, hospitals and almost all other important installations are submerged and immobilized as on 13th September 2014 .

Accessibility

  • Kashmir's only road linkage with the outside world - the Srinagar-Jammu highway - remains closed since seven days and is expected to open in another 4-5 days. Closure of this vital surface communication link has resulted in acute shortage of essential commodities in Kashmir. All supplies to Kashmir at present could only reach Srinagar by air.
  • Although Srinagar Airport (the region's only civilian airport) is open, access to Srinagar city from the airport and the larger Kashmir region is still not possible.
  • North Kashmir continues to remain cut off from Srinagar airport (Skeletal access is possible though Budgam, Beerwa, Magam road).
  • South Kashmir also continues to remain cut off from Srinagar airport and rest of the world due to continued closure of Jammu-Srinagar Highway and flooded Awantipora-Bijbehara areas. Some access to some areas of Pulwama, Shopian is possible through Nowgam, Newa road from Srinagar airport.

Communications

  • Mobile network, landline phones, Internet, banking services (Including ATMs), local TV and radio services remain suspended. State-owned BSNL mobile services have been restored on Wednesday in some limited areas of Srinagar

Destruction and Casualties

  • As of 11 September, 2014; according to police sources, 220 people have died in Srinagar city and bodies of women and children have been retrieved. The process of retrieving bodies is still on. Over 200 people have been killed by the floods elsewhere.
  • Thousands of animals -cattle, goats, chicken, cats, dogs etc have died and their bodies are reportedly floating around.
  • Stench from the dead has already started in many areas and outbreak of diseases is expected any time now.
  • Hundreds of houses and buildings have collapsed in the last three days, especially in Old Srinagar - home to some 600,000 people.
The exact casualties and damage remains unknown.

About rescue and relief efforts:

  • No organised government rescue and relief has been initiated as of now due to complete break-down of government administrative system
  • Most of the rescue and relief efforts are being carried out by local volunteers and Indian army and air force. Close to 100,000 people - mostly visitors to and construction workers in Kashmir - have been evacuated in the last three days by armed forces. Local volunteer efforts - carried with improvised boats and floating objects - are estimated to have rescued about one million people.
  • Massive relief efforts are on in Kashmir, mainly organized by local volunteer efforts from areas outside Srinagar (Ganderbal, Budgam, Pulwama, Baramulla, Bandipora, Ramban, Kupwara etc.) and the dry lands of South Srinagar and areas east of Jhelum (Down town areas).
  • In Srinagar areas like Hyderpora East Bypass, Parraypora, Rawalpora, Sanat Nagar, Rangreth are safe and are housing a large number of displaced people. On the eastern side of Jhelum, areas from Noorbagh upto Babademb in Old Srinagar are mostly free of water. These areas are also organising relief for the affected areas at a large scale.
  • Hundreds of relief camps have been established in and around Srinagar mostly run by local volunteer efforts. Community kitchens and shelters have been organised in hundreds of villages and habitations in and outside Srinagar.
  • MSF, Save the Children, Action Aid, ICRC and Handicap International are the only international aid agencies operating in Kashmir. No INGO rescue or relief effort has been initiated in Kashmir so far. Some relief efforts have been initiated in Jammu region, particularly in Rajouri area
  • As of 11 September 2014, no inter-government or inter- aid agency coordination efforts have been initiated in Kashmir.
  • Kashmiri diaspora, private individual and non governmental actions are beginning to witness aid mobilisation and transportation to Srinagar airport. The absence of a centralised coordinated system has the risk of this aid effort being duplicated or servicing non high priority areas.
  • A Sphere India-led situation report - an inter-aid agency co-ordination system in India - has been issued from New Delhi on 9th September. The report draws upon secondary government and army information sources. An updated, ground- informed and comprehensive situation report is awaited.

Population Affected: As per 2011 census, the total population of the Indian side of Jammu & Kashmir is 12.55 million. Kashmir valley population is 6.9 million. At any given point of time the aggregate number of tourists, other visitors, Indian construction workers from other states in Kashmir is roughly 400,000 (excluding the number of armed forces).

The worst affected Srinagar district population is 1.25 million, while Anantnag district has 1.07 million and Kulgam district has 423,181. Other affected districts of Pulwama has a population of 570,060, Budgam - 755,331, Ganderbal - 297,003, Bandipora - 385,099, Baramulla - 1 million, Kupwara District 875,564. Other affected areas of Rajouri, Reasi and Poonch districts have populations of 619,266, 314,714 and 476,820 respectively.

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'Customary Laws and Practices'

Dear friends,

Greetings from Jagori!

Jagori is organizing a study circle on 'Customary Laws and Practices' at Indian Social Institute (ISI), 10 Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003 on Monday September 22nd from 2 pm to 5 pm

This is being organized with the aim to deepen our collective understanding on how closely customary laws and practices in different regions are linked to community identity; the challenges it raises from a constitutional perspective of individualized rights, and where the women's struggle for equal rights is placed within these debates.

Roma from the National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW); and Rosemary Dzuvichu from Nagaland University/ Naga Mothers Association have agreed to set off the discussion with experiences from their work on forest rights in UP and practices in the North East.

We invite you to join for a meaningful discussion on issues that are really important for women's lives.

Best regards,
Geetha, Neetu, Nilanju

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Convergence of Movements
A Dialogue between People's Networks, Movement Alliances and Unions

26-27 September 2014, 10 am - 6 pm
Raja Ram Mohan Roy Memorial Trust (Brahmo Samaj) Hall, 12 - Rouse Avenue Lane, (Opp. Gandhi Peace Foundation), ITO New Delhi - 110002

Dear Saathis,

We invite you for a planning meeting on 26-27 September 2014 to follow up on the meeting on 5th August 2014 and prepare for the forthcoming mass rally with atleast 20,000 people planned on 2-3rd December 2014 to 'secure social services and social security for all'. The meeting is being jointly organised by Pension Parishad, the Right to Food Campaign, the Rashtriya Mazdoor Adhikar Morcha, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan and the National Alliance for People's Movements.

We extend this invitation to all state and national representatives of progressive movements, campaigns, organisations and individuals across the country to join this nascent initiative of 'convergence of movements'. The agenda for the meeting is attached. The aim of this convergence initiative is to forge a joint movement across all social sector campaigns at all levels in order to strengthen our collective efforts and voices in the present political climate.

The drafting group of the previous meeting had also prepared a note with a list of participants, which are also attached for your reference.

We request you to make your own arrangements for travel and accommodation to New Delhi. But do confirm your participation and if you need any assistance, drop in a line to movement.convergence@gmail.com or call +91 98506984500

Please share this mail with others and post it across list serves, to spread the word and ensure that a wide cross-section of representatives participate in September.

APL/BPL KHATAM KARO, SABKO RATION PENSION DO
HAR HAAT KO KAAM DO, KAAM KA PURA DAAM DO
ZAMIN HAMARI AAPKI, NAHI KISI KE BAAP KI
Zindabad!
In solidarity,
Pension Parishad, Right to Food Campaign, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Rashtriya Mazdoor Adhikar Morcha, National Alliance of People's Movement

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Call for Papers
Women, Labour and Livelihoods in 21st century India:
a research and policy linkage workshop
Jointly organized by
the Tata Institute of Social Sciences,
University of Melbourne, and Centurion University
11th and 12th December, 2014

We invite workshop papers and presentations that focus on analyses of:

Workforce participation levels

" The patterns of women's entry and exit in labour markets and what this reveals of their livelihood strategies and response to economic opportunity

Abstract Submission deadline: 30th September 2014.

Please complete the attached abstract submission form and email to: wllworkshop2014@gmail.com.

For complete details: http://www.tiss.edu/workshops-seminars-conferences-programme/call-for-papers-women-labour-and-livelihoods-in-21st-century-india-a-research-and-policy-linkage-workshop

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Cancer Sahyog

The Emotional Support Group of India Cancer Society, Delhi

Invites you to their Annual Seminar to be held on Sunday, 28th September 2014 on "Cancer & Non Communicable Disease" at India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi

For more information
Usha Ohri I Co-ordinator, Admin
M: +91.9810366982
CANCER SAHYOG I Indian Cancer Society, Delhi
86/1 Shahpur Jat, New Delhi - 110 049.
T: 011.2649 9572 I T/F: 011- 26494907
www.indiancancersocietydelhi.in

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BADUKU COMMUNITY COLLEGE

(SAMVADA, BANGALORE)
Invites Law Students/Teachers and Legal Practitioners to

MEDIATION FOR JUSTICE

A Mediation Training Workshop

September 29-October 01, 2014, 10 am - 5 pm

This training workshop on Mediation Skills is part of the PG-Certificate course on Facilitating Women's Wellness and Justice, conducted by Baduku Community College for those interested in gaining feminist perspectives on wellness and justice, and counselling, mediation, networking and referral skills.

The workshop will be conducted by Mr. Shiv Kumar, Senior Advocate and certified Mediator at the Bangalore Mediation Centre. It will involve both the theoretical and practical aspects of mediation as a mode of ensuring justice, and will aid in developing skills of ethical and context-based negotiation and communication.

We therefore invite students and teachers of all law colleges, and young legal practitioners, to attend the three-day workshop and further their knowledge of Alternative Dispute Resolution so they can mediate between parties in a dispute, keeping the demands of social justice at the centre of this process.

Workshop Fee: Rs. 300

Those interested in participating can contact us at: baduku.fcwj@gmail.com; 9916482928 (Nitya); 080-26570244, 080-26578144 (Samvada Head Office)

Venue: SAMVADA, No. 28, 7th Main Road, 2nd Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore 560011

Samvada Website: http://www.samvadabaduku.org/

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Asian Centre for Human Rights

PRESS RELEASE

Fake encounters in Manipur: NHRC orders compensation for victims's relatives

Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) welcomed the decision of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to pay monetary relief of Rs. five lakhs each to the relatives of two victims of fake encounter killings by the 20th Assam Rifles in Chandel district of Manipur on 1 June 2009. On 19 June 2009, ACHR had filed a complaint with the NHRC against extrajudicial executions of Laishram Kishorjit and Soram Priyokumar by the 20th Assam Rifles led by Major Abishek Bharti at Maipi Angbrasu track in Chandel district of Manipur on the night of 1 June 2009.

Justifying its order for compensation received by ACHR on 3 September 2014, the NHRC in its latest proceedings (http://nhrc.nic.in/display.asp?fno=11/14/2/09-10-PF) after examining the report of Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Moreh stated, "According to it, the troops of 20th Assam Rifles led by Major Abishek Bharti laid an ambush at Maipi and Angbrashu track on 1.6.2009 at night after receiving information about the movement of some armed valley based UG cadres in that area. The troops saw two persons moving in a suspicious manner on the said track which leads from Maipi and Angbrashu. On being challenged by the troops to stop, the two unidentified suspects brought down heavy volumes of automatic weapons fired upon the troops. The troops also retaliated in self defense. The encounter lasted for about 35 minutes and both the suspects were eliminated. After the encounter, a search of the encounter site and the adjoining area was made and the following arms and ammunition were recovered near the slain bodies:- 1). 1 (one) G-3 assault rifle with one live round in the chamber. 2). 2 (two) magazines of G-3 assault rifle. 3). 19 (nineteen) rounds of G-3 assault rifle. 4). 1 (one) lathode with one live bomb in the chamber and, 5). 1 (one) live bomb of lathode. It is further revealed by the report that the seized arms and ammunition were sent to FSL Pangei for chemical examination and the ballistic expert, who examined the same, opined that the seized arm i.e. 7.62 mm calibre G-3 rifle is not serviceable due to defective return spring and non-alignment of bolt extension and housing. It was also opined that the seized lathode gun is a 40mm calibre grenade launcher and its firing mechanism was working properly. It is further mentioned in the report that frantic efforts were made to establish involvement of the two deceased in U.G. activities but no specific information could be gathered in that regard. The report forwarded by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India completely negates the possibility of an encounter

. It is not the case of anyone that the lathode i.e. grenade launcher was used by any of the two deceased persons. As regards the 7.62 mm calibre G-3 rifle, the ballistic expert has opined that it was not in serviceable condition. If the grenade launcher was not used and the 7.62mm rifle was not serviceable, how the Assam Rifle personnel can claim that they were fired at by the deceased persons or that there was imminent danger to their life. Thus, we (NHRC) find that the Assam Rifle personnel were not fired at by any of the two deceased persons. We (NHRC) also find no evidence to even faintly suggest that the deceased persons were involved in underground activity. It appears that the two persons were spotted at a desolate track and they were shot dead on the basis of unfounded suspicion. It appears to be a case of extra judicial killing."

"This is a step in the right direction and prosecution of the culprits must start now." - stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights. [Ends]

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Modern Educational Social & Cultural Organization

MESCO OR Modern Educational Social & Cultural Organization is a registered charitable organization, managed by a team of professionals, working in the field of Education, Health-Care and Poverty Relief since 1968.

September 2014 MESCO enters forty seventh year of existence and continues to serve society at large under well formulated scheme, project and institutions.

http://mescotrust.org

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