Art & Culture
Commenting on this initiative, Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India, said, “Considering the crucial role that women play in a country’s economic and social development, there is a need for sustained efforts from all stakeholders to work towards the goal of achieving gender equality. By occupying spaces and places where they are rarely seen or heard, girls seek to highlight the challenges they face and represent their potential and determination to build a more equal world that values girls and promotes their rights.”
Such significant platforms would help us to achieve our goal of reaching out to 10 million girls by 2020 ensuring each one of them have been provided the opportunity to Learn, Lead, Decide and Thrive, added Dengle.
On the occasion, Anil Kapoor also launched the ‘Girls Get Equal Campaign’. The campaign focuses on advocating for the power of girls and their right to be equally seen, heard and valued.
The theme of the first session was "Girl and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)/ Beyond SDG5 on gender equality and the empowerment of women. Committment of Diplomatic Missions to 'Girls Rights and Leadership'"
The session was moderated by Rajiv Chandaran, Deputy Head of United Nations Information Centre. The participants included Canada High Commissioner Nadir Patel; Finland Ambassador Nina Vaskunlahti; Australian High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu; Deputy Head of Mission of Spain Eduardo Sanchez; Deputy Chief of Mission of Switzerland Tamara Mona; Deputy Chief of Mission of Netherlands Anneke Adema; Israeli Charge d'affaires Maya Kadosh; Plan India Board Member Ranjan Chak; Chairman of Dainik Bhaskar Deepak Dwivedi and Girl Changemakers Ksheeraja and Daphira.
Later, the respective Ambassadors, High Commissioners or representatives facilitated the girl changemakers.
European Union Ambassador Tomasz Kozlowski facilitated Shalini and Subhalaxmi; Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel facilitated Baby; Finland Ambassador Nina Vaskuniahti facilitated Hullas; Australian High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu facilitated pari; Israeli Charge d'affaires Maya Kadosh facilitated Ranimani; Czech Deputy Head -- Sravani; Belgium Deputy Head -- Daphira; Switzerland Deputy Head -- Susheela; Spain Deputy Head Eduardo Sanchez -- Poonam; Netherlands Deputy Chief -- Ksheeraja and Lavinia; Sweden Deputy Head -- Shruti; Estonia Deputy Head -- Darshana; Slovenia Deputy Head Jaka Miklavicic -- Banita; Ramona El Hamzaoui from USAID -- Chanda; Poland embassy Ewa Stankiewicz -- Kavita; Denmark embassy Sofie Dyhr Crump -- Roshni; and German embassy Hans Christian facilitated Shristi.
The Girls Changemakers represented 10 Indian States: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttrakhand, Meghalaya, Odisha, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Rajasthan and Jharkhand. They have been selected through a rigorous screening process and brought their unique perspectives to the national level.
This is the second year that Plan India and Diplomatic Missions have partnered to give girls the agency to share their stories of courage and leadership while expressing their unequivocal commitment to the larger movement of girls’ rights and leadership.
Globally, Plan International has launched the #GirlsTakeover action as a bold new campaign that calls for increased investment in girls’ power, activism and leadership. This campaign is world’s biggest girl-led action for gender equality. Over 1000 #GirlsTakeover were held in more than 70 countries to mark International Day of the Girl. Here, girls raised their voice against the discrimination, harassment, and inequalities that hold them back.
In his message, UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ said that far too often, girls are not given the space and opportunities they need to achieve their full potential and they face multiple barriers such as systematic discrimination, biases and lack of training.
He stressed the need to equip girls with transferable and lifelong skills such as critical thinking, creativity and digital awareness, as well as providing them with role models, especially in the sciences and other fields where the presence of women is sparse.
The Secretary-General noted that his Youth2030 strategy aims to work with girls, understand their needs and help put their ideas to work. Now comes your part.
UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa called on leaders and communities around the world to promote girls´ empowerment and to support them to fulfill their potential through education, equal and gender equality.
Britain’s Prince Harry, Meghan Markle expecting a baby in Spring 2019
LONDON, Oct 15: Kensington Palace says Prince Harry and his wife the Duchess of Sussex are expecting a child in the spring.
The palace says the couple has “appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”
The announcement Monday comes as Harry and the former Meghan Markle arrived in Sydney at the start of a 16-day visit to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
The trip officially begins on Tuesday and will see the couple watch the Invictus Games, visit a Sydney zoo and visit the rural Flying Doctor service.
Girls to take over as Heads of Canadian Missions in India to mark International Day of the Girl
By Deepak Arora
NEW DELHI, Oct 10: Canadian Missions in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru will mark the International Day of the Girl (IDGC) on Thursday (October 11) with a range of activities to empower girls and highlight the fact that girls can achieve their dreams.
In New Delhi, the High Commission of Canada, in collaboration with Plan India, will welcome a young university student from Bihar, an advocate for girls’ rights, to take on the role of the High Commissioner for the day. She will visit Suncity School in Gurugram and speak about breaking gender stereotypes and the importance of girls’ education.
Later in the day, she will join Canada’s High Commissioner to India Nadir Patel and heads of other diplomatic missions at an event to highlight the importance of investing in girls, organised by Plan India.
The High Commissioner will also participate in a live Twitter Chat on October 10 at 17:00 IST, together with Sucharita Dutta from Nutrition International, filmmaker Nandita Das, Shaheen Mistri from Teach For India and freelance journalist Anjali Mody.
Speaking about this occasion, High Commissioner Nadir Patel said: “The International Day of the Girl provides us an opportunity to highlight the needs and rights of girls. This year, we at the High Commission are focussing on girls’ education because it has a direct and positive impact on development.”
In Mumbai, the Consulate General of Canada will partner with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Society for Nutrition, Education and Health (SNEHA), Mumbai Press Club, and TATA among others to host a young woman to take over the role of the Consul General for the day.
The Mission will partner with civic bodies to light up several important buildings in pink to mark the day. The Consulate General will partner with municipal schools and Bhau Daji Museum to screen ‘Driving with Selvi’, a film by Canadian Director Elisa Paloschi, about the first woman taxi driver in south India.
In addition, the Consulate General will partner with the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) Mumbai, the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and Avid Learning to present ‘Multipolis Mumbai: Philanthropy and the City’ -- a panel discussion on the impact and future trajectory of philanthropy. In the run up to IDGC, the Consulate General had reached out to about 50 schools to distribute an IDGC activity guide.
In Ahmedabad, the Canadian mission collaborated with Wajra O’Force, an NGO dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls, to organise a special event on October 9, to commemorate IDGC. The event was attended by the Mayor of Ahmedabad Bijal Patel, High Commissioner Nadir Patel, Acting Consul General of Canada Tara Scheurwater, Chairman of Municipal School Board Pankajsinh Chauhan and about 500 school students.
The day culminated with a meeting between a group of girls representing Wajro O’Force, the High Commissioner, and Canadian music icon, Bryan Adams.
In Madhya Pradesh, the Canadian mission will partner with Nutrition International to organise a series of educational activities in municipal schools.
In Bengaluru, the Consulate General of Canada, in collaboration with the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber and Engineering Manufacturer Entrepreneurs Resource Group (eMERG) will host eight girls from disadvantaged sections of society to ‘take over’ as the Consul General of Canada and CEOs of seven Canadian and Indian companies, for a day.
It may be mentioned that Canada led the call for an International Day of the Girl (IDGC) at the United Nations in 2011 to raise awareness about the challenges that girls face and as a call to action. The first IDGC was celebrated on October 11, 2012. IDGC is an opportunity to highlight the needs and rights of girls, and to advocate for greater action and investment to enable girls to reach their full potential throughout their lives.
Buildings in Mumbai to be lit up in pink: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST - a UNESCO heritage building), Municipal Corporation Building opposite CST, TATA Botwallah Building, Essar House, The Royal Opera House, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai.
Companies in Bengaluru that will host girls as CEOs: Pimarq, We - MANA & AH Rogya, Embassy Office Parks Management Services Private Limited, Infosys, Novatek International, Innovatia, Amadeus Software Labs India Pvt. Ltd.
Trudeau Greets Hindus on Navratri Festival
By Deepak Arora
OTTAWA, Oct 10: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has extended his greetings to the people in Canada and abroad on the occasion of Navaratri.
In a statement, Trudeau said: “This evening, Hindu communities in Canada and around the world will celebrate the beginning of one of their most important festivals, Navratri.
“The celebrations, which symbolize the triumph of good over evil, take place over nine nights and ten days. Throughout the festivities, families and friends come together to pray, dance, and observe traditions in hundreds of different forms passed down from generation to generation.
“The festival is now celebrated globally by Hindus and non-Hindus alike. It is a joyful time that reminds us of the invaluable contributions the Hindu community makes every day to our national fabric.
“On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish everyone celebrating a happy Navratri.”
Navratri is observed in the lunar month of Ashwin during autumn. The festival, which commenced today, is dedicated to the nine forms of Goddess Durga and will culminate on the tenth day with Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra, on October 19. During these nine days, devotees observe fast to pay respect to the Goddess.
Shashi Tharoor’s new book on Narendra Modi is not just ‘floccinaucinihilipilification’
NEW DELHI, Oct 10: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday once again introduced Twitterati and the literati to a difficult, near unpronounceable word, describing his new book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “more than just a 400-page exercise in floccinaucinihilipilification”. According to the Oxford dictionary, the word is a noun and means “the action or habit of estimating something as worthless”.
Discussing the usage of the word, the dictionary adds, “Floccinaucinihilipilification is one of a number of very long words that occur very rarely in genuine use.” “My new book, THE PARADOXICAL PRIME MINISTER, is more than just a 400-page exercise in floccinaucinihilipilification. Pre-order it to find out why!” Tharoor said in a Twitter post that had everybody reaching for the dictionary.
The book itself was relegated to the background as the word got Twitterati talking.
“I get a feeling of floccinaucinihilipilification when I don’t know the meaning of floccinaucinihilipilification,” tweeted one of Tharoor’s followers.
“What my English teachers taught was a lie. Won’t order it as I cannot take out the dictionary everytime,” said another person in reply to Tharoor’s tweet.
The book is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.
According to the description of the book on Amazon, “Shashi Tharoor has stitched together a compelling portrait of this paradoxical figure (Narendra Modi). Never before has there been such a superbly written and devastatingly accurate account of the most controversial prime minister India has ever had.”
Tharoor’s love for the language and propensity for little heard and little used words is well known.
In May 2017, the MP from Thiruvananthapuram and author of 17 books got netizens talking when he described the coverage of the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar by a news channel as an “Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations and outright lies being broadcast by an unprincipled showman masquerading as a journalist”.
In December last year, he used the word ‘rodomontade’, meaning boastful or inflated talk or behaviour. “I choose my words because they are the best ones for the idea I want to convey, not the most obscure or rodomontade ones!” he tweeted. And in February this year, he introduced ‘troglodytes’ to the Twitter world in a response to Vinay Katiyar’s comment on the Taj Mahal.
“We can’t let these troglodytes destroy our country & everything beautiful in it,” he tweeted.
Indian Student is British High Commissioner for a day
By Deepak Arora
NEW DELHI, Oct 8: Esha Bahal from Amity University led Britain’s biggest overseas diplomatic network for 24 hours when she assumed charge of the British High Commission in New Delhi on Monday.
Esha led a meeting with heads of departments across the High Commission, and visited teams to become acquainted with their work. She visited a project site to an M&S factory in Gurgaon, where the High Commission in collaboration with M&S is running a Gender Equality Programme for the women workers in the garment industry. She also met the winners of Tech Rocketship Awards and had a formal interaction with the media also.
Countries around the world will celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child on October 11.
To mark the event, the British High Commission organised a competition for women aged between 18 and 23 to become the British High Commissioner to India for a day. To enter, the competitors submitted a short video presentation on the theme “What does Gender Equality means to you?”
58 students/women took part, with contributions across the country from Delhi to Hyderabad. The successful entry was from Esha Bahal, a student of Political Science at Amity University in Noida. Esha plans to become a social entrepreneur after completing her higher studies in public policy and law.
Acting British High Commissioner for the Day, Esha, said: “Acting as British High Commissioner for a day has been a great and really unique experience. I’ve learnt about the breadth and depth of UK-India relations – and had the opportunity to highlight the importance of gender equality and inclusivity, issues which are of great importance to me.”
British High Commissioner (or Deputy High Commissioner for the day!) Sir Dominic Asquith said: “I am delighted that we were able to run this competition and give young Indian women a platform to discuss their rights. I thank all participants for submitting their excellent videos.
Esha is truly impressive. She is clearly committed to girls’ rights and her video was outstanding. I would like to congratulate her on her success and wish her all the best for her future endeavours.
Gender equality is an issue of great importance to the UK – the 11th is an important moment to reflect on the work still to be done to tackle this issue, and to celebrate the progress being made across the world.”
The British government is working in partnership with civil society, academics, government and, most importantly, girls themselves to empower them and raise awareness about their rights.
For example, the BHC supported a project sensitising and training police officers across 5 Indian states on improving access to justice for female victims of violence, using standard operating procedures when dealing with victims of trafficking and building understanding of how to apply India’s existing laws and legislation in violence against women and girls (VAWG) cases.
In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, BHC supported a project that helped build knowledge sharing and learning among 300 legal, police and judicial officers. To combat violence and decimation against Dalits in India, BHC supported a programme, which trained 2000 women on their legal rights creating the first ever network of Dalit Women Human Rights Defenders trained as paralegals. BHC has also supported programmes training over 400 community social workers on how to address cases of sexual violence.
Modi receives UN’s Champions of Earth award
NEW DELHI, Oct 3: Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the UNEP Champions of the Earth award, UN’s highest environmental honour, from the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Guterres said Modi recognised the fact that climate change poses a direct existential threat to us. “He knows what we need to do to avoid a catastrophe. Other leaders also recognise, know and understand, but the difference is that he not only recognizes but he acts.”
Modi was conferred the award on September 26 by the United Nations (UN) on the sidelines of 73rd UN General Assembly in New York City.
Expressing gratitude to the global community for conferring the award upon him, Modi had earlier dedicated it to the country and its long tradition of co-existing with nature.
Asserting that the poor and the marginalised were the ultimate victims of the climate injustice, Modi said “we need to put the same emphasis on protecting nature as we do on other issues”.
Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron were named as recipients of the prestigious award for their exemplary leadership and advocating action on sustainable development and climate change.
Canada High Commissioner Nadir Patel visits Golden Temple; Performs 'sewa'
By Deepak Arora
AMRITSAR, Oct 1: Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel along with his family visited Golden Temple in Amritsar on Monday and also performed ‘sewa’ at the langar hall. He interacted with the trustees of the temple and was presented a momento.
High Commissioner Nadir Patel said that Canada and India share a strong relationship, and thanked India for such a warm welcome.
He did seva, had langar and praised the Sikh community on how it has opened its doors for people.
SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal felicitated the envoy with a ‘siropa’ (robe of honour).
Nadir Patel also emphasised on how Canada can help the state of Punjab in creating job opportunities for the youth. He also said that there are greater opportunities of study in the Canadian universities.
On a query regarding the pro-khalistan activities in Canada after paying obeisance at Golden Temple here, he said, “This is the topic that was also discussed between prime minister Justin Trudeau and Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh a few months ago.
He said "Canada firmly believes in united India. We will continue to cooperate with Indian agencies on security.”
“But at the same time, we have freedom of expression laws of Canada as well,” he said.
The High Commissioner also visited Indo-Pak Partition museum at Town Hall and spent about an hour.
He left a note on the ‘tree of hope’: “A truly inspiring exhibit that preserves and shares awareness of a very important and emotional and at times tragic moment in history.”
Two Canadian films win awards at Bioscope Global Film Festival in Amritsar
Canadian filmmaker Maahi Kaur’s 'Coffee At Laundromat' and Ojaswwee Sharma's 'Admitted' won awards at the Bioscope Global Film Festival film festival in Amritsar. Congrats Maahi and Ojaswwee!
High Commissioner Nadir Patel highlighted Canada-India ties and congratulated winners at the festival's awards ceremony.
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