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Restore 700 beds for poor in Ahmedabad's VS Hospital: Representation to PM

Pointing out that it is painful that the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has “abandoned” Vadilal Sarabhai (VS) Hospital, which can treat 700 Covid-19 patients, even as showing interest in acquiring beds in private hospitals, the civil rights organization, Nagrik Sashaktikaran Manch (NSM), has regretted that the VS Hospital’s “excellent infrastructure”, owned by AMC. Is not being put to use for the poor patients.
In a representation to the Prime Minister, Jatin Sheth, convenor, NSM, said, the VS Hospital, set up by Seth Vadilal Sarabhai, a close friend of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, has been a real temple in the service of the humanity almost for 90 years. Appreciating that “another hospital has come up in the VS Hospital premises looking to increased needs of the time”, Sheth said, “Today, when Ahmedabad has become a national hotspot for Covid-19, there is an increasing need for more hospital beds rising each day”.
Noting that the Gujarat High Court has “also questioned AMC aut…

Advise to 20-yr-old for live-in relationship: Gujarat HC comes to rescue of advocate

In a unique case, the Gujarat High Court came to the rescue of a Narmada-based lawyer against whom an FIR came to be registered on the ground that he advised a couple to enter into a live in agreement despite the fact that the boy was only 20 years and 6 months and not 21 years i.e. the legal age for a man to get married in India.
Justice RP Dholaria passed an order protecting the Petitioner Advocate from arrest and admitted the quashing petition.
Advocate Ronith Joy appearing for the Petitioner submitted that any person above the age of 18 can enter into an agreement/contract in India. A live-in agreement is very different from and cannot be tantamous to actual marriage. Advising a couple to enter into a live in agreement cannot attract punishment under Sections 10 & 11(1) of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.
The matter has now been posted on August 19, 2020

Withdraw criminal cases against poor during lockdown: Gujarat minority rights leader

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Gujarat’s minority rights leader Mujahid Nafees has asked chief minister Vijay Rupani to withdraw cases against those who allegedly violated lockdown regime, saying, majority of them are poor people, who did not have enough stock of essential items, or were not left with any opportunity to earn a living.
While it was the responsibility of the police to stop people from coming out and violate lockdown, Nafees, in a letter to Rupani, with copy to the leader of the opposition and the state home minister, said, “This also created many difficulties for the people. People were forced to come out to find a living. Those who belong to other districts or states were even more vulnerable.”
Pointing out that as a result of this, there have been reports of clashes between police and people in many parts of the state, Nafees said, criminal cases, including under the Disaster Management Act, were registered who wanted seeking to their home but were stopped, as also those who went out buying things…

Ahmedabad's cleaning workers 'not paid full salary' in April: Senior economist-activist

Gujarat economist Hemantkumar Shah, who is also a senior activist, has accused the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) for refusing to pay full salary to sanitary workers for the month of April. Quoting Ketan Jadav, one of the workers who lives near Khamasa Char Rasta and cleans the road around Chandola Lake, Prof Shah said, his contractor paid him only Rs 5,000 for the month of April, when his monthly salary was fixed at Rs 7,000.
Pointing out that Jadav is not alone, Prof Shah said, Jadav is not alone, there are 30 other cleaners who have been working for almost two years, and each of them was paid Rs 1200 to Rs 5,000 by the contractor. “The contractor has been quoted as saying that their salaries had been cut because they did not work during the lockdown”, the economist said, adding, “Significantly, none of the workers was given the official pass to go to work during the lockdown.”
“Ketan Jadhav says he is not given any weekly leave”, Prof Shah said, “In addition, if they themse…

As migrants return, Bihar likely to face crisis in child education: RTE Forum convenor

The Right to Education (RTE) Forum convener Ambarish Rai has warned that following the in-migration of lakhs of people working in other states, Bihar faces a major crisis in the form of a sharp rise in child labour, child marriage, and child trafficking. The girl child education is likely to be affected the most, he added.
Participating in a video conference on the impact of Covid-19 on public education, Rai accused the Bihar government of “hiding serious issues” related to education arising out of the return of migrants amidst poor economic condition in the state. Pointing out that nearly one crore people go out of Bihar to work in other states, he said, out-of-school children is likely to go up drastically in the state.
State RTE Forum convenor Dr Anil Rai said that the state government lacks political will to implement the RTE Act, adding, in order to reverse this, all the children who are returning to Bihar from other states should be given admission. He added, in Bihar as of t…

Plea for free treatment to poor, restore multi-specialty status to Ahmedabad VS hospital

Following Gujarat High Court stricture on the state government over high death rate of Covid-19 patients in Ahmedabad, especially in the Civil Hospital, independent board members of the second biggest hospital of the city controlled by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), Vadilal Sarabhai (VS), have asked the VS management and AMC “to decisively act in restarting the 1,155-bed VS, restoring its multi-speciality status, which existed prior to 2012”.
Even as welcoming the Gujarat High Court order, which also directs the state government to open up 700 beds in VS for Covid 19 patients, the independent board members -- Jay Sheth, Dr. Nishith Shah, Rupa Chinai and Brijesh Chinai – insisted, “As the VS has a capacity of 1,155 beds totally, we strongly urge AMC to open up additional 455 beds for management of general medical care of poor patients.”
Asking the VS management to “immediately move in restoring beds, equipment and staff so that poor patients receive free treatment and qual…

Gujarat's 73% industries 'not paying' wages, govt must compensate 75% earnings

Estimating that Gujarat's 73% of industrial units have not paid wages during the lockdown period, which began on March 24, three senior social activists, economist Hemantkumar Shah, environmentalist Mahesh Pandya and farmers' leader Sagar Rabari in a letter to the Gujarat government have said that the state government should pay 75% of their wages for three months, from April to June.

Labour 'reforms': ILO writes to Modi insisting India uphold international commitments

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has intervened with the Indian authorities, urging them to take "necessary action" for the protection of workers' rights in the light of measures being taken by a number of state governments to "undermine" labour legistlations and international standards.

Civil hospital condition pathetic, it's as good as dungeon: Gujarat High Court

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The Gujarat High Court has lashed out at the state government, saying the conditions at the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad is “pathetic” and it is “as good as a dungeon, may be even worse”. The court’s observation, made on Friday, was made available on Saturday. The court had taken suo motu congnizance of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on Covid-19 pandemic.

UP government invokes essential services Act to ban strikes for six months

The Uttar Pradesh government has invoked the Essential Services Management Act (ESMA) to render any strike or dissent by the workers as illegal. The Act will remain in place for the next six months.
According to the Act, the police are empowered to arrest those they suspect of violating the Act without a warrant. The Act was invoked as soon as UP Governor Anandiben Patel gave her permission. The notification was issued by the state’s Additional Chief Secretary, Mukul Singhal.
"The Governor is pleased to prohibit, for a period of six months from the date of publication of this notification in the Gazette, strikes in any public service in connection with the affairs of the state of Uttar Pradesh and any service under a corporation owned or controlled by state Government and any service under a local authority", it stated.
ESMA covers services such as railways, public transport buses, health services, including hospitals, post and telegraph, airports and ports etc. Once ESMA is i…