Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2018

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

By Rajiv Shah
International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: *** Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. T…

WHO: "Model" Gujarat's immunization coverage 73%, national average 79%; 17 of 21 major states perform better

By Rajiv Shah
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, Gujarat, which he propagated as the “model” for other states to follow, is facing a major challenge on the health front: If the World Health Organization (WHO) is to be believed, Gujarat’s immunization coverage of one-year olds is one of the worst among Indian states – 72.8% as against the national average of 78.8%.
Worse, out of 21 major Indian states, Gujarat’s immunization coverage is better than just three states – Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Even Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, known for extremely poor performance in social sector, have a better immunization coverage among the one-year olds than Gujarat, 80.6%, 82.2% and 91.7%, respectively.
A study of 10 countries, Afghanistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Uganda, the 92-page WHO report, “Explorations of inequality: childhood immunization”, released this month, seeks to analyze how th…

High medical costs pushed 38 million Indians into poverty, led to financial catastrophe of 18% households

By Rajiv Shah
A recent paper, published in a top London-based research journal, BMP Open, has said that the out of pocket (OOP) expenditure on healthcare in general and medicines in particular, over the last two decades, has gone up from 4.49% to 6.77% in India, leading to “financial catastrophe” of 18% of the country’s households.
Calling it a “significant increase since 1993–1994”, the paper, “Quantifying the financial burden of households’ out-of-pocket payments on medicines in India”, by Sakthivel Selvaraj, Habib Hasan Farooqui and Anup Karan, says that, as against this, the proportion of OOP expenditure on food and non-food items has remained more or less stagnant.
The paper further says that OOP on medical expenditure was particularly “catastrophic” for the poorer 10% of the population, pushing 3.09% or 38 million persons, into poverty. “Among the leading cause of diseases that caused significant OOP payments are cancers, injuries, cardiovascular diseases, genitourinary conditions…

13 yrs after Modi pressure, SEWA reiterates political, bureaucratic interference, refusal of space in New Economy

By Rajiv Shah
Nearly 13 years after the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat reportedly tried to pressure the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) for his political ends, India's premier organization, headquartered in Ahmedabad, and working with poor women in the informal sector, thinks that even today political-bureaucratic pressure remains high, mainly due to its wide support among women.
Relations between Modi and SEWA had gone so sour in 2005 that US consul-general (CG) in Mumbai Michael S Owen reportedly sent a cable saying that Modi's BJP in Gujarat tried to "use" SEWA as a “conduit to disseminate communal ideologies”; and when the group resisted there were attempts to “obstruct” its work by withholding grants, “ostensibly over financial irregularities.”
Accessed by the Hinduthrough WikiLeaks dated September 22, 2005, the report quotes SEWA general secretary Reema Nanawati as telling Owen that the organisation was facing the “wrath” of the state governme…

Unpaid domestic work: India "competes" with Pakistan in high gender gap. Reason: Poor public spending

By Rajiv Shah With 78.2% Indian females doing what is called “unpaid care work” -- as against just about 2.9% males -- a new International Labour Organization (ILO) study has found that the country’s gender gap in taking care of their families is among the highest in the world.
Identifying the time spent for domestic work, the 525-page study, “Care Work and Care Jobs for The Future of Decent Work”, says that Indian women spend 297 minutes a day as against 31 minutes by males in three different type of “care service” -- domestic services for own final use within the household, caregiving services to household members, and community services and help to other households.
By way of comparison, Chinese females do 237 minutes of unpaid work in a day as against 94 minutes by males, and Pakistani females do it for 286 minutes, as again 28 minutes by males.
The study further finds that the female-male gender gap for unpaid care work, calculated on a scale of 100, higher than India in only three …

India's "smart" city proposals consider migrant, unskilled population a security threat to urban citizens

By Rajiv Shah A new study of by well-known Delhi-based civil rights body, Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN), has said that only 8% of India’s total population or 22 per cent of its urban population is likely to benefit from the Government of India’s Smart Cities Mission (SMC) project, which has been initiated in 99 cities from whom proposals have been received.
Pointing towards a clear bias against the marginalized communities, the report states, “Of the total proposed investment of Rs 2.04 lakh crore (2,039 billion) in ‘smart cities,’ 80% will be spent on Area-based Development (ABD), i.e. only on specific areas in each city, with only 20% of funds being devoted to ‘pan-city development’.” In fact, it says, “The city area covered by ABD is less than 5% for 49 of the 86 cities for which information is available”, even though it would lead to forced displacement in the name of development.
Further noting that most of the capital outlay would be coming the private sector “through a va…