Friday, October 31, 2008

India's asbestos time-bomb

A new study titled ‘India’s Asbestos Time Bomb’ takes a hard look at the integrated global system that mines, processes and exports asbestos, and delves into the dark, shadowy world of the asbestos industry which thrives on political patronage.

Unless one really thinks about it, asbestos does not appear to be a part of our everyday lives. But it exists in a range of items, from corrugated sheets to floor tiles, from brake linings to fire protection. Finely powdered asbestos has even sneaked into our lives as an adulterant in perfumed talc and as a whitener in ‘extra white basmati’ rice. Shockingly, it is neither suited to the skin nor a delicacy!

Instead “it is a time bomb that is slowly ticking away,” contends a just released study edited by David Allen and Laurie Kazan-Allen. Titled ‘India’s Asbestos Time Bomb’, the study takes a hard look at the integrated global system that mines, processes and exports this life-threatening product, and delves into the dark shadowy world of the asbestos industry that thrives on political patronage. The study is published by the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS).

Without this patronage, a product that is banned in the European Union, Australia, Japan and New Zealand could not have been imported with such impunity in India. The slashing of import duty on asbestos from 78% in 1995 to 15% in 2004 only adds more grist to the conspiracy mill. No wonder cumulative asbestos imports have touched a whopping 7 million tonnes, up from a low annual import of 40,000 tonnes in 1960 to over 250,000 tonnes in 2006.

The report begins with the testimony of workers who echo the pain of thousands of people earning a livelihood in the unregulated asbestos industry. Ravindra Mohite may have worked to create resistant textiles by interweaving asbestos fibre with polyester, but not without getting asbestosis in 2004. Like 36 of his co-workers, Mohite awaits the court’s direction on compensation from the Ghatkopar factory in north Mumbai.

Illustrating the grim reality of asbestos exposure both through personal accounts and research papers, the study notes that while mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer are recognised around the world, they are rarely reported in India. “This is no surprise as cancer is not a notifiable disease,” argues Dr V Murlidhar, one of the study’s 15 contributors.

Examining the role of the medical community, the study stresses that “occupational

health is a neglected subject, with students rarely having access to standard radiological plates, mandatory for asbestosis diagnosis, even in the top medical colleges… thereby lacking the expertise to diagnose asbestosis unambiguously, often certifying an X–ray as normal when it is not”.

This has resulted in the failure of medical professionals to diagnose asbestos-related illnesses, leaving victims with no option but to die a slow, painful death. It is quite another matter that way back in the first century AD, the Greek geographer Strabo and Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder noted that the material damaged the lungs of slaves who wove it into cloth!

The trouble with asbestos is that its fibre is rarely destroyed, justifying the Greek derivation of the word which means ‘inextinguishable’. It is therefore not surprising that while its sale is banned in Canada, that country is the second largest exporter of asbestos after Russia. In fact, there is evidence that Canada has pressurised countries, including Chile, not to impose an asbestos ban. India accounts for 30% of Canada’s asbestos exports.

In addition to quantifying issues related to diagnosis, treatment and compensation, the study also puts into perspective political and trade-related dimensions of the asbestos crisis. Devoting a chapter to the illegal trade in asbestos waste, despite the existing ban, the study argues that permission granted to asbestos-waste-laden ships like the Blue Lady highlights how entrenched the asbestos industry has become with the powers-that-be.

This nexus is further corroborated by the fact that, along with its Canadian counterparts, the Indian asbestos lobby has been consistently successful in blocking a United Nations move to impose health information disclosures on exports of chrysotile asbestos. The health of millions of asbestos workers will be at stake at the upcoming Conference of the Parties of the UN Rotterdam Convention in Rome, on October 27-31, 2008.

Laurie Kazan-Allen, co-editor of the study, says: “Ineffective regulation on asbestos use and its illegal waste trade makes India vulnerable to a much larger and devastating epidemic. Because it can take 30 years or more for asbestos-related cancers to become full-blown, India faces an inevitable and sharp escalation in cancer cases over the next three decades. No one is safe!”

While Gujarat is an asbestos hotspot, with its busy ship-breaking industry and power plants, Maharashtra is a veritable time-bomb, with scores of asbestos factories located in Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Kalyan, Nashik, Thane and Aurangabad. India has undeniably become the backyard for toxic dumping by the industrialised West.

This study is a timely contribution to the pathetic state of the occupational health of India’s industrial workers. That medical ignorance and government intransigence have allowed this time-bomb to slowly tick away in our backyards should be a matter for serious debate among the public.

The authors and editors of the study argue that it does not aim only to expose corporate malfeasance and government apathy but also to reiterate what Mahatma Gandhi said: that commerce without morality, science without humanity, and politics without principle are amongst the deadly sins that must be overcome.

Source:

http://infochangeindia.org/200810307448/Environment/Books-Reports/India-s-asbestos-time-bomb.html



Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Engaging with the media : Advocacy

Media advocacy is a way of getting an important issue adequate and accurate coverage. An initiative in Bangalore showed how media advocacy highlighted the issue of a dying river and resulted in questions being asked in the state assembly.

A tiny news item on the front page of the Bangalore edition of The Times of India dated January 18, 2008 was headlined ‘UK not to use “War on Terror” term’. The news brief went on to state: ‘The UK has distanced itself from the US “War on Terror” with the British ministers dropping the term and deciding to use jehadis as mere ‘criminals’ rather than an ideology-ridden group of desperadoes.’

Page 15 of the newspaper carried a more detailed news report with the headline ‘UK drops “War on Terror”’. The news report explained the rationale behind the position and why it was significant. ‘As you disrupt radicalisation, you must be aware of how you describe it and must not do so in a way that is inadvertently inflammatory’ it said.

This is a telling example of the way in which opinionmaking is encouraged through the use of terminology and language. Past instances of similar nature are also evidence of different efforts to promote appropriate terminology. This is evident in efforts to stem stigma and discrimination in people with HIV/AIDS, disability, mental health and now terrorism. Therefore, when ‘naxalite-infested area’ is replaced by ‘naxalite-occupied area’, the change in the media language indicates real moves within the media to enable a change in attitude while communicating to the reader.

This is indeed a part of advocacy through the media.

Defining media advocacy

Broadly understood as the strategic use of mass media for advancing a social or public policy initiative, media advocacy is not new. Here, the advocacy makes use of a set of techniques drawn from public relations, advertising, news reports, investigative journalism, letters and grassroots lobbying to influence or change public opinion. For, often, it is through the media that non-profit organisations can contribute to the processes of framing public policy issues and actively enter and participate in public debate. Newspapers and television are important players in this effort.

Another approach is networking or working with members of other organisations with similar objectives. Through networking, the membership base of the issue and the critical mass required can broaden to reach out to inform a larger group of people about the change that is desired. Formation of coalitions and alliances can also provide platforms for shared work and planning.

A third area is creating and distributing media independently. The mobile and internet services are handy tools for this. These platforms help to relate direct experiences and explain the issue from a perspective that is appropriate. In other cases, too, creative and low cost media options can complement mass media content.

The importance of building media partnerships is perhaps the starting point in this cycle towards social equity and justice. Recent years have shown several innovative efforts to engage with the media. Short-term issue-based sensitisation programmes, seminars, trainings and awards are some of the more conventional approaches. Bursaries, fellowships and small grants have also been instituted to enable journalists to follow a story through.

Read in detail:

http://infochangeindia.org/Media/Related-Analysis/Engaging-with-the-media.html


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wanted a Manager- Resource Mobilization/ Corporate Partnerships for NGO

Wanted a Manager- Resource Mobilization/ Corporate Partnerships for Population Services International (PSI) - Mumbai,India.


Population Services International (PSI) is a non-profit, Indian Society. It is affiliated with PSI in Washington, DC, which has similar connection to organizations in 60 different countries. PSI is dedicated to the improvement of public health through promotion of products, services and information, which empower people to protect them from preventable diseases. PSI currently operates in 10 states. PSI is implementing a project, titled CONNECT, in partnership with FICCI (and other partners) to enhance the capacity of industries to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their workplace and communities.


The CONNECT project focuses on Karnataka and coastal Andhra Pradesh and four port cities of the country (including Mumbai). Successful implementation of the project will require engagement with industry to encourage uptake of good workplace policies and practices in support of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support. A hallmark of the program will be the contribution of additional resources by commercial firms, either in cash or in-kind, for support of community-level responses targeting those most at-risk of contracting and transmitting HIV/AIDS.


Duties and Responsibilities for the position:

Lead the development and implementation of a marketing plan to raise financial and in-kind resources from Indian industry in Mumbai/Maharashtra.



Key tasks include:

  1. Analyzing corporate CSR contributions and identifying possible market segments to target
  2. Directly approaching industry for contributions
  3. Developing concept proposals to solicit funding from industry

Individuals with 4 plus years of experience in marketing and fundraising send your application to psi.application@gmail.com


divya@thirdsectorpartners.com



Divya Babbar
Associate Knowledge Manager
Third Sector Partners-India
Tel:+91 22 6660 3558/59
Email:divya@thirdsectorpartners.com


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Inequality rising in Indian cities, says UN-HABITAT

Indian cities are undergoing an inequality trend as a result of economic liberalisation and globalisation, says the State of the World’s Cities Report 2008/9: Harmonious Cities. In 2002, the income gain of the richest 10 per cent of the population in India was about four times higher than that of the poorest 10 per cent, adds the report, released on Thursday by UN-HABITAT. This, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, is the U.N. agency for human settlements.

The study finds that the most egalitarian cities in the world are in Western Europe. Apart from economic performance, the regulatory and distributive capacity of the European welfare states are cited as reasons for this.

In comparison, cities in the United Sates do not fare well. Race continues to be an important factor in determining levels of inequality. Sub-Saharan Africa has 62 per cent of its population living in slums in urban areas, the highest level in the world. In the developing world, one out of three people living in cities is in a slum. Dhaka emerges as the fastest growing mega-city, with an annual growth rate of 4.4 per cent. Mumbai, followed by Delhi, will become the most populated cities after Tokyo in 2025. Chennai will be the 26th largest city in the world by that point.

In the last two decades, an average of three million people a week has been added to the urban population of the developing world. By 2050, the study estimates, 70 per cent of the population in the developing world and 55 per cent of that in India will be urban. The report puts the current ecological footprint of humanity as 2.2 hectares per person, while the earth’s biocapacity remains at 1.8 ha. China and India have ecological footprints that are twice their biocapacity. In other words, what the population consumes in a year, their area of earth will take two years to produce.

Other challenges facing cities are mobility, waste management and environment. The report says a number of cities in Asia have a high rate of car ownership. In this context, it cites the World Health Organisation’s estimates that more than a billion people in Asia are exposed to air pollution levels that exceed its guidelines. This is considered to be a reason for the premature death of half a million people annually. Cities in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand lead the world in the number of passenger cars per 1,000 persons. In western European cities, non-motorised modes of transport account for 50 per cent of all urban trips. The report urges cities to minimise wastage, reduce fossil fuel use and maximise reuse of energy, water and materials.

Source: http://www.hindu.com/2008/10/27/stories/2008102757452000.htm




Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Activists demand review of Domestic Violence Act

Demanding amendments to undo the "discriminatory" provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, a group of activists held a demonstration in the capital today and said the law was unleashing "legal terrorism" on elders and women.

Assembled under the banner of Gender Human Rights Society (GHRS), Mothers and Sisters Organisation (MASI), Save Family Foundation and other NGOs, who observed second anniversary of enactment of DVA as 'Black Day', protesters also submitted a memorandum to the government seeking a review of the law.

"The provision that has been the most misused is Section 19 of the Act that allows a woman, who claims to be victim of domestic violence, to evict her husband's house of his family members," said Sandeep Bhartia, President of GHRS.

"It has led to several cases when senior citizens have been thrown out of their homes which they built out of their life's savings, with nowhere to go," he added.

Besides, the issues of unlimited compensation, provision of appointing only women activists as service providers or protection officers and that of multiple maintenance cases were also highlighted as being loaded against the husband and his family.

The clauses, along with the fact that the law treats an accused "guilty until proven innocent" have unleashed "legal terrorism" against the accused elders and women.

"The law is heavily loaded in favour of the wife and leads to victimisation of women from the husband's family, who are often put behind bars for indefinite periods," said Preeti Chauhan of NGO the All India Forgotten Women.

"Equal protection should be provided to men and women against physical, emotional and economic abuse," she added.

The law has also come in for criticism from the Supreme Court, which said in a judgement that some of its provisions were "clumsily drafted," said Bhartia.

Source: http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200810261523.htm


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Sathbhavna Melawa : Harmony Meet in Mumbai

We invite you to attend a special meeting on Friday, October 31 at 6.30 p.m. at Salvation Hall, Portuguese Church, Dadar West to seek your views, ideas and your participation for the forthcoming Rally, details given below:

The details are as follows:

Chalo Shivaji Park for the Sathbhavna Melawa on Saturday, November 15 at 3.00 p.m.
Theme: Sathbhavna Melawa
Citizens for Communal Harmony and Peace.
Date and Time: Saturday, November 15 at 3.00 p.m.
Venue: Shivaji Park, Dadar West.

The suggested core issues for this Melawa:

- Stop violence against Humanity
- Enforce the Rule of Law
- We condemn bomb and mob terrorism
- We want communal harmony and peace
- We are proud Indians.

We urge each one of you to join the fight against fundamentalism, regionalism, parochialism, communalism and terrorism.

Citizens of all communities are participating in this event. Prominent citizens from various communities have consented to support this initiative. We want to come to-gether to preserve the unity of the nation and strengthen democracy.

Since all of you have shown a keen interest in issues like these, we urge you to attend. Please do confirm if we can add the name of your organisation for this Sathbhavna Melawa. The whole event will be under the umbrella of the SATHBHAVNA MELAWA.

Let us all stand united and be counted. It is now or never.


Dolphy D'souza
President
THE BOMBAY CATHOLIC SABHA
St Michael's Annexe, Mahim.
Tel: 24463853 / 9820226227


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

NGO Job near Mumbai for Senior Citizens

Required Administrative / Center Manager for Tribal School

All India Balkan-ji-Bari an NGO founded in 1923 is looking for Administrative / Center Manager for their Residential Bapugaon Ashramshalla , located in Bapugaon 30 kms ahead of Dhanau, Dist Thana,Maharashtra.

This is co-ed residential school for around 450 Tribal/Adivasi Childrens.The manager will be in charge of overseeing all aspects of hostel activity, including discipline, and accommodation facilities, administration, stock verification and general management.

His Main duties would include inspecting hostel areas and ensuring health and safety regulations are met; overseeing and developing hostel educational programmes, in charge of the supplies and kitchen ensuring their availability at all times and preventing misuse and ensuring the maintenance of discipline at all times on the premises. Co-ordinating with government departments ensuring grants are recieved
on time.

Free accommodation at the location will be provided. The remuneration package matches the industry standards.

Preference:

Male above 50 yrs in good health with Defense or Administrative background and with Passion to work with Childern's.People with materlialistic value are requested not to Apply.

Please apply with resume and salary expected via e-mail to:
bjbbapugaon@gmail.com / anjali1994@hotmail.com

Or at

National Head quarters of All India Balkanji Bari ,
25 Juhu Road,
Santacruz West ,
Tel: 26602008
Mumbai 400054


About All India Balkan-ji-Bari:
It was founded in 1923 by a great lover of children – Late Padmashri Shewak Bhojraj fondly known as `Dada'. The organization was founded with the object of bringing cheer and joy into the life of children, the privileged and the not so privileged. The Bari provides an educative environment, where children can learn through play and
recreation. The Bari believes that education together with recreation can draw out the best in a child.

About Bapugaoan Ashram Shala:
There is a dearth of good educational programmes throughout the district of Dahanu. In addition, the highly poverty stricken Adivasi (tribal) families are unable to provide for the schooling of their children, which in turn leads to very young children being put to work for the lack of a better alternative. Therefore, in order to provide these children with access to a good public education system and a brighter future, we have formulated this co-ed Ashramshala along with the government in the midst of this small adivasi village.

Silver Inning Foundation supports this Initiative.

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Volunteers needed for Alzheimer's Support Group: Mumbai

Silver Inning Foundation in association with ARDSI(ALzm society of India) Greater Mumbai has started : Dementia / Alzheimer's Support Group.


Presently this group is working from Kandivali to Bhayander in Mumbai. We will extend this to other parts of Mumbai city in phase manner.


This group consists of Doctors - Psychiatrist, Neurologist; Social Worker, Clinical Psychologist and Volunteers.


The group activity is non paid/Free and is more about Support system, Counseling and Training for Family members and people suffering from Dementia/ Alzheimer's.


We Invite Volunteers among Medical Professionals, Social Workers, Psychologist, Family members, House wives, Senior Citizens and people with passion to serve for social cause.


To apply for Volunteers please fill the Form here: http://silverinnings.com/primary%20individual%20form.asp


Also you can write to: info@silverinnings.com




Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

India will be 'top priority' in my presidency: Barack Obama

A stronger relationship with India and a close strategic partnership will be a "top priority" of a Barack Obama administration, says the Democratic presidential candidate.

"The US should be working with India on a range of critical issues from preventing terrorism to promoting peace and stability in Asia," Senator Obama said in an exclusive interview with IANS, the first with a South Asian journalist after his nomination for the presidency by the Democratic party.

"Joe Biden and I will make building a stronger relationship, including a close strategic partnership, with India a top priority."

On his agenda for working with New Delhi, he said: "I also believe India is a natural strategic partner for America in the 21st century and that the US should be working with India on a range of critical issues from preventing terrorism to promoting peace and stability in Asia."

In the interview, Obama elaborated on a wide range of issues, from comprehensive immigration reforms and making globalisation and trade work for American workers, to seeking the active participation of the Indian American community in the process of change that he has advocated.

He said he would support "comprehensive immigration reform", including the H-1B visa programme "to attract some of the world most talented people to America".

Obama explained that he wanted to end abuses of the H1-B visas that is used by highly qualified specialists to work in US. He added that he would make "immigrant workers less dependent on their employers for their right to stay in the country, and would hold accountable employers who abuse the system and their workers".

The Obama administration, he said, would seek to strengthen ties with the "vibrant" Indian American community and encourage their "active engagement... in making the change we seek".

He asserted the Democratic nomination was running on the manifesto of "inclusiveness, optimism and hope" that will translate into a "progressive presidency".

On the contentious election topics of outsourcing and globalisation, he said: "We know that we cannot and should not put up walls around our economy."

Acknowledging that global competition "is a fact that cannot be reversed", Obama added: "But we must find a way to make globalisation and trade work for American workers."

Obama has deep roots in Chicago, having started his career as a community organiser in the city. From his days as an Illinois senator, he has had strong links with the city's growing Indian American community. He has worked regularly on issues ranging from reforms in immigration and campaign finance, to health care and education, with Illinois' premier Indian political networking group, the Indo-American Democratic Organization.

Excerpts from the interview with IANS:

Q: Immigrants have, over the years, made a critical contribution to the United States. But now the US stands to lose its leadership in the sciences, in part because of restrictive immigration policies. Do you plan to reform immigration laws so that the US is once again a magnet for talent from around the world?

A: I have played a leading role in crafting comprehensive immigration reform and believe that our broken immigration system can only be fixed by putting politics aside and offering a solution that strengthens our security while reaffirming our heritage as a nation of immigrants. I believe we must secure our borders, fix our broken immigration bureaucracy, and require the 12 million undocumented to get on a responsible path to citizenship. They must pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for citizenship. I will also increase the number of people we allow in the country legally to a level that unites families and meets the demand for jobs employers cannot fill.

Q: Many economists have asserted that in an increasingly globalised world, it is counter productive to restrict the flow of capital, labour and increasingly jobs. Do you plan to restrict outsourcing, or would you prefer that American companies respond to this threat by moving up the value chain instead?

A: Revolutions in communications and technology have sent jobs wherever there's an internet connection, and have forced workers in Chicago and Boston to compete for those jobs with workers in Bangalore and Beijing. We live in a more competitive world, and that is a fact that cannot be reversed. We know that we cannot and should not put up walls around our economy. But we must find a way to make globalisation and trade work for American workers.

The American worker needs to be supported and given the tools needed to compete in the global economy. So I would pursue common-sense measures such as offering tax incentives to companies that create jobs in the United States, undertaking policies, such as supporting growth sectors like renewable energy and building up our infrastructure, that will lead to creation of well-paying jobs, and, most importantly, investing in education and job re-training programmes. The United States has faced fundamental economic challenges before and it has met them by expanding opportunity outward, growing our middle class, and investing in the education and well-being of our workers.

Q: Are you worried about the fragile polity in Pakistan coupled with the looming presence of terror networks? Would you continue to consider Pakistan as a trusted ally?

A: I want to build a broad-based and lasting relationship with the people of Pakistan - not just temporary alliances with their government. While the US and Pakistan must continue to work together to combat terrorism that has claimed innocent lives in both countries and to destroy the terrorist sanctuaries along the Afghan-Pakistani border, I will make helping Pakistan tackle critical challenges like illiteracy, poverty, and lack of health care a key priority including by increasing aid in these areas. I will stand up for democratic institutions, civil society and judicial independence in Pakistan. I cosponsored legislation with Senator Lugar to triple non-military assistance to Pakistan and sustain it for the next decade.

Q: What are your views on the demand made by several US companies including Microsoft that the US needs to increase the number of work visas (H1B) to protect its technological leadership?

A: I support comprehensive immigration reform that includes improving our visa programmes, including the H-1B programme, to attract some of the world's most talented people to America. I would like to see immigrant workers less dependent on their employers for their right to stay in the country, and would hold accountable employers who abuse the system and their workers.

Q: From an outsider's perspective questions such as whether America is "ready for a black president" sounds almost medieval. Why do you think a democracy which is 232 years old is still grappling with such issues?

A: Just 50 years ago, nine brave African American schoolchildren sought to realise the promise of Brown v. Board of Education by walking past an angry mob and into the doors of Central High School in Little Rock , Arkansas. The event marked a great moment in America 's long march toward equality and freedom. The federal government put itself firmly on the side of justice and equal opportunity for all. And this was only the beginning. That same month, the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was signed into law, and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division was created shortly thereafter. In the years that followed, another Civil Rights Act and a Voting Rights Act were passed. These laws, and the institutional practices they created, helped transform our nation into one that is more just, more equal, and more free.

While we have made significant progress over the last five decades, there is no question that we have more work to do. Joe Biden and I will build upon our nation's commitment to equal justice and opportunity for all. We will restore professionalism to the Civil Rights Division and reinvigorate federal civil rights enforcement and reform our criminal justice system so that it works for all, regardless of race, wealth, or other circumstances. We are running on inclusiveness, optimism and hope, and that will translate into a progressive presidency on issues of diversity and inclusion.

Q: You have voted for the Indo-US nuclear deal. Would you consider India a strategic partner with the United States in its efforts to promote stability in the Asian region?

A: I am an advocate of strengthening US relations with India, the world's largest democracy and a growing economic power. I voted for the India civilian nuclear cooperation deal in 2006 and have since worked to ensure that the agreement is implemented properly so that Indians benefit from expanded energy sources and that nuclear proliferation concerns are addressed. I also believe that India is a natural strategic partner for America in the 21st century and that the US should be working with India on a range of critical issues from preventing terrorism to promoting peace and stability in Asia. Joe Biden and I will make building a stronger relationship, including a close strategic partnership, with India a top priority.

Q: Indian Americans, like many others, look upon you as an agent of change. What would you like to say to them?

A: As a community organiser, civil rights lawyer, and elected official, I have spent my career working on issues of importance to Indian Americans. I am proud to have worked side-by-side with Indian Americans on a variety of issues, including immigration, civil rights, foreign policy, and education, and Joe Biden and I look forward to strengthening our relationships with Indian Americans during my administration. We will reach out to encourage the active engagement of the vibrant Indian American community in making the change we seek.


Source: http://mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=local&newsid=98087#


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Journalists in Ghana schooled on child rights protection

The Department of Social Welfare (DSW) in collaboration with UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday organised a workshop to sensitise journalists on the importance of ethical reporting on child rights protection issues.

According to Mr Iddris Abdallah, a UNICEF consultant on child protection with the DSW, recent media reporting on child abuses and issues relating to their health, had not been treated ethically, as most of them had either exposed these vulnerable ones to further stigmatisation or public ridicule.

Mr Abdallah said though the media was doing a great job in trying to genuinely bring out the plight of children, they should take into account the negative publicity, some of which may be damaging to the child’s future, and try to amend such mistakes by adhering to the rules and regulations governing publications on minors.

He also cautioned journalists, especially those in the electronic and the print media, to desist from showing the faces of children, as a way of sympathising with their plight, but rather use ethical methods such as blurring of pictures.

“Avoid the uses of sexualising images of children such as the filming or publishing of pictures of hermaphrodites, which may expose the child to public ridicule, stigmatisation or family abandonment,” he said.

He said though some media adopt the style of obstructing the eyes with black bars across the eyes, it was an unacceptable method which criminalises the child.

Mr Abdallah advised journalists to also avoid the temptation of being emotional when reporting on sensitive issues such as rape and defilement, where in most cases victims were filmed on television.

He stated that any act that demoralised the status of the child, leading to further distress, was considered unethical and should be avoided.

Mrs Margaret Kutsi Atsi, Director of Social Welfare, DSW, expressed worry over the current proliferation of orphanages.

She said there were over 127 orphanages nationwide, most of which operate under distressed conditions.

She said the Department had visited almost all these institutions to ascertain their level and mode of operation and realised that none of the orphanages had registered licence of operations.

Mrs Atsi said a Department had drawn up a massive programme to halt the establishment of orphanages and further ensure that operating institutions got registered and gazetted after satisfying all the requirements.

“Those who fail to satisfy the requirement would be closed down,” she said.

Mrs Helena Obeng-Asamoah, Coordinator, Child Reform Initiatives, noted that the majority of the almost 4,000 children living in the un-registered orphanages are indeed not orphans but were driven there by their poverty stricken parents.

“It came out during our research programme that out of the 4,000 orphans 3,800 had families; there was poor record keeping, no gate-keeping and general conditions in most facilities were unacceptable.”

She stated that conditions of care were pitiful with most staff being unqualified, adding that the institutions had, in many cases, not complied with the most basic social welfare requirements.

The government of Ghana, through the DSW, has initiated a dynamic process called the “Care Reform Initiative (CRI)” to transform the sector and promote family-based care.

The government believes in families as the best place for children and supports families and foster parents to care for children without appropriate parental care.

She cited some disadvantages of the orphanage system as lack of permanent attachments on the part of children to one caregiver and as a result they may grow up with a feeling of being unloved and with little self-esteem.

“Babies are often neglected because of understaffing and they may experience severe, irreversible developmental delays, while most children continue to battle with the issue of social stigmatisation,” she said.

Source: http://news.myjoyonline.com/news/200810/22007.asp

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Corporate social responsibility: 25 ways to be more socially responsible

Being Green isn't just about putting potato peelings in the right bin and switching off the gas there's also a human element. Otherwise known as corporate social responsibility, it is viewed cynically by some, but here Rosalind Mullen points you towards 25 ways to be more socially responsible.

Planting trees, climbing hills for charity, putting up bird houses Has the hospitality industry gone mad in its quest to be good as well as green?

According to Val Carter, corporate responsibility (CR) director at food service company Aramark: "You instantly become a company that cares, and this is crucial to help attract and retain staff. Most companies these days expect you to have a CR policy - it could make the difference between winning and losing business."

But what about accusations that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is "fluffy"? Alexandra Hammond, responsible business manager UK for hotel company Rezidor Group UK, insists: "We do it because we depend on the communities we work in so much - it would be reprehensible not to give anything back. Our staff live and work in the community, so it helps to motivate them, too. Some things we do don't have a financial return, because it is about giving something back."

1. Fund staff for voluntary work

The 11-strong hotel group Red Carnation is in the early stages of introducing volunteer days, which allow staff to take two extra paid days off each year to work as a volunteer. Staff are encouraged to work for one of the charities that the group supports, such as Starlight Children's Foundation or the Great Ormond Street Hospital Tick Tock Club, but they can request that another charity be considered. One of the first candidates has just completed a day at Action Against Hunger.

Food service company Sodexo allows staff to volunteer for work with its main charity partner, FareShare, which has a five-year goal of helping 100,000 people by providing more than 30 million meals, using 20,000 tonnes of redistributed food every year. To date, Sodexo employees have provided 700 hours of volunteer support, including members of the executive team, who spent a couple of days at FareShare's Bermondsey food depot earlier this year.

2. Support fresh water schemes

In a bid to support a charitable supplier, Aramark generates sales for the OneWater brand through its contracts. OneWater puts all its profits into buying water pumps to create clear water systems in Africa.

Elsewhere, Imago, the hotel and conference arm of Loughborough University, is Fairtrade-accredited and donates 5p from every bottle of water sold to help fund a rainwater harvesting scheme in a small village in India.

3. Pass on your technology

Contract caterer BaxterStorey donates its old PCs to Computer Aid International. This charity refurbishes computers and provides them at a low cost to schools in the developing world, to charities and so on. The knock-on effect is that it reduces potential waste.

4. Look after employee health

The consequences of ensuring that your staff eat well and live healthily are obvious in both business and CSR terms.

Aramark's Business Action on Health team is part of a Business in the Community (BITC) campaign. This campaign highlights the business benefits of better health at work, and is trying to make reporting on workplace health issues commonplace in UK boardrooms.

It was also part of the subgroup developing the healthy eating toolkit, which has been distributed to all FTSE100 companies.

5. Encourage guests to raise funds

Many hospitality companies do this as a matter of course. Red Carnation hotels, for instance, has for some years been asking guests to make a contribution of £1 per stay. The company then matches the donation and has so far raised £38,000 for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Tick Tock Club and more than £250,000 for the Starlight Children's Foundation.

6. Campaign sponsorship

Many events and campaigns could not happen without industry support. For instance, Aramark is one of the sponsors of British Food Fortnight, one the largest volunteer movements educating children about food.

Besides encouraging schools to invite chefs into classrooms to teach children how to cook, it celebrates British food through a range of promotions in pubs and restaurants.

7. Set up a charity

Company charities provide a structured and tax-efficient way to support local communities and charitable causes.

Sodexo's registered charity, the Sodexo Foundation, launched the UK-based STOP Hunger campaign to combat poor nutrition in local communities. It does this by teaching basic nutritional cooking skills. Sodexo covers the administrative costs and staff raise the funds. So far, they have raised upwards of £250,000 since the campaign's launch in 2005, by being sponsored to jump out of aeroplanes or run marathons. They also help to feed people in disadvantaged communities through breakfast clubs for vulnerable children or by providing food for the homeless.

Further, the BaxterStorey Foundation became a registered charity in July. The company supports four causes each year, including industry charity Hospitality Action, plus issues close to its employees' hearts, such as local charities, sponsorship of sports teams, supporting individual talent, and worldwide causes.

Funds are generated through initiatives such as the London-to-Brighton bike ride, the Three Peaks Challenge, and in 2009 a BaxterStorey team will be undertaking a London-to-Paris bike ride. BaxterStorey has also recently launched a "Penny-per-cup" scheme with sustainable coffee company First Choice Coffee. During the first year, the scheme is expected to generate £70,000 for the charity.

Deputy chief executive William Baxter says: "As an employer of nearly 5,000 people, we want to make sure that we're not only supporting the big charities but also offering a helping a hand to lesser-known programmes and initiatives that are close to the heart of our employees."

Catering supplier Apetito has set up a staff foundation, which isn't a charity but which does champion the charitable and voluntary work carried out by its staff and their children, raising £50,000 in community donations since it began in 2007. The foundation has recently donated £500 to aid the work of African Joy, which collects second-hand goods to recycle and send to African schools and hospitals.

8. Recycle office supplies

BaxterStorey ensures that 100% of all disposable cups and packaging used by the business are made from recycled, recyclable or biodegradable materials. All waste paper is recycled and, at the end of 2006, the company changed from purchasing virgin paper to 100% recycled paper, thus saving 2.4 tonnes of CO2 in 2007. Staff are encouraged to print office paperwork on both sides of a sheet of paper and to recycle afterwards.

BaxterStorey has also created printing hubs at its head office in Reading, reducing the number of printers it uses by 50% despite office staffing having grown by 130%.

9. Support a conservation scheme

The Langdale Hotel and Timeshare Complex in the Lake District helped to found the Tourism & Conservation Partnership (www.ourstolookafter.co.uk), a visitor pay-back scheme.

Langdale's guests have raised nearly £145,000 through an option to donate when paying their bill. The North West Regional Development Agency matches the donations made by guests, and the hotel also makes regular donations.

Since being established 14 years ago, the partnership has raised £1m.

10. Cycle to work

Giving staff incentives to leave their cars at home is proving popular among hospitality operators and suppliers.

As part of Foster Refrigerator's Green Week, staff were encouraged to cycle or walk to work, or to car-share. Those who did were entered into a prize draw to win store vouchers and eco-friendly products, such as an eco kettle. Since the launch of Green Week last year, 40% of Foster's staff have now chosen to walk or cycle to work regularly.

Food service company Brookwood Partnership is providing cycle vouchers and bicycle locks through a link with Faircare, which runs government-funded initiatives to help employees buy bikes and equipment.

This scheme falls under the 1999 Finance Act for Tax Exemption and the Government Green Transport Plan. Employees save as much as 50% on retail prices through a salary-sacrifice scheme, whereby an amount is deducted each month from their gross pay, which generates tax and NI savings for the employee and employer.

Brookwood allows the employees to benefit from the employer savings also. This scheme is being relaunched, however, as initial take-up wasn't as high as was hoped.

11. Cut delivery miles

In 2007, Sodexo swept away 360,000 road miles by working with supplier Brakes to reduce deliveries to sites.

The company imposed a minimum order requirement to discourage "little and often" deliveries, complemented by the use of software to plan routes more effectively. It represents a reduction of 400 tonnes of CO2 compared with the previous year. Purchasing in bulk can reduce the number of containers used.

12. Work with local producers

Increasingly, large-scale purchasers in the food service industry recognise that they can play a big part in helping to maintain our countryside by supporting local farming communities, seeking products from sustainable sources and looking to reduce environmental impact.

Sodexo Healthcare, for instance, has worked with NHS Shetland since 1992 and, as one of the largest employers on the Shetland Islands, sources as much as possible locally, buying from the local baker, fishmonger and dairy. In its Scottish Government contracts, 52% of meat sourced by Sodexo is Scottish.

BaxterStorey sources all fresh produce from producers in the UK that are part of accreditation schemes such as Red Tractor, Welsh Lamb and Lion brand, and is developing its policy for sourcing fish that meet the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) requirements (see number 17, below).

13. Spread the word in schools

The Year of Food and Farming is a business-led campaign endorsed by the Department for Environmental and Rural Affairs (Defra). It aims to help children to find out more about the countryside and where their food comes from, through visits to farms, cookery workshops in schools and other first-hand experiences.

Representing the hospitality industry, Harvester pubs and Toby Grill (both brands belonging to Mitchells and Butlers) and Sodexo provide sponsorship. Sodexo runs cookery workshops at about 500 primary and independent preparatory schools across the country, reaching as many as 9,000 children.

Programme director Tony Cooke says: "There is irrefutable evidence that experiences such as making bread have a profoundly positive effect on children's relationship with food."

14. Help people with disabilities

A team from the Radisson SAS hotel in Edinburgh has been working with Enable Scotland, a charity that helps people with learning disabilities. In a recent project, staff from the hotel have been working alongside young men to help them find stable jobs. One initiative has been to help them plant trees from seed in Edinburgh's Craigmillar Castle Park.

15. Set your staff a challenge

Many companies support their staff in fundraising activities.

For instance, a team of 20 Aramark employees recently did the Five Peaks Challenge to raise money for Childline and Macmillan nurses. This meant climbing the five highest mountains in Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic within 48 hours. Aramark raised £41,500 from the peak challenge and a race day which took place around the same time.

16. Share your swimming pool

The Langdale Estate in the Lake District has shown its commitment to the local school by providing private use of its pool every Thursday during term-time for swimming lessons.

17. Tap into eco-friendly workers

Stowe Mountain Lodge, a new US$400m ski resort in Vermont, USA, has employed eco-friendly artisans to build furniture and design features. The artisans use organic materials and environmentally friendly practices. In-room lamps, for instance, have been custom-designed by Simon Pearce, who uses a waterfall to generate electricity and to operate a glassblowing furnace and potter's wheel.

18. Purchase from sustainable stocks

To preserve fish stocks, the key is not to purchase any fish species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Compass has become the first contract caterer to be able to trace the fish on its menu back to the boat that caught it and subsequent fisheries, through gaining Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) chain of custody trace­ability certification. So far, five of its contracts are covered by the certification.

19. Protect wildlife

There are many initiatives to preserve wildlife in country properties where, arguably, the issue of sustainability is overtaking that of ecology.

The Langdale Hotel and Timeshare Complex in Cumbria, for instance, is maintaining bird-feeding stations, controlling grey squirrels and introducing red squirrel feeders, and developing a bio-diversity management plan with Lancaster University. "We don't have to do it," says general manager Nick Lancaster, "but our natural surroundings are what bring the guests in the first place. If we are not prepared to protect our surroundings, then we are not prepared to protect our business."

20. Serve Fairtrade

The hospitality industry has generally embraced Fairtrade products.

At the budget end, there are hotel companies such as Umi serving Fairtrade teas and World Land Trust-approved Puro Coffee (every kilogram of Puro espresso sold sees money given to buy and protect rainforest in South America), while the luxury end is represented by hotels such as the Vineyard at Stockcross, in Berkshire, which has taken on First Choice Coffee's Black and White automatic machines. These require less training than other coffee equipment, and are thus suitable for a 24-hour hotel environment.

Cavendish hotel in London's Jermyn Street uses Belu bottled mineral water, which invests all of its profits in clean water projects, Fairtrade, Cafe Direct and Duchy Originals.

21. Reward greener guests

The Cavendish hotel on Jermyn Street, London, offers a 50% discount on valet parking charges for environmentally friendly vehicles. The list of qualifying vehicles is taken from the Energy Savings Trust and includes hybrid cars, alternative fuel cars, LPG-converted cars and electric cars. Users of the latter are offered facilities to recharge their vehicles.

The Sundial venues and events group, which has accommodation in Surrey, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, offers delegates who travel by public transport, or who car-share, a credit of £5 to spend in the bar.

22. Use green service suppliers

There is a growing trend for hospitality companies to check out the eco-friendliness of their service suppliers.

The Crowne Plaza London hotel was the first hotel to join the Green 500 - an initiative launched by the London Development Agency for 500 blue-chip companies in the capital. One of the hotel's standpoints is to take on only suppliers that meet its own green credentials. An example is its car supplier, Green Tomato Cars, which is an environmentally friendly private hire company that uses the Toyota Prius hybrid and plants trees to make up for unavoidable emissions.

23. Educate your clients

To be fully green, the food service sector needs to ensure that its clients buy into the environmentally friendly ethos.

Contract caterer Bartlett Mitchell runs green roadshows to explain to clients what the company is doing to reduce its impact on the environment and to encourage them to buy greener food and services. The roadshow team explains why the company prefers to source organic or locally supplied food, and puts forward the benefits of using recycled napkins and paper cups, starch plastic cutlery and so on in a bid to spread sustainable, eco-friendly catering.

24. Educate your staff

Considerate Hoteliers says that hotels can reduce energy consumption by 20% through regular staff training in the importance of being green. Staff can also take what they learn into their everyday lives.

Sundial venues and events group is launching environmental seminars for its staff at its properties in Surrey, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire. Kicking off the initiative is George Martin, head of sustainability at Wilmott Dixon Construction's rethinking business unit, who talks about sustainable development, changes in the earth's atmosphere, legislation, sustainable procurement - and how all this could affect the company.

25. Plant a tree

While planting trees can't be an excuse for increasing carbon emissions, it does help to mitigate pollution. Properly managed tree-planting schemes are good, no matter what the motive.

Considerate Hoteliers linked with London charity the Westminster Tree Trust to encourage hotels to sponsor a tree nearby in order to enhance the environment, encourage bird life and help improve air quality. The cost is £300 per tree, including planting, maintenance and replacement in the event of failure. For an extra cost, the sponsor can have a brass plaque.

Participants include the Dorchester hotel in Park Lane, which has planted a London plane tree opposite the hotel, and Luna House hotel in Belgrave Road, which commissioned a tree outside the Passport Office. The Ritz is considering sponsorship of trees in nearby Allington Street.

Case Study:

Electrolux pays customers to go Green

Electrolux is rewarding businesses that scrap a non-environmentally-friendly dishwasher by giving them cash back if they buy one of its green-and-clean dishwasher models.

As an incentive for a hood-type model, the company will pay £160 for an old machine and estimates that you will make energy savings of £400 in your first year - a total of £560. For the undercounter model, you get £80 for an old machine and will make energy savings of £240 in 12 months - a total of £320.

The energy savings are made through the fact that the machines use less energy, rinse-aid, detergent and water, so users lower their running costs and the impact on the environment.

Last year, the European Commission gave its Sustainable Energy Award to Electrolux. Major appliances Europe CEO Magnus Yngen said at the time: "We estimate that there are about 200 million appliances that are more than 10 years old in use in European households. By replacing these, we could cut CO2 emissions by some 22 million tonnes a year, corresponding to 6% of the EU's Kyoto target."

First Choice promotes fair trade with remote communities

First Choice Coffee is about to launch a single-origin coffee from Peru, farmed by Yanesha Indians in the Andes.

The company has bought a crop in order to support the Indians. They also grow yucca, maize and beans to eat, but most of the income to buy medicine, school books and tools comes from coffee.

Every December, coffee exporter COINCA attends the annual community council of Yanesha to assist them in allocating funds. This is then voted on by the community. Fund uses range from improving business practices to education and medical care. The premium that First Choice paid for the coffee allowed the Yanesha tribe to upgrade its coffee processing systems.

Elaine Higginson, managing director of First Choice Coffee, says: "By giving the Yanesha Indians a fair price for high-quality coffee, they can continue to create a sustainable business. Without support that goes directly to the growers, small coffee plantations wouldn't be able to maintain sustainable communities."


Source: http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2008/10/23/324141/corporate-social-responsibility-25-ways-to-be-more-socially-responsible.html



Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

India Post to disburse Micro-Credit in eight states and North-East

India Post is now poised to disburse micro-credit to Women Self Help Groups in eight states and the NorthEast in a tie-up with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).


The states are Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. The scheme was so far operational in five districts in Tamil Nadu on a pilot basis. Post Offices in Tamil Nadu have successfully disbursed credit to the tune of Rs. 1.35 crores to 165 Women SHGs. No default has been noticed in the repayment.

Around 2,900 groups have so far been formed for credit linkage with the post offices in the districts of Sivaganga, Pudukottai, Tiruvannamalai, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur. 2000 Post Offices in nine postal divisions are involved in this operation.

Post Masters have been specially trained in nurturing SHGs and making inspections. 9 per cent simple interest is charged on the loans out of which India Post has a share of 3% and the remaining 6 percent goes to NABARD.

The scheme helps the Postal department in cross selling its financial and insurance services to the members of the Self Help Groups, thus strengthening their financial and life security. It also underlines the continuing relevance of rural Post Offices and their closeness to the public.

The success of the scheme reinforces that among the rural people, the Post Office remains the preferred office for financial services, a fact that has come out in successive surveys. Post Offices in the country have already disbursed about 2900 crore rupees as wages to the beneficiaries of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

The total number of accounts opened for NREGS payments is about 1.5 crores. The number of Post Offices disbursing the wages across 21 states is over 70 thousand (including Head Post Offices, Sub Post Offices and Branch Post Offices). Andhra Pradesh has the maximum number of over 94 lakh accounts.

An important concern of the NREG Scheme is that every worker is paid his/her wages for the work done expeditiously and correctly. With a view to address this concern, the Government had decided that payment of wages to the workers will be done only through Banks or Post Offices. Starting with the Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle in 2005, payment of wages under NREG Scheme has now been extended to 19 Postal Circles in 21 States.

India Post and the State Bank of India have launched a unique joint project in Punjab to provide banking facilities in the unbanked areas. The rural masses in the state can now access the loan and deposit schemes of the State Bank through post offices. The facility has already been set up in 43 post offices. The target is to extend the arrangement to 600 more post offices. Post Masters of rural postal branches have been specially trained for this purpose.

The joint venture mainly focuses on rural customers who are in need of loans but unable to reach banks. The post offices will carry out all the front office jobs for the State Bank relating to loans and deposits, including disbursement of loans. The loans will, however, be sanctioned by the SBI.
Besides delivery of mails, the basket of services being offered by Post Offices in rural and remote areas has been growing all the time.


Source: http://www.newspostonline.com/national/India%20Post%20to%20disburse%20micro-credit%20in%20eight%20states%20and%20North-East-200809306979


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PRINCIPLES OF SELF REGULATION FOR INDIAN MEDIA

The News Broadcasters Association(NBA) have established commonly accepted content guidelines as a way of practicing self regulation. The purpose is to define editorial principles which are consistent with the tenets of the freedom of speech articulated in the constitution of India; the regulatory framework; common sensibilities of television viewers.


The purpose of these principles of self regulation is to serve as an affirmative declaration of understanding of, and compliance with, the basic values and objectives that news channels enshrine. It is to ensure that these principles are observed in spirit, and not just in the letter.


The purpose of putting together the principles of self regulation is to avoid compromising the genre of television news by broadcasting content that is malicious, biased, regressive, knowingly inaccurate, hurtful, misleading, or aimed at willfully concealing a conflict of interest. The purpose of these principles of self regulation is to empower the profession of television journalism by an abiding set of values, which will stand the test of time, and ensure that balanced and comprehensive journalism flourishes, to strengthen India’s democracy.


Detailed below are some of the areas where the broadcasters seek to self regulate:


1.Impartiality and objectivity in reporting:

Accuracy is at the heart of the news television business. Viewers of 24 hour news channels expect speed, but it is the responsibility of TV news channels to keep accuracy, and balance, as precedence over speed. If despite this there are errors, channels should be transparent about them. Errors must be corrected promptly and clearly, whether in the use of pictures, a news report, a caption, a graphic or a script. Channels should also strive not to broadcast anything which is obviously defamatory or libelous. Truth will be a defense in all cases where a larger public interest is involved, and in even these cases, equal opportunities will be provided for individuals involved to present their point of view. This also applies in cases where television channels report on those holding public office, though by virtue of doing so, no person can claim immunity from scrutiny from or criticism by news channels.


2. Ensuring neutrality:

TV News channels must provide for neutrality by offering equality for all affected parties, players and actors in any dispute or conflict to present their point of view. Though neutrality does not always come down to giving equal space to all sides (news channels shall strive to give main view points of the main parties)news channels must strive to ensure that allegations are not portrayed as fact and charges are not conveyed as an act of guilt.


3. Reporting on crime and safeguards to ensure crime and violence are not glorified:

Television news has greater reach, and more immediate impact than other forms of media, and this makes it all the more necessary that channels exercise restraint to ensure that any report or visuals broadcast do not induce, glorify, incite, or positively depict violence and its perpetrators, regardless of ideology or context. Specific care must be taken not to broadcast visuals that can be prejudicial or inflammatory. Equally, in the reporting of violence (whether collective or individual) the act of violence must not be glamorized, because it may have a misleading or desensitizing impact on viewers. News channels will ensure that such reconstructions will not cross boundaries of good taste and sensibility. This includes taking adequate precaution while showing any visual instance of pain, fear or suffering, and visuals or details of methods of suicide and self harm of any kind and will not cross boundaries of good taste and decency.


4. Depiction of violence or intimidation against women and children:

As an elaboration of Point 3, news channels will ensure that no woman or juvenile, who is a victim of sexual violence, aggression, trauma, or has been a witness to the same is shown on television without due effort taken to conceal the identity. In reporting all cases of sexual assault, or instances where the personal character or privacy of women are concerned, their names, pictures and other details will not be broadcast/divulged. Similarly, the identity of victims of child abuse and juvenile delinquents will not be revealed, and their pictures will be morphed to conceal their identity.


5. Sex and nudity:

News channels will ensure that they do not show, without morphing, nudity of the male or female form. Channels will also not show explicit images of sexual activity or sexual perversions or acts of sexual violence like rape or molestation, or show pornography, or the use of sexually suggestive language. (As a qualifier however, channels are not expected to be moralistic or prudish, and this self regulation is aimed not at moral policing, but rather at ensuring that overtly regressive and explicit acts and visuals do not slip into broadcasts).


6. Privacy:

As a rule channels must not intrude on private lives, or personal affairs of individuals, unless there is a clearly established larger and identifiable public interest for such a broadcast. The underlying principle that news channels abide by is that the intrusion of the private spaces, records, transcripts, telephone conversations and any other material will not be for salacious interest, but only when warranted in the public interest. However, it is also understood that the pursuit of the truth and the news is not possible through the predetermined principle of prior permission; hence door stepping individuals or authorities for the purpose of newsgathering may be used only in the larger purpose of public interest.. Further, in the case of minors, in any broadcast that intrudes on their privacy, the channel should attempt, where possible, to seek the consent of the parent or legal guardian. However, the defense of the premise of privacy cannot be misconstrued as the denial of access, and this applies to all individuals, including those in the public eye and public personalities. It does however apply in its entirety, as per the provisions mentioned above, to their children and kin who are minors.


7. Endangering national security:

In the use of any terminology or maps, that represent India and Indian strategic interests, all news channels will use specific terminology and maps mandated by law and Indian government rules. (The depiction of the map of the territory of India will reflect official guidelines, as detailed in official literature). News channels will also refrain from allowing broadcasts that encourage secessionist groups and interests, or reveal information that endangers lives and national security. However, it is in the public interest to broadcast instances of breach of national security and loopholes in national security and reporting these cannot be confused with endangering national security.


8. Refraining from advocating or encouraging superstition and occultism :

News channels will not broadcast any material that glorifies superstition and occultism in any manner. In broadcasting any news about such genre, news channels will also issue public disclaimers to ensure that viewers are not misled into believing or emulating such beliefs and activity. Therefore news channels will not broadcast “as fact” myths about “supernatural” acts, apparitions and ghosts, personal or social deviations or deviant behavior, and recreations of the same. Wherever references are made to such cases, news channels will issue on air riders/disclaimers/warnings to ensure that such beliefs or events are not passed off “as fact” since they can hurt rational sensibilities.


9.Sting operations:

As a guiding principle, sting and under cover operations should be a last resort of news channels in an attempt to give the viewer comprehensive coverage of any news story. News channels will not allow sex and sleaze as a means to carry out sting operations, the use of narcotics and psychotropic substances or any act of violence, intimidation, or discrimination as a justifiable means in the recording of any sting operation. Sting operations, will also abide by the principles of self regulation mentioned above, and news channels will ensure that they will be guided, as mentioned above, by an identifiable larger public interest. News channels will as a ground rule, ensure that sting operations are carried out only as a tool for getting conclusive evidence of wrong doing or criminality, and that there is no deliberate alteration of visuals, or editing, or interposing done with the raw footage in a way that it also alters or misrepresents the truth or presents only a portion of the truth.


10. Corrigendum:

All news channels will keeping with the principle of due accuracy and impartiality, ensure that significant mistakes made in the course of any broadcast is acknowledged and corrected on air immediately. Corrections should also be scheduled in such a way that they attract enough viewer attention and are not concealed. This, like the other principles, must be observed in spirit, and not just in letter, to avoid any compromise to the reputation of the news broadcasting industry in India.


Viewer feedback:

All News Channels will on their website, create provision to receive consumer feedback. Further any specific viewer complaints will be responded to. In the event any news channel gets a specific complaint if found to be true it will admit to the same on air and will respond in fullness and fairness to the viewer. In the event, a viewer/body perceives prejudice by any specific report carried by the News channel, it will respond in fullness and without impartiality to the viewer.


Source: http://www.thehoot.org/web/home/story.php?storyid=3296&pg=1&mod=1&sectionId=7&valid=true



Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.