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Mayawati asks officials to ‘expedite’ action against corruption-Mayawati, among 50 people who shaped decade’-SC/ST women find their voice through a newspaper
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Mayawati asks officials to ‘expedite’ action against corruption

Lucknow, Dec 29 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Tuesday
asked officials to expedite action in all pending cases of corruption.
Chairing a law and order review meeting at the Yojana Bhawan here, she
expressed deep concern over the long pendency of corruption cases
against government officials.

“The vigilance department needs to gear up its working so that all
pending corruption cases could be expeditiously taken to their logical
conclusion,” she told top officials attending the meeting.

The chief minister also expressed her displeasure at the slow working
of the state Economic Offences Wing (EOW), where scores of cases
including one of fraud and money laundering against Samajwadi Party
general secretary Amar Singh were pending.

Mayawati further asked officials to prepare a blueprint for improving
the living conditions of police personnel, particularly those of the
Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), who had to carry out duties in
inhospitable and hostile conditions.

She also stressed the need to strengthen the police force in the
Maoist-affected areas and issued directives for early filling up of
vacancies in various wings of the state police.

Mayawati also called for strict enforcement of the provisions related
to fire security, particularly in high-rise buildings, and also
emphasised the need for construction of proposed fire stations in a
time-bound manner.

Among other things, she asked officials to improve the purchase system
for buying various articles and equipment required for modernisation
of the state police force.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary Shashank
Shekhar Singh, Additional Cabinet Secretary Vijay Shankar Pandey and
Principal Secretary (Home) Kunwar Fateh Bahadur.

Mayawati,  among 50 people who shaped decade’

Agencies Posted online: Tuesday , Dec 29, 2009 at 1632 hrs

London : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is among  Indians named in the Financial Times list

of ‘50 People Who Shaped the Decade’.

Los Angeles Times Articles

SC/ST women find their voice through a newspaper

tribal and so-called untouchable (Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath) women, overcoming social hurdles,
write and run their own weekly newspaper in northern India. Their own
stories are as compelling as their reports.

BANDA, INDIA — The pen, it’s sometimes said, is mightier than the sword. For these women, it’s also a ticket to respect.

Lahariya, or “News Waves,” is India’s first newspaper written, read and
run by tribal women and those from the SC/ST (Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath, or so-called untouchable,

While most readers know only of the politics, crime or education
news in the 8-page weekly, each of the writers has a story of her own
about struggling against life’s harsh challenges.

Many of
the dozen or so women on staff were beaten or sexually abused as
children, married off young, endured abusive marriages and fought
mightily for an education and a divorce. Often, the newspaper provides
them with a voice on important issues for the first time in their lives
along with a sense of confidence and purpose.

The paper is also a
labor of love. Not only do the women write the stories, which appear in
a local minority language, Bundeli, they edit, handle layout, proofread
and solicit ads for its two editions. And staff members, paid between
$60 and $140 a month, spend several days each week lugging copies to
distant villages, some accessible only by hiking trails, to flog what
they’ve produced.

“We take buses, cars, motorcycles until the
road stops, then we walk,” said Meera, 23, who like many here uses only
one name, while sitting beside a whiteboard with the week’s stories
mapped out. “It’s hard enough to reach many of these remote areas. Then
you have to stay and sell the papers.”

In the remote communities,
they pick up stories from readers or from residents petitioning for
justice in courts and government offices. Thus armed, they return to
their weekly editorial meeting with a minimum of five ideas and hash
out among themselves what stories will make it into print.

paper’s recent stories included alleged bribery at health clinics, a
bureaucrat reported to be siphoning off money meant for widows and a
piece on the brother of a powerful politician who built a house,
blocking water that had gone to SC/ST (Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath, or so-called untouchable,
caste.) farmers nearby and destroying
their livelihood.

A few years ago, the paper did a story on a
groom who had refused to marry his fiancee because her family wouldn’t
give him an appliance he wanted. Their story — under the headline “Do
you want a wife or a TV?” — got huge attention. Today the couple are
happily married and joke about the incident.

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