Mere Legislation, Awareness Won’t Help Widows’ Cause

India | Affirmative Action
There is a general perception when it comes to the plight of widows. Bereft of their husbands, an Indian widow is perceived as losing her ‘unique’ social status too. And, in this regard, there have been innumerable instances in history, mythology, movies and art to underline the pain. And, if that’s not bad enough, there’s Sati, Johar and more by way of social practice that amplify the exacerbated position of the widow – read the Hindu widow - in particular.

In the formulation of a resolution to the issue, the British initiated a legislation under their East India Company rule legalising the remarriage of widows in all jurisdictions of India and passed The Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act 1856, also Act XV, 1856 on 16 July 1856. 

Law, Awareness Must Address Inherent Risks of ‘Natural’ Foods

India | Public Health
When Western Russia Sarov’s Saint Seraphim, one of the most renowned Russian saints and venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church also generally considered ‘the greatest of the 18th-century startsy’, had said, “Drink water from the spring where horses drink. The horse will never drink bad water. Lay your bed where the cat sleeps. Eat the fruit that has been touched by a worm. Boldly pick the mushroom on which the insects sit. Plant the tree where the mole digs.” 

Back home, when Lord Rama chose to visit Shabari’s hut, now in Shivrinarayan, Chhattisgarh, and consumed her half-eaten berries (bers), despite brother Laxman’s disapproval, even when Ram could have opted for other fresh food, speaks reams of the merits of truly ‘natural’ food otherwise looked down by modern society.

DraftCraft International Supports Widow Rights Campaign in India

India | Affirmative Action
In a move braced to initiate widow reforms across India, Media-Legal Thinktank DraftCraft International headed by Solicitor Gajanan Khergamker launched a Ground Zero Project on 'Widow Reforms: Mores And Laws' at Herwad Village in Kolhapur district, Maharashtra starting 1 June 2022. 

The move is an outcome of resolutions passed unanimously by the Herwad Gram Panchayat, headed by Sarpanch Surgonda Patil and Social Reformer Pramod Zinjade’s organisation Mahatma Phule Samaj Seva Mandal (MPSSM) requesting DraftCraft International to intervene and provide media-legal assistance for the issue. 

Trial Brings France Tryst With Femicide Back in Focus

France | Domestic Violence
Vallerie Bacot, mother of four was sentenced to one year in prison for killing her husband after decades of sexual, physical and psychological abuse starting when she was an adolescent. The verdict allowed her to walk free, as she has already served time in preventive detention. The trial revealed the degree of control and influence Polette — 25 years older than Bacot — had over her.

Power Corrupts On Elephanta Island

India | Environment
It was incredulous yet true! For years on end, Elephanta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site registering 20 lakh footfalls annually, received power for not more than two and half hours in the night through an MTDC generator; hadn’t a single doctor on the entire island; had no facility for formal education beyond Standard 10th and absolutely no crisis management process in place. And, the island was located barely 10 kms away from India’s financial capital…Mumbai!

Solutions For The BEST

India | Sustainable Development
Blinded by cataract in both his eyes, 20-year-old street dog ‘Biscuit’ had lived beyond his years owing to timely care provided by local Samaritans in Colaba, a South Mumbai district and would have survived even longer. However, on June 4, 2018 when the city was hit by a sudden pre-monsoon spell, he ambled away for shelter, dodging the humans, taxis, motorcyclists rushing helter-skelter.

Conflict-related Sexual Violence

World | Conflict and Excess
The effects of sexual violence echo across generations, through trauma, stigma, poverty, poor health and unwanted pregnancy. The children whose existence emanates from that violence have been labelled “bad blood” or “children of the enemy”, and alienated from their mother’s social group. Their vulnerability may leave them susceptible to recruitment, radicalization and trafficking. In South Sudan, sexual violence has become so prevalent that members of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan have described women and girls as “collectively traumatized”.

East Turns Stumbling Block For ‘Un’Civil Society

Indo-China | Diplomacy
“Doing good work does not give Civil Society groups immunity from laws,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while defending the Indian government’s crackdown on foreign-funded NGOs. This, simply put, summed up the mood of the moment: That India, under the present-day Modi government, was no longer going to put up with illegality.

Bridging Gaps in African Democracies

Africa | Democratic Processes
In 2019, general elections will be held in many African countries, offering them an opportunity to deepen, consolidate, and institutionalize democracy and strengthen their governance systems. Nevertheless, as the 2018 presidential elections in several African countries have shown, without a governing process supported by true separation of powers, effective checks and balances, an independent judiciary, a free press, and a robust and politically active civil society, the 2019 elections will most likely have limited impact on freedom and equality across the continent.

Building Climate Resilience for Food Security

World | Food and Health
Last year, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World marked the start of a new era in monitoring progress towards achieving a world without hunger and malnutrition in all its forms – an aim set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda). Addressing the challenges of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms features prominently in the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of the 2030 Agenda: Ensuring access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food for all (Target 2.1) and eliminating all forms of malnutrition (Target 2.2).

Making Sense of Migration

World | Migration
International migration is a complex phenomenon that touches on a multiplicity of economic, social and security aspects affecting our daily lives in an increasingly interconnected world. Migration is a term that encompasses a wide variety of movements and situations that involve people of all walks of life and backgrounds. More than ever before, migration touches all states and people in an era of deepening globalization. Migration is intertwined with geopolitics, trade and cultural exchange, and provides opportunities for states, businesses and communities to benefit enormously.