The Indian Express – More railway stations, trains to have all-women crew

Ministry officials said that there was a need to make some of the less-crowded, small roadside stations more women friendly and safer, not just for women commuters but also from the perspective of the staff.

Avishek G Dastidar

New Delhi, 08 March 2018. On Thursday, that marks the International Women’s Day, Maharashtra’s New Amravati is going to join a fast-expanding club of railway stations in India managed only by women.

Also, three trains, Barkichampi-Tori Passenger in Jharkhand, Koyna Express and Deccan Queen Express from Mumbai to Pune, will have only women travelling ticket examiner (TTE). Besides, Matunga Road in Mumbai’s busy suburban section will start its operations with an all-woman team from Thursday.

Over the last couple of weeks, small stations like Ajni near Nagpur, Chandragiri near Tirupati and Gandhinagar in Jaipur have been handed over to all-woman staff, who are discharging every duty, from that of station masters to cleaners, from guards to signalling functionaries, without fanfare.

This is how Indian Railways, which employs 91,000 women, is carving out a new image of gender equality in its gigantic operations. The list of trains and stations run only by women is set to get longer.

Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani recently instructed that all the 68 divisional units that Indian Railways network is divided into should identify at least one station in its jurisdiction and hand it over to an all-woman crew.

So, at least 68 big and small stations, one in each division is expected to be run only by women by the end of this year although the wait may not be that long.

Small, lesser-known roadside station like Phulwariasharif in Patna and Vidarbha Express, running between Nagpur and Gondia stations, will boast all-woman staff only on Thursday. Hijli near Kharagpur will also be operated by all-woman staff.

Also, the Ahmedabad-Mumbai circuit will have only women TTEs in Shatabdi Express running daily. The major thrust of this exercise will be in display on March 8 that mark International Women’s Day, with formal functions and photo-ops, some of which have already begun.

Begumpet station of Secundrabad joined the league on Monday, while Gandhinagar (Jaipur) has already been felicitated by the Rajasthan government’s State Commission for Women. Mumbai-based Central Railway has planned around 10 kinds of initiatives to enshrine gender equality in its operations, and so on.

It’s not just symbolism. Ministry officials said that there was a need to make some of the less-crowded, small roadside stations more women friendly and safer, not just for women commuters but also from the perspective of the staff.

“The feedback we got from the fields is that women employees welcomed this kind of unique work environment. In the Ahmedabad Mumbai circuit, for instance, women TTEs travelling together and using exclusive running rooms meant for them makes a lot of difference to their work,” said a senior Railway Board official.

So, what about the men who were on duty at these stations? “They have been accommodated elsewhere,” the official added.

More railway stations, trains to have all-women crew – World Sikh Parliament: massive gathering takes place in New York to discuss panthik issues

Sikh24 Editors

New York – USA, 8 March 2018. To tackle serious issues emerged in front of the Sikh community, an announcement to constitute an international Sikh body named World Sikh Parliament was made in Birmingham last year.

As per the direction of Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara, invitations to renowned Sikh personalities, Sikh organizations and management committees of worldwide Gurdwaras were sent so that constructive steps could be taken as per consensus of worldwide Sikhs.

A two days convention was organized by the 15 member coordination committee of World Sikh Parliament in New York on March 3 & 4, which witnessed a flood of Sikh activists from all the world. Sikh leaders from Australia, New Zealand, Punjab, India, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Canada and USA shared their valuable views in this convention.

Serious discussions continued for near about six hours on March 3 as well as on March 4.

An announcement to constitute a 15 member committee of World Sikh Parliament in Punjab on Vaisakhi was made in this convention.

Advocate Amar Singh Chahal, who was specially invited in this convention, read the message of Akal Takht Jathedar Jagtar Singh Hawara in support of the World Sikh Convention. Jathedar Hawara extended wishes from the core of his heart for the success of this convention and hoped for constitution of World Sikh Parliament at the earliest.

USA based S. Swaranjit Singh, S. Daljit Singh, Dr. Pritpal Singh (Stockton), Dr. Amarjit Singh, S. Kuldeep Singh, S. Karnail Singh (Richmond Hill), Dr. Shamsher Singh, Dr. Hardam Singh Azad, S. Hardial Singh (United Sikhs), S. Gurdev Singh Mann, Bibi Sarabjit Kaur, Bibi Gurmeet Kaur, S. Beant Singh, S. Baljinder Singh Seattle, S. Narinder Singh Virginia, S. Jasjit Singh Khalsa, S. Sampuran Singh Houston, S. Jaswant Singh Hothi etc. also attended this convention.

Advocate Amar Singh Chahal, Bhai Surinder Singh, Dr. Gurdarshan Singh, S. Jasbir Singh (President, Italy Sikh Council), Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Nagoke, Professor Harpal Singh, Bhai Sukhrajwinder Singh Australia, Bhai Kuldeep Singh, Bhai Sham Singh, S. Maninder Singh, S. Daljinder Singh, S. Kuldeep Singh Canada, S. Bhagat Singh Bhandal, S. Kulvir Singh, S. Dupinderjit Singh UK, S. Jagjit Singh, S. Jagbir Singh, S. Jaswinder Singh Holland (The Netherlands), S. Gurcharan Singh Goraya (Germany), S. Narinder Singh etc. laid stress on the of need of a sovereign Sikh state.

They said that the right wing Hindu bodies were oppressing the minorities in India and the constitution of World Sikh Parliament in this situation will act as a source of light.

Bhai Dupinderjit Singh UK and Bhai Jaswinder Singh (The Netherlands) announced the names of 13 members of UK and names of 14 members of Europe respectively.

Bhai Himmat Singh USA informed the convention attendees on this occasion that the total count of members of World Sikh Parliament has now reached to 94.

Giani Ram Singh Ji Damdami Taksal, Former Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Bhai Satnam Singh Khanda, Bhai Joga Singh, Bhai Manpreet Singh (Satkar Committee Vancouver), Bhai Ranjit Singh Sarai, Bhai Amrik Singh Sahota (Council of Khalistan, UK), Bhai Atinderpal Singh, Advocate Navkiran Singh, J.S. Ahluwalia, S. Baljit Singh Khalsa, S. Jasdev Singh (Member, Supreme Council Fremont) and several other renowned Sikh activists sent their warm wishes in written for the success of this convention.

Gent: Elyzeese Velden and Witte Kaproenenplein

Elyzeese Velden
23 January 2018

Interesting buildings

Witte Kaproenenplein
23 January 2018

Tram 1 to Korenmarkt, Sint-Pietersstation, Flanders Expo
Buses to Gent-Zuid and to Sint-Pieters

Tram 1 to Wondelgem

Bus 54 to Doornzele

Tram 1 to Wondelgem

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Washington Post – An ex-deputy rammed a truck into a store because he thought the owners were Muslim, police say

Cleve R Wootson Jr

Livingston Parish – Louisiana – USA, 07 March 2018. For decades, Sikhs in the United States have been sending two messages to the world whenever they’ve been the targets of Islamophobia.

a) Hate crimes against Muslims or any other group are deplorable and antithetical to both the peaceful teachings of Sikhism and the values on which the United States was founded.

b) We’re an entirely different religion, by the way.

Some people apparently are not getting either message.

Take what happened at the Best Stop convenience store in Livingston Parish, La., just east of Baton Rouge. The store, owned by an Indian immigrant who is Sikh, has a piece of plywood covering what used to be a plate-glass window and a rattled cashier behind the counter.

About 20 minutes after Harjot Singh, the nephew of the store’s owner, closed the store Saturday night, a man plowed his pickup truck through the window.

Police say the man behind the wheel was Chad Horsley, a former reserve sheriff’s deputy from Denham Springs, La. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

Dawn – Explosion, arson in Sri Lanka despite emergency

The Newspaper’s Correspondent

Kandy – Central Province – Sri Lanka, 08 March 2018. One person was killed and several others injured in an explosion on Wednesday evening, as the government struggled with the risk of communal tension escalating in the hill capital for the third consecutive day. A 24-hour police curfew was re-imposed in the district from 4pm until Thursday.

The explosion took place in an area called Pujapitiya in Kandy. The ethnicity of the deceased was not immediately clear. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said it was not certain if the explosive was a grenade or not.

Moreover, mobs torched Muslim-owned businesses in Kandy on Wednesday as hundreds of police and troops struggled to restore order after days of rioting.

Meanwhile, leaves of all police personnel have been cancelled until further notice on the instruction of the inspector general of police.

Under the state of emergency declared by President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday, the military is enabled with sweeping powers to conduct cordon and search operations anywhere and carry out arrests.

The historical district, a much-loved tourist spot, was dominated by fear of the cycle of violence continuing amid reports that mobs in certain areas were lying in wait to carry out attacks. Schools in the district remains closed until further notice.

Meanwhile, the Telecom Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka has begun monitoring social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Viber, WhatsApp and YouTube as part of the government’s effort to prevent the spread of ethnic and religious based hate speech.

Sirisena rushes to Kandy

Meanwhile, in a bid to calm the unrest in Kandy, Sirisena rushed to the riot-torn district on Wednesday and held a special meeting with all religious and political leaders and officials, urging them to bring peace back to the Buddhist heritage city.

The Buddhist Mahasangha, led by the Anunayaka Theros of Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters, and Muslim, Hindu and Catholic religious leaders took part in the discussion alongside, ministers, government officers, and chiefs of security forces.

The Sri Lankan president appealed to all gathered to avoid divisive statements and actions. The religious leaders pointed out that exaggeration of minor incidents through various social media platforms had been a main reasons for the conflict.