Archive for April, 2018

April 23, 2018

Specially-abled Friendly Heritage Sites – Because It’s Their Heritage Too!

heritage

World Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind. It brings a sense of unity amongst people as it does not belong to a specific group, caste or community. It belongs to everyone, which includes specially-abled people too. While we talk about providing equality to specially-abled people in every aspect of life, academic or corporate, we often forget about them when it comes to providing access to heritage sites. Some heritage sites, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, do not have braille signage, while others do not have basic facilities like wheelchair ramps and toilets for specially-abled tourists.

In an unprecedented move by the Indian government, under the initiative “Accessible India” Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been asked to audit more than 100 sites across the country. This audit aims to gauge the kind of facilities needed to make those sites accessible to specially-abled people. Though the process will take some time to finish, the groundwork has started at some famous monuments like Taj Mahal, Hampi and Akshardham.

As the world celebrates World Heritage Day on April 12, let’s recognize the 5 heritage sites in Delhi-NCR that are completely or partially accessible to people with special abilities:

1. Qutub Minar – A UNESCO declared World Heritage Site, Qutub Minar is world’s tallest brick minaret with a height of 72.5 metres. An exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture, it attracts more than 3.9 million tourists every year. It is completely accessible to specially-abled tourists as it has ramps and public toilets for people with differences of all levels.

2. The Red Fort – Built by the great Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, this timeless piece of architecture is located right in the heart of Old Delhi. This fort attracts tourists from all over the world. The Red Fort is completely accessible to specially-abled tourists as it is equipped with ramps, and accessible toilets.

3. Humayun’s Tomb – Built in 1570, this ancient tomb was the first garden-tomb in the Indian subcontinent. It is located on Mathura Road, Delhi, which is near the famous tomb of Nizamuddin Auliya.

4.  Akshardham Temple – An architectural marvel, this temple attracts approximately 70 percent of all tourists who visit Delhi. It is situated on the banks of the Yamuna river, which are adjacent to the Commonwealth Games Village. Apart from its world-class structure, Akshardham Temple also boasts of an IMAX feature show, a musical fountain, and large landscaped gardens. This temple is partially accessible to specially-abled tourists.

5. Jantar Mantar – One of the world’s oldest astronomical observatories, the Jantar Mantar was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. It is a remarkable structure which consists of fourteen geometric devices used for measuring time, forecasting weather changes, predicting behaviour of planets and finding extra-terrestrial altitude. Jantar Mantar is partially accessible to the specially-abled tourists.

It is quite a welcome move from the Indian government who is finally working on the lines of empowering the specially-abled tourists. Other state governments must take inspiration from these heritage sites which are setting a great example for all.

It’s time that we make “Accessible Heritage” a major part of the “Accessible India” campaign and help our specially-abled citizen, who too have an equal right to cherish the beauty of our history and rich heritage.

Source: Specially-abled Friendly Heritage Sites – Because It’s Their Heritage Too!

 

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April 23, 2018

Unemployment on the Rise in India: The Problem, Causes, and Solutions

India recently reclaimed the tag of “world’s fastest growing economy” from China. With a GDP growth rate of 7.2% in 3rd quarter of FY 2017, India has surpassed every other developing or developed economy by a huge margin. Though it sends a positive message throughout the economy, there is one index on which India’s performance is continuously worsening; that is unemployment. India’s rate of employment has declined steeply, and job creation has not been at par with working-age population.

According to a recent report from Labour Bureau, an attached office under Ministry of Labour and Employment, India has the largest unemployed population in the world. In the inclusive growth index, we are at number 60, far behind our neighbours. (Source: Outlook) 
65% of the Indian population has an average age of less than 35 years. Such a large young population could be our strength if put to employment, which is unfortunately not the case. The unemployment rate in India hit its highest level in March at 6.23%, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), an independent think-tank. Clearly, the situation is quite distressing.
While we are discussing the declining employment rates, it is also imperative that we discuss its underlying causes as well.

Here are some major factors that are contributing to the rising unemployment in India:
● Alarming growth rate of population
● Ever increasing income inequality
● Lack of technical qualification
● Dependency on underdeveloped agriculture sector
● Reliance on temporary jobs

Solutions, so far Indian government is making efforts to correct the alarming situation of youth unemployment. Various schemes and initiatives like Skill India, Make in India, Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMGEP), Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana are just some steps taken by government aimed at redressing the current situation. Many Indian corporate houses and conglomerates are also taking charge and doing their bit to team up with these government initiatives and salvage the problem of unemployment in India.

Sardar Kulwant Singh Chadha Skills Academy – a Wave group initiative

Big corporate houses like The Wave Group are planning their CSR activities with a motive to engage youth in skill development activities and train them in employable skills. The Ponty Chadha Foundation has set up Sardar Kulwant Singh Chadha Academy, a world-class skills development academy. Located in Ghaziabad, this institute has a capacity of 120 to 150 students per programme. Keeping in mind the current demand of market, this academy imparts training in security services, facilities management, firefighting and real estate.

Clearly, the only solution to fight unemployment is that government works towards creating jobs and corporates lend a helping hand in training the workforce.

Also, while skill development is crucial, these initiatives should be supplemented by more comprehensive programmes and favourable policies that target the most vulnerable and disadvantaged youth.

Source: http://www.thepontychadhafoundation.org/blog/employment/unemployment-on-the-rise-in-india-the-problem-causes-and-solutions/

April 12, 2018

World Health Day – Moving Towards a Healthier and Happier World

world health dayUniversal healthcare is not an issue, it is the ONLY issue, that needs the most attention! WHO understood this fact way back in 1948 when they held the First World Health Assembly. It was this assembly, when 7th April of each year was celebrated as World Health Day. Every year, WHO organizes international, regional and local events on the day related to a particular theme, which is put forward to address the current issues and concerns related to world health. This year’s theme is Universal Health Coverage, which encourages various countries and organisations to make healthcare and basic facilities accessible to everyone, regardless of how rich or poor they may be.
Ponty Chadha Foundation’s ideology resonates with the theme of this year’s World Health Day and it is diligently doing its part in achieving universal health coverage for all. It organises various free health check-up camps for underprivileged people and distributes free medicine. While organisations like WHO and Ponty Chadha Foundation are doing their part for the greater purpose of universal healthcare, it can only be attained with an active participation from everyone.

Here’s how you can help in realising the dream of universal healthcare coverage:

1. Become an aware and responsible citizen
As a responsible citizen, you must be aware of everything your policymakers are up to, especially when it comes to health-related laws and policies. Communicate your needs, opinions, and expectations to local policy-makers, politicians, ministers and other people representatives.

2. Connect with local NGOs/NPOs, SHG, etc. working for the cause
The world is full of people and organisations who are working towards finding a solution for bigger health related issues. All you need to do, is make a little effort in finding and connecting with them. Help them in their efforts and make all the right noise to ensure that your community health is taken into account and addressed.

3. Volunteer
Universal healthcare inclusion is too important a job to be left only for the government. We all must do our part to make this possible. As an individual contributor, you can volunteer at a local health check camp, organise a blood donation camp or even donate a small proportion of your earning to the people who are working towards the same.

4. Engage & encourage others
Engage your neighbours, friends and community members by organising activities like discussion forums, school lectures, debates, marches, concerts, etc. to provide people with an opportunity to make their concerns heard by their chosen representatives. You can also use various social media channels and engage with likeminded people.
Universal healthcare coverage is a mission which ensures that all people get quality health services without any financial hardships. This mission can never be fulfilled until and unless we all understand and bear our responsibility towards the under-privileged sections of society. This World Health Day, let us all take a sincere pledge to do everything in our capacity to make sure that no human remains unhealed, and no soul remains unloved.

Source: Ponty Chadha Website

April 11, 2018

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – Celebrating the Contribution of Sports to Our Lives

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Sports is a universal language that transcends every border, real or imaginary. People across nations, religion, cultures and belief systems have joined hands time and again in the name of sports. To celebrate this international phenomenon of people coming together for sports and its contribution in shaping our society, the General Assembly of United Nations has declared 6th April of every year as International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The date 6th April was chosen to commemorate the inauguration of the first Olympic games of modern era, in 1896, in Athens (Greece).

Sports has played an important role in everyone’s life, be it in the form of a competitive sport, physical activity or recreational play. Children learn to function in competition for the first time while participating in sports, and adults learn to put their differences aside while playing or watching sports. Sports is a great educator, and this is the sole reason it has grown to be an integral part of our society.

Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a school for special children, understands the importance of sports in the physical development of its students and its ultimate role in educating the society. Keeping this in mind, MBCN has designed its curriculum in such a way that there is equal focus on academics as well as sports. MBCN encourages and empowers its students who show an interest in sports. It provides in-house training for various sport related activities and events. MBCN students have proven their mettle in various sports such as football, softball, cycling, badminton, etc. at national level championships. Here are MBCN’s 12 shining star sportspersons:

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of children like these, who have risen above their physical condition and achieved what they truly deserve. On this day, let us recognize the growing contribution of sports to the societal development and the empowerment of our younger generations.