Category Archives: Everyday Life

करोना के कुछ ज़रूरी सबक़ : राजिंदर चौधरी

Guest post by RAJINDER CHAUDHARY

एक छोटे से वाइरस ने तीन बाते दोबारा याद दिला दी हैं. सब से पहली तो यह कि इन्सान कुदरत का एक छोटा हिस्सा ही है. भले ही यह बहुत प्रभावी हिस्सा है; कुदरत को तोड़ मरोड़ सकता है, मरुस्थल को हराभरा कर सकता है.  फिर भी यह कुदरत से ऊपर नहीं है, उस का मालिक नहीं है; यहे हरे भरे को मरुस्थल भी बना सकता है. कई वैज्ञानिकों के अनुसार घटते जंगलों और बढ़ती इंसानी बस्ती के चलते ही हमें करोना सरीखे वाइरस का इतना बड़ा डंक लगा है. भले ही आज सब का ध्यान करोना के कहर पर केन्द्रित है, और आशा है देर-सवेर उस का इलाज भी ढूंढ लेंगे, टीका बना लेंगे, पर जलवायु परिवर्तन और तेज़ी से ख़त्म होते पेट्रोल सरीखे नवीनीकरण-अयोग्य संसाधनों को भी न भूलें. यह भी न भूलें सारी वैज्ञानिक प्रगति के बावज़ूद प्रदूषण से बचने के लिए वाहनों पर सम-विषम का नियम लगा कर बनी हुई कार को चलाने पर रोक लगानी पड़ती है,  संयम अपनाना पड़ता है. उद्योग और निर्माण गतिविधि पर रोक लगानी पड़ती है.

Continue reading करोना के कुछ ज़रूरी सबक़ : राजिंदर चौधरी

As Migrants Begin their Long Trudge to Nowhere, A Note on Migration in Delhi: Jamal Kidwai

Guest Post by JAMAL KIDWAI

Most of the people in Delhi, like in rest of India (according to official estimates, 92 per cent of India’s work force comprises of informal labour) earn their living from working in the informal sector. There is extensive academic literature on this subject.  Typically, informal economy is that which does not find mention in official data, is not formally registered and regulated and falls outside the tax regulation.

The concept of informality became current in economic and social thought in the early 1970’s. It has since been re-considered and re-interpreted. The idea that the informal sector presented a liminal space for workers waiting to be absorbed by the formal sector, has been negated. Instead, current trends suggest that a majority of the Indian work force (approx.92%) labour under short-term informal contracts.  Well-known labour historian Jan Bremen has somewhere written that the fact the informal economy is not officially regulated does not imply a complete absence of regulation. There are many unofficial means of regulation. Quite often activities that do not possess registration and legal sanction get denoted as informal or ‘underground’. This practice results in the official erasure of the economic value of the goods and services produced therein. It also serves the purpose of masking the over-exploitation and socially-levered extortion to which the most unprotected and vulnerable members of the working class are subjected.

Continue reading As Migrants Begin their Long Trudge to Nowhere, A Note on Migration in Delhi: Jamal Kidwai

Appeal for Contributions – A Citizens’ Initiative to Provide Humanitarian Relief to the City’s Working Classes

In the wake of the health and subsistence crisis triggered by the rapid spread of Covid-19 in India, the Citizen Collective for Humanitarian Relief, in association with the Centre for Education & Communication, is organizing emergency distribution of food among the working-class families of Delhi NCR. As part of this initiative we have set up a Mazdoor Dhaba (workers’ kitchen) in Delhi University.

Our aim is to provide two cooked meals a day to those families who have lost all source of livelihood following the complete nation-wide lockdown ordered on 25th March. The cost for one family’s meal (5 persons) is about Rs. 250, and as of today we are able to reach 500 people every day. We need your help and financial support to sustain and expand this effort.

On behalf of the Citizen Collective for Humanitarian Relief

Apoorvanand, Aruna Roy, Avinash Kumar, Lokesh, Najma Rehmani, Naveen Chander,  Rahul Roy, Richa Jairaj, Satish Deshpande, Usman Jawed

If you wish to assist us, please transfer money to the following accounts. If you are an Indian citizen (even if you live abroad), then please make sure to transfer money only to the Corporation bank account. If you are a foreign national, please transfer money to the SBI account.

Bank details for INDIAN CITIZENS:

Centre for Education & Communication

Corporation Bank

SB Account No: 520101261257941

IFSC Code: CORP0000286

Branch: Greater Kailash, New Delhi

 

Bank details for FOREIGN NATIONALS:

Centre for Education & Communication  

State Bank of India

Current Account No: 10786724071

Swift Code: SBININBB710

Branch: Green Park Extension, New Delhi

If you are sending money to these accounts, please inform us of the same by sending an email to the following ID along with your name and address. If you want to send more than Rs 5,000/-, please send us your PAN number. We request the foreign nationals to send a copy of their passport.

Donor Information required for Foreign Citizens

Name:

Address:

Amount donated in foreign currency:

*Please attach copy of valid passport.

Please inform us when you make contribution to following email ids:

accounts@cec-india.org/ finance@cec-india.org

workersdhaba@gmail.com

For queries regarding the relief work, and how you can support it, please contact

workersdhaba@gmail.com

Avinash – +918010833325

Naveen – +919013074978

Praveen-  +919911078111

Richa-     + 919820027364

Usman –  +919953947739

 

For queries the money transfer, please contact the Center for Education and Communication (CEC) by email or on phone

accounts@cec-india.org/ finance@cec-india.org

Ruchika – +919899230545

Covid-19, the Climate Crisis and Lockdown – an opportunity to end the war with nature: Vishwas Satgar

This post written by VISHWAS SATGAR was first published in Daily Maverick

With the coronavirus, we are really trying to mitigate the revenge blow from nature. It’s a moment to be humble and realise our finitude in a wondrous and infinite natural order.

Covid-19 has pushed an already weak and crisis-ridden global economy over the edge. Massive value has been erased from crashing stock market prices. Many commentators are talking about the return of economic conditions similar to the great financial crash of 2007-2009. The most powerful countries in the world from China to the US have ground to a halt.

This pathogen, possibly from delicate creatures like a pangolin or a bat, has engendered the worst global pandemic since the Spanish flu (1918-1920), which killed 100-million people. Death rates are going up globally. Right-wing nationalists in Europe and the USA have been confused as this virus has jumped racist border regimes, and infected all populations. Citizens are no longer concerned about their racist messages, but rather about how to survive.

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A Memorandum to Delhi Govt on Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation in North East Delhi

Date: 20/03/2020

To,

Mr. Arvind Kejriwal

Chief Minister,

Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi

 To,

Mr. Manish Sisodia,

Deputy Chief Minister,

Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi

 

Subject: Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation in North East Delhi

Memorandum of Demands to the Delhi Government

The communal violence in north east Delhi that took place in the last week of February is the most disgraceful event in the recent history of the city. Scores of people have lost their lives and thousands are displaced. The observations and evidence from the last three weeks suggest that the violence was not sporadic, but was organized and targeted particularly at Muslim residents in various colonies of the area. There are serious question marks on the role of the Delhi Police during the whole affair. An unbiased and thorough investigation in the matter is necessary to bring the guilty to book.

Based on observations and initial attempts at data collection from the last three weeks, the scale of devastation (material and human costs) is understood to be huge and merits a detailed assessment. While community members have been generous in opening their homes to fleeing families and civil society efforts have tried to fill in for immediate relief, the state government needs to step in to address the concerns of the affected people. There are two reasons for this. One, the crisis is the result of a state failure and has resulted in grave deprivation among the citizenry. The state thus has a moral and administrative duty to compensate and rehabilitate those affected in a compassionate and humane way. Two, the scale of the crisis is such that only the state can address it. Civil society and community effort should not be seen as a substitute for what is the state’s responsibility. While the state government had been conspicuous by its absence in the first three days of the violence, it has been trying to coordinate relief efforts since. A comprehensive plan needs to be put in place with short, medium and long term targets for which the state must take responsibility and invite non-state actors from community organisations to individual citizens that are willing to lend support to such a state led process.

Continue reading A Memorandum to Delhi Govt on Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation in North East Delhi

An Inquiry in to the Anti-Muslim Violence in Northeast Delhi: Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum

Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum is a team of doctors that visited the area.

Members of the medical team [1] 

  1. Dr Vikas Bajpai – Assistant Professor, Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (Ph: 9717820427).
  2. Dr Harjit Bhatti – Former President, Resident Doctors Association, All India Institute of Medical Scientists (AIIMS) (Ph: 8586848479).
  3. Dr Sumitran – A consultant radiologist with a government hospital in Delhi.
  4. Five doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences

It took a 25 to 30 km drive from AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), to the violence affected areas of Northeast Delhi. We were visiting the area in the context of the massive communal violence, primarily directed against Muslims living in the area, in the wake of their resistance to the CAA Act passed recently by the parliament along with NRC-NPR which threaten to rob millions of Muslims of their Indian citizenship and render them illegal in their own country.

The effort to send this medical team was initiated in the context of massive scale of medical emergency that arose as a result of this violence. In this report, apart from reflecting on the medical suffering of the people, we shall also try to provide a snapshot of the violence that was unleashed and the role of the political-administrative machinery to address the same and its consequences, as were narrated to us by the people we met.

Continue reading An Inquiry in to the Anti-Muslim Violence in Northeast Delhi: Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum

The Violence in Delhi, Politics and ‘Heroism of the Ordinary’

 

What is there to say? What can one say that has not already been said umpteen times before – during earlier rounds of communal violence elsewhere – and in Delhi this time?

The political class, true to its character, has revealed as it has so many times in the past, that when it comes to matters like communal violence, it is simply paralyzed – perhaps with the exception of the Left in states where it was strong enough to impact things.  For all its failures in other respects, this was one where the Bengal Left, for instance, too had in the past shown great promptness in nipping such possibilities in the bud. Most often this was done, not by relying only on the administrative power of the state, but with  the entire party machinery moving into action. Kerala too has had a similar record. But those instances apart, especially in states of the Northern or Western India, there hasn’t been much to write home about. What entering the political domain does to you is illustrated so starkly by the fate of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and its utter capitulation to what it imagines to be the ‘Hindu sentiment’.

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