A NATION FOR SALE

Dear Friends

Sight & Sound is a nonprofit organization working on collecting and disseminating information and communication. It is registered under Karnataka Trust Act. The present resources for the existance of this organization are to take assignment from other organizations on research and documentation in text and audio- visual form and making documentary films for other organizations.

Sight & Sound have its own documentary production. Our last production is “Land-the Livelihood”, a 30 minits film addressing different issues on land ownership of the dalits according to upper class/ caste grabbing their lands, land privatization, land acquisition,SEZ and government’s policies on land. The film was shot in four south Indian states.

Our ongoing production is “ A Nation for Sale” It addressing the agrarian crises. Agriculture is as old as human civilization. Till decade back farmers were lead a sustainable life. By the introduction of green revolution to address the food security of the growing population in India, the farmers turn to conventional farming by using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It destroys the environment, bio-diversity, and consumer’s health and leads the farmers in to debt trap.1995 to 2010, 256949 farmers have committed suicide, due to debt burden. Problems of food security are haunting us every day. How safe is the food we eat? How secure is the process of food production? What kind of protection are we giving to our food producers?. Govt of India is providing 1,20,000 crore rupees as subsidy to fertilizer manufacturing companies every year. That much money is sufficient to save the farmers from the debt trap and committing suicide.

The film A Nation for Sale probes deep into the hearts of farmers to find a solution for the betterment of their lifestyles. This movie is an attempt to reduce the debt burden of the farmers by practising sustainable agriculture and enable them to achieve sustenance and self-respect. It also gives some essential guidelines for the policymakers to draft such policies as to improve the process of agriculture in harmony with nature.

Sight & Sound published a booklet “who the Terrorist”.It analysis the organised crime prevention acts all the states and Armed Force Special Power Act (AFSPA)

Sight & Sound organized a film festival “.Understanding Holocaust”. with the collaboration with three other organisation. We screened 11 films on European holocaust 1933 to 45. It was a three days festival; about one thousand people watch the film and understood the history and the impact of holocaust.

Sight & Sound done a study on land issue at Anekal taluke for a Anekal based organisation and made a text document

At present Sight & Sound is facing some problems about our existance and to finish the film A Nation for Sale. It is in final stage. It started at 2009, because of economic crses it went on. Now anothe 4 days studio work needed for recording the Voiceover, mixing and titling. So we request the organisation to provide assaignments to us as research and documentation on text and audio-visual forms on issue based and event documentation intext and audio-visual form

Contact:

sightnsoundindia

Cell: 9844407522/ 9986311686

Prabha Dutt Fellowship programme for journalists

Prabha Dutt Fellowship

The Sanskriti Pratishthan invites applications for its annual Prabha Dutt Fellowship in Journalism from young women who wish to investigate and research on any topic of contemporary relevance.

The purpose of the fellowship is to encourage young mid career women journalists to develop their potential by pursuing meaningful projects without having to work under the pressures of short deadlines. The fellowship carries a grant of Rs one lakh including travel expenses. The work can be executed in Hindi, English or any regional language.

The Fellowship is only open to women print journalists who are Indian nationals in the age group of 25 to 40.

Fellows will be required to publish a stipulated number of articles in established publications. They may also work on a book or monograph for subsequent publication within the given time frame.

The duration of the Fellowship will be ten months. The grant of Rs one lakh will be given in two phases; the first instalment at the commencement of the award and the second after submission of the completed project. A progress report will be required after the first four months.

The applicant will have to sign an agreement with Sanskriti Pratishthan pertaining to a regular flow of work during the Fellowship period. The candidate should not be holding another Fellowship or working on any other project at the same time.

All candidates should mail their CV and a short synopsis of 250 – 300 words of their project proposal along with the names of two referees to fellowships . Clearly mention the title ‘Sanskriti-Prabha Dutt Fellowship’ in the subject line. E-mailed applications should be followed by a hard copy.

The last date for receipt of application is August 31, 2011.

For further information contact:
Sanskriti Pratishthan
C-11 Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi – 110016
Telephone: (011) 2696 3226, 2652 7077
Fax: (011) 2685 3383
E-mail: fellowships
Website: www.sanskritifoundation.org

Fellowships for Journalists to Attend a Climate Change Conference in Durban

From http://forum.thebetterindia.com/topic/261

The Climate Change Media Partnership http://www.climatemediapartnership.org(CCMP) is proud to announce the launch of a Fellowship program that will send journalists to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban (COP17) in late 2011.

As part of the fellowships, the CCMP will cover travel, lodging and daily subsistence expenses, arrange press accreditation at COP17, and provide other support services. The Fellows will benefit from a series of specially designed activities, including an orientation session, breakfast briefings, a field trip and a media clinic.

The CCMP fully respects the editorial independence of all journalists. Throughout the conference, Fellows are free to report as they see fit. We do require that Fellows attend the entire summit, provide copies or summaries of all the stories they file during COP17 for posting on our websites and that they show collegial attitude towards other Fellows. One of the main benefits of this program will be the opportunity for Fellows to exchange views and information with their journalistic peers from around the world.

Fellowship applications open June 6, 2011 and close July 7, 2011 at midnight

In addition to selecting Fellows whom we hope to announce in September, therefore, we’ll also create a waitlist from which we can select additional journalists as more funding becomes available.

Initial funding for this program is provided by private US foundations, including the Kendeda Fund and the Smart Family Foundation.

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PMARC Dalit Media Watch- News Update 20-06-11

From: Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre-PMARC <pmarc2008>

Dalits Media watch

News Updates 20.06.11

UP: Dalit girl raped, minor stabbed in the eye – IBN Live

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/up-dalit-girl-raped-minor-stabbed-in-the-eye/160837-3.html

Lakhimpur Kheri murder: Notice issued to Uttar Pradesh govt – NDTV

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/lakhimpur-kheri-murder-sc-st-commission-issues-notice-to-up-govt-113181

Rajasthan’s Dalit women celebrate ‘liberty’ at temple – Mangalorean Times

http://mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=local&newsid=246162

Government may fund women, SC/ST poll candidates – The Hindustan Times

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Government-may-fund-women-SC-ST-poll-candidates/Article1-711399.aspx

Inter-caste marriages can eradicate casteism, says writer – The Hindu

http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/20/stories/2011062051930300.htm

IBN Live

UP: Dalit girl raped, minor stabbed in the eye

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/up-dalit-girl-raped-minor-stabbed-in-the-eye/160837-3.html

Sumit Pande , CNN-IBN

Updated Jun 19, 2011 at 10:03pm IST

Gursiyaganj: Law and order seems to be breaking down in Uttar Pradesh as a Dalit girl was allegedly raped at gunpoint in Kannauj and another blinded for resisting rape. Only one person has been arrested in both the cases so far, the other perpetrators are still at large.

A 14-year-old girl was stabbed when two youths tried to rape her in Gursahaiganj area in Kannauj. The incident took place when the girl had gone out for some work at Gadwa Buzurg village on Saturday evening. When the girl resisted, they attacked her with knives and she was injured to her left eye.

"The two men were trying to rape me. When I fought, they started hitting me and stabbed me in the eye. I thought I was going to die." Victim said.

In another incident, an 18-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped in Ranipur Beladi village in Basti.

The police claims that the manhunt for the accused in the two cases has begun.

The two incidents come close on the heels of the alleged rape and murder of a minor in a Lakhimpur-Kheri police station recently.

UP Congress Chief Ritu Bahuguna said, "We are building public pressure on the government that no case goes unregistered, no case goes unattended and are apprehended and send to jail because left to Mayawati government they would not even register a case."

"One of the two accused has been arrested in the case. Both accused are members of the Samajwati party," Principal Secretary, Information Prashant Trivedi said.

In 2007, Mayawati rode to power in UP on the strength of a Dalit-Brahmin alliance. With polls less than 12 months away, the focus now is on how effective her administration has been, but increasing incidents of violence against women, minors and Dalits could hurt her image. And in the din of politics, the focus on violence like in Basti and Kannauj is in danger of being lost.

NDTV

Lakhimpur Kheri murder: Notice issued to Uttar Pradesh govt

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/lakhimpur-kheri-murder-sc-st-commission-issues-notice-to-up-govt-113181

NDTV Correspondent, Updated: June 18, 2011 14:52 IST

Lucknow: The Scheduled Caste-Scheduled Tribe commission on Saturday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government seeking a detailed report into the alleged rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Lakhimpur district of the state.

On Friday, the Crime Branch (CB) of the Uttar Pradesh Criminal Investigation Department (CID) filed the status report on investigation before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. The court has fixed July 4 as the next date of hearing.

14-year-old Sonam’s body was found hanging inside the Nighasan police station on June 10, sparking protests from opposition parties in the state.

The victim’s mother in her complaint had alleged that the girl was raped and murdered after which 11 policemen were placed under suspension.

While local police ruled out murder citing post mortem report, the state government has ordered a CB-CID probe. It has also removed SP Lakhimpur and lodged an FIR against three policemen.

The second post mortem conducted by a panel of expert from Lucknow confirmed that the girl was strangulated, but ruled out rape.

The parents of the girl had submitted an application for a CBI probe into the matter on Friday. UP Chief Minister Mayawati however, has refused to order a CBI probe into the matter. (With PTI inputs)

Mangalorean Times

Rajasthan’s Dalit women celebrate ‘liberty’ at temple

http://mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=local&newsid=246162

Varanasi, June 20 (IANS) In a revolution of sorts, some 200 Dalit women from Rajasthan Monday achieved what they thought would remain a mirage — performing rituals with upper caste Hindus at the Vishwanath temple.

Amidst ecstatic shouts of ‘Har Har Gange’, the women, who once worked as manual scavengers, also took a dip in the holy Ganga and chanted hymns along the Dashashwamedh Ghat, deemed to be the most pious bank.

"We never thoughtt we would get an opportunity to celebrate our liberty like this… For decades, we have faced hatred and discrimination. As we mingled with the upper caste, we get the feel of being liberated," Shanti Chaumaria, a manual scavenger of over two decades, told IANS.

While the Vishwanath temple does not bar Dalits from offering prayers, the women considered performing rituals with Brahmins an act of empowerment.

"It’s an out of the world experience for us. We want to stay here as long as we can. This day will remain memorable for us. We now feel we have really joined the mainstream. Sharing a platform with the upper-caste is really a privilege," said Guddi, who was a manual scavenger for 10 years.

After performing rituals at the Dashashwamedh Ghat for nearly two hours, the women proceeded to the Vishwanath temple, carrying earthen pots filled with Ganga water, even as the locals watched them curiously.

"When people from upper castes assisted us in carrying out the rituals, for a while it all appeared like a dream. Though we have visited several prominent temples across the country, it was for the first time most of us got the opportunity of taking a dip in the Ganga," said Shakuntala Chaumar, who was earlier involved in manual scavenging in Rajsthan’s Tonk district.

Brahmanand Chaturvedi, one of the priests who guided the women in their rituals, said: "For the almighty, everyone is same and equal. Why should there be any discrimination? These women are also a part of our society. We must make efforts for empowering them."

Sulabh International, the social service organisation which organised the programme, flew in the women from Rajasthan.

The NGO rehabilitated these manual scavengers by providing them with various vocational jobs like stitching, embroidery and pickle-making. The women now earn a monthly stipend of Rs.2,000.

According to Sulabh International’s founder Bindeshwar Pathak, an estimated one lakh people are still involved in manual scavenging in the country.

"Manual scavenging still prevails in several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra," Pathak told IANS.

"We are trying our best so that we can weed out the disgraceful practice in a year or so. It would require support from all sections of the society," he added.

The Hindustan Times

Government may fund women, SC/ST poll candidates

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Government-may-fund-women-SC-ST-poll-candidates/Article1-711399.aspx

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, June 19, 2011

In a fresh attempt to curb money power in the elections, the law ministry has proposed that the government fund women and scheduled caste and tribe candidates of recognised political parties. Law minister M Veerappa Moily recommended in a draft cabinet note circulated to various ministries that to get this benefit, candidates should not have an annual income of more than R5 lakh and movable or immovable property worth more than R22 lakh.

The note also made it clear that this limit would also include the income and assets of the candidates’ spouses. “The income and assets of both the spouses will be calculated and taken together.”

“This proposal, applicable to the recognised national and state-level political parties, will bring transparency and put a check on the inflow of unaccounted money into elections,” the ministry note said.

Besides, the ministry said this would become an incentive to political parties for fielding more SC/ST and women candidates of marginalised sections and prepare the ground for the women’s reservation bill.

The ministry pointed out that the Election Commission (EC) was earlier not in favour of this idea given the lack of unanimity among the political parties.

But during seven regional consultations in recent months, the ministry said, “a consensus has emerged to check inflow of unaccounted money” in elections.

In February, the ministry hiked — on EC’s recommendations — the spending limit for a Lok Sabha candidate from R25 lakh to R40 lakh and for assembly constituencies in big states from R10 lakh to R16 lakh.

In the latest proposal, the law ministry has not fixed any particular amount to be given to the candidates eligible for state funding, saying, “At this stage, it is not feasible to give the financial implications, which will depend on the number of candidates to be fielded by the political parties.”

The Hindu

Inter-caste marriages can eradicate casteism, says writer

http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/20/stories/2011062051930300.htm

Staff Correspondent

Shimoga: It is necessary to promote inter-caste marriages to eradicate the caste system, said writer Rajeshwari Tejaswi.

She was speaking after inaugurating the convention of inter-caste couple, organised by Lohia Janmashathabdhi Pratishthana in the city on Sunday.

Plea to youths

The Mantramangalya system of marriage advocated by poet laureate Kuvempu, which is free from lavishness and meaningless practices need to be popularised. She called upon the youths, to come forward for inter-caste and simple marriages.

Addressing the gathering, writer D.S. Nagabhushan said that the caste system had weakened the democracy. He expressed concern on the political polarisation in the name of caste.

Caste has become a means to secure power and money. The intellectual class should strive to enlighten the people against the evils of caste system, he stated.

Sharing his opinions, former minister S.K. Kantha regretted the strengthening of caste consciousness among the educated people. The educated who were expected to initiate a struggle against the social stratification system, have instead become advocates of caste system. The division of labour and the allocation of rewards for the labour under the caste system, was unscientific.

Social equality

The preaching of social reformers such as Basaveshwara, Budha, B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi, who strived for social equality, need to be popularised, he said.

Socialist thinker and political commentator Yogendra Yadav also participated in the convention.

In 150 years, Orissa will be a desert

In 150 years, Orissa will be a desert
In just 13 years, severely degraded land in Orissa increased by 136%, barren land by 69% and land converted to non-agricultural use by 34%
Water Initiatives Orissa (WIO), a civil society campaign, offers a stern warning in the latest issue of its bi-monthly newsletter Panira Dagara (Water Messenger). It says that India’s poorest state Orissa will turn into a barren desert in just 150 years.
Desertification is a process of loss of land productivity. In most severe cases it can cause permanent damage to the land. Many parts of Orissa, specifically the western and southern uplands, are already displaying symptoms of desertification. They have degraded from drought-prone regions to desert-prone areas, states the report. "We have arrived at this conclusion by analysing various sets of government data, and we have substantiated it through a public perception survey conducted by the Sambalpur-based NGO Manav Adhikar Seva Samiti (MASS)," says Bimal Pandia of WIO.
The report claims that in just 13 years, from 1991-92 to 2004-05, severely degraded land in the state increased by 136%, barren land by 69% and land converted to non-agricultural use by 34%. This constitutes around 7% of Orissa’s total geographical area. By 2004-05, as much as 17.5% of Orissa has turned barren, or been deemed unsuitable for agriculture. The report warns that the rate at which mineral and water-guzzling heavy industries are being pushed in the state, forest cover is thinning, climate is changing and soil degradation increasing, Orissa could soon turn into a desert.
In mining and industrial districts like Raygada and Jharsuguda, agricultural land is shrinking. In Raygada district, the percentage of unproductive land is nearly 174 points higher than cultivable land. Such land amounts to as much as two-thirds of Jharsuguda’s total cultivable area. "The way land is rapidly becoming barren and degraded, desertification is a (definite) reality now," says WIO.
Desertification will impact the livelihoods of millions of people, as dependence on agriculture in the state is extremely high, the report continues. It is estimated that 29 lakh hectares of land have already become barren. According to state agriculture department statistics, around 4.33 million hectares of Orissa’s 6.56 million hectares of agricultural land suffer severe erosion and declining fertility. That’s as high as 66% of the state’s total agricultural land.
Also extremely worrying is the rate at which Orissa’s climate is changing. A study by meteorologist Professor U C Mohanty shows that the number of rainfall days in the state has been dropping by one day, every five years. Rainfall patterns too have altered. Information gathered from government records show that rainfall in the coastal districts of Baleshwar, Puri and Ganjam has increased, while in western and southern parts of Orissa it has decreased drastically. Recent rainfall averages in Balangir and Nuapada districts hover around threatening levels of 1,000 mm.
Weather department statistics indicate that while global mean temperatures rose by 0.5 degree Celsius over the past 50 years, in Orissa it rose by 1 degree Celsius. The weather here is becoming alarmingly extreme. In 10 years, the highest recorded temperature average has increased by 4.4-6.6 degrees Celsius, and the average of lowest recorded temperatures has decreased by 3-5.1 degrees Celsius in various parts of the state.
"The development emphasis of the state government has been narrowed down to industrialisation only, without any attention given to land and agriculture that sustains close to 90% of the rural population," the WIO report concludes. The concentration of polluting and water- and mineral-consuming industries will further aggravate land degradation in the state.
Conservative estimates show that if all the proposed steel plants were to begin functioning they would emit 392 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2010. Further, these industrial units would require at least 527 million litres of clean water, which will later be released as pollutants. The Washington-based Institute of Policy Studies has warned that by 2010 Orissa alone will emit 7-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Two major rivers in the state, the Mahanadi and the Brahmani, are already water-stressed as far as irrigation and riparian use is concerned. Although the government claims to have created irrigation potential for 41% of cultivable land, the fact that agricultural production still fluctuates wildly, in line with rainfall, and that agriculture sector growth in the state has plummeted, are cause for serious concern. Water-guzzling industries will only make the situation worse, the report warns.
According to ‘State of Forests Reports’, published by the forest and environment department, between 1986 and 2003 actual forest cover shrank by 4,797 sq km, although areas classified as forestland by the state government increased by 2,351 sq km in the same period. Soil erosion due to forest degradation is a serious issue in 52% of the state’s total geographical area.

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