Justice for Zahira
Aashiana case: HC orders day-to-day hearing
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Lucknow [26-05-2007]: The high court has ordered day-to-day hearing of Aashiana rape case. The trial is pending in the court of additional sessions judge Sushila Singh.
On the plea of awarding compensation to the incarcerated rape victim, a division bench of Justice Abdul Mateen and Justice JM Paliwal said that the matter be considered at the time of final hearing.
Earlier, local lawyer Adarsh Mehrotra had drawn court’s attention towards illegal detention of the victim in the Woman Protection Home. A news item had been published in The Times of India on November 26, 2006 in this regard.
On high court’s intervention, the victim was handed over to her father.
Aashiana case: Activists to seek speedy trial
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Lucknow [22-05-2007] : Social activists pursuing the Aashiana rape case have decided to write to chief minister Mayawati and senior judge of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, seeking their intervention to expedite the trial in the lower court, so that the victim Zahira (name changed) could get speedy justice.
The decision was taken after the hearing in the case was deferred once again on Monday much to the disappointment of the traumatised Zahira and her poor family members who have been running from pillar to post since the last two years. Zahira was on her way home on May 2, 2005 when six spoiled brats from some high-profile families raped her. It took a year-long sustained campaign by these social activities to make administrative machinery file a chargesheet in the case.
“The girl and her family have been brave enough to fight the social system as well as all the pressures and threats against pursuing the case,” said Prof R R Verma, an activist pursuing the case.
Activists raise voice for Zahira
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Justice for Zahira : The 13 year old rape victim
Lucknow [3-05-2007]: Social activists staged a dharna at the GPO Park on Wednesday to raise a voice for Zahira - the Aashiana rape case victim .
In a memorandum to the High Court Chief Justice, they said that the delay in trial was akin to denying justice to the victim. Raising anti-system slogans the activists also urged the state government and judicial machinery to expedite the proceedings.
A maid, Zahira, was on her way home on May 2, 2005, when six spoilt brats hailing raped her. They reportedly tortured her with cigarette butts and bashed her with leather belts.
The ‘well connected’ relatives of the accused ensured that they moved freely and sent Zahira to the confines of a protection home, where even her parents were forbidden.
It may be recalled, that an year-long efforts by social activists who organised letter and signature campaigns, rallies and candlelight vigils in support of the victim exerted pressure on the political and administrative machinery . This compelled them to get the accused charge-sheeted .
Finally, the hearing started on May 6 2006, almost an year after the incident. Since then (till May 1, 2007) 71 hearings have been held. Zahira was present in 13 of them for cross-examination . Among the 13, the girl was cross-examined only on six occasions, claimed the activists.
“First the girl was jailed in the protection home and now in her own house. In the last six months, she has stepped out of her house only to go to the court, “ director, Saajhi Duniya, Roop Rekha Verma said while addressing the gathering.
The family is not only waging a battle for justice but also for their survival.
Talking to TOI, Zahira’s mother Solomon said, “Meagre means often leave women in the family of 11 members go empty stomach . Each hearing is an additional expense which costs us around Rs 300 per date. To top it, we have the burden of entertaining four policemen on duty, for whom the security of my daughter is a punishment posting.”
She added: “Zahira is living under fear and anxiety. We want her to become agile and lively, the way she was. This is possible only after the culprits are sent behind the bars.”
Stating that the current justice delivery system was working at a snail’s pace, participating organisations — All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) Saajhi Duniya, Kalam Natya Manch (KNM) and Students Federation of India (SFI) among others — demanded day-to-day hearing of the case.
THE PROTEST : 02-05-2007
A TEAM 4 INITIATIVE________________________________
Yesterday was a big day for this famous city of culture, etiquettes and Nawabs. It was the last phase of polling.
Barely 50% voting for the elections this time, but definitely we have had a 100% talking about them, cribbing about the ruling party and guessing the 'next ONE'. Which party, this time has managed to scare the maximum poor souls with hired gunmen into voting for them? Who has managed to lure people with hope with their fake promises and their rattling speeches?Is it the 'Cycle', BSP, Sonia's party or the patriotic party with the national flower??
In my opinion and in many others, it is NOT the 'cycle'. Mulayam Singh Yadav, unfortunately will not get much out of the support shown by the Bacchans or Amar Singh. He may have an advantage of Muslim votes, which BJP lacks, yet unsuccessful 'reigning' years in Lucknow has not left the state happy enough to bring him back in power. BJP may have very successfully won the Mayoral elections, a few months back, but has the C.D. fiasco done any damage? OH hell yes!! In fact in a recent interview of Rajnath Singh, he proudly boasts about his party leaders being an exception with no personal negative records and the very next day in the very same paper the first page was full of BJP's 'Anti-Muslim' C.D.. But does it make any difference to their number of votes?? Either way, they did not have much support from the Muslims. Coming to Congress, the party ruling the nation, was a strong contender during the Mayoral elections here, losing with a thin margin against BJP. Would it win this time? Chances are vague....
Queerly, U.P. elections are usually not very surprising because in the past few years it has been noticed that it has been a Mulayam v/s Mayawati war. They both try and rip off each other every time during elections and the other one is elected. It is like an alternate game between the two. Once Mulayam then next Mayawati and then Mulayam again and then Mayawati...U.P. elections may sound very interesting and important to the country but are quite predictable.So that leaves Mayawati with has maximum chances to come back into power. Also, after Mulayam, state folks feel Mayawati is the next best option for them. Where you have a Mulayam, during whose constituency, the crime rate graph increases, with Mayawati in power, you do see a considerable change in terms of safety and security, which is the prime concern of any state.
With the poll percentage dipping to 42% in its fifth phase, the results can actually take you by surprise and give the state something absolutely unexpected. All we can hope for is that the state people are left feeling 'ignorance was bliss' for them.....hope you do not regret voting!
WRITTEN BY : NABILA Z. ZAIDI
TeaM 4 has formally gone ahead with a Joint Venture with RadoPOD.
The important fact is they have the same dreams and aspirations as us, working for a better India.
Welcome aboard people !
Visit us on : www.club-team4.blogspot.com
Mail us on : email@example.comRADOPOD NEWS
Website : www.radopod.comTEAM 4 - FIRST SEMINAR AT AVADH GIRLS DEGREE COLLEGEWhen we speak, the crowd will hear us, when we stand, people will stare at us, when we march, the mob will follow us and when we fight, India will fight with us!! Are you ready for the awakening? Girls at the city’s best girls’ college, Avadh Girls Degree College were.
Team 4 was invited to hold its first seminar for the young students of AGDC. Noaman Khan, Dhruv Halwasiya, Anand Rai, Aman Ahuja and Rashi Ahuja, the core team of TEAM 4 addressed a crowd of over hundred people – enlightening and awakening them to the grave issues surrounding us and motivating them to get out of the cocoon of laziness and fear. Team 4 has taken a yet another step forward in bringing to you what smothers us completely, today. Very rightly put up by Rashi, “the country is going to be ours in future. If we do nothing about it now, we will be doing nothing about our future.” How many of us actually realize this? Very few. Have we ever questioned ourselves about our contribution, no, but have definitely criticized others. And that is what TEAM 4 was there for – for motivating the ‘hero’ within, for provoking the mature realization.
It was ironic how all were inspired by ‘Rang De Basanti’, yet none out of the 120 people had ever voted against Mulayam Singh Yadav, even after declaring him “the worst Chief Minister in the history of U.P. Administration”. We do not use our voting powers, yet call ourselves patriotic; this in my terms is ‘the RDB affect’. Patriotism is becoming fashionable. I am proud of my country, because “hey! It sounds so ‘kewl’”, but not because I genuinely believe in it. If today I get an offer to work in the U.S. and criticize the roads outside my house, I will do that – a hypocrite that is all that we are becoming. That is when Team 4 came in and asked “Are you proud of your country?” And funnily, everybody raised their arms, but only one arm was raised when questioned “How many of you would rate India above 5 on a scale of 1 – 10?” Sounds confusing? If yes, ask yourself why? The answer is within. Our observations are becoming very shallow, the deeper you will get, the closer you will come to realness and get clearer in the head.
There were moments of silence and coming alive, where gory pictures of truth stared into the pretty faces of some ambitious and some ignorant girls. While those faces glowered, Team 4 smiled, because we knew, this was going exactly where we wanted it to go – realization and faith. From topics ranging from female feticide to justice for Jessica Lall, Team 4 spoke about it all. From bringing out the ‘hero’ within to warning about letting our lives go, Team 4 left an impact on the young minds. By the end of 45 minutes, Team 4 had achieved a small fraction of its goal; Team 4 had got them thinking, what Dhruv thought about long back, “what am I doing here?” And few hours later, my fellow mates came up to me after the seminar and said, “Whenever you guys are up to something, do let me know. I am with you guys.” And we knew, our journey to change lives, to mould the future, has begun. Good Luck to you dear reader and to you too Team 4!
WRITTEN BY : NABILA Z. ZAIDI
PICTURES BY: ANAND RAI , AMAN AHUJA
TEAM 4 - LUCKNOW : TRAFFIC En(LIGHT)ment
As the man near you in the posh Qualis breaks the traffic-light it leaves you wondering why shouldn’t you? But I wish to ask you why you should? Or the question that irritates you is that why shouldn’t you use that one-way the wrong way if it is saving you 15 minutes of your time! And why not talk on the mobile phone while driving, in an attempt to look cool! Your one and only excuse will be that the system is not efficient enough! Have a look to what all has been done in the past 13 months to ensure your safety on the road..
The Nagar Nigam has spent almost Rs. 3.75 lakhs to install the traffic-lights from the Hussainganj junction to the Sankalp Vatika junction. With many progressive improvisations including the solar powered lights and highly innovative LED displays that consume ninety percent less power and promise to last up to seven years ensuing low maintenance cost. The 22 computerized traffic signals that change the signal-time proportionately to the volume of traffic as recorded by the detectors placed at the connecting junctions and 16 vehicle-actuated signals use an advanced microprocessor detector to do the same hence streamline the traffic, reduce fuel consumption and saves time. The new laws ensure that except for the CM of the state no one else will be allowed to break the traffic signals, be it whatever the post that they hold. The understaffed office of the UP traffic police directorate having only 2300 officers to do the work of the sanctioned 4000 has come up with ingenious plan of implementing the ‘Green Corridor’. This ensures that a vehicle moving at the speed of 40 km/hr will get a green signal all the way along Hazratganj, VIP Road, Kalidas Marg, Banderiya Bagh, Charbagh and Alambagh. This as the Project engineer of Bharat Electronics Limited, Piyush Mohan puts it will ensure ‘a full swing revolution in traffic control’. Green Corridor has shown great success in Delhi and Noida but it fails to show its impact in Lucknow due to our detrimental habits. The Lucknowites fail to understand that the Traffic Control Office has done a lot but all that is going to waste because we refuse to change! Be it overtaking from the left or bragging to our colleagues about how many traffic-signals you broke on way to the office. Rashmi Mishra a student of B.Com 2nd year says "I feel it is ok to break the signals when you are late for your college, when the only other alternative is to be humiliated by the teacher in the class! What option do you have? " On questioning the teacher, Ms. Jamal from whom the students fear the humiliation she said, "I would rather leave home ten minutes early than break the traffic-signals! Seriously how can you put so many lives at stake just because you are getting late." She even claims that she has never broken a traffic signal.
On asking the Lucknow based psychologist Mr. Mittal about the habit of breaking traffic-signals, he commented "It is much like a mental state. You are as likely to be a kleptomaniac as you are to break the traffic-rules. So if you have stolen money ever, I am sure you are a likely candidate break the traffic-rules on a regular basis and sometimes just for fun!" The number of casualties due to the driver using the mobile-phones has gone by 65% in the last two years. The cars dented or severely damaged due to lapse in the traffic light coordination has gone up to 15,000 per month in Lucknow alone.
It is easy to see that Lucknowites need to change their habits and their road-sense, if we wish to be the next metropolitan on the map on India. Also before breaking the traffic signals think again and look at the bigger picture that a single wrong action on your part can cause the death of various and on a less serious note will cause a lot of (car) insurance companies to lighten their pockets. If you do see someone breaking the signal don not get inspired to do the same but be a part of the morale police and instigate the culprit. And at the cost of being clichéd I will still say TOGETHER WE CAN AND WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
WRITTEN BY RASHI AHUJA
PICTURES BY NOAMAN.A.KHAN
PIRACY : TEAM 4 HITS THE MARKET
While somewhere on earth, you look at a price catalogue of an authorized software sales shop- Microsoft windows 95-Rs.4700, Office 95- Rs.11200, Visual C++ -Rs.22400, Corel draw7-Rs.11450.
In a blinding flash the nightmare is over and you are standing in the Naza market, Lucknow. Here too, you are looking at a price catalogue, things start clearing out, you can see better, windows 95, C ++, Corel 7, Photoshop, MS Office, and all the worlds pirated and illegal games, movie VCDs and software's irrespective of there make or original prices are available at the rate of Rs.50 per CD, Ahhh.. Peace.
Though simple as buying a CD at original rate, making thousands of unauthorized copies and selling them at extremely low rates, software piracy kisses its zenith in Lucknow today, and this unlawful method of selling software executes in the city a business 3 lakh per day, thanks to you, me, and every one of us lucknowites who indulge in buying these CDs with our entire gallantry and some without even the perceptive of its being prohibited.Although the copyright laws make it quite clear that it is illegitimate to make a copy or distribute software you own on other computers, but still, we do pirate, why? Very simple, first of all because of its low rates. And secondly due to ignorance. Borrowing games and software CDs from friends is so common that the idea of piracy doesn't even occur to us. The other question, where does all this stuff come from? There are markets like the Naza market, and 'Dr.pirate's ecstasy', the big bad world of Internet, these are the two main terminal outlets for pirated stuff.Now, speaking of the markets 'Sandeep' a shopkeeper in the Naza tells 'Team 4', "You see, the procedure is very simple, a small percentage of original software CDs are brought into the country, the software companies give a password in order to prevent it from getting pirated, and this password is accessible only to the user who buys the CD at original rates. For the user who is buying the pirated version of this CD the password is cracked and is replaced by a password which is given in the CD itself, or rather basically speaking you don't have the key to a lock, so the lock is broken and replaced with a lock whose key you have. This cracking business is conducted by software engineers at Delhi".
And what does the police do in this well prepared setup, he replies "they are extremely co-operative, you just have to grease there palm with a share of what you are earning. Some times when large assortments such as that of pirated movie CDs come into the city, the police make sure that it reaches the market without any inspection or anything".Speaking of the Internet part, you may be speculating where on the net you find pirated stuff. Ever tried typing the words like "warez, appz, gamez, hacks on your search engines like 'Info seek' or 'Excite'? Most of the pages you find on typing these words will be shut down but some of them have got full softwares that you can simply download without any fuss.
Though neat it may seem, the basic fact is that using pirated stuff is no better than shoplifting. The foreign exchange of the nation is the first one to face the punch line, and as for the high cost of the original CDs it must be realized that piracy costs companies a good deal of loss and the high rates on the original CDs is there to overcome this loss, which stabs the honest user. Perhaps if piracy is brought under control the original prices will plunge and shrink into our contours of expenditure, Peace.
WRITTEN BY : ALI KIRMANI
PICTURES BY : NOAMAN.A.KHAN
TEAM 4 - HITS THE GOVERNMENTWe will remove poverty (Yea right!). We will provide free medical camp(In my dreams?!)
We will make sure slums are replaced by proper living conditions(Dont you mean that you will replace it with Multicomlpex bulidings built by your party's supporters).These are a few of the false promises made by our trustworthy 'Netajis'.We through the conditioning we have recieved from the ages past , know better than to believe the politicians. But the naive seven-tenth of India's population living under the poverty line is ready to accept any ray of hope it is shown.Hence, the Indian Commision for Elections is able to get such a huge turnout for the voting day and the politician who is able to make maximum of his false promises believeable stands the winner in the elections.
It is easy to blame other's what do you think about yourself? The little boy with amputated limbs you met on the crossroad! "Oh my God! Eeww!" The old women with the scarred face who accousted you as you came out of Barrista. "Gosh! I wish this did not happen to anyone, even my enemies" Some thoughts that undoubtly came to your mind much like mine. Escapists, thats what we have become. The other day I saw a man almost crush an old man's fingers between the window of his car.Could you get more inhumane?
It is a bad, bad world, everyone is exploited, used and thrown, but if you dont have the ability, education and will to defend yourself it just happens to you more often, as is the case of these people you and I like to call " BEGGARS". We sometimes give them spare change and at other times find excuses saying that they can earn a hard day's labour they do not need our help. Agreed, most of them can earn a living, but due to lack of opportunity and employment have decided that they would rather beg at street corners. Dont offer them money offer them odd jobs available at your homes and offices. Give them an opprtunity to prove themselves such that their self-esteem increases.
We can take a leaf out of the book of SAHARA INDIA who have formed a seven people team in DELHI. They collect the left over food from thier AIRLINE division and distribute to various old age homes, orphanages and among the street beggars.
There are committees who run soup kitchens for the beggars and homeless.
You can help them in two ways, firstly, by donating in whatever way u can and secondly, by telling the beggars you meet on streets about such places.....
PICTURES BY : NOAMAN .A. KHAN
WRITTEN BY : RASHI AHUJA
TEAM 4 - THE SOCIAL FACE .
She opened the cupboard with much effort due to her arthritis. She took out the copy of a letter she had written for her manager and gave it to me with an envelope.
I had been talking to her for the past forty-five minutes and she had not told me her name yet. Miss Joyce E. Vincent, M.A., P.T.C., F.R..
...read the letter. An eighty-three year old inhabitant of D.C. homes.
Until yesterday I didn’t even know this place existed... and today as I sit down to write this I realise how much this experience has taught me.
Simple Life, so many of us use this term without knowing what it means. I saw it their lives, they were happy, contented and (as their faces showed) relaxed.
In my opinion, they were the perfect examples of what the last stage of anyone’s life should be.
Be it the sparkling eyes of Vincent aunty as she told me how she founded her school or the playful teasing of Miss Robertson as she inquired us about our boyfriend/girlfriend.
Unknowingly, all these lovely, versatile ladies taught me so much. It is inevitable that we too shall be old, much like them. With our conquests over and our children grown to adults and other basic tasks of life accomplished, our life will take a new turn and it will be in our hands what we make of it. Also that happiness is a state of mind, that all should try and achieve, in every stage and situation.
With them, I felt free, because I didn’t have to pretend as I have to with my peers, I didn’t have to lie to them as I often have to with my parents.
If I have motivated you to go and meet my Vincent Aunty, guess my work here is done.
And if I have not been able to do so then guess all I have to say is...you don’t know what you are missing!
WRITTEN BY : RASHI AHUJA
MEMBERS : DHRUV HALWASIYA , AMAN AHUJA , NOAMAN KHAN , RASHI AHUJA
TEAM 4 - CATCHES 'BHUPENDRA NIGAM' IN ACTION.
With branches in multiple cities and the student count going into thousands.Bhupendra Nigam is the single largest advocate for Salsa in Uttar Pradesh. Infact he even owns a salsa studio in the city itself. However contrary to common perception this is not a full time occupation. It is more of a passion turned passtime. His actual calling lies in the medical arena. Currently pursuing a medical degree from abroad he is also researching chronic degenerative diseases and hopes to find a cure for this deadly virus very soon.
Skipping back to Salsa we asked Bhupendra about how he got around to learning it considering there was no teacher in lucknow at that point of time."From my colleagues, " he says. "India with all its problems and diseases provides the ideal atmosphere for medical research and some of my colleagues who came down from abroad were extremely interested in Salsa so i kind of picked it up from them." Incidently it was during learning salsa here that he met his wife. She being the more experienced one handles the branch in Kanpur. We then asked him how he overcame all the roadblocks and barriers set up by the other Salsa houses and he replies in the diplomatic manner that is fast becoming prominent, “Well it was a passion that drove me into opening Planet Salsa so it was never really about money or competition. I guess as time went by the others just withered away and our perseverance paid off !" Going deeper into planet salsa he explains,” We accept everybody, age is really not a barrier. That’s the beauty of it you see....anybody above 4 years can learn Salsa!"
But what happens after a student graduates? There is no such culture in the city and therefore no place to go dance, so Bhupendra came up with an idea of hosting regular salsa parties and dance competitions. The judges for these competitions are generally professional dancers from cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Its all handled very professionally, infact these competitions have become so famous that it draws contestantsfrom abroad !
Talking about the future ... Bhupendra says he hopes to expand and open more branches .Dance is something that can't be termed as a fad or temporary. It is an art that will continue to grow forever and never stop. Bhupendra vows that he will not stop dancing even after he gets his medical degree. Salsa is a passion to him and according to him if he can't spare 2 hours a day to dance then, what good is life?
INTERVIEW BY : DHRUV HALWASIYA
VIDEO RECORDING : NOAMAN.A.KHAN
PICTURES : AMAN AHUJA , RASHI AHUJA
INPUTS BY : SANDEEP HEMNANI , HYDERABAD