Friday, December 14, 2012

“WAKE UP WALK” in major cities from 20th to herald ‘national movement against assaults on women’  
Eminent public figures, sports and film icons likely to join
            "Your daughter could be the next to be molested. You could be the next father/brother  to die defending your daughter/sister's honour,” warn Walkathlon organisers 
Chandigarh, Dec.14: In a bold initiative to stop assaults on women in the country, the well-known Patiala-based NGO, Punjab Today Foundation, this afternoon announced the start of a major nation-wide awareness  movement against what it called the "collective guilt of society" against girls and women.,
The movement would be flagged off with a ‘WAKE UP WALK (Conscience Walk)  on Dec. 20, 2012 to coincide with the International Day for Human Solidarity. The walk will start  after performing ARDAS at the Holy precincts of Sri Darbar Sahib at Amritsar and  would travel through all districts of Punjab and later reach the national Capital for the next phase. 
A signature campaign will also be launched on the sidelines of the Walk, which will culminate in Delhi where a joint appeal by hundreds of thousands of countrymen to the Chief Justice and other honourable judges of the Supreme Court. The appeal would highlight the need for quick disposal of cases pertaining to atrocities and harassment of women in the state and the country and to put in place some special, dedicated women-specific courts/benches headed by women judges only, given the sensitivity involved in such cases. Similar appeals would also be submitted to the Chief Justices of High Courts in all the states and Union Territories of the country.
Giving details of the movement, Kanwar Manjit Singh, the CEO of the Punjab Today Foundation, said here today that the movement would enlist the support of eminent social activists, members of the Civil Society, intellectuals, human rights, civil liberties and right thinking political organisations and individuals. Mr Singh said that recent incidents in some parts of the country, including Delhi, Haryana, Mumbai and Punjab had sent shock waves among all conscientious people in the country about the status, safety and security of mothers, sisters or daughters .
 He said that as the main motive of this Walk was to awaken the spirit of togetherness in our society hence citizens of all walks of life are requested to spare a few minutes to join this movement. He requested intellectuals, thinkers, social workers, media-persons, religious leaders, policymakers, professionals, businessmen, employees, workers of all political parties and students to support and participate in this initiative.
Punjab Today Foundation.
Punjab Today Bhawan
C-179, Focal Point, Patiala
Tel : Cell : 9814.231.777
e-mail :
Give us the Right to Choose: Farmers organizations from five states in Delhi to press for their demand for quicker implementation of relevant new & novel technologies

December 14, 2012: Pro-technology progressive farmers and farmer leaders from Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu collectively stated on Friday said that  they strongly urged the government to usher new and novel agricultural  technologies already proven safe and profitable  for ensuring rejuvenation of Indian agriculture. In a rare show of unity these farmers, represented by over six different farmers’ organizations, said they should be given the right to choose what is good and bad for them. They have all been camping in Delhi meeting various Members of Parliament and Ministers trying to draw their attention to the compelling need for integration of technology in agriculture given the immense challenges being faced by them.

Farmers stressed on the need for introduction of genetically improved varieties of major crops like rice, maize, pulses, oilseeds and few major vegetables. “We have been all over Delhi meeting various MPs and ministers and asking them to understand our concerns and anxiety,” said….Jaipal Reddy….

Farmers drawn from organizations including Prataprudra Farmers Federation, Warangal (AP), Nagarjuna Rythu Samakhya (AP), Progressive Pro-technology Farmers Federation, Chennai (TN), Naujawan Kisan Club (Punjab), Kisan Club, Fatehabad (Haryana), Shetkari Sangathan (Maharashtra) informed that they had come to Delhi  to plead with the parliamentarians and the government for making agriculture profitable and sustainable. They  submitted  petitions to MPs and Ministers to take urgent initiative and implement pro-farmer and pro-technology  policies including deployment of  biotechnology products in agriculture. GM crops, they said, will lead to rural prosperity stimulating greater economic growth in the country and lesser migration to the cities thereby making inclusive growth a reality. Even city dwellers will benefit as food will be produced with much less pesticide application.

Farmers collectively said that those who do not have the least knowledge of farming consider agriculture policy as their prerogative. “They must understand farming is the expertise of those who till the land to feed millions. Farmers should be given a right choose what is in their interest including right to choose new technology. Scientific community has many times reiterated that GM crops are safe and the only way to meet future challenges,” said….

S Jaipal Reddy from Pratap Rudra Farmers Federation said, “Agricultural community in Andhra has immensely benefitted from Bt cotton. Now we hope that the government will soon allow commercialization of other important GM food crops and extend the benefits of technology to  farmers growing other crops as well.” He was supported by a farmer leader from neighboring Tamil Nadu. D Valter, President, Progressive Pro-technology Farmers Federation added, “Uncertainty over availability of river water for irrigation casts a perpetual shadow on fate of our crops. Introduction of genetically modified rice – a crop that  maximizes yield per unit  water supply, for instance, will ensure greater profitability and less tension”

There were those who insisted empirical evidences suggest GM crops cause no harm to human or animal health. Saying this, Narendra Singh of Naujawan Kisan Club added, “Out of our experience from Bt cotton, we are confident that biotechnology holds the key to curb the drudgery in agriculture in Punjab. We are eagerly waiting for genetically modified maize that shall help improve dismal agricultural scenario where our land holdings are shrinking lowering out individual land productivity.”

Hemant N Ingale, Shetkari Sangathan said, “Genetically improved varieties have minimal dependence on fertilizers and pesticides. This reduces the input cost which in turn leads to increase in profitability for the farmers. GM crops will also help cut the cost of labour needed for weeding, which involves a big chunk of farming costs.”

Trilokchand Saini, Kisan Club, Fatehabad said, “Amid fears of crop failure due to changes in weather patterns GM crops will be a huge relief to the farmers of Haryana who have otherwise been bestowed with very fertile land. GM crops offer hope to curb many challenges posed by nature and make agriculture more productive and profitable.”

For details, please contact:

S Jaipal Reddy
President , Pratap Rudra Farmers Federation
Ph 91 9440424999

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