About 200 children, who will become voters taking part in the country’s democratic process after a few years, have called upon the political parties to include their crucial issues in the manifestos for the upcoming Rajasthan Assembly election. Their charter of demands is the outcome of a series of seven workshops organised at divisional headquarters under the ‘Dasham’ initiative.‘Cell for children’The children’s demands included construction of toilets in schools, free distribution of sanitary pads, power supply in villages, mandatory holding of ‘Baal Sabha’ in village panchayats and improvement in Anganwadi centre services. “All political parties should establish separate cells for children,” stated the charter.At the ‘Dasham’ event here earlier this week, Rajasthan Assembly Deputy Speaker Rao Rajendra Singh and State Women’s Commission chairperson Suman Sharma (BJP), Mahesh Sharma (Congress), Sanjay Madhav (CPI-M), Nisha Siddhu (CPI), T.P. Sharma (Aam Aadmi Party) and Shailendra Awasthi (Samajwadi Party) interacted with the children.The event was an initiative of Rajasthan Right to Education Forum, Girls Not Brides — Rajasthan, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan and Baal Suraksha Network. Resource Institute for Human Rights spokesperson Vijay Goyal said though the children below 18 years were not allowed to vote, they should be heard in their capacity as “future voters”.Children below 18 years comprise 41% of the State’s population. If the teenagers till the age of 19 years are included in this population, the figures touch 49.6%, requiring special steps for their development by the government. The participants said the children could not become responsible citizens without an effective intervention for their healthy growth.Parties’ assuranceWhile the political leaders assured the gathering that they would try to get children’s issues included in the manifestos of their respective parties, the children from different districts, including the hearing- and speech-impaired students of schools and colleges, raised the issues which were affecting their natural growth.‘No school or hospital’Amira Khatoon, 17, from Jodhpur, said her village had no school or hospital and the people often died before getting to hospital in case of emergency. Kundan Kunwar from Udaipur said children in the rural families, who did not know anything about career choices, were lagging behind in the competition.The young boys and girls also challenged the traditions of educational opportunities being denied to the girls and the children forced into unwanted marriages at the tender age. The demands of specially abled children pertained to an easy access to public places and the availability of interpreters. .
Archaeologists have unearthed artefacts believed to be 2,300-year-old while carrying out excavation at the Asurgarh Fort in Odisha’s Kalahandi district.A nine member team of Archaeological Survey of India led by Dibishada B. Garnayak, Superintending Archaeologist, Excavation Branch-IV, Bhubaneswar, excavated the items dating from Mauryan to Kushan period.“The present archaeological work reveals a number of brick structures. Wedge shaped bricks are also noticed in the circular structures. Most of the structures have terracotta tiles with groves and hole for socketing,” said Mr. Garnayak.“The Asurgarh people during that time probably used stone rubbles and tile fragments for flooring their houses and the streets. Besides, silver punch marked coins, silver and copper toe ring and ear rings, beads of carnelian, jasper, beryl, garnet, agate and coral have been found,” he said, adding that some of the artefacts were as old as 2,300 year.Glass banglesOther discovered artefacts include, glass bangle pieces of different designs and colours, sling balls, pestle, iron equipment like small wheel, ring, and arrow head.“The findings of coral beads and imperial variety of silver punch mark coins strongly indicates about long distant trade and association of hinterland people with seafaring people,” pointed out Mr. Garnayak.It is believed that the fort is surrounded by moat on its northern, eastern and southern sides. “Close to the western rampart, the river Sandul flows to the north thereby forming a natural moat on the western side of the fort. On the eastern side of the fort there is an extensive lake. The fort had four wide gates in four cardinal directions and at each gate was installed one guardian deity. These guardian deities are named as Ganga at the eastern gate, Kalapat at the western, Vaishnavi at the northern and Dokri at the southern gate,” he said.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday issued notice to the accused and the Jammu and Kashmir government on a petition seeking an enhancement of the sentence awarded to the convicts of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu’s Kathua in 2018.A Bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and H.S. Sidhu, while issuing the notice to the respondents, fixed the case for August 7.“The court has issued notice to all the accused and the State of Jammu and Kashmir in the matter,” lawyer of the victim’s family Utsav Bains told reporters.The girl from the nomadic Bakerwal community was kidnapped from Rasana area on January 10 in 2018 and found dead on January 17.The victim’s father had approached the High Court seeking an enhancement of the sentence awarded to six convicts. In his petition, he also challenged the acquittal of one accused.Last month, a special court in Pathankot sentenced three of the six men to life imprisonment and awarded five years in prison to the rest. One of the accused was acquitted.The victim’s father has pleaded that it’s a rarest of the rare cases and as per the standards set by the Supreme Court.