Bhopal, July 7 (IANS) Bhopal's Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat, one of the biggest crematoriums in the city, will soon have a park in the memory of those who died due to Covid-19 in the second wave of the pandemic. The park is being developed using the ashes of Covid victims.The ashes of hundreds of people are lying uncollected at Vishram Ghat. Due to Covid, patients from different parts of the state came for treatment in various hospitals of Bhopal, during which a large number of patients also died. Family members could not take their ashes due to strict lockdown, as a result of which a large amount of ashes were stored at Vishram Ghat.Mamtesh Sharma, secretary of the managing committee of Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat, says, "Between March and June, a large number of people died of Covid and their last rites were performed here. The relatives of the dead took only a small quantity of ashes with them after the last rites. After this, a large amount of bones and ashes have accumulated here."If Sharma is to be believed, there are about 21 truckloads of ashes at Vishram Ghat and it is not proper to immerse them in the rivers from an environmental point of view. Due to this, the management committee has decided that a park should be built in the memory of the deceased by using the ashes as manure. This park will be built in an area of about 12,000 square feet. A target has also been set to plant 3500-4000 saplings in the park.People associated with the committee say that in order to make the plants grow at a faster pace, ash, dung and wood dust will be mixed with the soil. This park will be developed on the basis of Miyawaki technology of Japan. The saplings to be planted in the park will be looked after by the committee.--IANS snp/skp/bg
Lucknow, July 7 (IANS) The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to extend the 'Varasat' scheme, which resolves pending property ownership issues in rural UP, to benefit families who lost members to Covid.A 13-day special campaign has been launched to help legal heirs of those who died of Covid, get property rights."The current phase of the scheme will provide 'khatauni' or record of rights to legal heirs or widows of land owners. The drive will continue till July 18 and special camps will be set up to dispose of cases. Resolving this at the earliest will ensure widows without livelihood to seamlessly get land and property rights," said a government spokesperson.The slogan, 'Sabke Saath, Khadi Hai Sarkar', will mark this campaign.Over the next two weeks, revenue officials including lekhpals and kanungos will visit 1,08,992 revenue villages and collate details on undisputed inheritance of villagers, who lost family members to Covid.The widows will not need to submit any application for this. The revenue officials have been directed to collect all information on their own and take necessary action.'Pattas' of agricultural and residential land will be allotted to widows as per eligibility. If they are eligible to housing facilities, construction of houses will be done with the help of rural development department.The government had deputed around 22,000 lekhpals and nearly 2,500 kanungos for this campaign.The entire process will be monitored by divisional commissioners and each district has to submit an action taken report by July 20.The 'Varasat' campaign was initially launched by the Yogi Adityanath government in December 2020, and concluded in March this year.It was launched to resolve long-standing property disputes in favour of legal heir and inheritors. Cases concerning more than 9,02,576 people were resolved during the first phase of the campaign.--IANS amita/skp/
<br>A gram panchayat Galiyakot had zero Covid patients even at a time when the second wave of Covid was knocking at the doors in neighbouring villages.District collector Suresh Ola says that the reason for it is the alacrity and awareness of the villagers who cooperated with the administration to win the war against Covid.Four villages in this gram panchayat namely Limbadiya, Debriya, Gediya and Ratanpura followed all Covid guidelines. The villagers wore masks and maintained social distancing and hence recorded zero Covid patients.Zila Parishad chief executive officer Anjali Rajauriya said that the village administration, core committee group and villagers worked as a team to block Covid's entry in their area and were successful in their attempts.Besides this, another gram panchayat Saroda also scripted a success story by taking quick steps to check the spread of Covid.Rajoriya said that three villages namely Saroda, Damorwada and Kesarpura with a population of around 9,000 come under this gram panchayat.A total of 85 villagers became Covid infected together which set off alarm bells as there were chances that surrounding populations will catch the infection. However, the village panchayat announced a lockdown for 15 days even before the state government. The entire village was sanitised and the first lockdown was announced there from May 3 to 17.Each household was given masks, oximeters, sanitiser and streamers.Testing, tracing and treatment followed to check the infection, said village secretary Bhavesh Patidar.A door-to-door survey was done, helpline centre was set up and medical kit was home delivered when required.One thousand packets of Kadha were distributed in houses.In Saroda, a WhatsApp group was organised and Rs 1.21 lakh was collected. These funds were used to buy sanitisers, masks etc.This village panchayat is also preparing for the third wave and saving money to buy oxygen concentrators, said health officials.So the combined efforts of the villagers and the administration helped keep Covid at bay which can be a learning lesson for all, they added. --IANS <br>arc/bg
New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Expressing his anguish at the death of Corona warriors, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday thanked the members of the medical fraternity and their families for their ‘exemplary valour and service to the society' during the ongoing pandemic.He was speaking at the inaugural session of the second edition of ‘Gratitude Week -- A Tribute to Health Guardians' organised by the Integrated Health and Wellbeing (IHW) Council, a premier health think-tank."On the occasion of National Doctor's Day, I would like to appreciate the efforts to organise the Gratitude Week. In this unprecedented war against a new virus, doctors have been the frontline soldiers," Harsh Vardhan said in a video message."Each life lost is a matter of great personal grief for me. Doctors have put their own lives at risk to save the lives of others -- there can be no greater example of courage, sacrifice and compassion than this. I also bow down to the family members for encouraging you to carry on with your duty -- I thank you and your families for your exemplary valour and service to the society," Harsh Vardhan added.He also urged the doctors to take care of themselves, stay connected to their peers for updates and serve as a role model to the people and the community at large.Meanwhile, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO Southeast Asia, has thanked all healthcare and frontline workers for working tirelessly day and night for over 18 months amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic."We have unfortunately lost many of our health workers to the pandemic. To these brave hearts, their families and our health workforce, WHO salutes you. Your heroism, commitment and duty are legendary. WHO will continue to work with countries to invest in health workforce strengthening, to protect their occupational health and safety and embrace health workforce innovations that enhance health equity. WHO stands in solidarity with all health workers, everywhere," Singh said in a statement.Every year, July 1 is celebrated as National Doctors' Day by the Indian Medical Association (IMA). While the doctor-per-patient ratio and lack of skilled healthcare workers has been a long-standing structural challenge for India, many have been victims of violence.According to a Lancet report, more than 75 per cent of the doctors across India have faced some form of violence, and 68.33 per cent of violence was committed by the patients' attendants. --IANSrvt/arm
New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought response from the Centre on a plea seeking compensation of Rs 4 lakh to family members of the Covid-19 patients, who succumbed to black or yellow fungus.Earlier in the day, the top court, in its judgment on another plea filed by advocate Reepak Kansal and another seeking Rs 4 lakh ex gratia for families of Covid deceased, had held that the Centre failed to perform its statutory duty, under Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act (DMA), to issue minimum standards of relief in this regard. It directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to recommend guidelines for such ex gratia assistance within 6 weeks.A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, M.R. Shah and Vineet Saran issued notice to Centre on a PIL filed by Kansal, urging the court to direct the Centre and states to provide ex gratia monetary compensation to family members of those who succumbed to side effects or post Covid-19 complications i.e. black fungus, white fungus and yellow fungus etc. "The entire benefits/ex-gratia compensation under Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 for patients of Covid-19 may also be extended to the patients of post-Covid-19 disease i.e. black fungus, yellow fungus and white fungus etc," said the plea.Contending that injury was caused to citizens who have lost their family members due to side effects/post Covid-19 decease, it said: "There is a constitutional and legal obligation on the State and its different organs to take care of victims of the calamity and their family members, in the position of a guardian of parent of the people of the society."--IANSss/vd
New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the Centre failed to perform its statutory duty, under Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act (DMA), to issue minimum standards of relief for families of those people who lost their lives to Covid-19. It directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to recommend guidelines for ex gratia assistance, on account of loss of life, to families concerned, within 6 weeks.A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and M.R. Shah said: "Guidelines for ex gratia assistance on account of loss of life due to Covid-19 pandemic, while recommending other guidelines for the minimum standards of relief, it can be said that the National Authority has failed to perform its statutory duty cast under Section 12.."The bench noted that if the statutory authority has failed to perform its statutory duty under the statute or constitutional duty, the court would be absolutely justified in issuing a writ of mandamus directing the authority to perform its statutory duty.The Centre had argued that the term "shall" used in Section 12 of the DMA, will have to be read as "may", thereby making the provision directory/discretionary and not mandatory, in the light of peculiar facts and comprehensive steps taken by the government in mitigating the pandemic. Contesting the ex gratia, it argued that funds have been sanctioned for creating infrastructure, hospitals, testing, vaccination, ICU facilities and other allied matters including providing food to the BPL/migrant labourers, and not to pay ex gratia assistance.However, the bench, in its 66-page judgment, held: "The beneficial provision of the legislation must be literally construed so as to fulfil the statutory purpose and not to frustrate it."It observed if Centre were to construe the word "shall" as "may", in the act, it would "defeat its purpose" and object to issue guidelines for minimum standards of relief, including ex-gratia assistance in the Covid-19 pandemic, which is a disaster.The bench emphasised that the word "shall" used twice in Section 12 of the act significantly imposes a duty cast upon the national authority to issue guidelines for the minimum standards of relief which shall include ex gratia assistance on account of loss of life as also assistance on account of damage to houses and for restoration of means of livelihood.It did not accept the Centre's contention that even if Covid-19 pandemic is declared and/or considered as a disaster, Section 12 may not be applicable and/or the word "shall" should be construed as "may" as when the act came. The Centre emphasised that the legislature might not have visualised that such a pandemic/disaster would occur which would have a long-time effect/impact.The court, however, said said it cannot be disputed that Covid-19 pandemic is a disaster within the meaning of Section 2(d) of the act. Against this backdrop, it directed the NDMA to recommend guidelines, within 6 weeks, for ex gratia assistance to family members of those persons who died due to Covid-19. The bench emphasised it is mandated under Section 12(iii) for the minimum standards of relief to be provided to the persons affected by disaster. However, the court refrained from passing any direction to fix the amount of ex-gratia payment."What amount to be paid by way of ex-gratia assistance to the family members of the persons who died due to Covid-19 pandemic should be left to the National Authority/Central Government," said the bench.The top court order came on PILs which were filed by advocates Gaurav Kumar Bansal and Reepak Kansal seeking court's intervention for payment of Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia amount to the Covid victims' families.The bench held that it should be left to the wisdom of national authority while considering the guidelines/recommendations of the Finance Commission in its 15th Finance Commission Report and the funds required for other reliefs/priorities.--IANSss/vd
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