Archive | May, 2013

Jenita Thakore: Cultural and Social Embodiment of South Asia

Posted on 29 May 2013 by admin

Jenita Thakore has not been in Canada for long, but she sees and witnesses a “Mother Teresa” version of Canada as she believes Canada does not refuse anyone to represent their own ethnicity .. “a nation full of love, affection, peace, harmony and undue respect,” she tells Generation Next.

 She chose to come to Canada not only because of its progressive society but also because it offered a stable growing opportunity through educational and professional avenues. With strong familial background in academics (her grandfather is credited to have brought computers to India) and arts, both education and extracurricular activities are important in Jenita’s life. She is pursuing B.A. in Public Policy and Management.

 Jenita has also been working at Centennial College for more than five years. Currently she is an Academic Advisor for School of Engineering. She has also worked as an International Recruiter and Admissions Officer for International Education at Centennial College. At 22 she travelled to India twice; covering 13 cities, recruiting students, conducting educational seminars and trained an off-shore office of Centennial College.

It is no wonder that Jenita is quite active in South Asian cultural scene. She can be seen on stage or volunteering in social activities. She is also a dance instructor at Nritya Kala Mandir. Her simple response to how she manages time between her work, studies and social activities is “If you are passionate about something it becomes a part of your life and it automatically comes in the working time frame.”

 Having lived in Canada and serving GTA’s South Asian community for more than nine years, Jenita feels that the community has “ made tremendous efforts and progress in preserving our culture in Canada. The feeling of being at home away from home is fabulous.”

 Nonetheless challenges are part of life. She feels that South Asian community deserves better than getting blue collar jobs. This young lady motivates and inspires the community by suggesting that “if we could travel this far and survive, do you think we can’t fight a few more hurdles? The ability to merge and grow together with others is pre-requisite for us all in today’s globalised world.”

 We live in an economy that is harsh on young graduates, and young professionals are not always getting jobs they deserve. In Jenita’s opinion “the biggest challenge a young professional faces is expectations. Working with and for students I have always have to face a thick shell of beliefs they come with even before they are exposed to the real world.. We have tons of educated, well-qualified young professionals in our community but most of them refuse to do something which is beyond their expectation. You have to start somewhere.. It is all about being a Smart Worker and a Hard Worker together.”

As Centennial College’s representative in India, Jenita had an amazing experience. She is grateful to Mr. Mark Coote for the opportunity that enlightened her to being an Indian representing a Canadian institution. “What was more surprising was that people now in India are more cautious and more informed which a positive sign is indeed,” she shares with Generation Next’s readers.

In the next ten years, Jenita Thakore wishes to be a success story not just in financial terms but in setting example for others not just as a professional but also in her persona life as a wife and as a mother.

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Fords against the maggots

Posted on 29 May 2013 by admin

It’s probably not smart to call the media “a bunch of maggots” – even when they’re crawling in your eyes and ears.

But Toronto Mayor Rob Ford couldn’t help himself. “Maggots” was the word he used on his Sunday radio show. He flatly denied there was a video of him allegedly smoking crack cocaine, even though simple reasoning suggests there is. (It’s almost impossible to fake these things.) His brother, Councillor Doug Ford, who has denied a Globe and Mail story that he dealt hash back in the 1980s, is no fan of reporters either. “Eighty per cent of [them] are nasty son-of-a-guns,” he said.

What the mayor hasn’t said is: “I’ve never smoked crack cocaine.” And there’s the problem.

His office is a train wreck. Three of his staff have quit or been fired. City Hall is paralyzed as the wreckage piles up.

When you’re in a corner, it’s almost irresistible to blame the media. When you’re the Fords, you play the victim card and accuse the liberal elites and their media allies of being out to get you, despite your tireless dedication to the public interest.

The trouble is, the social elites love this story. So does almost everybody else. People can’t get enough of it. Every newspaper in Toronto, including the conservative ones, is now on the mayor’s case. And for every scold who wags a finger at the media’s so-called gotcha journalism, there are 10 more people who can’t wait for the next instalment.

A lot of people think Mr. Ford should either change or vanish, too. Why can’t he rehabilitate himself? The strategy is tried and true: Repent, throw yourself on the mercy of the voters and hope public sympathy redeems you.

He still believes that if he bulls his way through this, it will all blow over, just as it always has before. If only the maggots weren’t out to get him, everything would be just fine.


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Athletes’ Village Halfway to the Finish Line

Posted on 29 May 2013 by admin

The Ontario-led CIBC Pan Am and Parapan Am Athletes’ Village project has officially reached 50 per cent completion, with construction continuing on-schedule and on-budget.

Making the announcement, Michael Chan, Minister Responsible for the Pan/Parapan American Games stated that “ The accessible, LEED Gold certified Village – home to athletes and officials at Games-time – will become a vibrant new community for hundreds of local families and is just one of many beneficial legacies we’ve triggered through our commitment to the Games.”

The Athletes’ Village — the largest infrastructure project associated with the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games — will be ready to turn over to the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee in early 2015, well in advance of welcoming over 10,000 athletes, coaches and team officials.

Following the Games, the benefits of the Athletes’ Village will bring many positive impacts to the community, including:

  • More than 300 families will have access to affordable rental and ownership housing with a move in date set for spring 2016.
  • The new George Brown College residence will provide housing for 500 students.
  • The former industrial lands will be transformed into a beautiful, sustainable mixed-use neighbourhood.
  • The new community will be accessible and LEED Gold certified.

Completing the Athletes’ Village on-time and on-budget is part of the Ontario government’s commitment to provide Pan Am and Parapan Am athletes and officials with an exceptional experience, on and off the field of play.

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U.S. Quietly Monitors Foreigners’ Departures at the Canadian Border

Posted on 29 May 2013 by admin

Hundreds of thousands of foreigners passing into Canada from the United States have unwittingly been a part of a grand experiment by the Department of Homeland Security to crack down on visitors who violate laws governing the length of their stay.

A pilot project is to be expanded to almost all land border traffic between Canada and the United States.

Long demanded by lawmakers in Congress, it is considered a critical step to developing a coherent program to curb illegal immigration, as historically about 30 percent to 40 percent of illegal immigrants in the United States arrived on tourist visas or other legal means and then never left, according to estimates by Homeland Security officials.

The pilot project with Canada, conducted from September to January, involved about a third of the traffic across the northern American border, tracking the departure of 413,222 foreigners from the United States. Starting this year, according to Congressional officials who have been briefed on the plan, the information collected at the Canadian border will be used to prevent certain foreigners who have stayed too long in the United States from returning again by revoking tourist visas or taking other steps.

The effort relies on an ingenious solution: as foreigners leave the United States to enter Canada — and their passports are checked by the border authorities there — the information is sent back to the United States and recorded as the official “exit” record. By the end of next month, the project is scheduled to be expanded to almost all land border traffic between Canada and the United States.

“The pilot was a success,” said David Heyman, assistant secretary for policy at the Homeland Security Department, in a statement. “We have the ability now to identify, with a high degree of certainty, on a real-time basis, those who overstay the terms of their legal entry into the United States.”

Airlines and cruise ships, relying on passenger manifests, are already mandated under law to turn over data on travelers as they leave the United States. That system has recently been improved so that entries and exits can more definitively be matched, federal officials said, although there remains a large backlog of unconfirmed exits.

The biggest weakness remains the southern border, which has the highest volume of traffic of land crossings, but still has almost no exit controls.

The Mexican authorities, Homeland Security officials said, do not reliably collect and store personal data on every person crossing the border from the United States, preventing an exchange like the one that has been established with Canada. The department has pressed the Mexican authorities to improve their data collection efforts, so such an exchange can take place.

One former Homeland Security official who had been involved in these negotiations said it was largely a matter of money.

“You could do it in a year if you had all the money you needed, or you could do it in 20 years,” said Chappell Lawson, who served as director of policy and planning at Customs and Border Protection early in the Obama administration. “Tell me the amount of money and the willpower, and I can give you a number.”

Ricardo Alday, a spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, said the Mexican government was open to considering such a request by the United States.

“Mexico strongly believes that its joint efforts with the United States are critical to the safe and efficient management of the border,” he said in a statement.

With the pilot program at the Canadian border, the American authorities found that in almost all cases — 97.4 percent — the passport data of departing foreigners matched up with records documenting their entry into the United States, allowing American officials to determine if they stayed longer here than allowed under the law. Officials would not say what percentage of the travelers had overstayed their visas.

Because it was an experimental project, the data in this initial phase was destroyed and was not used for any enforcement action. Individual travelers were not notified of the data exchange, although a description of it was posted on the Canadian Border Services Agency Web site.

Using the information collected from its improved system tracking foreigners as they exit, the Homeland Security Department is separately also developing a tally, country by country, of what percentage of foreign travelers violate the terms of their entry to the United States, officials said.

If the immigration bill pending in the Senate passes, that overstay information would be used to help determine which nations are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, which allows foreigners to visit without a visa — a privilege reserved for nations whose residents do not routinely abuse the limits of American tourist visas.

The Homeland Security Department last week declined to offer any hint of what the visa overstay rates might look like, saying only that they would be made public this year.

“We want to make sure those numbers are right,” said one department official, who asked not to be named, citing its policy of not speaking with reporters for attribution. “They could impact a lot of things, including international relations. It is an important milestone.”

One potential weakness with the exit control system being tested with Canada is that it relies on “biographic” information, like a passport photo, name and date of birth. It does not use a fingerprint or other biometric data, which is much harder to forge, to definitively confirm that a person has left the United States.

Congress has repeatedly mandated such a biometric exit system — at land borders as well as airports — in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. But a bipartisan group of eight senators dropped that requirement in the pending immigration bill, provoking protests from Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, and other conservatives.

“This is a big, big hole in the system, and it’s been going on for years and years,” Mr. Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. “This is one reason American people have so little confidence in any promises we make.”

Homeland Security officials, along with Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, have argued that it could cost an estimated $25 billion for the United States to build its own biometric-based exit system at airports and land borders. It would be so expensive because new border crossing stations would have to be built, instead of relying on Mexico or Canada. Arguing that the biographic network is adequate, they say that the expense is not justified.

Instead, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, with the support of some Republicans, agreed this week to mandate biometric exit systems at 10 of the nation’s largest airports within two years, and the 30 largest airports for international travel within six years. But it would most likely leave the system that relies on biographic data in place at land borders.

“No system is 100 percent failproof,” Mr. Schumer said last week. “This system comes as close to any to making it work.”

Even with the growing and more reliable data on travelers who have overstayed their visas, the Homeland Security Department still does not have sufficient personnel to find and deport these violators. Instead, it focuses on any that have a criminal record or a history of repeated immigration violations.

But officials said they were pleased that they were at least making progress in being able to track exits in a comprehensive way.

“The exit system today far surpasses anything we had even three years ago,” Mr. Heyman said.


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Habitat for Humanity Brampton and Mississauga offer affordable homeownership

Posted on 29 May 2013 by admin

An agreement between the Region of Peel and Habitat for Humanity (HFH) affiliates in Mississauga and Brampton (which includes Caledon) has been endorsed this week, which will provide $4.5 million in grant funding to build up to 50 homes between 2012-2017.

Last year, Regional Council received an update regarding Habitat for Humanity’s build program and approved entering into a formalized agreement with the HFH affiliates in their goal to create more affordable housing for Peel’s families. A portion of the $17.1 million in annual funding from Peel’s Housing Investment Plan (HIP) was allocated to support local Habitat for Humanity projects up to January 31, 2017. Habitat for Humanity Brampton and Mississauga offer affordable homeownership to families through an interest free mortgage that is geared to income. The agreement notes that families who may be considered for program participation include those on the Region’s growing subsidized wait list as well as renters in Peel seeking to obtain affordable homeownership.

“As key players in the housing sector, our Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Peel are to be commended for their innovative solutions to help bring more affordable housing to our municipalities,” says Regional Councillor Gael Miles, Chair of the Human Services Committee. “With this agreement, Council can help accelerate Habitat’s build goals to generate more homes for families. We are also inspired by their ability to engage volunteers and corporate sponsors at the grassroots level which also supports a strong and healthy community.”

The funding provided by the Region significantly accelerates the construction schedule for Habitat for Humanity Brampton’s 36inTEN build campaign (36 homes in 10 years) to allow more homes to be built in a shorter period of time. The program now has plans for an 18 townhouse project set to begin in 2013 and a 15 townhouse project to begin in 2015. In addition to the recent grant funding, the Region’s Peel Housing Corporation (Peel Living) provided a parcel of land for Habitat’s Hoskins Square build – three homes expected to be completed in July 2013.

“We are excited about this partnership with the Region of Peel and the ability it will give us to address the need for affordable housing together. We have so many dreams for future projects and this partnership will make them a reality, providing a place to call home for many families in Peel. Together Habitat for Humanity and the Region of Peel will make a huge impact on our community,” says Thomas Fischer, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Brampton.

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Posted on 29 May 2013 by admin

Kyle Seeback, Member of Parliament for Brampton West participated in the 6th annual Chair-Leaders Campaign today. MP Seeback spent the whole day in a wheelchair to help raise awareness about spinal cord injury.

With more than 86,000 Canadians currently living with a spinal cord injury and an estimated 4,300 new cases each year, the work of Spinal Cord Injury Canada has never been more important.

This “gave me perspective on the daily challenges faced by people in a chair”, commented MP Seeback when questioned about his experience. “Experiencing this change to mobility, I have much respect and admiration for those who are determined not to let an injury define their life”.

More than two dozen parliamentarians, myself included, participated in the 6th annual Chair-Leaders Campaign to gain greater insight into the challenges persons living with a spinal cord injury face on a daily basis.

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Rob Ford’s Girlfriend

Posted on 29 May 2013 by admin

Billal Sarwar


Where there’s smoke there’s fire— or possibly crack.

As of right now, Gawker’s “Crackstarter” crow funding campaign has reached its goal of raising $200,000 in an attempt to purchase Rob Ford’s alleged drug video. However, there appears to be a slight problem. Gawker has lost contact with the drug dealers who possess the video. I mean, what is the world coming to when you can’t trust the word of a crack dealer who’s selling footage of a high profile politician to make a quick buck and flea the city?

In recent days, Ford finally broke his silence and denied, in quite broad terms, the crack cocaine allegations. With his eyes darting up and down from his written statement he said, “I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine.” Ford continued, “As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen, or does not exist.” Firstly, as John Cook pointed out, Ford did not technically deny ever having used crack cocaine. Secondly, in terms of not being able to comment on, “a video that I have never seen or does not exist,” I would say that’s actually quite easy. The phrases, “that never happened,” or “I’ve never in my life smoked crack, so it can’t be me,” spring to mind.

In order to highlight the peculiarity of Ford’s denial, let’s use an analogy. Let’s say I cheated on my girlfriend. I was at a local burger joint smooching some hussy and my girlfriend’s best gal pal snapped a polaroid and also starts telling other people about what she saw. My girlfriend hears the rumours, hasn’t seen the photo, but still rightly decides to confront me. It’s at this point I ignore her for several days. Then, when I finally do man-up, I look my honey-bunny in the eye and say, “I do not enjoy kissing other women nor am I currently kissing another woman. Also, I cannot comment on a picture that I have never seen or that does not exist.” Then, before she has the opportunity to ask me anything else, I run out of the room while my brother stands there trying to convince her, “What more do you want from the guy? I thought that was pretty clear. He’s totally chill and that’s so unchill.” Now, in that scenario, I wouldn’t necessarily say that my girlfriend should break-up with me, but it does seem as though I am hiding something.

We, the voters of Toronto, metaphorically speaking, are Rob Ford’s collective girlfriend. Vancouver and Montreal wonder what we see in him, but we constantly jump to his defence, “No, you don’t get it! You don’t know him like I do! Every time I gaze into his eyes I can see economic policies fiscal responsibility, and then I remember why I fell in love.” Washington looks on knowingly, shaking her head.

While these are only allegations, Ford’s denial seems oddly general and vague. Furthermore, although the public has yet to see the video, if such a video does exist, it seems unlikely that both journalists from Gawker and The Toronto Star would fabricate, from scratch, a complete fiction aimed at attacking Toronto’s mayor.

A video of a man, possibly Rob Ford, engaging in questionable activity, probably does exist. However, does it really even matter if the video is released? Ford, doubtlessly, will have mounted a relatively plausible, but ultimately fruitless defence. It won’t work. Ford seems destined, regardless, to be a one term politician. His original unpolished, slightly clumsy down-to-earth demeanour allowed him to act as a sponge, absorbing attacks and while growing politically stronger. However, he seems to have hit a plateau. His departure is a matter of time.

I’ve always maintained that I would never judge a politician’s personal life so long as they were able to perform their role(s) effectively. Ford’s constant public blunders are beginning to take a toll not just on public perception and the city’s reputation aboard, but on the way he’s perceived by his colleagues. The latter has ramifications on policy and his ability to push forward on what he believes is best for Toronto. The question is has council finally lost its already deteriorating confidence in this man? Can he make Toronto a better place?

I don’t know. I’m not sure. I don’t have the answers. But sometimes I think she deserves better.

Twitter: @iambillal

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‘Stealing of Electoral Mandate’

Posted on 29 May 2013 by admin

Dr. Hasan Askari


 The 10th general elections in Pakistan, held on May 11, showed the strong determination of the people to be part of the election process despite the threats from Tehrik-i-Taliban-e-Pakistan to disrupt the elections by using violence. The people voted in large number. This time the voter turn-out was 55.2 percent as compared to the voter turn-out of little over 44 percent in the 2008 elections.

 The negative side of the elections is that every party is talking of manipulation of electoral process in some constituencies. It seems that it has become fashionable to talk about the ‘stealing of electoral mandate.’ Even the political parties that are expected to set up the new governments at the federal or provincial levels are spending a part of their energies in delegitimizing the electoral process that has set the stage for their assumption of power.

 Most political leaders and parties are focused on their narrow and immediate gains – how to win the election after losing it. They do not have a long term perspective. By blowing the irregularities out of proportion they are making their own mandate doubtful. If they delegitimize the democratic process in a bid to outbid each other, all of them will lose. The future of political leaders and parties is closely linked with the working of democracy. If they are unable to manage one of the basic requisite of democracy, i.e. elections, how can they manage democracy?

  The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) of Imran Khan is more vocal than any other party in projecting itself as an aggrieved party in most constituencies it has lost the elections. It held dharnas (sit-ins) in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, asking for recounting or holding of new elections. Other parties or candidates who lost the elections have framed similar charges against the PTI’s winning candidates and the winners of the other parties.

 Even the PMLN which is going to set up the federal government and it is expected to head provincial governments in the Punjab and Balochistan, is accusing the PPP of winning the election in rural Sindh by manipulation.

 The new government will have to address economic issues as the highest priority. This should be accompanied by taking up of other issues. The salvation of the PMLN lies with addressing these problems rather than getting involved in the on-going politics of electoral rigging.

 Pakistan faces multiple and acute problems. Therefore, the new leadership should set its priorities very clearly so that it does not waste its energy on frivolous issues that seem to have become the key issues for political parties. Even the small parties that hardly win few seats are talking of denial of their mandate.

 Some procedural irregularities were reported on the polling day and various candidates attempted to tilt the result in their favor in some polling stations or the polling staff did not perform their duties in a nonpartisan way. These are the usual complaints that we hear in every elections. The polling-day complaints pertain to 7 to 9 percent of polling stations but the defeated candidates are trying to delegitimize the whole process which is a negative and unfortunate approach.

  There are legal remedies available for the polling day related complaints. The Election Commission has already accommodated some complaints. More are likely to be accommodated over time. If a candidate is not satisfied with the response of the Election Commission, an election petition can be filed with the Election Tribunal. This can be followed up in the High Court and the Supreme Court. The candidates, especially the PTI, need to follow these procedures.

 Sindh is experiencing a dangerous political game now-a-days. The PPP has retained its electoral clout in interior Sindh that has given it an over-all majority in the provincial assembly. The smaller parties and Sindhi nationalist groups that always lose the elections have decided to avail of the current wave of making hue and cry for election manipulation to delegitimize the PPP majority in Sindh. These groups are now trying to enlist the support of the PMLN for their agenda against the PPP. A good number of them have offered support to the PMLN with the expectation that the power of the PMLN federal government will be invoked for their bid to challenge the PPP in Sindh. If the PMLN leadership at the national level allowed the party be become an instrument of the small Sindhi groups for making it difficult for the PPP to rule Sindh, it will result in an unfortunate clash between the Sindh government and the federal government.

 Another issue that needs immediate attention of the PMLN is that 95 percent of its elected members belong to the Punjab. It is important for the PMLN to cultivate partnership with the representative political forces of other provinces so as to accommodate them in federal cabinet and other key appointments at the federal level. The new federal government should be seen in the country as the government of Pakistan rather than that of the Punjab. It should address socio-economic issues, energy crisis and extremism and terrorism as the highest priorities. The management of these issues will shape its political future rather than getting involved in petty issues like polling-day rigging.

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Chhattisgarh Naxal attack: Senior Congress leader and 17 others killed

Posted on 29 May 2013 by admin

Nation will not be intimidated: Indian President

Divya Kaeley

In an unprecedented attack, Naxals on Saturday targeted a convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh’s Jagdalpur district, killing the party’s senior leader Mahendra Karma, who was the guiding force behind Salwa Judum. The attack by nearly 100 to 150 ultras claimed 17 lives and injured 20 others, including former union minister VC Shukla. Joint Secretary (Naxal management) in the Union Home Ministry MA Ganpathy told a news agency in New Delhi that most of the dead and injured were Congress leaders and workers, adding four to five of those killed in the attack were personal security officers of the Congress leaders.
Mahendra Karma, the tribal Congress leader who organised the anti-Naxalite “Salwa Judum” movement in Chhattisgarh, was reportedly shot dead in cold blood in Saturday’s attack.
The suspected Maoists, who attacked a convoy of cars carrying top Congress leaders of Chhattisgarh, including Mr Karma, after a rally, had the strategic advantage of surprise and location.

Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel is missing after an alleged Maoist attack in the state’s Jagdalpur district. Reports say Mr Patel may have been abducted by the attackers, who killed Congress leader Mahendra Karma and injured former union minister VC Shukla. According to reports, Mr Patel’s son Dinesh was abducted but was later released.

 Shocked over the Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said the nation will neither be overawed nor intimidated by such actions.
In his message, the President said, “I am deeply dismayed and shocked at the wanton violence unleashed by Maoists in Chhattisgarh on a convoy of vehicles carrying leaders of the Congress Party.”

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has condemned as “despicable” the alleged attack on her party colleagues in Chhattisgarh’s Jagdalpur district and held a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the “shocking” incident.
Mrs Gandhi, who was accompanied by party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, told reporters in New Delhi after the meeting with Dr Singh, that they are “shocked, astounded and pained by the attack on our colleagues.”

Terming the Naxal attack on Congress leaders’ convoy in Chhattisgarh as “an attack on the Indian political system”, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed condolence over the killing of party leader Mahendra Karma in the incident on Saturday evening.

“The attack has exposed the ugly face of Naxalism. It is an attack on the Indian political system,” the Chief Minister said, expressing shock at the dastardly act. “By attacking in this manner Naxalites would not be able to weaken the people’s confidence and their morale,” Chouhan said.

After a major Naxal attack on a Congress rally in Chhattisgarh, the Union Home Ministry on Saturday night said it is rushing additional paramilitary forces to help launch a combing operation for release of abducted leaders. “Home Ministry has sent additional forces to Chhattisgarh to assist the local administration in launching combing operations for rescue of kidnapped persons,” Home Ministry sources said adding “the state government has been assured of all help”.

The Home Ministry has also sought a report from the state government on today’s violence. The MHA officials are in regular touch with state government officials and are monitoring the situation. Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Kamal Nath said on Sunday that both the Centre and the states should jointly draw a strategy to end the Naxal menace in the country.
“Both the Centre and the State should jointly draw a solid strategy to end the menace of Naxalism in the country,” Nath told reporters at village Barra where he had come to take part in the death rituals of senior Congress leader Harvansh Singh. NDA convener and JD(U) president, Sharad Yadav, on Sunday termed Maoism as a “deep-rooted” problem which cannot be solved merely by arms.
Strongly condemning the Maoist attack on Congress leaders in Sukma district in Chhattisgarh yesterday, Yadav told reporters at Sailana, that “Maoism cannot be solved merely by arms”. The JD-U leader who arrived here to take part in a party programme, said that Maoism should be addressed politically, economically and legally.

Condemning attack on Congress rally in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for “a policy of zero tolerance” towards terrorism and Naxalism.

“Gruesome attack in Chhattisgarh is an attack on democracy. Time has come to adopt policy of Zero Tolerance towards Terrorism & Naxalism,” Modi tweeted.

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After-school snacks for kids

Posted on 29 May 2013 by admin

Kids need less frequent snacks as they get older, but it’s not surprising that most are hungry after school. Many kids eat lunch early — 11:30 or even before — and then have an afternoon of classes and maybe even an after-school activity before their next chance to eat. It’s no wonder the snack food vending machine looks so appealing at the end of the day. Depending on a child’s age and after-school routine, parents might not always be able to control what their kids eat in the late afternoon. But don’t throw in the towel just yet. These steps can guide kids to good after-school snacks that will be satisfying and still leave room for a nutritious dinner.

Find out: When is lunchtime? What and how much do they eat at lunch? Do they ever skip lunch? Does the after-school program serve snacks? This will help you figure out how hungry your kids will be when they get home.

Create a List of Healthy Options

Next, talk about which snacks your kids would like to have at snack time. Come up with a list of healthy options together and be sure to include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. While a slice of cake or some potato chips shouldn’t be forbidden foods, such low-nutrient snacks shouldn’t be on the everyday after-school menu.

If you can, take your kids along to the grocery store and spend some time reading the nutrition facts labels and comparing products. Pay attention to the amounts of protein, fiber, calcium, and other important nutrients, and don’t miss the chance to talk about portion sizes. Together, choose snacks that are low in sugar, fat, and salt. Being involved in the process makes it more likely that kids will learn to make healthy food choices.

Make Healthy Snacks an Easy Choice

Don’t expect kids — even teens — to cut up their own veggie sticks. It’s just too much bother, especially when they’re hungry. Kids are more inclined to eat what’s handy. That’s where you come in. Make healthy snacks easily available by packing them in their lunchboxes or backpacks or by having them visible and ready-to-eat at home.

If you’re at home after school, your youngster might enjoy helping you make a creative snack like ants on a log (celery topped with peanut butter and raisin “ants”), egg boats (hard-boiled egg wedges topped with a cheese sail), or fruit kabobs. Older kids may enjoy a fruit smoothie, mini-pitas with hummus dip, or whole-grain crackers topped with cheese and pear slices.

Older kids often like making their own snacks, so provide the ingredients and a few simple instructions. If dinner is just around the corner, consider allowing a “first course,” such as a small salad or side vegetable while you finish preparing the family meal.

For those nights when dinner is hours away, you could offer a more substantial snack such as half a sandwich or a quesadilla made with a whole-wheat tortilla and low-fat cheese warmed in the microwave and topped with salsa. Nothing too complicated, though. A good snack should take more time to eat than it does to prepare! If your child goes to an after-school program or to a caregiver’s house, find out if snacks are served. If so, what’s typically offered? If you don’t like what you hear, suggest alternatives or just pack an extra snack your child can eat after school. Easy-to-pack snack options include trail mix, nuts, low-sugar whole-grain cereal, whole-grain pretzels or crackers, fresh or dried fruit, and cut-up vegetables.

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