T H E H E A R T B E A T O F T H E I N D I A N C O M M U N I T Y
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
AUGUST 18, 2017
asks Singapore residents if interest
in the Indian women’s cricket team will
die down unlike the men’s team
which is always talked about
REPORT ON PAGES 12, 13 & 14
AND THE MIND
Bengaluru records heaviest
rainfall since 1890
BENGALURU saw a record
rainfall of 180mm in barely three
hours on Aug 15 — the heaviest
downpour in August since 1890.
It wreaked havoc across the
city, flooding roads and houses in
many localities (right).
An official at the Bruhat Ben-
galuru Mahanagara Palika said it
received distress calls and com-
plaints from hundreds regarding
overflowing of drains and rain-
water entering basements and
ground floor houses and apart-
Civic officials used makeshift
boats to rescue stranded residents
in some areas while power out-
ages led to blackouts for hours in
New book to teach migrant
THE Kerala State Literacy Mission
Authority will be releasing a text-
book specially to teach migrant
About 25 lakh workers, who
migrated to Kerala from other
Indian states, are expected to ben-
efit from the state government’s
Literacy mission director P.S.
Sreekala said the book, titled
Hamari Malayalam (Our Malay-
alam), has been designed in such a
way so they can interact with local
people fluently as they go about
their daily lives.
She added that it comprises
25 chapters surrounding various
topics from hygiene, health and
technology to rights of workers
and ethical values.
Rural areas to get transport
system under new scheme
THE Indian government will
launch a new scheme under which
self-help groups will run road
transport services in rural areas.
A statement by the Ministry of
Rural Development said: “It will
help provide safe, affordable and
services to connect remote villages
with key services and amenities
(such as access to markets, educa-
tion and health).”
It will first be implemented in
250 blocks in India on a pilot
basis, with each block provided
up to six vehicles for the transport
Project to provide safe
drinking water in Amritsar
PUNJAB chief minister Amarind-
er Singh announced a Rs3,000-
crore project to provide safe
drinking water in the city.
At a press conference, he said
the Surface Water Scheme will
replace the existing Ground Water
Based Drinking Water Supply
Scheme. This, he added, will also
address the severe depletion of
groundwater and cases of vector-
101 canteens to feed poor
THE Karnataka government has
opened canteens across Bengaluru
to provide food to poor workers
In the initial phase, 101 can-
teens will serve vegetarian tiffins
(breakfast) at Rs5 per plate and
meals for lunch and dinner at
Rs10 each in 101 civic wards.
More canteens will be opened
in the remaining wards from
Oct 2 to mark the 150th birthday
of Mahatma Gandhi.
Delhi bans sale of paint
thinners, nail polish to children
THE Delhi government has
banned the sale of correction flu-
ids, paint thinners and nail polish
The move is aimed at combating
the rising problem of drug abuse
among them through the use of
such commonly available prod-
Children below the age of 18
can only be sold the products if
they are accompanied by a guard-
ian or have a letter of authorisa-
tion from their school.
August 18, 2017
In focus... Children at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur.
Death of 65 children
for want of oxygen
in a hospital is a blot
on the record of the
HE Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) came to power in Uttar
Pradesh with an unprecedent-
ed mandate, when it won 325 seats in
the 403-member state assembly earli-
er this year. Five months on, the large
number of deaths of children at the
BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur,
allegedly due to the lack of oxygen,
has stained the image of chief minis-
ter Yogi Adityanath.
It has been a tough time since he
assumed office. Questions were be-
ing raised over law and order. There
was also an illicit liquor tragedy that
killed more than 45 people in Aza-
mgarh. But these seemingly did not
affect the chief minister personally.
The death of 65 children in a medi-
cal college in his hometown has, how-
ever, severely damaged his standing.
The government is under attack for
its handling of the tragedy. Despite
the District Magistrate of Gorakhpur
admitting that there was a disruption
of oxygen, the government has stuck
to its guns that this was not the case.
In the face of mounting deaths, in-
tense coverage of the tragedy by the
media and the criticism by the op-
position, the government hid behind
Health minister Siddhartha Nath
Singh contended that “deaths ... hap-
pened even in the past”.
Anger against Mr Siddhartha Nath
Singh, in particular, has been spiral-
ling. His house in Allahabad, from
where he is a legislator, was pelted
with eggs and tomatoes by youth
workers of the Samajwadi Party.
Madam Vasudha, an Allahabad resi-
dent, said it was sad to see the health
minister duck responsibility.
“It is even more sad since the BJP
calls itself a party with a difference
and the minister in question here is
the grandson of the late (prime minis-
ter) Lal Bahadur Shastri who quit in
1956 as railway minister over a train
Leaders in the BJP’s state unit pri-
vately admit the tragedy has harmed
Media reports and disclosures by
the hospital staff and the vendor of
liquid oxygen reveal that the gov-
ernment had been petitioned many
times over dues of Rs 69 lakhs but
nothing was done.
The chief minister and the medical
education minister claim that pay-
ments were released but the principal
of the medical college, now suspend-
ed, sat over the funds.
Mr Rajeev Mishra, the suspended
principal, claims that despite several
reminders to the government about
pending payments to the oxygen
vendor, no action was taken.
Opposition parties are also asking
why, if the oxygen supply was not
disrupted, as claimed by the govern-
ment, people in charge of making
payments to the vendor were sus-
pended and the offices of the vendor
The UP chief minister and his gov-
ernment have been targeting the me-
dia for what they say is factually in-
correct reporting of the incident.
But, at the same time, officials have
been giving different versions and
have been ambiguous in replying to
questions on the death toll and other
Indo-Asian News Service
August 18, 2017
Joyalukkas signs Kajol as brand ambassador
A new brand
Group John Paul
JEWELLERY retail chain Joyalukkas has signed Bollywood ac-
tress Kajol Devgan as its brand ambassador.
Chairman and managing director Joy Alukkas said she is a
“perfect fit” for the jewellery powerhouse.
“She is one of the most iconic beauties in the industry and is
an unconventional actress who shines in the most challenging
roles. Yet she is vibrant and her down to earth personality is well
loved by her legion of fans,” said Mr Alukkas.
“All these qualities resonate with our brand. We are very
happy to have her as the face of Joyalukkas for years to come.”
Kajol, who holds the record for the most number of Filmfare
Best Actress awards, said she has been an admirer of the Joya-
lukkas brand for some time.
“Mr Joy Alukkas’s success story is also very inspiring, I am
very excited to be part of the world’s favourite jeweller’s fam-
ily,” she said.
An advertising campaign featuring Kajol is in production and
is expected to roll out across the Joyalukkas Group’s network in
the last quarter of the year.
RESIDENT Tony Tan Keng
Yam, on the advice of Prime
Minister Lee Hsien Loong,
has appointed four judges of the
High Court, under Article 95(1) of
the Constitution, the Prime Minis-
ter’s Office said in a statement on
They are Judicial Commissioners
Thean Pik Yuen Valerie, Hoo Sheau
Peng, Debbie Ong Siew Ling and
Their appointments will take ef-
fect from Sept 30.
Judicial Commissioner Thean
served in the courts, the Attorney-
General’s Chambers (AGC) and
the Ministry of Law.
She was Senior District Judge
of the Family and Juvenile Justice
Division of the State Courts from
March 2014, before assuming her
current position as Judicial Com-
missioner of the Supreme Court
on Sept 30, 2014.
Judicial Commissioner Thean
concurrently held the position
of Presiding Judge of the Fam-
ily Justice Courts (FJC) since Oct
1, 2014, playing an active role in
the development of family law and
practice both in Singapore and re-
Judicial Commissioner Hoo has
more than 20 years of legal experi-
ence and is the first woman judge
to hear criminal cases in the High
Court, having presided over 16
cases in 2016, five of which were
capital punishment cases.
She was the deputy chief counsel
(Civil Division) of the AGC before
being appointed Judicial Commis-
sioner of the Supreme Court on
Sept 30, 2014.
Judicial Commissioner Ong was
an associate professor at the Na-
tional University of Singapore spe-
cialising in family law, before being
appointed a Judicial Commissioner
in November 2014. She will take
over as Presiding Judge of the FJC
from Judicial Commissioner Thean,
whose term ends on Sept 29.
Judicial Commissioner Aedit’s le-
gal experience ranges from civil to
criminal matters, including complex
He was the chief prosecutor
(Criminal Justice Division) at the
AGC before assuming his current
appointment as Judicial Commis-
sioner of the Supreme Court on
Nov 17, 2014.
He also co-chairs a committee
to establish the Judicial Insolvency
Network, which aims to develop
international protocols for cross-
court communication and coopera-
New scheme to help stay-at-home
mums relaunch their careers
A SECOND organisation will administer
the Manpower Ministry’s new grant for
companies offering “returnship” pro-
grammes, and it aims to help women who
took a career break to transition back
into the workforce.
Career Navigators, an arm of social en-
terprise Mums@Work, launched its Ca-
reer Re:Launch programme on aug 16 for
female professionals, managers, execu-
tives and technicians (PMETs) who have
not been working for at least two years.
The National Trades Union Congress’s
U Family Unit is also offering the grant
through its Returners Programme, which
was announced in July this year.
It aims to match PMETs with employ-
ers in growth industries. Both schemes
provide government funding for part of
the training allowances for new hires.
Participants in the Career Re:Launch
programme apply for jobs in companies
on a trial basis.
Before they start work, they will attend
short training modules on business and
technology to update their knowledge
They will be paired with a mentor from
the team that they will be joining so that
they can exchange ideas and perspectives.
This is on top of the on-the-job training
employers will provide during the work-
trial period of at least 12 weeks.
During the programme, employers pay
staff a monthly training allowance of at
least $2,500. The Government will spon-
sor $1,500 of this amount for up to six
Employers who retain new staff for at
least three consecutive months after the
work trial will receive a one-off retention
bonus of $3,000 from the Government.
This will be given nine months after the
start of the work trial.
The first two runs of the programme
will start in October and next January.
Individuals and employers interested
to participate can visit www.careerre-
launchprogramme.com for more details.
The programme is open to Singaporeans
aged 30 and above who have at least a
About 130 women learnt about the
scheme on Aug 16at a career fair organ-
ised by Career Navigators at The Working
Commons in Keong Saik Road.
Portal for students to
learn anywhere, any time
STUDENTS from all
schools here can soon
access learning resources
and study at their own
pace anywhere, any time,
through a new online
The Singapore Student
Learning Space, cur-
rently being piloted at 62
primary and secondary
schools, will be rolled out
progressively to all schools
from next year.
The platform will sup-
port learning and teaching
of major subjects, includ-
ing English, mathematics,
history and even physical
The aim is for students to
take greater ownership of
their learning and to work
together with their peers.
such as videos, animations,
simulations, games and
quizzes will allow them to
learn at their own pace, re-
visit concepts and read up
on other areas of interest,
said the Education Minis-
try on Aug 16.
Many of these resources
have been developed with
industry and external
partners to offer real-world
context to concepts learnt
Teachers are also given
more support through the
portal, the ministry said.
Through the online plat-
form, teachers can share
lesson ideas and strategies
within and across schools,
allowing students to ben-
efit from the wider range
The Education Ministry,
together with GovTech,
will work with schools to
gather feedback and make
adjustments before the
portal is rolled out to all
August 18, 2017
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