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Preeti Sompura



The model village of Hiware Bazar in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra is showing the way on how to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. From 1-20 May, there has not been a single case of Covid-19 in Hiware Bazar, located in the Nagar tehsil.

Over the last three decades, the village that has a population of 1,600 -1,700, has seen a transformation from being a drought-prone village to a model village, known for rainwater harvesting, water conservation, and management programmes.

“We have successfully managed to break the chain during the second wave,” Popatrao Pawar, the Up-Sarpanch of Hiware Bazar, told The Sunday Guardian. 

Between March-April 2021, 52 cases were reported in the village out of which five were on ventilator, but now over the past fortnight, there have been zero cases. So far, only two deaths from Covid-19 have been reported in the village. A lot of efforts has gone into breaking the chain. Social distancing is compulsory in the village and wearing masks is also compulsory. Even villagers are allowed to buy grocery once a week. 

Ashok Rao, whose family of six people contracted Covid, told The Sunday Guardian that when they got Covid, all of them quarantined at a village school. Within 15 days, the test reports came negative. He said: “Corona is curable and there is no need to create a panic.”

Mahadev, who used to work in the army, took voluntarily retirement from the army and is now working in the general administration department at the Mantralay in Mumbai. When he came to the village, his antigen test done and he was found Covid positive. He immediately quarantined at an isolation center made by the village panchayat outside the village. In this way, he saved his family from contracting Covid. At Hiware Bazar, rapid antigen test has been made compulsory for outsiders who enter the village and, in this way, the spread of Covid-19 is being checked.

A recipient of Padmshee award, Popatrao Pawar, up-sarpanch of the village said: “However, we are not going to lower our guard. We have made it compulsory in the village that once you come outside your home, wearing N-95 mask is mandatory.”

The gram panchayat provides the N95 masks and sanitisers to every household. In this 2,000 population village, house sanitisers have been kept outside houses.

Four vehicles have been arranged by the gram panchayat for ferrying serious Covid-19 patients to Ahmadnagar so that they don’t have to rely on government ambulance. The village has made its own isolation center where symptomatic patients are treated. Critically ill patients are shifted to the Ahamadnagar civic hospital. Since the last 20 days, not a single Covid case has been reported in the village. 

Villagers step outside their houses wearing masks; social distancing is being followed in the village. Every house hola in the village has a cow; they sell the additional milk at a near-by milk factory. Milk collection center has been set up inside the village which opens three hours in the morning and three hours in the night. The milk collection center has fixed timings among each household so that villagers do not come together at a center.

The gram panchayat holds regular meetings with villagers, informing him about the Covid trend. Hiware Bazar held a vaccination drive on Thursday where 70 peoples got the vaccine from 82-year-old ladies to 35-years-old frontline workers. The gram panchayat is making a list of people who will take the vaccine first. The lists include senior citizens and frontline workers. Till  now, 250 villagers got vaccines over a period of three months. Those who are coming to take vaccine, have to first go for antigen test. If the rapid test results is negative, then they l proceed for vaccine.

When 52 people got Covid, the gram panchayat made his own SOPs and Covid 19 rules and regulations. The SOPs specify that no social function can take place for another month; no gathering will be allowed. Mask wearing is compulsory and social distancing is compulsory even if one is meeting one’s neighbours. Ahmednagar’s Collector Rajendra Bhosale and Zilla Parishad CEO Rajendra Kshirsagar have appreciated the efforts of Hiware Bazar and Pawar.

On the ongoing agricultural activities, Pawar said that nearly 300 to 400 people come and work in the fields. “We have made arrangements for their stay near the villages,” he said, adding that in agricultural fields also, Covid-appropriate behaviour has to be maintained. Last month, 52 villagers where found positive, but due to the gram panchayat and Popatrao Pawar’s efforts, now the village is Covid free.

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Kashmiri Pandit shot dead, 2nd attack in two days



A Kashmiri Pandit was shot dead in a terror assault in Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir, on Tuesday, and another person was hurt, according to a tweet from the J&K Police, who also noted that the injured person was receiving medical assistance at the nearby hospital. The dead have been identified as Sunil Kumar Bhat and his brother Pintu Kumar was hurt, according to the identification.

Police declared that the two were killed in an apple orchard.

“Terrorists fired upon civilians in an apple orchard in the Chotipora area of Shopian. One person died and one was injured. Both belong to the minority community. An injured person has been shifted to hospital. The area had been cordoned off.Further details shall follow,” the police said this afternoon.

Omar Abdullah, the leader of the National Conference and a former chief minister of J&K, strongly denounced the attack and expressed his sympathies. It was the most recent in a horrifying string of targeted killings that began in October of last year.

“Terribly sad news from South Kashmir today. An accident (referring to the death of at least six troops from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police who died after the bus they were in fell into a riverbed) and a militant attack have left a trail of death and suffering. I condemn the militant attack in Shopian unequivocally, in which Sunil Kumar was killed and Pinto Kumar injured. My condolences…”

Altaf Thakur, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s J&K spokesperson, declared that he “seriously condemns” the wicked act of terror.”

He said, “I strongly condemn this dastardly act of terror on innocent majority community members… in which one minority community member, Sunil Kumar, was killed and another injured. Terror has no religion. Killers should be punished.”

In less than 24 hours, Kashmir has experienced a second attack on Pandits who are not migrants.

Terrorists injured Karan Kumar Singh when they tossed a grenade at a home in Budgam on Monday, the day the nation celebrated its 75th Independence Day. Singh was taken to a hospital in Srinagar.

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Bus carrying 39 ITBP personnel falls into riverbed in Pahalgam, rescue teams rushed



ITBP Bus accident

A major accident happened where an Indo-Tibetan-Border Police (ITBP) bus fell into a deep roadside river bed. Reportedly so far six soldiers have been martyred .

The bus carrying 37 ITBP personnel and two J-K Police was on its way from Chandanwari to Pahalgam. This information has been given by ITBP.

Meanwhile, the cause of the accident is said to be the brake failure of the bus. According to the police, six ITBP personnel have been martyred. The injured were rushed to Anantnag district hospital. The identity of the injured has not been disclosed yet.

“We are in touch with locals administration and teams and disaster management have been rushed to the site for the rescue operation,” the officials said.

Moreover, ITBP commandos have been sent to the spot so that the rescue operation can be done expeditiously. All the jawans going by bus were on duty for Amarnath Yatra and were coming back to Pahalgam. About 20 ambulances are engaged in rescue work on the spot.

Earlier on 29 June, the Amarnath Yatra began amid tight security arrangements made by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

However, further details about the incident are awaited.

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News Plus

The battle without the gun



5th generation warfare

The 5th Generation Warfare is a covert attempt to paralyse a nation and a battle not on the ground but of strategies to discredit and stymie its growth.The well-described Sun Tzu Strategy is unquestionably proving to be a great approach to debilitate the growth of any country, which lists down five agendas, i.e.,win all without fighting; avoid strength, attack weakness; deception and foreknowledge; speed and preparation; shape your opponent; and character-based leadership.

Daniel Abbot defines the 5th Generation Warfare as the war of “information and perception”  which calls for tactics like social engineering, misinformation and cyber attacks, artificial intelligence and autonomous robots.

The tactic of psychological manipulation in order to decay the intellect, breach privacy, or fleece the people of a country is what can be called social engineering. In recent times, there have been instances where foreign powers have adopted certain methodologies, including baiting, scareware, pretexting, phishing, and spear phishing, to rob the nation.

Deliberately spreading deceptive and misleading information in order to  influence actions and the entire persona in long run is  a commendable tactic to vanquish the enemy nation. Be it fuelling political agenda or be it triggering extremism, misinformation has a vital role to play.

We need to outsmart the strives of the foreign nations to uproot the culture of our country with subtle poisoning of technology along with Cyber attacks and look beyond petty affairs to see the wider picture.

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PM Modi, President Murmu extend greetings on Parsi New Year



Narendra Modi

On the occasion of Parsi New Year-Navroz Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings to the people.

“Greetings on Parsi New Year. May the coming year be filled with joy, prosperity, and good health. Navroz Mubarak,” PM Modi said.

Earlier in the morning today, President Droupadi Murmu greeted the citizens and wished them to live together in harmony.

Taking to Twitter President Murmu said, “On the auspicious occasion of Parsi New Year, I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to all my fellow citizens, especially our Parsi brothers and sisters. The Parsi community has significantly contributed to the development of our nation through their hard work, dedication, and entrepreneurship. The inclusive culture of India inspires all the citizens to live together in harmony.”

Meanwhile, the Parsi New Year is also known as Navroz and its the beginning of the new Persian calendar. Followed by Zoroastrians Navroz is celebrated on the first day of the first month of the calendar. In the Persian language meaning of ‘Nav’ is new and ‘Roz’ means for the day, i.e. the ‘new day’.

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Former Bihar Minister Subhash Singh passes away; Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav pays tribute



Subhash Singh

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav expressed condolences on the demise of former Bihar Minister Subhash Singh on Tuesday.

Taking to Twitter Yadav said, “Received the sad news of the demise of former minister cum BJP MLA Shri Subhash Singh Ji from Gopalganj Sadar. Praying to God to give his soul a place at his feet and strength to his family members to bear the loss. Om Shanti.”

Former Bihar minister and BJP leader Subhash Singh passed away on Tuesday morning at AIIMS, Delhi.

Former Bihar Minister Tarkishore Prasad confirmed the news and said, “Heartfelt tributes to the former minister of Bihar government and MLA from Gopalganj, Subhash Singh on his death. May God give peace to his soul and strength to his bereaved family members to bear this loss. His death is an irreparable loss to the politics of Bihar and the BJP. Om Shanti.”

However, in 2015 Subhash Singh was an elected member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly from Gopalganj.

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Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin to visit Delhi; likely to meet President Murmu, PM Modi



MK Stalin

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu MK Stalin will visit Delhi on Tuesday. Stalin will be on a two-day visit to the national capital.

Meanwhile, Stalin is scheduled to arrive in Delhi on Tuesday. According to the information, CM Stalin will call on President Droupadi Murmu. He is also scheduled to meet Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

Earlier on 15 August, Stalin unfurled the tricolor at Fort St George. While addressing people he said, “These are the urgent and necessary ideals for the nation today. We are administering the Dravidian model government which encompasses all such humanitarian ideals.”

“I am desirous of fulfilling the aspirations of every single individual of Tamil Nadu. I am involving myself every day in that initiative,” Stalin said.

Moreover, Chief Minister MK Stalin and PM Narendra Modi met at the opening ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai.

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