A trustee of Mangueshi Temple in South Goa stirred controversy on Monday by denying access to a wheelchair-bound girl from Mumbai.The Disabilities Rights Association of Goa (DRAG) has demanded action against the trustee and forwarded the complaint lodged by the girl’s parents to the Superintendent of Police (South) and the Collector of South Goa. The girl’s mother, Subhada Keskar, said the temple committee member, Anil Kenkre, prevented her daughter, Sanika Keskar, from entering the temple as its rules denied access to ‘vehicles’.‘Outright discrimination’The complaint said: “Anil Kenkre told us we were not invited and welcome inside the temple. This is outright discrimination and abuse of the right of a physically challenged person. The action is a criminal offence under Section 92 (a) of the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016.” It further said that the trustee also violated Sanika’s right to worship, “which is a fundamental right under the Constitution of India.” The parents requested authorities to immediately register a criminal case against Mr. Kenkre under relevant sections of the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016 and the Indian Penal Code.The DRAG also wrote to the Collectors of North Goa and South Goa, and the State Disability Commissioner requesting them to direct all heads of religious places of worship in their jurisdiction to ensure that the elderly and persons with disabilities are not denied entry citing aids and appliances used for their mobility. The DRAG also asked the authorities to ensure within six months that places of worship are made disabled-friendly as mandated under the Act.Meanwhile, Mr. Kenkre denied the allegations. He said, “I don’t exactly remember the details of our conversation. We never deny permission to any person to enter the temple and pray. I only informed them that there is no facility to allow the wheelchair into the temple. It would be incorrect to say that we denied them access to the temple.”Mr. Kenkre admitted that the temple was not disabled-friendly, but that had never stopped “persons with disabilities from coming to the temple and nobody has ever had any issues in entering it.”‘An attitude problem’Anuradha Joshi, State Disability Commissioner, confirmed on Monday that she had received the complaint and would visit the temple on Tuesday to probe the matter. Avelino de Sa, president of DRAG, said that an online petition demanding justice for Sanika had garnered over 2,200 signatures by Monday evening.Mr. de Sa said, “The issue at hand is not one of lack of infrastructure, but an attitude problem of the temple trustee. This is evident from his statements such as ‘we have not invited you to the temple’ and ‘the wheelchair cannot be allowed in as it is a vehicle’.”
‘Technology in Media’ was the focus of a presentation by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) at the first Information Technology (IT) Exposition hosted on Friday, (November 16), by the Convent of Mercy Academy “Alpha”. The event, held under the theme: ‘Technology in Motion’, was attended by a number of organisations, representatives of which presented on how technology enhances work in various fields. Explaining the reason for staging the event, Acting Head of the IT Department at the all-girls school, Patrice Pryce, pointed to the rapid growth of technology globally and the need for the students to understand how technology enhances the various career fields. “Technology is everywhere and we just want to get the girls sensitised. They think IT is a career by itself and we (also) want them to know that it is a part of every single career,” Mrs. Pryce told JIS News. She said that JIS was a good choice for showcasing the integration of technology into the daily activities of the media. As the information arm of the Government of Jamaica, the JIS is a multi-faceted communication agency, which offers a wide range of media products and services for print, radio, television and the web. “The young people are going into media and we want them to know that in media there is technology,” Mrs. Pryce said. JIS Systems Administrator, Andre Allen, conducted a dynamic presentation, illustrating technology and its various applications, including software and hardware, which are employed in the production of JIS’ programmes. “It is important to see that IT is not something that you just learn about in class as theory. It is something that we must utlise in our various departments at work in a very practical way to produce books, news releases, videos for TV, audio for radio and of course, all the material you find on our website,” Mr. Allen said. Sixth form IT student of the school, Toussan Cawley, acknowledged the importance of technology in modern lifestyles and how essential it is to keep abreast with the various gadgets and methods. “Technology is moving at a rapid pace, and I’m young so I don’t want to be left behind,” she stated. The exposition began with an opening ceremony, followed by presentations from representatives of various agencies to groups of students in various locations on the campus. Other organisations included GeoInformatics Institute, Hawkeye, Guardian Life, Johnson and Johnson, The Gleaner, Teens for Technology, Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Supreme Court.
A well-known name in humanitarianism, environmentalism, conservation and advocacy through her Institute, Jane Goodall is now venturing into social media to create a movement to stop the trafficking of wildlife.Planning to meet with influential conservation leaders this year, Goodall wants to go armed with the support of the international community in the form of social media messages reinstating that the stopping of wildlife trafficking is a priority.The estimates she sites of the violations on protected species are startling: • 35,000 elephants a year are killed for ivory • poaching of rhinos went up 9,000% from 2007 to 2014 • 73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins • a 2014 survey shows only 3,200 wild tigers left in Asia • 3,000 great apes are illegally killed or stolen from the wild each yearGoodall sees platforms such as Facebook and Instagram as powerful tools. “By using them for good,” she says, “we can help connect and organize, adding further pressure and momentum to let our networks, policy makers, change-making groups and the rest of the world hear our collective message.”With its potential to reach millions around the world, Goodall hopes to inspire people to demand and effect change.“When you join us,” she says, “we can build a movement through social media to stop wildlife trafficking together. By acting together on social media, we can stand up for what we believe in, protecting our beautiful and endangered wildlife from being hunted for trophies and other ‘parts’ to be sold and auctioned off. Post it. Gram it. Stop wildlife trafficking in its tracks.”Click here to see Jane Goodall’s petition and to share on social media.Copyright ©2016Look to the Stars