Carole Gnatuk, Ed.D.Carole Gnatuk, Ed.D., Extension Child Development Specialist, University of Kentucky, explains the 7 distinct stages of emotional challenges faced by military families during and after deploymentA failure to successfully negotiate each stage can create havoc for the family.The stages in this “emotional cycle of deployment” include:Stage 1: Anticipation of DepartureStage 2: Detachment and WithdrawalStage 3: Emotional DisorganizationStage 4: Recovery and StabilizationStage 5: Anticipation of ReturnStage 6: Return Adjustment and RenegotiationStage 7: Reintegration and StabilizationWanting to help military families cope with deployment, Gnatuk and her team at developed a new program, Communities Support Military Families. While developed in Kentucky, the program is national in scope.Here’s how Gnatuk explains the Communities Support Military Families program:Most of us know firsthand the power of good neighbors reaching out to each other with practical support. It’s just what friendly people do. Now, cutting edge research is showing that intentional, informal, friendly networks, undergirded by community agencies, can be highly effective in strengthening resilience and mental health in National Guard and Reserve members and their families.Communities Support Military Families discusses the rationale, raises awareness, and provides suggestions for sensitive listening and for taking up the slack of families with absent or recently returned fathers, mothers, or spouses. This program has been effectively utilized by Extension community volunteers in Kentucky through family to family contacts doing lawn mowing, kid transportation, shopping errands, and car fixing; in public schools through family recognition evenings and bulletin boards; county fairs through family photos on t-shirts and pillow cases; and in cooperation with Operation: Military Kids, promoting summer family camps, to name just a few projects. (Personal communication with Carole Gnatuk, April 23, 2012)Here are suggestions from the Communities Support Military Families program on how to help support the military families in your community: Walk a mile in their “boots”! Try to put yourself in the family’s situation. Don’t try to offer judgment or solutions to their problems. Be a good listener!Be sensitive about discussing your own views on war or the military. The family may want to talk over their issues or they may only want your caring.Send children birthday and holiday cards as well as small gifts, if appropriate.Call on a regular basis, to check in and see how they are doing, to ask if they feel like going out for a walk, or want to come over for dinner.Suggest the whole family or perhaps just the children join you on an outing.Gift the family with tickets to a something they might not otherwise afford.Cheer on the kids at sports events, musical performances, school plays etc.Suggest ways that you could support the family once the service member leaves. These suggestions may ease the anxiety of the soon-to-be deployed family member, as well as the parent staying home.Offer to assist with routine household and family tasks. You might offer to watch the children , clean the house, bring meals in on certain days, mow the lawn, rake leaves, shovel snow, or change the oil on the family’s vehicle.Send a care package or letter to the deployed military member. The children in the family might like to help in this activity.Offer to go on a school field trip in place of the parent, or to go along as an extra set of hands on an outing to the zoo or a visit to a park. Befriend a military family with a member who is or will soon be deployed—and then be prepared for the long haul! Keeping up friendship throughout the seven stages of the entire deployment cycle is critical. Boy at Teen Adventure CampAdventure Camps for Military TeensDo you know a teen from a deployed military family in your community who might be interested in—and benefit from—a high energy, high adventure, and high experience camp?Now through March 2013, nearly 1,600 military teens (14-18 years old) will have an opportunity to participate in adventure camps at little to no cost, thanks to a partnership between the Dept. of Defense and NIFA/USDA. These high energy, high adventure, and high experience camps are being conducted by experience 4-H Youth Development and Cooperative Extension staff.Each camp offers a unique outdoor experience that will allow a teen to build leadership, self-confidence, and teamwork skills while participating in activities like backpacking, river rafting, canoeing, wilderness survival, rocketry, rock climbing, GPS use, mountain biking, first aid, winter camping, dog sledding, ropes courses, camp cooking, archery, and other camp activities.There are camps being scheduled and planned across the U.S. from Alaska to Maine and from Colorado to Georgia as well as states in between. Camps for youth with special needs (mental, physical, and emotional) are also planned in California, Ohio, and New Hampshire. For military youth already in the Pacific Rim, two camp dates are available in Hawaii.You might be able to suggest one of these scheduled camps to a military family in your community and make a big difference in a young person’s ability to cope with their mom or dad’s deployment.
A new feature in Adobe Photoshop CC makes it easier to update your image files in Final Cut Pro X!Although there isn’t an official “Dynamic Link” between Adobe Photoshop and Final Cut Pro X (like there is with Premiere Pro), similarly you can actually have your files automatically update in FCPX by enabling a simple, yet powerful Photoshop setting.Generate Image Assets is new to Photoshop CC and it will come in handy when you’re creating graphics for your video editing projects.To enable this feature, from the Menu Bar choose File > Generate > Image Assets.The following video tutorial by Chris Fenwick of DigitalCINEMACafe.com shows how using this feature will generate flattened image files on the fly.With Generate Image Assets enabled, append a layer or group in your Photoshop project with an image file extension (.jpg or .png for example).Photoshop will automatically turn this layer or group into a standalone image file and save it to your system.Bring this file into FCPX. Now when you go back and make any changes in Photoshop the file will automatically update in FCPX.This feature allows you to make quick changes in Photoshop without resaving and is a big timesaver for creating multiple versions of the same graphic (lower thirds for instance). Thanks Chris for sharing!On a side note: DigitalCINEMACafe is a great video production & video production audio podcast. Get more info and subscribe here.
Customize the render alert in Adobe After Effects with this simple hack.Here on the PremiumBeat blog we have hundreds of helpful tutorials that are specifically designed to make you a better filmmaker, editor, or motion graphics designer. This is not one of those tutorials!If you’ve used After Effects for any extended period of time than you know there is no sound more satisfying than the render sound. Each time the high-pitch ring sounds off you know your render has completed, leaving you with an exported video and a smile. But what if you could change that render sound to whatever sound you want?In the Quick Tip tutorial we will show you how to change the default After Effects render alert to any other sound. This tutorial will only cover changing the sound on a Mac but if you use a PC you can find out how to change by navigating to the Creative Cow forums.1. Find the After Effects CC 2014 (or CC) App IconYou can find the app under Applications>Adobe After Effects CC 2014>Adobe After Effects CC 2014.2. Select “Show Package Contents”Right click on the app icon and select show package contents.3. Locate the “sounds” folderThis folder can be found by clicking Contents > Resources > Sounds.4. Replace rnd_okay with WAV fileEach sound located in the sounds menu is an alert for an After Effects function. If you are looking to change the render sound simply replace the rnd_okay file with a similarly named WAV file. The new sound must be a WAV file and it must be called rnd_okay in order to work.There you go! Now you can change the render alert in After Effects and make it all your own.Leave your vote for an interesting or funny sound in the comments below!
Looking for something special for your latest project? In this video tutorial, we show you how to create an energetic title sequence using Prism.Let’s say you want to make a dynamic opener for your series or documentary. Well, using the Prism pack from RocketStock, you can blast through this process and make a really killer opener! Let me show you how. Build a Project FileThe first step is to build a project file of images and videos you think best represents your brand. Each clip should be no longer than 1.5 seconds. Once you’ve assembled a mini-montage of your opening credit sequence, it’s time to apply the prism effects. Import the video assets, and choose which style you like the most — there are plenty to choose from.Drag and Drop PrismDrag and drop your Prism asset over the video layer you want to animate. Next, find the video layer you want to transition into and apply it under your first shot. This will sandwich your transitioning shot in between your Prism asset and your second clip. Repeat this trick at least three times using a different Prism asset for each transition.Create Unique TransitionsYou can also create a unique transition using one of the Prism assets and applying a tint over the footage. Now put this effect into screen mode, and layer it over your sequence. BOOM!And finally, here are a few other ways you can spice up your title sequence using these FREE effects from RocketStock.Looking for more video tutorials? Check these out.How To Create An Explosion Scene + Free Action Compositing ElementsVideo Tutorial: Create a DIY Wireless China Ball LightMinimize Your Lighting Setups For Narrative ShootsCreate An Animated Website Presentation Using After EffectsESCAPE ROOM (Short Film) — How To Composite Your Own Stunts
Are you the hero in your pitch? Or is your client the hero?Here’s how you can tell: How much of your pitch is about you, your product, your service, or your solution? Do you open a call by suggesting to your dream client that you would like to spend time with them showing them your products? That makes you the hero in the story.But you’re not the hero. You’re the hero’s guide, their mentor, and their partner in their journey. Your dream client is the hero in the story. It’s their adventure. It’s their dragon to slay. You only carry the sword.If You Are the Hero, Your Dream Client Isn’t?How many pitches have you seen where the company or the product is the hero? How many cold calls have you heard (or made) where the salesperson wants to share with their dream client the wonder that is them, their company, and their product? In these pitches, the dream client isn’t the hero; something or someone else is.The problem with this approach is that if you are the hero in the story, your client isn’t the hero. If you have cast yourself in the leading role, then you are casting your dream client in the supporting role. But that gets value creation backwards.You need to cast your dream client in the lead role.You Propose the AdventureYou may not be the hero, but you can propose the adventure. Your pitch can be a call to adventure in which your dream clients see themselves as the heroes.Instead of framing your language choice around how wonderful your product is, you might frame it like this: “We help companies like yours transform their results in by helping them to , and so they can ”What does your dream client need to accomplish? What keeps her up at night? What do they need to do to make a difference in their business? What do they need to do to make a difference for their clients? The bigger and more strategic the adventure, the more compelling it is—and maybe the more frightening.Your call to action should make it easy for dream clients to see themselves in the starring role. Your pitch should be an adventure that your dream client needs to take, even if she is a reluctant hero, hesitating to do what she must.You Support Them On Their JourneyYour role is to support your dream client on their journey. It’s your job to help them complete all the tasks and missions necessary to achieve their goal. Change is a journey that’s fraught with peril.How do you support your hero on their journey? How do you ensure that they make it through all of the many obstacles that stand between them and their ultimate achievement? Are you going to be standing next to your hero in the foxhole when their world is melting down? Do you make it clear that you know that this is your role?It’s your job to carry the sword that your hero will use to eventually slay the dragon that is the status quo. Maybe you are the sword that will eventually be used to slay that dragon. If you want a better pitch, make sure it’s one in which your dream client is the hero and where you are cast in the supporting role.QuestionsWho is at the center of your pitch?How much of your pitch is oriented towards your product?Do the words you choose allow your dream clients to imagine themselves in the starring role?Is it clear how you support them on their hero’s journey? Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
The truth at any price, even the price of your deal.Better, Faster, and Cheaper: Don’t tell your dream client that you are going to be better, faster, and cheaper. You may be one of those things. You may even be two of those things. But you aren’t all three of those things, and you are only setting your dream client up to be disappointed. Tell the truth about the necessary investment.Your Client Doesn’t Need to Change: Don’t pretend that you are going to be able to deliver better results than your competitor without your client having to change. Your competitor isn’t awful, and they know how to create value. They are struggling to produce results, and you are going to have to help your client with their internal obstacles if you want to deliver better results.Their People Are No Good: Don’t suggest that your people alone are going to make the difference. The folks that work across the street are good people. They are trying to make a difference. If they are complacent from time to time, they aren’t alone in that sin, now are they? People make the difference, but don’t talk down your competitor’s team.Better Results Will Be Easy: Never allow your dream client to believe that there isn’t going to be problems or challenges along the way. This is setting an expectation that isn’t very likely to be met. Instead, tell them there is a learning curve and that you will improve over time. Tell them you are going to need them to give you air cover as you make mistakes and learn.Telling the truth may make it more difficult to win, especially when your dream client wants to believe something that isn’t true, but if you want trust, if you want a relationship, and if you want to win the long game, you tell the truth. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
Entrepreneurs and smalll businesses prioritize everything and anything, neglecting sales and marketing.
This is what a travel day to spend some time with the family looks like. A lot of travel, and a lot of editing.
When I was very young and new to sales, I thought that bigger companies were better managed, better resourced, and had fewer problems. The larger the clients I won, the more I realized that bigger companies have bigger problems, and they have more of them. Wal-mart is now dealing with the very real threat of Amazon.com, a giant problem, and one not easily solved.I also believed that bigger companies have better talent. I thought that because they had more money and more opportunities, they would acquire all the best talent. The scale of a larger company requires more talented people, and their much larger needs often leaves them with a much larger deficit when it comes to hiring the people they need.For the first few years I worked in sales, I believed that my larger competitors had advantages when it came to sales. They worked for a bigger company with more locations. They had better technology, and they had way better programs. They also had much better marketing and much better sales collateral. When I saw how crisp some of their people looked, I was sure that they were unbeatable. Over time, I discovered that sales chops level the playing field, and many of the largest companies I competed against were paper tigers when it came to selling.As I won large clients, I believed that winning them was enough, that I could throw them over the fence and the operations team would take care of executing. I thought that responsibility belonged to someone else. As the problems mounted, I was disabused of this notion by clients who expected to me to be standing right next to them in the fox hole when the bullets started flying. I learned that I was accountable for the outcomes I promised.Your beliefs will change over time. Your growth and your experience will provide you with new beliefs, beliefs that serve you better than the beliefs you hold right now. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
We tend to think of sales being won and lost on things that are tangible, the things you can see and count and measure. Certainly, the tangible things are important, but the intangibles are even so.Likability and Rapport: If you have a choice of doing business with someone who is likable and with whom you have rapport, all other things being equal, you choose the person you want to work with, especially if it is over a longer term. Rapport matters because relationships matter.Attitude: A good, positive, optimistic, empowered attitude is an intangible that provides a competitive advantage. Who you are matters more than what you do, and your attitude is a big part of that equation.Business Acumen: This intangible will make or break you if you sell B2B. You either know things that can help your prospective client produce better results, or you do not. You either have the advice that makes you a trusted advisor, or you lack it. The weight given this intangible is great now, and you can expect it to grow in importance.Caring: This is the “trust” part of “trusted advisor.” Are you other-oriented? Do you care about me, my outcomes, my company, my customers? If you are self-oriented, your motives prove that my results are secondary to yours. This intangible is one that most of us don’t think enough about, nor do we make sure that our clients can feel it.Presence: In an age where everyone lives behind a screen, a physical presence is going to create an advantage. I know, you are thinking that showing up is tangible, and you’re mostly right. But it doesn’t show up on any purchasing agent’s spreadsheet, and the result it produces isn’t easily measured, even when the impact is felt.Your Process: Knowing how to help your client move from their current state to the better future state they are capable of is an intangible. The sales process is perceived as being linear, but that isn’t a very accurate depiction of how we help people change. Your process can differentiate you in ways that are hard to measure, but that massively tilt things in your favor.Ability to Lead: The ability to help other people take action, people on your team, and people on your client’s team, is an intangible. It creates a preference for you and your company.Resourcefulness: If there is one thing that we do in sales, it is help solve problems. A lot of the time, we are solving problems that others have been unable to address. This makes your creativity and imagination an intangible that provides an immeasurable difference in a decision as to who to buy from.Initiative: The idea that you should take action without needing to be nudged to do so is something that will make you look very different to your clients and prospective clients. It shows that you are thinking about acting on their needs as if you are part of their team—and you are.Thoughtfulness: Little things are the big things. Cards. Notes. Following up. Asking to help outside of where it might be expected. Want to create an impenetrable preference? Start here.Intelligence: Being smart is an intangible. Knowing things is beneficial, even when those things seem to be outside of business acumen.A sense of humor: Having a good sense of humor, especially humor of the self-deprecating kind, can help you create greater engagement, and it can help you handle difficult situations with a sense of levity. This can sometimes make you the most valuable person in the room.I know sales is supposed to be science, but it isn’t. Much of what matters is invisible, is felt and not easily seen or easily subjected to measurement. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now
Your product isn’t going to sell itself. Unless you showed up to work today with a line of clients trying to buy what you sell, your product cannot do the selling for you. Nor should you want it to. That would make you an order taker, and you would create little value and risk being automated.Your company and its storied history isn’t going to do the selling for you either. It’s nice that you have been in business a long time, and the origin story may have indeed shaped the values that you still hold dear. Very few of your dream clients are going to be compelled to buy from you because of the time your company has been in business.The logos of all the clients you won are impressive. You work with some of the best-known companies on the planet. This has to be a sure-fire way to prove your bona fides. Your dream client might also think that they are too small to get your attention and that they don’t resemble the clients you serve. Either way, the fact that you have won clients doesn’t create much of a preference for you, and it doesn’t absolve you of having to sell.This is a short list of the things that salespeople front load in conversations with their prospective clients, mistakenly believing that this improves their credibility. There was a time when this was true. That time, however, has passed. None of these things do enough of the selling alone or combined.It’s more important now that you are capable of helping your prospective clients learn something about themselves, something that compels them to change, something that nothing on the list above can do for you. It’s also important that you know how to advise your prospective client on how to change, what they need to do, why they need to do it, and what trade-offs they will need to make.There are better starting places for the conversations you need to have to create value for your dream client and to establish yourself as a trusted advisor. Starting somewhere else establishes you as something less than a peer, and likely positions you to be commoditized. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
Following refusal of the State Governor and the Chancellor to accept his resignation, Ravenshaw University Vice-Chancellor P. C. Sarangi on Tuesday resumed office, asserting that indiscipline by students on the campus would be dealt with a heavy hand. He added that the university henceforth would not yield to any political interference while carrying out its activities.‘Assured cooperation’ “The Chancellor has assured me that all administrative cooperation would be extended while dealing with any form of indiscipline by any group of students inside the campus. If the need arises, he has assured me that he [Chancellor] would speak to the State government about it,” Prof. Sarangi, who had shot off his resignation letter to the Governor on Monday, said on Tuesday after resuming office.‘Creating disturbances’ Prof. Sarangi had alleged that students owning allegiance to local political leaders were creating disturbances and spoiling the academic ambience on the campus. “Empowered with political connections, the guilty and erring students are even demanding to be judge, jury and executioner,” Prof. Sarangi said, emphasising that no political interference would be allowed in the university.Minister denies Meanwhile, the State Higher Education Minister Pradeep Panigrahi on Tuesday denied that the State government had ever tried to meddle with the affairs of any university in the State. “The Vice-Chancellor’s statements are of his own and the government doesn’t buy them,” Mr. Panigrahi said pointing fingers at Prof. Sarangi for not being able to handle the students’ unrest on the campus.On the other hand, the two main Opposition parties in the city — the Congress and the BJP — have decided to gherao the university on Wednesday to protest against what they called “interference of the two local BJD MLAs” in the affairs of the university.
A police outpost was burnt and over 20 vehicles torched while several instances of stone pelting and clashes were reported on Tuesday from across Saharanpur, which has been witnessing caste-based violence since last Friday.According to the Uttar Pradesh police, permission had been denied to Dalits to hold a ‘mahapanchayat’ on Tuesday in the Gandhi Park, demanding compensation and relief for those affected by an inter-caste clash last week.Senior Superintendent of Police Subhash Chand Dubey said as the district administration had not permitted any such gathering, police acted against people who had gathered for the ’mahapanchayat’. This led to tension and a stampede-like situation, it is learnt.As the news of the police action spread, there were several incidents of violence in the district, including some targeting policemen.Several commuters were manhandled and their vehicles set on fire on the Malhipur road, it is learnt. Mediapersons covering the incidents were also beaten up and their vehicles damaged.Police reinforcements, including the PAC, who rushed to the spot were also attacked and pelted with stones. A police ‘chowki’ was set ablaze while several police vehicles were damaged.A garbage heap was set on fire on Chilkana road near Halalpur. On the Behat road, a bus was set on fire. Protesters also blocked Chakrota road near Nazirpura while a building was burnt down on the Malhipur road.The situation in the district continued to be tense and there was heavy police deployment. Top police and State administration were monitoring the developments with fire tenders rushing across town to tackle the fires.
With the inclusion of Allahabad, Aligarh and Jhansi in the Smart City Mission on Friday, the number of “Smart Cities” from Uttar Pradesh reached seven. State capital Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur and Agra were already on the list.Allahabad, Aligarh and Jhansi found their way into the list of 30 names released by Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu under the third round of the Smart City Mission.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath thanked the Central government, in particular, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Naidu, for selecting three new cities from the State.Mr. Adityanath said he would make sincere efforts to get the remaining five contenders from UP —Meerut, Rae Bareli, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur and Rampur — included in the list.The Chief Minister gave his assurance that the State government would work with all urgency and sincerity to complete the development work of these Smart Cities, a government spokesperson said.Mr. Adityanath also stressed that those officials and project agencies found guilty of negligence in the development work in Smart Cities would face strict action.
Goa Minister for Water Resources Vinod Palekar on Thursday said he was glad that the Union Ministry for Water Resource has extended the term of Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal by one year with effect from August 21.Mr. Palekar said, “Government of Goa had written to the Union Ministry asking to extend the term of the tribunal. This is a collective effort by Centre and the State governments. Extension of tribunal is a signal to Karnataka which was lobbying to wind up tribunal or to block extension. Our government will go all out to win the case before the Mahadayi Tribunal. Government is committed to protect Goem, Goemkar and Goemkarponn.”Meanwhile, the Mhadei Bachao Abhiyan (MBA), the movement spearheading the cause of Goa in its dispute with neighbouring Karnataka over waters of river Mahadayi, received a shot in the arm as Supreme Court on August 3 snubbed Karnataka government over the construction of dam works over Mahadayi basin without obtaining environmental clearance (EC) from Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF).Ms. Nirmala Sawant, former Goa Minister and convenor of MBA, released documents and told press persons here on Thursday that when the intervention application filed by the MBA came up for hearing before the two-member bench comprising Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta, senior advocate Fali Nariman, arguing on behalf of Karnataka government, told the court that relief sought by the MBA and the Goa government before the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal were similar and that both were with regard to the works of Kalsa-Bhandura project planned by the Karnataka.On the question of status of works of Kalsa-Bhandura project as directed to be disclosed by the court on July 24, Karnataka submitted that the works permitted under the order dated April 17,2014 passed by the Tribunal had almost been completed.The affidavit filed by Karnataka Water Resources Chief Engineer M Bangara Swamy, further assured the Court that it will not utilise or divert Mahadayi water without first obtaining necessary clearances orpermissions under the Forest Conservation Act.To this, Justice Madan Lokur brought to the notice of Advocate Nariman that the MBA had filed two intervention applications, one in 2007 seeking to restrain Karnataka from going ahead with the construction works and another in 2009 praying to maintain status quo.The Court further told Karnataka lawyer that the Central Empowered Committee in 2009 had revealed that works were in violation of environment and ecology and that no environmental clearance was obtained from the MoEF.Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar also supported the contention made by Advocate Bhavanishankar Gadnis on behalf of MBA, who produced photographs showing environmental and ecological damage caused due to construction work of Kalsa-Bhandura project.“Karnataka had filed original suit in 2006 while MBA filed intervention application later in 2007 and 2009. The matter has now been posted for final orders on August 14”, said Ms. Sawant.
Ganadarpan came into existence in 1986 when 35 ‘friends’ pledged to donate their bodies for medical research. Three decades later, it has grown to become eastern India’s oldest organisation facilitating body donation, with a million people having taken the pledge, according to its octogenarian founder Braja Roy.But poor infrastructure and conservative relatives are proving to be a thorn in the flesh for the cadaver donation movement, Mr. Roy said, with many of the pledged bodies not making it to the medical colleges of West Bengal. “The number of people coming forward for body donation has increased a great deal. We now receive 10,000 pledges every year,” he told The Hindu. “People have begun to realise that body donation for scientific research is a noble act and therefore the stigma attached to it is disappearing.”Ganadarpan works through seven sister organisations across the State. From 1986 to the end of 2017, it received one million pledges, according to Mr. Roy. However, of the one million, only 1,800 bodies could be sent to the medical colleges through Ganadarpan. In the majority of cases, owing to “severe objections raised by the donor’s family members,” the bodies ended up at crematoriums instead. While many died outside the city and could be located at the time of their demise, lack of infrastructure was “a clear spoiler,” he said. Subrata Moulik, a computer engineer from south Kolkata, said he could not donate his mother’s body because of lack of arrangement to accept bodies in the State-run medical college he had approached. “We went to the college at 4 p.m. and were told that they accepted bodies only till 3 p.m. They asked us to come back with the body the next afternoon. That was not possible,” he said.Explaining why so few of the pledged bodies made it to the medical colleges, Mr. Roy pointed out that bodies meant for donation had to be frozen within eight hours of death. But since 2007, medical college staff members had not been allowed to live on the campus, hence they were unable to attend to the bodies on time. “The government needs to address these issues…,” he said. Besides, of the one million who had taken the pledge, not all had died, Mr. Roy said. “The interest in body donation to help medical science has increased,” Debasis Bhattacharya, Director of Medical Education, said. The government was “trying to improve infrastructure” to accept bodies throughout the day and the night.
Days after the government announced a ‘cease-ops’ plan during Ramzan, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, who had called for a unilateral ceasefire, says the government’s peace initiative will be incomplete without a ceasefire on the LoC with Pakistan. In an interview, he called on the Hurriyat to join the effort.Do you think this ceasefire or ‘cease-ops’ will be successful?A ceasefire will work only if Pakistan joins the ceasefire. In PM Vajpayee’s time, we had the advantage that Pakistan agreed to a bilateral ceasefire and that gave us peace for a long time. People started agriculture along the Zero Line and they were quite happy on both sides of the fence. Today the ceasefire is late, and the other side hasn’t responded and the Hurriyat has been non-committal. This is unfortunate, as both the mainstream and the separatists must work together to bring peace. So we still have to wait and see. Militants have attacked the Pulwama picket today; Pakistan is still bombing our borders and LoC. If Pakistan doesn’t join then what do they want? An escalation? Our bilateral issues must be settled bilaterally with some give and take.But realistically, India and Pakistan are far away from bilateral settlements at present. There are no talks at all.Unfortunately, hawkish attitudes by both Indian and Pakistani government haven’t worked. The way forward is to come down from high horses and help people live better lives.It wasn’t a small step for Vajpayee to call General Musharraf to India after Kargil, when we had lost so many soldiers. But he thought [that in the] long term we can’t live in war with neighbours forever. Today winning elections is more important than winning peace. The [Modi] government came with such a large mandate, and the majority’s support, and we thought they would get support for any strong decision he took.But he has been unable to work with Pakistan, and over there, the Army is calling the shots.So we can live in harmony and live in progress, or live in disharmony and destroy each other.You called the Modi government hawkish, but do you think it has softened by taking up the State government’s call for a cease-ops?Softening doesn’t mean only development, or just giving money for a power project or tunnel or road. You have to meet the aspirations of the people.This is a political problem that needs a political solution.Rather than going to Russia, U.S. or China, lets solve our internal problems here, put our house in order.Is this the right time for a cease-ops? There seems to be a new wave of militancy in Kashmir, with new recruits who are homegrown.I agree, this is a new turn. But how does one wean them away [from militancy]? We need to create an atmosphere where they feel the government is working in their interests.These boys know their future lies with the nation itself: we can’t go to China or Pakistan.Our way is this side. But it is for the State government to convince them, which it hasn’t done.
The end of the BJP-People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government in Jammu and Kashmir has two dates attached to it. For detractors of the alliance within the BJP, it began with the inception of the alliance (many preferred the BJP’s former ally, the National Conference, over the PDP), for others, it was when Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away in early 2016, taking away the political heft that anchored the alliance, a teflon coating that deflected the criticism from such politically contradictory and inorganic alliance.There are, of course, more manifest and immediate reasons, the biggest being the looming general election of 2019, an election that the former allies just could not afford to face together.’Constituencies getting alienated’“The situation in the State has become such that both our core constituencies have become alienated from us. There was no way the alliance would hold till 2019. We were facing a huge backlash from Jammu and Ladakh, the areas that vote for us, and the Valley was hitting out against the PDP. We had an idea that the PDP would pull out of the government by September-October, well before the February announcement of general election. By pulling out first, we can still hope to retrieve some ground,” said a senior office-bearer of the BJP.Before pulling away support, the BJP says, it also made gestures indicating that it was still willing to work with the PDP. “The decision to pardon first-time pelters of stones, the appointment of an interlocutor, offer of talks, and the Ramzan suspension of operations were all aimed at demonstrating that,” said the source.“Our constituency, however, was upset with us. When the discussions over whether or not to extend the Ramzan suspension of operations were on, the decision to withdraw support was also taken by the top leadership of the BJP and government,” said the source.The alliance, which was put together with much careful crafting, could not, in the end, carry the weight of the hugely contradictory ideological positions.“Till Mufti sahab was there, it was still ok, he had the position, in the minds of the people to reconcile some of the contradictions,” said another senior BJP leader.Leaders’ complaintOver the last couple of years, however, the BJP’s hold in Jammu and Ladakh was seen to be slipping and local leaders complained that chances of re-election in 2019 were slim indeed.On Monday afternoon, the BJP’s Ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government, along with the State unit leaders, were summoned to Delhi, with party general secretary in charge of the State Ram Madhav cutting short his trip to Andhra Pradesh.With BJP president Amit Shah scheduled to visit Jammu on June 23 to commemorate the death anniversary of Jan Sangh founder and principle opponent of separate status for Jammu and Kashmir, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, alarm bells rang.The evening before that, along with the decision not to extend the suspension of operations in Kashmir, the decision to pull the plug on the alliance had been made. This afternoon, the curtains came down on the alliance. In the years that the BJP was in government in the Valley, the Syama Prasad Mookerjee death anniversary ceremonies were muted, out of respect for its ally, the scale of the memorial meeting this time round is yet to be seen.In one of his last speeches, at the India Ideas Conclave in Goa in 2015, late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said this of the alliance: “I saw a historic opportunity to break a new path in resolving issues of chronic friction between regions and ethnic groups in the state by forging an alliance with the BJP.”An opportunity which, on Tuesday morning, seemed to have well passed its sell by date.
The Enforcement Directorate is examining the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case in Bihar to determine whether a money laundering probe can be initiated into the financial aspect of the alleged crime.The CBI has taken over the probe into alleged mental, physical and sexual exploitation of at least 34 minor girls at the shelter home. Among the 10 persons earlier arrested by the local police, is main accused Brajesh Thakur.The Directorate is inquiring into the operations of the NGO, Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, which had been running the shelter home since 2013. The agency is also trying to ascertain whether any monetary gains were made by the accused in the process of committing the alleged offences.It has been alleged that the main accused had managed to get his close relatives to become part of the organisation’s governing body using fraudulent means. However, he was not an office-bearer, but was said to be the patron. The NGO received about ₹36 lakh per annum as government funds for running the shelter.As the investigations are under way, the NGO’s accounts have been frozen and its governing body members have been directed not to dispose of any of its assets. The organisation has also been blacklisted by the State government.The CBI’s forensic team has already lifted evidence from the scene of crime, which are being analysed. The agency is also mapping the mobile phone records of accused persons. Statements of the victims are also being examined for more clues.The case came to light following a study by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, which revealed many cases of sexual abuse of those living in shelters across the State. At the Muzaffarpur shelter, the minor girls were allegedly drugged.
Former Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma’s husband Chandrashekhar Verma surrendered before a local court in Begusarai on Monday in connection with a case under the Arms Act. Mr. Verma’s name had cropped up during investigation into the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case and the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the case, had recently rapped the CBI and the Bihar government for the delay in his arrest.“Chandrashekhar Verma surrendered before a court in Begusarai today under intense pressure from the police, which had issued notice for attachment of his property,” Bihar Director General of Police K.S. Dwivedi told journalists in Patna.The court remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.On August 17, 50 live cartridges were recovered during a raid at the residence of Mr. Verma in Cheria Bariyarpur village. The raid was conducted in connection with the shelter home case. Later, a case under the Arms Act was registered against him at the Cheria Bariyarpur police station.In September, an arrest warrant was issued against Mr. Verma and he had been absconding since. Mr. Verma was also accused of having links with Brajesh Thakur, the main accused in the shelter home case.