Citizens' Issues
Delhi to get 'aam aadmi canteens'
Delhi will soon get "aam aadmi canteens" -- a la Tamil Nadu -- where "good quality, hygienic and nutritious food" will be available for up to Rs.10, it was announced on Thursday.
 
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal formally approved the proposal by the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC), its vice chairman Ashish Khetan told the media.
 
The food would be sold at "reasonable rates -- with the maximum amount being Rs.10", said Khetan, an Aam Aadmi Party leader who had contested the Lok Sabha election in 2014.
 
He said the food would be nutritious and the menu at the canteens would have variety.
 
The canteens target the lower strata of the society including an estimated 10 lakh construction workers, five lakh street hawkers and over four lakh slum dwellers in the capital, Khetan said.
 
He said the model was prepared after a survey was conducted in Tamil Nadu and Odisha where such canteens operate.
 
In Tamil Nadu, at the hugely popular "Amma Canteens", a plate of idly with sambar is sold for just Re.1 while pongal -- staple rice and lentil food -- costs Rs.5.
 
Khetan did not divulge the approximate cost of the project.
 
"It will be our plan to set up these canteens within the next one or two months. In the first phase, we will set up the aam aadmi canteens at hospitals, industrial areas, colleges and commercial hubs," Khetan added.
 
The canteens would be run by the Delhi government's department of food and supplies.

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Russia chooses Anil Ambani for 'Make in India' frigates
With India close to choosing Grigorivich frigates for its navy, Russia is partnering Anil Ambani-led Pipavav Defence to build these ships under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" initiative, official sources said on Thursday.
 
They will be upgraded versions of Talwar-class ships, or the Russian equivalent of Krivak-III.
 
Confirming this to IANS, at least two senior defence officials said a team from Russia evaluated three-four private and state-run shipyards as they were keen on an Indian partner if the ships were to be built in India. This will be a pre-condition for the order valued at $3-$3.5 billion.
 
The sites evaluated were Pipavav's yard in Gujarat, Larsen and Toubro's unit at Ennore, and the state-run Cochin Shipyard in Kerala. Pipavav, a majority stake in which was acquired by the Reliance Group a few months ago, emerged the winner.
 
"The Prime Minister's Office is closely watching the development," one of the two officials told IANS. "This is likely to be an order that will be placed on the government of Russia by our government."
 
Incidentally, the development comes against the backdrop of the navy vice chief, Vice Admiral P. Murugesan, stating on Tuesday that India was exploring the possibility of getting upgraded Talwar-class ships and was in talks with Russia for its Grigorivich frigates technology.
 
"As per our maritime perspective plan, we have to build a certain number of ships in a certain time. We are exploring the possibility to expedite the acquisition of certain number of ships," Murugesan told reporters here. "But this will not be an import. It has to be made in India."
 
The idea is to have a 198-ship naval force by 2027, up from the current 137 vessels. Already, 48 warships are under construction at Indian shipyards, including aircraft carriers, frigates, destroyers, submarines, corvettes and fast-attack craft.
 
India has been stressing on domestic defence production under the "Make in India" programme, an important aspect of which is to get technology transfers and inviting foreign firms to manufacture in India.
 
The Grigorivichs are improved variants of the six Talwar-class frigates the navy obtained between 2003 and 2013.
 
In March, the Reliance Group had announced its acquisition of a 18-percent stake from the then promoters of Pipavav Defence, apart from a 26-percent mandatory open offer.
 
Pipavav's facility is at the location by the same name on the Gujarat coast and claims modern, versatile engineering and fabrication facilities with shipbuilding infrastructure that is also suitable for the construction of a wide range of warships and submarines.
 
The company is said to be a strong contender for a tender, potentially worth Rs.60,000 crore, to build six advanced submarines for the navy along with five other private and state-run firms such as Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Mazagon dockyard.

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When Good Samaritans Get Bad Luck
An obnoxious rule is corrected by a new law that should have come ages ago
 
‘G ood Samaritan’ is a biblical term. It has crept into common use and, for many, it means a person who helps others. But then, is a father, helping his child, a good Samaritan? Is a teacher, aiding her students, a good Samaritan?  Is Moneylife, assisting its readers with financial literacy, a good Samaritan? Or is this author, belting out these articles on law, seeking good Samaritan status?
 
Well, not exactly. All of them fall a bit short; the common thread above, in all cases, is that the two parties know each other. A good Samaritan falls out of the blue. Not only unknown, but he is one putting aside all his work to oblige a fellow human being. In short, above and beyond the call of duty.
 
Out of the Supreme Court come some interesting judgements. One intriguing, or very helpful judgement, recently passed by the Court, refers to critical aspects of everyday life. It dwells on the duties of what may be called the responsibilities of a citizen in his call to be a good Samaritan.
 
We had once considered the question of whether or not one is duty bound to quench a fire in a neighbour’s house; even when the neighbour and the person cannot stand the sight of each other! The legal requirement, for those who remember, is that you are required to save your enemy’s property. The two of you are not at war, declared, that is. If, today, there is a calamity just across some border, we are compelled to save both, life and goods.
 
Why should one save his obnoxious neighbour’s home from being gutted? Two reasons. Any destruction is a national loss; grief for other citizens. Secondly, the fire may spread, destroying more homes. Poetic justice might include your own, too. This calls for concerted effort, yours and the fire brigade’s and the medical services’. Incidentally, the law demands it.
 
Samir Zaveri and his work is a giant step in this direction. It is a proven fact that the Golden Hour is often lost. The term is used for the first hour after a major accident, or incident, including medical emergencies. This is the timeframe in which injuries take an irreversible toll. Help in those vital 60 minutes saves countless lives. However, apathy, delay, confusion, red-tape or plain callousness kills people. Literally. Yet, it happens every day. The question is: ‘Why’?
Apathy. Apathy kills. Apathy destroys. “It’s not my funeral” has become a way of thinking that has got ingrained. Sometimes, it is even a time of enjoyment. As this example will show.
 
Sassoon Dock, 30 years ago, was a major fish distribution centre. Trucks, tempos and handcarts carried the frozen fish out. The ice would melt and moisten the road, together with the fish oil. As long as it was relatively dry, not much happened. But a lot happened when unseasonal showers hit the spot that November. Mayhem followed. As we tried to get on our feet and drag the motor-bike away, around us were skidding cars, ricocheting buses and slipping pedestrians. Chaos reigned all round but the greatest roar was from the pavements where the ‘spectators’ vented their sickening approval at every entering vehicle that lost control.
 
A study at an American college proves this lack of concern. Behind closed doors, a girl was made to scream. ‘Help, help’, she cried, loud enough for those in the corridor to hear. Hardly anyone stopped to inquire, let alone help. The same sorry story played itself out in a study in Telengana (Andhra Pradesh) where it was found that only 10% of bystanders give a hand. People DO NOT STOP to help. 
 
The authorities found that there was another side to the coin; maybe a valid, though not a legitimate, reason. It was discovered that though people may be inclined to help, the aftermath of the investigations made life miserable for them. Police enquiries were not the only cause, though it was the major drawback. The cops have a duty to perform. They need witnesses. They need addresses. They need statements. They need proof. So do the insurance companies. And who else but the good Samaritan to get hold of?
 
 
In one recorded instant, a Vishal Sharma, after failing to get the police on the phone, took the late-night victim to the hospital in an auto-rickshaw. That is when his ordeal started. Admission to the hospital was a problem. It took half a day. Next, he was detained until the victim’s family arrived. He could not attend work. And, more was to come.
 
The family would now not get off his back. He was pestered to visit the insurance company with them. The rough going lasted seven days. “No more,” says 
 
Mr Sharma. “Will call 108, and that’s it.”
 
Fortunately, this dilemma was recently solved by the ministry of road transport and highways, egged on by the Supreme Court. Guidelines have been issued to prevent the victim-aider from becoming a victim himself. It reminds one of the days when an accident victim was denied medical assistance at a hospital until the police arrived. Some hospitals had a cop on duty at all times; some did not. That was later mercifully changed into stipulations for immediate help, cop 
or no cop.
 
The new guidelines are impressive. Notices in English, Hindi and the vernacular are to be put up at all hospital entrances which will declare that good Samaritans are not to be detained nor asked to pay for the treatment. They can remain incognito and need not fill in any forms. All that is voluntary, now. Pressuring the ‘Samaritan’ for personal information will invite disciplinary action. If required, the helper can be submitted to video-conferencing and no more, to avoid harassment. And the interrogation will take only one sitting. And end there. The notification is meant to encourage the public to help. Less will shy away. More will live.
 
The law, as it stood, had a reason, a sound one. It was meant to verify whether the victim was injured, or killed, by accident or by design. Dumping a body on the hospital and making a run for it would naturally arouse suspicion, especially if the wounds bore certain tell-tale marks.
 
There still is a provision that only the address of the helper will be noted, he being allowed to leave immediately. Whether this will not invite harassment of the type discussed above is not a settled issue. Only time will tell.
 
Savelife Foundation, the entity that moved the Supreme Court against the Union of India, needs to be commended. Rules, meant to solve one problem, quickly degenerate into a quagmire bereft of common sense and balloon into unwieldy ‘procedures’, where the inept and the corrupt find shelter and fruition. Shades of Nero fiddling while Rome burnt. 
 
The injunction against asking for details of the Samaritan is a bit difficult to comprehend in today’s world, so totally wired and televised. Can a person arriving at the hospital or police station really remain anonymous? There is also the camera phone in every one’s hand. Every step of the way is permanently recorded. The only way to remain unrecognisable, then, will be to wear a mask.
 
Another suggestion in the notification seems rather quaint. It is proposed that any person helping a stranger must be honoured, instead of being subjected to any kind of legal involvement. Does the honour mean a certificate of recognition? Going by our national trend to collect pieces of paper, it may well be that we will see a day when bystanders and the odd helpers will rush in to be counted. One body, one dozen carriers?

 

(Bapoo Malcolm is a practising lawyer in Mumbai. Please email your comments to [email protected]

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COMMENTS

Veeresh Malik

2 years ago

I have lost count of the number of times I have helped take people to hospital and not been held back or troubled beyond sometimes being asked for name, address and phone number. This is, ofcourse, in Delhi where awareness on this has been high for some time now. Only twice have the police called up for some more information, once they came over to ask something, and I would think only once has the family called up to thank me too.

vswami

2 years ago

To verify does his answer tallies with:
Q
For Whom the Bell Tolls
by John Donne >

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
UQ

vswami

2 years ago


To be or Not to be ONE ?
i think the answer lies in true awakening and soulful realization of-... what one thinks his answer should be to:
FOR WHOM THE CHURCH BELL TOLLS ?

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