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Delhi govt’s free bus ride for women brings smiles

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Free ride for women in DTC

New Delhi, Oct 29 : Visibly surprised and delighted, the women who boarded Delhi Transport Corporation buses on Tuesday realised that henceforth bus rides have been made free for them by the Delhi government.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government launched the free bus rides in DTC and Cluster Scheme buses from Tuesday on the occasion of Bhai Dooj.

“It was a great feeling, when I was told this morning that I will not have to purchase any bus ticket henceforth. It has been made free for women by the Delhi government,” said Radha, who travels more than 15 km daily from her home in Sangam Vihar.

“This is a big saving for me. I would be spending Rs 50 daily on bus travel, and this amount saved means a lot to me,” Radha, who works as a domestic help in South Delhi, told IANS.

On boarding the bus in the morning, Radha was issued a pink coloured paper token by the bus conductor, and told that she need not pay any money. This was the case with all women who boarded DTC and cluster buses on Tuesday.

Many women were decked up in finery to visit their brothers to celebrate Bhai Dooj, and the free bus ride for them and their daughters and other female family members came as a blessing.

Free ride for women in DTC Bus
New Delhi: Women travelling in a DTC bus show their tickets as they travel free of cost after the scheme to provide free ride to women in DTC and cluster buses announced by the Delhi Government came into effect, on Oct 29, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

The AAP government has printed as many as 1.5 crore pink passes so far, with a message on women empowerment printed on them.

For Neha, a young cook who takes a bus from Tughlakabad to south Delhi every day, the free ride is a big boon. “I save a lot of money thanks to the free bus ride,” she told IANS.

Another woman commuter, Latha, who travels from Karol Bagh to Green Park, said while she was happy with the decision, she wished there were more buses. “There should be more DTC buses. Due to scarcity of buses, many times I end up taking the Metro, which is more expensive,” said Latha.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the free ride scheme for women on public buses might be extended to senior citizens and students too.

The free ride for women is one of the promises of the AAP government, ahead of the assembly polls in Delhi.

According to the plan, conductors will distribute pink tickets with a face value of Rs 10 each to women passengers for free travel. The government will reimburse the money to the transporters, based on the tickets issued.

There are around 3,700 DTC buses and 1,800 buses under the cluster scheme of the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS).

Delhi CM Kejriwal tweeted: “The pink tickets are issued to every sister in Delhi from this brother on the occasion of Bhai Dooj with loads of best wishes for your safe, secure and prosperous future. When women are empowered, only then will the country progress.”

Earlier, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, tweeting the notification of the free-ride scheme, said, “Historic day for Delhi !!! Females will travel free in all Buses from 29.10.19. Notification has been issued. Delhi Govt under dynamic leadership of CM @ArvindKejriwal stands committed to ensure safety and security of Female passengers in Buses.”

According to Gahlot, 30 per cent of travellers in DTC and cluster buses are women.

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Now Mumbai gets it own ‘Shaheen Bagh’

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Shaheen Bagh
Shaheen Bagh Jamia Nagar Protest Site Picture.

Mumbai, Jan 27 : Inspired by the Shaheen Bagh protests in New Delhi, a large group of women have launched a similar style of protests from January 26-27 midnight in south Mumbai early on Monday.

Terming it a ‘Mumbai Bagh’, they are silently protesting against the CAA-NRC-NPR and by morning the crowds swelled even as Mumbai Police rushed to make tight security arrangements at the site at Morland Road-Thandi Sadak.

The protesters are mainly Muslim women from minority-dominated areas of Madanpur, Byculla, Agripada, Jhoola Maidan and surroundings who are staging a sit-in agitation, off the Arabia Hotel, near Mumbai Central station.

Senior Police Inspector Shalini Sharma told mediapersons that the protesters were asked to take prior permission but they refused to move from the site and continued to occupy the road.

Initially, surrounding the protesters around 3 a.m., by dawn the police stepped aside and the peaceful protests continued with raising of slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government, placards and posters opposing CAA-NRC-NPR, reading of the Preamble of the Constitution, singing patriotic songs and poems, and waving of the tricolour.

The protesters also sent messages to people providing regular updates and asking them to join them from their Twitter handle ‘Mumbai Against CAB’.

Besides, activists in Kalyan town in adjoining Thane district have announced a five-day Shaheen Bagh-type agitation at the Babasaheb Ambedkar Garden starting February 1.

Some of the messages today read: “URGENT. More people are needed at #MumbaiBagh right now. #IndiaAgainstCAA_NPR_NRC is for everyone and we all share equal responsibility towards sustaining this fight. The unjust & discriminatory forces unleashed by this govt must be defeated! Please join and spread the word.”

Similarly, Twitter handle ‘CAA/NRC Protest Info’, posted: “Need people to come to #MumbaiBagh or we will be detained … Please do come ASAP. Location: Mumbai Central, Next to Arabia Hotel, Opposite City Centre.”

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2G restoration brings little relief in Kashmir

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Mobile Subsriber
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Srinagar: The restoration of mobile internet, 2G, in Kashmir after nearly six months of no internet has proved to be of little help due to extremely slow speed.

Even permissible sites listed as ‘white listed sites’ by the government are not accessible at times.

“We are not able to upload photos, let alone mail them,” Amir, a photo journalist said. “The speed is extremely slow and the websites just don’t open.”

For broadband restoration the businessmen are signing bonds committing not to allow IP address for accessing social media.

The bond also bars use of ‘VPNs’, WiFi, encrypted files, videos and uploading of photos. All USB ports of the computer will have to be disabled also.

The business units or the company will be responsible for the breach or misuse of the internet.

The business house will provide complete access to all its content and infrastructure as and when required by security agencies.

MAC (minimum access control) will ensure restriction to the use of internet access to registered devices through single PC.

That the restoration of 2G has proved ineffective is also evident from the fact that reporters continue to throng the Media Centre, an internet facility that J&K government has set up for them in the Information Department at Residency Road.

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Anti-CAA: Bengal CM wants every student to visit 1K households

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Kolkata, Jan 27 : West Bengal Chief Minister and state’s ruling Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked every member of the party’s student wing to visit 1,000 houses to convince the people about the party’s stand against the Citizenship Amendment) Act.

“I will urge every student to visit 1,000 houses to convince them on the party’s stand against the CAA,” Banerjee said at a workshop of the Trinamool Congress Chhattra Parishad.

Banerjee asked the students to immerse themselves in the campaign against the CAA, National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

“Students have to campaign from house to house, raise the issue while chatting at tea stalls, at stationery shops, restaurants,” she said during her speech at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.

At the same time, Banerjee took a dig at state BJP president Dilip Ghosh’s “chai pe charcha” (mass contact programmes at tea stalls).

“Why are they going to tea stalls to campaign in favour of the CAA? Why will one have to go to tea stalls solely for propaganda purpose?” she asked, demanding the BJP led NDA Central government scrap the law.

Accusing the BJP of misleading the people, she said: “They should know we are not bonded labourers, but citizens of the country”.

Banerjee also told the students that she was coming out with a handbook on the state’s performance in various sectors. “You collect this handbook so that you are better equipped to take the message of the government and the party to the people”.

She slammed BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya for linking those consuming flattened rice (poha) to Bangladeshi infiltrators.

“The country is not made of only one colour. It is a multi-colour nation with diverse religions, linguistic groups. We have to take everybody along. Our soil forbids us from dividing the people,” she said.

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