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Kolkata college student pushes for transgender-friendly toilets

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Tridhara toilets

Kolkata, Aug 12: With the discussion and execution of ideas around all-gender restrooms gathering steam across the world, a college student from West Bengal has taken it forward with the installation of innovative toilet signages for the transgender community here.

As many as four toilets next to Masterda Surya Sen Metro Station in south Kolkata now display ‘Tridhara’ stickers along with the symbol (interlocked male and female forms) for the community.

The idea was conceptualised by 21-year-old Sobhan Mukherjee.

“I was writing about the community and attended various programmes. I realised they felt discriminated when it came to pay-and-use toilets. When I proposed the concept of signages to the local councillor Anita Kar Majumdar, she readily agreed. It requires minimum investment… for printing the stickers. All it takes is social responsibility,” Mukherjee told IANS.

Mukherjee said the move falls in line with the Ministry of Sanitation’s guidelines stating that members of the third-gender community be allowed to use public toilets of their choice (men or women).

“Instead of creating separate washrooms, we decided to divide the existing spaces as male, female and ‘Tridhara’ toilets and put stickers on them,” the postgraduate student in geography said.

Transgender activist Ranjita Sinha has lauded the move.

“It is praiseworthy since he is a student. Often we are unable to push through and start something new but he has done it,” Sinha told IANS.

Mukherjee has now spoken to councillors in other wards to get the ball rolling in different locations of the city.

Last year, California in the US became the first state to adopt an all-gender restroom access law. This year Stanford University also increased the number of all-gender restrooms on campus. Panjab University in India will have a separate toilet for transgender people.

IANS

Politics

When will government wake up? ‘Saheb’ asks Congress on Pakistan shelling

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Randeep Surjewala, Congress spokesperson (File Photo)

Congress spokesperson on Friday criticised the central government over its failure to tackle ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

Stating an increase in Cease Fire violation by 500 percent in last 44 months the leader added that Jawans and civilians are losing their lives every day. He said that irresponsible and shameful activities by Pakistan are increasing day by day but the government is sleeping and not doing sufficient.

The leader was referring to the ceasefire violation by Pakistan in which two civilians died. In last two days, 4 civilians and 1 Indian soldier lost their lives.

Today again two civilians died and four (were) injured… Saheb (Prime Minister Narendra Modi), when will our government wake up?” asked Surjewala in his Tweet.

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Trump: We’re playing a “very hard game of poker” with North Korea

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Donald Trump

President Trump tells Reuters that Russia is “not helping us at all with North Korea,” and that the Russian actions are “denting” progress China is making. He also said North Korea is getting “closer every day” to getting a missile that can hit the U.S.

Putin “can do a lot,” Trump said, “but unfortunately we don’t have much of a relationship with Russia, and in some cases it’s probable that what China takes back, Russia gives. So the net result is not as good as it could be.”

Context: Thursday in Vancouver a group of nations met to discuss nuclear security and North Korea, and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called out both Russia and China for helping North Korea.

On future talks with North Korea: Trump said he’s “not sure that sitting down [with the North Koreans] will solve the problem.”

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Business

Telecom loses 40,000 jobs since 2017, may cull 50,000 more: Report

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Once the most growing sector, Telecom is on the edge as the upcoming six to nine months will be very challenging for it. Almost 50,000 more jobs are assumed to fade away from this sector. Since the start of 2017, the sector has witnessed a loss of 40,000 jobs and the further assumption of another 80,000 jobs may hit the sector very hard.

According to a report by CIEL, human resource services, the rapidly increasing competition between companies has declined their profit margin. The profit margin is one of the main reason behind the emergence of more jobs, although there is always a sense of uncertainty in the sector. The report by the company is based on a survey conducted by 65 technology firms and 100 employees.

“The attrition rate is like to remain high at least for the next two-three quarters and the sector is likely to reduce around 80,000-90,000 people,” the Bengaluru-based company’s chief executive Aditya Narayan Mishra told PTI.

“The telecom industry has lost its lustre and this negative sentiment is failing to attract any talent into the sector. The vacant seats continue to remain vacant with no fresh applications,” Mishra added.

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