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Robert Vadra provides food to migrants, who were walking on foot to reach their homes

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Robert Vadra

New Delhi, May 18: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s husband, Robert Vadra distributed food and essential goods to the migrant workers, who were walking on foot to reach their homes.

He brought some relief to migrants as he distributed vegetable biryani and halwa (Indian dessert) to them who were walking miles to reach their homes.

He said that the Narendra Modi government should have given more time to reach their homes when the first phase of lockdown was announced. Vadra started a campaign, “We pray to God that you reach your destination safely.”

“Lockdown was not decided in a proper way. It was just decided overnight. When some relaxations were given, I came out of my home last week and came across migrant labourers and workers moving on foot to their homes. They are walking miles to reach homes. I thought whatever help I can extend by distributing masks, footwear, sanitisers, water, I tried my best and arranged these things for people,” he said.

Robert Vadra requested all the political leaders to come above the political line and do whatever is good for the migrant workers.”We cannot politicise this issue. We all need to rise above party lines. I keep appealing to people through social media to come forward to help people as much as they can,” he said.

India

Those who fight for truth cannot be intimidated: Rahul after probe into trusts

Got has initiated probe into funding of 3 Nehru-Gandhi family linked trusts

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, July 8: Hours after the government initiated a probe into the funding of three Nehru-Gandhi family linked trusts, including the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said those who fight for the truth cannot be intimidated.

“Mr Modi believes the world is like him. He thinks every one has a price or can be intimidated. He will never understand that those who fight for the truth have no price and cannot be intimidated,” Gandhi said in a tweet.

Though the former Congress chief did not mention any inquiry, his remarks came after the government set up an inter-ministerial team to coordinate a probe into the alleged violation of various laws, including the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) by three trusts associated with the Nehru-Gandhi family—the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.

The decision was taken nearly a fortnight after the BJP said the RGF had received funds from the Chinese Embassy. The allegation came amidst the stand-off between the Indian Army and China’s PLA in Ladakh.

The PMLA deals with cases related to money laundering and the FCRA deals with acceptance and utilisation of foreign contributions.

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Vandalism of Ambedkar’s Mumbai home sparks political furore

Rajgruha is among the top sites related to Dr Ambedkar in Maharashtra and attracts tourists from all over.

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Mumbai, July 8 : The shocking incident of at least two persons vandalising ‘Rajgruha’ – the Mumbai home of the late Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar – sparked off a political uproar in Maharashtra on Wednesday with various political parties demanding for stringent action.

Describing Rajgruha as a “place of reverence”, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the government will not tolerate what has happened and strict action will be taken against the culprits.

“Goons entering Rajgruha and indulging in vandalism is shocking. The place is not only important for Ambedkarites, but the entire society who consider it as a place of pilgrimage. I have directed the police to act strongly against the vandals,” he said.

The incident occurred around 6 p.m. on Tuesday when some unidentified persons hurled stones at the windows, smashed CCTVs and damaged the flower pots at the residence in a quiet corner of the Dadar Hindu Colony.

However, the implications became apparent only around midnight when some Dalits attempted to visit the venue, and the Ambedkar family appealed for restraint early on Wednesday.

Following statements from Ambedkar family, the Matunga police lodged a formal complaint and started a probe.

The current residents include Dr Ambedkar’s daughter-in-law and grandsons, Prakash Ambedkar, Anandraj Ambedkar and Bhimrao Ambedkar along with their families.

The three-storied bungalow has a huge collection of Dr Ambedkar’s books, photographs, some personal effects and artefacts, his ashes, all of which are now housed in a small memorial museum which is a centre for Ambedkarite scholars from all over the world.

Condemning the incident, Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar termed it as “the handiwork of anti-social elements with a wicked mindset and done with ulterior motives”.

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh called up the Ambedkar family and the police, who have collected CCTV footage and assured that the accused would be nabbed soon.

Flaying the ‘dastardly attack’, Revenue Minister and state Congress chief Balasahab Thorat said the place is an inspiration for all who follow De Ambedkar and urged the government to nab those responsible immediately.

The Ambedkar kin also appealed to the people and their supporters to maintain peace and said the police have taken cognizance and are doing a good job.

Taking strong umbrage, Union Minister for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale wrote to Deshmukh and demanded a CID probe into the incident since the attack was on a place of national and historic significance concerning the chief architect of the Indian Constitution.

Leader of Opposition and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis called up the Ambedkars and discussed the issue with the family members.

“We strongly condemn the attack on the residence of Dr B.R. Ambedkar. I have spoken with the Additional Police Commissioner and demanded that those responsible should be arrested immediately,” said Fadnavis.

Building Rajgruha in 1933, Dr Ambedkar lived in it for nearly two decades, and had a collection of around 50,000 books, one of the largest private libraries of its kind in the world at that time.

Rajgruha is among the top sites related to Dr Ambedkar in Maharashtra and attracts tourists from all over.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened outside Rajgruha in view of the attack and police are scanning CCTV footage of the entire neigbourhood to identify and nab the culprits.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at [email protected])

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India May See 2.87 Lakh Covid Cases A Day By Winter 2021: MIT Study

The world may witness 249 million (24.9 crore) cases and 1.8 million (18 lakh) deaths by spring 2021 if there are no effective treatments or vaccination.

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COVID-19 pandemic

In the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine or drugs, the researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have warned that India might record 2.87 lakh coronavirus cases per day by the end of winter 2021.

The world may witness 249 million (24.9 crore) cases and 1.8 million (18 lakh) deaths by spring 2021 if there are no effective treatments or vaccination, according to the study conducted by the researchers Hazhir Rahmandad, TY Lim and John Sterman of MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

“In this paper, we build and estimate a multi-country model of the Covid-19 pandemic at a global scale,” the study authors wrote.

Also Read: The Mysterious World Of Viruses And Why You Can’t Escape Them

For the findings, the MIT research team use a multi-country modified SEIR (Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, Recovered) model, a standard mathematical model for infectious diseases used by epidemiologists, to simultaneously estimate the transmission of Covid-19 in 84 countries (4.75 billion people).

The model tracked community transmission, excluding the global travel network and instead separately estimating the date of introduction of patient zero for each country.

Within each country, the core of the model tracks the population through susceptible, pre-symptomatic, infected pre-testing, infected post-testing, and recovered states.

“Our model captures transmission dynamics for the disease, as well as how, at the country level, transmission rates vary in response to risk perception and weather, testing rates condition infection and death data, and fatality rates depend on demographics and hospitalisation,” they explained.

According to the study, the top 10 countries by projected daily infection rates at the end of winter 2021 are India, US, South Africa, Iran, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey, France and Germany.

Also Read: Our Live-in Virus: What Does the Real Covid Map Look Like?
India will be the worst affected country due to coronavirus followed by the US (95,000 cases per day), South Africa (21,000 cases per day) Iran (17,000 cases per day), and Indonesia (13,000 cases per day) at the end of winter 2021.

The MIT researchers also said that Infections are 12 times higher and deaths 50 per cent higher than previously reported.

“While actual cases are far greater than official reports suggest, the majority of people remain susceptible. Waiting for herd immunity is not a viable path out of the current pandemic,” Rahmandad said.

“Every community needs to keep the pandemic under control until a vaccine or treatment is widely available. A slow and half-hearted response only increases the human costs without offering much of an upside in terms of economic output,” Rahmandad noted.

Also Read: Did The Lockdown Work? What Did It Do? What Would Have Happened Without It?
As of Wednesday morning, the overall number of global COVID-19 cases has increased to more than 11.7 million, while the deaths have soared to over 543,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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