• PM Modi's statement on Pak was 'historic': Ravi Shankar Prasad

    New Delhi [India], Sept. 25 (ANI): Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech as historic and said that he has shown the world the real face of Pakistan. "Modi ji yesterday's speech was historical. On one side he assured the country and on the other side he made the world know that Pakistan is the kernel of terrorism.

    ANI
  • Pakistan-born actor sacked for racism against Indians

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    IANS India Private Limited
  • It's scientifically validated now; Ganga water is 'holy'!

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    ANI
  • Will YRF & Boney Kapoor’s Projects Too Face The Wrath Of The MNS Threat?

    The focus is on biggies like Fawad Khan, Ali Zafar and Mahira Khan, but what about the other Pakistani artistes who are paving their way into the industry?

    Spotboye
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    This week, stars across the world gave us a masterclass on formal dressing. Within the city, Katrina Kaif picked up her Smita Patil Memorial Award looking like royalty in a bottle green Sabyasachi ensemble, Kangana Ranaut went slightly edgy in a cut-out Burberry Prorsum number, Neha Dhupia layered up in sharp Sanjay Garg separates, and Jacqueline Fernandez picked a ruffled red number by Fendi. Overseas, Priyanka Chopra stopped traffic at the Emmys in that brilliant red Jason Wu, and Freida Pinto was perfectly put-together in a Burberry dress and coat combo. Want more inspiration for a formal evening out? Check out Emily Blunt’s Alexander McQueen gown, Olivia Culpo’s delicate semi-sheer Zac Posen

    VOGUE India q
  • Jayalalithaa is recuperating fast: AIADMK

    Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Sept. 24 (ANI): Amid speculations that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa will fly to Singapore for treatment of high fever and de-hydration, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Saturday termed the nwes as "completely false" and assured that their party chief is recuperating even as the people of Tamil Nadu are praying for her speedy recovery. Honourable Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is very well. The people of Tamil Nadu and Tamilians across the world are praying for her," AIADMK leader C.R.Saraswathi told ANI.

    ANI
  • Samsung phone emits smoke on Indian airline flight

    By Aditi Shah NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A Samsung Electronics smartphone stored in an overhead baggage compartment on an Indian plane emitted smoke in mid-flight on Friday, India's aviation regulator said, but there was no damage and the aircraft landed safely. Passengers on board an IndiGo flight smelled smoke coming from the baggage bin and alerted cabin crew who saw sparks and smoke coming from a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 phone, the airline, owned by InterGlobe Aviation, said in an emailed statement. Flight crew used a fire extinguisher on the phone and put it in a container filled with water, the airline said.

    Reuters
  • ASUS ZenFone 3 (5.5-inch): Luxury redefined with super performance

    New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) While most smartphone makers -- especially those from China -- have flooded the Indian market with devices in the Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 price range, Taiwan-based technology major ASUS believes there is still room in the country for luxury with superior performance and design.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • First Test: India vs New Zealand Day Four scoreboard

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    IANS India Private Limited
  • For Apple, Keeping Problems Away May Be Very Difficult In The Coming Year; Major Losses Foreseen

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    GaneshaSpeaks.com
  • Actor found slain at L.A. home of Canada TV host Stroumboulopoulos

    By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An actor has been found murdered at the rented home of Canadian talk-show host George Stroumboulopoulos in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, police and the TV personality said on Friday. The body of Richard Hong, 41, was found at the house by officers responding to reports of a burglary there shortly after 2 a.m. PT (0900 GMT), said Officer Norma Eisenman, a Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman. The Los Angeles Times, citing a coroner's spokesman, said that the victim had sustained head trauma.

    Reuters
  • Oil sinks as OPEC deal seen unlikely; stocks dip

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    Reuters
  • Why ex-cricketers would join BCCI if there's 'cooling-off period': Ravi Shastri

    Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Sept 23 (ANI): Former Indian Team director Ravi Shastri on Friday voiced his concerns over the Lodha Panel's recommendations on 'cooling off period', stating that it would prove difficult for ex-cricketers to join the BCCI. During an interaction with former cricketer Sanjay Manjerekar in Kanpur, where India is playing its 500th test match with New Zealand, Shastri said in populated country like India an administrator should get at least a six-year term and the committee must have five selectors instead of three.

    ANI
  • This Engineer Left His Job To Adopt And Educate The Children Of Drought Affected Farmers

    In 2015, Ashok Deshmane founded Snehwan – a home and school for children of marginalised and drought-affected farmers. Vishnu Gite, a gifted and intelligent child from a farmer’s family, is not interested in eating chocolates and ice cream like the city kids he sees on TV. All he wants is to be in school because he is attracted by the sight of educated, well dressed adults and he dreams of being like them every night. The main source of income for Vishnu's family was farming. But, due to the drought, their land stopped yielding any food crops and they migrated elsewhere to work as daily wage labourers. [caption id="attachment_68960" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Vishnu Gite's family had to migrate from their village due to drought.[/caption] His parents fought for survival on a daily basis and even contemplated suicide like many other farmers in drought affected areas. Vishnu missed his old school but kept quiet – he knew better than to ask his parents for the impossible. Ram and Lakhan’s story is not very different from Vishnu’s. Their father, Santosh Rathod, was a daily wage worker in the Jalna district of Maharashtra. Santosh had to take care of his entire family all by himself with the meagre income he earned daily. But then the drought happened and things went from bad to worse. He started losing whatever little work he had and there were days when his family literally starved. In the hope of finding a job and giving his family a better chance at survival, Santosh moved to Thane in the Mumbai area. He started working at a brick furnace here and his wife found a job as a domestic help. Living from hand to mouth, they could only think of feeding their kids; the question of sending them to school did not even arise. So, when a man named Ashok Deshmane offered to look after these children in his NGO Snehwan, and take complete responsibility for their education too, the two families were dumbfounded to say the least. Today, Ram is studying in Class 4 and aspires to become a policeman, whereas Lakhan is studying in Class 3 and wants to serve the nation by joining the army. Vishnu’s education is being taken care of as well. But it’s not just these three – many more farmers’ kids like them have also found a home in Snehwan. The founder of Snehwan, 27 year Ashok Deshmane, had a childhood similar to that of the kids he now looks after. He was born in a farmer’s family in a small village called Mangrul in the Parbhani district of Maharashtra. [caption id="attachment_68967" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Ashok Deshmane[/caption] The four acres of land that his father owned gave them enough to survive on only if it rained well. Maharashtra had been experiencing a drought every four years since 1972. This was extremely hard for small farmers like Ashok’s father, who cultivated just enough to feed their families and had no other savings. They had to depend on loans from local money lenders, who gave them money at high interest rates every time there was a drought. It soon became difficult to survive on farming alone, so Ashok’s father started doing tailoring too. The hunger, the pain, the distress, and the helplessness of farmers like his father found expression in every word of Ashok’s poems when he started writing at the age of 13. “Poetry was my only medium of dealing with the pain. But that was when I didn’t know how else I could help the farmers. I soon realised that my poetry was worthless if I did not do something to change the situation I was writing about. I understood, early on in my teens, that it was possible for farmers to get out of the vicious cycle they were caught in if they were educated. So, I started teaching their kids for free. ” When Ashok was in Class 12, he came across a documentary on Ramon Magsaysay Award winner, Dr. Prakash Baba Amte. Ashok was so inspired by Amte’s work that he became even more determined to help farmers. [caption id="attachment_68968" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Ashok with Dr. Prakash Baba Amte[/caption] But all he knew was that he had to educate himself first before helping educate others. So he started working with a transport company to support his own education. After a tremendous struggle, Ashok finally completed his Bachelor’s in Computer Science and then Master’s in Computer Science. Next, he got a well-paying job with a known software company in Pune. In the meantime, he had also been visiting his village to help the children there with their studies. Now, he also started teaching the children of street vendors in Pune on weekends. However, since the street vendors kept moving from one place to another, it made it difficult for their kids to study. This is when Ashok realised that it was very necessary to have a permanent shelter for the children of migrant labourers. By the end of 2015, Ashok had completed five years of work and had enough savings to buy a house and a car. But, at about this time, a visit home on the occasion of Diwali changed everything. Parbhani had once again been affected by drought. People were leaving their homes along with their families. There was no water in the entire village. Ashok had to walk 4-5 kms with his mother to get water to celebrate Diwali. “When I asked these people why they were leaving the village, they said there was no water, no crops and nothing to eat. These people were moving to the cities to work as daily wage labourers – jobs that would give them only as much as one meal a day. When I asked about the education of their kids they bluntly told me they could only think of filling their stomachs right now and school was a luxury for their children in such a situation.” Ashok came back to Pune in December 2015, registered his NGO Snehwan, and quit his job. Snehwan would be both a home and school for children of marginalised and drought-affected farmers. [caption id="attachment_68969" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Children are also taught yoga and meditation at Snehwan.[/caption] When Ashok’s boss came to know why he had quit his well-paying job at the peak of his career, he told him he wanted to support him. He gave Ashok the option to do night shifts so he could dedicate his days to the NGO. Ashok accepted the offer. He would leave for his office at 8 pm and return at 8 am, after which he would visit several villages in search of kids who needed his help. By June 2016, Snehwan had 17 children whose parents had migrated from their villages, or had committed suicide, or were living hand-to-mouth. Ashok’s friends helped him in every possible way to set up Snehwan. Anil Kothe offered his five-room house where the kids could live. Uma Kommineni, an NRI, gave computers to the home. The iLeadFarmers company developed the NGO’s website and now maintains it for free so that people can donate through the website. Webonise Lab gave funds for the renovation of the house. A nearby school, Samta Vidyalay, gave admission to the children at nominal fees. Rahul Deshpande and Asha Thipse started working with Snehwan as volunteers. But this was not as easy as it sounds. Ashok’s night shifts continued. When he would return home after work he would find the kids crying because they missed their parents. Ashok started feeling that along with education, food and clothing, these kids needed a lot of attention and love too. So, in August 2016, he finally quit his job and dedicated himself full time to the kids of Snehwan. “I could sleep only during the two hours while I was commuting to and from work. I was not able to give enough time and energy to these kids, so I left my job. I knew that finances would be an issue. But there was an inner voice that said everything would be taken care of.” On seeing their son’s dedication, Ashok’s parents too left their village and came to stay with the kids of Snehwan. “My parents were not very happy initially. They told me I should get married and settle down. But I told them that although I did not have a big house or a car or a lot of money, I was getting the satisfaction of educating the future generation of farmers. Maybe if I continued working at my job my family would get a better life in Pune. But how would that change my village? It would still be the same as it was when I was struggling to study 15 years ago. And if I continued with my wonderful career, the village would remain the same for the next 15 years too. I had to take a step right now.” Snehwan has 17 kids in the age group of 9 -14 years. Most of these kids have never been to school before; even if they have it is only so they could get a midday meal for free. Ashok has worked hard to teach them everything from scratch. And now the kids can read newspapers, use PCs, write letters, etc. “Even when there used to be a drought in the village, you could always find some farmers who were unaffected. The secret was knowledge. These kids will learn farming without even going to school. But they will learn to deal with farming problems only if they have knowledge, and only quality education can provide them with that,” says Ashok. Ashok is leaving no stone unturned to give the best opportunities he can to the bright yet deprived children under his care. Today, kids from the districts of Parbhani, Jalna, Beed, Hingoli, Aurangabad, and Wardha are living happily in Snehwan. However, as there is no income, Ashok is struggling to arrange for funds for their daily needs. “Recently, due to bad weather, most of my children were suffering from viral fever. It is difficult to arrange for their medical expenses at times because generally we get donations in the form of clothes and other utilitarian items. Also, we had enough donations to start the shelter home. But very few people know about the existence of this place now. We appeal to our well wishers to donate some funds so we can take care of the children’s health and other issues that arise from time to time.” Please donate money, clothes, and stationery, or become a volunteer at Snehwan. You can visit Snehwan Sr.no. 186, Mayur Colony, Near Chakrapani Vasahat, Bhosari, Pune-39, Maharashtra, India. Email at ashok.deshmane123@gmail.com Or call at +91-823 727 7615 to help these kids. Click here to Donate through Milaap. Like this story? Have something to share? Email: contact@thebetterindia.com, or join us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia). To get positive news on WhatsApp, just send 'Start' to 090 2900 3600 via WhatsApp.

    The Better India
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    IANS India Private Limited
  • HC orders WhatsApp to remove users' data collected till September 25

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    ANI
  • Saudis offer oil cut for OPEC deal if Iran freezes output - sources

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    Reuters
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