Archive for October, 2010
Bhubaneswar, Oct. 29: The telephone hasn’t stopped ringing at the state school and mass education departments’ grievance cell, where the recently launched students helpline has received a staggering 285 calls in just one week.
This makes it about 40-odd complaints a day from students and their wards across the state.
While the figures are a clear indication of the mounting dissatisfaction among students and their parents, one cannot rule out the increasing popularity of the helpline among the student community.
Students have been making calls to register their grievances from across the state on various issues concerning them.
While majority of calls are regarding teacher absenteeism, students have been complaining about shortage of teachers, non-availability of books and private coaching too.
Among other major complaints are the dismal condition of school buildings, non-availability of uniforms, mid day meals and quality of teaching.
There have also been queries on scholarships and stipends.
However no cases of sexual harassment has been reported yet although the department has put a women staff in place receive such calls so that girl students feel comfortable about making complaints regarding sexual abuse.
Both students and their parents have been making calls, officials handling the helpline said.
“The complaints were being duly registered and fed in computers.
Field staff was contacted on a daily basis.
“Some complaints have also been discussed in a recent review meeting,” said an official, adding that the next review meeting is to be scheduled on November 6.
The department launched the toll free number, 1800 345 6722, and an email help line firstname.lastname@example.org on October 19.
The aim was to provide direct access to students going through mental, physical or sexual harassment at schools or hostels could directly air their grievances before the government.
At the time of the launch of the helpline, secretary of the school and mass education department, Aparajita Sarangi had said that the number and email address of the helpline should be put up in prominent places in both public and private schools so that students could get familiar with them.
The toll-free number remains open from 8 am to 8 pm on all working days.
Following report is from the Samaja (Please note that there is a printing mistake (encircled in red) in the following report. While sending SMS please write Sniti). Thank to Mr. Bijaya Kumar Meher for pointing out the mistake.
BHAI JIUNTIA is a festival which celebrates the bond of affection between brothers and sisters. It is a day when sisters hold fast for the long life and prosperity of their brothers. This ceremony is one of the most interesting and loving ceremonies performed in Western Orissa (Koshalanchal). We can say it is the tribal version of Rakshya Bandhan. This festival falls on the eighth day of bright fortnight in the month of ‘Aswina’ which comes generally in the month of October.
The name Bhai Jiuntia suggests a bond of protection. Bhai means brothers and Jiuntia is a holy thread which binds the relation very tight. On this auspicious day, sisters pray to god for the protection of their brother from all evils. Meanwhile, brothers make promise to their sisters to protect them from all harms and troubles. In this occasion, sisters tie the thread called Jiuntia on their brothers’ neck and pray for their well-being.
During the Nabaratri, on the eighth day of fortnight, Jiuntia festival is observed by the sisters. On that day, they hold full day fast without taking a single drop of water and in the evening devotees offer their prayers to goddess Durga. Offering seven types of flowers and fruits, one hundred and eight holy grass and rice, coconut etc, they burn candle and started mass worship. Next day early morning they tie the thread called Jiuntia on the neck of their brothers.
This festival is an example of mass worshiping. There is a place called ‘Saintala’ in the Bolangir district, where more than three thousand devotees worship goddess Durga on the occasion of Bhai Jiuntia. So this ritual not only strengthens the bond of love between brother and sister and family but also it brings an opportunity of socialisation. “We have a committee which organised durga puja on the occasion of Bhai Jiuntia,” said Surendra Singh Bhoi, the president of puja committee.
“There is no such evidence from when this festival was started, but people belief that if they hold this festival goddess Durga will help their children. Thus they observed the Jiuntia fest,” said Ramachandra Tripathy, the local priest of Bolangir town.
“This is the age of science but we still belief that behind every success and happiness there is an invisible power. And we should respect that power,” said Dr Jyotirmayee Sahu, a devotee who hold fast.
This year Bhai Jiuntia festival was observed on October 14. Besides Bhai Jiuntia another Jiuntia called Pua Jiuntia is also observed in western Orissa. Pua Jiuntia is generally observed by mothers to invoke the grace of lord ‘Dutibahana’ for the long life and happiness of their brothers.
Balangir, Oct. 26 (Report by SUDEEP KUMAR GURU): Young poet Sanjaya Mishra has chosen poetry as the medium to depict the poverty, pathos and hunger of Balangir.
Mishra’s series of poems titled “Urmila” is a major work in this connection. In this series, Urmila, the wife of Laxman, talks about the different aspects of poverty in Balangir.
The poet says that he has taken the character of Urmila as a symbol of the hunger in the district. “In the Ramayana, Laxman, along with Rama and Sita go to the forest leaving behind Urmila to look after the old Dasaratha and Kausalya. Similarly, many hungry people in present day Balangir migrate to other states for work leaving behind the numerous Urmilas to look after the old and ailing family members. I have tried to highlight the burning issue of poverty in this part of country through these legendary characters in my poems,” said Mishra, who has so far penned more than 100 poems in the “Urmila” series and some of them have already been published in different magazines.
In his poems, Mishra focuses mostly on the deprivation, poverty, distress, migration and the other socio-cultural problems and pathos of the people of the migrant community. Crop failure, failure of entitlement and other dimensions of rural poverty forms an integral part of his poems. What drove Mishra to write about these people of the lesser god?
“I live in Kantabanjhi, which is the epicentre of migration in Balangir. I have seen the suffering of the people from close quarters. I want to serve them through my poems. I intend to give a voice to the voiceless,” he said.
Mishra has been writing poems in both Oriya and Sambalpuri language for the last two decades. His Sambalpuri poetry collection Maraguda published in the year 2006 won appreciation. The title of the book, which means lost civilisation, talks about the flora, fauna, folk tradition, culture, local beliefs and customs, folk gods and goddess in a lively manner. His piece on Hirakud dam in the same collection has been widely acclaimed.
The poet has done extensive research on folk ballad of western Orissa. Santosh Rath of the Oriya department of Jawahar College of Patnagarh describes Sanjaya as an excellent poet.
“His collection of ballads from different parts of western Orissa and its analysis is a rare work,” Rath said. Mishra is now attached with the department of Oriya in Jawahar College of Patnagarh in the capacity of a research scholar supported by UGC.
He has been selected for the travel grant fellowship by the Kendra Sahitya Academy and also selected for the SAARC poetry festival for his literary excellence.
His publications include Agantuka (1999), Bhangi Padiba Agaru (2006) and Dhasa(2010).
Following information was shared by Saket Sahu:
For help and subscription please call: Saket Sahu @ +91 99378 22442 or E-mail at email@example.com