(fwd from Infochange India) Infochange India September Newsletter

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Mon Sep 15 07:11:23 MDT 2003

[Just the "DID YOU KNOW ..." on the Home Page is interesting
enough. Looks like a nice source of info on India. URL subbed for bulk
of text. Les ]

InfoChangeIndia News & Features
What's new on www.infochangeindia.org <http://www.infochangeindia.org/>
(September 2003) 
This monthly electronic newsletter keeps you abreast of new reports,
features and viewpoints on our daily development news channel,
To view the entire story, click on the link provided. 
Toxic Tours
Forget colas, what about the pesticides in your wheat, water and
Ever since the 1980s studies have reported that as much as 51% of food
items tested in India have pesticide residues. This special report
examines the extent of toxic contamination of our food and water, the
unregulated growth of the chemical industry, and the continuing use of
dangerous and even banned pesticides
Hormone havoc: Pesticide contamination and womens health
Pesticides contaminate every layer of the ecosystem today, causing
untold harm to the health of human beings. Persistent organic pollutants
have a tendency to accumulate in fatty tissue, making women most
vulnerable to toxic contaminants, since women have a higher percentage
of body fat, accompanied by regular hormonal changes through the
reproductive cycle 
'Our life is about shaking people up': Sunita Narain
The director of the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment,
which has shaken Indian consumers with its findings that 12 soft drink
brands marketed by Coke and Pepsi have pesticide content 30 times higher
than acceptable limits, lashes out at the double standards of global
companies in the developing world and insists that confrontation is the
only way to bring about change in this country 
'We must have revised standards for pesticide use in food and water' : M
S Swaminathan
As the M S Swaminathan Foundation turns 12, its founder-director
Professor M S Swaminathan says that even before the term 'green
revolution' was coined, he had warned that overexploitation of soil and
water and overuse of pesticides would have terrible consequences 
Stories of change
Platform No 6, New Delhi station, is home for these children
There are at least 100,000 streetchildren in New Delhi. The Salaam
Baalak Trust’s shelters and contact points offer some of these children
healthcare and nutrition, basic literacy, counseling and vocational
& storyofchangev=ChildrenIstory.jsp&section_idv=4
Thiramayin Thissaiyyil, the popular radio programme, gives disabled
people a voice
Produced by Ability Foundation, in association with All India Radio,
Chennai, this pioneering radio programme focuses on the advocacy of
disability-related issues and dissemination of information to disabled
& storyofchangev=DisabilitiesIstory.jsp&section_idv=19
Chennai’s Darshini group: `The only prerequisite is an aptitude for
A group of women in Chennai get together to read, teach and pamper their
visually impaired students to prepare them to take up secure jobs and
live confident lives
http://www.infochangeindia.org/DisabilitiesIstory.jsp?recordno=2464 &
Parivartan fights for people’s right to information
Parivartan, initially started up to help people get their work done in
government departments without having to pay bribes, continues its
crusade to educate and help people assert their right to information
& storyofchangev=RighttinfoIstory.jsp&section_idv=18
Taj Air Caterers turns the focus from megalitres to negalitres
Rainwater harvesting makes news every day. But conservation and
recycling of water is equally important. Taj Air Caterers in Chennai
shows the way
& storyofchangev=WaterResourceIstory.jsp&section_idv=17
HIV and the health professions: universal precautions are required 
Protection of health personnel and patients from HIV transmission is
difficult in a healthcare setting in which nurses may be permitted only
two pairs of gloves a day and needles are reused after a perfunctory
wash. The answer is not special precautions for HIV-positive patients,
but universal precautions for all health workers who come into contact
with blood and body fluids
HIV/AIDS in Manipur: The need to focus on women
In a state with the highest concentration of HIV/AIDS in India,
interventions have focused on injecting drug users, neglecting their
spouses, sexual partners and children 

Maa Bambaleshwari! Chhattisgarh’s women have taken charge
One million women in the newly-formed state of Chhattisgarh have formed
76,000 self-help groups and are now running the weekly bazaars, the
fisheries and even the stone quarries 
Documenting diversity
Securing India's Future illustrates how India's natural resources are
being depleted and the effects of this on those whose survival depends
on them. The filmmakers travelled from tiny villages to national parks,
recording hours and hours of vox populi footage 
Short Stay Homes: A reality check 
A new study of 22 of Orissa's 32 Short Stay Homes for deserted and
destitute women reports trafficking of some of the inmates, cramped
living conditions and inadequate vocational training and counselling 
Books and Reports 
Thirty years on, small is still beautiful 
A message conveyed by the classic green movement book Small is Beautiful
is that things go wrong when they are too big, and that economic power,
when remote and concentrated, is oppressive and inefficient. Thirty
years after the book's publication however, the same mistakes are still
being made 
Women who own property are less likely to face marital violence: study 
While there is no simple answer as to why men abuse their wives, the
findings of a recent study suggest that women who own property are less
likely to encounter spousal violence 
Perspective paper on Disabilities
Between 5 and 10% of Indians have some impairment or disabling
condition. This means that India has a huge population of disabled
people. At the policy level, progressive legislation, schemes and
provisions exist for them. But at the ground level, the disabled
continue to be neglected and marginalised, with the onus of care on the
family rather than the community. India needs to mark a shift from the
medical model of intervention to community-based rehabilitation of the
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