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Bihar girl stuns world by cycling 1200 km to carry injured father home, Cycling Fed keen
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•May 23, 2020



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#Lockdown Bihar girl Jyoti Kumari finished her 1200km long journey from Gurugram to Bihar’s Darbhanga on 23 May carrying her injured father . Her story was widely shared on social media, including by Ivanka Trump. The Cycling Federation of India has since offered Jyoti to come for trials.
 

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15-year-old who cycled with father across 1200km in lockdown turns down invite for trials at CFI
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•May 23, 2020




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15-year-old Jyoti Kumari cycled for 1200km over 7 days with her father in tow, from Gurgaon to Darbhanga, Bihar, due to the lockdown. As the news went viral Akhilesh Yadav announced a prize of ₹1lakh for Jyoti and the Cycling Federation of India (CFI) invited her for trials.
 

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Gurugram से Darbhanga 1200 km तक अपने पिता को Cycle से घर पहुंचाने वाली Jyoti को मिल रहे हैं offer
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•May 23, 2020


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सरकारी बेहयाई का सबसे ताज़ातरीन उदाहरण है साइकिल से दरभंगा पहुंची ज्योति कुमारी को मिल रहे ऑफर. ज्योति लॉकडाउन में गुरूग्राम से दरभंगा तक अपने पिता को साइकिल पर बैठाकर 1200 किलोमीटर दूर अपने घर तक ले कर आयी है. 7 दिन तक ज्योति साइकिल पर अपने पिता को लेकर चलती रही लेकिन मीडिया की नज़रों में आने के बाद ज्योति मजबूर से मशहूर हो गयी है. अब ज्योति की शोहरत में अपना हिस्सा खोजने की होड़ लगनी शुरू हो गयी है. ज्योति को साइकिलिंग फेडरेशन ऑफ इंडिया से ट्रायल के ऑफर मिल रहे हैं और ऑफर से ज्योति भी खुश है.
 

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CM Nitish Kumar ने की साइकिलिंग गर्ल Jyoti की मदद, दिया साइकिल के साथ ये सब | LiveCities
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•May 24, 2020



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CM Nitish Kumar ने की साइकिलिंग गर्ल Jyoti की मदद, दिया साइकिल के साथ ये सब | LiveCities



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Jyoti Kumari who cycled 1,200 km carrying her ailing father, overwhelmed by support
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•May 24, 2020



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#India #Darbhanga #Bihar #JyotiKumari #Cycle #IvankaTrump
Darbhanga (Bihar), May 24 (ANI): Fifteen-year-old Jyoti Kumari, who cycled with her ailing father from Gurugram in Haryana to Darbhanga in Bihar covering over 1,200 km over 7 days, has proved to the world that "where there is a will there's a way". RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav and Rabri Devi have promised financial support to Jyoti Kumari. They have also promised a job for her father. The feat of endurance of the strong girl has not just caught the attention of Cycling Federation of India (CFI) but also of Ivanka Trump.
 
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The Urban Service Workforce Will Be the Next Casualty of the COVID-19 Lockdown
Subject to the vulnerabilities of a low-income migrant’s life in the city, many service workers faced hardships as the lockdown came into force and their workplaces closed down.
The Urban Service Workforce Will Be the Next Casualty of the COVID-19 Lockdown

A food delivery man is seen on a deserted road during a nationwide lockdown imposed in the wake of novel coronavirus, in Bengaluru, Saturday, April 11, 2020. Photo: PTI

Carol Upadhya and Supriya RoyChowdhury





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22/MAY/2020

The exodus of migrant workers during the COVID-19 lockdown has drawn the attention of the entire nation to the exploitative and precarious working conditions of those who build and sustain India’s cities, and highlighted the very low value that is placed on their lives and labour.
While most of the media attention has rightly been focused on the painful journeys undertaken by daily wage earners who were employed in construction, small industries and the urban informal economy, another important slice of the urban workforce has received less attention: the low-end service workers.
India’s growth dynamic over the last two decades has been led by services, which now accounts for nearly 32% of total employment, second to agriculture and higher than employment in manufacturing. While most service workers remain in the informal sector, the proportion of employment in the so-called new service economy has been steadily rising. A large part of this growth has been in consumption-oriented sectors such as hospitality, big retail, beauty and wellness, transportation, logistics and back-office customer support services.
The rapid proliferation of shopping malls, exclusive hotels, upscale coffee shops and restaurants, private speciality hospitals, fleets of taxis, and spas and beauty parlours, all catering to the burgeoning ‘new middle class’, have created a large demand for semi-skilled service workers – mostly young men and women with education up till at least class 10. Many are migrants who have come from rural areas and smaller towns to the metro cities in search of employment.
Some categories of service workers have been made more visible by the growth of delivery services during the lockdown, as riders for Dunzo, Swiggy and BigBasket zip around deserted city streets on their scooters carrying ‘essential goods’ to apartment dwellers. But little thought is given – by the public or the government – to the fate of other service workers in the current scenario, despite their importance for the urban economy. Referring to the meagre support schemes announced for daily wage workers and the poor, a retail employee in Delhi asked, ‘We are not BPL [below poverty line], but we are not well-off either … what will happen to us?’

Employment in the new service economy
The rapid growth of Bengaluru since the 1990s has been largely driven by the service economy, and nearly three-fourths of total employment in the city is in the tertiary sector.
A recent study of migration, skilling and service sector employment in Bengaluru, carried out at the Institute for Social and Economic Change and the National Institute of Advanced Studies and funded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, found that employment conditions in the new service economy are informalised and insecure, marked by the weak implementation of labour laws and high rates of employee turnover.
Although informality and precarity have long characterised labour across most sectors of the Indian economy, it was striking that such conditions were prevalent even in the so-called organised services where the employers are large corporates, smaller registered companies as well as well-funded start-ups. In organised sector service industries such as big retail, beauty and wellness, transportation, hospitality and security services, employment is largely unmonitored and unregulated, employees often face quick and easy dismissals, and there is little scope for negotiation around wages or working conditions.
Service sector organisations have also engineered new kinds of ‘employment’ arrangements that may allow them to circumvent labour laws and regulations – such as hiring a large proportion of their workforce from third-party staffing agencies or engaging workers as ‘partners’ (as in platform-based services such as Uber and Ola).
The study focused on a cohort of around one hundred young people who were undergoing skill training leading to job placement in Bengaluru. When we tried to follow up with these trainees after they had been placed in jobs, many were not traceable. Of those we were able to contact one to three months after completion of training, very few were still in the jobs in which they had originally been placed while several had quit within a few weeks of joining. Many remained in Bengaluru but had changed jobs, but one-third of the respondents had returned to their home towns or villages. These findings illustrate the highly mobile, peripatetic, and unstable nature of the workforce in the new service economy.
For migrants from small towns and rural areas, the imagination of an urban future often turns out to be a fragile dream. A major reason that many are unable to sustain themselves financially in the city is the difficulty of finding affordable and adequate housing near the place of work. Service workers typically share rental accommodation or PGs, living several to a room, but still pay around Rs 4,000 – 5,000 per month as rent.
As a trainee who was placed in a third-party call centre said, “I pay Rs 4,500 for my PG, but I will only be paid Rs 2,000 during the training period of one month, after which I will get Rs. 8,500 as salary. How will I pay the rent?”. The high cost of living in the city, together with the need to send money home, means that these workers cannot save enough to invest in further education or other mobility strategies – trapping them in a cycle of precarious, low-paid and dead-end customer service jobs.

Thus, service sector employees find themselves in precarious work, often without security of tenure or social insurance and with wages that are barely adequate to survive in the city. Subject to the multiple vulnerabilities of a low-income migrant’s life in the city, many experienced severe hardships as the lockdown came into force and their workplaces closed down.
While employment levels in some sectors have been sustained or even expanded – especially in designated essential services such as healthcare, food retail, and delivery services – employees in the ‘touch and feel’ industries have been badly affected by the closure of retail stores, malls, restaurants, beauty parlours, spas and gyms. For these workers, daily sustenance has become a critical problem and the future looks uncertain. Below we detail the situation of workers in two key sectors – retail and beauty & wellness.

Organised retail
Employees in the organised retail sector are supposed to be covered under the prevailing labour laws, yet employment conditions often do not meet those standards. The study found that in many cases, employees are not given formal employment contracts, and that working hours and other conditions often do not adhere to statutory requirements. Basic pay ranges from Rs 11,000 and 15,000, with reported total take-home pay (including incentives and minus deductions) ranging between Rs 13,000 and 18,000. However, migrants often find that their salaries are insufficient to cover their expenses in the city, especially since most need to save some money to help support their families at home.
Retail workers we interviewed expressed a strong sense of insecurity, fearing that they could be fired for any small misstep or even for failure to meet sales targets. They know that they are easily replaceable – it is quite easy for a young person with the minimum qualifications (usually 10th pass) to get a job in a mall. Big retail, like most other service industries, has high rates of employee turnover, in part because many workers change jobs frequently in search of better pay or working conditions.
This does not pose much of a problem for retail organisations, however, as they find it more cost-effective to continually replace workers rather than pay higher salaries to more experienced employees. The constant churning of the workforce suggests that retail jobs do not provide sustainable employment for semi-educated youth. Although most of our respondents expressed deep dissatisfaction with their jobs, they continued to stay in this sector because they had few alternatives, given their educational and skill levels.

GST: Silver Bullet or Flawed Tax Reform? Credit: Reuters


File Photo: A worker stacks food packets inside a retail outlet at a shopping mall in Kolkata August 12, 2014. Photo: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri

The impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on retail workers in Bengaluru has been mixed. Enterprises classified as essential services, such as food retail chains, have continued to operate and have even experienced an increased demand for labour, while employees in ‘non-essential’ enterprises (such as fashion outlets and departmental stores) have been out of work since mid-March.


Quick follow-up interviews over the phone with a few retail workers in Bengaluru and the National Capital Region found that most had received their salaries for March (although they did not work the entire month), but many had not been paid for April or had received only a part of their salary. However, very few had been laid off or furloughed. Employers have kept these workers engaged during the lockdown with short online training programmes on a daily basis.
On the other hand, ‘temps’ who were employed through staffing agencies did not receive any salary at all (not surprisingly, given that temporary contract workers are only paid for the days worked). We were informed that third-party staffing agencies did not provide any support to workers on their rolls during this crisis, although they have been trying to place them in other jobs.
Also read: Why Gig Workers Should Find a Space in India’s Labour Rights Movement
Thus, it seems that retail organisations have avoided layoffs during the lockdown, maintaining employees on the rolls so that they can be called back when needed even while withholding their salaries. However, most employees who have been called back to work were unable to return, either because they had left for their hometowns and could not come back to the city, or due to lack of local transport. Several migrants who were stuck in Bengaluru during the lockdown were finding it very difficult to make ends meet due to the loss of income.
The retail workers we spoke to expressed a deep sense of insecurity, afraid that they will lose their jobs once the economy opens up – not an unfounded fear given that the sector is expected to shrink. According to industry insiders, large retail stores may reduce their headcounts by 30-40%, retraining the remaining staff to be more ‘productive’, while many smaller stores are likely to go out of business. There is also expected to be a major restructuring towards e-commerce (online sales and delivery), for which a different profile of workers and skill sets will be needed – further displacing retail workers accustomed to customer-facing roles.
Beauty and wellness
The ever-expanding beauty industry is highly diverse. Beauticians from expensive training institutions can land internships in larger salons and eventually get jobs starting at Rs 35-40,000 per month and with a clear career path. In contrast, for young women (like those in our study) who have undertaken short-term courses offered by small skill training institutes and have not acquired specialised skills, the entry point is usually as a ‘helper’ drawing a salary of Rs 7000 to 15,000.
With no written contract, security of tenure, paid leave or other social insurance, these young employees have little motivation to stay in a job, leading to a high rate of turnover in the sector. Employees of small, unregistered units receive lower salaries and face greater hardships compared to those in larger workplaces or brand salons, where there is some scope for career enhancement through on-the-job training. Particularly vulnerable are young rural women, recently arrived in Bengaluru, who struggle with work-related insecurities and the absence of affordable housing. Often they have no option but to return to their native places, unable to survive in the city.

An employee scans a package for an order at a Big Basket warehouse on the outskirts of Mumbai November 4, 2014. Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
Following the lockdown, several of the respondents working in this sector had left the city to return to their homes in villages and small towns. Of those whose homes are in Bengaluru, almost none had been paid their salaries for April, and some not even for March. The cessation of income had obviously placed these young workers in great financial difficulty, forcing them to depend on family members for support.
These beauty workers are mostly from lower middle class or working-class families, where several members of the household may have been affected by the lockdown. Ironically, a regular government job, even as a pourakarmika (municipal street cleaner/ waste collector) brought in an assured monthly wage during the lockdown, which a beautician employed in a private salon could not access. “Only if we work, we get paid. This is the nature of our work,” said one beauty parlour employee.
This sector has seen the mushrooming of small beauty parlours, typically started by former employees of larger salons. With little capital and staying power, many of these businesses will probably have to close, unable to pay rent or interest on loans. The beauty industry has emerged as a source of employment for thousands of semi-skilled women, but the unregulated nature of the sector makes for a vulnerable workforce. The lockdown has drastically exacerbated these vulnerabilities.

Migrant workers and the city
The ‘worlding’ of Bengaluru has served the affluent and upper middle classes well, with lucrative corporate jobs and luxury apartment complexes, while the basic needs – especially for housing – of the diverse groups of migrants who constitute much of the city’s workforce have been largely neglected. The COVID-19 lockdown has revealed how insecure and unstable the lives and livelihoods of migrant workers in the city – from manual labourers to semi-skilled service sector employees – are.



Low-end service workers are clearly better placed than the thousands of daily wage and informal sector workers now crowding the country’s highways, yet the former also find it difficult to secure a sustainable foothold in the city that depends on their labour. Their precarious condition is likely to become more acute as India’s impending economic crisis unfolds.

Carol Upadhya is with the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru and Supriya RoyChowdhury is an independent researcher based in Bengaluru. This article has inputs from Harpreet Kaur, Vishaka Warrier and Keya Bardalai.


The Urban Service Workforce Will Be the Next Casualty of the COVID-19 Lockdown
 

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Korona: An Animated Reminder of the Real Indian Lockdown
This 48 second video is part of the artist's 'Korona Series' of animated shorts ('Korona' meaning 'Don't') on the deeply rooted problems exposed by this pandemic.


Korona: An Animated Reminder of the Real Indian Lockdown



Debjyoti Saha

LABOUR
RIGHTS
VIDEO
13 HOURS AGO

While we hoard more ‘essentials’ for our family and sip on our Dalgona coffee, they share a roti among three. While we miss social gatherings, even with friends a video call away, they cry on the streets unable to reach their loved ones. We crib about running out of things to do in the comfort of our homes, while they are walking barefoot for miles and days to reach theirs. The list is neverending. India is witnessing one of the worst migrant crises in history. Storms always hit the lowest of the low. Acknowledge the privilege and do all you can to help.






Debjyoti Saha, an animation filmmaker from Kolkata, now based in Mumbai. He can be followed on Instagram at: Debjyoti Saha (@debjyoti.saha) • Instagram photos and videos

Korona: An Animated Reminder of the Real Indian Lockdown
 

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Uttar Pradesh › Lucknow › Yogi Government Takes Back The Order Of Mobile Ban In Covid Hospitals.
यूपी सरकार ने कोविड अस्पतालों में मोबाइल रखने पर प्रतिबंध लगाने का फैसला लिया वापस
न्यूज डेस्क, अमर उजाला, लखनऊ Updated Sun, 24 May 2020 04:03 PM IST

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सुरेश खन्ना - फोटो : एएनआई




उत्तर प्रदेश सरकार ने कोविड अस्पतालों में मरीजों के मोबाइल रखने पर प्रतिबंध लगाने के फैसले को वापस ले लिया है। इसकी जानकारी चिकित्सा शिक्षा मंत्री सुरेश खन्ना ने दी।

दरअसल, प्रदेश के चिकित्सा शिक्षा महानिदेशक डॉ. केके गुप्ता ने सभी चिकित्सा संस्थानों, राजकीय मेडिकल कॉलेजों के प्रधानाचार्यों को पत्र लिखकर कहा था कि एल टू व एल थ्री कोविड अस्पतालों में मरीजों को मोबाइल फोन ले जाने की अनुमति नहीं है, क्योंकि इससे संक्रमण फैलता है। जिसके बाद प्रतिबंध लगा दिया गया था।
हालांकि, चिकित्सा शिक्षा महानिदेशक ने यह भी आदेश दिया था कि अस्पताल में भर्ती मरीजों को उनके परिजनों से बात कराने के लिए दो डेडिकेटेड मोबाइल फोन इंफेक्शन प्रिवेंशन कंट्रोल प्रोटोकॉल का अनुपालन करते हुए कोविड केयर वार्ड के इंचार्ज के पास रखे जाएंगे।
अब आदेश पर प्रदेश सरकार ने संज्ञान लिया और प्रतिबंध हटा दिया गया है।
मोबाइल व चार्जर को डिसइंफेक्ट करना होगा जरूरी
आइसोलेशन वार्ड में जाने से पूर्व रोगी यह डिस्क्लोज करेगा कि उसके पास मोबाइल फोन व चार्जर है।
आइसोलेशन वार्ड में मरीज के अंदर भर्ती होने से पहले मोबाइल व चार्जर को चिकित्सालय प्रबंधन द्वारा डिसइंफेक्ट किया जाएगा।
मोबाइल फोन व चार्जर रोगी द्वारा किसी अन्य रोगी या किसी स्वास्थ्य कर्मी के साथ साझा नहीं किया जाएगा।
आइसोलेशन वार्ड से डिस्चार्ज के समय मोबाइल फोन व चार्जर को चिकित्सालय प्रबंधन द्वारा डिसइंफेक्ट करने के पश्चात मरीज को दिया जाएगा।
आइसोलेशन वार्ड से निकलने के पश्चात मरीज मोबाइल फोन व चार्जर को पुन: डिस्क्लोज करेगा।


यूपी सरकार ने कोविड अस्पतालों में मोबाइल रखने पर प्रतिबंध लगाने का फैसला लिया वापस
 

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Uttar Pradesh News Lockdown 4.0: Lucknow to Open Shopping Malls From May 26, Ghaziabad Allows Maids, Newspaper

Uttar Pradesh lockdown 4.0: Opening of shopping malls which can pull a huge crowd was not a permitted activity in lockdown 4.0. Lucknow has issued a detailed guideline for the opening of the malls from May 26.

Updated: May 24, 2020 7:04 AM IST

By India.com News Desk
Edited by Poulomi Ghosh




Uttar Pradesh News Lockdown 4.0: Lucknow to Open Shopping Malls From May 26, Ghaziabad Allows Maids, Newspaper


Representative image

New Delhi: Several district administrations in Uttar Pradesh are issuing local relaxation rules while the number of total cases in Uttar Pradesh crossed the 6,000-mark on Saturday.
The Lucknow administration on Saturday announced that centrally air-conditioned shopping complexes in the city can function without operating the air conditioners, in view of the lockdown 4.0 guidelines to combat coronavirus pandemic. This will become effective from May 26, an official statement said.

Guidelines for shopping complexes in Lucknow

1. Shopping complexes in the containment and buffer zones will continue to remain closed.
2. Shopping complexes where shops are opening should ensure that only one-third shops are open and that social distancing is strictly adhered to.
3. Entry to persons above the age of 65 years, children below 10 years and pregnant women should not be allowed.
4. There should be thermal scanners and sanitisers at the entrance of every shopping complex.
5. The staff of every shop which is open must wear gloves and masks, and details of every visitor should be noted down.
6. The Chief Medical Officer must be informed if COVID-19 symptoms are found in any visitor at the shopping complex.
7. The shops in the shopping complexes will open on decided days from 7 am to 7 pm, the statement added.
8. Regular sanitisation of shopping complexes should be done using a mixture of 3 per cent bleaching powder and 1 per cent hypochlorite solution.
9. Only four persons should be allowed in a lift (if any) in a shopping complex.
10. A lift operator should be present, and the lift should be sanitised after every hour, it said.


Shops in Aminabad, La Touche Road, Nazirabad, BN Road, Cantt Road, those located from Kaisarbagh crossing to Kaisarbagh Bus Stand crossing, Kaisarbagh Bus Stand crossing to Maulviganj crossing, Maulviganj to Rakabganj crossing, Hewett Road, Lalbagh, Jai Hind market, Nadan Mahal Road, Charak crossing to Medical crossing and then to Convention Centre, Nakkhas market, area around Ali Jaan mosque in Cantonment and bylane-5 Nishatganj-will remain closed.
Ghaziabad, the urban areas of which have been put under Red Zone because of their proximity to Delhi, has decided to allow newspaper hawkers and domestic helps to enter residential societies.


Most residents had raised the demand with the administration that newspaper hawkers and domestic helps be allowed to enter the societies.
Domestic helps, drivers, plumbers, electricians, and air conditioner mechanics would be permitted to enter societies if their services are sought by the residents.

But the society residents will have to take precaution against COVID-19, the Ghaziabad DM added.



Lucknow to Open Shopping Malls From May 26, Ghaziabad Allows Maids, Newspaper
 

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कानपूर उन्नाव सीमा सील होने पर प्रवासी मज़दूरों की परेशानी
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LUCKNOW
Donate 50% of your Eid budget among poor: UP Islamic cleric’s appeal to people
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•May 24, 2020



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#India #Lucknow #UttarPradesh #MaulanaKhalidRasheed #Eid-ul-Fitr #Eid

Lucknow (UP), May 24 (ANI): Markazi Chand Committee chairman Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi said that various Muslim organisations urged people to follow lockdown rules and regulations, and celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr at home, and greet people via social media. He also urged to donate 50% of people’s Eid budget among the poor.
 
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