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    Mission Antyodaya

    News: Beautiful Kulgod is the best village.
    Source: The Hindu

    In India, 8.88 crore households are found to be deprived and poor households as per Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) of 2011 from the perspective of multi-dimensional deprivations such as shelterlessness, landlessness, households headed by single women, SC/ST household or disabled member in the family.

    These households require targeted interventions under government’s various schemes and programmes in areas such as wage creation, skill generation, social security, education, health, nutrition and livelihood creation. Already, financial resources to the tune of about Rupees four lakh crore are allocated annually to impact lives of rural poor by several government ministries/ departments including Ministry of Rural Development in schemes spanning rural wages, rural roads, skill development, health, education, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, environment, etc.

    In this context, ‘Mission Antyodaya’ seeks to converge government interventions with Gram Panchayats as the basic unit for planning by following a saturation approach by pooling resources - human and financial - to ensure sustainable livelihoods. It is a State - led initiative for rural transformation to make a real difference based on measurable outcomes to the lives of 1,00,00,000 households in 5,000 rural clusters or 50,000 Gram Panchayats in 1,000 days.

    A Gram Panchayat is the basic unit for monitoring transformation and for ranking on the basis of objective criteria. Given the diverse size of Gram Panchayats, 5,000 Clusters comprising of nearly 50,000 Gram Panchayats have been selected by the States purposively for implementing the 'Mission Antyodaya' Framework. These Gram Panchayats display high level of social capital and have the ability to implement rapid Rural Transformation for poverty elimination.

    Mission Antyodaya encourages partnerships with network of professionals, institutions and enterprises to further accelerate the transformation of rural livelihoods. Self Help Groups (SHG) are enablers to convergence approach due to their social capital and their proven capacity for social mobilisation.

    The thrust is not only on physical infrastructure but also on social infrastructure with strengthening of agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry activities with utmost priority given to SHG expansion in Mission Antyodaya clusters. Capacity for financial and social audit would also be built at grassroot level.

    This would be accomplished by convergence of frontline worker teams, cluster resource persons (CRPs) and professionals at the Gram Panchayats/ Cluster level. Cluster facilitation team would also be provided at the block level.

    Over 25 departments and ministries of Central and State Governments will be participating in this Mission through their specific programmes and schemes. The data from different schemes will also share APIs which would be put in public domain for complete transparency.

    The states have selected Gram Panchayats/ Clusters under ‘Mission Antyodaya’ which were covered under schemes such as ODF, DAY NRLM, Mission Water Conservation, SAGY/ Rurban Cluster, Award Winning GPs, crime / dispute free GPs or specific purpose GPs. Most of these GPs are also in the backward districts of the country. ‘Mission Antyodaya’ is expected to unleash the latent potential of participating GPs through convergence and concerted actions of all the stakeholders and propel these GPs in a virtuous cycle of development.



    News: Bathukamma blooms at NSW Parliament.
    Source: The Hindu

    Bathukamma is floral festival celebrated predominantly by the Hindu women of Telanganaand some parts of Andhra Pradesh. Every year this festival is celebrated as per Shathavahana calendar for nine days starting BhadrapadaPournami (also known as MahalayaAmavasya or PitruAmavasya) till Durgashtami, usually in September–October of Gregorian calendar.

    Bathukamma is celebrated for nine days during DurgaNavratri. It starts on the day of MahalayaAmavasya and the 9-day festivities will culminate on "SaddulaBathukamma" or "PeddaBathukamma" festival on AshwayujaNavami, popularly known as Durgashtami which is two days before Dussehra. Bathukamma is followed by Boddemma, which is a 7-day festival.

    Boddemma festival that marks the ending of VarshaRuthu whereas Bathukamma festival indicates the beginning of Sarad or SharathRuthu.

    Bathukamma represents cultural spirit of Telangana.Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with different unique seasonal flowers most of them with medicinal values, in seven concentric layers in the shape of temple gopuram.

    In Telugu, ‘Bathukamma' means ‘Mother Goddess come Alive’ and Goddess MahaGauri-‘Life Giver’ is worshipped in the form of Bathukamma – the patron goddess of womanhood, Gauri Devi.


    Ghost Gear

    News: Unclogging our oceans.
    Source: The Hindu

    Derelict fishing gear, sometimes referred to as "ghost gear," is any discarded, lost, or abandoned, fishing gear in the marine environment. This gear continues to fish and trap animals, entangle and potentially kill marine life, smother habitat, and act as a hazard to navigation. Derelict fishing gear, such as nets or traps and pots, is one of the main types of debris impacting the marine environment today.

    Through the Fishing for Energy partnership, NOAA, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Covanta Energy Corporation, and Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. a cost-free solution is provided to fishermen to dispose of old, derelict or unusable fishing gear and to reduce the amount of derelict fishing gear in and around coastal waterways.