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Mumbaikars battle with water crisis, poor sanitation along with COVID-19.

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Aashwin Shanker, Mumbai Uncensored, 23rd June 2021:

“Midst reinfections and vaccination Mumbai is also fighting a continuous battle for water. The slums are more affected than the non-slums”. 

NGO Praja Foundation on Tuesday launched a report on the unsatisfactory work of the municipal corporation in Mumbai. While it appreciates the municipal corporation’s work in handling the pandemic it also addresses how Mumbaikars, specifically people in slums and sub-slums, are deprived of basic civic comforts. 

‘Status of civic issues in Mumbai – 2021’ is a white paper compiled based on data obtained through the Right to Information Act, 2005 for all 24 wards.

The report, above all, states the unbalanced water supply in the city. While some areas struggle to fulfill even their basic needs due to lack of water, others are getting enough and even surplus amounts of it. 

Look, Mumbai receives 188 lpcd (litres per capita per day) which is even higher than the rules set by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) of 135 lpcd. The astonishing thing is that while the slum areas receive only 45 lpcd at ₹4.85 per month, through metered connections, the non-slum areas receive a superfluous 150 lpcd at ₹19.44 per month.

While people living in non-slums areas (able to afford water at a raised rate) enjoy a discounted price, the ones unable to fulfill their needs have to rely on water tankers and other sources, which approximately costs them Rs. 500-550 per month.

On this wretched issue, Milind Mhaske, Director, Praja Foundation said that “If BMC is able to provide 135 lpcd (as per the BIS norms) of water supply to the slum population through metered connection then, the cost will be as low as Rs 14.54 per month. Implementing 100 percent metered water connection in slums would allow them to access a required quantity of water at just Rs 14.54 per month as compared to Rs 500-550 they are currently paying.”

Apart from the monopolistic rights over the distribution of water the paper also raised concerns over the poor sanitation of people. 

The figures are as follows:-

• As early as 2019, the BMC announced that it will build 22,774 new toilets by 2020 of which 50 percent or 11,000 toilets will be available for women. But the white paper has claimed that just 1 out of every 4 public toilet seats were available for women in 2020. 

• In their report, the Praja Foundation has also raised concerns about depleting toilets for women. From 2018 to 2020 the total number of toilets for women decreased by 3 percent  i.e. from 3,237 to 3,146. 

• But women are not the only sufferers, toilets for men too have also decreased from 9,646 to 8,927 in 2020 I.e. a decrease of 7 percent.

• Meanwhile, the toilets for disabled persons have increased by 83 percent in 2020.

This is not all, Praja Foundation also highlights the shortcomings of BMC in door to door waste collection. While the BMC claims 100 percent door-to-door garbage collection for the year 2019-2020, 34% of all Solid Waste Management complaints were related to the garbage not being collected in 2020.

Nitai Mehta’s “Three Deeds to a Healthy Ward” (Trustee Praja Foundation) 

“During BMC’s COVID-19 management, three key areas of successes came to light that can be carried forward in post-pandemic rebuilding and further improve the services at ward level. 

• First, decentralisation of various functions at the local level for inclusive decision making and better quality of services. 

• This can, secondly, be achieved through even more extensive use of technology, which the BMC has previously showcased an inclination for (Live Streaming budgets, online ward committee meetings and so on). 

• Thirdly, BMC should collaborate with various stakeholders in both the public and private sector to find innovative solutions to the city’s growth. This will not only help BMC in providing basic day to day services efficiently but also in becoming a future-ready city.”, 

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H.R College students reach out to cancer patients, help them with medicinal, financial and emotional support

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22nd November 2022, Mumbai Uncensored:

The Student United Way chapter in HR College collaborated with V Care Foundation, an NGO with the objective to provide free medical, financial and emotional support to cancer warriors and their family members under the guidance of V Care Foundation’s professional patronage. The students got the opportunity to interact and assist the cancer patients in their fight against the disease. The financial help given to them was utilised to fund their daily medicinal and basic hygienic needs.

Student United Way of H.R. College (SUW) is a student body extension of United Way (Mumbai); an International NGO that focuses on social welfare, especially in the fields of education, health, and environment. Students from the college volunteer for the various events the NGO conducts around the city. SUW conducts several general body meetings throughout the year to prepare for the calendar of events and chalks out a concrete plan to implement the projects in the pipeline.

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Marburg Virus kills two people, the first cases confirmed in Ghana.

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Khushi Thapa, Mumbai Uncensored, 21st July 2022:

Ghana officially confirmed two cases of the Marburg virus, a highly contagious disease comparable to Ebola, on Sunday, after two patients who subsequently died tested positive for the virus earlier this month.

On July 10, tests carried out in Ghana revealed positive results; however, the World Health Organization stated that the cases had to be confirmed by a laboratory in Senegal.

Ghana Health Service (GHS) released a statement saying that additional testing at the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, “has validated the results.”

Despite the fact that none of the contacts has yet shown any symptoms, GHS is taking steps to lessen the chance of the virus spreading, including isolating all of them.

The Marburg virus has just recently spread to West Africa twice. Guinea reported the region’s first incidence of the virus last year, but no other cases have been found.\

“(Ghanaian) health authorities have responded swiftly, getting a head start preparing for a possible outbreak. This is good because, without immediate and decisive action, Marburg can easily get out of hand,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

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Wimbledon 2022 Women Singles Final Highlights: Elena Rybakina defeats Ons Jabeur 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, clinches Maiden Wimbledon Title

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Shobit Chandola, Mumbai Uncensored, 16th July 202:

On 9th July, 2022 the Wimbledon got its winner in the Women’s Singles with none other than Russian born Kazak, Elena Rybakina who defeated the Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur with 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Wimbledon this year, for the first time in a while, witnessed 2 finalists seeking their maiden title. What could be termed as unpredictability is that the fan’s favourite contenders were all eliminated before. While the Record 7 Wimbledon title winner Serena Williams was shocked by H. Tan in  the 1st Round, it was Paula Badosa underperforming in the Round of 16 and  the astonishing defeat of the Former Wimbledon Champion Simona Halep in the Semifinal.That too came from the end of Elena Rybakina who vanquished Simona in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.

As could be seen in the epic thriller, the first set was won by Ons Jabeur whose drop shots and forehand made Rybakina go for many unforced errors. But post conceding the 1st set, Rybakina changed the gear for all the trailing in 1st set and ensured enough aces and volley to make it 6-2 in the 2nd set for 1-1 tie. For the 3rd set, Elena led with 2-0 but got holded by Jabeur to make it 3-2 but outshined Jabeur with a 5-2, finally breaking the latter’s serve in the decider.

Not to forget the incredible journey of Ons Jabeur so far. It was the World No 2 Ons Jabeur who became the first Arab and african women to become the Wimbledon finalist but wasn’t at her best to defeat the 17th seed Elena Rybakina who switched her nationality to Kazakhstan in 2018 (owing to the lack of funding and infrastructure for her game) before representing Russia. Just like Elena who wrote the history as the first kazakh to be claimed as winner in the Wimbledon, it could have been the same to Ons too being the first Arab and African women.Though the losing cause made the Ons emotional, it was her grit, determination and the post match interview which reflected her strong character.

In the Post Match Interview, the Introvert Champion Elena had her say on the Wimbledon title. She stated “I was super nervous before the match, during the match and I’m happy it’s finished, to be honest. Really I have never felt something like this. I want to thank the crowd for the support, it was unbelievable these two weeks,” the 23-year-old said. But also I want to congratulate Ons for a great match and everything you have achieved. I think you are an inspiration for everybody. You have an amazing game. We don’t have someone like this on tour and it is a joy to play against you. I ran so much, I don’t think I need to do fitness anymore”. With this title, Elena became the youngest player to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish since 2011.

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