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    Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize

    Malala, 17, is the youngest recipient of the prize

    They were awarded the prize “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people”

    Announcing the award, the Nobel Committee said it was important that a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, had joined     in what it called a common struggle for education and against extremism.

Kailash Satyarthi is an Indian children’s rights advocate working to eradicate child slavery and bonded labour. He featured in a BBC piece on child labour in India in February this year, talking about his work for children’s charity Bachpan Bacchao Andolan.

Reacting to the news, Mr Satyarthi tells the BBC: “It’s a great honour for all the Indians, it’s an honour for all those children who have been still living in slavery despite of all the advancement in technology, market and economy. And I dedicate this award to all those children in the world.

As it happened: Malala and Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize

Our heads hang in shame when we hear about rapes. Why can’t we prevent this? When a daughter steps out, parents demand to know where she’s going. But when a son returns home, does anyone dare ask where he is coming from? He might have been with the wrong people, doing wrong things. After all, a person raping is someone’s son. Why don’t parents apply the same yardstick of good behaviour for their sons as for their daughters?
Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, used his first Independence Day speech to call on parents to take responsibility for the actions of their sons, saying the country is shamed by sexual violence.  (via guardian)


Incredible sight of the elephant that cried: Raju was held in chains, beaten and abused for fifty years and on the day he was released tears rolled down his face

  • Raju was held in chains for more than 50 years after being poached in India
  • The animal bled from spiked shackles and lived on hand-outs from tourists
  • Team from North London charity Wildlife SOS travelled to India to free animal
  • Raju cried tears of joy after being freed from suffering on American Independence Day
  • Five-and-a-half tonne animal driven 350 miles away to safe conservation area

 These incredible pictures show the moment an elephant who was held in chains and beaten and abused for fifty years cried as he was released to freedom.

Raju the elephant was left bleeding from spiked shackles and living on hand-outs from passing tourists after he was captured and tied up by his ‘owner’.

But, after 50 years of torture, the animal cried tears of relief after he was rescued by a wildlife charity in a daring midnight operation – fittingly on American Independence Day.

North London-based charity Wildlife SOS stepped in to save Raju from dying in his bonds after learning of his plight in India.

Every day, the majestic animal was forced to hold out his trunk and beg for a few coins from passers-by – surviving only on plastic and paper for food.

However, last week, a 10-strong team of vets and wildlife experts from the charity were joined by 20 forestry department officers and six policemen to seize Raju from his suffering in the Uttar Pradesh area of India.

 The mission took place under the cover of darkness, as fewer people would be around for the dangerous rescue and the animal could be protected from the searing heat of the sun.

Pooja Binepal, the charity’s UK spokesman, described the rescue as ‘incredibly emotional’ for the team.

She said: ‘Raju has spent the past 50 years living a pitiful existence in chains 24 hours a day, an act of intolerable cruelty.

‘The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue. It was so incredibly emotional for all of us. We knew in our hearts he realised he was being freed.

‘Elephants are not only majestic, but they are highly intelligent animals, who have been proven to have feelings of grief, so we can only imagine what torture half a century has been like for him.

‘Until we stepped in he’d never known what it is like to walk free of his shackles – it’s a truly pitiful case.

‘But today he knows what freedom is and he will learn what kindness feels like and what it’s like to not suffer any more.’

The daring rescue came exactly a year to the day since the charity was alerted to Raju’s plight by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department in India.

A confiscation process went through the courts as Raju’s owner did not have any legal documents for his possession meaning the charity could rescue him from suffering.

It is not known exactly how Raju came into his plight, as little is known about his early years, but the charity believes he was poached from his mother as a young calf.

 Ms Binepal said: ‘The poachers either slaughter the mother, or they drive the herd into traps that are small enough only for the babies to fall into. The mother cries for her baby for days after he’s been stolen – it is a sickening trade.

‘The calves are then tied and beaten until they submit to their owners – their spirits are effectively broken.

‘We discovered Raju’s case was particularly tragic.

‘He’d been poached as a calf and then he has been sold on and sold on. Incredibly we believe he has had up to 27 owners – he’s been treated as a commodity every two years of his life.

‘By the time we found him in July 2013 he was in a pathetic condition. He had no shelter at night, and was being used as a prop to beg from dawn until dusk from tourists visiting the sites of India.

‘He hasn’t been fed properly and tourists started giving him sweet food items and because he was in a state of hunger and exhaustion he began eating plastic and paper.

‘His nails are severely overgrown, he has abscesses and wounds because of the shackles and continually walking on a tarmac road has led to his foot pad overgrowing.’

Once the court order was finally issued, a team led by Wildlife SOS founder Kartick Satyanarayan carried out two days of surveillance before launching the rescue.

Mr Satyanarayan said: ‘As we watched we quickly realised we had to act as quickly as possible as his situation was so desperate and the cruelty so extreme so we decided to move the rescue forward by a day.

‘The chains around his legs had spikes which were cutting into his flesh – and each time he moved puss would ooze out of wounds. Pain and brutality were all he knew.

‘His cruel handler even tore out the hair from his tail to sell as good luck charms. The exploitation and abuse just had to stop.’

However, even on Thursday evening as the mercy mission began, Raju’s owner tried to prevent his rescue.

Mr Satyanarayan said: ‘He began to shout commands to terrify Raju – and try to provoke him.

‘It created an incredibly dangerous situation as a bull elephant could snap a human like a tooth pick if he becomes afraid or angry.

‘When that failed he then put a series of chains around his legs in an attempt to prevent us removing him – so viciously tight that were cutting into his legs.

‘But we stood our ground and refused to back down – and as we did so, tears began to roll down Raju’s face. Some no doubt were due to the pain being inflicted by the chains, but he also seemed to sense that change was coming. It was as if he felt hope for the first time in a very long time.

‘We knew it was now or never so we made the drastic decision to move his transportation truck closer and then walk him 200 yards.

‘Every step would have been agony, but we had to take him, or he could have vanished forever. We decided we’d remove the shackles once we’d got him to safety.’

Incredibly, Raju calmly complied, despite every step causing searing agony.

‘It was as if he knew we wanted to help him,’ Mr Satyanarayan said.

Once he was loaded, and given additional sedation, a convoy then escorted the five-and-a-half tonne elephant, 350 miles on the back of an open-top lorry to the charity’s Elephant Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura.

‘Incredibly he stepped out of his truck and took his first step to freedom at one minute past midnight on July 4th, which felt so extraordinarily fitting,’ Mr Satyanarayan said.

‘The other elephants in the sanctuary awoke from their sleep as we pulled in and came to have a look – it was an extraordinary moment.’

Raju was then fed bananas, banana leaves, mango and bread and biscuits and given water before the charity’s head wildlife vet Dr Yaduraj Khadpekar began the painstaking process of removing his shackles.

Mr Satyanarayan said: ‘It took him and two handlers 45 minutes to liberate him as they’d been wound round his legs to prevent their removal and to cause pain if anyone tried to take them off.

‘We all had tears in our eyes as the last rope which held the final spike was cut and Raju took his first steps of freedom.

‘The entire team were exhausted, but incredibly elated as he has suffered such unthinkable abuse and trauma for so, so long. He’d been beaten so badly, his spirit is broken.’

Over the weekend, Raju received emergency medical attention to his wounds as well as a proper bath and food.

‘It will be a long rehabilitation process, but we will teach him that humans don’t mean pain and brutality, but it’s going to take time,’ Mr Satyanarayan said.

‘When he is ready he will initially join two companion elephants called Rajesh and Bhola, who once also suffered unthinkable cruelty.

‘They’ve both been rehabilitated and once he settles he will learn how to live again by following their example, before he joins the rest of the elephants – including five flirtatious females to live out his days.

‘But for the moment he’s tasting freedom for the first time in his life and he’ll spend the rest of his life in a safe compound living out his days in dignity, free from suffering and pain.’

The charity has now launched a campaign to raise £10,000 to help Raju begin the start of his new life in a new enclosure which will allow him to roam with his adoptive family.

To donate to Raju’s recovery click here:

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BBC News - The Indian sanitary pad revolutionary




Here me out - yes, this is a fairly long article about sanitary pads. It’s absolutely the best thing you’ll read all day, though.

It also might restore a little faith in your fellow man, because this guy is something else.

I wanted to clap when I finished reading it.

What a crazy, amazing, awesome story.

Fucking brilliant. I’m so glad I read this. 


HarassMap is a new web-based platform that encourages residents of India’s financial capital to report sex crimes and help mark unsafe areas. Launched by Akshara Centre, the open-sourced software allows victims to report different types of harassment anonymously, describe the incident and detail the profile of the harasser.

"We have to understand that the police cannot be everywhere. Yet, crimes against women need to be heard," said Nandita Gandhi of Akshara.

Read more at Al Jazeera English.


Dolphins have been granted “non-human personhood” status by the government of India, making India the first nation in the world to recognize the unique intelligence and self-awareness of the cetacean order (a class of aquatic mammals).

The decision was announced by India’s Minister of the Environment and Forests which also outlawed captive dolphin shows. The ministry added that dolphins “should have their own specific rights.” (SOURCE)



The Times of India is running 1/4 page ads on why men should respect women.

This is huge. There are no words for how happy I am to post this vs everything I usually reblog.

(Waiting for the NY Times to do something similar. Of course, they’d have to take time off from justifying the actions of gang rapists.)

We Won’t Beat Climate Change Until We’ve Beaten Coal

Of course, there’s a reason why coal is so popular in China and in much of the rest of the world: it’s very, very cheap. And that’s why, despite the danger coal poses to health and the environment, neither China nor many other rapidly growing developing nations are likely to turn away from it. (If you really want to get scared, see this report from the International Energy Agency — hat tip to Ed Crooks of the Financial Times — which notes that by 2017, India could be burning more importing as much coal as China.) That’s likely to remain the case in poor nations until clean energy can compete with coal on price — and that day hasn’t come yet.

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