Taal Chhapar to get National Park status
Taal Chhapar, a sanctuary celebrated for viewing and photographing black bucks in large herds, will soon get the status of a National Park. The State Forest Department and the Board for Wildlife have been constantly working on increasing the size of the sanctuary to provide more space to some 2,200-plus black bucks and a wide variety of resident and migratory birds in this tiny, 917-hectare sanctuary in Rajasthan’s Churu district.
The Rajasthan Board for Wildlife had cleared a proposal in June 2011 to acquire an additional 1,257 hectares of land from the adjoining villages: Surwas, Devani and Bheed Chhapar.
A known place for sighting of black bucks, Demoiselle cranes, harriers (Montagu’s harrier, marsh harrier) and a variety of eagles. The wildlife census for 2011, released a fortnight back by the Forest Department, mentions the presence of 2,206 black bucks, 18 chinkaras (Indian gazelles), 87 foxes, 42 blue bulls and 15 jungle cats in the sanctuary.
Mecca Masjid blast cases detailed report sought
Andhra Pradesh Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy has directed the police officials to submit a detailed report in about 15 days about the cases registered in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast and the communal disturbances in March, 2010.
Microfinance industries led to debtors suicides
The microfinance industry led a woman to throw herself into a pond and another to jump into a well with her children. Sometimes, the debt collectors watched nearby.
According to media reports compiled by the State government, more than 200 poor, debt-ridden residents of Andhra Pradesh killed themselves in late 2010. The State blamed microfinance companies which give small loans intended to lift up the very poor for fuelling a frenzy of over-indebtedness, and then pressuring borrowers so relentlessly that some took their own lives.
There are stark stories to mention:
One woman drank pesticide and died a day after an SKS loan agent told her to prostitute her daughters to pay off her debt. She had been given Rs. 1.5 lakh in loans but only made Rs. 600 a week.
Another SKS debt collector told a delinquent borrower to drown herself in a pond if she wanted her loan waived. The next day, she did. She left behind four children.
One agent blocked a woman from bringing her young son, weak with diarrhoea, to the hospital, demanding payment first.