September 7, 2010

DNA/ Hindustan Times

Malaysia plans special school for pregnant teenagers

Malaysian state authorities will soon open a school exclusively for pregnant teenagers to help them overcome the stigma of having children without being married, an official said on Wednesday.

The school will be able to accept about 30 students starting Sept 16, making the southern state of Malacca the first in this Muslim-majority country to have such an institution, said school chairman Abdul Rahman Abdul Karim.

The plan comes after Malaysian officials have voiced increasing concerns about teenagers who inadvertently become pregnant and drop out of school. Some young mothers have abandon their babies in garbage dumps, bushes or public toilets.

The Islamic affairs department in Malacca will run the school and offer classes in math, science, English and other subjects alongside religious counseling for the girls, Abdul Rahman said. They can also stay in a hostel next to the school.

"We want to give them a second chance to rebuild their future," Abdul Rahman said, "After they deliver their babies, the girls can go back to their ordinary schools."

Sex without wedlock remains a taboo for many Muslims in Malaysia, where more than 50 babies have been found abandoned so far this year. Many of them died. Officials in Malacca have recorded at least 170 babies born without wedlock this year. More than 70 were delivered by teenage girls. Malacca's chief minister recently encouraged Muslim teenagers to get married if they cannot resist having sex and promised to allocate state funds to help them start a family.

Times of India

Saki Naka girl cried rape at aunts behest

Mumbai: The rape charges levelled by a 12-year-old girl from Saki Naka against nine persons,including her cousin,has turned out to be false.

The girl,who is currently lodged at Mankhurd Children Home,has told the police that her aunt,Jyotsna Bapat,and uncle had forced her to lodge a false complaint.And,the police said,the Bapats had wanted to frame the nine in a fake rape case to settle some old scores over a property dispute and also to extract money from them.Jyotsna also named her son,Daval (22),in the case to make it appear real.

The police will submit a B Summary (false complaint) case to court that will decide on the further course of action.The girls aunt had found out that she had an illicit relationship with her uncle.The girl has claimed that her aunt blackmailed her into lodging the complaint to frame one of the accused and his employees.Jyotsna was involved in a property dispute with the person concerned, the police said.

Based on the girls complaint lodged on March 19,a paint shop owner,Jamuna Sharma (71),his son Rajesh,his employees,Jitendra Yadav (25),Vinod Yadav (27),Vakil Ahmed (27) and Premchand Pandit (35),Daval,his friend Raj Sharma and another person were booked.The girl claimed that Daval and Raj were the main culprits,each of whom had raped her six times since 2008.

Of the accused persons,six were released on bail,while three got anticipatory bail.Daval had been at large for some times.But last month,he came to us and told us that he was out of the city and not hiding.He also said he did not have any clue why his parents did such a thing, Saki Naka senior inspector S R Dhanedhar said.

Deputy commissioner of police (Zone X) Prakash Mutyal said,We are searching for the aunt and uncle who have gone into hiding.

Times of India

Helpline launched for women and children

Adipath Foundation and Research Centre, a newly formed NGO believes in prevention of abuse and trauma of women and children at home. This NGO aims to extend a helping hand to victims of physical abuse, particularly women and children. In an attempt to reach out to such victims, the foundation has launched at toll-free helpline number, which is presently functioning in the city and the state of Maharashtra.
Talking about the unique initiative, advocate Neelima Kanetkar, general secretary of the foundation, stated, “Adi means beginning in Sanskrit and path means 'marg' or a way/ road. Adipath, therefore, means beginning of a new path for such victims.

We are a team of experts from various fields and we will provide counseling, knowledge with regards to legal rights, medical advice depending on the case of the caller. In the first stage, we will counsel them over the telephone, depending on the seriousness of the situation. If there is a need for personal interaction, we will refer them to the nearest centre/ trust/ social welfare organization.”

In the words of Dr Madhuri Gurjar, vice-president of the foundation, “We will also hold awareness campaigns, workshops, seminars etc in the educational institutions to address issues like pre-marriage counseling, pre and post-divorce counseling, empowerment of women, legal literacy with regard to rights of women and children in distress.

We have already finalized with colleges like Ruparel and we are in the process of holding such camps at institutions like Indian Education Society’s schools spread across the city including the suburbs of Mulund and Bhandup.” According to the members, teenagers also need to be aware of their legal rights because being soft targets; they often become victims of physical abuse.

Hence, there is a need to create public awareness to enlighten different groups at large to deal with their problems and also to prevent abuse/ trauma at home. According to Meera Joshi, the other vice president and retired LIC officer, “We have restricted our helpline service, which is functioning from 12 - 6 pm, only to Maharashtra.

The caller can tell us their problems over the telephone, without disclosing their identity. We will guide and counsel them depending on their problem or impart information of available services in the proximity of the caller.The foundation is supported by several eminent patrons like Justice Sri Krishna, Dr Snehalata Deshmukh (former vice-chancellor, Mumbai University), Kalindi Muzumdar (former vice-principal, Nirmala Niketan college of Social work), Mahesh Kothare (accomplished film-maker from the Marathi film industry) and others.

To raise the necessary financial resources for this noble cause, the foundation collaborated with Klub Nostalgia, (a Powai-based musical event management organization) to organize a musical show on August 13.N R Ventatachalam, founder of Klub Nostalgia, added, “The musical show was held at Yeshwant Natya Mandir, as a musical tribute to Mohd Rafi, to mark his 30th death anniversary.

All our shows are done for charity. This NGO deals with a noble cause, so we provided a platform during this show wherein the audience were given some information regarding the toll free number and its purpose.”

Toll free helpline -- 1800 220 205 from 12 – 6 pm. Sunday closed.
Alternate contacts: 99670 15120/ 98207 97377

Times of India

Wild fantasies step out of bedrooms

Bestiality,Zoophilia Not Uncommon In India,Say Experts At Sex Meet
Chennai: Stories about group of young boys having sex with buffaloes in rural South India,upwardly mobile women tutoring dogs in intercourse,and a group of frequent flyers travelling in search of stallions tumbled out of doctors case sheets after US-based sex therapist Hani Miletski spoke about bestiality and zoophilia during 26th national sex conference being held in the city.The session,however,did not arrive at a conclusion whether bestiality,which is punishable under Section 377 (unnatural sex) of the Indian Penal Code,was right or wrong.In fact,the session raised more questions than answers.Yet,everyone agreed bestiality is not rare in India.

Chennai-based sexologist Dr Narayana Reddy said six months ago,a young couple from Vellore had visited him.The initial complaint was that the man had problems of erectile dysfunction.They were married for five years but they never had sex.

When I independently investigated,I found that the 29-year-old man preferred buffaloes as partners.He has been having sex with female buffaloes for several years along with the boys in his age group, he said.In another case,he said,an upwardly mobile woman preferred to involve her pet dog whenever her spouse wanted to have sex.

Its complicated to give solutions.For now,we ask our clients what they are looking for.On most occasions,its an attempt to save the marriage and we help them, Dr Reddy said.There are,however,no studies indicating statistics on sexual activity with animals in the country.But by practice,most sexologists say its high in the rural areas and among those living in close proximity of livestock.

Miletski, who carried out a study on bestiality for a doctoral dissertation at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, said there were two classes of people having sex with animal - the bestialites and zoophiles. While bestialites are those who have sexual contacts with an animal or use them when they don’t find human partners, zoophiles prefer an animal as a sex partner, often forming deep emotional relationships with them. Though the practice is as old as 25,000 years, there is still little knowledge about this, she said.

As for the number of people involved, she quoted a US-based study done by Kinsey which indicated that 8% of men and 4% of women in the US were indulging in sex with animals. In her own study, Miletski surveyed the answers of given by 93 people82 men and 11 women to the questionnaire. Many of her samples admitted that they felt disgusted with the thought of having sex with humans. She quoted one of them: Ask a homosexual if they want to have sex with opposite gender. There were a flood of questions, but most had no definite answers. Some doctors argued that people indulging in animal sex have as much rights to fight for legality as much as homosexuals. Many others chose to oppose it because it could lead to dangerous consequences.

Times of India
Hindustan Times

Rights Group Condems India's Rape Test

India's government, which is reforming its sexual violence laws, should ban the unscientific, degrading "finger test" on rape victims, Human Rights Watch said.
In a report released Monday, the organization said the continued use of the archaic practice, and reliance on the results by many defense lawyers and courts, perpetuates false, damaging stereotypes of rape survivors as "loose" women.

The procedure, described in outdated medical jurisprudence textbooks, involves a doctor inserting fingers in a rape victim's vagina to determine the presence or absence of the hymen and the so-called "laxity" of the vagina. Defense attorneys use the findings to challenge the credibility and character of the survivors.

"This test is yet another assault on a rape survivor, placing her at risk of further humiliation," said Aruna Kashyap, women's rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. "The Indian government should heed demands of Indian activists to abolish this degrading and useless practice."

The report, "Dignity on Trial: India's Need for Sound Standards for Conducting and Interpreting Forensic Examinations of Rape Survivors," is based on interviews in Mumbai and Delhi with activists, rape survivors and their parents, prosecutors, other lawyers, judges, doctors and forensic experts. Research also included an analysis of 153 High Court judgments on rape that referred to finger-test findings.
HRW said the Indian government should prohibit the tests and align medical treatment and forensic examinations of sexual violence victims with rights to health, privacy, dignity, and legal remedy.

The rights organization said the government should introduce sensitivity programs for doctors, police, prosecutors and judges concerning the rights of survivors, as well as establish multidisciplinary teams in all government hospitals that are sensitive to survivors and can conduct tests that respect their rights.

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