Fighting Fake News, Removing Paan Stains and Reducing The Weight of School Bags
Start the new year with a dose of uplifting news from all across the country
Reducing the weight of school bags
The issue of heavy school bags often makes headlines, which has forced the Centre and the states to think about solutions in the past. The HRD ministry has recently woken up to this reality once again.
A November 2018 circular, sent to several states and union territories, set weight limits for the school bags carried by students. The specified limit ranges from 1.5 kg (for classes I and II) to 5 kg (for class X). It also prohibits assigning homework to students of classes I and II. Heavy school bags can hurt a child’s posture and even damage their nervous system. If this allows them to get rid of the burden, we are all for it!
Representational image (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Removing paan stains
Fed up with people spitting out mouthfuls of gutkha or paan and staining public spaces, eight girls from Mumbai’s Ramnarain Ruia College took up the challenge of developing a cost-effective, eco-friendly solution for stain removal. The girls spent months understanding how stains work by visiting paan shops, discussing with professionals from the chemical industry and interacting with the railway cleaners.
Finally, they came up with a gel consisting of enzymes and microbes. Their efforts earned them a gold medal at a competition in Boston in 2018, among other awards. Their achievement was also felicitated by the Maharashtra chief minister. Hats off to the girls!
Janardan Singh, a constable in UP’s Vibhuti Khand police station in Lucknow, had been looking forward to the day he would salute the newly appointed IPS officer who took charge as the superintendent of police (north).
His new boss was Anoop Kumar Singh—his son—whose posting in October filled the 57-year-old father with pride. “He is first an officer, then my son. I will salute him just as l would any other officer,” he said.
But for 29-year-old Anoop, despite the challenge, Janardan will always be the doting father who ensured that his children’s studies were unaffected despite financial constraints. “My day starts with touching his feet in the morning. I have tried to live by his principles,” he said.
Spotted by Lester Santos
Fighting fake news
Rema Rajeshwari, the superintendent of police in Telangana, has certainly shown the way to slay the fake news monster. Earlier in 2018, in the district she supervises in Telangana, a combination of poor media literacy and a slew of malicious rumours portraying certain people as kidnappers had led to widespread fear and paranoia. However, before things got out of hand, the police initiated an awareness campaign, added themselves to community WhatsApp groups and sent town criers to warn the public of the dangers of sharing such news. “Don’t spread these messages. When strangers come to your village, don’t take the law into your own hands” Rajeshwari announces. As a result of her diligent efforts, 400 villages under Rajeshwari’s jurisdiction were able to prevent fake news-related deaths.