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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

SC wants special prison for terrorists
New Delhi, February 5
The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to consider setting up a separate high-security prison for terrorists arrested under the new central law.

Chhattisgarh warned against arming
Salwa Judum

New Delhi, February 5
The Supreme Court today warned the Chhattisgarh government against arming Salwa Judum, the people’s movement against Naxalites, stating that a stage might come when retrieving weapons would be difficult.

Mumbai Heat
Share probe outcome with India, Pak told
New Delhi, February 5
Appreciating the patience and restraint exercised by India in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today firmly asked Pakistan to conduct a thorough investigation into the strikes and share the outcome with New Delhi.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee presents Sustainable Development Leadership Award to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New Delhi on Thursday.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee presents Sustainable Development Leadership Award to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New Delhi on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

HC nullifies Maha DGP’s appointment
Mumbai, January 5
The Bombay High Court today set aside the appointment of Anami N Roy as the Director General of Police, Maharashtra. Terming Roy's elevation as illegal, the court asked the state government to appoint a new DGP within four weeks.

DNA Test Reveals
Kasab was on board MV Kuber
Mumbai, February 5
Forensic tests conducted on material found on board fishing trawler MV Kuber, which ferried terrorists who carried out the November 26 attacks in Mumbai, indicates that Mohammad Ajmal Amir Iman, alias Kasab, was one of its passengers.

Kalyan Connection
Mulayam has betrayed Muslims,
says rebel MP

Lucknow, February 5
Coming down heavily on Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav for joining hands with Kalyan Singh, rebel SP MP from Moradabad Shafiqur-Rehman Barq accused him of betraying Muslims. Speaking to the media, the sitting MP, who has been denied a ticket this time, clarified that this was not the reason for his deciding to speak up.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi shakes hands with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before their meeting at her residence in New Delhi on Thursday.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi shakes hands with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before their meeting at her residence in New Delhi on Thursday. Ban said that a climate deal at Copenhagen may not be possible unless politicians take tough decisions without worrying about winning elections and compulsions of their domestic politics. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES

Never mind the Bill, faculty quota possible: Arjun Singh
Wants madrasas to be co-educational
New Delhi, February 5
Top technical education institutions, including IITs and IIMs will have to wait long before they can de-reserve their faculty positions. Days after the IIT Council was informed of the law passed last December by the Rajya Sabha, exempting 47 institutes of national importance from making SC/ST reservations in their faculty positions excepting in the lowest grade, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh today said such reservation was still a strong possibility.

Poaching Of Tigers
Centre sounds red alert in 17 states
New Delhi, February 5
Alarmed at the instances of poaching and deaths of more than 10 tigers in the past three months, the Centre has sounded a red alert across 17 states.

Rail projects in Lalu’s constituency approved
New Delhi, February 5
Out to appease constituents in his constituency, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav today got the Union Cabinet to approve the Ministry of Railways’ proposal for setting up green-field electric and diesel locomotive factories at Madhepura and Marhowra districts of Madhepura and Saran (Chhapra), respectively, in Bihar.

Maya launches welfare scheme for girls
Lucknow, February 5
Chief Minister Mayawati yesterday formally inaugurated the Savitri Bai Phule Balika Siksha Madad Yojana by presenting Rs 15,000 in cash and a bicycle to 10 girl students.

Govt for mid-day meals in Christian schools
New Delhi, February 5
The government is open to starting the mid-day meal (MDM) scheme in private Christian schools, not yet covered under the scheme. The HRD Ministry today set up a high-level committee to look at the need and feasibility of providing the scheme to private Christian schools, primarily those in the tribal areas.

Polls: EC issues directions to states
New Delhi, February 5
The Election Commission of India today laid down parameters for the transfer of officials and set deadline for end of this month. It also sought filling all election-related posts before February 20.

The cop who took violence to heart
Patna, February 4
In an unusual incident, a police inspector suffered a massive heart attack after he failed to contain a violent clash between two communities at village pathan toli under Sidhwalia Police station of Gopalganj district ( 150 km away from Patna) on Wednesday.

Rs 25 bribe comes to haunt doc after 24 yrs
Patna, February 5
Accepting a bribe of Rs 25 can put you into an agony for 24 years. Had Dr Balgovind Prasad, then employed in an Eastern Railway Hospital at Patna, known this, he may not have accepted the graft of Rs 25 from a railway sweeper posted at Mahendrughat in Patna for issuing a medial certificate way back in 1985.

National child award presented to 38 children
New Delhi, February 5
Exceptionally talented students made disability appear small by emerging winners at the National Child Award function presided over by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi here today.





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SC wants special prison for terrorists
R. Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, February 5
The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to consider setting up a separate high-security prison for terrorists arrested under the new central law.

The prison, to be located in Delhi or Maharashtra, could be manned by central forces, Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan suggested during hearing of a PIL that had sought prison reforms in view of overcrowding in jails and lack of basic facilities.

The CJI made the proposal after counsel DK Garg, appearing for the petitioner Manzoor Ali Khan, said since the government had already set up a federal agency, central forces could guard the prisons.

The CJI bench, which also included Justice P Sathasivam, observed that it would be better for the Centre to set up a separate prison for terrorists than deploy central forces at jails.

The PIL, filed in 2004, has also sought conduct of trial through videoconferencing as lot of money and manpower was involved in taking the accused to the courts.

The court was informed today that most of the states had filed their affidavits, stating that wherever possible the trial was being conducted through videoconferencing.

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Chhattisgarh warned against arming Salwa Judum
R. Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, February 5
The Supreme Court today warned the Chhattisgarh government against arming Salwa Judum, the people’s movement against Naxalites, stating that a stage might come when retrieving weapons would be difficult.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam asked the petitioner, Nandini Sunder, to respond to the state government’s action taken report (ATR) and also make suggestions for dealing with the situation arising from Salwa Judum’s existence.

State counsel KK Venugopal said the movement was dying, but this was strongly disputed by the petitioner’s counsel TR Andhyarujina who said Chief Minister Raman Singh had made a statement recently extending support to Salwa Judum.

The CJI wondered why the state government continued to provide arms, upon which Venugopal said the movement’s volunteers were acquiring weapons on their own and subsequently sought to justify it, stating the Naxalites problem was not merely law and order. As many as 253 policemen were killed in the past one year, far outnumbering the fatal casualties suffered by Naxalites.

CJI Balakrishnan, however, made it clear that it should be tackled through other methods, including posting more and more security personnel from the Central forces. He said he was, however, at a loss to understand why the Naxalites problem was on the rise despite implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. The basic reason was poverty and lack of infrastructure, besides high rate of illiteracy, he felt.

If no steps were taken to disarm Salwa Judum, the court would have to take a “drastic position”, the CJI made it clear.

The state had filed the ATR on the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The apex court had asked the state to implement the NHRC suggestions.

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Mumbai Heat
Share probe outcome with India, Pak told
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Appreciating the patience and restraint exercised by India in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today firmly asked Pakistan to conduct a thorough investigation into the strikes and share the outcome with New Delhi.

Ban, who was here for a summit on sustainable development, called on External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the South Block here and discussed a wide range of issues, including the regional situation with particular reference to India-Pakistan ties.

Official sources said India shared with the UN chief the details of its investigations, which clearly suggested the involvement of elements in Pakistan in the attacks.

Mukherjee told Ban that India wanted Pakistan to take ‘credible, transparent and verifiable’ action to bring to justice the perpetrators of the attacks. He also drew attention of the UN chief to the outrage in India over the Mumbai attacks.

Ban, sharing the sentiments of Mukherjee, briefed him on his discussions with the Pakistani leadership in Islamabad, where he asked Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani to fully cooperate with India in investigating the Mumbai attacks.

The Indian minister said Pakistan did not appear to be serious about its investigations as was evident from reports appearing in the media, suggesting that it was trying to delink itself from the attacks.

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HC nullifies Maha DGP’s appointment
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, January 5
The Bombay High Court today set aside the appointment of Anami N Roy as the Director General of Police, Maharashtra. Terming Roy's elevation as illegal, the court asked the state government to appoint a new DGP within four weeks.

Roy had superseded three senior officers to become the state police chief.

A division bench of the court, headed by Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar,

upheld an earlier order by the Central Administrative Tribunal which struck down Roy’s appointment as DGP. The appointment --- which was made by former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh in February last --- was challenged before CAT by Director General of Police (Home Guards and Civil Defence) S Chakravarthy on the grounds that three officials in the seniority list were overlooked. The senior most IPS official in Maharashtra is former Punjab DGP SS Virk. But the government said since courts in Punjab have indicted him, his claim for the top job was overlooked. However, the new government headed by CM Ashok Chavan is likely to take a fresh look at Virk’s claim for the top job, said officials here.

The third officer superseded by Roy is JD Virkar. All three officials were at least two years senior to Roy. State government officials said legal experts are mulling the option of moving the Supreme Court to stay the HC order. Roy, who has been directly affected by the court ruling, may also approach the apex court, they added.

Meanwhile, Chakravarthy, on whose petition Roy was unseated, is visibly pleased. “I am happy that truth has prevailed,” Chakravarthy told reporters after the court’s ruling. The police official added that he would not hesitate to approach the Supreme Court if the state government appealed against the ruling in the apex court. Chakravarthy had moved CAT challenging Roy’s appointment last year. The tribunal had quashed the appointment in October last, but the state government chose to overlook the ruling and asked Roy to continue as the state police head.

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DNA Test Reveals
Kasab was on board MV Kuber
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, February 5
Forensic tests conducted on material found on board fishing trawler MV Kuber, which ferried terrorists who carried out the November 26 attacks in Mumbai, indicates that Mohammad Ajmal Amir Iman, alias Kasab, was one of its passengers. Kasab is the only terrorist to be taken alive from the group of 10 who landed in Mumbai and carried out the attacks.

Mumbai’s Joint Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria told reporters here today that forensic tests conducted on blankets and other equipment found on board the Kuber matched with Kasab’s DNA samples. “This proves that the terrorists travelled by Kuber,” Maria said.

However, the forensic reports still do not conclusively show that Kasab and other terrorists were from Pakistan since the neighbouring country has not allowed investigators to obtain DNA samples of its nationals for cross-verification.

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Kalyan Connection
Mulayam has betrayed Muslims, says rebel MP
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, February 5
Coming down heavily on Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav for joining hands with Kalyan Singh, rebel SP MP from Moradabad Shafiqur-Rehman Barq accused him of betraying Muslims. Speaking to the media, the sitting MP, who has been denied a ticket this time, clarified that this was not the reason for his deciding to speak up.

“Recent events have proved that Mulayam Singh’s secular character has undergone change. Muslims, who had stood by him since the inception of the party, now no longer matter,” he said.

Denying that the Muslim MPs are planning to quit the party, Barq said, on the contrary, they were planning to remain in the party and expose the party president’s double standards regarding the minority community.

Barqi said the Lok Sabha elections would decide the fate of the Samajwadi Party without Muslim support. “Has Mulayam Singh Yadav forgotten that Muslims had made him a national leader. There are only 7 per cent Yadavs while the Muslim population is around 25 per cent,” he added.

Explaining his anguish of being charged of articulating his thoughts as he had been denied a Lok Sabha ticket, he said he had been a founder member of the Babri Masjid Action Committee and had fought against communalism. “How can we forgive the same Kalyan Singh who had once said that the Babri mosque was like a nail in his heart? Only Allah can forgive him. No ordinary mortal,” he said.

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Never mind the Bill, faculty quota possible: Arjun Singh
Wants madrasas to be co-educational
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Top technical education institutions, including IITs and IIMs will have to wait long before they can de-reserve their faculty positions. Days after the IIT Council was informed of the law passed last December by the Rajya Sabha, exempting 47 institutes of national importance from making SC/ST reservations in their faculty positions excepting in the lowest grade, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh today said such reservation was still a strong possibility.

The minister was speaking on the sidelines of the third annual meeting of the National Monitoring Committee for Minority Education for which the HRD Ministry will seek a statutory status through a Bill in the forthcoming session. Arjun Singh also made it clear that madrasas should be co-educational like all other educational institutes. He termed as regressive the Uttar Pradesh Madrasa Board diktat of removing girls from madrasa rolls. “In this age of equal participation, this can’t be done,” said Singh. He also firmly indicated that de-reservation of faculty posts in top institutions would not be easy. “But you will have to keep patience for that,” said the minister, when asked what the HRD Ministry would do about the new law that was passed by the Rajya Sabha recently that exempted 47 institutes from faculty reservation.

“You know how the Bill was passed. Moreover, the Lok Sabha is yet to pass it,” Arjun Singh said. The Department of Personnel and Training had earlier drafted the Scheduled Tribes (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill, 2008, which provides the aforesaid exemption that seems to contradict the government’s reservation policy.

The Rajya Sabha had hurriedly passed the Bill amid a lot of din last December. Earlier, the HRD Minister had sought a clarification on the issue from the PMO.

“Never counselled Kalyan on Babri demolition”, Arjun Arjun Singh said today that the Mulayam Singh-Kalyan Singh tie up was not healthy at all. “The Congress has already indicated its stand on the matter and it has not appreciated the recent alliance between the SP and Kalyan Singh,” said Arjun Singh, adding that at the time of the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 he had not gone to meet the then UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh as anyone’s messenger. “The PM had asked me to meet Kalyan Singh and I did so. I had not gone to counsel Kalyan Singh with respect to the Babri Masjid demolition.” SP general secretary Amar Singh had recently accused the HRD Minister of not doing enough to stop the demolition

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Poaching Of Tigers
Centre sounds red alert in 17 states

New Delhi, February 5
Alarmed at the instances of poaching and deaths of more than 10 tigers in the past three months, the Centre has sounded a red alert across 17 states.

“We have asked the tiger-range states to be on their toes to ensure that poachers do not kill animals. There have been intelligence inputs that tiger killers are on the prowl,” Rajesh Gopal, member secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority, said.

“There are some wandering gangs which are targeting big cats in tiger reserves, particularly in the north-east and central India. In view of serious threats to tiger reserves in Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, separate alerts have been sent to these states to tighten security,” Gopal said.

In the past three months, eight tigers were killed or found dead in Kaziranga. In Kanha too, four to five tigers are believed to have been killed or found dead in the past one year. Early this year, a tiger skin was found in the Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand.

At present only 1,400 tigers are left in the country as per the recent census conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), a fact which has raised serious concern among wildlife activists as well as the government on their declining numbers.

“We have also passed on information to the states about the poachers and have asked them to take steps to be vigilant,” Gopal added.— PTI

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Rail projects in Lalu’s constituency approved
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Out to appease constituents in his constituency, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav today got the Union Cabinet to approve the Ministry of Railways’ proposal for setting up green-field electric and diesel locomotive factories at Madhepura and Marhowra districts of Madhepura and Saran (Chhapra), respectively, in Bihar.

The Cabinet, at its meeting here, gave the approval and the factories would be set up as a joint venture between the Ministry of Railways holding 26 per cent of the equity and the rest by a leading international manufacturer, who will also bring in state-of-the-art technology.

Reports suggested that while the approval for the setting up of the joint venture was given by the Cabinet, the earlier proposal was to have set up these manufacturing units as public-private partnership (PPP).

The Railway Ministry, apparently, suggested that the mode of implementation be changed as it would help speed up the projects which are expected to cost Rs 2,000 crore. The Cabinet, in its approval, said selection of the partners for the joint venture would be through an international competitive bidding.

Incidentally, the Railway Ministry has already shortlisted the possible partners and they include M/s Alsiom, France, M/s Bombardier, Germany and M/s Siemens, Germany for electric locomotive factory and M/s GE, India and M/s EMD, USA for diesel locomotive factory.

Lalu had won from both Madhepura and Chhapra in 2004 and had announced setting up of the two projects in 2007 as thanks giving.

As per the approval, the Railway Ministry will procure 800 electric locomotives of 12,000 HP each and 1,000 diesel locomotives of 4500/6000 HP each from these factories over a period of 10 years. These locomotives will also be maintained by the joint venture company over the next 25-26 years.

An official release said these projects aimed at introducing international best practices in management, manufacture and maintenance of the rolling stock.

The locomotive availability and energy efficiency standards will be comparable to the best. While the locomotive will be available for traffic use for 95 per cent of the time, its energy efficiency will be 5-10 per cent higher over existing fleet of the railways.

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Maya launches welfare scheme for girls
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, February 5
Chief Minister Mayawati yesterday formally inaugurated the Savitri Bai Phule Balika Siksha Madad Yojana by presenting Rs 15,000 in cash and a bicycle to 10 girl students.

With this symbolic beginning at the Chief Minister’s residence, the scheme would now be launched in the whole state. Around Rs 1,320.30 lakh would be disbursed amongst 8,802 girls students in the entire state. Another 1,616 deserving young girls would receive cycles.

Mayawati had announced the scheme during her 53rd birthday on January 15. The scheme provides financial support to girls belonging to BPL families. Deserving girls who have cleared class X and wish to further pursue education would be given the money and a bicycle. After completion of class XII, they would be given an additional Rs 10,000.

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Govt for mid-day meals in Christian schools
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
The government is open to starting the mid-day meal (MDM) scheme in private Christian schools, not yet covered under the scheme. The HRD Ministry today set up a high-level committee to look at the need and feasibility of providing the scheme to private Christian schools, primarily those in the tribal areas.

HRD Minister Arjun Singh said the demand was genuine and needed to be assessed. “I have formed a committee under the education secretary and asked for a report in a month,” he said.

Until now, the Christian schools are not being covered under the scheme. There has been a view that such schools are run by missionaries and may not be in the need of central assistance like the MDM. But the ministry took a quick view on the matter today after a demand was made at the third annual meeting of the National Committee for Monitoring Minority Education, here.

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Polls: EC issues directions to states
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
The Election Commission of India today laid down parameters for the transfer of officials and set deadline for end of this month. It also sought filling all election-related posts before February 20.

The commission also asked the states to speed up all election-related cases to logical conclusion and execute non-bailable warrants. Today was the third-level of the review the ECI is holding and the chief secretaries and DGPs of all states were present.

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The cop who took violence to heart
Sanjay Singh
Tribune News Service

Patna, February 4
In an unusual incident, a police inspector suffered a massive heart attack after he failed to contain a violent clash between two communities at village pathan toli under Sidhwalia Police station of Gopalganj district ( 150 km away from Patna) on Wednesday.

Inspector Jai Prakash Paswan died on way to the hospital. Gopalganj happens to be the native district of railway minister Lalu Prasad. District magistrate of Gopalganj Ramesh Lal told The Tribune that inspector Jai Prakash was ill for some time and he had availed medical leave.

Just a couple of days ago, he had joined duty at Gopalganj Sadar Police station and he had been deputed to escort an idol immersion procession today. The procession was attacked by a stone-pelting mob at village Pathan toli, resulting into a clash between two communities.

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Rs 25 bribe comes to haunt doc after 24 yrs
Sanjay Singh
Tribune News Service

Patna, February 5
Accepting a bribe of Rs 25 can put you into an agony for 24 years. Had Dr Balgovind Prasad, then employed in an Eastern Railway Hospital at Patna, known this, he may not have accepted the graft of Rs 25 from a railway sweeper posted at Mahendrughat in Patna for issuing a medial certificate way back in 1985.

Perhaps it had become the usual practice of Prasad to charge an illegal gratification for issuing the certificate to railway employees so that they could avail medical leave on that basis. Some aggrieved railway personnel may have tipped off the CBI about it.

Prasad was trapped by the CBI sleuths red-handed accepting the bribe from the sweeper. He was immediately taken into custody and sent to jail. The trial lasted for seven years in the CBI court. Finally the court held him guilty and convicted him on November 23, 1992. He was sentenced to one-year imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000 in cash, but immediately granted bail. The doctor filed an appeal in the Patna High Court against the verdict. The appeal came up for hearing after 17 years.

The High Court on Tuesday disposed off his appeal reducing his jail sentence to three months but the fine had been doubled up to Rs 2,000. A single judge bench of Justice KK Mandal passed the verdict saying that since the case was quite old and the bribe money was only Rs 25, the petitioner’s imprisonment could be reduced. However, the court directed the doctor to surrender in the Trial court and face the sentence within six weeks of getting a copy of its verdict.

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National child award presented to 38 children
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Exceptionally talented students made disability appear small by emerging winners at the National Child Award function presided over by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi here today.

Leading the award-winning brigade of 38 children from across the country were Pratyush Nalam, a muscular dystrophy patient, who won gold for exceptional achievement, and Ajisha S, a differently-abled child, Kerala, who bagged the award for exceptional achievement in poetry.

Sixteen-year-old Nalam qualified in the Microsoft examination in SQL when he was nine; he showed today that spinal muscular dystrophy was no deterrent to fine talent. Ajisha from Kollam has penned 600 poems so far and has had her poems featured by leading channels, including the BBC. She fought cerebral palsy to be on the national stage today.

Ajisha served as a prefect backdrop to the address of the UPA chairperson who urged the nation to together fight female foeticide, child marriage and child labour.

Admitting that child labour and child exploitation were still blots on India’s face, Sonia Gandhi said every Indian must contribute to put an end to these evils.

“India will be prosperous the day its children don’t have to sleep on empty stomachs, the day they can go to school and live without the fear of being exploited,” said the UPA chief, who earlier awarded 38 children for exceptional achievement in 2007 and 2008, and 10 institutes for working for child welfare.

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