The Gauhati High Court on Monday asked Assam’s Chief Wildlife Warden Ranjana Gupta whether she had taken note of a 2016 Supreme Court order against transfer of elephants while clearing the transit of four juvenile elephants to Gujarat for a religious event.Hearing separate petitions filed by Kerala-born Canadian Sangita Iyer and Guwahati-based NGO Avinava Prayash, a division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice Manish Choudhury sought clarification from the Centre with regard to the operation of the apex court’s interim order in 2016 prohibiting transfer of elephants outside a State by their possessors.The Bench also asked Ms. Gupta to clarify whether she had taken note of the Supreme Court’s interim order when she authorised on June 12 the transit of the elephants to Ahmedabad’s Jagannath Temple for a Rath Yatra on July 4.The oldest of the four elephants — females Joytara and Rani, and males Babulal and Rupsing — is nine years old. ‘Will not survive trip’Wildlife activists had argued that these juvenile elephants would not survive the heatwave while travelling in a metal railway wagon 3,106 km from eastern Assam’s Tinsukia to Ahmedabad.Noting that the railways too had sought clarification on the Supreme Court’s interim order before transporting the elephants, the Bench referred to the March 8 letter of the Project Elephant Division of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change seeking legal steps for the “welfare of the captive elephants, etc., and strict monitoring” to prevent illegal transport of elephants between States.The petitioners’ counsel Bhaskar Dev Konwar, argued that the elephants would face adverse climatic conditions during their train journey to Gujarat.He also pointed out that unlike Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Assam has not framed rules for management and maintenance of captive elephants under Section 64(2) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. He also contended that none of the elephants sent outside Assam on temporary leases have returned till date. The case is scheduled to come up for hearing again on Tuesday.
Story Highlights The $86-million centre, located at 95 Hanover Street, downtown Kingston, was constructed by the Government through financing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dione Jennings, said the expansion of the centre is in keeping with the Government’s efforts to protect persons with disabilities and promote their rights. Director of the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP), Antonica Gunter-Gayle, could hardly contain her joy at the recent opening of the programme’s upgraded facility for special needs children. Director of the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP), Antonica Gunter-Gayle, could hardly contain her joy at the recent opening of the programme’s upgraded facility for special needs children.“I feel great, I am excited; the staff is overcome. It is a good feeling,” she says.The $86-million centre, located at 95 Hanover Street, downtown Kingston, was constructed by the Government through financing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).It has a clinic, three assessment rooms with bathrooms, cubicles for early-childhood practitioners, sensory room and speech therapy room, and other units.Mrs. Gunter-Gayle said the upgraded centre will enable the ESP to improve assessment and intervention services for children with disabilities.“Our children with disabilities are children first, and I am really happy about this building,” she said.“We are giving them the opportunity to be the best that they can be to reach their highest potential,” she added.Operating under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the ESP caters to the developmental needs of children with disabilities up to six years, and currently provides early stimulation and interventions for more than 1,500 children across the island.Portfolio Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, said with the upgrading of the facility, the ESP is equipped to do more for its clientele, as it is now positioned to engage a wider corps of specialised professionals, including developmental psychologists, speech therapists, and occupational therapists.Over the long term, she says, the intention is to establish regional centres to provide early intervention services, which, she said, “will help to reduce the institutionalisation of young children with developmental disabilities across the island”.Senior Social Protection Specialist with the IDB, Donna Harris, commends the Government and its partners for “embarking on this important journey for the benefit of our children with disability. This wonderful structure represents the future of many of our kids”.Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dione Jennings, said the expansion of the centre is in keeping with the Government’s efforts to protect persons with disabilities and promote their rights.She says the Government is committed to promoting social protection and respect of all human beings, breaking down barriers of discrimination and building bridges of inclusion.She points out that approximately 60 per cent of ESP beneficiaries are on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), and have limited access to intervention services.Mrs. Jennings says measures aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of persons in situations of vulnerability will continue and “we are assured that the staff and beneficiaries of this facility will be even more energised in their commitment”.Omar Francis, who is the Assistant to Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the upgrading of the centre is a welcome development.Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson (left), interacts with children at the upgraded Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) facility located at 95 Hanover Street, downtown Kingston, at the recent official opening. Looking on is Omar Francis, who is the Assistant to Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.“Early intervention for disadvantaged kids has been proven to have dramatic long-term effects. When incorporated with early-childhood education, nutrition and health, the lasting effects are invaluable,” he states.He says studies have shown that children who receive early treatment are at significantly lower risk for serious cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, such as stroke and diabetes.“These findings demonstrate the great potential of coordinated birth to age five early-childhood programmes to prevent chronic disease, reduce healthcare costs and produce a flourishing society,” Mr. Francis points out.Opposition Spokesperson on Labour and Social Security, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, also welcomes the development, describing it as a “worthy response to our children with disabilities”.Technical management for the project was provided by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).The assessment centre is part of a Government of Jamaica Integrated Social Protection and Labour Programme, aimed at improving human capital and labour market outcomes for the poor by enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of key social protection programmes.Since 1975, the ESP has been serving the special needs community, and has reached some 30,000 children through various intervention services.In addition to assessment of children with disabilities, the ESP provides rehabilitative therapy, community-based intervention services within homes, schools, health centres, and day-care facilities, as well as counselling support for families and caregivers of special needs children.
Kim Kardashian at Met Gala 2019InstagramKim Kardashian was so committed to her Met Gala 2019 ensemble that she sacrificed sitting, peeing and even breathing! The KKW Beauty mogul, in a behind-the-scenes video shared by Vogue, is seen talking about the hardships of squeezing herself in an ensemble curated by Manfred Thierry Mugler. Turns out a team of three people were required to lace up her corset so that she could fit perfectly in the skin-tight gown.In the video shared by Vogue, Kim Kardashian is seen stating, “Okay, so Anna [Wintour], if I don’t sit down for dinner, now you know why. I’ll be walking around, mingling, talking, but I cannot hardly sit.” Further, in the video, Kim K also mentioned, “Wish me luck, I won’t be able to pee for about four hours,” she said while dressing up for the big night. “We’re coming up with a plan for what we do in case of an emergency.” The challenges for the reality TV star didn’t end there as she had to deal with further transportation perils. Speaking about the same, Kim told the paparazzi, “I asked them to get a stool. So I’ll have to stand as I’m riding in a sprinter van on the way there with, I think, a pole, so I can hold onto the pole,” and added, “Just wish me luck.”Kim Kardashian’s ‘wet look’ surely left a mark at the Met Gala 2019 red carpet. With its eccentricity and a dress that was like no other, the ensemble definitely made an impact. As Kardashian spoke about details concerning her gown, she revealed that it took the designer nearly eight months to complete it! “This is the first time in 20 years that Mr. Mugler has designed for the House of Thierry Mugler,” she quoted at the red carpet. “So [for him] to come design this gown for me, is such an honor. This is about 8 months in the making,” she concluded.The 39-year-old star shared pictures of her ‘wet look’ along with details on Instagram. She wrote, “Mugler Drip Straight out of the ocean @manfredthierrymugler His first design in 20 years. Manfred Thierry Mugler for Kim Kardashian West / MET BALL 2019 with Mugler Fashion House. Revisited archive pieces for Mugler Fashion House @muglerofficial. Corset by Mr. Pearl” On the same, sister Khloe too commented and called her, “You are my queen.” Well, she certainly got that right.