September 20, 2016: The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community feels that gender cannot be categorized as first, second or third, but has to be looked at through the prism of wider understanding.

Meeting at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the Trans community shared its opinions by voicing their thoughts on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016. The meeting discussed threadbare the Transgender Bill and pointed out glaring loopholes in it.

The Bill aims at enfranchising transgender people as equal citizens. However, the Bill is being strongly contested by the Trans community. LGBTQs feel that the Bill doesn't actually reflect upon rights of transgenders and does not clarify on the definition of harassment.

The meeting of transgender and transsexual people at the University campus was organised by Dhanak, a queer feminist group of JNU. (Photo & Text: Ashok Kumar/OneWorld South Asia
New Delhi: Recently, a group of specially-abled children enjoyed a movie date in New Delhi. The Autism Centre for Excellence (ACE) took 25 children for a one of a kind experience at a movie theatre in Gurgaon.
The kids were taken for a movie outing to watch a Blockbuster animation movie Ice Age 5. The autistic children were accompanied by well qualified teachers having hands-on-experience.

ACE, an initiative of a not-for-profit organization The Special Child Trust, is working to transform the autism education landscape in India. The school caters to children on the Autism spectrum from pre-school to teenage years as this is the age group that shows maximum fallout from school systems, with very few existing programmes to cater to their needs. Text: Ashok Kumar/OneWorld South Asia
August 1, 2016: More than 10,000 school children, teachers, civilians, civil servants and eco warriors participated in an initiative organized by the 130 BN Eco Task Force and also the forest department of Uttarakhand to plant 10 lakh saplings in a single day to make the Kumoan Hills green once again.

The 130 BN Eco Task Force have been assigned by the Government of India to fight deforestation in the hills of Uttarakhand. The plantation activity was taken up by three companies of the 130 BN Eco Task Force in Pithoragarh region and one company from the Almoda Region.
July 18, 2016: Following their extreme passion for the cause of educating young girls, two cycling enthusiasts from Mumbai have taken upon a ride from Kanyakumari to Khardungla on a bamboo bike.
Sumeet Paringe (26) and Prisiliya Madan (22) are on a mission to raise funds for girl child education. Extremely passionate about the subject, the two young cyclists have taken up a challenge to collect over Rs five million by spreading awareness about girl child education through their cycling expedition.

The ‘Cyclists for Change’ flagged off their journey on their bamboo bike, last week from Kanyakumari and are expected to ride across 11 states in the next 70 days. Text: Ashok Kumar/OneWorld South Asia
July 14, 2016: A teenage American girl of Indian origin is lighting up the lives of the underprivileged Indians by distributing LED bulbs bought the money raised by her for the noble cause. Meera Vashisht from Houston, Texas, took it upon herself to raise funds and distribute LED bulbs to the poor people.

While working on her science project as a seventh grader, Meera, a 13-year-old girl, chanced upon the news of Indian government’s UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All) programme. Realising the impact of LED bulbs on the lives of poor and the environment Meera took it upon herself to raise funds for contributing in her own way to the big change.

Meera collected $2,079.51 or approximately Rs 1,40,000, to purchase LED bulbs from Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) for distributing them to the residents of slum areas of Keshavpuram in Delhi. Text: Ashok Kumar/OneWorld South Asia
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