Till last moment Prof Raina had worked as a committed educationist and activist who contributed enormously to the expansion of education, had worked actively for equity and justice, and ensured that the government passed the RTE Act.
Educationist Vinod Raina, who died of cancer on September 19 was one of the key architects of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. He was member of the expert group on 'Monitoring of Child Rights in Education' set up by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and a sitting member of the Central Advisory Board for Education (CABE), the highest decision-making body on education.
Co-founder and executive committee member of NGO Bharat GyanVigyan Samiti, Professor Raina was a physicist by profession who resigned from Delhi University in 1985 to devote himself to grassroots work in education. He was Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS).
One of the pioneers of the People's Science Movement in India that attempts to empower people to plan and implement their own developmental ideas and needs, Prof Raina had also co-founded Eklavya, an organisation which has been advocating alternative education for more than two decades and is the only institution whose curriculum was adopted in the school educational system. He also set up the All-India People's Science Network (AIPSN).
Prof Raina worked with the Bhopal Gas Disaster victims and the anti-Narmada dam campaign. He helped conceptualise the Victims of Development project and co-edited the resultant volume, The Dispossessed.
Vinaya Malati Hari, Pune
Banning non-motorised transport
The Kolkata Traffic Police through 29th May, 2013 Gazette Notification has passed an order to ban cycles, hand cart, pull cart, tri-cycles and other forms of non-motorised transport on roads from 174 major and minor streets in the Kolkata city. The order is not only in violation of the National Urban Transport policy of 2006 that encourages non-motorised forms of transport but also an assault on livelihoods of working class people. Millions of poor and working class people in Kolkata are dependent on these forms of transport for earning an honest living and also commute within the city.
l Data of the Union Ministry of Urban Development shows people in Kolkata make nearly 2.5 million cycle trips a day, second only to Delhi.
l Kolkata is the only metropolitan city in India where trips by cycle (11 per cent) outnumber trips by cars (8 per cent).
l Traffic accident data for West Bengal (2011) shows only 1.5 per cent of road accidents happen due to fault of cyclists against 71 per cent due to faults of motor vehicle drivers .
l Kolkata has the lowest number of private cars and the least amount of road space (6 per cent) among metro cities. Even smaller cities like Gwalior have more registered motor vehicles than Kolkata. Cycling is practical and popular with the masses.
l Cycles do not slow down vehicular traffic. Average speed of traffic in Kolkata varies between 14-18 km/ hour. The national average is 22 km/hour.
l With a population of over 14 million, urban agglomeration of Kolkata is among the most densely populated in the country. At least 7,750 people live in one sq km area. Cycling is a practical mode of transport in such areas.
These notifications have been passed on the orders of the Honorable High Court, but the government must deal with this legally, rather than taking this anti-poor and anti-working class step.
Medha Patkar—Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) Prafulla Samantara—Lok Shakti Abhiyan, NAPM, Odisha Dr. Sunilam—Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM, MP Gautam Bandopadhyay—Nadi Ghati Morcha, NAPM, Chhattisgarh Vilas Bhongade, Suniti SR, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe—NAPM, Maharashtra Gabriel Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan—Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, NAPM, TN C R Neelakandan—NAPM Kerala Ramakrishnan Raju, Saraswati Kavula, P Chennaiah—NAPM Andhra Pradesh Bhupender Singh Rawat, Rajendra Ravi, Anita Kapoor, Sunita Rani, Madhuresh Kumar, Seela M -NAPM, Delhi
Arundhati Dhuru—NAPM, Uttar Pradesh
Sister Celia—Domestic Workers Union& Sudhir Vombatkere—NAPM, Karnataka Vimal Bhai—Matu Jan sangathan, NAPM, Uttarakhand Krishnakant, Anand Mazhgaonkar, Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, NAPM Gujarat Pranab Banerjee, Samar Bagchi, Anuradha Talwar, Debjit Dutta, Amitava Mitra, Kalyan Sengupta, Pasharul Alam—NAPM West Bengal
Vol. 46, No. 17, Nov 3 -9, 2013
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