Pele–A Legend
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was a football pioneer. He has passed away at the age of 82 after a battle with cancer.

He was born with the ball at his feet. Every movement, every pass, every goal was special. He impressed fans with his agility, technique and love for the game.

In FIFA's 1904-1984 anniversary book, Pele was hailed as the person who made football an art form. World football's governing body also named the Brazilian striker the World Footballer of the Century, while the International Olympic Committee named him as its sportsperson of the last century. Pele was the king of football—a man small in stature but for whom no superlative is too big.

In 1956, Pele earned a contract with Brazilian side Santos and scored against St. Andre in his league debut at the age of 15. It wasn't long before he was called up to the Brazilian national team. At just 16 years and 257 days old, he made his international debut in a 2-1 defeat to Argentina, scoring Brazil's only goal of the game.

A year later at the World Cup in Sweden, he was in the squad, although he had to be content with being on the bench at the start. But then the little magician scored six goals in four games, helping his country to the title. In the final against the hosts, Pele put on a brilliant display of football artistry and tricks. An international star was born.

In his hometown, Pele was adored like no other footballer right from the start of his career. Brazil's government went as far as declaring him a national treasure at the age of just 20 to prevent him from taking a transfer abroad. When Pele did venture beyond Brazil's borders, he was welcomed like a head of state. At the 1962 World Cup in Chile though, the striker suffered a setback. Brazil defended their title, but footballer's newest hero hardly played a part, getting injured in the second group-stage game.

As if to make good on a disappointing campaign, Pele led Brazil to their third title in 1970 in Mexico. A year later, the super striker made his 92nd international appearance in front of 180,000 fans in Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracana stadium. It was Pele's final appearance for the Selecao. Many considered his international retirement premature, considering Pele was only 30 at the time, but with 77 goals to his name and a unique style, no one could doubt his commitment.

Even today, the reasons behind Pele's retirement remain unclear. Did it come as the result of a dispute involving the then-president of the Brazilian governing body, Joao Havelange? Pele was later to cite political reasons, stating that he didn't want to support his country's military junta. Whether he really was opposed to the dictatorship or had good connections with ministers remains a question about Pele's life.

"Every child in the world wants to play football like Pele—that's why I take on the responsibility to show how to not only be a good footballer, but also a good man," he once said.The world will always remember Pele as the king of football.
Jonathan Harding, DW

Asha Workers
Asha workers are the backbone of primary healthcare in the country. It was mentioned earlier that Ashas are community health volunteers under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) who act as a vital link between the government's health system and the community. NHRM was later expanded to cover urban areas in 2013. At present, there are about 10 lakh Asha workers in the country.

The government across the country is not ready to consider the Ashas who do such important work as employees. Their monthly income is less than the minimum wage. Haryana currently has over 20,000 Ashas, who, like other parts of the country, are community health volunteers, acting as a vital link between the health system and the community. Under NHRM, they are entitled to work-based incentives for over 60 activities listed by the Centre. In addition, Ashas get an incentive of Rs 2,000 from the centre for a set of routine activities. In addition to work-based incentives, states are also allowed to fix monthly remunerations for Ashas. In Haryana, this amount is Rs 4,000.

The condition of Asha workers in the country is not better than this. Almost everywhere they are forced to work in this miserable condition. Trade union leaders have expressed concern about this several times, but unfortunately, the government does not pay any heed. In truth women workers in this country are considered second-class workers. They say that the honorarium they get is not humiliating. It is a matter of regret that these women workers who work day and night do not even come under the ambit of the labour laws of the country and that is because the government does not consider them as workers, in its view, they are mere servants and that they have to serve the public. And just take what you get in return for that service.
Asha Workers Union, Haryana

Nizam’s Gold
5,000kg gold was donated by the former Nizam to the Government during India Pakistan war of 1965.
This news item exposes false stories, aided by the Union Government, that create communal hatred and this was covered up by communal-minded authorities. It is true it was money amassed by feudal the ruler, but it is the same with all feudal lords irrespective of religion. Not many Hindu feudals donated in any comparable manner. This needs to be shared in the interest of truth.
Syed Akbar

Asset Transfer
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU has frozen the €19bn of oligarchs’ assets that are in its possession, as well as the Russian Central Bank’s estimated €300bn in foreign currency reserves. Now, as nations debate what should be done with those assets, Estonia has decided to take matters into its own hands. Tallinn has started the process of developing a legal basis for handing them over to Ukraine’s government to help rebuild the country’s war-torn cities. “Estonia wants to put pressure on other EU member states because our government sees the lack of activity in deciding how and when to use Russian frozen assets to help Ukraine,” Priit Hõbemägi, editor in chief of Estonian daily newspaper Postimees, tells The Monocle Minute. Estonia currently controls about €20m of Russian assets and a draft proposal will be presented to its government next month.
The Monocle Minute

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Vol 55, No. 30, Jan 22 - 28, 2023