‘Only 8% stories on children reported’
A phalanx of media personalities, child right activists and Bihar’s minister for information and public relations Neeraj Kumar graced a workshop, titled ‘Child Rights and Media’ recently. The workshop was jointly organised by the Bihar chapters of UNICEF and the Press Information Bureau (PIB) in Patna on December 6. Putting out tell-tale data from the Indian Readership Survey (IRS), the attendees said only 8% news stories on children are covered by the media and no more than 59% of our children are in the habit of reading newspapers. “Bihar desperately needs a newspaper for children,” Kumar said.
Free Wi-Fi at 5,500 railway stations in Bihar
The Indian Railways has claimed to have equipped 5,500 railway stations in Bihar, including Mahua Milan of the East Central Railway, with free Wi-Fi connectivity for passengers. Rajesh Kumar, chief spokesperson for East Central Railway, said 1.5 crore passengers availed free Wi-Fi services in railway stations, including those in ECR zone, from 2016 to October 2019. “The passengers consumed 10,242 TB of data in this period. Most of these 1.5 crore passengers availing the free Wi-Fi services are students from the hinterland. They used free Wi-Fi for their studies,” Kumar said. In tune with the Centre’s Digital First initiative, the Railways introduced free Wi-Fi services at railway stations in a bid to enable mobile connectivity at government expense.
Red Sand Boa snakes, worth crores, seized
Six exotic Red Sand Boa snakes, worth around `2 crore in the international market, were seized recently from eight smugglers in Bihar’s Nawada district. Police said the exotic snakes are much in demand for medicines that provide a cure for paralysis and other chronic ailments. They are also used in cosmetics and are especially popular in China and other foreign countries. Possessing or trading Red Sand Boa snakes are considered an offence under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. This was the third seizure of the exotic snakes in the state after 2017 and 2018.
Bihar’s famous rice for Ram Lalla bhog
Bihar’s famous Govindbhog rice is now being used to prepare the ‘bhog’ (offering) to Ram Lalla in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya. The rice, supplied by the Mahavir Mandir Trust, is also being used as a key ingredient for the food prepared for free distribution at Ramrasoya. The food is being distributed since December 2. Acharya Kishore Kunal, the secretary of the trust, said two trucks, laden with Govindbhog rice, were recently sent to Ayodhya from Bihar’s Kaimur district. The rice will not only be used to prepare ‘bhog’ for Ram Lalla in Ayodhya, but also for the food to be distributed for free to devotees from the Ramrasoya kitchen.
Rajesh K Thakur
Our correspondent in Bihar