Words: Kinley Tshering and Gaurav Kumar

Dechen Palden, 28, is a businessman like many other Tibetans living at Majnu Katila in Delhi. He follows his usual routine everyday except that for the last few months, he had been closing shop before time. In the evenings he leaves for Jantar Mantar where his brethrens are protesting against Chinese occupation of their homeland.

“We are not yet deterred and we are still protesting,” said Dechen Palden. “Starting from August 2 we will be fiercely campaigning until the Olympics starts.”

The Beijing Olympics is only about 10 days away, but the protests and politics over the Games continue. Despite China’s several attempts at quelling the global protests over its alleged human rights abuse, the protracted China-Tibet issue is surfacing again.

At the international front, the US presidential candidate John McCain, who met the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on July 25, said that the Olympic Games in August provide an opportunity for China to demonstrate that it recognizes human rights.

Shouting anti-China slogans and calling for international community to interfere, the Tibetans are demanding a peaceful resolution of the Tibet issue. Tibetan protesters also think that Olympics is an opportunity to internationalise the Chinese suppression in Tibet.

“This (protest) will continue,” said Gyari Thukten, a member of parliament of the Tibetan government in exile. “Emotions are at its height. As a government we are trying to calm down the people. But with the Chinese suppression going on, Tibetans will not stop.” Tibetans across the globe as far as Africa are protesting against China’s oppressive regime, said Thukten.

Unofficial reports suggest about 100 pro-independence protestors were killed in Lhasa during the protests. The Chinese government has however played it down. The Chinese has claimed that only 13 or so Tibetan protestors were killed in the mishap.

“The Chinese are lying. They are trying to hide their faults,” said Rinchen Norzom, the president of Regional Association of Tibetan women in Delhi. “They are blaming the Dalai Lama. What is happening in Tibet is a gross abuse of human rights.”

Chenga Tshering, a Tibetan in Delhi feels that the world should boycott the Olympics although the Dalai Lama said that China should not be denied the opportunity to host the Olympics.

“Why should China, a country which has violated human rights unabashedly, be given the honour to host the Olympics?” asked a Tibetan student, who refused to be named. “We are urging the world to rethink this decision.”

Meanwhile the Chinese government seems to have stepped up measures to up its image before the Olympics. Three Beijing parks have also been designated as areas for demonstration during the Olympics according to recent media reports. The step was taken because International Olympic Committee Charter prohibits demonstration at the Olympic venues or sites.


Posted In: , . By Journalism student

Words: Neha Sethi and Akanksha Kukreti

A chemist shop owner in Okhla is flabbergasted when you ask for a female condom. He knows what a condom is. But a female condom? Surely he mustn’t have heard it right. But he is too shy to ask the woman to repeat, so he says that he doesn’t have whatever she wants.

Welcome to India. We don’t talk about sex, it’s a western concept. Nevertheless, we are the second most populated country in the world, not far behind China.

India also has the second highest number of HIV infected people according to UN agencies. 2.5 million people in India are living with HIV according to UNAIDS. The government and NACO (National AIDS Control Organisation) have come out with various new campaigns to promote condoms in order to control the virus.

But these promotional campaigns are only restricted to male condoms. No efforts have been made to even introduce Indians to female condoms. As a result, women, the prospective users of female condoms hardly know about it.

Shahana Usmani, a resident of Batla House shies away as soon as the word ‘condom’ is mentioned. And upon hearing about female condoms she ignores the question and doesn’t answer.

Anita Devi, a resident of Katputli Colony shows a similar reaction. The words female condoms were so funny for her that she kept giggling for two minutes before she could say “I don’t know anything about it.”

But then, there are women like Sana Khan, a resident of New Friends Colony, who don’t need an advertisement to tell them about female condoms. “I know about female condoms and have also used them. After all, it is my sexual health and I am concerned about it” she says confidently.

In the absence of government initiatives, we can only hope that Shahana starts thinking like Sana before it is too late.

Hakeem's Open Surgery

Posted In: . By Journalism student

Words and photos: Aqsa Anjum, MA (F), Convergent Journalism

An open surgery to treat diabetes and arthritis-does it sound absurd? But this is what Hakeem Ghyas Shaheb does to treat his patients. His surgery does not require sterilized instruments and expensive medicines. A razor is his only piece of equipment. If you go by the queues in front of his open ‘clinic’, he has more patients than many allopathic doctors in the city.

Ghyas Shaheb sits next to the Jama Masjid. The patients consider the Hakeem’s tricks as a psychological therapy and readily accept it without any apprehension. The Hakeem may not have an MBBS degree, but his opinion about the blood cells is sure to amuse you.
He believes that diseases in the human body exist due to the presence of bad blood. So, to cure a person of a disease the ‘bad blood’ should be removed. He cuts his patients to remove the so called “bad blood”. According to the Hakeem sahib, with the removal of the ‘bad blood’ from the body, the disease too gradually disappears.

However, not many medical practitioners will agree with Ghyas Shaheb’s way of treatment. Dr Ajay Rohatgi calls this practice illegal. He says “It is medically wrong to say that every disease has its connection with blood. The concept of bad blood and good blood is absolutely false.”

Still, the queue in front of the Hakim’s open ‘clinic’ keeps growing.