Notley’s Queenslander spirit brings him back

first_imgAfter 11 years away from State of Origin (SOO) touch football, Scott Notley is back wearing the colours of his beloved maroons.Notley is the player-coach of Queensland’s men’s 40s team that will play at the SOO series, which will be contested today and tomorrow at the Port Macquarie Regional Sports Stadium.Notley made his debut for Queensland in 1987 and spent many years playing for the ‘sunshine state’.He last played in the 1998 series and was at the helm of Queensland’s men’s opens team when they were defeated by NSW in their best-of-three-game series, 2-1.He said the competitive nature of SOO brought him back to the field.“I just like the competition I guess. I don’t play much park touch football,” he said.Taking charge of the men’s 40s has been a challenge for the former Australian representative with most of the players coming from all over the state.“It’s been a little bit hard [to get together] because we have players from North Queensland, players from interstate and the south east corner.“It has been a poor build up.”But he said his players have played enough touch football to know what is expected of them.“I think we are in there [with a chance]. We don’t really have too many standouts, we are good across the park.“I don’t know much about NSW because I’ve been away for so long but the names on paper, the look pretty solid.”The first game of the men’s 40s SOO will be played at 5.40pm.Make sure you stay up to date with these websites for all the State of Origin action: State of Origin – www.soo.mytouchfooty.comTouch Football Australia – www.austouch.com.auTouch Football Australia’s YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausTwitter: www.twitter.com/touchfootyausFacebook: www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaRelated LinksNotley’s Queenslander spiritlast_img read more

9 months agoAC Milan coach Gattuso happy with Coppa win over Sampdoria

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say AC Milan coach Gattuso happy with Coppa win over Sampdoriaby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan coach Rino Gattuso was pleased with their 2-0 Coppa Italia win over Sampdoria.Patrick Cutrone came off the bench in extra time and scored both goals with spectacular volleys.“The lads did well. There are games where it’s a struggle, but Cutrone and Andrea Conti brought quality off the bench,” Gattuso told Milan TV.“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy playing against this Sampdoria side. I liked our defensive movements and we had the right approach. I’m happy with the way the players helped each other out and saw a positive performance.”Lucas Paquetá made his debut and played for over 80 minutes.“I liked his second half performance, as he made some good moves forward. He knows how to move and is an atypical Brazilian in that sense.” last_img read more

Victoria set to tighten limits on number of dogs in area parks

first_imgVICTORIA – Victoria-area politicians are considering putting limits on the number of dogs people can walk and charging a fee for dog-walking businesses who use regional parks amid complaints about packs of wandering animals.Capital Regional District politicians are poised to approve a bylaw next month that would cap the number of dogs walked at one time to three for individuals and eight for professional walkers.Mayor David Screech of the suburban community of View Royal said in an interview that people regularly tell him they encounter dogs numbering nine or more animals while on hikes in area parks.“It was certainly prompted by public concerns,” said Screech, adding he receives emails and calls from people concerned about large numbers of dogs in Thetis Lake Regional Park in his community.The 833-hectare park includes a series of woodland trails and is a favourite hiking area for people, with or without their dogs.“We’ve been getting more and more complaints from people, especially in Thetis Lake Park about large groups of dogs, as many as nine, 10, 11 and 12 under the jurisdiction of one owner,” Screech said. “What it comes down to is the basic issue of how many dogs can one person control.”But Pam Delaney, who was at a Victoria off-leash dog park Thursday, said she’s happy to see large groups of dogs in area parks.“They behave better, it seems, in a pack,” she said. “Dog owners used to keep their dogs away from each other, not realizing they are social animals who love getting together, which is so obvious here.”About a dozen dogs were in the park’s open area chasing after each other.Sarah Spindler, who was walking her two border collie-cross dogs, Cedar and Salty, said she felt the bylaw was unnecessary.“It kind of seems to me it’s one of those rules that they make to make a rule,” she said.Spindler said she understands why some people might be concerned about large groups of dogs, but those people should choose to stay out of the parks.“A whole pack of dogs coming at you could be a little overwhelming,” she said. “To me it’s a known dog walking area, so you know what you are going to run into.”Screech, who’s on the district’s park’s committee, said it recommended approval of the bylaw after hearing complaints from people that too many animals are under the control of one person.He said the bylaw will go before the entire regional district board next month, and if approved, will set out a code of conduct for owners and charge a $320 licence fee for professional dog-walking businesses.“I do think everybody has the right to feel comfortable when using a park,” said Screech. “There needs to be a balance that works for everybody and that’s what we’re attempting to strike.”If approved, the new dog limit rules would be in place by May 1, 2018.last_img read more

Bombardier puts Toronto aerospace facility in Downsview up for sale

first_imgMONTREAL – Bombardier is shopping around its sprawling aircraft manufacturing site in Toronto’s high-priced real-estate market.The transportation company said it put its 152-hectare Downsview Airport location north of the city’s downtown up for sale a couple of weeks ago as part of its financial turnaround plan.Spokesman Olivier Marcil said the unique land with a runway is larger than the company needs and no final decision has been made regarding a sale or relocation of its operations. Only 14 hectares of space is regularly used.“We think that there’s a better use for the land than a current airport and that could be to the benefit of not only the company but the city of Toronto and the people,” he said in an interview.The Montreal-based company (TSX:BBD.B) has been on the site since it purchased de Havilland Canada in 1992 but the airfield was built in 1929 to test de Havilland aircraft.The land was used for the papal visits of John Paul II and served as a military base during the Second World War.Bombardier used to run a shuttle service to transport employees between Toronto and Montreal, Wichita and Mexico. However, that was suspended as part of the transformation.The land near subway stations, universities and Highway 401 is potentially very valuable.Marcil said the company is working with professional advisers and has met with some potential buyers to assess interest. He declined to say how much Bombardier expects to receive from a potential sale.Bombardier owns several hangars where Q400 turboprops and several business jets are assembled by about 3,500 workers.Toronto Coun. Maria Augimeri says she will oppose the sale of the prime land.“Got it on good authority that you’re secretly courting developers in scheme to turn Downsview plant into a massive housing project,” she tweeted. “Over my dead body.”Marcil said Bombardier has started to assess all of its global locations as part of its turnaround plan but declined to say if the company has identified any other sites that could be sold.“We’re not ready to announce anything yet to any other sites that we have in the world.”Bombardier said it will maintain a presence in Toronto even if it sells the site. It has talked to Pearson International Airport about relocating to the country’s largest airport because it requires runway access.The company is also committed to Ontario and the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research Initiative even if it relocates, Marcil added.Bombardier is about halfway through its five-year turnaround plan that is designed to improve its financial health after nearly going bankrupt over development of its CSeries commercial jet. Bombardier has signed a deal to sell a majority stake in the program to Airbus.last_img read more

Trump warns of immigration peril touts economy in address

first_imgWASHINGTON – Addressing a deeply divided nation, President Donald Trump summoned the country to a “new American moment” of unity in his first State of the Union, challenging Congress to make good on long-standing promises to fix a fractured immigration system and warning darkly of evil forces seeking to undermine America’s way of life.Trump’s address Tuesday night blended self-congratulation and calls for optimism amid a growing economy with ominous warnings about deadly gangs, the scourge of drugs and violent immigrants living in the United States illegally. He cast the debate over immigration — an issue that has long animated his most ardent supporters — as a battle between heroes and villains, leaning heavily on the personal stories of White House guests in the crowd. He praised a law enforcement agent who arrested more than 100 gang members, and he recognized the families of two alleged gang victims.He also spoke forebodingly of catastrophic dangers from abroad, warning that North Korea would “very soon” threaten the United States with nuclear-tipped missiles.“The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling and the underprivileged all over the world,” Trump said. “But as president of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers and America’s forgotten communities.”Trump addressed the nation with tensions running high on Capitol Hill. An impasse over immigration prompted a three-day government shutdown earlier this year, and lawmakers appear no closer to resolving the status of the “Dreamers” — young people living in the U.S. illegally ahead of a new Feb. 8 deadline for funding operations. The parties have also clashed this week over the plans of Republicans on the House intelligence committee to release a classified memo on the Russia investigation involving Trump’s presidential campaign — a decision the White House backs but the Justice Department is fighting.The controversies that have dogged Trump — and the ones he has created— have overshadowed strong economic gains during his first year in office. His approval ratings have hovered in the 30s for much of his presidency, and just 3 in 10 Americans said the United States was heading in the right direction, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. In the same survey, 67 per cent of Americans said the country was more divided because of Trump.At times, Trump’s address appeared to be aimed more at validating his first year in office than setting the course for his second. He devoted significant time to touting the tax overhaul he signed at the end of last year, promising the plan will “provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.” He also highlighted the decision made early in his first year to withdraw the U.S. from a sweeping Asia-Pacific trade pact, declaring: “The era of economic surrender is totally over.”He spoke about potential agenda items for 2018 in broad terms, including a call for $1.5 trillion in new infrastructure spending and partnerships with states and the private sector. He touched only briefly on issues like health care that have been at the centre of the Republican Party’s policy agenda for years.Tackling the sensitive immigration debate that has roiled Washington, Trump redoubled his recent pledge to offer a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants — but only as part of a package that would also require increased funding for border security, including a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, ending the nation’s visa lottery method and revamping the current legal immigration system. Some Republicans are wary of the hardline elements of Trump’s plan and it’s unclear whether his blueprint could pass Congress.“Americans are dreamers too,” Trump said, in an apparent effort to reclaim the term used to describe the young immigrants in the U.S. illegally.A former New York Democrat, the president also played to the culture wars that have long illuminated American politics, alluding to his public spat with professional athletes who led protests against racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem, declaring that paying tribute to the flag is a “civic duty.”Republicans led multiple rounds of enthusiastic applause during the speech, but for the opposition party it was a more sombre affair. Democrats provided a short spurt of polite applause for Trump as he entered the chamber, but offered muted reactions throughout the speech. A cluster of about two dozen Democrats, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, remained planted firmly in their seats, staring sternly at the president and withholding applause.After devastating defeats in 2016, Democrats are hopeful that Trump’s sagging popularity can help the party rebound in November’s midterm elections. In a post-speech rebuttal, Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, was seeking to undercut Trump’s optimistic tone and remind voters of the personal insults and attacks often levelled by the president.“Bullies may land a punch,” Kennedy said. “They might leave a mark. But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defence of their future.”The arc of Trump’s 80-minute speech featured the personal stories of men and women who joined first lady Melania Trump in the audience. The guests included a New Mexico policeman and his wife who adopted a baby from parents who suffered from opioid addiction, and Ji Seong-ho, a defector from North Korea and outspoken critic of the Kim Jong-un government.On international affairs, Trump warned of the dangers from “rogue regimes,” like Iran and North Korea, terrorist groups, like the Islamic State, and “rivals” like China and Russia “that challenge our interests, our economy and our values.” Calling on Congress to lift budgetary caps and boost spending on the military, Trump said that “unmatched power is the surest means of our defence.”Trump’s biggest foreign policy announcement of the night concerned the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, which former President Barack Obama tried but failed to close. Reversing Obama’s policy, Trump said he’d signed an executive order Tuesday directing the Pentagon to keep the prison open while re-examining the military’s policy on detention.Trump said he was also asking Congress to ensure the U.S. had needed powers to detain Islamic State group members and other “terrorists wherever we chase them down,” though it was unclear whether he was referring to a new war powers authorization or some other mechanism. Trump also said he wanted Congress to pass a law ensuring U.S. foreign aid goes only “to America’s friends” — a reference to his frustration at U.S. aid recipients that voted at the U.N. to rebuke his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.Mrs. Trump arrived at the Capitol ahead of her husband to attend a reception with guests of the White House, but she rode back to the White House with him. It was the first time she was seen publicly with the president following a report that his lawyer arranged a payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, to prevent her from talking about an alleged affair. Daniels denied the affair in a new statement released hours before the speech.___Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC and Zeke Miller at http://twitter.com/zekejmillerlast_img read more

Ontarios former privacy commissioner resigns from Sidewalk Labs

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s former privacy commissioner has resigned from her consulting role at a company that is preparing to build a high-tech community on Toronto’s waterfront, becoming one of many to step away from the project due to concerns about how personal information and data will be managed.Ann Cavoukian resigned from Google sister company Sidewalk Labs on Friday after she said a privacy framework she developed was being overlooked when Sidewalk Labs said it couldn’t guarantee people’s personal information would be protected.“What I wanted was a wake up call,” said Cavoukian of her resignation.She wrote a letter of resignation following a meeting earlier in the week when Sidewalk Labs said while it agrees to follow her framework, called Privacy by Design, it cannot ensure that other companies involved in the project would do so as well.“I imagined us creating a Smart City of Privacy, as opposed to a Smart City of Surveillance,” said Cavoukian in the letter.Last October, Waterfront Toronto announced it had chosen Sidewalk Labs to present a plan to design a high-tech neighbourhood for the Quayside development, which is along Toronto’s eastern waterfront.Since then, the Alphabet Inc.-backed project has faced controversy because critics have complained that few details have been shared including how data will be collected, kept, accessed and protected.“It became clear that Sidewalk Labs would play a more limited role in near-term discussions about a data governance framework at Quayside,” said a statement from Sidewalk Labs.“Sidewalk Labs has committed to implement, as a company, the principles of Privacy by Design. Though that question is settled, the question of whether other companies involved in the Quayside project would be required to do so is unlikely to be worked out soon, and may be out of Sidewalk Labs’ hands.”Cavoukian said she resigned to “press” Waterfront Toronto to guarantee it would protect people’s personal information.Cavoukian said a crucial feature of Privacy by Design is that when personal information is collected by surveillance cameras and sensors, any personally identifying data is removed or “anonymized” immediately.Cavoukian said personally identifying data is not just a person’s name, and there is information that can be indirectly identifying — such as the specifics of where a person is travelling — that can be linked to that individual.“You must de-identify data. Waterfront Toronto can do that, so that’s why I’m pressing upon them to do it,” she said.Waterfront Toronto released a statement that said it will go beyond meeting all Canadian privacy legal requirements in the project.“Waterfront Toronto has great respect for Dr. Cavoukian and Privacy by Design, the excellent tool she has developed based on best practices. Waterfront Toronto also recognizes and respects the obligation to adhere to Canadian privacy laws, which go beyond Privacy by Design,” said the statement.Cavoukian’s resignation comes after a member of the panel guiding the plans stepped down earlier this month after she developed “deep dismay” and “profound concern” over a lack of leadership from Waterfront Toronto with ensuring public trust around privacy.In a letter, TechGirls Canada founder Saadia Muzaffar said she is stepping away from her role with the Waterfront Toronto Digital Strategy Advisory Panel because Waterfront Toronto has shown “apathy and a lack of leadership regarding shaky public trust” and has dodged questions around privacy and intellectual property.For months Sidewalk Labs have been dogged with questions around privacy and ownership of intellectual property. Dan Doctoroff, the chief executive officer of Sidewalk Labs, said at the Fortune Global Forum on Wednesday that he hoped concerns had been quelled after his company released its privacy proposal for the Quayside development on Oct. 15.The plans show Sidewalk Labs does not intend to own the data it gathers in public spaces and instead will relinquish control of it to an independent organization to be set up and called the Civic Data Trust. The Trust will set the rules around data use, make it open and accessible to people while offering privacy protection and ensure that Sidewalk Labs does not receive any special status or rights when it comes to data access.The plan mentions little of intellectual property, which has been a prime concern for many in Canada who have spoken out against foreign technology companies infiltrating the country and using Canadian talent to build intellectual property that ends up sending revenue to other nations.Cavoukian said there is an increasing number of data breaches and cyber security attacks around the world that has led to a growing concern over privacy and personal information.“Privacy is consistently at the highest rate of concern I’ve ever seen in over 20 years that I’ve been in this business,” she said.“When you have such high levels of concern associated with privacy and a total deficit of trust — trust is non-existent — you have to go to great lengths to assure the public, your personal data is safe.”last_img read more

Service sector predicts Canadian drilling activity will fall even more in 2019

first_imgOutgoing association chief executive Tom Whalen says the oilfield services sector in Canada is headed for a third year of stalled activity as export pipeline capacity constraints keep petroleum prices low.It forecasts an average Western Canadian Select price discount to New York-traded West Texas Intermediate of US$24.50 per barrel next year, about US$10 above typical differences.The forecast calls for activity to gradually ramp up during 2019 as crude-by-rail volumes rise to allow more barrels to get to market.PSAC announced Thursday that former Alberta cabinet minister and provincial trade representative Gary Mar will become its new president and CEO as of Dec. 1.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) CALGARY, A.B. – The Petroleum Services Association of Canada is predicting more pain for the oil and gas sector next year.It predicts a total of 6,600 wells will be drilled in Canada in 2019, down about five percent from an expected 6,980 wells this year, adding that translates to a year-over-year decrease of up to $1.8 billion in capital spending by exploration and production companies.On a provincial basis for 2019, PSAC estimates 3,532 wells to be drilled in Alberta, and 2,422 wells for Saskatchewan, representing year-over-year decreases of 221 and 110 wells, respectively. At 255 wells, drilling activity in Manitoba is expected to drop by 16 wells year-over-year, whilst activity in British Columbia is projected to decrease from 415 wells in 2018 to 382 wells in 2019.last_img read more

Protests and marches sparked by RCMP arrest at BC pipeline protest camp

first_imgHOUSTON, B.C. – The arrest of 14 people at an Indigenous blockade in a remote area of northern British Columbia became a flash point Tuesday that sparked protests across the country.Protesters delayed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s speech in Ottawa, stopped traffic in Vancouver and Victoria and prompted a counter protest in front of the headquarters of the company building the pipeline at the centre of the dispute.RCMP made the arrests Monday at a blockade southwest of Houston, B.C., where some members of the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation had set up a camp to control access to a pipeline project across their territory. Police concerns about a protest in Ottawa forced Trudeau to move to another building close to Parliament Hill to give a speech at a forum.The national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said the use of police force against people peacefully protesting the construction of the pipeline is a violation of their human and Aboriginal rights.“Building consensus under duress will make the resolution of the situation in northern British Columbia very difficult,” Perry Bellegarde said in a statement Tuesday. “Real consensus will be built when the parties, with very different views, come together in meaningful and productive dialogue. And I am confident that they can do this.”Bellegarde said the Canadian and B.C. governments have promised to implement UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples but in northern B.C. they are imposing their laws over those of the Wet’suwet’en.Gidimt’en member Jen Wickham said hereditary chiefs had gathered near the site of the B.C. camp Tuesday and expected further RCMP action.Wickham was in Prince George where she said 13 people arrested for violating the court order, including her sister Molly Wickham, were scheduled to appear in court. She said an elder arrested on Monday had already been released.The Gidimt’en set up a gate in December in support of an anti-pipeline camp that members of the Unist’ot’en, another Wet’suwet’en clan, established years ago.Wickham, who has fielded calls from India and the United Kingdom about the pipeline resistance, said it’s been “surreal” to see the international response.She said she believes the issue is gaining attention now because the Gidimt’en have dispelled the myth that it’s only individuals from one clan opposing the project.“I think now that the Gidimt’en have stepped up and said, ‘No, this is a nation-based issue, this is about sovereignty,’ it’s really sinking in,” she said.New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen, who represents the area, said the protest he witnessed on Monday was “determined” but “peaceful. He estimated about 200 police officers were used to enforce the court injunction.Cpl. Madonna Saunderson would not say how many RCMP officers were involved in the operation.The Mounties placed exclusion areas and road closures near the Morice River Bridge where the blockade was located that prevented Coastal GasLink from getting access to its pipeline right of way.The company said it has signed agreements with all First Nations along the route for LNG Canada’s $40 billion liquefied natural gas project in Kitimat, but demonstrators argue Wet’suwet’en house chiefs, who are hereditary rather than elected, have not given consent.LNG Canada announced in October that it was moving ahead with its plans for the Kitimat export facility. Construction on the 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline is scheduled to begin this month.In Halifax, about 150 protesters gathered on the steps of Halifax Regional Police headquarters, where the RCMP has a significant presence.“I’m here to stand in solidarity with the folks on the front lines of Wet’suwet’en that are protecting their unceded territory and to express to the RCMP,” Halifax resident Sadie Beaton said before the protest started with a sweetgrass ceremony.Protesters marched through downtown Toronto, chanting “TransCanada has got to go” and brought afternoon traffic to a halt.About 500 people gathered at the B.C. legislature in Victoria chanting and carrying placards.Shelagh Bell-Irving attended the protest in support of the First Nation blockade.“This is wrong and we have to stop it. We need to shut down Canada now and let the government know we the people are running the show and not them.”_ With files from Dan Healing in Calgary, Dirk Meissner in Victoria, Mike MacDonald in Halifax, Kristy Kirkup in Ottawa, Hina Alam in Vancouver and Paola Loriggio in Toronto. Police were enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction granted to TransCanada Corp. subsidiary Coastal GasLink. It ordered the removal of obstructions in Wet’suwet’en territory as work gets underway on a $6.2-billion pipeline carrying natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to Kitimat.. @UBCIC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation speak in Vancouvet for #Indigenous rights at rally to support #Unistoten #Wetsuweten #undrip #cdnpoli #environment photos: @mike_ruffolo pic.twitter.com/lAlIo4e14n— National Observer (@NatObserver) January 8, 2019Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs told a crowd at Victory Square in Vancouver that it would be a watershed year for Indigenous people in the fight against pipelines crossing their lands.“We’re starting off 2019 with a bang,” he said to cheers and applause. “I want to say to Prime Minister Trudeau: Welcome to battle ground British Columbia.”About 60 people attended the rally in support of the First Nation outside the headquarters of TransCanada Corp. in downtown Calgary. They were greeted by about the same number of pipeline supporters who were encouraged to come out by Canada Action, a Calgary-based lobby group.Chants of “Build that Pipe” drowned out the blockade supporters initially but the anti-pipeline group found its voice and were soon matching the volume with their own chant of “Consent. Sovereignty!”center_img There were no physical confrontations but angry words and hand gestures flew back and forth as at least a dozen Calgary police officers used their bodies and bicycles to separate the groups.Stephen Buffalo, CEO of the Indian Resource Council of Canada, which represents oil and gas producing First Nations, took part in the pro-pipeline part of the rally.“The big thing is we’ve got to be able to support our communities that said yes to this (project) because it’s their community that needs that financial benefit,” he said.“It’s about getting out of poverty and finding a way for our people.”last_img read more

Neo-Gandhians in Action

first_imgIn recent months, I happened to meet a large number of youth hailing from difficult backgrounds working with rustic folk in the remote areas with a hope to bring change in the life of the poor. They are unusual, determined, committed, passionate, energetic with perspective and hope, working in the remote villages without expecting any reward and social recognition. They are not self-proclaimed Gandhians but practitioners of Gandhian way of life. Due to their relevance in the present context as models to be emulated, I suggested a friend organising a national seminar on “Gandhi’s Gram Swaraj: Theory and practice” to invite them. He readily agreed to invite them to speak on the practice side of the Gram Swaraj. In a three-day programme, one day was devoted to practice where all the practitioners from across Tamil Nadu participated. It was held in Gandhigram Rural Institute as part of the 150th Birth Anniversary celebration of Mahatma Gandhi from March 12-19, 2019. For the first two days, the practitioners put their stalls and listened to the lectures of the theoreticians. They were given a chance to speak on the third day. For students, the third day was the most important one as they learnt the practice of Gandhism from the youth. Also Read – A special kind of bondOne set of youth explained how they worked for strengthening Gram Sabha tirelessly for two years by bringing unity among the rustic folk beyond caste and political affiliations. They explained how poor women have been educated to raise questions in the Gram Sabha meeting through a video film. Only five young people joined together to empower the poor and to bring them together to Gram Sabha to raise questions in it by providing necessary information on the expenditure shown in the government website related to the activities carried out by the various departments of the government in Panchayat areas. More than 700 members of Gram Sabha participated in the deliberations and the Gram Sabha meeting went on very well with people, mostly the poor, achieving what they wanted to. The youth wanted to liberate the poor from the clutches of the state. Also Read – Insider threat managementHow social entrepreneurship has been initiated to create plastic-free and polythene-free villages, was succinctly explained by a team of young people in the seminar. They elaborated that their business ventures are not to make profits but to serve humanity and nature. Their profit is only for their sustenance and expansion. They plunged into action only by taking up the problems faced by humanity. This followed by another set of the youth sharing their experience in organising farmers for organic cultivation and natural farming. They explained how less money provides huge job opportunities in agriculture and how to earn profit out of this new practice of farming. The farmers shared their success stories. Yet another group spoke to the participants about their intervention in the villages through IT. It enabled the poor to have access to get their entitlements and legitimate benefits from the government. Some of the individuals shared their experience of organising schools in rural areas with no schools. It was a thrilling experience shared by a few youth groups. No one belongs to an affluent family. They are from ordinary rustic families. All the individuals are leading a very simple life as they desire to work with the poor. Of the youth group members, some of them came from Jallikkattu struggle with a determination to work in the rural areas for the upliftment of the ultra-poor. Having a desire in them, they have chosen a difficult path. Their path and perspective comply with the Gandhian framework of development. They made it clear that they learnt it only through experience and not in the universities and colleges. They are Gandhians in action and not conventional Gandhians. They have contextualised Gandhian ideas and hence are called Neo-Gandhians. The third-day activities of the seminar provided contributions by students coming from rural areas as they got rich benefits from the inputs by practitioners. Since they are practitioners and visionaries, they communicated in Tamil and thereby connected with the students emotionally. After the proceedings of the day, a mute question asked was how to expand those activities to the other areas by following the above models. The youth group members made it very clear that opportunities are abundant to transform India by using the Constitution, development rights given by the government, pro-poor schemes of both the Centre and state governments. It requires only an unconventional leader who can transform herself or himself to transform the community. A fire has to be created in every individual that could be possible only through training. This training cannot be given by any conventional training institutes. In our country, we have different types of training institutes but there is no leadership institution worthwhile to shape leaders. Even a few institutions in the name of leadership school train only business leaders, not transformational ones. Now we need Gandhian Institutions to be made as Ashrams to train transformational leaders by adopting the methods and procedures followed by Mahatma Gandhi. (The author is a former Professor and Rajiv Gandhi Chair for Panchayati Raj Studies, Gandhigram Rural Institute. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

ExBuckeye carries on basketball tradition

When Brandon Fuss-Cheatham graduated from Ohio State, he wasn’t sure if he’d ever feel as attached to the tradition at his alma mater.“One thing that I didn’t realize while being in school is, when you graduate and move on into the real world it is very surprising how deep and strong the alumni base is across the county.”Fuss-Cheatham, a major part of an OSU men’s basketball team that faced plenty of ups and downs, played in 113 games for the Bucks from 2001-2005. “I miss the pure joy of being around my teammates and coaches,” he said. “Most of your time in college was being around your teammates and staff.”In his freshman season, Fuss-Cheatham played in 29 games, as the Bucks fell to Missouri in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A year later, he saw action in 22 games as OSU took a step back, losing in the opening round of the NIT.Fuss-Cheatham started the majority of his junior season at point guard for the Buckeyes, who ended the season 14-16. In his senior campaign, he started 20 games, playing a central role on the team that tainted Illinois’ undefeated record in the final game of the regular season.The Buckeyes finished the ’04-’05 season at 20-12, but were banned from postseason play because of NCAA violations stemming from actions of former coach Jim O’Brien.After his eligibility ran out, Fuss-Cheatham remained in school to finish obtaining his degree, turning down several opportunities to play basketball overseas.At first, his love for basketball overshadowed his desire to put his marketing degree to use. Fuss-Cheatham ran an AAU basketball program and then a 24-hour basketball fitness program in Orange County, Calif. He strived to keep basketball in his life any way he could, he said.“Being able to travel, practice and of course play with OSU on your shirt with the people you worked so hard with was awesome,” he said. “Also playing in front of such loyal fans made you feel like you were a part of something special. The entire city was behind their sports.”Eventually, he felt it was time to quell his passion for the game, and allow his marketing skills to pay off. He has been working for California law firms since spring.While basketball doesn’t maintain the same presence in his life that it once did, the camaraderie and tradition of Ohio State has reappeared.“I live in Orange County, Calif., and I meet people every week from OSU,” he said. “There are parties for football and basketball games with over 200-300 people, all alumni. It is a great feeling to be a part of the OSU tradition.” read more