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25 Apr 2017

MARG wants burning social issues included in poll manifestos

EOI, DARJEELING, 24 Apr 2017: Taking the opportunity of the forthcoming municipal election, Mankind in Action for Rural Growth (MARG), a Darjeeling-based NGO, has appealed to various political parties contesting the polls to include the issue of human trafficking, forced labour and safety of children and women in their manifesto.
Talking to reporters today, MARG general secretary Nirnay John  said the municipal election would be the right platform for the people as individuals at the grassroots level were actively involved in the betterment of society because they were aware of the problems faced by the common man.
"We should not limit the development of our society only to water supply, electricity, cleanliness and construction of drains. We must also focus deeper inside and reflect on issues like child labour, child sexual abuse, human trafficking and safety of the women folk. When we talk of overall development of society, these issues must also be included,” he said.
John was also of the opinion that candidates of political parties usually make various promises, but for this election MARG has suggested inclusion of other issues. “With due respect to individuals and political parties, we request them to take up issues related to the safety of children and women as they are also an integral part of society. We have raised certain issues that could be taken up by the candidates,” said John.
MARG has raised the burning issues of child marriage, available facilities and legal support by the government for safeguard of women and children, establishing government shelter homes, proper regulation for hotels, inflow of immigrants and tenant verifications among others.
“Sometimes society does not act when minors elope and get married, so are we supporting this? There are no government shelter homes while there are several cases of minors and women being rescued. Regulation of hotels and verification of tenants are also necessary as there have been police cases in the past,” John said.
When a question was raised about the relevance of the issues the NGO was raising given it was only the municipal election, the general secretary said, “We know it is the municipal election. But the individuals contesting have grassroots connections and knowledge. As a society we can come together in advocacy and voice our demands, which I feel will definitely make an impact."

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