CHENNAI WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 `9.00 PAGES 20 LATE CITY EDITION BHARTI-BACKED ONEWEB ALL SET TO LAUNCH 36 SATELLITES UK-headquartered OneWeb has teamed up with NewSpace India, ISRO’s commercial arm, for the launch from Sriharikota FOCUS ON BROADBAND FROM SPACE SEGMENT AIMS TO CONNECT HARD-TO-REACH AREAS The low-earth orbit satellite communications company said all the 36 satellites have reached the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. The launch is keenly watched by stakeholders as it will set the stage for some high-voltage action with major players such as Jio vying for a slice of the lucrative satellite-based broadband services market in India ■ ■ OneWeb will connect towns, villages, and regional municipalities in the hard-to-reach areas “playing a critical role in bridging the digital divide across India,” a company statement said Earlier this month, Reliance Jio received a Letter of Intent from the telecom department for satellite communication services 648 SATELLITES ONEWEB PLANS TO HAVE. OF THIS, 428 HAVE ALREADY BEEN LAUNCHED CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Sonia summons Venugopal as race gains pace Gehlot tells party MLAs he will accept high command’s directive while staying as CM S H A H I D F A R I D I @ New Delhi THE Congress presidential election gathered frenetic pace on Tuesday with party president Sonia Gandhi summoning general secretary in-charge of organisation K C Venugopal for an urgent discussion, and Ashok Gehlot calling a lateevening meeting of Rajasthan MLAs before his departure to Delhi to meet Sonia. Venugopal flew in from Kerala, where he was participating in the Bharat Jodo Yatra with Rahul Gandhi, to meet Sonia at her 10, Janpath residence. Sources said the two discussed the presidential election, nomination for which is scheduled to start from September 24. After the meeting, Venugopal called Gehlot and asked him to meet Sonia on Wednesday . At a meeting Gehlot called of party MLAs in Jaipur on Tuesday night, he said he will accept Sonia’s decision on the party’s presidential election when he meets her on Wednesday Gehlot . added that he will not only present the next state budget but also lead the party unit in the Rajasthan polls. According to MLAs present at the meeting, Gehlot indicated that he would continue as CM even after becoming AICC president. Sources said after meeting Sonia, Gehlot will leave for Kerala to meet Rahul Gandhi. He will return to Delhi and stay there till the last day of nomination on September 30. With Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor meeting Sonia on Monday and expressing his desire to contest, the Ashok Gehlot K C Venugopal Close to a dozen PCCs root for Rahul The Jharkhand PCC has joined nearly a dozen state units including Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Kerala to pass resolutions urging Rahul Gandhi to lead the party high command has started preparing for the elections amid more state units adopting resolutions demanding the return of Rahul as party chief. Although Sonia told Tharoor that there would be no ‘official’ candidate, sources said the leadership has made up its mind to field a loyalist who is likely to sail through with the help of the handpicked electoral college of 9,300 PCC delegates. Gehlot is reportedly the high command’s first choice. For the record though, he has been saying he will try and convince Rahul to contest. Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, too, has said he will try and persuade Rahul to return as party chief. Senior party leaders including P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, among others, have demanded the next president be chosen by consensus. EXPRESS READ EPS gives Shah ‘charge sheet’ against TN govt Chennai: AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday submitted a “charge sheet” to Union Home Minister Amit Shah against the DMK government alleging deterioration of law and order in Tamil Nadu | P4 Fever camps at 1,000 places in State today Chennai: Health Minister Ma Subramanian said special fever camps will be organised at 1,000 locations across Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. In Chennai alone, 100 camps will be conducted, the minister added | P2 Erdogan rakes up Kashmir issue during UNGA address Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday raked up the Kashmir issue during his address to world leaders at the high-level UN General Assembly session. “We hope and pray that a fair and permanent peace and prosperity will be established in Kashmir,” Erdogan, a close ally of Pakistan, said | P12 TN kids in hilly areas forced to trek up to 12 km to reach school S U B A S H I N I V I J AYA K U M A R @ Chennai TAMIL Nadu has several schemes to increase the enrolment in government schools, but students in hilly regions still get a raw deal. Hundreds of them are forced to walk more than 3 km to reach their schools. In some places, students walk up to 12 km in rough terrain, and miss classes when their legs ache. Many of these areas don’t have bus services. And in the areas that do, the services are very limited and not at a timing suitable for schoolchildren. “As per the Right to Education Act, elementary education must be offered within 1 km of students’ residences or the children should be given transportation. In a few schools, students get `600 per month for transport, but implementation of the scheme under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan is erratic,” says Natraj, of Sudar, an organisa- SUBBULAKSHMI QUITS POLITICS AFTER FOUR DECADES IN DMK P S R I N I V A S A N @ Erode AFTER a career of almost half a century in electoral politics, DMK deputy general secretary and former Union minister of state Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan is calling it quits. In a statement issued on Tuesday she said she’d sent , her resignation to DMK chief MK Stalin on August 29, explaining she was stepping down from her post and from primary membership of the party Her statement came af. ter days of speculation that she had left politics. Local DMK cadre suggested she has been upset about being Subbulakshmi sidelined by the leadership. Jagadeesan The senior DMK leader ‘CM running was a school teacher when former chief minister and govt well’ AIADMK founder MG Ram“Stalin is running achandran roped her into the government politics in 1977. and party so well In her statement, Jagadeethat the country san said: “In 2009, as soon as appreciates him. my tenure as MP ended, I inThis gives me formed former CM M Karugreat nanidhi that I had decided satisfaction,” not to contest elections but Jagadeesan said only carry out party work. I continued working for the party with the aim of making DMK president MK Stalin chief minister. This happened in 2021. Stalin is running the government and party so well that the country appreciates him. This gives me great satisfaction.” She later told TNIE the decision to resign was based on her “long-term preference”. Soon after Jagadeesan issued her statement, DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan told reporters she had resigned on health grounds, and until recently remained active in party af, fairs and had close ties with the leadership. As for her replacement, he said it would be decided after the district secretaries’ election, in consultation with the general council members. From teacher to Union minister Before joining politics, Jagadeesan, who hails from Modakurichi in Erode, taught at a school in Kodumudi. She first contested the 1977 Assembly election from Modakurichi constituency and won, going on to serve as minister for handlooms from 1978 to 1980. CONTINUED ON: P7 WORTH EMULATING Dowry, lavish weddings taboo in this village F AYA Z W A N I @ Baba Wayil (Ganderbal) EVEN as distressing news reports about dowry-related violence keep coming from various parts of India, the residents of Baba Wayil, a small village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, are not concerned. For, the villagers are still following the blanket ban on dowry and lavish weddings imposed about 40 years ago. Explaining the no-dowry concept, Haji Ghulam Nabi Shah, 70, told this newspaper that the villagers decided to impose a blanket ban on dowry back in the 1980s in the larger interest of the community. A ‘no dowry document’ was also prepared, duly signed by the Imam, village elders and some key persons. “The document has been placed on the wall of the local mosque. Till date, there has been no violation from anyone,” said Shah. Even the well-to-do families in the village prefer simple marriages and have no qualms about marrying off their daughters and sons without taking or giving dowry . T he 16-point document stresses that the groom’s family can’t demand dowry from the bride’s side. Instead, the groom’s family has to gift `53,000 to the bride including `20,000 as bride price (Mehr) and `33,000 towards the trousseau. The groom’s family also has to bring earrings for the bride, who does not wear any golden jewellery for the wedding but only artificial jewellery . The document warns any violation will evoke legal proceedings and social boycott of the family from the villagers. “This document does not differentiate between the rich and the poor. In fact, it protects the interests of the poor as they can marry off their daughters without having to take loans,” said Parvez Ahmad Shah, who got married a few years ago strictly following the principles laid down in the document. Shah said Baba Wayil’s nodowry practice is gaining popularity and it has inspired neighbouring villages, which now want to replicate it. Thanks to this practice, nobody in our village considers daughters as a burden on the family A young girl who is preparing for NEET Simple feast The villagers have also fixed five dishes for the wazwan (feast) and banned the use of cold drinks, sweets and dry fruits and disposal items tion working among the tribal population in Erode. Students from Kongaadai in Erode district walk more than 10 km to the Hosur High School. Similarly, children walk 8 km from Anil Natham to Gujjambalayam High School, 5 km from Bejeletti and Madam areas to Thevar Malai High School, and 8 km from Karalayam and Kanakuthur to the Bhasuvanapuram Higher Secondary School. “Along with 15 other stu- Since many villages don’t have bus services, kids walk to school | EXPRESS dents, I start walking around 8 am to reach school at 9.10 am. The bell rings at 9.20 am. When we’re tired, we reach late and miss classes,” says M Jaya a Class 12 student who walks 5 km from her village to the Government Tribal Residential (GTR) School at Burgur in Erode district. The school offers accommodation for boys, but doesn’t have a girls’ hostel. Sources said students in most GTR schools prefer to walk than to live on campus due to the poor condition of the hostels. CONTINUED ON: P7 Putin looking to end war, claims Erdogan Y E S H I S E L I @ New Delhi WHEN Russian President Vladimir Putin met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the SCO Summit in Samarkand on Friday last, he said he would end the war in Ukraine soon. In less than a week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reaffirmed that Russia is considering ending the conflict. Erdogan, who was present at the SCO Summit and had a bilateral with Modi, said on Tuesday his impressions after talks with Putin suggest there could be an end to the war, beginning with ceasefire. In a related development, separatist leaders of Ukraine’s Russiancontrolled areas of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia announced dates for a referendum Twitter images of Ukrainian defender (L) Sova Serhiy killed in Izium, where mass graves are being exhumed amid allegations of genocide by occupying Russian forces. Serhiy’s wife identified him from the bands on his hand. His son called the hand a “symbol of Ukraine’s warrior, unbreakable & courageous” to formally join the Russian Federation. Reports also suggest that Russia is mulling swapping 200 prisoners with Ukraine. Turkey has been actively trying to find some middle ground. “Together, we need to find a reasonably practical diplomatic solution that will give both sides a dignified way out of the crisis,” Erdogan told the opening session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday . During the SCO Summit, Modi had told Putin that “this was no era for war”. “We will do our best to stop this as soon as possible,’’ Putin said in response. “The war will end when both sides feel that it is best that they can get out of it. A similar situation occurred in March, when the two sides conditionally reached an agreement, but it didn’t go through because one side decided it could get a better deal,” said P S Raghavan, former Ambassador to Russia. P12
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