Campaigners are calling on India to protect girls in state-run institutions who are at risk of sexual assault and violence after 34 girls were violently attacked by a mob for fighting off sexual harassers in Bihar state. Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, a residential school for girls in Supaul district, witnessed chaotic scenes on Saturday after some girls objected to sexual advances and lewd messages from a group of boys. A mob comprising the boys and their parents later entered the school where they beat and injured dozens of girls aged between 12 and 14. "The girls were playing inside the school compound when some boys came in and tried to sexually harass them. The girls fought them off and there was an altercation. A mob then gathered with the boys' parents who beat up the girls," Jagatpati Chaudhury, the District Education Officer in Supaul, told Al Jazeera.
How do you convince a youth-dominated population to vote for you? You take care of their gadget needs. At least, that's what Indian politicians are increasingly resorting to. The latest instance comes from Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state by population, where Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced free smartphones for the entire voting population with an annual family income below Rs 200,000 ( 3,000). The smartphone will serve as a "two-way communication tool to inform and educate the poor about government schemes and policies," his Samajwadi Party-led government said.
The death toll from monsoon floods across South Asia has increased to more than 350 in recent weeks, with villages still submerged and tens of thousands displaced as authorities battle with rising coronavirus cases. The torrential downpours across the densely populated region are critical to replenishing rivers and groundwater, but also cause widespread death and destruction. In Bangladesh, which is crisscrossed by rivers, 129 people have died from the floods and flood-related illnesses, officials said on Friday. About one-third of the delta nation remains underwater. The floods have dragged on for a month in what authorities said was the worst inundation since 2004.