Over the last four years, the Indian government has made it their goal to provide sanitation for the entire nation. In those four years, thousands of lives have been saved.
Over the course of these four years, the Indian government improved public access to toilets and hygiene facilities. With this improvement, these facilities have increased India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan sanitation coverage from 40% to 90% and is set to achieve total coverage by October 2019.
This initiative has already prevented 300,000 children dying from diarrhea and protein- energy malnutrition.
Before Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the initiative back in October 2014, unsafe sanitation caused an estimate of 200 million cases of dangerous gastrointestinal problems each year.
As the numbers dissipated, the government has been celebrating their significant victory over the public health crisis.
“The credit for saving these lives goes to every Indian who was a part of this campaign,” Prime Minister said in a translated statement. “Saving the lives of the poor children is surely a great humanitarian act and the world bodies are recognizing it.”
“A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birthday in 2019.”
Homelessness is no different in other places. There’s simply no places to go. Montreal is changing that. Since January 15 those experiencing homelessness are able to go to the former Royal Victoria Hospital — a site closed off since 2015.
The former hospital became a shelter. Patient rooms in the hospital have been converted into 80-bedrooms which are open to those sleeping in the cold.
The shelter was launched because other homeless shelters faced limited capacity and the struggle to accommodate those sleeping in the below-freezing temperatures.
Unlike the majority of city shelters in Montreal, people will have the option of bringing their pets to this shelter.
Although the shelter will only stay open until April 15, provincial legislators are working with city officials to secure more long-term solutions and permanent housing.
One organization, Old Brewery Mission is also working with city officials to end the homeless dilemma. The organization will also help run the shelter. In the meantime, they continue to lobby the city to create more space.
“All the beds are occupied. And people still come to our doors,” Matthew Pearce, president and CEO of the Old Brewery Mission, told Mother Nature Network. “We’ve been accommodating them — so we don’t turn people away in the cold — on the floor in our cafeteria, for example.”
“This is not dignified… this is not the proper way to host people in an organization that seeks to move people out of homelessness and back into society. It’s not an expression of respect for the individual or a sense that they have a place in society — to tell them they have to go and sleep on the floor.”
Accommodating not only people, but their pets are also another task Old Brewery Mission is working on.
“None of the existing main resources for homelessness are equipped in such a way as to allow pets to come in,” Pearce explains. “These are people who, because of that, are left without an option. At least in the winter, let’s give them an option.”
Overall progress is being made in helping people off the streets.
“We’ve been able to move forward quickly on creating this emergency unit for homeless people,” Montreal mayor Valerie Plante told CBC. “of course, this is for this winter, but what is a positive sign is knowing that our administration wants to find a solution in the long term.”
“No one should be outside right now. Everyone deserves a roof,” she added.
“We’re making some good progress toward eliminating homelessness in Montreal. But the reality is right now, we do need a temporary facility over the course of winter because we don’t want to leave anybody on the streets,” Sam Watts, CEO of the Welcome Hall Mission said.
2nd grader Sarah Gomez-Lane dreams of becoming a paleontologist. Recently she won a $30,000 scholarship for a simple dinosaur doodle this week.
Gomez-Lane is the winner of the 2018 Doodle for Google contest. This is the 10th annual contest and this year the tech company asked young artists to create drawings about their life’s aspirations.
After Google achieved hundreds upon thousands of submissions, Gomez-Lane won the $30,000 prize after drawing a group of dinosaurs in the shape of the Google logo.
Gomez-Lane told Google she drew dinosaurs because she wants to become a paleontologist when she grows up.
“When they called my name I felt happy and suprised, she said. “I’m going to call my principal and he’s going to say, ‘Yay!” Gomez-Lane told CBS News.
After Gomez-Lane was deemed winner, the company’s “Doodle team” collaborated with her to regenerate her drawing into an animated, interactive Google Doodle.
“I just hope when people see the doodle they are also inspired to think about not only what they dreamed of and wished of when they were kids, but to also take a second to enjoy the simple things in life,” Perla Campos, Global Marketing Lead of the Google Doodle Team, said in a video.”
Christmas kindness and bliss immersed from 86-year-old Ken Watson. Watson bought 14 years worth of Christmas presents for his two-year-old neighbor Cadi Williams.
Watson connected with the Williams family after they moved into their first home three years ago. The Williams’ and Watson formed an instant friendship and continued to foster close relationships after Cadi came into the world.
After Watson’s recent passing, the family was left heartbroken. Then suddenly, their melancholy dissipated when 14 Christmas presents were delivered by Mr.Watson’s daughter to their home in Barry, Wales.
“He’d always told us he’d live till he was 100-years-old,” Owen Williams wrote on Twitter after the presents were delivered. “So these gifts would have taken him up to our little girl’s 16th Christmas.”
“I kept reaching into the bag and pulling out more presents,” Williams told The Washington Post. “It was quite something.”
After the presents were delivered, the Williams thought of beginning a new Christmas tradition called, “A present from Ken,” but they could not decide which presents to unwrap first in order to figure out each age-appropriate gift.
A Twitter poll helped the Williams decide on what to do with each gift. 69% of Williams’s followers believed he should leave the presents unwrapped and let Cadi decide which gift would be unwrapped.
“Message received loud and clear, Twitter!” wrote the excited father. “We’re definitely going to open one every year till 2032… It’ll be our way of remembering an immensely generous gentleman — our new Christmas tradition.”
Williams assured his new followers of regular updates on the unraveling of gifts.
Numerous followers praised the compassionate gesture, with one writing: “What a thoughtful man who clearly thought so much of you all as a family, made me cry this morning.”
“You have to give her one a year,” another wrote on Twitter. “It doesn’t matter in the slightest if they are too old or too young. Presents are all about the giving, not the receiving.”
Another wrote: “That is just the loveliest, most thoughtful thing to do. I would save them each year and remind her what a lovely man you lived next door to.”
Others deemed it a “truly beautiful gesture” and others said it was “the true meaning of Christmas.”
At the end of the decisions and gratitude Williams advised his Twitter followers to build and foster relationships with their neighbors.
“Give your neighbors a small gift, a token. Just say, ‘Hi.’ You can open a new world just like we did.”
Not not all heroes wear capes. One man wore a cast. 27-year-old Altavious Powell rescued his 93-year-old neighbor Maria Cabral by using a cast on his broken arm to shatter a window.
Each night Cabral lights a candle in the corner of her home, however, this past Monday the flame intensified and her home ablaze.
Powell, who lives across the street from Cabral, saw smoke and rushed to her home.
Cabral was still trapped inside when Powell arrived. Powell used his cast and a plastic chair to enter her home, WSVN reported.
“I said, ‘Maria, Maria, where you at?’ And she said, ‘I’m right here,’ Powell told WSVN. “She was right here standing on the wall, so I just grabbed her with one arm. She looked up at me and she just said, ‘Thank you.”
Powell and Cabral were both taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center for smoke inhabitation. Cabral is still recovering, but Powell was unharmed from the incident.
Cabral’s son told WSVN: “She wouldn’t have gotten out of the house alive if that man didn’t come here.”
After Powell heard many deemed him a hero, he simply said:
“I’m just glad I was able to do it and I got it over with, and everybody is safe now.”