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.”
“Can you lend a hand?” was a question formulated by October Books, an independent bookstore, located in Southhampton, England.
Volunteers were needed for “heavy manual work.” It was crucial for volunteers to lift and carry boxes and office supplies.
Among the supplies included thousands of books.
This question came from October Books after they struggled to afford the rising rent prices of the store they occupied since 1970.
Aside from the price issue, the bookstore had to figure out how to move their stock without having to pay for expensive moving services.
This was when October Books pleaded for volunteers to form a chain between the old store and the new location.
At first only a few showed up, but to their astonishment — over 200 people lined up on the pavement to pass out 2,000 books.
“It was very moving,” Ms. Hynes, a bookstore employee told The New York Times, adding all employees “got choked up” over the community’s help.
Amy Brown, one of the store’s employees told NPR her stunned reaction to the turnout.
“I was handing books to people without actually seeing the entirety of it,” Brown said. “So it was only after about 20 minutes I actually went out to the road and saw the extent of the people.”
“We wanted something that was accessible for the whole family, for children and people who were older who wouldn’t necessarily be able to paint or move heavy pieces, to help out,” Ms. Hynes said.
Even passing pedestrians would jump in to help. Nearby cafe’s even brought teas and coffees for the volunteers.
“It was really sort of surprising and positive and just a really moving experience to see people chipping in because they wanted to help. And they wanted to be part of something bigger,” Brown told NPR.
Overall, the bookstore has bigger plans as well.
“The shop plans to sell the second floor of the former back building to a charity in Southampton to create supportive housing for homeless people and to create a community hub in the back,” Ms. Hynes said.
At the end of this year, more than a thousand miners and subcontractors are expected to lose their jobs after 10 coal mining pits close.
However, thousands of workers won’t remain jobless for long. The Spanish government has worked with labor unions to execute a transition deal that will help coal miners with the progress toward clean energy.
The government will be investing $285 million over the next decade to ensure workers can keep their livelihood.
The unions will cover Spain’s privately owned pits. It will mix early retirement schemes for miners over 48, invoke restorative environmental measures in coal communities and re-skill coal miners into working with safer and greener technologies.
600 workers in Spain’s northern regions — Aragón, Asturias, and Castilla y León will benefit from social aid during the transition, while 60% of the miners will be able to opt for early retirement.
According to The Guardian, the measure is described as a landmark initiative to benefit the industry’s struggling workers.
“Spain can export this deal as an example of good practice,” said Monteserrat Mir, the Spanish Confedral secretary for the European Trades Union Congress.
Tersea Ribera, the minister for ecological transition told The Guardian:
“With this agreement, we have solved the first urgent task we had on the table when we came to government.”
“Our aim has been to leave no one behind. We also want to go further, we want to innovate. That is why we offer the drawing up of “Just Transition” contracts, with the aim of helping the regions to consolidate the employment of the future.”
Laura Martin- Murrillo, a government negotiator, described the pact as, “the end of a process of restructuring many communities has been going on for decades. It had to be done sensitively to bring hope to places that sometimes have lost faith that it could work. A lot of young people abandoned these areas, and they experienced a change in identity.”
“Negotiations with the last few hundred minors employed in publicly owned mines would begin now,” added Martin-Murillo. “We will look at the same transition plans for those workers,” she said.
Overall Monteserrat Mir is confident in the initiative.
“We have shown that it’s possible to follow the Paris agreement without damage (to people’s livelihoods). We don’t need to choose between a job and protecting the environment. It is possible to have both.”
Prejudice is everywhere; even in sports. Fans have been attending soccer matches and spewing antisemitic behavior.
Now the Chelesea football club in England will be offering their fans an opportunity to overcome their prejudiced behavior.
Instead of having the club confiscate their season tickets for a period of three years, those who have exhibited racist behavior can either accept the three-year ban or participate in educational courses taught at Auschwitz.
Roman Abramovich, the part owner of the club, is the primary force behind this initiative. The Chelsea football club will cover the costs of the program since they are set on terminating racist behavior.
Abramovich, who is Jewish himself, has already organized two visits to Auschwitz as part of its efforts to combat antisemitism. Fans who choose the option of taking a course at Auschwitz will be invited on future trips.
“If you just ban people, you will never change their behavior,” said Cheslea chairman Bruce Buck, according to The Sun. “This policy gives them the chance to realize what they have done, to make them want to behave better.”
“In the past, we would take them from the crowd and ban them, for up to three years. “Now we say ‘You did something wrong. You have the option. We can ban, you or you can spend some time with our diversity officers, understanding what you did wrong.’”
“Following a proposal raised at our Fan’s Forum, the club is launching an education program for supporters banned for anti-semitic behavior, as well as helping them to understand the impact of their actions, with participation in the course potentially leading to a reduction in the length of their ban,” the club said in a statement.
The initiative has been looked favorably by the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that protects Jews from anti-semitism.
Head of CST policy, Dave Rich, told Huffpost UK: “Giving people the opportunity to change their views and learn, and tackling anti-semitism through education is definitely something to be welcomed.
“If it works, then it’s much better than just banning somebody,” he continued. “If you ban someone from your football stadium they still have their racist views, it’s much better to change them.
“This sets an example of how to tackle anti-semitism, not just for football clubs, but others in society.”
The Say No Anti-Semitism initiative was also launched in March and a delegation from the club attended the March of the Living at Auschwitz.
Two months later, 150 Chelsea fans visited Auschwitz and two Holocaust survivors, Harry Spiro and Mala Tribich, spoke of their experiences.
“Hearing from a survivor, learning about the Holocaust, and understanding what language constitutes hate speech, all contribute to a better understanding and greater awareness of what anti-semitism is and how to combat it,” said Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust.
Through this initiative, the Chelesea football club is making a real commitment in fighting this issue within the games and the wider community,” she added.
Herman Gordon, a 65-year-old deemed a beloved and hardworking custodian at Bristol University got surprised with a luxury vacation by 230 university students back in June.
Bristol students spoke of their appreciation and love for Gordon on their school Facebook page.
On this page, a student noted that Herman had not been able to see his Jamaican family for four years. As a result, students worked together to raise money for his trip.
University students donated to a JustGiving page and managed to raise over $2,000; enough for a one-week vacation to Jamaica for Herman and his wife Denise.
Herman broke into tears when students handed him the envelope of cash. Students posted his reaction and it circulated to many social media sites.
The couple finally got to celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary for two nights at the Sandals Resort in Moteye Bay, enjoying a couple’s massage and a candlelight dinner before heading off to see Herman’s family.
After Herman posted photos of his luxurious treatment, he personally thanked the Bristol students: “God Bless you all. Everybody will see this and think that I’m a trillionaire.”
Denise also thanked the students. “I just wanted to say thank you to all the University of Bristol students for this gift that they have given to me and Herman.”
The students spoke of how it was an act that Herman deserved. A student said this about Herman on the school’s social media fundraising page:
“All year round, this man works hours on end to provide us with a clean working space to study. But most importantly, his undying positive energy and chit-chat has managed to turn many students’ dark days into positive ones filled with joy. Whether you’re just generally down and stressed out due to exams, Herman is always there to speak to you.”
Another student also had something else to say about Herman.
“This legend proves that happiness is not about what you own, what job you have or how much money you’ve got, but about appreciating what you currently have in life.”