Widows in Vrindavan celebrate Diwali

Vrindavan, Oct 22 (ANI): Widows, who have been abandoned by their families, lit earthen oil lamps and offered prayers on the banks of River Yamuna as part of Diwali celebrations in Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. Hundreds of the widows who live in various ashrams run by the Sulabh International participated in the celebrations for the first time this year. Diwali, the annual festival of lights will be celebrated across the country on October 23. On being asked whether they would celebrate Diwali with their families, Bijali Das, who has three children but has lived in Vrindavan for several years, said that it did not matter to her since she had devoted 3 her life to god. Oct 22, 2014

Mentally-ill women celebrate Diwali with gaiety in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, Oct 22 (ANI): Home for mentally-ill women organised a programme on the eve of Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, in Odisha. The home, 'Mission Ashra', or Mission Shelter, organized a cultural programme for the inmates in Bhubaneswar city, who have been abandoned by their families as they are mentally-ill. Women danced and burst crackers to celebrate the festival. The home houses almost 200 mentally-ill destitute women and works for their treatment and rehabilitation. It has been rescuing helpless women from streets and other places across the 15 districts in the country. Diwali is celebrated with great fervour and gaiety all over India as it marks the return of Hindu god Lord Rama to Ayodhya in northern India after he defeated Ravana, the powerful demon king of Lanka. Millions of lamps were lit to rejoice Lord Rama return after 14 years of exile in forests. Oct 22, 2014

Politicos lash out at BJP, say the party doesn't intend to bring back black money

New Delhi, Oct 22 (ANI): Congress leader Rashid Alvi on Wednesday said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is faking that it is serious about bringing black money, allegedly stashed in foreign bank accounts, back into the country. Meanwhile, NCP leader Majid Memon said that BJP is solely acting to Supreme Court's order and labeling it as its stance. However, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, said the party has always maintained that having money illegally abroad is a betrayal to the country and those who are traitors, their names should be exposed. Oct 22, 2014

IAF's entire Sukhoi fleet grounded for safety checks, expert says nothing unusual

New Delhi, Oct 22 (ANI): The entire fleet of Indian Air Force's Sukhoi aircrafts has been grounded for safety checks after recent crash in Pune. Defence Expert Wing Commander (Retd) Praful Bakshi said that it was nothing unusual about this because such checks ensure that any defect or damage can be prevented from occurring. Oct 22, 2014

Jitendra Singh says govt doing its best for rehabilitation in J and K

Srinagar, Oct 22 (ANI): Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office Dr Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday that the government is doing its best to take up rehabilitation work in flood ravaged state of Jammu and Kashmir. Singh said that this government is doing work in a much better way than any other government. He also said that rehabilitation will be followed by relief which is still going on. Oct 22, 2014

Govt should have guts to take up the case of boxer Sarita Devi at highest level: Congress

New Delhi, Oct 22 (ANI): Congress leader Ajay Maken on Wednesday said that the Indian boxing federation and the sports ministry should have the guts to take the case of boxer Sarita Devi at the highest level. He added that the entire country should stand up with the Boxer and her coach. AIBA on Wednesday provisionally suspended Boxer Laishram Sarita Devi for refusing to accept the bronze medal at the Asian Games podium ceremony. Her coach GS Sandhu, Blas Iglesias Fernandez and Sagar Mal Dhayal as well as Indian chef-de-mission AJ Sumariwalla were also suspended by the AIBA. AIBA said that it will not allow any of them to participate at all levels of various competitions, events and meetings until further notice. Boxer Sarita Devi, while protesting against a controversial verdict, had refused to wear the bronze medal on the podium during the ceremony for the 57-60 kg category. She had later submitted a written apology to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). Oct 22, 2014

Black money: Congress won't be blackmailed, BJP hits back

New Delhi, Oct 22 (ANI): Congress leader Ajay Maken on Wednesday while addressing a press conference said that Congress is not going to be blackmailed under any threat. He added that BJP should take strict actions against whoever is involved in the black money case but should not be inspired by vindictiveness and the information given to the public should also not be half truth. BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that Congress has been shielding the holders of the black money account. He added that arrogance is not good for Congress. Oct 22, 2014

Hoping that PM Modi's Srinagar visit means relief package will be accepted: Omar Abdullah

Srinagar, Oct 22 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that he hopes Prime Minster Narendra Modi's visit means that the 44000cr package which has been submitted by the state government will be accepted and announced. Commenting on the assembly elections, he further said it is unfortunate that some political parties are in a hurry for their own political rehabilitation rather than the rehabilitation of flood victims. Oct 22, 2014

Jenny McCarthy feels like 'transgender' inside

New Delhi, 22 Oct (ANI): Jenny McCarthy has recently revealed that she feels like a "transgender" on the inside. She said that she has always felt like one of the guys wearing, like, a Playboy bunny outfit and always felt like David Spade 's brother, a leading daily reported. It all started when she was asked about playing a transgender woman in '90s sitcom 'Just Shoot Me!' She also mentioned that she also wouldn't mind if her son was gay so that he could do "her hair." Oct 22, 2014

Schools must be made accountable for rape incidents, say activists

Bangalore/ Chennai/ New Delhi, Oct 22 (ANI): Child rights and women rights activists condemned the alleged rape of a three-year-old school girl in Bangalore on Wednesday and said perpetrator must be brought to books. They also said school authorities should be made accountable for failing to implement guidelines to prevent such incidents. Chairperson of National Commission for Women (NCW), Lalitha Kumaramangalam, said they would initiate suo moto cognizance of the case. Meanwhile, Chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Kushal Singh, said such an incident is shameful for the society. Janata Dal (Secular) Leader Danish Ali also demanded strict action against the culprit by the government. Oct 22, 2014

BJP's Krishna Khopde offers to vacate his seat for Nitin Gadkari

Nagpur, Oct 22 (ANI): Nagpur-East MLA Krishna Khopde on Wednesday offered to quit and vacate his seat to pave way for Nitin Gadkari, after voices grew louder that he be made the state's chief minister. About 39 BJP MLAs all from Vidarbha region had met Gadkari at his residence in Nagpur on Tuesday and demanded that he be made the state's chief minister. The senior BJP leader had said that he is doing his work sincerely as a union minister and would back anyone chosen by his party as Maharashtra Chief Minister. Oct 22, 2014

Omar hopes Modi govt will take 'serious look' at AFSPA, Politicos react

New Delhi, Oct 22 (ANI): Political leaders on Wednesday reacted over Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's statement that there has been "double-digit reduction in violence" in the state so the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take a look at revocation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). Oct 22, 2014

Tourism picks up in Kashmir after worst flooding

Srinagar, Oct 22 (ANI): Tourists from across the world started visiting Jammu and Kashmir after worst floods in a century wrecked havoc in the region. Both the Indian and Pakistani sides of the disputed Himalayan region saw extensive flooding last month with Srinagar particularly hard hit. Hundreds of people were killed and tens of thousands are homeless. However, the tourism industry has again picked up after the disaster and tourists in Srinagar city say the beauty of the valley remains the same even after the floods. Meanwhile, a tourist from Australia Robert said people visiting Kashmir should give more time to locals as they are still recuperating from the flood aftermath. Oct 22, 2014