Including South Africa’s disabled

first_img“Here is a tree rooted in African Soil, nourished with waters from the rivers of Africa. Let us come and sit under its shade to share common dreams. The leaves of the same branch and the branches of the same tree,” says David Matlakala, an intern at the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA), quoting an ambassador.The words brought tears to NCPPDSA Casual Day project leader Vinassa Celeste’s eyes.The NCPPDSA is a non-profit and a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Edenvale, Johannesburg; it aims to build a society that values equality and helps disabled people, focusing on poor and rural communities.“We are going throughout the country providing programmes such as public education, social empowerment, economic empowerment and corporate disability governance; these help us raise awareness and are part of the workshops we host nationwide,” says Celeste.The National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities wants to help include disabled people in day-to-day societyOver the past two years the organisation has helped more than 120 000 people.It visits schools, communities and companies, alerting people to the need for rehabilitation services, accessible vehicles, access to facilities and assistive devices for disabled people in those environments. The organisation raises awareness of disabled people’s experiences and the challenges they face living in an able-bodied world.The NCPPDSA also runs a children’s programme, teaching disabled children how to engage with able-bodied peers; it includes support groups.FUNDINGWith funds raised from initiatives such as the Nappy Run and Casual Day, the NCPPDSA provides assistive devices to more than 700 children each year.Casual Day raised a record-breaking R22-million this year, benefitting organisations such as the QuadPara Association of South Africa; the National Institute for the Deaf; Autism South Africa; Down Syndrome South Africa; and the National Association for Persons with Cerebral Palsy. Since its inception 18 years ago, the Casual Day project has raised more than R170-million.The NGO also receives funding from corporates; leading fashion retailer Edcon has signed a three-year contract as principal sponsors aiming to raise R6-million from Casual Day sticker sales at all Edcon stores, and contributing some R11-million over the sponsorship period.David Matlakala is an intern at the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South AfricaBUILDING EMPLOYMENT SKILLS“Often we find that the unemployment amongst persons with disabilities is at high level because most of the youth come from a special school system where they were in a very protected environment and they now have to learn how to live amongst others; not to forget that most employers view them as ‘sick’ and therefore they are often left behind,” says Celeste.The NCPPDSA helps disabled person enter into and succeed in the workplace by assisting with compiling resumes, building interview skills and helping entrepreneurs enter formal work.They also work with the Association for the Physically Disabled (APD), which helps families tackle the psychological effects of living with disabled people. The organisations have held more than 70 workshops, resulting in some 2 500 disabled people finding jobs.INCLUDING DISABLED PEOPLE“We want to have a common dream for everyone to live in a world where people are viewed as just that; people, and not have to treat someone differently because they don’t look a certain way,” says Celeste.The organisation believes that spreading this inclusive attitude helps people with disabilities be seen as part of society, rather than living on the edge of it, and to date has reached around 57 291 people, 4 900 of which are disabled.“We would love to make it easier for everyone to enter their places of employment through one entrance and not be separated as that will show a much more inclusive approach and everyone will be able to see each other as one,” says Celeste.For more information visit the NCPPDSA website.last_img read more

2017 Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour – Day 2

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Presented by AgXploreSee Day 1 results from the Farm Journal Midwest Crop TourSee Day 3 results from the Farm Journal Midwest Crop TourSee Day 4 results from the Farm Journal Midwest Crop TourFinal results for the entire eastern leg of this year’s Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour for Indiana.Corn – 171.23 Bushels to the Acre Soybeans – 1168.78 Pods in a 3 x 3 foot square Today is my annual ride along with Pro Farmer Editor Brian Grete. We have gotten to know each other pretty well over the past 6 years and he does an incredible job making sure this Eastern Leg of the Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour goes off without a hitch. We have had many one-of-a-kind experiences over the year, including a great hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint (that I hope is still open and on our route today), doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in the middle of a corn field and almost getting killed by a train. Okay, so it wasn’t really that close but the story gets better every year. We have scouts from England and Rotterdam with us today. 3:25 p.m.This is our last stop of the day in McLean County, Illinois and this should be some of the best numbers we will see on the tour because the soil is prime here, but those high numbers will not be seen this year. The ear count was small and the ears continue to shorter than what we have seen earlier in the day. As you can see by the picture, this field was crispy and firing heavily well inside of the field. Our yield estimate is only at 146 bushels. Soybeans here were very level and looked like carpet. Very clean and very healthy. This pod county was 1248, which was just below our route’s Illinois average.McClean County, IllinoisMcClean County, IllinoisMcClean County, Illinois2:13 p.m.Livingston County, Illnois for this stop and ear population was very low here, but the outstanding ears will give us a yield of 186 for this field. Soybeans were very healthy in the field across the road and each plant had a least 50 pods on them. Pod count here was 1344 in a 3 foot square.Livingston County, IlinoisLivingston County, Ilinois1:45 p.m.After a great lunch at The Humble Hog in Paxton, Illinois we are back at it in Ford County, Illinois where we saw our first field dicamba drift damage. It was mostly on the outer rows and the beans are looking alright for now. Our pod count in a 3 x 3 foot square was 1656. The corn was pretty standard for what we have seen today, with little disease pressure. Our samples had a 14 around average for our yield calc was 161. Ford County, IllinoisFord County, IllinoisFord County, Illinois12:10 p.m.We are seeing more evidence of a dry growing season here. Zipper ears and a low population will hurt this field this year. There is a heavy aphid infestation here as well as seen on one of the scout’s shirt. This farmer replanted in some areas of the field we were in but none of our sample ears came from those later planted stalks. Our yield number here is 142. Soybeans were podded well and 1194 is our 3 x 3 pod count here.Vermillion County, IllinoisVermillion County, Illinois11:34 a.m.We wondered if this corn was firing badly or just wrapping up production and the answer was a little of both. We talked with some area growers here in Iroquois County, Illinois and the big rain they got over the last day was too much too late. Corn here is showing what they told us. Things were dry here early in the growing season and corn and soybeans. This caused corn ear pops to be very low and even though these ears were impressive, there just weren’t enough of them here. Our yield for this corn was 92 bushels to the acre. Soybeans were pretty decent and the plants had many pods on a bushy stalk. I did notice quite a few 2-bean pods which would also be due to lack of rain during a critical part of the growing stage. Our pod count was 1382 in a 3 foot square.Iroquois County, IllinoisIroquois County, IllinoisIroquois County, IllinoisIroquois County, Illinois10:25 a.m.This will be our last county in Indiana and we will do two stops here in Warren County. A ton of rain has fallen here as we are seeing standing water everywhere. Hearing up to 5 inches in the last 24 hours in this area. This field gave us a run for our money with 15 inch rows which, on a rainy day with muddy shoes is a whole lot of fun. Ear count was solid for narrow rows and this field was close to denting. This will be the highest yield I have seen on tour at 226 bushels per acre. Soybeans were better here than we have seen all day. Podded early and often here and the rain we are seeing today will only benefit. Our 3 x 3 square foot pod count was 1236.Warren County, IndianaWarren County, Indiana9:21 a.m.Once again, we are seeing decent ear counts in corn fields in this part of Indiana. We are in Tippecanoe County currently. The lengths of the ears and tip back are not helping get yield numbers to where farmers here are used to. Our guess here is at 151. The beans were very young and planted into wheat stubble. This will bring the pod count down dramatically, but there is still lots of potential in this field and this rain is certainly helping here. Our pod count was 343 in a 3 x 3 square.Tippecanoe County, IndianaTippecanoe County, IndianaTippecanoe County, IndianaTippecanoe County, Indiana8:52 a.m.Still in Clinton County, Indiana and stalk quality was a major issue here. Some downed trees in the area is telling us that some wind has come through here recently and this corn field could not handle it. If another strong system gets here more stalks will topple as a result. Our yield calc here is 133. The soybeans were very wavy here, but the pod count was the highest we have seen so far on Day 2. Rain is falling here and the soils were very wet. That gave us a better look at the root system. Our 3 by 3 foot area pod count was 998.Clinton County, IndianaClinton County, IndianaClinton County, Indiana8:05 a.m.This corn is farther along and starting to dent here in Clinton County, Indiana. These ears were heavier than I have seen so far on tour and every ear was 16 around and our yield was at 210 bushel to the acre. Soybeans had a few skips in the area of the field we ended up in and pod count was just okay per plant we sampled. Our pod count in a 3 x 3 square was 768.Clinton County, IndianaClinton County, Indiana7:30 a.mTook a while to get out of town and find some fields in this highly developed part of Hamilton County, Indiana. This corn still have some time to get to dent, but the uniformity here was noticeable compared to yesterday and skips were rare here. Ear length hurt here with one at 4 1/2 inches long. Our yield guess is 155. Soybeans were healthy with very little disease or insect pressure. Dirt here was dry and although we have rain on the radar all around us, we are not wet yet. Our pod count in a 3 by 3 foot square was 929.Hamilton County, IndianaHamilton County, IndianaHamilton County, IndianaHamilton County, Indianalast_img read more

Urban local bodies polls underway in Rajasthan

first_imgPolling to elect about 2,100 ward councillors is underway in all 49 municipal bodies across Rajasthan on Saturday. According to that state election department, the polling started at 7 a.m. and will continue till 5 p.m. The election has been peaceful so far, an official of the department said. A total of 7,944 candidates are in the fray in 49 civic bodies of the State. The election department said that a total of 33.69 lakh voters, including 17.05 lakh men and 16.01 lakh women, will exercise their franchise on Saturday. Counting of votes will be done on November 19. Election for chairman and deputy chairman of local bodies will be held on November 26 and 27 respectively.last_img read more

Pakistan soak in Champions Trophy glory but what next for the mercurial side?

first_imgWhen the Champions Trophy tournament began on June 1, everybody had their set of favourites which usually comprised of teams like England, India, Australia and South Africa. Most of the cricket pundits and fans were backing the big four teams to battle it out in the semi-finals.Nobody gave Pakistan a chance of making it to the last-four let alone win the tournament. And Pakistan gave no reason for people to believe otherwise after their performance in the first match where they lost to India by a huge margin of 124 runs.That was the lowest point for Pakistan in the tournament and everybody was expecting them to crash out soon as they faced South Africa in the next game. But Sarfraz Ahmed and his boys had other plans. In the span of two weeks the team transformed itself completely and registered four wins on the trot – beating the Proteas, Sri Lanka, joint favourites England and India to clinch their maiden Champions Trophy last Sunday.Pakistan cricket has been on the decline ever since their exit from the 2003 World Cup where they lost to India and the legends in the team – Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammed Yousuf retired in the following years. They have always had talented players in the side from there on and were always labelled as an unpredictable but highly inconsistent side.Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan along with some other senior players in Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq shouldered the responsibility of the side but they were never able to produce results on a consistent basis. They had wins here and there with the 2009 T20 World Cup success being their only ICC trophy since the 1992 World Cup. But the steam somehow died down after that.advertisementBut now all of a sudden in the last two years, Pakistan cricket has stumbled back on its feet and with this Champions Trophy victory the belief and confidence will hopefully return as well.Karachi welcomes @SarfarazA_54, what incredible scenes! Champions return home ??????? #CT17 #AikJeetAur pic.twitter.com/v971el9kcH- PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) June 20, 2017For a team, which hasn’t played any international cricket at home since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, to clinch the World No. 1 ranking in Test cricket for a brief period and then to beat four top class teams and clinch the Champions Trophy is an astonishing effort.DECLINE POST IMRAN KHAN ERALegendary all-rounder Imran Khan is the man solely responsible for bringing Pakistan cricket back on its feet during the 1980s and early 1990s. Imran’s leadership and guidance saw Pakistan clinch the 1992 World Cup and become a dangerous side from there onwards.Imran retired soon after bringing the World Cup back home and gave Pakistan some future legends like Wasim, Waqar, Inzamam, Saleem Malik and Mushtaq Ahmed. Other greats like Saeed Anwar, Mohammed Yousuf, Younis Khan, Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi also came along and for the next 7-8 years they became a dominant force in world cricket.This is also the time when Pakistan gained a healthy lead in head-to-head encounters with arch-rivals India, who were struggling to cope up. Pakistan started to dish out consistent performances, won matches both at home and abroad in ODIs as well as in Test cricket.Veterans Wasim and Waqar provided the required guidance and direction to the team for as long as they could but their retirements began the decline for Pakistan yet again.RESURGENCE UNDER MISBAH-UL-HAQPakistan gave opportunities to a number of senior players to lead the team after Inzamam’s successful tenure came to an end while its cricket board also saw regular changes at the top which made matters worse for the team. Younis, Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf all tried their hands at captaining the side with Younis leading the team to the 2009 World T20 triumph.But Pakistan were still in need of a leader who could inspire the team as well as Imran did. Misbah-ul-Haq then took over and proved to be the leader the team was looking for a very long time.It took some time but Pakistan managed to get back up on its feet with Misbah at the helm. Consistency still eluded the team but they regained the threatening factor which has always been associated with Pakistan cricket.PAKISTAN’S RISE DESPITE LACK OF CRICKET ON HOME SOILMisbah’s team shifted base to the UAE after the ICC ruled out any international cricket in Pakistan following the terror attacks on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009. Since then they have made the Sheikh Zyed stadium in Abu Dhabi their home ground along with the Sharjah cricket stadium.advertisementWhat an amazing welcome u deserve it @SarfarazA_54 pic.twitter.com/wSbBvng9Gp- Azhar Ali (@AzharAli_) June 20, 2017Despite their terrific record in the UAE were they have defeated most of the international teams in all forms of the game, Pakistan still miss the experience of playing on home soil and in front of packed stands. India’s refusal to play against Pakistan and in the UAE has also worked against the Men in Green who’s dismal record against its arch-rivals in ICC tournaments continued.Poor infrastructure, dismal state of domestic cricket and lack of support from the board have been the major reasons behind the decline in Pakistan cricket but Misbah and his team still managed to reach great heights against all odds.THE ROAD AHEAD UNDER SARFRAZ(Reuters Photo)More than the Champions Trophy triumph, Pakistan must be happy with the way its team has shaped up in the last two weeks. This tournament was the real test for Sarfraz as captain and for young players in the team like Fakhar Zaman, Hassan Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan and the likes who were playing on the big stage for the first time.Pakistan #CT17 heroes given rousing welcome at Lahore Airport #AikJeetAur ??????? pic.twitter.com/c5GfGvyTCd- PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) June 19, 2017Sarfraz as a captain completely changed after the first loss against India and the way his team responded match after match since then took everybody by surprise. We have not seen Pakistani players this charged up and hungry to win for a very long time now.Fakhar and Hassan especially were a revelation for Pakistan and nightmares for other teams who were playing against these two for the first time. Nobody could figure out a way to stop them. Imad and Shadab also improved along the way and gained confidence with each passing match.Pakistan saved its best performance for the last and hammered India in the final with Mohammed Amir proving his worth as a world class fast bowler and the one to watch out for in the coming years.Goosebumps!!!!! Love the reaction of crowd when they saw first glimpse of @SarfarazA_54 with ??? in his balcony pic.twitter.com/E74Q8Xvtil- Nabeel Hashmi (@HashmeNabeel) June 20, 2017But the biggest question now is – can Pakistan maintain their winning run and consistently churn out performances like these in the coming months?They have ticked all the right boxes from this tournament and have a young captain in Sarfraz who looks to be the best bet for the 2019 World Cup as well. But can the youngsters in the team keep up with the fitness levels required at the international level and deliver on a consistent basis till the next big ICC event?If they do then it will be great news for world cricket and for India-Pakistan cricket as well. After India cut all bilateral ties with Pakistan, the only time we get to enjoy a cricket match involving these two nations is at ICC events where India have been beating Pakistan consistently for more than a decade now.advertisementSince the turn of the millennium we have only seen one-sided matches in ICC events with India emerging victorious. The script was becoming monotonous to say the least.But the Champions Trophy win will hopefully change all that in Pakistan and give them more belief. International cricket has been missing a team like this current side under Sarfraz and we can only hope that they continue to entertain like this for a long time to come.last_img read more