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Stevie Wonder appointed UN Messenger of Peace


Grammy Award-winning songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder of the US has been appointed as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on people with disabilities.

The UN said he is being recognised for his philanthropic work with various charities. His special mission will be to help people with disabilities.

Throughout his career Wonder has worked with various charitable organisations including the Employment of People with Disabilities, the Children's Diabetes Foundation and Junior Blind of America.

Wonder, who lost his sight shortly after he was born, learned to play the several musical instruments by the age of nine and signed with Motown Records at the age of eleven, and continues to perform and record for the label. He has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and won twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever won by a male solo artist.

The United Nations Messengers of Peace are distinguished individuals, carefully selected from the fields of art, literature, music and sports, who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the United Nations. Backed by the highest honour bestowed by the Secretary-General on a global citizen for an initial period of three years, these prominent personalities volunteer their time, talent and passion to raise awareness of United Nations' efforts to improve the lives of billions of people everywhere.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Stevie Wonder is "admired by millions of people and has given back to millions of people".

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Ex-MD from Tata Group and Glaxo to blend conservation and development

Singer Craig David is UN's voice against TB
Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Haitian writer among UNESCO Artists for Peace
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

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