Big Brothers Big Sisters Altering Perspectives and Saving Lives

first_imgBy Chris Rotolo |A life can change for the better simply with a shift in perspective.Such was the case for Chris McNamara, who was faced with the fight of his life in the summer of 2011, when he was diagnosed with colon cancer.It was an illness he would ultimately overcome, but the battle had altered his perception of what it meant to truly live.“After having survived that, I saw it as sort of having a second chance at life,” McNamara said. “Then I was left with the question, what was I going to do with this opportunity?”McNamara had previously felt compelled to join the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, but facing his own mortality placed a newfound sense of urgency on the decision.“Going through that whole experience made me realize that now is the time,” McNamara said. “I wanted to do good. But more specifically, I wanted to have an active role in helping a local child as a mentor. I wanted to reach out to a young person in need, to get them out of their everyday environment and help them enjoy life.”With the realization of a larger calling in tow, McNamara recognized the power of a perspective transformed, and how approaching a little brother or sister in this fashion could help place them on a path with broader horizons.“The point of being a mentor is to try and change their viewpoint; try to show them that there’s more to life than what’s at their front door and just beyond it. It’s a big world. There’s lots of good out there. And I want to show him that he can experience all of the good, if he’s willing to focus, do the right things, and put the work in,” McNamara said of his little brother Logan, a local 13-year old he has been paired with since joining Big Brothers Big Sisters.“Every one of us has had a mentor in our lives at some point,” said Marybeth Bull, Big Brothers Big Sister director of development. “Someone who has been influential in helping us become the success that we are. And that’s what we try to provide with this program. We’re here to help kids who need a little push and a little more support in life; an extra person on their side.”According to Bull, many of the boys and girls in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program come from a single-parent household and are facing such severe issues as poverty and various forms of abuse.Bull also disclosed that though there are nearly 700 kids being served by the program, more than 50 other children are currently on a waiting list.“These are children whose parents want the best for them, or who have a school counselor advocating for them. There’s somebody in their life who thinks they can flourish with an extra positive role model. Volunteers have the opportunity to be that role model, and I think they’ll find they get just as much, if not more, out of it than the child does,” said Bull.Chuck Leone has been a mentor to Kweli for the past four years providing a positive and supportive influence. Photo courtesy BBBSRed Bank dentist Chuck Leone is another mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and shared a similar sentiment to that of Bull.“My family, my wife and I, we’ve been very fortunate in our lives, to the point where we’ve been able to make various monetary donations to groups over the years. But it’s an impersonal experience. With Big Brothers Big Sisters, you have an opportunity to see firsthand the positive impact you’re having on a young life.”Leone has acted as a mentor to a local 14-year old named Kweli for the past four years, and has witnessed the strength of their relationship reveal a clearer picture of what the future could hold for the high school freshman.“When we first met, I’m not sure that college would have been in his future, or if he believed that it could be an option for him,” Leone said. “But it was during this past holiday season, he turned to me and said that he wants to graduate high school and college and have a successful career as a way to repay me for everything I’ve done for him. And to hear that, it’s an incredible feeling.“I hope Kweli knows how proud of him I am that he has developed this vision of his future,” Leone continued. “I’m so proud that he’s decided to put in the work to achieve it. And I hope he knows that it’s my goal to help him get there.”Leone and McNamara are two of a multitude of remarkable mentors involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, but with each successful mentor-little relationship the program grows, placing a demand for more volunteers, especially males.“Of the 50 children on our waiting list, 36 of them are boys, which is why we really want to appeal to more males to step up and mentor our boys,” Bull said. “These are the kids who are growing up without a father figure and it’s so important for a developing child to have a strong, positive male figure in their life.”For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters visit article was first published in the Feb. 22-March 1, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

Nelson boxers ‘put on a great show’ at Fight Card 3

first_imgThe Nelson boxer was up against a 16-year-old fighter, Dylan Clark of Cranbrook one of the few exhibition bouts. And Martinez showed he has the skills to go a long way in the sport.“This was probably the most skillful fight of the night,” said Pinnero. “Elias showed us a lot, and if there was a decision I thought he might have won.”Exhibition bouts do not have decisions. Other exhibition bouts featuring Nelson fighters saw Riel Martinez against Cranbrook’s Dylan Muhlig and Max Berkeley in the ring against Cranbrook’s Tom White.Other Nelson fight results included: Samson Berkeley winning a decision over Kelowna’s Brandon Emerick. If head coach Jesse Pinnero had a chance to do it all over again, he may have not scheduled Fight Night 3 on a long weekend.However, after putting the last chair back in storage the Nelson Boxing Club skipper was pleased with the results of his boxers following Fight Night 3 Saturday at the Nelson Rod and Gun Club.“I’m really happy with the results, although if I had to do it all over again I may have not scheduled the event on a long weekend,” Pinnero told The Nelson Daily after approximately 180 spectators found time in their long weekend plans to attend the card.“There were still a lot of people and the boys put on a great show.”Pinnero was pleased with the fight of 13-year-old Elias Martinez. Brayden Hellekson scoring unanimous decision against Revelstoke’s Logan Ancell. Dominic Lentini of Revelstoke earning a unanimous decision over Kenny Stanton of Nelson. Kelowna’s Miguel Diaz jumping all over Jesse Lyons of Nelson to score the decision.Pinnero said despite Lyons losing the decision, he was impressed with the grit of his fighter.“Jesse got overwhelmed at the start, got knock down twice but came back and had the guy on the ropes in the third,” Pinnero said.“He showed a lot of heart and skill to get though that fight.”In the main event, Aram Matisyan of Calgary scored a knockout decision over Kelowna’s Clive Fagan in the 69-kilo weight category.Pinnero said next bout for Nelson fighters is June 10 in North Vancouver while Fight Card 4 is expected to be back at the Rod and Gun Club in October.last_img read more

Spain-Bafana showdown draws the media

first_img15 November 2013A strong contingent of 44 Spanish journalists will be flying in to South Africa to cover the international friendly between Bafana Bafana and reigning world and European football champions Spain at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday.It will be the first time the world number one ranked Spanish return to South Africa since they clinched the World Cup in 2010 after an extra-time victory over the Netherlands at the same venue – then known as Soccer City – thanks to a goal in the 116th minute by midfielder Andres Iniesta.Journalists representing radio, online, print and television from 14 different media establishments in Spain will be in attendance, reflecting strong international interest in the game, which will be screened live throughout Europe and elsewhere.Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has selected South Africa’s strongest possible side, including nine foreign-based players, for the game. Veterans such as Bafana skipper Itumeleng Khune, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bongani Khumalo and Kagisho Dikgacoi will line up alongside emerging players such as Bongani Zungu, Ayanda Patosi and Kermit Erasmus.Spain’s squad for the match includes 13 World Cup winners. Crowd favourite Andres Iniesta, who scored the winning goal in extra time in the 2010 final against The Netherlands, Cesc Fabregas, David Villa, Alvaro Negredo, Juan Mata, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso will be some of those in action.“It is a dream come true for many soccer fans to once again see the likes of Iniesta and Xavi in action at the venue where they made history by lifting their first World Cup trophy,” South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan said when the match was announced last month. “This is going to be a block-buster of a game.”Bafana Bafana have met Spain twice previously, with both matches taking place during the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup in South Africa.Playing in Bloemfontein, the European champions recorded a routine 2-0 victory over South Africa in group play, but a shock loss to the USA, which ended their record unbeaten run of 15 matches, relegated them to the playoff for third and fourth against the hosts.The game turned out to be a cracker, with Spain edging it 3-2 after Katlego Mphela’s second goal forced the game into extra time.Tickets for Tuesday’s match are on sale at Computicket, Shoprite, Checkers and Shoprite/Checkers stores countrywide. They cost R50 for the top tier; R200 for the middle tier and R100 for the bottom tier. There are also suite ticket packages available for R895 and R1 650.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Dale Steyn named world’s leading cricketer

first_img10 April 2014South African fast bowler Dale Steyn has been named the leading cricketer in the world for 2013 in the Wisden Cricketers Almanack. Founded in 1864 and published annually ever since, the Almanack is regarded as the bible of cricket.‘Lethal’Editor Lawrance Booth wrote in his citation: “South African fast bowler Dale Steyn is Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World for 2013, a year in which he took 51 test wickets in only nine games at an average of 17. Steyn was scarcely less lethal in one-day internationals, claiming 27 at under 16.“Most remarkable, perhaps, for a man of his pace, was his meanness: an economy- rate of 3.65 was comfortably the lowest among bowlers to have sent down 100 one-day international overs in 2013. Fast, penetrative and parsimonious – it was some combination,” Booth wrote.“He shows no signs of slowing down or losing his enthusiasm. ‘I enjoy taking wickets more than most people can understand,’ he says. ‘I’m addicted to that feeling. I live in the moment, but I hope there are many more years of it to come.’“Steyn is the second South African to be selected as Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World, after Jacques Kallis in 2007. In 2013 he was selected as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year.”‘A singular and great honour’Cricket South Africa (CSA) congratulated Steyn on the achievement, with CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat saying in a statement: “This is a singular and great honour for Dale, who has deservedly won just about every accolade available to him in the sport of cricket.“The whole of South Africa can be proud of what he has achieved today as Wisden’s leading cricketer, and the humility he shows is perfect for the world’s youth,” Lorgat said.“Other than for a brief period earlier this year when he was overtaken by his colleague, Vernon Philander, he has been the world’s leading Test match bowler for the past five years and has been an obvious choice in the ICC select Test XI.VersatilityLorgat also spoke about Steyn’s versatility, saying: “His selection in the two limited overs formats for the Proteas has been constrained by his large work load, but he showed during the recent ICC World Twenty20 that he is invaluable to the Proteas in these formats as well.“His epic last over against New Zealand was the making of legends.“Wisden has become known as the ‘cricketer’s bible’ – and with good reason. It has certainly stood the test of time in the world of cricket,” Lorgat said. “The fact that Jacques Kallis is the only other South African to have received this prestigious recognition speaks volumes for Dale Steyn’s international standing.“This is indeed an achievement for all South Africans to celebrate.”6 for 8Among Steyn’s achievements in 2013 was arguably his most devastating spell of bowling in a distinguished career when he captured 6 for 8 against Pakistan at The Wanderers in February. He finished a match haul of 11 for 60.Since making his test debut in December 2004, Steyn has played in 72 tests, capturing 362 wickets at an average of 23.01. While that record is excellent, his most outstanding statistic is that of strike rate, with the Proteas’ spearhead capturing a wicket every 42.1 balls.Only four bowlers in history enjoy a better rate. Three of them played between 1886 and 1914, when pitches were far less friendly to batsmen and bowlers were dominant, while the fourth bowler, Shane Bond of New Zealand, played as recently as 2009, but appeared in only 18 tests, taking 87 wickets.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Be informed about 2019 dicamba requirements

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is reminding farmers of revised labels and new training requirements for applicators who intend to use dicamba herbicide products this year. In October 2018, U.S. EPA approved revised labels for the three dicamba products that are labeled for use on soybeans: Engenia (BASF), XtendiMax (Monsanto) and FeXapan (DuPont).“Like any other product, we want to ensure licensed applicators are properly following label directions as they get ready for this growing season,” said Matt Beal, chief of the ODA Division of Plant Health. “This not only helps ensure the safe use of pesticides, it also helps prevent misuse and mishandling.”The manufacturers of these dicamba products also agreed to additional requirements for their products. Some of the requirements include:2019 labels supersede all prior labels for these products. Applicators must obtain a copy of the new label and must have that label in their possession at the time of useOnly certified applicators may purchase and apply the products. Those operating under the supervision of a certified applicator may no longer purchase or apply.Anyone who mixes, loads or cleans dicamba application equipment must become licensed.ODA will host additional “Dicamba Ag Only” exams in February and March for those looking to become a certified applicator. Visit for more details.Applicators must complete dicamba-specific trainingIncreased recordkeeping requirementsWind speed restrictionsTemperature inversion restrictionsSensitive/susceptible crop consultationSpray system equipment clean-out.Applicators looking for a list of ODA-approved trainings can visit For questions, applicators can contact the ODA Pesticide and Fertilizer Regulation Section at 614-728-6987 or read more

No fresh taxes in Haryana budget, ₹100 cr for SYL

first_imgHaryana Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu on Monday presented the state budget in which no fresh taxes were proposed and the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was expected to grow at 9% in 2017-18.Capt. Abhimanyu proposed a budget of ₹1,02,329.35 crore for 2017-18, an increase of Rs 9,041.59 (13.18 per cent) over the last budget. He said on the pattern of the union government initiative, Haryana has also decided to dispense with the plan and non-plan classification of expenditure and present the budget in terms of revenue and capital classification.“Significant strides”“Haryana has made significant strides in all key parameters that constitute the economic and fiscal space. Be it GSDP growth, per capita income, fiscal deficit, debt-to-GSDP ratio or total revenue as a ratio of GSDP – things have improved,” Capt Abhimanyu said as he presented his third consecutive budget. “GSDP which is estimated to have logged a growth rate of 8.7% in 2016-17 is poised to touch 9% in 2017-18,” he said, adding that the present government, by following prudent fiscal management policies, had been able to reverse the increasing trend in deficit parameters witnessed during the previous regime.“This is clear from the fact that in 2014-15, the revenue deficit, which was 1.90% of GSDP, had declined to 1.6% in 2015-16, and in 2016-17, it is likely to be 1.33%. For fiscal 2017-18, I have targeted to bring it further down to less than 1% and by the end of 2019-20, my target is to bring it down to zero,” he added.Expressing commitment towards the construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, Capt. Abhimanyu announced to allocate ₹100 crore especially for this purpose in 2017-18. “I assure the august House that for construction of the SYL even if ₹1,000 crore is required, we will provide the same”, he said.Rural areas get priority Capt. Abhimanyu said that bulk of the allocation made for agriculture, panchayats and irrigation departments in the budget are meant for rural areas. “It is expected that in the next financial year, the allocation for rural areas will get a further boost,” he added.last_img read more

National team unity intact: SMC stars show up for Gilas Pilipinas training

first_imgJune Mar Fajardo. Photo from Fiba.comA major fissure that split the PBA board into two groups did not rip the unity of the national program as the San Miguel group made good on its vow to continue supporting Gilas Pilipinas, sending its key players to the first practice in preparation for the Fiba World Cup.Reigning four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer and athletic Barangay Ginebra big Japeth Aguilar showed up for training at Meralco gym Friday night with the other members of Gilas Pilipinas, the national squad bankrolled principally by tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan.ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA MOST READ LATEST STORIES Read Next Foton turns back Generika but fails to satisfy coach Pangilinan owns three PBA teams and those squads—TNT KaTropa, Meralco and NLEX—are part of a seven-team bloc that is seeking the ouster of commissioner Chito Narvasa.The San Miguel squads—San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra and Star—lead a five-team faction that back Narvasa and there were initial fears that the split would be detrimental to the national program, which is going to play crucial home-and-away matches to try qualify for the Fiba World Cup.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut the San Miguel group had moved to build a truce within the board and also vowed to continue supporting the national team.Even Star’s Jio Jalalon, who is sidelined with a lateral collateral ligament damage, showed up Friday night. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Among those who did not show up were Terrence Romeo and Kiefer Ravena, who are still both out of town, and naturalized center Andray Blatche who promised to arrive on Nov. 12.Fajardo, Aguilar, Romeo, Ravena, Blatche, and TNT KaTropa guards Jason Castro and RR Pogoy, who were also present Friday night, to lead the 23-man pool for Gilas Pilipinas.The rest of the pool includes: mainstays Calvin Abueva and Gabe Norwood, returnees Raymond Almazan, Allein Maliksi, Troy Rosario, Kevin Alas, Baser Amer, and LA Revilla, cadets Matthew Wright, Jalalon, Mac Belo, Carl Bryan Cruz, Kevin Ferrer, Mike Tolomia, Von Pessumal, and Russel Escoto.Team Philippines will play Japan in Tokyo on Nov. 24 and the Filipinos, with Blatche on board, should be the favored side.Gilas will then travel a few days after to Chinese Taipei to play the Taiwanese and Quincy Davis. The Filipinos are also slated to clash with world power Australia in the home-and-away series of games.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding This will mark Blatche’s return to active Philippine duty after sitting out the Fiba Asia Cup in Lebanon a couple of months back for security reasons.That paved the way for Christian Standhardinger to play a third international tournament for Gilas after seeing action in the Jones Cup, where the Filipinos finished fourth, and in the Southeast Asian Games which Team Philippines easily won.Standhardinger was picked first overall in the last Draft but is not included in the pool with Blatche filling in the naturalized player’s slot. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion View commentslast_img read more

1992: Imran Khan leads revolution

first_imgThat the 1992 World Cup was cricket’s version of a revolution is pretty obvious. Be it the introduction of coloured clothing with player names at the back, a large number of floodlit matches, white balls at either end of the pitch or the 15-over field restrictions – limited-overs cricket as we know it now can trace its roots back to this World Cup, hosted for the first time by Australia and New Zealand.Imran Khan’s team in mint green gathered steam after an initially floundering campaign.Eventually, it was Imran Khan’s team in mint green that gathered steam after an initially floundering campaign. Pakistan took home the gleaming Waterford crystal trophy after defeating England by 22 runs in the final in front of over 87,000 at the newly-refurbished Melbourne Cricket Ground.This was the only time the World Cup was played in a completely round-robin format, with South Africa coming back from their apartheid-induced isolation to become the ninth team in the fray with only a few months left for the event. The top four teams would then proceed to the semi-finals.New Zealand took on defending champions Australia in the opening match at Eden Park in Auckland and, thanks to an unbeaten century by captain Martin Crowe, beat their fancied neighbours.Some of Crowe’s captaincy innovations are being followed even today, including opening the bowling with off-spinner Dipak Patel and sending Mark Greatbatch out as a pinchhitting opener with the steady John Wright to make full use of the new fielding restrictions and the short boundaries.advertisementSoon, England and New Zealand emerged as the teams to beat by keeping virtually perfect records till the closing stages. The eventual champions, on the other hand, won just one of their first five games.Then came Pakistan’s match against South Africa, in which Jonty Rhodes – who was already establishing himself as a livewire – took out a young Inzamam-ul-Haq with an airborne run-out, in what became a lasting image of his fielding. Pakistan had three points from five matches with just three more to play.It was at this stage that Imran told his team to play like ‘cornered tigers’. The 39-year-old’s leadership galvanised his young team, which was missing pace spearhead Waqar Younis, and they responded with victories against Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand to scrape through ahead of Australia.The Allan Border-led side ended up fifth, with four wins and four defeats, failing to live up to their pre-tournament billing as favourites. The first semi-final was played in Auckland, with New Zealand piling up 262 for seven courtesy a 91 from player-ofthe-tournament Crowe. But Miandad anchored the chase with an unbeaten 57 and Inzamam hit a hurricane 60 off 37 balls to help the Asians win by four wickets.The other semi-final, however, produced one of the most infamous incidents in limitedovers cricket. England posted 252 for six in 45 overs in Sydney thanks to Graeme Hick’s 83 and South Africa were at 231 for six in 42.5 overs, needing 22 to win off 13 balls. But a sudden shower reduced the number of overs to 43.The rain rule was such that the new target was obtained by subtracting the lowest-scoring overs of the opposition’s innings from the final score and thus, South Africa needed a farcical 21 off one ball when play resumed.The final saw the old guard of Imran and Javed Miandad rescue Pakistan from a double strike by Derek Pringle, putting on 139 to help their team reach 249 for six in 50 overs, aided by quickfire knocks from Inzamam and Wasim Akram.Akram then took out Ian Botham in the opening stages before returning to dismiss Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis off consecutive deliveries. Leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed too chipped in with three wickets. For Imran, it was the realisation of a lifelong dream and he dedicated the victory to a cancer hospital in his mother’s name. INDIAN ANGLEIndia went in with a good blend of youth and experience, and a young man named Sachin Tendulkar made his World Cup debut.However, the Mohammad Azharuddin-led team struggled with its fielding and disappointing performances overall, winning just two matches – against Zimbabwe and Pakistan, with one match against Sri Lanka being abandoned. Tendulkar shone with 283 runs in eight matches, cracking half-centuries against New Zealand, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. But the curtains came down on the World Cup careers of 1983 champions Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri and Krishnamachari Srikkanth.VENUE PROFILESARDAR PATEL STADIUM, MOTERA, AHMEDABAD This 48,000-seater stadium was built in 1982 on the banks of the Sabarmati River on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Located on a 50-acre site, it took only nine months to construct it. The first ODI played here was the fourth between India and Australia in 1984, with Australia winning by 7 wickets. The venue also hosted the inaugural match of the 1996 World Cup between England and New Zealand.advertisementSunil Gavaskar reached 10,000 Test runs against Pakistan in 1986-87 at this stadium, while Kapil Dev broke Richard Hadlee’s world record of 431 Test wickets here against Sri Lanka in 1994.- Courtesy ICCGROUND ZERO FIRST MATCH PLAYED: October 5, 1984 – Australia beat India by 7 wicketsMOST RECENT MATCH : February 27, 2010 – South Africa beat India by 90 runsMATCHES PLAYED: 18 MOST SUCCESSFUL TEAM: IndiaMOST PROLIFIC BATSMAN: Rahul Dravid (342 runs)HIGHEST SCORE: 144 by Sourav Ganguly MOST SUCCESSFUL BOWLER: Kapil Dev (10 wickets)BEST BOWLING: 4/20 by Farveez Maharooflast_img read more

Video: Colin Cowherd, Joel Klatt Explain Why They Believe Michigan State Can Win It All

first_imgColin Cowherd previews the Big 10 Championship on The Herd.colin cowherd joel klatt high on michigan stateMichigan State has an all-important contest this Saturday, as the Spartans take on undefeated Iowa in the Big Ten title game. The contest, which is being played between the No. 4 and No. 5 ranked teams in the College Football Playoff rankings, is a de facto national quarterfinal.Thursday, FOX Sports radio host Colin Cowherd and guest Joel Klatt debated whether they believe the Spartans are capable of not just winning that game – but winning the national championship. Both do, citing Connor Cook, the team’s offensive line and the fact that they’re getting healthy at the right time.Michigan State and Iowa kick off at 8:00 PM on FOX.last_img read more

Naxals will be rooted out by 2023 Rajnath Singh

first_imgHussainabad (Jharkhand): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Tuesday said naxals will be rooted out in the country by 2023. Rebels and terrorists come in the way of the country’s security, which is an essential part of development, and will be crushed, Singh told a poll rally here. Naxals have been almost eliminated in Jharkhand and their remaining pockets in the state will end soon, he said. Singh, who was campigning in support of Palamau (SC) constituency sitting BJP MP V D Ram, claimed that Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Congress have joined hands in the state due to their “lust for power” but will not be successful in acheiving their goal. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details There is no leader in the opposition to match the stature of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Those who appear to be leaders in the opposition are “dwarfs” compared to him, he said. Referring to developmental schemes like the Ujjwala Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Jan Dhan Yojana, the union minister said BJP is committed to usher in development of the country by 2022 and its poll manifesto reflected it. Ridiculing opposition parties seeking proof of bodies in the aftermath of Balakot air strikes, Singh said the air force’s job was to hit the terror camps, which it carried out, and not count bodies. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Our leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was then in the opposition, had praised the then prime minister Indira Gandhi after the 1971 war against Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh. But now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken a big step (Balakot air strike) the opposition leaders are raising questions instead of praising him. After Pulwama attack all the countries, including Islamic countries, stood with India. “India’s policy is not to fire the first bullet but to respond strongly to any bullet fired at it”, he said. Addressing another rally in neighbouring Chatra Lok Sabha constituency for BJP’s sitting MP Sunil Kumar Singh, the union minister said that Garibi-mukt Bharat can only be possibble only when there is a Congress-mukt Bharat. In the last five years the BJP-led NDA government made notable achievements in opening bank accounts for the poor, building roads, distribution of gas cylinders and its housing scheme and according to a survey report 7.5 crore people were taken out of poverty. Palamau goes to the polls along with Chatra and Lohardaga(ST) seats in the fourth phase of polling on April 29, which will be the first phase for Jharkhand.last_img read more