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#BlackDot: Novel new campaign makes it easy for domestic abuse victims to ask for help.

Victims of domestic abuse have a startlingly simple yet novel new way of asking for help, thanks to a new campaign created by a survivor of domestic abuse.

The Black Dot Campaign encourages anyone experiencing domestic abuse to draw a small black dot on the palm of their hand.

It’s the kind of initiative that is seen as particularly helpful for victims from those ethnic minority communities where abuse goes unreported because of cultural reasons.

The campaign’s Facebook page states: "This is a campaign to help the most vulnerable victims of domestic violence.  They simply draw a black dot on their hands and agencies, family, friends, community centres, doctors, hospitals can recognise this person needs help but cannot ask for it."

According to the campaign’s founder, it’s already paying off.

She told the Huffington Post: "This has helped many people already and I thank everyone for their continued support.  We have helped people access services they didn’t feel strong enough to access, and we are raising awareness worldwide."

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#BlueSky: Babas and Saris – Conservative Friends of India unveil campaign song

Conservative Friends of India unveil campaign song David Cameron British Asian News

Conservative Friends of India unveil campaign song David Cameron British Asian News

Indians are world-renowned for making a song-and-dance about everything and here’s the pudding that is the proof.

On the eve of the launch of the Conservative’s Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) manifesto, the Conservative Friends of India (CFI) group have unveiled a general election campaign song/music video titled ‘Neela Hai Aasma’ (Blue Sky) to the main man in blue – David Cameron.

Written by a member of the CFI and featuring vocals by crooner Navin Kundra, the song promises that Mr Cameron will “fulfil your dreams” and urges voters to allow Mr Cameron to finish the job that he started – presumably a reference to the British economy.

The video itself features a montage of images of Mr Cameron and wife Samantha as the couple schmoozed their way through the community.  Apart from the obligatory pics of the PM in hard hat and high-viz jackets, there are some unintentionally funny images of Mr Cameron with a number of spiritual gurus – both alive and not-so-alive; Mr Cameron on numerous temple visits, book launches and religious ceremonies; Mr Cameron making chappatis; Mr Cameron looking solemn and, of course, promotional headlines from Tory newspapers.

However, the star of the video is Samantha Cameron who appears several times utterly resplendent in a collection of classy saris – as the chorus belts out lugubriously, ‘David Cameron’...’David Cameron’...

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#IAmAnImmigrant: Campaign launched to fight growing tide of Xenophobia in Britain

A group of prominent activist groups have come together to launch a new campaign aimed at fighting xenophobia in Britain.

The Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX) is currently raising funds for a poster campaign which celebrates the contribution of immigrants to British society.

Titled 'I am an immigrant', the posters will feature real migrants from across the social spectrum.  Organizers are aiming to raise £44,000 to place the posters on billboards across London as well as at Underground stations in the capital.

The posters feature everyone from a cleaner through Tube drivers to brain surgeons and are aimed at fighting the growing anti-immigration rhetoric fed by the likes of the UK Independence Party as well as the coalition's immigration policies.  

MAX has launched a crowd-funding initiative to raise the money and has thus far collected £15,000.

"The poster campaign is a response to the increased anti-immigration rhetoric occurring in politics and the need to shed positive light on immigrants and the social, economic and cultural prosperity they bring to the nation," MAX explains.

"It ... aims to rid the dialogue on immigration policy of racism and discrimination.  With the 2015 General Election, the language and the rhetoric will only get worse."

The campaign is backed by more than one hundred British organizations, including the Green Party, the Indian Workers Association, the Black Minority Ethnic Community Organizations Network, the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights, the Desmond Tutu Foundation, Exiled Writers Ink, and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.

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#RedCarpet: Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveils ‘Make In India’ campaign

The 'Made in China' label plastered on everything from iPhones to bubble blowers may soon become less ubiquitous if Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has his way.

Mr Modi was front and centre at an event in New Delhi on Thursday as he unveiled 'Make in India', an ambitious new program aimed at making India the world's next big manufacturing hub.

Addressing some of the country's wealthiest individuals - many of them basking in the glow of being named to Forbes magazine's annual list of India's richest - Mr Modi promised a raft of measures that would help transform his country into a centre for high-tech manufacturing, promising better measures for companies seeking clearances as well as better logistical systems for potential investors.

Mr Modi acknowledged that the trust between the government and corporate sector had been eroded and promised to put that right.

"We do not want any industrialist being forced to leave India.  A trust was broken -- that when a policy will be changed, when will the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) come.

"This is what I heard from all you.  The biggest issue is trust.  Why don't we trust each other? I want to change that."

Mr Modi said he was saddened to see scores of Indians leaving the country seeking greener pastures abroad and said that 'Make In India' would entice them as well as foreign investors back.

"After what we have done and what I hear from you, I don't think I need to assure you any further on 'Make in India'.

A day before the unveiling, government officials revealed new steps to make it easier for foreign businesses to start operations in India, including online license applications whilst the validity of licenses have also been extended to three years from the previous 12 months.

"Make in India is not a slogan but a mission to be accomplished with a single-minded commitment", said Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The manufacturing sector makes up just 15% of India's vast economy.  The government aims to raise that figure to 25%.

The new campaign was duly applauded by key industrialists with Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry calling it a "timely opportunity to make India truly global".

India's richest individual, Reliance Industries honcho Mukesh Ambani said: "Today we commit ourselves to the 'Make in India' movement that was given to us by our beloved prime minister. 

Mr Modi's mission is a gargantuan one given that key ingredients for manufacturing - in particular infrastructure and energy provision - remain in a shambolic state in many parts of India.

Add to that the keenness of the far more efficient Chinese government to safeguard its country's reputation as the world's factory floor.

Just as Mr Modi was revealing the snazzy new lion logo of the Make In India campaign, the Chinese government unveiled a slew of new tax concessions for companies in the manufacturing sector aimed at encouraging high-tech imports and the establishment of research and development facilities.

Under the new campaign China will use tax breaks to encourage enterprises to upgrade their equipment and increase R&D efforts to improve the manufacturing industry.

According to reports, the new measures from Beijing will be particularly beneficial for the aviation, biotechnology and electronics sectors.

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#FAST: Campaign urges would-be Jihadis to consider impact on families, communities

The Home Secretary on Monday called on young British Muslim men and women planning to travel to fight in the Middle East to consider the "destructive" impact their actions will have on their families and communities.

Theresa May said there were better ways of helping people in strife-torn countries such as Syria than putting oneself in a warzone.

"There are terrible human tragedies unfolding in places like Syria and Iraq.  The British government has provided £600 million in humanitarian aid to Syria alone.  The message is don't go to Syria - there are better ways to help. 

"The best way people can help respond to the crisis is from the UK within the UK and within the safety of their families and communities."

Ms May was speaking at the launch of Families Against Stress and Trauma (FAST), a new initiative aimed at preventing young people from travelling to Syria and Iraq. 

The UK-wide campaign has been developed by Families Matter, a community organisation which provides support to vulnerable families and individuals.

The campaign also aims to help families to come forward if they feel their sons or daughters are planning to take up arms abroad.

Several high-profile incidents have led to a national effort to prevent young people travelling to Iraq and Syria.

Last month two men from Cardiff and a man from Aberdeen featured in an online recruitment video urging western Muslims to join the fighting with the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (Isis) group.

Nasser Muthana, 20, Reyaad Khan, 20, and Abdul Raqib Amin, 26, appeared in the video and are thought to be among more than 400 Britons fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Nasser's father Ahmed, who appeared in a FAST campaign video and whose other son Aseel is also in Syria, said: "Nasser was going to be a GP. We expected a high life for him. He was the best of the best but unfortunately he chose to go with these wrong people.

"I think 'am I going to see him alive again?' Maybe we won't even see the coffin - we'll just see on the news they're dead."

The Home Office has stepped up measures to crack down on people travelling to fight in the Middle East, including including prosecuting some of those who come back as terrorists.

"I am clear, in relation to people who are going to Syria and returning as terrorists, the Government will take action", Ms May continued.

"Over 400 UK-linked individuals have now travelled to Syria since the uprising began. Anyone travelling to Syria and Iraq is exposing themselves to serious risks and the Government strongly advises against it.

FAST founder Saleha Jaffer said Muslim families were particularly concerned about the access to social media and influence of siblings on young people, although she backed prosecutions for those who become radicalised.

She said: "It is hard to properly convey the anguish of those left behind. Families matter because they are torn apart by those that choose to travel but they have the power to make a real difference.

"A lot of families are worried about social media and often children don't even tell their families they are going away - that's the biggest problem. We are asking them to look out for any small tell-tale signs.

"I think if a brother has gone then the families need to concentrate on the siblings and understand what they are thinking. They don't need to tell them off, they need to be friends.

"I don't think they are going to criminalise everyone but I think if the Government has intelligence that they are radicalised or extremists then yes I agree they should be prosecuted."

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