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Disabled Entitled To The Same Benefits As Given To SC-ST Candidates: SC [Read Order]

first_imgTop StoriesDisabled Entitled To The Same Benefits As Given To SC-ST Candidates: SC [Read Order] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK12 July 2020 8:28 PMShare This – x”People suffering from disabilities are also socially backward”The Supreme Court has observed that people suffering from disabilities are also socially backward and are thus entitled to the same benefits as given to the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes candidates. While considering an appeal against a Punjab and Haryana High Court order, the bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman said that it is ‘following’ the principle laid down in the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court has observed that people suffering from disabilities are also socially backward and are thus entitled to the same benefits as given to the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes candidates. While considering an appeal against a Punjab and Haryana High Court order, the bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman said that it is ‘following’ the principle laid down in the Delhi High Court’s judgment in Anamol Bhandari (Minor) through his father/Natural Guardian v. Delhi Technological University 2012 (131) DRJ 583. The petitioner, who is intellectually challenged to the extent of 50%, had applied for a diploma course in Fine Art for physically/mentally challenged students. He filed a writ petition challenging certain provisions of the prospectus issued by a College contending that there must be a bifurcation of the total available seats between physically challenged students and mentally/intellectually challenged students. He also prayed that an intellectually/mentally challenged student should be exempted from taking Aptitude Test. The High Court dismissed the writ petition. When the appeal came up for final hearing, the court was informed that it had become infructuous as the seat that was reserved for the handicapped had already been given to another person. The bench, also comprising Justices Navin Sinha and BR Gavai, observed thus: We are of the view that the High Court is correct on the bifurcation aspect. Further, insofar as the aptitude test having to be passed is concerned, the High Court is correct in saying that no exemption ought to be granted, but we follow the principle laid down in the Delhi High Court’s judgment in Anamol Bhandari (Minor) through his father/Natural Guardian v. Delhi Technological University 2012 (131) DRJ 583 in which the High Court has correctly held that people suffering from disabilities are also socially backward, and are therefore, at the very least, entitled to the same benefits as given to the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes candidates. Referring to the prospectus, the Court observed that as the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes candidates require 35 per cent to pass in the aptitude test, the same shall apply so far as the disabled are concerned in future. The bench also noted that the High Court has directed the authorities to examine the feasibility of creating a course which caters to the specific needs of disabled persons and also to increase the number of seats in the discipline of Painting and Applied Art with a view to accommodating such students.Anamol Bhandari Judgment By Delhi HCIn Anamol Bhandari (Supra), the challenge was against the Delhi Technological University prospectus which provided 10% of concession of marks in the minimum eligibility requirements for candidates belonging to SC/ST, but relaxation of 5% only is permissible for People with Disabilities. The bench comprising of Justice AK Sikri (then Acting CJ) and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw considered the issue whether different treatment to the two categories is permissible under law or it amounts to hostile discrimination insofar as PWD category is concerned. Referring to various reports and Supreme Court judgments, the Court observed that reservation for disabled is called horizontal reservation which cuts across all vertical categories such as SC, ST, OBC & General. It had observed thus:”Therefore, what was recognized was that since PWDs belonging to SC/ST categories, i.e., vertical categories enjoyed the relaxation which is provided to SC/ST categories, there is no reason not to give the same benefit/concession to those disabled who are in General Category or Other Backward Class Category as that process only would bring parity among all persons‟ disparity irrespective of their vertical categories. This itself provides for justification to accord same concession, viz., 10% concession to PWDs as well, in all categories which is extended to those PWDs who fall in the category of SC/ST. All the aforesaid clinchingly demonstrates that the people suffering from disabilities are equally socially backward, if not more, as those belonging to SC/ST categories and therefore, as per the Constitutional mandates, they are entitled to at least the same benefit of relaxation as given to SC/ST candidates.” The Court thus held that the provision giving only 5% concession in marks to PWD candidates as opposed to 10% relaxation provided to SC/ST candidates is discriminatory and PWD candidates are also entitled to same treatment. Case name: ARYAN RAJ vs. CHANDIGARH ADMINISTRATION Case no.: CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2718 OF 2020Coram: Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and BR GavaiCounsel: Sr. Adv Colin Gonsalves, Adv Sudhir WaliaClick here to Read/Download OrderRead OrderSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Monk praises Fulham but predicts Middlesbrough will be hard to stop

first_img Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook Embed from Getty ImagesMiddlesbrough boss Garry Monk said his side are still to find their top level of performance – but predicted few teams would be able to live with them when they do.Boro were installed as one of the pre-season favourites for promotion following a squad overhaul that left them with a strikeforce of Britt Assombalonga, Patrick Bamford, Martin Braithwaite, Rudy Gestede and Ashley Fletcher.But it took a defender, Cyrus Christie, to snatch a late equaliser at Fulham in a 1-1 draw that leaves Monk’s team fifth in the Championship – five points behind his former side Leeds.“I don’t think we’ve hit our full stride yet,” Monk said.“But I think that’s coming. When it fully clicks, and we hit that top gear, there won’t be many sides that can stop us. That’s the attitude we have to have.“It’s still early days and we’re trying to find that consistency.”Monk praised Fulham and said he believed a draw between the two teams was a fair result, after a game that was full of chances but was goalless until the 86th minute.He said: “Last season they were, for me, one of the best sides in the league and I don’t think anything different this season.“I’m disappointed with their goal, when it came and how it came. We’d defended those situations pretty well all afternoon.“But the character in the team is undeniable. If anything, after the equaliser, we were in the ascendency and tried to push for the winner.“I think a point was the fair result for both teams.”See also:Fulham’s Ayite suffers another hamstring injuryFulham denied victory by late Middlesbrough goallast_img read more

King David’s Walled City Surfaces

first_imgA wall 21 feet thick from the First Temple period has been excavated in Jerusalem’s old City of David.  The Jerusalem Post reported on Eilat Mazar’s latest discovery: “A wall from the First Temple was recently uncovered in Jerusalem’s City of David, strengthening the claim that it is the site of the palace of King David, an Israeli archeologist said Thursday.”  The First Temple was built in the time of Solomon, David’s son and successor, in the 10th century BC.  Mazar estimates that the 20-meter-long section represents one fourth of the wall.    Some modern “minimalist” archaeologists deny that David was more than a local chieftain; others relegate the stories about him to myth.  This new find, however – the largest structure yet found in the old city – “indicates that the City of David once served as a major government center, Mazar said.”  In 2005 she had found a large building that she has claimed was David’s palace (02/09/2007, 08/09/2005).    This story was found from a link on the website of the Biblical Archaeology Society.  On April 10, Todd Bolen added some cautions about interpreting this find on Bible Places Blog.Keep digging and you will find the evidence corroborating the Bible’s accuracy.  For a good example of this, see the film “The Second Battle of Jericho” from Associates for Biblical Research, where further digging “re-corroborated” the Biblical account of Jericho after results by an earlier dig cast doubt on the story.  Not long ago, skeptics were pointing to the lack of evidence for King David in support of their minimalist views.  Then the Tel Dan inscription was found, mentioning the “house of David” in plain text for all to see (see Bible Places).  Other pieces of the puzzle continue to surface (examples, 04/12/2003 04/17/2005).  Mazar’s excavations are the most spectacular in a long trend of findings that show the Bible to be a reliable historical record.    Why are mentions of David so rare in extrabiblical sources?  It’s easy to understand for anyone who has visited Jerusalem.  Almost every square yard is occupied by buildings.  Real estate in this center of three world religions is hotly contested.  It is very difficult or impossible to get access to the most interesting sites (like the Temple Mount; see 10/31/2006).  Considering how many times in history Jerusalem has been leveled, pillaged and burned, the remarkable thing is that any trace of David’s glory would remain.  Mazar’s dig concerns a small section of a hill otherwise covered by modern-day Palestinian dwellings.  To their credit, the Israeli government has made this a national historic park which tourists can visit.  Now past its second year of excavation, Mazar’s site is certainly one to watch.    A thousand years after King David came another king, the Son of David, whose kingdom is not of this world.  An easy walk north of the palace dig are sites famous in the Easter story, where Jesus of Nazareth rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, only to be put on trial and crucified a week later.  Within an afternoon, tourists can walk the Temple Mount, where Jesus confronted the Pharisees; visit the location of the upper room, where the Last Supper occurred; walk up the Mount of Olives, where Jesus was arrested; climb down into the dungeon where He was most likely held (under the modern church of St. Peter of Gallicantu); tour the Citadel, where the trial before Pilate took place; see remnant stones of Golgotha, where He carried the cross and was crucified and rose again (inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher).  Within a day’s drive are Emmaus, where He appeared to the two disciples after His resurrection; Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee, where He performed the miracle of the draft of fishes and told Peter to “feed My sheep”; and the summit of the Mount of Olives, where some 500 eyewitnesses saw Him ascend to heaven (see Christian Answers, Gary Habermas and Josh McDowell).  The millions who will shout, “Christ is risen – He is risen indeed” this Easter morning have a faith grounded on real estate.  Will your estate in heaven be real?  If any doubt, watch the Christian Answers video and read I John.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Eskom to tap into US bond market

first_imgEven though the National Energy Regulator granted Eskom a tariff increase of 24.8% earlier this year, Dames said the tariffs were insufficient to build up reserves to fund the necessary capital expansion to meet the projected growth of the South African economy. “To this end, we have developed a cash flow, income statements and balance sheet forecast that considers the implication of the build programme and capacity additions to the business over the next seven years,” he said. Dames said it was a relief that the government, as a major shareholder, was also embarking on plans to address the challenges faced by the country’s energy sector. Speaking to journalists in Johannesburg on Monday, Eskom CEO Brian Dames said that while it was expected to take substantial efforts from all stakeholders to overcome the country’s rapidly growing electricity demands, Eskom needed to take a leading role to prevent another gloomy picture of blackouts in the country. “The next seven years will be very tight beginning next year, and this will mean we have to maintain and maximise the efficiency of our existing assets as well as ensuring delivery of build programme,” Dames said. Tariff increases ‘not enough’ Dames said that the sustainability of Eskom, as well as national security of electricity supply over the next seven years, depended on effective management of the funding supply for the current and future build programme. The company has already received loans of R21-billion from the African Development Bank and R28-billion from the World Bank to fund the construction of Medupi, but still needs more funds to ensure that all three power stations are up and running by 2017. South African state company Eskom is to approach the US bond market in a bid to raise funds for its capital expansion programme, which includes two coal-fired base-load power stations – Medupi and Kusile – and the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme. 26 October 2010 Medupi, situated outside Lephalale in the Limpopo province, is expected to be up and running by the end of 2012, while operations at Kusile, being built outside Delmas in Mpumalanga province, may follow four years later. Ingula, currently under construction on the border of the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, will be fully operational in 2014. This after President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday that the government would spend over R800-billion (including R385-billion for Eskom expansion) on energy infrastructure over the next few years. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Crop rotation and second-year soybean yields

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, product manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.As harvest wraps up in across the eastern Corn Belt and plans for the 2020 crop are finalized, growers will determine what crops to plant and plan crop rotation across their acres. When considering crop rotations and yields, many focus on continuous corn and the yield penalties associated with that practices. However, there is one possibly overlooked benefit of crop rotation: avoiding a soybean yield penalty.In this article, the University of Kentucky’s John Grove discusses soybean yields for first year and second year soybeans from 2009 to 2016. Grove’s research data shows an average yield penalty of 2.3-bushels per acre across that 7-year period, with some years being showing yield losses greater than 10 bushels per acre. In another article from no-till farmer, Greg Roth shows data that predicts a 4- to 6- bushel per acre yield penalty for second year soybeans.Yield loses from continuous soybeans (and other continuous crops) are usually associated with increased disease presence as well as pests. Diseases that can over-winter on crop residue can be more severe for second year soybeans, especially in no-till production systems. Soybean cyst nematode presence can also increase with continuous soybean production. Additionally, weeds that are difficult to control in soybeans (marestail, etc.) can spread and rob yield as well.No-Till Farmer also published this article about managing risk in second year soybeans. Practices such as crop rotation, varietal selection, seeding rates, row widths, and tillage practices can be used to mitigate yield losses in soybeans. As growers look forward to the 2020 season, yield losses from continuous soybeans should be considered when determining acreage for crops to be produced.last_img read more

Stumbling Upon Mindfulness: One Veteran’s Afghanistan Experience

first_imgThis post was written by Reg McCutcheon. Reg is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with over 30 years of military experience.  He is currently a MFT intern at Valdosta State University and holds a bachelor’s degree and masters in business.  He is a graduate of the Air University Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and Squadron Officers School.  In addition he has graduated from several USAF occupational schools, to include Undergraduate Missile Training, Undergraduate Space Training, and Senior Leader Development Training.  Reg’s awards include three combat medals: Bronze Star Medal, NATO Medal, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.  He also received two Meritorious Service Medals and three Commendation Medals during his career of leadership and dedication to the Air Force. By Reg McCutcheon, Lt Col USAF (Retired)Flickr [Sunset Tree by der LichtKlicker, February 5, 2016, CC BY-ND 2.0]I personally define mindfulness as the space between cause and effect where our expressed differences define our relationship with the present.  I know it’s not the definition with which you might be most familiar, but my mindfulness journey is rooted in a story of chaos, desperation, and survival.  This is my narrative of how I accidentally discovered mindfulness and how it created in me a new perspective and an enlightened way to experience my circumstances.As a retired military officer with over 30 years of service, I have seen many things during my career.  But the single most life-changing experience for me was a combat tour in Afghanistan in 2011.  Although I was 25 years their senior, I approached this experience with many of the same feelings that our young men and women experience during their first time in a combat zone – energized and ready to “go, fight, win.”  I shared in their desires to do my part.  But by the end, many of us left with conflicting feelings of confusion, loss, remorse, and regret.We were confronted with the harsh reality of that environment very soon after our arrival.  Just four days into our tour, a single rogue attack on our base took the lives of nine fellow soldiers, all within the perceived safety of our walls.  One was a friend of mine named Ray, with whom I had trained and traveled just weeks and days before the attack.I responded and coped with this event by increasing my focus and pace, and I soon fell into a pattern of working 14-16 hour days, 7days a week.  I told myself that if I stayed busy, then the time would fly by and I would be headed home soon.  But I was beginning to feel the breakdown of my own connectedness and I needed to catch my breath.  I look back now and see that, like everyone else, I was playing a mental game with myself in a world that really required a new way of thinking and experiencing the moment.As a military officer, I am familiar with the works of military strategist Carl von Clausewitz, who coined a term “the fog of war.”  It is a cornerstone concept at every level of command and in senior leadership training.  But a lesson plan about combat operations and real live war are two very different things.  After a particularly challenging day, I was desperate to clear the fog in my own head and experience some separation.  I often did this with the aid of my iPod, listening to various podcasts and music as I would lie in my bunk.  I would have my trusty ear buds perfectly placed, the world securely muted outside this metaphorical cone of separation.  But on this one evening, the damned thing would not work no matter what I tried.   So I found myself lying there frustrated, angry, and tired.  All I could hear were the sounds of my heart beating faster and louder and the air passing through my nostrils.In retrospect, I believe this was an existential moment, as I realized at that point that I had to make a different choice.  I had to use whatever resources were available to me, but that amounted to a non-functioning iPod (with ear buds) and solitude.  In the stillness, I began to focus on my racing heart and the pace of my breath.  I slowly began closing off the outside world, which left me to deal with the inside.  I started by feeling my breath slowing and listening to my heart following that lead.  I began to feel a sense of control over my anxiety and adrenaline, and a sense of calm for the first time in weeks.  Little did I know that my iPod malfunctioning was actually a gift that had provided a way out of the fog and a path to resolving the present.Let me also say here that I had no knowledge at all of what mindfulness actually was or how it could be used as a therapeutic technique.  I just happened upon this in a moment of desperation.  But I began to take those times of solitude as an opportunity to experience what I was really feeling and examine moments between cause and effect.  Over time, I rarely played the iPod anymore and just left its ear buds untethered, listening to my breath and heart providing a predictable rhythm in a chaotic place; a gift of insight through reflection and projection.  As I left Afghanistan, I thought of this exercise as something I had only needed to survive war and shifted my focus to getting home.In reality, I needed mindfulness all the more when I returned stateside.   Back home, people are twice as aggressive and truly just focused on what they have going on.  They talk over you, they speed past you, cut you off, and are sometimes selfish, inconsiderate, lack good manners and that’s just the people in our families.  The combat experience is a bell that cannot be un-rung when a soldier steps back on American soil.  There is something – actually, many things – unique and different about veterans who have been exposed to the challenges of war.  As soldiers, we are trained to be the “biggest, strongest, and baddest” fight force on the planet.  But with all the bravado and armor outside, what is fragile and delicate inside cannot be ignored.  The dilemma for a returning combat veteran is that the fragile inside wants to come out and experience the world it once knew, while the armored outside wants to retreat from a world that it doesn’t know.For me, emotional confusion came from these ongoing contradictions, and my frustrations grew as a “fog of war” had turned into a “fog of being home.”  I “checked out” at times and was not always intentional in my actions and reactions.  I sometimes didn’t recognize consequences, and I found I was not driven by the same motives, ideas, or beliefs that I once was.  I was having difficulty taking moments in context, slowing things down, and processing them appropriately.  I had lost my relational insight.  I cared about things that didn’t matter and didn’t care about things that did.  Mindfulness for a warrior is survival-focused; for a citizen, it’s relational-focused.Eventually, with the help of a supportive spouse, things equilibrated.  I went back to what had worked for me in the chaos of Afghanistan.  I found that a mindfulness journey at home was filled with many more insights than just survival.  Over the past few years, I’ve been able to build up my focus and my mindfulness journey to capture what I believe is the center of being – the present.  For many, the time it takes to make a choice – the space between action and reaction – is inconsequential and but a nanosecond.  But for those who practice mindfulness, choices are so much more meaningful and are not measured by time but by space — the space between cause and effect where our expressed differences define our relationship with the present. Mindfulness allows me to slow down to capture a moment’s essence and meaning, so that I can create the effect I desire within myself in relationship with everything around me.  I believe it’s in that state in which we are all able to make the best choices.Your success depends on your next move, statement, or expression…they all hinge on your relationship with the present.last_img read more

Importance of Exercise and Ways to Maintain Your Fitness on Vacation

first_imgMental health: Exercise triggers the release of certain endorphins and neurotransmitters leading to a decrease in stress and anxiety.2 Cancer: Regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing colon, breast, lung, and uterine cancer.1 Additionally, randomized controlled studies have shown that cancer patients who exercise have a reduced mortality rate.3  Muscular and bone strength: Regular exercise maintains and builds muscular strength. In children, exercise is important in building strong bones.1Exercise Recommendations The US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends children to complete at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.4 It is ideal that these 60 minutes consists of aerobic, muscle, and bone strengthening exercises. Adults should complete 150-300 minutes of exercise weekly, or 20-40 minutes of exercise daily.4 Like children, adults should perform both aerobic and resistance training exercises.While 150 minutes per week is the recommended minimum, there is still tremendous value in completing any amount of exercise. In fact, a large study found that smaller amounts of physical activity correlated to a 22% decrease in mortality.5Maintaining Fitness on Vacation With summer vacation, your exercise routine may get put on the back burner. However, physical activity is important all year round to maintain optimal health. To stay on track, try incorporating the following activities while on vacation:Swim laps at the hotel or neighborhood poolExplore nature by hiking with your familyBiking around townWalking to and from sights whenever possibleGet adventurous and try paddle boarding, surfing, or snorkelingStart your day with a few bodyweight exercises: push-ups, squats, lunges, triceps dips, or burpees Matta Mello Portugal E, Cevada T, Sobral Monteiro-Junior R et al. Neuroscience of Exercise: From Neurobiology Mechanisms to Mental Health. Neuropsychobiology. 2013;68(1):1-14. doi:10.1159/000350946 References:Benefits of Exercise: MedlinePlus. Medlineplus.gov. https://medlineplus.gov/benefitsofexercise.html. Published 2019. Accessed May 25, 2019. By: Annabelle Shaffer, BS, Master’s candidate in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at University of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignImportance of ExerciseWe’ve all heard it many times…exercise is important! Exercise is often only thought of as a method of weight loss and maintenance, but it has several other significant health benefits:Heart health: Exercise strengthens our heart muscles and increases blood flow.1 Additionally, regular exercise can lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels.1 Physical Activity Guidelines – health.gov. Health.gov. https://health.gov/paguidelines/. Published 2019. Accessed May 24, 2019. Cormie P, Zopf E, Zhang X, Schmitz K. The Impact of Exercise on Cancer Mortality, Recurrence, and Treatment-Related Adverse Effects. Epidemiol Rev. 2017;39(1):71-92. doi:10.1093/epirev/mxx007 Hupin D, Roche F, Gremeaux V et al. Even a low-dose of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity reduces mortality by 22% in adults aged ≥60 years: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2015;49(19):1262-1267. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2014-094306last_img read more

Rain pounds Gujarat, throws life out of gear


What A Badass Olympic Skier Can Teach Us About WorkLife Balance

19Luxembourg16.0– 8Estonia20.0– CountryLength of paid maternity leave, in weeks Paid maternal leave policies around the worldAmong countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2016 15Canada17.0– 5Ireland26.0– 26Israel14.0– 30Norway13.0– 6Hungary24.0– 7Italy21.7– 32Sweden12.9– 16Austria16.0– 27Japan14.0– 11Chile18.0– 25Germany14.0– Source: OECD Family Database 14Finland17.5– 22Turkey16.0– 31South Korea12.9– 12Denmark18.0– 1Greece43.0– 10Australia18.0– 20Netherlands16.0– Team USA has sent 20 fathers to Pyeongchang, but only one mother: Kikkan Randall. A three-time winner of cross-country skiing’s World Cup sprint title, Randall was part of a baby boom that happened after the 2014 Sochi Olympics, when four of the sport’s top athletes took time off from racing to give birth.1The others were Marit Bjoergen of Norway (whose silver medal in Saturday’s skiathlon earned her the title of most-decorated woman at the Olympic Winter Games), five-time Olympic medalist Aino-Kaisa Saarinen of Finland and Katja Visnar of Slovenia.These women didn’t just return to work — they came back to the highest level of a demanding sport, and all four are expected to compete in Pyeongchang. But Randall is doing so without the same safety net that her European colleagues have. And that’s left her facing the same challenge that many other American women experience: how to balance a grueling career with the demands of new motherhood. A job as arduous as being a professional athlete (or, say, director of policy planning at the State Department) has little room for compromise or scaling back, and that means that much of the parenting must fall to a spouse or outside help.The 2018 Games will be the fifth Olympic appearance for Randall, a 35-year-old cross-country skier from Alaska.2When I was an elite skier in the 2000s, Randall was an up-and-coming star. I never skied fast enough to make the Olympic team, and the U.S. women’s teams in 2002 and 2006 were unlikely contenders for medals. But since then, thanks in large part to Randall’s performance and leadership, the American women have become a force to reckon with — earning both World Cup and world championship titles. Minnesota native Jessie Diggins won the final World Cup race before Pyeongchang. In 2008, Randall, nicknamed Kikkanimal, made history by becoming the first American woman to win a World Cup in cross-country skiing. And in Pyeongchang, she has a legitimate shot at a medal.Mothers-to-be in most professions take time off after childbirth, but Randall’s situation was different: “I was on my maternity leave while I was pregnant,” she said. Because she remained on the U.S. ski team roster, she retained access to her health insurance, and most of her sponsors continued their support, in exchange for appearances, social media plugs and other publicity. She resumed training about three weeks after her son, Breck, was born in April 2016, with the support of her husband, Jeff Ellis, who parented while she trained. Having a husband who is willing to take on parental duties and, most importantly, to do so “unbegrudgingly” has been “a huge piece of the puzzle,” Randall said.There’s no such thing as a part-time return to work in elite sports, which usually require multiple training sessions each day, along with naps, massages, full nights of sleep and other recovery rituals. Of course, sleepless nights are almost a given for the first years of a child’s life. And Randall said that knowing Ellis will “take care of those night-time wakings before a race really helps.”She noted that her peers in Scandinavian countries have the benefit of paid time off for fathers as well as mothers. (Of the 35 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. is the only one without paid maternal leave.) 17France16.0– 33Mexico12.0– 23Belgium15.0– 28Switzerland14.0– 29Iceland13.0– 4Czech Republic28.0– 2United Kingdom39.0– 21Spain16.0– 35United States0.0 3Slovakia34.0– 9Poland20.0– 24Slovenia15.0– 34Portugal6.0– 18Latvia16.0– 13New Zealand18.0– Randall’s Finnish peer Aino-Kaisa Saarinen had a child around the same time that Randall did, and she told me that her country has a mandatory four-month paid leave for mothers, which she started a month before her due date. After the baby was born, she and her partner received further benefits, including leave that they could split as they chose between the parents. “In our case, the dad took all that,” Saarinen said. (Not to mention the paid leave that fathers are entitled to.)Randall has competed in the predominantly Europe-based World Cup without that kind of paid leave but with Breck in tow for the past two seasons. It hasn’t always been easy. Although she emerged from childbirth without any serious complications (not all women do, as tennis star Serena Williams’s story demonstrates), the snap in her muscles didn’t return right away. And during her time off, the U.S. team “had gotten so strong,” Randall said. She sat out the second World Cup weekend after her return because she wasn’t skiing as well as her teammates.There have been many men who’ve continued competing after adding a child to their family, said Chris Grover, head coach of the U.S. cross-country ski team, but very few women. “Many of these guys are not primary caregivers and tend to come to the races Thursday and head back home on Sunday night or Monday,” Grover said. And while fathers may experience sleepless nights just like mothers do, they don’t need to physically recover after childbirth.Randall and her husband have built their work and family life around her job. Ellis secured a job as a media coordinator for the ski federation, which allowed him to travel the World Cup circuit with her. “He got the job so that we could see each other in the winter,” Randall said.Randall breast-fed her son until about a month into the racing season. Realizing that there would be at least four mothers coming to the World Cup with babies, the ski federation worked with the athlete commission, national ski federations and organizing committees to make formal recommendations encouraging race venues to provide a “baby room” with appropriate provisions so that moms can breast-feed and care for their infants as needed. Randall thinks she used these rooms much more than others in her cohort of new mothers. She said that may be because the others live in Europe, where most of the races take place, and can travel back and forth between home and races on a weekly basis.In Finland, Saarinen benefits from laws that guarantee child care facilities will be available. “The government also pays for most of it,” she said. That’s not all. “We also get child money from the government, which is about 200€ per month, a baby box with 48 items, and free and mandatory monthly health checks for baby and for the mom.”Things are different in the U.S. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey, 62 percent of parents of infant or preschool-age children report difficulty finding affordable, high-quality child care in their community, regardless of their income.Because Randall and Ellis are both working while on the race circuit, their parents and some friends have stepped in to provide child care, but paying travel and accomodations for these helpers isn’t cheap. In part because of the cost, Breck won’t be accompanying his parents to Pyeongchang. After calculating that it would run something like $15,000 to $20,000 for them to bring him and a caretaker along, they decided to send him to his grandparents’ house in Canada instead.As well as things are working out for her now, Randall acknowledges that her current situation is not sustainable. And it probably wouldn’t be scalable to the whole workplace either. Grover acknowledged that it’s difficult to imagine a ski team traveling around Europe with all the coaching staff’s kids, in addition to the team athletes.Randall plans to retire from racing after this season but will remain in the sport. She is president of the U.S. branch of Fast and Female, a group that encourages girls to participate in sports, and she’s running for election as an athlete representative on the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission. After two decades of competition, it feels right, she said. Success in a career like sports requires giving it your all, and that means family life can’t always come first. For a parent who wants to substantially take part in parenting, eventually something must give. read more

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