Thursday, September 29, 2011


Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Chennai


Pancha is five in Samskritam, Amritam is nectar

  Amavaasya/ Kali Yugaabda 5113 / Kara Purattaasi 11 (September 28, 2011)



Smt Shakuntala Meena, 25-year-old Pradhan of Sapotra Panchayat Samiti in Karauli district (Rajasthan, Bharat), ensured unhindered access of the rural populace to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and check corruption in its implementation ever since it began in her block. Shakuntala had ensured appropriate use of the sanctioned funds to provide employment to the poor people and brought about transparency in the scheme's execution. She also got the Bajna Panchayat Secretary suspended for preparing fake muster rolls and defying the guidelines that no machines could be brought to work and only human labour had to be used. When she received reports that the people in Chandelipur village were being dissuaded from filing applications, she instructed the Panchayat Secretary to be present in panchayat samiti and receive applications. As a result, 45 persons were provided employment in the village in May this year. In another village, Kanarpura, the clever tricks of bureaucrats were thwarted to give work to those submitting applications in June.  THE HINDU, Aug 18, 2007.


Tumbang saan —in this Indonesian village near the heart of Borneo's great, dissolving rainforest, Udatn is regarded as a man of deep spiritual knowledge. He speaks the esoteric language of the Sangiyang. His is a key role in the rituals of Kaharingan, one of a number of names for the ancestor-worshipping religion of Borneo's indigenous forest people, the Dayak. The world's most populous Muslim-majority country is no Islamic state, but it is a religious one. Every citizen must subscribe to one of six official creeds: Islam, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Confucianism or Hinduism. Kaharingan, like dozens of other native faiths, does not officially exist. Even in this village, a frontier where land clearing and mining is fast erasing ancient forest, people have long seen their faith under threat from officialdom. "When I was in school I was a Catholic," said Shri Udatn. "For us, if someone wanted to keep going to school then they had to convert to another religion." Now, however, things are changing, and the missionaries are being held at bay. That is because villagers have seized on a strategy being used by many Dayak: Most of the people of Tumbang Saan are now followers of Hinduism, the dominant religion on the distant island of Bali. Few here could name a Hindu god or even recognize concepts, like karma, that have taken on popular meanings even in the West. But that is not the point. In a corner of the world once famed for headhunters and impenetrable remoteness, a new religion is being developed to face up to an encroaching modern world and an intrusive Indonesian state. The point, in short, is cultural survival. "The Hindus have helped us," said Mr. Udatn. "They're like our umbrella." Based on a report in September 25, 2011. Also THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, September 25, 2011.


R Kavitha, an employee of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) who lost her bag, sent an email complaint to Selaiyur assistant commissioner of police Dhanraj on Tuesday (September 27). On Wednesday, the police called to say they found her bag. Kavitha had left the bag behind while she was loading luggage onto the car from her house in Rajakilpakam near East Tambaram. The abandoned baggage containing 20 sovereigns of gold and a laptop was recovered by another software engineer, R Madhusudan, who worked for CSC Computers. He found the bag containing the valuables lying on the road near Rajakilpakkam and handed it over at the local police station. On Wednesday, Kavitha and Madhusudan were called to the Greater Chennai police commissioner's office in Egmore (Tamilnadu, Bharat), where the recovered valuables were handed over to Kavitha in front of assistant commissioner of police (PRO) A D Mohanraj. Kavitha commended Madhusudan and the police personnel for retrieving her missing valuables. THE TIMES OF INDIA, September 29, 2011.


It was her sheer determination and hard work. Smt Fathima M, a middle-aged farmer in Pathiyarakkara near Vadakara (Kerala, Bharat), lives on the banks of Murad river. For the past five years, she has been engaged in the cultivation of arrowroot(koova) and is earning rich profits. Her success has added sweetness because the place is commonly known as non-conducive for cultivating most of the agriculture products other than coconut, owing to its closeness to sea and the presence of salt in the soil. Fathima narrates her success story: "I tried orchid and mushroom cultivation. Owing to the presence of salt in the soil, it did not click. Later, I happened to read an article about the arrowroot cultivation. I started doing it in a small part of land five years ago. It yielded 50 kilograms of arrowroot in the first year itself." At present, she is cultivating in five acres of land and produces more than 500 kilograms of arrowroot powder per year. She has also become an entrepreneur by starting a firm Reem Arrowroot Products to market the powder and is earning more than Rs 2 lakh every year. Fathima does not use pesticides and is practising organic farming.  "As the arrowroot is considered as a medicine our main objective is to provide the best quality products for the people", she adds. Based on a report by Shri Sam Paul A in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, September 29, 2011.


As our country deals with the rapidly progressive threat of an epidemic of A(H1N1) flu, it is useful to remember that the A(H1N1) virus is spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by infected persons. Sometimes, people may become infected by touching a surface or object with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. Therefore, the Centre for Disease Control in the U.S. has made the following recommendations to prevent the spread of this illness: Individuals who do not have any symptoms should avoid close contact with sick people, should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth (because this can help the virus spread), and should also clean their hands frequently by washing with soap and warm water for 15 – 20 seconds, or by using alcohol-based hand wipes or gel. There is another precaution that is applicable particularly in India that has not been highlighted so far, either in the media or in the recommendations of the health authorities, the avoidance of shaking hands when greeting other people. Shaking hands is a Western form of greeting that, with increasing globalisation and westernisation has been widely adopted in India, especially in urban areas. Today, shaking the hand of another person can mean that you are picking up the virus from that person's hand and exposing yourself to the risk of being infected with a virus that can be lethal. Therefore by folding our hands and saying "Namaste," the risk of person-to-person transmission of the virus can be eliminated, says Dr. Gautham Suresh, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Centre, Lebanon, NH, USA in an Open Page write up in THE HINDU, August 23, 2009.