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October 26, 2001 - October 26, 2001

New AMC Commissioner promises better services Friday, October 26, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: New AMC Commissioner P Panneervel on Wednesday promised to bring in more efficiency in the system, and said the people of the city were ready to pay more for better services. He emphasised on continuing with ongoing long-term projects initiated by previous municipal commissioners, and said that he would try to cut down the establishment cost and increase the efficiency of daily services provided by the civic body.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Yahoo SMS now on CelForce phone Friday, October 26, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Hutchison Fascel (CelForce) and Yahoo! India have come together to offer mobile applications to Hutchison Fascel subscribers, making Hutchison Fascel the second operator worldwide to enter into a futuristic long-term alliance of this kind with Yahoo!

The alliance marks a coming together of the leader in the mobile space with the leader in the internet space, to offer a host of internet applications to mobile phone subscribers. The offerings will include the Yahoo! Messenger service, which will allow mobile phone users (through SMS) to communicate with any of their friends on their Yahoo! Messenger buddy list. This offering will allow users to communicate seamlessly and instantly across devices like PC and mobile phone.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Farmers to protest against power cuts Friday, October 26, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
RAJKOT: The Kisan Sangh has organised a massive 'Kisan rally' at Amreli on night of October 27 to oppose the frequent power cuts imposed on the agriculture sector. The farmers will march from the Jesingpara area in the town to meet the collector and submit a memorandum demanding lifting of the power cuts.

Kisan Sangh pradesh president Prafulbhai Senjaliya told TNN on Thursday that almost 15,000 farmers _ including 1,000 women and 100 people with traditional musical instruments _ will march to the collectors office. He said the time of 12 midnight was chosen to signify the "total darkness" the farmers face. They will demand that at least single-phase power be kept untouched so that agricultural activities were not affected.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Fish, meat prices slump during Navratri Friday, October 26, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD/VADODARA: Suresh Raghavan couldn't just believe when the fisherwoman at Teen Darwaza in Ahmedabad was willing to sell promphets for Rs 100. Last week, he had bought the same for Rs 160 a kg. Raghavan normally buys one kg but has now stocked his fridge with sea-food which could last him a fortnight.

This was of course Raghavan's first Navratri in Gujarat, the most vegetarian of all states, which has just turned more leafy during the ongoing Navratri. Animal-loving organisations like SPCA and PETA may be wishing it remains like this all through the year. "Over 50 per cent of Hindus fast during Navratri, and even those who do not fast, abstain from non-vegetarian food. So our earning drops by 15 to 20 per cent during these days," says Ramvinay Misra, an employee of Lutf Neelam restaurant.

To cater to the Gujarati palate, Holiday Inn restaurant _ Waterfall _ offers a Navratri-special vegetarian fare from 12 m to 4 a.m. where it serves burgers, sandwich and other snacks.

Colours of Spice has been undeterred by religious compulsions of Navratri. It has gone ahead with its Chinese festival, where it was serving veg and non-veg in equal proportion, but the proprietor Srinivas T owns up to the fact that the earnings from vegetarian food did shoot up.

In Surat, the municipal corporation's slaughter houses at Rander Road and Salabatpura have registered a downslide in the number of animals killed. According to deputy commissioner (health) I C Patel, from an average of 500 goats, around 200 were being slaughtered as there was demand from the locals or the migrants.

Promoter Jameer of Hotel Salute near Surat railway station, which has a wide clientele for its non-vegetarian dishes, says demand was down by three-quarters during Navratri.

Vadodara, the most cosmopolitan of Gujarat's towns, perhaps bucked the trend. "We had organised Hyderabadi food festival before Navratri. It became so popular that we decided to extend it. Even now it is drawing a crowd", says Sayaji Hotel general manager Munawar Garbadawala. Despite hosting a non vegetarian festival the hotel still gets its vegetarian customers, he adds.

In Rajkot, there has been a drop in fish and meat prices by 20 per cent. Said a citizen, "Navratri is festival of Goddess Amba and during these nine days I do not eat anything and observe nine days of fast. I just take water and juice. There is no question of eating even egg during these days".

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Cyclists on a mission to help tackle thalassaemia Friday, October 26, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Their basic idea is to spread awareness about thalassaemia but they are quick to mention their second purpose: spreading peace in the world. Three young Bengali men from Naihati in West Bengal (WB) began their mission on August 15 on their bicycles with a hope to traverse 14 states and three Union territories. In their late 20s, Saurabh Ganguly, Tanmoy Sarkar and Raja Nandi after cover WB, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan, have now reached Ahmedabad.

"I had seen Nandi's nine-year-old cousin brother pass away because of thalassaemia and that was how we decided to spread awareness about the disorder," says Ganguly. With a sporting background where the trio had participated in cycling competitions in their state, they knew what their mode of transport would be. Moreover, Abhijeet Chakraborty who has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for having travelled to 54 countries on his bicycle, stands as their greatest aspiration, says Sarkar.

Having been involved with AIDS awareness programmes and blood donation camps in their state, they could garner co-operation from the Indian Medical Association, Naihati branch, Sports and Transport minister of West Bengal Subhash Chakravorty and an NGO involved with social welfare, Anandabazar Adarsh Sangh, to fund their trip.

They set out on their bicycles at 6 a.m. and call it a day only at midnight. Their rucksack has everything from first-aid and bicycle equipment to track-suits and a stove. And grocery, too. "We cook our own food. In fact, we halt every one and half hours to recharge ourselves," says Ganguly.

Focussing on rural areas, they go about their campaign by distributing leaflets and talking and explaining to people about thalassaemia.

Come rain or shine, they have never stopped. At every stop, they get in touch with the IMA branch for their medical check-up, with muscle stiffness being the most frequent complaint. During one such check-up Raja Nandi was asked to back out, bringing his association to an end in Ahmedabad, thus leaving Ganguly and Sarkar to carry on the task.

From Ahmedabad, it is Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Daman and Silvasa and then Mumbai and onwards. They hope to return on January 15, 2002 after covering the rest of India.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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