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October 25, 2001 - October 25, 2001

Dandia for kids a big draw Thursday, October 25, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: It was a children's show all the way at Rajpath Club on the Sarkhej highway on Monday evening with an exclusive 'Children's Dandia' drawing a huge crowd of toddlers to teen-agers.

Not only were the singers and dancers children, even the orchestra was handled by children who had been rehearsing for this day for weeks. The food stalls were also managed by children and so was the security.

Club manager Shyam Mehta, who conceived the idea, said "this had never been tried before, this was a dandia for the children, by the children and of the children". Looking to the kids' needs, the timings of the dandia, organised by Rushi Culture Group, was from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. instead of the regular ones that begin only after 10 p.m.

There were gifts for all the participants and prizes for winners selected by a jury comprising child artistes.

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


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Rs 7268-cr annual plan outlay for Gujarat finalised Thursday, October 25, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: The 2001-02 annual plan for Gujarat was finalised at Rs 7,267.85 crore at a meeting between Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission K C Pant in New Delhi on Monday. The annual plan will have the highest allocation of 41 per cent for social sector which includes primary education, primary health, drinking water supply etc.

Pant agreed to provide Rs 115 crores crore, under Accelerated Power Development Programme (APDP), for strengthening distribution network in the state. To expedite the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Project, Pant agreed to provide Rs 480 crore under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP).

Pant complimented the state for an expected growth rate of more than 7 per cent during the Ninth Plan period, in spite of two successive droughts and devastating earthquake.

Pant also complimented the state for making rapid strides in elementary education, by providing primary school in every revenue village and thereby, achieving the national norm of access to primary school, within one km distance of a village. He also complimented the state for the growth in enrolment of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students in the schools.

Pant also noted with great satisfaction the consistently good performance of the state in the industrial sector, making second highest contribution to the net value addition in the country.

Focusing on various developmental programmes implemented in state, Modi said that besides social sectors, the state was giving priority to agriculture and provision of drinking water. He requested the Planning Commission to support accelerated irrigation benefit programme, check dams construction, Gokul Gram Yojana, Accelerated Power Development Programme and Adult Literacy programme.

Discussing Sardar Sarovar Project, Narendra Modi said it was a project which would save millions of people from hunger and thirst. This project would benefit all the participating states in increasing agricultural production and provide drinking water and power. The state is keen to complete the project implementation without any further delay. The state therefore sought the Planning Commission's support for this lifeline project of the region, he urged.

Modi said Gujarat envisaged a new focus on bio-technology. This meant creating institutions, encouraging fundamental and applied research and widening the use of bio-technolgy in mass areas.

Narendra Modi emphasised the need for border areas development including, coastal areas. An important measure in this direction was to establish Sainik schools in the border areas and make suitable curricula changes in the existing schools to instil a spirit of discipline and nationalistic feeling among children.

Modi said the state government had taken up the plan for development of Dwarka, including Bet Dwarka, Somnath and other places of pilgrimage. He sought special assistance from Planning Commission for the overall development of Dwarka and Bet Dwarka. Responding to his request, Pant agreed to make a special allocation of Rs 2 crore for Bet Dwarka and additional Rs 7 crore will be provided by Government of India for face-lift of Dwarka through Archaeological Survey of India.

Modi also apprised the commission of the several measures taken by the state government on e-governance. All district headquarters of the state had been linked through an optical-fibre network. This network would cover all the taluka headquarters by December 2001.

Considering the excellent work done by the state under Gokul Gram Yojana (GGY), Pant agreed to make a provision of Rs 30 crore as additional central assistance for GGY.

Modi said that due to droughts and the earthquake, elections to some of the local bodies were not held till now, which will be completed very soon. In this context, the felt that Gram Panchayat elections should as far as be held unanimously and should be above the party politics. He has, therefore, taken an initiative to give cash incentive to those Gram Panchayat, which will elect their representatives unanimously under the new scheme called 'Samras Gram Yojana', for undertaking development works and by giving them a certificate of 'Samras Gram Panchayat'. This new concept of the chief minister was appreciated by Pant.

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


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A postman with a difference Thursday, October 25, 2001

BY JAHNAVI CONTRACTOR, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: Sorting mail and delivering letters in the city by the day and writing 'garba' songs and poems by the night have become a part of life for Ramesh Makwana, a commerce graduate from M S University. Makwana is a postman with the Fatehgunj post office for the past 12 years.

But he is a postman with a difference -- not only is he a budding poet and singer, but he also has to his credit an audio cassette, 'Mataji na Garba', with the lyrics penned by him. Many of his poems have been published in Gujarati magazines and newspapers.

While his colleagues return home to relax after a hard day's work of delivering mails throughout the city, Makwana's literary and artistic side comes to fore after his duty hours.

He first goes to the MSU faculty of performing arts for his diploma classes in Indian classical vocal singing and thereafter returns home to embark on his next passion -- writing poems and songs -- as and when inspiration dawns.

"Being a postman is my profession which keeps me physically active and healthy. It also earns me a livelihood. But writing poems, 'Mataji na garbas' and songs keeps me mentally fit. I enjoy writing and singing. If I am able to earn enough to produce my own audio cassette (where he sings as well as writes the songs), I would definitely do so one day," he said.

"I was always interested in literature and writing since childhood. Though nobody in my family is a writer, my uncle used to sing. I used to stay in Salatwada where as a child I studied at Sharda Mandir. I started writing a few childish poems that I used to show to Harshad Trivedi (a poet and the then school principal). He used to encourage me, correct me and that's how I developed this passion," said Makwana.

Though Gujarati literature and music beckoned him, Makwana was forced to seek admission in the MSU department of commerce. "Everyone told me the only way to find work was to study commerce. I was not interested. I wanted to take up arts and specialise in Gujarati literature. But had to choose BCom instead. I did manage to get the job of a postman," he said.
"But I have now sought admission in Ambedkar Open University where I have registered for BA in Gujarati literature. Though I am not sure when I would get the degree. It is difficult to find that much time to study," he said.
Makwana, however, said earning a diploma in Indian classical vocal from the faculty of performing arts and a BA in Gujarati literature would not help him financially. "There is no commercial objective. I am doing this because I enjoy it," he said.
"I also love my work and look forward to it daily. As a postman I do not get the same kind of respect that I get as a literary person. People look at a postman as just another common man. But once they come to know that I also write poems and 'garba' songs their attitude change. They look amazed and respect me," he said.

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


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A postman with a difference Thursday, October 25, 2001

BY JAHNAVI CONTRACTOR, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: Sorting mail and delivering letters in the city by the day and writing 'garba' songs and poems by the night have become a part of life for Ramesh Makwana, a commerce graduate from M S University. Makwana is a postman with the Fatehgunj post office for the past 12 years.

But he is a postman with a difference -- not only is he a budding poet and singer, but he also has to his credit an audio cassette, 'Mataji na Garba', with the lyrics penned by him. Many of his poems have been published in Gujarati magazines and newspapers.

While his colleagues return home to relax after a hard day's work of delivering mails throughout the city, Makwana's literary and artistic side comes to fore after his duty hours.

He first goes to the MSU faculty of performing arts for his diploma classes in Indian classical vocal singing and thereafter returns home to embark on his next passion -- writing poems and songs -- as and when inspiration dawns.

"Being a postman is my profession which keeps me physically active and healthy. It also earns me a livelihood. But writing poems, 'Mataji na garbas' and songs keeps me mentally fit. I enjoy writing and singing. If I am able to earn enough to produce my own audio cassette (where he sings as well as writes the songs), I would definitely do so one day," he said.

"I was always interested in literature and writing since childhood. Though nobody in my family is a writer, my uncle used to sing. I used to stay in Salatwada where as a child I studied at Sharda Mandir. I started writing a few childish poems that I used to show to Harshad Trivedi (a poet and the then school principal). He used to encourage me, correct me and that's how I developed this passion," said Makwana.

Though Gujarati literature and music beckoned him, Makwana was forced to seek admission in the MSU department of commerce. "Everyone told me the only way to find work was to study commerce. I was not interested. I wanted to take up arts and specialise in Gujarati literature. But had to choose BCom instead. I did manage to get the job of a postman," he said.
"But I have now sought admission in Ambedkar Open University where I have registered for BA in Gujarati literature. Though I am not sure when I would get the degree. It is difficult to find that much time to study," he said.
Makwana, however, said earning a diploma in Indian classical vocal from the faculty of performing arts and a BA in Gujarati literature would not help him financially. "There is no commercial objective. I am doing this because I enjoy it," he said.
"I also love my work and look forward to it daily. As a postman I do not get the same kind of respect that I get as a literary person. People look at a postman as just another common man. But once they come to know that I also write poems and 'garba' songs their attitude change. They look amazed and respect me," he said.

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


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Support price for groundnut, bajra fixed Thursday, October 25, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
GANDHINAGAR: The state government on Tuesday fixed the per quintal support price of groundnut and bajra at Rs 1,340 and Rs 485, respectively, to assist drought-hit farmers in the state.

The finance ministry has approved a revolving fund of Rs 26.25 crore to GUJCOMSASOL for the purchase of one lakh metric tonne of bajra from farmers in two phases.

Making the announcement, finance minister Nitin Patel said in presence of agriculture minister Purshottam Rupala that the state was poised for a record bumper production of 21 lakh tonne of groundnut during the current Kharif season. So the state government fixed the support price of groundnut at Rs 1,340 per quintal against the prevailing market price of Rs 1,130 per quintal.

He said this would help farmers to get a remunerative price for groundnut. The support price would become effective from October 31, to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

On October 31 GUJCOMSASOL will purchase groundnut from farmers at a function to be held at Amreli in Saurashtra in the presence of Chief Minister Modi. Agriculture minister Purushottam Rupala will also attend.

The chief minister also declared the support price of bajra at Rs 485 per quintal, after consultations with Rupala, to ensure remunerative price of the commodity to farmers.

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


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