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October 24, 2001 - October 25, 2001

Post-quake, this Bhuj village witnesses a sea change Thursday, October 25, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
BHUJ: Ukhadmora, a small village in Bhuj taluka, has been undergoing a complete transformation after the January 26 killer quake. Even Chief Minister Narendra Modi had during his recent visit suggested that the name of the village be changed to Nava Ukhadmora. The village has a population of 450 persons.

The village has been adopted by the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan temple of Bhuj. Permanent residential houses are in the final stages of construction. Villagers were first given the option to select neighbours and after the completion of this exercise, clusters of houses were designed, said Swami Brahmviharidasji.

The requirement of each house owner to grow 1,000 selected varieties of trees like mango, chiku, dadam, neem etc., has been completed under the supervision of Gujarat Krishi University. The varsity has been providing its expertise to turn the entire village green.

The villagers also participate in kar seva to construct the houses. The temple has selected nine villages where over 1,000 permanent houses would be constructed soon.

Swami Brahmviharidasji also said that every village will have a panchayat ghar, community hall, health centre and a school, to be constructed in the same area.

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


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Post-quake, this Bhuj village witnesses a sea change Wednesday, October 24, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
BHUJ: Ukhadmora, a small village in Bhuj taluka, has been undergoing a complete transformation after the January 26 killer quake. Even Chief Minister Narendra Modi had during his recent visit suggested that the name of the village be changed to Nava Ukhadmora. The village has a population of 450 persons.

The village has been adopted by the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan temple of Bhuj. Permanent residential houses are in the final stages of construction. Villagers were first given the option to select neighbours and after the completion of this exercise, clusters of houses were designed, said Swami Brahmviharidasji.

The requirement of each house owner to grow 1,000 selected varieties of trees like mango, chiku, dadam, neem etc., has been completed under the supervision of Gujarat Krishi University. The varsity has been providing its expertise to turn the entire village green.

The villagers also participate in kar seva to construct the houses. The temple has selected nine villages where over 1,000 permanent houses would be constructed soon.

Swami Brahmviharidasji also said that every village will have a panchayat ghar, community hall, health centre and a school, to be constructed in the same area.

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


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No doctors, few paramedics and lots of mosquitoes Wednesday, October 24, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Falciparum malaria struck Zinzuwada almost three months back, claiming 36 lives so far, but the first doctor to treat the ailing reportedly landed in this remote is too understaffed to foresee any such eventuality. Take the case of Surendranagar district where Zinzuwada village in Surendranagar district only a fortnight back!

"Zinzuwada was without a doctor since the last three months ... a doctor was posted but he reported for one day and then vanished for a fortnight," confessed a senior health official in Surendranagar. Following all the hue and cry about the outbreak taking epidemic proportions in the village, the state government has now posted five experienced doctors in the village to bring the situation under control.

Despite all the industrialisation and overall growth, Gujarat appallingly lags behind in the social sectors like health -- a fact that stands exposed by the massive outbreak of falciparum malaria in six districts of the state that took the administration almost unawares. Sixty-one people have been officially admitted dead due to malaria with unconfirmed reports putting the toll at a minimum of 200.

Just how did the administration fail to see such a big tragedy coming and do nothing to avert it? Investigate at district level and the fact emerges -- the department is the worst affected. "Where is the staff to timely detect disease outbreaks? Only we know how we are functioning," retorted a health official in Surendranagar.

The district is understaffed by at least 70 multipurpose male health workers and 25 female health workers that have a crucial role to play in detecting the outbreak of any disease. A serious lack of health supervisors here with only eight male supervisors on 19 posts and 14 female supervisors as against a grant of 31 posts. Not only this, one chief district health officer (CDHO) is in-charge of four posts for apparent lack of personnel.

A similar situation prevails in Kutch too. It is the second most affected district with almost 5,000 malaria positive cases reported last month. "First it was the earthquake .... now it is malaria. We have been working tirelessly despite being understaffed by a staggering 48 per cent," a senior health official in Bhuj told TNN over phone.

Officials confess the number of malaria cases has gone up in Kutch because of greater breeding opportunities provided by debris strewn all over. "Ideally, there should have been a greater thrust on surveillance and preventive measures like spraying of DDT and monitoring migrant construction workers from endemic areas like Orissa, West Bengal, Godhra etc., but we just don't have the staff," confided another health department official.

Principal health secretary S K Nanda too confesses that there was a major fault in malaria surveillance due to the general shortage of staff and specifically because of the 15-day strike of health workers at the panchayat level.

"The outbreak could not be timely addressed because of a surveillance break, thanks to the striking workers. It is a fact that there is a shortage of staff as the situation was not reviewed in the last two years. But now the 20 per cent cut on recruitment has been removed and DDO will complete the recruitments by this month end and we expect the situation to improve thereafter," Nanda said.

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


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No doctors, few paramedics and lots of mosquitoes Wednesday, October 24, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Falciparum malaria struck Zinzuwada almost three months back, claiming 36 lives so far, but the first doctor to treat the ailing reportedly landed in this remote is too understaffed to foresee any such eventuality. Take the case of Surendranagar district where Zinzuwada village in Surendranagar district only a fortnight back!

"Zinzuwada was without a doctor since the last three months ... a doctor was posted but he reported for one day and then vanished for a fortnight," confessed a senior health official in Surendranagar. Following all the hue and cry about the outbreak taking epidemic proportions in the village, the state government has now posted five experienced doctors in the village to bring the situation under control.

Despite all the industrialisation and overall growth, Gujarat appallingly lags behind in the social sectors like health -- a fact that stands exposed by the massive outbreak of falciparum malaria in six districts of the state that took the administration almost unawares. Sixty-one people have been officially admitted dead due to malaria with unconfirmed reports putting the toll at a minimum of 200.

Just how did the administration fail to see such a big tragedy coming and do nothing to avert it? Investigate at district level and the fact emerges -- the department is the worst affected. "Where is the staff to timely detect disease outbreaks? Only we know how we are functioning," retorted a health official in Surendranagar.

The district is understaffed by at least 70 multipurpose male health workers and 25 female health workers that have a crucial role to play in detecting the outbreak of any disease. A serious lack of health supervisors here with only eight male supervisors on 19 posts and 14 female supervisors as against a grant of 31 posts. Not only this, one chief district health officer (CDHO) is in-charge of four posts for apparent lack of personnel.

A similar situation prevails in Kutch too. It is the second most affected district with almost 5,000 malaria positive cases reported last month. "First it was the earthquake .... now it is malaria. We have been working tirelessly despite being understaffed by a staggering 48 per cent," a senior health official in Bhuj told TNN over phone.

Officials confess the number of malaria cases has gone up in Kutch because of greater breeding opportunities provided by debris strewn all over. "Ideally, there should have been a greater thrust on surveillance and preventive measures like spraying of DDT and monitoring migrant construction workers from endemic areas like Orissa, West Bengal, Godhra etc., but we just don't have the staff," confided another health department official.

Principal health secretary S K Nanda too confesses that there was a major fault in malaria surveillance due to the general shortage of staff and specifically because of the 15-day strike of health workers at the panchayat level.

"The outbreak could not be timely addressed because of a surveillance break, thanks to the striking workers. It is a fact that there is a shortage of staff as the situation was not reviewed in the last two years. But now the 20 per cent cut on recruitment has been removed and DDO will complete the recruitments by this month end and we expect the situation to improve thereafter," Nanda said.

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


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Dussehra procession in city Wednesday, October 24, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Dussehra in the city would be celebrated with the burning of effigies of Ravan at Kankaria Football Ground here on Friday, Vijaya Dashmi Utsav Samiti convenor Ishwarbhai Verma announced this at a press conference.

The samiti was constituted 25 years ago to celebrate Dussehra in the city. "An impressive procession would also pass through the city on Dussehra to mark the completion of the samiti's 25 years," Verma said. The procession would start its journey from Sarangpur and would pass through Panchkuva Darwaja, Khadia Char Rasta, Khadia Gate, Raipur Chakla, Raipur Darwaja, Kamnath Mahadev, before culminating at the football ground.

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


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