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October 17, 2001 - October 18, 2001

Project to help children orphaned by quake Thursday, October 18, 2001

BY TRIDIV VAIDYA, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
BHUJ: One is amazed to find children who have become homeless or orphans in remote Kutch areas, fluently chant slokas during the weekly yagna at the Gandhidham Arya Samaj. The samaj has adopted these children under the project Jeevan Prabhat.

According to samaj general secretary Vachonidhi Arya these children were admitted at the Samaj after a survey undertaken soon after the 26th January quake.

In the first phase, over 25 children were admitted, but the number would touch 250 after the construction of a modern complex on the land provided by the Kandla Port Trust on a token rent. Of course, these children do attend a school. The Gandhidham Arya Samaj would look after them till they settle in their life.

These children stay at the samaj office but would soon be shifted to Vedic Sanskar Kendra, which is under construction.

"When brought to us, these children were in state of utter neglect, full of panic and in unhygienic condition", says Shri Vachonidhi Arya, First we had provided them good clothing and then medical aid. Pediatrician Rajesh Jashwani, entrusted with the task of looking after the children first administered various types of vaccination.


The birthday of each child is celebrated; even visitors offer gifts to these children. Fun trips are arranged regularly. Education in Vedic culture is being imparted to children who can now chanting slokas besides participating in Gaytri Yagna.

The samaj plans to set up a special library for students appearing at competitive examinations, including the IAS. It will be set up at the Vedic Sanskar Kendra where books and CDs will be provided to the students of Kutch.

To protect Indian culture and to create awareness among common people, 'street yagnas' are held in the Gandhidham complex every Sunday. "Gaytri Yagna is held in a street. People of the falia take part in it. So far over 2000 yagnas have been organised even in the slums area. The Medical Oxygen of the Samaj has also proved a boon for the people of Gandhidham complex.

Oxygen cylinder was available round the clock and during earthquake, providing them timely oxygen could save several people who were breathing their last beneath debris. Other activities include Satsang Samaroh, yoga classes. The samaj has so far organised over 2000 simple marriages.

The Jeevan Prabhat Project for children has also many unique elements like provision for providing jobs to widows, provision for job orientation programme and workshop. So far over 250 children have been identified for being sheltered under the project.

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


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Modi keeping cards close to chest Thursday, October 18, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
GANDHINAGAR: Unlike his first ministry-making exercise where he went out of his way to consult senior state BJP leaders on whom to induct in his ministry, Chief Minister Narendra Modi is keeping his cards close to his chest on the eve of the expansion of his ministry on Wednesday.

Modi reportedly discussed the names of probable ministers at a 'core group' meeting at the Circuit House in the evening where both former chief minister Keshubhai Patel and present industries minister Suresh Mehta were present. However, these two leaders, who were individually taken into confidence before the first swearing-in on October 7, were feeling left out of the ministry-making process this time.

It is learnt that Modi has got clearance for the names from the BJP high command during his visit to New Delhi last week. Party insiders feel that only the state BJP president Rajendasinh Rana was in the know of things, while other leaders were quite clueless on how many ministers and who will Modi induct this time.

Arrangements have been made for accommodating at least 5,000 people in the pandal where new ministers would be sworn by Governor S S Bhandari at noon on Wednesday.

It is learnt from reliable sources that Modi has decided not to succumb to any pressures from within the state unit, but would prefer the guidelines he has received from the central leadership on selection of new ministers to be inducted on the lawns of Town Hall.

Some senior functionaries of RSS led by Prasar Pracharak Pravin Maniar on Tuesday met Modi and strongly pleaded the case of some legislators from Saurashtra . They also insisted that these men should be also allocated important portfolios like home, revenue and roads and buildings. They also met Keshubhai Patel and urged him to plead their case before Modi.

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


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14 IAS officers transferred Thursday, October 18, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
GANDHINAGAR: In the third round of bureaucratic reshuffle since Narendra Modi became chief minister, as many as 14 top IAS officers were transferred on Tuesday.

The major transfers include that of Manjula Subramaniam as principal secretary, energy. Her place at the urban development and urban housing department has been taken over by Sudha Anchalia, serving right now as sports, youth and cultural activities secretary.

P Paneervel, who was in the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority, is the new municipal commissioner of Ahmedabad. D Rajgopalan, MD, Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation, has been made MD of the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation. In Rajgopalan's place, R L Meena has been posted.

The other important transfers are that of D Jagatheesa Pandyan as MD, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Hasmukh Adhia as industries commissioner, P K Pujari as economic affairs secretary, K Kailashnathan as water supplies secretary and chairman of the Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board, and Sunil Sud as chief executive officer, Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board.

Anil Mukim, who is in the CMO, has been given additional charge as information and broadcasting secretary.

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


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Quake takes a bow before Gujarati spirit Wednesday, October 17, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD/VADODARA: Bin Laden can take the back seat for a while. The dark memories of the quake can fade away. It is time for 'night strikes' of a different kind, the sound of 'dandiyas' striking and eardrum-piercing music with the power to drown the rumblings of the quake and the deafening roar of US bombers raining bombs over the Afghan skies.

The war and the quake may cast their shadow on the Navratri festivities which begin on Wednesday night, but the never-say-die spirit of Gujaratis is set to emerge triumphant. Recession is passe because 'chania-cholis' are already out of the closet, lush green lawns of clubs neatly trimmed and watered and beauty parlours brimming over with girls who want a last-minute change to the hair-colour; one which Amdavadi model Karishma.

If people in Gujarat need a mood elevator after all the depressing news about the quake and the terrorist attacks, it is finally here. Try telling Parul Patel, who is rushing to buy a backless 'choli' at Law Garden that this is not really the time to celebrate, and she shoots back, "This is the best diversion that I could have. Besides, the money that I am spending on this new dress would help the Kutchi craftsmen devastated by the quake."

Sound logic, and there are many who feel the festival's religious and cultural undertones are the best way to fight the blues away. Mona Sanghvi, who lost her parents when Mansi apartments collapsed on January 26, says, "Navratri is bound to be a healing experience, a celebration of life. I plan to go to celebrate Navratri in its chaste form with my relatives and friends. The experience, I hope, will help me and my brother come out of our grief."

According to secretary of Rajpath Club, Shyam Mehta, "There is a problem with sponsorships this year but there is also a huge demand for tickets. The gate collection will be good because people in general want to come out and enjoy."

The diamond industry may be in the dumps but Surat is also gearing up for the festivities. The main 'garba' will be organised at the indoor stadium which will, perhaps, draw the biggest crowds. Explains organiser Himanshu Bhatt, who works for the organiser 'My TV', "The entire cost of organising the show will come to Rs 1 crore for the nine evenings including the stadium rent of Rs 25 lakh. We may not make any profit, but we are doing this for the people of Surat."

In Vadodara, which takes pride in its status as the 'garba' capital of Gujarat, the air is thick with the impending festivities. Businessmen are making the most of 'garba mahotsavs' either through sponsorships or sale of Navratri-related accessories. Restaurants, too, have announced special Navratri fare. Many major 'garba' organisers reveal that participant and viewers passes have been sold out. And the rush for passes was unprecedented this year.

Amit Shah, who runs Anmol Club near Maninagar, claims he has lined up many celebrities to draw more crowds. Among those who have agreed to come are Malaika Arora, Aditi Govitrikar, Shweta Kalatra (Ghar Ghar ki Kahani) and Jaya Bhattacharya (Kyunki Saas...).

"Recession is okay but this is the best time of the year in Gujarat to showcase the culture of Gujarat , and we are also trying to give people a welcome break," he remarks.

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


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Quake takes a bow before Gujarati spirit Wednesday, October 17, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD/VADODARA: Bin Laden can take the back seat for a while. The dark memories of the quake can fade away. It is time for 'night strikes' of a different kind, the sound of 'dandiyas' striking and eardrum-piercing music with the power to drown the rumblings of the quake and the deafening roar of US bombers raining bombs over the Afghan skies.

The war and the quake may cast their shadow on the Navratri festivities which begin on Wednesday night, but the never-say-die spirit of Gujaratis is set to emerge triumphant. Recession is passe because 'chania-cholis' are already out of the closet, lush green lawns of clubs neatly trimmed and watered and beauty parlours brimming over with girls who want a last-minute change to the hair-colour; one which Amdavadi model Karishma.

If people in Gujarat need a mood elevator after all the depressing news about the quake and the terrorist attacks, it is finally here. Try telling Parul Patel, who is rushing to buy a backless 'choli' at Law Garden that this is not really the time to celebrate, and she shoots back, "This is the best diversion that I could have. Besides, the money that I am spending on this new dress would help the Kutchi craftsmen devastated by the quake."

Sound logic, and there are many who feel the festival's religious and cultural undertones are the best way to fight the blues away. Mona Sanghvi, who lost her parents when Mansi apartments collapsed on January 26, says, "Navratri is bound to be a healing experience, a celebration of life. I plan to go to celebrate Navratri in its chaste form with my relatives and friends. The experience, I hope, will help me and my brother come out of our grief."

According to secretary of Rajpath Club, Shyam Mehta, "There is a problem with sponsorships this year but there is also a huge demand for tickets. The gate collection will be good because people in general want to come out and enjoy."

The diamond industry may be in the dumps but Surat is also gearing up for the festivities. The main 'garba' will be organised at the indoor stadium which will, perhaps, draw the biggest crowds. Explains organiser Himanshu Bhatt, who works for the organiser 'My TV', "The entire cost of organising the show will come to Rs 1 crore for the nine evenings including the stadium rent of Rs 25 lakh. We may not make any profit, but we are doing this for the people of Surat."

In Vadodara, which takes pride in its status as the 'garba' capital of Gujarat, the air is thick with the impending festivities. Businessmen are making the most of 'garba mahotsavs' either through sponsorships or sale of Navratri-related accessories. Restaurants, too, have announced special Navratri fare. Many major 'garba' organisers reveal that participant and viewers passes have been sold out. And the rush for passes was unprecedented this year.

Amit Shah, who runs Anmol Club near Maninagar, claims he has lined up many celebrities to draw more crowds. Among those who have agreed to come are Malaika Arora, Aditi Govitrikar, Shweta Kalatra (Ghar Ghar ki Kahani) and Jaya Bhattacharya (Kyunki Saas...).

"Recession is okay but this is the best time of the year in Gujarat to showcase the culture of Gujarat , and we are also trying to give people a welcome break," he remarks.

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


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