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September 20, 2001 - September 20, 2001

GNFC ties up with US firm for satellite communications Thursday, September 20, 2001

AHMEDABAD: In a bid to become a major player in the large bandwidth market in the state, the Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers Company Limited (GNFC) has tied up with NSI Communications (USA), to offer various customised solutions in satellite communications. With the tie-up it hopes to give private players a run for their money by selling bandwidth at rates lower than in the market.

Says additional general manager of GNFC Information Technology division J J Vaidya, "With NSI's technological strength, several new areas -- such as video broadcast, SNG and TV uplinks -- are being addressed aggressively. Considering that the demand for satellite services will escalate in the coming months."

The fertiliser company has been focusing on special applications, niche markets and projects which demand large bandwidth. Some of these applications include large data transmission, video conferencing and VSAT.

Adds NSI's Malav Mehta, "Bandwidth forms a major cost component in satellite communications and VSAT services. In the current slowdown when companies are trying to cut costs, bandwidth charges form a significant recurring cost which every company, especially large bandwidth users, would like to reduce costs as much as possible."
GNFC has a VSAT hub and an internet gateway at Bharuch.

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

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City susceptible to water-borne diseases Thursday, September 20, 2001

VADODARA: Vadodara is an 'endemic zone' for jaundice. The reason, doctors say, for higher prevalence of this water-borne disease is the drainage and water pipelines in most parts of the city are in a bad condition.

The number of patients admitted to Infectious Disease (ID) Hospital here has risen to 20, said sources on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, around 55 patients were admitted to the hospital. Though the VMC has started clean-up operations, many doctors feel the municipal corporation has failed to ensure that citizens received clean drinking water.

They say in addition to high prevalence of malaria, water-borne diseases such as jaundice, gastro-enteritis and typhoid are also prevalent through the year.

City-based physician Dr Kiran Dalal says 2-3 cases of jaundice per week are common in his clinic. "This is a disease that is present year-long. During monsoon, the incidence is higher. Besides jaundice, diseases such as typhoid, gastro-enteritis are prevalent throughout the year as well. Similar problems prevail in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Surat. The main reason is faulty drainage and water line system," he says.

According to him, water-borne diseases are higher in some pockets of the city where the problem is accentuated. He said most cases in the city are those of Hepatitis E. Hepatitis D, too, is a water-borne disease.

Dr Alok Prapanna, who has an intensive care unit in his hospital, says most cases that he receives are those that do not fall in the 'routine' category.

Vadodara has certain areas where jaundice is endemic. In these areas water-contamination is high, and patients who do not take proper care are at a greater risk, he said.

Dr Rajkendra Dhah, who has his practice at Harni Road, where a high number of cases were recorded at P&T Colony, says he has received a few cases this month. Usually, such cases are high during the current season, he added.

Sources in ID Hospital say the prevalence of jaundice and water-borne diseases is high. However, beyond symptomatic treatment, tests for Hepatitis A, C, D and E are not conducted as these are expensive. Patients who are in a critical condition have to be shifted to Sir Sayajirao General Hospital.

According to doctors, citizens should ensure that drinking water is boiled. Besides, hygiene should be maintained at all costs.

* Always boil drinking water
* Avoid unhygienic food

* Loss of appetite
* Vomiting
* Fever
* Pain in abdomen area (swelling of liver)
* Yellowish eyes, urine

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

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Water for Jetpur saree units Thursday, September 20, 2001

RAJKOT : Jetpur Dyeing and Printing Association, the association representing the saree industry in Jetpur near here, has expressed its anguish for non-implementation of the chief minister Keshubhai Patel's assurance to provide nearly one crore gallon of water daily for the saree processing units of Jetpur.

The chief minister during his visit to Jetpur on April 1,2001, had promised a delegation of the association to provide one crore gallon of water from the Narmada water pipeline. But even after six months, nothing concrete has taken place as far as water supply to the industtry is concerned.

According to industry sources, if these units do not get water from the Narmada pipeline nearly 450 sareee processing units employing over 40000 workers would close down for want of water.

The association has suggested to the state industries department to set up an industrial zone near Pithadia area here.At this place a a joint "ghat" for washing sarees can be set up which would eradicate present pollution caused by the saree units. At the same place a water treatment plant could be set up for which even the central government would providenearly Rs two crore of grant. The treated water can even be used for agricultural purpose.

The chief minister industry sources point out should fulfill his promise as the Jetpur saree industry without any government assistance has developed into a cottage industry and its products even compete with Chinese, Taiwanese, Pakistani and Korean products .

The association through a communication has requested the chief minister to take immediate action on supply of Narmada water to the Jetpur saree industry.

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

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Little Osamas of Gujarat a far cry from the deadly namesake Thursday, September 20, 2001

VADODARA/AHMEDABAD: Ilyasbhai Khodawala's house in the Bhadra Kacheri area of Vadodara is an address easy to locate -- his month-old son is the namesake of the person that the world is looking for, Osama.

However, Khodawala was no Nostradamus and had no inkling of how events would unfold just over a month after he named the new-born Osama. Today, neighbours poke fun, calling out the name of the chubby infant who smiles back whenever he hears his name.

"We did not name him after Osama bin Laden. Laden's name is being discussed so hotly now that my son has become the object of curiosity. My son's name was pre-determined," says Khodawala, who runs a grocery shop in the area.

The little boy was born on August 1, this year, and is registered with the Vadodara Municipal Corporation's birth registration department as Mohammad Osama. "Osama was one of the 'shahabas' of Prophet Mohammad. It is a revered name for us," says a neighbour. However, the boy has generated quite an interest among the people who cannot help but find an uncanny resemblance, although in only the name, with television channels beaming news about Osama bin Laden round-the-clock.

"He was just another boy when he was named Osama. Today, everybody takes notice whenever the boy's name is called out," says another neighbour.

And the Vadodara boy is not alone. There are at least 10 other Osamas in Ahmedabad, going by the birth record registers of Gujarat's largest city.

AMC's 1996 records reveal two namesakes in Raikhad municipal ward -- Mohammad Osama (born on August 22, 1996) and Mohammad Osama (born on December 28, 1996). Which means the name was prevalent in Gujarat much before the Saudi-born millionaire-turned-terrorist attained ill-fame, which came mainly after the August 1998 bombings of American embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam.

In 1999, AMC records reveal six children in Ahmedabad who share the name Osama, four in Shahpur and one each in Khadia and Dudheshwar. For the year 2000 (data entry for registration of birth and death is currently on progress for this year), one Osama registration could be tracked to Raikhad, in Ahmedabad.

But, think twice before tracking down the little Osamas. For there is a good chance that you might lose trail in the winding, narrow lanes of the Walled City, or simply be bowled over by those blemishes, innocent grins that flash across faces of Ahmedabad's Osamas, far from the terrorist with the melancholic look the world is gunning for.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Mohammad Osama, living in house number 2035 at Vaniya Sheri of Bhanderi Pol in Kalupur, was decked out in his 'birthday suit' when a 'TOI' correspondent knocked on his door. In his father's absence -- a businessman based in Surat -- Osama carried out the responsibility of being the 'man' of the house. Even a stranger at the door draws easy smiles.

Oblivious of the world-wide hunt for his namesake in Afghanistan, Kalupur's Osama beamed back a toothless grin as his mother, Madinaben, said: "He is nothing like Osama bin Laden. Nor was he named after the infamous Osama. Ever since we drew ill-luck after naming my eldest daughter without consulting the Koran, we stuck to the holy book when choosing a name for my son."

Equally unaware of the terror his name can strike in the US, two-year-old Osama of Julywado in Khanpur area can often be seen at the doorsteps of the nearby masjid. His father, Md Arif Nayaz, a tailor by profession, is getting noticed because he chose to name his child Osama. His brother, a year older than him, wishing to share the attention hogged by little Osama, suddenly shouted: "My name is Lukman ! I am Osama's brother."

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

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Keep reading habit going: NBT chief Thursday, September 20, 2001

AHMEDABAD: There is urgent need to inculcate the reading habit among youngsters in order to preserve man's most "prestigious heritage" _ book.

According to National Book Trust chairman Sitakant Mahapatra, it seems as if the era of books is coming to an end in the contemporary world, with children being exposed to other modes of information and entertainment. He said with the evolution of technology, published works in print are slowly depleting, what with digital novels and e-books making a foray into the world of knowledge.

Expressing happiness over the government's move to declare the year as the 'Year of Books', Mahapatra, an eminent litterateur, said "the NBT has tied up with all states to create awareness for printed publications and nurture reading habits among children."

said books have today been reduced to being only a commodity. Recalling the days when manuscripts were hand-written on palm leaves, he said readers used to appreciate and respect the efforts involved in creating the works. "But today, it's a commodity which is discarded after consumption," he lamented.

He added, "The pleasure of reading by holding the text in hand has somehow registered deep in our genes, which would be difficult to change."

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

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