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July 20, 2001 - July 20, 2001

JAMNAGAR:::: Cholera threat in Jamnagar suburbs Friday, July 20, 2001

JAMNAGAR: Bedi village on the outskirts of Jamnagar city was declared cholera-affected by district magistrate RK Pathak after a positive case was detected.

He alerted the health department. Four other villages in the area have been declared cholera-threatened. Steps are being taken by the district health officer to check the disease.

Scarcity works: Deputy collector (scarcity) Ajitsingh Zala has said that during the scarcity in the district Rs. 30 crore had been spent on scarcity relief measures. A master plan was prepared for scarcity and semi-scarcity areas and 529 relief works gave employment to needy people and Rs 17.62 crore was spent under 5295 man days.

During surprise check at about 200 such works 30 muster clerks were dismissed for malpractice and criminal case was lodged in one instance. Zala said Rs. 1.50 crore was spent for 7718 disabled and old people as well as orphans and pregnant women.

Memorial lecture: During the celebrations of 46th installation of IPBT and R of Gujarat Ayurved University on July 20 and 21, a memorial lecture on Dr P M Mehta, founder of Gulab Kuvarba Ayurved Society and national seminar on ayurvedic approach to mental health have been arranged to celebrate the mental health year declared by WHO. The speaker will be vice chancellor Gauridevi of Bangalore University. Chancellor and Governor Sundersinh Bhandari will be the chief guest.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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JUNAGADH:::: Contaminated water takes 5 lives Friday, July 20, 2001

JUNAGADH: Five people, identified as Arjan Kanji, Kesharbhai Devshibhai, Kana Mandanbhai, Haribhai Muljee and Naran Jaysinh Solanki, died reportedly after a bout of diarrhoea and vomiting at Arnej, 15 km from Kodinar.

In the past week, some 100 cases of diarrhoea and vomiting had been reported in this village. The government register shows only one person had died, but the villagers say 'five people have died'.
Scared with the outbreak of the disease, some villagers had gone to Kodinar, Veraval and Una, to have the proper treatment. Then doctors from Ghatvad and Velan village PHCs reached Arnej and began immediatetreatment.

On Tuesday, DSO visited Arnej and detected that water at Rabarivad has been contaminated and it caused the bout of vomiting and diarrhoea. The water sample has been sent to Vadodara laboratory.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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Protests continue over dress code Friday, July 20, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Tension continued to prevail at the Hosanna Missionary School at Khodiyarnagar as a group of over 50 people gheraoed the school management demanding a written assurance that the school will not put any restrictions on students wearing bindis, anklets, tilaks and pyjamas.

Girl students and their parents demonstrated amidst tight security outside the school with bangles in their hands even as the Bajrang Dal demanded that the school revoke the suspension order of one the teachers, Grace Celine Luther. The protesters included parents, students, teachers and even corporators led by Bajrang Dal president Hasmukh Patel and Ashok Pandit of Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

Here, while the school has officially accepted the demands for allowing students to wear bindis and other accessories and also submitted a written statement towards the same to the DEO on Wednesday, it refused to relent on the issue of revoking suspension terming it as a purely administrative matter.

Education minister Anandiben Patel had reacted sharply to the developments and warned that the state government will not think twice of de-recognising the school if it indulged in putting any restriction on attire or any other ban on the students. "The state government will not tolerate any such bans on the students and will even consider de-recognising the school for putting such religion-based restrictions on the students", Patel said on Tuesday.

Violence had broken out at the school on Monday with a mob of at least 100 people resorting to stone-throwing and setting vehicles afire to protest the suspension of a school teacher. Some of the parents had complained to the Ahmedabad District Education that the school did not allow the students to wear bindis or shalwars. The teachers too had protested the compulsory prayer meetings being held on Saturdays which they had to attend after their job hours.

The apparent immediate provocation for the violence, however was, the suspension of Grace Celine Luther. Curiously here, trustee of Hosanna School Rev Finny when contancted, said that the teacher was suspended because of undisciplined behaviour prompted by her links with the Bajrang Dal and VHP. "She had links with these fundamental organisations and used to throw her weight indulging in gross indiscipline", said Rev Finny. Finny alleged that some anti-social elements wanted them to vacate the school so that they could buy it.

Meanwhile, the All-India Christian Council in a letter to the chairman of National Human Rights Commission has termed the violent assault on Hosanna School as part of the series of planned attacks by majority fundamentalists on missionary organisation and has urged the commission to direct the state government to prevent any further attack on the minority community.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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Timely rain brightens crop prospects Friday, July 20, 2001

NADIAD: The second round of rain that began in July first has brightened Kharif crop prospects in the district, says deputy director of agriculture Shankar Patel.

He said here on Wednesday that the total rainfall recorded in ten talukas from June 1 to July 17 was: Nadiad 313 mm, Matar 359 mm, Kheda 360 mm, Mehmedabad 346 mm, Mahudha 349 mm, Kathalal 374 mm, Kapadwanj 231 mm, Virpur 224 mm, Balasinor 285 mm and Thasra 436 mm.

He said the main crop of paddy would have been sown on nearly a lakh hectares and paddy farmers have taken up even transplantation of seedlings, thanks to the renewed spell of rain.

The acreage of other crops: maize 18,000 hectares, jowar 310 hectares, tuwar 15,140 hectares sesame 22,450 hectares, cotton 12,840 hectares, tobacco 45,000 hectares, greengram 2,073 hectares, soya bean 230 hectares, Matha 816 hectares, vegetables 10,000 hectares, grass 9,441 hectares.

Following reports of release of canal water in Kheda district, farmers had begun sowing and the rain has further boosted prospects.
DDO Dilip Raval said that following the second round of rain all the drought relief works have been called off and the considering timely rain and if the trend continued there would be bumper monsoon crops.
The district agriculture department is providing guideline to farmers, he added.

N Vittal coming: Human Society of India, a local voluntary service organisation involved in activities like education, human rights, social awareness and literature, has organised lecture, press conference with chief vigilance commissioner N Vittal here on July 19, said Human Society of India president Prakash B Rao.
He said that N Vittal would address people at the municipal town hall on Station Road at 6.30 p.m. He will also address the press at 5 p.m. and will visit Santram temple.

The programmes of Human Society of India have had a positive and encouraging response from all citizens.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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Pakistanis in city not surprised by Agra fiasco Friday, July 20, 2001

By Leena Misra, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: "This problem will never be resolved, because nobody wants to settle it", is the common refrain of the Pakistanis living here about the Indo-Pak summit which concluded inconclusively on Monday night.

Anil Abbas Fazal Husain (31) is far removed from the typical Pakistani (as Indians know them). A resident of Karachi, this suave young man is married in Ahmedabad and is on a visit for a few days. Ask him about the summit and his expression changes to a "no comments" one, but he cannot resist remarking, "Our politicians and our military, nobody wants this issue to get resolved - the military eats into a major chunk of the budgets of both countries, their very survival depends on the failure of this dialogue - do you think they wish to resolve it?"

Abbas' opinions are influenced by what is hammered by the Pakistani media "that the terrorism in Kashmir is by the Indian military, just as you think we do it".

"We fight over small plots of land, so Kashmir is not a simple issue", he adds. Ask him about General Musharraf in comparison to other chiefs his country has had and he quips, "Shikar naya hai, jaal purana hai (He is a new bait in an old trap)!"

Twenty-two-year old Ravishkumar is a fire-brand Pakistan-born. Living here for the last 10 years, he declares, "War-war is the only solution to this impasse".

"These talks are a farce, they are never going to be successful and we knew it in the very beginning", he says. Nursing harsh memories of his experience in Pakistan, Ravishkumar breaks into an outburst: "They call us kafirs (pagans)... people over there have such a junoon (obsession)... you can see it in them, although we never felt it in Bitthi in Sindh where we belong".

The discussion gets him seething. "Have you watched the serials shown on PTV? They give a battery of anti-India feeling, what else will be the consequence on the viewers?"

According to him, "Musharraf had decided before he came to India that the issue was not to be resolved". Sentimental about Kashmir, he remarks, "Can a father tolerate his child wishing to conquer him? The father should get up and fight, give a good fight."

Vishandas (46) is more mature. Having spent 30 years in Pakistan, (he is in India since 1990) he says, "He (Musharraf) is a fauji (military man) who believe in the use of force, he will never give in to dialogue, he wants war."

About Kashmir he says, "It is India's crown, and should anyone give up his crown?"

"Pakistan has no love for Kashmir, it is their revenge for splitting Bangladesh", he adds.

Sixteen-year-old Laxmi knows nothing about the Indo-Pak dialogue or Kashmir, all she knows is that she loves India more than Pakistan. About her life in Pakistan she says, "We are always inside the house and the people inside my house are very nice!"

Laxmi's condition can be summed up in Abbas's observation, "Women's education is still a far cry in Pakistan".

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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