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November 17, 2001 - November 17, 2001

Computerised ration cards by yearend Saturday, November 17, 2001

Source - AsianAge
Gandhinagar: The state government will complete the process of allocating computerised ration cards to all card holders by December end.

Minister of state for food and civil supplies Bharat Barot said the state government has also decided to get stern in the distribution of food grains through fair price shops and said the state government will take stringent steps against responsible officials if fair price shops are found to be inadequately stocked after December.

Mr Barot was speaking at a function organised to distribute computerised ration cards in Gandhinagar district on Wednesday. Mr Barot said it is necessary to reinforce the feeling that the food and civil supplies department is “the department for the poor” in the state.

Mr Barot also asked officials to take steps to put a complete halt to black-marketing of food grains and kerosene in the state. He said the state government is receiving supplies for 21 lakh people against more than 33 lakh people who live below poverty line in the state and the food and civil supplies department is taking effective steps to fulfil this difference.
Mr Barot also stressed on the need to weed out corruption for complete eradication of poverty in the state.

Meanwhile, the process of issuance of computerised ration cards is in full swing in the Gandhinagar taluka and of the total 143 shops in the state ration cards related to 20 shops have been completely computerised. Similarly, the ration cards of 15 of the 68 shops in Dehgam, 20 of the 85 shops in Kalol and all the 62 fair price shops in Mansa have been computerised.

Speaking on the occasion minister of state for cooperation and protocol Vadi Patel said it is necessary that common men in the state benefit from the programmes of the state government. He added that the state government had fixed a target of completing computerisation and distribution of cards in a month’s time.

Minister in charge for Gandhinagar and youth and cultural affairs minister Ishwar Makwana emphasised on the need for human development schemes for the economic development of the people.

District supplies officer G.A. Shah, regional officer Dhananjay Trivedi, deputy resident collector and incharge collector Jayshree Devangan were also present on the occasion.

News Source : The AsianAge [ The coolest newspaper for city ]

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Fire breaks out at Amar Circus, destroys main tent Saturday, November 17, 2001

Source - AsianAge
Ahmedabad: A huge fire broke out at Amar Circus put up in the riverbed near Tagore Hall at 1.10 pm on Thursday in the city.

The entire tent, where the show is held, got burnt and around 800 chairs were destroyed in the fire. Though no one was injured in the mishap, one lion burnt his nose and is receiving treatment for it.

The incident occurred when a burning rocket cracker landed atop the tent, circus manager Shamshad Khan said. The circus authorities tried to extinguish the fire but before the water pump could be started to extinguish the fire, it had already spread, Mr Khan said.

Fortunately, the show begins at 1.30 pm, so most of the viewers were still outside and no one was injured in the fire. However, around 200-250 people were inside the main tent who had come much earlier for the show. Mr Khan estimated the loss at around Rs 25 lakhs.

The owner of the circus K.P. Hemraj was not available for comment, as he was busy with the insurance estimates. Mr Khan said they would try and begin the show from Friday itself since they have a spare main tent for emergency.

But chief fire officer B.C. Jadeja said the fire department has taken a decision to ban circuses to operate during Diwali. He said they would inform Amar Circus authorities that they should not commence the show till further clearance from the fire department.

The fire was put off in about two hours with the help of three fire fighters and eight water tankers. Two ambulances were also called for emergency situation. Mr Moin Khan Hussain Khan, a Jamalpur trader who came along with his wife and children to watch the circus, said it was fortunate that they had not entered the tent when the fire broke out.

He said otherwise he would have been hard pressed to keep track of all his five children in the confusion that followed. This is the first fire mishap which has occurred at Amar Circus, which has been in operational since 1967.

News Source : The AsianAge [ The coolest newspaper for city ]

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Exercise begins to update electoral list Saturday, November 17, 2001

Source - AsianAge
Ahmedabad: In a bid to make the electoral list more realistic district collector K. Srinivas has directed counting officials to make detailed changes keeping January 1, 2002 as the eligibility date. These changes are being done based on directions from the election commission and each house will be visited before December 4 to update the list.

Officials have been appointed to deal with any problems related to the updation of the electoral list. Regional officer D.B. Mehta, telephone number 3422433, has been appointed for Dhandhuka, Dholka and Bavda and Viramgam regional officer B.J. Patel has been appointed for Mandal and Viramgam talukas who will be available for guidance at the Ahmedabad collecterate on 5508960.

Deputy food controller J.S. Trivedi, phone number 6584736, has been deputed for the Sarkhej constituency whereas regional officer of Viramgam B.G. Patel, phone number 5508960, has been deputed for the Daskroi taluka.

For guidance on the changes in the voters list for Sabarmati the Gujarat housing board office should be contacted on phone number 7489409 and for the Ellisbridge area city deputy collector A.J. Shah will have to be contacted on 5508927.

For guidance in Dariapur and Kajipur areas, Auda official S.K. Raval can be called on 7545051 whereas for the Shahpur area deputy collector B.G. Patel has to be contacted on 5508781.

Similarly the name of the official and the telephone number for other areas are Kalupur-deputy collector R.G. Trivedi-5508686, Asarwa-deputy collector G.J. Prajapati-5508890, Rakhial-Manoj Makwana-5508086, Sheher Kotda-R.G. Trivedi-5508686, Khadia-B.K. Patel-6576272, Jamalpur-registrar, N.C. Shah-5506924, Maninagar-deputy collector A.V. Jhala-6304993, Naroda-Manoj Makwana-5507429.

News Source : The AsianAge [ The coolest newspaper for city ]

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No sunshine, just shoeshine in their lives Saturday, November 17, 2001

Source - AsianAge
Ahmedabad: Diwali is a time when most children burst crackers and eat mithai. But not seven-year-old Shankar, who polishes shoes on main streets of Ahmedabad to earn his livelihood. He finds good opportunity in Diwali to make more money than he does on an average day.

Akin to Shankar, Diwali does not necessarily mean crackers, sweets and delight for 11-year-old Dinesh, who again wanders in the University area to find someone willing to get shoes’ polished.

Thirteen-year-old Raman belongs to the same group that wanders around the Gujarat University bus-stand. Raman cannot recall when he last enjoyed fireworks or ate sweets. Like Shanker, Dinesh and Raman, Diwali is nothing more than another day of toil for nearly 25 children in the university area, in the age group seven to 14, who out of poverty, are forced into the work of boot-polishing by their family members.

Diwali for them is just like any other normal day and if they do not earn at least Rs 50 after a 12-hour work, they are bound to incur the wrath of their fathers. When asked what if they fail to take the requisite amount home, a visibly horrified Raman said, “If I don’t take home at least Rs 50 every day, my father thrashes me with a cane.”

Most of them, who come from Rama Peer no Tekro in Old Wadaj, make their way back home on foot for they cannot afford the Rs 4 bus fare. “It eats into our collection,” says one of them.

If Diwali has nothing in store for these children, there is another group that desperately waits for the festival. Ironically, not for enjoyment but a hope that they might find some cracker or two in the huge garbage dumps in various areas of the city that they can sell to make money.

Subject to extreme poverty, these children who cannot afford crackers, collect all the explosive material from the crackers found in the dumps and obtain pleasure by firing them. Ten-year-old Babu, a rag-picker said, “I wait for Diwali every year but my parents don’t get me crackers. So I try to collect crackers from these dumps. Some of them do burst, most don’t. But it makes my Diwali.”

According to child-line co-ordinator Chhaya Joshi, the only solution to this problem is education. “Though most of the boys involved in boot-polishing go to school, the rag-pickers don’t get that opportunity.” The successful implementation of the “Midday Meal Scheme will definitely help ease the problem and decrease the number of rag-pickers in the city, she added.

News Source : The AsianAge [ The coolest newspaper for city ]

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New Year wishes from Governor Saturday, November 17, 2001

Ahmedabad: Governor Sundar Singh Bhandari has wished the citizens a happy and prosperous New Year on the beginning of Vikram Samvat 2058. Terming the occasion as a symbol of freshness, joy and good wishes, he said people should resolve to help those in pain and distress.

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