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March 24, 2001 - March 24, 2001

Delhi-based organisation rebuilding hospital at Limbdi Saturday, March 24, 2001

RAJKOT: Volunteers of the Delhi-based Bhai Daya Singh Sevak Jatha Charitable Foundation have been working overtime to construct an operation theatre and two wards at the Limbdi general hospital which was completely damaged in the quake.

The volunteers are led by an elderly person, fondly called Guruji.

He said that as soon as the Foundation got the news of the quake and the extent of damage, it rushed men and material to the affected area.

"To begin with, temporary tents were set up for the indoor patients. Then we also attended to the quake-affected people who came to the hospital," he said.

As things started settling down, the Foundation decided to construct a temporary operation theatre and a 125-bed hospital. The makeshift hospital would be accommodated in two wards of 120 feet long and 21 feet wide. The work is expected to be completed before the onset of monsoon.

The Limbdi hospital building was 65 years old and the foundation stone was laid by Nawab of Palanpur Telemohammedkhanji on January 27, 1929. The building was inaugurated on January 15, 1939 by the then Governor General Freeman Thomson.

According to Guruji, the Foundation has also been doing yeomen service for humanity in Vrindavan, Rishikesh and Amritsar.

Caption: Volunteers of Delhi-based Shri Bhai Daya Singh Sevak Jatha Charitable Foundation constructing a hospital at Limbdi in Surendranagar district.

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JUNAGADH ::Residents observed a complete bandh on Friday Saturday, March 24, 2001

Residents of Junagadh town observed a complete bandh on Friday in protest against the irregularities in the census work as a result of which Junagadh has been deprived of the status of a municipal corporation.

President of the Junagadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kanubhai Domadiya and members of the Madhur Social Group told TOINS that all commercial establishments and shops remained closed.

The most surprising aspect of the entire bandh was that BJP MP from Junagadh Bhavnaben Chikhaliya and local legislator Mahendra Mashru also extended support to the bandh.

The two BJP leaders said that they had also impressed upon the central and state leaders to ensure that the census work was done in a "more balanced way" and if necessary, call for another round of census.

Areas like Kalwa Chowk, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Panchhati Chowk, Railway station area wore a deserted look as shops and business houses did not open.

Right from morning itself, sadhus belonging to Sadhu Samaj were joined by various leaders of social and political organisations at Kalwa Chowk where a resolution was unanimously passed to work for the betterment of Junagadh and to "fight for its right".

The people also targeted their anger at Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel who had announced during his last election meeting that Junagadh would be accorded the status of a municipal corporation soon. "It is more than two years now and the process has yet to begin," the leaders said.

The leaders of the Sadhu Samaj said the census work was deliberately derailed and a correct picture was not reflected as some vested interest were working overtime to ensure that Junagadh did not get the status of a corporation. They also blasted the present BJP government for playing into the hands of such elements.

Related:- JUNAGADH : Bandh today

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Teachers try to make teaching fun and easy Saturday, March 24, 2001

VADODARA: An All-Gujarat Teaching Aids Contest was organised by the Sanskar Vidyavihar (KG and Primary Section) here on Friday. The contest provide a platform for KG and primary teachers as well as independent participants to showcase innovative and educative teaching aids in the form of charts, games, puzzles and models.

"This is for the first time we are organising such an event,'' says Thrity Wykes, co-ordinator for the event. "18 schools from Ahmedabad and other rural areas confirmed their participation, but for some reason they couldn't make it," says Wykes.

The event saw 47 participants, 25 schools and other individual participants. The contest showcased many innovative models, charts, games and puzzles prepared by the teachers.

"We have tried to make quiz more interesting. We found that Kaun Banega Crorepati has grown popular among kids, so we thought of starting a quiz contest called Kaun Banega Genius,'' says Archana P teacher in KG section of Shreyas School.

"The rules are similar to that of KBC. We have two lifelines, phone a friend and 50-50. We project the question through a projector and have kept toy mobile-phones that can be used when they have to use the phone a friend lifeline.,'' adds Archana.

"Earlier, not many students were interested in participating in a quiz. Now the KBG thing had made students more enthusiastic towards quiz programs." add Archana.

"Learning by doing is the best way a child can learn," says Kiran Parekh, of the Human Development and Family Studies, M S University. "If a child learns through physical model, charts, games which is physically intractable, then the child tends to learn fast,'' says Parekh.

"If we teach a subject through these teaching aids, children will find the subject more interesting and will automatically do well in that subject,'' adds Parekh. "But if we go through the conventional chock and board method, kids will find the subject boring,'' says Parekh.

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56 days after quake, youth's search for father continues Saturday, March 24, 2001

VADODARA: Twenty-year-old Amit Ahir is on a long journey. For 56 days now, he has scouted most districts of Gujarat, a couple in Maharashtra and has combed through the long lists of January 26 earthquake victims and injured put out by the state. He has even physically verified some bodies in quake-ravaged Anjar, Bhachau and Bhuj and has walked from one bed to the other in over two dozen hospitals.

Every time a list of the dead is given to him, whether it be in devastated towns of his homeland Kutch or a hospital in Ahmedabad, Rajkot or Vadodara, his eyes stop at letter 'V'. He can't look beyond that letter and asks others to read out the name that follows after 'V'. Those few seconds when the other person is reading the name for him from a list of quake victims, Amit closes his eyes and prays that he shouldn't hear 'Velji Ahir' - his 70-year-old father who is missing from Juna Anjar since January 26.

This Friday, for the umpteenth time, Amit, had to go through those frightening and nervous moments. "His name was not in the list of dead. I still feel that he is living and I will find him some day", Amit says as he walks on city roads here, for the second time after the killer quake.

"I had come here earlier when I learnt that some injured people from Bhuj and Anjar have been shifted to SSG Hospital but my father was not among them," he says.

Veljibhai, as Amit recalls, had left his house in Jamnapark Society in Anjar for his job at 8 am on January 26. That morning he had promised his young son that he would spare some to teach him driving heavy motor. "He was an ace driver and worked for the cotton mill of former MLA Champalal Chunilal Shah in Anjar. He had left the house at 8 am. At about 9.15 am that day my father's friend Kalpesh Bavaji came rushing and informed us that my father was injured and needed help," Amit recalls. Veljibhai and Kalpesh had stopped at a tea stall near Mistry fariu of Anjar when the earthquake struck. Both were leaning on wall that collapsed. While Kalpesh had a lucky escape Veljibhai hurt his leg.

"But when I went there he was nowhere to be found. I asked for him and searched for him in the entire town but in vain," Amit says. He said that since then he has looked for his father in every relief camp and hospital but the search has yielded nothing.

"My elder brother Prakash too is looking for my father. My mother has grown weak. She doesn't speak much and refuses to go inside the house. For all these 56 days she has been sitting on the doorsteps of our house", Amit says pensively. He says, of late, his mother, Devilaben, has stopped taking food. "She is waiting for my father. We all are waiting. He was a strong man and had fought all odds to run the family", Amit says showing photograph of his father.

Veljibhai was once a driver with Alembic company here but had returned to Anjar, his native, after retirement in the early 90's. "We had stayed here for a while. I have fond memories and somehow whenever I come to this city I feel that I will be able to find my father", Amit remarks and walks towards the ST depot to catch the next bus to Ahmedabad - his next destination of search for his father.

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'Amma' In Vadodara Saturday, March 24, 2001

"SHATGURU MATA AMRITANANDAMAYI DEVI" who is the manifestation of the universal other hereself is a great Spiritual Master with a vast following in INDIA and abroad. She has visited VADODRA on Friday 23rd March, 2001. Approx 4000-5000 people has taken advantage of her consultancy.

By our special correspondent - Darshan

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