IMA doctors approach VMC in food poisoning case Wednesday, February 28, 2001
VADODARA: Doctors of the Indian Medical Association, Vadodara, have submitted a memorandum to the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) about the food poisoning case that occurred at a leading city hotel last Wednesday.
The IMA is now calling for an independent investigation as per the WHO guidelines on food poisoning investigations. They say that the VMC health experts and the Preventive and Social Medicine department's food experts or any other expert and neutral body should be asked to carry out the investigation.
The doctors say that the VMC has so far acted as a watch dog as it offer licences to hotels; however, this time it should take on the role of investigating into the food poisoning case at the hotel. This is a public health issue, they say.
At least 21 doctors have officially complained to the Indian Medical Association, Vadodara, to take joint action against the hotel. "They have stated that on Thursday morning they were down with diarrhoea and fever. Many had to even cancel all appointments and could not see their patients due to the food poisoning," said IMA Vadodara president Vijay Shah.
Shah said that after a joint meeting the doctors decided to first visit the hotel and find the cause behind the food poisoning. "However, when we visited the hotel on Saturday, the hotel administration were not co-operative and we were not allowed to check the kitchen and talk to the staff," he said.
We have now therefore decided to complain to the VMC 's health department and the Prevention and Social Medicine department of the SSG Hospital, which has in the past investigated such cases of food poisoning, he said.
According to Dr Prithipal Chabbda, though the incident occurred on Wednesday, it is not late to inspect the hotel kitchen and staff. "We suspect that the food poisoning was result of a bacteria called 'Staphylo Cocci'. It is very likely that someone suffering from this might have infected the food. Even if no physical proof of the food poisoning is found, we might still be able to prove that all these doctors suffered from food poisoning after they had dinner at the hotel through epidemiological tests," he said.
Shah says that out of the 109 doctors who have attended the meet many had not eaten as they had observed Mahashivratri. He said that it is not necessary that whenever there is a food poisoning case all people have to be affected by it.
"Some people can be more affected than others due to the higher bacterial load in the foodstuff that they ate and in some people immunity levels can be higher," he said.
Dr. Mukesh Trivedi who was one of the doctors severely affected by the food poisoning said that even four days after the food poisoning he had still not recovered completely.
Shah said that the IMA wants that an independent body that has expertise in the matter of investigating the food poisoning cases should be asked to carry out the check on the hotel so that no such cases occur in the future.
He said once the investigation is completed and a report received the independent doctors would file a consumer complaint in the Vadodara consumer grievances redressal forum. They might demand compensation for the loss of working days due to the illness.
* IMA complains to the VMC regarding food poisoning case at hotel.
* Calls for an independent investigation by a neutral body as per WHO guidelines
Quake sequel to ecological imbalance: Lokeshji Wednesday, February 28, 2001
AHMEDABAD: Lokprakash Lokesh, disciple of late Acharya Tulsi, has said that earthquake which shook Bhuj and other parts of the state was mainly because of increasing ecological imbalances on Mother Earth for the past several years.
Known popularly as Lokeshji, the Jain monk has mobilised his followers in Gujarat and Rajasthan to contribute their mite towards rehabilitation of the quake victims. An amount of Rs 1 crore has been collected which would be spent on welfare measures to be taken by the state chapter of Tera Panth.
Followers have set up two relief camps in Bhuj and Bhachau where victims are supplied food and household articles by volunteers of the Jain Samaj.
Making a scathing attack on the government for failure to stop haphazard exploitation of natural resources, including water and minerals, he said: "It's high time we take effective measures to preserve and protect environment. Because of excessive mining work, drawing of ground water and felling of trees, Mother Earth has expressed her anger in the form of earthquake."
Lokeshji said that chief disciple of Acharya Tulsi, Mahapragnyaji, has cancelled all celebrations in Rajasthan and appealed to followers to observe January 29 as "Karuna Divas" to mourn thousands of people killed in the earthquake.
Mahavir Swami, he said, had predicted 2,500 years ago that natural disasters like earthquakes and floods would struck if human beings did not stick to the philosophy of non-violence. He quoted predictions from "Bhagvati Sutra" in Jain scriptures.
The national executive commitee of Tera Panth is scheduled to meet at Preksha Dhyan Academy in Koba on March 4 wherein plan for massive rehabilitation of earthquake victims of Kutch and Saurashtra would be formulated. The youth and women's wings of the Panth would adopt not only orphans but also take the responsibility of maintaining families rendered homeless.
Another Hindu religious leader, Alakhgiri Maharaj, has announced that his followers would set up a hostel to accommodate 200 orphans and 200 widows from earthquake-hit areas of Kutch. His devotees based in the US have agreed to bear expenses of boarding and lodging of destitutes.
Lack of transportation paralyses Maneja residents Wednesday, February 28, 2001
VADODARA: Located on the outskirts of the city, Maneja, once a serene village with scarce population, has seen lot of development in the last few years. Mushrooming of factories and residential buildings has led to several problems in the area. The problem of transportation, bad roads, accidents, non-functional street-lights and lack of traffic signals plague residents here.
Residents say conveyance is a big problem in Maneja. Approximately 10 km away from the city centre, middle class residents are dependent on autorickshaws. Rickshaw drivers try to take advantage of the situation and charge astronomical sums. Though city buses come in the area, people are not really happy with it. "These buses come at irregular intervals. There are times when we wait at the bus stand for three to four hours and yet fail to get a bus. We now prefer travelling in shuttle rickshaws, though it proves to be a bit expensive and tiring," says Rasik Maneja.
"We can't go to the city centre in the evening as we would have problems returning home. Bus timings are unpredictable and rickshaw drivers refuse to charge according to the meter. They demand nearly Rs 60 to 70 and we are forced to pay," says Ranjit Singh Chauhan. Chauhan expresses the feeling of people in general.
But Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) divisional controller, Vadodara, K A Bariya says that buses make nearly seven to 10 trips in these areas. "We operate the buses depending on the number of passengers. If the traffic is more, then we run more number of buses on such routes," said Bariya. When informed that people were complaining that he should place a board with the bus timings at the bus stands, like the one people come across in Ahmedabad, he said that this is difficult because in most of areas in the city there is no bus stand. "We just have a post indicating that it's a bus stand," he added.
Majority of people here do not own vehicles and those who do avoid driving on the uneven roads at night. "It's very difficult to drive at night. The area remains dark. If a person is not careful while driving, he is sure to meet with an accident," says a resident in the area.
Residents complain that though they have often lodged complaints with the authorities to repair the street-lights, no one has cared to look into their needs. Even roads have not been repaired since a long time. "Every day, someone or the other meets with an accident. Though we have tried to draw the attention of the authorities, no one has cared to look into our request," says Arjun Singh. They say that the absence of traffic posts and policemen have also led to the increase in the number of accidents in the area. "There are lot many industries in and around Maneja. Due to this there is heavy flow of traffic in these areas. But unfortunately there are no traffic policemen in the area," says Singh.
Residents complain that there are no hospitals in the area. If someone meets with an accident, he has to be taken to a hospital in Makarpura. "A doctor from the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) comes to the area for an hour every evening. On the basis of the information, we provide him with, he gives us medicine," says a resident on condition of anonymity. According to him, majority of people who complain of fever, are treated for malaria, because there are lot many mosquitoes in the area.
The area is also plagued by acute water shortage. "Water crisis has hit us severely. We don't get water regularly. No one listens to our woes. It seems as if we are a forgotten lot," adds Singh.
Local Hero: Bhagwan Singh
Popularly known as 'Chottu' in the area, 24-year-old Bhagwan Singh is a messiah for those who need help. From helping the needy to serving food to the poor, to convincing people and collecting funds for earthquake relief work, to taking the ill to the hospital and if the need be paying their medical bills, Bhagwan Singh is always at hand.
Bhagwan Singh runs a 'dhabha' at Maneja. People working in the factories eat at his 'dhabha'. Sometimes when they don't have money he offers them free food. Not only this, he even gives them financial and emotional support and ensures that their problems are solved at the earliest.
He also helped collect funds for earthquake relief work. He himself donated a good amount of money.
THE BUCK STOPS HERE: Lalsinh Thakore, corporator
Q: Residents complain that transportation is a big problem in Maneja. What steps have you taken to solve this?
A: Maneja has developed into a bustling area in the last couple of years. Even the population has increased with mushrooming of factories in the area. Unfortunately, the number of city buses running on these routes has not increased. We have just constructed a bus stand in the area. But it is the GSRTC's duty to take into consideration the commuters convenience.
Most of the streetlights in the area are non-functional. Comment.
We have lodged several complaints with the GEB and the municipal commissioner. But no one has taken any steps to improve the situation. Whenever we approach them they promise to look into the matter soon and but never turn up.
Even the roads in Maneja are badly constructed. Comment.
This is not true. The roads at Maneja were constructed just last year and they are quite safe to drive on.
But residents say that accidents are a common feature here and there is no traffic post or signal in the area. What steps have you taken to solve this problem?
The VMC traffic department says that once the modal road project is over all these areas will get a traffic signal. But I feel that more than all these problems its acute water shortage that is posing several problems for the people. Majority of people doesn't get sufficient water. Fights near the hand-pumps have now become a common feature here. And it is this problem that I am more worried about at present.
Have you taken any steps to solve this problem?
A water tank is being constructed in the area. Within six months the residents here will get water from this tank. Maybe it will help reduce the problem of water shortage.
Ward Office: 4
Ward Officer: Rama Tadvi
Ward Office Phone Number: 651020
Makarpura Police Station: 656000
Police Inspector: VD Rathod
Emergency Gas Service: 344618
Gujarat Electricity Board: 332766
Fire Brigade: 343545
Rare incidents of theft
Problem of transportation
Mehsana forest dept rose to the occasion Wednesday, February 28, 2001
MEHSANA: With relief and help which poured in from different parts of the state for the Kutch quake victims, the Mehsana circle of forest department also had its own share of contribution. The department had dispatched as many as 261 trucks carrying 1,718 tonnes of fuel wood to the affected region. Alongwith a team of officials of the department, about 40 labourers were also sent for helping in distribution of the relief material.
Out of 6,710 affected families from 22 villages, about 2,747 people were provided tents. Total population of these 22 villages stood at 46,408 comprising of 10,408 families, CF A K Saxena informed.
He said that tents were pitched in the affected villages under the guidance of sarpanchs and leading citizens of the respective villages. The involvement of the local people provided the necessary impetus to the relief work, he added.
5,000 radio receivers handed over to governor Wednesday, February 28, 2001
GANDHINAGAR: Five thousand World Band Tuners Radio receivers were handed over to Governor Sundar Singh Bhandari by T Ishii, Managing Director, Sony India Ltd, at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday.
These sets are to be disbursed to the victims of earthquake in Gujarat. The Indian Red Cross Society will distribute the radio receivers to the quake victims. Bhandari said the receivers would provide communication network in quake-affected areas and would help victims keep in touch with the latest news and make use of various help line of information sources through radio.
T Ishii said that these tuners had become lifeline of information and communication flow during the Kobe and Taiwan earthquakes. He expressed hope that the same would be of much use for quake-affected people of Gujarat. He said Sony India Ltd and its employees had contributed Rs 5 lakh to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund and Sony Corporation, Japan and its employees would also collect funds for quake victims and donate to the Red Cross Society.
Dr S K Sharma, in charge, Indian Red Cross Society, Ahmedabad Chapter and officials of Sony India Ltd were present on the occasion.