Young people should refrain from tobacco use

“Majority of the tobacco use begins before the age of 18 years. That is why young people should be well informed about life-threatening ailments attributed to tobacco use, and refrain from tobacco use” said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, Head of the Department of Surgery, CSM Medical University (erstwhile King George’s Medical College – KGMC). Prof Rama Kant is the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General’s International Awardee (2005) and was recently conferred upon the Amrit Lal Nagar Samman 2010. Read more

How Safe Are Our Hospitals? The Stark Reality

[Based on an interview given to CNS Editor Shobha Shukla by Dr Sudhir Krishna, consultant pediatric surgeon at Fortis Hospital, New Delhi and Chairman of the working group on scientific evaluation of sterilization practices in India, constituted by the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to Govt of India. To listen to audio podcast, click here]
Infection and communicable diseases form a large part of the health care burden in India, despite the ongoing progress made to combat and control life threatening diseases. Amongst these, the most difficult to treat infections are those that the patients pick up while in a hospital. Read more

Teens capture their neighbourhood

July 2008 was memorable for Mani, Saraswathi (Sarasu for short), Santhosh and their friends. Teenagers from Sudarshan Layout in Gurupanpalya, a very low income neighbourhood in southern Bangalore, they had inaugurated the Ambedkar Community Computing Centre (AC3) near their homes. Teaching themselves and children around them about the immense possibilities of free software, they aroused the curiosity of its pioneer, Richard Stallman. After hearing about them at a free software conference in Thiruvananthapuram, he visited AC3 in December 2008. Committed volunteers with Stree Jagruti Samiti, AID-Bangalore, Free Software Movement Karnataka and Ambedkar Yuva Sangha who have been assisting them throughout, catalyzed this. (Geeta Menon, Balaji Kutty, Senthil Sundaram, Pulkit Parikh, Aravind Rajaram, Nitin, Ravi et al are among those who started a tutoring centre with the kids which grew into AC3.) Read more

Let Jill And Jack Play And Eat Well

With increasing affluence and socioeconomic changes, India, like the rest of the world, is witnessing an obesity epidemic, especially in children and adolescents. According to one study, the percentage of overweight/obese children in Delhi has increased from 16% in 2002 to about 24% in 2006. Read more

Narmada Control Authority accepts Sardar Sarovar oustees' demands: Medha Patkar

After 13 days stay and struggle at the Office of the Narmada Control Authority (NCA), Indore, hundreds of adivasis and farmers, with fisher people and potters from the Sardar Sarovar affected villages in the Narmada valley moved to Bhopal. They left NCA’s headquarters after Mr. V.K. Jyoti, Executive Member and Mr. Afroz Ahmed, Director (Rehabilitation) admitted that the people’s demands are within the framework of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal ward (NWDTA), state’s R&R Policies and the Supreme Court’s Judgments. Read more

Beware The Trans Fatty Acids

[To listen to the audio podcast with Dr Anoop Misra, click here]
The National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC) under the leadership of Dr Anoop Misra, with support from the Department of Science & Technology(DST), Ministry of Science & Technology, organized a symposium on “Trans Fats: Global and Indian Perspectives,” with a view to promote healthy living. Doctors, scientists, nutritionists, dietitians, and researchers, as well as representatives from food industry, gathered on one platform to discuss the adverse effects of Trans fats in the Indian scenario, with focus on the current status and future implications of reducing the intake of Trans fatty acids. Read more

'Counting Malaria out' on World Malaria Day

World Malaria Day April 25th 2010
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease which half of the world's population is at risk of getting. It kills around 1 million people with most of these deaths occurring in Africa. This third World Malaria Day is set to be even bigger and better than last year. The ongoing Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership campaign 'Counting Malaria Out' aims to intensify global efforts to reach important milestones set by the Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP). We have less than a year to meet the 2010 target of universal mosquito net coverage for all populations at risk and a reduction in the number of malaria cases and deaths by 50%. World Malaria Day is a time to mobilise civil society in the fight against malaria. Read more

Widespread support to Narmada strengthens people's resolve

Supporters from Pune demand justice to Narmada ‘andolankaris’ as struggle enters 13th day in Indore
As the indefinite and resolute dharna of the kisan and adivasis of the Narmada Ghati entered its 13th day today, representatives of people’s organizations from Pune extended their full solidarity to the lawful assertion of the thousands of people from the valley that the Sardar Sarovar Dam should not be pushed ahead when the rehabilitation is far from complete and further environmental damage is imminent if the conditions are not complied with. They agreed with the people that the Narmada Control Authority, which is an inter-state statutory and monitoring body must fully use its teeth to direct the state governments to fully comply with the law and policy and provide land to the people. Read more

Will Ramu Mishra get justice?

It's the final countdown for 24 year old Ramu Mishra who had allegedly suffered serious injuries and was rendered a invalid with 100 percent paralysis striking him when he was allegedly shot at by Kuldeep Sachan, Ram Babu Gupta and Sarvesh Srivastava on October 23, 2006 in Kanpur. Read more

Time to rethink the development paradigm on Earth Day (22 April)

22 April 2010 is Earth Day
Not only modern lifestyles are causing un-brindled exploitation of natural resources upsetting the ecosystem and upping the global warming, but also the national policies in India related to environment are not in tune with International mandate to save the planet Earth. Read more

Dam and Canal affected farmers and adivasis demand right to life and land

The indefinite Jeevan Adhikar Yatra taken up by the adivasis, farmers and fish workers of Sardar Sarvoar, Jobat Dams and Indira Sagar (ISP) and Omkareshwar IOSP) canals proceeded in full swing today, as it criss-crossed through various villages of the Narmada region, echoing slogans of “Narmada Ghati ko dubaane ka faisla radd karo” (Take back the decision to submerge the Narmada Valley) and “Rehne do Jeene do, Maa Narmada ko behne do”…(Let us live, let us stay, Let Mother Narmada flow in all her majesty). Read more

Narmada displaced people demand for justice

The displaced adivasis and farmers affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project staged a demonstration before the office of the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) in Indore today morning. The Vice-Chairman of the NVDA, OP Rawat who was scheduled to meet the displaced postponed his visit, but the people have strongly resolved that they shall continue to assert their rights in a militant albeit peaceful way so long as a written response is not given to all the issues raised by them and until such time that the unjust and illegal attempts to push the dam are not given up. Read more

Symposium on Trans Fats: Global & Indian Perspectives

The National Diabetes, Obesity & Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC), with support from the Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology, is organizing a symposium on “Trans Fats: Global & Indian Perspectives” on 24th April 2010 in New Delhi, with a view to promote healthy nutrition and generate awareness on Trans Fatty Acids among health professionals and general public. The purpose of the symposium is to discuss the adverse effects of Trans fats in the Indian scenario with focus on the current status and future implications of reducing the intake of trans fatty acids. Read more

India-Pakistan Peace Caravan 2010 - अमन के बढ़ते क़दम

[To read this article in HINDI language, click here]
Probably nowhere in the world are people of two countries as emotionally entwined as are the people of India and Pakistan, and yet there is an enmity thrust upon them. The cruel turn of the wheel of history resulted in political separation, leading to a blood-spattered migration of countless people on an unprecedented scale, severing of family ties, and deep scars that have left an indelible imprint on the collective consciousness of the two nations.

Post-Partition, our tumultuous history has been interspersed with four wars and loss of innumerable innocent lives. Kashmir continues to be a sore point in our relations, threatening to take the two countries on a course of self-destruction. Fundamentalist groups within the religious and political space of South Asia continue to ensure that the fires of animosity are kept alive and take a heavy toll on both sides.

Targets of violence and of an atmosphere of antagonism, common people on both sides of the border want peace, friendship and normal relations to be established between the two countries. Read more

Heal Thyself With Oxygen

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment for wound healing, that involves intermittent inhalation of 100% oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressure, inside a special treatment chamber. Normal atmospheric pressure is 1 Bar, which is equivalent to 76 cm of Hg pressure at sea level. So any pressure greater than this can be called hyperbar. This oxygen at high pressure is called Hyperbaric Oxygen or HBO, said Dr Tarun Sahni, Senior Consultant, Apollo Indraprastha Hospital, New Delhi, during a conference on 'High Risk Diabetic Foot' in Kanpur, India, jointly organized by the Indian Podiatry Association, UP Chapter of Association of Surgeons of India (ASI), and Hyperbaric Society of India. Read more

Narmada Jeevan Adhikar Yatra storms NCA Indore Office for justice

Sardar sarovar and jobat displaced storm NCA office to demand their rights
Indore citizens express full solidarity with Narmada Jeevan Adhikar Yatra
After two full days of non-stop action and travelling through various villages and towns creating awareness on the enormous social and environmental impacts of large dams in the Narmada Valley, the indefinite Jeevan Adhikar Yatra of the thousands of adivasis, farmers, fish workers affected by the Sardar Sarovar and Jobat Dams reached Indore today morning. At every village and in every meeting,
the people raised pressing issues concerning their fundamental right to life and livelihood and challenged the State, asserting that it cannot move ahead, even an inch, with these ‘monuments of mismanagement and injustice’ if it fails to ensure land and livelihood to the affected people. Read more

Making Open Source Drug Discovery a Reality in TB Treatment Research

"...diseases like TB with high mortality but low profitability are neglected by the current system of pharmaceutical research"
The Indian government's Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) initiative released the results of its 'Connect 2 Decode' (C2D) project to re-annotate the biological and genetic information relating to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) genome at a conference. This is the first time that a comprehensive mapping of the Mtb genome has been compiled, verified and made publicly available. C2D's findings may contain critical data to unlock previously undiscovered details of tuberculosis (TB); resulting in development opportunities for urgently needed new TB drugs in India and other developing countries. Read more

Don't always have your noses up. Look down at your feet too!

Click here to listen to AUDIO PODCAST of interview with Dr APS Suri
(here is another audio podcast featuring Dr APS Suri)
On an average, a person walks a distance of more than three trips round the earth in one life time. With such high demands on our dainty feet, quality foot care is essential. This is exactly what the recently organized midterm Continuing Medical Education (CME) meeting on the ‘High Risk Diabetic Foot’ was about. It was a meeting of the brains, to deliberate about the feet. Read more

Adivasis and Women launch Indefinite Narmada Jeevan Adhikar Yatra

More than two thousand adivasis, farmers, fish workers, labourers, potters and other Sardar Sarovar Project affected persons from the Narmada Valley assembled at Rajghat today morning to embark on an indefinite Jeevan Adhikar Yatra to challenge unjust political moves to push the giant dam ahead despite the failure of the dam having been fully exposed and also in the face of gross environmental non-compliance and unprecedented corruption, causing forced and illegal displacement of the two-lakh population in the valley. Read more

70% of lower extremity amputations happen to people with diabetes: IDF

"Over one million lower extremity amputations are performed each year, 70% of which happen to people with diabetes. In India, almost 40,000 legs are amputated every year as a consequence of diabetes" said Professor Jean Claude Mbanya, President of International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in his message to the mid-term continuing medical education (CME) meeting on "High-risk diabetic foot" organized by the Association of Surgeons of India (ASI), UP Chapter and Indian Podiatry Association (IPA) in Kanpur on Sunday, 11 April 2010. Read more

Indefinite Jeevan Adhikar Yatra (March for the Right to Life) to begin

नर्मदा  घाटी  करे सवाल – जीने का हक या मौत का जाल’
Thousands of adivasis, farmers, fish workers, labourers, potters, artisans, small traders, representing the 2-lakh living population in the Narmada valley are to embark on an indefinite Jeevan Adhikar Yatra from Sunday morning (11 April 2010) to assert their right to life, livelihood and challenge the unjust and unlawful political push to the giant Sardar Sarovar Dam and other large projects on the Narmada, in gross violation of law and contempt of the Constitution and the Courts. Read more

Experts sound alarm on diabetic foot

Experts who are convening for the mid-term continuing medical education (CME) on "High-risk diabetic foot" organized by the Association of Surgeons of India (ASI), UP Chapter and Indian Podiatry Association (IPA) in Kanpur on Sunday, 11 April 2010, are sounding an alarm bell for people with diabetes to be wary of diabetic foot. "People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body. Some people with nerve damage have no symptoms. Others may have symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness - loss of feeling - in the hands, arms, feet, and legs" informed Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, who is the President of ASI, UP, and Head of the Department of Surgery, at CSM Medical University (formerly King George's Medical College - KGMC) in Lucknow, India. Professor (Dr) Rama Kant will speak on "Surgical Approach to Diabetic Foot. How I do it" at this CME in Kanpur. Read more

High-risk diabetic foot in spotlight

High-risk diabetic foot is the theme of the mid-term continuing medical education (CME) organized by the Association of Surgeons of India (ASI), UP Chapter and Indian Podiatry Association (IPA) in Kanpur on Sunday, 11 April 2010. "This theme has been chosen to enable all participants to improve clinical care for patients living with diabetes and its complications" said Dr Sanjay Kala, Secretary of IPA and Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, GSVM Medical College, Kanpur. This medical conclave will focus on specific issues related to diabetic foot including stem cells in diabetic wounds, peripheral vascular disease, wound healing and care, charcot's neurothropathy, foot biomechanics, infections, therapeutic footwear, surgical techniques, VAC therapy, risk factor assessment, vascular interventions for diabetic foot salvage and latest innovations in diabetic wounds. Read more

Narmada: Politics to outdo law and justice again?

Sardar Sarovar with 10 times costs and only 10% benefits needs review, not funds
The controversy over the giant Dams and large Dams on the Narmada river, altogether 30 large and 135 medium Dams, displacing a few million people, not even fully and fairly counted, and destroying thousands of hectares of agricultural land and forest, affecting the whole riverine ecosystem is decades old. Yet, the same is again reaching its peak in the case of the Sardar Sarovar Interstate Project. The Dam, with the wall completed upto 122 mts, as per the demand by the Government and politicians of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh is to be pushed ahead by raising piers and erecting gates 17 mts high even when 2,00,000 and more people; adivasis, farmers, fish workers, artisans, traders live in the village communities and township densely populated with pakka houses, markets, best of agriculture and horticulture since generations. Read more

Urbanization and health in spotlight on World Health Day

World Health Day is celebrated on 7th April to mark the founding of World Health Organization. Each year, the WHO selects a key global health issue and organizes international, regional and local events on the Day and throughout the year to highlight the selected area. World Health Day 2010 is dedicated to urbanization and health. This year's campaign '1000 cities, 1000 lives', highlights the impact of urban living on human health and encourages efforts to make cities healthier places for people to live. Read more

There's more to Life than Money: Explore Yourself, Connect with Society, and Find Happiness

Convocation address of Dr Sandeep Pandey, who was the Chief Guest, at Indian Institute of Management (IIM-C) Kolkata
Dear friends, as you complete yet another milestone in your academic career and prepare to embark on a new professional path, I would like to offer you hearty congratulations and best wishes. Your Institute’s environment and professors at IIM Kolkata must have provided you with both managerial skills and ethical values necessary to lead a life that will be professionally, socially and spiritually satisfying. However, the inputs imbibed here are only the starting point, and you will have to constantly question, assess and evolve your values and actions as you begin living in the real society. While I hope that you will take care of your professional skills, I want to share my thoughts with you about the challenges you will face on the social and spiritual aspects, the implication they will have for your professional choices, and how you could respond to them.
I will organize my thoughts by responding to some fundamental questions that arise in everyone’s mind:
(i) Who we are?
(ii) How can we become happy and satisfied individually?
(iii) What is the implication of seeking happiness for our professional choices and decisions? Read more

Infinite work, indefinite pay - some facts from the informal economy

International Women's Day, 2010 – the centenary of the idea’s evolution. The words “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition” make me wonder: should women seek a distinct identity or basic acceptance as human beings? Incidents that I have been seeing and hearing over the years are convincing me that the former may be possible only with the latter. And one that I witnessed on 8th March this year is horrifying yet hopeful. Read more

Raise in SSP-dam height will only increase submergence: Medha Patkar

Illegal and unjust decision of NCA-MOEF to submerge 200,000 people
News is just round the corner that the Environment Sub Group (ESG) of the Narmada Control Authority (ESG) has accorded further permission for erection of 17 mts high gates on the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSP) in Gujarat that will take it from its present height of 122.92 mts to its final height of 138.68 mts. There is however, ‘assurance’, that has emerged from the April 1st meeting of the ESG that there shall be no additional submergence by such a move and that the permission has been sought only after compliance of all the environmental conditions, that have not been complied with over the past 20 years !! It has also been stated that the gates shall remain in an ‘open position’ until such time that the catachment area treatment is not fully treated. Read more

Viva La Woman Power

It had to take the grit and determination of a woman (nay two women) to bring to books the culprits in an honour killing of a young married couple (Manoj and Babli), on the orders of a khap(caste) panchayat in Haryana. Their crime was to marry for love despite belonging to the same gotra (lineage), which so enraged their family members and local community that they were abducted and murdered. Read more

Unlawful and Unjust Political expediency to raise dam height

The controversy over the Sardar Sarovar Dam has reached its peak once again with the Governments of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, colluding with the Ministry of Water Resources, are bypassing the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and are exerting all sorts of pressures on the MoEF and Centre for obtaining further clearance to raise the
height of the dam by erection of 17 mts high gates. Read more

Delhi Court quashes case of 'fake medical certificate' against Medha Patkar

The Court of Shri Manish Makam, Metropolitan Magistrate of the Patiala House Court, dismissed an application filed against social activist Medha Patkar, accusing her of misleading the Court through production of ‘fake medical certificate’. The Application was filed by one Mr. V.K. Saxena, of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Read more

Doctor de Leon and anti-TB drug resistance

A personal story for the World TB Day (24 March 2010)
Doctor de Leon is a Mexican paediatrician who has dedicated her life to saving other people's lives particularly the youngest and most vulnerable of any society - the children. Nine months ago, she developed a cough that her colleagues diagnosed as an allergy. Overall, her health was deteriorating, she lost weight day-by-day despite her efforts to nourish herself the best that she could. Since she was not feeling well, she ordered the sputum smear exams for herself, and they came back positive. Read more