Free Trade Agreements (FTAs): A Threat To People's Freedoms

The year 2011 has seen the most significant attempts to revive the World Trade Organization (WTO) in recent times, with the stated objective of member countries to conclude the Doha round before the end of the year. At this juncture, developing countries like India need to take stock of the situation so that key concerns are taken into account. It is assumed that free trade and the removal of regulations on investment will result in economic growth, reducing poverty and generating employment opportunities. However, past evidences show that these kinds of agreements allow transnational corporations more freedom to exploit workers rather than help them.  By removing all restrictions on businesses, it severely affects the lives of the common people.

Two-third deaths due to non-communicable diseases: Tobacco control urgent priority

[हिंदी] [Photo] Sixty-three  per cent deaths are due to non-communicable diseases, said WHO Director-General's Awardee (2005) Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, who was the Chief Guest at the Grow Without Tobacco theme theatre, slide-show and discussion at Arvind Academy, Malhaur, Chinhat, Lucknow. "According to a lead study published in 'The Lancet' journal (April 2011 issue), the most urgent and immediate priority for public health is tobacco control. The Lancet proposes as a goal for 2040, a world essentially free from tobacco. And it is not possible unless children and young people become leaders and grow without the slow poison of tobacco" said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, former Head of Surgery Department, CSM Medical University and current Executive Director, RCTC.

Eat healthy to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

The first WHO Global status report on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) launched on 27th April, confirms that NCDs are the leading killer today, with 36.1 million people dying from heart disease, strokes, chronic lung diseases, cancers and diabetes in 2008. In other words, NCDs killed 63% of people who died worldwide in 2008. Nearly 80% of these deaths (equivalent to 29 million people) occurred in low- and middle-income countries, dispelling the myth that such conditions are mainly a problem of affluent societies. Without any serious action, the NCD epidemic is projected to kill 52 million people annually by 2030. The report forms a key component of the 2008-2013 Action Plan, which was endorsed by the 2008 World Health Assembly for the implementation of the WHO Global Strategy on the Prevention and Control of non-communicable diseases.

Mounting pressure on India to ban Endosulfan

Endosulfan is already banned by 81 countries and Indian states of Kerala and Karnataka, but the national government of India is still not convinced to ban the use and manufacture of this deadly pesticide nation-wide! Since 1976 continued aerial spray of Endosulfan has led close to 9,000 deaths, and nearly 4,800 bed ridden patients with sever physical and mental deformities in State of Kerala alone, said National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM). But even then the government fails to listen to this. One wonders whose interests Indian government is protecting, asks NAPM.

Global Fund Consultation: Topic 1: Lives Saved

Increasing the number of lives saved, impact and value for money
Guiding Question
Thinking about what it funds and the way funding is currently provided, what should the Global Fund do more of – or less of – in order to maximize value for money and increase the number of lives saved and infections prevented?

Chernobyl Day: India should stop its nuclear programme and conduct scrutiny

[हिंदी][Photo] 26th April 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Together with the ongoing nuclear crisis in Fukushima, Japan, this marks a pivotal moment for us to reflect on the day that changed the world's view on nuclear power. The Chernobyl disaster occurred in 1986. 12 years after in 1998, India conducted its nuclear tests in Pokharan and rushed to join the nuclear club. Now 25 years later since Chernobyl, India has also signed the Indo US Nuclear Deal and the government is hurrying to build several large nuclear power reactors all over India.

Anti-malarial drug resistance a major challenge: World Malaria Day (25 April)

World Malaria Day, 25 April
[हिंदी] According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anti-malarial drug resistance is a major public health problem which hinders the control of malaria. Resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to choloroquine, the cheapest and the most used drug, is spreading in almost all the endemic countries. Resistance to the combination of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine which was already present in South America and in South-East Asia is now emerging in East Africa.

5% infertility cases had TB but up to 45% got anti-TB treatment

Although evidence of tuberculosis (TB) is seen in less than 5 per cent of infertility cases, up to 45 per cent of infertility cases are put on anti-TB treatment without any confirmatory test, said a news published in the The Times of India. This puts women who might not have TB at high risk of developing anti-TB drug resistance. This is an enormous concern for a country like India which is home to one of the world's largest number of people with anti-TB drug resistance. Genital TB is a major cause of tubal infertility but how far is giving anti-TB treatment without confirmatory tests justified?

Corrupt people shaken with real possibility of Lokpal Bill

The unearthing of alleged misconduct by Shri Shanti Bhushan in flat allotments in Noida, undervaluation of property in Allahabad, and his alleged conversation with certain politicians, together with willful targeting of his son, Shri Prashant Bhushan suggests that there are vested interests that are unhappy that a Lokpal Bill, that can really make a dent on corruption, may be prepared especially with both father and son in the Joint Drafting Committee.

Students write RTI applications: Pledge never to give or take bribe

Magsaysay Awardee Dr Sandeep Pandey taught students how to write applications under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, 2005, to fight corruption, and to increase accountability and transparency. He also appealed to the students to take a pledge never to give or take bribe. Grow up as responsible and honest citizens, said Dr Sandeep Pandey. The students gave Dr Pandey examples of corruption they see or have heard of in their lives. Giving donation for admission in educational institutions, giving a bribe to police agencies, schools forcing students to buy books from a particular shop or publisher, were some of the corruption examples students told Dr Pandey. Dr Sandeep Pandey was interacting with the students of Rani Laxmi Bai (RLB) Inter College, Sector 14, Indira Nagar, Lucknow.

Growing up tobacco-free, healthy and honest

[हिंदी] [Photo] According to The Lancet (April 2011), the underlying causes of many non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are shared and modifiable risk factors: tobacco use, foods high in saturated and trans-fats, salt, and sugar (especially in sweetened drinks), physical inactivity, and the harmful consumption of alcohol. These cause more than two-thirds of all new cases of NCDs and increase the risk of complications in people with NCDs. Tobacco use alone accounts for one in six of all deaths resulting from NCDs. So to stay healthy, discussants made an appeal to about 1000 students at Rani Laxmi Bai Inter College, Sector 14, Indira Nagar, Lucknow, to live a healthy lifestyle - and - neither give bribe or take bribe - for a healthy society.

Politicians must stop opposing the Lokpal Bill: NAPM and LRM

[हिंदी] The National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) UP and Lok Rajniti Manch (LRM) have issued a statement demanding that the politicians must stop opposing the Lokpal Bill which will check corruption, increase accountability in governance, and can change the character of politics in India. "Since the day decision was taken to form a committee for drafting the Lokpal bill, its civil society members are under attack from some quarters. On the face of it they are politicians but strong business-bureaucrat lobby could be fully supporting it from behind the scenes" said Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Awardee and member, national presidium, Lok Rajniti Manch.

Smokeless tobacco kills just like cigarettes and beedis

[हिंदी] Smokeless tobacco (Gutkha, Khaini, and other forms of smokeless tobacco use) also causes life-threatening diseases, disabilities and deaths – just like the smoking forms of tobacco (cigarettes, beedis), said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, President-elect of Association of Surgeons of India (ASI) 2012 and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General’s Awardee 2005. Prof (Dr) Rama Kant was the chief guest at Daffodils Convent Inter College, D-block Indira Nagar in a seminar on "Grow Without Tobacco" theme.

Don't neglect your oral health and hygiene: Dr Shivani Sharma

We shouldn't neglect our oral health and hygiene, said Dr Shivani Sharma, a Mumbai-based dental surgeon who was speaking at a seminar in Spring Dale College, A-block Indira Nagar, Lucknow (India). "Brush your teeth twice daily. What's also very important to remember is to rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal, use of correct brushing technique, improper brushing technique leads to calculus deposition on teeth causing several dental problems" said Dr Shivani Sharma, who has achieved laurels from not only Spring Dale College but also India's premier King George's Medical College (KGMC). More to learn from Dr Sharma on how to take care of the tooth brush to begin with. "Flaring or without flaring, change your toothbrush every three months. Dry your toothbrush thoroughly in between brushing. If you fall ill, have fever or sore throat, change your toothbrush as streptococcus bacteria grow on it" said Mumbai-based dental surgeon Dr Shivani Sharma.

Spring Dale College: Choose life, not tobacco

Since majority of tobacco addiction takes root in young age, children and youth need to be informed of tobacco-related diseases, disabilities and deaths to make a wise choice and say NO to tobacco, said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General's Awardee (2005), who was a keynote discussant at the Grow Without Tobacco theme discussion at Spring Dale College in B-Block Indira Nagar, Lucknow.

Rethink the development paradigm on Earth Day (22 April)

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. "Corporatisation of natural resources is bad for people and environment. The impact of abusing environment (most of which is a fall-out of corporate exploitation of natural resources) is most severely faced by tribals and the poor who are dependent on natural resources for sustaining their daily life and livelihood. Depriving them of their basic human rights is exacerbating the inequities and causing irreparable damage to the environment" had said SR Darapuri, who is a former Inspector General (IG) police and a prominent social activist with National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM).

Saffron War: Yogi's politics is dangerous for India

Photo credit: Rajeev Yadav
[Listen to the CNS Audio Recording/ Podcast of Dr Roop Rekha Verma's address before the screening of Saffron War]
[हिंदी] The documentary film, "Saffron War: A War Against Nation", showcases how dangerous Hindu fundamentalist forces can be to the values upheld in Indian constitution. Not only Gorakhpur, but entire eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP) is under the tight terrorising grip of fundamentalism in the name of God! The film was screened at the UP Press Club in Lucknow on 16th April 2011 which documents how Yogi Aditya Nath, a Member of Parliament (MP) from Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), uses aggressive religious fanaticism to not only have a tight hold over entire eastern UP but also has changed the character of 'Gorakhnath Peeth'.

Minister misses both the points on gender and sexuality

Commenting on declining child sex ratio, Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, said that the day is not far when there will be "no girls to marry" and men will "all become gays" (Source: The Indian Express, 15 April 2011). We believe that the Indian minister has not only conveyed a misconstrued understanding on sexuality but also appalling sense of gender-based inequalities that continue to fuel discrimination and violence against women in communities across India. His remarks also smell of male domination and obsession with interests of men only.

Appeal to World Health Organization (WHO) to support Dr Binayak Sen

An appeal has been sent to the heads of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Stop TB Partnership by noted health advocates to come forward in support of Dr Binayak Sen - a medical doctor who is allegedly wrongly serving a life sentence in India. Dr Binayak Sen, a medical practitioner and a civil liberties' activist, was sentenced to life imprisonment in Chhattisgarh. Probably his stand for human rights exposing gross injustices meted out to tribal population by the state, and a report had irked the government which slapped upon him violation of two draconian laws: Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

IDF Advocates Rights Of People Living With Diabetes

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has launched the first ever International Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of People with Diabetes setting out the fundamental rights of more than 300 million people living with diabetes. Publication of this Charter comes at a crucial time, when diabetes seems to be affecting most of us in some way or the other--people with or at risk of diabetes, healthcare providers, employers concerned about employee wellness and health costs, governments trying to  balance increasing demands with a limited budget or just an individual concerned about the health of future generations.

Young people should not begin tobacco use: Grow without tobacco

[हिंदी] Over 80 per cent 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 should not begin tobacco use. Tobacco industry has used direct, indirect and surrogate deceptive advertising to promote tobacco use and targetted young people because children and young people are their potential customers. It is imperative that health promotion campaigns reach the children and young people too so that our youth can make an informed, intelligent and smart choice to grow without tobacco, said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, President-elect, Association of Surgeons of India (ASI) and co-patron of Citizens for Healthy Lucknow (CHL) campaign.

Tobacco use by film-stars sends a wrong signal for youth

Super-star of Indian film industry Shahrukh Khan was again reported to smoke in a no-smoking zone at a night club (Source: The Hindustan Times, 13 April 2011). The HT news reported: "Actor Shah Rukh Khan was caught lighting a cigarette in a no-smoking zone at the  nightclub, LAP... posted  a picture of the actor taking a puff with buddy Arjun Rampal right next to the DJ console, where smoking is prohibited."

'Building capacity, redressing neglect' on harm reduction

The 22nd International Harm Reduction Conference took place in Beirut Lebanon during April 3-7, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region where it faces diverse and rapidly changing patterns of drug, tobacco and alcohol use. Despite to the fact that harm reduction has been adopted in policy and practice in more countries than ever before, however significant gaps remain in the response, also there are lack of coverage on harm reduction programmes and the capacity of civil society to respond to harm reduction issues, remain low in much of the world, therefore, 'Building capacity, redressing neglect' has become the theme of this annual international conference.

What Are You Scared Of Mr Minister?

Social activist Anna Hazare,, whose last week's fast forced the Centre to form a joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill, expressed his displeasure on Communications and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal’s misgivings about the beneficial scope of the Lokpal Bill. Mr. Sibal had reportedly said that the Bill was not a one-stop solution for everything, and would not be able to solve problems related to education, health or civic issues.

RTI activist released when 100,000 people came out in support

[हिंदी] Akhil Gogoi, noted Right-To-Information (RTI) activist and leader of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Assam, was arrested along with 100 others when addressing a press conference against corruption demanding Jan Lokpal Bill in Guwahati, Assam. Within hours, about 100,000 people poured out on the roads in support of Akhil Gogoi demanding his release. The Assam state government then released Akhil Gogoi.

Well Begun! Do Not Let It Remain Half done!

We Indians seem to be marching on the road to victory. Close to the heels of winning the World Cup, Anna Hazare lofted a hefty six, (as displayed prominently on a cover page poster picture of Times of India), making the government accede to the demands of civil society.  This could just be the beginning of the call for an effective anti corruption ombudsman for the country, although Parliamentary approval of the people’s will may not be as easy as is being thought of.

Time for a wider political reform and struggle: NAPM

It's fourth day of the anti-corruption agitation across the country and National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) members too joined the struggles across Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and other parts of the country with a demand for Jan Lokpal and addressing the corruption all around. NAPM emphasises the need to repeal the legislations like SEZ Act, Land Acquisition Act and other draconian laws which are facilitating the corruption all around. Addressing the gathering in Hyderabad NAPM AP Convener, B Ramakrishna Raju said, "the need for rooting out the corruption is paramount today and probity in public life along with the transparency and accountability of governments and corporations has to be established."

Wake up call for women with diabetes

Diabetes in women, especially pregnant women, is having far reaching health ramifications in India. According to Dr Anoop Misra, "Women should be more addressed not only for diabetes but also for heart disease and should be targeted in a special way for prevention programmes. They gain weight in each pregnancy. As their age increases, weight also increases and so do chances of high blood sugar. Events preceding blood sugar elevation are more prevalent in women than in men. So we foresee that in future diabetes will be more prevalent in women."

Citizens' vote for change: Zero tolerance for corruption

Citizens indeed see a ray of hope in the campaign led by Anna Hazare to stem corruption. Never before I had seen hundreds of citizens in Lucknow marching to Hazratganj with a candle lit in their hands and hope beaming in their hearts - to stop corruption. The fight against corruption got unprecedented support on the 4th day since Anna Hazare sat on a fast-unto-death in New Delhi. Three Lucknow citizens are also on an indefinite fast since 5th April - Akhilesh Saxena, Munna Lal Shukla and Indu Singh.

Vending 'off' Bangalore's streets

It was around 10.00 am on Thursday, the 7th of April 2011. Over 400 street vendors from across Bangalore, under the banner of Beedhi Vyapparigala Hakkotaya Andolana (Street Vendors' Rights Campaign), began an indefinite sit-in at the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Head Office demanding restoration of their trading space. They camped overnight at the BBMP compound resolute not to stir until their needs were met. At present, 250 hawkers do not have a source of livelihood since they were evicted ten months ago on July 07, 2010 by the BBMP and the police department without any legal notice.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs): Key concern for women's health

On this year's World Health Day, let us focus on addressing issues that can improve health status of women. A wide array of socio-economic, cultural and gender-based inequalities continue to aggravate risk for women. It is high time we took a serious note of the health disorders in women arising due to age old dietary habits, coupled with changing life styles and static mindsets. The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, conducted a country wide, 3 year long multi centric study (2005 – 2008) on nutrition related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in women over 35 years of age.

Vibrant people's campaign against corruption

Anna Hazare's sitting on indefinite fast in Delhi has galvanized the middle class of this country, which is most vocal against corruption but also the one responsible for most corruption in this country. Corruption is a very contentious issue. Our morals tell us to oppose it but for convenience we often make a compromise, always giving ourselves the benefit of doubt. Former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar used to say that corruption can never become a political issue in this country. Yet, this country saw how Vishwanath Pratap Singh rode on a wave of anti-corruption campaign in the context of allegations of kickbacks in Bofors deal to displace the Congress Party from power at the centre.

NAPM extends solidarity to Anna Hazare's campaign against corruption

NAPM extends solidarity to Anna Hazare and others fasting, rooting out corporate corruption and demands nationwide consultation on important legislations
Shri Anna Hazare's indefinite fast and thousands others fasting across the country with a demand for enactment of an independent and stronger Jan Lokpal and Jan Lokayukta enters third day today. NAPM has extended its support to the demand since beginning of the movement and from 5th April
organised rallies, morchas, solidarity fasts, public meetings and other such programmes in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Unao, Itawah, Muzaffarnagar, Delhi and many other places across the country. NAPM reiterate its support, and even as the movement gains steam, pledges to intensify our agitation.

Emerging global mandate to save 36 million lives from Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

According to The Lancet, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), mainly heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancers, and chronic respiratory disease, are responsible for two out of every three deaths worldwide and the toll is rising. A landmark global alliance between leading scientists and four of the world's largest NGOs brings together evidence from a 5-year collaboration with almost 100 of the world's best NCD experts and proposes a short-list of five priority interventions to tackle the increasing global crisis. Reducing tobacco and salt use, improving diets and physical activity, reducing hazardous alcohol intake, and achieving universal access to essential drugs and technologies have been chosen for their health effects, cost-effectiveness, low costs of implementation, and political and financial feasibility. 

Historic support to Anna Hazare and Jan Lokpal Bill

Mounting pressure on India to enforce Jan Lokpal Bill
Seldom does one see thousands mobilized in over 200 cities across the country to check corruption. Anna Hazare, veteran social activist and Padmabhushan and Padmashree Awardee, is on a fast-unto-death since 5th April to demand a strong, loopholes-less and effective parliamentary Act (Jan Lokpal Bill) to check corruption in India. Since 42 years, the government of India is sitting like a lame duck on a weakened and diluted Lokpal Bill. But Anna Hazare's growing support across the nation has sent the message clear: India wants a strong 'Jan' (people) Lokpal Bill - and civil society is making clear recommendations on how to achieve that from the already pending (but appallingly diluted) Lokpal Bill.

In The Pursuit Of Healthy Happiness

Photo credit: Italian writer Mario Biondi
Slogan about gross national happiness
on a wall in the School of
Traditional Arts in Thimphu, Bhutan
World Health Day, 7th April
Since times immemorial, the human race has sought health, happiness and wealth —not necessarily in that order.  Wars have been fought and lives have been lost due to the overwhelming desire of possessing them. These three basic ingredients are thought to be essential for a meaningful life. Ironically, in our crazy race for securing 'happiness and health', we at times are actually moving away from it. Life has become so hectic and busy that it is taking its toll on our health and wellbeing. More and more people seem to be suffering from a host of health related problems, courtesy different types of stresses of everyday life, which are more often self created.

World Health Day: Coordinated approach needed to overcome anti-TB drug resistance

TB drug resistance can be overcome with a comprehensive, multi-pronged strategy: The Union
Some 440,000 cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are identified each year, causing at least 150,000 deaths from a disease that should be curable. Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), which has an even higher fatality rate, has now been reported in 69 countries. "Drug-resistant TB is the end result of a number of different failures, each of which, on its own, is solvable with existing tools. To address all of the issues and stop the spread of this disease requires a comprehensive, multi-pronged strategy, such as The Union has developed", says Dr Nils E Billo, Executive Director of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union).

CII Woman Exemplar Award 2011 to a UP woman farmer

[Hindi]  Ramrati, who is a 50 year old farmer from Sarpatha village in eastern Uttar Pradesh, has been selected for the coveted Woman Exemplar Award 2011. This award was instituted in 2005 by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and HSBC is the partner and sponsor for this award, to promote women empowerment at the community level by discovering and recognising those who have, against all odds, contributed in the fields of education and literacy, health, and, micro enterprise, thereby making a significant contribution to the development process in India.

Hope floats for children in schools of Raebareli

Neelam, 15 yrs, teaches
at the village school
Photo credit: Anjali Singh
Thakurainganj, Ralpur: For twelve year old Akash who suffers from a rare nutritional deficiency which has rendered him a midget, living in Thakurainganj, District  Ralpur, Raebareli does not hold any special significance. Given the fact that it also happens to be the high profile constituency of Congress supremo, development and progress is still a far cry in this area. The sheer penury in which people live comes as a shock specially so when children pay the price of such neglect. Low nutritional index, lack of sanitation and hygiene and children with preventable birth defects add to the already existing woes of the people being outcasts owing to their caste. But even in such trying times hope prevails thanks to the initiative taken by women who being unread themselves make a strong case for education for their village and community, their age and gender notwithstanding.

Anna Hazare on fast-unto-death against corruption

Mounting pressure on India to enforce Lokpal Bill
From 5th April 2011, noted social activist and Padmabhushan and Padmashree awardee Anna Hazare has begun his fast-unto-death in New Delhi to put pressure on the Government of India to root out corruption. Not only in Delhi, but in more than 200 cities across India, people have started a protest today in support of Anna Hazare. In Kanpur, senior social activist Mahesh Kumar Pandey is leading the agitation and in Lucknow, social activist and journalist Akhilesh Saxena is on fast-unto-death in support of Anna Hazare. The demand is clear: India needs a strong parliamentary Act (Jan Lokpal Bill) to stem corruption.

A Nation Goes Berserk

Yes the men in blue (or rather we, as one would believe) did it after 28 years, and perhaps in doing so absolved themselves of all the ills of the past –somewhat like taking a dip in the Ganges, which is said to absolve the Hindus of their sins (despite its high level of pollution). All Indians are indeed proud to be part of this momentous occasion. After coming to a standstill for a day (nay two), the nation paid a standing ovation to the men in blue. The victory of the World Cup belongs to each one of us, but so do the stark problems plaguing our country. Cricket has suddenly become synonymous with patriotism. Gautam Gambhir felt that the win against Pakistan was a win against terrorism and divisive forces. And as I write this piece, the TV channels are drawing a parallel between the winning of the World Cup and the defeat of Ravana at the hands of Sri Ram, centuries ago.

Stoking divisive feelings kills sporting spirit

Referring to the Cricket World Cup final match today, a leading newspaper's front-page headline said "Victory over Pakistan and win today for 26/11 victims: Gambhir". The news further opens with the line: "Images of the 26/11 terror attacks are still fresh in Gautam Gambhir's mind" - Gautam Gambhir is one of the Indian cricket players and 26/11 refers to the unfortunate terrorist attack in Mumbai on 26 November 2008. To what extent is stoking divisive feelings of hatred and communal frenzy justified when playing sports like cricket? And even worse is to poison the sporting spirit in our people's mind on both sides of the border and beyond - by inciting them with 'patriotism' for instance.

70% of lower extremity amputations happen to people with diabetes

Amrita Diabetic Foot Conference (ADFC 2011) will open soon next month in Kochi, India. "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" had said Professor Jean Claude Mbanya, President of International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in his message to CNS earlier. "The latest data from the International Diabetes Federation indicates that diabetes affects 285 million people around the world, and is increasingly on the rise. Of the many serious complications that can affect individuals with diabetes, it is the complications of the foot that take the greatest toll" further added Dr Mbanya.

Lord Khalid Hameed: Connecting people with health, harmony and sports

Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE DL) Lord Dr Khalid Hameed has roots in Lucknow, India, although he has dedicated his life in strengthening healthcare in UK. Lord Hameed has worked for three London teaching hospitals. Following this he developed a successful practice in Central London and was appointed CEO and Executive Director of the Cromwell Hospital, London. He is currently Chairman of the Alpha Hospital Group and also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the London International Hospital, a new Centre of Excellence being created for the treatment of cancer, heart and the brain.