Sunday, September 23, 2001, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Rheumatic heart disease project
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The German Research Center for Biotechnology (GBF) is funding a joint PGI-GBF project on rheumatic heart disease at the institute.

According to the Head, Microbial Pathogenis and Vaccine Research, GBF, Dr G.S. Chattwal, who is also one of the coordinators for the Rs 1.6-crore project, establishing a mechanism for the rheumatic heart disease is a prerequisite to understand why certain persons get infected with the bacteria and others do not.

Rheumatic heart disease, says the GBF Director, Dr Rudy Balling, occurs following infections from Group A streptococcal bacterial. Dr Balling and Prof Chatwal are in the city in connection with the workshop on genetic basis of host pathogen at the PGI.

According to Dr Balling, 50 million persons, the world over, succumb to various infectious diseases. “In India alone, 17 million persons die due to various bacterial and viral disorders. Of these, tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases and rheumatic heat disease are the commonest infectious diseases,” he says.

What is surprising the scientists that the disease is not limited to countries like India alone, where hygiene and malnutrition is a major problem , but also affects people in developed countries like the USA. Says Dr Balling, “In India, it happens to be a major cause for concern as six million persons in the age group of 5 to 15 are suffering from this disease.”

The disease, he says, occurs due to airborne streptococcal infections, which if are not managed in time, develops into rheumatic fever and ultimately gives rise to rheumatic heart disease. The infection attacks the heart and the treatment requires replacing one or two valves, which in itself is a expensive proposition, he said.

Because it has now been understood that hygiene and malnutrition are not the only governing factors, the focus of the project is to understand the mechanism of infection. “Despite the fact that streptococcal infection is everywhere in the air, some get the infection and others do not,” says Professor Chatwal.

To cause an infection, three factors are needed. “Environment factors like overcrowding, poor hygiene and malnutrition, pathogen, that is, the bacteria, and the host, which in this case are the human beings . Every person is genetically different and despite identical mechanism of the disease, different persons behave differently,” says Professor Chatwal.

To understand which person is susceptible or a candidate for the disease, Dr Balling is conducting a series of studies on mice and has succeeded in identifying the strain more resistant to the streptococcal infection. “Mice have the same number, 30,000 to 40,000, genes. 


Workshop on bone cancer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The Orthopaedics Department of the PGI organised a day-long workshop on cancer of bones on the occasion of World Cancer Day here today. It was inaugurated by the PGI Dean-cum-Head of the Orthopaedics Department, Prof O.N. Nagi.

Eminent national and international bone tumour experts participated in the workshop. Dr Zulmi Van of Malaysia pointed out that the percentage of cancer patients in their country was almost the same as in India with about 50 bone cancer cases reported every year. In most of the cases, patients came to hospitals in their last stages when the doctors had no other choice but to amputate the affected part of the body.

Talking about knee implants, Dr Ajay Puri and Dr Manish Aggarwal from the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, said operation to treat knee cancer using Indian implants costed about Rs 2 lakh and fixing imported implants costed about Rs 5 lakh.

They said the TATA institute was making these artificial limbs in collaboration with another company and the price of the same was very less. They said they had conducted 30 implant operations and the success of the same would be known a little later.

Dr M. Natarajan from Chennai said he had designed an implant which could be strengthened or shortened as per requirement. The same was proving very useful in carrying out bone tumour surgeries in children. Since bones of the children continue to grow, this implant could be extended as per requirement.

Dr Farooqi and Dr Shishir Rastogi of AIIMS, Delhi, said persons in the age group of 15 to 20 years were more prone to bone cancer. Since the disease spread rapidly in this age group, it was necessary to treat these patients in the first stage.

Dr Nagi gave a detailed description of the tumour implant operation done by him on Tuesday for the benefit of the participants . He said the PGI now figured among those hospitals in the country, where successful treatment of bone cancers was possible. He said there was a need of more special centres for the treatment of bone tumours.


Tasneem releases book on aurotherapy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
Prof N.S. Tasneem released a book on ‘Aurotherapy: An Alternate Therapy System,’ written by Som P Ranchan, at a function held in Sector 46 here today.

Organised by the Creative Circle Chandigarh in collaboration with the India Inter Continental Cultural Association, the function had a large number of Punjabi and Urdu writers gracing the occasion.

Aurotherapy is being introduced in this book for the first time by Ranchan as a system of alternate therapy based on Aurobindo Ghosh’s writing.

Prof Bhupinder Parihar, a noted Urdu writer, alongwith Gurdev Chauhan, a Punjabi poet and critic, Prof Banarsi Das Shaida, a leading poet of Haryana, and Prof Jaspal Singh were among those present on the occasion.

Prof Tasneem talked about the author and read out passages from the book.

Ranchan has 40 titles to his credit which include the much famed ‘Passage to Punjab’.


Cancer patients likely to increase in India’
Tribune News Service

(Danger signals)

  • A sore or a wound that does not heal
  • Cough or sore throat that persists
  • Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
  • Enlargement or irritation in a wart or mole
  • Lump in breast or under arm or nay other part of the body
  • Change in bladder or bowel function
  • Unusual bleeding or discharge

Chandigarh, September 22
Five lakh cancer patients are added to the already swelling number of those affected in India every year. According to the PGI Telemedicine Department Head, Prof B.D. Gupta, general incidence of cancer prevalence in India is almost 100 to 110 per lakh population per year.

At this very moment, there will be at least 15 lakh cancer patients in the country, treated and untreated.

It is the second largest killer after communicable infectious diseases and four to five lakh affected cancer patients die every year in our country.

With the number of the aged rising, the number of cancer patients will also increase and become comparable to western countries, where the incidence is almost three times higher than India, says Professor Gupta.

If detected early, cancer is very treatable and curable. Around 80 per cent of the cases are presented in very late stages, when no curative treatment is possible.

In Indian males mouth , lung and prostrate cancer take the lead and in females breast and uterus cervix cancer are the major killers.

The killer disease is curable if detected in time.Back


Managing sports facilities
Arvind Katyal

The 13th Chandigarh State Badminton Championship have concluded at Sector 42 indoor badminton hall. The not-so-proper surface which the participants had to play on was a result of poor management of sports infrastructure over the years. Now perhaps is the time to hand over the stadia and grounds to sports bodies if they can manage these. The UT Sports Department, which is the sole authority in this regard, takes shelter behind the argument that the UT Engineering Department does not come to its rescue whenever there is a damage, and the delay caused by the latter gives a bad name to the Sports Department.

The conditions of the two indoor halls, one in Sector 7 and the other in Sector 42, continue to be pitiable. The Sector 7 hall used to be the favourite of badminton players till 1987, and it produced players like Kanwal Thakur Singh, Uman Chopra, Umang Sharma, Virinder Mehta, Deepak Dhiman, Jagdish Singh and Rajiv Tuli among others. But ever since it was given to gymnastics, it has not seen much development. Termites have eaten the wooden floor. After all these years, one now hears talk in official circles of doing some renovation work.

Then there is the so-called modern indoor badminton hall in Sector 42 which first remained in the news for the wrong kind of lighting system, then the wooden surface began to deteriorate. A retired engineer, while playing here had commented that the design was not correct as there was no ventilation and the presence of termites was obvious.

The adjoining synthetic turf where hockey is played has produced some players of repute. Hockey is still played but the turf is totally worn out. Funds for a new synthetic turf have been sanctioned by the UT Finance Department but still there is no turf. Last year, the UT Sports Department officials had announced that the next Gurmit Memorial Hockey Tournament would be played on a new turf. The tournament has begun, but at the grassy Sector 18 hockey stadium, because there is no turf in the hockey ground in Sector 42.

One could always praise the tennis stadium in Sector 10 which has been given to the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association on lease. No doubt, it has a strong presence of senior bureaucrats . But how are the new synthetic courts at the Lake Club which are under the UT Sports Department?

The UT Sports Department could consider asking the sports associations concerned whether they are interested in managing the playing facilities.

Facilities at golf range

The Chandigarh Golf Range near Kishangarh village is planning to bring the concept of family golf to the city. This makes it different from the Golf Club in Sector 6 where a number of professionals practise along with others who play golf as a pastime. Mr D.P. Azad, President of the CGA, and his team have given an impetus to upcoming youngsters in golf which was considered a rich man’s sport. At the CGA, school children are given training and summer golf camps are motivating children who may be tomorrow’s Chiranjeev Milkha Singhs or Irina Brars.

The CGA could also organise regular circuit golf tournaments at the school and college level by providing them with equipment on hire.


PU shuttlers bag 14 titles
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, September 22
The Panjab University Coaching Centre shuttlers emerged supreme when they bagged 14 out of the total 18 titles at stake when curtains drew to a close in the 13th Chandigarh State Badminton Championship played here today at the indoor badminton hall in Sector 42. Rudra Kaushik of the Reserve Bank of India defeated Deepak Sidhu of DAV College, Sector 10, in an absorbing tie which went on for full five games and finally Rudra won, 7-4, 7-1, 4-7, 7-8, 7-5. Earlier women singles title went in favour of H. Sarda Devi of MCM DAV College, Sector 36 who defeated injured Mala Gaba in straight games, 7-1, 7-0, 7-0. Sarda also won the women doubles title in combination with Mala.

Mr M.P. Singh, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, was the chief guest and gave away the prizes. Mr M.P. Singh, himself a keen badminton player, appreciated the genuine efforts made by the Chandigarh Badminton Association in promoting the game. Mr Gian Chand Gupta, President of the CBA, and Mr D.K. Mukerjee were also present on the occasion.

Akash Sethi and Parnita Verma won both under-19 singles and doubles titles in boys and girls Sections, respectively, while Seema and Harleen lifted the doubles crown in the under-13 and the under-16 girls section, respectively.

Results: finals (under-10, boys): Aman Sethi b Mohit, 7-0, 7-5, 7-2; girls: Tanu b Manisha, 7-1, 7-1, 7-2; under-13, boys: Oscar Bansal b Munish, 7-1, 8-7, 7-3; girls: Seema b Purnika, 7-4, 7-3, 7-1; under-16: Narinder b Neeraj Kapoor, 7-4, 7-3, 7-1; girls: Harleen b Seema, 7-3, 7-2, 7-1; under-19, boys: Akash Sethi b Gurjeet Bajwa, 6-7, 7-2, 7-3, 7-3; girls: Parnita b Mala, 7-1, 7-5, 7-2; men: Rudra Kaushik b Deepak Sidhu, 7-4, 7-1, 4-7, 7-8, 7-5; women: H Sarda Devi b Mala Gaba, 7-1, 7-0, 7-0.

Doubles (finals): Oscar and Munish b Ankush and Abhimanyu, 7-0, 7-4, 7-0; girls: Seema and Neha Sethi b Purnika and Aastha, 7-1, 7-4, 7-2; under-16: (boys): Neeraj and Vikas b Narinder and Oscar, 7-5, 7-5, 8-6; girls: Harleen and Aastha b Samridhi and Kanika, 7-4, 7-4, 8-6; under-19, (boys): Gurjeet and Akash b Paras and Pankaj, 3-7, 7-4, 7-3, 7-4; girls: Parnita and Isha b Mala and Samridhi, 7-3, 7-4, 7-5; men: Deepak Sidhu and Ashish b Gurjeet and Naresh, 7-5, 7-2, 7-2; women: Mala and H. Sarda b Parnita and Isha, 7-1, 7-8, 7-1, 7-3.

Table tennis meet

Megha Kassal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, and Varun Kassal of DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, bagged the girls and boys singles title, respectively, in the 2nd Chandigarh Ranking Table Tennis Tournament organised by New Public School, Sector 18, and the Rotary Chandigarh Central here at Sector 23 table tennis hall. Sumit Kumar of Manav Mangal School, Sector 21, won the sub-junior boys singles title.

Results: junior girls: Megha Kassal b Deepinder, 13-11, 7-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6; boys: Varun Kassal b Ramit Singla, 11-7, 11-9, 3-11, 11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-9. sub-junior boys: Sumit Kumar b Amanpreet Singh, 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 7-11, 11-5.

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