Sunday, December 2, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S



A diet of health seminars in December
Tripti Nath

SAAOL Health & Research Foundation, a non-profit charitable organisation, plans to usher in December with seminars on holistic health. The seminars would also mark the sixth anniversary of the Saaol Heart Programme.

A dharamshala being given the finishing touches at AIIMS.
A dharamshala being given the finishing touches at AIIMS.

Apart from experts from Saool (Science and Art of Living) Health & Research Foundation, the Director of Age Care India, Dr N.L. Kumar, Head of Respiratory Medicine at Safdarjung Hospital, Dr J.C. Suri and Director of Delhi Diabetes Research Centre, Dr A.K. Jhingan, will address the seminars at PHD Chamber of Commerce on Khel Gaon Marg here.

According to Dr Bimal Chajjer, Director of Saaol Heart Centre, cases of heart diseases and chronic ailments have assumed dangerous proportions as holistic health has not been adequately promoted. Dr Chajjer feels that medical experts must prescribe lifestyle modifications, Yoga and regular walks if they really want to help their patients.

Apart from holding a workshop on “Theory and Practical Training for Reversal of Heart Disease”, Saool will organise seminars on obesity, old age care, asthma, diabetes and coronary heart disease. The two-day conference ending on Sunday, will also discuss a long-term strategy to educate the schoolchildren on health. Experts from all over the country are participating in the conference.

Nutrition software

Nutritrust India Private Limited (NTIPL), a company dedicated to providing e-solutions for health management has launched Nutritrust PRO, India’s first nutrition counselling software based on Indian dietary patterns. The CD-ROM based software designed for Indian nutrition professionals for counselling and managing Indian nutritional needs, gives standard recipes, allows customised diet planning and maintains a complete record of each individual. The software uses parameters based on WHO and ICMR standards for dietary pattern, anthropometrics and biomedical profile.

The Managing Director of NTIPL, Mr K.S. Bhutoria, says that the company proposes to bridge the gap between the food-likes and nutritional needs.

The project said to be the first of its kind in the country, provides customised solutions for the management of all major nutrition-related conditions and ailments.

Physician to President

Dr Arvind Lal, Managing Director, Dr Lal Path Labs, has been appointed honorary Physician to President K.R. Narayanan. The appointment of a pathologist as the Honorary Physician to the President is said to be rare. Credited with putting India on the international laboratory map, Dr Lal feels privileged to serve the nation’s first citizen. Dr Lal Path labs has entered the 52nd year of operation and is India’s oldest pathology lab. It has been ranked as the number one laboratory in India by Asiatic Research, an independent US-based laboratory survey organisation. It has the rare distinction of getting accreditation from the National Accrediation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, Ministry of Science and Technology and certification of the latest ISO 9001: 2000 for quality standards.

Dharamshala at AIIMS

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a major referral centre for northern centre will get another dharamshala by New Year. AIIMS Director Professor P.K. Dave says that the dharamshala named Sai Bhakt Vishram Sadan, adjacent to Safdarjung Hospital, is being given finishing touches and will be ready by December-end.

The Shree Sai Bhakt Samaj has funded the construction of the dharamshala on AIIMS land.

The foundation stone of another dharamshala, to be named Surekha Vishram Sadan, has been laid. This project will be funded by Surekha Public Charity Trust. The dharamshalas are behind the Rajgarhia Vishram Sadan. According to Preeti Ahluwlaia, Welfare Officer of AIIMS, the Sai Vishram Sadan will have about 100 beds while the Surekha Vishram Sadan will have 160 beds.

She said that the accommodation (dormitory and twin-sharing basis) will be available at subsidised rates. Poor and needy patients will be exempted from making the charges.

The move to construct the dharamshalas is welcome as at least 50 per cent of the 5,000 patients who come to the 23 out-patient-departments at the institute, come from outside Delhi.



Afflicted with an ailing health care system
R.D. Sapra

Sonepat, December1
Health services in Sonepat district are in a mess. Most of the government hospitals and primary health centres in both urban and rural areas are ill equipped. Shortage of doctors and paramedical staff is a common feature.

Patient care is at low ebb and the number of beds is inadequate to cater to the needs of this district.

The hospital lacks bedsheets, trollies and coolers for the indoor patients. The arrangement for providing water to hundreds of OPD patients and their relatives, visiting the hospitals daily, is insufficient.

Although the state government has been spending crores of rupees on health services, the serious cases are seldom treated in the local 100-bed civil hospital. In the emergency ward, the patients are advised to go to the PGI, Rohtak, or AIIMS, New Delhi.

Life-saving drugs are not provided in the hospitals and the poor patients have to purchase them from the chemists of the doctor’s choice.

There is a general complaint that only the affluent receive prompt and proper medical attention. Poor patients, who come from the rural areas, are treated in a callous way, especially by the subordinate staff. Many patients alleged that most of the medicines supplied to the Civil Hospital, Sonepat, are being sold in the market instead of being provided to them. The sanitary conditions in the general ward and around the hospital are extremely poor and patients are often exposed to germs of other diseases.

In rural areas, the situation in health centres and dispensaries is worse with no medical aid worth the name being available, thanks to the failure of the Civil Surgeon and other authorities to check them from time to time. The tall claims made by the Health Department from time to time about strengthening the health services in rural as well as urban areas are confined to paper only and the patients continue to suffer.

Doctors posted in most of the rural health centres and hospitals never turn up for duty on time and the patients are seen waiting for them. In the late hours, there is no medical aid available.

Lack of human approach in government hospitals is stated to be the reason for mushrooming of private clinics and nursing homes in the district.



Polio drops to be given today

Rohtak, December 1
Nearly 1.27 lakh children up to 5 years would be administered polio drops in the first phase of pulse polio campaign in the district tomorrow.

Stating this here today, a spokesman of the district administration said elaborate arrangements had been made for the campaign. He said 83,359 of these children would belong to rural areas and 43,608 would be from urban areas. Twenty-one mobile teams comprising four members each had been constituted and 499 booths had been set up for the purpose, he said. (OC)



Arjuna Award: Will Charles Cornelius wait
for an eternity?

New Delhi, December 1
Remember Charles Cornelius, the hockey goal-tender with the golden gloves?

Charles Cornelius was one of a kind as a goalkeeper. A tenacious goalkeeper with spring-heeled reflexes. But his promising career was cut short at the prime, just hours before he were to embark on the Asian Games campaign in Teheran in 1974, when callous medical attention to a minor sprain on his left knee resulted in permanent damage to the knee.

Charles still carries scars of that man-induced injury — a knee sans the knee cap and a limp for keeps.

But the debilitating handicap has not prevented Charles from giving back to the game more than what he has got, as most of the leading goalkeepers in the country are the products of his ‘hockey school of goalkeeping,’ though the powers-that-be were less than considerate to him in his hour of tragedy. His products include India goalkeepers Romeo James, Neel Kamal, Ashish Ballal, A B Subbaiah, Aloscious, Edwards...The list goes on.

The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) has now entrusted him with the job of shaping the Under-16 and Under-18 teams. And he’s grateful to IHF president K P S Gill for reposing confidence in him.

His agonising lament, however, is that the coveted Arjuna Award has eluded him, even the “Life Time Contribution” variety, being so liberally doled out to all a sundry these days. Charles was shortlisted for the honour, before tragedy struck him.

In the 60’ and 70’, the Arjuna Award was a much-cherished honour, the ultimate award, a sportsperson could aspire for, though over the years, the sheen of it has been shorn off, due to politicisation and manipulation.

Recalling those dark hours at NIS Patiala, Charles says, “the injury was not very big, but the treatment was not good”.

Just two days before the team were to depart for Teheran, Charles sprained his leg during a practice session. The NIS doctor who attended on him gave him an ‘hydrocortisone’ injection—a sort of pain-killer— with an unsterilised needle.

A simple injury flared into a serious one, and the spectre of amputation of his left leg haunted him. The knee joint became poisonous and fast deteriorating arthritis made his knee immobile.

But thanks to the munificence of some good samaritans, Charles was sent to the United Kingdom for treatment. His left leg was saved, but the knee cap could not be. “That year, I was supposed to get the Arjuna Award”, he said wistfully.

“But the Award was mysteriously stopped. Out of sight, out of mind, that was my plight”, recalled Charles.

Incidentally, Charles was “basically not a hockey player.” He was seriously into athletics, football and boxing when his physical training (PT) teacher in the school at Pathankot, Kashmiri Lal, encouraged him to play hockey.

“You have good speed, and you will not find it difficult to switch from football to hockey”, Kashmiri Lal had assured him. And Charles began playing hockey as a right-half.

But before a Test series against Poland and Argentina, former Olympian Udham Singh “forced” him to become a goalkeeper. In Udham Singh’s calculation, Charles, being a South Indian, would make a good goalkeeper. And there was precedent to support Udham’s reasoning. All the top goalkeepers of the country till then were South Indians.

“Since you play soccer, it’s easy for you to become a goalkeeper”, Udham Singh tried to convince Charles. “He sort of forced me into it. I was not willing”, Charles recollected.

As a right-half, Charles was doing pretty well, and was confident of playing for the country. Harmik Singh, who went on to skipper for India in the Olympic Games, was then the most accomplished left-half, and former national coach Balkishan Singh the centre half.

As luck would have it, all three played in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, with one big difference — Charles was the goalkeeper, not the right-half.

Charles would have played in the 1976 and 1980 Olympic Games as well, but destiny willed otherwise. He played in 11 National Hockey Championships for the Rangaswamy Cup. He was also part of the Indian squad who won medals in the Asian Games (Bangkok, 1978), the first two World Cups in 1970 and 1973 and the Munich Olympics (bronze). The injury before the Teheran Asiad put paid to his hockey hopes.

Leslie Fernandes took his place in the Asiad squad for Teheran. When Charles was injured, there was no Sports Ministry at the Centre. The Indira Gandhi Government wanted to do something for Charles, but as ill luck would have it, there was a change of Government at the Centre.

But a gentleman named Prem Kumar of the Pangara Garments, on seeing Charles plight in television, came forward to underwrite his medical expenses in the UK. Air India provided him with free tickets. But sadly, his employers, the Border Security Force (BSF), did nothing for him. Instead, he was “boarded out of BSF”.

But Charles was given a job as a coach at NIS Patiala, and when the Sports Authority of India took birth, he was posted to Chennai (then Madras) as the zonal coach. Since then, he has been at the job of churning out goalkeepers by the dozens.

Charles says “hockey has now become very fast for goalkeepers. And the playing life of a hockey player is very short, compared to the past”. A player likes Prithipal Singh had played in four Olympics. “But that’s not possible now as hockey has become fast and furious”, Charles noted. The present hockey style suits the Europeans best “as the Europeans are good in overlapping and counter-attacking”.

Charles, nevertheless, feels that the future of Indian hockey is “quite good” after the junior team’s title triumph in the seventh Junior World Cup at Hobart (Australia). He’s pleased with the “good physique” of the players, and sees a great future for penalty corner specialist Jugraj Singh, who is in the mould of Pakistan’s Sohail Abbas.

“If Jugraj is trained well, he can be one of the best penalty corner specialists, though he has to work on his footwork and tackles”. Charles’ one major regret is that his own son, Arun, has not followed his footsteps into hockey.

“I was a bad role model for him. My injury deterred him from taking to hockey”, Charles noted.

But Arun was a tennis player of promise, who was ranked fourth in Chennai. But studies took precedence over sports, and Arun is none the worse for that, as he is a well-settled engineer now.

Charles, meanwhile, is looking forward to the day when his name figures in the Arjuna Awards’ roll of honour. He believes that it’s “better late than never”.



Khalsa College to host inter-varsity hockey
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, December 1
The SGTB Khalsa College, as part of its Golden Jubilee Celebrations, will organise the North Zone Inter-University Hockey Tournament for men from
December 3 to 12 at the Khalsa College ground. The tournament will be held under the aegis of the Delhi University Sports Council. Twenty eight teams from North Zone universities will take part in the tournament, including defending champions Chaudhary Charan Singh University from Meerut, runners-up Jamia Milia Islamia and third-placed Delhi University. Principal of Khalsa College Dr D S Claire has been appointed chairman of the organising committee while director of physical education of the college Pargat Singh will be the convenor. Mr S K Gupta of Classic Watches will inaugurate the tournament on December 3 at 10:30 am. Punjab University (Chandigarh) will take on MDU, Rohtak in the opening match.

The other matches will be between Dr Ram Manohar Lohia University, Avadh and Punjab Agriculture University (Ludhiana), Kumaon University vs Gurukul Kangri, and Thapar Institute, Patiala vs Kanpur University.

The teams in the fray are: CCS Meerut, Lucknow, Punjab, MDU Rohtak, Dr RML Avadh, PAU Ludhiana, CCS Haryana Agri., HNB Garhwal, Kumaun, Gurukul Kangri, Kanpur, Thaper Inst., Punjab Tech., Jalandhar, Delhi, AMU Aligarh, Kashmir, HP Shimla, Bundel Khand, CS Azad Tech, Raipur, Dr B R Ambedkar.



Chatwinder Singh heads junior tennis seedings
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, December 1
Chatwinder Singh of India heads the seedings in the Asian Junior Tennis Championships qualifying draw, which began at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association courts today. The main event will start on December 3.

Other seeded players from India in the qualifying draw are Amit Karunakaran (seeded second), A. Mondal third, Saurabh Kohli fourth, Vikas Punna fifth and Tushaar Liverhan sixth. In the girls’ section, Preeti Shravan leads the pack with Swetha Devraj at the sixth place and Asha Nandkumar seventh and S. Punam Reddy at tenth. In the qualifying rounds today, Rewant Datta ousted Yannick Enflord 2-6, 6-1, 7-5; In-Dong Jeong of Korea beat Chia-Cheng Lin of Taipei 6-4, 2-6, 6-2; Vikas Punna beat Varun Giri 6-0, 6-2; Abhay Prakash beat Wrik Gnguly 6-4,6-3; Je Kyung Kim beat M Vinod 6-1, 6-3; Tushar Liberhan b Mayur Patil 6-1, 6-1; Aditya Mandekar beat Bhaskar Anantha 6-2, 6-1; Rahul Varma beat Karthik Subramaniam 6-3, 6-2; V.M. Ranjeeth b Dong-Joon Park 6-1, 6-3; Saurabh Kohli beat Sidharth Gulati 6-4,6-1, J Jayanth beat S N Amrit 6-4, 6-3 and Hyung-Joon Lim beat N Kiran Kumar 6-3, 6-1.

In the girls’ section, Sung Hong beat Iciri Rai 6-3, 6-0;Varsha Shiva Shankar lost to Eun-Hee Sung 6-1, 6-7, 4-6; Swetha Devraj beat Bhavana 6-4, 3-6, 6-4; Punam Reddy beat Renu Jayakumar 6-2, 6-0; Kim Ji-Young beat Priyanka Parekh 6-4, 6-1 and Asha Nandkumar beat Monika Goel 6-0, 6-3.

Unlike other player Singh put a strong foundation in the very initial stage. His service from the code were straight and commendable one. In the girl section Sung Hong nail-biting win against Iciri Rani was also impressive one.



Vinod Kumar wins USPTR award
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, December1
Vinod Kumar Dogra of Ahmedabad was given the USPTR India-Cosco Scholarship Award (a return air ticket to Hilton Head, USA) at the United States Professional Tennis Registry Awards function at Khaitan Public School in Noida.

The USPTR India President’s Award was presented to Satyajeet Burman of Calcutta while Mohammed Ashraf of Delhi and Pavan Patel of Ahmedabad won the best volunteer and best pro awards, respectively. Dilip Mohanty won the invitation tennis tournament final while Rajesh Choudhary emerged as the runner-up. Dilip Mohanty and Amit Baghel won the doubles title, beating M. Bhaskar.



MP, Haryana schools win in Subroto
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, December 1
Government High School, Pati (Madhya Pradesh), beat St John Berchmans School, Chattisgarh, 2-0 in the Subroto Mukherjee Cup Football Tournament at Ambedkar Stadium here today. Ashish and Vikram scored the goals for the winners. In another match, Blooming Dales School, Hisar (Haryana) defeated All Saints High School, Andhra Pradesh 3-0. Vivek scored two goals while Mandeep got the third for the Haryana school.

Sunday’s fixture: St. John Bosco School, Meghalaya vs Maharana Pratap School, Dehra Dun (3 p m). Indian soccer star Baichung Bhutia, who came up through the Subroto Cup, will be the chief guest.



Spread AIDS awareness, exhorts Uma
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, December 1
The Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Ms. Uma Bharti has said that healthy and educated youth is an asset to the nation. She said that the scourge of AIDS is sweeping the world and as per available figures the dreaded disease is spreading at an alarming rate in India as well. She exhorted Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers to spread their campaign for awareness of the disease to far flung areas, coastal areas, villages and the north-east as prevention follows awareness about the issue.



Putting check on adulteration in farm inputs
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, December 1
Receiving a large number of complaints about the poor quality of farm inputs, the administration had launched a campaign to collect samples of seeds, fertilisers, and chemicals from 55 shops selling agricultural inputs and sent them for testing in the concerned laboratories.

A total of 69 samples have been collected, according to the Chief Development Officer, Ghaziabad, Jatinder Singh. This campaign has been launched on the instructions of the administration to stop adulteration as well as to check black marketing in agricultural inputs, Jatinder Singh added.

Fertiliser inspectors in all the four tehsils have been put on the job of collecting samples from the dealers. Samples of DAP, potash, phosphates and nitrogenous fertilisers have been sent for inspection to the concerned laboratories for quality control and adulteration check.

On being found defective or of poor quality or adulterated, very strict action will be taken by the administration against the dealers, Mr Singh added.

Instructions have been issued to District Officer, Narender Singh, Assistant Director Agriculture, P.C. Sharma, Plant Protection Officer, A. K. Singh and Additional District Agricultural Officer, Ram Kumar Gupta to take on the spot action against guilty persons. Farmers have been asked to inform the district agriculture officer in case they find any defective or adulterated input, the District Development Officer said.

The agricultural extension department has organised a training programme for the farmers of Loni block for increasing the output of vegetables, fruits and flowers by using the latest technology. Plant and floriculture specialists explained the methods of tackling problems in the forestation and gardening.


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