Thursday, May 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


15,000 new thalassaemia cases every year
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
The birth of a thalassaemic child two years ago, has in no way deterred Arti and Sanjay from going in for a second child, that too without any genetic counselling or pre-natal diagnosis as being firm believers in destiny they feel it is God who will take care of everything.

It is for this very reason that today India is home to the largest number of thalassaemic carriers in the world with close to 15,000 new cases being reported every year. On the occasion of World Thalassaemia Day tomorrow concern is being expressed over the lack of genetic counselling and ante-natal diagnosis in preventing birth of children with this genetic disorder. Among the high-risk communities in India, there is almost 15 per cent incidence rate amongst Sindhis and Parsis, followed by Lobanas and Punjabis at 5 per cent.

Despite the situation being so grim, there has been no move on the part of the government to start screening of general population for thalassaemic carriers. “There are examples of countries like Cyprus and Italy, where the problem of thalassaemia has been checked with the active involvement of socio-medical organisations,” explained a senior PGI doctor.

Being a genetic disorder, till date medical science has failed to arrive at a permanent cure for thalassaemia. “Due to early destruction of red blood corpuscles (RBCs), regular blood transfusions are required to maintain proper haemoglobin level, otherwise the child dies at an early age,” explained Dr R.K. Marwah from the Paediatrics Department at the PGI.

Doctors feel it is high time that screening for thalassaemia should be started so that the number of suspect cases comes down to 10 per cent, on whom the confirmatory test can be done. “ The University of Saurashtra was the first educational institute in the country to start screening for thalassaemia at the time of admission, but that, too, was discontinued after a while,” said a doctor stressing the need for formulation of a policy to bring the problem under control. Doctors point out that to avoid marriage between two thalassaemics it is essential that mass screening is carried out among high-risk communities. “Once a child with thalassaemia is born in a family, further births in the family must be avoided,” Dr Marwaha said.

In India, only 2 per cent of the cases are detected clinically, while the rest of thalassaemic children die without diagnosis. “If at all marriage has taken place between two thalassaemic carriers, pre-natal diagnosis to check if the foetus is also affected must be done between 10 to 12 weeks of the pregnancy, so that the option of termination of pregnancy can be undertaken,” say doctors.

There are 25 per cent chances of two thalassaemic carriers giving birth to an affected child, while the child will be normal even if one of the parents is a thalassaemia carrier.



Wall practice for better results in tennis
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, May 7
Practising tennis and even badminton against a wall has a great advantage for any player. In tennis, beginners normally start with playing against a wall to learn fundamentals of the game. The ball gets rebound with same force with which it was hit, thus helping the player to learn as how to make best use of every stroke. It also helps a trainee to know his weaknesses.

Sometimes players do not give much importance to wall practice. as playing against a vertical surface is generally not very exciting.

Pawan Kapoor, a tennis player, says “Practising against a wall makes one more tougher and mentally stronger. If one remains off from tennis, say for two months, then to revive one’s strokes and regain the original form, one should resort to wall practice. Wall never makes mistakes. One’s best shot always comes back’. This way one can save on the time that gets wasted in picking up balls when one plays against a player.

But few others like Kamya feel that there is no fun involved in playing against a wall since motivation comes from within and people expect to be stimulated by the outside world. However, playing against a wall can be an excellent tool for players of all levels, he adds.

Simranjit Singh, who started playing tennis three years back, says, “Beginners can improve their technique and develop consistency by playing against a wall. Even advanced players can use wall drills for everything from warm-up to final training. When your opponent, is sometimes not available at the courts, then also, resorting to wall practice is of great help.”

In badminton, also, at least in Asian style, practising against a wall can be of great help. Mr T.P.S. Puri, former national chief badminton coach says, “Though unlike tennis, the rebound will be at a slower pace in case of a shuttle, a beginner and even a regular player one can do knocking, practise lob shots and even polish one’s back hand by playing against a wall.

Long service, and parallel returns are other strokes that can be mastered by playing against a wall, he adds. A beginner must practise against a wall for at least half an hour daily prior to playing on the nets, he says.

So parents, next time, when you send your ward for tennis or badminton, coaching make sure that he or she does practice against a wall in order to have better results.



Mohali reign supreme
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, May 7
Mohali outplayed Chandigarh in the three-day Punjab State Inter district Under-17 Cricket Tournament played here today at PCA Stadium, SAS Nagar. Simranjit Singh and Sunny Sohal from Mohali played a key role in the team’s victory. Simranjit made 38 runs in the first innings and 105 runs in the second innings. Sunny scored 52 runs in the first innings and unbeaten 108 runs in the second.

Handball meet: DAV Senior Secondary School coaching centre-8 beat Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, 25-16, while in the girls section, Coaching Centre-21 got the better of SGGS School, Sector 35, 23-14 in the 18th UT Sub-junior State Handball Championship being played here at DAV Senior Secondary School grounds. In another girls section match, GGSS, Sector 8, beat GNP School, Sector 36, 13-0.

Kabaddi championship: The Chandigarh Kabaddi Association will organise the UT state Kabaddi Championship for sub-junior boys and girls on May 10 and 11 at kabaddi grounds of Sports complex, Sector 42. The weighing will be done on May 9 at the venue. The meet will be organised in age groups of under-19 and under-16 for boys and under-17 and under-14 for girls.



Sale of uncovered eatables banned
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 7
Exercising powers under Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and the notification issued by the Haryana Government on December 10, 1994, the Deputy Commissioner has banned the sale of uncovered eatables in the district till December 31.

Taking a precautionary measure in preventing the outbreak of any waterborne disease like cholera, Ms Satwanti Ahlawat, the Deputy Commissioner, has ordered ban on the sale of uncovered eatables, unpacked foodgrains besides exposed cut fruits in the district with immediate effect.

In addition to this, a ban on the sale of contaminated drinks has also been imposed.

The Deputy Commissioner has ordered that eatables should be properly covered with wire-mesh or be stored in glass showcases. The entrepreneurs dealing with ice products must get the water checked from the state government laboratory. Teams of health and other government officials have been constituted to check the violation of the Act.



Bansal shifted

Chandigarh, May 7
Mr Ashok Bansal, Deputy Director, Field, Public Relations Department, Punjab, has been shifted to the Punjab Raj Bhavan, as Deputy Director (Press Publicity).

Mr Surinder Malik, Information Officer, has been shifted to the Press section of the Public Relations Department, Punjab, from the Punjab Raj Bhavan. TNS


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