Tuesday, July 1, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Jan Sangh first pleaded Punjabi’s case: Advani
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L. K. Advani, says the Jan Sangh passed a resolution supporting official language status to Punjabi in Delhi as early as 1968. “I was the chairman of the Metropolitan Council then,” he told a delegation of the Sikhs who called on him today.

The delegation, comprising office-bearers of the Shiromani Akali Dal, the United Akali Dal (Delhi) and the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), thanked Mr Advani on Punjabi becoming the second official language of the NCT of Delhi.

The President, Mr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, gave his assent to the Delhi Official Languages Bill, 2000, last week. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs, headed by Mr Advani, had forwarded the Bill to the President. The Bill confers the second language status on Punjabi and Urdu.

The DSGMC president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, said the Bill was long overdue. The Delhi Pradesh BJP President, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, who led the delegation, felt the BJP had delivered on its promise of making Punjabi the second official language.

Mr Khurana recalled how he had taken oath as Metropolitan Councillor and a member of Lok Sabha in Punjabi. “Punjabi is not a question of political interest, it is linked to my faith and belief in the language,” he told mediapersons.

The BJP and the Congress are engaged in a verbal spat to grab the credit for Punjabi becoming the second official language. The Assembly elections are due in November. The Congress says it got the Assembly to pass the Delhi Official Languages Bill, 2000.

The Congress also says had Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit not got the Assembly to amend the Bill, Urdu would not have become the second official language. The party spokesman says credit should, therefore, go to the Government of NCT of Delhi.



NCERT director says historical bloomers are only ‘typos’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
The NCERT Director, Prof J. S. Rajput, has defended the bloomers in the recently released history textbooks as “typos” and has condemned charges of fanning communalism.

In a statement issued here today, Professor Rajput, while referring to the allegation made by a social cultural group, said the organisation had overreached itself in defaming the council. He added that mistakes invariably crept into the first print run and these were being misrepresented to suit the political agenda of a few.

He added, “Since the publication of the new texts not a single letter faulting their objectivity and freedom from bias has been received from professional historians. However, some self-proclaimed eminent historians with political affiliations are engaged in nitpicking. There is an element of tragicomedy in this”.

Attacking the organisation for accusing the council of glorifying Veer Savarkar, he said, “The fixation with Veer Savarkar, one of the brighter stars of the freedom struggle, is a pointer to this”. He said that the organisation, backed by a certain political group, would like “Savarkar to be banished from India’s collective memory. Accordingly, he was ignored by the previous NCERT authors”.

The NCERT Director claimed the council’s new texts had found unprecedented popularity even in states which were initially opposed to the new syllabus. He also pointed out that in the older texts references to Guru Tegh Bahadur and Lord Mahavira were “downright false” but no voice was raised against that.

Referring to Contemporary World, a text published between 1988 and 1998, he said that despite several revisions no reference was made to the genocide carried out by V. I. Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.

Professor Rajput added that there was no reference to the Chinese Famine, the Prague Spring Solidarity and the Tiananmen massacre and the role played by the religious leaders of all faiths in the war against Communism.

Earlier, when NCR Tribune had highlighted the errors pertaining to certain dates and events in the texts, Professor Rajput had said the council was open to suggestions and since the work had been completed in a hurry the typos could have been overlooked.



CM told to come clean on DJB privatisation
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
Not satisfied with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s denial, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) says the Government of NCT of Delhi should make public whether a private consultant has been hired to prepare a blueprint for privatisation of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB.)

The co-convenor of the manch’s Delhi chapter, Mr Aswini Mahajan, told mediapersons today “the terms of reference of the consultancy firm preparing the project report clearly spell out participation by the private sector in the management of water resources.”

The Chief Minister has denied the Government of NCT of Delhi had any plans to privatise the water resources. The denial came in the wake of the manch bringing out a status paper on the ‘privatisation’ of water and sewage systems.

Mr Majahan said a World Bank team had visited the NCT of Delhi in July 1998 and suggested a “four-fold approach” to rope in the private players in management of water and sewage, operation of water and sewage on commercial principles, constitution of a Delhi Water Regulatory Commission and imposition of cess on water.



Untreated sewage being pumped into drain despite Rs 2.5 cr plant
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 30
Despite investing crores of rupees in the construction of a sewage treatment plant under the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) at Gohana, sewage of the town continues to flow in Drain no 8 without being treated.

The untreated sewage is being released through two de-watering pumping sets of 20 hp and 15 hp. Incidentally, the YAP authorities are also installing a third de-watering pumping set of 30 hp on the main line of the treatment plant. When completed, this pumping set will also be used for pumping out untreated sewage into Drain no 8.

Under the YAP project, the public health department had constructed a sewage treatment plant near village Gudha and four large size collection tanks adjacent to village Thaska.

Under the project, sewage was to be treated, following which the treated water and the extracted fertilizer was to be used for agriculture purposes.

In fact, no sooner the project was inaugurated by the Chief Minister about 22 months back, the plant should have started producing the fertilizer and releasing the treated water.

However, of the four tanks, two are lying empty since then.

The main reason for the truncated functioning of the treatment plant, according to YAP authorities, was low voltage. The YAP authorities have now requisitioned an independent feeder for the plant from the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam, but the Nigam authorities have so far not done any thing in this regard.

The YAP authorities have installed four electric motors — two of 20 hp each and one each of 40 hp and 30 hp — at the pump chamber but only two motors are reported to be in a working condition.

Sources in the public health department pointed out that the two de-watering pumping sets had been installed only for use during rainy season or in an emergency.

“If we do not run the de-watering pumping sets, the treatment plant would go for a toss due to excessive flow of sewage water, as the plant cannot operate on full capacity for want of voltage.’’

This treatment plant of 30 mld capacity was constructed at a cost of around Rs 2.5 crore.



A former cabinet secretary dogged by zeal 
for good governance
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, June 30
The road has not come to an end for former Cabinet Secretary Prabhat Kumar. Having once presided over the country’s administrative affairs, post retirement, he has concrete plans in hand. Never mind if it entails an adversarial role against the establishment in the interest of good governance.

To start with, he has decided to float a voluntary organisation called Centre for Governance, which will have its headquarters at Delhi.

Mr Prabhat Kumar, who spoke on ‘Good Governance’ in the Staff College complex of the State Bank of Patiala, said he planned to enlist the support of professionals from all walks of life, including bureaucrats.

While speaking on the issue, he lamented that the administrative apparatus was following a status quo approach to the detriment of the man on the street. Also, there was a predominant streak of inertia in the bureaucracy and the political executive.

The country had significant achievements in key sectors, but it could have achieved much more. There was a school of thought that the current pattern of economic development has done much more harm than good. A vast number of people are not in the list of beneficiaries in the present paradigm of development.

He made out a strong case for Pareto’s optimal model, wherein there is collective advancement, without undermining the growth of an individual.

He also blamed corruption in some quarters of decision making for hampering the process of good governance.

Mr Prabhat Kumar, who retired in 2000, was known for his vanguard role in downsizing government machinery and privatising matters like issuance of passports.

He stressed that for any organisation to be successful it had to measure up on the yardstick of customer satisfaction. This was possible only with up-to-date delivery system, transparency in functioning and collective responsiveness of employees. This could be extrapolated in the entire country at a macro level.

In the 60s and 70s, the bureaucracy accorded due respect to the ministers as they were perceived to be mass leaders with fingers on the pulse of the people.

The political masters also respected and relied upon the bureaucrats for their professional inputs. Both, however, appeared to have lost their old glory, culminating in a loss of trust among the two sections of the polity.



SCC fee hike to cover cost of inefficiency
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
The decision to increase the fees of the School of Correspondence Courses (SCC) has been slammed by a section of academics. The Delhi University’s Executive Council at its last meeting had agreed to the fee hike on the ground that there was a physical deficit which needed to be met.

The Academics for Action and Development (AAD) has, however, claimed the hike will affect a large number of students. While the university clarifies that the hike is not unjustified, considering that there is a cash crunch, the AAD has alleged the hike will serve to meet the cost of “mismanagement” in the SCC. The secretary of AAD, Dr Aditya Narayan Misra, said, “There is gross mismanagement in the SCC. Till about a few years ago, there was a surplus and now there is suddenly a deficit”. He went on to add, “The SCC has two administration at two levels and nobody is accountable. The claim of the university that the UGC does not pay the maintenance money is not reason enough for a fee hike. What the students have been paying till now is enough to sustain the SCC”.

Similar views were echoed by Dr Vijaylakshmi Singh, an EC member. She recorded her dissent on the hike by saying, “This is drastic and uncalled for”. She added, “First, the proposal should have been sent to the Academic Council, instead of being passed in the EC. The fee hike is very exorbitant. It cannot be justified on the ground that the UGC is not paying for the maintenance. If the UGC were to stop paying salaries tomorrow, will the students pay that money also? What is the responsibility of the state then?”

It was pointed out that instead of taking measures to redress complaints regarding the non-receipt of study material and lack of other services, the students had been burdened with a fee hike. “No attention is being paid to the conversion of the SCC to a Campus of Open Learning or to the fact that the course material is not regularly updated”, pointed out Dr. Misra.

According to the new structure, the students will have to pay between Rs 1,285 and Rs 2,000 for BA and B Com pass course and between Rs 1,315 and Rs 2,000 for BA and B Com Hons courses. Students enrolled for Masters will have to pay between Rs 1,515 and Rs 3,500.

“The hike will affect a large number of students who come from economically weaker sections and who have to work to earn a living”, said Dr Misra.



No let-up in cases of crime against women
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 30
A married woman immolated herself at her parents’ house in Bhikam colony of Ballabgarh town here yesterday. The police have booked four persons, including her husband, for causing her death. It is reported that the deceased, Anita, wife of Navin, had come to her parents’ house about 10 days ago. She took a can of kerosene to the second floor of the house and set herself ablaze. She died on the spot.

Meanwhile, a complaint of two married women being allegedly beaten up by their in-laws and being forced to leave the house, has been lodged with the police in Palwal subdivision. The victims are sisters, both married in the same family. They have alleged that their in-laws harassed them for not bringing enough dowry.

The police have also registered a case against some persons for robbing two women of their jewellery near Hodal, a sub divisional town in the district.

Health Dept under fire for jaundice incidence

Sonepat: A young girl, Mamta, reportedly died of jaundice at PGIMS, Rohtak, yesterday.

The victim belonged to Chauhan Joshi village of the district. She had been initially sent to the local Civil Hospital. Incidentally, she was to get married on July 8. Her death has cast a pall of gloom over the village.

Jaundice has spread in the city and other parts of the district owing to the failure of the Health Department to take immediate steps against the disease. The number of patients suffering from this disease has gone up considerably. Those suffering from jaundice are reportedly being treated at several private nursing homes and clinics.

Meanwhile, leaders of various political parties, social and voluntary organisations and trade unions have urged the state government to order a high-level probe into the inefficient and unsatisfactory working of the Health Department in Sonepat district. OC



DHBVN to privatise fault enquiry services, give 
cells to linemen
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, June 30
The Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), a part of the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN), has come out with the idea of privatising the fault enquiry services in the district.

While the DHBVN authorities claim that it is a novel scheme and Faridabad is the first district in the state to launch it, the authorities have come out with only a half-page press note issued through the Public Relations Office as part of the awareness campaign so far. It is stated that the Bijli Suvidha Kendra (BSK) would operate from the circle office of the DHBVN in Sector 23 here with three phone lines (2232261, 2443429 and 2443169) for the consumers. Any complaint or enquiry of any consumer of the town would be entertained at these phone numbers round the clock. It will be linked directly with all 31 complaint centres of the DHBVN. The BSK will entertain enquiries about fault and would be able to tell the consumer what could be the reason behind the problem. The BSK will direct the complaint to the duty staff on mobile phone and would confirm with the consumer that the fault had been attended to.

It is learnt that the staff at the BSK would be deployed by the private company, which has been awarded the contract. The company has installed its computers to register enquiries and complaints. The DHBVN will be paying Rs 80,000 as charges per month to the company as fees for the service. Besides this, the linemen and other staff handling the complaint would be given about 50 mobile phones for immediate contact.

While the officials claim that it would improve the services regarding complaints and fault removal, many people are sceptical. Mr Raj Kumar of Sector 15-A said that the customers may get a good treatment at the BSK but the staff (linemen) attending the problem in the field are still the same and it does not guarantee that they would take only a minimum time to rectify the fault.

He said the staff on duty at the complaint centre of the DHBVN often tell the consumers, lodging their complaints, that the linemen had gone to attend some complaint and do not tell the time by which the problem would be removed.

On other hand, the All Haryana Power Corporation Workers Union (AHPCWU) has opposed the move, saying that it is a part of privatisation and contract system that is being implemented in the state government departments. A spokesman of the union alleged that it was a wastage of public funds and a move to `be-fool’ the people. He said that instead of providing “lip service” to consumers, the department should increase the number of staff in the field, especially those attending to complaints and removing faults.

He claimed that a majority of the staff in the field had no proper gadgets and safety equipment like gloves, fuse wire and wooden stairs. He said there was no vehicle at the disposal of the complaint centre and often the phone there remained out of order. He claimed that the staff had been demoralised and depressed after the near closure of the ex gratia employment and no scheme to help the families of the employees killed on duty.

It may be recalled that the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad had handed over the sanitation work in some of the areas to a private organisation on contract basis. But residents of these areas have been complaining that there was no proper cleanliness. The MCF has also handed over the operation of its tubewells to a private company in a majority of the areas here.



Bio-diesel: Fuel of the future and a 
non-polluting one too
D.R K.K Paul

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Petroleum had notified the use of five per cent ethanol (alcohol) blended petroleum to be used in some of the states in the sugarcane belt. However, for various reasons, this could not be implemented. The petrol-alcohol mix now being attempted to be introduced in our country has already been a great success in Brazil, where almost 20 per cent of the petrol consumption has been taken over by this blend.

The proven success and effectiveness of this mixture has led to a simultaneous experimentation on the usefulness and economics of bio-diesel. The concept of bio-diesel is an old one but had never been pursued seriously. In fact, Rudolph Diesel himself had tested and tried the very first of his engines with soyabean oil. It is the phenomenal growth in consumption pattern leading to an accelerated depletion of oil reserves and causing excessive drain on our foreign exchange, which is shifting the focus to the commercial exploitation of this novel fuel at this juncture.

Bio-diesel is a non-polluting fuel made from organic oils of vegetable origin. Chemically it is known as free Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME). While it can be used in normal diesel engines, it has all the ecological advantages over the mineral diesel, as it neither pollutes nor adds to the global warming. As such, some of the more ecologically conscious countries have already introduced it in a big way. Austria has made it mandatory to use bio-diesel in areas of high risk environment. In June 2001, the city of St Louis in the US decided to run its buses on soyabean-based bio-diesel. France is currently the world’s largest producer of bio-diesel, using it in 50 per cent blends with petroleum diesel. It may appear surprising but Spain is using a major chunk of its olive oil production as a fuel in diesel engines.

Besides the obvious advantages of a vegetable origin, with emissions either containing any aromatics or sulphur, it has also been tested vis a vis the mineral diesel and found to have a higher Cetane number, ensuring low noise and smooth running, during engine combustion. These diesels are produced by treating the vegetable oil with alcohol and either using it straight or blending it with mineral diesel for automotive application. A catalyst ensures effective removal of glycerine, which is a byproduct of the oil/alcohol reaction, while producing FAME (bio-diesel).

The existing tracts of degraded lands in the country, where the agro-climatic conditions are adverse, can be easily used and very profitably for hardy tree-borne oil seed species like Mahua, Karanja and Jatropha (Arandi). According to an estimate, it will take 30 million hectares of plantation of oil seeds to completely replace the use of fossil fuels. India produces nearly 100 varieties of tree-borne oil seeds, out of which some palm oils and Jatropha or Arandi, as it is commonly known, have been found to have the best potential.

Jatropha Curcas is a drought-resistant plant ideally suited for cultivation in some of our wastelands. It is a small tree or a shrub and can grow up to 5 metres. The plant is known to have originated from the Central American region and though there is a toxic variety, the Mexican Jatropha is non-toxic and edible.

All these bio-oils have been tested in diesel engines by institutes like the Institute of Petroleum Research at Dehra Dun and the IIT, Delhi. According to the initial feasibility studies, a plant with a capacity of five tonnes per day can cost up to Rs 20 lakh. It is further estimated that an investment of Rs 1,430 crore for Jatropha plantation in four lakh hectares can yield about six lakh tonnes of bio-diesel, valued at Rs 1,020 crore per annum, for about 45 years, after stabilisation of the yield, which may initially take up to four-five years.

The Tamil Nadu Forest Department and the Indian Railways have since taken a lead in this experimentation. The Railways intends raising Jatropha along both sides of the rail tracks on about 25,000-route kilometres. The pilot project has already commenced and is aimed at reducing the diesel consumption of the Railways by at least 10 per cent. In rural areas, the Jatropha oil can be used as a straight replacement for diesel in generators, pump sets and tractors, contributing significantly to the village economy.

The project conceived by the National Oil Seeds and Vegetable Oil Development Board is aimed at providing a viable alternative fuel besides generating considerable employment in wasteland areas.

Sir Sobers, second only to Don: In his own immaculate style, Brian Lara celebrated the 75th anniversary of Test cricket in West Indies last week with a thundering and a chance-less double century against Sri Lanka. To mark the anniversary, several all-time greats are being honoured. Amongst them would be Sir Garfield Sobers, the greatest all-rounder the world has ever seen, whose autobiography was released earlier this year. Chosen along with Sir Donald Bradman as one of the five cricketers of the century, Sobers had polled 90 votes, as against 100 out of 100, polled by the Don.

Near the pinnacle, the difference between Sobers and Bradman was only 10, while near the tail end, the third, fourth and fifth positions fell way behind, with Hobbs on 30, Warne on 27 and Richards on 25. This comparison, however, does not fully reflect the true greatness of Sobers, as over and above, being a lion-hearted batsman against some of the fiercest attacks, he was the first one to cross 8,000 runs in Tests and 100 catches in fielding, besides capturing 235 Test wickets, with his inswingers as well as spinners. His world record of 365 (n o) stood for 37 years before it was surpassed in 1994 by his own pupil, Brian Lara.

In his autobiography, Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers comes out as a candid, genuinely modest and a simple human being, which he was, indeed. He has recounted some fond memories of playing in India and against it in West Indies.

Their tour of 1966-67 in India is mentioned in some detail when Sobers got engaged to a 17-year-old budding star, Anju Mahindru. “It was one of those things that happen when you travel on tour and I took to this girl and she to me”.

“She was so beautiful and such a nice person, I fell head over heals in love”. Sobers was deadly serious about his marriage at that time but also admits others having raised question marks over his intentions. And finally when he did marry someone else, it was only after a proper release from Anju.

He rates Gavaskar as one of the very best batsmen, who boasted the complete range of shots and dictated to the bowler what he should bowl rather than the other way around. Others from India who have earned praise from Sobers are Subhash Gupte, Prasanna and Bedi. Amongst the current lot of spinners, Sobers has found Saqlain Mushtaq of Pakistan to be the most impressive.

Sobers rates his 254 as captain of the World XI against Australia in 1972 far ahead of any one of his other centuries. Even Don Bradman had described this to be the best ever seen in Australia. The unbelievable fury of shots on that New Year’s day was such that an express delivery from Lillee was hit out of the ground (Melbourne has one of the widest boundaries) before the bowler had even straightened up after his delivery stride.

Having seen the West Indies cricket on top of the world, Sobers feels sad on their current form, but is not alarmed as he had seen it coming. He has criticised the officials and selectors for their lack of understanding of the finer nuances of the game and psychology of the players besides lacking vision. A complete cricketer that he was, Sobers has defended his captaincy and some sporting declarations, which led to defeats. He also gives some useful tips on how to succeed as a coach. Besides providing an excellent insight into the mind of a world beater like Sobers, the autobiography provides authoritative views on the current state of the game and its future.

The book has a comprehensive statistical section besides some memorable action photographs. But surprise of the surprises, Sobers writes that if he could do it all over again, he would choose Golf, rather than cricket.

Dr K. K. Paul is Special Commissioner,  Administration, Delhi Police



Panipat gears up to face floods
Our Correspondent

Panipat, June 30
Elaborate arrangements have been made by the district administration to avoid flood-like situation in the district during the coming monsoon season.
While speaking to the mediapersons here today, Deputy Commissioner MR Anand said that a sum of Rs 50 lakh has been sanctioned for flood control projects.

He said the amount would be utilised to safeguard the Nanhera Complex, Mirzapur, Goyala and Bilaspur Complex and also to repair and make fit the Rana Mazra and the Pathargarh Bandh. Besides, repair of studs is also being done at Nanhera, Mirzapur and Goyala complex, the DC said and added that drains of the district have been disilted.

About the flood-prone villages like Pathargarh, Rana Mazra, Navada Par, Adhmi, Garhi Baishakh, Jalalpur II, Nangla Par and Rakashera, the DC said that necessary directions have been issued to the Block Development and Panchayat Officers (BDPO) for repair of studs.

He also directed the BDPOs to ensure sufficient availability of flood control equipment so that in case of an emergency, the staff on duty did not face any difficulty. The officers of the drainage department have been instructed to get ready 5,000 sand-filled bags and 100 casual labourers at the time of emergency, he added.

Giving the details of the flood control equipment available with the district administration, Mr Anand said that 47 diesel pumps in working condition have been restored and are lying with the executive engineers of the Public Health Department and Irrigation Department. Besides, adequate number of boats with oars, life jackets have also been arranged for any emergency, he informed.

From July 1 onwards, District level Flood Control Office would function from his office under the District revenue office staff, the DC said.

He said that similar type of flood control offices would be established in each Tehsil headquarters including Bapoli Block under the Block Development and Panchayat Officer and they would function 24 hours.

District Food and Supplies Controller (DFSC) will provide essential food items including wheat, rice and diesel. Confed has also been directed to make arrangements at the time of flood-like situation.

Mr Anand said that the Civil Surgeon Panipat had been asked to take necessary steps to prevent waterborne diseases and maintain a sufficient stock of medicines. Also, two community health centres—one in Panipat and the other in Samalkha, under the medical superintendents, have been established to provide medical facilities to the flood-affected people. The Deputy Director Animal Husbandry will take measures to control ailments of the animals in the flood-affected areas, he added..

The Executive Engineer of the Public Health Department has been instructed to arrange for chlorinated water in the flood-prone areas, the DC said.

Speaking further, the DC said that to face flood situation, the district has been divided into two zones, with headquarters at Panipat and Samalkha, and the SDM (Civil) will be in charge of both the zones. These zones have been further sub-divided into sectors and zones and sector officer of the sector concerned would be responsible to provide timely relief in case of emergency.



‘Suffering has taught me how to give unconditional love’
M. P. K. Kutty

Dr Raghu Gaind, approaching 69 years, with his sturdy physique betrays his Pathan origin. His family migrated from Afghanistan to Pasrur near Sialkot and then to Jammu and Kashmir in 1806. His father was head of the treasury in Jammu and Kashmir, and after retirement practiced law. It was while studying at the Amritsar Medical College that he came under the influence of Pingalwara, a pauper who turned a saint and distinguished himself in compassionate service of the poor and destitute. Though brought up in affluent circumstances-all his sisters are doctors-he has not lost the common touch and is still running around with the zeal of a teenager in the furtherance of great causes.

He has achieved great heights in his own profession and has served the rich and noble in England as well as the sheikhs in the Gulf region. Dr Gaind has served as secretary-general of World Association for Social Psychiatry for five years.

He has earned the applause of the public for the help he had rendered to non-governmental organizations like Arpana. He has received the ‘Distinguished Citizen of India’ award in 1992 for his work in the international field.

At the prestigious Guy’s Hospital in the UK, he had rendered distinguished service in the field of psychological medicine. He has been a visiting professor to half-a-dozen universities in the Caribbean, Middle East and the United States.

He visits India often and during his visit to St Stephens Hospital here in May, he addressed the doctors on the management of terminally ill cancer patients. Recently, he expressed his views on the subject.

As a neuro-psychiatrist of long standing, what has been your attitude to treatment of terminal cases of cancer?

It is a synthesis of Christian philosophy and Indian tradition. By Indian tradition, I do not mean Hindu-centred, but Bharatiya, which includes Buddhist, Jaina and Sikh ideals. It means service to others without expectation of reward. All service should be done in the attitude of a ‘sanyasi’ (monk).

What does that mean?

A sanyasi will be disinterested in power, prestige or wealth. He is not looking for recognition while serving. He is devoid of desire or attachment..

What are your observations about the current treatment of cancer?

Cancer treatment these days calls for high technology and sophisticated techniques, which include Radiotherapy. The poor cannot afford the treatment, as it is too costly.

Further, in the case of terminal cancer, you have to make provision for lots of things. First, the pain has to be relieved. Then the anxiety created by the disease must be tackled. There is also the fear of death and fear of disability, disfigurement and dependency.

Depression seems to be an inevitable consequence.

Around 70 per cent get depressed. It is often a deep depression. They are at risk from themselves because of the possibility of deliberate self-harm. Suicidal tendencies develop in the patient and because of the damage to the brain they become dysphoric.

What about the other complications?

Some of the drugs used can cause toxicity. The patient can go into delirium. There can be mood changes.

What are your views on the use of music, spirituality etc in comforting the sick?

There is no one approach. Remember, you are not only treating a disease, but a person, helping him to cope with his burden, his sufferings etc. The pain, debility, dependence etc demand special care. The patients require special attention. The care plan should acknowledge the uniqueness of the sick person. Some may like soothing music, others peace and quiet. Most want to see more of their near and dear ones. Some demand analgesics. Most require energetic treatment, at least initially.

In the terminal state, the desire is to be left alone. None wish the death to be prolonged. The Bharatiya concept of pain and suffering has been repeated time and again; “Suffering is part of life. It has to be mastered. If not, it has to be endured.”

Some say that it is better to leave those patients without hope to die peacefully at home than subjecting them to the tortuous methods of treatment in a hospital.

In recent times, there has been much debate about home vs institutional care, when the beginning of the end is in sight. Here again, the decision must rely on circumstances. For most, home is the preference. Others, who lack family support, require hospital-based care.

Will you suggest that the ability to cope with pain varies between individuals?

Pain is a feeling and also an emotion. It has a protective aspect in that it helps the individual to withdraw from harmful agents and situations. The experience of pain is subjective and psychological. There is evidence that humans learn to discriminate between the experience of pain as a result of events and experiences in infancy.

The ability to feel pain varies from person to person. There are some born without the ability to feel pain at all. The neuro-physiological basis of pain has been well worked out by physiologists. There, however, exists immense variation in intensity of pain following trauma and terminal illness. Emotional state, i.e. anxiety and depression, can enhance or abate the pain

In short, the extent of pain perceived varies between individuals and within the person from time to time.

It is a reflection of the emotional state of the person at a given moment. Emotional state, e.g. anxiety, can enhance or abate the pain arising from physical trauma. A good example is pain in head and neck, which is often a reflection of tension in those muscles.

Do you think our hospitals are well-equipped to take care of all these aspects of total treatment?

Ordinary institutions cannot extend the kind of special care required for such patients. It is not shortcomings in terms of technology; other requirements such as counselling and empathy may be lacking. And counselling should be in keeping with the cultural, ethnic and religious background of the person concerned.

You have said that North Delhi is in need of such a centre for treating poor patients.

An institution that can render that kind of total care already exists there and the centre should be located therein. I am referring to the St Stephen’s Hospital, a missionary institution set up by a young mother, who, having witnessed the suffering of Indian women in and around Chandni Chowk, vowed to do something about it. That resulted in the monument we see today in the form of St Stephens Hospital.

Dr Mathew Varghese, the present head of the hospital, is a true a Nachiketa, indifferent to prestige, power or wealth. Being such, he can serve humanity most effectively. He has the attitude of a true sanyasi.

A centre of the type that you envisage call for massive investment..

I hope that the citizens of Delhi and adjacent states would do what they can to create such a facility. I know many NRIs in the UK who are willing to and wanting to be involved in such a project. I shall be presenting the case for it when I return to UK.

You are known for your compassionate service to the needy. Is there any experience in your life that rendered you sensitive to the human situation?

My mother was a Sikh and my father, a Punjabi Hindu. I had faced rejection at the hands of the family when I married a Welch woman, who is a practicing Christian. My mother never forgave me for that. I was thrown out of the home by her and disinherited. My father, whom I loved very much, came to visit me and his grandchildren in England every year.

Subsequently, my mother left him. This led to disharmony, much rancour and disintegration of the family. It sadly continues.

So you had to carry a cross of your own. What impact did these developments have on you?

Well, suffering is a great teacher. I learnt never to judge another person. I learnt humility, service, compassion and most of all, giving and receiving of unconditional love.

Suffering ennobles. It makes one more sensitive to the pain in others lives. That is why some of us cope with it better and experience it with greater intensity than others The reaction to pain and suffering and the capacity to cope with it is directly proportional to a person’s spiritual state.

I have read books written by a few cancer survivors. They have all become keenly aware of a spiritual dimension to life. They seem to have acquired a positive attitude to life, a better appreciation of fellow beings and life’s opportunities as a result of their suffering.

Terminal care and the treatment strategy formulated for the individual is dependent upon the emotional and physical components of pain perceived. The former (the emotional component) is a reflection of the individual’s spiritual status. Those who have experienced spirituality acquire a more positive attitude to pain and suffering and are better able to cope with it.

Treatment of cancer patients does require teamwork among physicians, nurses, psychiatrists and priests. The aim is to provide a holistic care in which spiritual support is as important, if not more important, than the physical care and perception of analysis.

What would be your advice to doctors in a country like India (with limited resources and facilities for cancer treatment and where people are poor) in treating terminally ill patients?

The advice to my fellow countrymen would be that while we may lack the technical resources to provide modern treatment for cancer patients, we have much to offer in terms of a significant component of terminal care, i.e. emotional support.



Traffic to be diverted due to ‘Rath Yatra’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
A religious procession will be taken out in connection with the ‘Rath Yatra’ of Lord Jaganath Ji Maharaj tomorrow at 1 pm through Kotwali (Daryaganj), Golden Mosque, Subhash Marg, T/L towards Gauri Shankar Temple, Chandni Chowk, Mandir Jaganath Ji Maharaj, 492 Esplanade Road, Hathi Khana, Dariba Kalan, Nai Sarak, Barsha Bulla Chowk, Chawri Bazar, Hauz Quazi, Ajmeri Gate, Shardhanand Marg, Chowk Lahori Gate, Khari Baoli, Masjid Fatehpuri. The procession will return via Chandni Chowk, Red Fort crossing to Esplanade Road and culminate at Mandir Shri Jaganath Ji Maharaj outside old Rajghat, Darya Ganj.

Sree Neelacha Seva Sangh will also take out a Rath Yatra procession in connection with the celebration of Lord Jaganath Ji Maharaj in Hauz Khas village. Similar procession will be taken out from Sri Jaganath Mandir Tyaga Raj Nagar through Safdarjung Bus Terminal, Vikas Sadan, INA Market, U turn Kidwai Nagar and come back to Shri Jaganath Mandir. The motorists should avoid these routes as traffic will be stopped or diverted on the routes, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Mr A K Ojha, said.

DDA engineer held: The Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Government today claimed to have arrested a junior engineer in the DDA Electrical Division, for allegedly demanding and accepting Rs 1,000 from complainant Mohammad Fahad, for certification of the copies of the DDA flat allotted to him. The copies were required to be deposited with the BSES. The suspect, Rajesh Kumar Baliyan, was produced before the court and remanded in judicial custody, a press release said.



Man consumes poison
Our Correspondents

Bhiwani, June 30
A man reportedly consumed poisonous substance at village Umravat late yesterday. According to reports, Rakesh, son of Rati Ram, has been admitted to civil hospital in a serious condition.

In another incident, Puja, daughter of Nafe Singh, was injured after being hit by a two-wheeler at Dadri Gate area.

Man shot at

Three persons allegedly shot at a man in sleep at Devsar village. The injured identified as Mahipal, son of Kheta Singh, was referred to Medical College Rohtak, according to a late report.

According to Mahipal, Naresh, Rampal and Sukhpal of the same village shot at him which him hit in the leg. He was admitted to civil hospital. The accused are absconding. A report has been registered with the police.

In another incident, six persons including five women sustained injuries when the camel cart in which they were travelling was reportedly hit by a vehicle. They were going from Titani to Hetampura village. The injured have been identified as Bala, Kamlesh, Bishan, Ompati, Bai and Dalip.


Jhajjar: A man was electrocuted in Bahadurgarh when he touched a room cooler last evening. According to information, Anil Kumar was checking the cooler when he received an electric shock. His family members snapped the wire immediately but could not save Anil. In another incident, body of a youth, identified as Bhoop Singh of Bahu Akabarpur village in Rohtak district, was found on the outskirts of Kanonda village last night. According to sources, the deceased had a factory in Delhi and incurred heavy losses in the business. The body was sent for a post-mortem. The doctors suspected that he might have consumed sulphas tablets.

Move to send troops to US flayed

Rohtak: Mr Hannan Mollah, MP and a senior CPM leader has condemned the reported move to send Indian troops to Iraq as desired by the USA.

Addressing a press conference here this afternoon, the CPM leader said it would be a disgraceful act on the part of India to help maintain the US rule in Iraq and crush the resistance of Iraqi people. He said the government decision to send the Indian army to Iraq under the US pressure was a challenge to the sovereignty of our nation. Mr Mollah was here to attend a two-day conference of the state committee of the party. The CPM leader also condemned the government move to charge the farmers with sedition and their unjustified arrests by the state government.



Youth killed in jeep mishap
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 30
A youth was killed on the spot and another sustained serious injuries when they fell down from a jeep on the Sonepat-Gohana Road near Barwasni village about 5 km from here last evening. According to a report, the diseased was identified as Joginder and the injured as Sonu and both belonged to Rehmana village. The victim was a conductor of the jeep. The police have registered the case and sent the body of the victim for a post-mortem. The jeep was packed with passengers.

Brothers attacked: Two brothers Raju and Anil were injured when they were attacked with lathis and other weapons by some persons near the Panchayat Bhawan here last evening. According to a report, both the injured persons were rushed to the local civil hospital from where Raju was sent to the PGI Hospital at Rohtak for treatment. The police have registered the case and launched a hunt to apprehend the alleged assailants.

Bus overturns: A private bus carrying the passengers overturned when it was hit by a speedy jeep near Khandrai village about 40 km from here last evening. In all, seven persons were injured in this accident.

According to a report, the bus was on its way to Gohana town. Two women were among the injured and they were identified as Azad, Naina Devi, Sandeep, Ratna, Rajesh, Kamo Devi and Sunil. All the injured were immediately hospitalised. They are stated to be out of danger. The jeep driver, however, escaped and the police have registered the case against him. A hunt is on to apprehend him.

Powerless village: The entire village of Chauhan Joshi has remained powerless for the past few days and this has caused strong resentment among the villagers. According to a report, the gram panchayat of the village has made a strong protest in this regard and demanded stern action against the officials of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN).

The village Sarpanch, Mr Bhani Singh, called on the Deputy Commissioner here yesterday to apprise him of the situation.


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