|2008-01-24||Comedy flick helps police crack Titwala murder|
Taking cue from the recent comic flick, Welcome, the Titwala police cracked a gruesome murder case that had earlier left them clueless. Ravindra Bhojani and Deepak Kherani were arrested for killing their friend, Rakesh Rajani, on January 1.
Rajani was found murdered at a secluded spot between Ambivli and Titwala. His throat had been slit while his face had been crushed with a stone and acid was poured over it.
Rajani’s parents, who had registered a missing complaint with the Vitthalwadi police, rushed to Rukminibai Hospital in Kalyan after hearing of an unidentified body there.
In fact, Rajani’s parents and the main accused, Bhojani, identified the body as Rakesh’s with help of a tattoo on his right hand. Bhojani even participated in his last rites.
“Rakesh was to marry Bhojani’s cousin on January 27. We felt that he could be involved in the murder. That was when we decided to question him,” said API Anil Deshmukh of Titwala police station.
“Bhojani told us that he had been to watch Welcome at the Ashok Talkies in Ulhasnagar on January 1, the evening Rakesh was killed. A quick check confirmed that Ashok Talkies was under renovation for the past seven months. In fact, Welcome was running in the adjacent Anil Talkies, where they actually watched the movie,” Deshmukh added.
Naik Vinod Thakur, who was part of the detection team, said, “When we asked Bhojani about dialogues and the story of the movie, he drew a blank. He said he had fallen asleep during the film, fuelling our suspicion. When we questioned him again, he confessed to the crime.”
Bhojani said he killed Rakesh, as he would indulge in affairs despite his engagement to his sister. This enraged Bhojani, who plotted Rakesh’s murder with another friend Deepak Kherani. After inviting Rakesh for a party, Bhojani spiked his drink before sliting his throat. Kherani then crushed his face with stone and poured acid on it.
The duo has been sent to custody till January 26.
|2008-01-12||Merriment and education, hand in hand|
The Meridian school in Khamba village, Mharalgaon, Kalyan Murbad road, Kalyan has been taking its children to visit forts instead of regular picnic spots. The move school officials say is to educate the students with the information about the forts and their cultural background that too without compromising on the fun element.
Speaking of the trend, Sudarshan Nair principal of the school says, "Usually schools take their students to amusement parks. But we are doing it differently and take them to historic places."
This year the school took around 520 students from the primary and secondary section to the Murud Janjira fort in Alibaug. The one day trip to the town of forts was an eventful experience for the students.
The first tour that the school took was at the Shivneri fort, which is also Chattrapati Shivaji's birthplace. The school has started these educational sojourns for the last four years and has visited several forts.
Furthermore, to give a humane touch the school also visits several tribal areas in the vicinity of the forts that they visit. Informs Avinash Ombasse, a teacher, "We usually make it a point to visit a tribal village while on our way to our destination. We try to make the students understand the problems faced by these tribes and give them an insight into their lives. It makes a lot of difference when you have to teach the students about the geography and culture of the local areas in this manner."
The school says that this interactive way of studying is always welcome and healthy for the students. "It is entirely different form of education," says Nair.
Complete with campfires and other forms of merriment, the school is particular that the students do not loose out on the educational aspect. "When we return from the trip we ask the students to write a report on what they experienced at the session. This way we ensure that the students don't get bored and at the same time, the information is also percolated in their minds," says Ombasse. Several parents of the school students are very supportive to this endeavour and are all praises for the project. "Our children get the first hand knowledge of culture and get to see the country in the real sense. This is a very good endeavor on the part of the school to start," says Rakesh Hotchandani, a parent.
The excursion was the brainchild of Srichand Asrani, and Mohan Pahuja, the directors of the school while the principal S Nair is the brain behind the project and is largely involved with the development of the ideas. "The main objective of the two-day tour is to give the students a real feeling and vision about the forts and the heritage of Maharashtra. The students are also happy that they are getting educated in a different manner," concludes Nair.
|2008-01-12||Cyber cafes misused |
In a shocking revelation, a defunct cyber café in Ulhasnagar was used as a prostitution den. Ironically several students from the neighboring schools and colleges were found to be involved in it.
The premise is located in the Peninsula Park building in Ulhasnagar camp- 3 and used to operate as a cyber café earlier. However, after the premises were sold, the new owners reportedly started using it as a guesthouse entertaining couples. Interestingly while the premises had nine cabins with a table and two chairs, there was no computers. According to sources, the owners of the space M Ingale and Shyam Jethani were allegedly letting out these cabins to couples on an hourly basis and used to charge Rs 60 -70 for the time.
Ironically as there are many educational institutes in the vicinity like RKT College, New Era high school and junior college, several students were reportedly indulging in immoral acts. "The students would prefer this as it was affordable and they would not ask for addresses and identities," said a police officer.
The special squad led by DCP of Zone IV S Yenapure initiated the action after some residents complained to him. The cops detained five couples of which three girls are minors and from respectable families from the suburbs. The cops released the youngsters after warnings on personal bond.
The partners of the shop have been booked under sections 33W and 129 of the Bombay Police Act pertaining to running a guesthouse without license and allowing its use for disorderly purposes.
|2008-01-12||Don't blame them for low marks|
Parents and students of standard X of the Sindhi medium students from the suburbs are a concerned lot these days. The reason is that the students who will be appearing for their exams coming March got their textbooks of Geography subject only after Diwali vacations thus leaving them with practically no time for revising.
It maybe be noted that the syllabus of standard X was completely revised from this academic year. However due to the lethargic attitude shown by the educational board, the textbooks of the geography subject of Sindhi medium were released during month of November. Accordingly, the schools were forced to complete all the 14 chapters of the subject in just four months so as to give the students some time to revise the subject.
Needless to say the parents and the students are concerned about their results that may be affected due to less revision time. According to the records, there are approximately 900 students studying in the 12 Sindhi medium schools in the suburbs.
"Please do not doubt capabilities of these students if they score lesser marks or even fail in Geography subject. Since, they could revise the subject after they got the textbooks after Diwali vacations," says a parent.
Adds Haresh Mulchandani, principal of the Jhulelal School, Khemani, informs that instead of wasting time, the schools have decided to teach the students a translated version of the subject. "We were worried about the students and decided to start started teaching them from the English medium book," says Lal Nagrani, a geography teacher from Sindh National high School.
However several students are worried about their future and are demanding lenient checking of the subject paper. "We were taught in a translated version but we now find it difficult to be familiar with the language. We would definitely fail in the subject, if the paper is checked strictly," lamented Hitesh Chug, a student. With the exams round the corner, the students are tensed about their performance in the exams. "Instead of concentrating on all the subjects, we are thinking about Geography subject and fear that we don't lose out because of the delay," quoted a nearly tear- eyed Bhagyashri Rahwani.
On their part, the headmaster's association has corresponded with the education board several times but to no effect. Schools complain that it is a routine matter for the officials to delay the release of books. "Even last year, the Science-I textbook of standard IX was released in the month of April. We have sent an application to the board requesting them for an early release of the book but it was still published behind schedule last year. Due to board exams, the portion of all the mediums will be same. In the entire process, students from Sindhi medium are definitely going to suffer, and we fear that it will also weaken their aggregate marks," grieved Ashok Santani, secretary of the Ulhasnagar headmaster's association.
Despite repeated efforts, the education board officials were unavailable for their version.
|2008-01-06||Gujaratis and Sindhis most diabetes-prone|
A study by prominent doctors on the eating habits of four communities in Mumbai has revealed that an unhealthy diet and a weakness for fast food, such as pani puri and pav bhaji, makes Gujaratis and Sindhis most prone to diabetes.
The study, conducted across the city over a period of seven months, examined the food habits and lifestyle of Gujaratis, Sindhis, Maharashtrians and Christians. Eighty members from each community were interviewed.
The data collected from them, presented in the form of a paper called 'Western Indian Dietary Patterns' at a seminar of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI) in Kolkata recently, has shown that the two primarily business communities -- Gujaratis and Sindhis -- are partial to fat-rich snacks and fast food. This, combined with their sedentary lifestyles, results in an unusually high amount of fat in the body and makes them more vulnerable to diabetes, heart problems, blood pressure and other related ailments than the other communities.
Worryingly, the study also suggests that even people from the two communities who appear thin may face the same amount of risk, as they may have loads of fat inside their bodies despite the appearance of healthiness.
The doctors will now study other communities but are pretty sure that the latter would be found to be less vulnerable than Gujaratis and Sindhis.
“We have made a beginning with these four groups. We will study other communities too in due course to make the data more comprehensive but, historically, it is seen that Gujaratis are most prone to diabetes, “ said Shilpa Joshi, consultant dietician at Mumbai Diet and Health Centre, who carried out the study along with Dr Shashank Joshi, consultant diabetologist at Lilavati Hospital, and Dr Vandana Bambavale, professor of nutrition at SNDT University.
What's on their menu
Members of the four communities were interviewed and questioned about their diet patterns and lifestyle at Dr Shashank Joshi's clinic at Bandra.
According to Dr Shashank Joshi, “We found that the Gujarati and Sindhi communities snack during the day, have replaced khakra with khari biscuits during breakfast and prefer fast food, pani puri, pav bhaji, ghatiya or farsan between 7 pm and 8.30 pm in place of a wholesome dinner. These people end up eating more fat than carbohydrates, which makes them more resistance to insulin-based treatment.”
Apparently, most Gujaratis snack outside at least twice a week and Sindhis thrice.
“However, both engage in very little physical activity because many are into businesses and operate from shops. The same is true about Gujarati and Sindhi women, many of whom are housewives and engage in little physical activity other than routine chores,” Dr Bambavale said.
A genetic problem
To complicate matters, even nature has a bias against Gujaratis.
According to Dr Mayur Patel, chief diabetologist at Swasthya Diabetic Care Centre in Ahmedabad and president of All-India Institute of Diabetic Research, “In the Gujarati community, diabetes seems to be a genetic problem. Besides, oil consumption is higher and the problem is made worse by their sedentary lifestyle.”
Doctors said Maharashtrians and Christians, on the other hand, do not eat outside as frequently as Sindhis and Gujaratis. They also lead a more active life as they are mostly working professionals and not traders.
What they say
In the Gujarati community, eating out is something that happens mostly in rich families and those based in cities. Eating street food and in restaurants is not good for health. If a restaurant is not well-maintained or is unhygienic, it can lead to health problems, such as diabetes and obesity. However, it has become fashionable and a matter of prestige among most Gujarati families to go out on Saturdays and Sundays. When they go out, they are tempted to eat outside, and fall sick. In rural areas, people do not have such habits as those places do not have restaurants where people can go and eat. They prefer to eat home-made food - Arun Gujarathi, president, NCP state unit
It is true that a lot of Gujaratis tend to eat junk food. You see any hotel, most customers will be Gujaratis. Since we are a business community and are heavily into trading, we work from our shops. But now, the trend is changing. Many people have become health conscious. I am among those people who visit the gym regularly - Viren Shah Owner, Roopam
Before Partition, Sindhis used to be a hard-working lot. But those who settled here after Independence had decided that they would get into business. So, now we lead sedentary lifestyles with not many people interested in exercise. But health is wealth and people should take time out to take case of their health. - Kanhaiyalal Gidwani Chairman, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress-Housing Cell
What the nutritionist says
Gujaratis and Sindhis are genetically predisposed to diabetes and obesity. They make excessive use of oil during food preparation, have more sugar in their tea, have sweets and fried food. At the same time, they do not exercise or eat fruits and salads. They should stop eating fried papad (khakra), dal pakan, bhajiya, sev puri, ghatiya, maida (white flour) and oily pickles. Both communities should eat more fruits and 60% of their meals should constitute vegetables, fruits and salads. - Nainee Setalwad, nutrition expert
Average Gujarati Diet
Protein: 8.5 %
Visible fat (groundnut oil/kardi oil): 25 g/day = 14%
Ghee/Butter: = 10 g/day = 5.6 %
Dinner is usually one dish meal like pav bhaji, khichadi, kadhi, dal, dhokla etc
Eating out/order food: 2 times a week
Average Sindhi Diet
Protein: 13.12 %
Visible fat: 30 g/day = 17% (most vegetables are fried)
Ghee/Butter: 10 g/day = 5.6% (used on parathas)
Nuts (5 g/day): 2.5 g/day = 1.4 %
Eating out: 3 times a week
Average Maharashtrian Diet
Visible fat (groundnut oil): 25 g/day = 14% of calories
Invisible fat (in form of groundnut/coconut oil): 15 g/day = 6 g of fat = 3.5% of total calories.
Consumption of ghee: 5 g a day = 2.9 % of calories
Average Christian Diet
Proteins: 10.05% (Apart from fish, red meats and processed meats consumed 2 times a week)
Visible fats: 11 % (vegetables are made in minimal oil, most oil is used in non-vegetarian dishes
Invisible fats: Coconut 30 g/day = 6.7% (fresh coconuts forms base for all gravies)
|2008-01-02||Actress Nisha Kotharis car hits Pregnant Woman|
MUMBAI: A 26-year-old pregnant woman was injured after being allegedly hit by a car in which actor Nisha Kothari was travelling at the domestic airport this morning, police said.
Heena Jamtani was hit by Kothari's car while she was alighting from an autorickshaw at the airport, they said.
Jamtani, a resident of Ulhasnagar in neighbouring Thane district, received minor injuries and was taken to hospital from where she was shifted to a hospital in suburban Mulund.
The police are yet to register an offence in connection with the incident as the investigating officer in the case was helping Jamtani in getting admitted, a senior police officer from the Santacruz airport police station said.
"We will book the driver under sections 279 (rash driving) and 338 (causing grievous hurt) once the officer returns," he said.