|2009-03-28||Illiterate officer recorded dying declaration|
In a shocking revelation, the Bombay High Court found that a special executive officer (SEO), who recorded a dying declaration of a woman allegedly set ablaze by her husband, was illiterate.
Justice Bilal Nazki and justice Filomeno Reis on Thursday restrained SEO's below the level of tehsildars from recording dying declarations and conducting identification parades.
The government had challenged the acquittal of Ulhasnagar resident Durgadas Rathod for allegedly killing his wife Archana by setting her on fire on January 31, 2006.
SEO Saraswati Naidu had recorded Archana's dying declaration at the hospital. Last year, the trial court acquitted the accused stating that the evidence before the court had not proved the prosecution's case beyond doubt.
The government filed an appeal before the HC stating that the trial court had erred in holding that the dying declaration of Archana was not acceptable evidence. Assistant public prosecutor KV Saste said that Naidu had made a statement before the trial court that she was unable to read and write.
The court had earlier sought an affidavit regarding the procedure of appointment of SEOs. The affidavit submitted by the under secretary Anil Joshi stated that there is no rule regarding the appointment. A government resolution of July 2008 had mandated that SEOs should be SSC pass but was amended to say that they should be able to read and write.
Joshi, however, said that Naidu was not appointed by the government or the district collector of Thane.
|2009-03-28||Surgery helps obese 10-yr-old shed flab|
MUMBAI: Losing 71 kilos within two years is quite a task. It is more so when you are only a 10-year-old boy. But considering that Sagar Balani
from Ulhasnagar underwent a surgery to refashion his stomach in March 2007, it is not surprising that he managed to shrug off all that extra weight.
Even as medical experts ponder over the ethical considerations of letting an eight-year-old undergo the irreversible bariatric surgery to lose weight, Sagar's parents Pappu and Neetu Balani seem ecstatic. "Sagar weighed 115 kg when he was eight, he could barely walk and would be seated all day long,'' said his father, a garment trader from Ulhasnagar. "Now, my son is 44 kg, plays downstairs the whole day and cycles like any other child his age. He is first class,'' he added.
Egged on by Sagar's weight-loss, his mother, too, underwent the surgery last year__coming down to 72 from 103 kilos.
The surgeon who operated on Sagar, Pune-based Dr Shashank Shah, defends operating on the child, saying, "It is an one-off move, given the boy's poor health.'' When Sagar was brought to Dr Shah, he had high sugar levels and was unable to breathe. "It was Sagar's family doctor who approached me, saying he had exhausted all means of controlling the boy's health problems and frequent hospitalisation,'' said Dr Shah.
Only morbidly obese persons can undergo bariatric surgery, in which the size of the person's stomach is reduced. Patients with an BMI of 33 as well as co-morbidity such as hypertension and diabetes or patients with an BMI of 37 without any co-morbidity are eligible. "Two years ago, Sagar had an BMI of 80,'' said Dr Shah.
Bariatric surgery has been growing at a fast pace across the world. In India, 1,200 such surgeries were carried out in 2008. In 2007, the figure stood at around 800. Although it is now considered a "life-saving operation'' for morbidly obese persons, the operation itself carries a huge risk (almost 1%). There also have been cases of operated people suffering from chronic vitamin deficiency.
Metabolic surgeon Dr Ramen Goel, who operates at Bombay Hospital, said bariatric surgery cannot become the rule for young children. "Parents should not look at it as a cure for childhood obesity. Even for adoloscents, the surgery is carried out only in a few centres, under stringent research protocols, in the US,'' he said.
Another surgeon pointed out that children below 12 years of age are in a growing phase. "When children attain puberty, a lot of changes take place in their body. We should wait for the growth phase before carrying out such an irreversible operation,'' said the doctor.
SIDE-EFFECTS OF BARIATRIC SURGERY
- Hospital deaths after bariatric surgery is less than 1%
- Roughly 1 in 5 patients require re-hospitalization for corrective treatment
- In 10% cases, there could be infection and bleeding.
-Risk of deep venous thrombosis is 2 %
- Long-term complications include severe GERD, stomal stenosis, gastric prolapse, band erosion or migration
- Stomach pains after meals (over-eating)
- Nutritional deficiencies during liquid diet
- Reduced weight loss due to non-compliance with post-operative dietary and exercise guidelines
|2009-03-28||The festival of Sindh|
Jhulelal is the patron Avtar of Sindhis. Sindhi consider and commemorate Jhulelal's birthday as Cheti Chand. According to the Hindu calendar, Cheti Chand is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month known as Chet in Sindhi. Hence it is known as Chet-I-Chand.
Children dance to a Sindhi folk song as part of the celebrations for Cheti Chand
Every year the festival is celebrated with a lot of fanfare in the Sindhi pockets of the country. Various organisations, institutions celebrate this annual function which is mostly attended by Sindhis.
Several preparations and programmes mark the onset of the Sindhi New Year in Ulhasnagar.
This year a fresh approach has been given to the celebrations of this festival. Several NGO's and political leaders have buried the hatchet and have planned to come together to celebrate the spirit of Sindh. The festivities that started from Tuesday included a Sindhi orchestra programme which was organised by Hardas Tharwani, a Sindhi philanthropist.
The musical evening was attended by hundreds of Sindhis despite its live coverage on television. The evening marked the victory of Sindhi spirit and culture. Famous Sindhi singers like Manjushree Asudani, Chitra Taglani and Ashok Sudrani added melody to the evening.
A poster of the film Vaaeesar-ee-gum
On the same evening a Sindhi fashion show and cultural programme was hosted by noted Sindhi actor and stage artist, Deepak Watwani. The mood of this show was young and contemporary. The venue hence was flocked by several youngsters of the town. MLA Pappu Kalani along with family attended the show to encourage the participants.
Thursday evening was an entertaining mélange of cultural dances and Sindhi skit depicting the threats to the Sindhi culture by westernisation. This programme was organised by the youth wing of Kumar Mitra Mandal at Town Hall and was attended in full strength by Sindhis.
The highlight of the five day festivities was the Maha Yatra that was conducted yesterday. The Yatra was very well-attended by the Sindhi community and was jointly organised by the politicians, NGOs and temple trusts of Ulhasnagar.
To add to the entertainment, a comedy Sindhi film Vaaeesar-ee-gum has also been released in Ulhasnagar's prominent cinema halls. The movie is directed by Mohan Sachdev and has well-known Sindhi actors like Girish Ahuja, Jeetu Vazirani, Jai Hero, Rakesh Kalra, Sanjay Rohra, Laxman Sachdev, Priyanka Lalwani, Nisha Lalwani, Aarti Jadhwani and Vinod Ramani in it.
This Sindhi film is one of the most well-promoted Sindhi movie in the history of sindhi cinema. The movie has done fantastic business in Nagpur and Ulhasnagar.
|2009-03-20||From hero to poster-boy|
Tight budget pushes lead actors of Sindhi flick Vaaeesar ee Gum to go around Ulhasnagar putting up banners, posters and other publicity material themselves
By Yogesh Sadhwani
Posted On Friday, March 20, 2009 at 02:20:26 AM
The actors don’t mind putting up posters of their film themselves at Ulhasnagar
The lead actor and villain of a movie are busy putting up posters and banners of their own film these days. The strange situation arises due to acute shortage of funds and poor recovery from Sindhi movies, which pushed actors Jeetu Vazirani and Jai Hero to promote their film titled Vaaeesar ee Gum themselves. They roam around Ulhasnagar propping up publicity material for the Sindhi film along with other actors these days, while the film’s producer and director Mohan Sachdev does the same thing in Nagpur.
“In Sindhi movies, the chairman and chaprasi are the same,” said Sachdev, who came up with the idea of the movie. He says in the last 60 years, there have been 20-odd Sindhi movies but almost all have failed due to poor recovery. “Producers end up spending Rs 50-60 lakh making a film and on its promotion, but the movie does not take off. I knew this, but also wanted to promote Sindhi culture through cinema. So I have taken the risk,” he said.
As for the actors, three of whom are from Ulhasnagar, there is nothing shameful about putting up posters. “It’s a vicious cycle. There aren’t enough movies being produced and so there is no audience. Distributors do not want to touch our movies and the producer ends up distributing his own film. We ought to break this cycle,” said Vazirani. “Until people come to theatres, film-makers and actors will have to work really hard, even if it means going door to door to promote a film.”
Other film-makers who have tried their hand at Sindhi movies agreed. Kamal Nathani, who directed Pyaar Kare Dis in 2007 too said marketing is a huge problem for Sindhi films. Though his film starred actors Preeti Jhangiani and Jiten Lalwani, it was “not a commercial success at all”.
“There is a huge market out there, but it ought to be tapped properly. Sindhi films cannot be promoted and marketed like Hindi or Bhojpuri films. Film-makers will now have to come up with innovative strategies to recover costs. Once that happens, distributors will come forward,” he said.
Actors (L to R) Jai Hero, Jeetu Vajirani and Sanjay Rohra look at publicity material for their film
Jairam Rupani, who made Khatmithro in 1993, too stayed away from Sindhi cinema after the commercial failure of his film. “It’s a huge task to promote a Sindhi film. It is a logistical nightmare,” he said.
All the film-makers, however, agreed that cinema is an excellent way to revive the dying Sindhi culture.
|2009-03-15||Kalyan police bust prostitution racket|
Last week after a surprise raid, Kalyan police rescued 13 girls, including four minors from a house in Kalyan West near Pournima talkies. Rahul Indrajit Roy and Pia Rahul Roy, a young couple around 30-35 years old, was allegedly the mastermind involved in this prostitution racket.
They would allegedly lure young girls (between 13 to 26 years old) from West Bengal and Bangladesh on the pretext of jobs and then force them into prostitution.
Sources said that the girls would be brutally beaten up and tortured with cigarette burns. DCP Dattatray Karale and his team in a sting operation sent dummy clients to the Roys. The hired girls revealed all the details and the police raided the Dharam Palace lodge in Ulhasnagar and Ambika Lodge near Shahad station at around 11 pm on Monday and rescued the girls. The Roys were arrested.
“Four of the girls rescued are under 16 years and most of the others are less than twenty years old. The girls are now safely housed in a rescue home in Ulhasnagar,” said DCP Dattatray Karale. At the time of going to press further investigations in the case were on.
|2009-03-13||Large gaps between the trains footboards & platfor|
Commuters of the central suburbs have to face many difficulties while boarding and alighting from the trains - one of which is the difference in height between the platforms and the footboard of the train.
This difference, surprisingly, varies on every platform and at every station. Generally the height between the platforms and the footboard of the train is supposed to be 6" to 9" which would make it is easy for commuters of all ages to board and alight from the train.
However, according to the survey done by our correspondent the gaps and height varies from 15" to around 2 ft on a few platforms. This huge difference leads to many accidents. While boarding the trains many commuters, especially senior citizens and children have to be actually physically lifted to avoid falling between the gaps between the train and the platform. Many a time, commuters lose their footwear or belongings and have to miss trains in order to collect them
"Railways are spending a huge amount to build good infrastructure, why are they not levelling these platforms? Why don't the engineers and planners who design the platforms maintain uniformity throughout all the stations and platforms," questions Vaishali Deshmukh from Kalyan west. Vaishali, a clerk with a private firm in Mumbai commutes daily and has suffered many a times due the above stated problems.
"I would like the engineers to travel along few passengers and experience these problems themselves to rectify it as soon as possible, in order to stop more commuters from becoming victims of their negligence," emphasises Bismillah Shaikh, president of Rail Yatri Parishad from Kalyan west.
"Though we commute daily, a mere announcement of arrival of train on some other platform is a cause of concern for everyone. When in a hurry many commuters slip and fall due to the unreasonable distance between the platforms and the train footboard," complains a group of regulars from Ulhasnagar.
When DK Plus contacted station masters of Dombivli, Kalyan and Ambernath, they said, "We are only concerned with the schedules and running of trains, we have nothing to do with the civil works of the railways."
The station master at Ulhasnagar, PL Meena said, "I have two to three complaints every day from commuters. The latest written complaint is from LG Mathurkar from Ulhasnagar, who had fallen in the gap between the train and the platform. Meena added that he had forwarded the complaint to the higher authorities and had also written several times in the past and also spoken to officers and inspector of berth Dongre of CR. "There has been no positive action from anyone. It is high time the authorities do something as many commuters have suffered, but most of them don't bother to complain as they think their complaints will fall on deaf ears and they leave," informs Meena.
When DK Plus tried to contact Inspector of Berth Dongre, he was not available for comment. RB Kolhe, divisional commercial Inspector said, "The heights can be levelled easily, but as the gap between the platforms and trains depends on curvatures, this is difficult to reconstruct. However, as of now with the help of modern techniques and machineries available, it is possible. Since the matter is very serious as many have lost their limbs and suffered serious injuries, the railways should give priority to this problem and do the needful as soon as possible." He assured to take up the matter with the authorities concerned immediately and keep a follow up on the issue.
|2009-03-12||Adulterated Holi colours: 60 children hospitalised|
At least 60 children were hospitalised on Wednesday after they developed complications allegedly due to chemicals present in colours used during Holi celebrations in Ambernath town here, police said.
Some time after coming in contact with the colours, the children complained of nausea and giddiness and had to be rushed to the Central Hospital in Ulhasnagar town for treatment, they said.
They also complained of irritation in eyes and itching, police said.
At least five children were shifted to the Thane civil hospital for further treatment, they added.
Police are trying to locate the shops that sold these colours, police said adding that further investigations are on.
|2009-03-07||Fire in Ulhasnagar; several injured|
A major fire broke out at the SS Electricals Company at Ulhasnagar in which six fire brigade employees were injured. RN Tadvi, PSI from Vithalwadi police station was also injured in the incident.
Fire brigade officials struggling to control the fire
Police sources revealed that the fire was caused by short circuit. Fire brigade vehicle from Ulhasnagar, Ambernath and Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporations arrived at the spot. An LPG gas cylinder burst as a result of the fire causing it to spread.
Those injured in the incident include Bhaskar Mirpagare, chief, fire brigade from UMC, Harry Shetty, driver of the vehicle, Vasnat Pagare and Bhimrao Khere, employees from UMC fire brigade department and Dattatrya Borse and Rajendra Pagare from fire brigade department of AMC who were rushed to the nearby hospital. It took five hours to control the fire.
RN Tadvi, PSI from Vithalwadi police station informed, “The employees initially tried to control the fire with the help of gunny bags but when that failed, they called the fire brigade. Many fire brigade employees were severely injured and were rushed to the local hospital.”
|2009-03-05||I feel sorry for Ichcha: Sparsh|
She may not get to do things children her age usually do, like playing with friends every evening, but little Sparsh, who plays a poor kid from the slums in daily soap Uttaran, doesn't mind doing her homework on the sets and napping between shots.
"Why should I? I do everything I want to. I go to school in the mornings. Then shooting takes place in the afternoon. I go to sleep in the car and wake up only when I reach my shoot," Sparsh told IANS.
And the eight-year-old loves all the attention she gets at school, thanks to the serial that airs on Colors channel.
"My friends in school call me Ichcha or Hichki (her two names in the serial). Between school and the sets, I don't get tired because there's enough time to do everything. I do my homework on the sets and take naps between shots. I eat and do masti. In between shots I play with Ishita (her friend in the daily soap)," she said.
Sparsh is a middle-class girl from Ulhasnagar, near Mumbai, who has suddenly been catapulted to fame. But she admits she feels sorry for the character she plays - a girl from the slums who tries hard to be happy with the hand-me-down dresses of the more privileged children.
"I think about the little girl Ichcha, who has none of the things I have. I put myself in her place and then I just do what I have to. Yes, I do feel sorry for Ichcha. But she's got a loving mama, just like me," said Sparsh.
Asked where she learnt acting, she replied confidently: "Kahin bhi nahin (from nowhere). I just know what to do and say."
"Do you really like my performance? I've done another serial Mera Sasural where I played the role of the heroine's child, and I play Suniel Shetty uncle's daughter in the film Red Alert."
So is acting in her genes?
Said her mother Sarita: "I really don't know where she got the talent from. Because we don't have any other actor in our family."
|2009-03-01||Ulhasnagar Octroi post looses revenue|
Collection dips by 12-13 % in Thane, 20 % in Bhiwandi, Kalyan and Ulhasnagar
With the economic slowdown hitting the industry, collection of octroi in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in Thane has taken a plunge. Octroi collection by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) in Thane, bordering Mumbai, Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Mira-Bhayander, has fallen 12-13 per cent below expectations.
The municipal corporations of Bhiwandi-Nizampur, Kalyan-Dombivli, and Ulhasnagar also witnessed a 20 per cent dip in octroi collection since October-November 2008.
Ajay Vaidya, deputy municipal commissioner (DMC) in charge of the octroi department in Thane said the last good collection was in October 2008 after which it has been plummeting. ?In October 2008, we collected 15 per cent more octroi than the previous year?s target. We were hoping to maintain the trend till the end of the financial year. However from November 2008, the situation turned worrisome,? said DMC Vaidya.
Generally, the TMC, which has been collecting around 15 percent higher octroi than the previous year, has to contend with a mere 3.69 per cent now.
?The slowdown in the industry has affected our octroi target. The association of smallscale industries in Thane has submitted a memorandum to reduce octroi as their revenue fell 40 per cent forcing them to cut labour force by the same percentage,? said Vaidya.
However, in Bhiwandi, Kalyan-Dombivli, Ulhasnagar, it is not the civic body that will be affected. The private firms appointed to collect octroi on its behalf have borne the brunt. ?Since October 2008, collection has been below expectations. On an average, there has been a 20 per cent loss in revenue,? said Nand Jethani, chairman of Konark Infrastructure, the firm appointed to collect octroi in Bhiwandi, Kalyan-Dombivli and Ulhasnagar.
As the annual collection target agreed upon between the civic bodies and the Konark Infrastructure are in the tune of Rs 100 crore, the losses are immense. Konark infrastructure was to collect Rs 127 crore in Bhiwandi, Rs 94 crore in Kalyan-Dombivli and Rs 102 crore in Ulhasnagar. A 20 per cent loss would mean the agency would be at no-profit-no-loss, or may face a loss.
Jethani said the firm had sought a revision of targets from the civic bodies concerned in view of the poor collections.
?Octroi collection has been hit most by the slump in construction activity. Less construction means less raw materials transported. When people buy houses and occupy them, they buy new things. Less construction activity brings economy that thrives on occupation of new houses to a grinding halt,? said Jethani.
Vaidya also lists the decline in construction activity as one of the main reasons for the dip. ?TMC collection of development charges on construction activity, predominantly housing, is 22 per cent less than the previous year. Fuel prices have reduced twice in the current year. After two corrections, the Central VAT has been reduced by 6 per cent,? said Vaidya.