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Report Dated January 16, 2017 6:14 PM
All it takes is a few minutes of counselling to prevent the burgeoning suicide of farmers but unfortunately it isn’t even recognised as a solution here, leave alone adopting it.
A Telugu psychiatrist, Vidyasagar Vangala, based in Florida, USA, is perturbed with the absence of such facilities to save the precious lives of farmers who take to the extreme step with emotional reasons.
Hailing from Singarajupalli near Jangaon, Dr. Vangala, who was recently in India, spoke to a few farmers in his district to find that several of them were on the verge of committing suicide. “It pains me that most of these suicides can be prevented with a session or two by the psychiatrists,” he says.
Dr. Vangala has now decided to get in touch with the farmers directly in his area through a group of friends and offer counselling free of cost.
“If I can save at least two or three suicides also I will be happy,” says the alumnus of Osmania Medical College and a Fellow of American Psychiatric Association (FAPA). First awareness has to be created on identifying the symptoms of depression and suicidal tendencies, and the availability of resources. Family members or friends can easily identify and then guide them to psychiatry help, he says.
He is now talking to identified sarpanches in Telangana to create awareness.
He feels Government should play a key role in creating awareness about the availability of resources as it is easy to intervene before suicides happen.
Report Dated January 14, 2017 10:53 PM
In 2014, AAP surprised itself by winning four parliamentary seats, a windfall for the political rookie. It followed up by steadfastly deploying party boss and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to campaign across the state, asking that the traditional contenders, the Congress and the Akali-BJP combine (currently in power), be retired to give AAP a shot at forming the government.
The party claims that 2,500 NRIs from Punjab have returned to pound the pavement for votes, determined to help AAP take charge of their home state. Like Harry Dhaliwal, who has surrendered a family vacation to Cuba to hold public meetings in Ludhiana. “37 years ago, I had to leave my country because the values I learned here and applied… the system never gave me returns… but when I applied the same values in Canada, from a farm labourer I ended up being a judge,” he said.
The Aam Aadmi Party gets 20% of its funding from NRIs, 1 in every 5 Punjabis is overseas. A lack of opportunities, jobs and quality life drives people away. We do whatever little we can for our village, but that’s not enough,” says Karam Singh Sidhu, 45, who works in Calgary in Canada.
AAP gets over 20 per cent of its funding from NRIs, and developed a “Chalo Punjab” campaign urging NRIs to contribute not just money but their time. Those who can’t be on the ground are helping by making phone calls, cold-calling a list of voters furnished to them by the party.
Last week, Mr Kejriwal said that his party was short of resources to fight the election. In response, on Wednesday, a plane full of NRIs from Canada will land in Chandigarh to give him the support he sought.
Report Dated January 11, 2017 5:33 PM
Setting an example for philanthropic initiatives by overseas Indians in India, the founder chairman of the US-India Chamber of Commerce, Dallas, Ashok Mago, handed over a cheque of $25,000 to the Indian Development Foundation to be used for the welfare of widows of the Indian Army. He wants these women to learn distance education courses and stand on their own feet after losing their sole breadwinners in the line of duty.
Report Dated January 9, 2017 6:14 PM
The Kannadiga NRIs from the Silicon Valley are on a mission to bridge the gap between angel funding and mentoring to ensure startups in Karnataka get the much needed push.
The Association of Kannada Kootas of America (AKKA) has put forward a proposal for crossborder entrepreneurship as a business model at the PBD. A series of meetings with regard to the project were held by AKKA members and the San Fransisco-Bengaluru Sister City Board members with Priyank Kharge, IT – BT Minister of Karnataka.
AKKA joint secretary Raghu Shivram said the aim is to bring mentors from the Silicon Valley and provide their services to startups in Karnataka.
Shivaram Malavalli, resident chairman of the San Fransisco-Bengaluru Sister City Board, said the cross-border project will have angel funding from the Silicon Valley.
“The companies in the tri-city region have deep pockets, and are on the lookout for startups. We want to utilize our reach in bringing them on board to fund startups here,” Malavalli said.
The NRI Kannadiga community is also providing incubation possibilities for such endeavours. In September 2016, the Kannadiga NRI community held a startup showcase event wherein a local company, Eventosaur, was chosen as the winner. “We, along with the Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services, are looking at a bigger platform for incubation,” Shivaram added.
Report Dated January 7, 2017 11:38 AM
A 37-year-old Indian-origin blind man in the UK has fitted his guide dog with a camera in a bid to highlight the discrimination and abuse he faces daily while travelling around London.
Amit Patel lost his eyesight five years ago to an eye disease known as keratoconus.
He gets around London with the help of his guide dog, Kika, to whom Patel recently attached a GoPro camera to film the discrimination he faces every day from fellow Londoners.
“The city is a scary place. It’s like someone put you in the middle of Trafalgar Square, turned you in a circle and said ‘find your way home’,” Patel was quoted as saying by BBC.
The footage captured by his canine guide has not always shown a city willing to help him.
“The video came out of necessity. Kika was getting hit by peoples’ bags and she was getting a lot of abuse. A woman stopped me one day and had a go at me for holding everyone up and said I should apologise, which was a real shock,” he said.
The former doctor found a solution — attach a GoPro to Kika’s harness and film every journey. Patel’s wife, Seema, can then review the footage if it is felt there was something amiss about that day.
And when alterations were made to a London train station the camera came into its own.
“I asked for help and no one came. The video shows lots of staff standing around me and this one guy looking over many times,” Patel said.
“Eventually when the staff member actually came to me the first thing he said was ‘sorry I didn’t see you’ and that really bugged me,” he said.
The footage was sent to Network Rail giving Patel the “valuable evidence” needed to lodge a formal complaint about an incident he could not see.
The video had an impact and Network Rail investigated before giving further training to its staff.
Patel learned he had keratoconus – a condition which changes the shape of the cornea – in the final year of medical school.
Lenses to push the corneas back into shape stopped working and six cornea transplants were rejected by his body until he was told “no more”.