“We want Doctors for You to be WHO of India”- Dr Ravikant Singh

Logo of DFYDoctors for You is a NGO launched by doctors, professionals,students. It has started a unique drive about Blood Platelet Donation. Here is a quick chat with Dr Ravikant Singh, National Co-ordinator of DFY.

1. What is Doctors for You?

Dr Ravikant: Doctors For You is humanitarian aid organisation that provides emergency medical assistance and equitable health care and health education to all.

Doctors For You comprises of professionals from both medical and non medical fields. We organize and administer public health functions in more effective ways. It includes identifying and training new staff of health workers, developing new means of surveillance to track a disease, spread awareness and then taking measure to control the same.
2. So is it only for the doctors?

Dr Ravikant: Doctors by definition is a teacher , one skilled in a profession or branch of knowledge ; a learned person. So in this respect everyone associated with this organization is a DOCTOR who is taking up to the task of curing the social disease of our country.

3. What are the projects you are working on currently?

Dr Ravikant: Cases of unexplained fever, malaria, dengue, leptospirosis etc are on the rise. India is facing shortage of platelets. Platelet is a life saving supportive therapy needed in serious cases. The level of awareness in the general public is less. Hence we have launched an awareness and donation drive. This is the first of its type in Asia. We have successfully collected many units of platelets till date across the country. In Maharshtra the project has shot up after our association with State Blood Transfusion Council. We have also collaborated with Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.
Apart from this we are working on other projects as well which includes maternal and child health, stress management for Indian Armed Forces, Girl Education and population Control.

4. Who all are heading or supporting your organisation?

Dr Ravikant Singh: We have got enormous response from everywhere. Our organisation is supported by many doctors including from KEM Hospital, Mumbai, AIIMS, New Delhi. The others include working professionals from engineering, software, lawyers, CAs etc. We have recently got support from Sri Sri RaviShankar, Prahlad Kakkad, RK Bajaj as our patrons.

5. What is your vision for Doctors for You?

Dr Ravikant: We want to make Doctors for You as WHO of India.

6. How can people join this organisation?

Dr Ravikant: Joining DFY is total voluntary work. All those who want to be part of DFY can send us the membership form available on our website ( www.doctorsforyou.org). They can also contact us on our helpline numbers 9967056832 – 9833158385 – 9324334359.

Thanks a lot doctor for your valuable time.

The need to develop a “Sports Culture” in India

India is a land of many talents, but sports isn’t really one of them.

The performance of our sportsmen in the last 6 months or so has been really astounding – the Nehru Cup in Football, the Asia Cup in Hockey, a good show by Sania Mirza in Tennis, the Twenty20 World Cup in Cricket and most recently, Vishwanathan Anand becoming the World Champion in Chess. This euphoria generated in the wake of such performances could provide a perfect ground for sowing seeds of a sports culture – a dimension sadly lacking in our national life.

As a nation we are proud of our ancient civilization. Our religious culture has produced great scholars and seekers of salvation, enlistment the world over look to India for advice in religious matters; matters related to the soul, the atma. But sadly, we have never had what could be called a sports culture. Not even in the Maharashtra days did we have a sports culture. Archery, boxing and wrestling were used as war weapons. But no contests were held even in these disciplines. And training in these was restricted to the elite, mostly the princes. An Eklavaya with immense potential was refused admission to the training classes of Guru Dronacharya.

The childhood activities of Lord Krishna were tending of cows, stealing butter, playing pranks and the flute, not active sports. Lord Rama did learn ‘Baan Vidya’ seriously but not as a sporting activity.

Sporting excellence was used to kill or subdue the enemy or the adversary and not for promoting the higher, the faster and the stronger concepts, the hallmarks of modern sports.

With stress on spiritual matters we paid more attention to the soul and the other world, neglecting the body and the material, physical world. We forgot that a noble soul should have a worthy, strong body as well.

With the advent of modern sports and the Olympic movement, Indians did put in serious effort in some sports. Dhyan Chand led the hockey crusade and India ruled the roost for three decades winning seven gold medals. Milkha Singh broke the world record in 400m at Rome in 1960 (but unfortunately three others did the same, ahead of him). P.T. Usha showed the world that Indian women are capable of competing with the best. Prakash Padukone beat the world single-handedly winning the All-England and the world title in badminton.

But all these are stray cases of excellence and none of them are products of sports culture. They are all self-made greats.

India can at the most claim to have a cricket culture. But the prevailing Cricket Culture is not Sports Culture and it is more a bane than a boon to Indian sports.

If we had a sports culture in place, Dingko Singh would continue to do well, Paramjit Singh would not vanish into thin air, Gopi Chand would have come on the scene much earlier and P.T. Usha’s records would have been long broken.

The world’s second most populous nation behind China ranks dead last worldwide in the number of Olympic medals won per capita. Paraguay, Nigeria and Iraq have done better. How bad is India’s sporting scene? When international officials stopped by recently to review New Delhi’s progress towards hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games, an Olympics-like sports competition for former British colonies, they noted that the infrastructure work was pretty much on track. But they suggested, not so subtly, that India might want to pay more attention to preparing its athletes, to ward off embarrassment. India, as proud and nationalistic a country as they are, can’t seem to get out of the starting blocks when it comes to the race for an Olympic Gold.

Why should that be, particularly with a potential talent pool of 1.1billion people? India does funnel a respectable amount of money toward its sports federations, bureaucratic structures set up to manage competition in each sport and train athletes. But unlike in China, Russia or Cuba, where state-run training programs focus on turning out finely tuned athletes, India’s sports centers spend much of their budget on salaries for bureaucrats, while athletes complain about lack of money for track improvements, coaches and better running shoes.Athletes’ feelings of being less than a priority were compounded recently when New Delhi officials announced plans to shut all of the city’s stadiums over the next few months to facilitate renovation in advance of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, leaving Olympic contenders scrambling to find other practice grounds.

It’s time the Sports Authority of India, the state associations and sports federations prove their credibility and worth and put a sports culture on firm footing.

Remembering Bhagat Singh

The Legendary Martyr of India - Bhagat Singh2007 is the birth centenary of the legendary Bhagat Singh. He is the symbol of heroism for the lively youth of India. Despite Bhagat Singh being in the hearts of the people, we do not have a proper memorial for the great martyr.

BHAGAT SINGH was one of the most prominent heroes of the Indian freedom struggle and was a revolutionary ahead of his times. Bhagat Singh was born in the village Banga in Layalpur district of Punjab (now in Pakistan) in a Sikh family on 27 September 1907 & was the third son of Sardar Kishan Singh and Vidyavati. Bhagat Singh’s family was actively involved in the freedom struggle. His uncle Ajit Singh and father Kishan Singh were members of the Ghadar Party founded in the US to oust British rule from India.

In 1916, the young Bhagat Singh came into contact with well known political leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai and Rash Bihari Bose. At that time, he used to study at the local DAV School, in Lahore. Those days, Punjab was very charged politically. When the Jaliawalan Bagh massacre took place in 1919, Bhagat Singh was only 12 years old and was deeply disturbed by it. The day after the massacre, Bhagat Singh went to Jaliawalan Bagh and collected the soil from the spot and kept it as a memento for the rest of his life. The cruel killings strengthened his resolve to drive out the British from India.

From 1923, to the time of his execution, in 1931, he devoted himself completely to the liberation of the motherland. He gave a new direction to revolutionary movement in India and formed the “Naujavan Bharat Sabha” to spread the message of revolution in Punjab. He formed the “Hindustan Samajwadi Prajatantra Sangha” along with the great Chandrasekhar Azad to establish a republic in India. Bhagat Singh killed police officer Saunders to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai. He dropped two bombs in Central Legislative Assembly along with Batukeshwar Dutt. The bombs were thrown in such a way that they did not hurt anyone. After that, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt, deliberately courted arrest by refusing to run away from the scene.

Bhagat Singh when he was in jailMeanwhile, friends of Bhagat Singh who turned ‘approvers’ identified the killers of Saunders. During his trial, Bhagat Singh refused to employ any defence counsel. In jail, he went on hunger strike to protest the inhuman treatment of fellow political prisoners by jail authorities. On 7 October 1930, Bhagat Singh, Sukh Dev and Raj Guru were awarded death sentence by a special tribunal. Despite great popular pressure and numerous appeals by political leaders of India, Bhagat Singh and his associates were hanged on March 23 1931.

Bhagat Singh and his compatriots shook the British Empire and their views infused an aggressive spirit in the struggle for independence. The fear of Bhagat Singh among the British was such, that even after executing him along with Sukhdev and Rajguru, the jail authorities cut their bodies into pieces and stuffed them in jute bags. The bags were burnt on the banks of River Sutlej quietly to prevent outrage against the British government on seeing the bodies of martyrs.

Besides being a nationalist to his core, Bhagat Singh was a socialist and a republican. “Labour is the real sustainer of society. The sovereignty of the people is the ultimate destiny of workers. For these ideals and for this faith we shall welcome any suffering to which we may be condemned”. This brings out Bhagat Singh not as a terrorist, which his prosecutors laboured to prove him unsuccessfully. He was a socialist, and a democrat – all in one.

Bhagat Singh is dead; yet he lives on. He is idolised by youngsters who want to bring about change in society. Bhagat Singh still lives on in our hearts, thanks to films like ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ and ‘Rang De Basanti’. The latter revived the spirit of Bhagat Singh. Generation X awoke from its slumber and came together to demand justice for Priyadarshini Mattoo, Jessica Lal and against reservations. They learnt speaking for themselves. They also fought against unfavourable amendments in the Right to Information Act. It seems this generation has now awakened and it’s the beginning of a new era where the youth is breathing rebellion. I would like to conclude with a quote from Bhagat Singh’s jail notebook:

I also wish my friends to speak little or not at all about me, because idols are created when men are praised, and this is very bad for the future of the human race. Acts alone, no matter by whom committed, ought to be studied, praised or blamed. Let them be praised in order that they may be imitated when they seem to contribute to the common wealth. Let them be censured when they are regarded as injurious to the general well being, so that they may not be repeated.

I desire that on no occasion whether near or remote, nor for any reason whatsoever, shall demonstration of a political or religious character be made before my remains, as I consider the time devoted to the dead would be better employed in improving the conditions of the living most of whom stands in great need of this.

Let us pay our rich tributes to the martyrs and learn and follow the path of these great souls.

“Right to Emergency Care” – A flooding rumour

The following e-mail is visiting a lot of inboxes these days:

Right to Emergency Care:
Date Of Judgment: 23/02/2007.
Case No.: Appeal (civil) 919 of 2007.

The Supreme Court has ruled that all injured persons especially in the
case of road traffic accidents, assaults, etc., when brought to a
hospital / medical centre, have to be offered first aid, stabilized and
shifted to a higher centre / government centre if required. It is only
after this that the hospital can demand payment or complete police
formalities. In case you are a bystander and wish to help someone in an
accident, please go ahead and do so. Your responsibility ends as soon
as you leave the person at the hospital.

The hospital bears the responsibility of informing the police, first
aid, etc.

Please do inform your family and friends about these basic rights so
that we all know what to expect and what to do in the hour of need.
Please not only go ahead and forward, use it too!!!!

The message tells us that this is the Supreme Court judgement to Appeal(Civil) 919 of 2007. On searching the Judgement Information System it was clear that the case was in no manner related to the said message.

It was about a no-profit charitable hospital based in Ghanapur, Andhra Pradesh having claimed exemptions on imported medical equipments, based on Para 2 of Notification No. 64/88-Cus, which were granted. But since according to the classification of hospitals by the notification, it fell under Para 3, it also applied for exemption under the same, after the first exemption was granted.

On rejection of the second application, they filed the case in the AP High Court, which again didn’t go in their favour and hence this case was filed in Supreme Court.

For more details, on the case, check out the Judgement Information System.

Always verify any such crucial information related to the lives of people before you believe in it.

Terrorism-Are we equipped to handle the challenge

The attack in Mumbai in 2006“It is no coincidence that the recent terrorist act that have occurred have been in the states that have party in power that are hypersensitive to their avowed secular bias?Is the no non-sense policing in Gujarat and the attitude of the authorities there prevented attack?”-Swapan Dasgupta(TOI-9th Sept 2007).

I chose to begin my article with this evocative but controversial comment because it succinctly captures what i feel about the current state of affairs regarding national security.Indeed the reprehensible pogroms of Gujarat in 2002 have been used as the excuse by sundry dealers of terror to justify their act.But the hard fact is other that the Akshardaham attack has there been a terror attack on Gujarat?No.Is the attitude of the people and the authorities responsible for it?

In fact,in a recent TOI article,it was said that the A.P. state intelligence bureau was’nt allowed to pick up persons that could have been responsible for the smuggling of ordinance because they were Muslim. And this was BEFORE the blast occurred.This is liberalism gone astray.In the name of “not hurting the sentiments of the minority” the government allows freedom to some sections of the Muslim community to wantonly carry out acts of terror.The authorities easily place the blame on Pakistan and feel they have gotten away with it.

It is all fine to say that all Muslims are not terrorists but should’nt we wake up to the fact that all the terror acts that we read about from London to Bali are perpetrated by Muslims?This is not to discount the danger from other elements such as Naxals and ULFA.their grievances are largely localised and can be solved given time.All it takes is some imagination form the authorities.But the Islamist terrorrist claim to fight for a Muslim Brotherhood.Their demands are often illogical.Their plans are often grandiose.This,i feel,is more dangerous.

Here I’d like to mention the case of the USA.It has’nt wasted time in talking to these lunatics.It has simply gone ahead and neutralised them.Of course,it has come at the cost of some loss of civil right to some segments of the population,especially Muslims.But imagine the number of lives saved.USA hasn’t faced a terror attack on it’s soil since 9/11.Europe,with its softer attitude,has’nt been that lucky.Frankly I’d be willing to be detained in some security line for a couple of hours if the procedure saves some lives.Would’nt you?

Our National Security Advisor yesterday wrote: “We do not highlight our successes because we don’t want to alarm the public”Pray,where was his logic when he was writing that?I’d love to know the successes of our agencies.It would make me feel better.It would make me feel that my government is doing a good job of protecting me.I think he should get on with his job and not try to fool us with his mythical successes.It stinks of bureaucratic arrogance.

The answer to the questions that i asked in my heading must have been evident from the argument i presented.We aren’t prepared to handle the challenge.Our authorities must pull up their socks or risk facing the ire of voters who have been sick and tired of terror.


No Hindi Please!!!!

Hindi hamari pehchan hai September 14 is Hindi Divas.

Hindi is a direct descendant of Sanskrit through Prakrit and Apabhramsha. It has been influenced and enriched by Dravidian, Turkish, Farsi, Arabic, Portugese and English languages. It is a very expressive language. In poetry and songs, it can convey emotions using simple and gentle words. It can also be used for exact and rational reasoning.
More than 180 million people in India regard Hindi as their mother tongue. Another 300 million use it as second language. Outside of India, Hindi speakers number 100,000 in USA; 685,170 in Mauritius; 890,292 in South Africa; 232,760 in Yemen; 147,000 in Uganda; 5,000 in Singapore; 8 million in Nepal; 20,000 in New Zealand; 30,000 in Germany. Urdu, the official language of Pakistan, spoken by about 41 million in Pakistan and other countries, is essentially the same language. These are the facts concerning Hindi which is the third most-spoken language in the world. Our identity is Hindi but of late Hindi is getting step-motherly treatment from Indians themselves.

It is a paradox that is indicative of an emerging trend in Bollywood – the country’s pan-Indian film industry may make its movies in the national language but prefers to have its scripts written in a colonial one. In other words, no Hindi please, we prefer Angrezi.
“When VVS Laxman walked in to discuss the first day’s play with the media on Friday evening, there were audible groans — bowlers were the stars of the day, and the reporters were hoping to chat with Zaheer Khan. Minutes later, leaving Laxman mid-sentence — he was answering a question in Hindi — one by one, the British journalists walked up to the table, picked up their voice recorders and walked out.”

Now I narrate an incident which took place a few days back. I was commuting by a local train, when a woman asked me in English if I could make place for her. Why she could not have asked me in Hindi, I wondered. Was it necessary to use English? Wherever I go, people choose to speak English, though most of them are fluent in Hindi. Even the educational system has adopted English as the medium of instruction. Should not Hindi have been given priority?

I am surprised that politicians use English in Parliament and even in Republic Day and Independence Day speeches. I have seen youngsters who are proudly declare that they do not know their national language. The use of Hindi has been reduced to the use of slang. Parents feel inferior if their child is unable to converse in English. There are so many English-speaking classes conducted, but not a single Hindi-speaking class.

We are in the 60th year of our independence, but how independent are we? All industries, including the media, fashion and management communicate only in English. Pilots have been fired because they do not know English. I do not wish to insult English. But people should be bi-lingual and speak both Hindi and English fluently. English is the pair of spectacles, while Hindi is the eye. If people do not have eyes, of what use are the spectacles? I feel proud when Indians do not feel inferior while communicating with foreigners, but what if they are asked to speak Hindi? Do the Japanese or Chinese face similar problems? They have come a long way, but do they really need to depend on a foreign language like our youth do?

It is always good to know a foreign language and culture, but not at the cost of the local language. I would like to conclude by quoting Bapu, “There should be no use of foreign language between two people knowing the same language, the use of the other language then, should be punished.”

The world is changing and it is always sensible to change with the changing situation. But we cannot afford to forget Hindi and its rich culture because it is the pillar our country rests on. If this support were to weaken, it would lead to a catastrophe. It is high time we respected our mother tongue national language. The Hindi Divas should not be the only day when we remember our identity, i.e. Hindi.

Rape, Pay a compensation & Be free. This is India!!!

Rape, Pay a compensation & Be free. This is India!!!Rape is one of the most heinous crimes done by one human to control, dominate and force the other to their own will. It is a prevalent world-wide. Whatever reasons might be behind it – social, religious or in wars, it carries the same crushing shame, anger and emotional trauma.

Let us see the following figures :-

Every 26 minutes a woman in India is molested. Every 34 minutes a woman is raped. Every 42 minutes a woman is sexually harassed. Every 43 minutes a woman is kidnapped. Every 93 minutes a woman is killed. And those are just the cases that are reported.

As for the cases that are reported, very few get punishment. Often the woman is bombarded with all sorts of humiliating questions and the cases are withdrawn midway. If the perpetrator is influential and rich, its assured that justice will be thrown out of the window. This has been proved time and again. We cannot cut down the trauma caused by the actual rape but we can give the emotional support that the victim needs and see that rapist is behind the bars. This would at least result in the reduction of rape crimes in the country. But story is very different.

Now read this :-
A very shocking verdict came from a judge in Tamil Nadu, who set aside the conviction of a rapist because he offered Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the victim. The verdict delivered a month ago is a trauma to the victim. Now question arises can a convicted rapist be let off because he is rich? Is this not a total travesty of the justice. How can a convicted rapist be acquitted because he agrees to pay compensation? Does that means anyone with money can rape with impunity? We might as well dispense with trials, courts, lawyers and judges. Why bother with the legal system? Just put the price list of rape. It is shocking that for a criminal offence a person could be let off lightly.
I am also amazed that no one, be it social organizations, women groups, media has picked it up except an English daily.

In India more than 80% rape cases go unreported because the victim is looked upon as if she is at fault and somehow asked for it. Not many people have faith in the law system and as a result the victim has to suffer all by herself and to see her rapist roaming around freely. The very few go against all odds for justice and then if they are treated like this, the situation cannot be more worst for women in India.

The judiciary needs an overhaul and more stringent laws are required to curb violence and crime against women. Rape should be considered at par with murder. The necessary reforms are very essential so that rich men cannot consider law as their property. Does this mean that such rulings only send signals to the society that our women can be raped, murdered and you can pay the compensation to buy your freedom??