Tuesday, August 31, 2010

swine flu makes havoc in western Orissa

lawyers continue their agitation demanding high court bench

 The functioning of the courts and revenues offices including office of collector and RDC in Sambalpur was completely disrupted because of the picketing of the lawyers in protest against government apathy in establishment of the high court bench.  The lawyers assembled at Kachery chock in the morning and obstructed the judicial magistrates to enter into the courts.
“Judicial magistrates including the district judge did not enter the court premises because of the obstruction of the agitating lawyers. They also obstructed the revenue officials and did not allow them to enter their respective offices”, a senior police officer of the district said.
According to him the agitation of lawyers was peaceful and there was no report of untoward incidents. However common people faced difficulties as the office of RDC, collector, Sub-collector and Tahasil were closed down by the lawyers. “We have decided to obstruct the judicial magistrates and revenue officials on Monday also. But on Tuesday it will be a cease- work agitation. We will continue this agitation on last 3 working days of every month till the establishment of high court bench in western odisha”, general Secretary of the Sambalpur district bar Dilip Bishi said.
On the other hand Saturday being the ‘grievance day’ of the collector, many people came to collector office to put forth their grievances but due to agitation the office of collector was closed down which forced them to go back.  On Monday also offices were closed down with similar protest by the lawyers.                    

debt-ridden lady farmers kills herself setting fire

A female farmer immolated herself pouring kerosene on Thursday in her Faslabahal village under Jamenkira police station of the district. She is identified as Saudamini Naik who took over family cultivation ever since the death of her husband 15 years ago. She was cultivating about 15 acres of land taking loan from a cooperative society located in Fasimal.  The locals said she was worried because of the failure of the crop this year as she was unable to repay the loan. However police have not yet confirmed whether it was an accidental or suicide.
“We have to confirm it whether it was a suicide or an accident. Since she was an able farmer of the village having a strong mentality, she could not take such a step to kill her self even if crop was failed this year, the SDPO (Kuchinda) RG Panigrahi said.  According to him police have not registered a case as the villager performed the last ritual of the lady before police could get the information.
Sources said, deceased Saudamini Naik (55) was taking care of the family ever since her husband died 15 years ago. She took over the family cultivation to run the family smoothly. She also performed the marriage of her 3 daughters and gave good education to her only son.
We know her as a very strong lady. She took over the entire work of her husband and performed every responsibility with out fail after the death of her husband. She performed the marriage of her 3 daughters in good places. But crop-loss might have broken her backbone as she was worried not to repay her loan.”, a villager of Falsabahal said.  
Sources said, she came back to her house in the noon after visiting her field. She was totally upset after seeing her field as crop was totally damage because of poor rain fall. She poured kerosene and lit her body. She was rescued by the villager but it was all over she was completely burnt. The villagers cremated the charred body with out waiting police. “We informed the police but as police could not reach in time” a villager said.            

Activists to protest in case government allows Vedanta for mining in Gandhamardhan

The former parliamentarian and leader of the Balco movement Bhawani Sankar Hota has warned the government to refrain from thinking of mining of Bauxite in Gandhamardhan hill as people are already joined for yet another fight to save the forest range as it provides them bread and butter. While speaking to the press, Hota said that the Gandhamardan is full of herbal and medicinal plants and mining will definitely destroy the flora and fauna of the mountain range.  Thousands of people especially the tribal of the region will be uprooted from their livelihood in case of mining as they earn their livelihood from the forest.
“We do not oppose industrialization, but not at the cost of the tribal people and at the cost of the destruction. If at all government wants to improve the area, than eco-tourism and herbal medicine plant will be better for the development of the area”, Hota asserted. He demanded rejection of the applications of the companies that are interested for the mining in Gandhamardhan.  “Government should declare the area as ‘mining free zone’ to save the environment of the area which is considered a pious place as it bears faith and believes of the lakhs of Indian” another activist swami Sombesh said

on the other hand, eminent social activists and environmentalist Prafulla Samantara believes that BALCO movement that saved Gandhamardhan in 1980s is considered as mother of all movements that have taken place in the country against industrialization, "so how can we tolerate if any one puts eye on it once again. The protest will be vigorous and massive if by any point of time government thinks to allow Gandhamardhan to Vedanta for mining. How can we allow any one to rob our mother? We will fight to save our mother”, Prafulla Samantara said on the possibility of allowing Vedanta for mining in Gandhamardhan. 
According to him Gandhamardhan has uncountable herbal and medicinal plant which are rarely available else where in the country. “We should be proud for the nature for giving such huge area of resources, but instead of utilizing the resources if government wants to destroy we are already to fight to save it” Samantara said.
While talking to TOI in Sambalpur on Sunday at Sambalpur, he expressed concern over the state government’s industrial policy which definitely convent the state into a desert. “Industrialization is needed but not at the cost of people”, he said.
Lok Mukti Abhijan chief Prafulla Samantara said that government should direct the Vedanta to close its refinery at Lanjigarh after central government accepted the Saxena report on Niyamgiri which disallowed mining in Niyamgiri hill. “Any mining or industry with in 50 km radius will definitely put a negative effect on the environment of Niyamgiri hill.” He said.
According to him, state government is desperate to hand over many such area including Panchamali (Kasipur) Bafilimali and Kodingamali (Koraput) to the industrial houses for mining with out considering the fate of the people. “Several water sources that are coming from these places will be dried out one mining will be started. So we warned the government to refrain from uprooting the innocent people from their living”, he said.  

separate statehood may not solve the problems of western Orissa

Demand may crop up in the mind of the people to go apart from Orissa but  ‘Separate state hood’ is not at all a solution for western-Orissa. Injustice and apathy of the state government on the people of western Orissa may exist ever since the inception of the state but it can be resolved through agitation and putting pressure on the government through an active civil society. But such problems can not be solved through demanding a separate state with the same political system and same political leaders. 
This was the gist of the meeting organized by the news paper weekly ‘Bishesh Khabar’ concluded  in Sambalpur where eminent individuals and scholars delivered their opinions. Presiding over the programme titled “how to eliminate discontentment of the people of Western Orissa”, the former MP and editor of the news weekly Kharavela Swain said regional imbalance and poverty exist in Western Orissa because of poor and far-sightless political leaders of the state as well as negligent attitude of the subsequent state governments. “ A state can not go ahead in case a part it is remains neglected for years. it is the duty of the government to focus such area on priority basis. But unfortunately in Orissa such thing was not happened ”, Swain asserted.
Speaking on the occasion, the editor of ‘the Sambad’ Saumya Ranjan Patnaik said political condition of a particular region would determine its development as government machinery becomes active in that area. “If there is any discontentment it should be reflected in the general election”, Patnaik said. Patnik reiterated that discontentment of the people of the area was never reflected in the general election.     
On the other hand the eminent educationist Nayaran Pruseth said  discontentment of the people of western Orissa is the result of constant negligent attitude of the state government ever since Orissa emerged a new state on the basis of language in 1936. According to him the fate of the people of the less or under development region is determined with the far-sight and attitude of the political leaders . “But unfortunately it was not happened in the case of Orissa. Poverty and hunger exists in western part even after 70 years of formation of the state” Pruseth said. “By setting up few industries in Sundergarh and Jharsuguda and Sambalpur areas, if you say western Orissa is developing than you are totally wrong” he asserted.
But president of the Kosal Kranti Dal (KKD) Pramod Mishra disagreeing with euch opinions,said separate state for western Orissa is the only alternative as people of the region would never get justice in the present set up. "western part of the state has been neglected in each and every field. where it is education or health or in the field of road communication and other facilities, the region is always remained in the bellow of the list of priority", Mishra said.  Former administrator DK Mishra and Senior scribe Shiba Nanda were present on this occasion as guests.
On the other hand, many eminent citizens and individuals who participated in the deliberation put   stress on the need of strong political will-power in the local leadership and a strong civil society as a pressure group for the solution of the present problems of the Western Orissa.

the editor of the 'Sambad' daily Saumya Ranjan Patnaik admiited that he is a  business man  as he runs a paper industry in the state. while answaring question of some of the lawyers Patnaik confassed that he is not doing any social work by selling a mews paper in Rs.2 /-. News paper is an industry and like other industry we are doing business. Do'nt say i am doing social work. Still we are happy that we are doing some thing for the society. He said this responding the query of some lawyers  regarding the news of western Orissa that are not placed in state editions. 

Long live tree : my brother

Hundreds of female including college students have created a brotherly-bond with trees after they tie Rakhi with trees located in the Budharaja reserve forest on Monday. They also took oath to protect the trees like their own brothers. It was a part of the activities under taken by the Budharaja Jangal Surakhya samiti that works for the conservation of the Budharaja forest.
‘This is perhaps the best opportunity to create awareness among the people about the conservation of forest and protection of trees. We are fighting for the conservation of the Budharaja forest for a long time but this idea of tying ‘rakhi’ on the trees came only in the year 2008. The response becomes over whelming. This year many people including youngsters and college students have taken part in the function and they have also promised to protect the trees” eminent environmentalist Rushi Patra told
On the eve of ‘Rakhi Purnami’, the samiti organized a festival at Budharaja forest range where females and college girls have taken part spontaneously. “They also tied rakhi on the trees. After tying Rakhi, I develop a sisterly relation with trees. So I promised to protect the trees till my last breathe”, a 20 years old girl Sangita said.
Eminent citizens including former vice-chancellor of Berhampur University Prof AP Padhi and former administrator Raghunath Mishra who present on this occasion have appreciated the members of the Jangal Surakhya samiti for such a noble work to protect the forest. “It is really a noble work and idea behind this is also equally noble. I congratulate organizers and members of the Samiti for under taking this work. I am hopeful people of other parts also fellow this idea to protect their forest”, Prof AP Padhi said.
Sources said, the Budharaja hillock is located in the heart of the Sambalpur town which comprises of about 126 hectors of forest land. The forest which bears the credit of witnessing many important event of the heroic act of Veer Surendra Sai, the eminent freedom fighter of the country has converted into a barren land during 1980s and 1990s because of the constant attack of timber mafias. the ruining condition of the temple and a trench located on the hill-top which bears the memory of great fighter,      has caused wariness among the locals who took a decision to form a committee to restore the past glory of the forest.
 “Over the past 20/21 years we have again converted the forest into a total green. Now it is become difficult to find out the changes if you have not seen the condition of the forest 20 years back. I am thankful to the locals and my fellow members who converted our dream into reality’, another active member of the team Meghu Munda said.
After tying Rakhi the females behave as if they are the real protector of the jungle. “Forget of cutting a tree from the forest when the females do not allow any one to touch the tree”, Budharaja temple trust board member Loknath Panda said.

students up in arms against misconduct of the teachers

What happens when a school comprises of classes up to 7 standards having only two teachers and if they come to school in a drunkard stage? Imagine the future of the students studying in such a school who are being tortured by the teachers every day. What happens when students are asked to outside to fetch ‘gutka ‘and cigarettes from the pan shop by the teachers and in contrary they have to face severe punishment ? 
One may not believe, but exactly this was the contains of allegation of the students of the Landimal ME School under Ghosramal Panchayat of Maoist infested Naktiduel block of Sambalpur district, who came to Sambalpur on last Saturday and demanded before the district administration to replace the teachers to save the future their as they do not feel save in the hands of such teachers. 
“We have only two teachers who never teach us. One is head master and another on is junior teacher. Head master comes in a drunkard stage. He uses filthy language to scold us. The other one comes to class only to send some one to bring Safal (Gutka) and cigarette. He smokes and chews before us. We feel panic inside the school. So we have come to appealed the collector to replace such teachers from our school”, a 5th standard student of the school Jasobant Behera said.  Other few also made similar complaint against their teachers.
Sources said, The Landamal ME School is one of the oldest schools of the region. The school has classes up the 7th standards with about 200 boys and girls. The school has 4 teachers but last year one got transferred to other school. Another one is Sikhya Sahayak who remains on long leave.  The remaining two identified as Kishore Chandra Sahu is the head master and other one identified as Brajamohan Panda is the junior teacher. Parents and villagers tried to mend the behavior of the teachers when they came to know about their ill-treatment towards the students. But when things remain unchanged they   locked the school 14th of this month. The school remains closed since than as no one from school department took any step to visit the village. 
“When no school authority visited the village to reopen the school which has been locked since 14th of this month, we came to put forth our demand before the collector to save the future of our students”, a villager Tankadhar Raul said. According to him, when the villagers did not find any changes in the conduct of the teachers despite their several requests, they brought the matter before the school inspector and officials of the block.   “Finally we decided to come to Sambalpur to bring the misconduct of the teachers before the notice of the collector”, Raul said.   On the other hand, in the absent of the collector the villagers and students met the ADM (In charge) who assured them to take necessary action to solve the problem. “We met the ADM in the collector’s residence and demanded to take necessary action to remove both teachers from the school to save the students who do not feel save with them any more” another villager Mahesh Swain said.            

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Supriya Mishra, wife of the Bargarh district BJD president Pravat Aditya Mishra becomes the first victim of swine flu who died VSS Medical College Hospital Burla on Wednesday. Supriya was admitted in a private nursing home at Burla couple of days back after she fell ill. A team of doctors visited the patient after her swab test confirmed positive of swine flu. The patient was than shifted to VSS Medical college hospital late in the night and kept in an isolated word for observation. She how ever died on Wednesday morning.

Source said, the death of the lady affected with swine flue has created panic in entire Burla town VSS medical authority. The Hospital authority tried make a full-proved arrangement to tackle the situation. The authority is taking step to accumulate the vaccine and medicine for the swine flu patients. “We have decided to take measure to tackle the situation”, the superintendent of the VSS medical college hospital Dr. GS Dash said.

The death of the lady in ‘swine flu’ has created panic in the Burla and near by area. Even the doctors do not feel safe inside the Hospital after the incident. How ever Hospital does not adequate vaccine for the staff and doctors. Even the hospital does not have face mask for its staff. There is also scarcity of swine flu vaccine and mask in the marker.

Ironically the incident has proved the state health minister’s home town Bargarh is also not free from swine flu. The minister who was scheduled to visit Sambalpur and Bargarh on Wednesday had to cancel his programme after a possible swine flu epidemic in the state. “I cancelled my Sambalpur and Bargarh tour on Wednesday because of my presence in Bhubaneswar. I have instructed senior heath officials to ready to tackle the situation”, Health minister Prasanna Acharya said while talking to the TOI on Wednesday.

It is a boon for the Homeopaths in Sambalpur over the past few days as people continues to purchase homeopathic medicine to prevent of ‘swine flu’ as government fails to supply adequate quantity mask and swine flu vaccine despite demands from several forums. Taking the benefit of the situation, some unscrupulous shop owners are allegedly selling the vaccine at a higher price to their reliable costumers.

“There is less supply of ‘swine flu’ vaccine injection and mask in the open market. What ever supply is there it is restricted to one and two shops. So when supply becomes less, possibility of selling at a higher price can not be ruled out. However we hope changes in the situation after supply of adequate amount of vaccine and mask in a day or two’’, an official of Drug controller office of Sambalpur said.

It may be mentioned here that Supriya Mishra, a lady patient and wife of Bargarh BJD president died in swine flu on Wednesday while undergoing treatment in VSS medical College hospital. Another 3 patients including an employee of GM College and one Sanjukta Panda of Burda village of Bargarh district have been found positive H1N1 virus in their swab tests. They have been admitted in the isolated word of VSS medical college hospital.

“The conditions of the patients are stable and treatment is under progress. We have not received any new patients so far”, a doctor of VSS medical college hospital said.

On the other hand the scarcity in the vaccine and mask in the open market has forced the people to opt for homeopathy medicine. Although experts say the homeopathy medicines that are available in the open market are meant for ‘cold fever’. But homeopathic doctors claim their medicines are quite effective in controlling swine flu. “We are giving factional doze which is quite effective in preventing ‘swine flu’. This is a disease of acute coldness”, eminent homeopath SK Dehury said. However he admits that selling of homeopathy medicine has increased because there is scarcity in allopathic medicine.

Meanwhile eminent citizens and political party leaders have urged the district administration to take adequate step to make availability of the vaccines and masks in the open markets.