TB drug resistance can be overcome with a comprehensive, multi-pronged strategy: The Union
 
Some 440,000 cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are identified each year, causing at least 150,000 deaths from a disease that should be curable. Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), which has an even higher fatality rate, has now been reported in 69 countries. “Drug-resistant TB is the end result of a number of different failures, each of which, on its own, is solvable with existing tools. To address all of the issues and stop the spread of this disease requires a comprehensive, multi-pronged strategy, such as The Union has developed”, says Dr Nils E Billo, Executive Director of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union).
 
The rising incidence of antimicrobial resistance will be the focus of this year’s World Health Day, marked on Thursday, 7 April. The World Health Organization selected this theme to highlight the fact that many essential medicines are at risk of losing their effectiveness, due to inappropriate use, poor monitoring and other practices that jeopardise global advances against infectious disease. Tuberculosis is among the most dangerous diseases affected by this trend, according to The Union, which supports the WHO’s emphasis on the problem.
 
When TB is misdiagnosed or the treatment is poorly managed, the doors open to drug resistance. Consequently training for people at every level of the health care system is central to The Union’s approach. Each year courses are offered in high TB burden areas of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East designed to train clinicians and other health care workers about MDR-TB. The goal is for them not only to understand how to diagnose and treat the disease, but also how to put into place the practices that can prevent it from developing, such as improved infection control procedures and effective management of drug supplies.
 
Patients who do not correctly take the medicines required to complete their TB treatment are at high risk for developing drug-resistant tuberculosis and passing on these new strains of the disease to others. Strong programmes for case detection, diagnosis and patient monitoring are all critical to avoid this scenario. At the request of national tuberculosis programmes (NTPs), The Union’s MDR-TB experts are helping them review plans, procedures, policies and systems and making suggestions for improvement. In recognition of the pivotal role of laboratories in diagnosing and monitoring drug-resistant strains of the disease, The Union has also helped develop an international network of TB reference laboratories.
Use of poor quality medicines and drug shortages are also leading causes of drug-resistant TB. If the quality of first-line TB drugs is not assured - or the supply is not adequate to meet the needs of those in treatment - patients will not be cured and may develop MDR-TB. They will then require treatment with the more expensive second-line drugs (SLD). The Union is regularly part of all discussions concerning TB medicines at the international level, and published a joint report with Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) on DR-TB medicines last month. The Union also works closely with NTPs to support them in the implementation of best practices for ordering, storing and distributing medicines, as well as to assure the quality of the medicines selected for national procurement and to monitor their quality.
 
Treating drug-resistant TB is much more expensive and can take up to two years - creating a strain on both patients and health systems. Through its operational research and clinical trials programmes, The Union continually seeks new solutions to issues of prevention, treatment and control. The STREAM study, part of the USAID-funded TREAT TB Initiative, will soon begin enrolling patients in an international clinical trial of a nine-month treatment regimen for MDR-TB that has been very successful in a smaller study. This new regimen holds the potential to revolutionise treatment for the disease.
“New miracle tools from faster diagnostic tests to TB vaccines are being sought”, says Dr Billo, “and they may eventually address the issue of MDR-TB. But, in the meantime, it is absolutely essential to provide adequate funding for the well-trained staff, fully equipped health-care facilities and laboratories and quality-assured medicines that will allow us to take care of the patients who are sick today. These people can’t wait for tomorrow’s cures - and there is no reason they should have to.” (CNS)
 
Bobby Ramakant – CNS
 
(The author is a World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General’s WNTD Awardee 2008 and writes extensively on health and development through Citizen News Service (CNS). Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., website: www.citizen-news.org )


“Udaan” or in English “The Flight” may be of many kinds. The first synonyms of it’s comes to my mind is “a desire to fly” or in hindi you can say “asha mann ki udaan ki” and I am sure almost everyone of us had got this desire secretly kept in our hearts safely. So does our character Chintu has. Nine year old Chintu is in 5th standard of Xaviers Secondary School of Ayodhya (UP) yes! The disputed site, this is exactly what your mind may be thinking. Don’t blame yourself, it may be the psychological reasoning of yours to always pick up the wrong reason of anything or perhaps you can blame our opportunistic wicked and I will say the coward Politians who had created all this fuss around for just to have meager political gain.  Let’s come back to our Chintu, like others he has also got an ambitious udaan in his little heart in  the form of becoming a doctor just like his father but he doesn’t kept it secret like many of us instead he proudly shares it to everyone.  That’s why he always introduces himself to others as Dr Chintu.

One day while coming back from school Chintu had a chat with his class mates Sunil, Vishal and Javed :-

Sunil:- Today It was a great fun na!  Having two games periods. (With a smiling face)

Javed:- Ya! Say thanks to Sheila maam’s illness yaar. (Giving a low five to Sunil)

Sunil:- Rightly said that, I wish her illness continues tomorrow so that we again get her period to have fun. (By taking low five given by Sunil and smiles)

Javed:- well! Even though she may be ill tomorrow but we can’t play. (With sadness)

Chintu & Others: - why?

 Javed:- Arrey! Tommorow is 30 Sep The verdict day!

Chintu :-                 Verdict day? What verdict? (Anxiously)

Javed & Others:-     you don’t know??? (Surprisingly)

Chintu:- No! You guys know? (Anxiously)

Sunil :- hey Vishal you say. (Looking at Vishal)

Vishal:- Why I?  No! you say! (Looking back to Sunil)

Javed:- OK OK don’t fight I am saying (looking onto Chintu). Look the truth is, we all don’t knew exactly what it is, but it seems  tomorrow the uncles will fight each other.

Chintu :- Why???

Javed:-  That I don’t know. (Looking to his friends)

At this Chintu too looks onto his friends with a hope to get the reason but everybody negatively nods their head.

Chintu:- So you people are not coming School tomorrow?

All his Friends:- Hopefully No!

 By the time Chintu is about to reach his home, so he gives a final bi to his friends.

Chintu:- Bi Guys! (By waving his hands to his friends)

Javed:- Bi Chintu !

Chintu:- Hey idiot forgot! Say Dr. Chintu.

Javed:- oops sorry! Bi Dr. Chintu.

Dr. Chintu:-  Bi (smiles and enters in home)

Dr. Chintu on reaching home had a small chat with his mother.

Dr. Chintu:- Mom! Is tomorrow a verdict day? (By throwing his bag on the dining table)

Mom:- Na beta! Who told you? (Gazing at Chintu for the act)

Dr. Chintu:- Is this true that tomorrow uncles will fight each other?

Mom:- No! Who told you all these nonsense? Go and have your homework done. (Angrily)

Little Dr. Chintu on this sadly moves to his room by picking his bag from the dining table.

Mom:- Oh god! Today’s children…..really (to herself)

Next day Dr. Chintu wakes up early, breaks his piggy bank, took all the cash, dressed in school uniform with a long red tilak on his fore head made from Mom’s Sindoor box and ran for school. He also didn’t forget to take his sword (toy) with him once gifted by his father on his 9th birthday. With the money, he hired a rickshaw puller for reaching school as it was very early to catch the school bus. On the way:-

Rickshaw puller:- Baba! Are you sure that your school will be open today? (By paddling his Rickshaw)

Dr. Chintu:- Yes! But you take me to the place where the uncles will fight today? (Anxiously looking around)

Rickshaw puller:- why? (Surprisingly)

Dr. Chintu:- Quick uncle! I had to deliver a message. (still anxiously looking around)

Rickshaw puller:- Whose message?

By the time Chintu was able to see a crowd gathered in front of an old structure with slogans and placards written.

 

THIS DIWALI JANAMBHOOMI MEIN PUJAN

THIS RAMZAN BABRI MEIN AZAAN

 

Dr. Chintu:- Message of Bharat Mata. (Quickly gets down and hands over the money to the rickshaw puller and ran into the crowd)

Rickshaw puller:- Listen son! Come back! I will drop you to the School. (Shouts with hope)

Dr. Chintu listens to nobody but to himself, he straight away enters into the crowd with his sword raising and:-

Dr. Chintu:- Step aside…… listen to me……I had a message…….(shouts regularly)

At this few people drag his hand and push him out of the crowd and one of them:-

The Man:- hey kid go away! (Angrily)

On this Dr. Chintu became angry and again tries to enter:-

Dr. Chintu:- Step aside…… listen to me……I had a message…….(shouts regularly)

Another Man:- Hey! Why you are here? Go to your school (drag and pushes him away from the crowd)

At this our Dr. saab became very frustrated and angry:-

Dr. Chintu :- Listen to my message …. I want to make sacrifice (raising his sword Shouts loudly in the middle of the crowd)

On this the crowd suddenly stops and silently all eyes on our Dr. Chintu. Dr. Chintu breathing fast and grunts, then suddenly a man from the crowd:-

The Man:-  Hey boy! (Angrily)

Dr. Chintu :- Listen to my message else I will sacrifice myself…. I want to sacrifice myself (this time silently as everyone is listening to him)

At this one of the members stops the man by raising his hand and comes near to our Dr.Saab

The Man:- Tell us Who are you  and whose message you want to deliver us? (Softly)

Dr. Chintu:- I am Dr. Chintu (Politely)

On listening this, the man and his colleagues had a rare smile on their face but it didn’t last long. So our Dr. Saab continues:-

Dr. Chintu:- And I wanted to deliver a message of Bharat Maa.

At this the angry mob now had a surprising face.

The Man:- Bharat maa…. Where did you meet her and what did she say? (Surprisingly and anxiously)

Dr. Chintu:- (continues) I don’t know the location but she appears last night when I was in bed. First of all I didn’t recognize her. I saw a woman weeping under a banyan tree, when I went to her I saw her with a bare head, a torn saree with many stitches and also with many scars and wounds on her body.

On listening this, the angry mob sits calmly on the ground and interestingly listens further to Dr. Chintu.

 Now we can show the dream on the next part of the stage with having the character Bharat Mata and Dr. Chintu .

Dr. Chintu:- Who are you ? (Approaching her)

Bharat Maa:- you don’t know me son… ?(Surprisingly) Yes! How could you recognize this helpless maa. (Stops weeping)

Dr. Chintu:- (thinks for a while) Bharat maa…(and quickly gets down and touches  her feet)

Bharat Maa:- Yes!  21st century’s helpless Bharat maa (holds up Dr. Chintu)

Dr. Chintu:- Maa! What happened to you and where is your crown? (Pointing to the bare head)

Bharat Maa:- The Crown! (Waits for a while) Yes, half was stolen and the remaining broken part is under mortgage.

Dr. Chintu:- what about the scars? (Looking on the wounds and scars all over the body)      

Bharat Maa:- This one is due to burn on 2001(showing her right hand) and this is of 1971 (showing the scars in her left hand) This is of 1992 (stops and holds her breast with having a pain)

Dr. Chintu:- What happened Maa? (Tensed)

Bharat Maa:- Nothing son! For past few weeks I had a severe pain here. (Frees her hand from the breast and smiles on looking to Dr. Chintu and continues) Enough of me tell me who are you and what is your name?

Dr. Chintu:- I am a son of yours and my name is Dr. Chintu. (Proudly introduces)      

Bharat Maa:- Dr. Chintu….?

Dr. Chintu:- Yes! I want to become a Doctor.

Bharat Maa:- (smiles and  suddenly starts weeping )

Dr. Chintu:- What happened maa? Please calm down.      

Bharat Maa:-  Nothing Son (stops weeping and continues) Suddenly I remembered my other great sons.

Dr. Chintu:- Who? (Anxiously)      

Bharat Maa:- (smiles and continues) There was many, One  … people say him mahatma…

Dr. Chintu:- (Quickly interrupts) Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi, I had read about him (smiling and with sparking eyes)

Bharat Maa:- Yes (smiles) Then you also read about Netaji?

Dr. Chintu:- Ya! Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

Bharat Maa:- (smiles and continues) Chandrashekar Azad, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Bhagat Singh, Jawahar lal, Lal bahadur, Vir sawarkar, Sardar patel……..

Dr. Chintu:- And Dr. Chintu….. (Suddenly interrupts with a smiling face)

Bharat Maa:- (smiles)

Dr. Chintu:- (continues) I also wanted to be a freedom fighter like them but today you don’t need them as  all the British are gone(with sadness)

Bharat Maa:- Who says I don’t need them today? I need them now the most. Whenever I was in trouble my courageous and loving sons valued their precious life for saving me. They had given their lives for protecting me and my dignity. But tomorrow…..(suddenly stops)

Dr. Chintu:- What will happen tomorrow?(waits a while and continues) Aren’t you mean the verdict day that javed was talking about, like the uncles will fight……..(anxiousness on his face)

Bharat Maa:- Yes! once again tomorrow my dignity and respect is in danger. Now when almost the world is here for games my sons will fight each other for nothing but for showing their high nose. Is there no true son of mine left, this time who can save me from this humiliation and insult in front of the whole world? Will my dignity and respect once again get torn and destroyed in ashes tomorrow? Who will stop them (weeps and looks at Dr. Chintu with pain and anguish)

Dr. Chintu:- I will stop them? (With energy in his thin voice)

Bharat Maa:- (smiles and stops weeping) You? Surely you will one day my son but not this time. You are a kid now Dr. Chintu.(by brushing his hair with her hand)

Dr. Chintu:- Don’t say Dr. Chintu anymore Maa.(with sadness)

Bharat Maa:- Why? (Surprisingly)

Dr. Chintu:- Today I had decided to become a teacher like my mother?

Bharat Maa:- why son? (Anxiously)

Dr. Chintu:-  So that I can help to build a new India which will be more powerful physically as well as mentally too so that you will never ever have to face this type of agony and humiliation anymore. I need your blessing maa.(gets down and touches her feet)

On this a tearful (this time of happiness) mother sees off her young child, placing a tilak on his forehead with her blood which is coming out of one of the wounds. The reason I said young child to Dr. Chintu Oh! Sorry now Sir Chintu is that he may be a child in built but is young too young with his brave mighty heart. Now focusing on the other part of the stage the angry mob by listening to these had a tearful face and started hugging each other. Sir Chintu seeing this became very happy and tears away the placards fallen on the ground writhen:-

 

THIS DIWALI JANAMBHOOMI MEIN PUJAN to

THIS DIW……………………..ALI JANAMBHOOMI MEIN PUJAN

And to THIS RAMZAN BABRI MEIN AZAAN

THIS RAM……………….. ZAN BABRI MEIN AZAAN

Sir Chintu now happily shows these torn placards to our audiences.

Sir Chintu:- JAI HIND…….. JAI HIND………. JAI HIND………. (Shouts loudly)

The mob also repeats this loudly with holding each other’s hand covering the entire stage in a line, Sir Chintu will be in front and in the middle of them. Bharat Mata will be standing with a smiling face behind them on a height so that the audience can watch her clearly.

THE END

Gulshen Ali                                                                                                                                                                                         
Film writer aspirant written 30+ stories
09004370153, 09310405522
                    
 
One name which still exists in the minds of most of the people in these islands is of ‘Sulaiman Parekh’. Shri Sulaiman Parekh, a Guajarati by origin was born in Rangoon in the early 20’s, he was one of the most powerful people in Andaman Nicobar Islands. He was the first civil person in these islands to win a case against the administration represented by the then chief commissioner Shri Mahabir Singh in the late 60’s. 
 
Shri Sulaiman Parekh started his career working for the R.Akoojee Jadwet & Co., in Rangoon Burma, later he took over the position of the General Manager of M/S Jadwet Trading Company in the year 1958. He was the right hand of Hajee Cassim Jadwet, and equally contributed in the development of Jadwet business in Andaman Nicobar Islands. 
 
He was so powerful that even an airline those days would not take off until he reached the airport; there have been severe incidents where many ships and aircrafts waited till Mr. Parekh had boarded the flight. Shri S.M. Parekh served as the president of Andaman Nicobar Chamber of commerce from 1977 till his death in 1981. 
 
His words were among the strongest words in the business community of these islands and were respectfully accepted in the administration. He passed away in the year 1981 at Port Blair, and was buried at the Phoenix Bay graveyard. On the day of his funeral, the entire city was closed and was attended by a large number of people including government officers and politicians. Even today the elders of these islands remember him as the “King of Port Blair”.
 
Contributed by Ebrahim Jadwet


                    
 
It has been a year since Hajee Cassim Mohammed Jadwet, the patriarch of Jadwet group of companies, passed away in Kolkata at the age of 87. On his first death anniversary, the islanders remember him for his contribution to the economy of these islands. Cassim Jadwet was the director of R. Akoojee Jadwet & Company, which was the trade agent for the British government in Nicobar group of islands. He played an important role in improving the social and economical development of the nicobarese; he introduced the concept of currency and monetary system for the first time in Nicobars, replacing the barter system. For the first time in the history of Nicobars, he generated electricity with the help of generator sets in the early 40’s. He played a key role along with Bishop John Richardson, in setting up the two apex cooperative societies in the Nicobars, Ellon Hinengo Limited and Manula Mathai Limited. He played a key role in the Nicobar group those days where the administration had a very minimal control over Nicobar group, and entire affairs used to be run by R. Akoojee Jadwet & Co. The Nicobarese consider him as the father of modern Nicobar. In the year 1958, he donated a hospital building at Malacca village at Carnicobar for the welfare of the tribal community.
 
A visionary by nature, Cassim Jadwet played an important role in developing the commerce of Port Blair; he started the first travel agency in these islands – Island Travels, built the first five star hotel in Port Blair, Hotel Bay Island, which was designed by the world famous architect, Charles Correa. The Light House cinema hall was also established by him. Cassim Jadwet was also a board member of the Thai India Steel industry in Bangkok. Last year in March, the Honourable Lt. Governor, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Bhopinder Singh, PVSM, AVSM, released the book titled “The Jadwet Saga”, which was an autobiography penned down by Late Hajee Cassim Mohammed Jadwet.
 
The Nicobari community, islanders and the members of the Jadwet family remembers this great legend on the occasion of his first death anniversary.
Biodiversity in tourism business represent a new and dynamic partnership. The alliance between tourism and conservation offers enormous potential benefits for all mankind provided if its conducted in a sustainable manner. The United Nations proclaimed 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity, and people all over the world are working to safeguard this irreplaceable natural wealth and reduce biodiversity loss. This is vital for current and future human wellbeing. 

The International Year of Biodiversity is also a unique opportunity to increase understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on Earth and nature, and to stop the loss. We are an integral part of nature; our fate is tightly linked with biodiversity, the huge variety of animals and plants, the places they live and their surrounding environments, all over the world. We rely on this diversity of life to provide us with the food, fuel, medicine and other essentials we simply cannot live without. Yet this rich diversity is being lost at a greatly accelerated rate because of activities related to tourism development. 

Tourism is increasingly being located in natural areas that are frontier, inaccessible, ecologically fragile and critical in terms of their biodiversity Of late nature tourism and adventure tourism are becoming very popular. This kind of tourism activity requires infrastructural development in pristine areas to provide services to the tourists. Developmental activities can impoverish as well as weaken the ability of the living systems, on which tourism depends, to resist growing threats such as climate change. Tourism has an important perspective in development of Islands as these areas are constrained with limited, land resources and scope for industrial growth. 
 
India has a vast geographical diversity, which resulted in varieties of nature tourism such as water falls in Western Ghats, Forests of Western Ghats, Hill Stations ,Wildlife reserves and deserts. Andaman and Nicobar Islands have special tourism perspective due to beach tourism, snorkeling, scuba diving and scenic beauty are some of the features which make islands an important tourism area apart from the history, tribal people, forests, coral reefs, mangroves, coastal areas, rich marine life, endemic birds and plants. The beaches of the Islands are rated by United Nations Development programme as one of the best in the world. Further these Islands consists of two volcanoes namely Narkondam Island and Barren Island. The former is dormant one where as the later is the only active volcano in the country. There are naturally formed lime stone caves and mud volcanoes in Baratang Island, which is thronged by cross section of visitors through out the year. Thus in Andamans, tourism is interlinked to and dependent on Ecological sustainability because the pristine nature of the various ecosystems adds intangible value to the Islands in the promotion of eco-tourism
 
 The ANI are also recognized as international biodiversity hotspots for their rich diversity of forests, marine, coral and mangrove ecosystems with six tribal communities who survive on the ecology of the islands and rank third in our country, apart from the Himalayas and Western Ghats,. The tourism here is essentially based on Nature. These Islands were once inhabited only by the aboriginal Tribes. As these Islands witnessed influx of people from the mainland, the virgin forests also witnessed influx of non native flora and fauna over the years. The alien species of flora and fauna invade and affect the native biota in each and every ecosystem and expand very fast. The cost in terms of loss of biodiversity can be immense. 
 
Environmental challenges associated with tourism are managing mass tourism and conservation of natural resources. As mass tourism grows, the tourist destinations face the danger of losing their originality. Ecotourism activities have been expanding rapidly over the past two decades without actually understanding the true concept of ecotourism and there is little consensus about its meaning among the various stake holders involved. Tourism might provide a livelihood for the native residents of the place but it could be sustained only if the natural resources are prudently used.
 
Tourism can also be planned, managed and implemented in an appropriate manner that acts as a tool for conservation of natural areas. Further, it should be emphasized that people in the developed countries should leave some form of positive legacy to the earth to understand the best ways of doing by gaining an understanding and appreciation of environment of developing countries which will inspire action for its protection.
 
On the global stage, tourism promotion and industry bodies like the World Travel and Tourism council and the UNWTO have constantly fallen back on global guidelines and agreements to showcase their Commitment to sustainability and to the environment. Key global documents linked to tourism have core ideas running consistently which promote the principle of free market, protectionism in trade and investment is to be dismantled and the initiatives should be voluntary and industry led. UNWTO global code of ethics(!!), agenda 21 for the travel and tourism industry, UNEP (IYE), tourism guidelines in the CBD all reflect these principles .

Tourism is an industry that cuts across virtually all other sectors meaning that the industry can affect them and they in turn can have impacts on tourism. Perhaps the most obvious and important linkage in Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the critical one between tourism and the environment. Indeed the tourism industry is highly dependent on the natural and heritage resource base. Tourism needs to be developed to protect the resources, and also needs to work hand-in-hand with those in the environmental agencies to ensure that any activities do not contribute to its degradation. Tourism Industry needs to have strong linkages with the Department of the Environment and Forests, with respect to environmental impact assessment and pollution control etc., and with departments responsible for natural resources, fisheries and archaeology who manage parks and protected areas and heritage sites. 

We can no longer see the continued loss of biodiversity as an issue separate from the core concerns of society: to tackle poverty, to improve the health, prosperity and security of present and future generations, and to deal with climate change. Each of those objectives is undermined by current trends in the state of our ecosystems, and each will be greatly strengthened if we finally give biodiversity the priority it deserves.

We are blessed indeed to have a land that nature has endowed so richly; to still have intact natural forest, unpolluted areas and a clean sea; to have wildlife in abundance, a tribal presence and pristine coral reefs. Let us take careful consideration of these remarkable assets and let us pause and make sure that we do not misuse or waste them. Carefully husbanding, such extraordinary natural wonders can be kept perfectly intact, and at the same time significantly contribute to the welfare of all our people.

Aparna Singh, lecturer, (Environmental Studies)
J N R Mahavidyalaya, Port Blair.