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27,488 government posts for SCs/STs/OBCs unfilled

A staggering 27,488 government jobs reserved for scheduled castes and tribes and other backward classes are lying vacant with the maximum discrimination against these categories being in the educational sector, a report reveals.
According to the reports shared by the Asian Centre for Human Rights, out of the unfilled posts as of May 8, 2013, 12,195 are reserved for scheduled tribes, 8,332 for other backward castes and 6,961 for scheduled castes.
The report titled "India's Unfinished Agenda for Inclusion: A study on denial of reservation to the tribals in the government services and posts" said central universities were the most discriminatory against these communities.
In 2006-07, there were 46 ST professors against the sanctioned posts of 1,187. Their number fell to a mere four against the total posts of 1,667 in 2010-11 in central universities, the report said citing information provided by the University Grants Commission (UGC) under the Right to Information Act.
In …

Hepatitis surge in India,claims 2.50 lakh lives every year!

July 28: World Hepatitis Day !
Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HCV) infections are silent diseases which remain asymptomatic for decades. And due to lack of awareness about it, more than 80 percent HCV patients and over 60 percent patients with HBV are diagnosed at a stage when the disease is irreversible.

In result, India's Hepatitis burden is rising day by day due to the use of infected injections and unsterilised medical equipment as well as unsafe blood transfusions. In India, nearly two-thirds of the injections being used are unsafe, posing health hazards for the recipients. Unhygienic use of needles in acupuncture and tattooing also has a significant role in spreading hepatitis, according to experts.
Infact, there are five main Hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.  Where Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. But, Hepatitis B, C and D usually occurs as a result of parenteral contact with infected body fluids…

'We would die but won't go back', says Rohingyas!

Mehr-un-Nisha, dreads going back to Myanmar where she says people of her community are treated like pariah and subjected to atrocities. She is among the 195 Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar who are sheltered in a deplorable state in Jaitpur shantytown (Near Kalindi Kunj) in the southeastern periphery of the capital (Delhi) since last year.
"We would die but won't go back to Burma (Myanmar). Life is a virtual hell there. 

Though life is not easy here, it is much better than in Burma. No one harasses us here," Jasmine says.
"I don't know the future of my three-year-old daughter. How will she grow up? Where will she study?" a worried Mehr-un-Nisha said while her daughter was playing in a muddy pool of water outside her hut.
In May 2012, this group of Rohingyas had crossed over into India from Bangladesh. They had fled Myanmar fearing attacks on them from Buddhists in the violence that spread through Myanmar's Rakhine province (also known as Arakan).
Rohingyas are n…

Uttarakhand Mayhem: Why rural folks are unreported?

Hundreds of rural folks who worked along the pilgrim route to Kedarnath as porters, labourers and vendors to earn some money in the pilgrimage season are still missing in the rain and flood tragedy that has hit Uttarakhand. 
Electronic and Print media has been reporting the rain and flood tragedy at the four pilgrim spots, the Char Dham of Kedarnath. Badrinath. Gangotri and Yamunotri. 
But, what about those beyond the pilgrimage spots, where the tragedy has a lot of ramifications for locals, the most important being loss of livelihood.
Hundreds of men from villages in Mandakini Valley surrounding Kedarnath temple town are missing, who used to earn their livelihoods along the 14 km pilgrimage route, working as porters to carry children, women or elderly on their backs, selling knick-knacks like chips or bottled water and raincoats and also run the many dhabas, the eating joints that dot the winding mountain road. In another village in Guptkashi, 22 km away, 78 men who were working in …

Hypertension: India's silent killer !

[May 18:World Hypertension Day]
Before we talk of any reason behind this silent killer, lets know what is Hypertension?
Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure which is a major public health problem in India and its prevalence is rapidly increasing among both urban and rural populations. It is a condition in which the arteries have persistently elevated blood pressure. Every time the human heart beats, it pumps blood to the whole body through the arteries.Fast-moving lifestyles, unearthly hours at work, stress, addiction to alcohol and unhealthy meals are making more and more Indians fall prey to high blood pressure at a very young age.
The biggest problem with hypertension is that there are no symptoms. Thus people tend to be unaware that they have hypertension. It is common in urban Indian youth who silently suffer from high blood pressure without realising it and which ultimately leads to such major health problems like strokes. 
What causes hypertension?

Though the ex…

Malaria: A grave threat to millions !

[April 25: World Malaria Day]  


The number of deaths from malaria might be steadily declining, but health experts believe the mosquito sting continues to pose a grave threat to millions in India.
An estimated one million fresh cases of the disease - which causes body ache and fever - are reported in India each year. About 95 percent of the country's population resides in malaria endemic areas.
According to the World Malaria Report 2011, over 70 percent of the country's 1.2 billion population faces the risk of malaria infection, with an estimated 310 million people - one third of the total - facing the "highest risk".
The situation is very bad and it is an epidemic sort of issue. Malaria is quite rampant across the country, particularly in rural areas including major cities like Delhi.
Though the country has been effective in treating the disease with new medicine, the threat of plasmodium which causes the disease becoming resistant to new drugs remains.
Even though t…

Chemical fertilizers cost Bihar's farmers heavy

Millions of impoverished farmers in Bihar are paying a heavy price for using chemical fertilizers, which are not only costly but are also contaminating the drinking water and affecting the soil.
Expenses on chemical fertilizers, coming up to around 25 percent of the total cost of cultivation, constitute a significant expenditure incurred by the farmers in the state.
From 2010-11 to 2011-12, the price that Bihar farmers had to pay for chemical fertilizers increased between 20 percent and 45 percent, leading to additional burden for farmers who are already reeling under increasing cost of cultivation and financial insecurity.
It was based on research in five districts of Khagaria, Madhepura, Muzaffarpur, Nalanda and Patna. It revealed ground water and wells on farms showed pollution from nitrogen fertilizers. 
In Nalanda, 65 percent of wells showed some degree of nitrate contamination. Although at present nitrate pollution is not above levels currently considered unsafe for human consum…

2.5 million migrant labourers in Kerala: Study

Kerala is home to some 2.5 million workers from other Indian states, and a minister said: "We know little about them, care little for them and do little for them."
According to the labour ministry, 75 percent of the migrant population is from West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha.
The study said the workforce was almost entirely male, aged between 18 to 35 years and highly mobile within Kerala. They work mostly up to seven days a week for contractors.
Labour Minister Shibhu Baby John told the assembly that migrant labourers were today one of Kerala's wealth creators."While their numbers have grown in recent years, we know little about them, care little for them and do little for them," he said. 
"Sixty percent work in the construction sector. They also work in the hospitality, manufacturing, trade and agriculture sectors. "Their skills range from unskilled to skilled carpenters, masons and electricians," said John.
The study adopte…

'People living in crowded environments are more vulnerable to Swine Flu. '

How to prevent Swine Flu and what to do if one is infected? Here are the tips as under;
Q. What are the symptoms of swine flu? What are the precautions which can be taken? Also, in the recent times people say that H1N1 virus got mutated. So, if you get infected, is that Tamiflu is suffice to get cured. 
A. Swine flu can have symptoms including sore throat, fever, headache and body aches. In severe cases, it may cause pneumonia with unresponsive fever, breathlessness, chest pain and phlegm. Precautions include annual flu vaccination especially in children, elderly and patients with co-morbid conditions including heart, kidney or diabetes problems.In case of flu, use handkerchiefs, tissues while coughing and sneezing. Avoid going to work in case of flu so that the infection does not pass on to other colleagues. The flu vaccine is issued every year depending on the prevalent strains during that year. Some mutant strains of influenza virus maybe resistant to Tamiflu but most strains are s…

Study: Swine flu infected 1 in 5 but death rate low

Since late April 2009, Swine flu (H1N1) influenza has spread to different parts of the world including India. Public threat and anxiety was widespread, as was the change of certain behaviours in the lay public.
In a research, it was found that at least one in five people worldwide were infected with swine flu during the first year of the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic, but the death rate was just 0.02 percent.
The results echo other studies that found children were hit harder by the H1N1 strain, which swept around the world, than they are by regular seasonal flu outbreaks and that people over 65 were less vulnerable. More accurate early surveillance is needed to plan for and respond to future pandemics, scientists said, in the wake of the international research led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Imperial College London.
"Knowing the proportion of the population infected in different age groups and the proportion of those infected who died will help public health decision-ma…

Homeless brave icy cold and illness, worsened by state apathy !

Hunched under a tattered blanket for a little warmth on road side or under the flyover in national capital (Delhi), a frail young and old homeless shivers day and night on a freezing note below four degrees Celsius. More or less outside India's premier hospitals as well, the large number of patients from far corners of the country can also be seen as braving cold and illness. Indeed, a sorry story, repeated each day of National Capital's searing summer and harsh icy winters.  It's a community of those in need and desperate for help.
For them, and hundreds of the homeless on the streets of Delhi, everyday is just another day and heralding the dawn of another day is swathed in misery. As the fog creeps in, these homeless usually get lost in the haze of poverty, misery and the biting cold, the only warmth from their breath misting in the air.
Similarly, if we look at India's premier hospital like AIIMS, we find the patients sit huddled over a makeshift stove making a meal…