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Rich harvest in grain donation

The grain angels have descended to banish hunger among the homeless.

The initiative, called Ek Mutthi Anaaj, was officially kicked off last week, though the donations have kept piling since this July. Actress-activist Shabana Azmi and Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda attended the launch.

From the elite localities — New Friends Colony, Sainik Farms, Vasant Vihar and Defence Colony — to the middle-class Rohini, Ashok Vihar and Safdarjung, over 500 families from all sections of the society are contributing.

Each house keeps some grain in a bucket daily. Once every month, the bucket is kept outside the door for activists to collect and transfer to the collective grain bank.

The activists distributing the grain ensure that average daily requirements in terms of calorific value per head — under standards set by Hyderabad’s National Institute of Nutrition — are fulfilled, officials said.

“More and more households are coming forward to participate in the campaign. But we have a long way to go,” said Shakun Goyal, managing trustee of the Food for the Hungry Foundation, the NGO behind the campaign.

Health plan in scheme fest

Andhra Pradesh had reason to look beyond its money-guzzling irrigation and low-cost housing schemes this week.

The Y.S.R. Reddy regime launched Rajiv Health Mission, a Rs 320-crore rural health care project aimed at spreading health sector reforms to ensure quality medical care for the rural poor. The plan is part-funded by the UK.

Chief minister Reddy said his government was committed to improving healthcare facilities in villages and reducing the infant and maternal mortality rates in the state. He also promised to extend Arogyasri, the health insurance scheme for the poor now on in some areas, across the state.

The money on the health scheme pales in comparison to the funds meant for the water and home plans, which have left the government struggling to rustle up the cash.

Now, key-hole wrist surgery

Those having to live under chronic wrist pain have help at hand.

A surgical procedure through tiny punctures in the skin has been adopted for wrist surgery at Delhi’s Fortis Healthcare. The new procedure has been pitched as an alternative to conventional open surgery.

The surgery is particularly helpful to patients who are suffering from chronic wrist pain that can result from a torn triangular fibrocartilage complex.

In the arthroscopic or keyhole surgery, surgeons operate through instruments inserted through a small incision in the skin just 5mm long on the back of the wrist joint.

A camera at the end of a fibre magnifies the operating field and surgeons use miniaturised instruments to correct the internal structure of the wrist joint.

Triangular fibrocartilage complex injuries can occur after a fall onto an outstretched hand, a direct blow to the little finger, the wrist or the hand while swinging a cricket bat or a badminton racquet, a violent twist of the wrist in sports or even constantly using a mouse.

Bonfire heat

The capital’s pollution-busters have turned the heat on those who light bonfires made out of dried leaves and garbage.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has launched a drive to punish those who keep themselves warm by lighting the heaps. The minimum punishment is a year in jail.

“With the onset of winter, burning of leaves and garbage is a common practice among the homeless as well as ragpickers. But the environment gets polluted because of the toxic emissions,” a committee official said.

Mumbai: Watch director Manav Kaul’s Aisa Kehte Hain, a story about a liar, a cop, two runaway circus kids and a man determined to commit suicide, this Thursday at Prithvi Theatre on Juhu Church Road. Two shows, at 6pm and 9pm. Call (022) 26149546 for more information.

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