The Buzz in Big Cities

In the blood: the will to fight on   All eyes on handshake   Naidu balm for quacks   Billboard rap

By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 4.02.08

In the blood: the will to fight on

Jairam Acharya sleeps with a needle in his tummy, often for nine hours at a stretch.

The six-year-old has thalassemia major, which cripples the body’s ability to produce haemoglobin. The frequent blood transfusions put the little boy through more pain than even adults can endure.

But now, he appears to have become stronger. “He couldn’t bear the pain initially and tried to yank the needle out. But thanks to Ganesh and Gayatri mantras, he can bear it. It’s traumatic to watch your child like this,” says father Mahendra, who lost his job a few years back scouting for donations to meet the medical expenses.

Jairam, whose disorder was diagnosed when he was only 15 months old, required blood transfusions every two months earlier. Now, he needs one in 10 days.

A Rs 10-lakh bone-marrow transplant surgery has been recommended. The Acharyas have Rs 4 lakh and will ask charitable institutions and friends for help.

Jairam’s 14-year-old sister Dhwani, the bone marrow donor, isn’t afraid of the risks in the operation.


All eyes on handshake

This Republic Day, a “golden handshake” stole a march over the customary parades and flag-hoisting events.

Danseuse and yesteryear heartthrob Vyjayanthimala walked up to M. Karunanidhi and shook his hands in a gesture that surprised many at Governor Surjeet Singh Barnala’s Republic Day tea party.

Photographers rushed to the VIP enclosure and clicked away frantically as the actress, a one-time Congress member of Parliament, exchanged greetings. For the flashbulb warriors, it was a rare visual coup.

In this part of the country, where a traditional vanakkam (namaskar) is more in vogue, Vyjayanthimala’s act became the talking point in the party circuit.

The handshake more than made up for the absence of some Opposition leaders, such as those from the ADMK and the PMK, at Barnala’s garden bash.


Naidu balm for quacks

Chandrababu Naidu has a new cause to fight for — quacks.

The Telugu Desam boss believes the unqualified, but highly committed, practitioners can be a huge support in villages where regular doctors are often loath to work.

“These registered and private medical practitioners have done great service and just need some good training,” the Desam chief said after a delegation of quacks told him about their problems recently.

Quacks can provide the much-needed “logistic support” to the rural population if the government uses their services after giving them training in health services, Naidu said.

“The government should train and post them in rural areas since qualified doctors are not willing to work there. At least, they can provide first aid.”

The Desam chief did his bit by promising quacks a place in the party’s medical cell. Naidu also said he would lobby the government for their recognition.


Billboard rap

The sky is not the limit for Mumbai’s billboards, Bombay High Court warned civic authorities last week after discovering that many of the larger-than-life structures violated rules.

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai was blamed for allowing the hoardings to spoil the city’s skyline.

In one case, the high court found one such billboard that had come up on the seafront off Worli. The municipal commissioner was asked to appoint a high-level committee under his own chairmanship and report to the court the number of such violations in the city.

Delhi: This Monday, let R.K. Saha take you on a ride with an exhibition of his paintings, Beyond Horizons, which he claims are a reflection of his mind. The style is abstract, but the presenta- tion breathtakingly realistic. The venue: Lokayata, Mulk Raj Anand Centre, Hauz Khas village. Time: 11am to 7pm.