Sunday, June 30, 2013

Speaking about breast related issues, still a social stigma

Social stigma attached to breast related disorders continuing 

Dr. Sumita Shankar, popular breast sculptor and aesthetic breast surgeon, has strongly advocated that social stigma attached to breast related issues should be addressed effectively, particularly in young girls and newly-married women. She said that it was most challenging for parents, girls and women to discuss, share or seek solutions to breast related problems in the society and suggested going for medical and surgical interventions. Dr. Sumita addressed media conference here on Saturday in connection with her year-long Andhra Pradesh Breast Awareness Programme, a social responsibility initiative, during which breast related problems will be addressed. This programme was launched on March 8 this year, International Women’s Day, to next year on same date during which free consultation camps will be held in each district headquarters. She already held camps in Nizamabad, Warangal, Khammam and Karimnagar.
With 13 years of experience in breast surgeries, transplantation, plastic and reconstructive surgeries, Dr. Sumita got Fellowships from Centro Medico Teknon, Barcelona, Spain and Wisconsin Hospital, Madison, USA.
According to Dr. Sumita, there were 1,000 plastic surgeons in the country and not more than 200 breast surgery specialists in which there were only a few female plastic surgeons.
She said that there were a number of breast deformities in women and very few in men also. Replying to some of the questions, Dr. Sumita Sankar said that though the surgery cost was little high, she was doing it for very minimum fee. She admitted that there was a risk in every surgery including breast surgeries, but post-operative side effects can be easily tackled.
She suggested every newly-married woman to go for breast feeding without any apprehensions and warned that if any woman avoids breast feeding, there were more chances of breast cancer. She also recommended that it was best to use comfortable and branded bras for breasts to avoid sagging.

Friday, June 28, 2013


How safe is the public money in the hands of outsourcing agencies?

The heist of State Bank of India’s Rs.7.31 crore from Scientific Securities Management Services Limited (SSMSL) locker in Rajahmundry on last Monday has raised several questions, including how safe the public money was, what with the policy of Public Sector Banks giving huge cash to private outsourcing agencies to fill in their offsite Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
During the Five-year Wage Agreement of 2007-12, the United Forum of Bank Unions had strongly opposed privatisation of banks and also outsourcing of some key services, including filling of cash in ATMs.
In the year 2009, all the bank employees went on strike, particularly members of National Confederation of Bank Employees who opposed the outsourcing of services. But under the wage agreement, all the unions forcibly agreed to outsourcing some services .
The SBI had accordingly given the job to TCS' Banking and Financial Services Solutions at All India level about four years ago. In turn, the TCS had given sub-contract to some three agencies in Andhra, including SSMSL. But the Rajahmundry robbery case has thrown light on the grave lapses of SSMSL agency in dealing with cash, recruitment of employees and security measures.
The SSMSL had recruited employees with minimum qualification of Class X or undergraduates.
Neither the bank nor the SSMSL has crosschecked the antecedents of the staff who produced some fake certificates, including police certificate and residence certificate. When contacted, Chander, Business Head, SSMSL, Bangalore, during his visit to Rajahmundry on Thursday in connection with the above case, said that he came to know about the fraudulent track record of some of the employees in their agency a few months back and started removing them one by one. “All the onsite ATMs are filled by our staff and offsite ATMs are given for outsourcing, but one of our staff members goes for surprise check once in a month,” said K. Chittibabu, Chief Manager of SBI, Main Branch.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Major Breakthrough in SBI cash robbery case by police

The Rajahmundry urban police have made a breakthrough in the robbery of Rs.7.31 crore in cash belonging to the State Bank of India and taken two prime suspects into custody.

According to highly placed sources, a police team went to Kunta on the border of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh from where one of the suspects hails, and also to Bhadrachalam, to establish the antecedents of the second suspect. However, it is learnt that the bundles of currency were carried by miscreants in five to six bags in a Bolero van around in the wee hours of Monday.

In the sensational robbery, miscreants took away Rs. 7.31 crore cash belonging to the SBI after murdering P. Srinivas, employee of Scientific Security Management Services Limited (SSMSL).
Police had come to the conclusion that it was an inside job and interrogated all the 10 employees of SSMSL, including the driver, Pilaka Ramana Reddy. During the interrogation, it came to light that Sai Prasada Reddy, son-in-law of the driver worked as branch in-charge, was absconding from Sunday night. Sai Prasad Reddy had quit SSMSL three months ago. It was learnt that Reddy along with another former employee, Jagadeesh of Bhadrachalam, who was bag-carrier, might have hatched the plan and implemented the same with the help of some outsiders, who are having experience in house-breakings and murders.

Police are also looking into the angle whether Srinivas was killed following a dispute over sharing of the huge cash among the miscreants. The miscreants took all precautions to distort evidence from the scene of offence, but failed to take the cellphone of Srinivas which was found in his pocket. The police tracked the call record and proceeded further with the help of the record to nab the suspects.

Bid to suppress evidence
The police investigation had gone into some important areas, including the knees of Srinivas’ body were touching the floor when he was suspended from ceiling, fingerprints on a chilli powder packet that was left in one of the rooms, iron box, in which the keys of iron safe were kept and the box was cut with the help of gas-cutter and history of prisoners who were released recently on parole or after completion of punishment.


Police close to solve Bank heist case

The Rajahmundry Urban police have almost solved the sensational Rs. 7.31-crore robbery case, having taken into custody one of the prime suspects-- Sridhar Reddy -- Kakinada branch in-charge of Scientific Security Management Services Limited (SSMSL), and getting vital information. Another suspect -- Sai Prasad Reddy-- who was removed as branch in-charge of SSMSL, Rajahmundry, is still at large and the mystery will be solved if he is arrested.

In the sensational crime that sent shock waves across the city, robbers took away cash belonging to the SBI after murdering P. Srinivas, employee of SSMSL, who was safeguarding the money, on Sunday night.
Now, the police are focussing on two important aspects of the case -- whether Srinivas committed suicide or was eliminated by the Sridhar Reddy-Sai Prasad Reddy gang and whether the cash was knocked away at a time or in instalments during the last few months. “If these two things are cleared, we can furnish the details of the case,” said SP T. Ravikumar Murthy on Wednesday. It was revealed during the investigation that passion for film production had driven the suspects to commit the crime. Sridhar Reddy and Sai Prasad Reddy, who are cousins, entered into the film field last year and invested Rs.1 crore on their own and borrowed huge amounts from private film financiers. The gang produced a Telugu film- “Ee Prema Lo…” - which is scheduled for release on July 12. When the financiers started pressuring the gang to clear their debt, the duo along with some SSMSL employees hatched the plan to rob the money.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Move to sell Havelock bridge kept in abeyance

The Railway Board’s much-criticised move to sell the Havelock Bridge has been kept in abeyance. Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday asked board officials to first conduct a proper review.

Congress MP from Rajahmundry Vundavalli Arun Kumar told The Hindu he he had talked to Union Minister for Railways Mallikharjuna Kharge on Sunday and apprised him of the public sentiment against the Board’s decision to dismantle the bridge and sell the steel.

Mr. Arun Kumar said the State government wanted to lease the bridge’s ownership rights under a public private partnership. He said he would speak to the Union Tourism Minister and the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister to take up the Havelock Bridge as a tourism project under Build-Operate-Transfer system.

Robbers pull off sensational heist in Rajahmundry

Cart away Rs. 7.35 cr. after killing security agency employee

In a sensational crime that sent shock waves across Rajahmundry city in East Godavari district, robbers took away Rs. 7.35 crore cash belonging to the State Bank of India after murdering an employee of Scientific Security Management Services Limited (SSMSL), who was safeguarding the money.

The heist was pulled off from a private house in RV Nagar in the centre of the city and very close to Rajahmundry Central Jail where the cash had been kept. The security agency was tasked by SBI to load cash in all its 20 automatic teller machines (ATMS) in the City on a daily basis. SSMSL had taken has taken this work on lease from Tata Securities, Superintendent of Police, Rajahmundry Urban, T. Ravikumar Murthy, said The robbery came to light on Monday morning when a security guard -- Srimannarayana of SSMSL -- opened the office and found the body of Pouroju Srinivas (29), an employee, suspended from a ceiling fan, giving an impression that he had committed suicide. The lockers in the office were broken open. He immediately informed his office.

K. Anil Kumar, DSP, Crime along with Clues team and Dog Squad reached the spot around 12.30 p.m. and brought down the body of Srinivas. The police personnel found a serious injury on his neck, apparently caused by a sharp edged weapon. The criminals took all the precautions to evade detection. They first covered all the surveillance cameras and then sprinkled chilli powder on the premises to make it difficult for sniffer dogs to trace their route. Police have launched a massive manhunt and sent the body Srinivas for post-mortem. The SP said that it is sheer negligence on the part of the SSMSL that they kept the lockers containing crores of rupees in a private house without proper security and without prior information to the police. SBI Chief Manager. K. Chittibabu also described it as a grave lapse on the part of the security agency and added that the SBI had insured the cash.

According to initial information, police believe that it is an inside job and have begun interrogation of the staff of the security agency.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

On a mission to serve the poor

When poor patients are admitted to government hospitals, their attendants meet their daily requirements for the first few days on their own. But, after four days, they start sharing the food, breakfast, even tea of the patient. Later, the condition of the patient worsens as he or she does not take sufficient food in tune with the medicines he or she takes.

Keeping these things in mind, Sri Satya Sai (SSS) Nitya Narayana Seva Programme (NNSP) has started serving food for attendants in two major government hospitals -- one at Srikakulam and another at Adilabad. Under NNSP 325 attendants on an average are being given tokens every day in both hospitals around 10 a.m. and they are being served food on hospital premises between 11.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m.

“For this we spend Rs. 6,000 per day, which will be contributed by our local devotees or from other places in the State. We will extend this to other hospitals in near future,” says S.G. Chalam, State president of SSS seva organisations. Mr. Chalam, who was here to oversee the renovation works of Rajahmundry Satya Sai Gurukulam, has said that under the NNSP, the volunteers of the organisation are arranging lunch and dinner carriages to helpless couples and individuals in all towns of the State which comes around 18,000 per day. He further explains that the NNSP was launched in 2005. Under the ‘Amritha Kalasam’ scheme, the SSS organisations will identify the poor who can prepare food on their own and hand over rice, pulses, oil and Rs.50 per day at their doorstep for vegetables and cooking purpose.

Under another scheme -- Deena Janodharana Pathakam --, 360 children, who do have fathers, are being taken care by the organisation. Replying to a question, Mr. Chalam has said that all the service programmes which have been launched by Sri Satya Sai are being run successfully.

Public pressure puts the brakes on railway plan to sell bridge as scrap

Pressure from the public and political parties has forced the Railway Board to keep in abeyance its decision to sell as scrap the 116-year-old bridge across the Godavari here.

Only last week, local MLA R. Suryaprakasha Rao of the Congress issued a statement that he was informed by the General Manager, South Central Railway, of the Board’s decision to dismantle the historic Havelock Bridge and sell the steel as scrap through auction.

Stoutly opposing the decision, political parties have even chalked out a plan of agitation. An all-party meeting, which was not attended by representatives of the ruling Congress, set July 1 as the deadline for the Andhra Pradesh government to make a statement that it would take all steps to protect the bridge.
In the absence of official confirmation, different versions are doing the rounds about the Railway Board’s plans vis-à-vis the bridge. According to one version, the Railways are keen to hand over the bridge to the State government. In a letter to N. Srinivas, president of the Rajahmundry Chamber of Commerce and member of Zonal Railway Consumers Committee, Principal Chief Engineer, Works Division, South Central Railway, Secunderabad, has said: “The Ministry of Railways has decided to hand over the old railway bridge across the Godavari to the State government on fulfilling the conditions of payment by the State government. The State government is yet to accept the terms advised by the Railway Board.”

In April 2010, Vundavalli Arun Kumar, Congress MP, appealed to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in Parliament that the Havelock Bridge be converted into an integrated tourism development project. Following this, the Municipal Corporation of Rajahmundry passed a resolution offering to pay Rs.10 lakh as deposit for handing over the bridge. On its part, the State government agreed to pay Rs.1 lakh per annum to the Railways for a 50-year lease. When contacted by The Hindu , Additional Divisional Railway Manager Subbarao, said he had no information about any move to auction the bridge.

Favorite fish dish for Non-Vegs

‘Cheerameenu’ sells like hot cake

For non-vegetarians, it is the time for the delicious ‘Cheerameenu’. Only people of Godavari districts, that too living on the banks of the river Godavari, know the taste of Cheerameenu. This popular fish variety is found in the Godavari water which flows from upper parts and catchment areas particularly from Sileru Dam every year.

Cheerameenu is of one inch size. The age of Cheerameenu would be only 20 days and fishermen and people from other communities sell the fish as petty vendors. “When reddish water enters river Godavari, all the fishermen on the banks of the river spread saris (cheerelu) on the water and catch this fish. “Catching small fish with the help of sari is an art,” said Sattiraju, a fisherman from Atreyapuram. He said that catching this particular fish variety with the help of net was impossible as they were small in size.

The fish are caught usually in the early hours of the day in June-July. A handful of Cheerameenu costs Rs.50 to Rs.100. “if we mix it with tamarind leaf and dal (chintachiguru pappu with small fish), it would be a mouth-watering dish,” said Jyothi Venkatrao, who likes fish varieties. According to S. Vijayakumar, orthopaedic of SAI hospitals, this fish is rich in calcium and it is best for children between 8 and 18 years of age and for people having arthritis. The fisheries department is reportedly thinking of banning catching of this Cheerameenu variety because this fresh water fish will increase fish tremendously in rivers and streams.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Havelock Bridge back in focus again

"National monument status for the grand old structure has been a long-standing demand"

Will the historic Sir Arthur Elibank Havelock Bridge across the Godavari be declared a national monument? The issue, which has been hanging fire for long, has come to the fore again, as Union Minister of State for Railways Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy is going to inspect the bridge on Saturday.

For those who have little knowledge about the bridge, a look at the timeline presents some interesting facts. In January 1897, a survey was undertaken in the Godavari Basin to explore the possibility of constructing a bridge across the river by British Chief Engineer F.T.C. Walton. Five acres of land was identified between Kovvuru and Rajahmundry, where water flow was less. A local contractor was tasked with executing the project under the direct supervision of Walton.

The entire consignment of cement needed was brought by ship from England and workers were sourced from Europe and Punjab. A total of 54 spans were laid in an extent of 23,000 square feet. The British government sanctioned an amount of Rs. 50,40,457 for construction of the bridge. The actual expenditure incurred was only Rs. 46,89,849. The morality of the contractor deserves special mention. He had returned the excess amount of Rs.3,50,698.

Governor of erstwhile Madras State Sir Arthur Elibank Havelock opened the bridge to train traffic on August 6, 1900. The Madras Mail between Madras and Howrah was the first train to run on that day.

After serving the Indian Railways for over a century, the bridge was abandoned. When I.K. Gujral was the Prime Minister, president and secretary respectively of the Andhra Kesari Yuvajana Samiti Y.S. Narasimha Rao and Veerla Ravibabu undertook a fast demanding that the bridge be declared a national monument.

Later, when Congress came to power in 2004, MP Vundavalli Aruna Kumar and MLA Rowthu Suryaprakasa Rao took up the issue at the government level. Jakkampudi Rammohana Rao, who was then R&B Minister, took the initiative to make the bridge a tourist spot. The municipal corporation, during the tenure of M.S. Chakravarti as Mayor, passed a resolution expressing its willingness to take up a beautification project. It had even expressed its readiness to pay some amount as lease to the Railways. Later, when Anam Ramnarayana Reddy was Minister for Information and Tourism, Mr. Suryaprakasa Rao took up the issue with him. Mr. Ramnarayana Reddy visited the bridge along with Mr. Aruna Kumar and Mr. Suryaprakasa Rao.

The Minister had then said that the Railway Ministry had agreed to hand over the bridge to the Tourism Department on an annual lease of Rs.1 lakh. Consultants were appointed to construct a pedestrian pathway to enable tourists take a stroll. The Minister had even told the Assembly that the Havelock Bridge would be handed over to the government for maintaining it as a national monument.

It is now up to Mr. Suryaprakash Reddy to make the dream project come true.

Delta ryots express adoration for ‘Apara Bhageeratha’

The ‘Apara Bhageeratha’ of Krishna and Godavari delta region of the state, Sir Arthur Cotton, continued to get the same adoration and affection of thousands of farmers of East and West Godavari districts, which was again and again witnessed on his 210th birth anniversary on Wednesday. Overwhelmed by a deep sense of gratitude for his invaluable contribution to the irrigation system in the region, people from different walks of life joined the celebrations as a thanks-giving gesture.

The engineering prowess of Sir Arthur Cotton during the 1850s had given an everlasting boon to farmers of the delta, which are called rice bowls of Andhra Pradesh. Born on May 15, 1803, the ‘Apara Bhageeratha’ had a museum and some 3,000 statues all over East and West Godavari districts. The tomb of Cotton’s daughter, who died during the construction of the bridge, due to snakebite, and was kept near Chitrangi guesthouse in Rajahmundry is in a dilapidated condition.

The Irrigation Department celebrated the occasion at its office at the barrage at Dowleswaram, which he built in 1852 against odds to herald prosperity and green revolution in the Godavari delta region. The Engineers Federation undertook service activities across the district.

At Dulla village, Kanda Bhaskar Reddy performed Abhishekam to Cotton’s full size statue in the village with milk and paid rich tributes along with hundreds of farmers. During the function Mr. Reddy said that the imposing barrage at Dowleswaram, with two head sluices on either side and several under sluices, stands testimony to Sir Arthur Cotton’s vision. However, he expressed his dissatisfaction over not having any documentary on Cotton at his historic Museum in Dowleswaram for display for the benefit of visitors. He also pointed out that the guesthouse on Bommuru hilltop, the place where Sir Arthur Cotton took rest during the construction of work was also neglected on the grounds of owning the responsibility that means whether it should be owned by Tourism or Information or R and B or Archaeology or Engineering Head Works Department of Dowleswaram.

On the other hand, Lieutenant Murthy Jasti of River Bay Resorts distributed sarees to wives of Laskhars who are working in Irrigation Head Works at Dowleswaram and the bust size statue of Cotton was inaugurated in the Irrigation Circle Office by the Engineers.