Category Archives: Amazing Feats

His voice, a capsule of tribal histories

Ramachandraiah is probably the last such singer left in A.P. and Telangana

Sakine Ramachandraiah could easily have been awarded honorary doctorate by any university. An unlettered man from Koonavaram village of Manuguru mandal of Bhadradri Kothagudem district, Ramachandraiah has oral histories of the Koya tribe on the tip of his tongue.

One only has to mention the story to have it cascade effortlessly from his vocal chambers, in Telugu as well as Koya language.

Belonging to the ‘Doli’ sub-division of the Koya tribe, which has been traditionally ordained with the duty of reciting the tribe’s clan histories, Ramachandraiah is probably the last such singer left in the two states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

“Some times, I cross the State border to perform in Chhattisgarh, where people want the songs in Koya language,” Ramachandraiah says.

He sings at marriages, at funerals, and he always sings at the biennial Medaram Jathara also known as the ‘Sammakka Saralamma Jathara’, which is touted as the world’s largest repeat congregation of tribal communities. The Medaram Jathara is to be held from January 31 to February 3 this year, at Eturunagaram of Jayashankar Bhupalpally district.

Gazette

The Doli community is described as ‘professional beggars’ among Koyas by the Godavari District Gazette of 1896. Though their duties are priest-like and along with ‘Oddis’— the superior priest class — they can be classified as the ‘literate’ in the tribe, their status is still considered ‘inferior’.

Doli men sing oral histories based on the ‘Padige’s or pictorial scrolls inherited by various communities over centuries.

“Earlier, Doli families used to live in a hamlet called ‘Soppala’.

Now, nobody lives there. Few are left who can recite oral histories as accurately as Ramachandraiah,” says Jayadhir Tirumala Rao, academic and researcher of tribal communities.

Prof. Tirumala Rao is spearheading a project to document the oral history of ‘Sammakka-Saralamma’ as told by Ramachandraiah, and he vouches that the story, if fleshed out from the myth it is enmeshed in, could substantially aid historical research.

“Sammakka-Saralamma story is about the war waged against the Kakatiya dynasty by tribal women who challenged king Prataparudra when he had levied tax on them for the tanks he had got constructed in their forests. The Koya tribe had then lived on hunting-gathering, and never cultivated any land.

So, the king sought to send outsiders into the forest for cultivation, which was the last straw on the camel’s back. This story comes out very clearly from the song recited by Ramachandraiah,” Prof. Tirumala Rao says.

Apart from ‘Sammakka-Saralamma’, the balladeer sings the stories of tribal warriors such as Gari Kamaraju, Pagididda Raju, Irama Raju, Gaadi Raju, Bapanamma, Musalamma, Nagulamma, Sadalamma and others. He also knows and recites the stories behind the endogamous tribal sub-divisions and their surnames. “Now, nobody wants to sing the stories. Even my own son refuses to follow the tradition,” Ramachandraiah laments.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by Swathi Vadlamudi / January 10th, 2018

Around the world in 26 years

Bitten by travel bug Indranil Chowdhuri

Hyderabad-based Indranil Chowdhuri combines his passion for travel and sports and has visited 107 countries so far
North Korea: Check

Greenland: Check

Cuba: Check

No, this isn’t a list of all countries difficult to get a visa but a few places among the 107 nations that Indranil Chowdhuri, 56, visited in the past 26 years. While travelling was integral to his job early on, later it became an all-consuming passion.

Sharing details about his journeys, Indranil says, “My first trip abroad was when I went to Myanmar in 1992 for work. Then I travelled a lot as I was into exports. When I casually counted one day, I realised that I went to 40 countries. That was when I wanted to reach the three figure mark and stepped up on visiting newer countries. The critical mass of my visits has been in the last 12 years, and though after I hit a century, I lost the urge for numbers, I still am passionate about exploring new places.”

As an avid sports fan, Indranil combines travel with sporting events, be it Olympics, football world cups or major tennis events so that he can merge both his great loves. What research is a part of a frequent traveller’s routine? Indranil explains, “I start with Lonely Planet guides. I have a lot of them with me and then I read up extensively about the place. I make notes and do my own ticketing and reservations. I don’t engage the services of an agent or a tour company unless there is no option, as they have a pre-planned programme and I don’t like that at all. Travel should include the freedom to do my own thing my way.”

Confessing that travelling excites him as it gives him a chance to explore different countries, cultures and cuisines, Indranil says the challenge is to converse with local people in their language. He explains, “I do basic research and try to speak their language. When they see me try, they always speak English which makes it easy to blend in.

The intrepid traveller also has a thing for souvenirs and points out to rooms filled with trinkets in his apartment. Shot glasses, magnets, swords and daggers (exquisitely carved), busts of famous personalities, tees and baseball caps — there is no shortage of reminders for trips he has undertaken. Indranil says, “I never wanted a big collection, but somehow when you travel you pick up things. I have 3000 plus shot glasses of cities, celebrity houses and football games I’ve been to.”

For someone who has been to Peru and stayed with an Inca family, spent time with a nomadic tribe in a desert in Mongolia and swam in the rivers of Amazon (where he narrowly escaped an alligator), Indranil recounts his most unforgettable experience which nearly got him killed, “I ran into former President of USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, at a cemetery in Russia and raised my hand to greet him. He was surrounded with KGB agents who pounced on me as they thought I was about to shoot. Luckily they realised I was a tourist and since this was before the concept of selfie was introduced, I took a picture of myself with Gorbachev in the background surrounded by his guards.”

On his to-do list is Bahamas which he couldn’t visit so far due to visa issues and a trip to Russia next year during FIFA World cup.

Ask him about his plans for travel in India and he signs off saying that’s a post-retirement trip.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Society / by Mallik Thattipalli / January 04th, 2018

District Collector sets an example

Gets hair cut done at a road-side kiosk in a village

He has done it again. For Jayashanker – Bhoopalpalli Collector A. Murali, ditching protocols and security is not new. He has freely travelled on his bike, wearing a helmet, in the middle of the night in remote tribal villages of the district. He stayed overnight in tiny hamlets where there were not even school buildings. All this for what? To gain first-hand information about problems of people. Last week, he did one more. He stayed overnight at a village in Mangapet mandal and went on a tour of the nearby villages the next day. Mr. Murali stopped at Chintakunta village on seeing a tribal youth donning the role of a barber and cutting the hair of his customers by the roadside. Mr. Murali lost no time and engaged the professional services of the youth himself. The latter promptly spread out the towel that he used for any other customer on the VIP’s person and got paid ₹100 for the job done. Months ago, the Collector admitted his daughter for delivery at the Government hospital at Mulug.

Deputy Chief Minister turns Santa

Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali was in a generous mood recently. On two separate, yet consecutive occasions, he announced benefits for the weaker sections. In the first instance, Mr. Ali told a huge gathering of physically challenged people that the State Government would consider increasing reservation percentage for people with disabilities from four to six. He followed the encouraging news with more such sops as he added, the State might extend free power and water to the disabled and also give them priority in allotment of double bedroom houses. The very next day, Mr. Ali was heard announcing a sub-plan for minorities like the ones for SCs and STs and 16 other new schemes for them. A good, hopeful year ender for the weaker sections?

Telugu thalli or Telangana thalli?

A section of Telugu language lovers have their fingers crossed over the inaugural event of the World Telugu Conference in Hyderabad from December 15. They are clueless whether it would be Telugu ‘thalli’ (Mother Telugu), portrayed as the symbol of Telugu people till the movement for statehood to Telangana gained momentum post-2009, or Telangana thalli that would be paid respects at the event. The reason for the anxiety stems from the remarks by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao in his capacity as president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) during the Telangana movement stating that Telugu thalli was a myth and that it was a demon for the people of Telangana. The issue has already gone viral on social media questioning the propriety of Telangana on Telugu after demeaning Telugu thalli, the representative idol of the language, during the Statehood movement. BJP leader N. Indrasena Reddy is in the bandwagon that has been demanding apology from KCR before the commencement of the event being organised to celebrate Telugu.

Where are the teachers?

While the Government has been stressing on the need for improving research and promote science in a big way, the recent decision of the Government to fill up vacancies in the universities have baffled academics and students. The reason being out of the 1,061 posts that the Government has given clearance in the universities, a lot of vacancies are in the departments that hardly find students. At the same time vacant posts in the sought-after subjects are comparatively less, senior academics argue. The need now is to create new science departments to promote research and recruit teachers there rather than offer courses considered non-serious by the students themselves and opted only for a stay in the hostel, academics feel. Of course, they are also clear that social sciences should not be neglected but sciences need more importance.

(N. Rahul, Nikhila Henry, B. Chandrashekhar, R. Ravikanth Reddy)

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / December 11th, 2017

Messiah of Gulf victims

He has helped in repatriation of 300 migrant workers languishing there

He is seen by many as messiah of Gulf victims as he has supported them through thick and thin in the last five years, spending his hard-earned money. His tireless efforts and coordination with State and Central Governments brought home about 50 bodies of migrant workers, and 300 migrant workers have been successfully repatriated home.

Born into an agriculture family at model village Manoharabad of Jakranpally mandal, Patkuri Basanth Reddy went to Bahrain as a construction worker after completion of SSC and had lived there for several years. During his stay, he had witnessed labourers being cheated by Gulf agents.

Moved by the plight of Gulf workers, he came back to Hyderabad and established Gulf Telangana Welfare and Cultural Association. Recognising his efforts for the cause of Gulf victims, the Telangana Government honoured him with the best social worker award, which he received from Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao at Golkonda Fort on August 15.

That apart, he has several awards to his credit for his social work. He had Dr. B. R Ambedkar Vishista Seva Puraskar conferred on him in 2016, Prof. Jayashankar National Award in 2015. He has been selected for Mahatma Jyothiba Phule Award, and he will receive it from Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in New Delhi on December 10.

According to Basanth Reddy, there are over 6 lakh migrant workers from Telangana in the Gulf. An estimated two lakh workers are from erstwhile undivided district alone. Many workers who went there in search of work on fake or kalivili (in local parlance) visas created by Gulf agents are languishing in jails in Gulf countries.

He says thousands of poor workers who went there, by taking money from moneylenders at a high rate of interest, are living in distress on streets. As they are uncared for by their employers, some are committing suicide and some are dying.

“I believe in social work. When a Gulf worker in distress is restored to his family, I feel immense pleasure. Therefore, along with some like-minded people, I have floated the social service organisation to render service to poor migrant worker families,” said the 42-year-old Basanth Reddy.

In the current month, with the help of the External Affairs Ministry and Telangana Minister K.T. Rama Rao, he ensured safe landing in New Delhi of 30 migrant workers who were stranded in Iraq . He personally goes to the airport to receive bodies from the Gulf and travels in the ambulance along with the bodies to their villages. “I have so far spent ₹ crore for my social service but never expect anything from society. I believe service to man is to service to God,” he says.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by P. Ram MOhan / Nizamabad – December 02nd, 2017

Living life, freestyle

Undeterred by disabilities, Madhavi Latha knows how to fight back. A champion swimmer, she now heads the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India

Polio at the age of seven months paralysed Madhavi Latha from the waist down. It left her with minimal movement in her hands and robbed her of her voice even. But with time and perseverance she managed to regain some control over her hands and her voice. The daughter of a school teacher father and a homemaker mother, Latha, was the youngest of four siblings in a remote village in Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana). The polio attack and her limited motor skills didn’t deter her from completing school and pursuing a college degree privately. After she completed her MSc in Math, she eventually got a job with a bank in Hyderabad, before moving on to Standard Chartered in Chennai.

And life seemed set for her, until 10 years ago when her limited movements led to a compression of her spinal cord and in turn compression of her lungs, leading doctors to give her not more than a year to live. Determined to fight back, as she always has since she was a baby, Latha turned to hydrotherapy to strengthen her muscles and ease the pressure on her spine. And that’s when she discovered her new love — swimming. Through sheer grit and determination, she began to swim competitively and went on to become the National Paralympic swimming champion when she won three gold medals in her category in 2011. No mean feat for someone with a disability as severe as hers and at the age of 40.

Her win, silenced all the nay-sayers. “The first time I wanted to swim competitively at the corporate Olympiad, the organisers were not convinced. So, I had four people swimming around me for my security. In fact, when I first tried my hand at swimming, I didn’t have a coach. I self-learnt freestyle, which then convinced the coach to teach me the remaining styles. I wanted to set an example for other people with disabilities and so pushed myself further,” she says. Her tryst with swimming was a turning point in her life. “Moreover, being in water made my body light and the buoyancy helped me do all the things that I couldn’t outside of it,” she adds.

Swimming, was only the beginning for this determined woman. She is now heading the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India that she set up in conjunction with others in 2014. “This came about when a UK-based NGO introduced me to the sport and encouraged me to promote it. It intrigued me as it is rather energetic and inculcates a great sense of team spirit in those involved in the sport. In the last three years we’ve managed to enrol 600 players from 14 states in the country — from Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari,” she says, adding that this venture is not without its fair share of challenges either. “One of the biggest challenges is convincing people to encourage this sport; often it is concerns over players’ safety that comes to fore, since people aren’t convinced about just how much people with disabilities are capable of. Also, sports wheelchairs are not manufactured in India and are often imported, thereby raising costs. We’re also working towards making sports arenas more accessible for those with disabilities. When tournaments take place there are concerns about accessibility in terms of transport and accommodation. And since we know that a lot of these aren’t inclusive in nature yet, we go prepared, so there are no rude shocks upon our arrival.”

For the Asian Para Games

While the WBFI has received an invitation from the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation — Asia Oceania Zone, Madhavi Latha and the teams are working towards raising support to help them participate in the qualifiers in Thailand.

To arrange a training camp in Chennai for the national team (for men and women) to prepare for the qualifiers and to select 12 players in each team.

A coach from abroad to run this camp.

To send both the men’s and women’s teams to Thailand and pay their registration fees which amounts to ₹ 3.7 lakhs.

Madhavi Latha can be contacted on 9841609601
_____________________________________________

But this struggle is not new to Latha. “My parents always wanted me to be financially independent. So after completing my MSc in Mathematics, I even trained as a typist so I could get a typing job. That is when a cousin told me about jobs in banks that I could apply for. In 1991 I managed to land my first job with State Bank in Hyderabad; expectedly there was a lot of convincing to do. Having had to move to Hyderabad from my small town, I even learnt how to ride a scooter so I could commute and gradually moved on to driving a car. I eventually got an opportunity to join Standard Chartered and moved to Chennai for the new role in 2006,” she says.

In the meantime, the lack of physical activity began taking a toll on her. “The exercises I’d been asked to do were rather painful and involved callipers being put from shoulder down. It felt like being in a cage and I neglected to follow up on them, not realising the seriousness of the consequences.”

Even while she was pursuing her college degree privately, Latha began giving tuitions at home to students a couple of years younger than her. “I wanted to surround myself with people closer to my age so I didn’t miss college life as much,” she smiles.

Today, she leads a busy life with her hands full with professional responsibilities at Standard Chartered and her role at the WBFI. “I want people to realise that people with disabilities can do a range of things as well. It’s important to sensitise people around them to lend adequate support. Currently our basketball team is gearing up for the qualifiers of the Asian Para Games that will be held in March 2018 in Bangkok. While our players have great potential, there’s a lot more we need in terms of support. And we are working towards ensuring that our teams qualify,” she says.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Society / by Ranjani Rajendra / November 27th, 2017

Pattiseema Project sets another record

Hyderabad :

Pattiseema project has added another feather to its hat. Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd. (MEIL), which set a record in the execution of the Pattiseema project, has set another record by diverting 100 TMC of water from River Godavari to River Krishna through a lift system in 148 days.

Pattiseema project is a prestigious project of the AP government that has linked both Krishna and Godavari. The project was taken up to divert 80 TMC of water from Godavari and Krishna in 110 days. In this year, the project has diverted 100 TMC of water in 148 days. This is an increase of 20% over the intended usage of the project.

Official sources said Pattiseema is the only project in India to divert 100 TMC of water in one season. In this year, 98% of the acreage under river Krishna has been brought under cultivation.

“Normally, in any lift irrigation project, the pumps and motors are put to use only for three months or less every year. In Pattiseema project, all the 24 motors have been functional for the last 4 months. The 24 motors, one lakh twenty thousand hours, 159 TMC of diverted water,” a senior official of AP Irrigation department said.

Interestingly, the project was completed before time by the project contractor MEIL and subsequently entered into the Limca Book of Records for diverting 100 TMC of water this year from River Godavari to Krishna Delta. The works began on March 30, 2015 and completed the works by March 20, 2016.

Officials said Pattiseema is the first project in India to be completed on time without any budgetary enhancements. In spite of many challenges and setbacks, the government planned diligently and employed a workforce of 2,000 to complete the project. The first pump was made functional in 173 days (on 18th September 2015) and water was released.

According to a release, the pump house which is spread across an area of 7476 sq. m. is the largest in Asia. The project pumps 240 cusecs of water through 24 pumps. After the completion of the project, the pumps have been operational for 1.2 lakh hours till now. This means that each pump has been operational for 5000 hours without any hurdles. The pumps were successful in diverting 4 TMC of water in 93 days in the first year (2015), 55.6 TMC of water in 137 days in 2016, and 148 TMC of water till now in 2017.

Irrigation officials said this year, the farmers of Krishna Delta received water to their farmlands in the beginning of July. This has never happened in the past.

These farmers sowed their paddy crops in the months of October and November every year due to water scarcity. They incurred heavy losses when their crops were inundated during the monsoons and other calamities. After the completion of the Pattisam project, the farmers have started receiving water on time. As a result, they are reaping the benefits of a good harvest without any obstacles. The officials from irrigation and water resources department are able to ascertain the actual reason behind such abundant harvests.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Hyderabad News> Civic News / by Koridi Mahesh / TNN / November 16th, 2017

IIT Hyderabad develops novel skin patch for constant drug release

Optimum “The drug gets released quickly when the pore size of the nanofabric is 100 microns,” says Mudrika Khandelwal (second from right).

The amount of drug in the patch can be modified so that it is released at desired rate

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad have developed a novel drug-delivery system that releases a commonly used pain killer (diclofenac sodium) at the target site in a controlled fashion such that there is constant release of the drug for as long as 12 hours. The drug has low half-life of one–two hours and so constant release for up to 12 hours becomes particularly significant.

In normal circumstances, the drug gets metabolised very quickly, thereby requiring frequent dosing to maintain the desired therapeutic levels. The fluctuation of the drug plasma level is one reason why the medicine cases adverse effects.

To prevent burst or quick release of the drug, a team led by Mudrika Khandelwal from the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad fabricated a transdermal patch containing the drug and made the patch highly hydrophobic (water repelling). The high hydrophobicity of the patch ensures that the highly water-soluble drug is released in a slow and sustained fashion. The results were published in the journal Applied Surface Science.

Tuning the patch

What makes the transdermal patch particularly significant is the freedom to increase the amount of drug present in the patch so that the drug is constantly released at a therapeutically desirable dosage for a longer duration.

The patch was prepared by mixing the drug with cellulose acetate bio-polymer and electrospun in the form of a nanofabric. Ordinary nylon mesh with different pore sizes (50, 100 and 200 microns) was used at the site of the collector and this allowed the nanofibres to get deposited with micron-sized gaps in between.

“The non-wetting capillary action of the air pockets pushes the water away and this changes the water contact angle from about 30 degrees to 138 degrees and makes the nanofabric hydrophobic.

There is higher non- wetting capillary action of the air pockets when the air gaps are smaller in size,” says Prof. Chandra Shekhar Sharma from the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad and one of the authors of the paper. “Since the drug is released through a diffusion process, the increased water repelling nature (hydrophobicity) of the fabric reduces the effective area in contact resulting in reduced diffusion rate, which also reduces the drug release.”

Constant release

“The drug, which is embedded in the transdermal patch, is released at a constant rate for up to 12 hours, when the pore size of the nanofabric is 50 microns. We achieved constant release for only three hours when the pore size was 100 microns. The drug without any micropatterning was released in just one hour,” says Dr. Khandelwal who is the corresponding author of the paper.

“We tested transdermal release using a membrane that mimics the skin. The membrane separates the drug-loaded nanofabric from a solution that in turn mimics the body fluids,” says Dr. Khandelwal. “Different drugs can be loaded in the nanofibres to achieve constant release for a long time.”

“We embedded ciprofloxacin antibiotic in the patch and achieved similar results. The transdermal patch loaded with the pain killer [diclofenac sodium] can be used for treating local muscular pain. It may not be possible to treat deep-seated pain using this patch,” says Shivakalyani Adepu from the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad and the first author of the paper.

The researchers plan to develop transdermal patch prototypes and test them on animals.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sci-Tech> Science / by R. Prasad / November 11th, 2017

ICC Women’s World Cup 2017: Mithali Raj Shatters Record, Becomes Highest Run-Getter In Women’s ODIs

She became the leading run scorer in women’s ODI cricket
. / © AFP[/

Mithali Raj achieved the feat against Australia in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 match at Bristol.

India captain Mithali Raj created history on Wednesday when she became the leading run-scorer in women’s One Day International (ODI) cricket. She achieved the feat against Australia in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 match at Bristol. The India skipper’s remarkable performance has caught the attention of the entire nation and on Wednesday she added this feather to her cap. Before the start of the match against the Aussie women, Mithali was 33 runs short of England cricketer Charlotte Edwards’ 5992 runs in 191 matches.

Not only did Mithali go past the Englishwoman’s world record but she also became the first ever woman cricketer to touch the 6,000 ODI runs mark.

Earlier, she achieved the feat of scoring seven consecutive fifties in ODIs after she played a terrific knock against England in the World Cup last Saturday. Apart from this, Mithali has also notched the maximum number of ODI half-centuries (49) by any woman cricketer.

The 34-year-old, who made her debut at the age of 16, has often been called the Sachin Tendulkar of Indian women’s cricket. However, being compared to male cricketers is not something the Indian skipper is overly fond of.

Mithali had shut down a reporter for asking her a question during a press conference ahead of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. The Indian skipper was asked to name her favourite male cricketer. “Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer?,” she had replied.

She also grabbed headlines when fans spotted her indulging in a rather interesting activity before she came out to bat against England. Mithali was seen reading a book before going out in the middle. Fans couldn’t stop talking about it on social media.

source: http://www.sports.ndtv.com / NDTV Sports / Home> ICC Women’s World Cup> News> Cricket / by Abhishek Mahajan / July 12th, 2017

IIT-H develops biodegradable nano-particles to treat cancer

Some of the members of the IIT-H team working to make cancer treatment better, on the institute’s campus in Hyderabad. | Photo Credit: Mohd Arif;Mohd Arif

Team working on finding alternative to chemotherapy

The Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H) has developed biodegradable non-particles that could be instrumental in treating cancer.

A team led by assistant professor Aravind Kumar Rengan has been working on finding alternative ways to chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer treatment to minimise side-effects caused by these therapies. He designed a novel nano system which kills the cancer cells by photothermal therapy.

The group is currently working on making more cost-effective nano particles for photothermal therapy, integrating these particles with cancer specific drugs to have an enhanced effect in killing cancer.

The team members involved in the research are Tejaswini Appidi, Syed Basseruddin, Deepak Bharadwaj, Anil Jogdand, Sushma, Anula — all Ph.D. scholars; junior research fellow Rama Singh, and postdoctoral fellow Surya Prakash Singh.

Photo thermal therapy is a treatment procedure where light (photo) energy is supplied by means of an external laser to nano particles which absorbs this energy and converts it to heat (thermal) energy. This heat generated by irradiation of laser would increase temperature within the tumour and result in the death of cancer cells.

No side-effects

The important aspects of the research is that the treatment procedure has no side-effects, since the nano particles would be accumulated in the tumour region, and also the irradiation is specific to particles, which means the heat is generated only within the tumour and not elsewhere in the body.

Also, the laser used to provide light energy would not harm the healthy cells around the tumour region as these healthy cells would not absorb this light energy as they remain transparent to this irradiation.

The nano particulate system is very unique in its own way. The particles, after generating the heat required to kill the cancer cells, will degrade inside the body and further breakdown into much smaller particles which will be excreted from the body.

“This procedure had very good results in experiments carried out in mice, and is expected to show the same in humans too. This treatment is now under clinical trials and once the trials are completed, this would be available as an alternative treatment procedure to cancer,” Dr. Rengan told The Hindu.

Dr. Rengan was recently awarded the prestigious INSA award in the young scientist category for his outstanding research in treatment of cancer by photothermal therapy using biodegradable particles.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by R. Avadhani / May 19th, 2017

Ancient Gond wells yield water all year

Perennially full: The kantam well of Kanchanpalli in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. S. Harpal Singh

In arid Asifabad, a ‘kui’ dug over a century ago still fills the needs of the tribals of Kanchanpalli

The water shortage in what was undivided Adilabad district is of comparatively recent origin, if one looks at the evidence of a few surviving open wells, which are over a century old. It makes it clear that the residents of the area, mainly people of tribal origin, like the Raj Gonds, who live between the Penganga and the Godavari, had a close connect with natural resources.

These wells, known locally as ‘kui,’ yield water through the year, even in high altitude areas. One example is the well called kantam (perennially full), in Kanchanpalli village, in the Lingapur mandal of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. It serves the needs of 80 families and over 100 heads of cattle. “It never dries up,” says Athram Bheem Rao, the 62-year-old inheritor of the Gond Raja title.

The sides of the rectangular kui are lined with teak logs, and at the top, thinner logs provide a secure place for the person drawing water to stand. A boom at the side, rather like those one would see at a railway crossing, lowers a pot or bucket attached to a rope into the well.

The water drawn is poured into a hollowed-out log, which pipes it into another hollow log. This collection method ensures that any silt that comes up settles at the bottom. After taking the water, the locals leave the lower log full for animals to drink.

The Gond people say that the water level in this well increases whenever there is rainfall in the catchment areas of the Kadem, a stream about 15 kilometres away. This indicates that an underground stream connects the two; the Gonds call this subterranean stream the Satganga.

Only a handful of such kuis still remain functional. One other can be found on the road between Chinna Dhoba and Seetagondi village, Sirpur mandal.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by S Harpal Singh / Adilabad – May 08th, 2017