Sunday, February 27, 2011

Women Masons-Steady Empowerment Drive

Since Society for Education and Village Improvement had existing skill experience in ferrocement technology, it was logical to use the technology for application in the area of sanitation as pre-fabricated by women masons. Society for Education and Village Improvement promotes prefabricated ferrocement circular toilets as mounded by women and finds widespread use. Society for Education and Village Improvement teams took up the challenge and developed prefabricated ferrocement toilet blocks.
For a training program, to be organized by prison department in Central prison premises, four circular types of Ferro cement toilets and five rat-trap bond bath rooms were constructed in a day in Trichy. Ms.Jayabharathi,Prison Supt.Trichy Central Prison inspected the progress of  this Ferro cement toilets erection process completed within 24 hours and said “Success depends upon — efficiency, participation with diligence, perseverance, cooperation, unity, confidence-winning, decision-making, hard work, forbearance, and honesty of the team executed the works,”

Since Society for Education and Village Improvement established, the SEVAI Rural Technology centre has been involved in upgrading traditional technologies as well as developing new ones that are versatile enough to meet the needs of rural communities. Building technology centre Established by SEVAI in Sirugamani is promoting Low Cost Housing Technologies and is providing its Technical Advice and Guidance services to the SHGs and target youth population for enabling them to construct the houses at a cost-effective outlay. Promote and propagate environmentally sound rural appropriate technologies thereby strengthening the capability of rural poor communities’ especially empowering women to respond to their basic needs by creating better options and opportunities to improve the livelihood and upgrade the socio economic condition of the rural population. Rural Technology Centre has been involved in upgrading traditional technologies as well as developing new ones that are versatile enough to meet the needs of rural communities. Some of these include solar powered cookers, improved latrines and water mains, briquettes made from unwanted biomass, and solar food dryers. Much of the technology is either locally developed or adapted to suit rural conditions.RTC also goes to the local areas to teach people how to use the equipment on these technologies. Technologies are taken up for dissemination only after sufficient field trials for economic viability and environmental sustainability have been conducted. Field level monitoring of our programs is undertaken by this organizational set up, which also ensures the continuity of our dissemination practices. The public is informed of our programs. Over the years, SEVAI has conducted a number of training programmes in the following areas. Society for Education and Village Improvement had launched female masonry as a pilot effort to meet the rising labour demand for rural infrastructure. Where masonry skills in rural areas were handed down as oral tradition to the family members, training under Society for Education and Village Improvement have a scientific outlook, with ratio of mixture, centering and plastering taught to women, Society for Education and Village Improvement proposes to impart masonry training in other areas. Women were absorbed through Panchayat-Level Federations after information circulated through self help groups. Masonry training is remunerative as it could fetch Rs.200 as a day's wage. For 2010-11, over 750 women and men within the age group of 18 to 35 years were provided employment-oriented, skill-based training. With the progress of beneficiary enumeration for the rural housing masonry any rural woman, irrespective of caste, class, ethnicity, age and educational qualification can be trained and they can work as a rural professional. Through experience, men have been usually found to be untrainable as they are restless, impatient, ambitious and compulsively mobile, and they all want certificates after training. Once they are trained and have a certificate in hand, they tend to leave their native villages and migrate to cities. Since women trainees have a solid base with a home and family in the village, they are usually not interested in migrating to cities and certificates are of no value to them. The Society for Education and Village Improvement, Trichy believes that certificates issued by training institutes, are one of the major reasons for migration to the cities.EtNS.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dance is fast gaining ground as a health therapy -Prabha

India has always embodied this eternal principle in its culture and has spread it across the seas. Dancing was considered the religious ceremony most pleasing to the Gods and dedication of all activity to the Divine was the highest form of worship. Brahma, created the fifth Scripture, Natya Veda, the scripture of the Dance, presenting moral and spiritual truths in a form, which is easy to understand, even for the masses. Brahma then said to the people, “This art is not merely for your pleasure, but exhibits Bhava (emotion) for all the three worlds. I made this art to reflect this world, whether in work or play, profit, peace, laughter, battle or slaughter. This art shall teach men that the fruit of righteousness will be given to those who follow Dharma, the Moral Law. The spirituality of this art shall be a restraint for the unruly, a discipline for the followers of rule. It will create wisdom in the ignorant, learning in scholars; afford sport to kings and endurance to the sorrow-stricken. Replete with the diverse moods, informed with varying passions of the soul, linked to the deeds of all mankind, the best, the middling and the low, affording excellent counsel, and all else, this great art shall console and elevate the world”. A distinctive feature of the Bharatanatyam  is the fact that it conceives of movement is space mostly along either straight lines or in triangles or in circles, by which we gain a lot of energy. These movements are in actual act, moving lines, which come together in discernible patterns. These patterns reflect or mirror the Mandalas (mystic shapes or forms), which are associated with the six Chakras of the human psychic energy body.
Are you a health freak, who wants to give a miss to the mundane physical exercises and indulge in something more exhilarating? Try grooving to some amazing steps of Indian dance forms to perk up your mood and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Whether it’s grooving to the classical Indian dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi or shaking a leg to Bollywood numbers, dance is fast gaining ground as a health therapy in India. Erratic working hours, hectic work schedules, and the pressure to perform cause a lot of stress and our lifestyle goes for a toss. Our biological clock too plays the villain. It is no wonder that urban India is increasingly taking to Indian dance forms to keep stress at bay and lead a healthy lifestyle. Many believe that matching steps to the rhythmic numbers helps one to drive away the negative energy and infuse a feel-good factor. Many dance enthusiasts swear by the advantages of Bharatnatyam, a classical dance form originating in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The graceful movements of Bharatnatyam help the dancer to communicate and express emotions in a more refined manner as they are not monotonous like other forms of physical exercises. Mudras or symbolic hand gestures in Bharatnatyam, enhances inter-personnel skills, releases physical and mental stress and strengthens mind and body connection.Bharatanatyam is no less a spiritual search than the Sanyasi’s way of renunciation. Yoga and Bharatanatyam are both a means by which “with body, mind and soul we may pray to the Divine.” These great arts help us to divinize ourselves, to develop spiritual qualities of loyalty, fidelity, a sense of Dharma, discipline, awareness, sensitivity, strength, courage, skill, cooperation, diligence, health, happiness and well being, serenity and peacefulness of mind. May the artistic community of this great nation of Bharat strive to keep the purity of its great cultural heritage intact, inspiring people in all times to follow the advice of the great Rishi Veda Vyasa, who exclaimed at the end of his great epic, the Mahabharata: “Oh man knows this! Do your Dharma. ‘Then Artha (wealth) and Kama (fulfillment of desire) shall automatically come to you. Having fulfilled yourself in Artha and Kama, you will then seek and obtain Moksha! Hence I say, “Do your Dharma and all else shall come automatically to you.”The great art of Bharat Natyam surely shows us how we may fulfill our Dharma in a most refined, pleasing, enjoyable, dignified, beautiful and joyful manner and attain that final union with the Supreme Self.

Bikchandar Koil/Mettumarudur primary schools made LEARNING EASY

Trichy, Feb: 23: Primary students SEVAI run schools with Government aid longer depend on rote learning process in their formative years as the education teaching system transformed the teaching-learning process for Class I to Class IV, with a focus on targeting students in primary sections to provide them with more conceptual-based learning. The curriculum is based on activity-based learning (ABL) process. For the students of SEVAI run Government Aided Elementary School, Bickchandarkoil and Mettumarudur classes mean a lot of fun. They do not carry textbooks or notebooks to school. They learn their lessons through various activities and do not fear examinations.
The Activity-Based Learning (ABL) programme started by SSA/SEVAI in these schools has made the process of learning easier for students."In this system of learning, no child sits idle in class," said S.Narmadha, Headmistress, Bichandarkoil. The programme is in progress in these two schools when we visited on the 23rd           February along with Mrs. Elizabeth Walton, President, OFI. "We are planning to implement it in for fifth standard also of this school," the headmistress Kalaiammal of MettuMarudur said. The system follows a continuous evaluation method and gives ample opportunities even for slow learners to pick up the things taught in class. Each student was judged based on the level he or she reaches, said K.Xyian, Resource Person of the Activity-Based-Learning programme for these two schools from SEVAI."The best thing about the programme is that the students can be involved in the programme," said Balanithiya, a trainer of teachers for ABL programme. The students could learn their subjects through the computer. "When they see their lessons in animation, they will be motivated to learn more," Ramesh as student in Bichandarkoil said.
These two schools had already witnessed good results and improvement in learning levels with introduction of activity-based learning up till standard IV.The ABL model have special focus on the those students in every class who have reached the required proficiency level in basic English, Maths and Tamil  as per the standard specified for that class. “Such students would be divided into a separate group and would be taught more innovative things to improve their general awareness and magnifying their thought process to prepare them for a good grounding before going to the next class,” said P.Chitra,Project Director,SEVAI. Separate focused groups would be formed of those students who have been ‘low achievers’ during this year. P.Chitra added that with an aim to make the learning of maths and science more interactive for Class VI students of our school, with the support of SSA, we plan to introduce the concept of Help Books; The Help Book will focus on activity-based learning. For example, a student will learn the concept of a triangle by make triangular figures with the help of wires and cello tapes. Similarly, the concept of money will be explained using dummy currency, which will be provided along with the book. -EtNS

Watershed for Replication Dr.K.Govindaraju

Trichy, 11, February2011: Thottiyapatty villagers living in dry belt region grow mango trees by conjunctive use of water by injectors and get good yield.  Thottiyapatty Watershed management implemented by SEVAI, a local NGO in Trichy with the support of FdnF, offers an effective method to intercept dispersed runoff. Water conservation techniques of have been developed along Kallai hill slopes with the intention of preventing soil erosion and reducing surface runoff, then increasing the infiltration in the injection of water directly to the roots. Water directly injected to the roots of the tree, avoiding ground, thus recharging the aquifers.
Thottiyapatty Watershed Development Programme had been initiated to improve and sustain productivity and production potentials of the ecologically, fragile and disadvantaged arid regions through adoption of appropriate production and conservation techniques, as well as meet the needs of Thottiyapatty rural communities for food, fuel, fodder and timber. Unlike traditional approaches to development, where the revenue or administrative boundary is adopted as the unit for development purposes, under Thottiyapatty Watershed Development the watershed is chosen as the appropriate unit area for development. It seeks to improve and develop all types of lands falling within a watershed.
The primary objective of the Thottiyapatty watershed management is to limit the soil erosion and therefore to reduce sediment accumulation in the surface reservoirs downstream, the effect of these practices in Thottiyapatty became significant on the aquifer. In open irrigation to the trees planted, the Evaporation becomes problem water areas are exposed, to high evaporation rates leading to water losses sometimes exceeding 20 percent of the average annual runoff. Losses may be even higher when the width of the impounded tree pits is considerable, and induces a larger open water area. Artificial recharge by injection consists of using a conduit access, such as an injector shaft to convey the water to the aquifer. There has also been greater crop diversification, and an improvement in cropping intensity.
An improvement in fodder and water availability is also significant result. Small and marginal farmers, as well as women have recorded positive benefits in terms of improved incomes, employment, access to resources, skills development, etc. This has led to a greater sense of involvement of the people in watershed development projects. The achievement in Thottiyapatty watershed development project: Poverty reduction  for 147 families, Eco-Restoration/improve natural resource base and land and water productivity in Kallai hills regions of 1247 hectares, Improve incomes and returns from marginal lands of 254 farmers , Improve living conditions of rural people of 1863 population, Improve living conditions of weaker sections, disadvantaged groups for the entire 100%,, including women, Improve fodder/fuel availability in 128 acres, Foster community participation,13 self help groups  Encourage non-land based economic activities for the poor,42 families, Promote sustainable use and management of natural resources/CPRs in 197 hectares, Improve land/water productivity for 412 hectares, Improve crop yields upto 6 tonnes per acre of rice, Improve all small holder agriculture, Improve socio-economic conditions of 12 disadvantaged groups/women, Improve employment opportunities for  417 women, small farmers and agricultural labourers, 35 opinion leaders both men and women were trained in Human resources development, Cost-benefit sharing by community, Strengthen community participation and  Empowerment of the entire women folk in Thottiyapatty.
The significant production of food, generating employment and protection of eco system is possible as the village of Thottiyapatty is made possible by the adoption of conjunctive use of water in the watershed of Thottiyapatty. Thanks to FdnF, villagers of Thottiyapatty and SEVAI NGO, for the joint efforts of taking initiative for the conjunctive use of water as one of components of food production and water and soil conservation.-NNS.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Play Therapy for Children with Disabilities.

SEVAI: Society for Education, Village and Improvement run Special Residential School for children in need, with disability. Children-centered play has been adopted in Special Residential School run by Society for Education, Village and Improvement in Trichy “as a dynamic interpersonal relationship between a child and a therapist...who provides selected play materials and facilitates the development of a safe relationship for the child to fully express and explore self...". SYSTEM of District Welfare committee has allotted its space for differently abled children for outdoor relaxation and physiotherapy in Trichy Myopathy.Special Olympic chapter of Trichy tries to promote the energy positively in sports and also trains to fit in job oriented life coping skills for the mentally retarded. The Special school children express their desire to go ground for practice and fresh air in Kalaiarangam preemies as they were sheltered most time in their SEVAI residential centre. Educational Psychologists view that outdoor play ventilates the children’s mind those are mentally retarded.

SEVAI: Society for Education, Village and Improvement promoted Children-centered play therapy motivates the child spontaneously plays with a selection of toys representing household objects, transportation, wild and domestic animals, aggression toys, doll family, community helper dolls, puppets, creative art supplies, and throwing toys. SEVAI therapist provides the core conditions of empathy, warmth and genuine respect for the child. The therapist reflects the feelings expressed by the child's spontaneous, free play. The therapist is careful not to make judgmental statements about the child or the child executed products.
The Child-centered approach is focused on the child's growth and development and his/her ability to know what is best for him or herself. According to SEVAI Counselor, Kasturi, lack of comparison to others makes person-centered play therapy an appropriate method for working with disabled Children. Person-centered theory provides a framework for empowering the individual to seek the highest level of ability possible. The primary goal of children-centered play therapy encourages independence and integration of the child's growing personality. Through the growth process, the child develops the confidence to cope with life's challenges. Play therapy allows children with physical disabilities to discover what they can do and who they are. This project focuses on child-centered play therapy for children with disabilities. The activities include for the rehabilitation counselor who may wish to work with children who may need clarification for referral purposes.

Kasturi stated that lack of mobility, over-protective parental attitudes, preoccupation with treatment; authoritarian treatment climate, limited personal responsibility, and lack of decision-making experiences often result in children with disabilities perceiving themselves as less than competent. Children with disabilities may extend their perceptions of physical limitations beyond those imposed by the disability. Because these children have less control over their lives, they may not develop self-confidence. Play therapy provides opportunities for children with physical disabilities to gain self-confidence, to take advantage of their abilities, and to accept and overcome the limitations associated with their disabilities. Feelings of inadequacy and rejection by others are among the greatest challenges faced by children with disabilities. These feelings of inadequacy and rejection come from sources external to the children. Kastruri suggested that because children with disabilities cannot engage in all activities in which their age mates participate, they may be perceived as incompetent, helpless, unproductive, and dependent. Children who are considered different or unattractive may be avoided and considered to be less deserving and less desirable than their age mates without disabilities. She indicate that counselor acceptance of children with disabilities leads these special children toward self-acceptance. Lack of self-acceptance and feelings of inadequacy are minimized by providing children with disabilities with a warm and supportive environment. The accepting environment provides an insulator against the rejection that the child may experience. One method to accomplish a warm, supportive and accepting environment is through person-centered play therapy. EtNS.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Prof.So.Sathiyaseelan’ honoured by Trichy Public for receiving ‘Kalai Mamani’

Trichy, Feb, 20: Mr.T.T.Balsamy,Commsioner of Trichirappalli Corporation said’ It was a memorable occasion for Tamil lovers who were happy to witness the classical language once again to the fore in the honouring of a Tamil scholar. Prof.So.Sathiyaseelan, a noted Tamil Scholar from Trichy was honoured with the "Kalai Mamani Award' on Sunday for his yeoman service for the promotion of Tamil language and literature’. The Commissioner also mentioned that Prof.S.Sathiyaseelan is a recipient of several prestigious awards for his contribution to Tamil and also education to the student community in a function organized in Trichy on the 20th February by the various welfare and Tamil Organisations.
Dr.V.Jayapal, senior member of District Welfare committee honoured with Ponnadai and souvenir. Prof.So. Sathiyaseelan spoke that such recognition by Government of Tamilnadu would prove to be a boon for the entire literary community. It would help in attracting more people, particularly the youngsters, towards the literary field. He also appreciated Chief Minister M. Karunanithi for his services to Tamil language and its culture and community. He also added that Tamil Culture a “way of life”, a pattern gracious living that has been formed during the centuries of Tamil of history. He added that he dedicates this award for those eminent personalities those served Tamil over the years.
Dr.K.Govindarajan, Chairman of South Zone Board of continuing Education said ‘Prof.So.Sathiyaseelan is the exemplary orator in Tamil and English and an eminent moderator of Patti Mandrams, author of several literary books; served as Principal of Urumu Dhanalakshimi College, Trichy and two time syndicate member of Bharathidassan University. Prof.So.Sathiyaseelan had been awarded with Dr.Malcolm S.Adi Seshiah Centenary Award with a purse of Rs.50,000 and a citation for his contribution in the field of Education by Tamilnadu Board of Continuing Education for the year 2010. Prof.So.Sathiyaseelan is currently serving as the Chairperson of Muthamil Kalai Panpattu Maiyam, Trichy and he was recently honoured with a purse and title of 'Ulaga Tamizh Maamani'. He is the President of Trichy Kamban Kalagam. Prof.So.Sathiyaseelan serves as the senior member of District Welfare Committee and Chairman of outstanding Tamil Books selection Board of the District Welfare Committee’

. The members of Muthamil Kalai Panpattu Maiyam and District Welfare committee, Trichy District Writers Association, members of Trichirappalli District Press club and several other Tamil scholars, writers, educationists, honoured him with Ponnadai and congratulated him for bagging this prestigious award. The President of SOuth Zone BOard of CoNtinuing Education (OZONE), Dr.K.Govindaraju, Journalist Shanawas Khan, and Writer Jawahar Arumugam conveyed their greetings to this senior great Tamil scholar.
- Etram News Service

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kalyani mission to Dhaka in 1995 said ‘NO to MFIs for India’.

Kalyani and her Associate Sabetha paid homage at the war memorial of Dhaka, Miss.P.Kalyani, 25, an enterprising and educated young woman from Trichirappalli, a multi linguistic personality with superb Bengali language background had a mission to Bangladesh in April 1995 along with a team of 3 more learned senior persons from a Trichy based NGO.The team headed by Kalyani was to study Grameen Bank system for replication of the model in India as recommended by a leading international agency. The origin of Grameen Bank can be traced back about 35 years from now when Dr. Muhammad Yannus, Professor and Head of the Rural Economics Programme in the University of Chittagong, launched an action research programme to examine the possibilities of designing a comprehensive banking framework to provide the banking services to the rural poor. This is the time of the visit of four member team from Trichy had undertaken this mission, most world population viewed that Grameen Bank has reversed the conventional banking wisdom by removing collateral requirement and created a banking system which is based on mutual trust, strict supervision, accountability, participation and creativity.
At Grameen Bank, credit is the entry point and it serves as a catalyst in the overall development process. Grameen Bank sees credit as an empowering agent, an enabling element in the development of socio-economic conditions of the poor who have been kept outside the banking orbit on the simple ground that they are poor and hence not bankable. The founder of the Bank views credit as a powerful weapon He asserts that credit is a fundamental human right. Professor Yunus puts it as "creating favourable conditions for making a living through self-employment is a much more dignified way of solving the unemployment than initiating a system of doles and welfare payments".
The mission headed by Kalyani visited the entire Bangladesh the Grameen Bank and also its off-shoots and several other micro institutions those had Micro Finance Institutions mushroomed in Bangladesh. The mission headed by Kalyani admitted ‘Grameen Bank in recent years has not only expanded its credit operations which are targeted at the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh, it has also rapidly diversified its activities. However, a torrent of criticism from this mission of 1995 had cast a significant amount of doubt on the effectiveness of microfinance.. In this mission’s view, ‘we’re going through a skepticism phase after the initial honeymoon period:”Microcredit had this magical glow to it … It’s gone away, and that’s healthy. But you wouldn’t say that just because of the mortgage crisis, we shouldn’t have mortgages.”
Kalyani was firm that if the grameen system in the form MFI had been implemented, it would be burdening the poor with loads of debt as the companies themselves make millions. The mission narrated that “No evidence was found to suggest that microcredit empowers women or improves health or educational outcomes.”Kalyani also said that ‘There was also the problem of stability. Privatizing foreign aid has its risks, as evidenced by microfinance bubbles that popped in Bosnia and Nicaragua’. They further added that ”All kinds of credit — whether it’s mortgage lending in the developed world or microcredit in the developing world — tend to go through cycles..That means microfinance companies are susceptible to the same kinds of financial stresses that other lenders are susceptible to. The loans are tiny, yes, but if enough people default on them you’ve got yourself a crisis. Still, it would be unwise to jump to conclusions about the efficacy of microfinance until more time passes and we can examine the long-term health and financial status of families that received microloans. An idea this big and this ambitious deserves more time to be tested, with the caveat that regulation of micro lenders and careful, complete analysis of existing programs are a must’ Kalyani concludes that the Indian NGOs should be aware of the Return on Investment even for micro credit and fix a differential rate of interest for SHGs so that the investment would generate employment/livelihood. This report of this mission headed by young Kalyani at that time regarding the MFIs replication in India was well received by the Head of the NGO and the core team, not to venture into the MFI model of Grameen. Although God has called Kalyani back to his heavenly place at her young age, her wisdom of cautioning the NGO she was working and also those international sponsors, save the 7000 self help groups from certain  crude MFIs of the day. These women SHGs have adequate funds for their quality of life improvement and their way of life is harmonious and those got struck with MFIs are in deep trouble as the rate of interest collected from the SHGs by MFI works out around 36%, whereas the Return on Investment is around 18%, scuh a poor approach makes the women vulnerable due to their unbearable debts.Villuthuhal SHG federation gratefully remember Kalyani’s no to MFIs’-Etram News Service.

Marutham and Kalanjium back to Bio- farming.

Marutham and Kalanjium back to Bio farming are self help groups farming units for a decade they had switched over to chemical farming and realizing that they are back to Bio farming. Agriculture requires three major resources, land, water and energy. Land, being a fixed resource, agricultural productivity could be linked directly to the availability of water and energy inputs. Land preparation, irrigation, harvesting, threshing and transportation are the main tasks dependent on mechanical energy apart from manure input, seed etc., and a sound package of eco-friendly technologies to grow rice is being successfully adopted by a few progressive women farmers in Pettavaithalai and Amoor area villages in Trichy district of Tamil Nadu. The land was affected by seasonal flood and it has been enriched with bio-input for normalizing the soil conditions of PH value, N-Nitrogen P-Prosperous K-Potash. "The technologies work well with indigenous rice varieties such as Samba. The cost of cultivation is substantially reduced and the organic rice fetches a premium price in the market," say the Marutham and Kalanjium SHG women federations, a pioneer SHGs in organic farming in Trichy District."We grew a medium-duration Samba rice in about 165 acres. The seeds were treated with Panchakavya, and the nursery was treated with plenty of tank silt and Vermicompost as basic ingredient for successful organic farming. Liberal quantities of tank silt were applied and green leaf manure was incorporated a few days ahead of the final ploughing. Biogas slurry was applied through irrigation when the seedlings were just establishing in the main field," SHG women explained.
From beginning, Panchagavya and vermicompost can be effectively used to supply essential nutrients to the trees and prevent pest infestations. Vermicompost is prepared by using earthworms. Vermiwash is the liquid collected after the passage of water through a column of activated earthworms. It is very useful as an organic spray for paddy crops. One round of spray with 3 per cent solution of Panchakavya was given 20 days after transplanting. On the 30th day, a combination of coconut milk and butter milk, mixed in equal volume, in ten times their volume of water was sprayed on the crop to promote active plant growth and tillering. On the 40th day, another round of spray with Panchakavya (3 per cent solution in high volume spray) was given. A bio-insect repellent was sprayed on the 45th day of transplantation. The crop was regularly irrigated, and a grain yield of about 6580 bags each bag of 75 kg from the 165 acres of paddy field. They were also assured of high quality straw for their cattle. The cost of cultivation worked out to Rs. 14,000 per acre. "I sell the output as organic rice at a rate of Rs. 30 per kg, and it makes organic rice cultivation more rewarding economically as well environmentally," pointed out SHG women. They are championing the cause of organic farming in Trichy District of Tamil Nadu.
Eco-friendly method of setting up vermicompost unit promoted by SEVAI played a vital role as Vermicompost established with the support of OFI initially and subsequently for revolving FPV is the basic ingredient for this successful organic paddy farming. In Marutham organic farming Resource Centre, more than 85 per cent of organic crop cultivation depends on vermin compost. Marutham has a unit with a roof with thatches as a cover for their vermicompost manufacturing unit.Murungai, Coconut trees have been planted around the vermin compost yard. “The tree trunks absorb the moisture from the compost unit and grow as individual trees,” K.Devendran the promoter of eco farming says. For the roof, he has used the climbing tendrils of vegetable plants growing near the compost unit.
The plants grow well, absorbing the required moisture from the unit and their leaves provide shade to the manufacturing unit. “In addition to making the compost which they sell at Rs 5-8 per kg, by doing so, he could get double income from the compost unit and the vegetables.” Vellaiammal, a SHG woman farmer says that even if some critics say that organic farming cannot provide the same high yields as chemical farming, the organic farmers argue that at least their land is safe; that they have not invested in buying the chemicals and increasing their cost of cultivation.“If you look at the suicides by farmers in Andrapradesh, then you will understand that all those farmers who committed suicides have built up huge debts. The debts kept growing because of borrowing at high interest rates for buying these chemicals which promised to increase the yield. In the end, it only increased their debts,” she explains. “If only farmers use safer and natural pest repellents and manures then where the question of debt and suicides is,” she enquires. She has been using only organic manures and bio-repellents made from locally available resources. “Chemical control methods have not been found successful in controlling this infestation, compared to organic methods,” K.Devendran explained. “I had purchased the suckers from known sources and from healthy trees. The suckers, before planting were dipped in a solution of 10 per cent Panchagavya and 50 gm of pseudomonas for 3-5 minutes.
For an acre, about 780-800 pits of 8x8 (row to row and plant to plant) were dug and the suckers were planted in them. About 3 kg of farm yard manure (FYM) was also applied in each pit in banana cultivation. The FYM was applied a little distance away from the pit, because if it were applied directly into the pit or near the suckers it would spoil the plant growth due to heat generation. Panchangavya spray was done once every month till the crop was about 5 months old. Farmers were able to harvest his first yield in about 12 months after planting and this Ranipoovan can be maintained for two years.“One bunch is expected to be sold for Rs. 120-130 and the farmers would be able to get a net income of Rs. 80,000.“The expenditure for maintaining one tree comes to about Rs. 35 and after deducting the expenses for all plants the farmers will be still able to get a net profit of Rs. 50,000.” Devendran said.
Panchagavya is an organic growth promoter, which is prepared by mixing cow dung, cow urine, cow's milk, curd and ghee in suitable proportions, and is sprayed on the plants. It contains several macro, micronutrients, beneficial bacteria and fungi, which aid in growth promotion and act as effective pest repellents. It has been prepared by thoroughly mixing five kilos of fresh cow dung and one litre of cow's ghee in a plastic or cement tank or earthen pot. The mixture is stirred daily for three to four days."About three litres of cow's milk, two litres of cow's curd, three litres of sugarcane juice, three litres of tender coconut water and 10 to12 bananas are mixed well and added to the mixture. The entire concoction is allowed to ferment for fifteen days," said K.Devendran. –Etram News Service
Please visit:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

‘Trichy is always energy giving’-Mrs.Santha Sheela Nair.

Trichy-19;Feb:Trichy is always energy giving District’ Said Mrs.Santha Sheela Nair in her award acceptance speech  in a function organised by South Zone Board of Continuing Education here on the 19th February 2011. South Zone Board of Continuing Education the apex body of Tamil Nadu Board of Continuing Education has presented Mrs.Santha Sheela Nair ‘Speek@Con Award’ for her outstanding services for the poor especially in the areas of women and sanitation promotion. Mrs.Shantha Sheela Nair, the former Collector of Trichy who has been retired from her 38 years of civil service, said that she has never accepted any award from anyone in her tenure. She accepted to receive this award as it has been given by dedicated social workers those are known to her for three decades. She is very proud that the function was organised where more than 95 participants are women.  She said that she respects those who work for women and sanitation and the organisers of the program Dr.K.Govindaraju and Scope Subburaman are working towards such goals of reaching the women for development creating a conducive atmosphere for better sanitation’. She also recalled her associations with the NGOs in and around Tiruchirapalli, especially SEVAI, SCOPE, when she was collector of Combined Tiruchirapalli district in eighties and said the NGOs used to associate themselves with the district administration in multi developmental activities. She said that she will extend all her possible cooperation for those work for Women and disabled, children and sanitation’. Although she was a bit depressed after her retirement, she said Trichy trip and this function re-tyred (energised) her to go miles and mile to go for the welfare poor and needy.She is proud of introducing pulse polio in 1980 during the decade of disabled,this works as Polio free Tamilnadu'. Mrs.Shantha Sheela Nair donated the cash received attached this award to Sahanthakumar,Director, Trichy Spastic Society as her gesture.
South Zone Board of Continuing Education’s Chairman, Dr.K.Govindaraju said ‘the Board has instituted an award namely Speek@Con Award those have shown commendable work for the development of rural population in the areas of Societal Connectivity, Physical Connectivity, Educational Connectivity, Electronic Connectivity and Knowledge Connectivity by Provision Of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA) as visualised by Dr.Abdul Kalam,the former President of India. South India Board of Continuing Education Board collectively resolved to honour Mrs.Santha Sheela Nair, IAS (Rtd,), the first woman District Collector for Trichy with Award for her excellent work with ‘Speek@Con’ Award for the reaching the unreached with PURA concept at her various capacities as Civil Officer during her tenure for 38 years. Speek@Con Award is a symbol of honour, award’s are for those doing some best services in their work.’ This prestigious ‘Speek@Con Award’ carries a citation; shield with purse of Rs.5000 had been handed over to Mrs.Santha Sheela Nair for her outstanding services for the poor and needy especially for women and also for her contribution in the area of Sanitation. Handing over the award to Mrs.Santha Sheela Nair, the veteran Social Scientist Mr.P.Gnadurai Micheal said ‘Mrs. Santa Sheela Nair, the former collector of Trichy was responsible for establishing Trichy Spastic Society as Founder President in 1980, now this Trichy spastic society caters to the needs of  300 children affected with Cerebral Palsy’.
Dr.K.Govindaraju, President of South Zone Board of Continuing Education in his presidential address said ‘Mrs.Shantha Sheela Nair as Collector of Trichy had served even in interior villages of then composite Trichy District, currently Karur, Perambalur, Ariyalur and Trichy. During her tenure she has renovated Gagaikondacholapuram temple, given house site pattas for thousands of people, lauched the first noon meal scheme in Kattur Pappakurichi and planted 10 million trees in Trichy District and guarded them well, those trees standing around Kalaiarangam premises, the function venue are those planted by her during her tenure and they are the testimonials’.

Mrs.Santha Sheela never failed to reach the poorest of the poor, needy and disadvantaged during her tenure as civil officer especially in her positions as Rural Development Secretary, Urban Development Secretary, Commissioner of Chennai Corporation, even as Home Secretary and above all as Special officer on Duty as for tsunami Emergency relief works in Nagapatianam District converging the services of the Government and around 400 NGOs for sheltering the tsunami victims and undertaking immediate relief measures. He added ‘during the emergency relief of Tsunami 2004 mentioned that although the Government does not have a disaster handling system on such a mammoth scale since it has never had to face such a situation before, the Government deputed Santa Sheela Nair, the senior officer of the IAS, to Nagapattinam to be on the spot and handle the relief work, Mrs.Shantha Sheela Nair acted swiftly, and coordinated the efforts of the Government and Non Government Organizations and brought under control and relief reached within two days the entire tsunami devastation situation in this  district covering around 120 coastal villages of stretch of around 110 kms in the District. In two weeks of tsunami the entire affected population was shifted to intermediary shelters for 18000 families. It was possible by Mrs.Santha Sheela, as, she identified more quality volunteers of NGOs and relevant government staff and counseled them to handle this job – in a situation in the worst-hit place’ but for her services the situation would much worse’ Chairman applauded.
M.Subburaman, Director, Scope introduced an eco-san model and the model was handed over to Mrs.P.Vanitha, the Dist.Coordinator of SEVAI for women Federation of 10800 women by Mrs.Shantha Sheela Nair. Mrs.Kannahi,a women organisation head,Jona also spoke. Earlier ‘Scope’ Subburaman welcomed the gathering, Mr.V.Ganapathy, a noted journalist felicitated. .SEVAI Resource and Training Team headed by Amala sperformed cultural events on  women empowerment. Vice President Shanawas Khan proposed vote of thanks.-Etram News Service

Friday, February 18, 2011

Physiotherapy for Muscular dystrophy Affected persons – SEVAI Trichy Myopathy by physiotherapists -Equal Health, Australia.

Trichy: 17, Feb: Special physiotherapy has been administered for the children affected Muscular dystrophy (MD) by expert physiotherapists Jodie Krantz and Robert E Harper from Equal Health, Australia along with SEVAI physiotherapists Yogeswari and Vijayalakshimi. Such physiotherapy exercise has been continued from 7th to 16th February in Trichy Myopathy day care centre for muscular dystrophy affected 42 children regularly. Physiotherapists Jodie Krantz and Robert E Harper also explained the care takers of SEVAI Muscular dystrophy affected children day centre. The Equal Health physiotherapists also gave counseling to parents and care takers enlightening how to handle children with muscular distrophy.Equal Health Doctor, M.K.Thandan mentioned that Muscular dystrophy is a group of genetic diseases involving progressive weakness and degeneration of the muscles that control movement. In some forms of MD, the heart muscles and other involuntary muscles, as well as other organs, are affected. There are 9 distinct types of MD.
Myotonic MD is the most common form among adults; while Duchenne MD is the most common form among children. MD is an incurable, often fatal disease. Jodie Krantz explained the trainees about the Signs and Symptoms of muscular dystrophy. Myotonic muscular dystrophy (which affects adults) is accompanied by the signs and symptoms such as Delayed muscle relaxation after contraction, impaired nourishment of nonmuscular tissue, Weaknesses in the facial muscles, arms and legs, and muscles affecting speech and swallowing, Baldness in men and women, Intellectual impairment, Respiratory problems, Heart abnormalities in early adulthood, Although Duchenne MD is present at birth, signs and symptoms do not usually appear until the child is 3 - 5 years of age. They include: Delayed motor movements, frequent falls, Difficulty running, jumping, and getting up from a sitting or lying down position, Large calf muscles, Weakness in the lower extremities, Cognitive impairment, Cardiac impairment. Breathing difficulties and a chronic disorder of heart muscles develop during adolescence, usually after the individual becomes wheelchair bound.
SEVAI Coordinator explained that MD is caused by gene mutations that are particular to each form of the disease. In two thirds of cases of MD, the person has a family history. In one third of cases, there is no family history. He said’ If you have symptoms of MD, you should see your health care provider. Diagnosis depends on sophisticated testing, such as lab tests, imaging, and other procedures’. Dr.Thandan also spoke about the goal of a treatment plan is to maintain the person's optimal physical and emotional health by preventing joint and spinal deformities. ‘This prolongs the ability to walk for as long as possible. Assisted breathing is introduced as needed and lifelong physiotherapy is necessary. Orthopedic devices may be needed for support. Hydrotherapy, such as continuous tub baths, may help maintain a full range of joint motion. Physical, occupational, respiratory, and speech therapy may also help patients manage the symptoms of MD. Some clinicians recommend sub maximum aerobic exercise, especially in the early course of the disease’ added Dr.M.K.Thandan. Dr.M.K.Thandan also mentioned’ your health care provider may prescribe the following medications’Phenytoin, quinine, and procainamide, for delayed muscle relaxation in myotonic MD, Prednisone, to improve muscle strength in Duchenne MD. Dietician Ms.Joseph gave a few Nutrition and Supplements tips which may help reduce symptoms: Try to eliminate potential food allergens, including dairy, wheat (gluten), corn, soy, preservatives, and food additives. Your health care provider may want to test for food sensitivities, Eat antioxidant foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes) and vegetables (such as kale, spinach, and bell pepper), Avoid refined foods such as white breads, pastas, and sugar, Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans for protein.
Nutritionist also suggested that ‘Use healthy oils in foods, such as olive oil or vegetable oil, Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids, found in such commercially baked goods as cookies, crackers, cakes, , onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine, Avoid coffee and other stimulants, alcohol, and tobacco, Drink 6 - 8 glasses of filtered water daily, Exercise lightly, if possible, 5 days a week’. She suggested the care takers ‘You may address nutritional deficiencies with the following supplements:Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, 1 - 2 capsules or 1 tablespoonful oil 1 - 2 times a day, to help decrease inflammation and improve immunity. Fish oils may increase bleeding in sensitive individuals, such as those taking blood thinning mediations (including aspirin),A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B-vitamins and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium, Calcium and vitamin D supplement, 1 - 2 tablets daily, for support of muscle and skeletal weakness, Coenzyme Q10, 100 - 200 mg at bedtime, for antioxidant, immune, and muscular supporting-acetyl cysteine, 200 mg daily, for antioxidant effects. Acetyl-L-carnitine, 500 mg daily, for antioxidant and muscle protective activity. Amino acids, including glutamine and arginine for muscle protection, Probiotic supplement, 5 - 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) a day, for maintenance of gastrointestinal and immune health. Some probiotic supplements may need refrigeration, Creatine, 5 - 7 grams daily, when needed for muscle weakness and wasting. Certain kidney drugs may interact with creatine. Speak to your doctor to make sure your kidneys are healthy enough to handle that amount of creatine. Your doctor may want to periodically monitor kidney function. L-theanine, 200 mg 1 - 3 times daily, for nervous system support’.
Dr.M.K.Thandan explained the patients that ‘There are 2 types of pain: Pain due to stiffness.. this pain is bearable for the duration of your exercises. It will ease soon after you finish. This pain is basically telling you that your muscle is a bit out of practice and needs to be eased back in to working order. So it's OK to experience this pain. It will range from little or no pain to quite severe. Pain due to damage, this pain is definitely NOT OK. It will range from unbearable to the point where you're screaming in agony (try to stop before you get to that stage!). It will carry on long after your exercises and may not ease for a few days. This pain is telling you that your muscle is still highly damaged and isn't ready to be exercised yet. If you experience this pain then stop your exercise immediately. The amount of exercise you do depends on your monitoring of your pain. As with any other exercise, listen to your body. If the pain is bearable and eases off soon after, then you've done the correct amount. So next time you could do the same amount and gradually increase it according to your pain. If the pain is nearing severe and takes much longer to ease after, then you've probably pushed yourself too hard. Next time reduce the amount of repetitions you do and reassess your pain. The best way to do these physiotherapy exercises is to set yourself a plan. For example, if your pain allows you to exercise 3 times a day, then write down the times and your pain response after each time. Stick to this plan every day, and adjust it according to your pain and improvements in stiffness.Your focus during each exercise should be on the quality of movement. Don't try and get through the repetitions as quickly as possible. You'll lose focus of the proper movement and it won't do you any good. Slow, smooth movements, with your focus strictly on the muscle/joint you're working, are best.’
Physiotherapist Jodie Krantz made a demo for Foot Physiotherapy Exercises and trained local physiotherapist and gave counseling to the MD affected’ You should do all these exercises with bare feet. Write the digits 1-10 with your toes in the air. Sitting on a chair, raise and curl your toes. Progress by picking up a towel off the floor with your toes, Stand on your tip-toes for 5 seconds, Loop a rubber band around both big toes and pull them away from each other for 10 seconds, Roll a golf ball (or rolling pin) with the sole of your foot for about 2 minutes. Make sure the whole of the bottom of your foot has a chance to roll, with your toes pointed; circle your ankles slowly clockwise and anti-clockwise.
Regarding Knee Physiotherapy Exercises, she said that to comprehend the type of pains before doing these exercises. Quadriceps Contraction - Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Place your right hand under your right knee, Contract your quads and push your knee down on to your hand and lift your right heel into the air. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with left leg,If the above exercise is too hard then start off with a folded pillow under your knee, so the starting position has your knee slightly bent. Then lift your heel up as before, keeping your knee on the pillow, Lying flat on your front with both legs straight. Slowly bend your right knee as much as possible and hold for 5 seconds. Slowly straighten your knee back to the starting position and repeat with your left knee, Lying on your back with one knee bent up (foot on floor) and the other straight. Lift the straight leg up (about a foot) and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Regarding Back Physiotherapy Exercises, Robert E Harper educated the patients,’ Lying on your back with both legs straight. Bring your right knee up towards your chest, holding either your thigh or top of the knee. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and relax slowly. Repeat with your left leg. Lying on your back with both legs straight. Slide your hip so that the left side goes towards your feet and the right side comes up towards your head. Keep your legs straight and feet relaxed. Repeat with the left side coming up and right side going down. Lying on your back with both knees bent up (feet on floor). Tilt your hip slightly backwards and arch your back. The first movement should lead to the second so don't force the arching. Relax and then tilt your hip forwards, keeping your bottom on the floor. Your lower back should be pushing into the ground. Lying on your front, with your chin resting on the floor, bend your arms so that your hands are resting beside your head with palms on the floor and elbows tucked in next to your body. Slowly lift your head up looking straight ahead, keeping your hips on the floor so that your back arches. Let your arms take all the weight. Slowly relax back down. Standing up tall, keep your legs straight as you bend down, as far as you can towards your feet. Slowly come back up. Standing up with your arms by your side, bend to the right side, sliding your right hand down your leg. Slowly come back up and relax. Then bend to the left side, sliding your left hand down. Slowly come back up and relax.Regardiing shoulder Physiotherapy Shoulder Physiotherapy Exercises, Standing or sitting, lift your arm up (as if you wanted to ask a question in a class) keeping it straight in front of you. Take it as far as you can. Repeat with your other arm. Standing with your arms by your side, slide the back of your hand up your back, and reach for the opposite shoulder blade. Hold for 10 seconds and slowly relax. Repeat with the other arm. Standing up with both your elbows bent at a right angle. Turn each arm out to your side, making sure your elbows stay tucked against your body the whole time. Hold for 10 seconds and slowly relax’ added Robert E Harper.

Regarding Neck Physiotherapy Exercises, Equal Health Physiotherapist Jodie Krantz explained’ Keeping your eyes centered, slowly move your head back so you end up looking at the roof. Keep the rest of your body still. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly relax back down, keeping your eyes centered, slowly move your head down so you end up looking at the floor. Keep the rest of your body still. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly relax back up, Turn your head to the left so you are looking in line with your left shoulder. Go as far as you can and hold for 5 seconds and relax, Turn your head to the right so you are looking in line with your right shoulder. Go as far as you can and hold for 5 seconds and relax’. Dr.K.Govindaraju said that the number of persons afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy has been identified as 1451 and several persons are to be identified and given a comprehensive care for those been affected by Atrophy, Muscular, Motor, Inflammatory, Diseases, Abnormalities, Diseases, e.g. Structural Myopathies,Muscle, Diseases of the Anterior Horn Cell, Genetically Determined Ataxias, Myotonic Disorders and Channelopathies. Trichy Myopathy centre takes efforts for convergences of services with the support of Government of Tamilnadu and Union Government-EtNS