Tuesday, December 31, 2013

  2014

  నూతన సంవత్సర శుభాకాంక్షలు

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Telugus living in USA for six decades going strong

NATA embarks on 15-day Seva Days at a cost of Rs 4 Crore
   
Hyderabad, December 27: Telugu community, which is one of the largest Indian groups in the United States of America is going great strides. Telugus have been living in USA for over sixty years.

They have contributed their best for the growth of American economy as well as Indian economy. Telugus living in America made Andhra Pradesh and India proud. There are many NRIs from Andhra Pradesh who made it big in USA.

Today Telugu-speaking community in USA is the highest paid job-holders in America. For most Telugus, USA has become their homeland informed Sanjeeva T. Reddy, President of North American Telugu Association (NATA), addressing a Press Conference organised to give concluding brief on the 15-days of NATA SEVA DAYS here in city on Friday at Hotel Taj Krishna.

There used be just 30,000 Telugus in USA in 1970. Now nearly two million Telugu Diaspora live in USA, most of them comprising of students, scientists, IT Professionals and Doctors.

Increase in population of Telugus over the last three decades has been quite high. In particular there has been phenomenal growth in the Telugu population in the last two or three years. It is estimated that there are about 15 to 20 percent of Telugus among the total Indian Immigrants in USA.

So also problems and challenges have also increased for Telugus. The Telugus though divided on various issues, working under various banners are always united, especially when there is a crisis.

NATA is a non-profit cultural organization serving the Telugu Community in the USA and Canada, it involves in promoting community services, cultural and social activities, student assistance and preservation and promotion of Telugu language and heritage in the United States and across the globe.

NATA is not a breakaways group from any other organization. It is a new organization started in 2010 with just 50 members, now has 8000 members, informed Sanjeeva T. Reddy.

NATA kicked off 15 Day Seva Programmes on December 16th which will conclude with grand gala closing function and service activities on 29th December with a Cultural Evening and Presentation of Life Time Achievement Award to Dr. Kasu Prasad Reddy of Maxi Vision Group and NATA Excellency Award to Mr. Sekhar Kammula, Telugu Film Director at Ravindra Bharathi, Hyderabad.

NATA though just three years old kick started a unique program of NATA Seva Days of various service activities taken up at the cost of Rs 4 Crore which is nearing completion.

During this fortnight various service projects have been taken up including Scholarships to Toppers in Second year Intermediate from Government Junior colleges (five from each district) totaling to 117 scholarships worth Rs 11.5 lakh, 16 Safe Drinking Water Projects, 6 Clean and Green Graveyard Projects.

Spread across various parts of the State of Andhra Pradesh service activities of NATA SEVA DAys include Health Camps, Pediatric Eye Camps and others.

Each student will be given away Rs 10,000 scholarship through the hands of Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao at NATA Seva Days Celebrations. Though we are trying to award five from each district but there is a tie on 2 students in West Godavari and Praksham districts, hence number has gone up to 117, informed Mr. Ramasurya Reddy, Secretary of NATA. NATA Overseas Coordinator Dr. Dwarakanath Reddy put in their persistent efforts to collect data from Government.

NATA also has taken up Safe Drinking Water Projects in Districts of Nellore, Nalgonda, Kadapa. These are sponsored by Dr. Prem Reddy, Mohan Talamati, Dr. Sanjeeva Reddy, Dr. Harinatha Policherla, Dr. Adisesha Reddy, Suresh Reddy, Mohan Kaladi, Dr. Pailla Malla Reddy.

Six projects of Clean & Green Graveyard are taken up in Nellore District. Sponsors of these projects include Dr. Pailla Malla Reddy, Dr. Prem Reddy, Mohan Talamati. Dr. Prem Sagar Reddy and Dr. Pailla Malla Reddy are in fact the founding members and are two important pillars of NATA, said Sanjeeva T. Reddy, NATA President.

Another highlight of the SEVA DAYS is Pediatric Eye Camps which are conducted in large numbers and few lakh children got screend. We have identified during this screening that nearly 300 kids need Eye Surgeries which will do in next three months. We have issued spectacles to the needy then and there.

During their journey to various parts of the state during NTA SEVA DAYS there have been many requests for school benches and drinking water plants, which NATA will take up in future.

Futher to promote Telugu and Literature NATA is also organizing a Short Stories and Poetry Competition in Telugu. The winners will be given away Prizes at a function to be held in Ravindra Bharathi on 29th December.

Adding further it is informed that 2nd NATA Convention will be held in 2014 from July 4 to 6th at Atalanta City in USA. We have already formed 45 committees, informed Sanjeeva Reddy.

NATA is also launching Hyderabad Chapter of prestigious TEA(Telugu Entrepreneurs Association). In this connection a meeting is also being organised on 29th December in City. This international level business seminar of highly successful entrepreneurs from USA helps to promote one on one mentorship programs.

Source: Telugu People

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Crime Against Women on the Rise in Cyberabad

Published: 28th December 2013 07:38 AM

Are women safe in Cyberabad? Despite all the big talk and concerns that were raised about security of women in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya rape case in Delhi in December last year, the statistics of crime against women in the jurisdiction of Cyberabad police commissionerate, present a grim picture about safety of women in the software district.

With 135 cases of rape, 334 cases of outraging modesty, and 114 cases of women being abducted besides the increasing cases of dowry harassment and deaths, the year 2013 saw a sharp increase in crime against women with 2,391 cases being reported in 2013 compared to 1,914 cases in 2012. As many as 110 Nirbhaya cases were reported this year after the Act was enforced in February.

Giving the round up of the law and order scenario in his jurisdiction for the year 2013,  Cyberabad Police Commissioner CV Anand said that crime against women had gone up compared to previous year. “Cases of harassment of women, including that for dowry, has gone up and 1565 cases of harassment were reported this year,” he said.He informed that Madhapur police would file the chargesheet in connection with the Abhaya case (a techie who was raped by two men) within a week.

Besides, the Cyberabad police registered a total of  27,156 cases during the current year, showing an increase of 2,234 cases compared to 2012. In 2012, a total of 24,922 cases were registered.

Source: Excerpt from The New India Express

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Just a Fad or a Healthy Lifestyle?

Published: 13th December 2013 10:13 AM 


Essentially people tend to describe a vegan as a non-dairy vegetarian. Ideologically, a vegan shuns all products that are derived from the labour of animals which include eggs, honey, leather, wool, fur, silk, soaps and cosmetics that contain animal products.

The ethics of consuming dairy products started being questioned by vegetarians as early as in 1909. In 1944, Donald Watson held a meeting of six like-minded people who believed in the cause and called themselves non-dairy vegetarians. It was on that day that the term ‘vegan’ was coined.

Donald Watson is now considered the founder of the Vegan Society, the oldest and largest society of vegans in the world.

The reasons that vegans give for choosing their difficult lifestyle in an unsympathetic world are first, to create a more humane and tolerant society to live in. They believe that if people stop consuming as many animal products as they use, industries will not be forced to breed cattle and livestock the way they have to now, to meet the demand.

In a society where a child is taught to have 2-3 glasses of milk a day, a vegan diet seems very unhealthy. It seems like there is no source of protein but this is not true.

The reason for the success of the vegan lifestyle is the variety that is available all around us.

Vegans get their protein from food items like lentils, tofu, chickpeas, potatoes, broccoli, kale. Dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach, provide vegans with iron, calcium and zinc, to name a few nutrients.

But there are some nutrients that vegans don’t get despite their healthy eating. It is of utmost importance, which is why vegans take their daily dose of multivitamins. Vitamin D, for instance, is not available in any vegan friendly fruit. It is recommended that vegans spend time in the sunlight to start producing some Vitamin D for themselves.

The lifestyle as a whole stands for something beautiful — animal protection and shelter — but over the years it has somewhat lost its meaning.

As I said in the beginning, now one just thinks of a vegan as a fussy eater who will drink expensive soy milk rather than regular milk. I once overheard a person say, “Oh the friend who is coming over is a vegan, so I guess I should not put any butter in the chicken.”

The above statement just proves how illiterate people are about veganism if they have not been born into it or are vegans by choice. Veganism is also being used as a diet to lose weight. This is not what it is all about.
True vegans actually stand for something, and that is the welfare of the poor animals that are beaten, tortured or, worse yet, slaughtered to produce eggs and meat.

Cows are injected with chemicals and hormones so that they produce more milk than is natural for them to produce. Such practices are what veganism is essentially against.

Some pseudo-vegans today truly are what people think them to be — fussy eaters. The fad is such that vegans not only think they are above others by being more humane, but also feel that they have the right to convert others by holding conversations that are always about veganism.

Today there are thousands of societies with their very own support groups for vegans. These societies are trying their best to educate the public and be there to guide new vegans in what to put in and on their bodies and also what to wear. These societies have their events and meetings quite regularly. This movement has become so powerful that now along with the ‘Jain option’ most restaurant also carry vegan options.
There are vegan cookbooks available that have countless recipes — all without any dairy in them.

Some of us may understand the point of it all and some won’t, but the fact that there are so many vegans all over the world and more and more join the movement every day makes one believe that humanity exists.

The fanaticism that surrounds vegans is a little putting off but hope still exists that veganism goes back to its roots and once again becomes more than just a diet.


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Thursday, December 05, 2013

In for a penny, in for a pounding



P. Sainath

The ‘Rayala-Telangana’ idea seeks to exploit a regional divide within a regional divide. It could backfire with serious consequences.

The UPA government’s notion of a ‘Rayala-Telangana’ state could fail before it gets off the ground. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti has called for a bandh to protest the idea. It is a rare case of a newly emerging state saying it does not want additional territory. And of course those for a united Andhra oppose the idea anyway. Although the TRS is the flag-bearer of the Telangana statehood cause — and the major Congress ally in the region — its anger should not come as a surprise. Not to those who read the Congress’s strategy on the issue. The Bharatiya Janata Party too is on the offensive. Those for Telangana will also bitterly resent the ‘joint capital’ status for Hyderabad. But what is really rattling everyone is the plan to include Kurnool and Anantapur districts in the new state, which would then be called Rayala-Telangana.

Political calculations
Three political calculations underpin the Centre’s, or rather the Congress’s, strategy on ‘Rayala-Telangana.’ The first of these: it could effectively divide the anti-bifurcation movement. The people of Rayalaseema were against the division of Andhra Pradesh, and Kurnool and Anantapur districts were home to some of the biggest protests. Yet, this is where the Congress leadership believes the wedge must be driven. What if people in these districts could be convinced that their first preference — United Andhra — is out? Might they then turn their attention to seeking a better deal within the new state? For instance, on water-sharing? They argue that even if people in the region were anti-bifurcation, they were never enamoured of their brethren in coastal Andhra. This exploits a regional divide within a regional divide.

Second: some in the Congress believe this could transform any voting in the Assembly. As of today, 160 MLAs are from Seemandhra regions, and 119 are from Telangana. (Another 15 of the first group stand disqualified). The nays have it. But take away the 28 MLAs of Kurnool and Anantapur from the 160 and pencil them into the Telangana column and the scoreline reads 147-132 for the new state. This of course involves very dicey assumptions. But the Congress believes the MLAs and MPs and, importantly, lower-level leaders from here, will go along. And many indeed might. This could also leave the masses, still opposed to the move, leaderless, and perhaps keep them off the streets.

Third: from the Congress point of view, the carving out of Rayala-Telangana would bring the party two further benefits. It would truncate the base of its major rival and dilute that of its main ally. Rayalaseema is the stronghold of Jagan Reddy’s YSR Congress party. Take away two of its four districts and the Congress believes it has him corralled. Kurnool and Anantapur account for 28 Assembly and four Lok Sabha seats. Their joining the new state would also dilute the strength of the TRS, which has no presence in any of those seats. Perhaps this might further pressure the TRS to merge with the Congress. It would also leave the new state and what remains of Andhra with exactly 21 seats each in the Lok Sabha.

Cynical course
All three calculations beg for trouble. The TRS is coming on to the streets with its opposition to the ‘Rayala’ element. The BJP could do the same. And whether you are a supporter of Telangana or a United Andhra, the chances of things going wrong with this cynical course are worrying. The race is on to get the division through before the Model Code of Conduct for next year’s general elections comes into force — which it could by February. This further highlights the Congress’s move as having less to do with genuine statehood aspirations than with poll engineering. So at the same time as it tries to win the game in the Assembly, the party makes it clear that it does not matter if it loses there.

Simply put, the Congress is saying that (if it loses out on a vote), the opinion of a democratically elected State legislature counts for nothing. This could launch an awful trend. Sure, the assent of the State Assembly is not mandatory in a legal-constitutional sense. It has not been the practice, though, in any of the last several State divisions. Whether in the case of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand or Jharkhand, the opinion of the Assemblies of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar was given importance. Each had six to eight weeks of discussions. In the case of the U.P. Assembly, 10 weeks. Their suggestions were taken on board.

In Andhra Pradesh, the Congress intends to ram it through, the defiance of its own Chief Minister notwithstanding. The State Assembly won’t get anything like the time-frame the others did. About the only safe prediction of what will happen as the Assembly convenes is chaos. Anger and passion will rule. But perhaps that is the idea: that the Centre could disregard the Assembly’s views, indeed its very role in the process. In terms of future fallout, this is scary. Do this once, and it’s hard to say where it will stop.
Yet, even the short-term calculations might explode. In the 21 Lok Sabha seats the truncated A.P. would have, a wipe-out of the Congress seems likely. The last round of by-elections signalled that sharply. What could it pick up in the new state? Bringing Kurnool and Anantapur into it also means making Jagan Reddy’s YSR Congress a force in Rayala-Telangana. It already has a base in districts like Khammam which have a huge “settler” population from Coastal A.P.


The fight in the four Lok Sabha seats in the two ‘new’ districts might well be between the YSRC and the Telugu Desam Party. (The last by-election to the State Assembly held in Anantapur saw the Congress finish third). One Lok Sabha seat in the new State would go to the MIM. A TDP-BJP alliance — now on the cards — could also pick up a few seats. That would leave the Congress sharing 10-12 seats with an increasingly unhappy ally, the TRS. So the whole exercise could give the party half-a-dozen seats there and vanavas in A.P. for the foreseeable future. And how long will the ties with the TRS hold? They have frayed quickly in the past. The willingness to chance all this argues both electoral cynicism and desperation. Remember the Congress won 33 Lok Sabha seats from Andhra Pradesh in 2009 — more than any party did from a single State anywhere in the country. It could lose most of those in 2014. And at the end of it, have resolved none of the major issues driving statehood demands: water-sharing, Hyderabad, and more.

Polarising impact
There is also the polarising impact on the Telugu vote in other States in 2014. There are major Telugu communities in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Odisha, for instance. In Maharashtra, those communities could favour Telangana and vote the Congress. In Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Odisha, the impact on the much larger numbers there, could be the opposite. But never mind the polls, the most risky and dangerous part is here and now, in the process itself. Some leaders of the government have declared they will get the Bill on Telangana through Parliament in this winter session. That starts on Thursday and ends within three weeks.

What should normally be the process? The Group of Ministers (GoM) presents its report to the Union Cabinet. The Cabinet studies it and sends it on to the Union Law Ministry which will draft a bill on statehood. The Cabinet finalises the bill and sends it on to the President of India. The President after studying it, refers it to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly for its views. The Assembly debates the bill and returns it with its views to the President. Who then recommends the bill to Parliament. Only then does the latter discuss and vote on the bill. 

Normally, each stage of this process would require a minimum of one or two weeks. The stage at the Assembly, as the process in earlier cases shows, needs 6-8 weeks. How will all of that happen by December 20? Key actors, including the President, the Assembly and Parliament will be denied the time to study or debate the bill. None of them will take kindly to that. There has also been talk of extending the session or holding a special one for this bill. All to beat the Model Code of Conduct deadline.

Whether you are for or against the bill, this amputation of the democratic process sets dangerous precedents. Maybe, as the cliché goes, ‘wisdom will prevail’ and the bill won’t be pushed through in the winter session. A couple of Congress leaders have begun to waffle on the matter. If it still does happen, it will be driven by the need to get it done before the Model Code of Conduct comes into force. And for a possible half-a-dozen seats in the next Lok Sabha for the Congress. There is no other explanation for short-circuiting the process to wind it up before February. That too for polls where, compared to 33 seats the last time, the Congress is in for a penny, in for a pounding.

sainath.p@thehindu.co.in 

Source: The Hindu

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Sunday, December 01, 2013

శ్రీ కౌముది డిసెంబర్ 2013