T H E H E A R T B E A T O F T H E I N D I A N C O M M U N I T Y
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
FEBRUARY 24, 2017
PAGES 6 & 7
going strong at 94
REPORT ON PAGES 12, 13 & 14
The Singapore Indian Association has had
its share of difficulties but it is thriving now
and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award
is one of many accolades that embodies its
significance to the community
delivered to your doorstep. Call 6319-1800 or e-mail
Oldest serving aircraft carrier
Viraat to retire on March 6
INS Viraat (above) — the world’s
oldest aircraft carrier in service —
will be decommissioned on March
6 with a ceremonial send-off in
Mumbai. The event will see the
lowering and wrap-up of the naval
flag installed on the warship at sun-
set, marking an end to a long sea
odyssey lasting 55 years, including
30 years in the Indian Navy.
Among other dignitaries, the
decommissioning ceremony will
be attended, by defence minister
Manohar Parrikar. The ship’s name
is entered in the Guinness World
Records for being the oldest serv-
Pet show in Bengaluru sees
THE Happy Dog Carnival 2017 in
Bengaluru was attended by pets
and their owners with great zeal.
The day not only had a host of ac-
tivities for the pets
but also the owners.
Among them were
carnival games, a
dog flea market and
a 2.5km run for the
The highlight of
the event was a fash-
ion show, which saw
dogs strutting their
stuff in fashion-
able clothes (right).
Many people wore
with their pets.
holiday in Bengal
FROM this year,
will be declared a
state holiday, West
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata
Banerjee has announced. The day
marks Gautama Buddha’s birth
Ms Banerjee, who was in Kalim-
pong for a meeting, said: “We have
many Buddhist monasteries in the
state and there are many people,
particularly in the hills of north
Bengal, who practise this religion.
On their demand, we have de-
clared Buddha Purnima as a state
holiday from this year.”
Kochi hospital performs dual
live-donor transplant on child
A 20-MONTH-OLD girl, Parvathy,
weighing only 7kg, got a new lease
of life after doctors in Kochi per-
formed a complex surgery where a
live-donor liver and kidney trans-
plant took place at the same time.
This is the first time in the world
that a dual live-donor liver and
kidney transplant surgery has been
performed on such a small child,
said a surgeon at Aster Medcity,
Kochi, Dr Mathew Jacob.
The girl’s father and grandmoth-
er were identified as the liver and
kidney donors, respectively. After
the 20-hour surgery, Parvathy is
now recovering well and has start-
ed gaining weight, said the doctors.
Government launches free SIM
service for tourists on e-visa
TOURISM Minister Mahesh Shar-
ma has launched pre-loaded SIM
cards for tourists arriving in India
on e-visa. These SIMs will provide
Rs50 talk time and 50MB Internet
data for free.
Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi
said the service is only for e-visa
holders since their information is
accessed by the government before
they arrive. “We will see how this
service could be provided to those
coming on traditional tourist visa
as well,” added Mr Zutshi.
Heritage circuit in Hyderabad
to come up
THE Tourism Ministry has sanc-
tioned about Rs100 crores to de-
velop a heritage circuit in Hyder-
abad under the Swadesh Darshan
The circuit will include Qutb
Shahi Heritage Park, Paigah Tombs,
Hayat Bakshi Begum Mosque and
Raymond’s Tomb. The announce-
ment was made by Telangana State
Tourism Development Corpora-
tion managing director Christina
According to the corporation,
Rs82.43 crores will be spent on the
development of the Qutb Shahi
Heritage Park, Rs4.10 crores on
Paigah Tombs, Rs2.18 crores on
Hayat Bakshi Begum Mosque and
Rs4.20 crores on Raymond’s Tomb.
Prisoners in Bengal learn basic
literacy through computers
WEST Bengal has launched a com-
puter-based fundamental literacy
programme in a bid to achieve 100
per cent literacy among prisoners.
Called Project Sandeepan, the
initiative was launched by the De-
partment of Correctional Admin-
istration and has Tata Consultancy
Services as its knowledge partner.
A statement from the depart-
ment said: “Training has been im-
parted free of cost by the company
to participants from all cadres of
correctional staff and officers, in-
cluding inmates at four different
locations of the state.”
Bengaluru sees more cars and
bikes on its roads
THREE-hundred and fifty three
new cars and 1,372 new bikes
joined the streets of Bengaluru dai-
ly last year, taking the total num-
ber of vehicles to 66.65 lakhs. This
is according to the statistics from
the Transport Department.
While there were fewer cars than
bikes on the roads, they played a
major role in traffic congestion.
The average speed of vehicles ob-
served on major corridors in the
city was 22kmh against the desir-
able 40kmh. Urban mobility ex-
pert Ashwin Mahesh said: “Traf-
fic congestion will end if people
choose mass transport instead of
Popular laddu causes big loss
to Tirupati shrine
THE highly sought-after Tirupati
laddu has caused an annual loss of
over Rs140 crores to the Lord Ven-
kateswara hill shrine for the past
three years. This is due to the subsi-
dised price and free distribution to
some devotees. The sweet dish has
been sold at Rs25, while the actual
cost is Rs32.50.
The laddu, made at a big kitch-
en close to the shrine, is in great
demand. About 10 crore pieces
of laddu were made and sold last
New miniature species of frogs found
SCIENTISTS in India have discovered four new
species of miniature night frogs small enough to sit
on a fingernail (left).
The researchers, who spent five years exploring
the Western Ghats mountains, said the tiny am-
phibians were there in abundance but had likely
been overlooked because of their “extremely small
size, secretive habitats and insect-like calls”, said
Ms Sonali Garg of the University of Delhi, who
was among the team that found the new creatures.
The new species from the night frog group, Nyc-
tibatrachus, were identified through studying
their DNA, physical features and call
February 24, 2017
OOR eating habits, un-
healthy working conditions,
stress and irregular sleep led
to 71 cases of cardiac arrest among
the Indian Border Security Force
(BSF) last year — or six deaths a
month, said officials.
In comparison, only 18 BSF
troopers were killed last year in
cross-border attacks by terrorists,
the officials told IANS.
Although controlled by India’s
Home Ministry, the army trains
the BSF. It is deployed along the
2,289km border with Pakistan and
the 4,096km border with Bangla-
This is not the first time heart at-
tacks have caused so many deaths
in the force.
Its personnel suffered a total of
338 heart attacks from 2010 to
2015 — 42 deaths in 2010, 29 in
2011, 46 in 2012, 80 in 2013, 77
in 2014 and 64 in 2015.
This year, till Jan 29, the toll was
The most number of deaths,
from 2010 till Jan 29 this year, was
in West Bengal (87), followed by
Jammu and Kashmir (77), Rajast-
han (50), Punjab (39), Tripura (30),
Chhattisgarh (21), Meghalaya (19),
Assam and Delhi (16 each).
BSF medical personnel as well as
senior officers are concerned over
the increasing number of heart at-
tack deaths and said the trend can
be reversed only if the troopers be-
come better aware of, and lead, a
“Cardiac arrest has been a serious
concern in the BSF for years,” said
BSF spokeman Subhendu Bhard-
“We have taken several mea-
sures to curb this. But in the end,
it depends on the trooper, how he
leads his life. Awareness of what to
do and what not to do is a basic
problem,” he added.
The major problems BSF doctors
have come across include bingeing
and slip-ups vis-a-vis weight.
Mr Bhardwaj said the force
compiles an annual report on the
health status of the troopers and
takes preventive steps on the direc-
tion of its medical teams.
“All our men, including seniors,
have to undergo an annual medical
check-up called Shape.
“They are put in different cat-
egories after that and advised to
change their habits accordingly,”
Officers admitted that work
stress and irregular sleeping habits
are additional problems.
The reuse of cooking oil and
aluminium cooking utensils have
been banned in the BSF to curb
the heart attack incidents, and the
troopers are told to do yoga and
exercises to get fit.
A report by BSF Chief Medical
Superintendent Rajneesh Sharna
mentioned unhealthy food, sed-
entary lifestyle, smoking, drinking
alcohol and stress as some of the
major reasons leading to lifestyle
With a 270,000-strong force, the
BSF is the second-largest paramili-
tary force in India after the Cen-
tral Reserve Police Force. Officials
say it is a must that its men — and
women — always stay fit.
Indo-Asian News Service
Aiming to stay fit... New BSF troopers at a passing out parade.
More BSF men die of
heart attack than in combat
February 24, 2017
NS experience... sharing session with GIIS students.
from Global Indian
There is more
to school than
That is why
this page for
here to play
TEJANT SINGH, Grade IB YR 1
NATIONAL service (NS)
familiarisation session was
held at the GIIS Queen-
stown Campus recently. It was an
interactive and informative event
which helped parents and stu-
dents understand the basics of NS
and also motivate students who
will be called up soon.The session
kicked off with a brief introduc-
tion to the fundamentals of NS
by keynote speaker Wong Wan
Yin, senior manager NS-relations.
She shared with the audience the
core values and how each of these
essential values will transform
young recruits into informed and
responsible citizens of the nation.
The talk by our alumni seniors
was of particular interest to me
and my friends, as they shared
their NS journey and how it
changed their mindsets about life.
Their first-hand experience helped
parents and students get an insight
into the lives of NS recruits.
Our alumni seniors belong to
two prestigious forces — Singa-
pore Armed Forces and Singapore
Civil Defence Force.
Their speeches created aware-
ness of the routines, schedules,
hardships and even the lingos
commonly used by members of
One of the alumni seniors also
got the chance to train in Taiwan,
in a completely foreign environ-
Ms Venkataraman, an alumni
parent who recounted her appre-
hensive and curious days of being
an NS mom, shared insights with
The talk ended with a Q&A ses-
sion between our panel and the
audience in which all the queries
of both parents and students were
answered. The event definitely
helped dispel doubts about na-
tional service here.
SHUBH ANUJ JAIN, Grade 4A
THE interschool Weave a Tale competi-
tion was held on Jan 25 at GIIS Balestier
Campus, with students from NPS, GIIS
Queenstown, GIIS East Coast and GIIS
Balestier participating in both the indi-
vidual and group categories.
Weave a Tale is a springboard for ideas,
creativity and imagination.
The judges for the competition were
Ms Aparna Temurnikar and Ms Smita
The event started with a group of kin-
dergarten pupils sharing their imagina-
tion. This was followed by performances
by students from Classes 1 to 5. There
were stories about Wood Cutter and Axe,
Kaveri, Cinderella, The Town Mouse and
A chance to get creative
Most of the contestants brought beauti-
ful props. I participateed in the group
category along with four other pupils
from Class 1 to 5.
It was fun to engage in storytelling
as a team. We presented a story about
Rumpelstiltskin, and our props included
a castle, wheel and hay.
We bagged the first prize in the group
category and also the individual section.
GIIS Balestier Campus won the overall
As speech and drama is an integral part
of our curriculum, it helped us perform
well in the competition.
I thank my school for giving me the
opportunity to identify my fascination
ON JAN 18, GIIS East
Coast Campus Class 1
organised an event, Food
Fiesta, to raise money for
Our principal, Ms Me-
lissa Maria, inaugurated the
The Class 1 students
brought tasty food to sell.
A time slot was assigned for
Many types of delicious
food, such as pastries, muf-
fins, spring rolls, brownies,
and juices were on sale. The
cost of the food ranged from
$0.50 to $3.
I went with my friends to
visit the stalls. We brought a
variety of yummy food and
shared it among ourselves.
I had fun trying out a vari-
ety of mouth-watering dishes.
The sale was held during
school hours, and the earnings
from the event were donated
to a charity for the elderly.
We were told that Class 1
students raised up to $2,117
This was a great initiative
where students got to show-
case their business skills and
contribute to a great cause.
February 24, 2017
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