Awareness is need of the hour as Mangaluru awaits plasma therapy centre

Nireeksha Shetty | coastaldigest.com
August 14, 2020

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The increasing number of covid-19 cases and confusions about a standard treatment for this ailment has been a cause of panic amongst the general public in coastal Karnataka. On the other hand the Dakshina Kannada’s covid-19 fatality rate is far higher than entire Karnataka’s covid-19 mortality rate. According to experts, plasma therapy is one of the ways that have shown remarkable results in saving the patients with serious conditions.

Although this comes as a sigh of relief to the public inflicted by fear, the problem is that there is no plasma therapy facility in Mangaluru city or other parts of the district. In fact the only place in the Karnataka which has received permission from the ICMR to set up a center is HCG Hospital, Bengaluru. 

Zakaria Parveiz, a social activist and the convener of Mangaluru-based Wellness Helpline, which has been working seamlessly in the medical and health sector amidst the covid-19 pandemic, believes that the lack of facility coupled with the lack awareness in the people in Dakshina Kannada will be a barrier in the utilization of the plasma treatment to its full potential.

“Currently the donors in the district have to travel to Bengaluru to donate plasma. Besides, many are hesitant to donate plasma,” said Mr Parveiz. "There’s also a misconception amongst the potential donors that their immunity will be reduced if they donate plasma. The lack of knowledge has created fear around this otherwise simple procedure," he added.  

D Vedavyasa Kamath, the MLA of Mangaluru City South, said that they are in talks with the district administration about setting up a plasma therapy center in Mangaluru. "We have to follow the procedure and get orders from the state government to the Health Department and the District Administration. We have already initiated the work," he said. 

U T Khader, MLA of Mangaluru constituency feels that that all the districts in the state must have plasma treatment facility. "The government should firstly issue a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the setting up of the plasma bank," he said and added that along with this the government must also make a database of the recovered patients and create an awareness encouraging them to donate plasma. Mr Khader says that the doctors and the health department should take up the cause of creating awareness about plasma donation as they are the more reliable source. “This can save many lives,” he adds.

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News Network
September 22,2020

Bengaluru, Sept 22: The Main Opposition Congress party in the Karnataka Assembly, on Tuesday extended support to the Farmers, who are staging protest against the state government's controversial amendment to the Land Reforms and the APMC Act.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President D K Shivakumar, who had visited the Freedom Park, where farmers are staging dharna on the issue, and extended the party's solidarity with their demands.

Addressing the Farmers at the Dharna place, the KPCC president said that "You are agitating on an issue which is detrimental to the farming community as well as to the entire Farm activities".

Informing that the Congress party is also protesting against the two Controversial Ordinances on Land Reforms as well as Agriculture Marketing Produces Committee (APMC) Act both within and outside the Assembly, he said that "Party will stand with the farmers".

The KPCC president had also called for the Farmers to remain steadfast on the issue and defeat the very purpose of the Legislation, by not coming forward to sell off their landed properties across the state.

Meanwhile, the JD(S) leaders had also visited the Farmers, at Freedom Park and also extended their support for their cause.

It may be recalled that farmers, who had came from different parts of the state, are staging dharna near Freedom Park in the city opposing state government's proposal to bring amendment to the Land Reforms as well as APMC Act.

The Farmers Associations had also planned to call for a State-wide bandh in support of theri cause.

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News Network
September 17,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 17: Attacking the Centre over the alleged rise in unemployment, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said employment is dignity and asked for how long will the government "deny" this to people.

In his attack against the government on Twitter, Gandhi also tagged a media report which claimed that over one crore people had registered on a government portal seeking jobs, but only 1.77 lakh jobs were available.

"Massive unemployment has forced the youth to call today #NationalUnemploymentDay. Employment is dignity. For how long will the govt deny it?" the former Congress chief tweeted.

Gandhi has been critical of the Modi government's handling of the economy and has called on the Centre to provide jobs to the youth.

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Shivani
September 17,2020

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The Western Ghats have been exposed to excessive human interference for past few years. Though a certain amount of forest was lent for agroforestry in this hot-spot of biological diversity, people have crossed the margin which resulted in irregular rains and floods in the region. In the past few years, south-west of India was prone to floods and landslides though the amount of rain received by these parts is relatively less.

According to environmental activist Dinesh Holla, “the shola grassland that grows in the hills of Western Ghats play a major role in holding the rainwater that flows down the hill. The roots of the grass hold the rainwater and this water is stored in the catchment area. Hence only a limited amount of rainwater joins the river. Since the shola forest is being cut down for different purposes like setting up the power plant, resorts, commercial crop plantation etc the water flows down the hill causing soil erosion and flooding as well. In 2018, Kerala and Madikeri faced major floods due to this.”

“Last year, several parts of Western Ghats suffered forest fire. This became an opportunity for estate owners to extend their land of agroforest. There are even instances where the estate owner sprayed chemicals on the grassland so that they catch fire during summer and they could occupy the reserved forest land. Also, the forest fire burns the seed that would germinate into another tree. Hence the reserved forest area is somehow devastated by the people. Though only certain parts of Western Ghats are allotted for development purpose, a large area of forest has been encroached.”

Shivananda Kalave, a water conversationalist, says, “There are   several endemic plants grown in Western Ghats. In order to make deforestation look convincing to the public, the industrialists claim it as compensatory deforestation. The suitable climate necessary for the growth of the endemic plants is only found in Western Ghats. Hence deforestation is still a damage with or without compensation.” 

“There are several plants in Western Ghats that boost our immunity but people decide to destroy forests under the pretext of development, employment and what not. What kind of unhealthy society are we building by destroying this forest which is beyond price?” he laments. 

In concern with floods, Karve says that the absorption rate of the forest in Western Ghats is 10- 12% rest of water flows down and joins the river. Since the highway has been constructed in between the forest, the water does not have a proper path to flow. Also, after immense clear cutting of the forest, the rate of absorption has declined to 4% which means the amount of rainwater that would be flowing to the river will be unendurable, resulting in floods.

The section 2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 states that a prior approval is necessary from the central government before de-reserving the reserved forest. Several parts of Western Ghats also belong to the reserved forest. Also, according to the National Forest Policy 2016, climate change should be given importance in forest management and community management plans. The Ministry of Environment and Forest appointed the Western Ghats ecological expert panel under the chairmanship of Madhav Gadgil. The committee divided the area into three based on their ecological sensitivity. But the report faced great criticism as the people assumed it to be against farmers. Later the Kasturirangan committee was formed to examine the report of the Gadgil committee. However, this report favoured the corporates. As only 37% Western Ghats was considered an ecological sensitive zone and rest of the land is available for development projects. 

Nature has the power to generate as well as destroy. Even after facing the destruction caused by floods, humans have not learnt any lessons from the past. Clear cutting still takes place in Western Ghats, people still go there for road trips and throw plastic. This is just the beginning of karma to human society for the destruction we have caused. Destruction of nature will be nothing but us digging our own grave.

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