The Beat is On…

Maharashtra Police Recruitment 2017

Nagpur Police has advertised for vacancies for constable’s post for which the last date is March 17th. HERD Foundation is spreading the good word and informing suitable candidates to understand the job implications. A police constables job is pretty strenuous. They need to put in long, tough hours and their duties include being part of bandobast or special assignments. Aside from the hours they put in they also undertake sensitive and hazardous jobs. For in the final count a police constable is a law enforcement officer.

Law enforcement in India broadly follows the British model of policing. However in India there is a far more complex structure involved. Constables are appointed once they meet up with stipulated educational requirements and take an examination. They need to undergo both written and physical exam for selection. The written exam consists of 200 questions that tests general knowledge of candidates. The written test is simple and can be taken with due  preparation.

Once written exam is cleared, there is a physical test which requires the candidate to run for 1 mile (1.6 kms) in 6 minutes. For women it is 1 kms in 6 min. High Jump requirement of 4 foot and long jump of 12 foot. Some states require shot put throw up to 16 feet for men and up to 10 feet for women.

Constables work under the head constable who is a senior constable and one who leads the team of constables. A stipendiary cadet trainee constable falls in the age group of 18-22 years and both men and women can apply. After successful completion of training, constables may work in police stations also find placement as warders in prisons or correctional facilities.

The police constable or PC is the lowest police ranking official. Since general law and order in India is a state subject, each state government recruits police constables as per set directives. A police constable has no shoulder insignia while a Head Constable has one strip or one Chevron depending upon the state.

Since each state has its own police force, the uniforms and insignia of the police varies, though the rank structure is generally the same. All police constables wear khaki colored uniform which indicates that he/she is a police officer. Police constables have been seen in possession of guns but their ability to use them is known to be subjected to authorization passed by the chain of command in the police force.

The pay grade for police constable position is fairly good and comes with neat perks. Selected candidates can expect to reach to the level of police inspector by retirement. In general Indian police constables do not carry firearms when on regular duty, though they are always available at police stations. They are allotted batons, helmets and other anti-riot gear when needed. HERD Foundation hopes all qualifying aspirants will look up and explore this avenue. The beat is on!

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Looking Beyond Seed Wars…

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Conserving indigenous seeds

Seed. Source of life. Embodiment of biological diversity. Link between evolution. Common property of tilling communities. Seed sovereignty is the base for food sovereignty. Seed freedom is the foundation for food freedom. This is why one needs to save our seeds. Especially, from being stolen, appropriated and sold back proprietorially by money-mongering corporations. The great seed robbery has to stop!

Several farsighted ngo’s and individuals in India are joining hands against genetically engineered seeds and crops. GMOs have unleashed seed wars and now the world is awash with me-know-best knowledge wars! Without getting into the veracity of claims about who is right and who is wrong, one thing is for certain – genetic engineering is simply to get patents on seeds to be collected as royalties!

And the only traits these corporations have introduced into plants through genetic engineering are toxic traits of Bt toxin and herbicide resistance. Other than being noxious, these traits have not reduced chemical use. Studies in Vidarbha show a 13 fold increase in pesticide use since Bt cotton was introduced. The data on increased chemical use shows that the claim that Bt toxin crops will reduce pesticide use and herbicide resistant crops will reduce herbicide use, is false.

Corporations assert intellectual property rights on seeds, biodiversity and life forms! But seeds are not an invention. They embody biological evolution and centuries of breeding by farmers. How can a corporation claim patent on traits that nature and farmers evolved. But now they pirate on traits like aromas, low-gluten, salt-tolerant, and even climate resilient crops! This is neither innovation nor invention. It is bio-piracy all in the name of greed and business as usual.

The future of the seed, the future of food and the future of farmers lies in conservation of biodiversity of our seeds. It is a great big myth being propagated that we need to hand over our seed supply to corporations to increase food production. The truth is farmers’ varieties when used in agro-ecological systems have the potential to double food production in 10 years as suggested by UNO.

Mure Memorial Grounds are to be the venue for the seed festival in Nagpur on April 7-8-9, 2017. HERD Foundation as an integral part of the agenda for Beejotsav Festival celebrates organic farming. More people need to join in to check the exhibition-cum-sale of diverse indigenous seeds, seed diversity, organic farm produce, organic dishes, organic clothing, and books – all put in place to better understand the need for healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. Let us all celebrate indigenous seeds. Celebrate seed diversity! Celebrate organic seeds! Celebrate Organic Food!

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A growing organic market

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Hope At Last! First Patient with Sickle Cell Disease Treated in Paris

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Keith Haring Necker Chidren’s Hospital,Paris

 

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Imagine Institute

 

News published on 2 March 2017, in New England Journal of Medicine states that remission of the signs of sickle cell disease of the first patient in the world was recorded after being treated with gene therapy. The treatment was undertaken for a French teenager with sickle cell disease which is a group of inherited blood disorders with abnormal hemoglobin in red blood cells that causes blood to clog in tiny vessels and organs.

The team from Necker Children’s Hospital, AP-HP and Imagine Institute (AP-HP/Inserm/Université Paris Descartes) led by Marina Cavazzana conducted the gene therapy from October 2014 with a phase I clinical trial/II in the 13 year old patient with severe sickle cell disease. This disease affects known segments in the world – Africa, Middle East, Caribbean and among Asian origin people. Worldwide 275,000 babies are born with it every year. In India tribal populations are largely afflicted with the disease.

The results of this life-long disease remain complex and varied. Patients suffer from bouts of severe anemia due to the inefficient transport of oxygen. They are also at higher risk of contracting major infections and can suffer from occasional, extremely painful spasms known as sickle cell crises. Stunted growth and strokes are also symptoms in some cases.

Conventional medicine does not cure sickle cell disease. Till date the only way to attempt to cure it has been to use bone marrow or stem cell transplants from a healthy donor to allow the patient’s body to produce healthy blood cells. Although this works but risks of dangerous immune response (transplanted cells begin attacking patient’s normal cells) is too high.

Now we see this case of a teenager in the Paris hospital since 2014 who underwent the unique new therapy. A specific gene that induces “anti-sickling” effect on red blood cells was inserted into the patient’s own stem cells using a modified virus. The cells were then allowed to transform into red blood cells and they began to proliferate in the patient’s body. Fifteen months later the boy, now 15, is not suffering from any of the effects of sickle cell disease.

It appears that at least 50 percent of his blood cells have normal hemoglobin and are normally shaped. Although this isn’t a cure for the disease, the treatment has proven effective as the symptoms have been quashed and he is off all other forms of medication and treatment. “Since therapy was applied, he hasn’t had any pain, any complications. He is free of any transfusions. He plays sports and goes to school,” said Dr. Philippe Leboulch, an author of the new research and a professor of medicine at the University of Paris. “So we are quite pleased with the results.”

The gene therapy was invented by scientists at Bluebird Bio based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. They’ve treated six other patients with sickle cell disease in the same way, and although the results have yet to be published, it appears that it has not worked as successfully in all of them just yet. However, trials are still taking place, and the future is looking increasingly bright for those with this unfortunate condition.

And now there is hope for patients!

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The Future is Ours to See

 

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HERD Foundation works for provision of counseling services and career guidance to young students. Acting as an information resource the organization offers guidance through a pool of in-house experts who provide much needed benefit to the groups of young people on the brink of their adult lives. They help them to understand issues related to career and employment. Such information sharing occurs for students between 16-18 years of ages, of class 10 and 12 and is free of cost.

Offering personalized attention, the aim is to ensure that young people who lack guidance on education and employment opportunities are assisted to get all available, up-to-date information on future prospects. Quite often rural students of smaller towns distance themselves from teachers and tutors when they go through a sense of uncertainty or inability to fathom the future. HERD Foundation creates a distinct opportunity for such students by getting them to attend these educational meets.

In August 2016 career counseling services were organized for school students so that they could be facilitated to gain information and possible directions to achieve desired results for their educational journey. Career Counseling programmes were held at Savner, Ramtek, and Kanhan for students of class 10, 11, and 12. On an average 7 to 8 schools from each town participated in the sessions. The motivational speakers included Dr Amol Deshmukh, Mr Milind Apte, Dr Kalpana Date, Dr Suresh Chari, and Mr Sanjay Jog.

HERD Foundation is well aware that the lack of information on job prospects raises the need for organizing such specialized counseling services. Offering suitable choice of career options these discourses helped eliminate misconceptions about occupations and get students to gain in-depth knowledge about various other career options that could be pursued. These services inform of employment options that range from government, public, to private institutions.

Such counseling sessions focus on advice on occupational training, career choices, actual job opportunities, career counseling, job search techniques, personal skills development, Importance of extracurricular activities, gaining part time work experience, professional choices, attending training programs, information about different careers, public jobs, professional qualifications, and importance of a curriculum vitae.

HERD Foundation offers these services through professional trainers who are in the business of human resource development. They usually prove more useful to reach the minds of young children who do appear all fired up after every session and seem to look into the future with a sense of confidence. These experts prove inspirational for the purpose as they offer techniques that help students choose the right professional goals. In the final count most students develop the knack to learn to apply their minds for making decisions through learning, self-awareness, application and their personal competence.

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Thus Far And More…

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Dr Amol Deshmukh – Founder HERD Foundation

HERD Foundation began operations in 2006 as a registered non-governmental organization delivering medical care, educational awareness and rural development initiatives. Concurrently it has been undertaking innovative programmes that highlight women’s issues and humanism. The vision is to undertake short term and long term projects that help change societal perceptions for a more balanced public and civic life.

Never since the launch of HERD Foundation have we felt so comfortable than in our position this past year in delivering planned and unplanned programmes for outreach of causes that are dear to us. The Foundation continues working on issues we consider essential for reaching out with our planned objectives. The most important of these is to ensure medical care and health benefits to the poorest communities.

Herein three main areas of intervention that stand out are – regular medical camps, organizing basic life support skill-trainings and ensuring smooth run of the Pauni Tribal Clinic. These were instrumental in upholding the cause of healthcare delivery wherever needed. The committed group of team-members steps up compassionately to give more of themselves, their time – often beyond regular office hours, to continue to make the world a better place for the less fortunate.

With a common desire to invest in life-changing work HERD Foundation works with missionary zeal to reach out to people in the project areas. The organization continues with its tradition of being in the fore front with considered responses to emergent situations. As such we undertake diverse initiatives to undertake activities that range from joining in for the International March Against Monsanto, distribute woolens to the needy, undertake career counseling for students and oversee international pediatric surgery camp.

Aside from direct medical humanitarian aid we also act as change makers in these communities for awareness creation through empowerment efforts across the rural landscape. We address issues like unemployment, gender discrimination, quality education, as also initiating rural sports. We are particularly grateful for the leadership and contributions of Dr Amol Deshmukh in offering a tremendous legacy and a strong base to take the intentions of HERD Foundation forward.

Dr Suchika Gupta Deshmukh as the key figure, who builds upon the founding vision, is adept at translating dreams into reality and to this end guides the in-house team of talented and dedicated staff to deliver key result areas for the organization. HERD Foundation has over this period of time invested in areas that have greatly amplified the organization’s impact. We continue with well-founded plans to reach more people with each passing year.

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Dr Suchika Gupta Deshmukh – Co-founder HERD Foundation