A Wait and Watch Game

Wait and Watch Game

Wait and Watch Game

Even as the ongoing Sydney hostage situation is being confronted (more power to the authorities) one is concerned by the aggressiveness of tormentors who push their unrestrained designs on completely un-involved fellow beings. These aggressive personalities are of course very disturbed, and as research suggests are abnormal characters who could have suffered abusive relationships to make them what they are. This is what makes them to become such a threat to social order.

They may not necessarily be criminal personalities but definitely these sociopaths fail to distinguish the craziness of engaging in criminal behavior. Chosen very carefully and groomed for such roles there are defining characteristics that mark out these disordered characters. The aggressive personalities are individuals whose overall “style” of interacting involves maladaptive aggression which means they have not adjusted adequately or appropriately to the environment or situation in which they find themselves.

Most aggressive personalities possess characteristics common to narcissistic personalities. In fact one of the aggressive personality subtypes is aptly defined as them being narcissistic to the most pathological extreme. Add to this their penchant for aggression. Other common traits they suffer from are – seeking dominant positions, dislike of higher power or authority, and, ruthlessly self-advancing at others expense. Additionally they exploit and victimize others, have a complete disregard for truths and frighteningly they lack internal brakes.

These traits then justifiably sum up your common terrorist. The word terrorism derived from the French terrorisme referred specifically to state terrorism during the Reign of Terror as practiced by the French government from 1793–1794. The term originally comes from the Latin verb terreō meaning I frighten. Since then the term that initially instigated terror from the government, came to be looked upon as a means to kill innocent people for political or other purposes by creating a media spectacle. The world has seen many such spectacles that have filled hearts with fear, dread and apprehension.

Religious terrorism finds its roots in creed based beliefs in the hope to spread or enforce a viewpoint. The international community sees no legal binding to succumb to terrorism. However these violent acts do create panic and fear. Perpetrated by religious or political groups they resort to acts of unlawful violence.  Terrorism has been practiced by a broad array of political organizations to further their objectives. It has been practiced by right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalist groups, religious groups and revolutionaries.

However no such act of terrorism can ever be justified. We have seen the Twin-Towers violation, continual Gaza massacres, Parliament Attack in India and many more such incidents. The current Sydney Hostage Crisis, just days before the Holiday Season, is really unfortunate. Trending horrifically on social media sites the world is agog to know how this tragedy will end.  ‘Proud’, Prime Minister Tony Abbott tweets: “It’s been a difficult day, which has tested us, but like Australians in all sorts of situations, we have risen to the challenge.” The rest of us can wait and watch, and pray for the unsuspecting souls who just wanted to enjoy their chocolate laced drink on a fine day.

Crackdown by Police

Crackdown by Police

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Universal Health Coverage

Universal Health Coverage

                             Universal Health Coverage

On December 12, 2012, a unanimously passed United Nations resolution marked the day for Universal Health Coverage. It has now been two years since the endorsement for universal health coverage, that has since become the pillar for sustainable development and global security. The goal of Universal Health Coverage is to ensure that all people obtain health services they need without financial hardship.This requires a strong, efficient and well-run health system.

Such a system of financing health services includes access to essential medicines, technologies, along with a cadre of well-trained and motivated health workers. India’s efforts in these directions had already begun since 2005 with the advent of the National Rural Health Mission, launched to offer accessible, affordable and quality health care to rural populations. The intent was to cater to the most vulnerable sections. The focus of the Mission is to reduce Maternal Mortality Ratio, Infant Mortality Ratio and Total Fertility Rate.

The United Nations in India supports the Government of India to move forward towards Universal Health Coverage. For this purpose it provides evidence, technical and policy advice on effective interventions as well as mechanisms to monitor all progress. The WHO Country Office in India works in conjunction with ten leading world organizations for the purpose. These are Department for International Development (DFID), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), International Labour Organization (ILO), UNAIDS, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United States Aid for International Development (USAID), and the World Bank.

All these organizations work together to promote better support and commitment to Universal Health Coverage in India. Both the NRHM and the recently launched National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) are now included under the National Health Mission (NHM). Although some progress is made in bits and spurts, especially after formation of NHM there remain widespread challenges that need to be tackled. Some home truths emerge, that need to be taken cognizance of:

  • Inadequacy of availability of health care services (both public and private sectors).
  • Questionable quality of healthcare services (both in public and private sector).
  • Regulatory standards for public /private hospitals are inadequately defined and remain ineffectively enforced.
  • Affordability of health care remains a serious handicap, more so for majority of impoverished populations.
  • Most people incur heavy expenses for medical services purchased from the private sector.
  • The total expenditure on health care (both public and private together) is 3.7 per cent of the GDP.

The first-ever Universal Health Coverage Day was observed in New Delhi to mark the two-year anniversary. The high-level event convened by the Public Health Foundation of India and World Health Organization, was supported by Rockefeller Foundation and Oxfam India as part of a coalition having over 500 health and development organizations. They are all attempting to accelerate reforms that ensure health services be provided to all citizens. The quality of health services, medicines and diagnostics will hopefully be improved, thereby facilitating efficacy of National Health Assurance Mission. For doing this successfully the entire medical fraternity at all levels needs to pitch in to make a go with combined efforts.

Health For All

                                       Health For All

Eyes – Windows to the Soul!

Eye Disease

Eye Disease

A survey done on 1272 persons on an urban Indian population of age groups from 5 upwards, from all socio economic groups showed that vision impairment existed in 67% . Strangely the subjects had no idea that they had vision impairment. These impairments were related to visual acuity, binocularity, stereo depth and colour perception, lateral and vertical phorias and peripheral vision deficiency found in glaucoma suspects. This survey done at the instance of India Sight Screeners’ Foundation was undertaken by Market Research Agency A C Nielsen, using the Titmus Comprehensive Vision Screener.

The human eye is a body part that needs serious care. If anything this survey appears to be a call for action.  The human eye has enough intricacies to necessitate specialized attention and care beyond what a general physician can do for you. You need specialists or eye care professionals to help you safeguard these important human organs. You may need both ophthalmologists who perform surgery, and you may need optometrists who prescribe lenses after checking the eyes acuity. There are many disorders and age-related changes that affect eyes and you do need professional help in such eventualities.

Visual Acuity

Visual Acuity

As the eyes age there are bound to occur certain changes due to the aging process. Most of such physiological changes follow as a matter of course when your body gradually declines. With aging the quality of vision worsens, as eyes too age. While there are very many significant changes due to old age, the most important change that affects functionality is the reduction in pupil size and the loss of accommodation or focusing capacity. The area of the pupil governs the amount of light that can reach the retina.

The degree to which the pupil can dilate is affected by increasing age. This leads to considerable lessening of the light required on the retina. One needs to therefore obtain detailed visual diagnostics from professionals who can help you to get corrective measures. With aging, a prominent white ring develops in the periphery of the cornea too. Aging also causes laxity, downward shift of eyelid tissues and atrophy of the orbital fat. These changes also contribute to the eyelid disorders leading to impaired vision.

With a string of eye care professionals – ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians – you can get help in the treatment and management of vision disorders. From reading charts to precise machines they can measure your vision to exact numbers. You may really be the fortunate few who may get such services, for the truth is that a vast majority of us living in rural India still lack basic eye care services. Go to any village and you will see the geriatric populations languishing in semi blindness. Life turns a nightmare for such people who cannot see or find their way about. Rural Indians suffer from such soul-less eyes and it is for them that concrete steps need to be taken to restore their vision and sense of self esteem.

Simple Procedures

Simple Procedures

Crimes Against Women – Reality Check

Crimes Against Women

           Crimes Against Women

Not a day goes by that newspapers and TV reports do not mention multiple instances of crimes against women, the more gory of them having to do with rape. Despite the hullaballoo of the past nearly two years in the wake of the infamous Nirbhaya case, rapes continue to be reported from all parts of the country. It comes as no surprise now, even when such instances occur in your own neighborhood.

For all the efforts towards drawing attention to the mitigation of these horrific acts, the exact opposite seems to be happening. What is even more barbaric is that they are happening to children and infants. Who are these men who commit such dastardly acts and what kind of minds operate to target infants, daughters and neighboring children. Even schools are rife grounds for such heinous crimes.

All talk of improving the status of women appears to be a huge humbug when daily we encounter such instances. Add to this the ‘experts’ obtuse comments that have become de rigueur. They come as little surprise in a land where male supremacy still pervades predominantly. Despite the strident hue and cry after the horrendous Delhi rape case, women – including infants and little girls continue to be subject to vicious crimes.

As a society we too have become, more or less, immune to the malaise. We simply bypass the text lines carrying these snippets in the newspapers. Perhaps they do not bother us anymore. Conversely there is another type that vicariously takes in the dramatized versions that are ‘gori-fied’ by news channels as a form of entertainment! In fact if truth be told several news channels appear to be no more than entertainment shows.

The following crimes against women (Source National Crimes Record Bureau) continue unabated in our country. This information may well serve as a reminder of the status of our female populations.
• Female feticide — increased by 40%.
• Rape — 16,373 women ‘reported’ raped during the year. The truth is there are no figures on unreported numbers of women raped every day. It has been ascertained that 45 women are raped daily in our country, 1 woman raped every 32 minutes. There has been an unprecedented increase in the incidents of rapes from earlier years.
• Incest — 2.25% of total rape cases turn out to be cases of incest.
• Sexual Harassment — 44,098 incidents of sexual harassment reported. 121 women sexually harassed every day. 1 woman sexually harassed every 12 minutes. An increase of 20.6% is seen in incidents of sexual harassment.
• Importation of Girls/Trafficking — 11,332 women and girls trafficked. 31 women and girls trafficked every day. 1 woman or girl trafficked every 46 minute.
• Kidnapping and abduction — 14,630 women and minor girls kidnapped or abducted. 40 women and minor girls kidnapped every day. 1 woman or minor girl abducted every 36 minutes.
• Dowry Related Murders — 7,895 women murdered due to dowry demands. 21 women murdered every day. 1 woman murdered due to dowry every 66 minutes.
• Domestic Violence — 49,237 women face domestic violence in marital homes. 135 women tortured by husbands/ in-laws every day. 1 woman faces torture in marital relationship every 11 minutes. Domestic violence constitutes 33.3% of the total crimes against women.
• Suicide — 12,134 women driven to commit suicide for dowry. 1,10,424 housewives commit suicide and account for 52% of the total female suicide victims.
• Child Sexual Abuse – A study reveals that of 350 school girls 63% had experienced sexual abuse at the hands of family members. 25% had been raped, forced to indulge the perpetrators sexual whims. Nearly 33% said perpetrator had been close family member or male friend of family.
• Sexual Abuse — Out of 600 women respondents 76% were sexually abused in childhood or adolescence. Of the abusers 42% were ‘uncle’ or ‘cousin’, 4% were ‘father’ or ‘brother’.
• Domestic Violence — Over 40% of married Indian women face physical abuse by their husband. 1 in every 2 women faces domestic violence in any of its forms – physical, sexual, psychological and/or economic.

Crimes Against Women - Facts & Figures

Crimes Against Women – Facts & Figures