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Saturday, November 28, 2009

100 TEST WINS - WHEN DID THIS START AND SOME STATISTICS

From Chennapattinam to Kanpur the journey has been long. But before we go the connection, here is some insurance associated with Cricket.

The Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) has insured the one-day international cricket match, which will be played between India and Sri Lanka at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack December 21 for Rs 14 crore, learnt to be covered by Oriental Insurance Company. The insurance cover includes public liability insurance in case of a terrorist attack or a bomb blast. The primary cover is against natural disasters such as rain and storm and disability or loss of life caused to any spectator during the match. The premium is reported to be around 5 lakh.
Recently, the last ODI between India & Aussie to be played at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai was abandoned without a ball being bowled. Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) had insured the game for Rs. 6 crore against natural perils such as cyclone, lightning as also against perils such as abandonment following death of political leader, riots, civil commotion etc., it is reported that this was also done by Oriental who had to pay the claim. Cricket match policies are called “one ball bowled” policies and lapse after even one ball is bowled in a match.


The city of Kanpur in the Uttar Pradesh, located on the bank of river Ganges has been happy hunting ground for the Indians. The Green Park stadium has hosted a number of test matches and one day internationals.

This is India’s sixth at Green park making it a very successful venue. This stadium hosted its first test in the January of 1952 and the first win came in Dec 1959 against the visiting Aussies. Offie Jasubhai Patel took 14 wickets in that match. In this ground Subhash Gupte once took nine WI wickets in an innings conceding 102 and could have had the remnant Lance Gibbs but for a dropped chance by WK Naren Tamhane. The dream spell could not ensure victory as it was overshadowed by fiery Wes Hall and later in 1983 Malcolm and Co. hurled everything short at Indians after the WC loss.

Sangakkara probably misread the pitch and went in with 3 spinners.



India compiled 642 with the top 3 notching centuries. On the opening day, India amassed runs at a frentic pace mainly due to swashbuckling Sehwag and Gaurav who has made it a habit to score back to back centuries.



Lankans were bowled out for 229 mainly by a spell by Sreesanth ending 19 month isolation with 5/75.



After that it was a matter of when and not whether. Lankans improved marginally in their second scoring 269 – the result was a win by an innings and 144 runs.
This clinching win in 4th day is our 100th win in Tests. To those not updated with statistics, our first Test victory had come in 1952 at Chennai. In total, we have played 432 matches till date.




There are six teams which have 100 test wins and amongst them India does not compare favourably finishing last. Our team has gained winning momentum of late and in the current decade have won 39 out of 102.


If you are still interested in some more statistics, our first win had come against England – Test no. 348 played in Feb 1952, captained by Vijay Hazare and played at Chepauk, our own Chennai. The visitors playing first made 266 with Vinoo Mankad finishing with 8 for 55. Aided by a brilliant century by Pankaj Roy and 50 by Phadkar, Indians declared at 457. in the second essay, visitors could muster only 183 with Ghulam Ahmed and Vinoo sharing the spills with 4 wickets each.


One more occasion to rejoice for the cricket fans


With regards
S Sampathkumar.

Have you read Nov 2009 Bliss - the newsletter of SYMA ?

Dear (s)

Srinivas Youngmens Association popularly known as SYMA was established in 1977 by a few spirited youngsters of Triplicane who dared to dream towards betterment of the Society specifically civic awareness and clean environ. This organization has grown well due to the zeal and hard work of some members who have thoughtfully spent some time to the Society.

 
BLISS is a newsletter, voice of SYMA started with the purpose of communicating to the members of SYMA of the activities undertaken and future programmes. It has ample space for other news that affect the society and some entertaining sports news.  Yours truly has been the Editor for more than 6 years now. Most of the issues can be found in our web : www.syma.in. Our November issue has hit the stands recently and here is some introduction on what it contains. :    BLISS NOV 09 ISSUE


A draw was earned at Ahmedabad by Gambhir, valiant Sachin and Laxman. Sachin completed 30000 runs in International cricket and registered his 43rd ton.   Presenting our November issue -
** Our anguish at the China’s attitude in protesting the PM’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh and the Govt. inept response
** the way Champions T20 shaped & looking forward to national tournament – the Ranji trophy
** our felicitations to Kalaimamani “Veeramani Raju” the devotional singer
** the landmark event that took place at Chennai on 15th Aug 1975
** the Asthama camp conducted by us
** Deepavali celebrations at US


SYMA’s role in cleaning of temple tank in Triplicane. We debated and took a calculated risk in removing the muddy water expecting that the dry tank would get filled up over a period of time, if and only when it would rain well. With the benevolence of God, the cemented portion of the tank (the water which was pumped out) got filled up in the first spell of rain of about 5 days.


As usual look forward to your feedback


With regards
S Sampathkumar



Friday, November 27, 2009

MY WRITINGS ON INSURANCE TOPICS

Dear (s)

I have been sharing my articles on Current Affairs, Sports and Insurance with a fairly large group of friends and have been receiving your responses on e mail.

I could not upload some of my articles on this blog as they were in pdf format.  Now I have uploaded them in Scribd and they can be accessed by simply clicking on the links.

As usual look forward to your feedback

with regards - S Sampathkumar

1)  Pirates were earlier thought of to be one eyed jacks, colourful vagabonds who would strike at will and seize cargo.  Now they are very very sophisticated.   Read on :  Somalian Pirates

2)  When two elephants collide, it is the grass underneath that gets crushed.  Here is something on collision at sea : collision at sea - the navigational hazard

3)  Trains interest young and old alike.  Here is one on Pak buying locomotive from china.  the china bazaar

4)  the hazards in transporting cash as elucidated by an incident : cash loss

5)  containerisation has come of age.  Some on a new type of container :the open top

26/11 - MODEL EMPLOYER - TAJ AND A GENTLEMAN CALLED RATAN TATA

Dear (s)


See this magnificient edifice which was in picture but there is more news than thought of..


There are various reports on 26/11 – terrorism at Mumbai but this is slightly different. Two hotels, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower and the Oberoi Trident, were amongst the four locations targeted. Six explosions were reported at the Taj hotel and one at the Oberoi Trident. During the attacks, both hotels were surrounded by Rapid Action Force personnel and Marine Commandos (MARCOS) and National Security Guards (NSG) commandos.
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Touted as landmark hotel of India, Taj has 582 rooms including 49 suites which are all centrally air conditioned. There are rooms are divided into different wings according to the facilities provided. There are also mini bar, television with satellite coverage Guest have the option to choose a room that has a view of city interiors, the pool or the Gateway of India and Arabian sea. The heritage wing rooms are designed in such away that no two rooms are similar. The Suites,are decorated with antiques and paintings from the bygone era that takes the guest back to those royal days. It is widely believed that Tata decided to build the luxurious hotel after he was refused entry to one of the city's grand hotels of the time, Parke's Apollo Hotel, as it was restricted to 'whites only'. However, this story has been challenged by some commentators that suggest that Jamsedji Tata was unlikely to have been concerned with 'revenge' against his British adversaries. This Hotel was under attack...........

There are suggestions that the attackers were receiving television broadcasts and were gaining information. By 29th all were flushed out. It was here that Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan of NSG lost his life attempting evacuate Commando Sunil Yadav who was hit in the leg by a bullet during the rescue operations at Taj.

The Indian Hotels Company and its group collectively known as Taj were incorporated by the founder Jamshedji Tata. It is century old. At Mumbai, Ratan Tata lit a candle paying tribute to the 31 slain guests and employees. Rataan Naval Tata (28/12/1937) is the present chairman of Tata Group, India's largest conglomerate founded by Jamsedji Tata and consolidated and expanded by later generations of his family. He was born to Soonoo and Naval Hormusji Tata. Ratan is the great grandson of Tata group founder Jamsetji Tata.

All this sound common. Hotel, a luxurious one at that, targeted by terrorists, was the centre of all media coverage – candles being lit – what is great about this ? Does this deserve a news item at all ?

The authenticity of the news going around may not be guaranteed but most likely to be true, if one believes the virtues of TATA.


With regards - S Sampathkumar.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

REMEMBERING 26/11 - JUSTICE AND FAIR TRIAL AT WHAT COST ???

பாரத தேசத்தில் குற்றம் நிரூபிக்க படாமல் தண்டிக்க படல் ஆகாது !  ஆனால் ஒரு குற்றவாளிக்கு இத்தனை சலுகைகளும் அவனை காப்பாற்ற பல கோடி ரூபாய் செலவும் மக்களது வரி பணத்திலிருந்து வீணடிக்க வேண்டுமா ??

The ghastly attack of last year was far more than coordinated shooting and bombing attack. A disgrace to humanity hailing from Faridkot village in the Okara Dist of Punjab, Pakistan still smiles in the Indian Court.
There are reports of people all over the country paying homage to those who lost their lives to the terrorists but the Lok Sabha witnessed ugly scene of parliamentarians fighting on compensation to victims. The Home Minister thundered his drama with a warning to Pak advising them not to play games !!
THE JUSTICE IS YET TO BE DONE. Our judicial system rests on the premise that an accused is innocent till proven guilty. The lone survivor caught by the supreme sacrifice of Tukaram Omble who braved bullets with lathi is live and kicking. There are reports of Indian soliders of earlier wars still languishing in Pak prisons under sub-human conditions. Recently a Delhi High court admonished that a POW of unsound mind languishing in Pak jail since 1965
-- there are reports of the faulty bullet proof vests provided to the ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, smacking of corruption.
-- In a humiliating experience, State Reserve Police Force jawans guarding the Taj hotel were forced to spent a night on a pavement after the State Govt. removed them from the nearby Gate way of India
- the wives of the slain martyrs had to call on the Congress president seeking some action. One had to make a RTI application for conduct of post martem.

BUT WE are very clear that justice needs to be delivered to Kasab and so we have 10,000-page chargesheet, 270 witnesses. There stands 86 charges against the three accused. Before the commencement of the trial, a defence lawyer from the State legal aid panel was sacked on charges of professional misconduct and a private lawyer Abbas Kazmi, who had earlier represented the accused in the 1993 serial bomb blast case came to defend Kasab. The court recommended higher legal fees to be paid to him by the state government. The articles seized at the attack sites were not accurately recorded.
The lawyer started defence in style claiming that accused was a juvenile. Several medical tests had to be conducted to prove that he was 21 year old. The whole Nation had watched TV footage and many photos taken by individuals showing the killings but still there is need for evidence of 270 persons and a fair trial. The defence lawyer cross examined and questioned the witness on his ability to read and write Arabic.
News paper reports suggest that the cash strapped Govt has spent a staggering Rs.31 crore (85 lakhs per day) to keep the terrorist secure for standing the trial. Special prison cell was created inside Arthur Road Jail. Close to 1 crore was spent for creation of bullet proof cell at JJ Hospital premises. A team of Doctors attended to the perpetrator’s various ailments. A special hi tech van fitted with a scanner that can detect any explosive in the periphery of 200 M costed a whopping 6 crore.
The trial needs to be concluded soonest at least to save this wasteful expenditure. As a Nation we need to remember our heroes like the Asst SI Tukaram Omble, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar, Tukaram Omble, Havildar Gajender Singh, Sapper V Sathish of the NSG, police constables Arun Chitte, Ambadas Powar and Inspector Shashank Shinde of the Maharashtra police besides Home Guard Mukesh Jadhav, brave hearts of Fire Brigade who fought fire and bullets and a host of other unsung heroes.
The Govt and Politicians will always be busy doing something else. We can honour them. Think of them, talk of them, do some thing worthy of remembrance. Ensure that the family of these heroes are held in high regard, do not suffer in any manner. There is need for providing special care, special importance in Education, employment. Every Corporate can think of sponsoring the family of at least one martyr and ensure that the noble acts are remembered for posteriry.
Long live the great Jawans !! Long live our Maha Bharat !!


With regards
S Sampathkumar.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Words of a True Patriot (Worthy Read) - Father of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan

A charming face. Can you identify who ?

Dear (s)
It is about to be one year of the carnage – the 26th Nov 2008 Mumbai attacks – coordianted shooting and bombing carnage across the Commecial capital of India. They began on 26/11 and lasted until 29th Nov leaving atleast 173 people killed and another 310 + severely wounded, damaging the Indian economy and psyche in its trail.

The investigations revealed that the attackers had travelled by sea from Karachi, Pakistan across the Arabian Sea, hijacked the Indian fishing trawler 'Kuber', killing the crew, and then entered Mumbai on a rubber dinghy. Due to the sacrifice of Omble, we have a captured terrorist – Ajmal Kasab whose trial began on 6th May 2009. He initially pleaded not guilty, but later admitted his guilt on 20 July 2009. The court had accepted his plea, but due to the lack of completeness within his admittance, the judge had deemed that many of the 86 charges were not addressed and therefore the trial will continue. Kasab could, and will almost certainly, be hanged if given the maximum penalty of death.

The Mumbai terror attack seemed to have its link everywhere around the globe. This time it’s Italy in the list. The case is not going to end so fast. Even for a heinous crime of this nature, the Govt. is looking to its counterparts in Pakistan for taking some action as the entire sordid episode was planned there and plotted from many corners of the globe.
There were many heroes who sacrified their life. Hemant Karkare to many other police men. A 31 year old brave man born in Cheruvannur, Kozhikode on March 15, 1977 was Sandeep Unnikrishnan who served as Major in the Indian army – in its elitist NSG. Major Sandeep was the only son of retired ISRO officer Mr. K. Unnikrishnan and Mrs. Dhanalakshmi.

Even if you have had read this interview of Mr K Unnikrishnan elsewhere, it certainly is worthy and necessary to spend some time reading this : (excerpts from TOI of date)

With regards – S Sampathkumar.

Everybody wants a Bhagat Singh or Bose, but not in their house’
Bangalore: 26/11/08, 11.30 pm. He last spoke to his father, asking him to watch the “interesting episode outside hotel Taj shown live on TV.” A day later, he was seen there, lying dead, on the same screen. What was thought to be a minor one-hour operation for the NSG turned into India’s worst encounter with terrorism. To say that the year that passed by has not been easy for Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s parents in Bangalore would be the understatement of the year. They are still shaken by what happened to their only child and uncertain of what lies ahead. The travels and people enroute get them closer to what happened. But their plan for this November 27 (Sandeep’s first death anniversary) is clear: “It will be a day at the new Palm lounge in Mumbai constructed on the very spot where he lay dead. We will reserve that particular table and chair. We are not away from him. We want to be with him that day,” his father K Unnikrishnan told TOI.

Your reaction to the entire 26/11 episode
There’s no point in it. Kasab is an offender. They are still keeping him alive. One can say Kasab was a machine used by them but he has a brain. They had all gone for their purpose. I have a problem - Not that he had any tussle with Sandeep.
He has killed many innocent people. We have seen him shooting. He and his colleagues killed 53 innocent people including pregnant ladies and small children. He was standing, shooting and laughing. Who is he? And we are asking Pakistan to do something. He should be hanged on a lamp post. Hang him high! It’s not revenge but that should be a lesson to other terrorists. Shooting innocent people is a coward’s job. Such people must be butchered. It’s not that they killed Sandeep or Karkare. Blow the train or building but why shoot and kill innocent people?

Getting over the loss and tussle with Kerala CM
When I first heard it on TV, all of a sudden, I thought it was end of the world. Next moment I realised, nothing has changed, except Sandeep. Later on, I remember everything, including Mr Achudanandan’s visit. People said I acted that way because I was emotional. But no, it was on purpose. I never had any problems with him nor abused him. Just that I didn’t want anyone to take undue credit.

How was it going to Mumbai, visiting the exact spot?
Surely it was not easy. Yet another sad chapter was meeting the survivors in his team. Eight out of the 11 have joined back. But, other three people, one captain lost his eye. Luckily he got married. It was fixed before the attack and she’s a doctor. But he may lose his other eye also over a period of 5 years. Another person who was in Trident hotel suffered total head injury as he was caught in one of the explosions. He still has a particle in his head. It was a simple operation for them. Perhaps the darkness affected it a bit.

Sandeep inspired many with his brave act. How does it feel?

I am proud of what he did but did not want to lose him anytime. Sometimes, I feel it’s an individual futile effort what Sandeep has done. What he’s done is surely good for five generations. But now I feel that another person in the family should not commit this until I am assured that no 26/11 will happen again. Everyone wants children like Bhagat Singh or a Bose but in neighbour’s house. I too feel so now. We don’t want money. I am actually giving it back now in parts. Sandeep’s sixth pay commission arrears is more than enough. Only that is our right.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Falling asleep !! the importance of sound sleep !!!



Dear (s)


In Corporate World, this is a story of meteoric rise, a success story of will power of Assamese middle class over money, of a person who dreamt big, restless to achieve his dream. Succeeded in all his ambitions but sadly collapsed on 21st Oct 2009 at a very young age of 42. He was very active in sports, a fitness freak and a marathon runner, had his own gym and had work outs daily. It shocked the Corporate World, those who knew him and all those who read the news that such an active person would die at 42 done by a massive heart attack leaving behind wife and two very young kids.



Ranjan Das was the CEO of SAP India. Born in 1967, Das earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He joined SAP as Sr VP when he was 34 and on 2007 he was selected to head the Organisation in India at 39. SAP as you know is top notch ERP Company having IBM, Price Waterhouse, TCS. WIPRO and some more as its clients. This is no attempt to describe in words his multitude talents and qualities but something which each one of us can learn from his death. He was considered to be very unlikely candidate for heart attack due to his scrupulous food habits and his fitness regimen. He was an avid marathoner and had Chennai marathon also.


As the news of his death came, some attributed it to stress. Mere fitness cannot conquer the bad effects of stress. Now it is circulating that the real reason was ‘short sleep’ quoting an interview of Ranjan on NDTV in the programme Boss Day Out where he reported of having 4-5 hours of sleep. Here are some received from a friend on this :


Something distilled from an article of a cardiologist on the subject of ‘Heart Disease caused by Lack of Sleep’. Some Excerpts:
· Short sleep duration (<5 or 5-6 hours) increased risk for high BP by 350% to 500% compared to those who slept longer than 6 hours per night. Paper published in 2009. As you know, high BP kills.
· Young people (25-49 years of age) are twice as likely to get high BP if they sleep less.
· Individuals who slept less than 5 hours a night had a 3-fold increased risk of heart attacks.
· Complete and partial lack of sleep increased the blood concentrations of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-cRP), the strongest predictor of heart attacks. Even after getting adequate sleep later, the levels stayed high!
· Just one night of sleep loss increases very toxic substances in body such as Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Tumour Necrosis Factor-Alpha (TNF-alpha) and C-reactive protein (CRP). They increase risks of many medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis andheart disease.
· Sleeping for <=5 hours per night leads to 39% increase in heart disease. Sleeping for <=6 hours per night leads to 18% increase in heart disease.
. all of you know of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and Non-REM. Former helps in mental consolidation while latter helps in physical repair and rebuilding. During night it alternates between both. The latter part is important and is gained by longer sleep.


For those of you who are perturbed there is something known as Epworth Sleepiness scale which will help in checking whether the sleep is adequate.


Ranjan Das had everything right apart from adequate sleep and it will never be know whether it was this or the stress that was the killer. All of us have one easy option that can be practised. Sleep well and sleep for adequate time.


With regards
S Sampathkumar.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

EVERYTHING IN A NAME - FOR A CRICKET LOVER

Dear (s)

Two cricket crazy Nations are fighting it out. Earlier I had shared something on MJ Gopalan Trophy which was a tournament involving Tamilnadu and Ceylon; the island renamed as Sri Lanka in 1972 meaning ‘resplendent land’ in Sanskrit. Lankans have long names with two or three surnames inherited from their parents, making it difficult for pronunciation. See these two photos – Welegedara on the left and Vaas on the right.


At the time of posting this (3.50 pm on 18/11/09) at Ahmedabad in the First Test between India and Lanka, the Lions had posted a big riposte by scoring 522 for the loss of 5 in 135 overs. The host had earlier scored 426 aided by brilliant centuries by Dravid and Dhoni. With Motera not aiding any type of bowling and India going into the match with 4 specialist bowlers the grind is on. The first session was way different with Welegedara slicing into the famed batting line up with 3 and eventually finishing with 4 for 87 off 22.


This lanky left arm seamer has replaced illustrious Vaas. Vaas had taken 355 wickets in Tests (111) and 400 in One dayers (322).  Vaas was a typical Question in any Sports Quiz as somebody who had more initials than the name. He was WKPUJC Vaas (Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda).


Now Welegedara would replace him. He is UWMBCA Welegedara. Yes he is  : Uda Walawwe Mahim Bandaralage Chanaka Asanka Welegedara.


If you want some news other than his initials, he made his test debut against England in the Third test Galle on Dec 2007.    Very difficult to remember, isn’t it.




Avid cricket fan
S Sampathkumar.

UNDERSTANDING INSURANCE - SOME VIEWS ON PRE EXISTING EXCLUSION IN A MEDICLAIM POLICY


Dear Friends

In a casual discussion with a good friend of mine, a claim under a Policy taken by a person who died within 3 months of inception was discussed. Investigations revealed that deceased was a diabetic for 15 years and had hypo thyrodism for more than 20 years. She had died of heart attack. The death being close to the commencement of policy, investigation is on and how this could turn out was being discussed. I do not have rudimentary experience of handling Health Claims but here are some of my thoughts :

Something of relevance is a recent judgement in Madras High Court by First Bench comprising CJ HL Gokhale and Justice N Paul Vasantha kumar ordering LIC to pay. In the judgment, the Court observed that non-disclosure of certain facts in the proposal will not amount to suppression of material fact. In the impugned case, the assured had taken a policy on 28 1 03 and had died of heart attack within a month. LIC had contended it to be suppression of material fact and LIC had appealed against the decision of Ombudsman. It appears that the deceased had a road accident earlier in June 2001, was an alcoholic (as recorded at the time of accident), a known smoker and a diabetic. In the proposal he had simply given a ‘no’ against these columns which was pleaded to be material.

The LIC submitted that Chezhian met with an accident while riding a two-wheeler and suffered an injury on June 24, 2001. Chezhian, who used to drink alcohol, was under the influence of alcohol at the time of accident. He was also a diabetic and a known smoker. All these facts were not mentioned in the proposal for insurance. The Bench had observed that the accident was not a serious and though the deceased was under treatment for diabetes, he being only 32 was not expected to die of heart attack. The Court directed payment by the Insurers.

Whilst the merits of the judgment can be debated, it is clear that Court has strictly decided on whether the suppression was material to the ailment that caused to death and had ruled in favour of the Insured. As I know, there are standard wordings excluding pre existing diseases :

1) The wording that were used earlier read : “ Pre Existing Disease shall mean any disease, illness, medical condition, injury for treatment of which claim is made under this policy, which existed prior to the Commencement Date of the Policy, or is found by the Insurer, to be of such nature that ought to have existed or begun to set in, prior to Commencement Date of the Policy, whether or not the Insured Person was aware of such disease, illness, medical condition or injury”

2) The wording presently in use reads : “Pre-Existing Condition means any condition, ailment or injury or related condition(s) for which you had signs or symptoms and/or were diagnosed and/or received medical advice/ treatment, within 48 months prior to your first Health Shield Standard Policy with us.”

As is apparent, earlier whatever was pre existing prior to commencement of the Policy or that ought to have existed prior to policy even if the insured was not aware was excluded. Now it is only a condition for which insured had signs or symptoms or diagnosed or received medical advice / treatment within 48 months prior to policy.

The present one is much liberal and am not sure whether the Life companies use a similar wording.

Going by the present trend in interpretations, the exclusion could apply to only those ailment / disease that caused the death and was pre existing but not to those which could have caused. Thus is the cause was ‘heart attack’ and if the deceased had symptoms / diagnosis / treatment for heart attack earlier to policy, then it would be outside the purview. But the insured being a diabetic or having hyper tension but died of heart attack would not an exclusion unless direct relation between the heart attack and the pre existing ailment could be proved.

Look forward to feedback from Experts.

With regards
S Sampathkumar


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Whether Guilty needs to be punished or ??

Criminals do harm to the society and should be punished. This is not something of retribution / vengeance or retaliation – the modern society is not keen on doing equivalent harm to them. The aim of punishment should atleast be prevention of such activity, preventing recurrence, denunciation & condemnation of the act and social protection and shielding away from harm for the fellow citizen. Now have a look at the man whom you may not know at all.
He is Joseph M Arpaio of Italian heritage, his mother died while giving birth to him and was raised by his father, a grocery strore owner.
In our democracy, when a murderer is punished by a death penalty by the Apex court, the decree is not executed and section of the people start speak in favour of the criminal. There are groups who laud criminals and voice against penal punishments.
In some ways, imprisoning is not a punishment in itself but only confinement until the final punishment is administered. Prisons were constructed to be place of confinements depriving the personal freedom and luxuries. During the freedom struggle many a great persons were confined to solitary prisons in the Cellular Jails of Andaman, which would ever remain as one of the murkiest chapters of the history of colonial role.

Perhaps today’s prisons in the Country are lot different. When the CM inaugurated the ‘Asia’s largest and modern’ prison complex at Puzhal, it was stated that jail terms should be humanized so that prisoners would emerge as enlightened teachers. The popular voice is prisons must reform, not crush the human spirit, whatever heinous crime they had committed to fellow innocent persons. The Puzhal prison was to have a fan in every cell and inmates be provided non-vegetarian diets.

There have been killings and lot of anti social activity inside the prison walls. Even recently a life convict, a known history sheeter was stabbed to death by other inmates in Puzhal. The honest Officer incharge of Prisons was immediately changed and a decision to outsource cut vegetables was taken. A recent newspaper report mentioned the prison as a rendezvous for criminals to meet, network and plot crimes; a finishing school for first-time offenders to learn the nuances of felony; a place where pot is freely available; a hotspot for murders. Cell phones are reportedly in use inside helping the convicts keep in contact with the outside world.


Now read about Maricopa County located in the south central part of the US State of Arizona having a population of 40 lakhs approx. The man whose picture appeared at the beginning is the Sheriff whose office is a fully integrated law enforcement agency committed to being the leader in establishing the standards for providing professional quality law enforcement, detention, and support services to their citizens. The Mayor has vowed to improve the quality of life of his citizens and is dedicated to providing caring and supporting environment.
Some of the innovative measures include the detention facility which boasts of 2,000 convicts in tents; no other county or state facility can boast of a gleaning program that results in costs of under 15 cents per meal per inmate. People from the community spend their time and money to train to be volunteers to keep the country free of crime.


The Chief has a philosophy of zero tolerance towards the criminal element, which has been embraced by deputies and community alike. He is immensely popular and has forged a partnership with citizens in making law enforcement of an unprecedent decree. They are proud of being on the leading edge of law enforcement and incarceration. This Toughest Sheriff has been a tough law man, having served in the US Army and as Police officer with a reputation for fighting crime and drug trafficking. Early in his career as a federal narcoctics agent, he established a stellar record in infiltrating drug organizations from Turkey to Mexico and America. In 1992 Arpaio successfully campaigned to become the Sheriff of Maricopa County. Since then he has been reelected to an unprecedented five 4-year terms. During his tenure as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arpaio has consistently earned extraordinarily high public approval ratings.

With over four decades experience in law enforcement, Arpaio claims that the public is his boss. In August, 1993, he started the nation’s largest Tent City for convicted inmates. Two thousand convicted men and women serve their sentences in a canvas incarceration compound. It is a remarkable success story that has attracted the attention of government officials, presidential candidates, and media worldwide. Of equal success and notoriety are his chain gangs, which contribute thousands of dollars of free labor to the community. The male chain gang, and the world’s first-ever female and juvenile chain gangs, clean streets, paint over graffiti, and bury the indigent in the county cemetery.  In his reign, policies are tough. He has banned smoking, coffee, movies, pornographic magazines, and unrestricted TV in all jails. The Federal Court orders that there has to be cable TV in jails – he has cable TV showing only Disney and weather channel. Weather because he wants the morons to know how hot it would be outside. When some inmate complained of some facility, he was retorted that he has to remember that he is serving a sentence and not in Ritz/Carlton.  Their website records all those arrested and booked in the jail, making is the most visible law enforcement sites on the World Wide Web. He is also credited with many rehabilitative programmes. This tough general has been profiled in over 2,000 U.S. and foreign newspapers, magazines, and TV news programs. His leadership and the excellent work of his staff have catapulted the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office into the ranks of elite law enforcement agencies.


When law enforcement is tough, there indeed would a lot less crime. But in some countries politicians advocate that criminals have rights and some are ruling the roast even inside cell.
Recently, the State ordered release of convicts on the occasion of the birth centenary celebrations of former CM. There were views that Govt. was well within its rights to take such decisions with the consent of the Governor.


Long live Democracies and freedom of expression. Every body is equal and some are more equal than others…….


With regards
S Sampathkumar.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

YOU KNOW ONE DAY CRICKET BUT............இந்த புள்ளி விவரங்கள் தெரியுமா ??

Not many of you would be following the Kiwi Pak ODI series at a neutral venue at Abu Dhabi – a classic one dayer was on the cards yesterday 091109.

Mc Cullum’s brilliance was good enough only for a total of 211 – Pakis raced to 50 in 9.5 runs but what followed was very high drama representing the two faces that Pak often displays. From a dominating position, Kiwis collapsed though they faced only 2 overs of seam between 18th and 45th. The pitch was placid and the batting had combusted in typical fashion. After the great start, Pak lost wickets at regular intervals and were struggling at 101 – 9. When the new find Mohammad Aamer came to bat at 10, 126 were needed from 26.5 and people leaving the stadium was obvious.

When it comes huffing and puffing, Kiwis more than match India and what should have been over in an over or two went on till the very end. Aamer and Ajmal were not hanging but were playing conventional and unorthodox shots and added 103 for the last wicket and took the match to the last over bowled by veteran Jacob Oram. Pak needed 8 and all three results were possible especially with Ajmal having hit Vettori for 3 sixes in an over - but Ajmal top edged relieving the pressure of the Kiwis. Aamer’s 73 is the highest score by a no. 10.

This reminds one of India’s dismal performance at Faridabad way back on 7th March 2002, when another no. 10 Douglas Marillier scored 56 of 24 balls. Playing first India had made a good 274 for six. Dinesh Mongia (remember who ?) and Sourav gave a brisk start, Laxman made 75 and Agarkar made a quick 40 off 19. Zimbabwe got off to a bad start and were 21/2 – then Campbell and Flower added 111 for the third. The visitors were in a hopeless 210/8 in the 45th when Marillier joined the party and took 20 off Zaheer, improvising in a stunning manner and using the scoop to great effect. Many rabbits would not even dream of pulling off a shock win, but Dougie revealed his steely nerve. Because of the brazen knock, Zimbabweans stole the thunder with 2 balls to spare and winning by just one wicket. Incidentally, Kumble conceded 7o in his ten.

This score was the highest by any number 10 for a long till time, till Aamer chose to rub it off.

With regards
S Sampathkumar

  

Sunday, November 8, 2009

SYMA's ROLE IN KEEPING TEMPLE TANK CLEAN - திருஅல்லிக்கேணி திருக்குளம் நிறைந்தது



Dear (s)

For SYMA, Cleanliness is close to our heart and we had undertaken many street cleaning campaigns, taken effort in preserving greenery by planting sapling and have taken the lead in implementing rain water harvesting. In the past, we have experienced water scarcity and there have been years when the water parched residents of the city were running behind metro water lorries and storage tanks. The water was scarce and the few wells that were available in the area ran dry. Chennai has no perennial rivers running in vicinity and the increasing population has heightened the water crisis.

The city of Chennai not on the banks of any river – not to speak of Buckingham canal, which once upon a time canal was a free flowing river with boat transportation and there is also  Coovum which flows into the sea much closer to Marina. The residents of Chennai in particular are dependant on monsoon rains for their basic needs. Historically, in Tamilnadu and elsewhere, People were dependant on monsoon rains for irrigating their lands and for their other needs of drinking, cleaning, washing etc., There were hundreds of pilgrims visiting sacred places and places of importance. The requirement for water was very acute. In olden days there were huge water ponds in every locality, especially in and around big temples. Many of the ponds and tanks were interlinked ensuring storage of surplus of water. The rain water thus stored recharged the ground water table in the surrounding area. Besides the tanks provided job opportunities for hundreds of people. In mid Seventies, there was water scarcity in the city which has repeated itself thereafter in some periodicity. Triplicane is the pride place housing the famous “Sri Parthasarathy swami temple’ a divyashetram originally built by the Pallavas in the 8th century. There is a beautiful temple pond mythologically referred as ‘Kairavani Pushkarini’ having lots of lotus and the name of the place itself was derived from this.

SYMA has realized the importance of keeping this temple tank clean and replete with water as a means of augmenting the water table in the locality. SYMA propogated and perseveringly implemented rainwater harvesting. By our efforts and with the active participation of Chennai Corporation, now all streets are connected to the temple tank and the rain water gets collected here. Every year immediately after rains, the tanks gets filled in and the ground water gets recharged thereby increasing the water table of the locality.
The temple tank is quite big in size. Few decades ago, during the regime of MGR Govt., the inner part of the tank was laid with cement concrete slabs. Thus a huge area of around 24000 sft is now fully cemented thereby serving as a pool for storage of water. There lies another expansive area of 10 ft along the entire 180 ft on all sides which is not blocked with concrete. This area has lot of flowering plants and trees which provide cool breeze and comfort to the visiting pilgrims. When rain water gets accumulated above the inner pond, water gets accumulated in the adjoining open area and then slowly percolates itself into the ground, being filtered in a natural process and augmenting the water table. In fact after our efforts in rain water harvesting, the water table has risen in Triplicane and the residents are now getting quality water without trace of salt water, though situate closer to the sea.

SYMA has been maintaining the temple tank for some years now ensuring that the place is kept neat and not misused by the visiting the public. There are flowering garden illuminated with colourful lights. As is required for every water storage, desilting and cleaning of the pond becomes necessary. A lot of dirt and smudge had accumulated and in consultation with the temple authorities, SYMA put into plan the cleaning activity which was actually long overdue. The huge quantity of water lying in the 180 X 120 concrete pit was removed by use of electric motors and the manual process of cleaning the accumulated dirt which appears like sewer is being undertaken. The basic aim was to rid the tank of its pollutants and allow new accumulation which would be contamination-free.

This became a larger project than was thought of. The activities were on at a hectic pace but the sudden rain for two hours on 19/9/2009 pulled the clock back and again we were faced with removing huge quantity of silt. Some of the photos pasted here will make you understand the magnitude of the work.


 








This was possible to the cooperation extended by Temple authorities with special mention to DC Mr Jayaraman and other staff members of the temple. There were quite a few members of SYMA who got involved in this project but it was the untiring and efficient work of SR Parthasarathi & D. Veeraraghavan which ensured that the pace of the work never slackened.

The temple authorities performed a Pooja after the cleaning was over to invoke the blessings of Lord for the welfare of the community, for rains and for the tank brimming back replete with water.

Came November – monsoons and depression came and along with it rain water. It has been raining heavily for the past 4 days now (5th Nov to date – 8th) and here are some photos of the tank taken today
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This amply reflects the successful rainwater harvesting done - with storm water drains connected to the temple tank. Sure this is going to raise the water table in the locality as also making more refined and potable ground water available.

Sarve Jana Sukhino bhavanthu.


With regards - S Sampathkumar (Sunday 8th Nov 2009)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

THE RAIN GOD COMES TO THE UNIVERSE FOR THE SAKE OF THOSE GOOD MEN ON EARTH - DO YOU KNOW THENNUR, PAYIR AND HERO SENTHIL

This has been circulating over e mails and well reported in some magazines. Though do not have a first hand information, got this from trusted sources and is certainly worth circulating. Have slightly modified the contents from some of the mails received. This is all about a single individual and the Organiation that he has so thoughtfully made for the Society. He is every sense a real ascetic who has realized himself and is living for others as enunciated by Thiruvalluvar.


This man hails from a nondescript village known (!) as Thennur near Trichy in Tamilnadu. At a time, when youth in Metros flaunt BMWs and other SUVs and flaunt their richness in every single act of theirs, one cannot imagine there is a real hero who lives the role of ‘the Rajni starrer - Shivaji, the Boss”. Before we read something about him, here is some about his Project “Payir” which believes in the fundamental right of every child to education. The project aims to provide quality primary education to all children and focuses on non formal education and intervention programme.
People of Thennur village have their own version of Mahatma and Shivaji – their hero Senthil – had a dream and has chosen to live by it. Like many other Indians, he studied and went to US and earned Rs.2 lakhs per month. But that was more than 5 years ago. He had a vision right from school days - to serve his village. What ordinary mortals would not dare to do – he did. Resigned his job and came back to his village to start a NGO and started supporting the village. He did this at an young age of 36.
Our Illam Gandhi invested his hard earned 40 lakhs in Thennur to build a community health centre and informal learning centre, and today ‘Payir’ is yielding fruits. This is the palace he provided to his village.


The community health center:



Now, he has appointed 5 people who are locals and who function as his staff. They teach proper English to the schools available in their locality. And that was not enough. He created a small IT Company within that village, employing four persons who all graduated from this village. They even flaunt a US client and work for a US project. Amenities he could not provide ; certainly not the luxuries that the modern day youth possess :


A responsible son, he had sent some money for his parents and his mother now lives happily in own house at the temple town of Srirangam. He has renunciated all luxuries and is living an ascetic life in a small tenement in the village itself. Here is the room of the young entrepreneur :


His concept of live - “Payir trust provides me with daily food. My trustees have agreed on this. I have built a hut for myself using my past earnings. So shelter is not a problem. I have 3sets of shirts and Vesti(Dhoti) which I can use for the next 2 years. My friends will get me a few dresses once or twice in a year. What more do I need in my life??”.
Being an Insurer the natural thinking was – how he would manage his old age wrought with ailments. He coolly states that he will go a Govt. hospital where treatment is free of cost.
We adore heroes of tinseldom. We try to re do every single action of theirs. People like me spend hours of life on watching and talking about cricket. All of us have dreams to earn lots of money and stash it for posterity.
This person is daringly different. This man believes that there is only one life and within that one needs to achieve what ever one can. his 11th std!. Senthil – The real hero! Has stated that he nurtured this dream right from his school days. Remember the movie – the hero coming back to village, starting Educational Institutions, Hospitals and what not. In real life, this hero has achieved.


People focussing on personal growth, not worrying about the Nation is the curse. Perhaps it still rains only because there are people like Senthil around.
With regards
S Sampathkumar.

Friday, November 6, 2009

GLOOM AFTER THE THRILLER - அந்த சில நிமிடங்கள் பல மடங்காய் தெரிந்ததேன் ?

Dear (s)


It was time to go to bed – mothers were screaming at this children – but a few times when the head of the family has his say – they stayed put, holding their nerves with bated breath, praying in their lips for an improbable Indian win chasing 351 in floodlights at Deccan Hyderabad. Sachin crossed 17000 landmark (even Ashoka Desilva could not stop him this time) but Indians failed at the last hurdle. It was a remarkable solo but he got out at a crucial juncture, the rest choked and India fell short by 3 runs with 2 balls to go. The little master’s crackling innings of 175 off 141 was studded with 19 hits to the fence and four over it.


The Home Team bowled poorly with Munaf conceding 73 off 9; strike bowler Bhaji conceded 44 off 10 – but taking a solitary wicket. A score of 350 is never easy to chase especially under flood lights. Sachin innings was a remarkable exhibition of strokeplay and was the fastest century by an Indian against Aussies. Many in the jam-packed Rajiv Gandhi International stadium were close to suffering heart breaks seeing 697 runs being scored in a single day. The chase began in right earnest with openers racing to 66 –Viru scoring 38 off 30; then rained a vital 137 partnership with Raina. From a difficult 162/4 in 24 – India needed 52 from 45 when Raina departed. Bhaji did not trouble the scorers; Sachin’s leg cramps added to the misery. India needed 31 runs from the last 24 balls and then 19 from 18.


The chase was on, India was inching closer - batting power play was on – the first ball of 48th over by debutant Mckay saw a tiring Sachin scoop a shot over fine leg to Hauritz. Jadeja displayed immaturity and was run out; now the equation was brought down to 16 from 12 - Nehra also went. Eight off the last over – 4 was gotten, Praveen drove to long off but failed to beat a flat hard throw by Hauritz. It was gloom all over.

This 175 is the 3rd highest in defeat after Charles Coventry’s 194 & Haydens 181. India's total of 347 is the third-highest score in the second innings of an ODI, after South Africa's 438 for 9 in Johannesburg, and New Zealand's 350 for 9 in Hamilton. It is also the highest second-innings total in a defeat. Perennially cricket pundits would start saying without truth that India would lose, when sachin score; here is how it is far away from truth.



But one cannot hide the disappointment that way back in 1998-99 at our own city, Sachin left after an incredible innings needing 17, Indians crumbled and lost, tonight he left them stranded with 19 needed off 17. If only he could have guided them to victory and remained unbeaten, how different it would have been........................................


An avid fan
S Sampathkumar.