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Corporates urged to help revive Chennai Corporation-run schools

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Source : The Hindu Date : 18.06.2009

Corporates urged to help revive Chennai Corporation-run schools

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), southern region, has urged corporates to help revive the 30 Chennai Corporation schools that were merged with schools nearby run by the civic body recently.

The Corporation had decided to merge the 30 schools in view of the steadily dwindling classroom strength.

The civic body runs 313 schools – 139 primary, 109 middle, 38 high and 27 higher secondary schools.

With the merger, the number has come down to 283.

Noting that the schools that were merged included Corporation schools in Chintadripet, Thousand Lights, Chamiers Road and T. Nagar, the CII noted that school education was an area where corporate houses, which are actively engaged in various Corporate Social Responsibility projects, could bring quality and value to.

“Their (corporates) support to the government schools can improve the quality of education to the children and thereby create more takers,” the CII stated.

Seeking industry’s intervention on the school education front, the CII urged corporates to adopt corporation schools and arrange special lectures for children that would further value-based education.

Such measures would achieve the twin goals of sustaining Corporation schools that cater to the educational needs of the underprivileged and grooming value-sensitive students, the CII said.

When contacted, Corporation Commissioner-in-charge Ashish Chatterjee said that the merger decision was a purely administrative one.

The rationale was to allow students of the smaller schools to access better facilities and several newly introduced extra-curricular activities that were introduced at the larger institutions in their vicinity.

“Reconsider closure”

The north Chennai district committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has urged the Chennai Corporation to reconsider its decision to close down 30 of its schools.

A press release from the north Chennai district secretary T.K. Shanmugam said the move would endanger the future of education in the city.

Instead, the Corporation should improve the student strength by increasing allocation for education, appointing adequate number of teachers and improving basic infrastructure in schools, he added.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 September 2009 07:34
 

1,000 health camps planned

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Source : The Hindu Date : 18.06.2009

1,000 health camps planned

Staff Reporter

— Photo: M. Vedhan

HEALTH WATCH: A woman being examined by a doctor at the camp held in Vepery on Wednesday.

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation will conduct 1,000 health camps this year to provide medical care to five lakh families of the city, Mayor M. Subramanian said on Wednesday.

Launching a ‘Varummun Kappom’ health camp at the Periyamedu Primary Health Centre, he said 100 camps targeting slum-dwellers would be held in the 10 Corporation zones.

Various tests including those for diabetes, tuberculosis and malaria and blood grouping and blood pressure would be conducted at the camps to be held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, he added.

Mr. Subramanian urged members of the public to utilise the camps to monitor diseases. Over 1.5 lakh people benefited from 40 such camps organised last year.

A total of 1,428 families and 5,400 members were screened at the camps held in all the zones on Wednesday. At the end of the day, 12 persons were diagnosed with malaria, 75 with cataract, 181 with diabetes, 18 women with cancer and 36 with blood pressure. Medicines worth Rs.1.25 lakh were distributed to those who attended.

At a camp in Guindy North, residents of the nearby Housing Board tenements of Kothwalchavady participated. M.Kalaivani Mahalingam, who works as a housemaid, said she came there as she could not afford treatment in private hospitals. Many people had preferred to give up a day’s pay to attend the camps.

Pushpa and Yesu, parents of Chelsea and Akshaya, came to the camp to find a solution for Akshaya’s repeated spells of fever. “We had taken her to private hospitals but the fever keeps recurring . So we thought we could come here and have a check-up,” said Ms. Pushpa.

Shyamalavalli of Reddy Street in Ikkattuthangal said she underwent various tests and was given tablets for blood pressure, ulcer and also a fatty liver. Sangeetha, who attended the camp at the Basin Bridge PHC, said doctors conducted thorough investigations and advised her to keep the family health book carefully as it contained the health history of her family.

Specialists, including those in ENT, dermatology, ophthalmology, and dentistry, conducted the check-up. Dr. Prabhakar, medical officer of Zone 9, said that chronic smokers and alcoholics were told to quit the habits and referred to the Corporation Clinic in Saidapet.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2009 10:05
 

Panel support sought to tackle urban poverty

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Source : The Hindu Date : 18.06.2009

Panel support sought to tackle urban poverty

T. Ramakrishnan

CHENNAI: The urban poor account for about 47 per cent of the total poor in the State. In absolute terms, the number of the urban poor is 69.13 lakh and of the rural poor 76.5 lakh. These figures pertain to 2004-2005.

Quoting the Press Information Bureau in this regard, the State government, in its memorandum presented to the 13th Finance Commission earlier this month, stated that during the period 1973-1974 to 2004-2005, the number of total poor fell from 2.4 crore to nearly 1.46 crore.

“However, all of this reduction in the number of poor comes from rural areas. The number of urban poor actually increased over time in absolute terms, reaching a peak of 80.4 lakh in 1993-94. After 1993-94, there was a reduction in the number of urban poor but even in 2004-05, the absolute number of urban poor was larger than that in 1973-74 (66.92 lakh).” In 1973-74, the proportion of urban poor to the total poor was 27.94 per cent, which went up to 30.17 per cent in 1983 and 39.78 per cent 10 years later.

Pointing out that the State had been very successful in reducing rural poverty, the memorandum said that during the period 1983 to 2004-2005, the reduction in rural poverty, as measured by head count ratio (HCR), was over 30 percentage points — from 53.99 per cent to 22.8 per cent. In contrast, the all-India reduction in rural poverty amounted to only about 17 percentage points — from 45.65 per cent to 28.3 per cent.

Acknowledging that “urban poverty [reduction] remains a major challenge,” the memorandum said that between 1973-1974 and 1993-1994, the all-India performance of reducing urban poverty was comparatively better as the national HCR fell from 49.01 per cent to 32.36 per cent.

In the corresponding period, Tamil Nadu’s urban poverty HCR declined from 49.4 per cent to 39.77 per cent.

It was after 1993-1994 that the reduction in urban poverty in the State was sharper than the national figure.

The reduction in urban poverty amounted to over 17 percentage points — from 39.77 per cent in 1993-1994 to 22.2 per cent in 2004-2005. The corresponding all-India figure was less than seven percentage points — from 32.36 per cent to 25.7 per cent.

In view of the urban poverty factor, the State Government wanted the Finance Commission to support its efforts to reduce poverty, particularly urban poverty through significantly larger resource allocations to education and skill development, and reduce inter-district difference in human development through significant additional budgetary support to education and health.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2009 10:02
 


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