Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Reality Show 'Joins Forces' With First Lady to Aid Veteran

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., Sept. 22, 2011 - �A TV reality show recently joined forces with first lady Michelle Obama and hundreds of military and civilian volunteers here to transform the life of a Navy veteran.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
First Lady Michelle Obama surprises Navy veteran Barbara Marshall on the set of the ABC reality series "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" in Fayetteville, N.C., July 21, 2011. The first lady appeared on the show to promote her "Joining Forces" military support campaign and to pay tribute to Marshall, who has dedicated her time and resources to helping homeless female veterans. DOD photo by Elaine Sanchez 
This weekend, the season premiere of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will feature a home makeover for 15-year veteran Barbara Marshall, who has devoted her life to eradicating homelessness among fellow female veterans. Viewers will see the reveal of her new 5,000-square-foot home, as well as a surprise visit from the first lady. The episode airs Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. EDT.Marshall's new home, dubbed the Steps-n-Stages Jubilee House, offers shelter, job coaching, and other services and resources to homeless female veterans from all eras of war, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Before the show, Marshall operated out of a tiny, 1,500-square-foot house in which she crowded three homeless women and their families, a resource center, volunteers, and countless other veterans who came through seeking job-hunting assistance and resources.
Now, thanks to hundreds of volunteers who converged here over a week in July, in her old home's place stands a sprawling, red-shingled home with common areas and a giant resource center -- topped by a wraparound porch, decks and a perfectly manicured lawn.
The first lady toured Marshall's new home just after its completion July 21 and summed up the experience with one word: "amazing."
The house is "light and warm and loving," Obama told American Forces Press Service after her tour. "It feels like a home and that's what these women need in times of challenge. They need to go to a place where they can feel incredibly special and this house definitely does that."
Obama lauded Marshall -- whom she called a "strong and courageous woman" -- and her mission to eradicate homelessness among female veterans.
"It's a powerful story of how veterans are continuing to serve this country even when they are no longer in uniform," she said. "The fact that this woman has opened her home -- which she didn't have much -- to other women who are struggling, is just a powerful statement of the courage and the strength that our veterans show."
Like Marshall, the nation must take steps to eradicate veteran homelessness, the first lady said.
Service members "put their lives on the line for us, and they do it without question or hesitation," Obama added. "When they are finished with their service, they should have a level of security and stability, not just for themselves but for their families.
"We as a nation," she added, "should be outraged by the reality that there are any homeless veterans in this country."
It's the nation's responsibility to step up to ensure service members, veterans and their families get the support they need, and deserve, Obama said.
Earlier this year, the first lady and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, launched the Joining Forces campaign, a national initiative that calls on all sectors of society to support troops, veterans and their families. The motto of this campaign, she noted, is "everyone can do something."
Military families are proud and often don't ask for much-needed help, Obama noted. "It's incumbent on all of us to look in our own spaces -- whether it's in our churches or in our schools -- to make sure we know who these families are and to ask who needs help," she said. Not everyone may live near a military base, but veterans, families and service members are in nearly every community across the nation.
"Whether a business owner or multinational organization or small nonprofit or church or school or neighbor down the street," she added, "everyone can find their own strength and gift and figure out how to share that with these families.
"If we all do that, we will end this challenge of having homeless veterans."
The first lady cited "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" as an example of people stepping up in a "huge, magnificent way."
"This show is a show that really pulls people in," she said. "It highlights not just the good of an individual, but it shows the good of the nation, of a community. They are an example, a model, to so many other shows, businesses, organizations, that can step up by doing what they do best.
"It's important to me to make sure these stories get highlighted," she continued. And "this episode is an excellent way to highlight what they're doing, and also give them something back; something more than they could ever imagine because they deserve it."
Obama encouraged people, military and otherwise, to watch "Extreme Makeover" this weekend. "Make sure your kids watch it," she said. "Tell them about this issue and then think about what you can do as a family. It doesn't have to be big; it doesn't have to be grand. It just has to be something."
The goal, she added, "is to make sure that these families know they live in a nation that cares and values the service and sacrifice they make."
With this episode wrapped up, the producers of "Extreme Makeover" once again are seeking military families to feature this season. People can submit nominations via email to Jackie Topacio, casting producer, at jax@emhe.tv, through Sept. 29. The email should include the names and ages of household members, a description of the family's challenges, an explanation of why the family is deserving of a makeover or is a positive role model in the community, photos of the family and their home, and contact numbers.
Related Sites:
ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" Application ProcessRelated Articles:First Lady Joins Navy Veteran on 'Extreme Makeover'
Family Matters Blog: 'Extreme Makeover' Seeks Military Families 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rehabilitation main aim to help these children

More than 250 cases of deformity correction operatedOperated children are undergoing Physiotherapy in CMC by Tanu Arora 
Since May 2010, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana has been involved in operating Children who are physically challenged under the Project Sarva Siksha Abhayan   (SSA). Dr. Santhosh Mathangi, Head of Department, Physical Medical and Rehabilitation (PMR) has successfully operated more than 250 cases of deformity correction and tendon releases.
Children with disability are coming from various parts of Punjab. Their complete assessment is done by a team of professionals which include an Orthopaedician, a Physiatrist (PMR), a Physiotherapist and a Rehab nurse. After which patients with deformities, contractures are admitted in Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana for operation.
Physiatrist (PMR) helps in goal setting of disabled patients and with the help of the whole team, patients benefit better.
There are only two PMR specialists in whole of Punjab. Dr. Santhosh is leading the PMR unit in CMC and  Hospital, Ludhiana.
Operated children are undergoing Physiotherapy in Christian Medical College and Hospital by Tanu Arora (Physiotherapist) after which they are able to walk independently with or without orthosis and perform activities of daily living in order to make life better for both patients and parents.
Rehabilitation main aim is to help these children with special needs with their disabilities to be able to make them independent in life which is achieved with 6-8 weeks of rehabilitation programme and ultimately help these children to go to school. Mr. Deepak, Govt. Officer for the Surgical Correction Project, SSA, Punjab says that he is quite satisfied with the kind of services Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana is providing.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A new home for Barbara Marshall, a Navy veteran

Eleanor B. Raines, a former Steps N Stages Jubilee House resident, hugs Barbara Marshall, 
Barbara Marshall is a Navy veteran who was selected to receive a new home from the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" TV show. U.S. Army photo by Stephenie Tatum 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Alzheimer: memory loss and loss of mental ability

Exhibition on World Alzheimer's Day

Students of M.Sc. (N) 1st year, College of Nursing, Christian  Medical College, Ludhiana, celebrated World Alzheimer’s Day on 21st September 2011, in Medical OPD. They had displayed large number of posters which covered all information regarding disease.

Chief Guest, Dr. Kim j. Mammen, Associate Director, appreciated the efforts of the students and explained about Alzheimer’s disease and told that there is a need to conduct more such programs to spread awareness.

Prof (Mrs)Triza Jiwan introduced the theme of the day ‘Faces of Dementia’ and explained that it is a degenerative disease of the brain in which there is memory loss and loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with normal activity. Elderly people 60 years and above are affected. She emphasized on prevention of it, mentioning about having hobbies of art and music etc.

Principal and Coordinator Prof (Mrs) Ponnamma R. singh also shared her experiences. Dr. mamta, Associate Professor of Psychiatric department highlighted on importance of routine for such patients.

Prof (Mrs) Triveni Rajappa, Nursing Superintendent also marked her presence. Dr. kamal Masih, Medical Superintendent inaugurated the exhibition and released the pamphlets on Alzheimer’s disease and its care.

The program attracted the attention of more people as students of B.Sc. (N) 3rd year put up a role play on care of patients. Nearly 260 patients and their relative became aware of this disorder through the exhibition. =Shalu Arora and Rector Kathuria



Last month, when the farm organisations were holding Dharnas at Mansa, Jalandhar & Amritsar on Gobindpura issue, Sh. Parkash Singh Badal CM Punjab invited them for talks. It was promised in preliminary discussion that no land shall be acquired in future for any project without the consent of its owner. The CM also promised to leave the dispute 166 acre land & Dalit houses at Gobindpura from the purview of acquisition, pay adequate compensation, ensure employment to at least one member of the families whose land has been acquired etc. But all this was empty talk. In the formal meeting held on 19th Sept, he backed out from all these commitments.

Farm organizations then decided to relaunch the struggle in the form of a march towards Gobindpura on 24 th September and started making preparations for it.

In order to prevent the march being organized by 17 organizations of farmers & Agri-labour of Punjab towards Gobindpura, a small village in Punjab, to get back the land and houses forcibly acquired by Punjab Govt for Poena Power Company's Thermal Plant, a massive deployment of police & armed forces has been done. All roads & pathways leading to this village have been heavily barricaded. Bus service to the village has been discontinued.

As per police sources 6 SPs, 17 DSPs, 13 SHOs, 10 Inspectors, 55 ASIs, 1940 Constables & Head Constables & 85 lady police officials have been deployed under the personal command of Sh. Nirmal Singh Dhillon IGP Bathinda and Surinder Singh Parmar SSP Mansa. Besides mobilizing armed Jawans from IRB, PAP, Commando Battalions, the police has also deployed Water Cannons, Round Fire Launchers, Tear gas squads etc. While hectic parleys are on amongst various functionaries of the administration, the police is holding flag march in the villages to terrorize the people.
All this is being done to crush the peoples movement and to protect the interests of Poena Power Company, a subsidiary of India Bulls.

N.K.JEET Advisor
Bathinda (Mob.: 94175-07363)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Employers Reach Out to Service Members, Vets

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

FORT MEADE, Md., Sept. 21, 2011 - As if answering President Barack Obama's call for them to hire more veterans, more than 80 employers gathered at a job fair here last week to tap into some of the top-notch qualifications the president touted.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Sgt. Thomas Smogorzewski, a signals analyst, listens to instructions a recruiter gives him at a Sept. 14, 2011, job fair at Fort Meade, Md. Smogorzewski soon will leave the Army and is beginning his job search in the civilian sector. DOD photo by Sebastian J. Sciotti Jr. 
The day-long job fair attracted 1,360 job seekers, organizers reported, many of them veterans or service members in uniform laying groundwork for civilian jobs.Obama emphasized the capabilities these veterans bring to the workplace during an Aug. 30 address to the American Legion National Convention in Minneapolis.
After 10 years at war, they have acquired skills to harness new technologies on the battlefield, partner with communities and assume leadership roles for the country, he said.
"They've learned the cultures and traditions and languages of the places where they served ... They've taken on the role of diplomats and mayors and development experts, negotiating with tribal sheikhs, working with village shuras, partnering with communities," Obama said.
Prospective employers at last week's job fair said they hope to attract some of those talents into their workforces.
"Serco hires a lot of military," said technical recruiter Karen Parker, who was looking to fill jobs in information technology, systems software programming and other technical positions.
"[Veterans] are willing to learn new skills and make the transition from military to civilian life," she said, noting that veterans also bring a wealth of information and experience from all over the world.
For prospective applicants, especially those still on active duty and new veterans, the job fair offered an opportunity to learn about individual companies, benefits and job requirements, and a chance to talk with recruiters directly and give them a resume.
For many who joined the military right after high school, applying for a job was a first-time experience.
Among them was Army Sgt. Thomas Smogorzewski, who has served five years as a signals analyst. Ideally, he wants to become a police officer, but in the meantime, he's hoping for a position similar to his Army job.
"I'll use the skills I've gotten from the Army," he said. "I'd like to get an analyst position, use the GI Bill to finish my degree and try for a police officer job," he continued. "I enjoy helping people."
Smogorzewski said an Army Career and Alumni Program counselor is helping him transition into the civilian world, and sends him job contacts.
Army Staff Sgt. Erin Lee has a similar story. She enlisted into the Army after high school graduation, has served for 10 years and never had to apply for a civilian-sector job.
She said the reception she got from prospective employers at the job fair was positive.
"They engaged me in conversation and wanted me to contact them," she said. "I got a boost of confidence when they said I had [Army experience and a security clearance] going for me. I was really happy to hear that."
Like Smogorzewski, Lee said she gained help from the ACAP to prepare her for interviewing, writing a resume and handling a phone interview. "That really helped me because I've never done that before," she said.
Lee said she believes her military experience gave her the maturity and skills to make her a valuable employee. "Being in the military made me grow up fast," she said. "I don't think I would've gotten that as a civilian. I love the Army. It gives you a foundation to become a better person and a better leader. I'll use that as a civilian."
Veteran Benjamin Peter distributed numerous resumes at the job fair.
With service as a Navy officer, Peter has been unemployed since Memorial Day, and continues to apply for five to 20 jobs a week.
Applying advice he got as he was transitioning from the Navy, he
networks online, goes to a variety of job websites and has a couple of irons in the fire for a job.
But after job hunting all summer, Peter admitted to feeling a bit of frustration. "I went from making $57,000 a year," he said, "to zero."
Yet Peter said he is committed to starting a career and not simply taking a job. "I do have a job I can take," he said. "But I'd rather take a job where I know I'll enjoy being there, and might be more successful in a corporation or company."
During his remarks to the American Legion, Obama said the Congress must put a jobs bill at the top of its agenda to help veterans like Peter.
"For the sake of our veterans, for the sake of our economy, we need these veterans working and contributing and creating the new jobs and industries that will keep America competitive in the 21st century," he said.
Related Sites:
American Jobs Act
Related Articles:
Job Initiatives Focus on Vets, Family Members 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PM Singh's Government sending Démarches to the U.S.


Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) announced that a "Justice Rally" will be held during PM Manmohan Singh's address to the UN General Assembly on September 24th from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. Sikhs are protesting against PM's Singh's Government's policy of impunity towards Congress (I) leaders who organized and participated in the killing of Sikhs during November 1984.
In November 1984, thousands of Sikhs were massacred, their properties looted and burnt, all across India, with the active connivance of law enforcement and on behest of leaders of Congress Party Leaders. Kamal Nath, Amitabh Bachchan, Arun Nehru, Vasant Sathe, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, were seen instigating and leading the killer mobs that attacked Sikhs in November 1984. Twenty Seven (27) years after the massacre, PM Singh has failed to prosecute those responsible and instead have rewarded the killers of Sikhs with seats in the parliament and positions in the Cabinet.
According to attorney Gurpatwant S. Pannun legal advisor to SFJ, PM Singh is not only protecting Kamal Nath in India but is also actively working to get him immunity from prosecution before U.S. Federal Court where he is being tried for his role in November 1984 Sikh Genocide. PM Singh's Government has been sending Démarches to the U.S. Department of State seeking immunity from prosecution for Kamal Nath added attorney Pannun. While Indian Governments claims of democracy, human rights, justice and equality grow louder, bolder and loftier; its actions of shielding the human rights abusers defy the same.
SFJ along with victims of November 1984 have filed a class action law suit against Indian National Congress (Congress I) and Kamal Nath (SFJ v. INC. & Nath SDNY (10 CV 2940)) under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) for their role in the killing of Sikhs in November 1984. US Court issued summons against Kamal Nath on April 06, 2010 while summons against Congress Party were issued in March 2011.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Diana Honings climbs the rigging

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings climbs the rigging after re-enlisting aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, Sept. 15, 2010. Honings, a public affairs specialist at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., re-enlisted for four additional years of service during a ceremony aboard the 295-foot barque. (DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class NyxoLyno Cangemi, U.S. Coast Guard/Released)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mother's Heart Stopped During Open Heart Surgery

 While Unborn Baby's Heart Kept Beating
Rare Heart Surgery Saves Life of Mother and Child
Ludhiana, 19th September, 2011:(Shalu Arora) Mrs Gurpreet Kaur – a 25 y lady - w/o Mr Manmeet Singh r/o Kidwai Nagar Ludhiana was in a dire condition. The whole family had been overjoyed when Gurpreet had got pregnant . Then at the 28th week of pregnancy she started getting extremely short of breath. On examination it was found that one of her valves (the mitral valve) had got very tight. She was referred to Dr Harinder Singh Bedi – Head of Cardio Vascular & Thoracic Surgery at the Christian Medical College & Hospital , Ludhiana. Dr Bedi realized that due to the pregnancy Gurpreet’s blood volume had increased and so the valve which was already too small due to the disease was now functionally smaller as more blood had to pass through it. The blood was getting trapped in the lungs and so she was unable to breathe . Dr Bedi explained that this is like pulmonary edema where a patient basically drowns in her own blood . An intervention  procedure had been tried at another hospital but had failed . On admission to the CMC her condition was quite critical. She was also seen by the Head of Obstetrics Dr K Awasthi and Dr A Kellogg and a joint decision taken to perform an open heart surgery to save the mother and to let the baby continue growth in the womb. Dr Bedi told that any open heart surgery in a pregnant mother carries a high risk of miscarriage – but the surgery was essential to save the mother. With utmost care and continuous monitoring of the baby with special equipment - the delicate open heart surgery was done on 6th July 2011 . At surgery the mother’s heart was stopped – but the baby’s heart was allowed to beat normally and was monitored by a fetal monitor. Dr Bedi said that it was quite an eerie and spiritual moment to see the flat ECG of the mother and the normal beat of the baby . Anesthesia for this delicate case was given by Cardiac Anesthetist Dr Arun Gupta  . The heart lung machine was managed by Mr Jairus and Mr William who are among the senior most experts in this field . The other members of the team are Dr Allen, Dr Viju Abraham, Dr Paul, Dr Neharika, Dr Susan, Dr Miria and Dr Arjin  .
Gurpreet then recovered well and delivered a healthy baby boy on 9th Sep 2011 in the CMC by Dr Tapsaya Dhar Maseeh  who said that both mother and child are in the pink of health. Dr Bedi said that such cases are relatively rare . The first priority is to save the mother and also aim to have a normal baby. The whole CMC team was very happy that both mother and baby were well. Dr Abraham G Thomas – Director of CMC & H – told that a multi speciality care was essential for the appropriate management of such complex cases.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mullen Praises Troops, Families on 'Daily Show'

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2011 - For a U.S. military leader trying to reach a different audience, it doesn't get much more different than "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks with Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," in New York, Sept. 12, 2011. The appearance was Mullen's third visit to the show, and his first since Stewart accompanied him on a USO troop visit to Afghanistan earlier in the summer. DOD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley 
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was Stewart's guest for the third time on the popular Comedy Central show last night.Mullen joked with the satirist about his plans for retirement and his decision to join the Navy in 1964. And on a more serious note, he stressed the need for military leaders to hear a range of opinions before making decisions.
Stewart has been spending a lot of time with the chairman. He traveled to Afghanistan with Mullen this summer to thank troops in remote combat outposts and forward operating bases for their service. Stewart called it his "summer vacation."
Mullen, whose father was a Hollywood publicist, joked about escaping Los Angeles in 1964 when he entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
Stewart asked about the chairman's plans after his retirement at the end of the month. "A long winter's nap," Mullen responded.
The discussion turned to weightier matters, and the chairman praised the men and women who are serving today. They have served multiple deployments, he noted, and have done everything the country has asked them to do.
"I've been doing this a long time -- since 1968 -- and unquestionably, they are superb," he said.
Mullen said he and his wife, Deborah, who accompanied the chairman to the taping, try to represent the needs of service members and their families. "We try to stay in touch with them, so we understand what they are doing and what we are asking them to do, including the ultimate sacrifice," the chairman told Stewart. "I tell them ... there isn't a decision I make or recommendation I make that doesn't take their needs ... into account. The strength of our military is those men and women and their families."
During last month's trip, Stewart said, he was surprised that Mullen had surrounded himself with people whose jobs were to challenge him and his thinking.
"What I've found over the years as I've gotten into jobs with more responsibility is the diversity of opinions and views is absolutely critical," the chairman said. "It allows me, in the end, to make the best decision."
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Airman Keeps Kadena Moving

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Tara A. Williamson
18th Wing Public Affairs
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa, Sept. 12, 2011 - Whether it's obtaining routine travel orders or simulating a deployment movement, chances are many service members here have been helped by Air Force Senior Airman Cristofer Mercado at one time or another.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Air Force Senior Airman Cristofer Mercado, a passenger travel clerk with the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron, observes as fellow airmen participate in a deployment exercise at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, May 18, 2011. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sara Csurilla 
"I enjoy helping out people, especially making sure that people get what they want and getting them to where they want," said Mercado, a passenger travel clerk who hails from San Diego.Mercado, assigned to the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron, said his main duties are preparing orders and travel arrangements for deployments and medical evacuations. He handles real-world deployments and deployments for exercises.
"It's interesting and high-paced," he said. "I've pretty much sent people all over the world."
Mercado said his office usually serves between 150 to 200 customers daily.
The airman said he previously served at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey and Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
"Incirlik Air Base was definitely a great experience and I am glad that I got the opportunity to be there and to meet such great people," Mercado said. "I can't really compare [Incirlik to Kadena] because I enjoy both."
Mercado said he loves his job and enjoys serving in the Air Force.
"I joined the Air Force because it was actually a dream I had when I was a little kid," he said. "It didn't matter what I did in the Air Force. Everybody always asked me if I wanted to be a pilot -- I didn't want to be a pilot. I just wanted to be in the Air Force."
Mercado said he's thinking about a future career as a kindergarten teacher, or perhaps an Air Force officer. His current people-centric job, he said, is good training.
"I love helping people, so it's a good job for me," he said.
Mercado said there are many challenging parts to his job that most customers don't see.
"We do a lot of paperwork; we have to contact a lot of the agents," he said. "We work side-by-side with the Commercial Travel Office and they help us out and we help them out constantly with people's [travel] entitlements.
"The deployment tempo here is very high so we're constantly getting a fluctuation of people coming in and out, and we arrange their travel," he continued. "The volume of people we see is big. I like it, but it's very stressful at times."
Yet, life at Kadena is not all work and no play, said Mercado, noting he enjoys learning about Japanese culture.
"It's a beautiful island," he said. "There are a lot of things to do. I get out as much as possible in the off-time that I get. I like to go around enjoying the culture and the food here. I love it."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Maryland Guard Tackles Lee Storm Floods

By Maryland National Guard
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2011 - The Maryland National Guard has activated 25 soldiers to assist in the response to heavy flooding in parts of the state caused by Tropical Storm Lee's heavy rains, according to officials.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Maryland National Guard soldiers traverse flooded roads to provide support to civilian law enforcement and firefighting agencies in Salisbury, Md., during Hurricane Irene. Maryland Guard members now are confronting heavy flooding across the state caused by Tropical Storm Lee's heavy rains. Maryland National Guard photo 
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley last night amended his order for the state of emergency declared for Hurricane Irene to include the flooding from Lee.The Guard members were activated at the request of the state's Emergency Management Agency and at the direction of Army Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, the adjutant general of Maryland.
"Our soldiers and airmen are ready and well trained and equipped to respond to a variety of requests, from transportation with Humvees, five-ton trucks, helicopters and other aircraft," Adkins said. "We have trained with our local first responders and emergency service personnel and have resources to be available across the state."
The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee deposited a large amount of rainfall into the Chesapeake Bay watershed over the past three days, officials said. Consequently, the ground in some areas has reached saturation point, with many local rivers and tributaries overflowing their banks. Numerous flash floods have been reported to date, as has street and road flooding in the Washington-Baltimore region.
The declaration activates the Maryland National Guard and allows state emergency operation centers for local jurisdictions to access state resources when the need extends beyond their capabilities.
The Guardsmen are on standby in designated armories across Maryland and are ready to support local first responders if needed. The Guard has so far responded to requests from Cecil, Harford and Charles Counties.
Floodwaters are expected to continue to rise along the Susquehanna River and all areas downstream of the Conowingo Dam, officials said. Havre d Grace and Port Deposit, as well as Perryville, are reporting flooding.
Related Sites:
Maryland National Guard
Related Articles:
Maryland National Guard Mobilized for Hurricane Irene Support
1,600 National Guard Members Continue Hurricane Irene Recovery Operations

The U N Human Rights Council must act immediately

Truth and Justice Needed to Resolve Sri Lanka Rights Crisis, Says Amnesty International
Washington, DC -- The United Nations Human Rights Council must act immediately to end the crisis of impunity that plagues Sri Lanka more than two years after the end of the bloody civil war in the country, Amnesty International told the Council today. 
Sri Lanka’s government has failed to provide justice for victims of ongoing human rights violations, has not provided adequate assistance to all communities affected by the conflict, and has significantly weakened independent public institutions, the organization said after remarks by Sri Lankan Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. The minister told the Council that his government’s response to human rights concerns was "second to none" in the post-conflict period. 
"Any sustainable peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka will depend on a genuine, independent effort being made to learn the truth about serious violations during the civil war and deliver justice to the victims and their families," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director. "National efforts to date have fallen far short of the mark, and the ongoing culture of impunity in Sri Lanka is shielding those responsible for past and ongoing abuses from being brought to justice." U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has indicated he will officially transmit to the Human Rights Council the findings of his expert panel’s report that finds "credible allegations" of war crimes and crimes against humanity by all sides to the Sri Lankan conflict. As of today, the report has not been officially transmitted, although no explanation has been given for the delay. "The secretary general’s panel of experts produced a strong, credible, well-founded report, and it is now time for the Human Rights Council to begin discussing these allegationsfully with the Sri Lankan government," said Zarifi. Since the armed conflict ended in May 2009, Amnesty International has documented ongoing human rights violations, especially in the north and east of the country. These include humanitarian workers being denied access to communities who returned after the fighting, allegations of ill-treatment including sexual assault by security forces, and lack of consultation with local communities in the resettlement process. Media critics face threats while the government has failed to prosecute killings of journalists. Since 2009 alone, Sri Lanka’s national Human Rights Commission has received more than 8,000 complaints. Sri Lankan authorities have failed to implement the interim report of its internal inquiry into civil war abuses, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). Sri Lanka’s government has ignored commitments it made after the United Nations Human Rights Council reviewed the country’s human rights situation in 2008, including a pledge to prosecute those responsible for a variety of crimes under international law. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government recently lifted the state of emergency that had been in place for nearly three decades, but other repressive laws are still active, including the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Detainees have been held arbitrarily for prolonged periods – sometimes years – without charge. "It’s time for the Human Rights Council to actively promote truth, justice and reparations for the country’s thousands of victims of grave human rights violations that took place both during and after the civil war," said Zarifi. Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Patients with chronic diseases are on the rise.

Ludhiana, 10th September,  Haematology, Oncology and Bone marrow transplantation services are at a turning point in our country with increasing number of patients requiring the need for these services.  With a projected increase in chronic diseases in India and increasing life span, patients with these diseases are on the rise.
The caregiver at the bedside has a very important role in the outcome of cancer patients. On this behalf Christian Medical College, Ludhiana conducted a unique national conference for the nurses and physician assistants working in the field of cancer and bone marrow transplantation. This is the first time in this region such a conference is held on the theme ‘Importance of Nursing care’focusing on ‘Quality, Competency and Research’.This was attended by more than 300  delegates from 10 different states of the country and 25 different institutions.
The meeting was inaugurated by the Chief guest Dr Kim.J.Mammen and Dr Kunal Jain gave the welcome speech.While Mrs Abanti Gopan from Kolkota spoke about quality in nursing care, Ms Swapna Joshi from TMH Mumbai, detailed on how to go about research in nursing care and Dr M Joseph John from CMC Ludhiana mentioned clinician’s view point on nursing care and emphasized that Indian nurses can be as good or better than nurses from abroad by giving adequate training more responsibility.
Ms Jyoti Sahni from PGI, Chandigarh talked about the infection control in specialized units and Ms Joylen Jonahs from Pune explained the details of managing central lines.  Mrs Selva Titus from Vellore expounded on the importance of filtration technology in Haematology-Oncology and transplant units to reduce the incidence of infections.
Ms Anita Desouza from Mumbai gave the details of maintaining a clean environment for BMT and leukemia units and Ms Margaret from Vellore gave the details of stem cell handling. Ms Deepshika Gupta from Ludhiana mentioned about the ways to prevent and manage extravasations.
Post lunch there were panel discussions on training avenues for nurses and physician assistants, attrition among nurses, optimal manpower in a specialized unit and maintaining interpersonal relationships in a unit. This was followed by quiz for the audience and organizing secretary Dr M Joseph John gave the vote of thanks.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Theatre Workshop For Working Proffessionals

Theatre Workshop For Working Proffessionals -
The Asmita weekend theatre workshop, conceptualised by Mr Arvind Gaur Director Asmita theatre group, is the first of its kind. This workshop provides working professionals a platform to pursue theatre on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
The uniqunes of this workshop lies in the selection of its content, chosen to study contemporary acting. Socio-political issues become a subject of discussions, improvisations and script reading.Voice and speech work, quintessential in acting are taught by means of physical exercises, street plays and monolouges.
15 years of knowledge and experience of Asmita Theatre Group is carefully filtered into the minds of students by the senior most actors of Asmita, under the critical guidance of Mr. Arvind Gaur.
Finally the three month workshop culminates in a public production.
"Kharashe" a play based on short stories by Gulzar was performed by the second batch of Asmita Weekend Theatre Workshop at I.H.C on the 26th and 27th of july.A comprehensive documentation of this play is available at the Asmita Weekend Theatre Group on Facebook.

For More Details Contact: Shiv Chauhan-9958793683,Shilpi Marwaha-9540656537, Arvind Gaur-9899650509

The 8th Ophthalmic quiz for undergraduate at CMC

Ludhiana, 9th September: The Department of OphthalmologyChristian Medical College and Hospital successfully organized the 8th Ophthalmic quiz for undergraduate medical students in the hospital auditorium on 9th September 2011. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Dr.A.G.Thomas, Director, CMC and Hospital. He encouraged the participating teams and appreciated the efforts of the department in making this academic venture a much awaited annual feature of the institution.
Among the 30 undergraduate teams, 5 teams qualified for the quiz following the preliminary round. Dr.Nitin Batra and Dr.Gurvinder Kaur conducted the finals. Anjali B Susan and Anu Sara Philip (Batch of 2008) were the winner & Nayana Sebastian and Dona George (Batch of 2006) were the 1st runner up.
Dr.S.M.Bhatti, Principal CMC, was the guest of Honour and presented a special Award of Merit to an outstanding student, Geetika Gera (Batch of 2007). Gayatri Bhatia (Batch of 2008) presented an interesting talk titled ‘Hall of Fame’, which gave a brief history of legendary ophthalmologists.

Vermont Official Praises National Guard for Storm Help

By Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill
National Guard Bureau
RUTLAND, Vt., Sept. 6, 2011 - The National Guard is essential to Vermont's recovery from Hurricane Irene, the director of the state's crippled road system said here Sept. 4.
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Vermont transportation workers and National Guard personnel conduct an engineer assessment from the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. More than a mile of road is destroyed on Route 107 in Stockbridge, Vt. Members of the Maine National Guard were rebuilding the road on Labor Day, Sept. 5, 2011. Maine National Guard photo 
"I don't believe we could do it without you," said Brian Searles, Vermont's secretary of transportation.
A week after post-Irene flooding crippled arterial roads through the state, the Vermont National Guard's Task Force Green Mountain Spirit is leading a multi-state effort to support civil authorities who are helping affected residents and reconnecting cut-off communities with the rest of the world.
"We're just so thrilled that the National Guard has come through [in] this way so quickly, and we're looking forward to getting to the end of this," Searles said.
More than 2,500 Guard members worked through the Labor Day weekend in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island and Vermont to assist residents and repair roads in the storm's aftermath.
More than 700 members of the Vermont National Guard are mobilized here, said Air Force Lt. Col. Lloyd Goodrow, state public affairs officer, and they have been joined by Guard members from supporting states, including Connecticut, Illinois, Maine and New Hampshire. More troops and equipment are en route from Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia.
"What began as a Vermont National Guard mission has now become a true multi-state National Guard mission, and that's something we're very proud of," Goodrow said. "States continue to call to lend their hand. This is a time when, really, the National Guard shines."
Late Sept. 3 and through the early morning hours the following day, a convoy of 118 military vehicles and about 200 National Guard members rolled in here after a 12-hour drive from Maine, bringing heavy equipment to speed the repair of Vermont's roads.
"We need engineering units and construction units," Searles said. "Everybody involved in Vermont has been working on this, but they really needed to be augmented."
Vermont has its own equipment and its Guard members are at work -- including the 131st Engineers -- but widespread damage to the state's road system has left many residents separated from jobs and outside services. The fall leaf season that normally draws thousands of tourists here and the winter ski season -- both important to the state's economy -- are also imminent.
The Maine National Guard "feels incredibly honored to assist in the recovery operation to the people of Vermont, overcoming these serious infrastructure damages," said Army Lt. Col. Normand Michaud, commander, 133rd Engineer Battalion.
The Maine Engineer Task Force -- about 200 Maine Army and Air National Guard members -- responded within 36 hours to the state of Vermont request, Michaud said, bringing 169 pieces of heavy engineering equipment -- including D7 bulldozers, 20-ton dump trucks and excavators -- to assist the people of Vermont.
While much of Vermont was spared the worst of Hurricane Irene and is open for business as usual, key east-west roads in the state's famed central mountains are closed. Residents discuss agonizing work commutes that include detours into surrounding states to try to work around road closures. Important trucking corridors are impassable.
"It's about reconnecting people to their jobs, to their groceries," Searles said. "It's also about commerce."
The topography that gives Vermont its scenic beauty -- rugged mountains, steep valleys, narrow streams and low-lying pastures -- also brings the state's greatest challenges. When four miles of Route 107 -- including one river-eaten stretch about a mile long -- were damaged by the flooding, it cut off some communities completely and added many hours and dozens of miles to the routine drives of even those who could get out of their towns.
"It's the biggest event in my lifetime, for sure," Searles said. "It's been compared to the flood of 1927 and ... there are a couple of rivers that have exceeded 1927 water levels," which claimed 85 lives.

"We know a lot more about how to deal with these sorts of things and save lives than we did back then," he said. But Irene wreaked havoc with essential infrastructure.
"The comparisons with 1927 are valid," he said.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Panetta Visits 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

NEW YORK, Sept. 6, 2011 - Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today toured the National September 11 Memorial and Museum site here.
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Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, center, visits the 9/11 Memorial site at ground zero with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, right, Sept. 6, 2011. DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jacob N. Bailey 
"This Sunday, the nation marks the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in the history of the United States," the secretary told reporters. "We will honor those who died at the Pentagon, 184 of them, but I thought it was also appropriate to come here and honor those, nearly 3,000, who died here in New York City."Panetta is the first cabinet officer to visit the site. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg welcomed the secretary to the site and accompanied him during his visit.
Lower Manhattan's ground zero is still a construction zone, with hard-hatted workers, cranes and heavy equipment all busy on new buildings near the former site of the two towers.
The area where the towers stood, however, will open as part of the memorial to the public this Sept. 11, -- the tenth anniversary of the attacks that killed 2,996 people after terrorist hijackers crashed four passenger jets: one into each of the towers, one into the Pentagon, and one into a field near Shanksville, Pa., short of its likely Washington, D.C., target.
The 8-acre memorial centers on the sites of the former towers, now transformed to square, granite reflecting pools, each about an acre in size. Each pool is fed by 4 30-foot waterfalls that descend from ground level, and the pools drain into what memorial staff members describe as a "center void" at the bottom of each.
The theme the pools represent is "reflecting absence," according to memorial officials.
The waterfalls are edged with bronze ledges about waist-high, inscribed with the names of all the victims who died in the 2001 attacks, as well as the six people killed during the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The terrorist attacks of a decade ago brought the nation together in a commitment that such horror "will never happen again," Panetta said.
"As tragic as 9/11 was, we have drawn tremendous inspiration [from it]," he said, adding that those who attacked the United States in an attempt to weaken the country actually made it stronger.
The day of the attacks, Panetta said, he was on Capitol Hill briefing members of Congress on ocean issues.
After remaining in Washington for a few days, he rented a car and drove across the country to his home in California.
"It ... was an interesting drive," Panetta said. "It gave me a chance to see how the rest of the country came together after 9/11."
Driving through the Midwest, he saw "God bless America" signs. "It just told you a lot about what this country's made of," he said.
Contrasting ground zero today with the devastation he viewed shortly after the attacks, Panetta said, shows the resilience of the country and the city.
"I think this is going to be a special place," he said of New York City's 9/11 memorial and museum, "for people to ... come to and remind themselves not only of the sacrifice that was made, but also the great strength the American people have in coming back."
During his visit to ground zero, Panetta also toured the Memorial Museum, which is scheduled to open next year on Sept. 11. Seven of the museum's 10 stories are underground, and part of the above-ground structure will display structural components recovered after the towers fell.
Sarah Lippman, a member of the memorial staff, told reporters the site will also feature 400 swamp white oak trees, more than 200 of which already are in place. The leaves of swamp white oaks typically start changing color around the time of the anniversary, she said, and the trees are expected to grow from their current height of about 25 feet to an eventual 60 feet.
Also on the site is the "survivor tree," a pear tree found alive at the site after the attacks and nursed back to health at a nearby nursery, Lippman said.
Five service members who enlisted since 9/11 accompanied Panetta on today's visit. They are:
-- Army Staff Sgt. Ryan M. Celko, who enlisted in the Army in 2004 and deployed twice with the 10th Mountain Division's 4th Base Support Team Battalion out of Fort Polk, La. He is from Middlesex, N.J.
-- Navy Lt. Adam C. Jones enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy in 2002 and earned his commission in 2006. His was the first class to enroll after 9/11. He is from Annapolis, Md.
-- Marine Corps Sgt. Carlos A. Tovar enlisted in March 2008. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, he became a U.S. citizen while serving in the Marine Corps. He is from Orlando, Fla.
-- Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Gutierrez Jr. enlisted in 2002 following graduation from Southwestern Community College. He was wounded by enemy fire on his second deployment. He is from Chula Vista, Calif.
-- Coast Guard Lt. Nikea L. Natteal graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2006 as part of the first class to enroll following 9/11. She is from Yuma, Ariz.
Gutierrez told reporters the visit to ground zero "reminded me why I enlisted."
Gutierrez said he tried to enlist the day after the attacks, but the recruiting stations were closed. When they reopened, a waiting list quickly formed because of the rush of people wanting to sign up for the military, he said, and his own enlistment was final about six months after the attacks.
America's greatest strength is highlighted by its service members, Panetta said. And the young people in uniform traveling with him today, he added, represent the service they and their fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have given to the nation.
"Since 9/11, we have achieved significant success going after al-Qaida and ...[its] leadership," Panetta said, adding that, nevertheless, it's critical to maintain pressure on the terrorist organization.
The secretary was scheduled to travel from New York to Shanksville, Pa., and the Flight 93 Memorial there, also set to open Sunday. That segment of his travel was cancelled due to weather.
Leon E. Panetta
Related Sites:
9/11 Memorial