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108 FASTER THAN 911

August 1, 2010 3 comments

Study Says India’s Emergency Service Has Outpaced The US Version With Its Expansion Model And Innovation

Parth Shastri &
Kumar Manish |
TNN

Ahmedabad: Ten years ago, when it came to emergency  healthcare services, India was nowhere on the world map. However, the scenario changed rapidly once three magic figures 108 entered the scene. It soon became a household name in several states of India, including Gujarat.

A research published under the title ‘Innovation’s Holy Grail’ in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review delineates how 108 is an exemplary effort. Carried out by  management gurus CK Prahalad and RA Mashelkar, the study shows how 108 emergency service is an innovation that synthesizes research and technology.

According to the study, GVK Emergency Medical Research Institute (EMRI)-led 108 emergency service is fast emerging as a leading organization in emergency health sector worldwide owing to its cost-effective method and public- private partnership model. This has lent it an impeccable base where it is reaching out to 366 million persons in Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Chennai, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Assam, making it the world’s largest emergency management entity in just few years. The paper states that 108 services has outpaced the US’ 911 service with  its huge expansion model and innovation. ‘EMRI spent only 50 cents per person treated to build the infrastructure in India, compared to $100 in the US. The expense per ambulance visit is less than $15, visa- vis $600 to $800 in the US,’ states the paper.

‘As the only emergency responder in the world with a research institute, EMRI is at the forefront of identifying ways to improve knowledge and practices. It archives all calls and analyses data to compile regional public health profiles. For the first time in India, data on the timing and nature of medical emergencies is available,’ states the study.

Babu Thomas, head of HRD of Gujarat GVK EMRI, told TOI that Gujarat has a share in the success story. “With an emergency management centre opening in Kathwada this month, Gujarat has become one of the states with exemplary speed, scale and cost-effective measures. The state also contributes to continuous research that we undertake to study the patterns of emergency and most vulnerable groups,” he said.

The Gujarat model was also presented by Subodh Satyawadi, COO of Gujarat chapter in US last month in front of representatives of World Bank, United Nations Population Fund, United States Agency for International Development.

“This same 108 service, the way it has developed in Gujarat, if it had happened in some other country, our people would have written books about it.” – Hon’ CM, Shri Narendra Modi, Gujarat, India

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The weekend muse… Aquarium idea

September 14, 2009 33 comments

Friday was dull… Wanting to watch the Tim Burton movie ‘9’ and the Peter Jackson’s ‘District 9’, I was left waiting for the want of company.

Saturday morning was wasted after being ditched by the IT consultant for whom the morning was kept free. Plans for the evening were already drawn out when a last minute meeting with a close relative sprang up! It had to be attended and suddenly after a spate of free time, I was double booked. Was suddenly glad that friends did not agree to movies as that would have made things even more complicated! The day ended after enjoying Kaminey for the third time and chit-chatting till 4 am.

Sunday was eventful too – A dash from Thane to Chowpatty had me battling unexpected traffic snarls in Dadar as many taxis started coughing up water from an unexpected spell of heavy rains that hit Bombay on Sunday. It was a welcome relief inspite of the ensuing traffic jam! The pav-bhaji and pizza at Sukh-sagar was worth the hassle especially as it was followed up by this Falooda! (pic clicked by me)

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A walk at chowpatty beach reminded of college days spent in the company of friends and girlfriends… The sight of Saifee_Hospitalthe Saifee hospital was something! (pic from internet) It definitely adds another jewel to the glittering Bombay Skyline! The good foo, the architecture and the moisture laden sea-breeze got me thinking as I lay my eyes on the shoddy state of the Taraporewala Aquarium! Instead of building a 300 crore (thats Rs 300,00,00,000 or US $ 60,000,000)  statue (no offence, but Shivaji has nothing to do with Bombay’s development or rise)…. Anyways, Instead of building a Rs 300 Cr Shivaji statue, the Govt should construct an aquarium on the Queen’s necklace promenade! Yep! The place next to the ocean which is a nice place for a walk should be turned into a giant aquarium UPON which the people would walk. It can be made from thick glass to sustain heavy weight and the brunt of nature and man. The aquarium would be the largest open air aquarium in the world and it should be free – a tribute to the people of Bombay and to tourists who come to visit the city! Instead of trying to mimic other countries by making tunnels inside aquariums, why not build an aquarium in a tunnel upon which people can walk???!!! Now that would be original and different and creative!

Instead of erecting statues as a tribute to heroes, this would be something creative that would be enjoyed by the young and the old alike irrespective of their caste, color or creed! Something that unifies us as a people and does not divide us into various groups and factions!

The drive back from Chowpatty saw me have a petty skirmish with another car driver who scrapes my vehicle and does not even bother to apologise. A gentle nudge at his car from the rear while he was waiting at a signal promptly resulted in an apology and an explanation for the incident! Sometimes the civic sense in people needs to be shaken up as it drifts into a slumber from the daily drudgery of the city life…

Sunday evening was Plum cake, followed by a 4th place victory by Force India at the Italian GP. The Brawn GP cars once again showed their might as they drove their way to a 1-2 victory after a brilliant pit strategy at the Italian GP at Monza that saw them taking just a single pitstop! Rubens Barrichello was a delight to watch as he goofed about in delight post race at the podium. “Dead-fish” Raikkonen was 3rd. He did not  bother to congratulate the other winners or take part in celebrations. Even drank more champagne than he showered upon his team. No smile on his face to show joy for the 3rd place finish after Hamilton crashed in the final stages of the race with 2 laps remaining. Q: Do they call Kimi the ‘iceman’ becaue he is as cold as a fish? Perhaps another Pav-bhaji, pizza and a falooda will help me ponder over that one…

PS: It was sweet to see Force India give Ferrari a run for their money on Ferrari’s home race @ Monza, Italy! For the uninitiated, the two teams have a bitter history. Kimi Raikkonen, while driving for Ferrari, has crashed twice into a Force India car driven by Adrian Sutil and prevented the Force India team from scoring points in Formula 1! Every point garnered by a F1 team helps the team earn revenue from the sport and other benefits like free transportation to races, revenue from television rights, etc.  The Force India team also switched from Ferrari Engines in 2008 to Mercedes engines in 2009 when Ferrari refused to give them their current and most latest engine. Now the team, owned by Vijay Mallya, in its 2nd year at Formula 1  has improved from being a back-runner to a front-runner and has been giving the top-runners tough competition since the past few races. Force India has a budget that is about 1/3rd to 1/4th of the big teams in Formula 1. While the big teams have been competing since decades Force India is 2 years old in the sport. Toyota, who is reported to have a budget thats even larger than Ferrari’s budget has failed to show performance in the sport that has seen manufacturers like Honda and BMW who have exited and are planning to exit the sport from next year! This makes Force India’s most recent success even more phenomenal. The team finished 2nd on the Podium in the previous race at the Belgian GP and now has 13 points in the 2009 Formula 1 season.

Indian Money in Swiss bank!!

September 5, 2009 21 comments

Latest update after Swiss Bank has agreed to disclose the funds….

Our Indians’ Money – 70, 00,000 Crores Rupees In Swiss Bank

1) Yes, 70 lakhs crores rupees of India are lying in Switzerland banks. This is the highest amount lying outside any country, from amongst 180 countries of the world, as if India is the champion of Black Money.

2) German Government has officially written to Indian Government that they (German Government) are willing to inform the details of holders of 70 lakh crore rupees in their Banks, if Indian Government officially asks them.

3) On 22-5-08, this news has already been published in The Times of India and other Newspapers based on German Government’s official letter to Indian Government.

4) But the Indian Government has not sent any official enquiry to Germany for details of money which has been sent outside India between 1947 to 2008. The opposition party is also equally not interested in doing so because most of the amount is owned by politicians and it is every Indian’s money.

5) This money belongs to our country. From these funds we can repay 13 times of our country’s foreign debt. The interest alone can take care of the Center’s yearly budget. People need not pay any taxes and we can pay Rs. 1 lakh to each of 45 crore poor families.

6) Let us imagine, if Swiss Bank is holding Rs. 70 lakh crores, then how much money is lying in other 69 Banks? How much they have deprived the Indian people? Just think, if the Account holder dies, the bank becomes the owner of the funds in his account.

7) Are these people totally ignorant about the philosophy of Karma? What will this ill-gotten wealth do to them and their families when they own/use such money, generated out of corruption and exploitation?

8) Indian people have read and have known about these facts.. But the helpless people have neither time nor inclination to do anything in the matter. This is like “a new freedom struggle” and we will have to fight this.

9) This money is the result of our sweat and blood.. The wealth generated and earned after putting in lots of mental and physical efforts by Indian people must be brought back to our country.

10) As a service to our motherland and you contribution to this struggle, please circulate at least 10 copies of this note amongst your friends and relatives and convert it into a mass movement!!

Categories: india, politics

Long Live India!

January 25, 2009 6 comments

26th January 2009 is the 60th anniversary of the Republic Day of India. It was on this day in 1950 that India was officially absolved of British rule and became re-public. With India’s economic might growing day by day, the Indian Republic day is celebrated worldwide.

Let us take some time to revisit the Constitution of India and get in touch with the values and principles that it stands for!

On 26th January 1950, the Constitution of India became the law of the land. Containing 395 articles , 12 schedules and 94 amendments with a total of 1,17,369 words, it is the longest written constitution of any sovereign nation in the world.

The preamble does not contain laws enforceable in a court but, no law can be enacted or amended in a manner that violates the spirit of the preamble.


WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.

  • The beginning words of the Preamble – “We, the people” – signifies that power is ultimately vested in the hands of the people of India.
  • It also tells that the constitution is made by & made for the people of India and not given to them by any outside powers.
  • The Preamble lays down the most important national goals which every citizen and the government must try to achieve – justice, liberty , equality and fraternity.
  • India is internally and externally sovereign – externally free from the control of any foreign power and internally, it has a free government which is directly elected by the people and makes laws that govern the people.
  • The word socialist implies social equality, and does not connote any economic or political ideology. Social equality in this context means the absence of discrimination on the grounds of caste, colour, creed, sex, religion, or language. Under social equality, everyone has equal status and opportunities.
  • Being a Secular country, India does not have an official state religion. There is equality of all religions and religious tolerance. Every person has the right to preach, practice and propagate any religion they choose.

An online address to the nation on the eve of the Republic Day of India by the Hon’ble President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil can be watched here. Although it is long (22 mins), I found the speech quite inspiring, especially the parts where she asks Indians to be responsible citizens and urges responsible corporate governance in light of the Satyam scam and the Global financial crisis. (PS: The English version of the speech starts after 22 mins or half way into the clip. I listened to the Hindi version.)

On this day the PM leads the nation in paying tribute to the martyrs at the Amar Jawan Jyoti. Let us spare a moment to remember the sacrifice of our soldiers thru this beautiful patriotic song. The pictures in the video tell the story on their own!

This is the 1st time that the Prime Minister on India will be absent from the Parade due to a heart bypass surgery. Defence Minister A.K. Antony will stand in for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this year.

The 60th Republic Day Celebrations will involve Flag Hosting Ceremony by Hon’ble President of India. It will be followed by Republic Day Parade from Rajpath at 09:25 AM IST. The parade is quite a spectacle to behold as it is not only a showcase to India’s military prowess, but also displays its diverse cultural heritage. If you are a foreigner reading this blog, you should plan to see this parade. It will be a memorable experience. Here is what you can expect from the Republic Day parade.

It is a common practice for the people of India to hoist the National flag on this day, here are some rules to be followed while hoisting the Indian national flag.

  • When the National Flag is raised the saffron color band should be at the top.
  • No flag or emblem should be placed either above the National Flag or to its right.
  • The National Flag or any imitation of it must not be used for purpose of trade, business, or profession.
  • The National Flag should always be taken down in the evening at sunset.
  • The flag should not touch the ground at any point of time – before, during and after hoisting it.

Let us all Indians take some time and pledge to uphold the Constitution of India in letter and spirit in our daily lives on our 60th Republic Day.


Long live India Jai Hind!

Movie Review: Turn left at the end of the world

January 22, 2009 6 comments

An old Indian immigrant in Israel
A new Indian father migrated to Israel (Parmeet Sethi)

The young immigrant’s Indian wife with 3 kids (Kruttika Desai)
A thoughtful teenage Indian girl (Liraz Charchi)

A Moroccan father
A dying Moroccan mother

A swashbuckling sultry free-spirited teenage Moroccan girl (Neta Garty)
Her fat sister – about to be married to a wimpy Moroccan man

A teenage Moroccan boy who gets a boner on seeing the Moroccan girl
A young teacher

A bewitching sultry widow in her sexual prime
A Moroccan youth protecting his territory

The movie is a story as seen from the eyes of an Indian teenage girl who keeps a diary of the various human interactions as observed by her. The movie revolves around an Indian family who migrates to Israel in hopes of a better life. On reaching the destination, they realise that the job and the lifestyle is not what was promised to them back in India. The family tries to adjust themselves with other immigrant families from Morocco and the mixing of the two different cultures produces a nice heady cocktail of a tale! The story is spiced up when a free spirited, chatty and sultry Moroccan teenage girl takes advise about love and life from a hot widow who is in her sexual prime. The widow is happy to genuinely advise the girl and sometimes also use her to fulfill ulterior motives.


Things take a turn for the worse when after getting tired of the low pay and the mundane job, the workers in the factory go on a strike. The Indian husband gets tired of his nagging wife and finds solace in the open arms of the the widow. The Indians invite the Brits for a game of Cricket, but full of aging men, the Indian team is lousy. They need help from the Moroccan youths. Meanwhile the Moroccan teen acts on an impulse and under the pretext of adding to the Indian girl’s story, gives herself to her teacher. Her mother is diagnosed with cancer.

Can the two cultures, who are as different as oil and water, mix together?

Will the strike at the factory yield any results?

Can the Indian-Moroccan team beat the British at cricket?

Will the Indian man abandon his culture and his family for the Moroccan widow?

Will the Moroccan teen’s raging hormones land her in trouble?

Can the Moroccan mother survive the cancer?

Can the Indian wife succeed in getting her husband back from the bewitching widow’s clutches?

How will the Indian teen’s tale end?

To find out, watch “Turn left at the end of the world”!

Directed by “Avi Nesher“, the movie has been described by adjectives such as “keeps the chuckles flowing”, “engaging and surprising”, “A witty and sensual cinematic experience”, “great acting and groundbreaking film making“, “delightful and entertaining with intelligent directing and an excellent script”, “The best Israeli movie of the year”, “A cinematic gem by the stunningly talented Avi Neshar – funny and touching”.

The movie lives up to all these plaudits.

The movie is a wonderfully woven tale of human emotions, drama, sex, love and cricket! I loved watching it for its non-preachy story telling and the brilliant portrayal of human interactions on the screen. It is “My big fat Greek wedding” meets “Monsoon wedding” meets “Bend it like beckham” – with an artsy feel added to it.

The director has managed to squeeze out above average acting from the cast. But the 2 actors on whose shoulder the movie rests do manage to deliver the goods! Neta Garty who plays Nicole (Moroccan teen girl) and Liraz Charchi who plays Sara (The Indian teen girl) are very good in their characters.

The thing I liked about the acting and direction is – consistency! The quality of acting is maintained throughout the movie and coupled with good screen play, you get drawn into the movie.

My rating – 7/10. Kick back and enjoy!

PS: The movie is in hebrew/french/english with subtitles available.

The thing that foremost comes to mind is – WTF!

January 19, 2009 7 comments

Just read the news that a Pakistani Muslim girl was roughed up by members of her community in Bombay. According to the news, a Muslim guy spotted a tattoo on her back and was angered because urdu words from the Quran were tattooed on the girl’s back.

The first thought that came to my was – WTF! She had “Thank you God” tattooed on her back. So what! How is that offensive or hurtful to anyone, including Muslims?

But then as I thought a bit more, there were certain other aspects of the incident that came to my mind.

1. As the tattoo was on her back, I assume it must be on her lower back – just above her belt (ass). The guy would have had to pay close attention to actually read the tattoo. WTF was he doing by staring at a girls ass? Isn’t that against the stringent Muslim culture to look at a woman’s anatomy? I think in certain countries (read Saudi Arabia) he would be beaten by stones or blinded (or both) for eyeing a woman in such fashion!

2. The girl was in India to study. So what if she got a tattoo! Who gave the Muslim women (one of them was the guys mother) the right to slap the girl? All for sporting a tattoo that read “Thank you God”?… WTF!

3. If the Muslims guy and the Muslim women are that strict about their religion, did they also decapitate the youth by removing his eyeballs for eyeing the woman’s ass?

The sad part is the guy who saw the tattoo works for Jan Seva Sangh, a local NGO! WTF! How is this guy going to help other people when he did nothing to stop his own mother from assaulting a girl for sporting a “Thank you God” tattoo!!

This is precisely why there is a need for a Uniform civil code in the country! Only then shall we have true equality!