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10-yr-old boy stopped train, saved 850 lives

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Like any other boy of his age, 10-year-old Siddesh Manjunath would walk to railway tracks near his house every day and wave at passing trains. This habit of the class IV boy from Avaregere village in Davanagere saved the life of around 850 passengers on March 15, this year as he noticed a nearly two-inch crack on the rail and stopped a passenger train by waving his red T-shirt.

On Saturday , Siddesh, son of an eatery shop owner, was the centre of attraction at the Children’s Day award ceremony held at the Jawahar Bal bhavan in Cubbon Park. He was presented with the bravery award for the year 2015. Governor Vajubhai Vala honoured 33 children like Siddesh for their brave acts. Recalling the incident, Siddesh told STOI: “It was Sunday and after the breakfast around 10 am, I ran towards the railway tracks. One goods train passed followed by another slow moving passenger train.Then I heard some strange sound from the tracks. At that time, a single locomotive engine passed by and this time the sound was loud and clear. When I went near the rails, I saw a big gap.”

Running back to his father’s shop a little away from the tracks, Siddesh explained the problem to his father Manjunath. His father walked back to the track and was astonished at what he saw. “It was a risky gap.Then, some other villagers gathered around,” Manjunath said.

Even as they were discussing what could be done, they heard the hooting of another train -it was Harihara-Chitradurga passenger train.When Siddesh asked everyone to do, “someone recalled the movie scene where the hero removes shirt and waves to the train to stop it”, he said. Siddesh removed his red T-shirt and started running on the tracks and in the direction of the train.”We all ran behind him and luckily , the loco pilot realized something was wrong and applied the brakes,” Siddesh and Manjunath said.

Hubballi-based Siya Vamanasa Khode was also honoured for saving her 7-year-old younger brother. She recalled how she pulled her brother after he accidentally come in contact with live wire while playing. “There were many children on the terrace and men, who were doing some repairing work, had placed the metal ladder in upright position. Yash moved near the ladder and held it with his left hand.

I saw my brother shivering and others who were playing with us ran away. I realized he had come in contact with a wire and pulled him by holding his shirt.”

KSCA gift: Free tickets to 25,000 kids to watch test match

Students soak in action on the opening day of the second Test between India and South Africa at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. The Karnataka State Cricket Association will give 25,000 kids (5,000 per day) the opportunity to watch the five-day match, free of cost.The KSCA has allotted the A and B upper stands for them. As many as 425 underprivileged kids from rural Bengaluru will also be part of this initiative

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Source: TOI-BGLR

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Nearly 17,000 private plaints pending with Bengaluru magistrate court

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BENGALURU: A 15-year-old school girl committed suicide in Chikkajala after police did not take the family’s complaint about her being allegedly stripped and photographed by five people, including her relatives. The last memory the family has of her is a note she wrote stating that four men took photographs of her after forcibly removing her clothes while she was returning home from school.

In another case, 65-year-old Vi jaya Devi (name changed) was turned away by police when she went to lodge a complaint that her son was hit by a speeding Mercedez Benz while crossing the road. The mother and son owned a kiosk on the roadside where they sold refreshments. “I asked them to register a case of hit-and-run but they turned me away saying I cannot afford to fight against someone who owns a big luxurious car. I filed a private complaint before the first class magistrate but my case was dismissed because of lack of evidence,” said Vijaya.

However, the two families are not the only victims of callousness of police who show the door to complainants. Nearly 17,000 private complaints were pending at the chief metropolitan magistrate court in Bengaluru in September.These are complaints made to the first class magistrate in the criminal court when one’s FIR is not registered or entertained by police under section 200 of CrPc.

The pendency indicates the number of complaints that reach police but fail to make it to the official records forcing the complainants to knock the doors of the court. The figure also includes private complaints filed recently . In the case of the teenager from Chikkajala, police had dismissed the complaint as a case of family feud and advised the family to settle it amicably . Police registered a case following public furore.

NS Megharik, commissioner of police, Bengaluru, said “There are 32,000 pending FIRs with Bengaluru police right now and these 16,995 pending private complaints are also a part of it. The police department is doing its best to dispose of cases as soon as possible but sending a closure report to the court takes time. Preliminary enquiry has to be conducted, investigation takes time and we are extra careful if the case is coming from the court. The court gives these cases of private complaints to particular jurisdictions to look after. The support of the complainant is required to close the case.”

Another senior police officer said that many of the cases wherein they dismiss the complaint are related to property disputes, misappropriation of assets and other small or non-cognizable cases. “If the case is still pending with police after the investigation period given by the court, then it is the responsibility of the court to follow up,” said the senior police official.

Times view

When aggrieved persons approach the magistrate’s court when all else fails, they hope they’ll get some justice, and get it quickly. But the sheer volume of pending cases means they’re in for a long wait. Over-burdened police have enough on their plate and dealing with court directives in private complaints can often take time. If the purpose of the private complaint system is to be served, the police and the court need to figure out ways to reduce the waiting time for case closure and quickly bring down the number of pending cases.

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Source: TOI-BGLR

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This Bengaluru doctor repairs lives of poor kids with deformities

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BENGALURU: Three-year-old Lakshmi Tatma was born in a remote village of Araria district in Bihar in 2005 with ‘four arms and four legs’. She was one of a pair of ischiopagus conjoined twins, one of which was headless. The rare complex condition baffled the medical fraternity and her poor parents had almost lost every hope. However, things changed for better when Dr Sharan Patil, Bengaluru based orthopaedic surgeon, came knocking on their doors.

Lakshmi hogged global attention as she was successfully separated from her conjoined twin after a marathon 27 hour surgery conducted by Dr Patil and his team of Sparsh Hospital. The incident was life changing for Dr Patil too.

“It’s the most remarkable surgery because I was stepping into a social situation which was desperate and a surgery so risky. Nothing of this complexity had ever been attempted before in India,” Dr Patil says.

It was during one of those routine surgeries, Dr Patil realized that children who have little access to nutritious food in their early days are born with deformity. Also, they are forced to live a handicapped life as they have little resources to correct it. After working in the UK for years, Patil returned to Bengaluru and started Sparsh Hospital in 2006 with an aim to help the needy children.

“We took up `Children in need’ initiative and operated upon children with challenging musculo-skeletal problems.After Lakshmi Tatma and a few other children were operated successfully , patients from across the country and abroad started coming in with a great deal of hope. Most of them could not afford huge medical expenditure. This prompted me to start Sparsh Vachana programme,” Dr Patil says.

Kaveri, 12, (name changed) from Chikkaballapur, who was born with a bent backbone and was gradually stepping towards deformity , is one among many who got a new lease of life. She underwent a scoliosis correction surgery under the initiative and got her twisted spine straight.

Her father, Krishnappa R, a daily wage worker, said: “It was not possible for me to afford Rs 4 lakh for my daughter’s surgery . I was helpless and her health was deteriorating. I am grateful to Sparsh Vachana for giving us new hope.”

Under the initiative, 200 surgeries are done every year on children from impoverished background and with complex medical conditions. Doctors across the globe fly down to Karnataka to operate patients free of cost. So far, over 1,000 children have benefited. This year, children below 14 years with complex conditions will be assessed by specialists at a screening camp from November 23 to 28.

“After going through all case studies, a team of 70 surgeons will select 200 children for surgery . Others whom the doctors assess to give medical assistance will be given free consultancy and medication. Everything , including the follow up surgeries, is done free,” Patil adds.

Helping hand for teachers

Dr Patil’s another initiative Guru Namana is a tribute to teachers. Under the scheme, 100 retired teachers are provided with free joint replacement surgeries every Teachers’ Day. “It’s for teachers from small towns and villages who are suffering from crippling arthritis,” he says.

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Source: TOI-BGLR

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