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Foresters to get fit with commando training in college

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CHENNAI: A fit youngster, recruited as a trainee forester, is able to pass through a tunnel, covered with grass. Half a dozen such trainees follow him successfully through the tunnel. This was the scene at the Tamil Nadu Forestry College near Vaigai dam in Theni.

The forest department has created a commando training centre, where these trainee forest foot soldiers (both foresters and guards) undergo rigorous physical exercises to keep them fit, says a senior forest officer.

Top soil from this area was removed to build the bund for the Vaigai dam. In order to make the area a green lung, the department took up planting of saplings, due to which the soil got enriched. Subsequently the training school for foresters and guards was started here.

Crossing tunnels, hurdles, jungle survival, rope climbing, night patrolling, handling night vision camera form part of the training programme. Apart from these, the frontline staff will also learn to handle weapons such as rifles and pistols. The existing firing range has been renovated for this purpose, says the officer. An important component of the training programme is the creation of a nature trail for three kilometers. The foot soldiers have to trek on the trail regularly.

The department also plans to allow groups of children in the future so as to enrich their knowledge on nature and the flora and fauna found in there, says a senior officer.

Fifteen people undergo training at a time. It lasts for a week. The department has roped in ex-service men, who impart the training to the frontline staff. The training schedule does not merely end with physical fitness. Yoga and meditation, field trips, classes on preventive medicine, group discussions etc are also part of it.

“This is for the first time a commando training centre has been started by the department and its activities will be improved periodically,” said another officer.

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Source: TOI-Che

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New tech, smaller incisions lead to quick recovery

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CHENNAI: Going without food two days before a medical procedure, battling grogginess after anaesthesia, the pain caused by large incisions and week-long hospital stays – these are what every patient who undergoes major surgery suffer. But not anymore, doctors say.

With surgical incisions becoming smaller and techniques and equipment getting refined, surgeons no longer need to hospitalise patients for long. To speed up patient recovery, hospitals here are emulating medical facilities abroad and implementing a programme called Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS).

“The programme focuses on making sure patients are active participants in their own recovery process,” says surgical gastroenterologist Dr Patta Radhakrishna of SIMS Hospitals. “It is customised for patients based on medical history, their medication type and the type of surgery required.”

ERAS encompasses preoperative assessment to reduce the stress of operation and a structured postoperative approach, he says.

“Doctors earlier made patients starve before a surgery and many tubes would be inserted into them during and after the procedure,” Radhakrishna says. “Now with the use of modern drugs, we eliminate all of this and that improves outcomes.”

A study published this year in Journal of the American College of Surgeons said following ERAS cuts hospital stays by more than two days, decreases complications by 17% and increases patient satisfaction with pain control by 55%.

Dr Venkatesh Munikrishnan, a colorectal surgeon at Apollo Hospitals, says the key elements of ERAS protocols include preoperative counselling, optimised nutrition, standardised analgesic and anaesthetic regimens and early ‘mobilisation’, with doctors making patients walk at the earliest after the procedure so the healing process accelerates.

“The objective of ERAS is to minimise metabolic impact and enhance the healing process,” he says. “It reduces stress levels for patients before, during and after surgery so they recover at a faster pace.” he said.

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Source: TOI-Che

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Half-burned body of girl dumped in sack

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CHENNAI: Unknown assailants murdered a young girl and dumped her half-burned body in a sack in the southwestern suburb of Guduvanchery on Sunday.

Passersby found the girl on Mahalakshmi Street in the morning after they shooed away a pack of stray dogs that was trying to tear apart the sack, which had a foul and burned smell, near a nursery school in the locality.

They alerted the police.

“She appears to be around eight years old. The body was naked and partially burned,” an investigating officer said. “Her assailants appear to have mutilated her face in an attempt to conceal her identity.”

“We suspect that the killers could have sexually abused the girl, but a postmortem will have to confirm that,” he said.

Police sent the body for autopsy to Chengalpet Government Hospital. They think the girl was murdered elsewhere and dumped it in what is a bustling residential locality.

They are yet to establish the identity of the victim and are looking into missing persons complaints in police stations across the city. Investigators have also sent photographs of the girl’s face and her half-burned body to other police stations in an attempt to establish her identity.

Investigations indicated that the killers strangled the girl, who had ligature marks on her neck, with a cord.

“We are awaiting the autopsy report to verify the cause of death,” the officer said.

“Only after establishing the identity, we can proceed with the case and determine the motive for the crime,” he said. “It is unlikely that she was from Guduvanchery because the local police have not recorded any missing person complaint in the recent past.”

Locals told police that they did not see anyone dump the sack or strangers moving around suspiciously in the locality.

The Kancheepuram police have registered a case under IPC Section 302 (murder).

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Source: TOI-Che

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