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NOV 10, 2009

Homoeopathy: A special feature on the benefits of homoeopathy in an interview with Dr J
Homoeopathy: A special feature
on the benefits of homoeopathy
in an interview with Dr J A
Helen Shanthi. p 13
German volunteer:
Traits of a special
educator. Interview with
Ms Heike Freese. p 16
Next issue: Pasteur Institute
required. p 10
pic: Staff photographer

Nithyananda teachings.

How to break a habit, like drinking?

Question: Swamiji, My husband drinks ever so often claiming that he drinks to forget his worries. What do I do?

Swamiji: As I told you, this is a common problem. Anyhow, if your husband was here it would have been helpful. If you analyze the habit of drinking, you will understand how self-contradictory you are. Let me try to explain:

You drink to feel joyful, but you end up becoming miserably miserable. You drink so that you can be called sociable, so that society will accept you, but you land up becoming

so that society will accept you, but you land up becoming argumentative! You drink so that

argumentative! You drink so that you will look sophisticated but you end up looking insufferable. You drink so that you can sleep forgetting all your worries but you wake up feeling more exhausted than ever! You drink to experience ecstasy and end up feeling depressed! You drink to feel confident but end up becoming afraid of yourself. You drink to maintain the conversation but end up becoming incoherent. You drink to see your problems dissolve but end up seeing them multiply! All these are the truth and you know it better than I do! Now tell me honestly, is it really worth drinking? This is how self-contradictory you are in not only this matter but in all matters in life. If you clearly knew what you want to do and spent every ounce of your energy in that direction, you will grow steadily and experience


The intrinsic beauty of Sim’s Park.

Established in 1874 and named after J D

Sim, then Secretary of the Madras Club, Sim’s Park is a beautiful garden with delightful flower beds, lawns and trees, some

of which were planted over a 100 years ago.

The lawns are interspersed with trees such

as the rudraksh, magnolia, pine, camellia,

Most of the trees are exotic, having

been introduced from different continents.

A Botanist’s delight, many varieties of rare


species belonging to eucalyptus, acacia, pinus, and cinnamomum are found

here.There is also a map of the world at the far end of the park which shows the various countries marked by diverse plants! The Park slope ends in a mini lake circling an island garden where small boating trips are offered. For a quiet afternoon with a book in hand, the park is just the ideal getaway. Some of the old world charm is retained with few of the original wrought iron-wooden benches still intact, though many have been replaced recently.

Kurunji:The bright purple-blue, bell shaped Kurinji flower is an atypical kind of flower, which grows
Kurunji:The bright purple-blue, bell shaped Kurinji
flower is an atypical kind of flower, which grows
mainly in the Nilgiris and Kodaikanal, the two
famous hill stations of Tamil Nadu. Botanists take
special interest as it blossoms only once in 12
years unlike the other common flowers.
The botanical name for Kurinji, is Strobilanthes
Kunthianus . The Kurinji flowers grow on bushy
shrubs, which are about eight, or ten feet in height
on the hill slopes of the Western Ghats at an
altitude between 6000 to 7000 ft above msl.
During the blossoming season, the Kurunji flower
is seen carpeting the mountain slopes.
Contd on p 14
travel While in Coonoor. Popular tourist spots in Coonoor. Sim’s Park A couple of kms


While in Coonoor.

Popular tourist spots in Coonoor.

travel While in Coonoor. Popular tourist spots in Coonoor. Sim’s Park A couple of kms from

Sim’s Park

A couple of kms from Coonoor bus

stand, Sim's Park is spread over 12 hectares. It is situated at an elevation of 1768 to 1798 m. This beautifully designed park offers an excellent opportunity for walks along the winding footpaths all over the slopes of the park leading you towards the pictur- esque lake below. A variety of individual tree specimens brought from across the globe, some more than a century ago, add a

special charm tho this tourist spot.

Lambs Rocka century ago, add a special charm tho this tourist spot. Is situated 8 km from

Is situated 8 km from Coonoor.

On a sunny day this view point commands a fantastic view of the entire surroundings, right down to the Plains below. The walk through the forests, towards the vantage point is itself exhilarating.


towards the vantage point is itself exhilarating. e Dolphin’s Nose Situated 10 km from Coonoor and

Dolphin’s Nose

Situated 10 km from Coonoor and offers a panoramic view of the vast expanse of the Nilgiri hills as welll the famous Catherine Falls.

Fundamental rights explored.

Students and teachers of CSI-CMM school, Ooty, engage with representatives of The Local in a recent journalism workshop.

‘A bout of cracker-bursting alongside the school campus in the heart of Ooty town disrupted the morning’s journalism workshop momentarily, but helped put in perspective, the fundamental right of students to a silence zone (which ought to be maintained, by order, around schools, places of worship and hospitals) and their resolve in bringing to notice the act of disturbance, however much out of ignorance, to the perpetrators.

Journalism, the spirit of it, involves courage, a questioning mind, unbiased judgement and sensitivity to others said The Local representative, in response to a student’s question on what qualifications one would require to become a journalist. What if elders tell us not to question? ‘If your questions are non-rebellious or of a disruptive motive but sincere and forthright, then you will get your answers.’

sincere and forthright, then you will get your answers.’ SUBSCRIBE TO L o c a l



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Statutory disclaimer: TheLocal disclaims liability of any kind whatsoever, arising out of the readers use, or inability to use the material contained in it. Adequate care has been taken to compile stories for the reference of our users. TheLocal makes every effort to maintain accuracy of the information but does not accept responsibility for any and disclaims responsibility for any loss or damage which may arise from the information provided. All opinion expressed in the issue in the form of articles or any viewpoint is solely that of the individual or advertiser concerned and TheLocal accepts no liability thereof. None of the Authors, Contributors, Sponsors or anyone connected to TheLocal can be liable for any reproduction of the material.

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Readers who wish to send letters to the Editor may do so by post to the following address 10/363-Y-1, Indiranagar, AVK Post, Nilgiris - 643 202. Alternatively, you may also email your correspondence to In case of any queries or clarifications please feel free to call: (0) 97905 90570.

Children’s quiz

Children (and adults) will be surprised to know that Children’s Day, internationally, is actually celebrated on November 20, each year. In India, this day is commemorated on November 14, coinciding with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday. Happy Children’s Day to all the young readers of The Local and hope you find the little teaser below, a lively stopover! Answers are

right below the clues! Quiz compiled by Bharathi Mani & Manisha Raju

e s ! Quiz compiled by Bharathi Mani & Manisha Raju DISTRICT POLCIE HELP-LINES call108inany emergency






Police: Ooty - (0423) 100, Coonoor - (0423) 2221836, Kotagiri - (04266) 271100, Gudalur (04262) 261246.

Please add the area code if dialling from a mobile phone or from outside the circle


local issue

Resigned to fate.
Resigned to fate.


local issue

The warning signs for the ill-fated family of the public transportation bus driver came when water began to seep through the floor of his house, this on the second day of incessant rains that the district faced in the earlt part of November. Nearby residents of Achanagal village had, it seems, advised the family to move out for the night and stay at the community hall - an offer that they declined. It was to be their last decision. According to residents, water has always been in excessive flow in this area, mostly flowing down from the top of the mountain, above Grant Duff road near Valley view. Closer inspection along the top road shows running water flowing in torrents all along, almost upto Lovedale junction. Along its path, near a school, the force of this water had torn a portion of the road, taking with it an electric post, a newly replaced and allegedly heavier-than-permissible transformer, fences and a cottage down below, fortunately unoccupied. Resorts along the road were virtually untouched by the fury - the land and property alongside them stood devastated. 3 people lost their lives, crushed under piles of mud while the neighbouring resort, ironically, played host to delegates of Life Insurance Corporation of India.‘We are shocked by this incident’, said one delegate, who is based in Delhi. The way water flows is deadly - voluminous, not properly channelised and uncontrollable. Residents in the area trade accusations that everyone is blocking off natural passage by creating little bunds, resulting in the heavy force of the water along this old road. Further on, the worst hit Ooty-Coonoor road’s misery unfolds with a gigantic eucalyptus tree lying across what was once a view point of the valley below. Houses were submerged the night before, at Manthada (a burgeoning settlement near Valley View). Trunk boxes and kitchen utensils lay on knee-deep mud piles upon

boxes and kitchen utensils lay on knee-deep mud piles upon Devastating effect: Mud flowing with the

Devastating effect: Mud flowing with the help of gushing water has literally inundated this home near Valley View. Three people perished in this incident. Pic left, show the rescue efforts near Achanagal village where an entire family was washed away along with their home.

the broken highway with the recently laid side-girders ominously dangling in midair. Below the road, the survivors argued about apathetic local councillors - they, apparently did not make adequate arrangements for burial of the unfortunate. Whether the rest of the families residing below the road, in what looks like a tightly packed unplanned semi-urban outgrow, are brave or simply bullheaded, it is hard to say. Did they get enough evacuation warning or any warning at all is not the point. Why must they live in such dangerous settings? (20 or more, people died at a similar outgrow near Ooty - they were literally washed away).

As with the driver’s family of eight, who perished that night, none will ever know what circumstances actually led to their untimely demise. The rest of us have hints - excessive road widening, unnatural species of trees like eucalyptus alongside arterial roads, lack of proper chanelling of running water, unchecked and unplanned commercial development on the upper regions leading to soil erosion, improper housing growth below, lack of appropriate tree cover (shola type), too much heavy vehicular traffic And now there is the new threat - climate change. 82 cms of rain was recorded in Ketti, on that fateful night!

Indiscriminate building has been the reason for the recent castastrophe that the Nilgiris faced, was a strong opinion voiced by a local, recently. He was countered by another who pointed out that this could not be entirely true, since a particular large tree (eucalyptus), on a hill slope along the main highway, came down without having a construction or construction activity around it. Road widening is therefore the cause added another, who was overhearing the conversation. Wherever large constructions like schools and hotels were put up, land had eroded, justified the first opinion maker. Which of these assumptions and allegations are true or baseless, how is the

It is time to stop talking.

lay person going to know? It is such unfounded discussions that generate opinion which may result in knee jerk reactions by policy makers. When roads were widened, it was lauded as tourism friendly, when building were being put up, each of it, educational, commercial or residential were amply justified. And most were built with due sanctions, a few even going the extra mile by being environment- friendly, particularly the leisure resort that we wrote of in the previous issue (which, apparently, for little fault of its own, suffered major repercussions from the rains).

What the government must do is to have experts, independent of any bias, to assess the situation, engage local fraternity, builders, educationists, citizen’s bodies and welfare organisations alike and to jointly come up with a future action plan that is all inclusive. The time to relook the Master Plan has also come. In short, all round and responsible leadership is the need of the hour even if it must come from the least expected source, the political class. Our deep felt condolences to the families of the bereaved. Editorial


Strokes, against odds

Artist-curator-gallery guide,

M Ravichandran’s life is his art, despite constraints.

Special Correspondent

Within the first couple of years of graduating from the Madras School of Fine Arts, Mr M Ravichandran took on the onerous job of managing and maintaining the one and only Govt Art Gallery in the State which had then been recently commissioned in Ooty by the Dept of Art & Culture. What is the purpose of an Art Gallery? ‘It helps provide artists a platform to present their work while introducing to the public, the wonderful field of art and its intricacies.’ The Govt Art Gallery, situated a little beyond Charing Cross, enroute ATC market, houses numerous paintings depicting local traditions and the culture of various communities belonging mostly to South India. Some paintings on local Nilgiri tribes are on exhinit too. One painting that this curator-by-default has done, is of an Irula musician (background in pic, right). ‘It took me around 4 days to finish this painting,’ says Mr Ravichandran. ‘I usually make

a lot of notes while on site, that is when

I am at a tribal settlement. Plenty of

observation is the key to a good final output. It is important to project the essence of the subject. Colour and design


are essential but the message is more important.’

What made you take up art? ‘My parents did not think I will get too far in school,’ admits the artist, laughing, ‘The art college was a chance’. The move turned out correct - the young

M Ravichandran was awarded the

coveted ‘best artist of the year’ on graduation. There were bigger awards in store, one

being the President’s gold medal which

he received in 2007 - some of his

paintings adorn the Rashtrapathi Bhavan chambers! Awards and accolades notwithstanding, the conditions at the

art gallery are supposedly not very

encouraging. ‘I have to work against odds here at Ooty, being the only employee

of this art gallery. It is crucial that the Government gives more attention to this unique facility but for several years now, it has been a lone and uphill struggle

for me,’ says Mr Ravichandran, adding

that financial support for the place is also meagre and he, more often than not, dips into his own pockets to keep things going. Locally, several schools have shown interest in sending their students to learn the nuances of painting and the artist has conducted numerous workshops to help propogate the interest for art and painting. ‘Visitors to the district must make it a point to drop in. The gallery will give them a deeper understanding of various cultures.’ This timeless and rich form of human expression that is painting, must be sustained and passed on, especially in the trouble torn times that beset us today for art provides relief and hope. It also inspires the human spirit to go beyond both enforced or self imposed prejudices of the world. It unifies. Perhaps this is what keeps the gallery and its guide going.

this is what keeps the gallery and its guide going. Spirited strokes: M Ravichandran’s art inspires.

Spirited strokes:

M Ravichandran’s art inspires. His conditions of work do not. The artist nevertheless, presses on with self infused hope and inspiration.

Recipe: Maasu Neeru or Benguvae Udhakka (A Badaga preparation)

Ingredients Dried Bean Seeds 1/2 cup Coconut [grated] 1 cup Ripe Tomatoes 4 nos Small Onions (peeled) 1 cup Garlic 8 to 10 pods Curry Leaf (as desired) Big Onions (finely chopped) 1 Oil 3 tsp Mustard 1/4 tsp Chilly Powder 2 to 3 tsp Add salt to taste

Roast the beans till they

splutter and soak in water for 10 mins. Grind the coconut, tomatoes, small onions and garlic. Keep aside.Heat the oil. Allow the mustard seeds to splutter. Add chopped onions and fry till golden brown. Add the coconut mixture, roasted beans, chilly powder, salt and sufficient water. Let it cook till the beans are soft. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve hot with rice or chapattis.

(Good for a bad cold!)


Recipe sent in by subscriber of TheLocal, Mrs Shanthi Mani, Coonoor.


Indu K Mallah

I have run my lap of the relay, In the race for justice;

I want to hand over the baton,

but there is no one to take it.

It is not a level playing-field, There are too many hurdles, And insolent might still holds sway Over committed right.

I find myself batting against

The wind of Power Politics.

I have run my lap of the relay,

I am tired, and want to hand over

the baton, Will somebody, anybody, take it?


Sruthi Herbal Laboratories, a decade old family run herbals and cosmetics enterprise, uses traditionally acquired
Sruthi Herbal Laboratories,
a decade old family run herbals
and cosmetics enterprise, uses
traditionally acquired knowledge
combined with scientific methods
of manufacturing processes.
Our production facility has the
locational advantage of a
pollution-free environment
and the availability of naturally
grown herbs from the Nilgiri
region and beyond.
The firm is dedicated
to providing the highest
quality Ayurvedic herbal
formulations at an affordable
price. We believe that the
regular use of Ayurvedic herbs
can promote a unique lifestyle
that encompasses healthy diet,
stress free mind and a relaxed
mind body harmony, all in
tune with the laws of
Some of the naturally procured
herbs being processed for use in
diabetes related herbal remedies
shown below.
Herbal remedies for Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic life-long disease in which the body cannot properly convert food
into energy. Most food that a person eats, is eventually broken down into blood
glucose (also called blood sugar) which cells need for energy and growth. Insulin
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DiabPowder TM is a combination of some unique herbs like Meshasringi, Meghavarna,
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of glucose from the liver and helps achieve tighter control of body glucose levels and
keeps it within safe limits.
Deer Park. Quietly tucked away at the far end of the Ooty lake is the
Deer Park.
Quietly tucked away at the far end of the Ooty
lake is the Deer Park, managed and maintained
by the Forest Deparment. The concept is simple:
a set of deer, of a particular species is brought
here from the wild, to be returned after a short
spell. The next set will be another type of deer.
The species in picture is the Samber Deer
(Cervus Unicolour). Its average height is 75
cm to 100 cm and weight is 175 kgs. They are
good swimmers and are more active at night,
taking rest during day. The Deer Park is 3 km
from Ooty town. Children will be delighted
at the up front and close experience.
pics: Staff Photographer
No. 18, Church Road, Bedford; Coonoor,Tamilnadu. Fireextinguishersystem Firealarmsystem Firesprinklersystem
No. 18, Church Road, Bedford;
UBC Fire Safety (P) Ltd is one of the largest
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Incorporated in 1997, the organisation,
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decade of providing fire safety solutions,
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cover story Special attention required. The Local Correspondent Special education is yet to gain the
cover story
Special attention required.
The Local Correspondent
Special education is yet to gain the momentum it
requires, inspite of enough laws covering rights of
children with disability. Efforts locally, by a clutch of
institutions and individuals are encouraging.
Involuntary joy: Volunteering, especially in the sphere of special education, brings a
great sense of fulfilment and happiness, feel long time volunteers like Mrs Mala Ramasamy
(inset) of Udhavi, a centre for children with special needs. ‘Enough hands are hard to come by nevertheless’, says the co-founder
of this successful centre. Pic above, shows the structured agenda for children with special needs, at a special school locally.
pic Staff photographer


Isolation of children with special needs (CWSN) was not uncommon until the 18th century. Early efforts include the school for the blind started by Valentine Huay in 1785, in Paris. Fr. De L’epee developed an early version of finger spelling for the deaf and Jean Marc Gaspard Itard’s case study of ‘The Wild Boy of Aveyron’ is a pioneering work in the field of education for the mentally challenged. In India, the first school for the deaf was set up in Mumbai in 1883 and a school for the blind in Amritsar in 1887. Since then, there are nearly 4000 schools today, that meet the needs of special children. However, in trying to provide a solution, the problem of segregation became more stark. How inclusive is society today? The question has been raised time and again. For example, at the governmental level itself, the principal of a leading school in Delhi had noted in her dissertation that while education comes under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, education for those with disabilities comes under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. ‘Nothing can be a more telling statement of how disability is perceived in this country,’ she writes. The culture of segregration of the disabled is rather wedged in. Locally, the repercussions of this culture is evident when

not seek assistance? From a more critical standpoint, why is awareness lacking on early detection (see section right) ? It is related in large part to the stigma attached to having a child who is perceivably, not normal. The grandmother of a two and a half year old special child, in a rural pocket near Coonoor, hastily points out to this correspondent that her two other grand daughters are ‘quite alright and are doing well in school’ . The bottom line here is evident - the child is considered not competent or is incapable of doing what the so-called normal children do. But, on what basis society decides to classify what is normal or otherwise, is an elusive question. ‘When we try to fit the child with special needs into a fixed agenda (curriculum) we, as a society, are considered to be non- inclusive. To be inclusive is to build everything around the child’, states Mrs Leela Krishnaraj, a veteran in the field of special education locally.‘ What is needed is high levels of acceptance and a deep understanding that there are those amongst us who are, as is termed, differently-abled. It is important to spot the abilities and hone them. Otherwise, it is us who are creating disabilities by making them conform to our general practices and structures’, the senior lady emphasises. Day care centres for special children, like Udhavi in Coonoor, provide a

for special children, like Udhavi in Coonoor, provide a one chooses to see a little further

one chooses to see a little further than the obvious, the obvious being children going to schools, learning what they should and scoring marks enough to compete and co- habitate in the outside world. Ask, for instance, the average rural inhabitant in the Nilgiris if there are any children with special needs in the vicinity and you will hear, after much hestation, that there are indeed, cases of CWSN to be found. Why do the parents

stepping stone to inclusion but with the numbers of children managed by a clutch of other special schools in the Nilgiris including the 12 children here and the 27 resident inmates of the school set up by the National Trust at Ooty totalling barely fifty, there is definitely much more that needs to be done. ‘We feel there are many who we need to reach out to and support’, says Mrs Shrimati

Contd overleaf

Early intervention

LikLikLikLikLikeeeee never before, we see today, amongst us, so many children with difficulties. And we often ask ourselves, “Is it only nowadays that so many children are born with so many different difficulties or is that they were always there amongst us and we did not really think of them as very different from us, probably because we were not aware of disabilities then as we are now?” While it is true that the incidence of disabilities is increasing, it is also true that there is more awareness (not enough though) and therefore we are able to identify children or people with disabilities more frequently.

A “Taare Zameen Par” is possible today. What

the movie showcases, however, is only a very small percentage of the various neurological disorders that affect our children today, the world over. What is ironical is that with awareness today, there is also greater expectation from children about what they should accomplish and when. This creates a deeper rift between children with special needs and those without. There is more exclusion now than inclusion. While on the one hand, sensitizing society to children or people with disabilities must take place, children with special needs must be equipped with the life skills they need to survive in this world and help them overcome their difficulties so that they may live an independent life in future. This can only happen with early intervention.

A child’s development is greatly influenced by

factors in his/her environment and the experiences she/he has through their interaction with the environment. This interaction both stimulates and influences the pattern of connections made between nerve cells at a very early age. These connections in turn influence the development in all areas – social, emotional, physical, communication and in learning.

Children with special needs are deprived of this enriching experience that promotes development

due to their disability. This results in an uneven profile – lagging behind in some and doing well


others. Research has shown that by age 6 most


the brain structure is mature and it becomes

Contd on p 13

The Integrated Education for Disabled Children Scheme, launched in 1974, to admit children with disabilities in regular schools. * The District Primary Education Programme, 1985, which acknowledges the fact that universalisation of education is possible only if it includes children

with disabilities. * The National Policy on Education, 1986, which promotes the integration of children with mild disabilities into the mainstream.

* The Project Integrated Education for the Disabled, launched in 1987, which encourages all schools in a neighbourhood to enroll children

with disabilities. * The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, which recommends making changes in assessment and curriculum, and removing architectural barriers, to support inclusion. It also recommends providing free books and uniform for children with disabilities. * The National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Retardation and Multiple Disability, 1999, which recommends promotion of inclusive education. * The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA, 2000), which pledges that the "SSA will ensure that every child with special needs, irrespective of the kind, category and degree of disability, is provided education in an appropriate environment". * The Amendment to the Constitution in 2001, to make education a fundamental right for those in the 6-14 age group, which covers children with disabilities.


Special attention required

Sridhar, social worker and experienced volunteer at the Coonoor centre, who, it was

Contd from previous page

staff (incidentally mothers of two resident children) and is a model school for other regions, it is stated. But the line of demarcation is growing. Inclusion is a philosophy built on the belief that all people are equal and should be respected and valued as an issue of basic human rights. It also means an ‘unending set of processes’ in which children and adults with disabilities have the opportunity to participate fully in all community activities offered to people who do not have disabilities. It is also widely accepted that children with special needs learn better in the company of common school children. Mrs Krishnaraj’s school is an inclusive model. 14 of her teachers are trained special educators who are continuously innovating and adapting their approach and internal systems to match the evolving needs of all children. ‘It is a constant challenge but it is fulfilling’, says the Principal. She adds that a lot of effort is usually required to help parents come to terms. Mrs Krithika Jayaraman who started Maanas, a day care centre for special children in Kotagiri, agrees, pointing out that most parents of special children still don’t see themselves as part of the solution, instead placing too much dependence and

Early intervention


Contd from previous page

evident, took a lot of effort to reassure the parents of the little girl from the rural pocket near Coonoor, who has a severe disability, that the child and the family will experience


difficult to make significant changes in growth and development after this time. So the need for early intervention. Parents (prospective parents included), must be familiar with the standards in the growth and development of the child – to be alert to signs that may indicate delay in development in any of the areas mentioned above. As parents, if we are interacting with our child closely enough as required at any stage in infancy, we are bound to sense this delay. Why, for instance, is my baby not exhibiting that smile of recognition when she sees me? Did my child skip the crawling stage? Why is my boy not using both hands during play? Is there a pattern in my child’s behaviours? Why is he not babbling? My child was speaking at least 10 words at 1½ years. Why has she stopped speaking them now? Parents must be proactive


certain level of alleviation through the

various activities at the centre and that they


must be regular to their therapy sessions. On further querying, the mother of this special child had disclosed that there were two other children with special needs that she knew of, near her place of residence! Laws governing this sphere are numerous (box, previous pg). However, in reality, legislation hasn’t seemed to have helped. The National Sample Survey Organisation's 2002 report on 'Disabled Persons in India' and the draft policy for persons with disabilities, prepared by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, stated that 55 percent of those with disabilities are illiterate. This is a ‘very large and unacceptable percentage,’ said the draft.


study conducted by the National Centre

Why is my baby not exhibiting that smile of recognition when she sees me? Did my child skip the crawling stage? Why is my boy not using both hands during play? Is there a pattern in my child’s behaviours? Why is he not babbling? My child was speaking at least 10 words at 1½ years. Why has she stopped speaking them now?

in their interactions with their pediatrician. They must not rest when they have doubts; they could go for a second opinion, read up

for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People disclosed shocking facts of discrimination against those with disabilities.


In a survey of 89 schools across the country

  In a survey of 89 schools across the country information from books, the Internet (authentic

information from books, the Internet (authentic

sources are available)

If we find that our

it was found that a mere 0.5 percent of the total number of students were those with disabilities, though the Persons with Disabilities Act recommends a reservation

expectation on the schools. ‘Special education is a joint effort which includes the parents and their immediate society too. It is the preconditions that the family and community places on the child and its parents that is overwhelming,’ ,’ she reiterates. On the occasion of Children’s Day the key shift in our minds must come from one of the ten-points found in the Declaration from Disabled Peoples International. It states; ‘We call upon the world’s media to recognize us as equal members of our own societies and to portray us as such and not as passive objects of charity!

children are not doing what they ought to, at a particular stage, we must offer stimulation that will help them achieve required skills, quickly. Professional help can and should be sought if parents are at a loss. The earlier the intervention, the better will be the chances of helping children acquire the skills they lack.

Lakshmi Satish


three percent seats in institutions funded

by the government. Twenty percent of the schools polled were not aware of the 1995 Disability Act at all. The special school in Ooty, set up under The National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Retardation and Multiple Disability, under the purview of local bodies, supervised by the district Collector is a move in the right direction. With a strength of 27 children the facility is manned by a special educator and trained

The writer runs a special school In Chennai. She can be contacted on her telephone, 98840 86940



Call 97905 90570 or email your

queries to

90570 or email your queries to e Contact details of some of the schools and


Contact details of some of the schools and organisations featured in this article: UdhaUdhaUdhaUdhaUdhavivivi,vivi Darlington Bridge, Coonoor, contact Mrs Shrimati Sridhar, 94436 09669. MaanasMaanasMaanas,MaanasMaanas C/o Havakal Estate, Kotagiri contact Mrs Krithika Jayaraman, (04266) 271756, NationalNationalNationalNationalNational TTTTTrustrustrustrustrust SchoolSchoolSchoolSchoolSchool for Welfare for Persons with Autism, Cerebral retardation and Multiple disability, Garden Road, Ooty, contact Mrs Arul Mary, 94887 66616. TinyTinyTinyTinyTiny TTTTTotsotsotsotsots NurNurNurNurNurseryseryseryserysery &&&&& PrimaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimary SSSSSchoolchoolchoolchoolchool ----- CentrCentrCentrCentrCentreeeee forforforforfor IIIIInclusnclusnclusnclusnclusiiiiivvvvveeeee EEEEEducationducationducation,ducationducation Coonoor, contact Mrs Leela Krishnaraj, (0423) 2231076.


promotional feature

“The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, or
“The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, or removal and
annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, on
easily comprehensible principles.” - Dr Samuel Hahnemann, German scientist & founder of Homoeopathy.

Dr Helen Shanthi BHMS, FCIP, trained at Father Muller Homoeopathic Medical College, Mangalore. Her association with the discipline began at an early age itself due to her father’s influence (a staunch believer in homoeopathic remedies). Dr Helen, in a recent interview, responds to key questions on specific areas such as cure for diabetics, child health and ailments in the elderly, like arthiritis. Clarifications on misconceptions regarding the discipline were also addressed during the interaction. Some excerpts:

How would you explain homoeopathic treatment to a lay person? Homoeopathy is scientific, logical, safe, quick and an extremely effective method of healing. It offers long lasting to permanent cure for most of the ailments. Homoeopathy does not treat superficially by just driving away the symptoms but heals the patient from within. It works on a clear understanding of the individual, using remedies that are homogenous to the person’s physiological nature, hence the term homoeopathy.

At what age and upto what age, can one resort to homeopathic treatment ? Every age group responds well to homeopathic treatment. It works well in little children as well as it does in the elderly. In fact, expectant mothers can also take to homoeopathy treatment to bolster the child’s immunity. In

the case of any untoward infection in the mother-to-be, homoeopathic remedies work best since there is no adverse impact on the foetus.

Is homoeopathy treatment very stringent? What about side effects? I would certainly say homoeopathic treatment requires discipline on the part of the individual.There are strict timings of dosage that need to be followed. The important aspect to note however, is that homoeopathy treatment reduces over time and the ailment progressively cures. As for side effects, there are none.

Are there any specific diet restrictions? There are no diet restrictions except for coffee intake, which is discouraged. Caffeine in the coffee has a negative reaction on the treatment.

What if an individual is already on allopathy treatment? If the individual is under allopathic treatment, stopping the treatment and adopting homoepathic remedies will not have any adverse influence. I must add here that homoeopathy also helps avoid surgery. Many diseases which are labelled as ' surgical' can be cured through homoeopathy. Some such ailments are tonsilitis, piles, fissure in ano, fistula, appendicitis, vocal cord nodules, kidney and Biliary stones, small size uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, warts, corns, varicose veins and non-healing ulcers.

Homoeopathy is excellent also for psychosomatic ailments like migraine, asthma, acidity and peptic ulcer. As I had mentioned earlier, treatment is based on the patient's mental make-up and the remedies act at the level of mind and body together.

What type of conditions are best suited to homoeopathic treatment? Homoeopathy, being a near complete system of medicine is applicable to all kinds of ailments and diseases, including even new age disease such as H1N1. One can resort to homoeopathy for any ailment from cold to cancer though in the case of chronic ailment, it is essential to treat in the early phases. At the later stages, when the disease advances to an incurable level, homoeopathy can offer little for cure but even then, it can help alleviate the pain.

What are the most common types of cases you encounter in the Nilgiris? Here, in the Nilgiris, I come across chronic conditions of arthiritis, diabetes and hypertension. We also encounter several cases of asthma. The fulfilling aspect of being a homoeopathic doctor is that there is the confidence that every case can be treated and cured, provided it is not in an advanced stage.

Tell us about diabetes treatment through homoeopathy? Homoeopathy is best for diabetes, where the medicines rejuvenate the body cells to maintain normal blood sugar, stimulate pancreas to secrete insulin


Legal Provisions regarding



Contd from p 2

removal of a liquor shop


‘Sister‘Sister‘Sister‘Sister‘Sister EdEdEdEdEdwwwwwarararararddddd was the kindest person I have met,’ says Mr Augustine, one of the oldest residents at The Little Sisters of the Poor - Home for the Aged, in Coonoor. ‘I believed she was a saint. To be in her company was to have been blessed,’ says Mrs Suarez, long time donor and well wisher of the Home. ‘Even as she got older, Sr Edward was very observant; she would instantly know when anyone at the home was not alright. “Something is wrong with him”, she would tell us. “He is

from a locality.

Nithyananda teachings.

joy. You will then never be self- contradictory. Every time you drink, drink with complete awareness. Let me explain: Every time you drink, drink consciously, slowly, watching every movement of yours, tasting every drop of the drink, watching the reaction of your body to it. Make it a process filled with acute awareness. I assure you, if you do this every time you decide to drink, you do not have to drop the habit, the habit will leave you forever.

Addiction to anything is an unconscious or mechanical process. It is not just addiction to drinks or tobacco. It is addiction to even religion. People who pray unconsciously and mechanically, following a routine, will find it very hard if they miss even one day’s prayer. For them, it is an addiction and so it causes anxiety when missed. Just like when an alcoholic misses his evening drink, he starts trembling in insecurity, the mechanically religious person will feel a big void if he misses his routine prayer. The key is to understand the difference between doing things with awareness and doing things mechanically and out of fear. Doing things in the former fashion will never bring you under any sort of binding. It will not bind you in space and time. You will be a master. Doing things in the latter way will bind you and cause misery to you. You will be a slave. To drop an addiction, flood it with awareness; it will transform in the right way. Remember:

Never think that you need to drop an addiction. Anything that you resist will persist. You simply need to transform it by deep awareness, that’s all. When you understand the language of transformation, you are on the right track; you are on the path of openness.

To watch video clips of Paramahamsa Nithyananda’s talks, log on to lifeblissfoundation. You may also log on to for meditation program details.

Sister Edward passes away

Sister Edward passes away Pic, courtesy: Little Sisters of the Poor

Pic, courtesy: Little Sisters of the Poor


Sr Edward would know everything

about every body at the home,’ recalls the present Mother Superior. An American national, Sr Edward first came to India in 1950 where she began her service at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Chennai. As a Provincial (a highly senior position within the Order), the senior lady travelled to several countries in the region, ably guiding the various Homes for the Aged in these places. Always ready to listen to and comfort people, Sr Edward’s services at the Home for the Aged in Coonoor, where she spent her final years since 2002, will be remembered with deep gratitude.

Sr Edward passed away at the age of 88. She died on October 27, 2009.

Special Correspondent

Homeopathy questions answered

Contd from previous page

and prevent diabetic complications. At first detection of diabetes, resorting to homoeopathy rightaway gives quick results. Even if the person is under any other form of treatment, the homoeopathic remedies can be administered alongside it. If allopathy treatment was being given, it will be gradually tapered off. One important benefit of homoeopathy is that it can be stopped for long durations after sugar levels are brought down and may be resumed when necessary. Regular check ups are essential, however. Diet and exercise is also key.

What is contained in homoeopathic medicine? Homoeopathy is the only system with the ‘magic of minimum dose’. It has a unique approach of the method of preparation of the drugs in which the end result will contain only the 'dynamic curative power' of the drug. The over 2500 homoeopathic medicines, despite being prepared from sources such as vegetables, minerals and chemicals, among others, are devoid of any original crude substance by a mode of preparation called potentization. Hence homoeopathic remedies with its ultra

minute dose are non-toxic, absolutely harmless and bring about safe and sure cure.

What is the key element in the patient- doctor relationship? It is very important, in the initial interactions, for both the doctor and the individual (in homoeopathy we genreally do not refer to anyone as a patient) to communicate freely. As I mentioned earlier, it is vital for the doctor to not only understand the physiological condition of the person but to also assess the psychological aspects. Likewise, the person must clearly understand the concept of homoeopathy. I would like to add here that once the doctor understands the individual thoroughly, in the event of any future ailment, the diagnosis and treatment is much quicker and more effective now that the person’s unique information is readily available and is understood by both!

Dr Helen Shanthi has a homoeopathy clinic in Coonoor. She may be contacted on her telephone no. 98420 48070. To visit: Redeemer Homoeopathy Clinic, ISSU Building, Bedford, Coonoor.


enterpriselocal issue

History, if we don’t learn from it, can repeat itself.

‘The book will especially help our younger generation to understand the magnitude of that event (Partition of India), allowing deep introspection and comparisons into the strife that besets the globe today with the glimmer of hope that the human spirit kindles

with the glimmer of hope that the human spirit kindles Do people care about history? ‘I

Do people care about history? ‘I believe that if we don’t learn from it, history has its way of repeating itself,’ says the visiting writer from the US, Punjabi-born, Mrs Neena Kahlon. Her recently launched book, Juice Mango, is based on the collateral damage that the partition of India caused to thousands along the present borders of

the nation. The perspective is that of a 9 year old Sikh girl who comes to terms with what is happening around her during that terrible period, without quite knowing why it is happening. She has responsibilities to fulfill amid her personal loss and tragedy. ‘The book will especially help our younger generation to understand the magnitude of that event, allowing deep introspection and comparisons into the strife that afflicts the globe today. On an individual level, hope is the underlying essence of Ratna’s story. Calamitous times and pain is an integral part of life. Not everyone has to see suffering of this kind but if it must come upon us, the human spirit is capable of coping and conquering. It is the spirit that prevails, himmat, as they say in Punjabi,’ says the scholarly lady, emphatically. Did it take a lot of research to put together this gripping work (an NDTV newsreader, based in Delhi - where the writer had visited a week earlier, to launch the book, is said to have sat up till 2 in the morning to finish it!) ? ‘So much of the examples and episodes of everyday life, in rural Punjab, are etched in my own memory as a little girl,’ says the writer. ‘I would frequently dip into

that reservoir of memories. The ‘mango parties’ that we would have is one of them.’ The metaphoric effect that the juice mango has, right through the book, is rather evident. It has a leading effect. It conveys hope amid strife. What type of leadership is essential today? ‘I think change is vital for all of us to comprehend and facilitate in our lives. I see, for example, many deep set cultural aspects in our society which are being followed just because they have been followed. It is time to shrug off the yoke of unquestioning acceptance and to change. It is what the world is inspired by today. In all the strife and struggle that is around us, leadership that believes change is not only imminent but in our own hands, is to be upheld. There must, at the same time, be a consensus and deep sensitivity to the concerns of others.’ In her own quiet storytelling way, the writer has shown leadership through her writing. ‘Sheer advice goes unheeded. Information and interpretation based on historical events and episodes will engage the reader.’ Juice Mango, by picking up the pieces of our history, deliberately reconstructing the travails and its triumphs, is bound to go a long way down in history.

A miracle


Happy home:

From left, Mr ‘ever ready’ Maria Das, the Mother Superior Sr Maria Goretti, Mr Augustine, Sr Odile, Mr Kandaiah.

Sr Maria Goretti, Mr Augustine, Sr Odile, Mr Kandaiah. ‘AAAAA miracle happens every day’, says Sr

‘AAAAA miracle happens every day’, says Sr Maria Goretti, head of the Little Sisters of the Poor, Home for the Aged, Coonoor. With 75 inmates and 12 little sisters, the Nilgiri wing of this worldwide organisation founded in France in the late 1700s, by Saint Jeanne Jugan (recently cannonised) is a fine example of efficiency, where everyone pitches in to keep the wheels moving. Donors keep the engine running. The Home runs on collections that the sisters tirelessly collect from generous locals, following the example of their foundress, centuries ago. ‘Some benefactors land at our doorstep and

make a contribution. That’s our miracle of the day!’, says Sr Goretti with a smile

To know how to make a donation: Call: (0423) 2206738

Special educators constantly innovate.

A green sock and a red sock is what Heike Freese, special educator from Bremen, Germany, wore one day to the special school Udhavi that she is volunteering at in Coonoor.‘I drew the attention of the young children to my odd socks and there was great amusement all around’’, says the spirited lady, adding ‘but there was a bigger purpose to my actions.’ The next day when this six- and-a-half footer walked in to the day school, it seems the young lad at the entrance, Aashiq, focussed his sight on her feet and wouldn’t look up until Heike lifted her trousers slightly to reveal the green-red! ‘Children with special needs are a lot more intelligent than we realise. Only that their comprehension of everything around them is different from what larger society believes. Which is why inclusive methods of teaching and guidance must be woven around each child and not the other way around.’ Heike’s unusual approach took many by surprise, including the neighbouring shopkeepers and passers-by on the Darlington Bridge road in upper Coonoor where the day school is situated. ‘People found it odd to respond, I could tell, when Prakash (one of the older children at the centre) would say namaste on some of our initial walks outside the centre. It’s the getting used to, that matters. The challenge is with society and its acceptance.’ What does it take to be a special educator? Definitely, an open mind, one that is constantly identifying the needs of the child

and thinking up innovative ways to reach out’. How long does it take for a child to develop trust? ‘Sometimes a couple of days but sometimes even a few months!’ ‘I recall when I first began work with the children, Mrs Latika Rao (the chief counsellor and special educator at Udhavi) would encourage the children to point out to signs, words and diagrams on the specially constructed boards helping them understand where I come from. Aashiq, who likes to communicate with us in English, pointed to the ‘where’ chart quite easily. I then gestured with my arms wide open, moving up and down to show a plane to explain that I am from overseas. We are yet to introduce him to an atlas but that will happen soon enough!’ Ms. Freese’s community work back in Germany involved working with large sections of society towards a ‘violence free environment’. It was a decade long collective objective in Bremen and other parts of the world. From here, the volunteer leaves for South Africa to work with children living with HIV. ‘I find working with children here fulfilling and it is of course a huge learning for me. Some of the challenges that the special children face here are tremendous.’ The special educator also taught maths- music-sports at a German school in Mumbai years ago, which marked her first visit to India. Parting message from this multi- talented individual for locals? Greater

special education

talented individual for locals? Greater special education contribution and support from society for special education

contribution and support from society for special education is the need of the hour, both in the form of donations and helping hands. More attention needs to be paid to these wonderful people amidst us.’


Published on behalf of The Local Media Publishing Co,. by Edwin David from 10/363-Y-1, Indiranagar; Avk Post, The Nilgiris. Printed at Satya Press, no. 50 Kariappa Street; Purasaiwalkam, Chennai - 7. Editor: Edwin David