SCHOOLING IN SAFE CONFINES OF HOME

Worry over safety of girl students on campus – SCHOOLING IN SAFE CONFINES OF HOME

Vidya.Iyengar @timesgroup.com TWEETS @BangaloreMirror

 

India group For Homeschoolers and Alternative Education has received 160 enquiries -60 per cent from the city -since the rape of a six-year-old girl student came to light

Following the alleged rape of a six-year-old girl student at an upmarket school in the city, the last two weeks have seen a sudden increase in the number of parents wanting to homeschool their children. Dr. S. P. Mathew, the Mumbai-based group administrator for the India group For Homeschoolers and Alternative Education, says he was surprised at the “sudden increase in the number of enquiries”. Previously, he would get around five enquiries a day, of which only one would be from Bangalore. Ever since the rape incident came to light, though, Mathew has received a total of 160 calls -60 per cent of them from the city.

“To homeschool one’s child is a major decision”says Mathew, who homeschools his three children aged 15, 11 and eight. “But seeing what’s happening in Bangalore, parents are beginning to feel homeschooling might be a safer option”

Rekha (name changed on request), a software professional, is one such parent from Bangalore, who reached out to Mathew for help. Her six-year old son is a class I student at the same school where the six-year-old was allegedly raped in the school premises by a staff member. While the school is set to re-open next week, Rekha is still debating whether to send her son back to school. “The school is saying that they will install more CCTV cameras and enhance security,” Rekha said.

“But how does that assure the safety of my child?” Already having paid an annual fee of Rs 25,000 and the fee of Rs 18,000 each for two quarters, she says that changing schools “now would mean shelling out a lakh of rupees”.

But money is not the main criteria for Rekha to think about homeschooling.

“We have lost confidence in the school,” she says. “They are so unethical.” For instance, she points out that there is no clarity as to whether the sports and performing arts activities will be continued at the school. “They offer skating classes. The instructor wanted us to buy a new pair of skates. And when I asked my son what he had learnt in the last one month, he says that they were shown videos on skating. Is that what I send my son to school for?”

Rekha has reached out to home school support groups. “My son wants to go to school. But with the same staff and management, I’ll never be at peace. With what faith can I send my son to be taken care of by the same coordinators under whose nose this (rape) incident has taken place?” Rekha, who has been contemplating quitting her job for a while now, is now seriously considering that decision. “Although homeschooling has several advantages, one of the reasons I’m taking time to decide is because my son is an only child. I don’t want him to get lonely,” she says.

In the last three years — between nursery, LKG and UKG — Rekha has spent Rs 3 lakh on her son’s education.

“I don’t see where all that money went. I myself could have taught him all that he has learnt in school.” She feels that the school has “washed off its hands” and shirked its responsibility. “We got a circular from the school on Friday stating that they will cooperate with the police and management to ensure that the culprit is brought to book. Even so, my problem is that they are not shouldering any responsibility. Now, it’s time for decisions; to think about alternate schooling.” As per Mathew’s estimate, in India between 1,000 and 2,000 parents homeschool their children.

WHEN PARENT TURNED TEACHER

When Rohini George, a medical physicist with the University of Maryland returned from the US three years ago, she felt that schools in Bangalore were too “business-oriented”. So convinced was she about it that she refused to even send her children to playschool.

Today, she homeschools her son fouryear-old son Isaac and three-year-old daughter Ziva .

George, who is part of homseschool support groups — India Group for Homeschoolers, Swashikshan —says that other parents who homeschool their children post their suggestions on these groups and the corresponding social networking sites and “it’s for

parents to pick up the books/methods they recommend.” At George’s home, school begins between 7 and 7: 30 am “with some bible time”, where her husband reads the kids a story and asks them questions after that. “My husband is also involved in teaching the kids,” she says.

During the first half of the day, they work on activities — threading beads, colouring, painting, playing with blocks, writing — and twice a week, they attend dance, art and soccer classes.

While George feels that she can manage teaching some of the subjects, like maths and science until class 10, she says that she might need to get a tutor for English and the languages.

“The results have been great. My son is happy and like most other homeschooled children — independent.” George insists that her children are not growing up in isolation. “Not at all.” She reasons that the children meet with many friends at the art, dance and soccer classes. Besides, they interact with adults at home.

“I don’t understand why children always have to be with those their own age. When they start working, they will have to work with those younger and older than them,” says the 37-year old mother.


Stop rescuing street kids

Government asks orphanage to shut down:

Vision in Social Arena aka VISA is an orphanage for approximately 40 children aged 6-18 situated in Mira Road north of Mumbai. It was started in 2000 by John Abraham who was moved by compassion for abandoned street children. Now the government has served him a notice asking him to shut down the organization, leaving the children crying and refusing to eat food, and John running from pillar to post to save the kids future.

Figure 1 The plight of abandoned street children in India

The kids call him Daddy, and he treats them like his own children. They get the love of a father, food, clothing and shelter.

Now all of that is threatened.

Why does the Government make it so hard for someone who wants to do some good work like this?

It turns out that you need to have a license to take care of street kids, and despite his best efforts John Abraham has not been granted a license yet. There are over 15 requirements that have to be fulfilled, including a Two Lakh Rupees Bank Guarantee. In fact, John Abraham has himself stated that the biggest bottleneck that prevents him from serving more children are Government regulations.

But no license is needed to dump your kids anywhere at all, abandoned to the wild world outside!?

How many kids are there on the streets today? No one knows exactly, but John Abraham himself has admitted that what he is doing is but a drop in the bucket.

What can you do to help?

Here are his contact details:

Vision in Social Arena visa97@rediffmail.com

 

You can see a video of VISA at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REdu7lU7IT0

Hope this moves you to consider the plight of street children. God bless you.

John’s motivation has been this verse from the book of James in the Bible: A religion that is pure and stainless according to God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows who are suffering, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

(James 1:27)

No poking, please!

Road safety is being taken seriously at last. Here is one more step to make driving safer especially for two wheelers who can suddenly hit these protruding rods which were being carried on trucks. Another important need is to ban trucks carrying sand and dirt which spill on the road and cause fatal skidding of two wheelers. In the UAE such trucks are fined the heaviest, with one fine going up to 50,000 INR or more.

No rods, poles: Trucks can’t carry cargo that pokes out

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MUMBAI: In a bid to make road journeys safer, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on Friday issued a public notice barring trucks and tempos, among other vehicles transporting goods, from carrying poles, iron rods and any such cargo that protrudes out and can be a danger to commuters.

HT PHOTO

Transporters will have to seek special permission to carry iron rods or poles and any such thing that can protrude out of their vehicles. If they don’t comply, they will have to pay a fine.

If any vehicle is found flouting this norm, it will invite a fine under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, stated the public notice.

“As per the earlier provision of the Motor Vehicles Act, vehicles transporting goods were allowed to carry material, which stick out up to one metre. But to make road journeys safer, the Union government has created this new provision in the l aw,” said Satish Sahasrabudhe, acting transport commissioner.

The regional transport offices (RTOs) have already been informed about the changed rule, he said, adding that RTO officials have been directed to ensure its implementation.

According to motor vehicle department officials, for transporting protruding material, transporters will have to seek special permission from various agencies, including their department.

“Transporters will have to apply for special permission, as taken by those transporting over-dimensional consignment,” said a senior motor vehicle department official.

RTO officials, however, feel that to deter transporters from flouting the norm, the Union government should increase the fine.

“Presently, a fine of Rs100 will be imposed on transporters flouting the norms,” said a senior RTO official, requesting anonymity. An increase in the fine amount will deter transporters from flouting the norm, he added.

  • 19 Jul 2014
  • Hindustan Times (Mumbai)
  • Kailash Korde Kailash.Korde@hindustantimes.com

3 Signs You’re Destined To ‘Make It Big

Who doesn’t dream of making it big? Of course, most people do. But do you have it in you to really make it big? Read on and find out for yourself!

3 Signs You’re Destined To ‘Make It Big’

adapted from an article by JACQUELYN SMITH
JUN 20, 2014, 09.08 PM

 

 

Almost everyone dreams of “making it big” one day – but very few people actually have what it takes, says Ariella Coombs, Careerealism.com’s managing editor, in a recent LinkedIn post.

Curious to know if you’re one of them?

Here are three signs you’re on the fast track to success, according to Coombs:

1. You’re (just a little) cocky.

If you want to achieve success and make it big, you’ve got to have confidence in yourself and your abilities, Coombs explains. “Without confidence, you can so easily get crushed by negativity and criticism – things you will have to deal with once you hit the spotlight.”

You also have to trust yourself, she adds. “And you have to have a deep understanding that you’re going to make it.”

2. You’re extremely curious.


In order to succeed, Coombs says you need to have an innate fascination with whatever it is you’re working toward. “You’ve got to learn as much as you can about the industry, the people, the culture, and so on. You need to want to be consumed by it. You’ve got to understand the problems and be excited about finding solutions. You’ve got to be passionate, excited, and curious about all areas of the biz.”

3. You’ve got a road map, but you’re prepared to take detours.


“They say success is where preparation and opportunity meet,” Coombs says. So, when opportunity comes your way, you’re going to want to have a plan already in place. “Think of it as your road map to making it big.”

But, you should also know that nothing ever goes exactly according to plan.

“You need to be able to adapt to whatever life throws at you,” she says. “Think of those things as detours. They’re not a huge deal as long as you figure out how to get back on the main road.”

Click here to read the full LinkedIn post.

I agree with most of what is written, and would like to add that the heart is most important. God bless you and give you a heart that glorifies Him and always remains humble when you make it big.

Digital Dementia and you

Nowadays everywhere we look, we see teenagers and youth literally worshipping their hand held devices, or we see that they are online most of their waking hours.

 


 

It is an epidemic of the most deadly proportions and yet we rarely see anyone even complaining about it.

 


 

That is why I really loved this post dated June 2014 by Lee Binz from The HomeScholar

 

It’s a new world, with changes we could not have imagined years ago. Many of the changes are awesome and wonderful, and yet there are things that are very concerning. Experts are now warning us about a new problem called “Digital Dementia” caused by overuse of technology (1). Some children as young as 4 years old are so addicted to digital devices that they require psychological treatment (2). Psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow warns that social media “may also be the tobacco industry of our times – one day facing massive lawsuits for fueling anxiety disorders and mood disorders in millions of people.”

 
 

Even with all these concerns, the public schools emphasize, promote, and encourage online learning that may not be appropriate for all children. Thankfully, as homeschoolers we get to determine boundaries for our own children. But how do you determine appropriate technology boundaries that work for you and your family? Let’s talk about common sense boundaries that work, why they’re important, and symptoms of big technology issues.

 
 

12 Reasons for Setting Technology Boundaries


    • Personal safety concerns from revealing too much online
    • Protecting children from cyber-bullying, or ensuring they don’t bully others
    • Preventing exposure to pornography and inappropriate language and interactions
    • Sleep disorders resulting from technology use before bed and sleep interruptions during the night when digital devices are in the bedroom
    • Safety problems involving texting while driving and even walking without situational awareness
    • Technology can rewire the brain, causing memory problems and difficulty thinking clearly (3)
    • Technology can interfere with normal childhood experiences and development
    • Violent games have been linked with acts of aggression
    • Digital use can mean less social interaction and eye contact
    • Excessive use can cause fidgety, inattentive symptoms imitating ADHD
    • Technology overuse can cause mental disorders and stress-related illnesses
    • Video games are designed to be addictive (4)

     
     

    10 Ways to Create Wholesome Technology Boundaries

  • Control the Location

    Start with the easiest way to control technology – location. Many of the major problems created by technology can be solved by simply controlling the location of all digital devices. No computers or cell phones in the bedroom or bathroom, or at the dining table. Keep technology in public areas where you can easily supervise use. Keep all screens facing public areas of your home, to monitor appropriate online interaction.

  • Control Time

    Set a clear time limit and set a timer to monitor it. Consider limiting digital device usage to one or two hours per day, unless being used for a homeschool project. Set clear expectations of no internet use after bedtime.

  • Control Content

    You can invest in Covenant Eyes (5) Filtering System or McAfee Safe Eyes (6) to establish parental control of the content accessed on the computer. Regularly check the download history and browsing history of all devices. Monitor social media, and for younger teens, parents should possess all passwords to their accounts.


  • Control Safety

    Make sure children do not give personal information about themselves online that could be used by strangers. Ensure children never send extremely personal photos of any kind, or of any person, or pass along photos others send to them online.

  • Exchange Activities

    Exchange digital devices for non-tech fun. Replace screen time with reading, projects, or family games. Consider having one or more “unplugged” nights each week so children understand what it’s like to have fun without the internet. Make sure the evening is FUN – with games, activities, and social time without electronic devices.

  • Model Behavior

    Parents can demonstrate self-control regarding technology. Show children that there are times for appropriate use of technology, but other times when it’s important to be free of digital media.

  • Family Meeting

    Spend time as a family discussing technology. Teach personal safety regarding cyber-bullying, pornography, sexting, and other issues as you see them in the news. Explain that your job as a parent is to check phones, social media accounts, and computer internet surfing history to ensure the safety of the entire family.

  • Teach Discernment

    Explain what is appropriate in the context of each device. Reinforce family rules. No inappropriate language or posting anything mean about anyone. No harassing or texting insulting comments about others, even when teens think the comments are private. Explain that the internet is forever, and even when something is “deleted” it is really just hidden and can still be easily discovered. Discuss digital addiction, personal safety, and future consequences of online behavior.

  • Establish Expectations

    Set clear boundaries on technology use, and then provide clear cause-and-effect consequences for violating family rules. Breaking rules demonstrates that teens are not able to moderate their own behavior, and you will need to do that for them by removing the device causing difficulty. Consistently following rules means teens are able to control their own behavior and can handle additional trust.

  • Create Balance

    Create a balanced educational plan. Teach technological skills, keyboarding and coding, providing 21st Century skills. At the same time, balance online education with non-digital, non-electronic coursework. Go technology-free and low-tech for coursework when possible. Seek a balance between fun involving technology and recreation that does not involve technology of any kind.

     
     

    9 Real Family Examples of Setting Successful Technology Boundaries


    These parents shared some wonderful ideas on The HomeScholar Facebook Page about successful boundaries that work in the homes of real families like yours.

  • Meals are for food and family, not technology. The rule is “no toys at the table” and that includes tech gadgets and books. 
    ~Dorie, Shannon, and Dawn
  • All technology must be brought to our designated place at bedtime. When the children forget, or if I have to remind them, they lose the privilege for using that device the following day. 
    ~Pamela
  • Technology must be turned in at the end of the day, with gadgets placed in chargers, or children aren’t allowed technology the next day. No technology when friends are over unless it’s specifically a planned “game” time. 
    ~Dre
  • Computer time is limited to the common area, where everyone in the family can easily see the screen. Children earn screen time through good behavior, or by reading real books. Parent screen time is only used when children are not around. 
    ~Jina
  • Nobody plays video games unless we ALL play video games. 
    ~Deb
  • When anyone is spoken to, their technology must be turned over, closed, or turned off, giving the speaker their undivided attention. We don’t allow technology in cars, because that is where family can come together and can share with each other, uninterrupted. 
    ~Dre
  • Video games are allowed if it is raining outside and the child is done with all other work or school. Isolation is not allowed, so children can’t play alone, and are limited to one hour 
    ~Melody
  • Gaming and videos are allowed only on weekends when we do not have outings. This usually amounts to two evenings a weekend at most. Otherwise, no TV or technology, because children have a lot of living to do! 
    ~Laura
  • We put all phones and handheld devices in a basket during dinner time. No-one is allowed to take their device out until dad says the meal time is over. We turn off all media at 9:00 so our brains have time to calm down and our spirits have time for quiet reflection before bed.
    ~Pam

    11 Long-term Consequences of Excessive Technology Use

     
     

    There are long-term, serious consequences of excessive technology use. Internet gaming disorder in particular is now mentioned in the appendix of the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) as a condition for which more research is required. (7) Consider these long-term consequences of excessive technology use.

  • Social media comparisons can cause intense feelings of loneliness or jealousy. Facebook has been called a “significant public health threat” by Dr. Ablow due to various studies. (8)
  • Digital dementia, deterioration of cognitive abilities, similar to a head injury or psychiatric illness can occur. People who rely on electronic devices often can’t remember important everyday details of life.
  • Brain development can be affected. Heavy digital users are likely to develop the left side of their brains, leaving the right side less used or underdeveloped.
  • Memory is damaged. The right side of the brain is linked with concentration and its failure to develop will affect attention span and memory. (9)
  • An Inside Higher Ed article (10) warns that 2 million US college students are addicted to computer games.
  • Excessive gaming is linked to lower academic performance.
  • Colleges are seeing a variety of internet-related disorders treated at campus health centers, such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, and social phobias.
  • Increased suicide risk.
  • Using technology to escape real life.
  • Depression and sadness.
  • Digital addiction: when a person lives much of their life online, and excessive internet or device use interferes with activities of daily living or social relationships.

    12 Symptoms of Serious Technology Abuse

     
     

    How can you tell if your teenager has serious technology issues? You will notice deteriorating social relationships and severe sleep disturbance, including waking up to check their digital devices or go online in the middle of the night. Their nutritional balance may suffer as they eat too little, too much, or consume only junk food. You may become concerned about lying and sneaking behaviors tied to the internet. School performance and job performance are affected. The child may exhibit depression or anger issues. They may show a strange euphoric happiness when online and a restlessness, irritability, or panic when offline. They often feel guilty about their technology use and feel that something isn’t quite right. They may experience blurred vision, headaches, or muscle aches related to constant use of technology. Watch for one big risk factor that can determine if excessive use will become an addiction:

     
     

    If a person is using technology to escape an aspect of daily life, then their technology use is more likely to cause severe problems.

     
     

    Check this list for symptoms of internet abuse developed by digital addiction specialists. Three or four “yes” answers suggest serious issues and five or more suggest addiction, according to Dr. Hilarie Cash, PhD. (11)

  • Increasing amounts of time spent on computer and internet activities
  • Failed attempts to control behavior
  • Heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and internet activities
  • Craving more time on the computer and internet
  • Neglecting friends and family
  • Feeling restless when not engaged in the activity
  • Being dishonest with others
  • Computer use interfering with job/school performance
  • Feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious, or depressed as a result of behavior
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities

    Technology is such a blessing, and can bring people together in wonderful ways. But technology can also be a curse – used by evil people, or affecting individuals prone to addiction. This is a new world, with new world problems. Wise parents educate themselves so they are aware of issues and can steer children clear of unnecessary bumps in the road to adulthood.

     
     

    What boundaries do YOU have for technology use in your home?

     
     

    Prevent the Zombie Apocalypse! 
    Set Technology Boundaries for Teens!

     
     


     
     

    Citations, Helpful Resources, and Additional Reading

  • (1) Surge in Digital Dementia
  • (2) Toddlers Becoming So Addicted to iPads They Require Therapy
  • (3) Shocking Ways the Internet Rewires the Brain
  • (4) Kids’ Video Games for Profit
  • (5) Covenant Eyes Filtering System
  • (6) McAfee Safe Eyes
  • (7) Internet Gaming Disorder in the DSM-5 (PDF Download)
  • (8) Studies show Facebook may be true, significant public health threat
  • (9) How Technology Is Warping Your Memory
  • (10) Excessive Gaming Linked to Lower Academic Performance
  • (11) Signs and Symptoms of Internet Addiction by Dr. Hilarie Cash, PhD. NetAddictionRecovery.com
  • Resource: Internet Addiction and how it Relates to Homeschooling
  • Moderating the Internet in Your Family by Mark Gregston of Heartlight Ministries
  • How gadgets and the internet are turning us into a nation of emotional basket cases
  • Research ties excessive use of technology to poor health for young adults
  • Internet Addiction Disorder
  • Time Monitor Parental Control Software limits the time kids spend on the computer.  You determine when they can access the computer and for how long. Free to try.

     
     

    Copyright © 2014 The HomeScholar LLC, www.TheHomeScholar.com. Text may be reprinted without permission if used in full, including this copyright and bio (below), except for use in a book or other publication for rent or for sale.

     
     

    Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, specializes in helping parents homeschool high school. Get Lee’s FREE 5 part mini-course, “The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make Homeschooling High School.” You can find more of her freebies here: http://www.TheHomeScholar.com

    Get more homeschool high school help on The HomeScholar Facebook Fan Page.

Driving safety in India

Those who have driven in developed countries and then driven in India will realize the stress that this activity brings about when you drive on the roads in India.

Figure 1 A common sight on Indian roads in 2014

 

Often this stress is not recognised by the majority of Indians because they have not simply experienced anything different.

Figure 2 How road safety works

There are rules and simple measures which can bring down the stress associated with driving by over 90%. Take for instance the universal respect or the STOP sign at intersections, which does not even require any electricity or high technology.

After the demise of a Minister recently in a car accident in Delhi, the Government has woken up to the need for improving driving safety, as this report in today’s Hindustan Times Newspaper says:

 

6 Jun 2014, Hindustan Times (Mumbai)Moushumi Das Gupta letters@hindustantimes.com

‘Motor Vehicle Act will be upgraded to int’l standards’

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NEW DELHI: India’s Motor Vehicle Act will be re-drafted within a month in line with advanced international practices to enhance road safety, said road transport, highways and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday. The new bill may include measures such as installing CCTV cameras at traffic signals, redesigning heavy vehicles and centralising data to check misuse of driving licences.

 


 

NEW DELHI: Two days after Union minister Gopinath Munde died in a road accident, the NDA government on Thursday pledged to overhaul the 26-year-old motor vehicle law that it said wasn’t saving lives but spawning corruption instead.

“The law has become antiquated and lost its relevance. We will scrap it and bring in a fresh law. The broad contours of the new law will be ready in a month’s time,” Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari said after a review of road safety regulations. Gadkari told officials at the review that the old law was mostly being used by cops to harass the public and make money.

 


 

As part of the overhaul process, Gadkari has directed ministry officials to study how countries such as United Kingdom and Singapore – which have fewer road fatalities compared to India — tackle traffic violations. “We will study best practices in ten countries before drafting our law,” he said.

India has one of the worst road- safety records in the world, with a road accident every minute and a fatality on the road every three-to-four minutes. Approximately 137,000 people died in road accidents in the country last year alone.

 


 

The 1988 Motor Vehicles Act was last amended in 2001. Several committees have been set up since then to recommend changes to the law. In March 2012, the UPA cabinet, for the third time after coming to power in 2004, approved the draft Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill that proposed hefty fines for traffic violations. However, low priority accorded to road safety issues ensured that the bill didn’t get cleared by Parliament.

Gadkari said that the proposed law would provide for greater technology-based interventions to minimize road accidents and check violations. “We want to cut down on human intervention. The reliance would be on sophisticated IT-based systems,” he said.


Road ministry officials said they want the new bill to be ready for introduction in Parliament during the budget session. “We are working on a war footing to draft the new law,” Gadkari said.

Don’t waste time, Doctors say

Heart attack to hospital takes 5 hours in Mumbai

Doctors To Try & Cut Down Time Taken In City [Adapted from a front page article dated May 25 2014 : The Times of India (Mumbai)]

With three million cases every year, heart attack may be the commonest grave ailment in India. But Indians seem to be dimly aware of its calling card—be it the sudden pain in the chest, upper back or jaw—and often don’t react appropriately. A shocking 95% of heart attack patients take public transport to reach hospital. And, many of them reach after six hours—or over 380 minutes—of the first symptoms, found an all-India study.

Cardiologist Dr Prafulla Kerkar, who heads KEM Hospital’s cardiology department, said barely 10% of heart

attack patients in the city reach the hospital within the golden hour. The golden hour is the crucial period in which medical treatment can prevent permanent damage to the heart’s muscles.

“A study among 350 of our heart attack patients showed that 10% reached the hospital 12 hours after the attack. By this time, the advantages of restoring blood flow are lost,” said Dr Kerkar. The majority of the patients took a median time of five hours, which is twice as long as it takes in the West.

It is to reduce this time lag between the appearance of symptoms and hospitalization that a handful of cardiologists have come together to form a not-forprofit organization called STEMI India.

Three years ago, STEMI India brought together doctors, hospitals and ambulance providers in Coimbatore and Chennai to spread awareness about heart attacks and ensure that patients got treated within the golden hour. They have succeeded in reducing the average symptom-to-hospitalization time to less than three hours or 170 minutes so far.

Next weekend, the STEMI India group of which Dr Kerkar is a member will hold its first training programme in Mumbai at Powai. “Over 800 doctors from Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh will attend it,” said course director Dr Rajesh Rajani, cardiologist from Hinduja Hospital, Mahim.

“The message is that the longer you take to report to a hospital after a heart attack, the higher the chance that you are left a cardiac cripple who may well need repeated hospitalizations later on,” added Dr Rajani. It is now well established that patients who are given immediate medical treatment–say, a blood thinner or clot buster–may not suffer any long-term effects of a heart attack.
Many hospitals and nursing homes in Mumbai, though, still don’t give a clot-buster to a patient who comes in with suspected heart attack, say doctors. “They refer the patient to a bigger hospital without even providing streptokinase injection that can dissolve blood clots that caused the heart attack,” said Dr Kerkar. Ashok Hospital is one of the few Hospitals that give this vital clot busting drug, and Dr. S. P. Mathew encourages other Hospitals around to do the same.