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Selling Organs a Bad Idea, Research Says

Posted on 2002/10/7 8:47:02 ( 970 reads )


STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA, October 1, 2002: A recent study found that people in southern India who hoped to escape poverty by selling a kidney were often worse off financially and less healthy after surgery. Dr. Madhav Goyal, a State college-based internist with the Geisinger Health system, found that a majority of donors were women and that at least some were forced by their husbands to sell their kidneys. "We were expecting that they would break even. We didn't expect that they would be worse off," says Goyal, whose study appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. Interviews with 305 kidney donors in the city of Chennai found: Ninety-six percent sold their kidneys to pay off debt. Donors were promised an average of $1,410 for a kidney but received an average of $1,070. Some were paid as little as $450. The average family income of donors dropped from $660 at the time of the operation to $420 at the time of the survey, mainly because of the health consequences. Of the 292 who sold to pay off debts, 216 still had debts at the time of the survey.

US Panel Accuses India of Religious Freedom Violation

Posted on 2002/10/4 9:49:02 ( 870 reads )

Source: AFP

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 3, 2002: A US government advisory panel has recommended that the State Department designate 12 nations "countries of particular concern" because of their alleged violations of religious freedom, a move that could trigger sanctions against them. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom said the nations should include Myanmar, North Korea, India, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam. The International Religious Freedom Act adopted in 1998 requires that countries found in particularly severe violations of religious freedom be considered by the US President for diplomatic or economic sanctions. "We hope to see actions commensurate with the severity of these abuses," said commission chairman Felice Gaer after sending the recommendations to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Last year the commission complained at length in its report that its recommendations were being ignored by the State Department. The commission is mostly concerned with freedom for Christians, and only somewhat with religious freedom for other religions.

108 Vinas Recital at Meenakshi Temple

Posted on 2002/10/4 9:48:02 ( 1021 reads )


MADURAI, SOUTH INDIA, October 4, 2002: The popular Meenakshi Amman temple here is organizing a "108 veenai isai vazhipadu" (offering worship by playing 108 veenas), to invoke the blessings of Goddess Saraswathi for the educational advancement of the students of Tamil Nadu. Executive officer of the temple P. Bhaskaran told reporters here that the worship would be held on October 15 to coincide with the auspicious Vijayadasami Day, when all the children will start "Aksharabyasam" (starting to learn alphabet).

Historians Analyze NCERT changes

Posted on 2002/10/4 9:47:02 ( 997 reads )

Source: Hindustan Times

DELHI, INDIA, October 3, 2002: Historians congregated in the Capital on Wednesday to analyze India's Supreme Court's verdict on the ongoing debate over the National Curriculum Framework for Secondary Education [NCFSE]. It was felt that although the NCERT had been given the go-ahead to publish the new text books,there was need to analyze the content of these new text books to ascertain the actual changes that the NCFSE has brought about in education. The text changes are being challenged by many historians, who claim they amount to the communalization of education. Proponents, however, state the changes are needed to eliminate the anti-religious bias in the text inserted by the many Marxist historians of India.

Vandals Desecrate Hindu Temple in Pakistan

Posted on 2002/10/4 9:46:02 ( 864 reads )


QUETTA, PAKISTAN, October 1, 2002: A Hindu temple in southwest Pakistan was broken into and a religious icon was damaged over the weekend, a local Hindu leader said Monday. The desecration occurred in a temple in a village of Mustung district, 55 kilometers southwest of the Baluchistan provincial capital Quetta. "Some people broke into Shunkar temple in Khasam village on the night falling between Friday and Saturday, removed some tin sheets of the roof of the veranda and partially damaged the main icon," Rattan Chand, the head of Hindu Panchayat district, told AFP by phone. He said local officials had pledged to pursue those responsible. Five deadly strikes on churches, a school and last week on the office of a Christian charity organization have left 38 people dead, mainly Pakistanis.

Jagran Editor Narendra Mohan Passes Away

Posted on 2002/10/4 9:45:02 ( 1137 reads )

Source: HPI

DELHI, INDIA, October 4, 2002: Sri Narendra Mohan, the editor-in-chief of the Jagran group of newspapers passed away on September 20, 2002, at the age of 68. He died at New Delhi's Apollo Hospital following multiorgan failure. Known as the pillar of Hindi journalism, Mohan had been a member of the Rajya Sabha on the ticket of Bhartiya Janta Party and was a member of several parliamentary committees. He championed the cause of Hindu values and Hinduism inside the parliament and also through his very popular editorial columns of the Hindi daily Dainik Jagran. He was very vocal about the problems faced by the Hindu community worldwide and used to express his concern through the electronic media also, time to time. He was quite close to many Hindu saints including Sri Chidananda Saraswati [Muni Ji] of Parmarth Niketan. Sri Mohan was an eminent scholar and had authored a large number of poems and stories besides penning thousands of articles for his editorial columns. He authored several books including - Bhartiya Sanskriti and Hindutva. He was born in Jalaun District on October 10th, 1934. He became a member of Rajya Sabha in 1996. Dainik Jagran is now the top newspaper in the country both in terms of circulation and its reach. It is published from over one dozen centers including New Delhi. As there are very few editors in India of the stature of Sri Mohan espousing the cause of Hindus and Hinduism, his death is a very big loss to the cause of Hinduism in India.

Bangladesh RK Mission to Celebrate Durga Puja

Posted on 2002/10/4 9:44:02 ( 1093 reads )


DINAJPUR, BANGLADESH, October 4, 2002: The president of the RK Mission Dinajpur writes, "We are glad to invite you with all your kith & kin to kindly participate in Durga puja as per program given herewith, to be held from 11 October to 15 October, 2002, according to Bisuddha Sidhanta Almanac. Dasami puja will be held on the 15th at at 9.57 am and the immersion procession will start at 3:00 pm."

2nd World Hindu Conference 2003 to be Held in Sri Lanka

Posted on 2002/10/3 9:49:02 ( 1112 reads )


COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, October 2, 2002: The Honorable Thiyagarajah Maheswaran, M.P and Minister of Hindu Religious Affairs, and President of the Steering Committee, announces the 2nd World Hindu Conference to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 2-5, 2003. The main theme of the conference will be Hinduism and Society and papers to be presented at the conference sessions should relate to one of the following areas: (1) History of Hinduism, (2) Hindu Philosophical Thought, (3) Temples and Fine Arts, (4) Art and Archaeological Monuments, (5) Hinduism and it's Interaction with other Religions, (6) Religious Organizations and Social Service, (7) Hindu Culture in countries where Hindu Immigrants have recently settled, (8) Hindu Culture in South East Asia, (9) The Saiva Siddhanta Philosophy. Papers submitted for presentation should contain at least 4,000 words, not exceeding 7,000 words. There should be two copies in computer print form, and on diskette. In the transliteration of words in oriental languages, the system adopted in the Madras Tamil lexicon should be followed. All articles should be sent to reach the Secretariat on or before February 28, 2003. Mr. K. Parameswaran, Secretary of the Ministry and Dr. S. Pathmanathan, Senior Professor of History at the University of Peradeniya, have been appointed respectively as the Chairman and Secretary General of the Conference. It will be inaugurated ceremonially on the morning of May 2 with Saiva Priests, Heads of Saiva Aadheenams and leaders and representatives of countries where Hindus form a substantial proportion of the population who will participate as specially invited guests. The conference will be conducted in English and Tamil during the academic sessions and the plenary session, scheduled for the last day. Those who wish to register as a delegate or an observer should contact the address below and obtain a Registration Form. A registration fee of 20 rupees, either in the form of check or bank draft, must be attached to the registration form and should reach the Secretariat on or before December 14, 2002. For additional information please contact Prof. S. Pathmanathan. Prof. S. Pathmanathan, Secretary General, Secretariat, 2nd World Hindu Conference, Ministry of Hindu Religious Affairs, 248-2/1, Galle Road, Tel: 01-552641 or 01-554978. E-mail "source" above for more information.

Gospel of Inclusion Stimulates Religious Discussion

Posted on 2002/10/3 9:48:02 ( 1050 reads )

Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi to Address Global Peace Initiative

Posted on 2002/10/2 9:49:02 ( 1036 reads )


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, October 1, 2002: Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, known affectionately worldwide as Amma, has been invited to give the keynote address at the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the Palais des Nations (United Nations) in Geneva on Oct 7, 2002. For the first time in history, women leaders from religion, business and government representing every region, faith and tradition will gather in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 7 to claim a more active global role in peace building. More than five hundred women are expected to participate in the launching of this Global Peace Initiative of Women, including many prominent leaders from different sectors of society. Amma will lead a public prayer in the city of Geneva on Oct 6, while Brahmacharini Dipamrita Chaitanya, disciple of Amma, will represent Amma at seminars and workshops associated with the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders on Oct 8 and 9. For further information on the summit, click "source" above.

India Pays Homage to Mahatma Gandhi

Posted on 2002/10/2 9:48:02 ( 904 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, October 2, 2002: President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam on Wednesday led a grateful nation in paying homage to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, on the occasion of his 133rd birth anniversary at his samadhi (place where his ashes are enshrined) in Rajghat here. Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhwat, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani, Leader of Opposition Sonia Gandhi, Union Ministers George Fernandes, Sahib Singh Varma, Ananth Kumar, Vijay Goel joined Kalam in paying floral tributes to "Bapu," as Gandhi was known.

Vadodara Preparing for Navaratri Festivities

Posted on 2002/10/2 9:47:02 ( 971 reads )


VADODARA, INDIA, September 30, 2002: Though there are apprehensions about terrorist attacks after the recent violence in the state, most citizens of Vadodara plan to enjoy Navaratri ("Nine Nights," festival to the Goddess) with the same vigor as ever. They also feel that limiting the festivity to 10 pm, as per a Supreme Court judgement, is not fair. They say it is the festival of nine nights and closing the celebrations as early as 10 pm would be ridiculous. Garba (traditional dance for this festival) enthusiasts say that though they are worried by the recent attacks, Navaratri celebrations cannot be stalled. There is some uncertainty regarding the garba timings as the city police have written to the state government to declare the official time limit for the celebrations. But most garba organizers feel that the BJP would not want to hurt the sentiments of the people by limiting the festivities to 10 pm, which traditionally is the time when garbas begin here and continue until after midnight. According to garba enthusiast Parul Dhruv and her teenage daughter, despite feeling insecure after the attacks, they want to make the most of their favorite festival and have already started preparing for it. "Navaratri comes just once a year. Though I feel insecure, I believe life has to go on and one cannot live in fear. I will certainly go out and enjoy the festivities. It's a risk, but I also have faith in the security measures that the organizers would be taking," said Dhruv.

Over 20,000 worship at Swaminarayan Temple

Posted on 2002/10/1 9:49:02 ( 982 reads )


GANDHINAGAR, INDIA, September 29, 2002: Joining in a special prayer gathering with Pramukh Swami Shastrinarayan Swarupdas, 20,000 devotees assembled inside the Swaminarayan Temple for the first time since the terrorist attack. Thousands stood outside and watched the program live on closed-circuit TVs and queues extended half-a-kilometer from the temple as visitors kept pouring in. Gun-toting security personnel stood with binoculars at vantage points to protect the crowds. Even security personnel joined in offering floral tributes and holding lamps during the arati, worship. The temple will officially re-open on October 1, Tuesday, exactly a week after the attack that killed over 30 people.

UK Upgrades Ayurveda Medicine

Posted on 2002/10/1 9:48:02 ( 944 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, September 26, 2002: The United Kingdom has agreed to upgrade ayurveda from single drugs category three to one, thus accepting its scientific base. The UK government has also set up a Herbal Medicines Regulatory Working Group to consider the possibility of suggesting enhancement of law to regulate drugs and practice in herbal medicines, including ayurveda, a government release said here Wednesday. British authorities have worked out a tentative curricula of 2,560 hours, in which ayurveda has been allotted 1,150 hours. However, this is inadequate and, in the given situation, only two options remained -- either to be left out of the herbal medicine regulation course or have a foothold with a dominant ayurveda content, it said. To promote ayurveda at the international level, the Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy forwarded to the British authorities a core curricula covering 1,700 hours of teaching of ayurveda. The Indian Government is also trying to get a recognition for the five-and-half year ayurveda BAMS course and registration of India-qualified physicians in the UK.

Singles Flock to "Swayamvaram" in Chennai

Posted on 2002/10/1 9:47:02 ( 978 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, September 28, 2002: In the days of yore in the country, kings adopted the custom of 'Swayamvaram' to allow their daughters choose their life partner. TamilMatrimony.com, an online matrimonial service, brought back the tradition of Swayamvaram to Chennai on Friday. It brought together parents of over 2,000 prospective brides from different castes within the Tamil community to find a match for their girl. Two days before the matchmaking event, the website provided parents with a list of prospective grooms looking for brides and vice versa. They also provided them with basic information like educational qualification, employment, emoluments, caste and the expectations from the life partner. The bride's parents congregated at a popular marriage hall in the city, where the prospective grooms' parents were provided numbers. These numbers were given to the parents of the brides so that they could interact and select the prospective groom for their daughter. A couple of astrologers were on hand to study the horoscope of the prospective groom once the parents of a girl found the boy of their preference. The event is being held over two days.

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