Guwahati, Nov. 30: A large number of aged people have been found to be suffering from anaemia in the city, doctors at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) have claimed.

Many such patients are not even aware that they are suffering from anaemia, which further complicates the problem. Apart from anaemia, certain heart ailments like weakening of the muscles of the heart and dementia have also been found to be common among the patients.

“From the time our regional geriatric centre opened in August this year, we have been receiving a lot of elderly patients and a substantial number of them have been diagnosed with anaemia. Many of them are not even aware that they have this problem. Many patients keep passing small amount of blood along with their stool, but they do not realise it or they think it is constipation or piles. This loss of blood ultimately results in anaemia,” said Debabrata Goswami, head of the department of medicine of GMCH and in-charge of the regional geriatric centre.

“After further medical examination some patients have been found to be suffering from stomach ulcers that bleed and some have even been diagnosed with cancer of the stomach,” said Goswami.

According to the doctors, anaemia in the elderly is caused by several factors. Nutritional anaemia is a major problem among the elderly, which is caused when they suffer from malnutrition because of their inability to eat well or when their bodies cannot absorb sufficient amount of nutrition from food. Again, certain medicines like aspirin that are taken by people to prevent heart attacks and brain haemorrhage can also result in anaemia by causing bleeding in the stomach.

“Painkillers, taken by the elderly people to relieve old age-related physical pain, are a major cause of anaemia. Painkillers, when taken frequently, lead to gastric erosion that results in bleeding in the stomach. This blood loss causes anaemia,” said Goswami.

Doctors of the geriatric centre will also conduct a research to study the kind of ailments that afflict the elderly.

GMCH is among the eight medical colleges that have been selected by the Centre to open the regional geriatric centre.

By A Staff Reporter


Artistes perform at the programme on the hospital premises in Senapati town on Monday. Telegraph picture

Imphal, Nov. 30: State Bank of India today donated an ambulance to a government-run district hospital, helping to augment healthcare services in Manipur’s Senapati district, and promised to present two more vehicles as Christmas gifts.

The chief general manager of SBI, Guwahati, P.V.S.L.N. Murty handed over the keys of the ambulance to the hospital authorities in the presence of rural development and panchayati raj minister Francis Ngajokpa during a ceremony at the hospital.

The district hospital, located near Senapati town, began functioning last year and currently has three ambulances.

Officials and leaders of the district, including Ngajokpa who was elected from Senapati, expressed their gratitude to the district branch of the SBI.

“Some banks do only business. We do both business and service to the people. We are ready to extend our services to the people of the district. We have enough funds, tell us what is to be done and we will do our best,” Murty said.

This commitment encouraged Ngajokpa to demand two more ambulances.

“We need two more ambulances and I want a commitment from the chief general manager right now that two more will be provided,” Ngajopkpa said at the programme.

Murty also announced that the bank would give the hospital two more ambulances as a Christmas gift before the festival.

The bank official also appealed to the minister and the district administration to improve connectivity so that the SBI could reach the interior parts of the district and serve the people.

Ngajokpa urged the public leaders of the district, including members of the autonomous district council, not to disturb the functioning of the banks or issue threats to employees.

“We have to resolve to create a conducive atmosphere for banks to function smoothly in the district,” the minister said.

He also asked the people encroaching on government lands and offices to cooperate so that government institutions could function smoothly and the quality of administration was improved in the district.

The deputy commissioner of Senapati, J. Lazarus, said she had never imagined that the banking sector could help bolster the healthcare sector of the district.

By Khelen Thokchom


Jorhat, Nov. 30: Nostalgic about writing and receiving those long, endearing missives of love? Thendon your thinking cap, let your imagination run wild and try your hand at penning a love letter and win a prize too.

The 14th edition of the Assam Mahotsav, to be held from December 9 to 23 this year, has introduced a new competition – writing a love letter. For those not into such mushy stuff, there is another topic – patriotism.

Partha Dutta, member of Intandem, the NGO which organises the event annually, said the competition is being organised especially to attract youngsters to take to writing letters again.

“In present times, all the communication takes place through emails, Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. People have forgotten how to write those persuasive, creative letters with which they wooed their loved ones. We would like GenNext to have a try as well as to take a peek into the power of the written word in courtship through letters,” he said.

The competition is called Nila Khamor Sithi, meaning a letter inside a blue envelope. In Assam, the blue envelope is associated with love messages.

For those whosewings of imagination do not take them into romantic overdrive, there is another topic – patriotism.

The Mahotsav will also have an on-the-spot photograph contest in memory of Intandem founder Trideev Bordoloi and a competition on writing in brief the history of three personalities of yore- former tea planter and philanthropist Bisturam Barooah, former Asam Sahitya Sabha president Sahityacharyya Jatindra Nath Goswami and poet Anundo Chandra Barooah.

Intandem secretary Dilip Kumar Bordoloi said this competition would make people read up on some of the greats of our society. Next year, three other personalities will be taken up and so on, he added.

Competitions for children will include drawing and ethnic fashion show.

There will be 160 stalls at the Mahotsav, including ones from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.There will be a separate pavilion for indigenous cuisine of different communities.

In keeping with Intandem’s objective of promoting and showcasing the local and indigenous, self-help groups will be given stalls for free.

Cultural programmes will be held in the evenings, the major attractions being performances by upcoming flautist Bhaskar Kolita and singer Sangita Gogoi.

By Smita Bhattacharyya


Kohima, Nov. 30: Nagaland governor P.B. Acharya today urged all militant outfits of the state to join the peace process for a permanent solution to the Naga problem.

“Let us work together to make our Nagaland a great and prosperous state,” he said, in his speech on the eve of the 53rd Statehood Day tomorrow.

“Today, we mark not merely the end of a problem, but the beginning of a new era since the government of India, under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, has signed a historic framework agreement with the NSCN (I-M) on August 3, 2015,” he added.

“This agreement is a shining example of what we can achieve when we deal with each other in a spirit of equality and respect, trust and confidence,” the governor said.

He said the people of Nagaland were on the threshold of another milestone, adding that December 1 is a memorable day in the political history of Nagaland, as it was on this day in 1963 when Nagaland attained Statehood.
ByOur Correspondent


Agartala, Nov. 30: Campaigning for the civic polls in Tripura is on in full swing with only nine days to go for the elections.

Elections will be held in 310 wards in Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC), 13 municipal councils and six nagar panchayats.

Chief minister Manik Sarkar who is spearheading the ruling Left Front’s campaign, hit the campaign trail on November 26 and has already addressed eight meetings. Today, Sarkar addressed two meetings in different areas under the corporation.

“The chief minister’s campaign always evokes huge response from the people as is already evident and it will help us win the AMC and all the municipal councils and nagar panchayats. Our campaign is on like a well-oiled machine,” CPM office secretary Rakhal Mazumder said.

All senior CPM leaders, including the party’s state secretary Bijan Dhar, central committee members Gautam Das and Khagen Das, veteran leader Narayan Kar and leaders of indigenous people Narayan Rupini and Niranajan Debbarma are campaigning relentlessly across the state.

Amid the din and bustle of campaign, allegations of attacks on Congress workers and supporters by the CPM are mounting.

Yesterday, in the Mohanpur municipal council area, many Congress workers and supporters, led by local Congress MLA Ratanlal Nath, “gheraoed” the police station because of the police’s alleged failure to book CPM workers involved in attacks on Congress workers.

Nath said around 4.30pm, a group of CPM workers had attacked supporters and workers of the Congress heading for a poll meeting in ward 3 of Mohanpur municipal council. In the ensuing clash, which Nath described as an “unprovoked attack”, three Congress workers sustained injuries.

A large group of Congress workers led by Nath had filed an FIR at Mohanpur police station and demanded immediate police action to arrest the culprits.

The “gherao” continued till 8pm and was withdrawn only after the officer-in-charge of the police station assured Congress workers of action to nab the culprits. In another incident, a clash was narrowly avoided when CPM workers took out a procession with burning torches passed by a meeting organised by two Congress candidates Sampa Sarkar Chowdhury and Babul Dutta, Congress candidates of wards 39 and 40 respectively, near the modern club area in southern Agartala.

The Congress workers present at the meeting showed restraint and did not respond to “provocative slogans” of the CPM procession.

The state BJP president, Sudheendra Dasgupta, alleged that in many municipal councils and nagar panchayat areas BJP workers, including its candidates, were being threatened.

“In Amarpur nagar panchayat, we had put up six candidates, but the CPM forced one of our candidates to withdraw from the contest and won the nagar panchayat without any contest. The Congress had no candidate there,” Dasgupta said.

He, however, said in the Pashchim Bhubonban area in Barjala Assembly constituency north of Agartala, 201 workers of the Congress and the CPM formally joined the BJP by accepting the party’s flags at his meeting.

“This will help us. The trend of joining the BJP would have gained further ground but for the terror tactics of the CPM. We will gain in strength after the polls and put up a strong fight against the CPM in the upcoming village committee elections slated to come off in February next year,” Dasgupta said. He added that exodus from the Congress was continuing in different parts of the state.

By Our Special Correspondent


Hagrama Mohilary and (right) Alak Buragohain at the foundation stone-laying ceremony on the university campus on Monday. Picture by UB Photos

Jorhat, Nov. 30: Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chiefHagrama Mohilary today announced Rs 1 crore from the council for the Bodo department building at Dibrugarh University.

He laid the foundation stone of the building on the Centre for Studies in Languages campus of the university.

The function was attended by Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, Biswajit Daimary, Dibrugarh University vice-chancellor Alak Kumar Buragohain and Bodo Sahitya Sabha office-bearers.

The proposed Bodo department will function under the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of the university.

The dean of School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Karabi Deka Hazarika, told The Telegraph that Mohillary announced that more funds, if required, would be provided for the construction of the department building.

She said the academic council of the university has decided to start post-graduate classes of the proposed Bodo department from next academic session in July 2016.

Hazarika said if the construction of the building was not completed within July, classes would be held in the building of the Centre for Studies in Languages.

The department will have about 20 to 25 seats and four to five professors will be appointed, the final decision in this regard will be taken by the academic council soon. According to the plan, the department will be later developed into a centre to carry out research on Bodo language, literature, history and other cultural traditions.

The dean said Mohilary pledged to fund the salaries of the teachers inducted in the department if the state government did not agree to sanction funds for the posts. She said the Bodo Sahitya Sabha leaders promised to extend support to the university for carrying out research in their language and culture. The university will approach Dispur and UGC for funds to run the department.

Hazarika said the decision to open the Bodo department has been taken after getting requests from the BTC, Bodo Sahitya Sabha and students’ community.

The dean said seven colleges affiliated to the Dibrugarh University were running Bodo language and literature paper as a major subject in the degree courses for the last few years.

She said students passing out from those colleges too requested the university to open the Bodo department as they were not been able to pursue post-graduate course in the language in Upper Assam.

By Wasim Rahman

Gogoi addresses the news

conference in Guwahati on Monday.

Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, Nov. 30: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today picked up from where he left off yesterday, saying the BJP’s use-by date has expired and it would pose no threat to the Congress in next year’s Assembly elections.

Talking to reporters at the chief minister’s conference hall, Gogoi referred to the BJP comment that the Congress medicine had passed its expiry date. “If that were to be so, I wonder why they are still spreading so much canards against us. In fact, it is the BJP which has lost its use. The Bihar elections was the battle of Kurukshetra where the party faced a humiliating defeat,” said Gogoi.

After calling the Assam BJP leaders “spineless” yesterday – a point he repeated today – Gogoi picked on his one-time “blue eyed” minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, describing him as a professional singer who would sing paeans to anybody to suit his own interest.

Sarma joined the BJP recently and has quickly climbed to a position of eminence in the state unit of the party – he is now convener of the party’s election management committee.

Calling the state BJP leaders “spineless” yet again, Gogoi said he couldn’t care less about them. But it also became apparent that he could not forget them either, at least some of them, namely Sarma.

“Himanta had criminal charges against him, he is an opportunist and a professional singer, who if asked, will be ready to sing paeans to anybody, even All India United Democratic Front chief Badruddin Ajmal,” Gogoi said.

The AIUDF is turning out to be the “untouchable” for the Congress and BJP alike with both trying to prove that the other is in league with the party that some quarters allege is of Bangladeshis and for Bangladeshis. It is likely, though, that the AIUDF could be the party that some may have to turn to while forming the government next year.

If it is Sarma on Gogoi’s mind then his son Gaurav cannot be too far away. It is said Sarma’s honeymoon with Gogoi and the Congress started turning sour once Gaurav joined the party and then went on to become a Lok Sabha MP.

“They (BJP) say Gaurav is ruling the state. Do you think the chief secretary and all the other secretaries are sitting idle? When did he (Gaurav) interfere in the work of the officials? I doubt whether Gaurav knows any officer in Dispur,” Gogoi said with chief secretary V.K. Pipersenia by his side on the dais from where he addressed the news conference that had less to do with governance and more to do with politics, more particularly the coming Assembly elections and, of course, the BJP – the ” bijotoria (degenerated) party”.
ByRajiv Konwar


Chiranjeev Bhattacharjya (right) addresses the news conference in Guwahati on Monday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, Nov. 30: An American federal agency has rolled out a collaborative strategy to combat AIDS in the Northeast through an NGO.

The US agency, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has assigned the NGO, Family Health International 360, to assist AIDS control societies of the Northeast under National AIDS Control Organisation (Naco) to conduct HIV-related studies, research, analysis, awareness generation and other scientific activities in the region.

“A team from the organisation will soon come here and help us formulate a strategy to check the rising trend of AIDS infections in this region. The state AIDS control society will help the NGO and the collaborated programme will run along with other Naco-funded projects,” Chiranjeev Bhattacharjya, epidemiologist of Assam State AIDS Control Society, told reporters here today on the eve of World AIDS Day.

The US agency earlier this year envisaged a five-year assistance to all the state AIDS control societies of the Northeast to devise a collaboration strategy, as this region is vulnerable to AIDS and HIV-infection transmission, mostly because of inter-migration between the states.

“The bridge population, or the truckers and movers who travel between the states, brings the infection from outside. We had been coordinating with the neighbouring states’ AIDS control societies but a collaborated strategy will help prevent the inter-state transmission of the virus,” Bhattacharjya said.

He said the recent HIV Sentinel Surveillance – the AIDS monitoring programme of Naco – revealed that the HIV epidemic in Assam is concentrated among the high-risk group population of injecting drug users at 1.46 per cent, men having sex with men at 1.40 per cent and female sex workers at 0.46 per cent. Though the prevalence of the virus among the ante-natal clinic attendees is low at 0.18 per cent, it has shown a rising trend.

“From 0.05 pre cent prevalence among pregnant women in 2012-13, the figure rose to 0.07 per cent in 2015. Also, among female sex workers, it rose from 0.88 to 1.59 per cent. Most pregnant women got infected with HIV from their partners who belong to the bridge population,” Bhattacharjya said.

By Avishek Sengupta


Khagen Sarma receives the guard of honour at his farewell parade in Guwahati on Monday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, Nov. 30: Outgoing Assam director-general of police Khagen Sarma today cautioned that militancy might be on the decline in the state but it was far from over.

After receiving the last salute from the police force at a farewell parade organised at the 4th Assam Police Battalion headquarters here today, Sarma said though agreements have been signed with four militant groups and 13 others are in talks with the government, some breakaway factions of these groups, which are yet to join the peace process, remains a worry for the security forces.

Sarma turned emotional while recalling the supreme sacrifice made by policemen while fighting militants. “We have lost more than 500 police personnel in extremist-related violence in the state,” he said in an emotion-choked voice.

He recalled how he had warned Daulat Singh Negi, the then Dibrugarh district superintendent of police, the day before he was killed by Ulfa (on July 29, 1990) that he could be a possible target.

He recalled how he, as the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of Majuli, had led operations against Ulfa in the early 1990s, when the outfit was at its peak.

He described Assam police as among the top police forces in the country.

Sarma, a 1982-batch IPS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre who helmed the special branch (SB) of Assam police for over a decade, has played a key role in bringing many militant groups to the negotiating table. “Yesterday, I received a call from Ulfa-I leader Paresh Barua and asked him to abjure violence and come overground. But I don’t know what’s going on in his mind,” he said.

Sarma said he intends to pen a book on his experience in dealing with insurgency. Asked whether he would join politics, he said he was yet to think about it.

Mukesh Sahay, who assumed charge as the DGP this afternoon, echoed Sarma by saying that though at present militancy was at a low ebb in the state, the police couldn’t afford to lower their guard as it was yet to disappear completely.

“We will always have to remain vigilant as militancy is one thing which can rise from the ashes any time,” said Sahay, a 1984-batch IPS officer who has served with the CBI and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) on deputation.

On the threat from religious extremists and effective response mechanism, Sahay said the state, along with the Centre, was formulating an effective response.

He said preparing the police force for existing and upcoming challenges and to come up to the expectations of the people would be among his top priorities.

By Pankaj Sarma


Himanta is like a professional singer: Gogoi

Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 30 – Taking a dig at former Congress Minister and present BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said that Sarma was like a professional singer who could sing for anyone who paid him.

He is like a professional singer who will sing for anyone who pays him. He used to say that I was the best Chief Minister, but now no man on earth is worse than me. The fact is, he has no ideology at all, Gogoi said at a press conference.

Gogoi also questioned why the BJP accepted Sarma after having been extremely critical of him over alleged corruption.

Now they are saying I am corrupt and Himanta is clean. This is baffling. Has he become a saint by joining the BJP? he wondered.

The Chief Minister also alleged that the Assam BJP leaders were a submissive lot before their central leaders and were little more than yes-men. We also respect our central leaders, but also assert ourselves when required. The State BJP leaders can never do that, he said.

Gogoi quipped that he had no hesitation in acknowledging good work by the BJP, but that the party has to do something good for the State.