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24×7 ‘distress’ helpline launched in Gujarat

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photo credit: thebetterindia.com

By NewsGram Staff Writer

To help the distressed and combat mental illness, Surat rural police launched a telephone helpline service- “Jeevan Astha”- on September 8, Tuesday. The number is 1800233330. The helpline will counsel individuals on mental illness. The police have hired eight qualified counselors to guide the caller.

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The officials have also collaborated with psychologists and psychiatrists in Gandhinagar to help with the calls. Jeevan Aastha has been launched to help people who are struggling with issues like suicidal tendencies, stress, and anxieties and are trapped deep in mental illness.

The inaugural function was organized at the office of Surat range deputy inspector general (DIG) of police. The service was launched by V M Pargi, police commissioner in-charge, Surat city in the presence of Hasmukh Patel, DIG, Surat range, Pradeep Shejul, superintendent of police, Surat and other officials.

“We got good response even during the trial run. We will put posters of the helpline numbers at various locations,” said Hasmukh Patel to TOI.

Students from schools and colleges rallied on the streets as part of an awareness drive and reaching out to people through this and making me them aware of the importance of counselors to help mental illness, stress and suicidal tendencies.

(Credit: thebetterindia.com)

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India: Asiatic Lions in Gujarat’s Gir forests to Have Radio Collars Fitted Around their Necks

A radio collar is a wide band of machine-belting fitted with a small radio transmitter and battery

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Asiatic Lions, Gujarat, Gir Forests
Since June 11 up to now more than 25 representative lions of as many prides have been fitted with radio collar devices imported from Germany. Pixabay

The rare Asiatic lions in Gujarat’s Gir forests and surrounding regions will have radio collars fitted around their necks this month, similar to the lions of the African savannah and the Serengeti.

According to Chief Conservator of Forests in Junagadh D.T. Vasavada, since June 11 up to now more than 25 representative lions of as many prides have been fitted with radio collar devices imported from Germany.

A radio collar is a wide band of machine-belting fitted with a small radio transmitter and battery. The transmitter emits a signal at a specific frequency that can be tracked from up to five kilometres away.

When trying to locate a particular collared lion, the researcher dials the appropriate frequency and drives while listening for the beep signal. A directional antenna is mounted on top of the vehicle, and once the signal is detected, the researcher simply drives in the direction where the signal is loudest.

Asiatic Lions, Gujarat, Gir Forests
The rare Asiatic lions in Gujarat’s Gir forests and surrounding regions will have radio collars fitted around their necks this month. PIxabay

“This will help the forest department in monitoring of the group’s movement, research, knowing the territory of the animal and other details. From Sasan, a high tech monitoring unit will monitor their activities. A total of 75 radio collars have been imported from Germany for the purpose,” he added.

Vasavada said as all the members of a pride of lions normally remain within a distance of around half to one kilometer of one another, the location of the representative beast would in fact give the location of an entire pride.

Representatives of the entire lion landscape in and around Gir in Saurashtra region of Gujarat spread in the five districts of Gir Somnath, Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Botad would be radio collared in around a month’s time.

According to the last lion census of 2015, there were 523 male, female and lion cubs in the Gujarat forests.

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During floods and other calamities and spread of diseases, the radio collars would be a big help for forest teams. The radio collars would also be helpful in letting the lion trackers know if any group of lions was close to the railway tracks or roads. (IANS)