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Do you know what your MPs are being pampered with? 5 perks of being an MP!

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By Shilpika Srivastava

Why are our MPs so rich and the janta so poor? A question that has silently crept in the hearts and minds of millions of other citizens! Unfortunately, the reverberating hum of such silence has always been neglected by those who are actually appointed to shoot the answer.

No, we are not at all against the wealth! Everybody fancies a social establishment, which confides in capitalism and offers everyone a fair chance to build and accumulate the moolah.

So what if they have some undeclared assets cinched away in benami corporations and tabs where some distant nephew of the cook’s uncle is the declared owner.

Do you know that about 82% of the MPs in Lok Sabha 2014 are millionaires? Well, nothing to be surprised though. But, it’s like the Riches fighting for the Poors; and we all know what happens in the end.

In 2014’s Lok Sabha elections, there were 2217 candidates (27%) who entered the battlefield of politics. What’s more surprising is that almost 82% of the candidates, who were declared as the winners in the polls, were millionaires.

And, it’s not just the hunger for power that these candidates do not leave any stone unturned to grab the seat, but it’s also the greed for enjoying the facilities that they would be pampered with once they’re declared victorious. It’s like the Riches getting ‘more rich’!

So, here are surprising 5 perks that you didn’t know your MPs are being pampered with. (After reading this, many of you might consider joining politics as a full-time career.)

1. Your MPs get Rs. 2,000 per day for each day of residence on duty. So, how much annually? Now, you do the maths! In addition, they also receive Rs. 45,000 per month as constituency allowance. You know, how much they spend on their constituencies, right? And, their office expenses sum up to Rs. 45,000 per month.
2. Your MPs get exciting travelling allowances and travel facilities. A Member of Parliament is entitled to innumerous journeys via rail, air and road. The Constitution of India allows these facilities and allowances to be performed for attending a Parliament Session or meeting of a Parliamentary Committee or for the purpose of attending any other business connected with the duties as a member. The allowances are given from the place of usual residence to the place of duty and for return journey from such place to the place of usual residence.
To add more, every member is given the facility to avail 34 single air journeys during a year with spouse or any number of companions or relatives.
3. Your MPs also enjoy facilities such as, their sofa covers and curtains being washed every three months, furniture within the monetary ceiling of Rs. 60,000 in respect of durable furniture and Rs. 15,000 for non-durable furniture.
4. Your MPs could literally talk for free on a phone. Trust us, they won’t have to spend even a single penny out of their pocket. A member is entitled to have three telephones.
Just like we buy free local or STD minutes from our mobile phone operators, a member gets free 50,000 local calls during a year at a cost of being an MP. What’s more? These 50,000 free local calls can be clubbed together, which totals to 1,50,000 local calls in a year.
5. In this era, where there is so much hue and cry over electricity bills, your MPs are entitled to 50,000 units (Yes, 50,000 units) of electricity per annum for FREE!

And, those 5 points are just a tip of the iceberg. Do you think the angst and agony of a poor can be understood by a person who is showered by tons of facilities and allowances by our very own Constitution? Don’t you think their ‘increment’ should be based on their ‘performance’? We are waiting for your opinions!

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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

Also Read: With Medicine Running Out, Venezuelans With Transplant Live in Fear

According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS