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Northeast India can be ‘central actor’ in water co-operation

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Source- Wikipedia.com

Kolkata: India’s northeast could be the “central actor” in water and energy co-operation in the sub-regional grouping of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) given its rich resources and connectivity to the neighbouring countries, experts said here on Thursday.

“Northeast connects the east, rest of India to neighbouring countries and it is resource rich in every respect – borders, natural resources, plantation.

“If you are able to grow tea in the northeast like we do in the tea gardens of north West Bengal, we will be the highest producer of tea in the world,” said Mahendra P. Lama, an expert on south Asian co-operation.

“I see the Indian government giving huge emphasis on linking northeast in politics of growth and integrating and inter-linking rivers,” said Lama, chairperson of Centre for South, Central, Southeast Asian and Southwest Pacific Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Echoing Lama, Madhukar Upadhyay, the former poverty-environment initiative adviser at the National Planning Commission, Nepal, said BBIN framework will help address issue of depleting water resources and trans-boundary water sharing.

“What we are seeing is more water in the monsoons and you have less water in the dry season so you don’t know what to do with the water in the wet season. The need of the BBIN initiative would be to understand the water science in mountains and in the plains.

“Bhutan and Nepal have similar problems which will affect countries like India and Bangladesh downstream,” he said at the ‘Advancing the BBIN Agenda: Exploring possibilities in Trade, Transit, Energy and Water Cooperation’ organised by the Observer Research Foundation and The Asian Foundation here.

However, Upadhyay, a climate change consultant, warned India’s ambitious river inter-linking project could be a “blunder” since it would create ‘negative floods’ instead of ‘positive floods’ that ensure nutrient flow.

Deliberating on Nepal’s contribution to BBIN in terms of water co-operation, Hari Pandit, an expert in water resource engineering, said 80 billion cubic metres of water stored in Nepal’s reservoirs during monsoons could be mobilised for the region during the water-deficient months.

(IANS)

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Low Cure Rate For Childhood Cancer in India: Experts

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner

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Health insurance covers only for hospitalization and doesn’t necessarily cover the medical expenses incurred for the treatment of major illnesses. flickr

Childhood cancer comprises almost 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India, experts said here on Friday, expressing concern over the low cure rate due to lack of available data.

“The disturbing reality is that the cure rate of pediatric cancer is almost 80 per cent in the developed countries. When we see the data from major cancer centres, it actually can match up to the Western standard but this data is not enough,” Haemato-Oncologist Vivek Agarwala said at an awareness programme conducted by Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Howrah.

According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, cancer in children constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India.

Agarwala said a large portion of the incidence of childhood cancer in society is still not addressed.

Cancer survivor. Flickr

Also, a large section who don’t have access to premier institutes are often diagnosed late due to financial crunch and that is why the overall treatment rate in India is low.

“Probably, the government and society at large are not considering it a big problem as it is just around 5 per cent. We are always campaigning for breast and cervical cancers,” Agarwala said.

“We must remember this 5 per cent of cancer is majorly curable if given proper treatment,” he said.

Leukaemia and retinoblastoma (a form of cancer where children have a white eye) are the two common forms of cancer in children.

Also Read- Push-ups Can Lower The Risk of Heart Diseases

Talking about awareness and symptoms that parents need to watch out for, he said: “Symptoms are different for different cancers, but children who have cancer have poor growth, poor weight gain and decreased appetite. One must get their children evaluated on seeing these symptoms”.

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner. (IANS)