Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another achievement by Ludhiana girls

DDJain Students got 100% results
Ankita, Neha and Rimple; students of DD Jain college for women Ludhiana with Principal S K Dua (The Eagle Eye photo)
The Students of Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women got 100% results in Msc(IT) 1st semester. Neha Narula got 2nd position in Panjab University by securing 86.16% marks, Ankita got 2nd  position  in college  by securing 82.16% marks, Rimple  got 3rd  position in college by securing 82% marks.
Congratulating the students, Chairman Samaj Rattan Shri Hira Lal Jain, President Sh. Kedar Nath Jain, Sr. Vice President Sh. Shanti Saroop Jain, Sr. Vice President Sh. Raj Kumar Jain, Secretary Sh. Bipin Jain, Manager           Sh. Surinder Kumar Jain and Principal Smt. Surinder Khurana said such a result is possible because of the hardwork and determination of both teachers and students. Rector Kathuria

IDPD welcomes the statement by Dr. Manmohan Singh

Asking for a nuclear free world
Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) welcomes the statement Dr.Manmohan Singh Prime Minister of India asking for a nuclear free world. India has always been a champion for nuclear disarmament. Keeping the tradition of non aligned movement our country should take lead in various international forums for abolition of nuclear weapons as well as check on proliferation of small arms through confidence building measures between the nations. 
According to a statement issued by it's President Dr L S Chawla General Secretary Dr Arun Mitra even if a single country has the nuclear weapons, the chances of their development by other countries will always remain as the nuclear weapons possessing states looses the moral right to ask other countries desist the same. The fear of these weapons falling into the hands of non state actors will always remain. The stand of IDPD and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in this regard has been vindicated by the Seoul meet. IDPD also appeal to the Prime Minister to pay heed to the people movements and put moratorium on the nuclear plants for power generation as the nuclear energy is neither safe nor economical. Moreover the nuclear plants cloud any time is used for production of nuclear weapons.   

2nd National CME of ACOIN held at CMC

There was also a scientific poster competition
Ludhiana, 29th March, 2012(Shalu Arora  and Rector Kathuria): The Deptt of ophthalmology, Christian Medical College and Hospital conducted 2nd National CME of Association of Community Ophthalmologist of India in association with Sant Sarwan Dass Charitable Eye Hospital, Jalandhar, Slum doctor project U.K and vision 2020, India on Pediatric Ophthalmology and strabismus.
The chief guest for the occasion was Dr.A.G.Thomas, Director CMC and Hospital, who also released the souvenir. Other dignitaries who graced the occasion were Dr. S.M Bhatti, Principal Christian Medical College, Ludhiana , Associate Director, Dr.Kim Mammen, Dr.Kanwal Masih, Medical Superintendent, Dr.Nitin Batra, HOD Ophthalmology and organizing Chairman of the CME. .
The guest faculty and Course director of the event was Dr.Tony Aguire, consultant ophthalmologist Caldudale Huddersfield NHS foundation trust U.K, Augenklinik teufen, Switzerland and an adjunct associate clinical professor, University of Texas at Houston, who delivered keynote address on update in Pediatric Ophthalmology. Prominent strabismologists  from various parts of the country delivered lectures on pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus.
The occasion was also graced by eminent physicians and ophthalmologists from different parts of the country and abroad.
Along with scientific sessions there was a workshop conducted in Department of Ophthalmology on evaluation of squint and pearls of squint surgery.
There was also a scientific poster competition for undergraduate students engaged in research in the field of ophthalmology.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ms. Dilma Rousseff calling on the President

The President of Brazil, Ms. Dilma Rousseff calling on the President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, on the occasion of the Summit of BRICS countries, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on March 28, 2012. [PIB photo] 28-March-2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Seven Day Protest fast in Delhi

In solidarity with fasting activists in Idinthakarai
Nationwide Protests in support of Anti-Nuclear struggle in Koodankulam
March 26, New Delhi : National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), Lok Rajniti Manch and Delhi Solidarity Group, is  organising a protest and fast from today 26 March 2012 till 1st April 2012, at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, in solidarity with ongoing fast by activists of the anti-nuclear movement at Idinthakarai, Tamil Nadu against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant.NAPM National Convener and noted Social activist Sandeep Pandey is sitting on a seven day fast.

In Chennai too people are fasting in support of anti-nuclear movement in Koodankulam. In Mumbai, noted film-maker Anand Patwardhan is leading a protest in front of Dadar Railway Station. 

On 27th March, 2012, one day fasts will be organised at many places in support of the local people protesting against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant. NAPM Andhra Pradesh is organising a protest demonstration and candle light vigil between 6 to 8 pm on 27th March at Ambedkar Statue, near Tankbund, Hyderabad.

It is ironical that India has raised the issue of atrocities on Tamil people in Sri Lanka at UNHRC but is not relenting its nuclear power pursuit which potentially puts its own Tamil people at grave risk of nuclear tragedy in times to come.

We strongly condemn the undemocratic manner in which nuclear energy is forced upon us. Not only Indian government has used a strong hand to snub the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) in Koodankulam, Tamil Nadu, but also is trying to intimidate and stifle resistance by misleading allegations of a ‘foreign hand’. Dr Udayakumar who leads PMANE has declared his personal assets and he has no FCRA account to receive foreign money. Whereas it is clear that Indian government is working hands-in-glove with bigger ‘foreign hands’ of USA, Russia and other countries in its joint military operations and expanding nuclear programme.

The latest attempt by the CM of Tamil Nadu to brand S.P. Udayakumar as a naxal clearly shows the desperation of the government. We condemn such underhand tactics and attempts by government to mislead general public.

It is the people in Europe and America that have forced their governments by coming out in large numbers on street to abandon nuclear energy. But Indian government is trying to stifle such people’s initiatives to have their say. Our claims of being the largest democracy prove to be hollow.

Recent nuclear emergency in Japan leaves no doubt that this world needs to renounce nuclear power for military and civil/ energy purposes, as soon as possible, to put an end to any further catastrophe in the name of 'energy', 'security' or 'technology'. Nuclear power is clearly the most dangerous options for civil or military use. Countries that have been using nuclear power such as Germany have resolved to abandon nuclear energy by 2022. Japan, USA, and many such nations who were earlier pursuing nuclear energy option are having second thoughts now.

We believe that India should adopt the futuristic energy policy like Japan and the European Union (EU) relying on renewable sources of energy which are non-polluting. Like EU and Japan, India too should aim for a low-carbon energy production system. India’s future energy policy should be low carbon and no nuclear.

We appeal to the Indian government to support dialogue on nuclear energy in a democratic way and until there is a consensus on whether India should go ahead with nuclear programme or not, should stall all nuclear programmes.

National Alliance of People's Movements, Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace, Lok Rajniti Manch and Delhi Solidarity Group.

For more details contact : P.K. Sundaram, 9810556134, Ramesh Sharma, 9818111562, Madhuresh Kumar, 9818905316 and Vijayan M J 9582862682.

Medical camp by BJGVJ//188 patients were examined

20 Patients fitted with free hearing aids 
The Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha (BJGVJ) Haibowal Branch Ludhiana in collaboration with Indian Medical Association Ludhiana and coordinated by Voice of Youth Foundation  held a Free Medical Checkup Camp dedicated to the memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on their 82nd martyrdom day at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Public School, Haqiqat Nagar, Haibowal Kalan, Ludhiana. 188 patients were examined by Dr Arun Mitra ENT Surgeon and Dr.Anakhveer Singh Gill. 20 patients were fitted the free hearing aids after checking their hearing levels. Addressing the gathering Dr.Arun Mitra said that the real tribute to the martyrs is to create a society based on justice and equality to all citizens. He said the quality health care and education is the right of all citizens. Such camps are a miniscule contribution in that direction. He also gave health education about prevention of diseases related to Ear, Nose and Throat. Other who addressed the gathering include Sh.M.S.Bhatia, Maj.Sher Singh Aulukh, Mrs.Gurcharan Kocher, Shri.G.S.Narula, Sh.Harbhajan Singh Bhatia, Sh.Ashish Moliry – Vice President of Voice of Youth Foundation. Mrs.Rajinder Kaur Bhatia – Principal of the school in her thanks giving address appreciated the help extended by Punjab Bank Employees Federation Ludhiana and assured that such like camps will be organized in the future also.
Others who make the function success included Sh.Bhajan Singh, Sh.Avtar Chibber, Sh.Rajesh Verma, Sh.B.D.Saini, Sh.Sunil Grover, Sh.Gulshan Gaba, Sh.Harvinder Singh Obrai, Sh.Prem Grover, Sh.Ramadhar Singh, 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Another play by doctors

Talent sets the stage alight at CMC Ludhiana
The Music and Theatre Workshop of Christian Medical College (CMC) Ludhiana comprises of doctors and students of various colleges of the institution who organizes regular productions. This year, the workshop organized a play entitled ‘Harvey’. The show was staged on three days commencing on the 22ndof march, 2012 at the Lady Willingdon Hall, CMC, Ludhiana.

Mr. Sajin Sunny Mathew, the student co-ordinator of ‘Harvey’ said, “We are glad that the rich tradition of high quality productions we have had in the past has been kept alive with ‘Harvey’ under the patronage of our director, Dr Abhraham G Thomas.”

The play ‘Harvey’ is a comedy in three acts authored by the American playwright Mary Chase. It is about an affable man named Elwood P Dowd (played by Manu Mathew Kurien) who claims to have an unseen friend named Harvey- a six-foot, one-half-inch tall rabbit. His social-climbing sister, Veta( Angela Elizabeth Eapen), and her daughter, Myrtle (Meriya Joseph), find his eccentric behaviour embarrassing. She decides to have him committed to the sanatorium and a comedy of errors ensues. As the play moves hilariously through various comic situations, there is an underlying message of goodwill and encouragement that the lead character always portrays. His philosophy of life is a message to us all. ‘Many years ago,’ he says, ‘my mother told me I should be either oh-so-smart or oh-so-pleasant. I was smart for years. I recommend pleasant.’ Through every stressful situation even in the face of anger, he remains calm, kind and courteous making him well-beloved character by the end. The message of love and bonding between family members which prevails eternally despite mutual faults, is powerfully depicted through the play.

Be it the well- coordinated production, the enticing props and costumes or the proactive backstage crew, the production holds together and moves seamlessly through the three acts. A collective team, comprising a cast of about 11 students and about 50 others pitched in their time, efforts and talents in the making of ‘Harvey’. “An amazing and witty play that’s bound to leave you captivated and entertained” adds Mr. David Livingston. “It was challenging but fulfilling experience  to put up a three act comedy on stage with the right expressions, timings, punch lines to deliver and even working off-screen and on-screen chemistry with the co-cast. It boosted our confidence and built on our positive traits allowing us to improve” said Angela, one of the actors. “Though there wasn’t much tedious work involved, we worked hard at depicting the scenes to the finest detail,” said Ansu John, a member of the props crew. “It was a gratifying job to design the costumes and transport the actors to a different era.” said Amritha Kurien, from the costumes team. The director of the play, Dr Dhruv Ghosh, a paediatric surgeon of CMC said, ‘It was a great joy to work with the students on the play. Their talents never cease to amaze me.’

The annual musicals and plays have been appreciated by the residents of Ludhiana city and surrounding areas for the many years. This year’s play, ‘Harvey’ was a break from the hectic routine of life as aspiring doctors entertained and enthralled the audience showcasing the power of voice and expression. Aditi George, one of crew members said,  “This year’s play is a must see. Funny and heart-warming, it’s a wonderful night of theatre for the whole family.” --Shalu Arora and Rector Kathuria

Friday, March 23, 2012

Homage to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev

Pledge to work for a society based on justice and equality
Ludhiana//March 23, 2012:
The Sanjha Morcha paid homage to the martyrs of the nation Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev today at Jagraon Bridge in which hundreds of activists of Communist Party of India (CPI) Distt. Ludhiana, CPI-M, PPP along with social organizations Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha (BJGVJ), Punjab Istri Sabha, All India Working Women Forum –AITUC participated. They garlanded their statues and pledged to build a nation based on justice and equality. The participants said that the martyrs had dreamt of a nation with equal rights to grow for all the citizens. But event after 64 years of independence we find vast majority of our population living under abject poverty and devoid of basic infrastructure to sustain life including nutrition and quality education & health care. This situation has worsened after the economic policies of neo liberalism and globalization.  The communalist and casteist forces are out to destablise the harmony in society. It is the duty of all secular and democratic forces to foil their designs unitedly.   Prominent among those who were present and addressed today include Com.Kartar Singh Bowani, Dr.Arun Mitra, Com D.P.Maur, Com.O.P.Mehta, Com.Ramesh Rattan, Sh.Barat Bhushan Thapar, S.Rajesh Gandhi, Com.Sukhminder Sekhon, Com.Sukminder Lotey, Com.Jagdis, Mrs.Gurcharan Kocher, Maj.Sher Singh Aulukh, Mrs.Kusum Lata, Com.Gulzar Goria, Com.Nageena, Com.Surinder Sachdeva, Com.Ramadhar Singh, Com.Gurnam SIdhu, Com.Gurnam Gill,  Com Randhir Singh, Com.Devraj, Com.Manjit Mehram, Com.Ragbir Sing Benipal, Com.Dinesh Kumar, Com.Samar Bahadur, Com Gulzar Pandher, Com.Mohan Lal, Com.Baldev Walia, Com.Tilak Raj Sangra, Com.Agya Dass, Com.Kuldeep, Com.Vijay Kumar, Com.Buta Singh, Com.arbans Singh.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

First Lady Talks Military Family Support on 'Letterman'

First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged Americans 
By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 20, 2012 - First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged Americans to rally in support of military families during an appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman" last night.
The first lady shared a few laughs with Letterman, but then grew serious when the topic turned to her Joining Forces campaign. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, the vice president's wife, launched this initiative last year to boost support to troops, veterans and their families.
Service members and their families have served and sacrificed for more than a decade, the first lady noted, yet most Americans are unaware of the extent of their challenges. "We take it for granted because we have 1 percent of this nation serving and protecting the rights of the other 99 percent of us," she said.
Growing up in south Chicago and with limited exposure to the military, the first lady said, she wasn't aware of these challenges either until recently. "It wasn't until I started campaigning and traveling around to military bases where I got to meet these very resilient, proud, disciplined, smart individuals," she said. "I thought, 'Most Americans have no clue about the level of sacrifice they're making so we can live in freedom.'"
The Joining Forces campaign is intended to ensure every service member, veteran and family member understands "they live in a grateful nation," she said.
Obama cited the progress she's seen in military family support since Joining Forces launched last spring, particularly in the area of employment. Organizations have been hosting veteran job fairs across the nation, and President Barack Obama has launched programs and incentives to encourage private-sector employers to hire veterans.
Due to these efforts and others, she said, the unemployment rate among veterans is decreasing at a faster pace than the broader unemployment rate. As of last week, the unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans was down from last year's high of 12.5 percent to 7.6 percent, below the national rate of 8.3 percent.
While this progress is a "great thing," the first lady said, she also called attention to military spouses' employment challenges. In this decade of war, military spouses have moved forward despite the challenges of frequent moves and deployments -- all while caring for children and a household.
But when it comes to moving forward in their own careers, she said, military spouses often run up against a brick wall as they're forced to kick-start their careers at each new location.
"These men and women are just as trained, they are just as prepared, they are just as competent" as their civilian-life counterparts, Obama said. "They're some of the best this country has to offer."
The first lady encouraged people to find military families in their midst and then "do whatever they do best," whether it's offering to mow a lawn or babysit for a family with a deployed loved one, or providing pro bono accounting or attorney services.
Obama also noted the importance of caring for children from military families. It's hard to imagine what they're going through, she said, as they move from base to base every couple of years. She recalled meeting children attending their 12th school in nearly the same number of years.
Still, they're keeping their grades up and are "still managing to keep it all together," she said. "Just imagine what these kids need."
Military families need to be on the forefront of Americans' minds, she told the audience. And, through Joining Forces, "we'll do everything we can to rally support for them so that they never feel that they're alone in this." 

Related Sites:
Special Report: Military Family Support
Joining Forces Campaign
Related Articles:
Veteran Job Prospects Brighter, Panetta Says
First Lady, Panetta Unveil Effort to Aid Spouse Employment

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A 30 years old Punjabi farmer got a new life from CMC

Bypass on a beating heart the risk of the repair is reduced:Dr.Bedi
A happy Mr Baljinder and family with Dr Harinder Singh Bedi 
Ludhiana, 17th March, 2012 (Shalu Arora and Rector Kathuria) Mr Baljinder Singh – a 30 year old farmer of Nakodar – was in a difficult situation. This young man had suffered 2 massive heart attacks 4 and 2 years back due to which his heart pumping was very weak and he was unable to breathe. He was investigated at heart hospitals in Chandigarh where it was diagnosed that besides blockage of his heart arteries he also had a severe leakage of his main heart valve (the mitral valve). He was in imminent danger of another heart attack but because of his double pathology (blockage + valve leakage) he was refused surgery. He then came to Dr Harinder Singh Bedi – Head of Cardio Vascular & Thoracic Surgery at the Christian Medical College & Hospital in Ludhiana. Dr Bedi realized that the valve leakage was not due to an intrinsic defect or tear of the valve but was due to the heart size becoming big (dilating) leading to failure of the valve to close properly. Contrary to popular Punjabi belief – Dr Bedi said – a ‘large’ heart is not really a healthy heart. The leakage led to a vicious cycle wherein the leak caused a further enlargement which in turn leads to more leakage. Till now the treatment was a complicated valve repair which was not always successful or a valve replacement which had its own problems.  A new repair technique is now being used all over the world – it is called a mitral valve repair using a McCartney-Carpentier-Adams Edwards IMR ring. This has been designed by Edwards company of USA in collaboration with world leaders in valve repair techniques – Dr McCartney and Dr  Adams from USA and the legendary Dr Carpentier from Paris . This technique was taught to Dr Bedi by the inventor Dr McCartney himself. Dr Bedi added his own modification by doing the bypass first on a beating heart - Dr Bedi is credited with having done the world’s first series of beating heart surgery and has a Limca World Record for the same. Dr Bedi explained that by doing the bypass on a beating heart the risk of the repair is reduced. The heart was then put on an imported heart lung machine for a very short time and stopped with ice. The heart chambers were opened and the valve repaired successfully with this new ring. The operation was successful and the valve leakage immediately stopped.

Baljinder is now doing well. The other members of the Heart team are Dr A Joseph, Dr S Garg, Dr Melchi, Dr Paul, Dr Deepak, Dr Vaishu, Dr Amruta, Dr Sarah, and Mr Jairus, and Mr William. Dr Bedi explained that if the valve had been changed Baljinder would have required life long close supervision and expensive medications. Dr McCartney has congratulated Dr Bedi and CMC on the excellent result and complimented him on his skills.

Dr Abraham G Thomas – Director of CMC & H – said that the CMC was committed to bringing International level expertise and equipment to the people of the region.

A discussion by Punjab Manch

Punjab Election:Poll % has considerably declined
Chandigarh// March 18, 2012//Bureau Report: 
Recent Punjab assembly polls witnessed highest ever turnover of around 79 per cent voting which could be projected as an evidence that Punjabis have a firm faith in the democratic system based on universal suffrage. But, at the same time poll percentage has considerably declined in the case of both the Akali-BJP combine which returned to power for the second time in a row and its main rival party, Congress- a runner-up in the election fray. As compared to the 2007 assembly elections, the winning alliance secured 3.49 per cent lesser votes and Congress’s share came down by 0.79 per cent. This trend indicates the Punjab voters have not swung in favor of either of the two main contenders. And they wanted a change in the regime which eluded them because of various reasons and factors. As statistics vouchsafe that the winning alliance, at least, could not claim the people have voted in favor of them overwhelmingly and have recorded their appreciation for “ better governance and development works undertaken by the last Akali-BJP regime”.    
    Thus, the election results have surprised and puzzled many about how the vote-arithmetic have worked and what factors played their decisive role in sealing the fate of an overconfident Congress. In their attempt to crack the puzzle; thinkers, academicians, journalists and social activists assembled in Kisan Bhawan here today and deliberated for about three hours on the undercurrents that brought Akalis-BJP back to power.
Participating in the discussion, organized by the Punjab Manch, former Baba Farid Medical University Registrar Dr Piayre Lal Garg said it is interesting that the Akari-BJP comes to power in Punjab even by getting 3.49 per cent less votes as compared to the 2007 election. Dr. Garg said there should be an alternative agenda to rally around recurring dissent among the people against the corporate and neo-liberal policies being pursued by the mainstream parties. There is an urgent need of dismantling a myth being orchestrated by the media that Akal-BJP combine won the election because of the best management by Sukhbir Singh Badal. 
Commenting on defeat of Congress, Senior journalist Hamir Singh said the Congress had failed to project itself as strong opposition to the Badal government, hence it could not cash upon on apparent wide-spread resentment among the people on some anti-people policies of the outgoing regime. As the Akali-BJP regime followed the same model of development in Punjab which was being pursued by Congress led UPA government at the Centre, the Punjab Congress could not gather the moral strength to oppose those policies. Visibly upset over such developments, the people wanted a change in the state’s governance and voted for the PPP getting a sizeable 5.17 per cent votes. Whereas Samajwadi Party swept the polls by gaining the same per cent of votes over its nearest rival BSP in Uttar Pradesh.
Senior columnist-writer Jaspal Singh Sidhu said the Punjab Congress lost election because its Delhi-based high command invariably adopts a patronizing attitude towards its state units and acts as a balancing force for different pressure groups instead of resolving their differences for strengthening them. Such top-down command structure of Congress and other all-India party, BJP are fast ceasing to work in the era of reasserting regionalism that has already forced the ‘national parties’ to form coalition governments with regional political parties.
Senior journalist Jagtar Singh said that the Akalis who were loosing six months before the polls, However managed to refashion their image, through skillful management. Despite the Election Commission’s strict vigilance, candidates freely exercised use of money and drinks through some innovative ways to buy votes.
Prof Manjit Singh from Punjab University said the common man stands nowhere in the electoral system which has virtually been hijacked and seized by those who have a hold on political, money and muscle power. And the democracy is no longer a participatory exercise for the people to choose their own representatives rather it has been turned out to be a ‘convenient tool’ in the hands of a political class to usurp power. 
Another columnist Karmajit Singh said the panthic agenda from religious point of view was totally ignored in the election but cultural strains too become a casualty perhaps because of globalization and corporate dominance has succeeded in spreading the Western culture and English language.
Another journalist Yadwinder said the politics has been corporatized leaving a shrunk space for alternate people’s agenda. 
But Malwinder Singh Mali said that people’s search for 3rd alternative could be seen as they refrained from voting the two mainstream parties resulting in decline in their vote share.
CPI(ML-Liberation) activist Kanwaljit Singh said the masses has to be motivated and politicized to make them vote for the alternative agenda of change as the masses in placid situation tend to be driven by their vested interests and short-sightedness. 
Former Punjab Mandi Board chairman Jugraj Singh Gill said congress lost elections because of wrong allocation of tickets.
Karnail Singh Jakhepal and several others participated in the discussion. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

College Of Nursing, CMC, Ludhiana

Alumni Day celebrated
Ludhiana, College of Nursing, CMC, Ludhiana celebrated Alumni Day. The induction ceremony was started by word of prayer followed by presentation of mementos and badges to the new members. Prof. (Mrs) Ponnamma R. Singh, Principal, College of Nursing welcomed and introduced the Chief Guest Prof. (Mrs.) H. Asha Emmanuel.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest laid importance on the association. Senior members of the profession felicitated the new alumni members. Alumni news letter was also released at this occasion. The program was ended with a variety of entertainment.
It was a home coming for many of the senior alumni members. The scientific session on "Evidence Based Practice” was chaired by Prof.Mrs Triza Jiwan 

Friday, March 16, 2012

CPI, AITUC and PPP on budget

The Union Budget:A strange string of announcements: PPP
In his budget speech, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee quoted a line from William Shakespeare’s seminal play, Hamlet- The Prince of Denmark. , “ I must be cruel only to be kind,” he said, suggesting that it is time for the government to take tough actions to ensure a better future. But his actions were in dissonance to his words. The Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was a strange string of announcements that made all the right noises about the problems faced by Indian economy, but was woefully inadequate in terms of policy measures to control these problems. Let us start from inflation. Over the past many months, almost all the top leaders of UPA government have admitted that common man deserve relief from the unconscionable levels of inflation that we have seen in the past 3-4 years. But despite this, the Finance Minister, increases the Excise duty by 2 per cent. Not only this, he extends the scope of service tax. All these enhancements are going to be passed on to the final consumer, and will fuel the inflation to further heights.  Amidst such circumstances, the minor income tax reliefs that the finance ministers seems to have offered appear to be a cruel joke.
By not controlling inflation, the government wants the common man to struggle to eke out a living, but on its own it continues to live at unconscionably high expenditure as is shown by the humungous government debt which close to 46 per cent of country’s GDP. Even when saddled with this monstrosity, there is no attempt to mend by the UPA government to mend its ways. The fiscal deficit is in excess of 5 per cent, way beyond the permissible limit of 2 per cent. Once you include the fiscal deficits of our profligate states, than we are staring at a figure that would reveal that India is on a precipice of debt disaster that can have catastrophic consequences for the economy. So basically India is facing a situation where we are saddled with the two most critical problems of a modern economy i.e. high inflation and high deficits. Add to it the political pusillanimity which has become a hallmark of the UPA government. With such a deadly cocktail in offering, it is obvious that foreign investors are not going to savour the prospect of coming to India (leave aside the Foreign Institutional Investors). With no investment coming in green field projects, I fail to see, how can the finance minister be hopeful of attaining GDP growth levels of 7.8 per cent.
Such talk is nothing but political sophistry aimed at diverting attention from government’s own inadequacies. The UPA government seems to develop cold feet on many of the initiatives it itself had pursued with great gusto initially. Mr Mukherjee’s speech today was resoundingly silent on Direct Tax Code as well as on any road map to implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Increase in disbursal of credit to agriculture is welcome but government has again been found wanting in ensuring the proper distribution of this credit. Independent researchers have shown the politicians have used this agriculture credit scheme to further their own objectives. Data shows, that the agriculture credit is disproportionately high in the constituencies of influential politicians and inadequate in areas where there is a dire need of funding.
There have been no reliefs or incentives for small scale manufacturers and even the sunrise sectors of biotech, IT, telecom and media- which have largely fuelled India’s growth in the last few years. There is in incentive for capacity expansion, which means, that fewer jobs would be created but that India’s economic growth would continue to buoyed by consumption. While consumption is an important facet of economic growth, an overlying importance of consumption instead of investment to fuel economic growth can be problematic. This problem is further exacerbated if the country is passing through a crisis of high inflation. Unfortunately, we are witnessing both consumption led growth as well as high inflation. It is staggering that the government led by an eminent economist, has chosen to do nothing about it.

This is against the interests of the workmen-AITUC
Com O P Mehta Secretary All India Trade Union Congress, Ludhiana and Com D P Maur – Secretary Joint Council of Trade Unions Ludhiana has criticized the union finance minister for decreasing the interest rate on the Employees Provident Fund from 9.5 to 8.25%. This is against the interests of the workmen who have minimum saving from this. He warned the government to revoke this decision otherwise face stiff opposition from the working people.

CPI Ludhiana unit termed the budget to be inflationary 
The Communist Party of India Distt. Ludhiana has termed the budget to be inflationary as increase in the service tax and the excise duty will lead to increase in the burden on the people. Marginal increase in the tax slab exemption is a mockery with the people as it no where meets the price rise during the last year. There is marginal increase in the health budget which will not meet the health care needs of the people as a minimum of 6% of the GDP is needed from the public spending to give basic minimum health care to all. No policy in employment generation and security of jobs has been defined. Agriculture section has not got the attention due to it. Decision to raise Rs. 30,000 crore  through disinvestment is against the interest of the nation and the working people. statement was issued by 
Asstt. Secretary Dr Arun Mitra and City Secretary Ramesh Rattan.                      


Reasons for the disasterous decimation of 
Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in UP elections   
March 13, 2012
Anti-Hindu attitude of the UPA Government led by Sonia Gandhi, their blind appeasement of the Muslims in India, torture and arrests of Hindu  saints and leaders and the multi-billion dollar scams of its key ministers in government -  all these factors contributed heavily to the humiliating defeat of The Dynasty this month in the Utter Pradesh state elections.
Now the details:
1.     Sonia Gandhi’s insidious attempt to draft the “Communal Violence Bill 2011” with help of the Islamists and Leftists was clearly viewed by the country’s large Hindu population as malicious in content and designed to destroy the Hinduism in India.
2.     Home Minister P. Chidambaram had openly equated the dangerous Islamic terrorism in country with the patriotic efforts of Hindu groups, which he labeled the “Saffron terrorism” or “Hindu terrorism.” Such mindless efforts from the government side deeply antagonized the one billion Hindus who had quietly decided to get even at the election time.
3.     The openly undemocratic and blatantly highhanded crushing of the Baba Ramdev’s peaceful protest at Delhi’s Ram Leela grounds with a brutal force of 5000 Delhi policemen on orders of the Congress Party leaders had angered many Hindus. The arrest and tortures of patriotic Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Colonel Purohit, Swami Aseemanand and others had convinced the Hindu leaders to take action and get rid of the perpetrators of the injustice. UPA Government’s obstinate refusal to come up with a fair and effective Lokpal Bill for catching corrupt politicians in country also added fuel to the fire.
4.     The UPA government is so terribly frightened of the Islamic terrorism in country that it dare not take any strong action against. Additionally, it has ignored the sufferings of seven lakh Kashmiri Hindus and overlooked their genocide, ethnic cleansing and expulsion from the land of their ancestors.
5.     Hindu girls are kidnapped everyday not only in Pakistan but also in India and are converted to Islam. They are then forcibly married to Muslim men and the Congress Party government watches it all shamelessly. Minority Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh are already living in a state of Islamic subjugation and savagery. In December last year, 250 Hindus had left their homes and hearths in Pakistan and sought asylum in India.
6.     On the top of that, the UPA government’s sinister attempt to arbitrarily increase the quota of government jobs for Muslims taking away a share of OBC has angered the Hindu Society. In order to appease the Muslims for votes, the government avoids taking action on Afzal Guru who was ordered to be hanged by Supreme Court of India for his heinous crime of attacking the nation’s Parliament in 2001. All these crimes against the country made Hindus very unhappy.
7.     UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s son Rahul Gandhi is known to nurse a deep hatred against the Hindus. He considers the patriotic, peaceful and law abiding Hindus to be more dangerous for India than the internationally known Pakistani terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba. The young crown prince is reported to have told the United States ambassador Timothy Roemer that the growth of 'radicalized Hindu groups' could pose a bigger threat to the country.
8.     Under the UPA dispensation, the term secularism has turned into an euphemism for Hindu-bashing and Muslim-appeasement. Even though the country’s Hindu population is over 83%, Hindus are treated as the second class citizens and their voice is gagged.
9.     Thank goodness that the great men like Baba Ramdev, Dr. Subramanian Swamy and the freedom-fighter Anna Hazare are currently playing a big role in exposing the corruption in high places. They have taken up the important task of educating the masses and bringing back the billions of dollars of Indian money stashed in the foreign and Swiss accounts.
10.                         -The Congress party leaders like Digvijay Singh, Salman Khurshid, Rahul Gandhi, and Sonia Gandhi are busy protecting the criminals in government and covering their sins. These people have proved to be ineffective and totally uninspiring to the masses.  They probably believe that just by doing the Bhashan-bazi (giving lectures), they would be able to fool the country’s voters.
With the huge electoral loss of the Sonia-Rahul Gandhi’s Congress party in the UP elections, an old popular Bollywood song has once again come alive, “ jhumka gira re Bareli ke bazar mein.” It points out that the Dynasty has lost in a big way in the market place of Rai Bareli where their party was badly routed even though the region was their stronghold in the past.
We believe, in the upcoming national elections of year 2014, the world will witness the spectacle of rapid and inexorable rout of Sonia Gandhi and her cronies. In those elections, the corrupt ruling politicians and their buddies will suffer cataclysmic consequences for their egregious violations of Hindu Human Rights. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Family Matters Blog: Military Vets Aid Families' Pets

By Navy Lt. Theresa Donnelly
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2012 - Active duty service members and military retirees who own a pet and live near a military installation have a great service at their disposal: veterinary clinics.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Capt. Dixie Burner and Army Spc. Carol Albino examine a stray cat that recently gave birth to kittens. U.S. Army photo by Kathy Eastwood 

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Clinic providers ensure the health of our furry friends by providing preventive care and wellness checks.

These clinics are run by the Army's Veterinary Corps, a special group of dedicated soldiers who have a host of missions. They care for pets stateside, handle veterinary medical and surgical care, food safety and defense, and biomedical research and development.
Caring for pets is beneficial not only for the pet owners, but also for the veterinarians, explained Army Col. Robert Vogelsang, program manager for clinical veterinary medicine for U.S. Army Public Health Command. "Along with the primary animal-care mission for military working animals, providing some care to authorized beneficiaries' pets helps veterinarians and technicians sustain skills they need for wartime and contingency operations," he said.
Animal doctors travel to conflict-affected areas around the world to administer vaccines and other treatments for farmers' livestock in rural areas and underserved communities where care for animals is limited or unavailable. In many countries, the veterinarians are part of the Army's civic action teams, meeting with government leaders and helping them with sustainable agricultural programs. These "soft power" programs help build rapport in the community and can help weaken support for insurgent activity, officials said.
Most service members' primary interaction with the Army's veterinarians is through the military's 160veterinary treatment facilities, which provide wellness checks, preventive medicine and outpatient services.
Veterinary care is funded by nonappropriated funds generated through services charged to pet owners, Vogelsang explained, which limits how much care can be offered. However, clinics try to keep pet owners' costs reasonable while still covering the expense of clinic operations.
Vogelsang pointed out some common issues Army veterinarians experience when working with military families, including a lack of knowledge of the import and entry requirements when moving to a new installation. He recommended service members contact the Army VTF at their prospective duty stationand find out the base's requirements.
He also addressed the stray animal issue. "Though the vast majority of pet owners consider their pet as a member of the family and take very good care of them, some installations have experienced increases in stray animals assumed to have been abandoned by owners," he said. "We encourage service families who can't move their pets to find homes for them."
To stay informed on the latest developments in their field, military veterinarians have a working relationship with the American Veterinary Medical Association, a nonprofit organization representing veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia and uniformed services.
The AVMA website has numerous videos, pamphlets, and other frequently asked questions on pet care. The website also lists resources for understanding symptoms affecting animals and information on other topics such as disaster preparedness for pets, pet food safety, heartworm prevention, pet first aid and animal dental care.
Taking on the lifetime responsibility to care for an animal is a huge commitment for any family, especially a military family who deals with regular moves. A pet should be a carefully thought-out decision, taking into account alternative homes of care and what pets are able to travel with the family. Our Army veterinarians can provide another great resource to answer your questions and to ensure your pet stays healthy.
Guest blogger Navy Lt. Theresa Donnelly, of U.S. Pacific Command, is the owner of Hawaii Military Pets, which provides pet resources for military families. She's offered to share her pet-related knowledge in a series of blogs for Family Matters.
Related Sites:
Family Matters Blog

Population based stroke registry survey

Objective of the study is to find the burden of stroke
Ludhiana, 14th March, 2012 (Shalu Arora and Rector Kathuria)
Photo courtesy: Lourdes
The department of neurology at Christian Medical College is conducting a “Population based stroke registry survey” sponsored by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). This is a unique project being conducted in the country only in the city of Ludhiana under the HOD, Depttof Neurology, CMC&H. The burst of development, evolving socioeconomic status and wealth in the city has led to change in lifestyle, increased stress affecting the health of residents. The risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, alcohol consumption etc lead to stroke in the form of brain attack, paralysis, brain hemorrhage. In this national program, information about all the first stroke patients that occur in Ludhiana city, is being collected from August 16th 2010 onwards.

The objective of the study is to find the burden of stroke, stroke types and risk factors for stroke in Ludhiana city. The data collection is done from city birth and death division, selected health care institutions and scan centers.

The Deptt of neurology, CMC offers free check-up and blood test to stroke patients whose information could not be collected because, due to some reason, they received treatment outside of Ludhiana. The stroke should have occurred after August 16th 2010 and should be a first stroke with patient being above 18years of age. To seek appointment regarding the same you can contact Dr.Jeyaraj D.Pandian at 9915784750; Dr.Shweta Jain:9855334242; Ms.Gagandeep mehmi:7837743961; Mr.Amber sharma:7696575767. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Growing crisis in school education may lead to revolt

The crisis is bound to grow further manifold in coming days
Ashok Agarwal Lawyer & Social Activist
Middle Class is forced to send their children to English Medium Fee-Charging Private Schools as they are convinced that there is no future of their children in Poor-Quality Government-run schools. Most glaring fact is that even those manning (Teachers and other Officers) Government-run schools are also sending their children to these private schools as they are equally convinced that there is no future of their children in their own Government-run schools.
In the back drop of the constitutional right of every child to free education, the middle class is forced to part with nearly 35% of its hard earned income in providing education to its children through private schools. It is not out of free will. Allow admissions in Kendriya Vidyalayas to all their children and then find within next 48 hours that more than 50 percent of the parents withdrawing their children from the private schools and sending them to KVs. However, it is not happening due to deliberately designed anti-people, unconstitutional, arbitrary and discriminatory laws and policies of the Governments. The unjust, arbitrary and exorbitant fee-hike every year by the private schools has put the middle class in great financial difficulties as it is becoming un-affordable for them. The middle class is agitating all over the country on this issue but without any solution in sight and therefore, the crisis is bound to grow further manifold in coming days.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act, 2009) has provided limited opportunity to the children belonging to disadvantaged group and economically weaker sections to receive free elementary education in recognized private schools to the extent of 25% of seats at the entry level class. It has certainly raised high aspirations among the poor and disadvantaged people to get their children educated in English Medium Private Schools. However, such aspirations for most of them would be elusive as all the children are not going to get admission in these schools. It is already resulting in growing unrest among them.
On one hand, for various reasons, the demand for quality government schools is increasing among the masses and on the other hand, Governments have miserably failed to meet the same. It is all resulting in growing anger among the masses. It is manifest from the agitations being resorted to by the parents and the students demanding their right to quality school education in different parts of the country.
All the parents sending their children to private or government schools are the victims of the present education system cleverly designed to exploit them in one way or the other.  Growing unrest among the common people is seen as a hope for change.
Contact at

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Annual Convocation of DD Jain Memorial College

385 Graduates were awarded the degrees
Annual Convocation of Devki Devi Jain Memorial College was held on March 10, 2012. Dr. C.S. Meena hon’ble Joint Secretary, UGC was the chief guest of the function. 375 Graduates of Arts, Commerce, Computer Applications, M.A.(History and Hindi), M.Sc.(IT) & PGDCA were awarded the degrees. 18 students made the institution proud by registering their names in the book of Roll of honour for their excellent performance in various fields. Mrs. Surinder Dua, officiating principal of the college in her annual report highlighted the achievements of the students in different fields during the session 2010-11 and appreciated the role of teachers and management in the success of the college.
Dr. C.S. Meena, in his convocation address congratulated the pass outs and wished them a bright future. He emphasized the role of education in women empowerment and advised the graduates to feel proud of whatever role they choose to play in life whether it is that of a professional or a home maker.
He further said that UGC sanctions many grants and has introduced various schemes for the benefit of women who are interested in pursuing higher studies. Dr. Amarjit singh Dua, Former Dean College Development Council GNDU, Dr. S.P. Singh Former Vice Chancellor GNDU, Ms. Param Saini, a renowned Clinical psychologist were the guests of honour. Samaj Rattan Sh. Hira Lal Jain, Chairman, Sh. Kedar Nath Jain, President, Sh. Raj Kumar Jain & Sh. Shanti Saroop Jain, Sr. Vice President, Sh. Sheetal Kumar Jain, Vice President, Sh. Bipin Jain, Secretary, Sh. Arvind Kumar Jain, Joint Secretary, Sh. Shiv Desh Bandhu Gupta, Manager (Jain Girls Sr. Sec. School), Sh. Surinder Kumar Jain, Manager (D.D. Jain Memorial College for Women), Sh. Yogesh Kumar Jain, Manager (Atam Devki Niketan), Sh. Amrit Lal Jain, Member Advisory Board, Sh. Yogeshwar Jain, Sh. Naresh Kumar Jain, Sh. Prem Kumar, Sh. Ajit Kumar Jain, Sh. Sachin Jain, Sh. Satinder Jain and other worthy members of managing committee graced the occasion with their benign presence. (Report:Rector Kathuria// Photos:Sanjay Sood)

Annual Convocation of 4 C M C colleges

Convocation of 4 CMC Colleges held on with traditional grandeur
Ludhiana, 10th March, 2012 ( Shalu Arora and Rector Kathuria)
 Annual Convocation of Christian Medical College, Christian Dental College, College of Nursing and College of Physiotherapy, Ludhiana was held on 10th March 2012 with traditional grandeur today in the College Campus,       Prof. (Dr.) S.S. Gill, Vice Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot was the Chief Guest. He said, “At the outset, let me thank the Institute for inviting me here to participate in this memorable occasion and to distribute the Convocation credentials to merit holders. Your profession is prestigious, with ample scope for growth. You are part of the educated class that society looks up to, for guidance and awareness. On this convocation day, I wish all the young Doctors & Nurses the very best in life and a wonderful future with achievements and I wish they should also treat the poor people.
It is always a pleasure to visit CMC & Hospital and I am delighted to be here with the younger generation of doctors and nurses today. Christian Medical College has a long tradition of pursuing excellence in teaching and research in science. He also appreciated the Christian Medical College & Hospital for its exceptional services in the field of Medical.

Dr. Abraham G. Thomas, Director CMC & Hospital welcomed the gathering, Dr. S. M. Bhatti, Principal administered the Hippocratic Oath to the Graduates and Postgraduates. Fifty five Medical Graduates 25 Postgraduates were awarded the degrees.  Students excelling in various academic activities were awarded Prizes and Medals by the Chairman, Governing Board, CMC Ludhiana.   Geetika Gera, Sebastian Marker, Asha Thomas, Devki Verma, Cynthia Sarah Mathews,  Shrutika Gupta,  Jenni Mariam George, Jibi John , Jincy Mariya Paul were the prominent prize winners.  Dr. Midhila Baby won the gold medal for best intern while Dr. Shubdha Garg was awarded Dr. Jaswant Kaur Gill Memorial award for best outgoing medical resident and Dr. Supriya Sen was awarded Dr. Abraham G.Thomas award for the best outgoing resident in Surgery.  Overview of faculty achievements was presented by Principal, Dr. S.M..Bhatti. The Association of Medical Alumni awarded Life Time Achievement award to Dr. Patience Williams. Dr. V. K. Satija Award for best Clinical Teacher went to Dr. Nitin Batra while batch of 1976 Excellence in Teaching Award went to Dr. Bobby John. Rejul K Raj was awarded Alumni Prize for best all-round graduate.
58 B.Sc. Nursing graduates and 23 M.Sc. Nursing post-graduates awarded the degree on 36th Annual Convocation. Gurwinder Kaur B.Sc. Nursing 1st year, Damanpreet kaur B.Sc. Nursing 2nd year, Navpreet Kaur B.Sc. Nursing 3rd year, Shefali Singla B.Sc. Nursing 4th year secured 1st position in the college.  Gigi M.George secured first position in B.Sc. Nursing Aggregate. Amrinder Kaur M.Sc.Nursing 1st year and Sukhbir Kaur M.Sc.Nursing 2nd year stood first in the College.  Sukhbir Kaur ranked first in M.Sc. Nursing Aggregate. Special prizes were awarded to Shefali Singla for Best Community Health Nurse, Twinkle Mary Paul & Gigi M.George for Best Bed Side nurse and Achsah T.Thampi was awarded for the All Round Best Student Nurse. Pro.Mrs. Ponnamma R.Singh, Principal, College of Nursing congrats all the students.

Dr. Abi M. Thomas, Principal, Christian Dental College presented the college report.  There were 40 BDS and 4 MDS graduates to receive their degrees.  5 students received gold medals.  In the report he highlighted the achievements of the faculty and students in the last year.  Ms. Ashima Razdan was topper in the final Professional BDS examination.    The overall pass percentage in the University examinations for the third and final year BDS was 100%.As part of the goal oriented education, all our students are committed to serve an area of need after their graduation.   At present 35 graduates of Christian Dental College are working in different parts of the country and one at Liberia, West Africa.  The dental students council actively supported the administration in coordinating different programmes.    The Principal highlighted that there were 22 scientific paper presentations, 13 poster presentations, and 22 scientific publications in national and international journals were done by our students and faculty in the last year. 

Dr. Kim Mammen, Associate Director, CMC proposed the vote of thanks.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Therapist Uses Art to Help Troops Heal

The center provides treatment, recovery, rehabilitation and...
By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

Creative arts therapist Melissa Walker offers a wealth of supplies to service members to complete their art projects in the Healing Arts Program at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Walker developed her program to help those with psychological health issues and traumatic brain injuries. DOD photo by Terri Moon Cronk 
BETHESDA, Md., March 8, 2012 - An art therapist is using the power of creativity to help service members heal from traumatic brain injuries and psychological health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

Melissa Walker designed the Healing Arts Program at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence on the campus of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center here. She is the program's sole art therapist, and also serves as its coordinator. The program aims to help the recovering service members find a creative haven where their buried post-war thoughts and emotions can come to the surface through art and therapy.
With gentle encouragement from Walker, active-duty troops create their way to healing. By working on their art projects in a personal manner, they confront the circumstances of their injuries and begin to overcome the uncertainty they might feel, she said.

"What's bothering them runs the gamut of that moment in time: ... the frozen trauma, the frozen memory. They can't seem to shake what they've internalized," Walker said.

Service members with psychological health issues and traumatic brain injuries create an endless variety of designs on papier-mache masks to help them clarify their thoughts and sense of self, art therapist Melissa Walker said. Their designs vary from their war experiences to picturing themselves as healing while undergoing treatment at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. DOD photo by Terri Moon Cronk.Download screen-resolution                                    Download high-resolution
The center provides treatment, recovery, rehabilitation and, sometimes, reintegration to active duty for service members who have psychological health issues and traumatic brain injury. All have mild to moderate post-traumatic stress disorder, and most also have had some kind of head injury from exposure to a blast injury or fall, Walker said.

When these service members come to the center, they're often in a confused place, and some experience a loss of identity. Those who want to return to duty have a difficult time because they're passionate about their jobs, and those who will rejoin the civilian world wonder what they'll face, she said.

"They need to realize, 'It's time to take care of myself,'" she said.

Art therapy is one element of the center's interdisciplinary treatment. Walker, who designed the Healing Arts Program when the center opened two years ago, said creating art slows down the brain so people can focus and improve their cognitive skills and hand-eye coordination.

Walker's interest in the effects of war on troops stems from childhood memories of her grandfather returning from military service in Korea with what she now believes was post-traumatic stress. But, she said, "there wasn't a name for it then." White House, Defense Department and Veterans Affairs officials have made traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress treatment and prevention a top priority during the past decade of war.

By their third week in the Healing Arts Program, Melissa Walker assigns service members montages to design that signify their experiences at the center and characteristics they see in themselves. One wrote a poem in a creative writing class and incorporated it into his montage, which Walker said brought him "full circle." The art therapy program is a four-week piece of the treatment plan at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for those with psychological health issues and traumatic brain injuries from their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. DOD photo by Terri Moon Cronk.
Download screen-resolution                                          Download high-resolution
Walker begins her treatment by meeting the service members one-on-one so she can get to know them and their goals while they are at the center. This also helps her meet the art therapy needs of each small group of about five people, she said. She has the service members design a mask, a montage and a postcard in any design with any materials they want, from magazine clippings to beads and paint. Most of their artistic creations, she said, reflect their inner thoughts concerning deployment, their injuries, various war experiences, and their futures.

Since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, military officials have recognized family members' needs for support, and Walker's Healing Arts Program is no exception. One night a week, family members come to Walker's family class to do the same projects as the service members, to give this group of caregivers a break and a chance to "breathe," Walker said.

Service members' mask designs vary, she said, recalling a service member who divided his mask into the halves of two faces, depicting how he saw himself as both a civilian and a member of the military. The split-self has to do with identity, she said. Some who still have war images in their minds might design a scene of the injuries they and their fellow troops suffered.

The groups discuss their mask creations and what they mean. Walker said these discussions bring up personal and symbolic experiences. Sharing and discussing artwork establishes a sense of community and bonding with one another, which is particularly helpful to those with post-traumatic stress who tend to isolate themselves and don't trust others, she said.

"Some feel a lot has been lifted off their shoulders," she said of the group discussions. "Some will share things they never have before and feel validated. They realize they aren't alone."

Walker said the service members with psychological health issues and traumatic brain injury have "layers and layers of complications." In a similar manner, the montages they design often reflect the past, present and future of who they are, which helps them clarify their sense of self, Walker said.

The art therapist described the montage of another student who created a representation of himself in three stages: gradually coming from the dark side of war, opening a door labeled "NICoE," and stepping into brightness to depict healing, she said.

Walker's goal at the final week's commencement is to leave each
service member in "a forward-thinking mode," by asking them to design a postcard with a "positive" hand-scribed note for one of the center's recent graduates.

"One wrote, 'Remember what you learned here,'" she said.

Walker said she is confident future studies will bear positive results of art therapy for those with PTSD and TBI. For now, she added, she stands determined to help people confront and cope with their wounds by expression through art.

"I always tell them, 'I'm so glad you're here and taking time for yourself, and the biggest step you've taken is being open to this,'" she said. "That's huge. That's brave."

Related Sites: National Intrepid Center of Excellence
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center