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Bihar Polls: Once mocked as ‘navsakhiya’, Tejashwi Yadav proves his mettle

Tiwari said the RJD under Tejashwi managed to win 75 seats, one more than the mighty BJP, where most of the top leaders campaigned against him and called him ‘jungleraj ka yuvraj’.



Tejashwi Yadav

He was mocked as a failed cricketer and often called a ‘navsikhiya’ (newcomer) during the 2020 election campaign, taunted for 15 years as ‘jungleraj ka yuvraj’ (the prince of rule of lawlessness), called a matric fail (one who didn’t clear class 10), but Tejashwi Yadav, son of former Chief Ministers Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi established himself this year as a seasoned politician. Not just did he challenge veteran Nitish Kumar and the mighty BJP but also single-handedly made the Rashtriya Janata Dal(RJD), the single-largest party in the politically sensitive state.

Tejashwi, who made his debut in politics in 2015 assembly polls, was seen under the shadow of his father as he travelled along with him in several Mahagathabandhan (Grand Alliance) rallies and also addressed public meetings on his own, especially in his family bastion of Raghopur, which was once represented by Lalu and his mother Rabri Devi.

During his political campaigning in Raghopur assembly constituency in 2015, Tejashwi used to speak to voters saying ‘Ham hain Tejashwi, Lalu ji ke chotka beta’ (I am Tejashwi, the younger son of Lalu) to gel with the core voters of his family, which resulted in a thumping victory, paving the way for him to be Deputy Chief Minister.

However, things changed for him soon as his family was embroiled in several cases of benami assets that was highlighted by BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, making the central agencies swing into action. Later, his father was jailed in connection with several cases of the fodder scam.

By mid-2017, the JD-U, one of the core members of the Grand Alliance, besides the Congress and the RJD, ditched the alliance and forged an alliance with the NDA to form the government.

Despite the setback, Tejashwi showed maturity and took on the responsibility of his party and decided to fight back.

And in 2020, he single handedly addressed more over 247 rallies and four road shows in absence of his father.

Speaking to IANS, RJD’s Mrityunjay Tiwari said, “Those who raised questions over the talent of Tejashwi have today accepted his prowess. People are accepting that he alone engaged with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several BJP Chief Ministers who campaigned in Bihar, despite facing such personal attacks on him.”

Tiwari said since the Grand Alliance could not come to power, people have high expectations from him now as they can see a ray of hope in him.

Pointing out at the campaign strategy of Tejashwi, the RJD leader said, “He kept his campaigning on the core issues for the people of Bihar. We were the first to promise employment to 10 lakh people after being voted to power. Tejashwi raised the issue of migrant workers, unemployment, better education and the need of industries in Bihar.”

Tiwari also opined that people are yet not ready to accept the defeat of the Grand Alliance in Bihar.

“He will keep on working for the people as a mature opposition in the state and fighting for people’s causes,” he said.

When asked if Tejashwi had emerged from the shadow of his father, Lalu, who is extremely popular in Bihar for his oratory skills, Tiwari said, “There is no doubt in this. He is not under his political shadow, he is Lalu’s heir who has brought the RJD to the status of single-largest party in the state once again.”

Tiwari said the RJD under Tejashwi managed to win 75 seats, one more than the mighty BJP, where most of the top leaders campaigned against him and called him ‘jungleraj ka yuvraj’.

“Machali ke bachho ko tairana nahi sikhaya jata, woh khud seekh jaata hai. During the entire campaigning he didn’t lose focus despite personal attacks by opponents. Like his father, he kept his focus to reach to his goal,” Tiwari said.

“However, we are not so lucky this time to form the government but in the coming years he will be definitely become a mature and seasoned politician,” he added.

The RJD contested the 2020 assembly polls in alliance with Congress and the Left parties. The Congress managed to win 19 seats while the Left parties won 16 seats. The Grand Alliance failed to reach the magic figure of 122 by 12 seats as it could manage only 110 seats.

In the 2015 assembly polls too, the RJD had won 80 seats and was the single-largest party.

(Anand Singh can be contacted at [email protected])


Rise in Severe Acute Malnutrition in children a major worry: CMAM Association

According to the CMAM Association, reports released by different agencies have pointed to the need for strengthening community-based treatment of SAM.





New Delhi, Jan 14 : The results of the Phase 1 of the 5th National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently, show that there has been an increase in the percentage of severely wasted children under five years of age, in as many as 16 out of the 22 surveyed states and union territories in NFHS-5 in comparison to NFHS-4.

The CMAM Association of India has expressed its concern on the rising trend of severe wasting or Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in children.

The states that have shown an increase in incidence of severely wasted children include economically powerful states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra. Other regions being Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Lakshadweep.

To meet the challenge of rising incidence of SAM in children, the Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) Association (comprising manufacturers of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods) said it has extended its all-out support to the government to develop new products so as to address SAM under the Poshan Abhiyan at the community level itself and prevent worsening of SAM problem in the country.

“While substantial improvement in child health indicators and vaccination coverage over NFHS-4 is a positive development, the rise in wasting levels does not bode well for a country which is poised to emerge as a major socio-economic power with youngest demography in the world. The Association is all set to align with various nutrition interventions of the government through development of therapeutic products and extending the PM’s vision of a self-reliant India,” said Akshat Khandelwal, President, CMAM Association.

Feeding protocols that use a combination of home-based food and high-quality energy dense nutrition supplement need to be urgently explored, it has stated.

According to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, children with SAM have nine times higher risk of dying than well-nourished children. The Association has pointed to the urgent need for collaboration between government, therapeutic food manufacturers and civil society to meet the intricate challenge of SAM in the country.

According to the Association, Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) has been successful in preventing deaths and helping children recover from SAM in India and across the world. RUTF comprises energy dense foods which are specifically tailored for children suffering from SAM and are not meant to be a substitute for breastfeeding or home cooked food as is often believed.

Since RUTF can ensure the recovery of a SAM child in 2-3 months at the community level in most of the cases and reduce the need for treatment at Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs), it reduces the chances of infections and the overall cost of treatment.

According to the CMAM Association, reports released by different agencies have pointed to the need for strengthening community-based treatment of SAM.

“The current interventions from the MoHFW, to ensure in-facility care for SAM children, are currently reaching around 20 per cent of those who are estimated to need such care. Even as these need expansion, what is imperative is stronger linkages with community-based programs to reach the large majority of wasted children before they require in-patient facility care,” stated a report titled ‘Accelerating Progress on Nutrition in India’.

If acute malnutrition is identified in the early stages, the treatment can be provided at the community level itself and medical complications in the children with SAM can be averted, argues a recent report titled “Community based programme for children below 5 years of age with severe acute malnutrition in India 2020 – Progress so far and lessons learned”.

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SARS-CoV-2 can infect neurons, damage brain tissue: Study




incomes drop brain week

New York: Researchers have discovered that SARS-CoV-2 can directly infect the central nervous system and have begun to unravel some of the virus’s effects on brain cells.

The study, that used both mouse and human brain tissue, indicates that SARS-CoV-2 can affect many other organs in the body, including, in some patients, the central nervous system, where infection is associated with a variety of symptoms ranging from headaches and loss of taste and smell to impaired consciousness, delirium, strokes and cerebral haemorrhage.

“Understanding the full extent of viral invasion is crucial to treating patients, as we begin to try to figure out the long-term consequences of Covid-19, many of which are predicted to involve the central nervous system,” said researcher Akiko Iwasaki, a professor at Yale University.

For the study, published on Wednesday in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), the team analysed the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to invade human brain organoids (miniature 3D organs grown in the lab from human stem cells).

The researchers found that the virus was able to infect neurons in these organoids and use the neuronal cell machinery to replicate. The virus appears to facilitate its replication by boosting the metabolism of infected cells, while neighbouring, uninfected neurons die as their oxygen supply is reduced.

SARS-CoV-2 enters lung cells by binding to a protein called ACE2, but whether this protein is present on the surface of brain cells is unclear.

The team determined that the ACE2 protein is, in fact, produced by neurons and that blocking this protein prevents the virus from human brain organoids.

SARS-CoV-2 was also able to infect the brains of mice genetically engineered to produce human ACE2, causing dramatic alterations in the brain’s blood vessels that could potentially disrupt the organ’s oxygen supply, the team said.

Central nervous system infection was much more lethal in mice than infections limited to the lungs, they added.

The researchers also analysed the brains of three patients who succumbed to Covid-19.

SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the cortical neurons of one of these patients, and the infected brain regions were associated with ischemic infarcts in which decreased blood supply causes localized tissue damage and cell death. Microinfarcts were detected in the brain autopsy of all three patients.

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Muslims need higher education: Madani

“Unfortunately, Indian Muslims, especially the wealthy Muslims of northern India, are not paying attention to what is most important to us at this moment,” he said.




Muslim education in India

New Delhi, Jan 14: Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind President Arshad Madani has emphasised the need for higher education for the Muslim community and said the current situation in the country can only be countered through education.

“The kind of religious and ideological war that has now started in the whole country cannot be countered with any weapon or technology but the only way to win this war is to equip our new generation with higher education. We should enable them to use their knowledge and consciousness to defeat their opponents in this ideological war and to reach the milestones of success and prosperity,” said Madani.

He alleged that all the post-independence governments had excluded Muslims from good education through their policies. The report of the Sachar Committee discloses this bitter truth which clearly states that Muslims lag far behind even Dalits in the field of education, he said.

He asked if this happened spontaneously or Muslims deliberately withdrew themselves from education. “All the governments that have come to power have kept us backward in education, as they may have realised that if Muslims move forward in the field of education, they will rise to the highest positions with their abilities and talents. Efforts have been made to isolate Muslims from the national mainstream of education through tricks and obstacles.”

He stressed that now is the time for Muslims to get their children educated at any cost. “We urgently need schools and colleges in which our children can get higher education with religious identity in the world without any hindrance or discrimination.”

“Unfortunately, Indian Muslims, especially the wealthy Muslims of northern India, are not paying attention to what is most important to us at this moment,” he said.

He cautioned the community that today Muslims are more interested in spending on other things but they are not paying enough attention to education.

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