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Southern Railway deploys women to pilot goods train

When 39-year-old Narayana Vadivu cranked the diesel locomotive to haul a goods train on Friday morning assisted by her deputy Jhansi Rani, it was indeed a moment to cherish for both women. It was the first time in the history of Southern Railway that an “all-women loco crew” was deployed to pilot an empty freight train on the 55-km stretch from Vriddhachalam to Ariyalur falling within the Villupuram–Tiruchi chord line section, reports The Hindu.

Hours later, the same crew was deployed to pilot another ‘Alco’ type broad gauge diesel loco, this time to haul a fully loaded goods train, transporting cement, from Ichchangadu to Vriddhachalam (24 km) in the same section. Upon accomplishing both assignments, the two women returned to Tiruchi from Vriddhachalam piloting a triple light engine (wherein one loco will pull two engines). Read More..

Assam promotes eco-friendly Durga Puja

Durga Puja committees in Guwahati this year will have to comply with eco-friendly measures as set by the Pollution Control Board Assam (PCBA) for the forthcoming festivities. According to the guidelines issued by the board recently, only natural clay, bamboo, choir ropes, straw and non-toxic colours can be used on the idols instead of baked clay, plaster of Paris and synthetic ropes, which adversely affect the environment.Read More..

Coriander draws attention in U.S. as water purifying agent

Coriander or cilantro, the leafy herb lavishly used to garnish a wide variety of everyday Indian cuisine has started attaining fame in the United States as a possible low cost herbal remedy to purify drinking water. A recent research has discovered that the leaves of the coriander are a potential “biosorbant” that can remove lead and other toxic heavy metals from contaminated water, reports The Hindu.

Possessing a flavour that everyone savours, US based researchers say that the coriander leaf (Dhaniya in Hindi, Kothamalli in Tamil and Malayalam) “has the ability to drink up heavy metals like lead and nickel that have leaked into ground water”. Studies are continuing to learn how well the herb can remove other heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury.Read More..

Centre approves Rs 1000 crores for J&K sports facilities

The Central Government has approved a special package of Rs 1000 crores to strengthen sports infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir, minister for youth services and sports Taj Mohiuddin said.

"Under this package, a sports complex comprising both indoor and outdoor facilities would be constructed in every block of the state, besides a sports field would be constructed in every panchayat," the minister said at a meeting convened to review the functioning of department of youth services and sports, reports The Times of India.Read More..

Hand washing with soap can reduce child deaths dramatically

Introducing hand washing with soap programmes in all nations as the most cost effective way to prevent child deaths could contribute to Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 towards reducing child mortality, reports The Hindu.

Bollywood actor Kajol Devgn made this appeal to policymakers across the globe at every event related to the United Nations General Assembly in New York from September 23 to 25. She is the U.N.’s hand-washing ambassador and advocate of the ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ campaign.

The United Nations General Assembly had brought together world leaders and focussed on the MDGs. Policymakers had an opportunity to look at how hand-washing with soap can help achieve MDG 4 target’s deadline of 2015. It is estimated that more than six lakh children below five years die in India every year due to unhygienic habits and surroundings.Read More..

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