Monday, May 20, 2013

Modern Healthcare Touching Lives: Medical Tourism

Medical tourism is a fast growing sector in India. Every year thousands of Westerners visit our country not for sight-seeing and conventional forms of tourism, but for their medical and relaxation needs. Most common treatments are heart surgery, knee transplant, cosmetic surgery and dental care. The reason India is a favourable destination is because of it's infrastructure and technology in which is in par with those in USA, UK and Europe. India has tens of thousands of skilled physicians and nurse practitioners. Over the last two decades, the economic boom in India has led to the building of medical facilities & infrastructure that rival the very best that western medical care that the west has to offer. 

An estimated 150,000 of these travel to India for low-priced healthcare procedures every year. Advantages for medical treatment in India include reduced costs, the availability of latest medical technologies, and a growing compliance on international quality standards, as well as the fact that foreigners are less likely to face a language barrier in India. Chennai and Noida are the favourite and hot emerging destinations in this regard.

P.S. -- This post is for an IndiBlogger contest in association with Apollo Hospitals who are one of the pioneers of modern day healthcare

Sunday, May 19, 2013

If My Dad Was A Politician…

If my Dad was a politician, I would have liked him to work for the upliftment of farmers in our country. We, as a nation, so proudly present ourselves as an agrarian society, while the truth is far from that as is clear from the fact that India has never witnessed more than 2.2% annual growth in this sector for last couple of decades. Therefore, I would like my politician father to start working on grass-root level in our village, which comes under Mathura distt. in UP

I myself have seen the plight of farmers first hand. My uncle's family, the 2nd eldest brother of my father, is wholly dependent on their agricultural activities for living and sustenance. And the real condition of their societal status is that they come under BPL (Below Poverty Line) scheme, while the rest of three brothers (of my father) enjoy a decent living at the least. My parents have always been very supportive to them so much so that even our share of agriculture land is being tilled by them as the output from only their share is not enough to feed the family on daily basis and marry their daughters in time and in well-to-do families.

This has always been my dream plan for my father... that after retirement, he goes back to his roots (he is still connected but not very active due to our, his children, bringing up responsibilities) and works for the betterment of farmers at grass root level. If he has to take up politics, he should take it with elan.

Farmers in our country are committing suicides at an alarming rate. How can any country justify this kind of suffering and plight of its food producers, the single most important element in human food chain?! Being a politician is the most influential position in taking up this cause and working for it with conviction. Of course, there will be many hurdles in this path for him due to rampant widespread corruption in this department also. But he would tackle it and bring out laws freeing them of land problems, reducing electricity debts in real and not only on paper. The seeds and the water which are the major inputs for farming apart from land and electricity would be provided on FDS (Fair Distribution System) and experimental crops (cash crops in between rabi and kharif crops in India) would be promoted for cultivation to ensure financial stability to them.

If my Dad was a politician, I could also help him by introducing him to the concept of scientific methods of cultivation as well as organic farming. We would research, consult and devise the existing and new improved ways to reduce farmers' extensive dependence on the poisonous and expensive fertilisers/pesticides. Grain storage facilites would get improved as He would have taken immediate steps in this direction because if your short-term and long-term Storage godowns are ill-equipped, then there is no meaning to any improvement in other areas of agriculture if we can't store and preserve them properly (for adversities as well as buffer zones).

All the farmers, BPL families importantly, would be persuaded to open their Bank Accounts to avail national schemes to them. They would be given atleast 30% rebate on purchase/renting of agriculture machinery required throughout the production cycle, like tracters, harrowers, etc. Besides Cash Crops, leguminous plantation would also be taught to them so as to increase the fertility content of the soil under cultivation. They would be given demos and every help needed to increase their crop production, right from the initial seed sowing and land tilling stages till the very end of the crop cycle, i.e., its storage and selling in the market.

Myself and my father firmly believe that if we are to become a developed nation, then first of all, our country must have Food Security as its first and foremost agenda. A nation which can't feed its people becomes dependent on neighbour countries for its needs which a State like India can never afford seeing its neighbouring countries are all but friends.

A happy farmer family holds the key to happiness of every home in the country and my dad would leave no stone unturned to make it happen. I sincerely hope this dream of mine for my father comes true in a few years, so that we can once again proudly shout the slogan Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisaan; which is not the case presently visibly obvious by the ignorant and sad conditions of our farmers' and soldiers' families.

Wishing him a very good luck for this lifetime campaign for the betterment of the society as a whole, I would like to say that if my dad was a politician, he would never have let down my aspirations for him which I have mentioned here in this post, and neither he would have gotten involved in any kind of corruption nor he would have tolerated any such act in his department. He would be, no... he is and always will be the staunch supporter of amended Food Security Bill in the state Vidhan Sabha or the Parliament. Therefore, if he becomes a politician, I can guarantee that atleast our UP state will table this Bill and that will be a gift to the society as a whole.

One more thing - I can assure you that in today's times, a farmer cannot only rely on pure agriculture. He has to divert a little to cattle/dairy farming also to sustain monetary supplies throughout the year. If my dad was a politician, he would have certainly taken steps in this direction too. It would not have been hailed as Green Revolution 2.0, but it would have catered to the stability happiness of a farmer family, and that's my and my father's dream. :)

P.S. -- This post is written for the Weekend Contest in association with Shoes of The Dead at

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Book Review: Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino

First of all, a big thanks to BlogAdda for providing me a wonderful opportunity to review this book.


As the back cover proclaims -

When a man is discovered dead by poisoning in his empty home his beautiful wife, Ayane, immediately falls under suspicion. All clues point to Ayane being the logical suspect, but how could she have committed the crime when she was hundreds of miles away? 

As Tokyo police detective Kusanagi tries to unpick a seemingly unrelated sequence of events he finds himself falling for Ayane. When his judgement becomes dangerously clouded his assistant must call on an old friend for help; it will take a genius to unravel the most spectacular web of deceit they have ever faced... 

Salvation of a Saint is all about a perfectly crafted murder mystery with the strings of detective thriller fiction. This is the second novel of the Japanese author Keigo Higashino, whose first book The Devotion of Suspect X was applauded by critics and readers alike. The current book is translated by Alexander O. Smith with Elye J. Alexander.


The main characters of this murder mystery are Ayane Mashiba, a woman whose husband is murdered while she is out of town; Hiromi Wakayama, her young apprentice with a secret; Detective Kusanagi, a brilliant detective with a soft heart; Detective Utsumi, a newly recruited but talented detective working with Kusanagi; and among others, Prof. Yukawa aka Detective Galileo as he is referred to by his admirers, a physicist with a hobby of solving utmost difficult murder cases for the police dept. with his genius aplomb.


The story begins with a not-so-normal conversation between husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Mashiba. The cause is explained. Afterwards, they host a lively party. The wife goes out of the town to see her ailing father and it is then, the husband is found murdered by her apprentice Hiromi. A perfect setting. A murder by poison in the coffee. Thus follows the theme of the story - solving of this murder mystery by detectives Kusanagi and Utsumi. As the investigation propels forward, Utsumi finds his senior detective Kusanagi falling for one of the leading suspects, Ayane Mashiba.

It is then Detective Utsumi requests Kusanagi's friend and local police department's old saviour, Prof. Yukawa, to help her solve the case, as he earlier used to thus resulting in his nickname Detective Galileo (in the first novel of the author). As the investigation progresses, the case gets complicated as both the suspects come out with either with a perfect alibi or a perfect reason for no-kill. Detective Kusanagi, though smitten by the charm of Ayane, then starts investigating on different lines, exploring the murdered Yoshitaka Mashiba's past life and linking it to the current case.

On the other hand, Detective Utsumi with her female intuition, continues suspecting Ayane of the murder and along with Yukawa go out all the way to prove how the murder was committed. It takes the Utsumi's observational logic coupled with unparalleled thinking and scientific curiosity of Yukawa and aided by Kusanagi's investigation skills to finally unearth the whole case as a perfect murder mystery.


The narrative style is easy to follow and the plot is intricately woven.

The character development, though seemingly unintended, goes on nicely throughout the story.

The logics, reasonings, experments, tricks used/displayed by the investigating people is bound to capture the interest of any murder mystery lover.


Well not much, except that the continuous monotonous pace (neither fast nor slow, just same narrative tone) throughout the book makes it difficult to continue reading for a long time. The intermittent breaks between consecutive sittings get necessary and frequent; atleast for me, it was like that.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a good book, particulary a must-read for murder mystery detective thriller lovers out there.

My rating: 4 out of 5 :)

Note: This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at . Participate now to get free books!