Citizens' Issues
Help pours in for Sahana Kumari after Ek Aur Prayaas’ campaign


Sahana Kumari, a little-known high jumper and the 14th Indian athlete to qualify for the London Olympics was finding it difficult to source funds to take her coach along. Some concerned citizens, through Ek Aur Prayaas, a socio-political platform spread the word and were able to garner support for Sahana.


A victorious 7-day campaign woke up the Karnataka government to support Shahana Kumari as well as 11 other athletes from the state who will represent India at the London Olympics. How did it happen? Ek Aur Prayaas (a socio-political platform), started by Jaymin Panchal and Anil Kohli was approached by concerned citizens such as Vikram Bondal and his father Mahesh Bondal to support Sahana Kumari and other athletes.  Project “High Jump to Olympics” was envisaged to raise funds for the purpose.

She is India’s current national record holder with 1.92 meters and one of our medal hopes for the London Olympics. But she stands a chance only if she has the right training and mental support right until the does her final jump. Unfortunately, when it comes to anything other than cricket, funds are a serious problem.

India’s medal tally in the history of the Olympic games, every since we first participated in 1900 is a meager 17 medals—eight gold, four silver and five bronze. Except the last Olympics, when India Abhinav Bindra brought home India’s first gold medal, it has always been the same story – public outrage and screaming headlines lamenting the poor performance of our sportspersons, lack of training and infrastructure and criticism of sports bodies dominated by politicians. But nothing ever changes.  

The Indian Olympics Association’s (IOA) preparation  for the London Olympics was no much different. The IOA is sending a 148 strong contingent approved by the sports ministry; but only 81 of these are athletes and there are 35 coaches; the rest are government officials.

Our high-jump champion, Sahana Kumari, a resident of Kotekar village in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka is a clerk with the South Western Railway.

And although she is a national record holder and is being trained by Russian coach Nikitin Evgeny, a world-renowned trainer, there weren’t enough funds to meet the expenses of her coach going along to London or meet several other costs. The Indian Olympics Association (IOA), tied down in redtape would not pay for Nikitin Evgeny since he is not a part of the official Indian contingent. The total cost involved was estimated at Rs7-Rs8 lakh, of which around Rs3 lakh would cover the coach’s traveling expense while the rest would cover her training, equipment and miscellaneous expenses. 

Ek Aur Prayaas decided to raise funds by using social media to advantage. It posted information about Sahana Kumari’s predicament on its website with details of the bank account where contributions could be sent. It then used Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. The team then watch the effort with apprehension and excitement. However, financial contributions began to trickle in and well wishers also helped spread the message by sharing and re-tweeting it.

Soon Zee News noticed the effort and did a story on Sahana Kumari’s plight. Professor ND Agarwal, who watch the show stepped forward and offered to pay the coach’s expenses. Later Mumbai Mirror also wrote about the effort as did

Ek Aur Prayaas also contacted influencers who in turn spoke to government officials. Finally, the effort paid off and the Karnataka government took notice of the relentless efforts. It then sprang a happy surprise by announcing Rs5 lakh to each of the 12 athletes from Karnataka who will represent India at the London Olympics. Ek Aur Prayaas has not decided that its objective is more than met and the fund raising campaign has been closed. The group believes that it is not enough to felicitate winners, it is more important to facilitate the participation of athletes, so that they gain experience, become role models and inspire youngsters to look at sports and athletics as a serious career option.

They are also jubilant at being able to use social media successfully to reach more people and create enough pressure to pressure to the relevant authorities to wake up and make the right decisions.

Ek Aur Prayaas’ drive to financially assist Sahana Kumari has another benefit – it has created a nice support group to cheer this champion athlete at the London Olympics among people who knew nothing about her until just a week ago.


Sensex, Nifty in no man’s land: Thursday Closing Report

Nifty has to break the range of 5,190 and 5,340 for a trend change. It may take a while

Positive global cues and across-the-board buying helped the benchmarks settle higher for the second day. Today the Nifty moved in a narrow range of 5,233 and 5,258. Yesterday we had that the gains might be temporary. We may now see the Nifty moving sideways in the range of 5,190 and 5,340. For further direction a break out from this range is a prerequisite. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 52.33 crore shares.


The market opened higher on supportive cues from the global markets, which were in the positive. US indices rose between 0.70% and 1% overnight on better-than-expected earning reports from chipmaker Intel Inc and Honeywell. Reacting positively to the numbers, markets across Asia were also in the green in early trade today.


Back home, the Nifty opened 34 points up at 5,250 and the Sensex resumed trade at 17,288, up 103 points over its previous close. Buying interest in banks, technology and metal stocks supported early gains.


The indices were range-bound in subsequent trade but a positive of the key European markets saw an uptick in buying activity in the noon session. The benchmarks hit their intraday high shortly before 2.00pm with the Nifty going up to 5,258 and the Sensex rising to 17,319.


However, selling pressure in blue-chips resulted in the market giving up part of its gains and touching the day’s low in post-noon trade. At the lows, the Nifty fell to 5,233 and the Sensex going back to 17,245.


Recovering from the lows, the market closed the positive for the second day in a row. The Nifty added 26 points (0.51%) to 5,243 and the Sensex gained 99 points (0.57%) to settle at 17,284.


The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was positive at 891:777.


Today’s gains came mostly from index heavyweights as the broader markets, though they settled in the green, underperformed the Sensex. The BSE Mid-cap index rose 0.12% and the BSE Small-cap index advanced 0.37%.


Barring the BSE Auto (down 0.47%) and BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (down 0.02%), all other sectoral gauges settled higher. The sectoral toppers were BSE IT (up 1.75%); BSE Consumer Durables (up 1.38%); BSE Oil & Gas (up 1.24%); BSE Power and BSE Metal (up 0.88% each).


Infosys (up 3.08%); Sterlite Industries (up 2.42%); Tata Power (up 2.34%); BHEL (up 2.18%) and Bajaj Auto (up 1.76%) were the top gainers on the Sensex. The main losers were Maruti Suzuki (down 8.74%); Bharti Airtel (down 2.34%); Hero MotoCorp (down 1.37%); State Bank of India (down 1.29%) and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (down 0.98%).


The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Dish TV India (up 4.63%) and GMR Infra (up 3.97%).

The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Maruti Suzuki (down 8.74%) and Idea Cellular (down 3.94%).


The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Advik Laboratories (up 20%) and Beckons Industries (up 19.23%).

The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Filmcity Media (down 13.64%) and Hazoor Multi Projects (down 12.50%).


The key advancing stocks on the Nifty were Cairn India (up 3.02); BPCL (up 2.99%); Infosys (up 2.80%); IDFC (up 2.56%) and BHEL (up 2.47%). The draggers of the index were Maruti Suzuki (down 9.19%); Bank of Baroda (down 3.05%); Kotak Mahindra Bank (down 2.96%); Bharti Airtel (down 2.56%) and SBI (down 1.28%).


Markets in Asia settled higher on better-than expected earnings from US majors like Intel and Honeywell and strong housing data from the world’s biggest economy.


The Shanghai Composite gained 0.73%; the Hang Seng jumped 1.66%; the Jakarta Composite rose 0.36%; the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.79%; the Straits Times gained 0.39%; the Seoul Composite surged 1.56% and the Taiwan Weighted advanced 1.41%. Bucking the trend, the KLSE Composite lost 0.02%.


At the time of writing, the key European gauges were up between 0.36% and 1.07% and the US stock futures were in the positive.


Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of shares amounting to Rs276.40 crore on Wednesday, whereas domestic institutional investors were net buyers of stocks amounting to Rs165.75 crore.


Diamond Power Infrastructure said it has acquired stake in Maktel Control & Systems, a manufacturer of power and control panels of up to 400 Kv. While Damond Power did not disclose the transaction details, it said Maktel reported revenues of Rs40 crore in the last fiscal. Diamond Power rose 0.66% to close at Rs99 on the NSE.


Shriram Transport Finance Company said it plans to raise about Rs300 crore by issuing non-convertible debentures (NCDs). The offer will open on 26th July and close on 10th August. The face value of each NCD will be Rs 1,000. The stock gained 0.67% to close at Rs545.25 on the NSE.


Indraprastha Gas (IGL),which supplies piped natural gas (PNG) in Delhi, has been directed by a consumer forum here to pay Rs10,000 as compensation to a customer for delay in providing gas connection to him. The stock gained 1.63% to settle at Rs240.70 on the NSE.


Government to set up Board for fast clearance to energy, infra projects

The PMO decided to set up the Project Clearance Board against the backdrop of several projects, including 70 in oil and natural gas sector, facing delays due to lack of necessary clearances

New Delhi: In a major move to boost investor confidence, the Indian government has decided to set up a high-powered board to ensure speedy 'one-time' clearances to projects in energy and infrastructure sectors and address the problems in getting regulatory permissions, reports PTI.
The decision to set up the Project Clearance Board on the lines of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) was taken by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) against the backdrop of several projects, including 70 in oil and natural gas sector, facing delays because of lack of necessary clearances.
The Board, to be headed by the Cabinet Secretary, will include representatives from the Ministries of Home, Defence, Environment & Forests, Commerce, Coal, Department of Space and other infrastructure and energy related Ministries or Departments, a PMO statement said.
"In a meeting held in PMO to review the status of clearances of Oil & Gas Blocks awarded under the NELP, it was decided that a Project Clearance Board along the lines of FIPB, would be constituted under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary for review and issue of one-time clearances, including security clearance," it said.
The Board will meet on a monthly basis to review the status of clearances for energy and infrastructure projects and expedite issuing of security and other clearances.
It noted that "one of the biggest hurdles" to speedy implementation of projects is the delays faced by project implementing agencies and private firms with concessions, in obtaining security related clearances from many agencies.
It cited the example of progress in exploration work in over 70 oil blocks awarded under the NELP which has slowed down due to lack of clearances. There are similar problems in other areas such as Ports and infrastructure sectors, it said.
The PMO said the decision to set up the Board was taken as there is "a need to have an institutionalised mechanism for issuing clearances in a time-bound manner".
"There is already a model for clearing foreign investments in the form of the FIPB where foreign investment clearances are given through regular meetings of the FIPB under the Department of Economic Affairs," the PMO statement said.
"A need for a similar mechanism was felt for other clearances so that the issue of delayed clearances is resolved," it said.
Ministries would report to this Board the status of issuing of clearances after following their internal due diligence processes.
For the Petroleum & Natural Gas sector, the special cell for clearances being set up in DGH will act as the secretariat, the statement said.
A common mechanism for all sectors will be evolved soon and the Board will be set up in the coming weeks.
The decision to set up the board comes at a time when the government is facing allegations of policy paralysis and there are apprehensions among foreign investors.
US President Barack Obama had told PTI last week that investment climate in India had deteriorated.
The PMO announcement comes on a day Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must restore government credibility and place the country on a growth path once again by "removing roadblocks".


We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.

To continue

Sign Up or Sign In


To continue

Sign Up or Sign In



The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)