Stocks
Indian share markets toast US interest rate status quo

Both the Sensex and Nifty surpassed the psychologically-important levels of 26,000 points and 8,000 points, respectively

 

Relieved by the status quo in US interest rates, Indian share markets opened higher on Friday and flared up further, overshooting most Asian peers, as investors saw momentary respite from a potential shift of global funds away from emerging economies.
 
The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened on Friday at 26,130.36 points against Wednesday's close at 25,963.97 points -- Thursday being a festive holiday.
 
At 12.37 p.m., the index was quoting at 26,423.43 points, with a gain of 459.46 points or 1.77%.
 
At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the trend was similar. The broader 50-scrip Nifty, which had closed at 7,899.15 points on Wednesday was quoting at 8,037.65 points, with a gain of 138.50 points or 1.75%.
 
Both the Sensex and Nifty surpassed the psychologically-important levels of 26,000 points and 8,000 points, respectively.
 
The gains were also broad based. But for six stocks, all 30 shares that go into the Sensex basket were trading in the green. Overall, out of 2,414 scrips that were trading on the Mumbai bourse, 1,732 of them advanced, 590 declined, while 92 remained unchanged.
 
Banking and realty stocks were in favour, as their sector-specific indices were up 3.30% and 3.91%, respectively. Eleven out of 12 sectoral indices were trading in the green.
 
"The trend-deciding level for the day is 25,929 and 7,889 levels," financial services firm Angel Broking said in a pre-open comment, referring to the Sensex and the Nifty, respectively.
 
"If Nifty trades above this in the first half-an-hour then we may witness a further rally up to 26,042-26,119 points and 7,924-7,949 points. But if they trade below 25,929 or 7,889 levels in the first half-an-hour, then they may correct towards 25,851-25,739 and 7,864-7,828 levels."
 
Till late Thursday, there was some fear of a rate hike in the US, which could have potentially seen a flight of capital from emerging markets like India to the US. In fact, during August and September, foreign funds have been net sellers of Indian equities worth Rs.20,225 crore. 
 
Even as the global financial markets speculated over when the US central bank will end its zero-interest rate policy, the Fed Chair Janet Yellen instead opted for a status quo. While she said the US recovery was solid, concern was expressed over the global economic situation.
 
The reaction was mixed in the Asian markets. Japan's Nikkei and Tokyo's broader Topix were down nearly 2%.
 
China's Shanghai Composite Index was fluctuating back and forth around the positive-negative territory initially. Later, it rallied by 0.23%. While Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.30%, Korea's Kospi was quoting higher by 0.98%.
 
In the US earlier, trading was marked by sharp volatility as blue-chip stocks fell, bond prices rose and the dollar posted its steepest single-day loss in a month against a basket of currencies, as the investor mood turned sullen after the Fed's rate status quo and concerns over global economy.
 
All major indices took a beating -- 0.39% for Dow Jones industrial Average, 0.26% for S&P 500 and 0.1% for the Nasdaq Composite. The dollar index, measuring the greenback against six currencies, fell 1.1%.
 
 

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Sentinel of Hope for Cancer Patients

Deepsikha Foundation tries to bring back the lost smile to those bravehearts who are battling cancer

 

Deepsikha Cancer Care Foundation is a non-profit voluntary organisation that works exclusively for the care of cancer patients to add meaning to their lives. From providing accommodation, to finding a proper place to stay during the process of registration in the hospitals, to arranging meetings with the respective doctors and getting treatment, to acquiring blood (in case of an operation), to getting financial assistance, are various stages through which patients are guided and helped.
 
It all started with Devasish Sharma (founder chairman of Deepsikha) being moved by the plight of cancer patients, and their families, mainly due to lack of awareness about the disease. He started by conducting awareness camps in villages of the north-eastern states with a small band of musicians and health workers. His dedicated efforts blossomed into an organisation called Deepsikha which provides hope for cancer patients. Deepsikha started in Ambikagiri Nagar (Guwahati, Assam); it also has a facility at Koparkhairane in Maharashtra.
 
Cancer is largely a lifestyle disease. Prudent modification in lifestyle, regular exercise and saying NO to tobacco go a long way in reducing the cancer burden. Cancer is potentially curable in early stages. Even in advanced stages, when cancer may be difficult to cure, patients can be given useful and good quality life. “Spreading cancer awareness is important to remove misconceptions among people. We conduct mass awareness programmes in remote villages, schools, colleges, clubs, corporate officers, factories, etc,” points out a senior employee at Deepsikha in Navi Mumbai. Qualified professional counsellors provide the much-needed emotional support to all cancer patients and their families who approach Deepsikha. Deepsikha can accommodate nearly 200 people (patients and attendants) at any given point of time in Navi Mumbai. The NGO provides subsidised/free transportation for patients to Tata Memorial Hospital (Parel, mid-town Mumbai) and back to its bhawans at a nominal cost. It receives patients from railway stations and airports and drops them back when they return home.
 
On the other facilities provided by Deepsikha, a senior employee says, “We have ambulances parked in our bhawans to meet any emergency. We have a pool of willing donors for blood, platelets and plasma, for our patients whenever they are in need. We organise entertainment programmes for patients to cheer them up and stay healthy. We provide possible financial assistance to patients after their current financial status is verified.”
 
Future plans of Deepsikha include: 
a) setting up a lab where it can provide low-cost diagnosis for all cancer-related issues; 
b) creating a volunteer force in vernacular languages to generate cancer awareness; 
c) setting up a hospice for cancer patients (under construction) at two places; and 
d) establishing a home and school for cancer-afflicted children while they are undergoing treatment (also under construction).
 
For those who trace Deepsikha to its roots in Guwahati, The Assam Tribune reported, on 9 August 2014, “Eminent oncologist Dr Tapan Kumar Saikia received the journalist Kamala Saikia Memorial National Award instituted in the memory of martyred journalist and freedom fighter Kamala Saikia, on the occasion of his 23rd death anniversary today. Dr Saikia is a renowned name worldwide in the field of cancer treatment and research… Lauding the role of the Deepsikha in helping cancer patients, he donated his cash award to the Foundation, which was received by chairman Devasish Sharma.”
 
Donations to Deepsikha are exempt under Section 80 (G) of the Income Tax Act 1961. Cheques/DDs should be drawn in favour of ‘Deepsikha’ payable at Mumbai. 
 

 

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