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Recently I had a chance to visit some Super Markets in Trichy.. Trichy has quite a few retail outlets now where you can go in and pick what you want and pay the bill before exit and they are quite busy too.

I visited Femina Supermarket recently and observed that it is a popular hang out spots for families. The femina mart has fast food, fruit juice outlet, Children play area, Clothes and general goods mart in one location. Very convenient location near Central busstand.. Lots of people in the evening .. All the outlets are cramped and loaded with goods. There are lots of attendants to help you out but mostly they get in your way of choosing the products you want. Most of the time , you will be interrupting their chatting with other employees also … The shopping experience can be much better if they reduce the number of people work there along with some clear arrangement of the existing goods.   ( Not throwing stuff in the floor) But I guess for many people, convenience of having variety of things inside one compound trumps everything.

Another Supermarket (Hypermarket, as it is called) is Spencer’s Hypermarket in Cantonment.  I was surprised to see very spacious and quite a nice arrangement of goods.  There was not many varieties of every product available here. I was looking for some biscuits for kids and surprised to see very little variety there.. But the layout was clean and actually spacious for Carts also. It also has a fast food place inside and a special location for hair care products and personal care products.. Not many employees were there when I went but I was able to find employees when I had some questions. The checkout process could have been smoother. I used my credit card to pay for that and they have to try about two CC machines before it connected to the bank.. But atleast they accepted CC which I found is increasing in Trichy..

I was also told that there is a smaller version of Spencer’s retail outlet called Spencer’s Daily… Have not been to that yet.

Trichy is going to extend a home for Jumbos very soon. An Elephant Rehabilitation center will be coming near Trichy very soon which can support 60 elephants with Store, Kitchen, Vet Clinic and Feeding area.. It will also have quarters that would be constructed inside the centre to accommodate foresters, mahouts and other department staff. The plan is to use 20 hectares of land that belonged to Forest Department near M.R. Palayam near Trichy. It will come up close to the zoological park being established inside the Reserve Forest at M.R. Palayam adjoining the Tiruchi – Chennai national highway.

Well, We have only the administrative approval for this now.. Not sure when will this actually come to existence.. Elephants need to send some petitions , huh … ?

Source: The Hindu

Exnora in Trichy has brought quite a few changes to the Trichy city with their handling of cleanliness issues. Now they are opening a branch in Valanthai Village in Andimadam taluk  in ariyalur.

The opening of the branch was preceded by health and hygiene promotion activities undertaken for many months by the youth with guidance from Tiruchi Exnora. According to R. Santhanam, Joint Secretary, Tiruchi District Exnora, mass cleaning of the village was undertaken once in three months. The simultaneous planting of saplings now adds greenery to the village.

An Exnora garbage collection push cart, hearse vehicle, freezer box and an ambulance of Tiruchi District Exnora were entrusted to the new branch. Also , Note books, bags, prizes and scholarships were distributed to meritorious students of valanthai from the village community development fund.

Keep the good things coming, Exnora.

Kongathiraiyanpatti, 40kms from Pudukkotai has become a good example on how changing some ways and taking some risks along with some fresh thinking will help a society to thrive.

In Kongathiraiyanpatti, basically a rain-fed area, the farmers grew paddy and groundnut. Around 35 wells in the village catered to both drinking and irrigation needs. But with the monsoon playing hide and seek and a callous local administration, exodus began with people selling their lands for throw away prices. A Swedish based Organisation, Kudumbum, helped this village to radically change their way of living by advising them to change their crops from paddy and  groundnut ( which require a lots of water) to millets and pulses ( which are suitable for dry areas). Looks like they faced some initial skepticism from the locals but after some persuasion, the plans started rolling and now they are bearing fruits. The organisation also helped them to plant lots of trees with the consultation of the locals in order to stem water erosion and increase conservation.

Such Stories are very heartwarming and also provide an example of doing something and not blaming the inept government for everything. 

Read the full story in this article in The Hindu.

Union health minister A Ramadoss formally admitted on Saturday that some of the auto-disabled syringes sent to Tamil Nadu for their immunization programme, was indeed rusted. The state’s immunization programme faced a fresh setback with the state health minister M R K Panneerselvam suspending the use of all AD syringes, under the brand name BD Solo Shot, used to vaccinate children. Needles of some of the syringes in Trichy had rusted while some of them had dust inside the cylinder.

Drug controller General Dr Surinder Singh told TOI,  Even though chances of AD syringe needles being rusty were remote we found some of the needles which were made of pure stainless steel to be rusted. We have studied the distribution patterns of this batch before samples are picked up. Our probe will see whether the needles were made of substandard material, which caused it to rust, if at all. Officials said India uses 150 million AD syringes in its immunisation programme annually, 80% of which is supplied by Becton Dickinson India. The batch under question in TN were syringes procured from Spain. Ram Sharma, managing director of BD India, said  The AD syringe facility in Fraga, Spain, has been WHO qualified to supply to all immunization programmes. BD SoloShot have been used in governmental immunization programmes the world over. Till date, BD has supplied over 5 billion syringes globally for immunisation through UNICEF.

Hopefully  finger pointing does not let the truth to die as where the issue lies that created this defect and also it presents a caution to manaufcturers if India is being used as a dumping ground for substandard materials.

We have seen the cable operations to go from chaos to unregulated to anything goes in Tamilnadu cities. Any cable opertator can charge any money and it is only determined by the market range. For the same channel lineup, cable companies charging different rates in different areas of the same cities are a norm. While the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) fixed the rate for free channels as Rs.77 plus service tax, In Tamil Nadu the cable operators charge anything between Rs.100 and Rs.110 per month.

The government in its budget this year decided to waive the entertainment tax to the tune of Rs.160 million. But cable operators continue collecting it from the households. Have any of you seen a drop in the cost of cable service. ?

While there is a law but no order on the retail pricing of free channels, the state government is moving ahead with its plans to start its own cable operations under the banner Arasu Cable TV Corporation. I am not sure that it is a good idea apart from a revenue stream for the govt. Is it not the govt’s responsibility to enforce the law and reduce the price with private operators. Instead it is using its might to crush the independent and private operators. I am not sure what is the pricing  for this service, but If i am correct, it will be close to Rs.77 + tax but I am not sure that it will give all the TV channels equal status. Who decides which is a free channel and which is not and who decides which channel pays how much to air their channel to public. Controlling the distribution is a pretty pwerful propoganda vehicle.

 We saw the surge in TV programming quality only after the involvement of multiple private channels. ( We all remember the dismal quality of DD programs before private channels came in ).

Anyway, The State government has decided to float tenders to acquire the necessary equipment and start the cable TV services first in Nilgiri, Coimbatore, Erode, Namakkal, Karur, Salem, Dindugul, Trichy, Tanjavur, Puddukottai, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts July 15.

We will see how it goes. …

The Palliative Care Association of Tiruchi was inaugurated in Trichy on Sunday. The association plans to open a  day care centre and hospice offering free palliative care for patients with degenerative illness in Trichy. The centre would cover patients with chronic ailments including HIV/AIDS, cancer, renal failure, and neurotic and psychiatric disorders. Resources would be raised locally and free medicines will be distributed. The district administration will help find a suitable location for this center.

The association was conducting contact classes for doctors and paramedical staff for a two-month-long training programme conducted by the Indian Association of Palliative Care. It would also offer short-term courses for volunteers from the city to assess and identify patients at different localities.

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