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UR HEART O Y S E H C U Y T H AT T O L I A D G N I INSPIR

Vol. 1 No. 7 Pages 16 PUNE, MONDAY APRIL 30, 2012 Rs.4

WEATHER Sunrise .....................06:08 Sunset ......................18:56 Moonrise .................12:22 Moonset ..................01:21 Temperature Min ...........................20 0c Max ...........................36 0c

PUNERI CHINTOO

GO ZUMBA!!

Pune’s Subhankar Atre will be playing ‘Chintoo’ in an upcoming Marathi movie >> P6

Sample the reinvigorating ‘Zumba experience’ to stay fit >>P8

RUSSIAN RENDEZVOUS Take a break in St Petersburg >>P15

CIVIC ISSUE

Feeling nauseated? Eat mud! Researchers at the Cornell University say that eating mud absorbs dangerous toxins

I

t may be regarded as a strange phenomenon in the developed world, but tucking into a generous helping of mud pie is perhaps the most natural way to protect the stomach against toxins, parasites and pathogens, a new study suggests. After sifting through 480 reports compiled by missionaries, plantation doctors, explorers and anthropologists from around the world, researchers at Cornell University concluded that human geophagy (the act of eating mud) is most likely driven by the belief that earth and clay absorb dangerous toxins and act as a shield against pathogens. The review explores a range of possible theories to explain why people in most parts of the world crave to eat mud. After exploring other possible theories -- that geophagy is driven by hunger and food shortages, or for its nutrients like iron, zinc or calcium -- researchers found that protection against toxins and pathogens was a recurring pattern within the mountain of data. While it may sound counterintuitive, the report points out that eating mud is documented most commonly in women in the early stages of pregnancy and in pre-adolescent children -- both of whom are especially sensitive to parasites and pathogens. In parts of Africa, rural areas of the US, and remote villages in India, for instance, clay is used to eliminate nausea, as it coats the gastrointestinal

Signing the petition: From left: Anoop Awasthi, Comm Ravindra Pathak, Vinita Deshmukh, Col Suresh Patil (retd)

People’s win,

through RTI tract and is believed to absorb dangerous toxins. The eating of clay is also common among people suffering from gastrointestinal stress, the report pointed out. Because the dirt itself is usually taken from deep below the surface of the ground and is usually boiled before consumption, it also acts as an antidote to parasites, researchers said. For Western societies, however, the act of eating mud, typically considered impure and contaminated, is treated as a pathology and abnormal behavior, a stigma lead author Sera Young hopes to demystify. “We hope this paper stimulates research,” Young and her colleagues wrote. “More importantly, we hope readers agree that it is time to stop regarding eating mud as a bizarre, non-adaptive gustatory mistake.” Currently, countries like Haiti, the poorest economy in the Western Hemisphere, eat “bonbons de terre,” sundried cookies or pancakes made from earth. But as the report points out, the first written account of human geophagy came from Hippocrates more than 2,000 years ago and since then has been reported on every inhabited continent in almost every country. Meanwhile, another study published in Australia last year suggests that children who eat or inhale mud while spending time on the playground could actually become smarter. When scientists fed mice a dirt bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae, the animals navigated complex mazes twice as fast as those that weren’t -- a finding that flies in the face of helicopter parenting and compulsive hand-sanitising habits.

(AFP Relaxed News)

EXTRAA for more details see http://www.jstor.org/page/journal/quarrevibiol/ forthcoming.html.

What is your

LIFE 365 daily all about?

It is only because of the RTI Act that citizen victory was assured in President Patil's retirement home controversy

Bungalow bungle z A retired President of India is eligible for an existing government bungalow with free water and electricity for life; if the accommodation has to be rented, the government can rent out an existing home, not more than 2,000 sq ft; In case the city she or he chooses has a government officer residing in Class V bungalow, generally of 4,498 sq ft area, she should be given the samesized bungalow. It was a mind-blogging 2,42,000 sq ft, 50 times more than a President of India is eligible for. Moreover, there is no rule wherein she/he can commence a new construction on government land.

Just like Pune is a city that still respects values, welcomes ideas and supports genuine efforts, Life 365 is more than just a daily. Going beyond news that has already been done to death, Life 365 rejects negativity,

ANAND AGASHE

P

une has salvaged about 2.42 lakh square feet of prime Defence land (in Khadki Cantonment area) that was to become President Pratibha Patil’s post-retirement home. Crying foul when the allotment decision was made some time back, activists of Pune-based NGO ‘Justice for Jawan’ (JFJ) including Lt Col Suresh Patil (retd), Comm Ravindra Pathak and Anoop Awasthi invoked the Right to Information (RTI) missile for retrieving the land. Their victory, against all odds, has prevented a wrong precedent being set. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with them was Vinita Deshmukh, leading RTI activist and Editor of Life 365. Even while launch preparations for this paper were going on since early this month, Vinita penned her story in her weekly RTI column in MoneyLife (www. moneylife,in) on April 11 and went on to write a series of 10 hard-hitting articles based on information procured by the activists under the RTI Act. For this, she was regularly consulting the three soldier activists and independently collecting some vital documents which she passed on to television channels

sensationalism and superficiality in its columns. We are here to promote good values, good people and good work. As a cosmopolitan, commercial hub, the city today abounds with enlightened individuals, talented

Pune’s power-packed RTI

2010: Dow Chemicals in Chakan walked out of Pune district

2012: President Pratibha Patil surrendered the defence land

and print media. All this to make sure that the issue would not die down or move out of public gaze without reaching the logical end. Vinita, in fact, has always worn two hats – one of an RTI activist fighting for people’s cause and the other of a media person to promote that cause. The Chief Editor of Life 365 therefore,decided to break away from the norm and interview the Editor of Life 365! The topic of the interview is obviously the one that is dear to the heart of every citizen in the country, the RTI!: z Ever since the controversy over President Pratibha Patil’s post-retirement home in Pune started making headlines accusations, denials, opinions and protests filled up the entire news space. But actually, the whole issue was built around Right to Information (RTI). Tell us how?

creators and innovators, genuine activists and social groups. All inspired and inspiring citizens. Life 365 will strive to capture the mixed ethos of it all. We promise to function as a responsible and

Yes, that’s right. The citizen victory of this issue was due to the use of the most powerful weapon of our democracy, the RTI Act. The reason why even a person of the stature of the President of India stood defenceless in the campaign is because, we had in our hands, certified copies of documents from President of India’s office and the Defence Estate Office, Pune Circle. The media, specially the print media, in its traditional mind-set, tried to highlight `denials’ from `President’s office and Southern Command headquarters’ more than the glorious ground work done by the three activist soldiers, Col Suresh Patil, Comm Ravindra Pathak and Anoop Awasthi. The fact is, when you have RTI documents in your hand, your battle is 90% won, so where is the sense of filling your news columns with `puffy’ denials from the government? >> Continued on page 5

responsive member of the Fourth Estate. We believe it is doable. All we need is for you to believe in us… editorlife365@gmail.com Call 020-25534888/25538835 or 8806 365 365


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