Port Blair, March 10: The Lt Governor, Lt Gen (Retd) Bhopinder Singh and the First Lady of Islands, Smt Bhawanee Singh today inaugurated the first all women bank branch of A&N State Cooperative bank located at Garacharma-II, South Andaman during the inaugural session of the seminar on ‘women empowerment’, organised by the A&N State Cooperative Bank Ltd. on the occasion of International Women’s Day at Municipal Ground, Anarkali.

The Lt Governor also launched low interest rate loan schemes for women such as education loan for girls, marriage loan for girls, medical treatment loan for women and micro insurance scheme for SHGs started by the State Cooperative bank for the welfare of women of the Islands. The Lt Governor on the occasion gave away loan amount under each of the scheme to some of the beneficiaries. He also felicitated some of the eminent women of the Islands for their dedicated services towards the society and released a souvenir brought out by the bank to mark the occasion. 

Addressing the gathering, the Lt Governor expressed happiness over the large congregation of women to participate in the seminar on ‘women empowerment’, organised by A&N State Cooperative Bank to commemorate the occasion. He stated that the International Women’s Day is observed on 8th March throughout the world to strive for a world based on gender equality.  It is a day to celebrate the spirit of ordinary women, who have played extraordinary role in shaping their families, communities, society and the country. He further stated that women’s participation in the political and economic activities of a society enriches the fabric of a nation. Many women of our country have reached high positions and many others are doing well in different spheres and even in profession once unthinkable for women. 

Lauding the A&N State Cooperative Bank for opening the first women bank branch at Garacharma-II, South Andaman and also for launching various loan schemes for the welfare of women folks in a very low interest rate, he stated that the bank has been implementing welfare schemes for the socio-economic development of the Islands. The launch of the loan schemes will further help in the upliftment of the women folks, especially women from economically weaker sections of the society. He called upon the women to come forward in large numbers and avail maximum benefit of various schemes implemented by the bank by forming Self Help Groups. He also assured all possible help and support of the Administration to the bank in its endeavour to provide help and assistance of the poor and needy women of the Islands.  

Referring to the contribution of women in the overall development of the Islands, he stated that women in the Islands have done extremely well and excelled in every field. The holding of the post of Chairpersons of both the Zilla Parishads in the Islands by women and medal winning performance by the tsunami affected islands sportsperson, top Cyclists, Deborah in the International level cycling competition is testimony to the fact that women of the Islands have proved that they are no less compared to anybody, he stated.

He further stated that women’s contribution to the development of a good family, a compassionate society and a progressive nation is unmatched and urged all the women present on the occasion to inculcate good values in their children so that they can become better citizens.  

Earlier, welcoming the chief guest and others, the Vice Chairman, A&N State Cooperative Bank, Port Blair, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma stated that the bank has decided to launch various low interest loan schemes for the economically weaker sections of the society to provide them with the much needed support and assistance. He expressed his gratitude towards the Lt Governor for enhancing the pension of the economically weaker section from Rs 1000/- to Rs 2000 pm.  

The Deputy General Manager, NABARD, Shri Anantha Krishnan in his brief address stated that NABARD will extend all support to the A&N State Cooperative Bank in their endeavour to reach out to the people, especially women and SHGs in remote areas. NABARD is also providing training facilities to the SHGs members so that they can start their own self-employment ventures, he stated.  

The Managing Director, A&N State Cooperative Bank Ltd, Shri Ravinder Rao gave a detailed report of the activities of the bank including the further developmental plans of bank such as launching of door step banking, core banking proposal, opening of 10 more banks, enhancing the number of account holders etc. He also informed that the distribution of the increased pension amount for senior citizen/old-age will be started in the Islands from the month of April 2013. 

The function concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by the Chairman, A&N State Cooperative Bank, Shri Bhagat Singh.

The Chairperson, Tribal Council, Nancowry, Chairperson, PBMC, Adhyakshas of the two Zilla Parishad of the Islands, Chairperson, SWB, women social workers, senior officers of the Administration, Municipal Councillors, PRI members and members of the various Self Help Groups also attended the function.

Port Blair, March 10: UT level Folk Songs and Folk Dances competitions were organised by the Department of Art and Culture, A&N Administration in collaboration with Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre and South Zone Culture Centre, GoI, at Amphitheatre, Anarkali on 8th March 2013. Sur-Saptak-a sangeet Academy, Baaulmon group, and Nirmala Senior Secondary School secured first three positions respectively in the Folk Song Competition whereas Aditya Natya Academy won consolation prize.

In the Folk Dance Competition, Nirmala Senior Secondary School and Naveen Cultural Group won first and second positions respectively whereas Baaulmon group got consolation prize.

Earlier, Shri Lucas Robert, Director (Art and Culture) in his welcome address appreciated all folk artistes of the islands for their valuable contribution in keeping alive India's rich folk culture in these islands.

Dr. U.N. Choudhary, Assistant Director (Sports) proposed the vote of thanks.

Smt. Sumati Kumari W/o Shri Srinivasan (22) Yrs R/o Lal Pahar is missing from 03/03/2013 from her residence at Lal Pahar. The descriptive roll of missing person is height about 5 feet, coloured – shallow, Face – round, body – medium, wearing white coloured suit and pink coloured salwar. The general public is requested to pass on information regarding the above mentioned per to Phone No. 100,, 03192 – 224934, 03192-258019.

Port Blair, March 8: To mark the International Women’s Day, a function was organised by the A&N State Social Welfare Board in the auditorium of Tagore Govt. College of Education, Port Blair. The First Lady of the Islands, Smt Bhawanee Singh inaugurated the programme by lighting the ceremonial oil lamp. She also felicitated some of the eminent women of the Islands for their dedicated services towards the society and gave away prizes to participants of the cultural programme. 

Speaking on the occasion, the First Lady stated that International Women’s Day is observed throughout the world on 8th March every year which also inspires and motivates women about their ability to excel in every field and to contribute immensely towards the nation building.

She further stated that our visionary forefathers had enshrined the principle of gender equality in the fundamental rights, directive principle of our Constitution and in the fundamental duties and we had since come a long way in achieving this goal. The amendment of 1993 made in the Constitution for providing reservation of seats in the local bodies further laid a strong foundation for the participation of women in decision making at the grass root. She noted with appreciation that PRIs in the Islands are playing a pivotal role in the process of enhancing women’s participation in public life. It is a matter of pride for all of us that the Chairpersons of both the Zilla Parishads in the Islands are women.

Lauding the contribution of Social Welfare Board in the development of women in the Islands, she stated that women in the islands are better aware about their rights and secured as  compared to women of some of the other parts of the country. And if the right and dignity of women in our Islands is harmed in any form, they should not hesitate to raise their voice. Considering the increasing crime against women, the law has also given them certain provisions for their security and protection, she said. She further called upon all social workers to collectively work for the development and security of women in the society and take a pledge not to allow any form of discrimination towards women.

In his brief address, the Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Shri G. Theva Neethi Dhas said that women in the Islands have done really well in various fields. He further stated that a number of welfare schemes are being implemented for the benefit of women and there is a greater need for generating awareness about these schemes among the women folk of rural areas.        

Others, who also spoke on the occasion, included Dr. S.K. Jagpal, Vice-Principal of Khalsa Public School, Smt Zanifer Paul, Inspector, Police Women Cell, Smt Malati Mondal, President, Pronab Kanya Sangh, Dr. Manju Nair, Lecturer, JNRM and Ms Bhuneshwari, Advocate.  

Earlier, welcoming the chief guest and others, the Chairperson, SWB, Smt Ratna Kannan highlighted the importance and significance of the day. She also highlighted the activities of Social Welfare Board and the initiatives taken by the Board for the welfare of women in the Islands.  A colourful cultural programme was also held to mark the occasion.

Port Blair, March 7: After a long gap in the International arena, Islands’ Cyclist Miss Debora has bagged the first Bronze Medal for India in the 33rd Senior and 20th Junior Asian Cycling Championship held at Indira Gandhi Cycling Velodrome, New Delhi in the event 500 Mtrs. time trial.

The event 500 Mtrs. Time Trial was held in the afternoon of today 7th March, 2013 in Indira Gandhi Cycling Velodrome in which the Islands’ Star Cyclist clinched first Bronze Medal for India, narrowly missed Silver medal by 0.027 fraction of a Second.

Deborah hails from Kakana village of Car Nicobar and is a student of Girls Sr. Sec. School under SAI, SAG scheme.

The Secretary (Sports), Shri. Rakesh Bali, Director Education Dr. R. Dev Das, Shri. Lucas Robert, Director (Sports) and Shri S. Sen Gupta SAI Cycling Coach has congratulated Deborah for bringing laurels for the Country and blessed for the upcoming events.

Shri. A Mohd. Iqbal President A & N Cycling Association will be proceeding to New Delhi to boost the morale of the Island Cyclists Deborah and Martha in the upcoming events and to witness the Asian Championship.

Meanwhile Shri. V. Ranjith Kumar, General Secretary of A & N Cycling Association had personally visited IG Stadium New Delhi during the final stage of coaching camp and congratulated Deborah and Martha on being selected for the Indian team, golden opportunity to shine in the International arena.

Port Blair, March 8: The Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray has raised the question in the Parliament to the Ministry of Labour & Employment regarding non-implementation of A&N Islands Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, 2008. The MP has asked the reasons for non-implementation and desired to know the time of implementation.

In reply to the question raise by Shri Bishnu Pada Ray on 4th March 2013, Shri Kodikunnil Suresh, Minister of State for Labour & Employment has stated that the A&N Administration has notified A&N Islands Unorganised Workers Social Security Rules on 26.12.2012. As mandated under section 10 of the Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, 2008 the registration of the unorganised workers required involvement of district administration for which A&N Administration has initiated action to hold coordination meetings. The likely time for starting the implementation of the Act in A&N Islands is fiscal year 2013-14.


Port Blair, March 7: The 8th Siddha, Yoga & Varma Therapy Camp was held on March 3, 2013 at Vivekananda Kendra, Lambaline, Port Blair from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with the assistance of experts of Siddha, Varma Therapy who had arrived from mainland.

The camp was inaugurated by the Chief Guest Shri. Vijaya Kumar, Principal, VKV School, wherein Shri. Mary Joseph, D.E.O., Wiberligunj, Shri. H.L. Agarwal were present as Guests of Honour. The Chief Guest and the Guests of Honour in their address on the occasion tried to create awareness among the general public by sharing their experience and thoughts about Siddha, Varma & Yoga. They advised the participants to have a strong will power for regular practice of Yoga and to modify their lifestyle for a healthy living.

Siddha & Varma Specialist Dr. K.P. Arjunan and Dr. Arul Anandha Kumar diagnosed the 108 patients and distributed free medicines for 30 days. The follow up medicines will available at Vasumathy Yoga Clinic. The next visit of the experts is scheduled to be on 11th May 2013.

The Camp was organised by Sri Annai Aravind Health Care and Social Welfare Trust (SAAHSWT) in collaboration with Islanders Yoga Trust (IYT), Tamilnadu Paramparai, Siddha Vaithya Maha Sangam, Shri Puttru Maharishi Social & Medical Service Centre, Vellore.