It was my dream to win an Olympic medal and it came true today. The dream was same in 2016 Olympics but it was not my day in Rio. I learnt a lot from that failure. I changed my training and technique. I decided to work harder and achieve what I missed out on in Rio. I am happy we managed kochi l Sunday l July 25, 2021 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l late city edition Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu’s silver at Tokyo 2020 Olympics gives nation much-needed solace during times of strife I n d r a n ee l D a s @ Chennai F or common folk, leading a normal life in Manipur is a struggle. Even now. The roads have improved, so has the drainage system. But sourcing essentials — gas cylinder, drinking water — is an issue. It’s a struggle for better means of livelihood. If you come from a background as Mirabai Chanu’s — the silvermedallist at the Tokyo Games — life is never easy That her lifting . lessons started with bundles of firewoods she fetched as a child from a forest near her village in Kakching is a testimony to the hardships the family endured. Her mother, Tombi Devi, still recalls the time her daughter would mira-cle lady volunteer on carrying the heaviest of bundles. Introduction to iron and barbells was a natural progress. When she won India’s first medal on Saturday her par, ents and the extended family were glued to the TV set. Myriad memories flashed by, struggles quietly buried in the euphoria of celebration. Her choice of pursuing weightlifting instead of archery as a child was justified. Manipur is a speck in the diverse map of India, tucked in the Northeast. It has a population of 27 lakh, fraction of New Delhi’s. Yet, on the sporting front, the state achievements surpassed the best and mighty Over the last few dec. ades, heroes born there have flown the country’s flag high. Not just the state but even for the entire Northeast, the medal means much more. It is another cry for cementing their identity and getting recognition in the national diaspora. The state fought insurgency drugs , and AIDS (at one time, it was one of the highest). It was sports that soothed the fissured psyche of the people in the region. Culturally different, ethnically diverse sports always find a way to draw everyone close. Like it did when legendary Mary Kom won the bronze in London nine summers ago. Now, as the region claws back to normalcy, Mirabai’s medal has the potential to take the region to greater heights through sports. At the height of insurgency and drugs, it was sports that gave succour when the late Dingko Singh won boxing gold at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games. Numerous sportspersons emerged from the Mirabai Chanu, silver medalist CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI ■ ■ six lifts(in kgs) Snatch 84 87 89 Clean & Jerk 110 115 117 state. Their initial ambition is always to get a job to ensure security in life. Ex-worlds medallist Kunjarani Devi, who finished fourth at 2004 Olympics, Dingko and hundred others kindled hope. Mirabai too is a product of this. Sport is a way of life there. “We don’t have too many avenues of employment. Sports helps find job,” said Kunjarani, who inspired Mirabai. The power of sports is unique. It has the ability to transcend endless vicissitudes of life, race colour and creed. Mirabai’s medal in times of Covid has brought the entire country together in celebration. And for Manipur, it is getting used to such extraordinary tales. Mirabai is the latest in a long line of greats to have emerged from there and stories like hers will P11 inspire. More coverage: Starting tonight, back page will be the second Sport page till the Olympics is on. Xplore will be back after the Games. - Editor Recovery notices terrify loan fraud victims in Karuvannur M a n o j V i s w a n at h a n @ Karuvannur (Thrissur) THE fire on the funeral pyre of T M Mukundan has died down, but the embers of despair and pain are still alive in the minds of his dear ones. Then there is the threat of revenue recovery . Chairs loosely arranged under a tarpaulin sheet greet you at the house, but Prabhavathi — Mukundan’s wife — is too sad to welcome any visitor. She stares at you, takes a deep breath and breaks into tears. Mukundan, the block secretary of Congress and former standing committee chairman of Porathissery panchayat, hanged himself on July 22. Local residents had seen him visiting the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank the day before. He was desperate after receiving a revenue recovery notice demanding to pay `80 lakh as loan arrears. Mukundan had taken a loan of only `30 lakh. Mukundan’s son Dheeraj, 27, who works as a machine operator in Sharjah and returned on hearing his father’s death, says their family never needed such a hefty loan. “My sister was married off in 2014, but the retirement benefits of my father who worked as an office assistant at Wadakkancherry Vyasa College were enough to meet that ex- Lottery ticket vendor Sadanandan, wife Jaya and son Sumesh in front of their house at Karuvannur. The family had availed a loan of C10 lakh from the Karuvannur Cooperative bank in 2012 for which they have received a recovery notice of C39.04 lakh | Albin Mathew Attender, peon among admins of bank software T’Puram: Major loopholes in the banking software used by Karuvannur service cooperative bank came to the aid of the cartel of employees who had committed a loan fraud worth I300 crore over the years. Investigators suspect that the loopholes in the software and negligence in software security were purposeful acts on part of the senior employees for facilitating illegal deals. B Sreejan reports. P4 pense,” he said. A glance at their 100-year-old ancestral house proved his point. It has not been renovated. They have 16 cents of land, which is worth `45 lakh. “Will any bank issue a loan double the value of the land?,” asks Dheeraj. The loan fraud reported at the bank is getting bigger and what the joint registrar has revealed after the probe is just a fragment Tax evasion of `900 cr in two media houses, says I-T dept eXPR E SS n E WS s eR V IC E @ New Delhi TWO days after the controversial raids at the offices of Dainik Bhaskar and Bharat Samachar, the income tax department on Saturday said it has detected tax evasion to the tune of `900 crore during the search operations at the two media houses. “The quantum of income escapement using this modus operandi, detected so far, amounts to `700 crore spread over a period of six years. The quantum may be more as the group has used multiple layers and investigations are being carried out to unravel the entire money trail,” the department said, obliquely referring to the Dainik Bhaskar group. The statement mentioned searches at 20 residential and 12 business premises spread over nine cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal, Indore, Noida and Ahmedabad. “The company does barter deals for advertisement revenues, whereby immovable properties are received in lieu of actual payments. Evidences have been found indicating cash receipts in respect of subsequent sale of such properties,” the department said. P10 of a deeper malaise, say local residents. The loan defaulters are not rich. The bank has defrauded far mers, vendors and daily wagers. Many of them never applied or availed of loans and the recovery notices reminding of colossal loans terrify them. If the government fails to address their woes, Karuvannur may witness ● More on P4 more suicides. KITEX GETS INVITATION FROM SRI LANKA TO INVEST A team of Lankan officials, led by Deputy High Commissioner Dorai Swami Venkiteswaran, called on Kitex managing director Sabu Jacob in Kochi on Saturday and held a three-hour meeting | P4 WITH THIS ISS U E The Other Side of Midnight PLUS 12 PAGES Med devices price down 90% as govt fixes cap E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Following a decision by the Centre to fix trade margins of five categories of medical devices — digital thermometers, glucometers, blood pressure measurement devices, oximeters and nebulizers — 91% brands of these devices have reduced prices by up to 88%. The trade margins, set by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority under the Union Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers, have come into effect from July 20. The government on Saturday said downward revision of MRP has been reported by imported and domestic brands across categories. There are 684 brands of these five categories of medical devices. Of these, 620 have reduced prices. The Centre also Blinken to flag human rights issue during New Delhi visit E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The US on Saturday said issues facing democracy and human rights would be raised during wideranging discussions its Secretary of State Antony Blinken would have with Indian leaders during his scheduled New Delhi visit on July 27. Blinken is slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and later hold discussions with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on various issues, including the pandemic, Quad, situations in Indo-Pacific region and Afghanistan. “With respect to the human rights and democracy question, yes, you are right; I will tell you that we will raise it,” acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Dean Thompson said. Education and jobs HC fines Hindu outfit for challenging reservation E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi THE Kerala High Court on Saturday imposed a cost of `25,000 on an organisation, Hindu Sevakendram, while dismissing its petition seeking to declare that Muslims, Latin Catholics, Christian Nadars and Scheduled Castes converted to any denomination in Christianity are not entitled to be treated as backward classes. The court directed the organisation to deposit the amount in the bank account created for providing financial aid to the children in the state suffering from rare diseases within a month. In the event of default, revenue recovery proceedings can be initiated, the court said. It issued the order on a petition filed by Hindu Sevakendram (Ko- chi) treasurer Sreekumar Mankuzhy. He had said Muslims and certain sections of Christians are given reservation in education and jobs, treating them as socially and educationally backward, though most of them are not. Citing a gazette notification issued on September 10, 1 9 9 3 , A dvo c a t e G e n e r a l K Gopalakrishna Kurup said some of the communities have been identified as backward classes and reservation as per the orders of Union and state governments is provided accordingly . Mappila and Latin Catholics have already been identified as socially and educationally backward communities, for which reservation is provided. The AG added that the President is the authority to specify the classes. ● More on P4 said that the revised MRP effective from July 20 on all the brands and specifications has been shared with the state drug controllers for strict monitoring. Importantly in order to monitor , availability manufacturers and , importers of these medical devices have been directed to submit quarterly stock details. A look at the price revision suggests that an oximeter with an earlier MRP of `3,999, for instance, will have a new MRP of `1,545. Another oximeter priced `2,600 will have to be priced at `1,950. A blood pressure monitoring device earlier priced at `3,500 will have a price tag of `1,375, while a glucometer available earlier at `1,590 will now be priced at `675. A digital thermometer will be priced `249 against `270 earlier. Prices, however, won’t change how the rates have been slashed Brand Old price New price PO 35 Pulse oximeter by Beurer H3,580 H2,190 Coronation BP monitoring device H1,999 H1,295 Amneb 01 nebulizer H4,200 H1,450 Free style glucometer by Abbot t H2,499 H1,958 Hicks 416 thermometer H270 H249 for devices whose makers had already applied the formula enforced by NPPA. The formula specifies that MRP should be computed by adding three components — the price to the distributor, 70% of price to the distributor and the goods and services tax. Some health and patient rights activists. however, have said that a 70% cap was still too high and urged the government to cap the trade margin at an earlier point in the supply chain — the landed cost or ex-factory cost — and not from the price to the distributor. Jab-o-meter Take your shot July 23 38,87,028 doses July 24 45,74,298 doses Total doses 43,26,05,567 NATIONWIDE july 23 july 24 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 35,342 40,279 38,740 40,032 483 541 stateWIDE july 23 july 24 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 17,518 18,531 11,067 15,507 132 98
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