* Part 1

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) founder president and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has demanded that social reformer, writer and folk poet of Maharashtra Anna Bhau Sathe be conferred with Bharat Ratna and requested the Maharashtra Government to send a proposal to the Centre and Telangana Government too would address a letter to the Prime Minister with the same plea.

Speaking at Wategaon near Kolhapur in Maharashtra, the birth place of Anna Bhau Sathe, at the latter’s 103rd birth anniversary, Mr. Rao said the writings of Anna Bhau were not just for people of Maharashtra but for people of India and the world. He requested the Maharashtra Government to get all writings of Anna Bhau translated into all Indian languages and English so that everybody could know his ideology.

Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao said Matang community, to which Anna Bhau belonged, was one of the oldest communities of India and recollected how the great poet Kalidasa wrote about Matang community, the descendants of Matanga Maharishi of ancient India.

He said Anna Bhau was known as ‘Lokshayar’ (people’s poet), the title given to very rare few, and recognising his contribution to the field of people’s literature his bust was installed in the All Russia Library in Moscow.

However, he said, there was no proper respect given to Matang community and Anna Bhau, who is also known as a pioneer of dalit literature, although the latter was known as Indian Maxim Gorky. He stated that a grandson of Anna Bhau, Sachin Sathe, was working with him to bring a change in Maharashtra politics.

‘BRS to help Matangs’

Mr. Rao said the BRS would work for the interests of Matang community in Maharashtra whenever they get an opportunity. Mother of Sachin Sathe, Savitribai, Maharashtra unit BRS leaders Shankaranna Dhondge, Manikrao Kadam, B.G. Deshmukh, Bhagirath Bhalke, K. Vamshidhar Rao and others participated in the event.

Seven products from across India including four from Rajasthan were given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai.

The Jalesar Dhatu Shilp (metal craft), Goa Mankurad mango, Goan Bebinca, Udaipur Koftgari metal craft, Bikaner Kashidakari craft, Jodhpur Bandhej craft and Bikaner Usta Kala craft were the ones which got the tag.

The application for the Goa Mankurad mango was filed by All Goa Mango Growers Association, Panaji, Goa. The Portuguese named the mango as Malcorada meaning poor coloured and with time this word transformed to ‘Mankurad’ aamoAamo means mango in Konkani language.

For the Goan Bebinca, the application was filed by All Goa Bakers and Confectioners Association. Bebinca is a type of pudding and a traditional Indo-Portuguese dessert. It is also known as the Queen of Goan desserts.

At Jalesar in Etah district in Uttar Pradesh, which was the capital of Magadha King Jarasandha, over 1,200 small units are engaged in making Jalesar Dhatu Shilp. This place is known for making decorative metal craft as well as brassware.

Four different crafts from Rajasthan were given the GI tags. The Udaipur Koftgari metal craft was one among them. According to details provided in the documents submitted to the GI office, the Udaipur Koftgari metal craftsmen practices the ancient art of Koftgari used in making ornamental weaponry. The weapons are exquisitely ornamented by a complicated process of etching of design, heating and then cooling intertwined with the process of embedding gold and silver wire into the metal, pressing and flattening it to a smooth surface using moonstone and finally polishing.

The second product from Rajasthan was the Bikaner Kashidakari craft. Kashidakari work is done majorly on objects associated with marriage, especially gift items, and makes use of mirror work.

The Jodhpur bandhej craft is the Rajasthani art of tying and dyeing. It is the art of printing varied patterns on fabrics using the tie and dye method.

The Bikaner Usta Kala craft is also known as gold nakashi work or gold manauti work, due to the prominence of golden colour in an actual manner developed by gold in the previous period. Due to this, the craft has longevity.

Last week, in a major policy change, the World Health Organization included three fixed dose combinations of cardiovascular medicines or polypills on its revised Model Lists of Essential Medicines 2023 for use in primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases.

The WHO Expert Committee on selection and use of essential medicines noted the evidence from large randomised-controlled trials that the use of the polypill is associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular events, including fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction and stroke, and the need for revascularisation in primary and secondary prevention settings.

For Salim Yusuf, a cardiologist and researcher at McMaster University, Canada, and a Keralite, this endorsement from the WHO is the culmination of the two decades or more that he spent on building clinical evidence that polypills are a safe and effective strategy to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Dr. Yusuf, an his co-researchers Wald and Law, both from the U.K., had proposed in early 2000 that a polypill which combined two or more blood pressure lowering drugs plus a statin and aspirin could significantly reduce the risk of future heart attacks and strokes.

Since then, many other researchers have independently worked with different pharmaceutical companies to formulate different polypills and conduct large trials, involving over 25,000 people.

They demonstrated that the polypill reduced the risk of future heart attacks and strokes by about 40% to 50%. In fact, one of the polypills that has been included in the EML is Polycap.

Studying since 2005

This four-drug combination (simvastatin + ramipril + atenolol + hydrochlorothiazide), along with acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin, is what Dr. Yusuf and his co-researchers from India had been studying since 2005.

“Our data from three versions of the Indian Polycap Study between 2005 and 2019 established the safety and efficacy of the polypill and that it reduces heart attack, strokes and deaths from heart attacks by 40%. This was despite the fact that 20% to 30% of the people stopped the medicine midway during the trial. The polypill is thus an important low-cost public health intervention which can prevent over millions of cardiovascular events and deaths every year,” says Dr. Yusuf.

The polypill is not a new drug but a drug delivery mechanism, which improves medication adherence (because it is a single pill) and saves money by preventing hospitalisations.

“We hope that once the polypill becomes part of the government’s drug formulary, private practitioners will also start prescribing it,” Dr. Yusuf says.

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