Monday, July 26, 2010

Health: A Chat with Dr. Devi Shetty (Heart Specialist)

Dr.Devi Shetty, Narayana Hrudayalaya (Heart Specialist) Bangalore

A chat with Dr.Devi Shetty, Narayana Hrudayalaya (Heart Specialist) Bangalore was arranged by WIPRO for its employees. The transcript of the chat is given below. Useful for everyone.

DR.DEVI PRASAD SHETTY (http://www.narayanahospitals.com/doctors.html)
Chairman & Senior Consultant Cardiac Surgeon
Dr Devi Shetty who was trained in cardiac surgery at Guys Hospital, London, UK.

What are the five thumb rules for a lay person in the matter of heart care?
1. Diet: Less of carbohydrate, more of protein, less oil 2. Exercise: Half an hour's walk, at least five days a week; avoid lifts and avoid sitting for a longtime 3. Quit smoking 4. Control weight 5. Control blood pressure and sugar

Is eating non - veg food (fish) good for the heart?
No

Some apparently healthy persons suffer a cardiac arrest. How do we understand it in perspective?
This is called silent heart attack; that is why we recommend everyone past the age of 30 to undergo routine health checkups.

Are heart diseases hereditary?
Yes

What are the ways in which the heart is stressed? What practices do you suggest to distress the heart?
Change your attitude towards life. Do not look for perfection in everything in life.

Is walking better than jogging or is more intensive exercise required to keep a healthy heart?
Walking is better than jogging, since jogging leads to early fatigue and injury to joints

Can people with low blood pressure suffer heart diseases?
Extremely rare

Does cholesterol accumulate right from early age or do you have to worry about it only after you are above 30 years of age?
Cholesterol accumulates from childhood.

How do irregular eating habits affect the heart?
You tend to eat junk food when the habits are irregular and your body's enzyme release for digestion gets disorganized.

How can I control cholesterol content without using medicines?
Control diet, walk and eat walnut.

Can yoga prevent heart ailments?
Yoga helps, if practised with guidance from an expert.

Which is the best and worst food for the heart?
Best food is fruits, worst is oil.

Which oil is better - gingili, groundnut, sunflower, saffola, olive?
All oils are bad; the so - called best oil company has the largest marketing budget.

What is the routine checkup one should go through? Is there any specific test?
Routine blood test to ensure sugar and cholesterol are ok. Check BP, Treadmill test after an echocardiograph.

How different was it in treating Noor Fatima, the little kid from Pakistan?
It was extremely difficult, because of the media attention. As far as the medical treatment is concerned, she is like any other child with a complex heart problem.

What are the first aid steps to be taken on a heart attack?
Help the person into a sleeping position, put an aspirin tablet under the tongue with a sorbitrate tablet if available, and rush him to a coronary care unit, since the maximum casualty takes place within the first hour.

How do you differentiate between pain caused by a heart attack and that caused due to gastric trouble?
Extremely difficult without ECG.

What is the main cause of a steep increase in heart problems amongst youngsters? We see people of about 30 - 40 yrs of age having heart attacks and serious heart problems?
Sedentary lifestyles, smoking, junk food, lack of exercise, are the contributing causes. Indians are genetically three times more vulnerable for heart attacks than Europeans and Americans.

Is it possible for a person to have BP outside the normal range of 120 / 80 and yet be perfectly healthy?
Yes.

Marriages within close relatives can lead to heart problems for the child. Is it true?
Yes, consanguinity leads to congenital abnormalities, including the heart.

Many of us have an irregular daily routine and many times we have to stay late nights in office. Does this affect our heart? What precautions would you recommend?
When you are young, nature protects you against all these irregularities. However, as you grow older, respect the biological clock.

Will taking anti - hypertensive drugs cause some other complications (short / long term)?
Yes, most drugs have some side effects. However, modern anti - hypertensive drugs are extremely safe.

Will consuming more coffee / tea lead to heart attacks?
No.

Are asthma patients more prone to heart disease?
No.

How would you define junk food?
Fried food like Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds, samosas, and even masala dosas.

You mentioned that Indians are three times more vulnerable. What is the reason for this, as Europeans and Americans also eat a lot of junk food?
Every race is vulnerable to some disease and unfortunately; Indians are vulnerable for the most expensive disease.

Does consuming bananas help reduce hypertension?
No.

Can a person help himself during a heart attack?
Yes. Lie down comfortably and put an aspirin tablet of any description under the tongue and ask someone to take you to the nearest coronary care unit without any delay and do not wait for the ambulance since most of the time, the ambulance does not turn up.

Do, in any way, low white blood cells and low hemoglobin count lead to heart problems?
No. But it is ideal to have normal hemoglobin level to increase your exercise capacity.

Sometimes, due to the hectic schedule, we are not able to exercise. So, does walking while doing daily chores at home or climbing the stairs in the house, work as substitutes for exercise?
Certainly. Avoid sitting continuously for more than half an hour and even the act of getting out of the chair and going to another chair and sitting helps a lot.

Is there a relation between heart problems and blood sugar?
Yes, a strong relationship since diabetics are more vulnerable to heart attacks than non - diabetics.

What are the things one needs to take care of after a heart operation?
Diet, exercise, drugs on time. Control cholesterol, BP, weight.

Are people working on night shifts more vulnerable to heart disease when compared to day shift workers?
No.

What is the modern anti - hypertensive drugs?
There are quite many number of drugs and your doctor will chose the right combination for your problem, but my suggestion is to avoid the drugs and go for natural ways of controlling blood pressure by walk and diet to reduce weight and changing attitudes towards lifestyles.

Does disprin or similar headache pills increase the risk of heart attacks?
No.

Why is the rate of heart attacks more in men than in women?
Nature protects women till the age of 45.

How can one keep the heart in top condition?
Follow a healthy diet, avoid junk food, exercise everyday, do not smoke and, go for a health checkup if you are past the age of 30 for at least once in two years.

Source: Email

Saturday, July 24, 2010

eFiling your Income Tax Returns made Easy

Have you filed your IT Returns - July 31, Last Date for filing.
It is easy to file your returns online using hassle free e-Filing method.

Avoid Rush at the counters and save your time, travel and money.

How to file e-Returns online?

  • Logon to Income Tax India eFiling website: https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/index.do
  • For the first time user: Register yourself with your PAN number in the website first, please provide full name, father's name as given during PAN Registration.
  • Select your 'Assessment Year' - Example: 2010-11 and choose the right form for filing IT Returns with the appropriate ITR forms.
  • Download the 'Excel Utility' of the appropriate ITR form (Return Preparation Software) as applicable to you.
  • Note on ITR form: For assessment year 2010-11 (income earned for financial year 2009-10):
  • ITR-1:

  • Who can use this Return Form
    This Return Form is to be used by an individual whose total income for the assessment year 2010-11 includes:-
    (a) Income from Salary/ Pension; or
    (b) Income from One House Property (excluding cases where loss is brought forward from previous years); or
    (c) Income from Other Sources (Excluding Winning from Lottery and Income from Race Horses).
    Further, in a case where the income of another person like spouse, minor child, etc. is to be clubbed with the income of
    the assessee, this Return Form can be used only if the income being clubbed falls into the above income categories.
  • Who cannot use this Return Form
    This Return Form should not be used by an individual whose total income for the assessment year 2010-11 includes,-
    (a) Income from more than one house property; or
    (b) Income from Winnings from lottery or income from Race horses; or
    (c) Income under the head “Capital Gains”, which are not exempt from tax, e.g., short-term capital gains or long-term capital
    gains from sale of house, plot, etc.; or
    (d) Income from agriculture in excess of Rs. 5,000; or
    (e) Income from Business or Profession.

  • ITR2:

  • Who can use this Return Form
    This Return Form is to be used by an individual or an Hindu Undivided Family whose total income for the assessment year
    2010-11 includes:-
    (a) Income from Salary / Pension; or
    (b) Income from House Property; or
    (c) Income from Capital Gains; or
    (c) Income from Other Sources (including Winning from Lottery and Income from Race Horses)..
    Further, in a case where the income of another person like spouse, minor child, etc. is to be clubbed with the income
    of the assessee, this Return Form can be used where such income falls in any of the above categories.
  • Who cannot use this Return Form
    This Return Form should not be used by an individual whose total income for the assessment year 2010-11 includes
    Income from Business or Profession.

  • Fill the details in the respective sheet, use TAB key to move to next field to avoid confusions.
  • Fill by typing not using 'Cut, Copy, Paste' in each field.
  • Most of the fields match your 'Form-16' and add the values in the respective fields.
  • Once you fill the ITR form (Excel), you need to Validate (click Validate button) every sheet before you move to next sheet. This will ensure that you have filled all relevant fields in the form/sheet.
  • 'Generate' button helps to generate a XML file and save it in the directory where your ITR Excel file is present. Before you upload this XML to eFiling website, Open the file in Internet Explorer browser and see all Bold numbers and their fields matching your Form-16 and Tax payable/Refund details.
How to find specific details:
  1. Before your start filing your returns, please check your 'Annual Statement' - 26AS under 'My Account' menu section after you logon to eFiling website. This should match your 'Form-16' and Annexure of TDS by Employer/Deductor.
  2. Judistriction: Design of Assessing Officer Information: Logon to eFiling website with your PAN number, look at the top-right section for 'Services' left to 'My Account'. Under 'Services' you will see 'Know your Judistriction' - This will give you this information.
  3. 'Calculate Tax' button can be used to calculate tax after all the IT Returns details in all the Excel sheets. This should reflect your tax paid details as per Form-16.
  4. 'Compute Setoff' - Use this button to setoff for calculations.

Useful Links:
Source & Courtesy: Income Tax India
Thanks to my friends who help directly or indirectly in writing this article.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ePost - Send letters electronically (India Post)

Send letters electronically

With the introduction of the ePost (e-mail Home Delivery Application) Service by the Department of Posts, it is possible to send your letters electronically even if the receiver does not have access to Internet/email. ePost is a unique service under which printed or even handwritten messages of customers are scanned and transmitted as email through the Internet. At the destination offices, these messages are printed, enveloped and delivered through postmen, like other letters, at the postal addresses.

ePost, which is a paid service at present, enables people to send and receive messages or scanned images through email in all 1,56,000 Post Offices in the country. For the first time in the country, people who do not normally have access to the Internet are able to send and receive email messages without possessing an email-ID, thereby bridging the digital divide in the arena of public communication systems. The advent of ePost is a turning point in the transformation of the Department of Posts into a modern, technology-driven provider of communication services to the people of India.

Source: http://india.gov.in/howdo/otherservice_details.php?service=20

Indian Govt. Citizen Services (Available Online)

Govt. of India has a website with useful links on Citizen Services:
http://india.gov.in/howdo/index.php

This section provides you with information and useful links to avail various Citizen Services being provided by the Central & State/UT Governments in India. The list, however, is not exhaustive, as we are committed to adding more and more information about other services for which citizens and other stakeholders need to interact with the Government. Keep visiting this section for new updates !!


Source & Courtesy: http://india.gov.in/howdo/index.php

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Problem with Auto's in Bangalore

To anyone who is unhappy with autos in Bangalore (everyone?)

Got this as a forward, which I usually tend to ignore, so figured this would be a better place for it. Thank you to whoever took the trouble to do this!
................................

You are in a hurry to catch the train. You pack all your stuff and frantically run out in the hope of catching an auto. You come out and see 5 autos standing at the corner. You thank God and ask them - "Majestic chaloge kya??” The Answer is "Rs 200 hoga!!”. "Kya?? It just cost Rs 100 till Majestic". "Bahut rush hai sir!!". You move on to the next auto, to try your luck and surprisingly, you have the same conversation "Bahut rush hai sir!!". Finally you give up and bargain the price to Rs 170 and hope you don't miss your train.

Sounds more than familiar??

You stand on the road and keep on asking the passing autos for a ride to your destination - if it's not your day, the autos will not even bother to stop; if you're a bit lucky they might actually slow down to hear your destination's name and think for a second (i always wonder if they are calculating their net profit) and then speed away. However if you are luckier, the auto guy might quote an exorbitant price and then speed away. But if it's your extremely lucky hour of the day, you might end up getting an auto which is ready to take you to the destination at meter price.

In my six years of existence in Bengaluru, these experiences have been really instrumental in teaching me great virtues - Patience and Tolerance. But at what price??? exorbitant rates, extremely rude behavior and what not ......
After years of feeling used, i set out to find the answer for this misery - was there no government system that could bring these auto guys to justice? As a citizen, how can i express my concern?

This search took me to the Koramangala RTO office (BDA complex) and to my surprise i found that there did exist a government system which i believe 99.99% of Bengaluru is unaware of !!
The System
Note the vehicle number (KA-XX-YY-ZZZZ) and email the details to transcom@kar.nic.in. Based on the prefix XX (for example KA-01), complaint will be sent to one of the ten RTO offices in Bangalore and adjacent taluk areas.
Alternatively, one can also call these offices at the number given below based on the vehicle number prefix and directly lodge a complaint.

Vehicle Prefix (KA-XX) Bangalore location Phone number
KA-01 Koramangala 080-25533525
KA-02 Rajajinagar 080-23324104
KA-03 Indiranagar 080-25254310
KA-04 Yeshwantpur 080-23376039
KA-05 Jayanagar 080-26630989
KA-41 Gyanabharthi 080-28602833
KA-50 Yelahanka 080-28561366
KA-51 Electronic City 080-25735522
KA-52 NeelaMangala 08234-285598
KA-53 KR Puram 080-25617951
Once the complaint is received at the corresponding office, a notice is issued to the address of the vehicle’s registered owner, requiring him/her to turn up at the RTO office within 7 working days. Every RTO has about 10 IMV’s (Inspector of Motor Vehicles) who seize the vehicles which don’t report to the RTO.

The penalty levied from the auto-waalas is rs.100 under section 200.

The various offences among others for which one can lodge a complaint
Refusal to come to destination (Any destination!!!)
Demanding excess fare
Using rough language
Cheat the public, for e.g. taking longer routes.
Faulty Meter
There is also a helpline number - 080-22353785 available Monday – Saturday from 10:00 am - 5:30 pm on which one can call to lodge complaints.

The numbers speak for itself
I was shocked when I found that the Koramangala RTO office received only 5 complaints a month. With over 1,00,000 autos plying on Bangalore roads, shouldn’t it be like 5 complaints a minute?

What’s wrong with the system?
Lack of Awareness among the Bangalore citizens
The system is inefficient in data gathering- emails or phone calls cannot be stored and processed properly, leading to ineffective use of these complaint data.
Converting these complaints into notices issued to vehicle owners is still a manual process
Limited government officials to handle
So, will our impatience always have to take a backseat? Can something be done to improve/compliment the system to make it more effective? Will we get a better platform to raise our voices democratically?

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