What can be more memorable than to celebrate Christmas Day with children by organizing a painting and drawing competition ! The Ambassador of India H.E.Mr.Sanjay Kumar Verma and his wife Mrs.Gunjan Verma spent Christmas Day with 52 children from the Indian community. The Indian Ladies Club organized this painting and drawing competition at the Ambassador’s residence. They split the children in three age groups with three different themes. The youngest group was of the age range 5-8 years and were given the subject ‘My Merry Christmas’ with crayons, sketch pens and pencil colours; the age group 9-12 years had the theme ‘Sudan through My Eyes’ in water colours and ‘A Glimpse of the Future World’ was the topic for the age group 13-16. The winners in the youngest group from first to third were Kritika Sharma, Mantasna Sheikh and Palak Sawan Kamdar. The winners in the middle group from first to third were Shakuntala Brahmam, Ronit Roy and M.V. Amalendhu. In the group from 13-16 years the first prize was won by Yayasvi Murali, second by Divya Sekar and the third prize went to Prateek Samal. All 52 children went home with a certificate and a message that the most important thing is not winning but in taking part.
When did you last get your Blood Pressure measured? The same question was asked by Prof. Mohamed Mustafa Kardash to a large group of Registrars of Medicine and found that very few had actually measured their BP in the recent past. Much awareness is needed in this country about Hypertension –the silent killer.
The first conference of Hypertension was held on 20th & 21st December at Hotel Grand Holiday Villa in Khartoum. At the inauguration on 19th December Prof.Siddig Ibrahim Khaleel presented that the changing habits and life style due to urbanization was increasing the prevalence of Hypertension in Sudan. Our eating habits are changing from traditional food to eating out fast foods, diets with refined carbohydrates, high salt content, saturated fats with minimal physical activities, smoking and Diabetes. With these risk factors Hypertension is a major cause for Heart Attacks and Brain Attacks leading to sufferings and death. Prof.Siddig added that the prevalence of hypertension is almost 40% of patients seen in hospitals in Khartoum.
Consultants from different disciplines like Cardiology, Neurology, Radiology and others spoke with various perspectives and findings related to Hypertension. The two day conference was house full with junior doctors. Someone observed that 85% of the attendees were women.
Amna Abdalla Babiker from the department of Biochemistry made an interesting presentation about her study with fresh water melon juice which has the potential of reducing high blood pressure and reducing cholesterol.
Prof. Hassan Abu-Aisha shared that 87% of people in Khartoum are inactive with no physical exercise. His prescription is minimum half an hour physical exercise per day and has registered Sudan Safe Exercise for All (SEFA). In fact he made all attendees in the conference stand up and perform a few exercises. He emphasized the need to strengthen the musculoskeletal system and to potentiate the breathing by utilizing all the air sacs in the lungs. Prof.Abu-Aisha mentioned that regular physical exercises helped in both primary and secondary prevention of all diseases ranging from Hypertension, Diabetes to Cancer.
Everyone congratulated Dr.Ibtisam Ahmed Ali, President of Sudanese Society of Hypertension, for successfully organizing the conference. She encouraged the Young Sudanese Investigators by endorsing their innovation of Sudanese Stress Ring. The only regret was that the two foreign experts Prof.Peter M.Nilsson from Sweden and Prof.Daniel Lemogoum from Cameroon could not make it to the conference.
My faith in humanity is restored everyday by incidents such as these. It takes all sorts to make a world.
Last night when I came back from work, I opened the boot and found that my professional bag had been stolen. But unfortunately for the thief there wasn’t much worth in the bag. Only a few physicians samples, brochures and papers. Not even a few Sudanese pounds.
Early this morning while I was having my first cup of tea, a quiet voice called me on my cell phone and asked whether this was the right number. He said he was Mohamed Fageer and had my bag. We decided to meet at the Shergy Bus Stop. He said he found the bag in his ‘Amjad’ the local van cab. Some men had got in last night. It was only this morning when the regular school children got in they showed him my bag. Luckily my business card was in the bag where he got my contact number. The thief had left my bag in the transport.
I thanked Mohamed Fageer and gave him a small reward which he accepted reluctantly.
My faith in humanity is restored everyday by incidents such as these. It takes all sorts to make a world.
From time immemorial, India has been a centre for learning. India can claim to be one of the leading countries providing quality higher education to its people as well as to students and scholars from countries all over the world. Indian Universities have made significant contribution in the frontiers of science and technology and these centres have been extending their cooperation to students of other developing countries.
Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) in New Delhi helps formulate and implement policies pertaining to India’s external cultural relations, to foster mutual understanding between India and other countries and to promote cultural exchanges with other peoples.
In keeping with the objectives, ICCR has Scholarship Scheme for Africa in the Academic Session 2014-15. The Embassy of India, Khartoum has announced twenty seven (27) Scholarships for Under Graduate/ Post Graduate Courses for Sudanese nationals resident in Sudan. Subjects of study encompass science, engineering, technology, humanities, arts, music, dance and performing arts.
Application form along with guidelines meant for the students are available on the website of the Embassy (www.indembsdn.com).Fluency in English is a pre-requisite. Students are required to pass an English Proficiency Test conducted by the Embassy during evaluation of their applications. Embassy of India will provide return economy class airfares to selected students to the airport closest to the place of study in India. The last date for receipt of applications is January 16, 2014.
The press has reported that in Sudan the current rate of inflation is 42%. Wheat is in short supply. Sugar is a commodity with a very high consumption and yet only a smaller pack is now in supply. Ironically going by the buying capacity of the people in Khartoum one does not get the real picture of the economy. This picture below was clicked at 11:30 pm in front of a popular super market in Khartoum.
Auto Rickshaws or Tuk Tuks are a major mode of transportation in Sudan. They are locally called ‘Raksha’ but in Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania they are called ‘Bajaj’ or ‘Bajaji’ after the Indian company which manufactures them. This is one product available in Sudan which is solely imported from India. Hamara Bajaj
My friend Dr. Anwar Ahmed Osman introduced me to her in her office. I think it was on the 16th floor of the tallest building in Sudan. The Telecom building on Nile Street . Tahani Abdalla Attia was the State Minister of Science and Communication then. I took a picture of the Blue Nile and Manshiya Bridge from her window. I found her to be a very simple and intelligent lady. She was in the Faculty of Engineering & Architecture at the University of Khartoum before her Ministerial post. Today I read the news about her promotion as Federal Minister of Science & Communication and sent her a Congratulatory message through SMS. Prompt came her reply thanking me.I wish her all the best.
There has been an increasing demand for plastic products in Sudan. The 6th International Exhibition for Plastics Industries and Technology from 2nd to 5th December at Khartoum International Fair Grounds is a golden opportunity for cooperation and integration between exhibitors, suppliers and prospective buyers.
Nile Plast Expo 2013 is the only exhibition of its kind in Sudan for plastic & rubber industries and technologies. Products range from Machinery equipment for the plastics & rubber industries, Raw materials, polymers, resins & compositives; Agriculture and irrigation necessities; Sanitary ware, pipes & hoses; Feeding industries & engineering plastics; Household products; Packaging & containers; Film applications; Flexible packaging; Fittings; Recycling Machinery; Ancillary equipment; Thermo Plastics; Additives; Plastic machinery parts & components; Plastic Recycling Technologies; Plastic Filtering Systems; Plastic Blow Moulds; Pet Bottle Moulds and Injection Moulds.
It is worth mentioning that 16 Indian Plastics Company are showcasing their wide range of products, under Plastics Export Promotion Council (Plexconcil) in association with the Embassy of India, Khartoum.
India Sudan relations have been traced back to almost 5000 years during Nile Valley Civilisation and Indus Valley Civilisation. The pastoral people in North East Sudan known as Bejas claim to have originated from India.The Black Funj Sultanate with its capital in Sennar traded with India in silk, silver ornaments, leather and gold through Suakin Port way back in 1699.The first Indian trader from Rajkot arrived in Suakin in 1856. In the first decade of the last century, two steel suspension bridges which are still in use in Khartoum and Atbara were imported from India.In 1900 Indian experts started building Sudan’s forestry sector.
After Independence of both nations the bilateral relations strengthened and both the nations have been accommodative of each other’s concerns.
Many Heads of State and Ministers, both of India and Sudan have visited each other’s country from 1955 to recent times.
The India-Sudan Joint Committee, which was formed in January 1995, was upgraded to a Joint Commission at Ministerial level in June 1997. This happened during the visit of Ali Osman Taha who was the Foreign Minister then. The India Sudan Ministerial Commission first met in November 1997 at New Delhi and again in Khartoum in April 2000.
Subsequently, the first India Sudan Foreign Office Consultation between the two countries was held in September 2000 in Khartoum. The second in January 2001 in New Delhi and the third in Khartoum in December 2002 and the fourth in New Delhi in February 2005. The fifth round of India Sudan Foreign Office Consultation was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Khartoum on November 28, 2013.
The Indian delegation was comprised of the Indian Ambassador to Sudan Mr. Sanjay K Verma, Mr.Sandeep Kumar Joint Secretary (West Asia and North Africa) of Ministry of External Affairs of India, First Secretary Mr.Subhash P.Gupta and Attaché Mr.Brahmam. They met Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad (Director General of Bilateral Affairs), Ambassador Addil Ibrahim (Director Asian Affairs), Ambassador Gamal Elsheikh Ahmed (Director Arab Affairs), Dr. Emad Elddin Merghani Altohamy and Mr. Tarig Salih who represented the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sudan.
At this high level meeting, the consultation mechanism reviewed the current structure of bilateral relations in the different categories and issues of mutual concerns and interests both at a regional level and with a global perspective. The future bilateral foreign policy initiatives between the two countries were evaluated in order to further reinforce the existing relationship to its fullest potential. It was agreed upon to hold the next round of Foreign Office Consultation at New Delhi in the second half of 2014.
To say the least, this writer found the Ambassador of India a very happy man at the end of the meeting.
The 2nd ONGC Nile Ganga BV Tennis Tournament was held from 28th November’13 to 30th November’13 at the excellent tennis court in the ONGC Residential Complex in Omak Street, Riyadh, Khartoum. The tournament was sponsored and hosted by ONGC the giant Oil Company of India. The tournament was organized by the active members of Kerala Cultural Activity Centre (KCA). The Ambassador of India H.E. Sanjay Kumar Verma inaugurated the tournament and gave away the prizes to the winners on the concluding day. The winner of the singles finals was Vijay Thakur of ONGC and Rajeev Karukayil the President of KCA was runner up. In the Doubles the winners were Vijay Thakur and Sudhakar Byrisetty both from ONGC and the runners up were Rajeev Karukayil and Devesh Shankhdar from WFP. There was also a Random Doubles in which the partners were chosen by lots at random. In this category the winners were Vijay Thakur and Shyamal Das again both from ONGC and the runners up were Rajeev Karukayil from Zain and Gagandip Singh from Ericsson. Vijay Thakur emerged victor in every category. A large section of the Indian community was present at the tournament who thanked Mr.Banwari Jha the Country Manager of ONGC for sponsoring and hosting the tennis tournament.