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Archive for the ‘Awareness’ Category

DIY Project : Recycled Scrap Paper Notebook

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I was collecting these one sided printouts for a long time. There are many a times when one sided printouts can not be avoided specially with train / plain tickets. Thankfully Indian Railways now allows passengers to travel with SMS ticket. I am hopeful that Bangalore International Airport also allows people to enter the airport with valid SMS ticket instead of a printout.

So I had a lot of such one side printed papers which I was using to write random stuff and decided to make a nice notebook out of it.

Its really simple, first I folded the A4 paper from the center and applied glue on the inner boundaries. Now this becomes a two sided blank paper. I made 20 such pages.

Next I punched two holes along one of the longer sides of the paper. These holes were on either sides of the center.

There was a box of Papa John’s pizza box lying around the corner for a long time. The cover for the notebook was cut out of this pizza box cardboard, litter bigger than the pages so that it can cover the pages nicely.

I punched two holes on the cover too. Then I joined the cover together using a paper strip. This paper strip will sit nicely on the binding side once the papers are put together.

I used the fallen thread from the curtain to bind the pages and cover together.

Then I and Priyanka tried our hands on News Paper Mosaic and decorated the front cover the news paper Mosaic. After this we made a news paper collage on top of the mosaic (which became the background). We did another collage on the back cover.

The collage talks about rain water harvesting 🙂

Here’s the notebook

Front of the Notebook with Mosaic and Collage

Front of the Notebook with Mosaic and Collage

Side View of the Notebook

Side View of the Notebook

Back of the Notebook with Collage

Back of the Notebook with Collage

Side view of the notebook

Side view of the notebook

Do let me know what you think about this 🙂


Written by Sushil Katre

February 11, 2013 at 3:36 PM

About UID / ADHAAR and How to Get It

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What is the difference between UID and Aadhar?

Both are same, UID project is known as AADHAAR which means ‘support’ or ‘foundation’.

What is Aadhar?

Aadhaar is a 12 digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India on behalf of the Government of India. This number will serve as a proof of identity and address, anywhere in India. Any individual, irrespective of age and gender, who is a resident in India and satisfies the verification process laid down by the UIDAI can enroll for Aadhaar.

Each individual needs to enroll only once which is free of cost.

Each Aadhaar number will be unique to an individual and will remain valid for life. Aadhaar number will help you provide access to services like banking, mobile phone connections and other Govt and Non-Govt services in due course.

How to Apply for Aadhar?

If you want to get this UID (I am planning to apply for one, as I hear UID is being made mandatory for certain services like, gas connection, EPF etc.) then here’s what you need to do:

Aadhaar enrollment is free so you need not pay anyone for this. You need to go to one of the authorized Aadhaar enrollment center anywhere in India with your identity and address proof.

UIDAI process accepts 18 PoI (Proof of Identity) and 33 PoA (Proof of Address) documents and below is the list of nationally valid list of documents:

Supported PoI Documents Containing Name and Photo:

  1. Passport
  2. PAN Card
  3. Ration/ PDS Photo Card
  4. Voter ID
  5. Driving License
  6. Government Photo ID Cards/ service photo identity card issued by PSU
  7. NREGS Job Card
  8. Photo ID issued by Recognized Educational Institution
  9. Arms License
  10. Photo Bank ATM Card
  11. Photo Credit Card
  12. Pensioner Photo Card
  13. Freedom Fighter Photo Card
  14. Kissan Photo Passbook
  15. CGHS / ECHS Photo Card
  16. Address Card having Name and Photo issued by Department of Posts
  17. Certificate of Identify having photo issued by Gazetted Officer or Tehsildar on letterhead
  18. Disability ID Card/handicapped medical certificate issued by the respective State/UT Governments/Administrations

Supported PoA Documents Containing Name and Address

  1. Passport
  2. Bank Statement/ Passbook
  3. Post Office Account Statement/Passbook
  4. Ration Card
  5. Voter ID
  6. Driving License
  7. Government Photo ID cards/ service photo identity card issued by PSU
  8. Electricity Bill (not older than 3 months)
  9. Water bill (not older than 3 months)
  10. Telephone Landline Bill (not older than 3 months)
  11. Property Tax Receipt (not older than 3 months)
  12. Credit Card Statement (not older than 3 months)
  13. Insurance Policy
  14. Signed Letter having Photo from Bank on letterhead
  15. Signed Letter having Photo issued by registered Company on letterhead
  16. Signed Letter having Photo issued by Recognized Educational Instruction on letterhead
  17. NREGS Job Card
  18. Arms License
  19. Pensioner Card
  20. Freedom Fighter Card
  21. Kissan Passbook
  22. CGHS / ECHS Card
  23. Certificate of Address having photo issued by MP or MLA or Gazetted Officer or Tehsildar on letterhead
  24. Certificate of Address issued by Village Panchayat head or its equivalent authority (for rural areas) Income Tax Assessment Order
  25. Vehicle Registration Certificate
  26. Registered Sale / Lease / Rent Agreement
  27. Address Card having Photo issued by Department of Posts
  28. Caste and Domicile Certificate having Photo issued by State Govt.
  29. Disability ID Card/handicapped medical certificate issued by the respective State/UT
  30. Governments/Administrations
  31. Gas Connection Bill (not older than 3 months)
  32. Passport of Spouse
  33. Passport of Parents(in case of Minor)

Supported PoR Documents containing Relationship details to Head of Family

  1. PDS Card
  2. MNREGA Job Card
  3. CGHS/State Government/ECHS/ESIC Medical card
  4. Pension Card
  5. Army Canteen Card
  6. Passport
  7. Birth Certificate issued by Registrar of Birth, Municipal Corporation and other notified local government bodies like Taluk, Tehsil etc.
  8. Any other Central/State government issued family entitlement document.

Supported Proof of DoB Documents

  1. Birth Certificate
  2. SSLC Book/Certificate
  3. Passport
  4. Certificate of Date of Birth issued by Group A Gazetted Officer on letterhead

When you are going to apply for Aadhaar Card then make sure that you must have below stuff ready,
1.ID Proof (Your ID Proof can be Pan Card, Driving Licence, Passport etc).
2.Address Proof (It could be Telephone Bill, Electricity Bill etc).

Common proofs of identity and address are election photo ID card, Ration card, passport and driving license. Photo ID cards like PAN card and Govt ID cards are permissible for identity proof. Address proof documents also include water – electricity – telephone bills from the last three months.

In case you do not have above common proofs, Certificate of Identify having photo issued by Gazetted Officer/Tehsildar on letterhead is also accepted as PoI. Certificate of Address having photo issued by MP or MLA /Gazetted Officer/Tehsildar on letterhead or by Village Panchayat head or its equivalent authority (for rural areas) is accepted as valid PoA.

Where to apply for Aadhaar card?

You need to go to one of the official Aadhaar enrollment center in India to get your Aadhaar card done.

Use the link below to find out your nearest Aadhaar enrollment center details based on your location:

At the enrollment center you need to fill the Aadhaar application form. At the center fingerprints, photograph and iris scan will be done to feed into database. A temporary slip with enrollment number will be provided as an acknowledgement.

Based on your documents your details will be verified and in case if all comes right an Aadhaar number will be send to your address.

Here you can look up the sample Aadhaar enrollment form:

You can also download the enrollment form here

Apply Online and get Appointment for Aadhaar Enrollment:

If you want you can apply online and take an appointment. Below is the link for online Appointment for Aadhaar enrollment at your nearest aadhaar enrollment center

Note: Online Booking of Appointment for Aadhaar Enrollments has been started on a trial basis at selected Enrollment Centers.

More details about this online Appointment for Aadhaar Enrollment please visit below link,

How to Check your Aadhaar Enrollment Status
You can check the status of your Aadhaar enrollment online. To check your Aadhaar card status, you need the enrollment number, date and time. You can find these details on the acknowledgement copy issued at the Aadhaar enrollment center.

Hope you find this information useful and get your UID soon 🙂

Go Green, don’t leave your chargers plugged in?

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There are certain appliances that suck power even when they are shut off like TVs, microwaves, and gaming systems. Anything with a little light or digital clock on it is sucking power unnecessarily, and that costs you money.

The other set is the chargers and the most popular are the mobile and laptop chargers. Because of our laziness and ignorance, we often leave these chargers plugged in when disconnected from the gadget. I too used to do it earlier. I would leave my mobile charger hanging out of the power socket or leave the laptop charge plugged all night, while the mobile or laptop was not connected. But it seems leaving the appliance plugged in even after its charged is worst than leaving the charger plugged in.

According to a study a mobile phone charger draws an average of 3.68 watts when the phone is on and charging; 2.24 watts when it is on and charged; and 0.26 watts when it is just hanging out in the socket. So leaving your charged phone attached to the charger uses 10 times the energy that leaving the charger dangling would. Now the wastage in terms of cost may not seem to be significant for you, but when you accumulate it across all the mobile users it becomes very significant.

Laptop too is no different. It draws an average of 44.28 watts when it is charging; 29.48 watts when it is charged; and 4.42 watts when we let the charger dangle. However dealing with laptop is little different than laptop, because keeping them plugged in can actually be a good thing – it’s more efficient to use that power to run the machine than to use it to charge a battery which then runs the machine. There is something else you need to consider for laptops – HEAT. The temperature can shorten the battery life. So having the battery fully charged and the laptop plugged in is not harmful, because as soon as the charge level reaches 100% the battery stops receiving charging energy and this energy is bypassed directly to the power supply system of the laptop. However in a normal usage, if the laptop doesn’t get too hot (CPU and Hard Disk around 40ºC) you can leave the battery in the laptop, but in an intensive usage which produces a large amount of heat it’s better to remove the battery from the socket in order to prevent unwanted heating and let the laptop run on direct power. In fact if there is not much of power problem one should remove the battery and run the laptop on direct power to get a better battery life.

So here’s what you can do:

  • Do not leave charges hanging on the power socket when not in use

Written by Sushil Katre

February 6, 2013 at 1:09 PM

About Bone Marrow Transplant and Donation

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Here are my notes on Bone Marrow Donation which I wanted to share:

What is Bone Marrow?

Wiki: “Bone marrow (Latin: medulla ossium) is the flexible tissue found in the interior of bones. In humans, bone marrow in large bones produces new blood cells. On average, bone marrow constitutes 4% of the total body mass of humans; in adults weighing 65 kg (143 lbs), bone marrow accounts for approximately 2.6 kg (5.7 lbs). The hematopoietic compartment of bone marrow produces approximately 500 billion blood cells per day, which use the bone marrow vasculature as a conduit to the body’s systemic circulation.[1] Bone marrow is also a key component of the lymphatic system, producing the lymphocytes that support the body’s immune system.”

So what is Bone Marrow? For me it is stuff which is found inside the bones, which produces new blood cells.

Some interesting facts:

  • There are two types of Bone Marrow – Red Marrow and Yellow Marrow (made up of fat cells).
  • Red Marrow produces – Red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells.
  • At birth, all bone marrow is red.
  • With age, more and more of it is converted to the yellow type; only around half of adult bone marrow is red.
  • Red marrow is found mainly in the flat bones, such as the hip bone, breast bone, ribs, vertebrae and shoulder blades, and in the spongy material at the ends of long bones.
  • Yellow marrow is found in the hollow interior of the middle portion of long bones.
  • In cases of severe blood loss, the body can convert yellow marrow back to red marrow to increase blood cell production.
  • There are blood vessels in bone marrow which acts as a barrier not allowing immature blood cells from escaping marrow and carries the mature blood cells.
  • These blood vessels can also carry stem cells and may thus be harvested from blood (very important point, will explain the relation later).

So what exactly is bone marrow in one line – Its a nesting site for Blood and stem cells.

What are Stem Cells?

They are the Mother Blood Cells of the blood of human body and immune system. The Blood Stem Cells have the ability to become different types of blood cells (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets). These Stem Cells are typically found in three places – Bone Marrow, the blood stream ( in smaller amounts) and Cord blood, the blood in the umbilical cord and placenta when a child is born. (Cord Blood Banking is gaining popularity and is on the rise now for unforeseen medical emergencies for any family member)

Why Bone Marrow Transplant?

In patients with leukemia, aplastic anemia, and some immune deficiency diseases, the stem cells in the bone marrow malfunction, producing an excessive number of defective or immature blood cells (in the case of leukemia) or low blood cell counts (in the case of aplastic anemia). The immature or defective blood cells interfere with the production of normal blood cells, accumulate in the bloodstream and may invade other tissues.

Large doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation are required to destroy the abnormal stem cells and abnormal blood cells. These therapies, however, not only kill the abnormal cells but can destroy normal cells found in the bone marrow as well. Similarly, aggressive chemotherapy used to treat some lymphomas and other cancers can destroy healthy bone marrow. A bone marrow transplant enables physicians to treat these diseases with aggressive chemotherapy and/or radiation by allowing replacement of the diseased or damaged bone marrow after the chemotherapy/radiation treatment.

What is Bone Marrow Transplant?

Bone Marrow containing normal stem cells is extracted from a healthy donor, and transferred into a recipient whose body cannot produce proper quantities of normal blood cells. The goal of the transplant is to rebuild the recipient’s blood cells and immune system and hopefully cure the underlying ailment.

Types of Transplant

There are three kinds of bone marrow transplants:

  • Autologous bone marrow transplant: “Auto” means “self.” Stem cells are removed from you before you receive high-dose chemotherapy or radiation treatment. After these treatments are done, your stems cells are put back in your body. This is called a “rescue” transplant.
  • Allogeneic bone marrow transplant: “Allo” means “other.” Stem cells are removed from another person, called a donor. Most times, the donor must have the same genetic makeup as the patient, so that their blood is a “match” to the patient. Special blood tests are done to determine if a donor is a good match for the patient. A brother or sister is most likely to be a good match. However, sometimes parents, children, and other relatives may be good matches. Donors who are not related to the patient may be found through national bone marrow registries.
  • Umbilical cord blood transplant: Stem cells are removed from a newborn baby’s umbilical cord immediately after being born. The stem cells are stored until they are needed for a transplant. Umbilical cord blood cells are so immature, there is less of a concern that they will not match.

Now we know what Bone Marrow is, why Bone Marrow Transplantation is required, and the types of transplant. Lets look at the need of  donor registry now.

Why Donor Registry is needed?

For the second form of transplant mentioned above we  need donors, people who are ready to donate their blood stem cells. For a successful transplant, the patients’ genetic typing needs to closely match with that of the donor. Every patient has a 25% chance of finding a match within the family. However, 70% of the patients do not find a suitable donor within the family. In such cases, there is a need to find an unrelated donor or a cord, blood unit. Hence we need a database, a registry through which possible match can be found and people can be approached if they are ready to donate their blood stem cells.

There are over 50 donor registries & more than 13 million registered donors across the globe, with a very few Indians being a part of it. This reduces the chances of finding a possible match for a patient of Indian origin. India is in real need of a functional registry with donors belonging to diverse ethnic backgrounds. A patient is more likely to find a possible match within his/her race/ethnity, (i.e.) with people sharing the same cultural linguistic, biological traits etc.

Bone Marrow Donor Registries in India –


Marrow Donor Registry India (MDRI): –

I am not sure if there are more registries in India, but these are the ones which I found.

Some of  the other International Registries  –

National Marrow Donor Program –

Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide –

Note that above links have wealth of information on Bone Marrow Donation.

Some quick FAQs –

Myths and Facts –

I am a registered Donor

I am a registered Donor, what about you?

I am a registered Donor, what about you?

How you can help?

Buccal Swab Sample – A quick and simple process, where a cotton swab is rubbed inside your cheek. It is later processed to determine your genetic typing.

Donate – In case of a successful genetic match, stem cells are obtained from you (donor) and injected into the patient’s blood stream.

What does Bone Marrow Registries do?

  • Collect samples –Buccal Cells – A cotton swab is rubbed inside your cheek and the samples are collected.
  • Process the Samples to analyze the DNA – Once a sample is collected, it is processed and a unique code is assigned to every sample.
  • Database –The Genetic information of an individual obtained after thorough analysis is stored in a database.
  • Search for a match –The patient’s tissue typing (genetic information) needs to match very closely with that of the donor, to enable a successful transplant.
  • Transplant Process – DONOR: Once a match is found, stem cells are obtained from the donor. The process is usually as simple as drawing blood. PATIENT: The stem cells are then infused into the patient’s blood stream.

The procedure of donating

Bone Marrow: Once the donor is committed to donate, his/her bone marrow cells are harvested by giving general or regional anesthesia using a surgical process, with no pain during the process. Bone marrow is drawn from the hip bone to either side of the lower back with a special needle and a syringe. The amount of bone marrow drawn is only a small percentage of the total bone marrow and is typically replaced within four weeks. The donor remains at the hospital for 24-48 hours and can resume normal activities within a few days.

Peripheral Blood Stem Cells:
Peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) obtained from circulating blood can also be used instead of bone marrow cells. The amount of stem cells found in the peripheral blood is much smaller than the amount of stem cells found in the bone marrow. In PBSC transplantation, blood is drawn from a vein from one arm and is passed through a machine that removes the blood-forming cells. Rest of the blood is returned through a vein into the other arm. The procedure to donate PBSC takes approximately 4-6 hours. There exist cases where a recipient cannot accept bone marrow stem cell transplants, but can accept PBSC transplants.

So what do you need to do?

  1. There is an immediate need to increase the database of people who can be possible donors. The process for the same is pretty straight forward. Approach to one of the registries, need to fill up a form, do a cheek swab and go home. It takes 10 minutes. I have done it myself.
  2. Later if a match is found, take a call if you want to go ahead with donation or else simply sit at home and watch a cricket match.

Two links I found where people have shared their experiences and views –

In the news – Mumbai: City gets its first bone marrow registry:

Salman Khan Fans – Salman Promotes Bone Marrow Donation


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