chennai l tuesday l august 31, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l late city EDITION Tomato prices slump to three-yr seasonal low Steepest fall in Maharashtra, where rate fell 80% to `4/kg, forcing farmers to dump produce on roads amid supply glut Favourable weather added to yield In 23 of the 31 centres across the country monitored by the government, the average price slump was 50% compared to year-ago Kharif rate. Acting director of National Horticultural Research & Development Foundation P K Gupta said, “Favourable weather helped boost yield, but tendency to grow crops with higher price at the time of sowing added to the situation.” 1.5L Need more food processing units ■ ■ ■ India’s production rose 2.20% to 21 million tonnes in 2020-21 crop year as against 20.55 million tonnes in the year-ago period Gupta said farmers can be cushioned from the impact of falling prices if food processing companies absorb the excess output India, as per industry estimates, consumes 99% tomatoes fresh Tonnes of tomatoes are processed annually in India 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 lockdown in tn schools, colleges to reopen as scheduled EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai Nullifying speculation around the reopening of educational institutions in the State, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday announced that schools for students of classes 9 to 12 and colleges will be reopened on Wednesday, as scheduled. However, taking cues from the recent spike in Covid cases that followed festivities in neighbouring Kerala, the State has announced precautionary measures ahead of the upcoming festival season. Further, the ongoing lockdown in the State has also been extended till September 15. This includes the bar on visiting places of worship on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and on organising celebrations. Additionally, beaches will remain closed on Sundays. It is to be noted that thousands had thronged popular beaches across the State, flouting social distancing norms, after relaxations kicked in last Monday . The decisions were taken following a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister MK Stalin at the Secretariat on the day. Also discussed at the meeting were the progress made in vaccination, the status of infection spread in certain districts, the increase in infection rate in neighbouring States, and the precautionary measures in case the infection spikes in Tamil Nadu. Regarding the reopening of schools and colleges in the State, Stalin said parents and teachers should ensure that students wear face masks, maintain physical distancing, and adhere to the guidelines in preventing the spread of Covid-19. continued on: p2 Students from Kerala should produce RT-PCR results Colleges have been directed to ensure that students coming from Kerala are vaccinated and produce RT-PCR test results. Hostels for students, working men and women can also function Sumit Antil in action during Tokyo Paralympics. He set new world records thrice in his throws. Avani Lekhara (R) set a new paralympic mark during shooting final | PTI/Afp india’s gold reserve Neeraj’s mate, Sumit, sets new world record able-bodied men too. He even competed against Neeraj and IT turned out to be a manic co at the Indian Grand Prix 3 Monday for India at the Tokyo in March. Sumit finished sevParalympics. Five medals in- enth then with Chopra shattercluding two gold, as many sil- ing his own national record ver and one bronze in one day with a throw of 88.07m. No is the best by the country The wonder, as soon as the news of . five protagonists had five dif- Sumit’s gold flashed across soferent stories but the two that cial media, Neeraj tweeted definitely hogged the limelight “Khatarnak performance bhai were javelin thrower Sumit, proud of you Sumit Antil and Jhajharia adds (Deadly perfor mshooter Avani Le- to legacy with ance brother Sumit, a silver khara, and both enproud of you).” twined by similar Devendra Jhajharia, “This is my first tales of agony Paralympics and I a two-time —accidents. was a little nervous Paralympic gold When Sumit lost because the competimedallist, won a his leg in a motortors are great. I was silver this time, bike accident in 2015, hoping for a 70m+ while discus his first love, wresthrow, maybe I can thrower Yogesh tling, had to be do 75m. It was not Kathuniya also shelved. He turned my best, I am very finished second. his attention to- Sundar Singh Gurjar happy to break the wards javelin. With also chipped in with world record,” said prosthetics on, SumSumit after the win. a bronze it managed to show “We have a commuglimpses of his prowess and nity of javelin throwers in the on Monday he won gold with a country. Sumit loves competworld record. As fate would ing against Neeraj. They prachave it, he met Tokyo Olym- tise together and they share a pics gold medallist Neeraj Cho- special bond,” Naval Singh, pra three years ago and even Sumit’s coach, told this daily. had a training stint together in “Back in 2018, they even had a 2018. Sumit doesn’t limit him- one-month long training stint self to competing in Para in Finland. They share knowlsporting events. Such is his edge and give suggestions to confidence that he challenges each other,” he added. f i r oz m i r z a @ Chennai Shooting paralysis, depression with sport sport but also found a purpose in life. Close to a decade’s ON that fateful day in 2012, worth of hard work and dediPraveen Lekhara and his fam- cation paid rich dividends on ily were travelling from Monday as Avani became InDholpur, where the former was dia’s first woman gold medalposted as an ADM, to Jaipur. list at the Tokyo Paralympics The car skidded near Agra and when she shot a total of 249.6 flipped two-three times injur- in the 10m Air Rifle Standing ing all the passengers. It in- SH1. By doing so, the 19-yearcluded Praveen, wife Shweta, old shooter also equalled the children Avani and world record. Vinod loses Ar nav and their The father said bronze over cousin. They susthis is just the begincriteria tained injuries but ning. “She will comrecovered in the next pete in three more Indian discus few months. Avani, events and is hopethrower Vinod though, wasn’t so Kumar lost his F52 ful of winning more fortunate. The accimedals.” Avani is set category bronze dent rendered her to compete in mixed medal after being immobile, paralys10m air rifle prone, found ineligible in ing her from the women’s 50m rifle 3 disability waist down. positions and mixed classification “It made her an in- assessment by the 50m rifle prone. trovert. She went competition panel. Given the equipi n t o d e p re s s i o n . He had won bronze ment she has to carThen we suggested ry, she is accompaon Sunday her to pursue sports. nied either by her She tried her hand at archery father or mother for every but balancing turned out to be event. Her mother is with her an issue,” Praveen, who is now in Tokyo. “I feel happy and posted as Revenue Appellate grateful right now. I feel right Authority in Rajasthan’s Sri on top of the world. I dedicate Ganganagar, told this daily . my medal to all Indians. I have The father then took her to a lot of competition days ahead the JDA shooting range in Jag- and more medals to come. I atpura, Jaipur. The decision have three more events and am worked wonders as she not focusing on them,” Avani was only developed interest in the quoted as saying. P13 f i r oz m i r z a @ Chennai Jab-o-meter express read 4 toll plazas in Chennai closed for good? Interview Competitors in action at the Beach Wrestling Nationals in Mamallapuram, a beach resort town, on Monday | R satish babu ‘Not satisfied with 2 medals’ Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president, Brij Bhushan Singh, opined that country’s wrestlers can do much more at the international level, in an exclusive interview with this daily | P13 Infant drowns in bucket while being bathed by sister Express News Service @ Coimbatore A two-month-old baby drowned in a bucket of water while being bathed by her two-year-old sister in Coimbatore. According to the police, Prema, mother of the two and a resident of Ambal Nagar Malumichampatti, was washing clothes on Saturday, while her elder daughter was playing with the baby. Just as Prema walked out to dry the clothes, the toddler picked up the baby to bathe her. She had often seen the baby being given a bath and thought, this time, she could do it, said the police. However, the baby accidentally slipped and fell into a bucket filled with water. Even as the girl tried to save her sister, Prema walked in, picked the baby up and alerted the neighbours. The baby was taken to a private hospital, and later referred to the Coimbatore MCH. However, she died on Sunday afternoon. “The parents requested us to not file a case, but it is necessary to carry out legal procedures,” said a police officer. Prema’s husband, Vivekraj, works as a civil engineer. Chennai: Four toll plazas on Rajiv Gandhi Salai and its link roads were closed on Monday as announced by Highways Minister EV Velu last week. While the reason cited was the beginning of Metro Rail works, it is reliably learnt that the toll plazas may never be opened again. Sources said that instead of reopening the four toll plazas, the State will compensate Tamil Nadu Road Development Company which maintains the road | P3 Maha govt bans Dahi Handi, BJP protests Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Monday banned all kinds of public gatherings, including human pyramids, for the Dahi Handi festival to be observed on Tuesday in view of the rising coronavirus cases in the state. Protesting the move as well as the government’s decision not to open temples till the Covid situation is brought under control, the BJP staged protests at various places in the state on Monday Take your shot August 29 31,14,696 doses August 30 53,37,042 doses Total doses: 63,99,01,822 NATIONWIDE Aug 29 Aug 30 Fresh cases 45,083 42,909 Recoveries Deaths 35,840 34,763 460 380 tamil nadu Aug 29 Aug 30 Fresh cases 1,538 1,523 Recoveries Deaths 1,753 22 1,739 21 Afghan resistance movement and anti-Taliban uprising forces take part in a military training in Panjshir province on Monday | afp IS rocket attack on airport foiled, evac ends today E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e A day before the evacuation operation in Afghanistan is set to wind up, the US on Monday thwarted five rockets fired at the Kabul airport. While the ISIS reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, US officials said there were no casualties. US Major General William Hank Taylor said three rockets landed off the airfield with no effect, one was intercepted by an anti-missile system, while the other landed “with no effect to the mission or any danger to our personnel”. Meanwhile, the US drone strike targeting a suspected ISIS-K suicide bomber in Kabul on Sunday ended up killing 10 members of a family including seven children, the CNN reported quoting locals. The US had specifically warned of a string of attacks targeting the Kabul airport where evacuations have entered the final stage. US troops are slated to pull out of Afghanistan by Tuesday ending their 20-year stay in the , country The ongoing evacuation will also stop, leaving . behind thousands of people frantically trying to get away from the brutal Taliban as far away as possible. However, a joint statement signed by over 90 countries said Afghan nationals who helped the US-led coalition over the past two decades will still be able to travel to a safe destination outside Afghanistan. The statement, signed by the US, Australia, Canada and major European nations, claimed the Taliban have agreed to this arrangement. Notably key players in the region such as Iran, Rus, sia, China, Pakistan and India were not among the signatories according to a list put out by the US Department of State late on Sunday night. P11 ‘Af raises new security questions’ New Delhi: The developments in Afghanistan have raised new security questions, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday, adding the Centre is capable of dealing with any situation. Meanwhile, top Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai said the militia wants to have good ties with India | P9 nature calls, a village cries 30 years on, this Narikuravar hamlet still lacks toilets O m j a s v i n MD @ Chennai Women from the Narikuravar tribal community in Gummidipoondi | Express women vulnerable to attacks Kothammal, a resident of the hamlet, says men from the dominant caste are often seen in the neighbourhood. They cat-call, eve-tease, and stalk women, making them feel unsafe, she adds To have a toilet in one’s own house is not just a matter of privacy, but also dignity. Yet these 23 families from a Narikuravar tribal hamlet in Gummidipoondi, not far from Chennai, have been deprived of just that for 30 years now. Their hamlet lies in Mettu Theru (second ward), about half-a-kilometre from the Gummidipoondi bus stand. Behind the bus terminus, a lane of concrete leads to few residential localities. However, after about 200 metres, one would think the lane ends there with nice-look- ing houses as only barren lands are visible. Express rode through the barren land, a bumpy stretch filled with water swamps and wet mud, running alongside an open sewage line to reach the settlement. Lack of toilets leaves women and children here vulnerable to sexual exploitation by men from nearby villages. Twentyone-year-old Priya (name changed) said, about a couple of years ago, a few men, who knew that women from the tribal community relieve themselves in the open at night, attempted to sexually assault her. “I screamed so loud after which a few of my relatives came running. Those men left me and ran away she said. ,” With no street lights, the settlement is plunged in darkness at night leaving women venturing out vulnerable to attacks. “Everyone has a story,” said Kothammal. “Younger girls are afraid to go out in the dark alone due to lack of security Some of them . go days without a bath, too. We want the authorities to build us toilets, so we don’t have to fear anyone,” said the 40-year-old who sells beads at the Gummidipoondi bazaar. continued on: P2
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