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Lavasa:My Appeal to the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India, New Delhi

January 3rd, 2011

To,

Shri Bharat Bhushan

Director

Government of India

Ministry of Environment & Forests

Paryavaran Bhavan

CGO Complex, Lodhi Road

New Delhi – 110 003

Dear Shri Bharat Bhushan,

The object of government in peace and in war is not the glory of rulers or of races, but the happiness of the common man.

– Lord William Beveridge (1879 – 1963)

25th November 2010 was one of the saddest days of my life when the MOEF using its powers brought work at Lavasa to a standstill. Lavasa was to be a benchmark for future Indian cities – the world would not consider Indian infrastructure companies & Indian architecture as third-world any longer. This was to be the showcase of Indian environment planning & city-planning for the world. I am a fertility physician & have done my bit in bringing India on the world-map (see http://www.iwannagetpregnant.in). I am one of the National experts appointed by the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi to formulate National Assisted Reproductive Technology Guidelines, which are now with the Law Ministry about to be presented in Parliament. I felt proud that we could now showcase India to the world and am planning my retirement at Lavasa. I have also volunteered my services for treating the local tribals & the poor villagers in the area. I am keen to drive the Reproductive Medical Tourism Program at the Apollo Lavasa Hospital and make it an Asian hub for ART treatments.

I started visiting Lavasa about four years ago and have seen the city take shape. I have seen the care with which the city-planners have developed the present-form of the city taking care of the natural habitat. Only when I was mentally convinced that this is truly an environment-friendly, nature friendly & socially responsible city did I buy a home in Lavasa, which I intended to move in by March 2011. I have invested my life’s savings to buy this home in Lavasa. It took me years to save for a home and it was quite a blow to have my dreams crushed with a dictatorial order.

As a fellow Indian, you should be proud of this city. I have traveled widely across India lecturing in almost all corners of our country. I have never seen such inclusive development in any other city. I want you to visit Lavasa & see what exemplary work has been done here. The government of Maharashtra should be lauded for their vision. This project brings roads, electricity, revenues, jobs & a sense of National pride to this previously “backward” area. As a Gynecologist interacting with locals, I have heard horror stories of women dying in childbirth & babies stuck in the birth-canal & being taken on make-shift stretchers over 8-24 hours down to Pune. The infrastructure & roads developed here because of this project have made these 6-year-old horror stories obsolete. Today, the poor have an OPD at a tertiary hospital at Lavasa. Today, you have locals with Tata-Sky dishes on every house in the surrounding villages. Today, you have no unemployment in this region. This is Lavasa. This is the truth.

I am witness to the massive tree-replantation measures, hydro-seeding to prevent slope erosions & conservation of local flora and fauna through such diverse measures as pisciculture & aviculture. As a responsible medical practitioner, I have seen the trouble the Lavasa environment team has taken to grow Ayurvedic plants in and around the region to keep our medical heritage alive.

The CMD’s dream is to set up a museum here that will depict the history, art, culture, medicine & heritage of the state of Maharashtra. Please do not get taken in by ‘professional” infrastructure-opposers & ”professional” anti-India” NGOs and movements. These individuals and NGOs only work to stop development & infrastructure in India. If this was not a democracy and it was China, they would be locked away for a lifetime and the keys thrown away. Be proud to be an Indian & help us re-start the city. I truly hope and pray that you can convince the Hon. Minister, MOEF to visit Lavasa once personally & interact with citizens of “Free India”. He will go down in the history books as hero for having seen the truth once he clears Lavasa from its present shackles of court-stays. This is the future India that the next generation will enjoy.

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit” – Nelson Henderson (1902-1976)

Jai Hind! Jai Maharashtra!

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Gautam Nandkishore Allahbadia MD, DNB

Copy to:

1. Shri Jairam Ramesh

Minister of State (Independent Charge)

Ministry of Environment and Forests

Government of India

Ministry of Environment & Forests

Paryavaran Bhavan

CGO Complex, Lodhi Road

New Delhi – 110 003

Telephone:+91-11- 24360605, 24360570, 24360519

2. Shri Prithviraj Dajisaheb Chavan,

Chief Minister of Maharashtra;

Government of Maharashtra

Office of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Mantralaya, Mumbai-

400032.

Tel. No. 22025151, 22025222, Fax 22029214,

PRO Cell : Fax : 22817068

3. Smt. Supriya Sule

Member of Parliament (Loksabha)

Address: 6, Janpath Road,New Delhi – 110 001,

Tels. (011) 23018870, 23018619 9820060033 (M)

Fax (011)23018609

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Channel 2 Interview on Surrogacy, Israel – May 2009

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No more Baby Manjis in India, draft law on Surrogacy ready

New laws to regulate assisted reproductive technology in India will be introduced to Parliament later this year. The text of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill 2008 was published last month by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for public comment. The bill aims to regulate surrogacy arrangements in the country where regulation is lacking, in addition to other technologies including pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and research on embryos.
The bill will set up a National Advisory Board for Assisted Reproductive Technology to oversee the delivery of the services in the country. A regulatory body, the Registration Authority, will grant licences to fertility clinics to store gametes and offer fertility services. Embryo research must be performed on embryos donated for research and not stored beyond 14 days. Researchers must apply for a licence from the Registration Authority to perform research on embryos. The bill will also make it a criminal offence to perform sex-selection procedures except to prevent or treat a sex-linked disorder or disease.
Media reports last August about a baby girl, Manyi Yamada, showed inadequacies in India’s regulation of surrogacy, which was legalised in 2002. Manyi was born to an Indian surrogate mother, but the Japanese couple who arranged the surrogacy split up prior to the birth of the child. The child’s biological father sought parental rights over the child but Indian laws were not clear on the status of foreign parents involved in surrogacy arrangements within its borders and the matter had to be decided in the
courts. The new bill will clarify this area by making a surrogate child the legitimate child of a separated or divorced couple. Foreigners seeking surrogacy arrangements in the country will be required to register with their embassy and will have to state with whom the child should be looked after in the event of one of the parent’s death. Following surrogacy, the child’s birth certificate will show the names of both genetic parents. The bill also forbids women under 21 from entering into surrogacy arrangements and from having more than three live births in their lifetime. Once a surrogate child attains the age of 18, they may apply for information about their surrogate parent.
India’s Health Ministry does not keep official statistics on the number of surrogate births in the country but it is believed to be low. Media reports suggest that surrogacy arrangements in India can attract surrogate fees of between $12,000 to $30,000, with the industry being worth around $445m. The bill does not ban offering surrogate mothers compensation for their services. Dr P M Bhargava, a member of the ICMR who helped draft the bill, told the Times of India that, ‘considering all the news about surrogacy, including the recent case of the Japanese child, we realised that the new law addresses all the problem areas’.
The bill was timetabled to be debated by the Indian Parliament in the winter session. It met with stiff opposition from the Medical community and will be now reviewed by the Indian Law Ministry.

 

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