March for Marriage: Every Child Deserves a Mom and a Dad!


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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March for Marriage Success - Top


March for Marriage Success!

The March for Marriage was an exciting event, many organizations and supporters showed up to take a stand for marriage and family.  The Supreme Court will render a decision sometime this summer in regard to the Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA) constitutionality, and on the Proposition 8 case.  Both of these cases will determine the course of this nation’s future.

CAAP will continue to stand for what is true and right.  CAAP will continue to encourage, exhort, instruct, and pray for leaders to encourage their congregations and the American people to keep fighting for the family.  We will travel the length and breadth of this great nation with our message.
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Bill Owens
Bill Owens

The National Organization for Marriage, headed by Brian Brown, organized this massive undertaking and Deborah and I were proud to lend our influence to this historic event. We were proud of our brothers and sisters who came from Hickory, NC to support CAAP and the march. Dr. Glenn Pinckney, our CAAP’s North Carolina, Chair did a fantastic job in rallying close to two hundred persons to join us in D.C. In addition, we are grateful that CAAP had a delegation from Memphis. We thank all of our CAAP supporters who came from the surrounding areas also.

And even though we feel the march was a success, we must recognize the ‘winds of change,’ in our country.  And, we must acknowledge the ‘signs’ of the times in our nation: the shifts in the spiritual and political atmospheres of our land. One cannot help but notice that the Democratic Party has removed itself from what our Forefathers represented when they founded this nation, yet the majority of Americans still hold to Christian values when it comes to marriage and family.

In 2012, The Democratic Party radically removed itself from traditional values and godly principles. Therefore, we must take a deeper look, and engage in a thoughtful discussion of the possible ramifications and spiritual consequences of these changes. So stay tuned because we will be addressing many of these changes and their impact within the African American community, and our nation as a whole.

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So be encouraged, because no matter the outcome of the ruling, we can find solace in knowing that those who would raise their voices against traditional marriage and the family will ultimately be defeated.  We win folks.  I want to share a Facebook post Deborah posted the day of the march. She said the following:

I loved what Gary Bauer said today at the march(paraphrasing)The same-sex marriage supporters have Hollywood, big business and spineless politicians on their sidewhat do we have? We havethe God of Abraham on our side. I have been saying the same thing, but I add the following: same sex-marriage supporters have the Obama’s and the Democratic Party on their side also. They are all in sync and are cleverly using the liberal media to push their agenda to “normalize” same-sex marriage. Collectively, they represent a modern day Goliath. They seem to be invincible, but I remember a boy named DavidRemember him? He killed the giant, “Goliath” with a what? Yep, a stone! The God of Abraham is more than enough… Deborah Owens

Again, thank you for supporting The March for Marriage and CAAP. Without your support we would not have been able to co-sponsor this march. Please share our work with your friends. Please “LIKE” us on FB and please sign the marriage pledge.

Lastly, please be patient with us as we work on getting the membership kits out to those of you who have joined CAAP. We apologize for the delay, and we sincerely thank you for your continued patience.

Mail all correspondence to CAAP-West Business Office:  2654 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy, Suite B5-139, Henderson NV, 89052

The Coalition for African American Pastors is a grass roots movement of Christians who believe in traditional family values in American public life.  We believe in protecting the lives of the unborn, and defending the sacred institution of marriage.

We wish you and your family a blessed Good Friday and a joyous weekend.

Thank you for your prayers and for your support.

For marriage and family
Bill and Deborah Owens

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Saudi Arabia Beheads a Yemeni and Crucifies His Body


Myself . 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia with sword
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia with sword

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In Saudi Arabia, authorities beheaded a Yemeni man convicted of murdering a Pakistani national. The execution took place on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, in the southern city of Jazan, the Arab News reported.

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Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry spokesman listens to a question during a news conference in Riyadh Stringer
Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry spokesman listens to a question during a news conference in Riyadh Stringer

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On Wednesday, the state news agency SPA carried a statement of the Saudi Interior Ministry that said: “The Yemeni citizen Mohammed Rashad Khairi Hussein killed a Pakistani, Pashteh Sayed Khan after he committed sodomy with him.” 

The Yemeni was also charged and convicted of carrying out several robberies.

The execution took place in the southern city of Jizan followed by crucifixion of the dead body and the corpse put on public display for three days.

Under Saudi Arabia’s ultra-conservative Sunni Islam, murder, rape, apostasy, drug trafficking and armed robbery are all punishable by death. The grisly ritual of crucifixion is reserved for more serious crimes, including sexual offences.

Beheading with a sword remains the most common method of execution in Saudi Arabia. However, due to a growing shortage of swordsmen throughout the kingdom, the authorities were considering abandoning this traditional method of execution in favour of firing squads.

Sevag Kechichian at Amnesty International said:

“The execution is shocking, no matter how heinous his alleged crime. His beheading and posthumous ‘crucifixion’ were acts of sheer brutality. This comes at a time when the Saudi authorities are saying to the world that they are currently holding responsible discussions about capital punishment and the supposed mercifulness of various methods of execution.”

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Impressions

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Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair and hopelessness, is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”

“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the…

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Firm Is Accused of Sending Spam, and Fight Jams Internet


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By  and 

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Cyber attack

A squabble between a group fighting spam and a Dutch company that hosts Web sites said to be sending spam has escalated into one of the largest computer attacks on the Internet, causing widespread congestion and jamming crucial infrastructure around the world.

A squabble between a group fighting spam and a Dutch company that hosts Web sites said to be sending spam has escalated into one of the largest computer attacks on the Internet, causing widespread congestion and jamming crucial infrastructure around the world.

However, for the Internet engineers who run the global network the problem is more worrisome. The attacks are becoming increasingly powerful, and computer security experts worry that if they continue to escalate people may not be able to reach basic Internet services, like e-mail and online banking.

The dispute started when the spam-fighting group, called Spamhaus, added the Dutch company Cyberbunker to its blacklist, which is used by e-mail providers to weed out spam. Cyberbunker, named for its headquarters, a five-story former NATO bunker, offers hosting services to any Web site “except child porn and anything related to terrorism,” according to its Web site.

A spokesman for Spamhaus, which is based in Europe, said the attacks began on March 19, but had not stopped the group from distributing its blacklist.

Patrick Gilmore, chief architect at Akamai Technologies, a digital content provider, said Spamhaus’s role was to generate a list of Internet spammers.

Of Cyberbunker, he added: “These guys are just mad. To be frank, they got caught. They think they should be allowed to spam.”

Mr. Gilmore said that the attacks, which are generated by swarms of computers called botnets, concentrate data streams that are larger than the Internet connections of entire countries. He likened the technique, which uses a long-known flaw in the Internet’s basic plumbing, to using a machine gun to spray an entire crowd when the intent is to kill one person.

The attacks were first mentioned publicly last week by CloudFlare, an Internet security firm in Silicon Valley that was trying to defend against the attacks and as a result became a target.

“These things are essentially like nuclear bombs,” said Matthew Prince, chief executive of CloudFlare. “It’s so easy to cause so much damage.”

The so-called distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attacks have reached previously unknown magnitudes, growing to a data stream of 300 billion bits per second.

“It is a real number,” Mr. Gilmore said. “It is the largest publicly announced DDoS attack in the history of the Internet.”

Spamhaus, one of the most prominent groups tracking spammers on the Internet, uses volunteers to identify spammers and has been described as an online vigilante group.

In the past, blacklisted sites have retaliated against Spamhaus with denial-of-service attacks, in which they flood Spamhaus with traffic requests from personal computers until its servers become unreachable. But in recent weeks, the attackers hit back with a far more powerful strike that exploited the Internet’s core infrastructure, called the Domain Name System, or DNS.

That system functions like a telephone switchboard for the Internet. It translates the names of Web sites like Facebook.com or Google.com into a string of numbers that the Internet’s underlying technology can understand. Millions of computer servers around the world perform the actual translation.

In the latest incident, attackers sent messages, masquerading as ones coming from Spamhaus, to those machines, which were then amplified drastically by the servers, causing torrents of data to be aimed back at the Spamhaus computers.

When Spamhaus requested aid from CloudFlare, the attackers began to focus their digital ire on the companies that provide data connections for both Spamhaus and CloudFlare.

Questioned about the attacks, Sven Olaf Kamphuis, an Internet activist who said he was a spokesman for the attackers, said in an online message that, “We are aware that this is one of the largest DDoS attacks the world had publicly seen.” Mr. Kamphuis said Cyberbunker was retaliating against Spamhaus for “abusing their influence.”

“Nobody ever deputized Spamhaus to determine what goes and does not go on the Internet,” Mr. Kamphuis said. “They worked themselves into that position by pretending to fight spam.”

A typical denial-of-service attack tends to affect only a small number of networks. But in the case of a Domain Name System flood attack, data packets are aimed at the victim from servers all over the world. Such attacks cannot easily be stopped, experts say, because those servers cannot be shut off without halting the Internet.

“The No. 1 rule of the Internet is that it has to work,” said Dan Kaminsky, a security researcher who years ago pointed out the inherent vulnerabilities of the Domain Name System. “You can’t stop a DNS flood by shutting down those servers because those machines have to be open and public by default. The only way to deal with this problem is to find the people doing it and arrest them.”

The heart of the problem, according to several Internet engineers, is that many large Internet service providers have not set up their networks to make sure that traffic leaving their networks is actually coming from their own users. The potential security flaw has long been known by Internet security specialists, but it has only recently been exploited in a way that threatens the Internet infrastructure.

An engineer at one of the largest Internet communications firms said the attacks in recent days have been as many as five times larger than what was seen recently in attacks against major American banks. He said the attacks were not large enough to saturate the company’s largest routers, but they had overwhelmed important equipment.

Cyberbunker brags on its Web site that it has been a frequent target of law enforcement because of its “many controversial customers.” The company claims that at one point it fended off a Dutch SWAT team.

“Dutch authorities and the police have made several attempts to enter the bunker by force,” the site said. “None of these attempts were successful.”

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Re-posted from The New York Times

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Her Grandmother’s Secret for a Long-lasting Marriage: Crochet Dolls


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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old-couple

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They got married 55 years ago, but had no issues. All their friends and relatives saw in them the happiest couple they ever came across in their life. Everyone vied to emulate them.

It was a hearsay that the secret for their long-lasting marriage was the old couple kept no secrets from each other.

A year ago, the old man died after a severe heart attack. The old woman fell ill and was bedridden. The doctors diagnosed her for cancer and numbered the days she had still to live. The young nurse who looked after the old woman was a very kind and caring person. Since the old woman did not have any children she felt a motherly love for the young nurse.

Shoebox with money

One day while two doctors were examining the old woman at her home she asked the young nurse to open her closet and fetch the shoebox. The nurse brought the dilapidated shoebox. She then asked the young nurse to open the box. There were three crocheted dolls and wads of hard cash totaling around $30,000 in it. The old woman told the nurse to have the shoebox as a gift for looking after her like a devoted daughter.

Old woman csrochetting

The old woman said: “You all think that the secret for our long-lasting marriage was that we kept no secrets from each other. It is true. However, the real secret is in this shoebox that I have had on the top rack of my closet. I asked my husband to promise me that he would never open the shoebox nor discuss it. As a gentleman he kept his promise until his death.”

Then she continued: “A week after we got married my husband and I quarrelled over some unimportant matter. My grandmother who came to know about it from my mother admonished me and gave me the recipe for a happy marriage: ‘Never argue.’ She then told me that if I ever got angry with my husband, I should crochet a doll to keep myself quiet.”

“Since there are only three dolls in the box, does it mean you had been angry with him only thrice in all those 55 years of living and loving?” asked the nurse.

The old woman gave a wicked smile and said: “Oh no! From where do you think those dollars came from? These dolls are the last three I couldn’t sell.”

Dear Lord,
I pray for Wisdom to understand my man;
I pray for Love to forgive him;
I pray for Patience to bear his moods;
I do not pray for Strength O Lord,
Because I do not want to beat him to death.

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ASP Insults Rape Victim: “Who Will Rape Such an Old Woman?”


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, a person assaulted and knocked unconscious a 35-year-old Dalit woman returning home from the field around 9:30 pm. This incident happened in Karan Chapra village in Deoria’s Bankata area in Uttar Pradesh, India. On regaining her senses, she found herself raped. On reaching her home she informed her husband about it.

The following day, the woman and her husband went to the Bankata police station to lodge a complaint alleging that Santosh Kumar Singh of their village had molested her. The officer in-charge of the police station registered a case of eve-teasing and nothing more.

Keshav Chandra Goswami, ASP, Deoria.
Keshav Chandra Goswami, ASP, Deoria.

Dissatisfied with the Bankata police, the couple approached Keshav Chandra Goswami, Additional Superintendent of Police, Deoria, seeking his intervention.

After she narrated her ordeal to the ASP, he asked the people accompanying her how old she was and the number of children she has. On being informed that she was a mother of four children and that her eldest son was 17 years old, the insensitive officer, caught on camera, humiliated the rape victim by retorting: “Itni purani aurat se kaun balatkar karega (who will rape such an old woman)?”

When media people met the ASP, he said the woman’s husband had lodged a complaint at Bankata police station yesterday alleging that a person named Santosh Kumar Singh had molested her when she was returning home from the field around 9:30 pm on March 20th. The accused is still not arrested. He also said that the complainant had levelled a charge of eve-teasing and then gave a second complaint mentioning rape. The ASP added that medical examination of the woman did not confirm rape.

Women organizations of the district have condemned the police officer and have demanded action against him for his “insensitivity and insulting remarks”.

Meanwhile, A.C. Sharma (IPS) Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh, has offered an apology. He has sought an explanation from the ASP and has ensured strict action against him.

In Lucknow, R.K. Vishwakarma, Inspector General (IG) Law & Order apologised on behalf of the ASP. He referred to the statement of the ASP as unfortunate and said that the officer has to submit his explanation within two days. “The DGP also expressed regret over the hurt caused to the woman because of the insulting remarks,” the IG said adding the police have registered the case.

The IG added that the DGP Headquarters will hold a workshop on public relations for officers who have been recently promoted to Additional SP rank. Goswami was a deputy SP, promoted to Additional SP rank last month and posted in Deoria on March 11, 2013.

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Maldives: 15-year-old Girl Raped by Stepfather Flogged for ‘Fornication’


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Maldives Queen of all islands
Maldives Queen of all islands

Every year, around 700,000 visitors from around the globe visit the Maldives, lured by its pristine beaches. However, this paradise nation has become increasingly conservative in recent years due to influence of more fundamental forms of Islam.

In the summer of 2012, in the remote Feydhoo island in the Maldives, a police investigation after finding the corpse of a baby buried beneath an outdoor shower area outside the home of an unfortunate 15-year-old girl revealed that the teenager gave birth to her stepfather’s baby, which he allegedly killed and buried.

Feydhoo island, Maldives
Feydhoo island, Maldives

The teenager reportedly confessed to the police that apart from her stepfather she had consensual sex with another male. It is unclear whether the police has identified or charged this person. The police have charged the girl’s stepfather for raping her for years and murdering the baby she bore.

On February 25, 2013, a juvenile court in the Maldives, instead of sympathizing with the plight of the 15-year-old girl, has found her guilty of having “sex outside marriage.” The Court sentenced her to spend eight months under house arrest and to receive 100 lashes according to the Sharia Law when she turns 18, unless she requests it earlier.

This incident has triggered widespread worldwide condemnation. 

Under the current laws of the Maldives, pre-marital sex is a crime and those found guilty are often flogged. Flogging as a punishment for this ‘crime’ directly violates international law, which completely prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments. Yet, flogging remains all too common in the Maldives. In 2009, the courts sentenced over 180 people for flogging for the ‘crime’ of fornication. Almost 90 per cent of them were women.

However, under the international human rights laws and standards, to which the Maldives is a signatory, ‘fornication’ is not a recognised offence and member states must not criminalize or punish young people who engage in consensual sexual activity, or are victims of abuse.

While visiting the country in 2011, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navi Pillay called flogging “one of the most inhumane and degrading forms of violence against women” and she requested the Maldives to stop this barbaric practice.

Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said: “The girl is already a victim and is traumatized. The authorities should be trying to protect her, not punish her.”

Mohammed Waheed Hassan, President of Maldives
Mohammed Waheed Hassan, President of Maldives

President Mohammed Waheed Hassan of the Maldives is already feeling global pressure. The president’s office has released a statement saying that the girl is a victim to be protected and not punished by the government. A government spokesperson has also said that the Maldives are considering changing the law.

The Amnesty International UK / Blogs says:

If one good thing could come out of this case, it is that the international outrage prompted by this girl’s story and focus on the darker side of life in this seemingly idyllic holiday destination will convince the authorities to end the practice of flogging and decriminalise consensual sexual activity.

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“The Beast” in President Barack Obama’s Fleet Broke Down


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Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

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President Obama's limousine. Photograph- Handout/GPO via Getty Iimages
President Obama’s limousine. Photograph- Handout/GPO via Getty Iimages

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One of the limousines in US President Barack Obama’s fleet broke down at the start of his visit to Israel.

Some Israeli media reported that the car was inadvertently filled with diesel fuel and not gasoline after a confusion over whether the vehicle ran on diesel or gasoline. However, Edwin Donovan, a secret service spokesperson said: “One of our protective vehicles experienced mechanical problems in Israel.” He added that the Secret Service did not yet know what the problem was and since breakdown happened before the president arrived in Israel his itinerary was not affected because of it. POTUS drove away in a different vehicle, he said. “That’s why we bring different multiple vehicles.”

When Obama travels, the US Secret Service flies many presidential vehicles around the country and across the world, using US Air Force transport planes that fly ahead of Air Force One.

According to Israel’s Channel 10, the US Secret Service is flying another vehicle in from Jordan.

Obama uses various bulletproof vehicles. One of them known as “The Beast” built by GM is a heavily remodelled Cadillac. The specifications of the car are kept secret, but there have been reports it has its own oxygen supply, carries hi-tech communications scrambling equipment and has special reinforced tyres and wheels.

In this graphic from The Daily Mail, it appears the vehicle indeed runs on diesel.

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the-beast-daily-mail
“The Beast” (Image: The Daily Mail)

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This is not the first time that Obama’s entourage had car trouble abroad. In 2011, a presidential limousine, which was a backup car and (not “The Beast”) got stuck on a bump as it left the US embassy in Ireland.

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Rights activists hit out at attacks on Sri Lankans


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By V.P. Raghu

March 20, 2013 – Deccan Chronicle

Chennai: The attacks by fringe groups on Sri Lankans arriving in Tamil Nadu, in the name of protests against human rights violations against island Tamils, has drawn criticism from rights activists in the state.

At least five cases of attacks on visiting Lankans were reported in the state in the last one month. This is apart from the attack on Sri Lankan institutions in Tamil Nadu. “I condemn such acts. Such kind of violence cannot be justified. These acts of terror against individuals should not be tolerated,” noted Dr. V. Suresh, national general secretary, PUCL.

Echoing Suresh’s views, another human rights activist, A Marx, said nothing could be gained by attacking visiting tourists and Buddhist monks. “While students are taking the protest in the right direction, some groups are indulging in violence,” noted Marx. These violent groups fear that the students will push them out of the protest arena, he said, adding, “So, to stay in the picture, they indulge in violence, which is highly condemnable.”

Attack on Buddhist Monks from Sri Lanka
Tamilnadu Police accompanying Buddhist monks and pilgrims from Chennai Central railway station up to Gudur in the state of Andhra Pradesh to ensure their safety. (Photo: dinakaran.com)

Pointing out that all Sri Lankans of Sinhalese origin, are not anti- Tamil, Suresh said many Sinhalese human rights activists had been fighting for the Lankan Tamils’ cause for years. “The house of senior lawyer J. C. Weliamuna was bombed for supporting Tamils in Lanka,” he recalled.

A senior official from Tamil Nadu police said almost all the accused in these cases had been arrested. “11 persons were arrested in the case of February 21 attack on Sri Lankan MP’s vehicle in Nagapattinam.

In connection with the attack on the Lankan monk on March 16 at Thanjavur, 12 persons were arrested. All the three persons connected with the attack on the Buddhist monk at Chennai central station on Monday, were secured,” the official pointed out.

In Trichy on February 26, the police had to intervene when a bus carrying Sri Lankan nationals was targeted. Similarly on March 3, vehicles carrying Sri Lankans from Chennai airport to Egmore were blocked on GST Road by a group. The police had to escort the Lankans to their destination.

Re-posted from Deccan Chronicle

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Good Old Terra Cotta Pots Still Make the Best RO System


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Pramila Krishnan

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By Pramila Krishnan

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

(Excerpt from “Alarm bell rings for ground water” – Deccan Chronicle)

Botany Prof S. Saravana Babu of Chicka Naicker College, in Erode, and his team have been propagating a traditional three-pot, water purifying system among many villages in Erode district.

Even now many families prefer using this native purifier, which is much cheaper and just as good, if not better, compared to the modern UV/reverse osmosis purifiers.

“This pot purifier is nothing new. When I studied the quality of water from the Cauvery river in Mettur-Erode for a research project, I learnt that its fluoride content was very high and the water had traces of pesticides,” said Prof Babu.

With his teammates, he observed that some families there purified water using clean sand as a filtration agent. The team then got down to working on a model that could address the problem of water pollution.

The three-pot water purifier
The three-pot water purifier.

“After several rounds of discussions, we came up with the three-pot purifier model. The first two pots will have three small holes through which water would pass through the filtration agents and reach the third pot. The first pot will have ‘activated carbon’, which could be prepared easily by burning coconut shell.

The second pot will have pebbles. The third one will have a tap. If you fill water in the first pot at night, the water would pass through the two filters and you will get clean, purified water from the tap in the morning,” explained Prof Babu.

His pots steeply cut down on fluoride and pesticide contamination to make available pure water for consumption “even by the aged and kids”. He said the pebbles and coconut shell carbon pieces should be changed once a fortnight.

The entire ‘device’ could cost about Rs 100 and there are plans to arrange for mass production, which could reduce the cost further.

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