Monday, August 14, 2006


self help: TN self-help groups to go up to 1 lakh

Chennai, Aug 12: The Tamil Nadu government will increase the number of members of Self Help groups in the state to one crore within the next five years, State Local Administration Minister M K Stalin said in the State Assembly today.

"The government would take steps to add another 25,000 SHGs and 10,000 youth SHGs to the existing strength, during this current fiscal," Stalin announced, while replying to the demand for grants for the Rural development and Local Administration Department.

"A sum of Rs.10 crore will be allocated for SHG loans and training the members," Stalin said.

Accusing the previous AIADMK government of "hastily" forming as many as 1.2 lakh SHGs on the eve of assembly polls, for "political gain", Stalin said those SHGs lacked proper training and most of them failed to meet the standards.

In a bid to provide them training, the government has increased the grant for voluntary organisations involved in training SHGs, from Rs.100 to Rs.350, Stalin said.

The government will also increase the daily grant for SHG members to Rs.45 from the existing Rs.7.5, he added.

Denying AIADMK's claim that the concept of SHGs was an AIADMK pet project, Stalin said it was the DMK which introduced the SHG scheme for the first time in Dharmapuri in 1989. (Our Correspondent)

Published: Saturday, August 12, 2006

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


self help: Self-help book is irresistible to little miss charming wannabes


HOW people love self-help books. Why should we waste precious time mulling over where our lives are going wrong when the golden answers are to be found within a glossy cover in the popular psychology section of our nearest bookstore?

The latest example to hit the bookshelves is Lisa Helmanis' charm-offensive How To Be An Irresistible Woman. Simply follow the rules, she says, and "you will have the techniques and skills to become irresistibly attractive and super confident".

But the only thing to do with such a boast is to put it to the test.

According to Helmanis, non-verbal communication makes up 93 per cent of the messages we send out, so to be irresistible I needed to work my body.

Mirroring was first up. It's making other people feel good about themselves which, in turn, makes them warm to you. So, if someone crosses their legs, subtly do the same; if they lean their hands on their chin, follow suit. Repeating phrases or acknowledging feelings is another sure-fire winner.

I decided to practice on my unsuspecting friend Siobhan. With some bottles of wine to get through and gossip to swap we got comfy on the sofa. As she talked, I attempted to mirror her body language.

I have to admit, I got good results. When she leant forward to emphasise a point, I learnt forward too. When she voiced her frustrations at a recent situation, I mirrored her.

Siobhan opened up more, her relaxation ensured I got more details from her stories. And at the end, she said: "Wow, it was really, really good to see you. Let's hook up next week." Result.

Now, eye contact is another key facet of body language. Nobody likes the person who's constantly looking over your shoulder. But striking a balance is difficult. . .

When trying to return a pair of shoes in Jenners - a couple of days out with the returns policy - I thought some "irresistible" eye contact would suffice. I held the shop assistant's gazeand stared intently into her eyes.

She looked frightened and uncomfortable. And I felt slightly psychotic. I got my refund in record-breaking time.

Touch is last. Now, the book warns there is a fine line between appearing warm and seeming needy or like the office pervert. It must be respectful and appropriate, and only directed at people who like it.

According to the book, men fall into one of three types, and they relate to the world through one of three senses: sound, visual or feelings. So if us women use their way of relating to relate to them, they'll feel empathised and understood.

It also suggests to take an interest in what he's doing. So I had a "friend" round for dinner on Friday. Before the evening even began, I decided to get with my "friend's" visual senses. He responds to visual stimuli so dress sexily, it claims. Done. Look groomed, I'm told. Nailed it.

I then cooked him his favourite kind of food, bought his favourite wine and beers, and did my homework on his beloved football team.

He was impressed. The evening went well. I wouldn't say he reciprocated by announcing his undying love for me, but he didn't run screaming from the flat either.

Then, I slipped into conversation how I thought Hibs had a good chance of winning the SPL and I got The Look. "What are you doing?" he quizzed suspiciously, his eyes narrowed. "You don't really like football." Eh, yes I do. "Okay, who's the goalie?" Damn.

By the end of the evening, he seemed happy enough. I, on the other hand, felt like some sad, desperate lap dog which is never cool.

The book tells you to give other people some "lovin'" and you'll get plenty in return.

Easy. My friend Charlotte, who lives in Manchester got a Miss You card in the post, while Faye got a text message thanking her for a good weekend, and Lindsay got an e-mail thanking her for dinner. Charlotte promptly rang me to thank me for such a kind gesture, Faye was appreciative of the text and gushed much the same back. And Lindsay offered to cook for me again.

But then I spent the day searching for the perfect card for my "friend" wishing him good luck in his Fire Service exams . . . thoughtful, funny and poignant, I thought. The response? "Er, thanks?" Mmm, maybe the charm offensive should be restricted to girls.

I've always been told it's not what you say but the way you say it. However, for the Irresistible Woman, it's about WHEN you say it. So if he's just walked in from work don't be poised behind the door ready for a verbal assault. The key is to give him time to unwind. Don't call him at work to talk instead ask him if he can make time to talk.

I tell my dad I would like a chat. His diabetes is worrying me, as is his increasing blood pressure and high cholesterol. His eyes glaze over and I'm told abruptly: "I'm not in the mood." Maybe later, after the football then? "Yes," he hisses.

Ninety minutes later I try again, asking him if he had time to talk. This time he did. And so I talked - making my point succinctly and expressing my feelings quickly. And you know what? He rolled his eyes and yawned.

So am I now an irresistible woman? Call me modest, but I wouldn't say I am now oozing charm nor could I effortlessly attract everyone and anyone I meet.

However, I do have some new-found skills in communication, confidence and self-projection which, with practice, could give me more poise and style. And maybe - just maybe - with some extra homework and tuition I could master the techniques "to become irresistibly attractive and super confident". And even know who the Hibs goalie is.

• How To Be An Irresistible Woman by Lisa Helmanis is published by Carlto and available from John Lewis Edinburgh, priced, £9.99

Last updated: 08-Aug-06 13:36 BST

Monday, August 07, 2006


self help: Council looks to form self help group

HAWICK Community Council is looking into forming a self-help group that would outline what local residents should do in the event of flooding.
The issue was raised at last month's meeting in response to Newcastleton Community Council funding a similar initiative which produced a leaflet that contains advice in the event of a local flood..

Scottish Borders Council's Emergency Planning Officer, Jim Gill, attended the meeting to give his advice on the way forward.
He said: "The main purpose of the flood response group is to look after vulnerable people in the community."

The meeting heard that the 'Flood Response Group' could advise townsfolk of how to cope with the emergency, whilst also considering elderly neighbours.
Mr Gill loaned an emergency planning video to the Community Council which would assist in forming the basis of their plan.
He concluded: "The flood group would certainly help achieve community spirit."
27 July 2006

Sunday, August 06, 2006


self help: Self-Help Enterprises Awarded Grant for Central Valley Housing

California Political Desk
August 2, 2006

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Bill Maze (R-Visalia) is pleased to announce that the Department of Housing and Community Development has reserved over $500,000 funding from the 2006 HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program Awards for Self Help Enterprises (SHE) of Visalia. This award is part of $13 million block grant designed to help meet the affordable housing needs of low-income household.

The San Joaquin Valley is amongst the world’s most productive agricultural areas, yet there is an astonishing quantity of inadequate, if not hazardous housing. Self Help Enterprises has been providing services to improve the lives of low-income residents for over 40 years throughout the San Joaquin Valley through housing and related programs and services.

Of the first-time homeowner projects offered by SHE, the “Self-Help Housing” program employs families to form an informal partnership and agree to help each other build their houses with technical assistance provided by a competent construction supervisor from start to finish. The HOME grant will assist up to 11 families with secondary financing to lessen the cost of their primary mortgage, as well as, pay the costs for those who help with the construction and building of the housing developments.

Through the Self-Help program, SHE is able to help over 150 low-income families a year acquire a home of their own.

Said Maze, “The Central Valley isn’t immune to the larger housing crisis in California, and we have our own unique circumstances that further complicate the problem. HOME funds are instrumental in creating affordable housing for low-income households. As housing costs continue to escalate, this calling is greater than ever before.”

Assemblyman Bill Maze represents Tulare, Kern, Inyo, and San Bernardino Counties.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


self help: New Distribution Channel for Self-Help Authors

Now accepting title submissions for

Victoria, BC (PRWEB) August 2, 2006 -- It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there in the publishing industry and getting your material distributed is no easy task -- or is it? Pacific Innovations Ltd. is removing the barriers to entry and helping self-help authors get their work in front of their target market by launching This new online self-help depot is specifically designed to promote self-help materials and any extra services provided by their authors. It is the missing link in the self-publishing market today.

Getting your work into the hands of your target market is as simple as sending an email to admin @ requesting a copy of the terms & conditions of and the application form. Authors who are self-published or have the right to distribute their own materials can apply immediately. If you must go through your publishing company for distribution, drop us a line, as we may already have an account with them and we can simply add your title to our list.

The site is expected to launch the week of August 7th with a flurry of promotion and news surrounding the launch. Ensure your material is there for the launch by applying today. Send your request for an application to admin @ or call Jennifer at 250-686-0132 and get your materials generating the sales you desire.

About Pacific Innovations Ltd.
Pacific Innovations is an international training company based in Victoria, British Columbia. For over 21 years consumers have utilized their training programs to improve their personal and financial lives. In the spirit of win/win and abundance mentality Pacific Innovations has created a new portal for authors of self-help material to distribute their products to their target market. By working together with experts in the self-help arena, customers of will receive insider’s access to the authors of their favorite books and get more value for their purchasing dollars. For more information about Pacific Innovations, visit: