Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Priceless passion for coins

This Mysuru Advocate spends his entire income on acquiring coins. Collection of over 4,000 rare coins, include 1,300 coins from 218 different countries is a testinomy to his zeal and perseverance.

Money matters, they say. But for this advocate in Mysuru, it is only the coins that matter. Meet 36-year-old Mahaveer Hegde, who is passionate about coins. His collection of over 4,000 rare coins, including 1,300 pieces from 218 different countries, shows his zeal. Till date, he has spent about `15 lakh on coins, which are priceless to him and not intended for sale.

Commemorative coins, silver coins and coins from islands found in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Timor Sea and Turks and Caicos Islands adorn Mahaveer’s exclusive collection. He also has vintage coins of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras arranged year-wise. Each coin preserves in itself the history of a land and they also offer a glimpse into their economic, social, cultural and religious habits. In next two years, this native of Mangaluru plans to collect coins from all the remaining countries across the globe.

Mahaveer’s tryst with coins began at the age of 11. “I and my childhood friends, Zahid, Chirag, Nandakishore and Vinayak, would exchange coins of different nations for fun. We then started approaching foreign tourists visiting Mangaluru, asking them to give us coins of their countries. Soon, the hobby turned into passion and within a few years, I collected 40 coins from different parts of the world,” says Mahaveer.

“I have almost all the regular coins in my collection, including 3,000 Indian coins. Now, my eyes wander only for rare coins at the exhibitions. I hope I get some of them in exchange of the coins that I have,” adds the avid coin collector.

Collecting and arranging Indian coins was the most challenging task for him, courtesy a number of varieties and denominations like One paisa, Quarter Anna, Ondanna, One Anna, Half Anna of 1834 and so on.

“It is comparatively easy to get coins of kingdoms as many coin collectors sell them after the royal family members do not show interest in pursuing the legacy,” he says.

Maintaining the coins is another challenge for him.

“They are delicate, and even a small scratch leads to fall in the value of the coin. As soon as I acquire a coin, I wash it with lemon and tamarind before getting it polished. Coins are preserved in special folders and coin books,” adds the coin collector. Apart from coins, he has a few currency notes of other countries and century-old postal covers and stamps of India. He is also planning to pen a book on numismatics in the near future.

They are not for sale

Mahaveer Hegde has sacrificed a lot in his life to keep his coin-loving genes happy. “Ever since I started earning at the age of 27, I have spent almost all my earnings on collecting coins. The family expenditures are managed since my mother is an advocate and other family members also earn. My parents do not support the idea of collecting coins much as they consider it a waste of money.

At times, I had to hide my collection of coins from them. Words of encouragement from some friends and family members, however, kept me going,” he says. And unlike many other coin collectors, he does not even plan to sell the coins to make big bucks. “If anyone is seriously interested in collecting coins, I am ready to gift a couple of them. But I am not going to sell these priceless coins.”


Mahaveer's collection of coins is amazing. He has coins of almost all the princely states and countries. Vintage Indian coins helps us take a peek into our rich heritage. He has an almirah full of coins, which will weigh over 150 kg. He loves coins more than anything else, and has been spending all his earnings on acquiring coins.

Coins of British era and princely states; Coins belonging to Napoleon-3 period; Coloured coins of Canada; Austrian silver coin; 1862 coin of king of Italy; 11th century coin of Mauryan dynasty
Coins from Chola and Mughal-era; Hyderabad Nizam coins; Coins of Tibet king; 
Mints of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras from pre-independence era are some of his rare collections.

Namaskara, this foreigner speaks Kannada like a native

Just hearing him speak in Kannada, you wouldn’t think he is a foreigner. For he just doesn’t say, ‘swalpa swalpa gottu’, but surprises you by speaking Kannada like a native...complicated words roll off his tongue easily. Hendrik Hardeman (52),  citizen of Denmark (born in Belgium), who has been residing in Mysuru for the past five years,  has learnt Kannada to read and write thoroughly. His command over Kannada will give you some serious language goals.
Hendrik who first visited Bengaluru as a tourist in 1996, was so impressed by the city that  he kept visiting India often.  He founded India’s first dedicated puzzle company in 2001, which operated till 2008. In these seven years , he had developed a special love for  Kannada language, and started learning the language.
He did not attend those classes where the spoken word is taught. His best teachers were dictionaries. He would constantly pore over them to understand the language. And he found that the best way to learn a language is to speak it.  
He says, “In the initial days it was challenging for me to identify the Kananda language, as people in Bengaluru were speaking several other south Indian languages in addition to Kannada, such as Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. It took me some time to identify  the Kannada alphabet.  After some months, I bought a dictionary and started learning Kannada words. In the beginning, I found it very difficult to understand  basic grammar like singular and plural words. By constantly referring to the dictionaries, I learnt the meaning of Kannada words and started using the words while communicating with people. And in a few months I learnt the nuances.”  
Hendrik says as Bengaluru is a cosmopolitan city with people speaking many languages, he couldn’t pick up the nuances of Kannada language. He was determined to master the language, so he shifted base to Mysuru in 2012. He says, “There are several instances when people looked at me in surprise when I spoke to them in Kannada. While some were confused when I spoke in Kannada, some have even  apologised for speaking to me in English saying, ‘sorry we thought you were a foreigner’, he says smilingly.
People would be more surprised to know that he has written a short story in Kannada.
To enrich himself, he has read the books of writers like Poet Kuvempu, Poornachandra Tejaswi, Jayanth Kaykini, P Lankesh, among others. His favourite short stories are Krishnagowdana Anne and Kiragoorina Gayyaligalu. . He earns his livelihood by translating books.
Concerned that Kannada is no longer the priority for many, he says, ““Some people think speaking in Kannada is less dignified and hesitate to speak in this beautiful language. I have seen parents insisting that their children learn English. According to me, first, one must learn one’s mother tongue and  then one can learn any language.”
During the 12th World Sudoku Championship and 26th World Puzzle Championship held in Bengaluru between October 15 and 21, Hendrik distributed a book to the foreigners who attended the event. The book gives a brief introduction to the Kannada alphabet, and the commonly used words in daily life, etc. He has transliterated the Kannada words in English. 
Hendrik who has visited several European countries, can speak many  languages like Dutch, German, French and Swedish. Coming to South Indian languages, he is fluent in Kannada while he can understand  Tamil and Telugu.
But his passion remains Kannada, he says: “Kannada thumba chanda bhashe, maathadakke matthe kelakke ( Kannada is a beautiful language—to speak and sounds nice).”

In order to promote Kannada among children, he pans to write a series of adventure books for children. He is translating short stories of writer Jayanth Kaikini into Dutch as a personal project. Hendrik loves eating ragi ball (mudde), idli, vada with coconut chutney. He says, " I am interested in learning all languages, and all languages are interesting to me."

"It’s a great pride for Kannadigas,to see a foreigner staying in Karnataka, and taking interest to learn our mother tongue and teaching it to others. His project of translating the works of Kannada writers is even more laudable,"  
Pa Mallesh, Kannada activist. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sutras over Skype

People from across world visit the Narasimhan house in Mysuru. The main purpose is to have peace of mind, and learnt the philosophy. The duo have toured seven nations in Europe and visited at least ten states in United States apart from several countries in South East Asia, spreading the knowledge of ancient culture.  

At M A Narasimhan’s house near Jaganmohan Palace in Mysuru, a sense of tranquility prevails with the chanting of yoga sutras. For yoga practitioners and instructors from across the world, Narasimhan and his sister Dr M A Jayashree are the go-to people to get a deeper understanding of the ancient discipline. The duo’s popularity has grown so wide that they even conduct classes on yoga sutras and the Bhagavad Gita over Skype.

Narasimhan (74) and Jayashree have been teaching yoga sutras and the Bhagavad Gita to foreigners for the past two decades. Narasimhan, a Science graduate​,​ is specialised in Research Methodology and Advanced Psychology in education. Jayashree is a retired Sanskrit professor. Jay​a​shree also received a doctorate on the thesis ‘Concept of Mind in Indian Philosophy and Vidwat in Carnatic Music (vocal)’.

Mysuru, a city well known for its yoga schools, has had a steady inflow of foreigners who fly down to learn yoga. For such students, Narasimhan and Jayashree provide training in yoga sutras for a few weeks or sometimes even months. There are a few who have returned to Mysuru for more than six times to complete their learning of the yoga sutras. “Our lifestyles have changed. Most of us have stopped eating non vegetarian food, consuming alcohol and are settling down in stable marriages. We feel like Indians and are more relaxed,” s​ays a foreign student who is undergoing training with the duo.   

“Those who are committed to learning yoga visit Mysuru and it’s a great privilege to be with them,” says 66-year-old Jay​a​shree.  “Once they begin practising yogasana and pranayama they slowly realise there is something that ‘exists’ separate from the body. We teach them transcendental meditation. Since they are already doing asanas and pranayama they go through an extraordinary experience in meditation, leaving them more interested in the Indian system of knowledge,” she adds.   

“A very small number of people come to Mysuru to learn yoga. Some of them have become good teachers. They teach yoga exercises, but don’t practi​se the philosophy behind yoga. Those who learn from us are in turn training others. In fact, foreigners seem to be more interested in learning the philosophy more than Indians,” adds Jayashree. 

Narasimhan says, “It was our love for India that encouraged us to teach Vedic traditions to foreigners. Many modern scholars do not know Sanskrit and they can’t grasp the essence of ancient knowledge. It was then that we began research in philosophy and yoga.”

“There are both admirers and critics of India in the western world. If one visits prestigious universities and meet scholars of Indology, they say how foolish India is. This hurt me so much that I decided to teach the rich heritage of India to foreigners, emphasising on the universal value of Indian thoughts.

“According to a section of thinkers, philosophy should be based on logic. Whereas, in India it’s completely based on text. As there is no one God, one religion and one language, Indian system is diverse. At the academic level there ​are ​a lot of admirers and non admirers too. Our own people who hold respectable positions don’t respect ​our culture.” The duo ha​s toured Europe​,​ U​S​​ and Asia, spreading the knowledge of ancient culture.

Adan from Mexico who is coming to Mysuru for third time to learn chanting Bhagavadgita says, “I love the Indian culture. Chanting yoga sutra and Bhagavadgita is more spiritual. I like the conversations between Krishna and Arjuna very much. Though its not easy to learn and understand the subjects and laguages, we feel great when we read out a paragraph. Am impressed with the Sanskrit language and the subject kindles curious. I have plans to come next year for longer period and gain deeper knowledge about bhagavadgita.”

Patricia Veronica from Argentina said: “India is rich in culture. I feel more confidence and calm and having a peace of mind chanting Yoga Sutra, Bhagavadgita. The concentration has increased in my work, and I feel more graceful. The message of Bhavadgita are much needed to lead a peaceful life. There is still a long way to gain a deep wisdom.”

How the sutras are taught
The fore​igners are made to read yoga sutras of Maharshi Pat​anjali (about 150) and other sutras from a 140-page booklet. The booklet is a transc​ript of the CD ‘Yogasutrani of Maharasi Patanjali’ chanted by Jayashree. The sutras are printed both in Sanskrit and English, one below the other. Students are also given an English translation of the Bhag​a​vad Gita. Students learn 18 chapters from the scripture. The CDs are available for purchase online as well. The booklet has also been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese and other widely spoken languages in Europe.  For yoga practitioners​,​ who find it difficult to make a visit to Mysuru, the duo also conduct​s​classes over Skype. Students living in the same time zone are brought together and taught the yoga sutras and Bhagavad Gita.

Penned texts

With the help of Ananth Research Foundation, Mysuru and Itihasa Bharathi, Narasimhan and Jayashree have written books on the history of River Saraswathi, which has been translated ​in all the Indian languages​. They have even translated many texts from palm leaves and penned a book on the journey of science through the ages, and the contributions of India to science. They are also instrumental in recording the history of Melukote. Their library has a collection of books dating back to 150 years.

300 years celebrations: This villagers celebrate the festival of light in a different way

 Most of us celebrate Deepavali, the festival of light, by bursting crackers. But, the villagers of Periyapatna Taluk have been celebrating the festival in a different way. A tradition that date back to more than three centuries is being still followed during every Deepavali festival by the villagers of Bettadapura in Periyapatna taluk.

The people of several villages come together on the day of 'Balipadyami', and take out procession of Lord Sidilumallikarjuna Swamy, the presiding deity of Bettadapura. The temple has constructed during the period of cholas and has a history of 800 years. Whereas, the celebration of the festival has started during Changalwaru regine. One has to climb more than 3650 steps to reach the hill. From the past five years not finding a priest who can climb the hill daily, a young priest has been assigned to open the temple on Mondays and Fridays atop the hill and offer pujas. On the remaining days, people can offer puja at another temple located at foothills of hill.

The jatha begins on the Amavase day. About 20 people climb the steps on Amavase Day carrying torch and return to the foothills on wee hours of Balipadyami Day. Later, thousands of villagers join them a take out the torch procession, accompanied with the folk art troupes. On the way, Green Mantaps are erected. During the procession deity will be stopped at each mantaps and those have erected the mantaps will offer puja and consume food only after the procession passes from their village.

The procession is called as 'Deevatige Meravanige' (torch light procession). According to the rituals, thousands of people go around Bettadapura hill on foot, on the day of Balipadyami holding torch. The Man folk carry the torch and take procession of the deity Sidilumallikarjuna Swamy. The procession passes through the villages Basaveshwara Colony, Marnomithoppu, Kavluhadigudi, Bettadatunga, Devarathotta, Kudkoru, Barsekoppalu, and reach the Bettadapura foothills temple covering a distance of 12 kilo meters.

Two Pallaki's will be taken on procession, one of Silver Nandi and the other comprising of deities Lord Eshwara, Parvathi, Ganpathi. The Utsava Pallaki will be carried by the people of respective villagers as it reaches their place.

“The festival will be celebrated very grandly with religious fervour. People from across State visit our village during the day and take part in the rituals. Sometimes, the procession which starts around 5 am, return late in the evening after 18 hours. Till that villagers will not sleep, and will remain fasting,” says Sharada, villager of Beetadapura.

According to the temple priest Anantha Ramaiah, “There is a belief among people that by visiting the temple their wishes will come true. Earlier, we were climbing the steps and were offering prayers. Now from last several years, we offer puja at the temple located at foothills of the Beetadapura. The significance of holding torch is seeking god to shower prosperity. Also there is a strong belief among the people that their wishes will be fulfilled by visiting the temple and carrying the torch.”

BV Manjunath, resident of Bettadapura said: “A special Devattige Kolu and Yennekayi is used to lit the torch. The oil can helps the torch to lit for long time. The festival is celebrated with religious fervour and people from across state come to our village on the day to offer Harike and celebrate the festival.”

Friday, October 13, 2017

This students experience rural life at fields in Mysuru

 A group of  final year MSc Agriculture students from College of Agriculture, VC Farm, Mandya have camped at villages of Varuna Hobli and Nanjangud, and are giving hands on experience for farmers on new farming practices and latest technologies in farming. 

The students are staying at the villages from last three months under the Rural Agriculture Work Experience Programme (RAWEP), which aims at providing first hand experience of rural life for students, and to gain practical experience in promoting and transforming technologies related to agriculture and allied fields among Farmers.

About 77 students divided into seven groups hacamped at Varuna Hobli - Dandikere, PutteGowdana Hundi, Chattanahalli palya; and Maradihundi, Tummanerale, Nandigunda of Nanjangud Taluk. They have created a Crop Museum in three guntas of land in the above villages, and have given demonstration on mixed farming, and inter cropping. Paddy, varieties of Ragi, Maize, all millets, pulses , fodder, commercial crops are grown for demonstration.

The demonstration of Paddy in direct sowing, Random transplating and SRI method (System of Rice Intensification), where Paddy seedlings are transplanted in square system, which is more economical and a farmers get more number tillers per plant are drawing the attention of villagers.
Their programme activity concluded on Friday, and the students had hosted a agriculture exhibition displaying models.

MS Ramu, final year B.Sc Agriculture student and a native of Doddaballapura says, “I had no idea about agriculture, but was interested to complete by B.Sc in agriculture. Staying at villages and observing the plight and lifestyle of farmers is an unique experience. Working with different rural institution and serving for the farming community is a great opportunity. The RAWEP has helped to imbibe entrepreneurship qualities among us. I have noticed most of the government programmes have not reached farmers, and they are not aware of the latest technologies. I want to work as a field officer in Agriculture department, and make the government schemes reach farmers.”

“Before visiting the village, we had collected the basic information of the villages, which include agro ecology map, resource map, social map, Mobility map, wealth ranking, livelihood analysis, technology map, and much more. After holding discussion with villagers we sketched a problem tree, solution tree, action plan to address the woes of the farmers. The experience working in farmers field, gave us a different dimension to know the farmers problems and hone our skills,” says GM Preethi, another student.

 “The students conducted Vanamahotsava, and got built two toilets in village with the help of gram panchayat. They have dig pits for azolla cultivation and demonstration on mushroom cultivation, value addition to fruits and vegetables, the campaign for educating girls, information on seed treatments with insecticides are very helpful,” says Nagarajgowda, villager of Dandikere.

“We were thought how to prepare mixed fruit jam and information were given on selling them. The students have opined an agriculture information center and are giving solutions for several agriculture related problems.  Compost pits, azolla pits, nutritional gardens are very useful,” adds Sumithra, villager of Tummanerale.


* Farmers are informed about the importance of testing soil fertility, indigenous technologies, selection crop, rain water harvesting and are encouraging the farmers to grow millets.

* Experts from Agriculture and Horticulture fields are invited every week to deliver lecture on a crop.  They are also educating farmers about methods to be followed to grow crops, the amount of pesticides to be used, how to convert the produce and product, marketing linkage, and much more.

 * Community development programmes like Swachch Bharath Andolan, judicious use of water, toilet room construction, parthenium eradication, safe use of chemicals, etc are being held.  

* Every day the students will visit a farmer’s house and farm and discuss their agriculture problems and know about their livelihood. They engage farmers in group discussions and give demonstration on various agriculture aspects.  


This International stress the need of grooming children from school levels

When most of the people complain of joints pains after 50 years, and step back to participate in physical activities, here is a 55-year-old athlete who is dreaming of winning a gold medal in running race at the World Championship.

Meet 55-year-old International athlete Madappa Yogendra who is creating a niche in running race. Recently, he has participated at the 20th Asia Masters Athletics Championship held at Rugao, China (September 24 to 28), and has won bronze medals at 3000 meters steeple chase and 400 meters rally.

Veteran Athlete M Yogendra, an M.Sc graduate in Physics, is rendering service as superintendent at Central Excise and Customs Department, Bengaluru. He is passionate in taking part in running race and cross country races from his high school days. Since then, he is practicing running for an hour, without any break and has continued the same even today.  

Sharing about his journey with City Express, Yogendra says, : “I had participated in Republic Day parade at New Delhi, representing Karnataka & Goa State NCC Contingent in the Year 1981. My interest in athletic started, when I won ‘Prime Minister’ banner award. This motivated me to take the long distance running seriously. Later, I underwent rock climbing course at Kerala, advance leader ship course at Nasik , Maharashtra, Water skiing course at Kashmir.”

“Later, Common Wealth Games was held at Delhi in 2010, and I got an opportunity to run holding the Queen’s Baton Relay torch. There was no bound for my happiness, and my enthusiast grew  then, and decided to compete in international athletic events,” he added.
 “I had never thought, I will be visiting foreign countries and represent India. The competitions will be very challenging in International level. Regular practice, determination, concentration are important. There is need of grooming children from school levels and motivating them to take part in the sports competitions,” adds Yogendra, whose enthusiast has never dwindled.

He has represented University of Mysore in Athletics for Five times and Karnataka State six time in the All India Inter University Athletics Championships; and has captained the Karnataka State Athletics. He has represented India several times at the Asian Masters Athletics Championship and World Master Athletics Championships held at Malaysia, California, USA; Taipei, Taiwan; Port Blare, Brazil; Kitakami City Iwate Prefecture, Japan; Perth, Austriliafrom; Rugao  China. Now, he is getting prepared to take part in the World Master Championship to be held at Spain in 2018.

He has to his credit about 70 gold; 50 silver and more than 60 bronze medals and his dream is to win a gold medal in World Master Championship. He has been awarded  “Karnataka Bhushana Prashathi” by Karnataka Samskruthika Academy, Bengaluru in 2013;  Mukhayaprana Rajoshthava Prashathi, Karnataka Rajoshthava Award  by  Kannada Sangha, Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax Department and several other honours.

Yogendra has established ‘Mysuru Athletic Club’ in 2006, and hosting running race, road relay race competitions every year. He also felicitates the athletes who have represented Mysuru district in University-State-National levels and gives away cash prize of Rs 70,000.    

This artist sketches animals in extinct on canvas

Here is a government school teachers who is creating awareness among populace about the birds and animals which are in extinct, using canvas as the medium.  UG Mohan Kumar Aradhya, an artist and a science teacher at government school in Karthalu Village, KR Nagar Taluk is the person who has exhibited his paintings at Suchitra Art Gallery, Kalamandira.

He has done a study about some of the rare species in extinct and has sketched them on canvas. Under the theme “Survival and Extinction of animals’ (Pranigala Alivu Uliu) he has put on display painting of rare species of birds and animals, which include Pyrenean Ibex, Seal, western black rhinoceros, passenger pigeon, elephant bird, Quagga, Asian Cheetah, vulture, smooth coated otter (neeru nayi), etc.

Out of 40 odd paintings, about 25 paintings drews the attention of public towards the birds and animals which are in extinct. While, remaining paintings are related to the reason for global warming, how man kind has destroyed the forest and environment; what has to be done to protect the flora and fauna etc.    

Apart from exhibiting his paintings in the cities, he visits the nearby schools and make children aware of the birds and animals which are in extinct and how to conserve them.  Speaking to Express, he says, “Due to rapid urbanisation, deforestation and change in climate, we can lose all indigenous species of animals and birds. Its high time we have to protect the wildlife and forest. There is need of creating awareness among young minds about the conservation of birds and animals, so it helps in higher extent to protect the wildlife.’

C Ravishankar, Executive Director, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, after inaugurating the day-long expo on Wednesday, said: “Exhibition the animals in extinct on account of Wildlife Week Celebrations is more relevant and meaningful. There is need of more such exhibition to create awareness among populace about conservation of wild animals and birds.”

M Chandrashekhar, a visitor said: “The paintings are eye opener for society. Due to over greed we have damaged the environment to higher extent. Youngsters should come together and raise voice for the protection of wild and plant more trees to combat global warming.” 

Young champs take a call to conserve bio-diversity

The youngsters who wanted to become engineer, doctor, architectures, are now finding more interest to be a ecologist, environmentalist, conservationists of nature and wild life, and serve in forest department. Thanks for the Youth Club activities of Sri  Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, which is turning a new leaf in the lives of young minds.   

Sujith, first year engineering student at NIE, who wanted to become engineer, expressed his desire to be a Forest Range Officer. He says, “After becoming Youth Club member the perspective towards looking towards nature and animals has changed. I have understood nothing is important than conservation of nature and environment. After observing about   behavior of wild animals, there is no fear towards wild. I have noticed even they get panic when we go close to them. By studying about animals and nature from last couple of weeks, I have decided to serve in forest department and take a call to protect wild.”  

Diya, student of Marimallappa High School says, “I wanted to become a doctor. But now am in conflict either to become  ecologist nor a doctor. Our visit to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary and studying about the plants, nature of cactus, looking towards wide variety of bamboos were very impressive.  The love towards 'Mother Nature' has increased after joining youth club. Every student should become members of Youth Club, which gives a new dimension to our career.”  

“After joining youth club, the way I look towards the dogs has changed. Earlier, if anybody was throwing stones for dogs was walking silently. But now I raise voice and ask them to respect animals. I also ask them to be compassion towards street dogs and other pet animals. Study about herbivores and carnivores animals, wallowing, protection of habitat, study of butterflies, tranquilizing equipment, and other classes are very interesting," adds Rachitha of Rotary School. 

“Youth Club activities are very knowledgeable and full of fun.  Exposure trips to Bandipur National park, Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary, Bird Watching helps us lot to understand the nature of birds and animals. I have become environmental lover after attending the programme,” added Bilwanand of Pushkarni School.  

“There is lot of behavioral change after joining the youth club. We are educating family and friends how to treat animals kindly. Resource persons from different fields deliver talks, and share their experiences about conservation of forest. The talks on rain water harvesting, conservation of water, importance of trees, reasons for global warming, climate change and several other issues are helping us to bend ourselves and take a call for protection of  nature,” says the members of youth club.   

"Earlier Sundays, I used to waste time watching television. Now, I eagerly wait for Sundays to take part in the Youth Club activities. Due to over greed we are spoiling our nature and we are causing threat to animals and birds. Rapid growth of urbanisation, increase in pollution has become cause of worrisome. There is need of educating family and friends. We discuss about the Zoo activities in schools, which helps our classmates to understand the importance of nature," adds Bharath, Vag Bharathi Vidya Samsthe. 
"The curious, enthusiasm among children is mind blowing and are essential for budding conservation biologists.  The children are also educated about sustainable development, waste management, protection of lakes, water management, importance of rain water harvesting, urban landscaping, etc. The activities will be conducted for ten months on every Sundays,"  added Dr Manjunath, veterinary doctor of Zoo.  

C Ravi Shankar, Executive Director of Zoo, who was also a member of Youth Club during his school days, going down the memory lane said,: "Earlier we were listening to resource persons, sitting beneath under a tree.  I came to know about the plants, birds only after I joined the youth club. Its sure the activities helps the young mind to understand about conservation of flora and fauna, and changes the perspective of people looking towards wild. India is a diverse country, and there is need of drawing attention of youngsters towards conservation of nature." 

"Youth Club", an unique conservation education programme of Myusru Zoo started in 1993. The aim of the Youth Club is to develop leadership qualities among the youth to spread the message of wildlife protection and environmental conservation.  In the last 25 years, about 1500 students (between 12-18 years) have underwent training under the programme.  About 60 students will be selected every year for Youth Club activities. There are instances, the youngsters after undergoing treatment are serving  in forest departments, and most of them have turned zoo volunteers. 

The children will be given hands on experience with scientific reasons related to conservation of nature., and acquaint knowledge about the captive management, wild life conservation, road ecology, revolution of zoo, and zoo activities like feeding animals, study of animal behavior, interaction with keepers and visitors, understanding the components of bio-diversity, recycling of waste into resource, how change in life style helps to conserve environment, also sensitizing young minds towards environmental issues, and implanting green initiatives. 

This illustration helps young minds to understand the botany better

 ‘Crow Quill dip-nib: Icing with Indian Ink’, an unique exhibition prĂ©cising scientific diagrams displayed at Regional Museum of Natural History, Mysuru is receiving good response from the students.  

Illustrator A Shashikala,  an retired professor, Department of Zoology, Sarada Vilas College, Mysuru, has displayed about 120 illustrations at the Museum. She has drawn all kinds of animals, birds, microscopic structures observing through microscope and has displayed them. 

The works have been displayed under two categories -  Arthropoda (joined leg animals) and Gymnosperm. The diagrams also include Hirudinaria Granulosa observation diagram. These diagrams along with a bottle specimen or a microscopic slide will give information for students, which is essential in learning and presentation of practical record, theory paper, project work, dissertation, theses etc. 

Through the expo, Shashikala  wants to make students aware that drawing diagrams are very easy, and helps them to score good marks. Shashikala  was instrumental in drawing India Ink Diagrams in school text books, Pre-university text books, publications on botany and zoology, research papers, thesis, dissertation, etc. 

Arthropoda diagrams featured in the book Sandhipaadigalu and Anaavruthabeejasasyagalu (Gymnosperm) diagrams depicting naked seed producing plants are on display at the exhibition. Preserved bottle specimens arranged side by side the illustrations makes the exhibition a complete  learning experience and is a must visit for every life science student to have a practical experience. 

She  has mastered other forms of art too like oil painting, photography, chalk carving, craft work, music (vocal and veena). She has rendered songs for valour, patriotism, environment, safety, conservation, health awareness, devotion and social awareness.     

Going down the memory lane, 68-year-old Shashikala says, earlier diagrams were drawn, whereas now with advancement of technology drawing illustrations has come down. “Nowadays students don’t like to draw diagrams, as they think it is difficult to draw diagrams. There are instance students don’t opt for biology as they can’t get medical seat easily in merit. Drawing is nothing but, playing with lines and dots.”

“Diagrams play an important role in the study of biology. If student’s practice diagram they can easily score 50 per cent marks in examination. Drawing will be easy, if the perception of shape, structure and technical aspects are learnt. I have a teaching experience of more than 30 years and was instrumental in motivating students to draw a neat, correct practical record with precise labeling.  I have used ‘India Ink diagrams" for innumerable scientific publication. In every aspect diagrams are very important,” she adds. 
“By having a look towards diagrams, the students can develop a passion towards diagrams. The display of microscopic structures of plants, insects and animals are very beneficial for students.  This Crow Quill art was akin to our ancestors penning the scriptures without a pen. There is a need to preserve this rich history,  and handover for next generation. In all, the display will motivate students to improve their drawing skill,” adds Manoj Kumar, an art teacher at a private school.  

An initiative to keep Mysuru Clean: Autos in Mysuru have been fitted with a eco-friendly bag

Thanks for the members of Swachh Bharath vertical of Young Indians (Yi), an integral part of confederation of Indian Industries (CII), who are on a mission to keep the city clean and are fitting eco-friendly cloth bags to autos to ensure the waste is not littered on the roads.

This "Auto Bins" which aptly fits next to the auto meter is designed for disposal of dry waste like chocolatebiscuit papers, chocolate wrappers, small papers and dry fruit peels, with a message to “Keep Mysuru Clean" . With this, passengers have to dump the waste in the bag, and the driver disposes them later.

About 500 autos have been fitted with these bins at pre-paid auto stand in suburban bus stand, railway station and the Zoo. Its one of the step by YI to keep the city clean and effort to get back clean city tag. Yi Mysuru plans to scale up this initiative in the second phase of their project with their motto "We can we will". 

With this, the young team Swachh Bharath headed by members Ghanshyam MuraliSharath KumarSachin SubramanianRavi Shankar and Akshara Kumar are contributing for the national mission of Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan.  

According to the members, “large number of tourists and localities prefer to commute in autos to reach their destinations. There are instances after eating popcorn, chocolates and other snacks they litter the waste on road. We hope the disposal of garbage while travelling in auto will now become efficient. The bag acts as a mini dustbin, and passengers can use them.”

Akshara Kumar, Member of Yi says,The city has 1.5 lakh autos, we want to launch this in phases and make sure each and every auto proudly has one and takes pride in contributing for Swachh Mysore. Once this project is finished, we hope to take this as a national project and want all the autos in India to have a bin, thus contributing to Swachh Bharath. We are happy with the good response from the auto drivers.”

Ghanshyam Murali, “We first started this project with an idea of launching car bins, but since Mysore is a tourist hub, and majority of the people travel in autos, we decided to do the auto bin project.  The auto bin project is one of our most innovative projects. Using eco-friendly cloth will make sure plastic is not used. The bin is easy to tie and can be tied anywhere in the auto. We are receiving a good response from auto drivers, who are very supportive.

Generates Employment  

Mysore has been awarded the cleanest city in India, and has an influx of a high number of tourists round the year. We plan to maintain the city's cleanliness with innovative and eco-friendly projects. The bin made of cloth costs Rs 20. They can be washed timely and reused several times. The cloth bins will generate employment and helps to keep the road clean by avoiding littering,” adds Sachin Subramanian, another member.  

What citizens say..

"Some passengers eat bananas, cucumbers wrapped in newspaper and other snacks in the autos. Earlier, they were throwing the waste on roads, and now we ask them to dump in the bin. We are happy for becoming a part to educate people about cleanliness and keep the city clean,” says Santosh, an auto driver.  

“We are already facing water logging and floods problem when there will be heavy downpour. People should understand by littering garbage on roads, it gets accumulated in drains, and there will be no easy flow of water. Moreover keeping the city clean is our responsibility,” adds T Anand, another auto driver.

“There is lack of civic sense among people. We can find splitting, littering garbage on roads. Its an responsibility of every citizen to keep the city clean. By stopping the littering on roads, we can witness a big difference,” says C Rekha, citizen.

About Swachh Bharath
Swachh Bharath is a vertical in Young Indians concentrating on the city's and country's overall cleanliness and green revolution. The vision is to bring in consistent, useful and innovative methods to keep the city clean. 

St Philomena's Church, an tallest churche in Asia comes alive in pen refills !

The miniature sculpture of St Philomena's Church, one of the tallest churches in Asia has been created with used 2500 pen refills by miniature artist Sreenivasulu MR. To mark his 10th anniversary in miniature arts, he has come out with the structure and he has taken 18 months to build the structure and has worked three hours per day after his office work.
His wish is to make all the famous landmarks around the world from used pen refills and setup a miniature museum in Bangalore or Mysore. Thereby, he wants to educate people on 3R principle- reduce, reuse and recycle of plastic materials and save our planet.
Sreenivasulu, an software engineer by profession, is an native of Dharmavaram in Andhra Pradesh, and has settled in Bangalore. He had a hobby of collecting used pen refills from friends from the age of 13. By the end of his PUC, he had collected almost 2000 pen refills of different brand.
It was a decade ago Sreenivasulu who was creating miniature houses from marriage invitations cards, thought of creating a miniature work using used pen refills. In 2007, the miniature structure creation of 'Eiffel Tower' from used pen refills was initiated. It took 8 months to make Eiffel Tower from 200 pen refills. Later, the splurge of the structures continued. Charminar, Big-Ben Clock, Taj Mahal, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Gateway of India, Seattle Space Needle, Sydney Harbor Bridge and the recent one St Philomena Church, Mysore, India all fell out from used pen refills. Now, he has built 9th landmark St Philomena Church.
“Each structure takes 3 to 6 months to construct and it depends on the complexity of the architecture. The toughest and longest days of work is taken for St Philomena Church. I have spent 18 months and 2500+ pen refills to build the structure. Ideally I take 3 hours per day to construct the structures after my office work,” adds Sreenivasulu who is also a classical dancer and makes sculptures from chalks and sand.
He has set a nation record and has been awarded 'India Book of Records' in the year 2012 for making miniature of Taj Mahal from 700 used pen refills. He has displayed his works at several exhibitions. He visit schools and colleges in his free time to educate students on environment pollution by plastic materials. As pat of 'Say No to Plastic' programme, he has setup refills collection boxes, which is the source of raw material to make miniature structures. He also teaches students on making models.