Friday, December 16, 2011

This artist has 18 century books in his collections

You name any prominent book on music, art, dance and sharana literature published from any corner of the globe and he has it. For this 66-year-old artist L Shivalingappa, collecting literatures on different forms of art is more than a
passion. He has more than 6,500 rare books belonging to 18th and 19th century in English and Kannada languages.

What' amazing is that a majority of the rare books that adorn the shelves are imported from different. It even include ooks published more than a century ago. He quickly places orders for books penned by celebrated authors immediately
after he comes to know about its release.

Art Treasures of the world by Eleonor C Munro (1838, London); Practical Essay on Art by John Burnet (1888, New york); Modern German Art by Henry Ginsbury (1938), Contemporary British Art by Herber Read (1951); History of Fine Art in India and Ceylon by Vincent A Smith (1930) and Art of Century by Yannle Pichon (1989) are some of his prized possession. He has more than a hundred series of Walter T Foster's 'How to draw books'.

Shivalingappa has penned about 20 books related to Painting, Sculpture and Vachana Sahitya. He has also penned a book 'Art Developments in Karnataka' which includes the stages of development of art from the ancient period of rock work to modern painting.

Apart this, he has about 10,000 photography to his collections and has spent lakhs of rupees towards these collections. He has placed all his collection in a separate room called ?Mysore Art Gallery?.

The multifaceted Artist Shivalingappa is not only a writer and painter, but is equally good in sculpture, editing and writing features. He was the first from state to do sculpture works using sand castings, thermocole and PVC Pipes.

He has exhibited his paintings in State and National-level expos about 30 times from 1974 to 2008 and has dedicated his life in art and culture. He says, he needs the books for reference and also to gain inspiration. He has number of awards to his credit, to mention a few State Shilpa Kala Academy Award, State Lalithakala Academy, Karavali Samskruthika Suvarna Kannadiga Award, Basavasri, Kuvempusri, and much more.

This Australian names his daughter 'India'

The Patriotic fervour led by this Australian family is very high. They have named their 15-year-old daughter 'India'. Australian family led by Nick Petrucco and his wife Rebec are the spouse who have named their daughter 'India'. The couple have three children in which India is elder one and other two are Maggie and Gus.

Nick says, he see India alive by calling her daughter name and he feels he is in India.
The seven family member of Nick Petrucco have traveled from Kozhikode to Chennai and have organised Walkathon to create awareness among people about child abuse and to raise funds for education of the under privileged children in South India.

This is the first Walkathon conducted by Nick along with his other family members Jenny, Nick, Deibhlin and Nicola, under the banner of Child Fund's Unique Initiative 'Coast to Coast' Walkathon.

A total of 850 km walk has been organised in which they have walked 310 kilo meters and they walk another 450 kilo meters to reach Chennai.The walkathon was flagged of at west coast of Kozhikode, Kerala on December 9. They are leaving Mysore on December 16 and reach Bangalore on December 21 via Bannur, Malavalli and culminate the walkathon at Chennai on January 11 and return to their country by January 19.

Nick says, he love India very much and its a very special place for him. 'This is my 6th visit to India and the walkathon was planned 15 months ago and my children supported very much for this. I want to do something for the nation and hence choose collecting charity to help needy children. Every Child is special and should be provided with all facilities,' he said and thanked his family members and kids for their support and walking all the way long with him.

His family members said they are very proud of Nick and asked everyone to contribute to any one of the noble projects to get underprivileged children and to provide a better standard of living.

The family members took part in the event at Kiriya Pushpa Campus situated near Silk Factory on Thursday and distributed bicycles for girls, school kits for children, educational packs for orphaned children, medical kits for HIV affected children, drinking water facilities for 67 Anganwadi Centres and Balavadis.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A tale of two men: One is noble, one is kind

The general opinion of all is, 'life is unfair'. But, for 44-year-old R Somashekhar life became a relentless struggle when he was afflicted with Polio, gradually crippling all his four limbs leaving him with very little mobility. But the polio could not affect his 'inner will'.

Born into a poor family, where parents and sister too are blind, he has the responsibility of earning daily bread for the entire family. Unmarried Somashekar faced the life courageously and fought against all odds of life to survive
and to make a living on his own !

He is a resident of Ittegegud and completely dependant on others for each and every move he makes. Moved by his pitiable condition some philanthropists donated him with a mobile telephone booth along with a weighing machine. He visits the private Bus Stand near RMC providing the public with his telephone services. Some of the regular commuters and bus drivers at the bus-stand offer him some money. Apart this, Government is providing him Rs 1,000 per month.

With this meager earnings he manages his family of four members.

These are times when people are busy meeting their own ends and cant' spend time for helping others living their work. But its not same with the auto-driver R Ramesh. Noticing the sordid struggle for existence made by Somshekar, he has taken the responsibility of picking and dropping him, free of cost. He helps him to climb into the auto as well to come down with the help of another person.

A resident of Kesare, 41-year-old Ramesh accidentally met Somashekhar, while he was on his daily trip of dropping a passenger at the bus-stand. From Kesare to Ittegegud its about six km and he has been doing relentlessly for the past six months.

Without waiting whether he gets a passenger or not, he drives empty auto towards Somshekar's house every morning at 10.30 am and picks him up in the evening at 6.30 pm to bring him back to his house. Though he has driven an empty auto on several occasions in the past, he is unmindful of the losses. Somashekar lauded and thanked Ramesh for his gesture.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Technology comes to the aid of MCC

MCC saves 48 pc on fuel, operating costs after introducing GPS in its transport fleet

The Mysore City Corporation (MCC) which fitted Global Positioning System (GPS) devices to its garbage shifting vehicles about a year and half ago has started reaping good results.

The new system has not only helped to discipline its drivers who otherwise were dumping the waste at other than the designated places according to their convenience but has also helped in making the process cost effective. Since then, the expenditure on fuel and maintenance has come down by 48 percent while the overall efficiency has improved by 60 percent.

MCC went for the GPS in April 2010 to handle its fleet of 325 garbage shifting vehicles, in view of the increasing incidents of the waste shifting vehicles dumping the garbage at places of their convenience. Also the drivers were submitting inflated bills towards the fuel and maintenance cost claiming more trips and it was impossible to handle fleet of 325 vehicles without a suitable monitoring and control mechanism.

JnNURM Superintending Engineer Suresh Babu said that with the help of GPS it is now possible to monitor the location of any vehicle 24X7, sitting in the Control Room and has helped to prevent unauthorised dumping of garbage, increasing the efficiency garbage clearance.

Speaking to TNIE, MCC Commissioner KS Raikar said the new system has provision to send SMS alerts to officers monitoring the fleet about movement of each vehicle. Another interesting feature is that it gives accurate information of the weight of the garbage and from where it was lifted. The SOS facility in case of vehicle breakdown has helped pick-up efficiency.

Another benefit of GPS was the generation of automated Trip Sheet for the truck drivers. Due to complete automation, human intervention is eliminated, with the result calculation of the number of trips for each driver as well as the
route to be followed is given in the form of a print-out as soon as the driver reports for duty. Apart from this report of attendance of every driver and his daily working hours can be generated instantly.

CESC to go hi-tech:

City to get on-line electricity bill payment soon; Installation of Prepaid electricity meters at house and GIS to monitor transmission lines

If everything goes as planned, Mysoreans, can now make online payments of their electricity utility bills by sitting at home or office through e-billing facility stated to be introduced soon, in addition of providing ECS (Electronic Clearing System) for those opting for AutoPay instructions where payments are made through your bank account on a specified date.

With this, the city's Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation(CHESCOM) is going hi-tech chalking out various measures to provide consumers more convenience and ease of bill payments. The process of making e-bill payments online is going on at a brisk pace and talks are being held with banks to provide the necessary ECS authorization.

In Mandya on-line payment of bills has already been implemented in tie-up with Infosys, where consumers can view the bill online along with contacting a 24X7 customer care service center in case they come across any operational difficulties. In the first phase, Kuvempunagar area will go on-line in the first week of January and a survey of every house hold is going on collecting details of the names of the residents and their RR numbers.

Apart this the authorities are collecting details of the consumers for installation of pre-paid electricity meters at homes in city. This facility is similar to prepaid mobile card facilities, in which consumers can buy certain units of power by making advance payment.

GIS to monitor transmission lines

With the aim of providing reliable and uninterrupted power supply, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) will be installed on Distribution Transformers to monitor and improve all transmission lines coming under it, which helps to proper schedule maintenance in case of emergency breakdowns.
It also helps track pilferage and Transmission and Distribution Losses (T&D) and power stealing. It even helps to identify proper placement of electrical poles which are critical as the demand for power supply from new consumers keeps rising.

ATP machines to be shifted

As presently both the ATP (Any Time Payment) machines and Cash Counters are located at the same place and man power is not being utilized fully at cash counters. Speaking to Express CHESCOM MD P Boregowda said that by this month ATP machines will be shifted to other locations frequented by the public within the same division, in order to utilize the facility better. It will be open from 8 am to 2 pm and 3 pm to 8 pm. There are 17 ATP machines already installed in CHES out of which eight machines have been installed in Mysore.

Mysore beetle leaves may soon become extinct

The famous 'Mysore Veelyadele' (Beetle leaf) having a history spanning several decades, might soon become extinct going by the way things are happening at the place where its grown in city.

A waste water drain which flows across the ?Yele Thota? and which is the only source of water for the beetle leaf growers is fast becoming polluted. Medical waste from a nearby private hospital has found its way into drain and as a result the creepers have started to wither. The farmers fear that if the authorities fail to stop the medical waste from entering the drain, then the creepers will die.

Sixty-seven year-old Channamayigayi of Nachanahalli said the medical waste generated by the hospital is getting mixed with the drainage which begins to flow from Agrahara and passes through Yelethota farms before reaching Dalvoy Lake. The drain carries with it several kinds of garbage including medical wastes like discarded bandages, cotton swabs. Its an eyesore to see these wastes floating, he said.

He said the pollution has largely affected in its yield and because of which most of the cultivators have stopped growing beetle leaves and have switched over to coconut and arecanut. Though the incident of the drain being polluted by the hospital was brought to the notice of the Corporation several times, no help has come our way, he rued.

Another cultivator Basavaraj said there were attempts to grab their lands by bringing pressure from politicians. He requested
the Horticulture Department to protect the farms.

However, District Health Officer Mallegowda said there is no threat to the beetle farms as the medical waste is let into the drain only after chlorination.

Speaking to Express, President of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar Welfare Association C Chidambar said that 'Wayback in 1968 the beetle leaf crop was completely destroyed for which compensation was provided by the Governemnt after six long years in the year 1974.

While only a couple of cultivators received the compensation, most of the remaining completely gave up the cultivation seeking other jobs. Now, again the crop is under threat of being completely wiped out if no urgent measures are taken to to protect it,' he added.

About Yelethota
The legend has it that the Yelethota was gifted by the then rulers of the Mysore Royal family to a dozen families
exclusively to cultivate beetle leaves. In those days it was a tradition for the members of the royal family to offer
beetle leaves to all those who visited the Palace. It was also used symbolically to invite an enemy ruler for war as
was popularly called offering 'Rana Veelye'.

Corporation to distribute dustbins for 1,75,000 houses holds by February

With the city already ranked as the cleanest city in India, Mysore City Corporation (MCC) has plans to distribute two dustbins to about 1,75,000 houses in the city by February next year, to segregate wet and dry wastes from household level.

Officials have made arrangements to distribute red and green coloured dustbins of 10 liter capacity each, meant for collecting wet waste in the green dustbin and the dry waste in red dustbins. The wet waste thus collected will be send for composting while the dry waste for recycling. It will be made mandatory for every household to dispose off the garbage separately, which simplifies garbage collection and disposal.

To create awareness among people about the significance of segregation of wastes, Corporation officials are conducting awareness camps near Devaraja Market for Self Help Group's who in turn will visit houses in every locality and impart awareness by providing information and educating the people. Apart this the garbage collectors will also be educated to dump the wet and dry waste separately in specific containers provided to them.

The green dustbin is used to dump wet, biodegradable organic wastes like flowers, fruits, vegetables, garden leaves, left over food, wood or any other organic kitchen waste while the red dustbins are used to collect glass, plastic, metals, e-waste, paper, aluminium foils etc.

With Mysore city spanning an area of 128.75 sq km and inhabited by 9.18 lakh people, the heritage city on an average generates around 402 tonnes of waste every day and most of this waste can be recycled. As residents are mixing all kinds of waste, it is difficult to segregate the mixed waste for recycling.

JnNURM Superintending Engineer Suresh Babu said that the dustbins are meant exclusively for waste collection and should not be used for any other purpose. He said already tenders have been invited from five companies for procuring the dustbins and the MCC has already received the samples from these companies for testing and evaluation.

'Each dustbin costs approximtely Rs 80 – 100, and it will be provided by funds allotted under JnNURM. This new proposal if implemented will aid better handling of Solid Waste Management. At presents garbage is collected together which is of no use. The rule becomes mandatory from February,' he added. Corporation Commissioner KS Raikar said that the process will implemented shortly and people will be made aware to segregate the waste.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The creative man behind ZP Stalls at the Dasara Exhibition grounds

If Zilla Panchayat (ZP) stalls at Mysore Dasara Exhibition Grounds have become the cynosure of attraction, then it was possible largely due to the creativity of one dextrous artist who has been working relentlessly for the past 20 years creating models, miniatures, and paintings, to educate the masses about the various government schemes and also inform them of the government's achievements.

Artist D Ananda Murthy is the talented man educating the people through his creative displays. He introduced for the first time the Dinasorous with sound effect inside Dasara expo premises. He then took up working simultaneously on the Mysore ZP and various other stalls and has won first place three times and expecting this year too.

Most of his works are based on educating rural folk about the various schemes specially meant for them like the Udyog Scheme, Right to Employment and Information utilizing creatively designed three-dimensional models, awareness on proper usage of water, its conservation are also displayed. In addition to this he has created replica of KRS Reservoir complete with illumination and also the Harangi Reservoir.

Stall of Suvarna Grama (depicting a model village) has come out very well. The miniature life like models used here makes one spellbound. Here he has brought out the measures to be taken to develop a village, protect underground water, sustainable agriculture methods, imparting quality education, holding Panchayat meetings and other such issues. All these concepts have been explained using models and not photographs / flexboards. Last year he had chosen rain water harvesting, mid-day meal, importance of compulsory primary education and others.

He claims that he was the first to sketch pictures of the most notorious forest brigand Veerappan in different angles and helped cops to get a true portrait of his appearance. Based on the details provided to him by the eye-witness, he creates their rough sketch and helping the Police department to nab culprits. He is doing this work freely.

He says 'Since 1992, some officials brought changes in ZP stalls and gave the contract for artists. As I was interested in rendering social service and want to create awareness among people through the medium of art, I enjoy this work. The art works are understood by everyone and I think educating people is also a from of social service.'

Thursday, November 17, 2011

This Physically challenged girl wills to reach higher extent in sports

As the adage goes, where there is a will there is a way, this 17-year-old physically challenged girl has willed to reach greater heights not just in her academics but also in sports.

PS Netravathi was born with the entire left fore-arm, wrist and hand missing below the elbow. Without feeling hurt for the loss of her limb, she took to sports, stood courageously against all odds, challenging other sports persons by participating in competitions.

While most teenagers of her age, especially with such a handicap, shy away from sports. But Netravathi, a first year BA student of Maharani's College became the cynosure of all eyes when she took part in the 83rd three-day Athletic meet organized by the University of Mysore at Oval Grounds on Tuesday.

Taking part in high-jump, long-jump and running race, she became an instant attraction for the crowds who had assembled there to watch the sporting activities. Hailing from Palahalli in Mandya District, Netravati is proud daughter of Srinivas and Lakshmidevi who are both agriculturists.

Having participated in several events since childhood, she has won several medals and certificates. Strangely, she has not been selected to represent the State in the sports events held at national-level.

She has plans of become a teacher in future, while at the same time continue with her sporting activities. So far she hasn't faced any problem to pursue with her sporting activities which in fact has even helped her to maintain good health. She is thankful to her parents and teachers for constantly encouraging her to participate in sporting events.

Though she could even play kho-kho with the same ease like others, she gave up after some time. Netravathi keeps herself fit by doing exercises regularly. She is good in painting too. 'I have keen liking for both academic as well as sports. But due to lack of adequate financial support, it is not possible to get appropriate training and achieve further in sports,' she says.

Sheshanna, a senior sports person opined that it's quite arduous to participate in the long jump event with just one hand, as both hands are needed to propel the body forward in the beginning before taking the plunge. But still Netravathi is able to compete with normal contestants and beat them. He advised her to continue her practice by joining a sports academy meant to train specially abled children.

Demand for White coloured vehicles go up in city

There were days when white coloured cars were meant only for taxis or for use by top bureaucrats and politicians. But for the past couple of months a new trend is emerging in the city as more number of people are opting for white coloured cars for their personal use. Earlier, white coloured cars was not much sought after, maybe for the reason that any dirt or dent would show up more prominently. But all of a sudden, the trend seems to have changed.

When Express contacted several vehicle dealers in city they reported a surge in demand for white coloured cars, especially this year the demand being even more.
About 30 per cent of the bookings was for white coloured vehicles with the reason cited by the dealers was that the bright reflective surface made them even more shining under the sun-light.

According to sources in the Honda showroom, unable to cope with the demand they stopped booking for white coloured vehicles for the past one and half months. The demand for white colour is more in models like the Activa, Duo, Vego, Pleasure and Access.

Dealers of Toyota, Friendly Motors, informed that more people are asking for white coloured cars which was not so in previous years. Saleem of Bababudangiri said that countable people who brought their old cars for repainting opted for white colour. Urs Kar's Lakshmikanth Raj Urs said that white colour won't match for all vehicles and as far as Maruti is considered the fast moving colour is silver.

`When buying expensive items like vehicles and high end mobiles, the choice of colour becomes more critical. Its the matter of status symbol and observed by everybody. White colour vehicles gives professional look,' says Mallika who owns white Tata Sumo.

'Compare to other colours white colour is very eye-catching and pleasant. Earlier, very rarely we used to come across white colour vehicles. But at present we can see good number of white colours vehicles on road,' says Divya, Student of JSS College Student who has White Access.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

ISRO Scientist constructs eco-friendly house at Vijayanagar

Here is a Environmentalist, who has constructed an eco-friendly house in his 40ft x 60ft site at Vijayanagar. Prof Venkataramaiah Jagannatha, a Civil Engineer working as a Scientist in ISRO, is the environmentalist who has constructed a house adopting Eco-friendly features that makes maximum utilization of the natural resources.

He has installed a mini solar wind hybrid power generating system atop his house that generates electricity which is stored in rechargeable batteries. The cost incurred to install the entire setup was Rs1 lakh, of which he invested Rs 50,000 on his own while the remaining Rs 50,000 he availed subsidy from CREDAL. Whenever there is a power outage, the inverter takes over the power supply. Apart this, the family member use power from batteries daily for two hours, which lessens the electricity bill.

Not only rain water harvesting but also recycling of used water has been done very effectively. In a 10 x 3 x 3 wet land system, water coming out of the drainage pipe after bathing and washing clothes is collected in a separate tank after gravel treatment and is stored in another tank which is used for flushing toilets and watering gardens, thereby reducing the demand for fresh water.

Rain water is collected in the sump and the excess is made to flow into a 250 meter deep borewell. The rainwater flows through a PVC Casing pipe and is filtered before it allowed flow into the borewell. This apart, he segregates the biodegradable wastes generated within his house and produces manure from it. He says everyone should segregate wastes beforehand and by doing this about 30 kg of manure can be produced from 100 kg of wet waste, and can can be used for gardening.

At the time of constructing his house he has used hollow clay bricks instead of regular ones as they provide better thermal insulation. This reduces the need for using fans or air coolers as the temperature inside the house will be much lower than outside providing more natural cooling.

Know how to identify GMO Food?

While heated debates on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) is going on throughout the world, I contacted Southern Action on Genetic Engineering (SAGE), Convenors Ramachandra and PV Satheesh to know more about it. Here are the excerpts:

What exactly are GMO and GM Foods?
Any organism whose basic genetic structure, DNA, has been artificially altered is known as GMO or Genetically Modified Organism or sometimes Genetically Engineered (GE) organisms. The technology allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism to another as also between non-related species.

Genetic Engineering artificially forces genetic material between species. This completely alters the genetic make up of the host organism thereby destroying its biological integrity. The method used is to force a selected gene [a virus or a bacteria] into the DNA of the host plant [tomato, brinjal or rice] using a 'gene gun' or through bacterial infection.

To quote a few examples: Inactivated Hepatitis or Cholera viruses are transferred into a banana plant which then produce bananas which are edible vaccines. Similarly a silkworm gene is introduced into a grape seed to protect grapevines from a disease called Pierce’s disease. Unlike Hybrids where plants from same family are used [wheat to wheat], GE technology allows genes of plants to be implanted with animals, insects and bacteria to produce what the detractors of the technology call a Frankenstein food.

While scientists developing GMO foods claim such methods increase crop yields, provide resistance against pests, enhance nutritional qualities in foods and so on, these have been proved false by opposing scientists, environmentalists and farmers organizations all over the world.

How to identify GMO Food ?

In foreign countries, there are small detection kits that consumers can carry and detect and they have enacted laws to display GM Foods on separate shelves in shops and Supermarkets along with a prominent sign to display that it contains GM ingredients.

In India, GE products are not allowed officially to be sold in the market and there is no permission to import it. But there are suspicions that they are sold clandestinely. The most suspect products are the imported Soyabean and Corn products. As we don’t have an effective regulatory mechanism to screen GE foods, Indian consumers are forced to eat them unknowingly.

Hence, in India a law should be enforced to label GM food items which helps buyers to know what they are eating and a different structure should be constituted for consent vigilance. One GMO Food detection kit has been found by SAGE Convenor Satheesh.

How to avoid consuming GM Foods ?
Several European countries have already banned GM Foods and in India as far now only Bt Cotton is grown and experiments is going on about another 25 foods items.
Developed countries publicize the produces their failed products over developing countries as a trial and error basis. Consumer should not buy any imported foods that contain corn, soybean, potato or tomato. These food have a high probability of being genetically engineered and since no company provides this information on the label there is no way of knowing for sure if the imported food contains GM ingredients are not. Therefore the safest route is to avoid such foods.

Amidst advanced technology why so much of opposition?
When proponents of GE crops claim that they withstand pest attacks they are showing only one side of the story. The most famous of these claims in India is that of Bt Cotton which is a cotton crop into which the gene of a soil bacteria called Bacillus Thurengisis has been forced. The Bt gene produces the Bt toxin which is produced from every part of the Bt cotton plant. Though as a result the most dreaded cotton pest, Helicoverpa Armigera, is contained, a sudden spurt in the attack of other pests like Aphids is observed.

We from the Deccan Development Society have ourselves done continuous research on hundreds of Bt cotton fields in AP for the last nine years and found that the soil in which Bt cotton was gown gradually turns turns toxic. In 2003 this was about 2 per cent of the soil on which Bt cotton was grown, but by 2007 it had grown to 40 per cent, a 20 fold increase. Thousands of animals which grazed on Bt cotton fields started dying.

People who had worked on Bt cotton fields were complaining of skin allergies and breathing disorders. Small and marginal farmers who cultivated Bt cotton in drylands suffered crop failures forcing several of them to commit suicide. Therefore the negative dimensions of the Bt cotton were so many that a large number of farmers had desparately tried to stop growing it. But by then all non Bt cotton had been withdrawn from the market by the Bt seed syndicate, as such farmers were forced to reluctantly continue growing Bt cotton.

Several countries have already enacted laws to display GM Foods on separate shelves in shops and Supermarkets along with a prominent sign to display that it contains GM ingredients. Will it be implemented here?

The contention here is that if the producers and sellers of GE crops feel that they are safe to be consumed by human beings and animals, let them label their produces that these are Genetically Engineered. Just the way organically grown foods are labeled as Organic, since that helps buyers to know what they are eating. But the GE industry has fought this practice tooth and nail as they fear that once consumers know that a produce is GE they might refuse to eat it. This is held out against the GE industry that if they are so confident of the safety of their produce why then should they oppose to its labeling?

In India, GE products are not allowed officially to be sold in the market. But there are suspicions that they are sold clandestinely. The most suspect products are the imported Soyabean and Corn products. Soyabean oils imported from abroad are used in popular food chains. As we don’t have an effective regulatory mechanism to screen GE foods, Indian consumers are forced to eat them unknowingly.

What is the present research status on the dangers of growing and consuming GM Foods.
There are several scientists who have studied and documented many harmful effects of consuming GE foods. In a seminal book titled, 'Genetic Roulette', one Prof Jeffrey Smith working with more than 30 scientists around the world, has documented 65 health risks caused by consuming GM foods.

His studies have documented several cases of toxic or allergic-type reactions in humans who grow and frequently come in contact with them, as also livestock falling sick and becoming sterile when they consumed such plants. Genetic contamination of other plants around these fields is the greatest threat, which is quite dangerous because genetic pollution cannot be reversed. Even organically grown crops can be affected if a GE crop is grown in its vicinity. Organic farmers in Seskachwan, a region of Canada have sued agrobiotech corporations for growing GE crops and polluting their crops.

Recently farmers here in Mysore went on a strike urging authorities to provide long staple varieties of Bt cotton seeds. How this sudden change was possible?
As illustrated earlier, Bt cotton has been a false messiah for farmers. The farmers are desperate to grow cotton because of the sudden increase in the market price. The non Bt cotton seeds have been more or less withdrawn by seed companies from the market since they can sell Bt seeds at higher rates and make fatter profits. That was the main reason for farmers’ demand for Bt cotton seeds.

Besides they still have not experienced the negative effects of Bt cotton, which begins to show after 3 to 5 years of its cultivation. In countries such as Indonesia and South Africa farmers who have been growing Bt cotton for over a decade are now incurring heavy losses because of soil erosion. It is the similar case with thousands of small farmers in Andhra Pradesh. They have all been caught in a web of deception and manipulation.

How to identify in market which vegetable grown using GM technology
There is no technology in India to do this. A Bt Brinjal or a Bt Cotton does not appear different from its non GE counterpart for sight. In Europe, where there is the highest consumer opposition to genetically engineered products, there are small detection kits that consumers can carry and detect which of the products has been infected by GE and which has not been. This device has not yet been made available in India.

The USA which is the largest consumer of GE foods is also a nation known for the highest obesity among its population. There are many evidences to say that nearly 25% of children in USA suffer from diabetes, BP, Autism. Many thinkers and scientists want serious research to see whether this is related to consumption of GE foods. But since large research funds are with biotech corporations, they are hardly interested to look into this area. The governments are too beholden to biotech corporations for their electoral funds, national incomes and employment generation etc. Hence they are not ready to fund research to uncover truth. That is why much of the world is kept ignorant about the dangers of GE foods.

Will there be a legislation to conduct field trials and use GM Foods by the Centre, noting so many advantages it has?

Alarmed by the strong opposition from farmers groups, scientists and environmentalists against the introduction of GE crops in the country, the Centre withdrew its plans of introducing GE Brinjal in the market with the result progressive environment ministers such as Jairam Ramesh. Eminent scientists such as Dr P M Bhargava and Dr Vijayan have been able to lead an enlightened debate on the issue and have argued that until India is capable of establishing its own reliable world standard bio-safety assessment systems, it should not allow field trials.


Enact laws to label on food items which are Genetically Engineered

The Southern Action on Genetic Engineering (SAGE) campaign to make 'Mysore Heritage City – GMO Free city' continues. In the same, an interaction programme on 'harmful effects of consuming GE foods and how its prevention' was held at Kala Suruchi on Sunday. SAGE District Convenor Ramachandra and Science Teacher Satish hold the interaction.

Satish said that any organism whose basic genetic structure, DNA, has been artificially altered is known as GMO. In an unnatural way the technology allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another and also between non-related species.

He says, this technology completely alters the genetic make up of the host organism destroying its biological integrity. The method used is to force a selected gene (virus or bacteria) into the DNA of the host plant (tomato, brinjal or rice) using a 'gene gun' or through bacterial infection.

'Proponents and scientists developing GMO foods claim growing crop using such method increase crop yields, provide resistance against pests, enhance nutritional qualities in foods and so on, these have been proved false by opposing scientists, environmentalists and farmers organizations all over the world,' he added.

Citing the example of BT Cotton he said that in India for Bt Cotton gene of a soil bacteria called Bacillus Thurengisis has been forced and the Bt gene produces the toxin from every part of the Bt cotton plant and the soil too turns toxic.

Ramachandra said that people who had worked on Bt cotton fields will have several cases of toxic or skin allergies and breathing disorders. When animals and inspects consume this they too die and even organically grown crops can be affected if a GE crop is grown in its vicinity.

Our policies are dictated by powers,

Stating our policies are dictated by powers, Ramachandra said that according to Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill, if the people spread or give any wrong information against GMO food, he will be jailed for three months and fine of Rs 1 lakh will be imposed and hence, most of the people are afraid to raise their voice.

Stating its need of the hour consumer should demand government to ban GMO food and to embrace organic foods, he said when compared to other countries our country should take at least care and morality to safeguard people. Media play major role in creating awareness about GMO, but unfortunately some of them are lagging behind, Satish alleged.

Power point presentation of Science Writer Nagesh Hegade about GN Crops ; Threat or Boon' and film 'Poison on the Platter' was screened on the occasion to create awareness among masses about GMO foods.

She makes rural children aware of current issues

Today's youth are not very inclined to involve themselves in social service activities. As soon as they complete graduation think of job and want to settle in life. But for Amulya Bharadwaj, who has been graduated this year in BBM at the Amrita School of Arts and Sciences securing second rank and winning a silver medal, it is not so.

She didn't rush to seek job in a multi-national company or set up a business venture of her own, instead she started concentrating more on doing social service which is being practiced by her from past several years.

She oftenly visit a school in Basavanagiri near H D Kote and during every visit she donates stationary items. Apart from visiting orphan homes she visits various charitable institutions in and around Mysore and she has made a routine on weekends to visit rural areas and help children in their studies.

She narrate a couple of moral stories to the children and inform children about the various current issues. She maintains a time-table for daily routine to be followed by children and provide tips on maintenance of hygiene.

She says her friends and parents have helped her to bring the idea to fruition and it gives her immense pleasure to work for the society. She says, 'I get a sense of satisfaction meeting these small children, especially those in rural areas, chat with them and help them with their studies.'

'An inspiration from the kids as initiated me to help out my classmates, who hailed from a rural background. It might be their stage-fear, to speak in front of the public, assisting them to speak in English confidently,' she says.

Amulya who has a helping nature and care about children is a good gymanstics too. She has began practicing Gymnastics at a very young age and she has represented Karnataka six times at the national level in Gymnastics.

Work and Study : She loves her job and education equally

'Instead of searching only after completion of education its better to find a job and pursue our studies simultaneously and gain experience'

21-year-old Asha who has a very positive outlook doesn't depend on anyone. She is doing her B.Com at Banumaiah's Evening College and working as an Assistant in the Auditing Office at a private establishment for the past two-and-half years. She says with her earnings she is capable to support her education and there is no need to depend on parents.

Asha has been able to balance both her academics and job quite ably as one is sustaining the other. She carries her books to the work place where she studies whenever she finds some spare time, though on Sundays she devouts most of her time on for studies. Her earnings are enough to support her education as well meet some personal and family expenditures.

She says, 'Instead of searching for a job only after completion of education as everybody does and then getting depressed when unable to get one, it is better to find a job and pursue our studies simultaneously so that we not only get working experience but also know the value of money. Apart this, reading books improves your knowledge, working on the job gives you the much needed experience as you come into contact with various kinds of people and also encounter different circumstances.'

According to her going to a day college doesn't serve any purpose as she is able to learn the same by attending an evening college along with having good working experience by fruitfully employed in the day. Being a B.Com student, working in the Accounts Department has brought her more cheers as she is in the same line of work as her studies. She doesn't own any vehicle and manages time by traveling in bus.

She even goes for typing classes in the morning at 7am and after that she leaves for her work where remain till 5.30 pm in the evening on office. Then she is off to college at 6 pm and returns home around 9.30pm. Her parents are supportive of her efforts as she is earning enough not to depend on anyone for her all her expenditures including pocket money.

B Asha
Final year B.Com
Banumaiah's Evening College

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Karnataka has made tremendous progress in the Cooperative Sector

After Gujarat and Maharastra, Karnataka occupies occupies third position in the co-operative movement in India and has made tremendous progress in the Cooperative Sector. As on 31.3.2010 there are 34,927 societies enrolled with the Registrar of Co-operative Societies of which 30,093 are functioning, 2,710 are defunct and the remaining 2,124 under liquidation.

When it comes to profit, societies registered in Mangalore stands first among Districts which are running profitably namely Kodagu, DK, Udupi, Karwar, Belgaum, Bijapur and Bagalkote. Comparatively, profit margins of societies registered in Mysore is less.

In all there are 8,235 co-operative societies in Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Mandya, Hassan, Chikmagalore, Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, of which 4,133 are running under profit, 2315 under loss and the remaining 1,787 are average out.

In Mysore a total of 1,881 co-operative societies are registered, of which 904 are under profit, 639 under loss and 338 are average out. According to sources from the Co-operative Society Officers, the reason is existence of about 200 odd-consumer societies which are not performing well and also due to loss in consumer sector / marketing sector and processing sector.

Aaccording to the Department officials, the reason for Mangalore recording the highest profit in this sector is because in Mangalore the member participation is quite high and they are also prompt in making re-payment of loans borrowed from the society, which is not the same in other areas.

Sector wise it is the milk sector that records the highest profit among all the co-operative societies Even in rural areas societies registered under Public Distribution System and Handicrafts are running under loss mainly due to lack of active participation by its members. While credit activities and urban banking in big cities like Bangalore are running under profit while Consumer goods sector, Marketing Sector and Processing sector, including the Mahila Multi-Purpose Society are running under loss.

Co-operative movement in India
The Co-operative Movement in India took its birth in 1904 with the enactment of Co-operative Societies Act 1904. The first Co-operative society to be registered under this Act was in 1905 at Kanaginahal village in Gadag district.
The Mysore Co-operative Societies Act 1959 is the first legislation in our state pertaining to the co-operative societies which came into effect on 25-05-1960.

In peaceful city, one commits suicide everyday

Though a recent survey has placed Bangalore as suicide capital in the country with largest number of people committing suicide every year, our heritage city Mysore is not far behind. Across the city on an average one person commits suicide daily. In the past three years the city has witnessed about 1,273 deaths due to suicide, majority of them by consuming poison and others by hanging.

From 2009 to October 27, 1273 people have committed suicide, of which 302 are men and 890 are women above 18 years, while 52 girls and 29 boys were below 18 years. In 2009 a total of 461 deaths due to unnatural causes were registered, which however in 2010 saw a little dip with 423 cases being registered. This year till October 27, 389 people have taken their lives. These were the figures obtained from 16 police stations coming under the Mysore City jurisdiction, which may rise further if the entire district is considered.

Compared to men, women are more vulnerable, while the number of reported cases of teenagers below 18 years of age committing suicide is also on the rise, said former DCP P Rajendra Prasad, speaking to Express and added, "People are getting more attached to objects like mobile, TV, computers, vehicles instead of building healthy attachments with friends and family members. Also parents need to spend more time with their children."

Difficulties to cope with the real world push the individual towards taking this extreme step. Apart this high academic expectations from a child by their parents, financial losses leading to indebtedness, guilty conscience resulting from strict moral upbringing, incompatibility with spouses or children are some of the most common reasons that drive people towards suicide, he added.

The reason most often cited as the main cause for suicides is lack of proper channels to share innermost pains and sufferings with another like minded individual, says Psychiatrist Vinod Kumar.

Vox populi

Parents should spend more time with kids apart from merely pampering them with comforts, says Grand Mother Vanjamma

Yoga and Meditation help in controlling mind. More people should take up practicing yoga leading to better life. - Yoga Teacher Rakesh

'Parents should develop bonding with children. They should not force children to obtain good marks, instead they should allow children to excel in any field of their choice', Vani, Government School Teacher

Classrooms turns store room at CAVA

The classrooms meant for teaching has become store rooms at centuru-old CAVA (Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts) Building on Sayyaji Rao Road. Six classrooms have been kept under lock while all classes for the entire batch of CAVA students from 1st to 3rd year are held in a single classroom.

Though State government has allotted a portion of Chamarajendra Technical Institute (CTI) to CAVA to hold classes, a rift between the officials of the two Department has left the students in the lurch.

CTI officials have locked up six rooms not heeding to any request made by CAVA officials to provide them with much needed classrooms. Left with no other option the staff at CAVA are forced to hold all classes from 1st year to 3rd year in the only room provided to them.

Students who have just enrolled and are in their first year find it very difficult to wait for long hours for their art classes to begin. They have to wait till the final year and second year students to finish their classes. Apart this the general toilet room will also be locked oftenly and students are using rest room which is meant for staff.

Though there are hardly 15 students enrolled in CTI, compared to 268 students at CAVA who need spacious class rooms for working on Computer Graphics and Sculpture classes, they are being side-lined and made to suffer needlessly for no fault of theirs.

Students have already made several requests to the concerned officials in the past to vacate the class rooms that are dumped with waste materials so they can be put to appropriate use. Even their request to open the gallery and hand over its maintenance to them has not evoked any response. The gallery houses several rare artifacts some dating back to the reign of Chamarajawadiyar, the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore.

Students allege that CTI officials sometimes even cut off power supply to the classrooms disturbing their works. Already as this paper had reported earlier both the ceiling and flooring of this century-old building are falling apart with water logging and seeping at the corners.

This duo have collected books in exchange for old newspapers

Here is a duo who have collected rare books from second hand book sellers in exchange for the old newspapers. Dr MA Jayashree and MA Narasimhan are the cousins who have collected such rare books and manuscripts from their childhood.

Their collection includes several century old books, palm leaf manuscripts and some rare books like Jain Puranas written in Kannada, first Kannada novel – 'Madidunno Maharaya', 'Gandaberunda', the first set of novel series 'Kalaganatha', the first published translations of several Bengali and English works to Kannada like the Bankim Chandra Chatterji's, 'Anand Mutt', a rare handwritten Panchanga and Sanskrit dictionary, 1st volume of Rig Veda published during the regime of Jayachamaja Wodeyar, Kalachu print (letters carved using soap stone) so on.

Majority of the books are in English and Kannada, apart from other languages such as Tamil, Sanskrit, Hindi and Telugu. After they started earning they started buying new books, spending lakhs of rupees. Seeing their interest for books, some of the friends, too have offered them books and they have maintained books very neatly.

Apart from collecting the first publication books, if any book aroused an interest in them they have purchased it. At present they have about 7,000 books and all the books are kept in a separate room in their house which is named, Anantha Research Foundation.

Incidentally, MN Ramanuja Iyengar, the pioneer who first published the Jain Purana manuscripts in Kannada happens to be the grand-father of this cousin duo. With support and encouragement they received from their parents and relatives, they were able to pursue their collection of rare and interesting books. Both born and brought up in a scholarly environment has enriched their curiosity towards books. Speaking to Express they said that, 'One should cultivate the habit of reading to increases imagination and thinking capacity.'

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dispute has led to lack of maintenance of this century old building

The Century old building Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA) which is in heart of the city on Sayyaji Rao Road is in a dilapidated condition. The saddest part is due to dispute between Chamarajendra Technical Institute (CTI) and CAVA the maintenance of this heritage building has worsened.

CAVA is a portion of CTI building and it's responsibility of CTI to maintain this historical building in good condition through Public Works Department. But unfortunately the concerned officials have failed to take appropriate measures to protect this heritage building which has a good architect.

Whenever it rains, the entire premises of CAVA becomes muddy and the class rooms gets fills with water for about two feet and students using bench jump from one place to another to come out of their place.

Both the ceiling and flooring are opened with water logging causing seepage and damp walls. Fungus is growing all over the walls as well as the wooden doors and in some places cracks have appeared on walls. This has resulted in several paintings displayed on the walls getting wet and defaced making the dampened walls of CAVA appear like an another modern art on walls.

The situation of Computer room, Graphic Room, Photography rooms are more worsened and students have lost most of their creative works. Near the foundation room where practical and theory classes are held the students are facing lot of hardship. Due to fungus and bubbles formed on the walls of the rooms, a bad foul smell is emitted.

The CAVA obtains grants of Rs 10 lakh under Plan Scheme from government for every year, but CAVA officials say that amount is insufficient for maintain of building amidst various other expensive.

Speaking to Express CAVA students and teachers, said that during rainy season they face lot of problems and they have lost most of their creative works due to rains. They say the rain water collected in the classrooms seems like lake and the water fall from the roof seems like mini jog falls.

`The building has a very good architect and its need of the hour to protect this heritage building. Anyways CAVA will be having its own building at Siddartha Layout and CTI should take initiative to maintain this building,' said another CAVA teacher. Meantime, when Express contacted CTI Deputy Director Suresh, for details, he was neither available over phone nor at his office.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Roadside street vendors have continued selling cut fruits in open

In spite of a ban imposed by the Mysore City Corporation officials not to sell the cut fruits, or any condiments in the open, roadside street vendors have continued selling cut fruits in the open on push carts.

With the intention of public health and to maintain hygiene, officials had instructed vendors strictly not to sell the cut fruits, instead they were asked to place the cut fruits inside transparent glass enclosures to prevent flies sitting on them and dust falling on the cut fruits.

Ironically, the vendors were seen selling cut fruits like papaya, fruit mixture, pineapple in front of Corporation and surrounding places. Apart this in most of the places in heart of the city, in front of Palace, Court, Exhibition, near to Ramsons Gallery, Town Hall, the vendors were having a roaring business.

In this parts of the city there is huge vehicular movement and heavy vehicle ply emitting thick smoke. The eaters were too seen enjoying every bite of slice forgetting the health hazards they might get.

When Express spoke with some vendors in this regard, several of them were neither aware of this law and some were even not bothered to give importance for the public health and maintain cleanliness. Most of them questioned 'what we are not looking healthy, we to have bought up in the same way.'

Senior Citizen and Retired Government Teacher Venkatesh said that 'concerned authorities should undertake drive oftenly. When they introduce any new rule, they ask people to follow it and its mandatory. But later the officials fail to find whether the rule is implemented effectively. Officers should take strict action against and warn the vendors not to sell the cut fruits.

Speaking to Express, Maharani College Students Rohini, Bhuvi, Teju said that vendors should be first made aware of ill-effect caused by selling edible food stuffs in open.'

Speaking to Express Corporation Health Officer Nagaraj said that by next week action will be taken.

Circus performer juggle with life

Concealing their own sufferings behind a benign smile, the circus entertainers continue to keep the audience amused and spell bound by their daredevil acts, show after show. Ironically nobody ever gets to see the other side of their life while they struggle hard to survive in today's competitive era, offering varieties of entertainments.

Especially for these artists life never gets settled down as they are constantly on the move. Moving from place to place once every three months, they leave far from their children and meet once in a year. With no other option, some have left their children with their parents while others have put them in boarding schools, for education purpose.

There are many of them here who are working in circus since their childhood. But due to implementation of Child Labour Act effectively now no artist below the age of 14 are found here. The Children are sent to Circus Academy at Kerala where they get education and physical education which are meant specially for circus.

At present about 14 families are staying in Gemini circus and interesting most of them have married other artist in the same filed. The artists perform daily practice and do exercise in morning from 6 am to 11 am which is compulsory and later they get ready for show. The aged senior artist of circus will be made as trainer.

Staying in a circus especially for girls is a challenging task. They have to maintain their physique in addition to adding glamour to their beauty, and undergoing all sorts of beauty tips from head to toe, to perform on the stage. During their monthly routine most of the girls who are unable to perform take leave for two days while other who can manage go and perform.

The artists are trained to handle any kind of situation and a mechanical support is always provided while performing at heights from the ground or free falling. Even some of them get injured while practicing. Apart from the main artistes, several assistants work in the background commonly known as Ring Boys. The boys are mercurial and once the performance is over they setup the stage for next show without wasting time.

The recent ban on using wild animals like tiger and lion in the circus has slightly affected their income. To sustain interest in the public they are constantly introducing new events like the group performance by the African and Russian artists along with adding several dare devil stunts.

It takes them whole four days either to erect or dismantle the tents. For ladies, bachelors and those with family housing tents are provided separately with all amenities, consisting of a TV with dish connection and individual cots. They organised programmes depending on the upcoming events and season.

Groups are assigned with specific tasks like erecting tents, cooking food, washing and cleaning etc. Four days in a week they are provided with non vegeterain food consisting of fish, egg and chicken while on the rest of the days with only vegetarian food.

Presently there are around 250 artists, 6 elephants, 1 hippopotamus, 2 camels, 2 pelicans, 1 emu, 20 dogs, nine birds. The cost of daily maintenance of circus comes to around Rs 70,000 of which about Rs.15,000 is spent only for maintenance of animals.

Speaking to Express Senior Manager Prabhakar said, 'Circus is a live entertainment and will sustain only if provided with timely improvization and modernization. Novelty should always be maintained. Banning animals affected our business and we brought in Russian and African artistes to compensate.'

Shyamala and Trainer Suresh who were inducted into the circus at a very young age say Circus provides them enjoyment and some times even problems as they stay far from families. Suresh says that earlier it was easy to teach children stunts but no so nowadays.

Foreigners to spread message of vedic through canvas

For first time in Country, based on the principles of Vedas-Vedic Art, three women Artists from Finland and Australia are exhibiting their creative paintings from October 23 to 30 at Bharani Art Gallery in Vivekananda Nagar. The exhibition which will be open for public between 11 am and 7 pm will be a cynosure of all eyes mainly art lovers and vedic scholars.

Under the concept of 'Returning to Sources', Pirkko Huttunen Nieminen and Linta Vuorikkinen of Finland and Kate Maconachie from Australia are exhibiting paintings based on the discovered 17 principles of Vedas.

Being the student of famous late Curt Kallman (Swedan) who developed and nurtured the vedic art painting method, this artists want to spread the message of vedic among Indians through canvas, that explores consciousness through Vedic Art.

All the artists are working as teachers of Vedic Art and have created a niche in their respective field by painting together at different locations in the world. Pirkko Huttunene is 65 year old and other two are above 35 have adopted their principles in art and have come out with their own creativity and method in a new freer way.

Speaking to Express Bharani Art Gallery Chief Convenor NB Kaverappa said that based on the ancient Vedic Knowledge Tradition which flourished in India between 1500-500 BC, the artistes will be exhibiting their works.

`For this artist, vedic art is neither an ideology, philosophy, religion nor therapy but its a science of universal laws. At present they are exhibiting their work at Srishti Gallery in Calicutt and expo will end today (October 16) and from October 23 they exhibit their at Mysore,' he added.

He says, using a combination of acrylic, tempera paint, metallic pigments, earth and natural materials, Kate Maconachie has created her works on Canvas and natural elements of earth, water, fire and ether care also present.

`While Linta Vuorikkinen creates works entirely differently on canvas. She spreads the colours, play with them and see what sketch appears. Some time this type of formations will guide her for any creations,' he added.

Kaverappa says, through one of his friend he came to contact with this artistes during their visit to Ayurvedic Yoga Vilas at Wayanad district,
Kerala. Later, the artists visited the Kaverappa's Art Gallery in the month of April and confirmed of exhibiting their works. He expressed happiness for conducting such a rare painting exhibition at his gallery.

Painstaking collection of antique kerosene lanterns rusting in an attic

A one man's lifetime, painstaking collection of antique kerosene lanterns which has to be put up for public display is safely rusting in an attic at his house. The unfortunate collector is MS Padmanabha, resident of Sonar Street, Narayana Shastri Road.

In these days of technological advancements it is really hard to find a wick and kerosene lanterns in any household across the city. But for 75-year-old Padmanabha it became a passion to collect such old lamps. He has around 70 varieties of rare kerosene lamps in his collection. The size of the lamps in his collection range from 5 inch to 15 inches.

In his collection there are a couple of 200 year old rare kerosene lamps made in America, England, Austria, Greece, Germany and other countries apart from India. The 150-year-old German pedestal lamp, the french glass tank, 170-year-old English Carriage lamp, rare Petromax lanterns, and another 20 such rare lamps. If all the lamps are lit it consumes 35 liter of kerosene.

Most of the lamps were given away by people who thought it was useless as they were already broken or not working. Painstakingly he collected such lamps, cleaned and repaired them using his skills and junk materials.

The saddest part is, due to lack of adequate finances, he has packed all these lamps in cardboard boxes and placed them in an attic in a small room, for he can't afford to buy 35 liters of kerosene or has showcase to display it. Due to old age and other family problems he is finding hard to continue his collection.

He has maintained a detailed record of every lamp in his collection like the name, it's origin, the time period when it was in use, which model, capacity of the container to hold kerosene, consumption of kerosene per hour and lastly even the 'candle power' of the light it emits. The wicks and glass holders used in these lamps are rare to find.

In his collection is a unique lamp that can also be used as a cooking stove. He has also designed a stand for this lamp by appropriately modifying a normal mike stand and has also provided two holders for the stand to place a container for storing kerosene along with a match box. Though tucked away, all the lamps are fully functional and he regularly checks them to ensure they are always in working condition. Earlier he was a radio mechanic and as radios gradually became obsolete, he took to repairing taperecorders which helped him to find ways to repair these lamps and make them functional once again.

There was another strong reason for him to pick up this unusual hobby. "There was severe load-shedding during the 1980's and in our house there was just one lamp. But it got broken one day when the tiles from the roof accidentally fell on it. I went to the neighbour's house to borrow their additional lamp which they refused to lend me. This incident made me to begin collecting lamps which later grew into a hobby,” says Padmanabha.

Though many have come forward to to purchase his entire collection of lamps, Padmanabh has refused to sell. 'I have spent almost my entire life collecting this and don't want to sell them. What I need is a small place to exhibit these lamps permanently under one roof. Collecting antiques is also an art and one should encourage it.'

Padmanabh adds, 'If instead I had learnt dancing and taught the same for children, it would have benefitted me tremendously. I have spent thousands of rupees to purchase and repair these lamps. Money apart, it has taken several months of hard work just to repair one lamp.'

As his father Sreenivasachar worked at the Palace for the Royal family, he is thinking of approaching the Wadiyars and seek their help to set up a permanent place of display as an art gallery. He has already exhibited his works in several schools, colleges and even at Rangayana during last year's Dasara when the organizers provided him kerosene freely for the exhibition.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Multi-talent blossoming at a tender age

Most of the teenagers extracurricular activity is limited to watching cricket or playing virtual games on a PC or hanging out with friends on weekends, while for this 14-year-old boy its different.

KM Karthik, a 9th standard student of St Joseph's Central School, is the multi- talented boy who has bagged several National and State level awards and has bagged gold, silver and bronze medals in Swimming, Karate, Trekking expedition, Dance and Singing competitions, Sports, Adventure Sports training and demo.

In addition to playing foot-ball and cricket, he also plays bugle for the school band. Being a good swimmer, photographer, skater, singer, dancer, Karnatak Vocal recital, and an adventure enthusiast. He has participated in 15 roller skating events and has represented State in several other competitions including Boogie Woogie talent search programme.

Karthik has done a Rapelling Demo at Podar International, Hassan and as a member of IAMAS team trained probationary Police Sub Inspectors of Karnataka Police Academy in a night march held at Kunti Hills.

Karthik has put on his skating wheels at the tender age of three and alongside has practiced martial arts Karate, in which he acquired a Brown belt at the age of seven. But from past couple of months he has stopped practicing Karate.

In a Himalayan trekking he undertook in May 2011, he successfully scaled the Rumtu peak situated at a height of 13,000 ft in Parvathi Range, Kulu Manali Region of Himachal Pradesh. He has even underwent white water rafting in Veas (Himalayas) and has also participated in National Goan Trekking expedition held last year.

Speaking to Express Karthik said, ''I want to become an Aeronautical engineer and to realize that dream, I am leaning the basics of making miniature air craft models at Aero Dreams. I don't want to waste time and am grateful for my parents and mentors for providing the opportunity to learn so many things.'

Karthik is the proud son of Suma and Mahesh Kumar, a professional photographer. His mother Suma said, ' Karthik wont waste time and is always busy even during weekends with his activities.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Anantha Padmanabha Swamy diya attracts visitors at Ramsons

Birth of Goddess Sri Lakshmi emerging from the Ksheera Sagara is central attraction of this years display

'It is better to light a lamp than to curse the darkness,' so goes saying. Then what's better way is there to bring cheers and happiness into home by lighting a diya. With Diwali, the festival of lights fast approaching, Ramsons Kala Pratishtana has organised 'Deepa Soundarya', an exhibition cum sale of diyas at Pratima gallery till October 30 between 10.30 am and 7 pm.

Diyas made out of Plaster of Paries, Bronze, Copper, rot iron, Brass, Glass, clay, stones, white metal and earth are exhibited. Lamps made out of clay are beautifully painted in bright colours and lamps sculpted in stone are a peek into the past. Apart this, highly ornate brass and bronze lamps created in cire purdue (lost wax) method are objects of art here.

The Most striking diya is the wall hanging of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy made out of brass and display of about 110 varieties of mughal style lamps of different size and hue steals the hearts of on lookers. Apart this varieties of wall hanging lamps of Lakshmi, Ganesha, wood table lamps, vruksha deepa, Kalankari, too drew attention of visitors.

Along with thousands of lamps, the expo has a wide array of objects of crafted mirrors in ornate wooden frames from Jodhpur and Jaipur, embroidery hand bags from kutch, telephone pouches, wall hangings from Jaipur, mirror work torans from Kutch, glass and wooden bead jewellery from Harayana. The Gallery has exhibited works from Rs 10 to Rs 75,000 and the specialty of this year is apart from lamps, the gallery has exhibited attractive gift items.

Speaking to Express, Raghu Dharmendra said that 'according to tradition it is believed that in Deepavali any new things should be purchased along with lamps, and hence from this year the gallery is exhibiting hand bags, ornaments and various types of gift items.'

Birth of Goddess Lakshmi

The central attraction of this year's display at the Gallery is Birth of Goddess Lakshmi (Samudra Manthana). The whole creature of Samudra Manthana and birth of Lakshmi are been very well explained. The authorities have not brought special dolls for this concept, instead using the existing dolls which were brought for Doll show they have created this concept.

The model depict the whole sequence of Goddess Sri Lakshmi emerging from the Ksheera Sagara along with Kamadhenu, Kalpavruksha, Kaustubha gem, Ucchaishravas, Airavata, moon and many other jewles and nymphs.

They have also created serpent Vasuki surrounding Mandara Mount in which Lord Vishnu in the form of divine turtle is supporting Mandara on his back and Shiva swallowing the last drop of poison (Halahala).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kiran Subbaiah house attracts tourists during every Dasara

In spite of people enjoying various Dasara activities, a visit to A Kiran Subbaiah's house will leave one spellbound, watching his creative works in stone. Each year during Dasara hundreds of them visit Subbaiah's 'Museum of Sculptures' near Highway Circle to have a look at his new form and style of sculpture aptly named, 'Multi-sided Sculptures' that is a single sculpture when viewed from four different sides gives four different views.

While it is difficult to create a sculpture work, 61-year-old Subbaiah has created wonder by capturing life's multi-dimensions and multi-facets in his stone sculptures, wherein each side of his sculpture, has a different form - a different theme with different titles.

Maintaining the aesthetic essence of different forms in various styles, patterns and technique, he has sculpted stones in such a special way that when viewed from four sides give four different images can be seen and the subject on one side does not clash or interfere with that on the other side.

It takes some foresight to sculpt the stone so that it appears different when viewed from four different sides. A portion of his house has been converted into a Museum which now houses about 400 works of art in which about 160 are of the multidimensional works type mentioned above.

After reaching the figure of 250 he is planning to apply for Guinness Book of World Records. He has not given any publicity about his works, but relies only on word of mouth as the number of visitors keep increasing day by day. For the past 37 years he has carved around 1400 s cultures and around 1000 of his works have already been sold.

Subbaiah who was originally interested in painting accidentally chose to sculpting. While studying BSC, During his college trip he had been to Belur and Halebidu which inspired him to venture into sculpture. He again visited the place and dedicated his lifetime for this work. Later he took training in Sculpture at Sri Chamarajendra Technical Institute (CTI).

He uses Steatited stones (Krishna Shille) for this work and he chooses hard and medium stones for his works. Another unique feature of this artist is he also works simultaneously on various stones, without sticking to one stone, and completes it. He claimed that he is the first person in the world to carve four and five dimensional works.

Speaking to Express about Dasara celebrations, he said that there is lack of planning in Dasara. He said that attempts should be made to improve Dasara Kala Mela and attract tourists from all over the world, as there are many artistes in city. Some of his works have been exhibited at Kala Mela.

He says in foreign countries artists are awarded with Hon. Doctorates as support pours in from all quarters but whereas in India artists are neglected and no effort is made to promote him and bring him to main stream of other disciplines.

He says art should be freed from politics and talented artists should be brought to forefront. He has been honoured by various organisations and has exhibited his works all over Karnataka.

About 50 per cent of staff shortage at RTO, vehicles goes unchecked

In addition to this the emission testing equipment kit in RTO is under repair.

Regional Transport Office (RTO) is running short of manpower. As the shortage of staff in city RTO is less than 50 percent, vehicle owners are being asked to get emission test done from private Emission Testing centers. In addition to this the emission testing equipment kit in RTO is under repair.

There is a severe shortage of technicians to operate these machines which comes mounted in a separate vehicle. In addition to dedicated technicians drivers are also required. According to sources the vehicle provided for Emission Test is being used for office works. Meantime, it can be witnessed many three-wheelers and four-wheelers vehicles are emitting thick smoke spoiling the quality of air.

As it was not feasible for the RTOs to conduct emission testing on their own due to the logistics involved, permission was given to private parties to conduct emission tests and issue certificates. The RTOs were equipped with mobile testing vans to verify vehicles suspicious of violating the emission norms.

Regional Transport Officer Siddappa Kallera said that RTO has less than 50 per cent of staff and they are working on the existence staff and can’t comment on the policy matters. As more than 60 per cent of vehicles are presently running on LPG, the pollution levels have come down drastically compared to earlier, he added.

But according to a sample survey conducted by Express visiting various places and collected public opinion, the pollution levels in the city is still high and some owners of goods tempos, lorries and old autos are using adulterated fuel resulting in pollution. The practice of mixing kerosene with petrol has not completely come down, and sale of adulterated petrol goes on unhindered in some areas and the RTOs cannot check them due to lack of staff and equipments.

When Express contacted a couple of emission testing centers in city, they said `vehicles running on LPG still need lubricating oil, especially the earlier two stroke engines as most of autos in the city are. But they use reconditioned oil that is sold cheaply, resulting in these vehicles emitting more smoke and causing pollution.'

`RTO officials should check vehicular emissions to keep city's pollution under control. As these pollutants are released into the atmosphere, the pollution levels increase', said Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (Mysore) Environmental Officer Dr Niranjan.

Number of vehicles plying in the city is 6,11,904 of which 2,14,927 comes under East RTO and 3,05,340 under West RTO and the remaining 91,637 under Hunsur RTO. Daily around 110 to120 new vehicles are registered in city.

Speaking to Express, Advocate Suma said, `all these emission tests are being done just for the sake of formality as most of the public are unaware for what the readings actually mean. Creating awareness is the need of the hour.'

'Now-a-days we see more number of vehicles plying on the roads emitting smoke including government owned buses. Officials should curb this menace that result in affecting the health of the public, said Savitha a resident of Agrahara.

Emission Test report filed on-line : Reminders will be sent to mobile

Earlier vehicle emission tests were being done at the respective centers which issued the test certificate. But most of these centres blindly issued the certificates without conducting tests properly.

To curb this, the Transport Department recently introduced on-line verification system, in which the emission readings of all the vehicles being tested along with a photo of the vehicle with it's Registration number plate clearly visible will be sent to Bangalore through e-mail.

This is stored in a server and can be retrieved anytime for verification. Once approved, hologram stickers will be affixed on the certificate before issuing them to the vehicle owner to avoid counterfeiting. Reminders will be sent to their mobile phones asking them renew after the due date.

The procedure of emission test takes 2 to 3 minutes for petrol vehicles while it takes about 15 to 20 minutes for diesel vehicles.

Women gears up for Dasara

Anna Hazare to be placed in doll show;
Even when District administration is still launching the Dasara programmes, here are section of women who have been sprucing up for dasara from since after Gowri-Ganesha Festival. Some section of women maintain good garden across the year to take part in the Dasara contest and grow various type of flowers and fruits in gardens. While some be busy making dolls of their own to place during Navaratri festival and have kept separate room for dolls at house and indulge in illuminating houses with colourful serial lights, various designs of bulbs so on.

Once the women decide the theme decide they go in search of dolls for Bombay, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, Clacutta, Hyderabad, Poone to purchase doll and exhibit it in the contest. The competitions has increased their spirit and with winning spirt every women takes lot of efforts to collect dolls and to make a theme.

The women say, they do want to give up the tradition and want to explain the history to the children through arranging in dolls, so that it interests them too. Apart this several organisation have organised contest for women and children, in which women will be made indulged with curriculum activities and drew the attention of others. For children most of them have organised contest of decorating dolls.

Even after dasara festival the celebrations will continue in this houses for another ten more days. To know more about how women in city celebrating dasara festival, Express had a tete-a-tete with group women of various wings. Here are the Experts

'From past one month I am placing dolls in house and within four days it will be completed. This year Social Crusader Anna Hazare who fought against corruption theme has been placed,' says Banumathi Sundareshan, resident of Saraswathipuram.

Malini Satyan says that hardly she purchase dolls and all the dolls what she exhibit will be created by her. Once after Dasara festival is over she start making dolls through out the year to get set for next year concept. In her collections she has collection of all religions marriage costumed dolls, varities of dance forms of India.

`Using thermacol and other basic techniques, every year I create seperate incidents and give movements for dolls. Last year I had done Krishna lifting Govardhana Hill and this year I am making Samudra Manthana concept. It intersts kids very much,' says Vijayakantha resident of JP Nagar.

Yamuna Nagaraj says from past three months she has worked on embriodery to exhibit it in Dasara exhibition. The uniqueness of embroidery is using eight types of designs on single plot she has carved designs.

'There are 48 members in our organisation. Every year we place doll at one member house and conduct programmes for children and women. Every members of organisations brings one or two dolls and the festival celebrated in all the members of houses routinely,' V Hemalatha of Gokulam Mahila Sangha.

Government High School Teacher and members of Sthree Shakthi AS Vani Subbaiah, says she conducts cultural, debate, quiz contest for children every year during Dasara and inform children about the history and importance of celebrating the festival will be informed to kids.

Dr Mandara Maharushi brings dolls from across country and given finishing for it and given it to the womens who will be placing the dolls at home, while Jayashree a resident of Saraswathipuram is also coming out with novels themes year and has bagged prizes in competition.

Women have also planned to place dolls showing women are assaulted in politics, film land and in another hand how women are misusing the power for judiciary and harassing man. The concept has been thought by Mangala Satyan to show women are also going cruel equal to men.

'Stop last minute preparations for Dasara', complain Mysore citizens

'Full of praise for former District-in-Charge Minister Shobha Karandalje'
With Dasara fast approaching preparations are still not completed and works are going in a hurried manner, reminding us how the Common Wealth Games were conducted with last minute preparations. Anyway officials are determined finish all pending works in time before Dasara which will be formally inaugurated on September 28. The question is why this happens, year after year. Why officials wait till the last moment.

The delay was observed right from day one when Dasara Sub-Committees were constituted followed by the welcoming ceremony first batch of Dasara elephants. With major political changes happening in the Capital city, Ministers were busy with the crisis involving former CM Yeddyurappa.

The hastily convened sub-committees began announcing their plans only about four days ago. Besides this major things like road repair works have still not been completed and are being completed shoddily for which already lots of protests are being heard. Besides the city is besieged with parking problems.

Repair and cleaning works inside the Palace are going on in very brisk face. Cleaning, White-washing and painting, gardening and illumination of government building,s roads, commercial complexes across city are also going on simultaneously.

Exhibition is also gearing up for Dasara and the Welcome arch has been installed. Inside the stalls are getting ready and decoration works on behalf of this are going on. Another major attraction of Dasara is Circus, where the pendal has been erected at Doddakare Maidan and the shows to being from September 24.

Apart this, Curzon Park is gearing up for Dasara festival planting of varieties of fruits and flower has begun for the flower show contest conducted by the Horticulture Department every year.

To check public response about this Express Spoke with some people and their reaction are here.

`The officials never correct themselves. Every year the same thing repeats and in the last minute we can see work done hurriedly resulting in lack of quality work. Proper planning should be done and the work should commence at least one-month earlier,' says Auto Driver Venkatesh.

When Shobha Karandalje was District-in-Charge Minister, being a lady she managed very well. At least the officials would have followed her steps. The Dasara festival conducted during her tenure is unforgettable, says senior citizens Shamala and Vijay, residents of Vijayanagar.

`Lack of proper planning. Instead of filling the pot holes why cant the District Administration provide permanent solution for roads. They declare Mysore as Tourist Place, they should know how to maintain the tag. If same things continue one day we can lose the tag,' Jayashree an LIC agent.

Students reaction over Dasara preparations
To know students reaction towards this year's Dasara festival, Express spoke with some of the students. Most of the irked students questioned authorities whether they have properly utilised the Rs 120 crore grant given by the JNNURM effectively. Continuing, they stated that the money has been wasted and no proper work has been done.

The festival which has to be cherished by youngsters, has instead brought sadness to them. Most of them were frustrated even to speak saying that commenting would be of no use. In spite of this few raised their voice. Here are the experts:

`Everyone join hands to fight against corruption. First let everyone shall work honestly and make corruption free in public-affairs. For past one year they did Raja Marga work but its of low quality work. People to are fed up with all this and have remained silent. Changes want to be happen from grass root level in India,' says Sujay Student of Marimallappa.

`Recently I read about Mane Mane Dasara programme and its learnt that 30 lakh is provided for one Sub-committee. Do they really spend it Women clean their surroundings and place rangoli, they does illumination for themselves, dolls are also placed by them. Then why does they spent so much of money,' questioned Roopa of Sadvidya School.

'Only they say its world famous Dasara but it does not seem like it. In the name of making heart of the city only for tourists, thousand of street vendors life are thrown into streets. Let the officials shall provide shelter first for localities, apart from making tourist-friendly city, says Vijay.

'Every year for Mysore Dasara crores of amount being granted. Why its needed, when they give sponsorship for other companies. It's doubtful whether officers are really using that money for Dasara,' says Vivek another student.