Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hopcoms outlets in city

Hopcoms outlets to be set-up in various extension soon
Residents can purchase fresh veggie at reasonable price soon
To cater the needs of developing city, Horticultural Producers' Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society (HOPCOMS) has planned to set up 17 more new fruits and vegetable outlets in the newly-established layouts, including one in Kadakola.

The outlets will have spot billing facility and storage facilities. The construction of outlets will commence from January and will be left open for business in March-April.

Mysore City Corporation has provided land on lease for the construction of 11 outlets (11.5x11.5 feet) and one will be constructed at Kadakola near Gram Panchayat Office.

Twelve outlets will be constructed under Rastriya Krushi Vikas Yojana at the cost of Rs 2.75 lakh each and another five outlets will be constructed under S-20 Scheme of Karnataka Horticulture Federation at the total estimated cost of Rs 20 lakh.

In a bid to attract more number of people, employees are being trained how to behave in discipline with customers. Measures have been taken to open outlets in the business areas from 8.30 am to 8.30 pm and also to sale fresh fruits and vegetables at competitive price in the outlets and to control the middlemen menace.
Mysore Hopcoms Managing Director BM Shivalingappa said that already 42 fruits and vegetables outlets are existing in Mysore, including one at Chamundi Hill and T Narasipur and good response is evoked from the public.

Among 42 outlets, 22 outlets are functioning in own building, whereas remaining building are rented. Last months 10 building have been renovated and in a phase manner remaining builds will be renovated.

Spot billing machine
A new weighing machine 'Spot billing machine' has been introduced at 20 Hopcoms outlets in Mysore last month. It will be regularsied to other shops subsequently.

Fruits and Vegetables prices will be uploaded in computer through PC Application Software from Headquarters, where the scale and stock management will be monitored by another software.
Through this machine, a consumer can read the weight and price of the vegetables or fruits purchased from them. This hi-tech method has been adopted by Hopcoms to be transparent.  

Students grow organic vegetables at school back yard in district

At least 60 percent of government schools in Mysore district are making efforts towards becoming self sufficient in terms of their vegetables requirement. Thanks to the government's 'Shala Kaitota programme' which seeks to make use of the backyard in government schools to grow chemical free greens.

Based on the availability of space in school backyard, water, school teachers have begun teaching farming activity to students, under the programme 'Shala Kaithota' sponsored by the Government, familiarising them on how to grow vegetables and greens which are chemical-free and also nutritious. Through this children are gaining knowledge about organic cultivation of crops which is also the need of the hour.

Vegetables like brinjal, beans, Bottle Guard (sorekayi), Pumpkin, drumstick, and varieties of green leaves like menthe, pudina, sapsige, dantu, chakotha, coriander leaves and others have grown by the students. Interestingly in some schools, for about 20-25 days the greens grown in the backyard are used for the mid-day meals served in their schools.

The excess grown vegetables, greens are sold by children after their school hours. The obtained money is used to purchase seeds. Moreover, children are made aware of market strategy by this.

Student Kavya of Government Higher Primary School, Chikkegowdana Kopalu, Ilwala, says: “We are very happy that vegetables and greens grown by us are used for preparing food. Moreover, we are harvesting organic plants, with the help of teachers and have learnt how to grow crops in the little space available in our backyards.”

Head Master MN Rangaswamy said that “after removing the ornamental plants we began growing greens and vegetables in the schools, without disturbing the children's play ground.”

Mysore Taluk BEO R Ramaradhya said that the students are responding positively for the programme as it is providing a good exercise for the children both physically and mentally. “As some schools have no compound walls stray animals enter and destroy the crops some time.”

DDPI BK Basavaraju said that about 60-70 per cent schools in district have began growing veggies and greens, and very good response is evoked from students and parents.

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The programme 'Shala Kaithota' (School Hand Garden) was implemented by the State Government under Sarva Sikshan Abhiyan a decade ago. Rs 3000 has been released by government for schools, which have adequate space and water facility to develop the garden. The programme was not implemented effectively all these years, due to lack several problems. But, now the programme is evoking good response.  

Evolution of fodder grass at Mymul

If one is curious to learn about the evolution of fodder grass, which began from the early elephant grass in the African planes to the local Bajra and the present day hybrid varieties of Co-3, and Co-4 Samporna, one should visit Mymul Training center located in Alanahalli.

Mysore Milk Union Limited (Mymul) has grown 20 popular varieties of fodder grass on one acre plot, being used as cattle feed for over three decades. The plot is a educative center for thousands of farmers, especially for those who are planning to take up dairy farming. The fodders are exclusively used as feed for the livestock and forms a major role in agricultural sector.

Interestingly among the various varieties of fodders grown here, the fodder origin from Elephant Grass and Kumbu (Bajira) can also be seen. After extensive scientific experiment, a hybrid grass variety was developed namely, Hybrid Napier (NB-21), a cross between the Elephant grass and the Bajira.

Further research done at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore resulted in the development of Cumbu Napier CO1 followed by CO 3 and CO 4, variety known as 'Samporna'. All these three hybrid varieties can be seen here. Using CO 4 as fodder for cows resulted in increased milk output and also the yield of CO 4 per hectare is more.

With the Mysore-Chamarajanagar Milk Union attaining third place in the State, on an average 6 lakh liters milk is produced by the dairy everyday, and there is a good demand for the fodder.

Mymul has already provided more than one crore stem cuttings of this hybrid grass fodder to farmers on subsidised rates and is able to meet more than one 80 per cent of the demand. Free home delivery is also provided.

MS Lakshmi Prasad Yadav of Mymul said farmers in Mysore and Chamarajnagar were giving more prominence to grow fodder. Thousands of farmers have already undergone training on growing the hybrid grass varieties.

According to a survey, more farmers favour cultivating agriculture crops than growing animal fodder. Only 4 per cent of agriculture land is used for growing fodder crop across the country, while in States like Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat it is six percent.
To cut down costs of milk production and increase the yield, growing green fodder is necessary. The proteins in the fodder helps livestock to produce good quantity of milk,” says farmer Thimmanayaka of Periyapatna.   

Farmer grows 567 varieties of rice

Farmer Ghani Khan has literally brought back to life the once traditional rice diversity that was growing naturally by growing 567 different strains of rice. Rice harvested from each variety has come out with its unique colour, size, and shape retaining its original flavour.

Hailing from Kirugavulu in Malavalli taluk of Mandya district, 36 year old Ghani Khan completed his BA in Archeology and Musicology and is striving hard to revive and maintain the rice diversity.

Since the time of his great-grandfather Syed Ghani Khan, all his family members were into agriculture, not growing rice but instead growing 250 varieties of mango at 'Bada Bagh' orchard, gifted by the erstwhile ruler of Mysore Tipu Sultan.

Now four generations later, Ghani Khan has completely changed the outlook of his ancestral farm by growing 567 different strains of rice, along with the mangoes, in addition to 60 varieties of medicinal plants, sugarcane, guava, aromatic plants and Teak Silver Oak (agro-forestry) along the boundaries of his 20 acres of land.

Rice planted in the one acre of his land is meant only for seed production,
drawing farmers from far and near places. The rice varieties grown here were collected from five different States and also from other countries.

Things changed after the KRS dam was constructed. While hitherto distinct varieties of rice like Coimbatore Sanna, Raja Bhog, Bangaru Sanna, Bangaru Kaddi, Kaddi Batha, and Doddibatha that were being grown traditionally here came to end. With the availability of ample supply of water round the year high yielding rice varieties were taken up for cultivation. Slowly the diverse rice crops vanished from the fields,” said Ghani.

With the intention of reviving and restoring the lost strains he single-handedly began collecting traditional rice seeds in 1998 and ended collecting a record 567 varieties of paddy strains. He thanked the organic farming association like Sahaja Samrudha for helping him in his endeavor to collect seeds from different regions.

Krishna Prasad of Sahaja Samrudha said, “Ghani’s concern for conservation of biodiversity has influenced many farmers to conserve traditional rice varieties and his experiment has made even scientists and officials to take note of his efforts, and have applauded his venture.”

Prize Collections

Some of the diverse strains revived in his field are Rajabhog, which is a weed
suppresser, Anandi a variety from Dharwad with a high yielding capacity, Jeeriga Samba a popular variety among farmers known for its aroma, Parimalasanna.

Two varieties of Burma black rice, some of the varieties from Orissa like
kalakali, baingan mangi, Govindbhog (a sacred variety used as offering to God Krishna); Maharashtra varieties like sagvad, an upland variety used for pooha, maladi a medicinal rice used in treatment of fractured bones, HMT variety, Kasubai another aroma variety, Raj Gudiyapa a dry land medicinal rice variety used for treating weakness and Dharisal, Tulasiya, Sheerabathi, Thamadisala, rathbath amongst several others can be found here.

Chinnaponni, Kempudoddi, Halublu, Rajakayame, Rasakadam,Gamgadale, Burmablack, Kagisali, Ambimohar, Gamsale, Kottayane, Bilinellu, Gandhasale, NMS2, Rajmudi, Ratnachudi, Gowrisanna, Jeerigesanna, Bilidoddi, , Gambatha, Jeerigesale and several others are grown here.

They sell mats since fourth generation

Circle is not just a prominent landmark in the heart of the city, but also a place where nutgrass weed mat sellers having been eking out a living since centuries. A countable number of people, majority of them are women, can be seen even today selling mats (chaape) a vocation practiced, since the time of their ancestors dating back to more than 150 years.

In this era of modernisation, with the arrival of fancy carpets made of plastic, wollen and various other materials the demand for nutsedge weed mats has dried up. But still the family members do not want to give up their traditional livelihood and are striving hard for their survival.

According to Malligamma who is in this business for past 50 years, she used to accompany with her grand mother from her childhood to sell the carpets in KR Circle.

"As there were no bus facilities, my grandmother and mother used to walk all the way from Kadakola till KR Circle. In the past there was good demand, but for the past 5 to 6 years, we see good business only during festival seasons and certain special occasions,” she added.

Hucchanayaka another traditional mat seller says: “There are only three persons who make mats in Kadakola, which are very expensive but lasts for ten years. But the demand for such mats are very less in market. So, we purchase the mats from a distributor which are brought from Tamil Nadu where the prices are very competitive. The prices of mats sold here ranges from Rs 100 to Rs 1500 depending on the length,
width and the size.” This traders come here by 7.30 am in the morning and sell the mats till 9.30 pm.


'Korai' is the tamil name and 'chennikaddi' called in Kannada for Nutsedge Weed, which is used for weaving. Its grown by farmers in Tamil Nadu who are involved in grass farming. According to Malligamma, mat weaving is a painstaking job and long process has to be followed.

Mymul to cut down transportation and distribution cost

Packing and transporting milk without any delay after processing is a daunting task. It has to reach all destinations ahead of the expiry time mentioned on the pack, else it will be rejected.

The Primary Milk Producers Co-operative Society chill the milk before dispatching it to the main Milk Dairy in Mysore for further processing and the processed milk is again sent back to the villages for consumption. This roundabout process incurs avoidable costs, wastage of fuel and manpower besides being inefficient.

In order to cut down the extra transportation and distribution costs, Mysore Milk Union has decided to upgrade its existing chilling centers at Hunsur and Chamarajanagar by adding milk processing and packaging facilities at these units.

As a result, unprocessed milk collected from Periyapatna, KR
Nagar, HD Kote, Hunsur and other neighbouring villages will be processed, packed and transported directly from these centers, instead of sending them to Mysore every day as is being done now.

The two centers will be upgraded by deploying the latest technology and the estimated proposal for the same is Rs 8 crore, which will be provided by National Co-operative Development Corporation.

There are 1294 Primary Milk producers co-operative societies under Mysore-Chamarajanagar Milk Union of which 871 are in Mysore. While 1 lakh liters of milk is collected from Hunsur every day, the procurement from Chamarajanagar touches 80,000 liters per day.
By upgradation of these two centers, Mymul can save 8 to 10 paise per liter for transportation and distribution respectively.

Mymul MD Dr Suresh Babu said that though the State has 13 milk unions, Mysore is the first Union to have a packing and processing facilities at the taluk level.

Because of the upgradation of centers, consumers can get fresh milk quickly and also help cut down on transportation and distribution costs. Officials from NCDC, New Delhi, will be visiting Mysore on December 13 and 14 to visit the centers, he added.

Bulk Milk coolers
Plans have been drawn to set up 62 bulk milk coolers in Mysore and Chamajanagar. Under the first phase 14 bulk milk collers (8 in Periyapatna, 3 in Nanjangud and 1 each in KR Nagar and HD Kote) will start functioning from January. Presently the Mysore Milk Union has 49 coolers. With this Mysore Milk Union will be the first in the State to get this project sanctioned. Rs 667.02 lakh has been sanctioned as the grant in aid by National Diary Plan.


Quick view
- Mysore Milk Union produces 5,72,000 kg of milk per day.
- 2,35,000 kg milk is sold every day.
- 30,000 kg is used for curds
- 5000 to 7000kg is used to make other products like Kova, Paneer, Masala Mosaru, Nandini Bite and others.
- 1.5 lakh kg of milk is sold between diaries.
- 45000kg milk is sent to kerala; DK – 15,000kg and 20,000 kg to a Diary in Bangalore and also to Chanrayanapatna for hybrid Milk.
- Remaining 1.5 lakh kg of milk will be converted into powder.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Palace Artist M Ramanarasaiah no more

City's senior and retired Palace artist 91-year-old M Ramanarasiah is no more. Being resident of Vijayanagar, he breadth his last in a private hospital around 1.30 am on Sunday. He leaves behind his wife Jayamma, and eight children, including two sons. Last rites were held at foot of Chamundi Hills on Sunday.

Being a scholar in Mysore Traditional Paintings, he was a mentor for thousands of budding artists. He was the one, who introduced squirrel hair brushes for creating painting.

Born in 1992, he was the son of Venkatanarasiah, a Shirastedar in the erstwhile princely State of Mysore. After obtaining graduation in fine arts, he created a painting of Jayachamarajendra Waidyar for which he was provided a royal patronage unit.

His works were gifted to royal families by then Wadiyars and his paining on Maharaja's last Durbar is being displayed at Jaganmohan Palace. His paintings have been exhibited across country and has many honours to his credit, including the rewards given from King Jayachamaraja Wadiyar. He was also the recipient of MTV Acharya Award.

City's senior and budding artists have condoled his death. In a release,
Sri Kalanikethan School of Arts KC Mahadevashetty said that he was master in Art and had maintained his unique style in paintings.


Amentor to Mysore's many budding artists, this exponent of the Mysore School of Painting, M. Ramanarasiah, is much more than a good teacher. He has donated a number of his paintings to individuals, temples and institutions creating a deep awareness and interest in the aesthetics of art. Young at 88, this simple, soft-spoken and gentle artist resides in Vijayanagar.

Born in 1922, Ramanarasiah is the son of Venkatanarasiah, a Shirastedar in the erstwhile princely State of Mysore.

Ramanarasiah completed his SSLC in the then English Medium High School in Mysore, run by the Methodist Mission. His favourite subject was Chemistry and Science. His father wanted Ramanarasiah to become a doctor or a scientist. But drawn by the intangible call of art which he saw as an integral part of one’s life, he chose to follow his muse in the field of painting.

With a burning desire to become an accomplished artist and hopefully reach the level of Ravivarma, Ramanarasiah appeared for the entrance exam in Chamarajendra Technical Institute. At the time, its Superinten-dent was reputed artist Pawanje.

Pawanje, impressed by Ramanarasiah's skill and his control over lines and the fluidity in executing them, directly admitted him to second year course. Ramanarasiah graduated in Fine Arts in 1947 and in 1950, he married Jayalaxmi.

After marriage, Ramanarasiah settled down to become a full-fledged painter and created a 12-inch masterpiece of Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar in oils. Other accomplishments followed and he was given royal patronage until 1960.

During the days of royal patronage he completed numerous oil paintings. The then Maharaja presented these works to different royal families and notable persons. Many of his paintings of kings and renowned persons are in the possession of some of the older quasi-royal families of Mysore as well as Mutts. Among his finest creations is the 7ft x 12ft likeness in oil of the Maharaja’s last Durbar, displayed even now at Jaganmohan Palace.

Ramanarasiah retired in 1960. He was given the sinecure as the Superintendent of Jayachamarajendra School of Painting till 1978. Artists do not put away the palette or camel hair brushes even after they attain 60 years of age. They go on and so did Ramanarasiah.

Impressed by Ramanarasiah’s depth of knowledge and his artistic creativity, the scion of the royal family Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar installed him as the ‘Guru’ of the newly founded Sri Jayachamarajendra Traditional Mysore School of Painting (1981). He was also the curator of Jaganmohan Palace.

Ramanarasiah is adept in both oils and water colours but he went ahead to master the unique Tanjore and the Mysore Schools of paintings. He also learnt painting on glass sheets and ‘Chikani’ style on ivory surface.

Through the years of experimentation with colours, his knowledge of chemistry came in handy. He is even credited with discovering that fine squirrel-hair brushes were ideal for water co-lours. His well-known illustrations are depictions of incidents from Ramayana, Mahabharata, the 18 Puranas, the Upapuranas and the scenes from epics like Rama's coronation, Girija Kalyana, Dashavatara, Gajendra Moksha, Raja Rajeshwari etc. He has also written a monograph on 'Ayurveda Medicines.'

Ramanarasiah's works have been displayed at many exhibitions in several cities in India and abroad. He has been honoured many times — during the 1981 and 1993 Dasara celebrations and by the Lalitha kala Academy in 1993 and 1985. Jayachamaraja Wadiyar has also presented many rewards for his works.

Ramanarasiah says, "Perfection is very important for an artist. Even today I create the colours and brushes that I need and use. I don’t prefer ready-made materials."

Ramanarasiah has eight children. His son S.N. Simha, an engineer, eldest daughter Sudha Venkatesh who lives in Bangalore and Chandrika are also adept in Mysore traditional painting.

Portrait of B.S. Pandit, founder-Secretary of Geetha Shishu Shikshana Sangha, painted by S.N. Simha and Ramana-rasiah. It will be unveiled in GSSS Women's Engineering College, Mysore.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An eco-friendly anti-poaching camp at Moleyur

In a first of its kind in country, 'Aranyaka', an eco-friendly anti-poaching camp featuring renewable energy and sustainable technologies is coming up exclusively at Avarepura camp in Moleyur range of Bandipur.

The camp is fully equipped with Rain water harvesting system, fuel efficient biomass cook stove and bath stove so that no smoke generated while cooking;  Solar Lighting systems and solar wireless charger, where walkie-talkie handsets used by the officials of the Forest Department can be charged.

About 40 anti-poaching camps are situated at Bandipur in a radius of 5-6 kilo meters and the forest frontline staff use kerosene lamps, solar lights for light and go on search for nearby ponds, borewells for water.

Hence, to ease the problem Forest Department has constructed a fully equipped model of eco-friendly anti-poaching camp at Aranyaka with all the basic facilities required for humans to lead a better life.

The project is estimated approximately around 8.8 lakhs is funded by Karnataka State Forest Department and Wild Life conservation trust, Mumbai. The project is implemented by NIE - Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (NIE-CREST) and was conceptualized by Voice for Wild Life Trust. The camp will be left open for frontline staff by this week end.

NIE-CREST Director Prof S Shamsundar said that as per the calculations from 54 square meters of land around 40,000 liters of rain can be harvested every year from the camp. Stating the water is 100 percent sufficient for seven forest frontline staff (watchers and guards) who are residing at Avarepura, he said that the it can be used for cooking, drinking as the rain water will be hygiene and soft.

Apart this, Rain water harvesting has been deployed to store water in underground tanks which capacity is to store 9000 liter of water using a combination of Thai Jars (extensively used in Thailand) along with underground storage tanks.
The building is constructed using materials that are available locally.   The bricks used are made specially at the nearby Moleyur RFO office. They are not fired in a kiln like the conventional bricks,  instead are cured naturally for 21 days. This slow drying imparts the bricks a sort of thermal insulation, keeping the inside of the building always warm.

Sudheer of Voice for Wild Life Trust said that through this model camp its helpful to conserve fire wood and avoid the conventional three stone stove, quite popular among campers and trekkers.

Hosmath IFS, APCCF, Project Tiger, Mysore said that the camp will be inaugurated withing three-four days and after seeing the efficiency the plan will be extended for other camps.

Temple doors opened after ten long years !

Call it as blind belief or ritual, but a strange practice is even today alive at a small village in KR Pet Taluk, Mandya District. Unlike in the case of any other temple Dasabaniga Shetty' community people have imposed a strange rule, that is if there happened to be a death of any member belonging to the 'Dasabaniga Shetty' community, then the temple should be kept locked for one year !
This strange practice is being followed even now, with the result the temple was kept under lock for ten years following continuous death of  persons in their community.

The death spell stopped after ten long years and as per the tradition the elders of the community decided to open the doors of the temple of Goddess Chowdammathayi at Bhukanakere in KR Pet Taluk for public darshan on Wednesday, on the eve of Deepavali, an auspicious day.  

Though there were instances in the past of the temple being shut continuously for five-six years, this is the first time in the history of the temple that it was closed for 10 long years.

According to community members the temple has a history of about 170 years, and was built by the elders of a community. Though the temple does not come under the jurisdiction of the Muzrai Department, for the locals residing there, Bhukanakere Chowdamma, has become a village deity.

65-year-old head of the community Naganna says, "this is the first time the temple is being opened after a decade. The exact date of construction of the temple is not known. I remember having visited the temple for the first time with my grandfather who told me about this practice. People are allowed to enter the temple only if they follow some of the customary practice of temple.”

As the temple was being opened after a decade, villagers were seen thronging the temple with devotion to offer puja. Interestingly, the Goddess has a younger sister named Marthammathayi, and worshipers belonging to that community, does not follow any such practices.

Rajiv Gandhi Housing scheme remains nightmare for Mysoreans

To provide shelter to socially and economically weaker sections (EWS) of the society, the Government of Karnataka set up the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Limited, registered in the year 2000. Though several beneficiaries were identified in Mysore who were eligible for getting houses built under the Scheme, thousands of them have still not received their promised dream houses.

The beneficiaries whose names were shortlisted are eagerly waiting for eight long years with the hope that one day their houses would be allotted. Most of them are in a dilemma whether to take back the money they had paid as deposit or continue to wait, not knowing for how long.

In all, 4605 beneficiaries residing in the three constituencies of Krishnaraja, Chamaraja and Narasimharaja were shortlisted and a sum of about Rs 4.32 core was collected from them. This happened 8 years ago in the year 2004.

Immediately after that, stating that the lands are yet to be identified the officials stopped accepting any new beneficiaries and also failed to provide any accommodation to the 4605 beneficiaries who had paid the initial amount.

According to sources in the Housing Corporation, around 8 to 10 per cent of the beneficiaries who belong to EWS like weavers, artisans, fishermen, hawkers, roadside vegetable vendors, beedi workers, mechanics and others who come under the scheme, have taken back the money, while remaining crores of rupees is at the Housing Corporation.

Every beneficiary had to pay to Rs 35,000 for house, in which Rs 10,000 had to be paid as initial amount, while the remaining Rs 25,000 will be provided as loan. In 2000-2001 – 859 beneficiaries have obtained houses, followed by 500 and 425 in 2002 and 2003.

Now with the inordinate delay the cost of construction and labour charges have gone up considerably and the officials want to revise the rates and collect the deposits afresh. But this will happen only after the place to build these houses is identified.

One of the beneficiary named Srinivas said, “I have been waiting for the past eight years for an allotment. Citing the reason that no place has been identified, the concerned officials ask us to comeback after a few months. It seems like it is impossible to own a house in our lifetime.”

The MLA's in the respective constituencies who short-listing the names of the eligible beneficiaries are neither bothered to see that the project is completed in time and the beneficiaries are allotted their promised houses, he rued.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mandya girl aims to conquer all major peaks

Gender discrimination can’t suppress the spirit of achievement. The best example is Smitha Lakshmana, the first woman from Karnataka to climb Mount Everest, situated at a height of 29,035 feet (8,848 metres) above sea level. She now aspires to climb all the major peaks in the world.

Climbing Mount Everest in freezing conditions is extremely dangerous and is a dream for many. Twenty-year-old Smitha took up mountaineering a year ago, when the Indian Army Women’s Everest Expedition-2012 invited applications. She was one among 22 people selected to take part in the adventure and successfully reached the summit.

After selection, she underwent special fitness training in Siachen. She now plans to climb 13 peaks of the world which are about 8,000 metres high. “From childhood, I dreamt of doing something adventurous. When I was selected, my joy knew no bounds. Though I fell sick because of bad weather conditions while climbing Mount Everest, I overcame the difficulties,” says Smitha.

“Among a group of 22, 17 of us climbed Everest. We started trekking on May 15 from Kathmandu and reached the top on May 25. It was delayed for seven days due to bad weather. The 20 minutes spent atop Everest is a dream come true. The scenic beauty was marvelous,” she said. Hailing from a middle class family, Smitha is from Bangalore and is a Captain in the Indian Army. Her parents are from Devalapura hobli, Nagamangala Taluk, Mandya district and her younger brother Sagar is an agriculturist.

Railway Medical College' still remains a daydream

The setting up of the much awaited Railway Medical college in Mysore has still remained a daydream for the past three years, thereby dashing the hopes of hundreds of Railway employees who dreamt of sending their children to medical college to become Doctors.

The main reason for the delay is the lack of coordination among various Departments in the Railway Board who are responsible for implementing the plan. Many of the railway employees to expressed displeasure for the inordinate delay in completing the formalities.

The proposal for setting up a Railway Medical College was approved in 2009-10 Railway Budget, by the then Minister of Railways Mamata Banerjee in 14 places across county including Mysore.

As per the proposal, South Western Railway (SWR) has to identify 25 acres of land for setting up the college, but till date they have identified only18 acres of land at Railway Workshop in Ashokapuram.

Though SWR has failed to provide the required 25 acres of land, they are planning to convince the Medical Council of India (MCI) and get permission for the construction of campus in the 18 acres of land which has been notified.

SWR Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Dr Anup Dayanand Sadhu said that they are yet to receive the order from head-quarters. But once they receive the same, Expression of Interest (EoI) will be announced and construction work will be taken up under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).

However Railway Officials were determined to complete the project and not allow the sanction to be either transferred or canceled and were confident of taking up the works as soon as the approval is granted.

A Pride of collection at jewellery exhibition

It will be a breathtaking decision for a jewellery connoisseurs to chose the design at 'The Best of Jewels exhibition' being held at Chamundi Vihar Stadium in city. Various designs, styles, and forms of gold, silver, diamond, platinum, Gem Stones and Pearls. jewellery’s are displayed under one roof.
Jewelry on display includes traditional Antique Jewelry, Temple Jewelry, Meenakari, Nisam Collection, Kundan Works, Beads, Bridal, Custom made, Filigree (Tarkashi), Jadau, Panchikam, Navarathna in forms of bangles, Necklaces, Mangalasutras, Armlets, Anklets, Chokers, Motifs, Pendants, Kambarbandh (Tagdi), and many more range of outstanding historical Jewelry from across India.
This rich tradition, exclusive Jewelry is presented being held on this grand scale for the first time in association with ‘The Jewelers Association of Mysore', to enable purchases ahead of weeding season and Deepavali. 18 years ago, Shroff Varthakara Sangha had organised Jewellery’s expo at Mysore Place.

I got a chance to see the exceptional creativity and effort that has gone in making these designs. The expo is fabulous,” says Neethu.
Jewellers from across country have taken part in the expo. The expo will be held till November 5 between 10.30 am and 8 pm.
Cynosure of all eyes at expo

Solitaire Single Line diamond Necklaces and Gold jacket were cynosure of all eyes at the jewelery exhibition. The diamond necklaces was exhibited by Sudarshan and Sons, worth Rs 13 million (Rs 1.30 crore) was embedded with 43 diamonds, 33.42 carat and weighs 44.64. Proprietor Sunil said that there is good demand for fancy coloured diamond, precious colour stone jewelleries, Tanzanite, Uncut diamond and close setting jewelleries.
Gold Jacket
Gold Jacket exhibited by A Shankara Cheety and Sons is very user friendly. The Jacket which has been made for daily use can be wore comfortably. The jacket weighs around 3.5 kilo and worth Rs 1.25 crore.
Proprietor Adarsh K Murthy said that the jacket has created exclusively for the exhibition purpose.
Navarathan Jewellers had exhibited silver Mantapa, Sword and Cradle at the expo. Sword which was completely made out of silver worth Rs 7 lakh, while the mantap and cradle were 68 and 65 kilo respectively.

Fashion Jewelleries like imitating jewelleries to take center note at expo. Proprietor of Kushal's said that the imitating jewellery are copy of gold jewelleries, and the prices are very less, as they will be made out of copper and base metal. The range begins from 500 to 10,000.

Its not only that gold is glittering at expo, while diamond, silver, ruby, semi precious stones, emerald, coral, pearl, catseye are too glittering.  

Foreigners enjoy learning Kannada

In this modern era, most of the Kannadigas think twice before learning Kannada. But, the foreigners who come to Karnataka take interest in learning our language as they can easily communicate with people.

Several foreigners who are residing in city for a short while to learn yoga, bharathanatya, Sanskrit, communtiy service and have taken a course work in Universities, and have started to learn Kannada.

They say if they want to know about new culture they should learn the local language first. Most of them find that Kannada is quite easy to learn, through bit its difficult for pronouncement because of the different accent.

There are many foreigners just after a couple months of learning have started speaking Kannada fluently. The main reason behind taking interest to learn our language is not only to mix freely with our people and learn out culture, but also to get avoid being cheated due to language barriers.

A couple of private institutions which have come up exclusively to teach Kannada are catering the needs of the foreigners by teaching them from basic grammar to how to converse in Kannada.

Milena Rösch from Germany who is in city on community service work said that from two months she is going to Kannada Class. “Its important for me to learn basics local language, especially because of the reason that most of the children with whom we are working and living together just know Kannada and have less English knowledge,” she said.

Julia Merkle says, “Our purpose to learn Kannada is in the first instance to communicate with the people here. In Germany nobody knows the language "Kannada", after our return we probably have no opportunity to speak or read Kannada again.”

Schools started by a professionals to teach Kannada

 Usually parents want their wards to study in English Medium schools. But, here is a group of professionals who were not happy with the present primarily British education system, started a school and are imparting education in Kannada.

Naming the school has Arivu, a group of four members Dr MC Manohar, Dr Maruthi (PhD in Chemistry), Renowned Theater Artiste Berty F Olivera and a Businessmen Raghavendra started the school.

Students are engaged in nature walks, star watching, karnatic musics, theater, desi sports, tabla, workshops that provides a platform. Apart this they will be taken for tour and they will be informed about heritage buildings in state, and will be screened documents on historical places of Karnataka, hills, and peaks, making children to feel proud about State.

This quartet say the current education system is very bookish and theoretical and not at all useful. There is no practical approach and students are made to mugup in classroom without giving any lively experience.

Primarily British education system is not a new phenomenon and Mahatma Gandhi had warned us against its ill effect in 1908. Its need of the hour parents should think of giving knowledge for children, instead of making them educated,” they say.

The school was started with three students in a small farm shared by a friend in 2008. In a drastic change, from last four years the school strength holds 45 and classes are hold upto 5th standard. Now, the school has come long way and has staff of around 25, which includes teachers, visiting faculty, resource persons and admin.

Added to this, CS Sudarshana's former bank employee, left permanent job for the passion of teaching in the school. The school is now all set to transform into a learning centre and will be hoisting a resource centre and a butterfly park in an environmental friendly campus.  

Bollywood actor to narrate history of Amba Vilas Palace

Good news awaits tourists visiting the Amba Vilas Palace as they can now watch the son-et-lumiere, popularly known as Sound and Light show in Hindi and English languages, where the voice will be provided by a famous personality of Bollywood.
According to sources legendary actors of film industry, either Ompuri or Naseeruddin Shah, will be giving voice for the show. Most probabilities are there for Ompuri.

The Kannada script penned by the famous linguist Lingadevaru Halemane is being translated to Hindi by Vibhanshu of National School of Drama, New Delhi, while for English by famous journalist Prakash Belavaadi. The written script has been given to scion of Mysore Royal family, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar for review.

Though initially megastar Amithabh Bahchan had agreed to give the voice, it was later dropped. The programme has already being going on, and its being rendered only in Kannada, as such majority of the tourists are unable to understand it.

The play which begins with the legend of Goddess Chamundeshwari concludes with the history of Mysore Palace and Yaduvamsha dynasty and will be played alternately in Hindi, English and Kannada languages.

The entire project has been allotted to Innovative Lighting System at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore, which includes charges for rendering the narration in all the three languages Hindi, English and Kannada. The show is expected to last 50 minutes.

Palace Board TS Subramanyam said that at any time the show might be launched in other National languages, and it contains voice of top actors, but the names cant be disclosed at this moment.

Innovative Lighting System Project System Krishnakumar said that in couple of days names will be finalised.  

Tribal attire come alive at CAVA

Creativity takes center note at Cava Mela every year, with new ideas, themes and concepts. This year to Students of Chamarajendra Academy of Visually Arts have all set to showcase their talent at CAVA Mela on theme 'Tribal'.

To educate people, specially residing in urban areas, the students have come out with this topic. Through pictures they have fabulously depicted the tribal life, animals, tribal robot, amidst forest environ.

A tribal women sleeping in well, Tribal Robot, Tribal stage erected, tribal faces erected in many places drew the attention of visitors during the CAVA Mela which will be held at its premises on October 30 and 31. The students were seen enthusiastically decorating the CAVA premises with colourful artifacts and giving final touches to their works.

Apart from tribal life, hike in prices of essential commodities and cauvery agitation has taken center note at mela. They have erected huge elephant and boat to depict the resemblance of tribal life in front side of CAVA and at the entrance of the gate they have placed a huge tribal face and big apes on either sides.

Price Hike
To depict the prices of essential commodities is not accessible for a common man, the students have tied the fruits, vegetables, cooking ingredients on top of the roof, and straight below have created several hands, which are trying to catch the food. The imagination art work created by Naian Raj and Team, First year BFA students received applauds from other students.

Cauvery Agitation
Strongly condemning the release of water to Tamil Nadu, Students Goutham, Yashwanth, Saikrishna have depicted a scene of performing final rites for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha.

In their concept, they have shown four persons carrying effigy of Jayalalaitha and putting break for cauvery issue. Students Yashwanth says: “Hailing from Mandya I strongly oppose the release of cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Hence, to show my oppose and educate people about current issue I choose this topic.”

Barren land turns bountiful for tribes

Nagarahole National Park region tribal who have resettled at Shettihalli, Lakkapattana village, Hangod hobli in Hunsur taluk, are harvesting a fine quality of maize from barren land for the last two years.

Being primitive tribal, many of them had no idea about agriculture. But, for the last two years, the tribes have cultivated maize and are not only getting pecuniary returns, but have also enriched their knowledge about agriculture under the guidance of officials.

They harvest 25-30 quintals per acre, whereas the yield by farmers is only 18-22 quintals. Hailing from Kodagu and H D Kote, about 150 Jenukuruba tribal families have become agriculturists in Shettihalli. In all, 450 acres were provided to them, of which about 70 per cent of the land was dry and the remaining wet land.

According to tribal leader Rajappa, a majority of the tribes were not aware of agriculture before. “We are obtaining good yield and have learnt to harvest maize. We are happy as we also grow vegetables in our garden. Our life style has indeed changed a lot.”

Agriculture Department Assistant Director Kenchegowda said that measures have been taken to bring the tribes to the mainstream through agriculture.

“There are no labour problems here, as the entire family of 5-7 continues harvesting maize even in the absence of others. If maize is cultivated providing some gap, it gives a good yield,” Agriculture Department Assistant Director Kenchegowda  added.  Under the state governments Bhoo Chethana Programme, Forest and Agriculture Department officials are providing guidance to these tribes.

As per the direction of the Supreme Court, the rehabilitation scheme was undertaken by the Central government, which provided barren land and Rs 10 lakh for re-settlement of tribal.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Did really Arjuna killed a mahout ?!

It was widely reported in media that Elephant Arjuna had trampled mahout to death. The question is did really Arjuna killed a Mahout late in 1990's! According to eye witnesses mahout Pasha of Sarla elephant and mahout Ramu of Gajendra elephant, on that faithful day the person who died in the incident is not Mahout, while its Kavadi Annaiah.

They say, earlier elephants were taken for a bath at Karanji Lake and were brought back to the Palace daily. The day when the incident occurred, Mahout of Bahuddur elephant had gone to collect payment, and Kavadi Annaiah rode the elephant.

Always when we take elephants for walk we place female elephants in between of male elephants. But that day, in hurry Kavadi Annaiah placed Bahuddur elephant in front of Arjuna, which led to clash between the two elephants.”
When Arjuna hit Bahaddur from the backside on the way, all of a sudden Bahaddur lost the balance because of the slope. Kavadi Annaiah who was not seated properly on back of Bahaddur lost his balance and felt to the ground. At this unexpected turn of event, the Kavadi was trampled beneath the feet of hind legs of Bahaduur or it might be from front legs of Arjuna which is even today mystery,” says Pasha the then Kavadi of Sarala.

While Mahout Ramu, who was then Kavadi of elephant Kokila says
the mistake is of Kavadi Annaiah not Arjuna. He had not placed himself properly on the head of elephant. During the clash he fell down and might be stamped by Arjuna as he was following Bhaddur. Moreover, Wild elephants tramped persons very vigorously, but this incident was merely an accident and not an act of violence are rage by Arjuna. As Arjuna was standing next to him, the news spread as wild fire that Arjuna has trampled the mahout.”

When contacted Veterinarian Dr Nagaraj he said that Arjuna is very soft and though he might had killed a person, it might be accident. Anyways, after the incident an permanent bathing pit was built inside the palace.  

Did really Arjuna killed a mahout ?!

It was widely reported in media that Elephant Arjuna had trampled mahout to death. The question is did really Arjuna killed a Mahout late in 1990's! According to eye witnesses mahout Pasha of Sarla elephant and mahout Ramu of Gajendra elephant, on that faithful day the person who died in the incident is not Mahout, while its Kavadi Annaiah.

They say, earlier elephants were taken for a bath at Karanji Lake and were brought back to the Palace daily. The day when the incident occurred, Mahout of Bahuddur elephant had gone to collect payment, and Kavadi Annaiah rode the elephant.

Always when we take elephants for walk we place female elephants in between of male elephants. But that day, in hurry Kavadi Annaiah placed Bahuddur elephant in front of Arjuna, which led to clash between the two elephants.”
When Arjuna hit Bahaddur from the backside on the way, all of a sudden Bahaddur lost the balance because of the slope. Kavadi Annaiah who was not seated properly on back of Bahaddur lost his balance and felt to the ground. At this unexpected turn of event, the Kavadi was trampled beneath the feet of hind legs of Bahaduur or it might be from front legs of Arjuna which is even today mystery,” says Pasha the then Kavadi of Sarala.

While Mahout Ramu, who was then Kavadi of elephant Kokila says
the mistake is of Kavadi Annaiah not Arjuna. He had not placed himself properly on the head of elephant. During the clash he fell down and might be stamped by Arjuna as he was following Bhaddur. Moreover, Wild elephants tramped persons very vigorously, but this incident was merely an accident and not an act of violence are rage by Arjuna. As Arjuna was standing next to him, the news spread as wild fire that Arjuna has trampled the mahout.”

When contacted Veterinarian Dr Nagaraj he said that Arjuna is very soft and though he might had killed a person, it might be accident. Anyways, after the incident an permanent bathing pit was built inside the palace.  

The ups and downs of Dasara festivities

Every year new events are being added to Dasara to make it more interesting and keep in line with the recent happenings. Though this year several events evoked good response from the public, some of them failed to make any impact due to lack of publicity, while others drew strong criticism by pro-Kannada activists terming it as 'Saffronisation of Dasara'.

Lack of preparation and dearth of publicity led several events to receive luke warm response. Even after coming out with 27 sub-committees, several of the programmes were not planned well and there was lot of confusion among event organisers. Below is a list of ups and downs of the Dasara.
One positive impact of this year's Dasara was that dozens of local artistes got a chance to show-case their talent with events organised at six venues across city for nine days of the Dasara festivities.

The regular events such as Makkala Dasara, Food Mela, Dasara Heritage Walk, Yuva Sambrama, Raitha Dasara, Flower Show, cultural programme for handicap, Kite Festival took a center stage. The newly introduced programmes such as Magic Show, Suryaninda Chandranedege (Dawn to Dusk), an 12-hour cultural programme and the Yoga Dasara held at palace received a good response.

Wrestling witnessed a good crowd due to challenging bouts between seasoned wrestlers. Though Dasara Film festival was inaugurated with lot of funfair, due to lack of publicity the response was moderate. Same with the Mahila Dasara too. Even the Dasara Market Watch intended to draw the people's intention failed miserably.

There was no fee for the some of the adventure sports, unaware of it the turn out of people was very less. Even the 48-hour cycle race was also called off mid-way.

Events that failed miserably to attract people were the Dasara Kavi Goshti, Vidwat Goshti and Dharmika Dasara as there was a lot of opposition to these events. 

Tribal women drew attention of on-lookers on procession

 Its not only the men, whereas women and children in equal number took part in dasara folk art programmes walking with bear feet, unmindful of burning sun.

Specially youngsters below 14 years were witnessed in majority of the folk art and groups, depicting the tradition and culture of their region. The folkart dances, Lambani Dance, veeraghasi, Kolatta, Dollukunitha performed by tribal women drew the attention of on-lookers.

Though some women artistes were quite tensed as it was the first Dasara they were taking part, they were seen stepping enthusiastically each step in the beating heat.
Girls who performed Veeraghasi under the banner of BGS Veeraghasi Nruthya Sangha said that as soon as their participation in the dasara events was confirmed, the group members have practiced daily for about two hours, without any break.
Valli says “After hearing I have been selected to perform Veeraghasi it brought me lot of joy. From last one month I have practiced for about two hours every day, without any break to maintain the stamina for long time.”
Devara Gudda and Pooja Kunith staged by folk Art Students of Mysore University was bewitching. The students who staged equally to professional artistes, climbed the ladder holding the 45 kilo Pooja Kunitha in mouth.

Another folkart 'Jagallige Mela' which was performed by youngsters and elders was quite different. The artistes put steps for traditional songs standing over Jagallige mela (round thin drum), which will be carried by two persons. Apart this, in many of the folk arts troupes children and women were seen putting steps to traditional folk art beats.


Please provide us water to drink
Some of the artistes who seemed tired before reaching Ayurveda Circle, requested government to quench their thrust by provide water to drink. Though some how men can manage, for women its not a easy task.

Jyothi who is taking part in dasara event for fourth time said that “until we reach Bannimantap we will be tired. The government should take measures to supply water at least in any three points on the dasara procession route.”


Food for elephants !
The officials were seen serving tired elephants at KR Circle, Ayurveda Hospital Circle with nutritious food, which contains Sugarcane, Jower and Dry Coconut.
Police Officer Raghu said that as per the guidance of Mahouts they will provide the nutritious food pack for elephants, which will be tired.


As soon as the Arjuna passed KR Circle carrying the 750 kg golden howdah, people rushed on the roads breaking the barricades. Some of the family members to escape from the crowd, accommodated themselves in a safe place. But their slippers, water bottles, were seen littered every where in KR Circle. Meantime, cops to were seen finding hard to control the crowd. 

Yuva Sambrama, Food Mela a big hit in dasara festivities

Yuva Sambrama and food mela turned out to be a big hit this year in dasara festivities. The events went of well, much beyond the expectation, attracting people in large number.

As this year with the state reliving under drought the authorities cancelled the Yuva Dasara and conducted Yuva Sambrama. The event drew lot of crowd, especially the youth and students
Yuva Sambrama which began with popular beads of songs, being played out by enthusiastic performers at Open Air Theater for week long, drew a large number of students every evening.
Even foreign students from Afghanistan, Lovas in Vietnamese, Mauritius, and youth of 40 countries gave performance, while received a loud applauds from the people. The crowd went into raptures very often after witnessing the programmes. In all, a wide range of dance-drama and music was performed by students of about 120 various colleges.

There was a very special events like hip-hop, folklore, dance, fusion of traditional and western dance, retro to metro, and several other programmes with new theme steal the show. This time seating arrangements were made separately for women, family members and youth.

Food Mela
The other event which draw the equal crowd was the food mela. The entire venue of CADA premises was jam packed with people, often found it difficult to stand and eat.

People were seen standing in long queue, waiting patiently to relish their favourite dishes. As majority of the food items were moderately prices, both veg and non-veg, this was the other attraction for people to taste as many varieties of food they could feast upon.

Traditional food preparations from coorg, Andhra, West Bengal, Kerala and other places were set-up exclusively at the fair. One best feature of this year food mela was provided with handwash basin and drinking water facility. The sad part is lack of cleanliness. The entire premises was littered with waste, creating a ugly scene.  

Gadag artistes educate people about modern surge 'AIDS'

 A team of twelve members service minded artistes from Gadag, have descended on Mysore for dasara, not to take part in any events, but for a noble cause. They are putting their best efforts to spread awareness about this modern surge called AIDS by traditional methods.

As large crowed will be visiting Mysore to watch world-famous Jumboo Savari, the artistes have made best use of this. Wearing traditional dresses, depicting AIDS as goddess of death entering into households, the artistes are creating awareness among people about control and prevention of AIDS, through folk songs, skits, short plays, magic show, Kamsale, Dollu Kunitha, Folk Songs, Veeraghase, and Yakshagana.

Three women members of the troupe dance and sang together conveying the message not to maltreat AIDS victims, but instead look after them humanely. Their scripts, songs, thought providing narration of plays, drew the attention of people in large number. The gathered people were seen greeting the troupe for their campaign against AIDS.

Through folk songs, skits they are informing people about importance of usage of condemns, and other prevention measure to be taken-up for safe sex, problems faced by HIV positive, the way society treats them and much more .

Team Leader D Prakash said that its need of the hour to educate people about AIDS. “When awareness spread through theaters, it reaches very effectively to people and even easy to make illiterate aware of the issue.”

The troupe is involved in sensitising people by staging street plays based on various social issues from long time. In Mysore, they are organising this event at 150 places across the city, twice in a day starting from October 16. The shows ends on October 25.

The troupe thanked District Health and Family Welfare Department and District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit for providing them the opportunity to stage plays during dasara.  

Traditional doll placing culture disappearing in Mysore

The traditional way of making dolls at home and displaying them during the Navaratri, is slowly vanishing as now women choose readymade dolls to display, which are available in contrast colours.

Earlier, majority of the women who were displaying dolls at home, used to create the dolls months before the Navaratri, based on their theme. But now availability of readymade dolls with glossy finishing, bright colours of various shapes has made them to purchase dolls from the shop.

The other thing which has influenced women in large number is taking part at dasara doll competitions. In one side it has encourage more number of women to place dolls at home upholding the tradition, while in other side the traditional practice of placing dolls is melting down.

Thought the availability of ready-made dolls had brought cheers in many, some of them feel sorry as the traditional practice is disappearing.

Some have retained century-old dolls provided for them by their ancestors. But, majority of the women who have recently started placing the dolls, throng for gift shops in search of the dolls.

From our childhood we were thought to decorate dolls and place them. But, from last four years I am purchasing the ready-made dolls due to my age factor,” says, Hemalatha who places dolls from three decades in Mysore.

The available ready made dolls are very attractive and have eased our works. Based on the concept, we can purchase the dolls. Though it can be created at home, the finishing will be rough and looks odd. This year, I have highlighted struggle of freedom fighters, for which I have used the ready made plaster of Paris dolls, which looks naturally,” says Jayashree resident of Vidyaranya Puram.

Ramsons which displays dolls at its gallery, is receiving overwhelm response year to year. Named as 'Bombe Mane', dolls brought from across country, are placed under one roof in this gallery.

Palace to generate power from Footfall

World Famous Mysore Palace, which attract lakhs of people every year, will shortly generate power from footfalls. For the first of its kind in India, innovative measure has been taken up by Palace Board to generate power from footsteps and to connect the generated power to grid.

If every things goes as per the plan by Deepavali major of the palace bulbs will be illuminated by the power generated through footsteps.

Palace Board Deputy Director TS Subramanyam said that every year 36 lakh people visit Palace and about 7000 in week ends, the foot falls slabs placed will be very helpful to generate power.

The power generating slabs which will be waterproof will be placed in flooring. It will be in the form of tiles which replaces flooring.
When anyone step into it power will be produced. The generated foot power will be enough to illuminate most of the bulbs in palace. By the initiative of this programme, the electricity costs will come down to higher per cent at Palace, say Palace officials.

Cycle to light up Mysore Palace

Now, just pedal to illuminate Mysore Palace. For the first of its kind in history of county, District Administration in association with Palace Board and Private Telecommunications launched 'Cycle to light up the Mysore Palace' programme at Palace premises in city on Monday.

About ten stationary cycles have been placed at Mysore Palace premises, to encourage visitors to pedal as long as they wish. The cycles have been connected to a dynamo, and the generate energy will be stored in the batteries and will be used to light up a portion of the Mysore Palace during Dasara.

If the ten cycles are pedaled for ten hours continuously, about 1500 watts of power is generated from which about 1000 bulbs can be illuminated for about one hour. Generally to illuminate the bulbs, about 2000 units of power is needed.

At present the entrance gate of the portion have been connected with these batteries and from Tuesday, the bulbs will be illuminated by the generated pedal power. If a persons pedals for about 10-15 minutes he can generate power for a bulb to glow power.
Palace Board Deputy Director TS Subramanyam said that one megawatt power is used every hour to illuminate around 99,000 bulbs which are of 15 watts.

Deputy Commissioner PS Vastrad said that the efforts to promote cycle-to-work culture in the city and cycle to light up the Mysore palace are the innovative and eco-friendly gesture towards the cause. He said if good response is received, measures will be taken to place more cycle in other places of palace premises.

Though the bicycles will light up only a part of the Mysore Palace, it's an eye-watching demo of the advantages of using bicycles and encourage the visitors to the palace to do their bit for eco-friendly illumination.

Medicinal plants to cure the ailments of livestock’s

Though villagers graze their cattle in fields, many of them are not aware of the medicinal properties of the plants and which particular plant species to feed upon if the livestock’s suffered from any ailment.

In such a scenario, for the first of its kind, Mysore Milk Union (MYMUL), started the Medicinal Plant Garden in July 2011 on an acre land in Alanahalli, where various types of herbs and shrubs having medicinal properties are grown.  

The name of the plant and its medicinal properties have been displayed in a board under each plot in Kannada to help farmers. Not only livestock’s are benefited by this, whereas even humans can use some of this plants for ailments.

Seeing the tremendous response it received, Mandya Milk Union is also planning to develop a similar plot in its place. Plots are ready in Mandya and planting will be taken up by the end of this month. In addition to this various kinds of hybrid fodder for the cattle will be grown exclusively on a six acre area.

Around 80 different kinds of medicinal plants are being grown in the garden.

Plants like Chakramuni used for the treatment of ulcer; Hippli fruits and leaves (piper congum) for treating cough, respiratory problems, headache and throat infection, Limbe Hullu (Lemon Grass) also used for treating coughs; Adu Soge a plant whose roots and leaves are used to stop bleeding caused by minor cuts
and various other plants that are grown here will be given away to farmers free of cost.

“The majority of the plants grown in the garden can be seen at village side. We will educate farmers and ask them to use medicinal plants apart from allopathic medicines. Both humans as well as domesticated animals,” says MS Lakshmi Prasad Yadav of MYMUL.

“After visiting this garden, I got an idea how to use plants easily available in our own backyards for treating minor ailments before visiting a Doctor,” says Mangala, woman farmer of KR Nagar.


Meet the man behind the project

HJ Jagadeesh an agriculture graduate is the brain child of this project who is also Manager, Procurement and Input, Mandya Milk Union. Jagadeesh took up the initiative to grow medicinal plants when he was posted in Mysore Milk Union (MYMUL), which he now wants to replicate in his new posting at the Mandya Milk Union.

He said, “when I was posted at Dakshina Kannada, I visited Parampara where I observed that cattle and other animals suffering from minor ailments were treated by feeding them with plants having medicinal properties. Impressed over it, I thought of developing a garden exclusively for growing medicinal plants in DK. Due to lack of suitable place it remained a dream. Only when I was transferred to Mysore, I was successful in realising my dream.”

'After witnessing the tremendous good response the medicinal garden received in Mysore, now I am starting a similar garden one in Mandya too. Youth should be made aware of the plants and shrubs that grow around us and their usefulness. Consuming such medicinal plants will help strengthen our body's natural resistance in the long run,' he added.

PhD on Mysore Dasara by Dasara special officer

Many of them witness Dasara every year. But very rarely few of them go in deep. In such here is a persons, being a dasara special officer inspired over Dasara activities has completed his PhD on Mysore Dasara.

V Ranganath, is the Dasara Special officer. Being completed BSc, LLB, MA in History, he is rendering service as dasara special officer from last eleven years. Inspired over dasara activities which will be held in the palace, he decided to do his PHD on 'Mysore Dasara' (KSOU), under the guidance of Rangaswamy.
He says, Dasara celebrations has history of thousands year and not 400 years as mentioned. “Navaratri celebrations being held from the tenure of Vijayanagar Period and there are lot of documents to prove this.” He has collected the details for his work visiting Hampi, Srirangapatna, and many other places, including libraries.

According to him Dasara celebrations came to practice based on tax collection. Earlier, kings used to distribute Kingdom into many parts and used to handover the position for Privypurse (Samantha Rajas), who used to administer the Place. Even the military were divided into two portions, where portion of military near Privypurse and other near Kings.

Every year during the time of Navaratri they used to come to palaces to offer 1/3 of the tax for king, where entire troupe used to join together and spend time for nine-days in palace.

After staying at Palace for nine-days, they used to leave palace on ninth day of Navaratri. While giving adieu to them folkarts, local artistes, dance troupes were invited, where in it was marked as procession, according to history.

Interestingly, the cultural programmes were introduced during the nine days of Navarati celebrations by kings to enthrall the arrived guests to the palace and also to provide opportunity for local artistes.

After administration came under government, Privypurse system was abolished. Government started celebrating dasara from 1973 and there on wards Special officers were appointed.

Lot of changes in dasara celebrations has taken place. Its now being celebrated without any formats. To know in depth how earlier kings were celebrating dasara, I decided to do my Ph.D. “There should be frame work to celebrate dasara,” he adds.

Theaters have stopped screening Tamil films

After the Cauvery river water dispute reached a flashpoint, theaters in the city have stopped screening Tamil films. Not only Mysore but also neighbouring districts Mandya, the hotbed of Cauvery agitation  Chamarajanagar bordering Tamil Nadu, have voluntarily banned screening of Tamil movies.

Though several blockbuster movies have been released in Tamil from last two months, many of the movies are yet to be screened in theaters
of Mysore, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, which could have run to full houses here.

Not only Theater whereas even Multiplex in Mysore DRC and Satyam have decided not to screen any Tamil movies till the Cauvery issues final verdict being awaited from the Supreme Court for October 30.

The sudden switch over to screening movies of other languages has caused a lot of hardship to some theater owners who were exclusively screening movies of a particular regional language like Tamil, Telugu or Malayalam. Either way there business has taken a beating.

Mysore District Theater Association President Ajit Kumar said that screening of Tamil films were stopped right from the day the agitation broke out. Mandya Theater Owner Srikanth added that screening has been stopped in five districts Mysore, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Hassan and Coorg.

Padma and Rajkamal Theater which screen maximum numbers of Tamil movies have been severely affected. Rajkamal Theater owner Jeevan Kumar says, “our theater is popular for screening Tamil movies. But from last one month our business has totally come down.” Pashwanath of Padma theater says: “The collection has totally come down and only some amount of tickets are sold. To attract people we are screening Telugu movies.”

Mysore Theater Association Secretary Rajaram said that as per the governing rules the theater owners hold responsible and held for any mishap that occur inside the theaters many of the theater owners are not ready to take any chance and are meantime extending their support to farmers.” While some in support of the agitating farmers have stopped the screening of movie, it also true that some fearing untoward incidents stooped screening movies on their own, he added.

Though the verdict comes favourable to State, following Kannada Rajyothsava the theater owners can't screen other languages movie for another one week, which is followed every year during Rajyotsava.