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.