Sunday, February 24, 2013
"Please don't throw the leftovers after a party or a function. Just send an SMS, I will make arrangements to collect it," says Sujay, a BBM student.
Anybody seeing Sujay for the first time would definitely mistake him to be just another teenager, hanging out at his favourite adda chit-chatting about latest movies, current fashion trend, etc. But appearances can be deceptive. For V. Sujay, a BBM student of Marimallappa's College in city, is mature for his age and seems to have a deeper grasp of life than just pursuing sensory pleasures.
Accompanied by B. Kendaraj, Sujay has formed a Trust 'Asthra' at his home and on every Sunday, they visit one Ashram in city, provide food and clothes to inmates and spend some time with them. The main intention of the Trust is to look after destitute aged people out of the savings accrued from their pocket money.
Sujay who has experience working for "People's for People" organisation since 10 years, says, "Since I was a child, my pa-rents celebrated my birthdays in Old Age Homes and Orphanages. Deeply inspired by this, I thought of doing some service on my own and started this Trust. My desire is to start an Ashram meant exclusively for the aged and small children who are blind by birth."
"Don't throw away excess food or the leftovers after a party or a function. Just send me an SMS and I will make arrangements to collect this food from your place and distribute it to near by orphanages," appeals Sujay.
Sujay is also taking care of four aged persons who have been provided shelter in a house near Ramaswamy Circle. Not only are they provided with daily food, but their other needs too are taken care of.
The word 'Asthra' derived from Sanskrit means 'weapon.' Asthra in its positive connotation is a tool to combat evil. Inspired by this and keeping in view the society's current obligation towards the underprivile-ged, physically & mentally challenged youth, Sujay, under the guidance of his mentor, decided to put into practice the creation of a collection of "Weapons of Mass Reformation" and called it Asthra. It is an acronym for:
A - Association for
S - Social
T - Transformation through
H - Help
R - Rehabilitation and
Since its inception in Aug. 22, 2009 with just two members, ASTHRA, now about a year old, has grown into a 25-member strong team.
"As the name suggests, our main thrust, apart from offering our services to the needy, is to create awareness amongst students and youth and instill in them the spirit of social service. The team members comprise of people of all ages, coming from diverse backgrounds, ranging from students to young entrepreneurs to IT professionals. This way, our organisation has gone beyond the segregation of people based on status, profession, gender or caste. It is open to everyone who aspire to make this land a better place for the underprivileged, who find themselves alienated from society.
"The social service activities at ASTHRA are held regularly on every weekends between 9 am and 11.30 am. Each member is encouraged to bring his friends and other members of his family to do service, so that the spirit of social service is instilled among all. Since its inception, there has never been a Sunday without ASTHRA offering its service for the underprivileged," says a proud Sujay.
The service activities involve a group of members visiting various organisations in city that take care of the mentally or physically challenged children and aged people. The organisers have maintained a comprehensive list of all these places along with their location and purpose for ready reference in a database. The list is also available on request to anyone who is interes-ted to offer services on their own.
"The main purpose of ASTHRA during these visits is to make the inmates at these places "feel loved" and to let them know that today's society has not forgotten them. This is achieved by spending time with them, making them laugh by sharing jokes and listening to their stories. The volunteers encourage the inmates to sing, dance or share whatever they feel, including their personal grievances and sorrows.
We have come to realise that what is mainly lacking is their longing for company, an understanding partner or a friend. This discourages them more than their physical disabilities. During our meetings, we try to overcome this barrier of indifference between the society and these unfortunate brethren, by interacting with them open-heartedly and showering them with love and affection that they long for," observes Sujay philosophically.
He however adds immediately, "ASTHRA's visits to organisa-tions are aimed at entertaining the residents in more ways than one. Since we believe more in action than just kind words, we try to find ways in which their grievances can be best addressed."
"The decision on which organisation to visit for the week is made unanimously and depending on the place we visit, we carry with us what we feel would be in the best interest of the inmates. For example, if we decide to visit a blind school or an orphanage, we carry biscuits, chocolates, toys and other such similar things for children. Whereas, visiting an Old Age Home or an Ashram for the underprivileged we carry plenty of fruits, medicines and any other material our members or their guests would like to donate.
"Guests are qualified to become members of ASTHRA only after a sincere display of dedication and sincerity towards service by regularly participating in at least five activities. The responsibility of providing financial support to our organisation is borne by the members on their own. All heartfelt donations are accepted in any form without attaching much importance to the amounts donated. Apart from this, there has never been an attempt to 'collect funds' from any non-member," Sujay clarified.
"ASTHRA has been constantly striving to improvise its activi- ties based on the feedback we have received from our visit to the various places we have visited so far," he added.
"Although registered, ASTHRA has not been publicised by any media and is not under any particular patronage. The only rules guiding our organisation is the love, affection and sincerity of our members towards the well-being of the society and their conviction towards service. In case one needs to know more about ASTHRA and their activities, they can be visit the group online at Orkut or Facebook or contact Sujay on Mob: 99645-86226.
Mysore City Corporation is planning to convert animal waste into a value added product, which can be fed to livestock. The conversion of animal waste will not only be eco-freindly, whereas generates good income for the Corporation along with creating job opportunities for several.
There are more than 600 mutton and meat stalls in the city and an average of daily around 6-7 tonnes of animal wastes like guts, chicken skin, bones, legs, head, feather etc are produced in the city. The amount of waste goes up during weekends and special occasions.
Seeing the enormous waste, officials at the MCC are planning to set up a 'Protein Meal Unit' to convert the waste into a useful resource. The processed food can be sold to private poultries, kennels and farrows.
Rs one crore has been sanctioned for the same in the 2013 -14 budget. Broiler Traders Coordinating Committee (BTCC) might take up the work. One acre of land is sufficient for the Unit and the officials are planning to set-up the unit in the MCC property or at Industrial area.
Veterinary Dr Lingaraju said that “there is a good demand for animal waste products in the market, as its provides nutritious supplement and are rich in proteins. The pet dog biscuits are sold around Rs 45 per kg produced by private companies. It will be a good return for Corporation and the problem of solid waste management can be solved to some extent,” he added.
Measures will be taken to collect animals waste within three hours from the shops, and will be stored in cold storage and later the same will be converted into product. For which, a datebase of the mutton shops in the city has been created by Corporation.
Dr Lingaraju along with a environmentalist has visited one such private center in Davangere last week, to study and have collected more details about the project. He said for first of its kind in state, government agency has taken up the work, apart from two units being owned by private bodies at Davangere and Chikmagalur.
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Presently six Tata Ace and one Canter Van are collecting the generated animal wastes twice daily all around the city and the waste is buried near Nagunahalli (old Kesare) on a six acre plot. The vehicles are fitted with GPS in order to monitor and co-ordinate their movements.
Shylaja, Faculty, Abdul Naseer Sab State Institute for Rural Development said that amidst many odds, lack of cooperation from family members, majority of the Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) at Gram Panchayat level are doing good.
She said, majority of the EWRs have solved drinking water problem in the village and have a good relation ship between Anganwadi Workers and educating populace about various government schemes, ensuring them to entitle for beneficiaries of the schemes.
Stating about 26 per cent of women are actively participating in leading political parties and only 8 per cent of them are engaged in various sub committees of political family, she pointed out that about 72 per cent of women does not make any effort to continue in politics, whereas 20 per cent of them wait eagerly for the opportunity.
She said burden on household work, lack of financial independence and confidence, social constraint are the major reasons for non-participation in politics.
According to the survey conducted in ten taluks it was observed that about 70 per cent of EWRs get cooperation from the family, in which 29 per cent of husband are shouldering household responsibilities, 44 per cent of EWRs get support from mother, and other family members. Whereas, remaining 30 per cent of them are managing both the responsibilities, she added.
“Its unfortunate that two-third of the EWRs dont know the information regarding the compulsion of women's participating in ward / gram Sabha,” she said. She further pointed out that majority of the GP members will not question the tax paryers, whereas support them in believe that they can win next elections too.
Capability of EWRs
* 50 per cent of EWRs take own decision, while 36 per cent of them depend on colleagues, GP staff and local leaders, following lack of knowledge, and non experience in political field.
* About 60 per cent of the EWR's opine that its possible to empower women through political reservation, and 20 per cent say they get recognition in social arena and become role models for other women.
* Only 68 per cent of women are actively taking participating in the Gram Panchayat meeting and even conduct meeting regularly. About 38 per cent of the EWRs are not conducting meeting.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
| Farmer Srinivas of Kelanakuppe Panchayat |
seen harvesting watermelons at his farm.
Scarcity of water combined with shortage of power has dealt a double whammy on farmers, forcing several of them in the region to switch to fruits, vegetables and flowers, as they can get quick returns and also water requirements are minimal.
According to Horticulture Department officials, the number of sugarcane growers has come down in Mysore district and hundreds of farmers in the region have switched over to growing fruits, specially watermelon, muskmelon, tomato and vegetables like brinjal, cucumber, and flowers, depending on the climatic condition of the regions.
“Its has become a herculean task to provide water for sugarcane and have to wait for a year to realise profit. But now the same can be got within two months by growing watermelon, muskmelon, tomato, brinjal,” says farmer Lokesh of Varuna Hobli, who has switched over to horticulture from growing cane just a year ago.
Another farmer Srinivas of Kelanakuppe Panchayat, Varuna Hobli said,that "in our region around 80 per cent of farmers have stopped harvesting sugarcane. I had cultivated sugarcane in 15 acres of land, but since last year I switched over to cultivate fruits, vegetables which yielded a turnover of Rs 20 lakh this year." Srinivas is presently growing watermelons and tomatoes in the 12 acres plot and the same are harvested alternately every month, giving him good returns.
Puttegowdana Village Varuna Hobli Cluster President and Farmer Rajbuddhi said that several farmers in the region are growing melons and getting handsome money, depending upon the market price. Rajbuddhi who also maintains a nursery has sold around 6 lakh saplings of melons and tomatoes over the past 9 months.
Another farmer Nagaraj who owns 4 acres of land is also growing fruits and vegetables at his plot for the first time and has witnessed good returns. He is already preparing for a second harvest.
Adoption of latest methods
Thanks for the Comprehensive Horticulture Development Programme, introduced by Horticulure Department following drought, which has brought cheers on hundreds of farmers, even when state is witnessing severe drought.
Several farmers in the region have adopted latest techniques like high density plantation, Trench plantation, mulching technology where farmers can now plant around 200 saplings, which was earlier restricted to a mere 60 per acre. Accordingly the corresponding yield has also increased to more than 30 tonnes in place of just 10 tonnes earlier.
Meanwhile to promote farmers, Horticultre Department is providing subsidy to these farmers under Programme. Department Deputy Director HM Nagaraj said that measures have been taken to educate farmers about what crops could be grown so they can reap profit. “We have asked farmers to compulsorily adopt drip irrigation to avoid wastage of water, and adopt mulching technology to get good yield."
About 14 Cluster's and Producer's society have been formed in the District (2 clusters in every taluk). Under the cluster, farmers are growing papaya, mango, Chikoo, roses, banana, vegetables and fruits.
The herald of summer brings with it not only sweltering heat but also King of fruits 'Mango'. This is the time traders ripen mangoes and bring in crates to sell in the open market. While, majority of the scrupulous traders resort to shortcut methods of ripening mangoes quickly, instead of allowing them to ripe naturally on their own.
This had made health conscious people think twice before buying the golden hued mangoes from street hawkers and wholesale traders. Hence, Horticulture Department has chalked out several measures to avoid fruits entering into market ripened artificially using harmful chemical that is calcium carbide. The chemical is not only a grave hazard to health but is also carcinogenic.
In this regard, the officials are educating farmers about ripening of mango fruits naturally by adopting low cost ripening technologies. In a first phase 1250 yielding garden farmers who have grown mangoes in an 1200 hectares of land are been provided training about ripening fruits naturally and quickly.
The farmers are being educated about low cost ripening methods like Pre-harvester system, how to prevent diseases, how to trap fruits fly, and much more as per the suggestions of Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, Bangalore.
Department officers say adoption of low cost techniques to ripe the fruits will be helpful for farmers to good harvest. Farmers who ripe the mangoes naturally will be provided opportunity to take part in mango mela, which will be conducted by department.
General public will be made aware of the ill effects of consumption of chemical fruits and special training is being provided for hobli, taluk level department officers and progressive farmers.
Department deputy director HM Nagaraj said that to gain early market large quantity of mangoes are ripened artificially by traders.
'Ripening of fruits artificially is not only hazrdous to health, whereas even violation of the Food Safety and Standard Act (FSSA). The department is exercising seriously to educate farmers, traders in market,' he added.
At Mysore Taluk, Hunsur, Nanjangud, HD Kote regions more number of farmers grow mangoes, followed by Periyapatna. From last ten years majority of the farmers are growing Ratnagiri Alphanso in the regions as there is good export value, followed by Mallika, Raspuri, Malgova, Dasheri.
Continuous monitoring of power consumption and checking losses has become a key issue in modern times, especially when power tariffs are rising as the cost of production of electricity is spiraling upwards due to various reasons.
Hence, to put a check on unwanted energy consumption and thereby cut down electricity bill, REI Electronics, a private limited, recgonised by the Government has began Energy Audit of twelve Government buildings in city.
The audit will identify areas where power is being wasted and help to plan and implement energy saving techniques. The auditing is done as part of the Solar City project under Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL).
In the first phase energy auditing is being done at the Deputy Commissioner's office, Chamundi Guest House, District Court, Regional Commissioner's Officer, CADA Building, KR Hospital, Cheluvamba Hospital, Mysore Medical College, Government Printing Press and the PKTB Hospital.
In second phase, energy auditing will be done at buildings housing Government aided organsiations like Mysore University, Karnataka State Open University and others.
After the completion of the auditing based on the Detailed Project Report (DPR), officers of KREDL will think of steps to curb wasteful energy, which could result in savings of lakh of rupees on electricity bill. The DPR will provide information of areas where energy efficiency can be improved further by adopting latest technologies.
KREDL Project Engineer DK Dinesh Kumar said that as per a pilot study it is observed that around 20 to 30 per cent of power is wasted in each building. Stating only by conducting an Energy Audit, energy efficiency can be improved, he said that the auditing officers will calculate the energy consumption of each building, electricity bill that is being currently paid and suggest to what extent power savings can be done.
By the end of this month techniques to save power in government buildings will be developed. Plans have been made to rope in private companies, who are ready to invest money running to lakhs of rupees, but will eventually get back their returns every month in the form of savings.
As Aadhaar has been made mandatory for many services there is good response in Mysore. Statistics obtained from the Mysore Division Aadhaar shows that out of 29.90 lakh population about 28.73 lakh have enrolled for Aadhar as on January 2013 (as per 2011 census).
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) began the enrollment process in Mysore district in April 2010. So far, UID have been generated for about 26 lakh people, in which about 25 lakh people have obtained their UID number out of 28.73 lakh people. Yet another two lakh people to get enroll and one lakh to obtain their UID, whose number have been generated.
Disclosing the statistics, District Aadhaar project co-ordinator and Statistics Assistant Director MB Padmashekar Pande said that there is very good response for Aadhar in Mysore, and about 98.5 per cent of population is covered under the project.
“Following lot of confusions, about 40 per cent of people are re-enrolling their names for UID. This has led to huge rush at Aadhar centers and also results in delay generating UID number, during de-duplication process done by UIDAI,” he added.
Stating there are even instance where people are rushing the center for even change of address, which is not needed, he said following launch of Direct Cash Transfer programme and other services down the center, there is delay in generating UID numbers. “Hardly 32-35 enrollments can be done per day in one center and every day an average of 900-1000 are enrolled under Aadhar,” he added.
Requesting people not to go for re-enrollment and wait for some time to get their UID numbers, he asked people to check their enrollment process and change their address by visiting the website www.uidai.gov.in
Aadhar Enrollment is continuous process and one can enroll their names at nine Zonal Offices of Mysore City Corporation. In all, 25 centers are functioning in Mysore district to reach the target.
Unorganised workers are not benefited from the rapid growth of globalisation and majority of them are completely in the dark of the various Government schemes launched for their welfare. In fact, the Government does not have any figure as to how many unorganised workers are there in the State.
In such, to combat all such problems and to provide improved accessibility to reliable and efficient Social Security, the Department of Labour in association with GIZ (German Development Co-operation), set up a Worker Facilitation Centers (WFCs) at Grama Panchayat and urban ward levels.
As a pilot project 10 Taluks from 5 Districts were identified under the 'Social Security Benefits for Unorganised Workers, Karnataka (SSPK)' in 2009. The districts are Mysore, Bellary, Bangalore - Urban and Rural, Gulbarga and Dakshin Kannada.
So far under the programme, 250 WFCs have been setup at 10 taluks of this district, comprising 89% (222 WFC's) at Grama Panchayaths and 11% (28 WFC) at Urban Wards. 2,34,005 (till Janurary) eligible beneficiaries have been identified under different social security schemes, and 91,277 applications have been submitted under various social security schemes, of which 59,498 applications have been approved.
The facilitators conduct house to house survey and identify the eligible unorganised beneficiaries under various social security schemes. They will be provided special training on various aspects by GIZ to deal with villagers. They ensure the beneficiaries receive benefits on time. The facilitators hold group discussions and educate unorganised workers about various issues.
“Initially we faced a lot of challenges. After gaining their confidence, holding discussions with them the work became easy. We invited some of the beneficiaries to the group discussion and made them to share their experience. Thereby we have gained knowledge of the effectiveness of the various Government schemes,” said facilitator Nagesh of Erappana Koppalu, Mysore Taluk.
“Thousands of unroganised workers have been benefited from this scheme. Financial assistance are provided for them in health, education, employment and even at death. Many of them are getting Rs 500 as pension while others loans for their wards education. Rs 1 lakh will be provided when a labourer dies while on duty and 19,000 for death due to natural causes,” said Harish Taluk Co-ordinator.
S Dinesh, State Co-odinator, Department of Labour, Project Management Unit said more than fifteen government schemes comes under the programme and there is a very good response.
“The project has become a boon for thousands of unroganised workers by providing direct link between the beneficiaries and the Department by eliminating the middlemen, says beneficiary Venkatesh of Yelwala.
Many may not be aware that there is a Call Center for general public to know information in case of poisoning due to drugs, insecticides, pesticides or when accidentally bitten by poisonous snakes and insects.
The 'Poison Information Center' run by the Clinical Pharmacy Department of the city's JSS Hospital has turned into a timely boon for several people. Dialing toll free number 1800-425-0207, farmers and general public including health care professionals can get instant information about the early first aid measures and treatment of poisoning.
The Centre has received 675 calls till January 2013, since it was set up in September 2010. Majority of the calls were related to enquires about pesticide/insecticide poisoning followed by poisoning due to medicines.
The Center has created a database about most common poisons normally encountered which it disseminates at the click of mouse whenever needed. The center works from 8 am to 8 pm. The poison information centre is a ready source of reference for the doctors for identification of poisonous substances and management of poison cases.
The Department has conducted awareness and educational workshops in ten villages in the vicinity of Mysore and Chamarajanagar to educate farmers about the safe handling, storage, disposal of pesticides and about poison related queries. Around 8000 people participated and benefited from these awareness workshops.
Dr G Parthasarathi, Head of the Department said that the number of people calling the Center has risen over the year. “People accidentally bitten by reptiles like snake or scorpion and insects like bee or wasp immediately call the Center to get first hand information about the remedial steps to be taken.”
Dr Parthasarathi says there are around 4250 pesticides products available in market in this region and the centre has created a database of these marketed preparations. This database helps in quick identification of the poisonous substance and suitable remedial measures for the same.
“Plans have been made to start the analytical toxicology services and extend the service round the clock. Efforts are being made to identify the common poisoning agents by conducting local toxicovigilance studies, to reach larger population,” he added.
Shubha, one of the visitor to the centre said that the center is very helpful to know authoritative first hand information and about the importance of early detection and management of poisoning cases.
About the department
The Department of Clinical Pharmacy was established in April 1997. Apart from running a Drug Information Centre, the department is recognised as one of the adverse drug reaction monitoring centers of the Pharmacovigilance Program of India (PvPI), Ministry of Health, GOI, and the regional center for the training and technical support for PvPI in southern region.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Cattle fair is a regular feature at the Suttur Jatra held every year, where farmers bring in their excess cattle to the fair to sell them to prospective buyers. But this year the scene was a little different. More number of farmers had brought their cattle to the fair to sale them off as they cannot afford to look after them. Already reeling under severe drought, farmers are finding it difficult to provide feed for their live stocks.
Farmer Prabhuswamy says: “When our livelihood is at stake, how can we look after the livestocks. The lands have dried-up, providing fodder, water for livestock is another challenging task. Hence, we decided to sell off the two pairs of cattle instead of seeing them suffering from hunger in our backyards due to hunger and thirst.”
“Many of them are unaware of the problems faced by farmers and ground reality. Rising input costs of seeds and fetilisers, severe drought, farm labour shortage, less yield and other problems has pushed our life into misery,” says another farmer Mahadevanna.
While, the presence of large number of cattle at the fair, all brought for sale, raised the eyebrows of many. But there were only countable number of buyers. Farmers were telling that following drought the number of buyers has come down, and sellers has increased.
Cattle Fair President YP Mahadevappa said that more than 450 pairs of cattle were brought for sale, which was just about 230 last year. there is good response for fair this year, compare to last year.
Agricultural Student from Bangalore Mithuna opined that “if something is not done to check this new trend, the consequences in the coming years will be more severe as most farmers would have given up farming by then and gone to other professions.” Farmers from Chamarajanagar, Mysore, Mandya had taken part in the fair. Rs 3.30 lakh cattle pair were cynosure of ally eyes at the fair.
The 24x7 women toll free helpline number '1091', which was launched in 2001, has failed to reach the distress women effectively. As the number 1091 get connected with BSNL landline service/mobile, and other countable private telecom services like Airtel, Reliance.
Women are facing problems to access the numbers, as either they have to search for BSNL landline / mobile service, nor the countable private telecom services which connect the helpline number 1091 to the NGO Vanitha Sahaya Vani, situated in Bangalore, where Santhwana Center runs.
Women and Child Welfare Deputy Director NR Vijay admitting the problem said that social activists of Santhwana centres are providing alternative NGO's landline for contact and measures have been taken to educate women by distributing pamphlets about alternative measures.
But, the question is how far its possible for women to remember the land line, mobile number along with pin codes. Specially, for women residing in rural areas, where comparatively women are subjected in large for various abuse, and literacy level is also low.
Saraswathi of Vanitha Sahaya Vani, Bangalore also admitted that they are not able to get calls from many areas in the Bangalore too and have got complained in this regard.
Najangud Santhwana Center Savithramma said that mobile phones users are more in number and the government should take appropriate measures to solve the problem.
“As many of the women step back complaining going to police station,
the helpline number was activated to protect women who face atrocities like rape, sexual and dowry harassment, domestic violence. But, its very unfortunate that the government has failed to make the number access across state,” says social activist Radha.
Social Activist Roopsingh of Mysore Santhwana Center runs at Shakthidhama said that the issue has brought to the notice of the women and child welfare department. He says, as the number of users of the particular telecome service has come down, it has led to many problems.
W&C Deputy Director Vijay said that a request has been sent to government seeking to mobilse the women helpline number in the lines of 108 Ambulance and no idea when it will be implemented.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Call it has apathy of officials or ignorance. Though lakhs of income is generated every year from Chamundi Hill, the officials have failed to provide basic facilities for the world famous Chamundi Hill.
Thousands of people climb steps of Chamundi Hill every week from dawn to dusk. But, unfortunately people are forced to climb the step in dark, as the step way lights are not being properly maintained.
The fused bulbs are not replaced in some place, while in some place the poles are erected on very long distance and are broken. Due to this the entire region will be dark, making hard for enthused hill climbers. One has two climb around 1040 steps to reach the top of Chamundi Hill. On the way hardly one can find 3-4 bulbs glowing, and the number of electric poles erected are also less.
Soma of Foot stand says: “People start climbing the hill from 5 am to 8 pm. The lights are not working from last one year. The officials should take measures to replace the bulbs and maintain hygiene.”
“Out of fear itself we climb the hill. The hill is surrounded with forest, and fear of wild animals too. The officials should take measures to provide basic facilities and clean the place” says Shanthi, a housewife, who climbs hill regularly.
Apart this, one can see plastic littered across hill. The regular walkers urged the officials to maintain cleanliness surrounding the place. They say: “Elected representatives visit hill to offer prayer oftenly. But fail to provide basic facilities. There is lack of sanitation, drinking water facility and no one looks into the issue.”
Regular walker Babu says, 'there is a drastic rise in number of hill climbers from last several years. All age group of people, including good number of women, children too climb the steps regularly. Appropriate measures should be taken by officials considering safety of people and a police personnel has to be deputed near the foot of Chamundi hills.'
Muzrai Department Tahsildar Yathiraju said that he will look into the issues and take appropriate measures.
Meet this reptiles enthusiast who has credit of capturing more than 20,000 snakes and 25 crocodiles. Though he is not a herpetologist, Manjunath, hailing from Lakshmipura of KR Nagar has indulged himself in social service.
From the tender age of seven, he has caught the reptiles. The first snake he captured accidentally, at his home created interest and curious in him to become a snake catcher. “Without noticing the snake had surrounded money pot (piggy bank), I took the pot in hands. Later I heard 'hisssss' sound of the snake. As it was poisonous reptile, in fear I hold the snake's head little gently, not allowing to move it. It was then, I got interest in catching the snakes,” says 45, year-old Manjunath.
“KR Nagar Taluk is surrounded with agricultural lands and Cauvery basin region, more number of snakes have nested there. Specially from December to February, I used to rescue more than 300 snakes and leave them to the nearby forest.”
“The fishermen were catching fishes in river using long shanked hooks, where daily dozens of snakes used to get caught for the hook. Villagers used to kill them, but later I educated them and rescued the snakes,” says Manjunath with pride.
He later thought of capturing crocodiles and at first he rescued the Crocodile which had fallen in the open well at Chunchanakatte. Later, he rescued about 25 crocodiles from various places, and has left them in Ranganathittu birds century in Mandya district.
Mysore Zoo authorities after knowing about his skills, appointed him as a keeper for Reptile Section, who is now Junior Attender. After joining for Zoo, he has learnt to identify about 30 varieties of snakes, and interestingly two of the crocodiles rescued by him as been housed at Mysore Zoo. Being illiterate, he has helped people by catching thousands of snakes and will not seek money for his work from public.
In a bid to provide rehabilitation, care and protection for destitute and runaway children, Children's Home were set-up at several places across the State by Government, under Women and Child Welfare Department. One such Children's Home for boys which was functioning in JP Nagar in the city has been shutdown for children for last eight months following lack of basic facilities.
As many as 67 children have been rehabilitated to various centers across state since June, 2012. From the Records it was observed that 36 children have sent with parents. According to sources, citing reasons of lack of accommodation and other basic facilities the children are sent back with parents. There are even instances where parents of runaway children have been convinced that they will be contacted once they get the place ready for accommodation.
Children's Home PO Nagarathna said that, “due to lack of basic facilities like water, sanitation, children are being temporarily shifted to Rehabilitation Centers in other districts.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a relative of one of the child admitted to the Home said that children are being refused admission at the Home and are sent back with parents.
Observation Home PO Sudha said that once the child's parents are identified they are sent back to their parents and the remaining children are handed over to Rehabilitation Center in various districts. In majority of the cases both children and parents are counseled, convinced and measures have been taken to send the children with parents, as the Center at Mysore has shut its doors.
Women and Child Welfare Deputy Director NR Vijay said that Department will be shortly getting its own building at Vijayanagar 4th stage, and the Home will be set-up with all facilities there. He said the building might start functioning from March-April.
“In case children wish to continue in the rehabilitation centers, where they have already accommodated they will not be disturbed. Fresh children will be rehabilitated at new center,”he added.
As of June 2012 there were 43 children staying at the Home. Since then the officials after collecting transfer certificates from schools, have rehabilitated children in various centers. 23 children have been sent back with parents after due identification, 6 were sent to Jain Education Society in Mysore, nine to Rehabilitation center at Chikkamagalore, four to Mandya and the remaining one was sent to Bapuji Play Home in the city.
Twenty four juveniles have brought to the Observation home since July 2012, in which 13 of them have sent back with their parents, and the remaining children were relocated to Homes at Hassan and Mandya districts.
To motivate people about the idea of power savings in computers, Vigyanlabs have developed IPMPlus software to save power including computers. The aim of building software is to educate populace about power consumption in computers, using software.
Srinivas Varadarajan, Managing Director, Vigyanlabs Innovations Private Limited said that an average of 50 to 60 per cent of the time computers will be idle in the company, and about 40 per cent of power can be saved without any impact to business operations by using software.
The software is provided as a free download to individuals and groups/institutions/companies to adopt. The software is certified by Microsoft and also by Softpedia as 100% clean.
'While explaining the concept to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) an idea originated of holding contest, around the annual Earth Hour Celebration on March 23– called the IPMPlus Friends of Earth Hour 2013 Contest, he said. To enable the contest, Vigyanlabs has built a special Earth Hour Edition of its patented software called IPMPlus. The contest is live at www.ipmplus.com
On a daily basis, data is sent from each computer which has registered for the contest on how much power was consumed and how much is saved. This is translated into a Friends of Earth Hour score – a new concept to promote green awareness.
“From last one week about 500 people from all parts of India and a few from USA, Germany and Pakistan have registered for the contest and 100+ kWh of electricity has been saved using IPMPlus. If more people start using the software the impact of collective effort on power savings will become significant – possibly in the range of few MegaWattHours – by the time the contest closes on Earth Hour Day which is on March 23,” said Srinivas Varadarajan.
Vigyanlabs is situated at SJCE-STEP, JSS Technical Institutions Campus, Manasagangotri. To know more about the software contact 0821 2413890.