Friday, June 27, 2014

Research on Jeenu Kuruba Community reveals startling facts

The Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute (KSTRI) has conducted research for first of its kind on the status of health of tribals belonging to Jenu Kuruba community (Honey Collectors), of which startling facts have been revealed.
The findings have revealed that most of the pregnant women are suffering from malnutrition. Majority of the Jenu Kurubas residing at Hunsur and HD Kote taluks, in particular were found to have been afflicted with Tuberculosis, while several of them had already died.
Lack of timely medical care, and not taking modern medicine is cited as the main reason for the increase in TB and death. The factors responsible for their low health and increase in mortality has also been highlighted in the findings.
It has been also found that members belonging to this particular tribe are more vulnerable to skin disease, diarrhea, Monkey disease, asthma and sickle cell anemia. Both men and women indulge in regular alcoholic consumption. There dwelling places are extremely unhygienic. In all, the community is considered to be most vulnerable in matters related to health amongst all other tribal groups.
Jenukurubas reside only in three districts, namely Mysore, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu. Their total population is considered to be around 8,000. The random sample survey was conducted at Gundlupt, Hunsur, HD Kote, Somwarpt and Virajpet for about one-and-half years.
KSTRI Director Dr TT Basavanagouda said that the main reason for the rampant disease among the tribals is lack of awareness on health issues and unhygienic.
“Declining population is a major criteria to assist Jeenu Kuruba, a particularly vulnerable tribal groups in Karnataka. They are very poor compare to other tribal community. They wont give much importance for health. They are illiterates and most backward in socio-economic-health. Their population is fast declining. Majority of the community members practice cultivation or work as farm labourers. Their average lifespan is around 65 to 70 years.”
Collecting the random samples, further studies will be done with clinical assistance to know the reason for malnutrition among tribal pregnant women, he added.
Basavangounda said that they will be shortly submitting the report to the Social Welfare Department giving suggestions for health and family welfare to take precautionary measures to improve their health and living conditions, thereby reduce contracting diseases. Arrangements have been made to conduct de-addiction camps and health awareness programmes on hygiene for all tribals across the State, he added. 

Rodents haunt KR Hospital patients

More than 1,000 rodents are poisoned every month

The menace of rodent is at larger extent at the city's famous KR Hospital. Whats alarming is about 1,000 rodents are killed by poisoning every month by a daily wage worker Siddaraju from various wards located inside the KR Hospital.

As the vegetable market, Booti Bazaar is adjacent to the hospital, rodents find it easier to enter through underground drainage pipes, roads. Another reason cited for the rampant menace is that visitors to hospital discard the leftover food openly, and for the smell rodent comes.

Speaking to Express, most of the staff and patients complained of rats entering the wards around 8 pm creating panic among the women and their relatives who sleep on the floor.
As rodents pose serious health risks, it has become cause of worrisome for both doctors and patients alike. Specially, the patients undergoing treatment at Cheluvamba hospital (Maternity hospital) will pass everyday out of fear in night.

Dean and Director of Cheluvamba Hospital, Dr Krishhna Murthy said that as the hospital is right adjacent to Market it has become a challenging task to tackle the rat menace.
“We are putting all efforts to bring the problem under control by catching rats. Though a large number of rats are being poisoned each day, their numbers have not dwindled. To extend the exercise further, we need to give contract for concerned agency for which Rs 25,000 per month is needed,” he added.
Siddaraju, who is working for KR Hospital for last seven years said: “I keep the poison at safe place, where other insects, birds cant reach. An average of about 25 to 50 rats are poisoned every day at MMC&RI, KR Hospital and Cheluvamba Hospital.”

Yogesh, a residents of Vidyaranayapuram said: “I had admitted my sister to Cheluvamba Hospital for delivery. I found big rats entering the wards daily night. We had taken utmost care for the new born baby during our stay.”
T Narasipur Taluk Senior Citizen Rekhavathi also admitted the menace of big rats and complained of lack of hygiene. “Have witnessed big rats scurrying inside the wards. Measures should be taken to trap them.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Expo on William Shakespeare was cynosure of all eyes

Are you curious to watch the 36 plays penned by Shakespeare and lot of pictures related to Shakespeare birth, schooling and house. Then don't miss the opportunity to visit St Philomena's College, where rare photographs of Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon have been displayed by a English Professor BN Balajee.

His expo includes samples of Shakespeare handwriting and more than 100 books on Shakespeare and seminal books. Besides this, he has 70-year-old long play gramophone records, tapes, cassettes and DVDs of all the 36 dramas of shakespeare.

To mark the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare, Professor BN Balajee had displayed more than 600 photographs, postcards, posters, placards, DVD's at the venue here on Wednesday, which are collected by him personally in 2007-08 visiting the Bard birth place Stratford-upon-Avon, London and Newyork.

The expo also includes an exquisite collection of lecturers and drama and English litterateur. The latest collections is from Chicago, Stratford, London depicting the celebration which includes processions, pageants, road shows and fireworks.

Speaking to Express, Balajee said that inspired by his Prof Anniah Gowda he visited globe theater at London twice and birth place of Bard Stratford-upon-Avon in 2007 and 2008. Later, he has went to Newyork and has visited several theater, libraries.

During his visited he has collected the posters, tickets, brochures of drama shows. The expo includes a collection of pictorial details of scenes from the Bard's tragedies and comedy.
I believe students by watching the pictures, listening to stage actors and imitating great actors like Maralon Barndo, Sir Laurence Oliver students can learn how to speak English with stress rhythm and intonation,” he added.

The expo was cynosure of all eyes. Former Ambassador Prof Koushik and many dignitaries visited the expo. The expo concludes on April 24 at 4 pm.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

'Deepavali festival makes our dream cum true'

Deepavali, the festival of lights, is not merely celebrated by lighting diyas, distributing sweets among friends and relatives, and bursting crackers. People will be celebrating the three-day light festival by bringing home their long cherished house hold appliances (Fridge, furniture, Washing machine), electronic gadgets (Smart Phones and 3D TVs), and vehicles, which are offered by popular brands showroom at tempting discounts lasting only for the next couple of days.

Majority of the showrooms were crowded, as people thronged to make good of the deals offered on consumer goods on almost every product. Even inquiries for second hand purchase of vehicles was high. The added advantage is zero per cent cash deposit on some of the products. A huge rush also witnessed at Jewellery shops.

With recession looming large, most of the big business houses who had worried of poor sales and collection of excess stocks in their show rooms, have made good of the opportunity to sell the stocks offering attractive discounts.

Akshay Amar said: “I had planned to purchase refrigerator from last two months and my family asked to purchase during deepavali. Now, am purchasing the same model refrigerator for more than Rs 2000 less.”

Mallesh, a businessman in Saraswathipuram said people are showing interest in large number to purchase the products with good amount of discount. He said, he is having roaring business this year and is expecting good turn over.

Lakshmi puja
Of the three days of the festival, the Lakshmi Puja is considered as most auspicious, which will celebrated on Sunday. The presiding deity of wealth will be welcomed with great devotion and there is a strong belief among people that if gold ornaments is purchased on the day, it would bring them more prosperity. Specially, the day is celebrated in grand manner by Jains.

Manya who makes sure to purchase gold ornaments every year said: “Deepavali is not just a festival of lights for us. Its the time to full fill our dreams. We celebrate the day with lot of enthusiast, with family and friends.”

At Market
The market was seen buzzing with people activities. The prices of flowers, fruits were quite high on Friday. Women were seen busy choosing eye catching diyas, which has come in myriad designs. Shops were illuminated with variety of colourful paper buntings and flowers, drawing the attention of passers by.

Crackers burn pocket of consumers !

The sky rocketing prices of crackers is burning the pockets of consumer. Though prices of crackers ranged from Rs 25 upto Rs 20,000 with spectacular designs are available in the market, the quantity of the crackers available is less comparatively to price. Consumers bargaining with the sellers was the common sight witnessed at the JK Grounds in city on Friday.

S Ashwath Narayana, who is selling crackers for the past three decades said that the response was luke warm, as the consumers were discouraged of the high costs. Another seller Shivakumar observed that awareness among people might also have contributed to the poor response.

Kumar, a resident of Hebbal said year to year the prices are increasing and there is no exemption this year. “With quite hike in prices, am planning of purchasing only certain selected items for a fixed sum of price."    

Amidst several odds these artisans continue their legacy

The hike in cost of living, has adversely affected the livelihood of Kumbargeri artisans who are indulged in creating eco-friendly idols of Gowri and Ganesha out of clay.

To combat with the present scenario, several artisans have opted for various jobs. Inspite of several odds, one month before Ganesha festival the artisans take leave and work in night to cater the demands from their countable number of customers, including NRI's.

“Though we are affected severely and facing lot of hardship, we do want to give up the traditional art work. After coming from work, I help my father in creating the idols till 3 pm,” said Subramanya who is working for an private company for 12,000 salary.

Artist Shyam Sundar said: “We are unable to coop up with hike in prices of essential commodities. It has become difficult for us to lead life depending only on selling idols. Thus, two years ago I joined for a company and meantime not to discontinue the legacy, I take leave during the festival seasons and help family in creating Idols.”

“Only countable number of them prefer handmade clay idols. To attract people towards clay idols, we are creating new design as per the orders by the customer,” said 70-year-old fourth generation artist B Srinivas, who exports few of his hand made clay idols for NRIs.

He further said that he is ensuring to provide good education for his grand children, as he has no hope in the creating hand made idols. B Srinivas family members are indulged in work from the time of Wodeyars' ruled Mysore.
Hardly 20 families continue the bequest

Once upon a time Kumbargeri was famous for selling of traditional Mysore Style hand made clay Ganesh and Gowri  idols. But, with the rapid urbanisation the area is loosing its charm. From 170 families only 20 families in the area are indulged in the traditional practice.  
Earlier, the entire family members used to indulge in creating clay idols and had the handful of orders. But with the urbanisation and surface of glittering Plaster of Paris idols to market from other states the demand for traditional Ganesha has drastically come down.

The families which were selling more than 2000 to 3000 idols in the festival season, are now selling below 250, which makes them difficult to sustain. Artisans say the ready idols brought from other state has severely affected their business.      

All India Championship Dog Show on August 25

Mysore Kennel Club has organised its 102nd and 103rd All India Championship Dog Show at Dasara Exhibition grounds on August 25 between. About 45 varieties of dogs from across country, ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 16 lakh will take part in the event.

Addressing the media persons here on Thursday, Kennel Club District President BP Manjunath said that the specialty of the show is children in the age group of six to 16 years will ramp on red carpet with their pet dogs.

Karnataka's own breed Mudhol Hound, Black Russian Terrier, Dogo Canario, Akita (Japanese breed), Dogue De Bordeaux, Black Russian Terrier, Siberian Husku, American Cocker Spaniel, Rotweilers, Labroadors, Great Danes, St Bernards, Pugs any many other breeds dog will be participating in the event.
Food producers, animal pharmaceutical company and other pet-associated sectors will be showcasing their products at the venue. Exclusive stalls will be erected to educate pet lovers about measures to be taken while nurturing pets.

Participants from Delhi, Bombay, Chatisgarh, Katak, Chennai, Coimbatore, Ooty, Pune, Sollapur, Hyderabad, Calicutt are taking part in the event. Solina Tonga, Partha Shekar Chatterji, Yashodara Hemachandra will be the judges.Certificates and trophies will be presented for dogs and the dogs should have hereditary details of atleast two generation.
BP Manjunath further said that there is very good response from year to year for the pet show and more number of people registering their names.
Deputy Commissioner C Shikha will inaugurate the event at 9 am. Police Commissioner Dr MA Saleem, Corporation Commissioner PG Ramesh will release the souvenir on the occasion.

Traditional Bamboo Weavers in city

A custom practiced by most women during the Ganesh- Gowri festival is the exchange of a bamboo tray (Mora) containing clothes and grains called Bagina. But many are not aware who weaves these bamboo moras.

They woke up at 4 am, cooking food for their children, carrying food for them, they catch the bus at 5 am from Nanajangud and assemble beneath the Peepal (Arali Mara) tree opposite to 101 Ganesha Temple before sunrise.

Men cut and prune the Bamboo stems, the women folk weave them.
After the bamboo stems are carefully smoothened with knives by the men, women pick them for weaving the traditional mora.

All the women sit in a circle and weave pruned bamboo. While the husbands, brothers can be seen sitting opposite to them cutting bamboo stems and giving the pieces to the women.

The family comprising a total of 43 members of which 18 are women say this has been their permanent place during festival season for the past four decades, while in the past their parents and grand parents were selling the bamboos sitting on the same place.

These traditional Bamboo Weavers, hailing from Nanjangud taluk, work from dawn to desk for about one-and-half month only during Gowri-Ganesha festival. With about Rs 400 to Rs 500 in pocket the couples catch their bus back to town at 10 pm. They say during this festival season they sell about 80 to 120 mora per day.
We are all relative. We make and sell 'Mora' using Bamboo. This is offered as 'bagina' for Goddess Gowri and also to other women,” says 48-year-old Mangalamma, who is accompanying her husband for the past 32 years.

I have three children. I wake up at 4 am. Clean house, prepare food for children and come here to sell bamboo mara. Even during other times our routine remains same. We even bamboo items at Nanjangud Town,” said 60-year-old Jayashree.
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Bamboo woven 'Mora' plays major role in Gowri-Ganesha festival and is called as 'Morada Bagina'.  

Flower Show at Kukkarahalli Lake from October 3

Horticulture Department of Mysore University has organised flowers show on  Kukkarahalli Lake from October 3 to 14. University VC Prof KS Rangappa will inaugurate the flower show on October 3 at 5 pm. Varieties of vegetables, flowers, show plants such as
Marigold cape, Marigold garden, French Marigold, Anthuriums, vegetables like Brinjal, Cabage, Cucumber, varieties of chilli will be exhibited. The show will be open for public from 9 am to 7 pm.

'Grameena Dasara brings harmony among people'
District in-charge minister V Srinivasa Prasad opined that with lack of harmony among people, Grameena Dasara will work as bondage between people and bring backs peace, harmony among people. He was speaking after the inauguration of Grameena Dasara at Udbur Village here on Friday. He further asked villagers to with unity, equality to keep the  culture, tradition of villages alive.

Geetha Mahadev Prasad to recite at Dasara Kavi Sammelan

Geetha Mahadev Prasad, wife of Co-operative Minister HS Mahadeva Prasad and Writer Dr Bellipadi Satish Rai, brother of forest minister B Ramanth Rai will recite poems at the three-day Dasara Kavi Sammelan to be held from October 10 to 12 at JSS Womens' College. Geetha Mahadev Prasad will recite her poem at Women Kavi Goshti, while Bellipadi Satish at Pradhan Kavigoshti. Kavigosthi Executive Chairman Prof C Naganna said that both are good publishers, writer and are selected as per the criteria of the Sub-Committee.


Dasara Tourism to be tourist friendly

Mysore: Dasara Tourism Sub-Committee President YN Shankaregowda here on Thursday, announced various steps taken to promote Tourism in Mysore during Dasara.  Eight Sarots and nine Tongas have been selected to encourage traditional Dasara Tonga. The tongawallahs will be provided with uniform, Mysore Peta, and Rs 1000 honorarium for nine days of Dasara festivities.

Stating that after Delhi, the Hop On Hop Off service is being introduced only in Mysore, he said eight buses (including three volvo buses) have been exclusively used for the service and they will be given a modern touch so that tourists can identity these buses easily.

The hop on hop off bus connects 16 tourist places where a pre-recorded audio will provide information to tourists about the particular the place they are visiting as and when the bus reaches a paticular destination. The fair is Rs 100 for volvo bus and Rs 60 for regular bus.

The bus service which starts from and culminates at the City Bus Stand covers Jagan Mohan Palace, Sachchidananda Ashrama, Uttanahalli Temple, Chamundi Hill, Nandi Statue, Karanji Lake, Zoo, St Philomena's Church, Railway Station Museum, Kalamandira, DC Office, Crawford Hall and joins 100 feet road finally reaching the bus-stand.


Foreign students to assist tourists during Dasara

Mysore: Thanks for the initiative of Dasara Tourism which has planned to assist foreigners coming to Mysore to watch Dasara in their respective native language. As many as 62 foreign students of various colleges affiliated to Mysore University are being selected to provide information to the visiting tourists in twelve foreign languages during the 9 day Dasara festivities.

How it functions
By calling the toll free number 1077, the visiting tourist has to provide information about his country's name or the language he is familiar with. Immediately their call will be transferred to the concerned foreign student who is conversant with that language, who will provide information about places of  visit, accommodation and other queries.

The selected students have already undergone a training and the tourism department has provided them the related brochures, list of Dasara events and related contact numbers to seek help in case they need more information.

Around 5 foreign students have been selected for each prominent language who are offering this service voluntarily and will not be paid any honorarium. Tourism Sub-Committee Member Manjunath said that this will benefit hundreds of tourists who will be visiting Mysore.

Kiosks at 16 places

Around 42 students who underwent training conducted by the Dept. of  Tourism have been asked to work at 16 kiosks in two shifts set up at various places in the city. The students will  provided with all the relevant  information commonly asked by the tourists related to Mysore and also about Dasara.

The students will also provide information about the newly launched, 'hop on hop off service' conducted by the KSRTC. Around 15 students have been selected from places like Srirangapatna, Talakadu, T Narasipura and other taluks.

Around 25,000 brochures containing brief historical description of Mysore City, route map has been printed and will be distributed to visitors through this kiosks.

The Kiosks will be set up at St Philomena's Church, Zoo, Ambavilas Palace Varaha Gate, Sub-Urban bus stand, Chamundi Hill, Mysore Airport, Railway Station, Balarama Dwara, Railway Station and one at Back entry of railway station, Dasara Exhibition Grounds, Somanathapura, Srirangapatna, Nanjangud, Talakadu, Hunsur, T Narasipur. 

Wildlife, artworks come alive on fruits and vegetables

It was a visual feast at curzon part on Wednesday, when the participants of fruit and vegetable carving competition displayed their delicate works at the venue. Using razor blade, they were seen etching various floral design on the rind of melons and pumpklins.

Apart from women, good number of male and children too created beautiful artworks using Vegetable and fruits. The children brought wildlife alive using varieties of vegetables. They had created crocodile using Bitter Gourd, fishes using bottle guard; snakes using Ridge Gourd, Tortoise, coastal attire, Ganesh on Musk Melon, Peacock out of papaya, vegetable vases and much more.

Santosh, 6th standards student of DAV Public School who is taking part in contest said for second time said he has tried only few vegetables, and has the desire to learn carving on lot of fruits, which he has not tried.

Prema Rao, who is taking part from last three had created flowers like lilies, roses using using onion, betroot, caroot, orange. While, Nagaraj a created Lion, Ganesha, Sunflower on the rind of watermelon and drew the attention of on-lookers.

Couple Yogamba and Rajendra Kumar are contesting together from last ten years at the flower show. Being a employee of KSRTC, Rajendra has developed keen interest in vegetables carving. He was seen carving Buddha using watermelon as medium. He has won several prizes in flower rangoli competition, fruit and vegetable carving.

While his wife Yogamba, who is part of flower show for more than two decades said that she feels happy to take part in competitions. Interestingly she stands one among top four every year.    

Women empowerment to take center note at Mahila Dasara

This year women dasara will not only be a platform for women to showcase their talent, whereas a medium to educate populace about women empowerment and gender discrimination.

A empowered women not only bring changes in society, whereas contributes to the economic development of country. With this backdrop,
Mahila Dasara Sub-Committee has organised a rally from Palace to JK Grounds to drew the attention of people towards women empowerment.

The aim of the rally is to boost confidence, remove fear among women and empower them on various aspects like how to over come poverty, contribution to society in health, education sector, how to live with freedom and much more. Women and Children Dasara Secretary NR Vijay said the rally empowers women boosting confidence and skills.

Dance by tribal women
Apart this, the Mahila Dasara will be perfect platform to showcase their talent in beauty, cooking, art and culture. A group of 15 tribal women from HD Kote are all set to steal the show at Mahila Dasara by their rural traditional dance.

Bride of India
Another interesting and eye catching event which will be host is “Bride of India”, an Indian Wedding contest. Women dressed as brides, walk on the red carpet depicting culture of various states in India.

The event will also be an informative programme to introduce people of Mysore, of other culture and tradition. The contest will be a cynosure of all eyes to watch the amalgamation of various culture, say programme organisers.

Traditional Cooking Contest
To introduce the tradition of the particular region, a traditional cooking competition has been organised. The women from different spheres will prepare and exhibit their traditional dishes of the region.

Women and Child Development Minister Umashree will inaugurate Mahila Dasara on October 7 at JK Grounds. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Yalakki Banana comes to the rescue to Nanjangud farmers

The poor and marginal farmers who had given up the cultivation of indigenous fruit Nanjangud Rasabale following huge loss, are now reaping good profits after they switched over to cultivating Yalakki (Ney Poovan) banana, species popular in Tamil Nadu and G9 (Grande 9), an improved variety of 'Pacha balehannu'.

With good profits and easy cultivation compared to Rasabale, the demand for this varieties of banana is good in Nanjangud. The farmers say the crops are cost effective and by growing G9 variety in an acre of land they can earn about Rs 1 lakh, while Yelakki fetches them around Rs 80,000.

“As the soil type, temperature and several other factors are quite conducive to cultivate these alternative varieties of banana, using low cost inputs and not much maintenance we are able to earn good returns,” say farmers.

60-year-old farmer HK Channappa of Hullahalli Hobli, Nanjangud says after he switched over to cultivating Yalakki and G9, his economic status has greatly improved. Particularly farmers of Devarasanahalli village in Nanjangud who were once world famous for growing only 'Nanjangud Rasabale', have today completely switched over to cultivating Yalakki and G9 bananas.

Devarasanahalli village Head Venkatesh says: “I incurred huge loss with the failure of indigenous fruit Nanjangud Rasabale. Today the fruit is on the verge of extinction with plants attacked by a virus  Panama Wilt. The plants were very sensitive to viral attacks, and the cost of maintenance was very high. This was the main reason,  hundreds of farmers like me in the region switched over to cultivating other varieties of bananas. Today we are a happy lot for making that bold decision.”

According to officials in the Department of Horticulture, today farmers are growing Yalakki banana in thousands of hectares of land, while the cultivation of Rasabale in Nanjangud has shrunk to less than 25 acres in the past two decades.

Nanjangud Horticulture Department Senior Assistant Director BM Shivalingappa said that farmers are showing more interest to grow Yalakki in the region, which can be grown with minimum maintenance costs and also there is a good demand for the fruit. “The economic status of farmers has vastly improved,” he adds.  

Poor farmers have given up Rasabale banana cultivation in Nanajnagud

Devarasanahalli Village near Nanjangud was world famous because of a unique variety of bananna 'Nanjangud Rasabale' that was grown in large extent here. Whereas today the village has lost its identity and will be an another nondescript village in State.
There were times when hundreds of the farmers of this village were cultivating only 'Rasabale' and have fetched a good price. But to various reasons cultivation of the plant dwindled and today hardly countable number of farmers are growing Rasabale in a meager three or four acre plot.

Hundreds of poor and marginal farmers have completely given up the cultivation in Nanjangud. Only a dozen of upper middle class farmers owning more than 10 acres of land are planting in half or one acre plot. The special nature of the soil that is found only in Nanjangud is said to be responsible for the extra-ordinary sweetness it has.
According to officials in the Department of Horticulture, the farmers
in Nanjangud were cultivating 'Rasabale' in thousands of acres of land, which in the last two decades has shrunk less than 25 acres. This special indigenous fruit has acquired a Geographical Indication tag, though it is now on the verge of extinction.
One of the main reason for farmers to give up cultivation is because plants are attacked by a virus called Panama Wilt, (locally known as Soragu Roga). According to farmers and horticulture department officials, this banana plants are very sensitive and are more vulnerable for this viral disease.

Nanjangud Horticulture Department Senior Assistant Director BM Shivalingappa said that 'in spite of continuous research going on to check the spread of the diseases it has not been successful. The plant has no inherent immunity for the disease.'

While the farmers allege that after the construction of Kabini Canal, the banana plants flowers started withering away, as the plants are very sensitive. Because of all this reasons, farmers in the region in the past decade, have switched over to a species grown in Tamil Nadu known as G9 (Grande 9). With good profit and easy maintenance compare to Rasabale plantation, the demand for the breed is good in the region.

60-year-old farmer HK Channappa of Hullahalli Hobli, Nanjangud says: In his 14 acres of land, he is growing Rasabale in just an acre of land. “Though it is a loss for me, I am continuing with the plantation to keep up with the tradition. We request government to look into the issue seriously and supply a variety that is resistant to disease, so that, farmers enthusiastically come forward to continue farming activity.”

Another 51-year-old farmer Sathyanrayana of Kugalur said that there is threat to the conservation of this breed. Government should look into the issue seriously. This particular variety is so famous that even Germany took it to their country to preserve the strain and if possible cultivate it, adds Sathyanarayana.

To protect this rare variety of fruit, the Rasabale Sangha was constituted few years ago. But only 15 farmers signed-up for this restoration effort. With the Government too not showing any initiative to help the Sangha the Sangha has become only for namesake, he regretted.


About 4000 rural youngsters to take up agriculture activities in district 

If the data available with Zilla Panchayat were any indication, then Rajiv Gandhi Chaitanya Yojana aimed to discourage rural youth migrating to urban areas in search of jobs, is a success. When the training programme of first batch concluded on February 20 (started in January), majority of the youngsters have dropped their ideas of moving to a big city and instead are planning to continue their work in their own agriculture fields. The beneficiaries in HD Kote and Periyapatna are largely showing interest in animal husbandary.

In all, 6985 beneficiaries were selected from 235 Gram Panchayats in the district. Out of which 4,570 are men and 2415 are women. Interestingly, 4440 beneficiaries have shown interest in self employment, such as animal husbandry, agriculture, horticulture, ship rearing, diary, mushroom and vegetable cultivation, fisheries, honey agri business and other sector, while 2487 have shown interest towards skill development programme and remaining 58 are yet to decided.

27-year-old Parvathi, a beneficiary from HD Kote said: "Before attending the programme, I was thinking of heading towards Mysore to seek a job. But, now I have gained confidence that I can become self-employed and even suggest the same for my other friends."

KR Nagar Taluk, Hulhalli Village Head Venkateshappa said that: "Earlier my unemployed son was wasting time, roaming in the village. After I forced him to undergo the training, I began to see some changes. Today, he is planning to cultivate in the two acres of land what we have and am happy for him."

Chandrappa of KR Nagar Taluk said that the programm has helped him to create employment by himself and is planning to take up animal husbandry.

ZP Chief Executive Officer PA Gopal said that migration will definitely come down with educating youngsters and the programme creates job opportunities for rural artisans in large, apart from helping village youth to take appropriate decision about their future.

ZP Chief Planning Officer Prabhuswamy said that with youngsters taking up agricultural activities coming down in recent times, the programme has motivated thousands of youngster in district to take up farming activities.

The selected beneficiaries were educated about skill employment and self employment and how to generate income by mobilising the existing resources within their villages by taking up activities like horticulture, animal husbandry, goat rearing, cow rearing, fisheries etc., apart from main
occupation agriculture.

Another feature of the programme was the inclusion of women in the training. They too were educated about rearing hen, goat, cow, tailoring, handicrafts while generating income using locally available resources that needed little investment. They were trained through video conferencing and satellite education.

The programme was announced by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in his budget on July, 2013. Loan facility will be provided by banks upto Rs 1 lakh of which Rs 10,000 will be provided as subsidy. The beneficiaries will be further provided training to specialise their skills in the respective fields they
are interested.  

KSRTC to extend bus service to major cities from Kuvempunagar

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation had recently started a bus service from Kuvempunagar being one of the city's major residential extension directly to Bangalore. Though the response from the residents is lukewarm, KSRTC has not incurred any losses on this trip, with always a minimum of 25 to 30 passengers availing the  service daily in a bus.

This has made KSRTC think of further extending the services to other major cities. When KSRTC officials conducted a survey it was found on an average 25 to 35 residents of Kuvempunagar daily travelled to places like Chikmagalur, Hassan and Madikeri. To facilitate these passengers KSRTC has planned to ply buses from Kuvempunagar to  these routes.

With the services being started from second week of March, commuters can board directly from Kuvempunagar bus-stand and can save the time travelling to Sub Urban Busstand. Daily three buses will ply at a frequency of one hour 6 am, 7 am and 8 am. The buses will return back after ending the trip.

KSRTC Divisional Controller (Rural) BV Srinivas said that they are expecting around 30 passengers every day on this route and after learning over the response, the service will be extended in a phased manner to other areas in city.

'The total journey time of the passengers will be cut down with the introduction of these buses. To start with only ordinary Express buses will be introduced,' he said. He further added that more number of passengers are now availing e-booking of tickets and are making on-line reservations. Following which around 25 per cent of tickets are booked on-line everyday.

Passengers traffic up
Due to increase in passenger traffic more number of buses are being added to routes such as Nanjangud, HD Kote, Sargur, Hunsur, Malavalli, Mandya and other Taluks. The buses to Nanjangud ply in a frequency of every 10 minutes, followed by every 15 minutes to HD Kote, Hunsur, Mandya, added Srinivas.


'Peak Hours Service' to facilitate commuters soon

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, Mysore Division will shortly introduce 'Peak Hours Service' (PHS) to a few selected localities based on the existing data of revenue collections and demand from commuters. This will be of great benefit for the daily commuters traversing these routes.

As per the plan, KSRTC will deploy five additional buses during peak hours, between 8 am and 12 noon and again between 4 pm and 8 pm beginning from March. With more number of buses plying in the morning and evening peak hours commuters, especially those who work in shifts will be greatly benefited. If the response from the public for these trial runs are good, then similar services will be extended to other areas as well.

Based on the data of revenue collections (average of Rs 35 per kilo meter on a route), officials have selected JP Nagar, Infosys, Sathgalli and Kuvempunagar on a pilot basis. An additional Rs 200 will be provided as incentive for the driver and conductor per day plying on these routes after the implementation of the project.

After the introduction of PHS services, plans are there to cut-off the frequency of buses in the non-peak hours. During the peak time a bus in these areas will ply in a frequency of every five minutes and additional forty trips will be made during the peak hours.

KSRTC Divisional Controller HM Ramesh said that the project will help drivers and conductors to earn extra money for their livelihood, and wastage of fuel can be prevented, which will conserve environment.  The central office has given the nod for the project where 20 extra buses will be introduced in four selected routes. After studying the feedback the same will be extended to other routes.

The aim of KSRTC is to enhance the bus service in city and encourage more people to adopt public transport. With the introduction of additional bus service the number of complaints received regarding infrequent bus services is expected to come down apart from cutting down longer wait times,  over-crowding, and less reliable service, added Ramesh.

'Constitute Social Welfare Board for Transgenders'

Ashodaya Samithi, an organisation involved in the welfare and rehabilitation of sex workers, including transgenders and homosexuals, has urged Karnataka government for the establishment of a Social Welfare Board for Transgenders on the lines of Tamil Nadu State.

Speaking to Express, after the inauguration of one day workshop on 'Empowerment of Sexual Minorities' here on Friday, Transgender Sundari said that its high time the government should think of constituting Welfare Board in state.

“To lessen the serious problems faced by transgender, the Tamil Nadu government has constituted a separate welfare board for transgenders. In the same, the Karnataka Government should constitute the Board, considering the welfare of transgenders. Lakhs of transgenders across state will be benefited with the constitution of Board,” added Sundari.

Ashodaya Samithi Programme Officer Fathima Mery said: “Establishment of welfare board will help sexual minorities in large. Apart from housing, education, health facilities, its helps them to come to the mainstream of society socially, economically and politically.”

Further narrating the problems faced by the transgender in society,
Sex Worker Girija said that society should consider sex workers one among them, and understand their agonies.

Transgender Pranathi Prakash said that with the mistakes committed by a countable number of people in the community, the entire community people are targeted and pulled back. “Our request for society is to identify our talent, skills and encourage. Many of us are well educated and have involved ourselves in various social welfare activities,” he added. While, some of the transgenders opposed depicting transgenders as jokers in movies, and serial programmes and making fun.

The Samithi consisting of more than 12,000 members from Mandya, Mysore, Kodagu, Chikkmanagalore is planning to extend its wing and unite sex workers, transgenders, homosexuals at Udupi, Hassan, Chamarajanagar and Mangalore.


Ashodaya Samithi seeks sign and signature authority

Ashodaya Samithi has urged government to provide sign and signature authority to certify the gender of members. Samithi Member Sundari said that the transgenders face inconvenience to go to doctor to certify the gender and are deprived of various government schemes.

“Under Mythri scheme a monthly pension of Rs 500 will be paid. But, majority of them are legging behind to enroll under the scheme feeling inconvenience to undergo body checkup. If the government provides authority for the Samithi, the members can approach the Samithi easily and can obtain the certificates,” opined Sundari.

About 40 beneficiaries from last eight months are waiting to certify their gender. Its high time the government should provide the authority to Ashodaya Samithi, which is involved in welfare of sexual minorities from years together. The authority has been given for three organisation  in Bangalore, added Pranathi.

Speaking after the inauguration of workshop on 'Empowerment of Sexual Minorities' at CIIL on Friday, he further said that transgenders are even discriminated in job.

Transgender Sundari said that 'government has ordered to issue ration card for only those have home. But, its difficult to find house for the sake of ration card. Considering the address of Ashodaya Samithi, the government should issue the ration card.'

Speaking on the occasion, DC Shikha assured sexual minorities of solving the obstacles in the implementation of Mythri and other government schemes, including loan facility.
She further said the aim of the workshop is to create awareness and sensitise officers about requirements of Sexual minorities, concerned with society.

MMC&RI Psychiatry Department Head Prof BN Raveesh delivering talk on Transgenders: Psychosocial Perspective said that by birth everyone will be girl, whereas the variation of Y Chromosomes with the growth of child differentiates the gender.

Stating discrimination is existing from dates back, he explained in details about the problems faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT). A power point presentation on a person undergoing sex change was screened on the occasion.

Even after year, no action against school refused to implement RTE

With schools that failed to provide seats under RTE Act being let off with just warning last year, there are doubts among the parents and NGOs about its successful implementation this year. Though the officials of Department of Public Instruction (DDPI) served notices to some schools for non implementation of the Act, there was no serious action initiated against them, thus sending a stern warning against those who fail to fall in line.

Several schools including 13 CBSE schools had refused to implement RTE last year, thus denying an opportunity to hundreds of children who wanted to get admissions to unaided schools. As per the statistics, only 3170 children managed to obtain seats under RTE out of the 5217 seats. The total number of applications received last year was 7313. However, there is no exact figure about the number of schools refused to implement the Act.

Venkataramu, Superintendent at DDPI office said that they had issued notice to the schools last year and admitted their failure in taking action. Adding, he said a meeting will be held under the Chairmanship of District Level Regulatory Authority and action will be taken.

While, this year the situation is different. The moment the department started issuing notice to the 13 unaided school which had refused to implement RTE, warning of canceling their recognition, the schools headed to implement the Act.

As Chief Minister belongs to the Mysore district, officials of DDPI have put all efforts to ensure that the Act is implemented successfully in district this year. Chaitra, resident of Nanjumalige said: “There are instances the children are denied of providing admission in the last moment. The officials should ensure the schools admits children.”

RLHP Director Saraswathi said that with series of awareness programme the people are educated in large number and are hoping the Act is implemented successfully.

Decline in number of seats
The number of seats has come down compared to last year. Last year 5217 seats were available, whereas this year the total number of seats available is 4486. According to RTE Nodal Officer Dr Kanta the reason for decline in number of seats is few of the unaided schools have produced minority certificates. There is exception for minority Institutions for implementing RTE under the Act.

Applications received
Of the 4486 seats set aside under RTE in the 456 unaided schools in the district, the total number of applications received so far for admission to LKG and first standard is around 10,627. With exceeding number of applications being received, the children will be selected through lottery held in public, added Venkataramu.

Line Up
* No of schools:
LKG - 211; First standard - 245. Total - 456 schools.
*Seats Available:
LKG - 2246 (Applications received 8115); 1st std - 2240 (Applications received 2512); Total - 4486 (10627, as on February 12).
* Where to contact
Last date for sending applications is February 19.
Applications can be obtained from nearby unaided schools.
For any queries contact toll free number 1800 42511027
* Process
Schools submit applications to BEO's before February 24.
Selection of beneficiaries before March 3.
Admission process commence from March 15.

Allegations against Dr Y Manjunath

Mysore and Chamarajanagar District Liquor Distributors Association President S Guruswamy alleged that more than 14 wine shops in Mysore are owned by family members of  Dr Y Manjunath, who is relative of Excise Minister Satish Jarkoholli.

He said that they will prove the allegations along with documents. We have seeked information under RTI, but the officers are denying to provide information. We go legally and obtain related documents through RTI, he added.

“The allegations being made by BJP Leader Jagadish Shettar against Manjunath is very true. Being a excise officer, he is a active working president in the Karnataka State Excise Department Employees Association and holds meet with liquor distributors and trouble the  wine merchants unnecessarily. Hundreds of liquor distributor have become helpless with the torture, harassment meted by Manjunath, who is presently rendering service in Bangalore Excise Department” he said.

“Manjunath has completely taken excise department under his control. To obtain a license, or for renewal, transfer we have to shell out thousands of rupees. Its high time the government should transfer him to other department, considering the welfare of liquor distributors,” he added.

“When Lokayukta arrested Manjunath, who was rendering service in Mysore as Excise Deputy Commissioner, a section of bar owners extended support to him. But, majority of them raised voice for justice. But, unfortunately he was freed,” he added.  

'Withdraw VAT on sold liquor'
The Liquor Association members to stage protest against government proposal to lower value added tax to 5.5 per cent on liquor sold in bars and restaurant, clubs, hostels and star hotels in urban areas.

In this connection a meeting will be held on February 22 at Hotel Chethan International in Bangalore. If the government fails to withdraw the proposal, they liquor distributors to protest by closing wine shops across state.

“The Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who states of liquor is not being affordable by poor people, has increased the tax on liquor upto 15 to 18 per cent in the budget. Does really the CM has concerned over poor,” he questioned.

Forum to make tribal women economically stronger

In a bid to make tribal women economically stronger various programees has been chalked out by Vanavasi Kalyana, Karnataka. The organisation volunteers have conducted a survey in the districts of Mysore, Kodagu, Chamarajanagar and in the phase will be setting up SHG's in the three districts.

In first phase have opened 12 SHGs groups in HD Kote Taluk, and plans are on card to launch SHGs in Hunsur, followed by Chamarajanagar and Kodagu simaltaneously.

Through the SHG's the women are motivated in various activities. The women are given idea to generate income, using the minor forest resources. They are provided training on savings encouragement, banking procedures, lending money for interests, marketing and several other products.

Interestingly, apart from regular works, the women are actively involved in Bhajans, Sports programme. The youngster in the hamlets have been trained on the medical assistance for common symptoms of illhealth. For tribes who have land are though of Agriculture aspects, under Krushikendra Banner. In Mysore Divison, 60 volunteers are rendering service, of which Majority of the them are  tribals.  

Its estimated that more than 50 lakh people are living in Karnataka. One lakh tribal density regions is considered as one district from the organisation. They have identified 15 districts across country and are educating women on various aspects.

118 Tribal hamlets are there in HD Kote, Mysore District, largest hamlets in a taluk at State. Followed by large hamlets in Billigi Rangana Hill at Chamarajanagar. The divisional center is running a hostel in Mysore for girls and boys who are doing their degrees.

The vision of volunteers of Vanavai Kalyana is to open branch across districts by 2025 and make tribal self reliant without making to lose their culture. They strongly believe that 'Loss of Culture is Loss of Identity'. In the same they are educating triblas on various aspects, without making them not to loss their culture.

South India City Committee In-charge Volunteer Sathya Keerthi said that There are several chances the tribes are mislead and they are exploited by money lenders. Thus, they are created awareness about rules, law under Vachanayalaya.

The organisation which is functioning across country, including Nepal. From last two years a Divisional Center was established in Mysore, comprising of Chamarajanagar and Kodagu District. Across country, 3500 volunteers are working, of which majority of them are 50 per cent tribals.


The housemaids have come together to become self-reliant

Many of you might be thinking that your house-maid after completing her routine works simply vanish only to reappear the next day. You might be surprised to know that around 700 housemaids located in and around city are multifaceted. By forming small self-help groups these women have undergone training in tailoring, beautician and other courses.

After completing their house hold works they rush back to visit customer's houses to fulfill job orders taken from them the previous day. This way they keep themselves engaged throughout the day while also earning money at the same time.

Being illiterates, the women say over a decade their living style has completely changed. About 20 per cent of women have ventured into other business, apart from their custom housemaid work. While, majority of them without giving up their daily housemaid work, have embarked into other businesses.  

More than 90 per cent of these women spouses are employed as daily labourers in construction works or as street side vendors selling vegetables, their earnings alone are not sufficient to maintain the family. To meet the requirements of family, these women are chipping in what they can. The day begins for this women daily at 4 am. After preparing food for family members they leave home by 6 am and will be back by 2 pm.  
“In addition to earning and saving money for the future, we have developed courage to become self-reliant and face the society. We have opened bank accounts, have learnt to sign,” say the housemaids, who have come together and have formed a group called Sri Chamundeshwari Mahila Kalanjiam Federation, promoted by a social welfare organisation Dhan Foundation.

48-year-old Kempamma who has been working as a maid since she was 12 years old, says that after becoming an active member a decade ago, she could save a sizeable amount of money. “Earlier I was working for four houses, but now I work for just one house while rest of the time engaging in SHG activities. I have been elected as Board of member for the Federation” she said with pride.

Housemaid Shivamma has undergone a beautician course and after completing her housemaid work (cooking) by 2 pm, she goes about attending to her customers make-up calls. After getting sufficient number of regular clients, she has plans to open a beauty parlour. In the meanwhile she has also taken up learning embroidery and stitching which she plans to add to her business. She desires to teach several other housemaids and bring them to the mainstream of society.

In the same way, Manjula, another active member of the SHG for the past five years, has been running a provision store at Janata Nagar. She says: “Just a year ago, I started a provision store and my business is good. After becoming member, I could avail a loan of Rs 60,000, with that I have managed to open a provision store.”

Dhan Foundation Project Executive PD Sindhu said that the women folk are very active and are taking part at SHGs activities very enthusiastically.
There are instances where few women have been succeeded in making their drunkard husbands to give up drinking. With three cluster in city, this housemaid SHGs comprises women from Janata Nagar, KG Koppal, Agrahara and Kanakagiri.

V-Day is slowly becoming popular among all denominations

Valentine's Day, an exclusive day for openly expressing ones love to his/her beloved, is slowly becoming popular among all denominations. Gone are the days where only the young and newly-fallen in love waited for this special occasion to express their love. Today it is being observed by even those who have entered into wedlock through arranged marriages.

Even those who are happily married for decades never miss this opportunity to express their love to their long standing partner. Couple Tanuja Rai said  for the past seven years she has been regularly gifting her husband with T-shirts, and greeting cards on the occasion and ending the day by hosting a sumptuous dinner at their favourite eat out.

"Though ours is a arrange marriage, I feel happy expressing my love on this day every year. Though I do not express my love openly with words, I prepare special dinner on the day. The first celebration of Valentine's Day always remains as a sweet memory for me, as hearing my wish to celebrate the V-day, my husband started laughing.” she added.

Another Couple, Hema and Venakatesh are observing the Valentine's Day for the past 19 years. “We happily look forward to celebrate this day and in fact make plans a week in advance for the celebration.”

Housewife Chaya celebrates the day with family members. She says: “I was married when I was 16 year old. I feel something special in celebrating the day accompanied with my husband and children. This is a golden opportunity to express our love and faith with our partner.”

"I prepare special dinner on that day, and arrange candle light dinner on the roof top of our house. It was on this day I had proposed my love and ever year we recollect this moment,” says Nayana, who got married three years ago to her boyfriend.

Demand for roses
The greeting shop owners, flower vendors were seen having roarding business. Flower vendor Raju said that demand for red roses is high. With high demand, the vendors were seen charging a single rose about Rs 10 to Rs 20, depending on the size.

Apart this, new varieties of ice-creams with eye catching names are being introduced to attract lovers. The sale of varieties of flavour chocolates, and other gift articles had goes up during the day. Youngsters were seen spending time with their dear ones at several joints of the city.

Midnight masses, special prayers heralds Christmas celebrations

The festival fervour has gripped city of palaces. People from all walks of life were seen thronging in large number to churches across city to offer midnight masses, special prayers.

The churches across city were illuminated with colourful lightings and decorative items. Star shaped paper lanterns have been hung in front of houses, churches. Christmas tress, nativity scene were placed at  to mark the birth of the Infant Jesus. Paper buntings, wide variety of christmas bells, chimes were used to decorate cribs, x-mas tree.

Soon the clock strikes 12 at Midnight, bells chims at Churches. Amidst hymns, carols, mass prayers the idol of Infant jesus will be taken out in procession and placed in the crib, accompanied with idol of Mary. Nativity plays will be staged at some Chruches, depicting the birth, life of Jesus Christ, said sources in the church.

The St Philomena's Cathedral, an heritage structure built in Gothic Architectural Style will be cynosure of all eyes every year during Christmas. Tourist throng to Mysore, during last week of December to offer prayers at the church.

“Feasting, caroling, mass prayers, exchange of wishes, gifts, sweets, mark the Christmas celebrations. With high spirit we gear up for Christmas. Every year accompanied with family members, friends, I visit few of the Churches in city and offer mid night prayer,” said Thomas, resident of Saraswathipuram.  

“Christmas is a time for renuions of family, friends, neighbours.  A week before to festival we start preparation. We prepared wide variety of snacks, clean our houses, plan how to d├ęcor cribs, tree. Christmas tree will be placed,” said Josna, resident of Vidyaranya Puram.

Huge rush at shops  
People were seen enthusiastically purchasing gift items at the gift stores. Christmas trees, ornaments, chimes, Christmas Tree,  jingle bells decorate items were sold like hot cake. The wine outlets, cake corners too had good business. Though some of them prepare traditional Christmas cake at home, majority of them have booked in advance at the cake corner, bakeries 15 days prior.

Dressed as Santa, some of them were seen distributing chocolates, cake,and wide variety of snacks for children. They were seen exchanging the Christmas greetings with visitors to shop.

Unqualified doctors seek recognition

Express News Service
Mysore, February 6  

“As per Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act 2007 and 2009, all private establishments have to register to continue the practice. But, thousands of unqualified doctors who are practicing from decades are facing threat and are in dark side of the future,” said BS Chandru, member of  Anubhavi Mattu Vamshaparamparika Vaidyara Sangha.

Addressing the media persons here on Thursday, he said that they have   requested Health and Family Welfare Minister UT Khader on Wednesday to set-up a high-level committee and address their problems.

“Thousands of Self-learnt homeopath practitioners, traditional and herbal healers (unqualified doctors) are practicing in state. Recognising such unqualified doctors, Medical Practitioners (RMPs) and Private Medical Practitioners (PMPs) training should be provided and registration should be given to continue medical practices in their respective field,” he added.

“The central government is giving directions since 1996, to recognise and give registration for unqualified doctors. Its very unfortunate that Karnataka government has not come forward so far. Whereas, the Kerala State has introduced a Act, exclusively for unqualified doctors” he added.

He further said that “The Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act 2007 and 2009 is against the Indian constitution. Thus, we had filed a writ in High Court. In the same, the Court has given interim order to government,” he added.  

State-wide protest to stop felling of trees

Karnataka Rajya Raith Sangha, Cauvery Sene, Basavanna Devaravana Samrakshana Trust have decided to stag state-wide protest against a project to supply power from Kaiga to Kozhikode (Kerala), which requires felling of thousands of trees.

Addressing the media persons here on Wednesday, Cauvery Sene founder convenor KA Ravi Chengappa said that to supply power from Kaiga to Kozhikode (Kerala) more than 5000 matured and 20,000 unmatured trees had been already fell down in Dubare Forest, Madikeri Division and Devmachi, Virajpet Division from last three months. Apart this, lakhs of trees in the 55 kms stretch of Kodagu will be felled (including in forest region) for the completion of project,” he added.

“Cutting of trees will severely affect the biodiversity of Kodagu and we have diced to stage 'Save Cauvery River Campaign' and 'Cauvery Bachao Andolan. To draw the attention of government, a protest will be staged on February 15 in front of Yelwala Power Grid Corporation,” he added.

He further alleged that when BJP Government was in power, the then Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, Energy Minister Shobha Kharndlaje and Speaker KG Bopaiah gave permission for this long pending project. After Congress Government came to power, from last three months thousands of trees have been feel down.

He further alleged that 'Home Minister KJ George is showing special interest in the project. Hundreds of Police personnel from Hassan had come to the region, while cutting the trees, which was handled earlier by local police.

The felling of trees can be prevented by upgradation of existing 220 KV line (Mysore to Kerala, which passes through HD Kote); or
Electric polls can be set up at D-Line (Fire line) situated at Periyapatna-Kodagu border, or also by supplying power from underground, which is currently followed in North India.

Stating timber mafia, sand mining, forest mining is rampant in forest region of Kodagu, he alleged that Keralites are encroaching forest area in Kodagu and urged government to protect the biodiversity at  Cauvery basin region.  

“With cutting of large number of trees, there is serious threat to inflow of river cauvery. Thus, to save trees and environment, 'Cauvery Bachao Andolan,' and 'Save Cauvery River Campaign' will be held  in State, jointly by Basavanna Devaravana Samrakshana Trust, Cauvery Sene and Rajya Raitha Sangha,' he added. A protest will be staged on February 15 in front of Yelwala Power Grid Corporation, to draw the attention of government.

Ramdas attempts suicide

 Former Minister SA Ramdas tried to commit suicide, after a former government employee on Tuesday accused former Medical
minister and BJP leader SA Ramadas of ditching her after having a
physical relationship for over five years by promising to marry her.
She threatened to lodge a complaint if he disowns her in public. However, the woman did not give any proof to substantiate her claim.

The woman told reporters that she approached Ramdas around five years
ago for a transfer to Mysore from Tarikere, Chikmagalur where she was working as SDA in Revenue Department, and subsequently became

The woman who is a widow and has two children said, "we got secretly
'married' when he accepted me as his wife by applying
vermillion (sindhura) on my forehead. I patiently waited all these
years for him to publicly announce our marriage. Every time I brought
this subject he cited political reasons and kept dodging the issue."

"Unable to bear the isolation any longer, I approached Ramdas again to
marry me. He said our relationship can't be made public in front of
society, but instead expressed his desire of continuing the
relationship unofficially as earlier."

"I got transferred to Mysore on deputation and was posted at the
Health Department. At the end of 2012, I was shifted to DCs office in
Mysore and within three months was transferred to Tumkur. The reason
for my transfer was Ramdas. I quit the job within a few days of
reporting to Tumkur and decided to stay with Ramdas that is when he
refused to acknowledge our relationship," she added. In 2009, Ramdas was parliamentary Secretary.

"I want Ramdas to accept me as his wife and I wish to lead a standard
life. He had promised me of living together till end of life, whereas
has failed to keep his words. My carrier, personnel life has been
spoiled. I lodge a complaint, if he opposes our relationship. Many of
his followers, our relatives knew about our relationship," she said.

When contacted, Ramdas denied all allegations and said that the woman
is blackmailing besides assassinating his character.
When asked he calling her over her mobile phone while she was talking
to press and threatening to commit suicide if she continues talk with
media, he did not give a direct reply and only said that he collected
her number from his office and contacted her. She claimed that she has video of her conversation with Ramdas and his visit to her house.

Kalaa Dhaaraa: Visual extravaganza of contemporary works

'Kalaa Dhaaraa', the largest exhibition of contemporary art will be held in Mysore from February 16 to May 4 at Ramsons Kala Pratishtana in Nazarbad between 10.30 am to 8.30 pm.  
More than 90 artists from across Karnataka will feature about 150 works. Landscapes, traditional art, Mysore style, Surpur miniatures, line drawings, pen-and-ink, abstracts, contemporary art and collages will be displayed, which are created using water colours, acrylics, oils, papers and mixed media.  

The exhibition features three generations of artists, the youngest being 27 years and the oldest is 75. On display are works by husband -wife team, a father-son duo, brothers, and teacher along with his students. In all, the  aim of the expo is to bring back the hoary tradition of art connoisseurship in Mysore.

The exhibition will be divided into five slots. In the beginning artworks of 15 artists will be displayed. After 15 days works of 15 more artists will be added to the existing repertoire. Similarly with each fortnight 15 artists will be added.

A series of five lectures will punctuate in this 78 days exhibition. Lecture on 'Chitra Setu- Tale of epic bridge by Raghupathi Bhat' on March 2 at 4pm; 'Miniatures of Vijay Hagargundgi', titled 'Surapura Vijaya' on March 16; 'Kalaantara Talaantara - The legacy of Tirupallaya Raju', on March 30; 'Artistic Incantations of GLN Simha' under the title, 'Mantra Mukura' on April 13 and lecture on 'Kuncha Bhramari: The Floral world of Mukta Venkatesh' on April 27.

Pratishtana Curator Raghu Dharmendra has stated in a release that the artistes have used various mediums to reflect their inner visions and most of the artists have exhibited their works exhibited in prestigious galleries across the country and abroad.

'The role played by some of the great Wadiyar rulers of the erstwhile Mysore State, in nurturing and fostering all forms of art is very high. But, over a period with lack of patronage the art is being left orphaned,' he opined.


Contemporary art works exhibition attract people in large

The 78 days contemporary art exhibition 'Kalaa Dhaaraa' organised by Ramsons Kala Pratishtana has become a perfect platform for artiste to showcase their talent and exchange their views.
The specialty in the paintings are retaining the traditional form of artwork, the artists have given modern touch for the works.
With city hosting such a mega event for first time, soon after the inauguration on Sunday, people from all walks of life were seen heading towards gallery in large number, to take a look at the rare paintings which had adorned the walls of gallery.
The city-based artists after glimpsing the paintings, shared their experiences with Express, thus:
City's senior artist L Shivalingappa said that with no encouragement from the government to artist, the expo being organised by private organisations will provide market for artists, apart from providing platform to showcase their talent.

Artist Dr Jamunarani V Nirle said that the when the artists work enters commercial market, the artists gets encouragement and motivation to experiment on new work.
“The expo has brought artists from across state under one roof. With this, we get an opportunity to share the experiences of senior artists and specialise more in various forms of artworks,” said Artist Mohan,

'The exhibition is very good and new techniques can be adopted in our works. In all, the expo is fabulous and the quality of work are awesome,' opined another artist Chandrika, daughter of palace artist late M Ramanarasiah.
Hotelier Rajendra after inaugurating the expo, suggested artists to narrate the history, culture, tradition of Mysore through paintings and exhibit the same. “With Mysore having special identify in art field, depicting the history of Mysore through art is need of the hour. This will even attract tourists in large,” he opined, asking artists to sale the painting at the concession price for tourist.
 The expo will be held between 10.30 am to 8.30 pm till May 4.
Meet the artists
The exhibition has been divided into five slots, of which for every 15 days, works of artists will be added to the existing repertoire. Out of 90 artistes, about 20 artistes from Belagavi, Bangalore, Mangaor, Mysore, Sandur, Raichur, Bijapur, Udupi, Gadag have displayed their work at first slot. A series of five lectures will be held during the exhibition.


'He has successfully revived the century-old dying art' 

Artist Vijay Hagargundgi has dedicated his life in collecting and preserving rare art form Surapura, a unique style of miniature painting that has its provenance in Surapur, located near Gulbarga.

Surapura School of painting which flourished for about 200 years, was a victim of the vicissitudes of time. The art dead for almost century ago, was revived successfully by this artist 35 year ago.
Finding no teachers of the style liming Surapura he went to learn the painting from Dwarka Prasad of Rajasthan.

Speaking to Express, he said: “For almost a century there was no artist who painted Surpur miniatures. So no one could teach this art form. Every art will have a unique process in which it is created. When this knowledge is extinct, one should try to replicate the artwork using the latest methods and techniques,” said Vijay.

“I went to Jaipur and further to Udaipur and learnt the nuances of miniature paintings after which I started to copy Surpur miniatures and mastered the visual language of this style. Thus I revived a long forgotten art of Karnataka and have taught the same to few students as well,” he said with proud.

“It was the murals that captured my imagination. Thenceforth set on a mission to reinvigorate this art form which was once popular because of the patronage of chieftains of Supura, the businessmen and monasteries,” he added.

Surpura tradition is a subtle mix of the Deccan style and the Vijayanagar Style from which both Tanjore and Mysore Styles orginated. These Surpura Art was first manifested as murals and Portraits. These murals were discovered by Vijaya on the walls of mutts, temple and ruined mansions, he added.

“Surpur miniatures are characterised by static figures. After decades of pratice, Vijay has added dynamism to this art form and evolved his own signature style which are lyrical poems of solid colours, flowing lines and delicate gesso. His line drawings are divine visions to behold. Vijay Hagargundgi is a living legend of Karnataka,” said Ramsons Kala Pratishtana Secretary RG Singh delivered talk on 'Surapura Vijaya - Miniatures of Vijay Hagargundgi' in city on Sunday. He showcased some of the rare collections of Vijay Hagargundgi, highlighting his struggle to revive the rare form of art.

Vijay Hagargundgi has exhibited his works at the second series of Kalaa Dhaaraa, an exhibition of Contemporary Art at Pratima Gallery. The first series of expo was inaugurated on 16 February will conclude on May 4.

Enjoy the royal patronage work of Kerala Mural Paintings at IGRMS

For art connoisseurs of Mysore who are familiar with traditional Mysore Paintings and Tanjore Painting have got a opportunity to learn another form of traditional painting namely the 'Kerala Mural Paintings', whose origins dateback to 12th century.

KR Babu hailing from Kozhikode, Kerala will be teaching this rare art form at Indira Gandhi Rashtirya Manav Sangrahalaya in city, under its 'Do and Learn' series. The classes have already commenced from March 9 and concludes on March 18. During this 10-day workshop, participants will be taught to draw Saraswathi and Radha Chamaiya.

Participant Rashmi who is undergoing training said that she was eagerly waiting for the past four years to learn this rare traditional art form of Kerala. “There are significant differences between Tanjore and Kerala mural painting. Tanjore paintings requires lot of materials, whereas playing with five colours, one can create wonderful paintings in Kerala mural paintings.”

“There are well laid down principles for the depicting eyes to express different emotions. So also for the painting of animals, trees, mountains, waterfalls, rivers, fish, temples,” added Uma.
Another participant Shoba said that the myriad colours of the paintings are very attractive which made her interested in learning Kerala Mural paintings.
Explaining about the rich tradition of ancient murals, Babu said that just as the paintings of Ajanta are considered unique for their colour, the mural paintings of Kerala stand out for their emphasis on beauty, clarity and symmetry. The paintings were drawn on the walls of ancient temples, churches, depicting religious and mystic themes. The Gods, Goddess and episodes from the great epics are the themes of the paintings, he added.

The speciality of this art form is that the colour for the paintings are obtained from natural pigments and vegetable colours. Saffaron red is the most predominant colour of the kerala murals, said Babu, who himself creates colours by crushing certain yellow and green stones. Retaining the white background surface, colours are then filled for remaining canvas.

Babu who has bagged three state level awards and two national awards said that there is good demand for the art not only in India, but also abroad.

Late court musician children to continue the legacy

The second generation of Asthana Mrudanga Vidwan late MR Rajappa are coming together to give a joint performance on March 6 between 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm at Ganabharathi Veene Sheshanna Bhavana.

Court Musician Rajappa, a famous exponent of the percussion instrument Mrudanga had nine children, of which one was a daughter. Though they have migrated to other vocations their contribution to music field is high. They have followed their late father's footsteps to continue the traditional music.

While, the contribution of Rajappa's sixth son, 50-year-old Vidwan MR Hanumantha Raju is exemplary. He has dedicated his life to teach music, especially for the poor children of society. In order not to deter from his decision he decided to remain a bachelor.

During 1980's, undertaking house visits at several localities he has though Mrudanga and Tabla in addition to Harikathe, Kanjira. Even today, he is devoted in spreading the essence of classical music especially percussion instruments among hundreds of poor children.

Going down the memory lane, Hanumantha Raju said: “My father Rajappa had taught all the nine children to play Mrudanga and Tabla. Even to this day, we family members have continued the legacy and play them. We give public programmes accompanied with our troupe members.”

“He was imparting education for poor children by opening a Music school 'Saraswathi Gana Shaala' at home. Following some problems the school was closed. I was very fond of re-opening the school and I fulfilled the wish only a decade ago. I rented a room in Sarasthipuram and continued teaching music school under the same name,” added Hanumatharaju who is rendering service as Mrudanga and Tabla artiste at Mysore Karnataka Police Band.

He has taught Mrudanga and Tabla for hundreds of students, including foreigners that include students from Germany, Australia, Italy, Switzerland and other countries, while collecting only
a nominal fee of Rs 150. For those facing financial problems the classes are offered free of cost.

“The response to learn Mrudanga and Tabla is gradually declining with passing years. A person has to dedicate himself for about eight years to become an acclaimed Mrudangist, which makes the practitioner to think twice before enrolling for classes,” he says.

Housemaid Bhavani says: “My son was very much interested in learning tabla. With our meager earnings, it was not possible for me to join him for a music class. I came to know about the music school and approached Hanumantha Raju. He immediately agreed to teach my son free of cost for which I am ever indebted to him.”

Hanumantha Raju's had given his first performance when he was eight years old, accompanied his father to a performance held atop Chamundi Hills. He has given scores of Mrudangam and Tabala at various festivals, encompassing State, National and International levels.

He has bagged several awards and titles to name a few Kalashri, Talavadhya ratna, Talavadhya Bhushana, NupuraShri, Adharsha Shrunga, Kala Kaustuba Kala ratna, Laya vadhana patu and much more.

'Develop network to address violence against women'

Administrative Training Institute Director General Dr Amita Prasad said that Karnataka has the highest sex workers population and called upon the women entrepreneurs to empower such women.

“Immoral trafficking is a major problem need to be addressed. Those who have the capacity to employ and empower such helpless women should provide them a opportunity to work and bring them to the mainstream of society,” she added.

She was speaking after the inaugural of conference on 'Empowering the Indian Women: A Vision to Fly Higher' in city on Friday. The event was organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.

“Many of the women will be encountering with several sorts of problems including domestic violence. The women should develop a network to  protect and help women whoever facing violence and are in trouble,” she suggested.

Stating it is unfortunate that several well educated men indulge in domestic violence and it is also true that a women simply cannot walk out of her marriage, she asked women not to tolerate anything that is incorrect or discriminating as that will suppress feelings and growth of woman as an individual.

“Some of the educated families and women themselves indulge in things like female feticide. This happens because the Indian society has not prepared for equal treatment of men and women in the country.
Many women are so bound by their families and spouses that they hesitate to go out take decisions or even meet people in public. This has to change,” she added.

“The society does a lot of gender bias. Many think that certain works should be done only by men and women aren't capable to do certain kind of works. Even today woman doesn’t have a chance to make a choice and take her own decisions. One has to recognise woman as a person first and as a woman later.”

“It is also sad that several women even today think getting married is a major task. Even several movies and advertisements showcase women as weaker individuals. A woman has to realise that she can do much more,” she said, called upon women to skill themselves apart from being well versed in the regular life skills such as cooking and cleaning.

“There was a time when feminist movements happened in plenty.  However, people and their attitude toward women has been changing today. So voice your opinions the right way before the right people. And if you can make your own choices, you can achieve wonders. Also, none should indulge in being gender biased or gender stereotyping, she said.

Online services to ease the burden of people to obtain certificates

Henceforth people need not visit the Naada Kacheri's to get done their work. Sitting in the drawing room the people can now obtain their certificates related to land, agriculture, caste, income, unemployment, widow certificate etc. As many as 34 facilities have been made available on-line to facilitate the people.

Thanks for the launch of online system for Nadakacheri services to ease the burden of people. By logging to website: the beneficiaries have to register their details. An identity code will be messaged for beneficiaries mobile (Paperless certificate system). Entering the code the beneficiaries can download the certificates online and take the printout. If required, the certificates will be delivered to their respective address.  

Speaking after the launch of online service at  Zilla Panchayat Auditorium here on Tuesday, Survey Settlement and Land Records Commissioner V Poonuraj said that the code will be generated on the lines of Aadhaar, and asked people to make use of the facility at large. The caste certificates code will be for life time, whereas income tax certificates has to be renewed for every five year.

“Every year about 45 lakh certificates were issued, in which about 70 per cent certificates was related to caste and income. The online service will help students and parents in large and reduces work load at offices. This will also ease the burden of officers in large and cuts down the visit of people to offices,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Revenue Department Principal Secretary Basavaraju said with launch of online service the delay in issuing certificates, corruption can be prevented.

Citizens to get Property Rights Card by May

The State government to distribute Property Rights Card for citizens of Mysore under the Urban Property Ownership Record (UPOR) Certificate project of the Survey and Settlement Department. The property right card will have all the details regarding the property and will serve as a single point reference document.

Survey Settlement and Land Records Commissioner V Poonuraj said that the field work of UPOR has completed in Mysore and about three lakh Property Rights Card will be distributed soon.

Speaking after distribution of certificates for selected beneficiaries here on Tuesday, he said, Khata provided by Municipality is only for tax collection purpose and it does not hold any legal status. Whereas, the PR card will have legal back up.

"Under the scheme the complete details related to property will be updated. It even includes any bank activities or disputes. With the unique number tagged for the property, the details of property can be viewed. From coming May, the transaction of properties can be taken with reference to the information provided under the scheme,” he added.

He further said that: “PR Card is a revolutionary scheme. Using latest technology the property disputes will be eliminated. Through UPOR not only land litigation will come down, whereas land mafia will also end. It gives permanent relief for buyers as well as landowners.”

The project has been introduced in five cities such as Shimoga, Bellary, Hubli-Dharwad, Mangalore and Mysore. The survey will be done at free of cost, whereas, citizens have to pay at the time of issuance of Property Right Card.

RTC Andolan
Commissioner V Poonuraj said that plans have been made to launch RTC (phani) Andolan at Mysore in coming days, on the lines of Kolar.
Under the programme, the revenue officers will hear the grievances of people related to RTC, and solve their problems within few days. The response for the programme is good in Kolar, he added.

Walking on the mountains is just a moon walk for these women

“Being a women is no hindrance to climb mountain are scale peak rocks,” say adventurist women (senior citizens) who have rediscovered life at the middle of 50s and have become inspiration for many women in the middle age or aging.

While, under the banner of Gangotri Youth Hostel and guidance of KM Gopamma most of the women have explored into adventure activities and have took up mountain climbing in their middle age of 40's and 50's. Some of them have become so emerald that they have made it practice to climb Himalayas twice in a year and have become professional adventurist !

The interesting feature is non of them have undergone any formal training in mountaineering or trekking. Successfully finishing all their family duties they have got new lease of life in their middle age.  

63-year-old Annapoorna V Kurupinakoppa and 64-year-old Saraswathi Somashekar are no exception. They have climbed himalayas several times and have crossed over toughest routes like Kailasa, Manasagangotri, Parikrama and several other high altitude trekking expedition. They say age and sex are not barricade to take part in any adventure activities.

Annapoorna who is suffering from blood pressure, sugar, thyroid problems has climbed Himalayas about 23 times. “Though the adventure on Himalayas are very risky we never miss the chance to visit yearly twice. Selling sarees, I saved some money and started my first expedition,” she said with proud.

Explaining her interest towards adventurer, she said: “I was inspired after reading history of famous mountain climber Tenzing Norgay in 8th standard and wished to see the mountain once in my lifetime. The dream was fulfilled in 2008.”

54-year-old VA Madhuri employed at BSNL says the most unforgettable times in expedition is interacting with solider. Every humanbeing in his lifetime should make attempt to see the beauty of Himalayas once in life time, adds Saroja Shekhar.
“When we stood on Everest base there was no end for our joy. There will be sense of satisfaction when we reach the height of 21,000 feet above sea level,” say Rukmini Mala, Radha, Sheela and Harini.  

“Climbing mountain gives us lot of thrill. We have learnt to over come problems in life, leadership quality, decision making capability, and have gained mental and physical health,” says adventurist Sandhya.

“More number of women should take up mountain climbing, without restricting themselves. They should have the thirst to explore new things and acquiring knowledge on adventurer activity, which is amazing,” said Sumathi.

“A women's role does not end in kitchen alone. Some of the women lag behind to involve in adventure activities after middle age. Throwing out the fear, the women should step in confidence and try to venture out,” added Veena Ramesh.