Monday, April 17, 2017

Septuagenarian's love to promote Kannada makes to open library

Seated underneath the shades of the Avenue tree (Honge) hundreds of passersby of all age groups can be seen reading newspapers, magazines and books at the shop behind Akkana Balaga School, Agrahara.

Though its not a public library, the place has become a reading spot for a year for the passersby. Thanks to this septuagenarian B Prabhakar (75 yeas) whose love towards popularization of Kannada language has made him to set up this exclusive Kannada open library for the general public and has named it ‘Edu Namma Odina Mane’.

People of all age groups and all walks of life visit the library to read newspapers and books. On an average 120 people visit the library every day. The books are arranged in an orderly manner and a limited seating arrangement has been made for the readers.

The library has more than 1500 books in its collection which includes books written by famous Kannada litterateurs like Ravi Bilegere, SL Bhyrappa, Triveni, UR Ananthamurthy, Radha Devi and several renowned Kannada novelists. He built up his collection of books by purchasing them in installments from a known vendor while some of them have been donated by a couple of well wishers.

To promote Kannada, he requests the visitors to his library to put their signatures in Kannada in their daily correspondence. Interestingly, he also teaches to read and write in Kannada for non-Kannadigas. Being an avid lover of Kannada, he stresses the need of creating curiosity in the young minds to read in their native tongue and the resulting benefits it has in enhancing their knowledge.

“There is a very good response from the public for library as more and more number of people keep visiting the library with the passing years.Due to old age, I am unable to keep the library open full time, but only between 8 am to 1 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm,’ says Prabhakaran,, who is a founder of Seva Vedike Organisation.

Girija Sampath a senior citizen residing nearby said that she has been visiting the library for the past three years as she enjoys reading books than watching serials. She dedicates daily 4-6 hour for reading, and opines by reading there is lot of benefits for the development of mind while encouraging one to face challenges of life. She reads on an average two books every month. reads two – three books.

Another reader Jawahar Muganwar from Belgavi said: ‘Every day I visit the library and read papers. There is very good response for the library. With the readers are declining, such initiatives helps to popularise Kannada works.'

Journey of four decades

Prabhakar has dedicated his life for the popularisation of Kannada for the past four decades. It was four decades ago he started a circulating library, and a decade ago decided to set up a free public library.

He converted a portion of his house for the library following financial crunch. Just a year ago he rented a shop and housed the books in the library. The costs of rent and maintenance of the library which is around Rs 5000 is managed by around 30 regular readers.

Nearly 200 people have become members by paying Rs 50 yearly and borrow books to the home. Initially, there were few members but as years went by the numbers gradually dwindled and today I have more than 200 members and hundreds of people daily come to library, says Prabhakaran.

Technology comes to the aid of teachers to impart quality education in classrooms

 Here is a classic example of how technology can be put to use to educate not only teachers but also inspire young minds. As a result, over the past five years, a large number of children are inspired to pursue a career in Science in HD Kote, Mysuru, which is considered a backward region in Karnataka.

Thanks for the WhatsApp Group ‘Vijnana Vedike’ (ViVek) comprising of science and maths teachers, who post contents devoted to learning and share about subjects due to which learning and teaching becomes easier.

The group which started with around 20 teachers in 2014, currently has more than 132 teachers from 96 different schools in HD Kote Taluk, including school teachers from tribal areas. The group helps teachers to interact among themselves and learn from each other's experiences, thereby help imporve the quality of the education. By encouraging teachers to clarify their doubts, it has helped to create a cordial atmosphere for the teachers in the group to ask questions on the subjects they are teaching and get replies from other members. This group has helped several teachers who had doubts in the subjects, and to avoid questions were hop-skipping the contents.

The teachers, majority of them from government schools discuss several topics found in their curriculum on a weekly basis. A new topic is taken up every Sunday and participants in the group can post their questions till Thursday. Every week, a member in the group will be selected as ‘Moderator’ who will consolidate all the questions and answers them every Saturday from 9 pm. Discussions ends by late midnight. The moderator answers all the questions in detail and clears the doubts of the teachers. For those who find it difficult to send text messages, they send even audio or video messages.

The discussion focuses on addressing some comprehension gaps of teachers in their subject areas, with the aid of audio clips, sketches, videos, and text messages. All the discussed information is archived and updated on Google drive, so that other teachers who are not members of the group can also access them. Through other social media network the group is reaching over 6,000 teachers across the state.

The children in government schools learn in Kannada medium upto 10th standard. As a result most of these students fear to take up Science as they have to study in English. The teachers are making an effort to teach the technical words both in Kannada and English and infuse confidence among children, so that the students should not develop fear to take up science during their higher education.

The group members say, there are many students who have come forward and expressed their interest to study science. Over the past three years, those teachers from HD Kote who have been transferred to other places in the State have started creating Whatsapp groups in their new postings by roping in teachers in their region.

The brain behind the programme is Praveen Kumar Sayyaparaju, Director of Science Education for Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, and an student of IIT, Chennai.  Praveen who joined SVYM in 2009, came out with a science lab concept, sceince park, and to improve the quality of education he decided to create a WhatsApp group by  bringing in Science and Maths teachers.

Praveen says: ‘Teaching tribals and rural children is immensely satisfying. We started a mobile science lab in 2009, as most of the government schools did not have labs and we promoted science by experimenting. Slowly we started working with teachers and found a lot of lacunae in their teaching. It is when we decided to create a platform for teachers help themselves, to talk to each other and help each other in the group.'

‘With severe shortage of teachers in government schools, resulting in low morale amongst, there was no support group to help teachers in teaching, and thinking of inspiring young minds in science, it was decided to create a group. Now we are planning to expand the group to other taluks and also rope in teachers in Nanjangud,’ he said, adding many children in taluk are showing interested in pursuing carrier in science.

S Harsha, teacher, government High School, Hedthale, Nanjangud said: ‘After being part of group, my confidence level has boosted. As a resource person, teachers used to shoot several questions, and I answered all their questions accurately. The knowledge we gain in the group is remarkable. Complex questions are explained very simple way. We have shifted from marks oriented to a learning oriented. The quality of education we impart in schools has improved, and we are happy we have kindled the students to take up science in carrier.’
“The group has helped to build a strong rapport among the teachers. This has become a big platform to clarify doubts. We are motivating students to ask questions and make classes more interesting, thereby making them to understand the syllabus much better. The classes we conduct are more interactive and is activity based. Earlier we used to skip some of the contents, with fear if the students might raise question, but now we are confident to answer any of their questions. There are instances where students perception towards looking at science subject has changed, and they say its not a difficult subject,” added N Ananth Parmanabha, teacher of Mulluru Government High School, HD Kote

Smart device launched to detect faces hidden behind mask

Some of those involved in criminal activities cover their face with a monkey cap or some piece of cloth in order to conceal their identity from the electronic eyes of CCTV camerasand other security gadgets. When reviewing the CCTV footages at the crime scene, it is a big challenge for the cops to identify the person behind the mask. There are several instances in the past where crimes have not been solved because of the inability to recognise the face behind the mask.

Keeping this in mind, M/s Vihaan Sudhan Technologies have designed a device named ’Smart Robust Night Vision’ with in-built power back up. It is an electronic CCTV camera having a small size Micro-Computer measuring 3 cm *3 cm in size, which backups the video directly onto the customer's email id.
The product is named VS-HAWK EYE (VSHE).
The speciality of the device is it detects the identity of the person even though he has covered his face. The detection will be done in two states that is through retina bio metric analysis and GAIT analysis (studying of walking, running style of person). Even if a person is wearing glasses, the eye scan can be done. 

A 8 mega pixels CCTV camera will be installed, which helps for analysis of the retina. The obtained retina bio metric information will be matched with Aadhar detals. In case if the culprits have not wore gloves the finger prints will be matched similarly with Aadhar and details of person will be obtained using the technology.

While, the second stage of analysis include GAIT. In case if the person refuses to admit the crime, through GAIT analysis (walking style , running style) the person movements will be matched, 

With this automatic bio metric verification VSHE it will be difficult for criminals to escape from law, even though they try to cover their face.

Clients purchasing the product can only watch the video file in his inbox and not the identity of the person. Identity of person will be disclosed only if a crime has occurred. The identification algorithm will be saved in server. Only upon specific request from police the identity of the person will be
linked to AAdhar Server database and cops can get the  name and address of the person and trace his face.

This apart, the device has a motion sensor, (a switch to activate motion sensor mode during night) and detecting the motion sends an alarm warning notification to police and simultaneously a mail to client.  The product also comes with a motion detector, sounding a loud alarm over speakers and also sending an instant message to a server maintained on a Google drive space monitored by the Police in control room.

M/s Vihaansudhan Technologies Directors BS Manusudhan and S Sowmya Sudhan, Product Delivery Team Lead KN Mohan Kumar are the brains behind this project.

The team say: ‘The systems available in the market have many disadvantages like if power supply is cut, CCTV is of no use after the battery back up is used, viewing angle is limited, storage hard disks can be deleted or stolen since it is physical device. Keeping all these disadvantages in mind we have innovated this new device.”

Manusudhan said: Smart VSHE is a complete solution for both Police and individuals. The product comes with automatic detection of  the identity of the person using biometrics and the identification will be done at our server, to avoid stealing of authentication of people, we make the project to execute at our server end for identification
process. It minimises the investigation time and saves money for police, providing no escape for anti social elements. ”

The team have worked on this project for the past 11 months. The project has been set to Prime Minister office, requesting for suggestions and have also applied for patent,
The product is ready to be launched soon and it costs just Rs 7000 a piece. There is no need to install cable wires, Hard disk and DVRs, thereby offering a huge savings on cost of investment. Videos will be uploaded directly on the google drive free of cost, adds Manusudhan.

How it Works

The VSHE gathers video and sends it for preprocessing either to the microcomputer provided within or to the server for IRIS scan detection or for extraction of nodal point body features (called as GAIT) of the suspected individual.  The iris detected will be sent to the database for analysis on his/her biometric values like iris and fingerprint available at the huge data base at our server end. 

The organisation is planning to link this to the database of Aadhaar or Unique Identification Authority of India for extraction of identification information of the person. By analysing the shape of the person, which is unique from person to person,  identification of the individual is possible. 


* Smart VSHE to be a solution for both Police and individuals.
* The project has been set to Prime Minister office seeking suggestion and the team have  applied for patent.
* Existing CCTV provide just a video recording, collecting the video footage and storing  them on a disk, whose storage space is limited.

Specially abled children to go on expedition to the Rumtu Top

  Specially abled children are going on exertion to ascend the Rumtu top which is at a height of 13,000ft in Dauladhar range in Kullu Manali region in Himachal Pradesh
This specially abled children who are speech and hearing impaired want to create a history by climbing the Rumtu top. Fifteen special children are taking part in the expedition and are helped by two dozens of amateur trekkers.   

The Silent Heroes’ is the name given to this specially abled children. The children hail from various districts like Mysore, Mandya, Bellary, Chitradurga, Ramanagara, and Bangalore. While, the amateur trekkers are from Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala States. 

The team will leave Mysore on April 14 at 2 pm from the Sai Ranga Vidya Samasthe (R) Free Residential School for Deaf and dumb, Bannimantappa, Mysore. They will be returning back to Mysore on April 29.  

They will visit historical places like Delhi, Amritsar, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Manali, Roerich Art Gallery in Naggar and First Surveyor George Everest mansion in Mussorie, apart from camping at various places like Naggar-Bijliee Mahadev-Kshadra-Mattikochar-Dhora Nala-Chaklani-Rumsu apart from climbing the summit on the Rumtu top, which they are expected to climb on April 22.   

As part of the pre training schedule the children have undergone arduous training at various places like Chamundi Hills, Kunti Hills, Kukarhalli Lake, Gangotri campus, Bal Bhavan, Chamundi hills 360 degree and they have completed Josh Run of 10,000 meter.

Special child Santoshgowda, who is studying 9th standard, native of Malliegere, Mandya, speaking in sign language said he came to know about the expedition recently, expressed enthusiasm to take part in the expedition. “I was looking at the newspapers photographs about expedition, decided to visit once. I got the opportunity, and am eagerly waiting for the commencement of expedition.  

Another child V Palaksha, Chalkere Taluk, Chitradurga: ‘Am very happy and excited, as I got the opporutnity. I have undergone training from last two and half month and am  confident, I complete the expedition successfully.’ 

Parent Veerabhadrappa said: ‘The specially abled children are equally to other normal children. They are very talented. We feel happy that they have got the opportunity to go to expedition and we are thankful for the donors.’  

The expedition assumes significance because 85 people from all over the country and abroad have come forward to sponsor the event by donating Rs 7 lakh for this 15 special children, and one interpreter and two socially deprived youths. 
The project is the brain child of Dr Madhav Deshpande and Dr Akhila and Tiger Adventure Foundation has taken the onus of realising their dreams. The expedition is led by an Ardent Adventure Enthusiast Tiger Solanki of Tiger Adventure Foundation and he is assisted by Devendra Tiwari of Gwalior, anPankaj Mallick of Mysore. 

Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala has flagged of the expedition by handing over the National Flag and Expedition flags to the team at Raj Bhavan, Bangalore on April 3.