Archive for July, 2012

‘They are abroad, their heart is in Karnataka’

July 14, 2012

The New Indian Express

By Sangamesh Menasinakai

12th March 2011 03:36 AM

BELGAUM: “Many Kannadigas who are living abroad are looking at resettling in their native land,” said Captain Ganesh Karnik, Deputy Chairman, Non-Residents Indians (NRI) Forum, Karnataka.

In an exclusive interview with Express, Karnik, who is also a Member of Legislative Council, said the World Kannada Meet will have a great impact on all global Kannadigas to strengthen their ties with the land.

“Kannada folk art forms like Yakshagana, Veeragase have crossed geographical boundaries and everyone is looking at WKM though all of them cannot attend it personally due to various reasons.

They are watching curiously through internet and TV channels,” he said.

Karnik expressed the feelings of NRI Kannadigas saying that their expectations are very high, as recent cultural, social, economical changes have made them think of returning to their motherland. “Kannadigas living in Gulf countries, where opportunities have been decreasing due to religious and other reasons are very serious about remigration and WKM may become a mirror to see the present situation of the state,” he added. He pointed out that now there are a number of job opportunities in the state. “Most of the Kannadigas who migrated to European countries decades ago are now worried about their children’s exposure to western countries and they never deviated from Kannada as well as Indian culture. We can find better Indians and Kannadigas abroad compared with those who live here within the grip of Western culture. I have seen many families in USA and other countries that are still living a traditional life and their children are growing up as pure Kannadigas,” he said.

But he also observed that some families are now worried about the behaviour of their kids. It all depends upon the parents, he added.

Though he appreciated the WKM, he did not forget to make some demands on behalf of NRI Kannadigas. He said at least a session should have been arranged on investment opportunities to attract capital from global Kannadigas.

He clarified that we should not expect investment in terms of money, as the whole world is looking at India for marketing or generate alternative products here. He added that most Kannadiga industrialists are hesitating to come back due to the many hurdles created by the bureaucracy.

He suggested that the government and local authorities make good use of vacation of NRIs who visit their homes frequently. “There should be interactive sessions with such achievers in schools-colleges for the benefit of future citizens,” he added.

Kothali: A village sworn to sanitation

July 14, 2012

The New Indian Express

By Sangamesh Menasinakai

28th February 2011 10:48 AM

KOTHALI: The oath has been taken by not just Babagouda but all villagers of Kothali in Chikodi Taluk.

Yes, it is true that there is no open defecation in this village. Even the children

do not defecate in the open or throw waste around. The garbage is collected

in dustbins and given to the Panchayath vehicle. And the Panchayat is

collecting it and separating it into degradable and non-degradable wastes

and putting the degradable matter into the earthworm tank that produces fertilisers for agriculture and farmers in the village buy it at concessional

rates.

HURDLES ON THE WAY

The beginning was not smooth. The village panchayat and leaders faced many

hurdles in implementing the total sanitation campaign, which was inaugurated

by then CEO of Belgaum zilla panchayat, M E Shivalinga Murthy, in June 2006. Only 64 families out of 617 had toilets. Most villagers were could not afford to build toilets of their own.

Bank of India, Nippani, KVG Bank, Chikodi, Prathamika Krushi Pattina

Sahakari Bank Ltd Kothali-Kuppanavadi and Sri Gomtesh Co-op Credit Society Ltd Kothali came forward to provide financial assistance, but there was lack of awareness about sanitation.

The Panchayat had to impose a fine of Rs 100 on families that stuck to defecation in the open.

It collected Rs 6,100 during 2006-2007 as fine. The number of offenders drastically reduced to six in 2008. With 90 percent success in implementing sanitation, the village received the Nirmal Gram Puraskar in 2008.

HOW THEY DID IT

But the villagers were not happy because there were still 10 per cent cases

of open excretion. They sought police help through then zilla panchayat member

A L Patil and taluk panchayat Member Shashikala Kamate.

Area-wise Nirmala Gram Puraskar committees were constituted to watch

and prevent the practice of open excretion.

The panchayat also wrote letters to authorities of government employees

who hailed from the village and did not have toilets at home. They even succeeded in having their salaries held back until they allowed construction of

toilets.

It also stopped facilities like water, electricity and ration of the violators.

The tahsildar’s office stopped issuing certificates/documents to villagers who

were resisted having toilets in their homes on the insistence of the

Panchayat. Banks were requested to sanction any type of loan only after the

applicant produced a certificate from the panchayat stating that their home

had a toilet.

FACTORS THAT MOTIVATED THEM

There many factors that motivated the villagers to get involved in this campaign.

The Primary Health Centre records show that diseases caused by

water and air pollution were very common among the villagers.

Religion too played its role as 75 percent of the population were followers

of Jainism, which preached sanitation.

The village is a famous destination for Jain pilgrimage. Shri Shantigiri Tirth

is located on the hills near the village and Kothali is also the birthplace of

revered Jain Muni Acharya Deshbhushan Maharaj.

Many Jain saints also regularly visited the village. “If they saw any dirty

thing on the way, they will not consume anything for the whole day. This made

us think about sanitation,” said Sudashan Gouraj, librarian of the

Panchayat library.

The Zilla Panchayat of Belgaum organised many awareness programmes

and held street play, seminars and did home visits to convince people. Officials

like Shivalinga Murthy, Dr Ekroop Caur, Govindraju, Ravi Basarihalli, Arjun

Kadetti, Poornima Chavan and many others visited the village often

and convinced people to involve them in this campaign.

Now, all the 681 households in the village have toilets. Around 50 families are

using community toilets. The primary health centre records showed that hygiene

has improved in the village.

‘Be careful about language use’

July 14, 2012

By Express News Service

06th February 2011 03:28 AM

BANGALORE: Popular periodicals are not trying to maintain the quality of literature, regretted D P Parameshwar, Chairman of the Karnataka Media Academy.

Making his presidential remarks of session ‘Kannada Sense and Mass Media’ held at Kuvempu Kalakshetra on Saturday, he said that Kannada is not only a language but it is a lifestyle. To maintain this life style everyone has to put in serious efforts, he added.

Laxman Kodse, senior journalist, who made introductory remarks at the session said that every media should be alert while using the language.

Sangamesh Menasinakai of the The New Indian Express spoke on small magazines and TV anchor Hameed Palya spoke on ‘Kannada and Kannada Sensitivity in Electronic Media’.

Mismanagement irks Kannada reps

July 14, 2012

By Sangamesh Menasinakai

05th February 2011 04:27 AM

BANGALORE: The highly anticipated 77th Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana disappointed hundreds of representatives and resource persons of sessions following mismanagement, indiscipline and total lack of a well organised strategy of the organisers on the inaugural day.

Scores of enthusiastic Kannadigas who arrived in the bus and railway stations in the early morning were left unattended. "When I reached Kempegowda Bus Stand, I could find the Mahiti Kendra (Information Centre) only but there was no information", Rajashekhar J M who will speak on RTI in the Sammelana, said.

The scene was even worse at Kannada Sahitya Parishat (Ka Sa Pa) in Chamarajpet. A large number of representatives were waiting for registration in counters. However, the Ka Sa Pa had opened only 34 counters and volunteers were sitting with no material and proper information. "We have been given nothing here. But people are scolding us. What shall we do?", a woman volunteer asked.

When people entered into the Ka Sa Pa office, Honorary Secretary H K Malaligowda was seen convincing people by saying "Kits will come within five minutes. Please cooperate". However, the representatives from across the state who were waiting from morning lost patience and blocked road the for half an hour to vent their ire. There was also a hectic verbal duels between drivers and protesters. Traffic police had a hectic time in managing the crowd.

Seniors writers like Ambatanaya Mudradi, who will be felicitated in Sammelana were wandering to know about their accomadation and badge. After two rounds of discussion with the organisers, another crowd rushed to the road and blocked the traffic at Makkala Koota and Pampa Maha Kavi Road junction. At a point, C K Ramegowda, President, Bangalore City Ka Sa Pa, lost his control and told the mob: "We don’t have anything here. You can complain it to any media

Grand literary fest takes off today

July 14, 2012

The New Indian Express

By Sangamesh Menasinakai

04th February 2011 03:22 AM

BANGALORE: Bangalore city is all set to host the Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana for the fourth time.

The first, second and 47th Sahitya Sammelana were held in the city in 1915, 1916 and 1970 respectively. During the first two conferences, the Kannada Sahitya Parishath had just established themselves with the intention of promoting Kannada language by publishing books, organising seminars by poets and writers and conducting research work on language. A point that must be noted is that the president of the Parishath was the president of the first three conferences, something that can not be imagined today.

H V Nanjundaiah was lucky to serve as president of the Parishath for five years and presided over the Sammelanas for three consecutive years, including the third Sammelana at Mysore.

Renowned writer Dr D Javare Gowda (De Ja Gow) was the president of the 47th Kannada Conference held in 1970.

Today, this literary festival has drawn a lot of attention as it is being held in ‘cosmopolitan’ Bangalore. As the garden city has opened to the world after globalization, this conference is being seen with high expectations. Dr K Y Narayanaswamy, Kannada Professor, Government Science College, says that the Kannada Sahitya Parishat has done a good job in creating the spirit of Kannada among Kannadigas. But he feels that the conference is a part of cultural politics.

One definitely cannot deny the fact that this Sammelana will leave behind colourful memories in the minds of Bangaloreans, even non-Kannadigas. "It is the best opportunity to increase the number of Kannadigas", veteran poet Jaraganahalli Shivashankar feels. He refers to statistics which show that there are 32 lakh Kannadigas in the city while 68 lakh people are non-Kannadigas. “I feel this Sammelana holds something more for non-Kannadigas", he strongly believes. As part of creating awareness about the language, many Kannada flags have been hoisted across the city, especially on vehicles.

Free ride in buses for participants

On Bus Day, Bangaloreans gearing up to participate in the 77th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana will be given a free ride in BMTC buses. The Sammelana is expected to draw huge crowds. The BMTC has also decided to run special buses to the Sammelana venue in Basavanagudi. Further, registered participants and delegates of the Sammelana will be allowed to travel free of cost to and from the venue, provided they produce the registration badge issued by the Sammelana committee.

Paddy worsthit crop in state

July 14, 2012

The New Indian Express

By Sangamesh Menasinakai

30th November 2010 03:41 AM

BELGAUM: As the farmers’ associations in the district are fighting to get compensation for their crop loss due to the recent incessant rain, the government is still busy conducting survey of the damaged crops.

According to a preliminary report of the Agricultural Department, paddy is the worsthit crop. Paddy, sugar cane, groundnut, potato, onion, soyabean, cotton and vegetables are major crops that have been damaged.

T J Malgoudnavar, a farmer from Elimunoli village in Hukkeri taluk, says: "We expect very little yield of all crops as compared to last year. We are still confused about the compensation as the rain has not stopped and we can’t estimate our losses. If the government cannot pay compensation for crop in the fields, who will address the woes of farmers?"

Khanapur taluk, a major paddy producer, has suffered the highest loss in district. Shankar Langati of Beedi village, who owns two acres, says that standing paddy has fallen and has become unfit for harvesting.

However, Langati proudly says that as he is an organic farmer, his loss has decreased by around 50 per cent compared to his chemical farming counterparts. "As my soil was fertile and the crop was good, I could harvest it and sell it in the market," he added.

S M Patil, another organic farmer in Athani, does not find any difference between the losses incurred in organic and chemical fields. According to his observation, grape is a major crop in the taluk, which does not require rain in this season.

A farmer of Chikodi taluk opines that all farmers were not affected. This means the government has to identify the real victims, he said.

Konkani set for big renaissance

July 14, 2012

The New Indian Express

 

By Sangamesh Menasinakai

02nd November 2010 02:38 AM

BANGALORE: "Techies are very fashionable and they have very little affection towards their mother tongue. They do not even respect their motherland. As they are kids of globalisation, they only adopt English as their lifestyle."

If this is your opinion about techies, then you have to change it. The ‘think globally, act locally’ policy is driving them to do good to their mother tongue as well as their motherland.

Roshan Ramesh Pai, a Bangalorean working as an IT consultant in London and his team, are the best example for this positive trend. Inspired by the revival of the Welsh language, he has taken up the project to make an online dictionary of his language. His website savemylanguage.org has been functional for the last five years.

According to his website, Konkani is a language spoken by mainly the Gowda Saraswatha Brahmins (GSBs) of Dakshina Kannada district. But there are some other communities also which speak Konkani in Karwar and Goa. Roshan clarifies, "Konkani, as spoken in Mangalore by the GSBs, represents the dialect that is spoken by the majority of Konkani speakers in Karnataka. The Konkani spoken by a majority of Konkanis in say Bangalore, for example, is of that dialect."

However Roshan, says that his team has a plan of including as many subdialects as possible in future. He requests other Konkani-speaking communities to come forward to be volunteers.

Though he has 65 members in his team across the world, all are of GSB community. But many visitors to the site are speakers of various other Konkani dialects too.

All words contributed by enthusiasts cannot get direct access to the dictionary due to stringent review process.

Dr Sudheer Manohar Tadkodkar, head of the department of Marathi, Goa University, is voluntarily involved in the project as mentor and guiding on technical matters. The team of 60 volunteers includes bank professionals, housewives and students. Some are helping through Facebook, others review words and some others add new words.

The dictionary, which has been updated with 6,500 words at the moment, also includes proverbs, metaphors, idioms, euphemisms and even research papers on the language. The team has not demanded any direct help from Karnataka Konkani Academy. But members of the Academy are aware of this project. It is committed to publish the dictionary in print form once it reaches an estimated 10,000 words.

Cracker of a ‘Diwali’ for private bus operators

July 14, 2012

The New Indian Express

By Sangamesh Menasinakai

27th October 2010 03:00 AM

  • File photo: ENS
    File photo: ENS

BANGALORE: Private bus operators in the city are making mega-bucks ahead of Diwali.

With the huge migrant population of Bangalore wanting to head home for the festival, which will fall on the start of a weekend, seats have been booked in all trains and buses.

Most trains running on November 4 are already full and the waiting lists on some trains have crossed 200.

With the Railways allowing booking of tickets 90 days before the date of journey, many had booked seats in the first week of August.

Those who have not managed a reservation yet, are waiting for the tatkal quota, which will be opened on November 2 at 8 am for the journey of November 4.

The Railways has not announced any extra coaches or special trains from Bangalore to clear the rush.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses are also booked well in advance. The chief manager (marketing and public relations) of KSRTC has announced that the corporation will arrange 1,900 additional buses to Shimoga, Davanagere, Tirupati, Mangalore, Kundapur, Sringeri, Horanadu, Kukke Subramanya, Dharmasthala and other places to cater to the Diwali rush.

These buses will ply from November 4 to 6.  

But touts have reportedly booked seats on government-owned buses and offering them to passengers at competitive rates but the KSRTC officials denied such bookings and allotment.

The private bus operators have also doubled the fares.

VRL, a leading bus operator, has raised its fare in sleeper coaches to Rs1,000 per seat on buses to Hubli. The normal charge on such buses is Rs 500.

“We will have to run extra buses with less occupancy or even empty from Hubli on November 3 to meet the demand in Bangalore, our management has decided to increase the fare,” said a staff of VRL at Gandhinagar. Even the manager with SRS, another operator, claimed their buses will return with less occupancy or empty on November 5. Durgamba Motors has increased its fares by Rs 250.This has landed passengers in trouble.

“Let them charge more for only the extra buses that they are plying,” said Shivakumar Hosaganiger, a software engineer from Hubli. Many operators said they have decided to charge more than the previous year due to rise in fuel prices and other operational costs, like toll tax.

“The department will fix the fares for buses that have been issued stage carriage permit, but not for vehicles that have contract carriage permit,” said Vijay Vikram, joint commissioner, state transport department.

“If this is the case, the government should make appropriate amendment to the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Act to protect the passengers ,” said Mavemsa Prasad, a consumer activist.

Cracker of a ‘Diwali’ for private bus operators

July 14, 2012

The New Indian Express

By Sangamesh Menasinakai

27th October 2010 03:00 AM

  • File photo: ENS
    File photo: ENS

BANGALORE: Private bus operators in the city are making mega-bucks ahead of Diwali.

With the huge migrant population of Bangalore wanting to head home for the festival, which will fall on the start of a weekend, seats have been booked in all trains and buses.

Most trains running on November 4 are already full and the waiting lists on some trains have crossed 200.

With the Railways allowing booking of tickets 90 days before the date of journey, many had booked seats in the first week of August.

Those who have not managed a reservation yet, are waiting for the tatkal quota, which will be opened on November 2 at 8 am for the journey of November 4.

The Railways has not announced any extra coaches or special trains from Bangalore to clear the rush.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses are also booked well in advance. The chief manager (marketing and public relations) of KSRTC has announced that the corporation will arrange 1,900 additional buses to Shimoga, Davanagere, Tirupati, Mangalore, Kundapur, Sringeri, Horanadu, Kukke Subramanya, Dharmasthala and other places to cater to the Diwali rush.

These buses will ply from November 4 to 6.  

But touts have reportedly booked seats on government-owned buses and offering them to passengers at competitive rates but the KSRTC officials denied such bookings and allotment.

The private bus operators have also doubled the fares.

VRL, a leading bus operator, has raised its fare in sleeper coaches to Rs1,000 per seat on buses to Hubli. The normal charge on such buses is Rs 500.

“We will have to run extra buses with less occupancy or even empty from Hubli on November 3 to meet the demand in Bangalore, our management has decided to increase the fare,” said a staff of VRL at Gandhinagar. Even the manager with SRS, another operator, claimed their buses will return with less occupancy or empty on November 5. Durgamba Motors has increased its fares by Rs 250.This has landed passengers in trouble.

“Let them charge more for only the extra buses that they are plying,” said Shivakumar Hosaganiger, a software engineer from Hubli. Many operators said they have decided to charge more than the previous year due to rise in fuel prices and other operational costs, like toll tax.

“The department will fix the fares for buses that have been issued stage carriage permit, but not for vehicles that have contract carriage permit,” said Vijay Vikram, joint commissioner, state transport department.

“If this is the case, the government should make appropriate amendment to the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Act to protect the passengers ,” said Mavemsa Prasad, a consumer activist.

BMTC turns a deaf ear to commuters

July 14, 2012

The New Indian Express

 

By Sangamesh Menasinakai

21st October 2010 07:25 AM

BANGALORE: Have a grouse against the buses of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation? Sorry, there are no complaint boxes for you.

Most of the BMTC buses have removed the phone numbers, postal address and email details for contacting the authorities and the complaint boxes too have disappeared.

“The BMTC is not interested in listening to the public,” said M Srinivasmurthy of Vijaynagar who is a frequent bus user. “It has shown its incapability in controlling the staff.”

The boards that displayed the contact numbers have now been replaced with pictures of gods and goddesses.

The bus staff are not complaining.

“After removing these boards, we are much more relaxed and breathing easy,” said a conductor who did not want to be identified.

Some passengers who made an effort and found a way to communicate with the BMTC through e-mails are not too happy.

Most of the time, the reply is a standard “BMTC regrets the inconvenience caused to you and the co-passengers. The driver and the conductor of the bus have been called for personal inquiry and necessary action will be initiated against the erring crew”. But no information comes through on the action taken on the erring crew.

This lack of information also goes against the Right to Information Act that requires every public authority to provide as much information to people through various means of communication for them to use the Act to obtain information.

A BMTC official promised immediate action on being questioned on the violation.

“Some numbers have changed, we will update it at the earliest,” said Sampangi Ramegowda, divisional traffic officer (BMTC).

Calling BMTC? Try your luck

Express called these numbers and here’s what it found:

Number;Status

9945224422;Does not exist

9945670253(Sarathi);Does not exist

12667;Please check the number.

080 22952522;Busy or dead

18004251663;Busy

080- 22952512;Call during office hours