Tuesday, September 19, 2017

First Indian woman to defeat a male in Mixed Martial Arts in a cage fight

Dr Komal fighting with Nikes Agarwal from Guardian Gym Germany  
at the Mixed Martial Arts Fight took place in Germany. 

This woman knocks out a man in one punch and slams him to the ground in one throw. Meet 35-year-old Dr Komal Rao, who has defeated a male opponent in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in a cage fight took place in YBN Germany in July 2017. With this, She has become the first woman in the world to defeat a male opponent in MMA.

Dr Komal, is the adopted daughter of Dr Seema Rao, India's first woman commando Trainer and Major Dr Deepak Rao, a Pioneer of Close Quarter Battle. Residents of Mumbai, the family had recently visited Mysuru and here are the excerpts from the interview:

Dr Komal began learning Jeet Kune Do (JKD), an form of martial arts from the tender age of 15. Today, she is one among the five female instructors in the world to get certified as a full instructor in Jeet Kune Do (JKD) by Richard Bustillo, an direct student of Bruce Lee. After her mother Dr Seema Rao, she is the second in the country to get certified.

Dr Komal has done her advanced training in JKD, under grand master Richard Bustillo. She runs a Mixed Martial Arts Fight Club 'Academy of Combat Fitness’ and conducts regular workshops and teaches Jeet Kune Do in Mumbai. She is also serving as an Deputy Director of an NGO Unarmed Commando Combat Academy. 

After undergoing training for 20 long years, she became a pro MMA fighter with her debut fight in Young Blood Night 9 and was slotted to fight Elke Beinwachs on June 2, 2017 in the 52 kg category. However, when Elke did not turn up for the fight, she agreed to fight Nikes Agarwal from Guardian Gym Germany in the 60kg category.

Dr Komal who won by submission in the second round using a rear naked choke, said: ‘I am the only Indian woman to have fought a male in an MMA cage fight. I have been ranked 22nd in the Pro MMA Women fighter in Germany and I feel proud about it. My next fight will be around next April at a pre-decided destination in Europe,  perhaps Poland  or maybe in Brazil.’

Sharing her experience before and after fight, she said: “Before the fight there was a lot of excitement and anticipation and little bit of apprehension. After the fight there was elation and a sense of accomplishment.”

Komal, a soft nature girl, spent her childhood with illness and poor constitution. To become strong physically and mentally, she decided to learn Jeet Kune Do under the guidance of her parents. She says: ‘I Am 35 and going strong. I run 5 kilo meters twice a week, and go to gum, and fight professionally in a mixed martial art cage.’

When questioned about what is required for a woman fight in a cage, she said: ‘A woman has to fight in a particular weight category. She has to shed her fatty weight to about 10 per cent of total.  She has to be extremely fit to last 15to 25 minutes inside the cage. For this she has to train for 5km run, lift weights, do cross training besides skill training. She has to train in boxing, muay thai,  grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She should be very fit, flexible and condition every part of her body to take hits.’

Are women interested to learn MMA: “‘In our country good training facility do not exist and women generally do not want to take up hard core sport, as grievous injury like black eye, nose burst, and internal bleeds occur.” 

Talking about craze among people about MMA, she said: ‘Mixed martial arts is a world wide sport, however the first time Super Fight League (SFL) hosted it in India under patronage of Sanjay Dutt many years ago. Now almost every other youngster is aware of it, but there are hardly any women participants from India.’

Komal is the owner of India's No 1 Fight Club academy of Combat Fitness and also dealing with defence forces in modernisation of counter terror training. She is also Director of All India JKD Headquarters, Pro MMA Fighter. She has also acted in the movie Hathapayi an Indian MMA movie with name 'Kayra'.  She says: ‘As an MMA coach, my students have won medals at World Mixed Martial Arts Championship in Russia this year and am happy about it. The response to my JKD academy is very good, with good number of metro students joining  every month,  but generally they join for fitness and Bruce Lee's philosophy.’

Father Major Dr Deepak Rao said: ‘Komal was very weak,  thin and skinny in constitution, frail in health and timid in personality. Now after MMA she is strong confident and a woman of substance. She is one among the few women in the world to have fought a male in the pro MMA event. she is a fifth degree black belt under UCCA organisation and conducts seminars, workshop on JDK Philosophy.  We are proud of her as she is the first from country to defeat a male in a cage fight.'

Talking about her fight Mother Dr Seema Rao said: ‘Komal fought a male opponent heavier than her by 10kgs. The first round witnessed both opponents fighting each other with strikes,  with Komal being cautious and sizing the opponent.  In the second round Komal had understood her opponents weakness.  As he charged in she slipped her hand around his neck and choked him using a guillotine lock. The opponent started fading into unconsciousness and tapped just in time.  And a tap on the mat indicates submission and surrender. This occurred within 2 minutes of the second round.

* Mixed Martial Arts is a sport where participants fight in a cage using kicking,  punching,  wrestling and ground attacks. MMA is a cold blooded brutal sport where victory is by knockout or submission due to cranking (twisting) of a joint or by locking the neck to unconsciousness.
* Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is an American Chinese  martial art founded by Bruce Lee along with philosophy of Zen and Taoism. This was the first mixed martial art of the world.
It is one of the most sought martial art in the world.  Its made of punching,  kicking,  grappling and ground fighting.  And in essence the first hybrid martial art.  Its very popular among adult metro men and women as it helps them in fitness and stress management.
* A cage fight is a fight inside a cage,  with 3 to 5 rounds of 5mins each with very thin lightly padded gloves where each strike will cause a cut and bleed. Two participants  are locked in a cage with refree and can't escape even if they want to. Victory is by submission  or Knock out.

Below is video link of her fight

Friday, September 1, 2017

Shooting stars: Teaching archery for visually challenged

A team member from Solanki’s camp teaching archery to a visually challenged man

MYSURU:  One by one, they stand in position, listen intently to the sound of bell, walk a few steps and shoot the arrow. Some of the archers squeal in delight when they are told they’ve hit the bull’s eye. Some want to go to the target board and feel the circle. A

DSD Solanki
nd when they do, this group of visually challenged archers senses a triumph of belief. It’s a belief instilled by DSD Solanki, the man behind this innovative project.
Having been in the field of adventure sports since his childhood, the 44-year-old has conducted more than a 100 archery camps. He began the camps as a recreational tool for youngsters. One day he thought if ordinary people with no skills in archery could wield the arrow and even excel in it, why not involve the visually challenged too. This motivated him to impart archery training for the visually challenged. Solanki discussed the idea with people working for the visually challenged and chalked out the techniques of teaching them archery. 
To his surprise, he found that the lack of sight wasn’t a big barrier for them as the visually challenged equipped themselves with skills that overcame this perceived handicap. “I found it was more interesting and easier to teach them to hone their skills in archery. They don’t have vision but their other sensory organs are strong and they concentrate better than those with sight,” he says. The group of visually challenged archers have it all in their mental map: the bow, arrow, position, sound of bell, wind speed, flags, rope and target.
The sound of the bell and the arrow is let off in perfect synchronicity. Going down the memory lane, Solanki recalls, “When I used to go on expeditions, it is mandatory that we keep the trekkers or mountaineers engaged in some activities. When we went to Chandertal expedition in Himachal Pradesh in 2005, we took the bow and arrow and explored the possibilities. It worked out better and since then we have kept it as recreational activity in our programmes.”
For the past couple of years he has been conducting competitions for orphans, visually challenged and destitute children in Mysuru, Bengaluru and Hassan. “We have been receiving good response,” says Solanki, whose repertory in adventure sports includes trekking, parasailing, gliding, skydiving, flying, rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, scuba diving. Solanki says the constant support from Rotary Mysore Midtown and Muniraju, a retired employee of the National Association of Blind, has helped him and his team impart the skills. The concentration, observations and passion of the blind are worth appreciating, he says. “We had lot of fun during the camp.

Though it was a unique experience, we wondered how we could hit the target without seeing. But Solanki sir motivated us describing how the champions go blindfolded and set records. This infused confidence in us and we took part in the archery camp,” adds Raghavendra, a visually challenged person. “My happiness knew no bounds when I hit the blue target. The camp was a different experience altogether and I can’t thank Solanki sir enough for giving us this opportunity,” says Soundarya.
Solanki, who is also honorary secretary for Tiger Adventure Foundation, visits various schools, colleges and teaches the young about archery, sometimes involving the parents too so that awareness about archery is created among public. Solanki and his team sources the bows from Korea, while the bamboo arrows are procured from Delhi. “Our aim is to expose them to archery. Whether the children want to take it up as a competitive sport is left to them,” he says. Lohit, an archer, says the experience has been worthwhile for the trainers too. Dr LP Ravi Kumar, Principal, Harvard School of Excellence, Hassan, says exposing the students to such activity helps them deal better with the challenges ahead.

Know how they aim the target  

At first, the visually challenged will be familiarised with the ground, where they are going to be roped in for the activity. Later, they will be briefed about the Archery and will be given to touch and feel the equipment like bow, arrow, bell.

They will be explained about the salient features for the target of the scores, and about target in white colour, Blue Colour, Yellow and Red circles. In final, distance will be measured from the bull’s eye to the shooting spot, which helps them to hit the target easily. 

Blind Manjula said: ‘A bell will be hanged to the target board. Standing in shooting place we concentrate on the bell sound from which direction it is coming.  As we take step count prior to the shooting, it helps to aim the target. Though we miss few targets in beginning, we get an idea about the speed, and where we should aim. The programme organizers navigate to hit the target, which are helpful.’
‘We had lot of fun during the camp. Though it was a unique experience, we were feared how we can target without vision. Solanki motivated us informing how normal people go blind folded to set records, which infused self confidence and made us to take part in the archery camp,’ adds Raghavendra, another visually challenged person.

‘Participating in archery camps gives a different experience. By keenly observing the bell sounds we can easily reach the aim. We thank Solanki for conducting camps for visually challenged and the way he teaches is easily understandable. There was no bound for my happiness when I hit the blue circle. I touched the spot where my arrow had hit. It was a first time in the life we experience how archery will be, and no hopes in future we get an opportunity as the financial obligations is a big question mark,’ adds Soundarya, sharing her experience.   

Initially when we were aiming at the target it used to get deviated. We realized that if we aim at the outer circle then we hit the target, which is called the wind/velocity also has to be analyzed while aiming, adds Jyothi.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Bringing back the blooms

D N Srikanta Raje Urs with Bharathi Sridhar Raje Urs, vice president of Sri Jayachamaraja Ursu Education Trust, at Sri Vani Vilas Ursu Girls High School in Mysuru

He walks up to a plant and stops. He looks at it closely to confirm if it is a rare flowering plant.  “It would look beautiful growing on the roadside and on the hill in Mysuru,” he muses. He won’t rest until he gets the seeds and sows them in Mysuru. Outwardly there is nothing about him that would point to  the vast knowledge he has about rare flowers. He does his job quietly.
Seventy-four-year-old D N Srikanta Raje Urs, a trustee and joint secretary of Sri Jayachamaraja Urs Education Trust, is on a mission to recapture the flower power of Mysuru.

Tabebuia Chrysantha, Jacaranda, Cassia Nodosa, Mammea Suriga:  Bursts of these yellow, violet and pink blossoms used to dot the city’s landscape. These rare flowering plants are slowly becoming extinct and some have vanished, thanks to rapid urbanisation.

But Srikanta Raje Urs wants to make Mysuru bloom again. He seeds exotic flowering plants and ensures they grow into trees. What is unique about some of these flowers is that they bloom during Dasara.
He has been busy collecting seeds of these flowering trees from Lalbagh in Bengaluru and of ‘Flame of the Forest’ from Siddapur in Uttara Kannada for over a decade. He preserves and germinates them in the right environment taking utmost care. He sets aside two hours daily to germinate seeds and nurture  the saplings.
His mission doesn’t end there. He distributes the saplings to educational institutions and interested citizens free of cost, thereby motivating the public to grow flowering trees.

Over the past several years, Srikanta Raje Urs has studied about these exotic plants and has equipped himself with enough knowledge to create awareness among public about the need to conserve rare species of flowering trees.
“The seeds of these trees were earlier brought from several parts of the country. They are very hard and cannot be germinated easily. I discovered a technique by which 80 per cent of seeds can germinate within three days. The only thing is we have to nurture the trees for one rainy season and protect them from cattle,” he says.

Watering just once a week is enough while a mild pest control is needed. The lifespan of these trees is around 60 years and in some instances more than 100 years.
“Following urbanisation, we are losing the rare flowering trees of America, Colombia, Brazil, Thailand and Argentina. My desire is to plant trees along the roads approaching Mysuru, near Railway Line and also atop Chamundi Hill and in new layouts that are being developed.

We can further enhance the beauty of Mysuru with these flowering plants. This would also provide a great view if we see from atop Chamundi Hill,” he adds.

“My father D Nanjaraj Urs was a close associate of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, the king of Mysuru. My father used to talk about Wadiyars’ initiative. This inspired me to grow uncommon trees. I feel happy, when people, students inquire about native of plants, or they suitable for our climatic condition, their characters,’ he adds.

Know who planted the saplings
Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel, who visited Baroda for landscaping, came to Mysuru State in 1908 to render his service. During the period, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV entrusted him to plant the saplings of flowering trees. Nalwadi was very fond of nature and used to plant saplings of flowering and fruit bearing trees atop Chamundi hill and scatter seed during rain seasons.

Learning over that people in Mysuru are not much enthused about plants, compared to Bengaloreans, he decided to host flower shows and develop interest among populace about rare flowering plants. In Karnataka we can find rare trees only in Bengaluru, and couple of trees along Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway, and few in Mysuru.

Exclusive Nursery

An exclusive nursery is being developed inside Sri Vani Vilas Urs Girls High School to grow saplings. The progrmme is being patronised by Pramoda Devi Wadiyar. College students, staff, teachers are been engaged in Nursery, and the young minds are made aware of rare trees.

To plant large number of flowering plants in and around the city, the trust is planning to raise 2000 saplings by the next rainy season. Already 400 saplings to Mysuru City Corporation in July to be planted in parks.

Student Vanitha said: “We had no idea Mysuru once housed such rare flowering plants. By engaging in nursery activities we came to know about we were nurturing exotic plants, which are in extinct. I am planning to grow a plant in my own backyard at my house. Planting flowering trees will increase the beauty of the city.’

Economist Teacher Siddappa said: ‘Srikanta Raje Urs is very passionate to raise flowering trees, and his initiatives has made us to realilse what we have missed. The exotic flowering plants has to be protected and people have to be educated about this rare plants.’

Bharathi Sridhar Raje Urs, Vice President of the Trust said: ‘Our efforts at creating tree wealth should be strengthened by the Corporation by maintaining the trees. To compensate the adverse effects of axing trees, Corporation should start an urban tree nursery. There are also suggestions from experts that Bonsai gardening be adopted to trees lining roads and avenues to further enhance the beauty. We request the MCC to envisage a plan to make Mysore more beautiful and cleaner.’


The rare flowering trees in extinct at Mysuru  

Colvillea Racemosa native of Madagascar

These trees were planted during the reign of Maharaja Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in Albert Victor Road along with Cassia Spectabilis bearing yellow flowers and spathodea bearing red colour flowers. The blooms of these trees coincided with Dasara festivals. These trees are found in St Philomena’s College of Mysuru. It is our ardent wish that if these plants are planted on the route of Dasara procession more glamour would be added to the state festival, says DN Srikanta Raje Urs. 


 Jacaranda : Native of South America, Mexico, Central America

  In Mysuru these plants were found in stretches of Shashadri Iyer Road known as Dewans Road. There were found on either sides of the road, bearing beautiful shapes of blue flowers, a refreshing sight in the blooming season. As Dewan’s Road developing as commercial road these trees disappeared.  It is an avenue tree and called road side dream. We can sight this 
trees rarely in Mysuru. 


 Cassia Fistula

Cassia Fistula (Kakke Gida) known as golden showers is a native of Indian Sub Continent. It is the national tree of Thailand and its flower is Thailand’s National Flower. This only tree is found in Butterfuly Park in Karnaji Lake. This tree as medicicinal values and used in natural therapy.

Tabebuia Chrysantha 

Tabebuia Chrysantha  originally from Colombia, Brazil and Bolavia are  known as Golden Trumpet or golden Tabebuia. These trees can be found in Jaladarshini (2), Mysuru Palace (2), Metropole (1) and Kuppanna Park (1).

Tabebuia Avellaneda (Pink Trumpet Tree)
Tabebuia Avellanede tree with pink flowers are found in Manasagangotri campus and few areas in Mysuru. It is a small saturated tree with pink trumpet like flowers. 

Cassia nodosa is found in Lalbagh, Bengaluru. While, Cassia White is found in a house in Vontikoppal, Mysuru. Cassia Javanica bearing pink flowers was earlier found in KR hospital.

(Courtesy: Flowers Pics from Internet)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

This Mysuru family all set to create ‘Dangal’

7-year-old lass in Rifah action packet enjoys the thrill of riding a quad bike in the open ground 
Taking a leaf out of the hit movie 'Dangal', here is a real life story of a young girl from Mysuru, whose father has sacrificed his life and earnings just to see her daughter become a Formula One car racer.  
Tajuddin, a resident of NR Mohalla, and a national-level car racer had dreamt of becoming a World Champion. But, he could not realize his dream due to lack of financial support and other commitments. Instead he decided to fulfill his dream through his two daughters.  
Tajuddin has trained his 7-year-old daughter Rifah Taskeen, a 2nd standard student of St Joseph School to drive not just a car but even a lorry and every kind of bike. He started training Rifah when she was just 3 years old. Over the past four years, she even learnt driving lorry, quad bike and bikes of different makes. Rifah who drives confidently and cautiously is so talented that she effortlessly perform car drifting and also drive the vehicle in reverse gear for more than 50 rounds.  
The family has completed the documentation process and has submitted the same for both Guinness World Records and Limca World Record. They hope the girl will enter the record books.  
Father builds quad bike   
Tajuddin has built a quad bike using spare parts from different vehicles, all from scratch. He has made use of parts from mopeds, engine from Kinetic Honda,  Chassis of  Suzuki Samurai, tyres of scooty Pep to build the vehicle. As he did not have any prior experience he had to face several challenges to  assemble the vehicle and took six months to build it.

Rifah can now drive any power steering vehicle with ease and she enjoys the thrill of riding the vehicles. Rifah can complete 50 rounds driving in reverse. She has even participated in race competitions held at Mandya and Mysore. Extra seat, extra pedals are attached for lorries to make her feel comfortable.  

Give an opportunity  

“A boy in America has set a record at the age of 10 in racing by driving a normal car, which even can my daughter do it. She drives car (alto 800, swift, santro, scorpio, innova, lancer, goods vehicle like tata ace, bolero, eicher lorry, etc. There are no girls have created a world championship. In foreign countries talented children are encouraged and there is lot of scope for racing. We request government to give an opportunity to showcase our daughter talent at the the torch light parade to be held at Bannimantap during Dasara,” added Tajuddin .

Tajuddin had won more than 40 silver trophies, and has to his credit several prizes in racing. He has also worked as stunt artist in few films. His dreams is to train his daughter to drive a Ferrari vehicle when she reaches 17.  

She will be undergoing training in Bengaluru next month and is planning to take part in a major race event to be shortly held in Tamil Nadu. If she wins, she will be  representing India in Nationals and World Championship.   

My father is role model

Adventure enthusiast Rifah says: "My father is a role model for me and am blessed to have him in my life. He sits besides me and guides me. I love driving. It is a very thrilling experience to drive vehicles in reverse and my favourite is riding quad bike.I want to become a pilot in future and a world popular and famous rider. Am also passionate about Aero glider, and wish to undergo training at Aeromodelling Glider Center at Mangalore.
“We are proud of her. She is driving the vehicle since she was 3. We take all safety measures while driving and we allow her to practice only on vacant grounds,” adds Mother Bibi Fathima, a Urdu School Teacher.
Sister Shifa who has also learnt to ride gears vehicles said: ‘We are concentrating and committed only to make her world champion racer. For the past several years, he has left the job and has dedicated himself to train Rifah. Mother looks after the family. Our only dream is to make her world championship Racer.’

According to law, there is no permission to drive any vehicle on public way for the minors. Whereas, any age group of people can drive in their private place and its not a offense.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wood art catches like fire

While yoga may be very popular among foreign tourists, there is another activity that fast becoming a favourite among them


Varis is a tourist from Arustralia, who has been visiting the city for the past two years. Unlike most
tourists who come to Mysuru for its Yoga, Varis is more interested to learn the traditional art of wood inlay works.

"Each time I come here I make sure I learn a little bit more about the art. I now know how to select the right kind of wood and the right colouring shades. If I have any doubts when I am not in the city I
call the masters here and get them cleared," he says.

Like Varis, many foreigners from Europe, Australia, Spain,  German, Switzerland, France, and several Parts of America are coming to Mysore attracted by the desire to learn the art. While most pursue wood inlay art as a hobby, there are quite a few who claim to want to take up wood inlay work
more seriously and even make it their profession.

Katt, another a tourist from UK says that the inlay works are very different from anything she has
done before and compared arranging the intricate patterns and designs to solving puzzles. "We can
give 3D effects or just emboss the designs. It requires lot of skills
and requires patience," she adds.

Catherine from Australia, points out that the art works can also be used using waste wood,
trimmed branches from trees. "I have learnt to create couple of small designs which makes me
feel very proud. The techniques and methods has to be followed meticulously,” he adds.
S Ashok Kumar, a local artisan who has been engaged in the work for many years says that the tourists pass on word about the art to their friends and acquaintances in
their respective countries.
"They  are very dedicated and are very keen to know about this rich culture and tradition. They also purchase the art works in large numbers," he says.

Good for business

The artisans find teaching to foreigners very lucrative. The demand for the art works is not so good in local market with local  citizens or domestic tourists hardly showing any interest to learn it.
There were more than 17,000 inlay artisans in the royal city before Independence and presently there
are hardly 3000.

Anand, another artisan, says: ‘There is not only a dearth of buyers for the art works, but the local
population is not interested to learn the art at all. Its sad that it's foreigners who are more keen in pursuing such works."

Woods for the art Some of most common wood used in the art are rose wood, silver wood, teak,
yellow teak, honne wood (Merbau), matti tree, ebony, jack fruit, tamarind tree,
silver matti, pathangadamara, and other varieties of wood.

From Persia to Mysuru
Wood Inlay is an ancient Persian technique art. Persian artist who came to India to do inlay works on the Taj Mahal in Agra spread across the country.  Mysuru was a separate state during
this time and the artisans who came here were encouraged by erstwhile Maharajas. During the period, inlay works on rosewood, and ivory became very common. Some of the works which can be seen in the palace even today, are testimony to the workmanship of the time.

Shaukat Ali, a famous inlay wood artist who received a National Award, simplifi ed this wood inlay work and created a huge market for artisans by making them cheaper. Before this,
inlay wood arts were very costly.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Homes here are an art space

One usually associates painting exhibitions with galleries or museums. However, if the spirits of the arts are fired up within you, how about doing something different in Mysuru? Head to the house of one of these Mysureans who has converted their entire house into a perennial art and painting exhibition, for a different kind of experience. Be it the corridors, kitchen, restroom, bedrooms or the balcony.

There is no wall that is devoid of artwork in these houses. Srinivasa Putty is a resident of Krishnamurthypuram whose parents were painters and art enthusiasts. As a way to honour his parents and their work, Srinivas has covered his house’s walls with his parent’s paintings. His  house is built on a 40x60 plot and is aptly called the ‘Kaveri Kala Kuteera.’

Around 250 of the total 500 oil and water paintings that were made by his parents, Lalitha R Putty and Raghuttama Putty adorn every part of the house.

 Going down memory lane, this former dean f the commerce department at Tumkur University, says, “I hail from a family of artists. My father was a stenographer and after retirement he dedicated his entire time towards painting. He lived from 1973 till 2006. His mother created about 50 embroidery works and all this is also on display. “In every painting and artwork, I see my parents. Though many people have inquired about buying them. l do not wish to share any of the works. I am extremely attached to these paintings as one can tell,” says Srinivasa. He takes utmost care to handle and preserve his parents legacy and spends many days in a month dusting and cleaning their works. I have had these works for past five decades and want to pass it on to my children as well,” he adds.

Forwarding legacy

Srinivasa  sister Nanda Putty, his elder brother, Yatindra Putty are following in their parents' footsteps and also have their own work and those of their parents' displayed in every corner of their respective houses. Even Yatindra’s wife, Sumithra is an avid painter. The two stay in Alanahalli and get a good stream of visitors who admire their art.

Yatindra is mostly into making art in fabrics and cloth. Nanda says that she feels houses are empty if some form of art is not part of the aesthetics of a house. “We have built walls but alone they do not make a home come alive. We appreciate the value of art more now. It’s not just paintings but a kind of introduction to our family and our lives,” she adds.

Nanda has about 80 works displayed in her house that is also located in Krishnamurthypuram. Of these more than 40 paintings are about heritage buildings in Mysuru, and landscapes in and around the city. She says, “I feel happy when people visit my house and appreciate my work, criticize my mistakes and help me improve my works.”

Nanda is a mathematics teacher in a private school and also does on spot paintings within four hours. She has been paintings for the last 23 years and regularly conducts drawing and painting classes for children in weekends.

Sooraj, a local resident recently visited Srinivas’s house in Krishnamurthypuram. “The paintings are so natural it makes the onlookers spellbound. It gives us a feeling as if we are walking amidst the nature’,’ he says.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A superfan's celebrity Amma

 An ardent fan of S Janaki, Naveen has developed a close friendship with the singer, 
who he been listening to since his early teens 

You can call him singer S Janaki's number one fan. But then again not all fans have a close friendship with their idols.

Naveen,32, a resident of NR Mohalla, has been listening to famous female playback singer since his boyhood days. His fandom is to such an extent that he has named even his house and his furniture shop as 'S Janaki.' On her part, the singer is also very close to Naveen and  his family.

Naveen never misses an opportunity to attend Janaki's public programmes, wherever it is held. The bond is so close that Naveen connects with his idold atleast four days a week over the phone.

Hailing from a middle class family, Naveen was introduced to S Janaki's songs through the radio as in his early teens. Since then, his long standing ambition was to meet Janaki.

Right from the age of 13, he met several film crew members seeking her number. One lucky day, he got her number and called her up immediately. He was asked to call after a month by a housemaid, saying that Janaki was out of station.
"It took me three years to get her number. The one month of waiting was very hard to pass. I was eagerly waiting for the D Day, and finally my line was connected to Janaki. When I heard her voice over phone for the first time, there was no bounds to my happiness,"," he says.

Naveen says he talked nonstop for the next 10 minutes, without even allowing Janaki to respond. "I expressed my desire to meet her once, and I got an appointment on December 25, 1999,” he says.

Naveen remembers being in front of Janaki's house at 8am sharp. "However I learnt that she had left for her sister's house and so I waited till 12 noon," he says.  Janaki's daughter in-law informed her that  her fan was waiting for her and returned from her sister's house. "I rushed towards her, and fell at her feet. Since then am in touch with Janaki Amma,” says Naveen.

Since then, Naveen, visits her every year to wish her on her birthday. "When I informed her I was going to open a furniture shop and wanted to name it after her, she immediately agreed," she says. To the good fortune of Naveen, more was in store. "After two days she called me and informed that she was coming for the first time to Mysuru to inaugurate my shop. It was an unbelievable movement and unexpected thing in my life," he says. Janaki even stayed in Naveen's home with his family.  No one believed Naveen when he told her that she was coming to inaugurate his shop. 

As the years have passed his bond with the singer has only become stronger. "Janaki Amma comes to my house at least once in every two or three months. It is a day of festivities  when Amma visits our house. We would go sightseeing to Chamundi Hills, Palace and Gopalswamy Hills together," she adds. In her many interviews she has also talked about Naveen.

Janaki has also attended Naveen's marriage, and came from his house inauguration. "I am in constant touch with Janaki Amma,” he adds.

While even Janaki does not have a collection of all of her songs, her superfan arranged for the same. "Most of the time I discuss with her about the songs she has sung, and how it changes the mood of a person," he adds. Naveen has made a collection of all of her songs and  has given these to her. "I am very glad that she treats me as her son and showers me with love and affection. I am blessed for the friendship" she says.

Naveen says that his idol is shifting base to Hyderabad. "She is planning to give her last performances in Mysuru. I and my friends are working to host a programme for her," he says.

This ZP member engages villagers to make seed balls, nurture trees

Watching a television programme on seed ball innovation, this gram panchyat member got motivated to experiment the same in her panchayat and has made her dream fulfill. Bannikuppe Village Gram Panchayat Member Pushpa Amarnath has took an initiative to increase the green cover in Hunsur Taluk and has engaged villagers to make seed balls.  

44 gram panchayats in Hunsur taluk have been selected under go green initiative and each gram panchayat will be distributed with 10,000 seed balls. Self help groups, NGOs, students have been roped in to make seed balls. The same will be distributed to interested farmers, and initiative has been taken to nurture the seed balls at vacant government lands, lake bunds, burial grounds, dry lands, hill areas.

The programme has been taken under Social Forestry and Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj. Making use of the provision under NREGA, she has brought the women under the programme and they will be paid dailywage for making seed balls and planting trees.

With cows urine and cow dung needed to prepare the seed ball, she has asked all the households rearing cows to collect cow urine by placing a drum and dung. Such collected cow dung, urine for nearly 10 days, was used to make 12,000 seed balls on Saturday.  

NSS, Scouts and Guides cadets, education institution eco club students have also been roped in to the programme, to make youngsters aware of environment conservations. Pushpa who has aims to make five lakh seed balls, with the help of other gram panchayat members is involving women in making seed balls daily for two hours. Villagers to collect cow urine, cow dung, whereas the red soil and seeds will be provided by forest department. 

‘To dig pit, plant a tree lot of energy, time and money is spent. Whereas, the cost for making every seed ball is just meager Rs 1. Also this innovative idea is very easy and economically viable. Am hopeful atleast 70 per cent saplings grow and  maintained for three years it will create a big difference in the nature. With decline in rainfall and deforestation we are encountering several problems and planting tress will be the solution for all the environmental imbalance. Thus, increasing green cover is need of the hour to fight against increasing temperature, drought and other environmental issues,’ she added. 

“Seed ball is a novel method of planting trees. We had heard about it, but am very happy, am experiencing. With Hunsur is dry land and declared drought hit, hope planting trees will change the scenario in next five years. If the same things adopted in another taluk panchayats it could bring a big change in increasing gree cover over the years,” added Prakash, who is planning to place 50 seed balls in his agriculture field.

Pushapa is planning to document the process and upload them in social media, so that interested gram panchayats can adopt this simple method and improve the green cover. About 13 varieties of trees, including fruit trees seeds will be made. The seeds include, Neem, Nerale, Honge, Tamarind Tree, Rain Tree, Jackfruit, Agase seed, jatropha, bamboo two varities, Castor seeds, etc.

The seeds include, Neem, Nerale, Honge, Tamarind Tree, Jackfruit, Agase seed, jatropha, bamboo two varities, Castor seeds, Nallikayi, Soapnet, Thabsi, Boguri Mara. Some of seeds selected also to   generate revenue for the villagers.

This girl initiatives to build toilets bring smile on villagers

A girl from North India has came all the way from Chandigarh to work with people in grassroot level and has built 75 toilets in BC Halli. Ushma Goswami (23), On a one year fellowship she has come to the Village in last August. She was appalled to see that majority of the households did not have a toilet of their own and were  defecating in the open fields. The two main reasons were though many people wanted to build toilet. Under Swatch Bharath only after toilets are built the money is sanctioned, and most of the villagers dint had initial money to build the toilet. While other problem faced by villagers was lack of space.  
Learning over this, Ushma approached NGO Dhan Foundation and helped the villagers to build toilets through ‘Sanitation loan’. With this she is contributing to the Swatch Bharat Andolan and her aim is to make the village free of open defecation by August. Since December 75 toilets have been built, and 200 more to built. . Since March she is working simultaneously for Kodagalli Panchayat in T Narasipur and around 150 toilets are under construction. 


Under SBI Youth for India fellowship, she has been selected as fellow, and she will be working for 13 months in rural developments. Ushma who has completed her Masters in Political Science, said:‘I had studied about problems in rural development, local governance, education, health issues had learnt. Thus, wanted to work on grass root level. When I was selected under the fellowship programme, during same time had  cleared M.Phil entrance. But, I choose to serve in village and rushed to Karnataka. Now, in the last eight months have become one among villagers.’  

“I faced communication problem in initial days, as I dint know the local Kannada language. But, even without knowing language, the love and affection showered on me from villagers, connected me to them emotionally. Slowly, I learnt the language and now am able to communicate with them using simple Kannada words. Have also visited Odissi to see the toilet construction works taken in the state. My goal is to make the villages free of open defecation by August,” she adds.

She also found that there was no English teacher for the kids studying at the local Primary school when she took English classes for six months to high school children in the last academic year.She also helps the villagers by opening a small pharmacy store to dispense commonly used over the counter medicines. She is also educating villagers about government schemes, and educating villagers about how to file Aadhar online, ration card by providing information.  

Stating Infrastructure is better in South India, compared to North India, she said she has set her goals of attempting the UPSC exams and dedicate herself for the service of humanity. 
Villager Girish said: ‘We did not had Rs 6,000 to construct a ordinary toilet. Learning over the problems, we were connected to a NGO and were provided with sanitation loan, which helped us to get the toilets build. We are moved by the initiative of the girl. She is teaching the youngsters the use of Internet, how to obtain government facilities, and how to claim our rights.’