Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A flower in any other form is just as sweet

Handicrafts fair at JSS Urban Haat
Flowers, in spite of their brief life, are symbolic of everlasting beauty. Whether it is summer or winter, a vase full of beautiful flowers adds cheer and touch of ele-gance to the interiors by beautifying the ambience.
To slake the desire of flower-lovers, here's Ram Kishan from West Bengal displaying his creativity and dexterity in evolving fantastical, magical dry flower products at the handicrafts fair at JSS Mysore Urban Haat, which concludes today at 9 pm.
An incredible range of dried flowers, potpourri, bouquets, exotics, pods, grasses, floral items are part of the collection. This exciting range of alluring dry flowers and foliage naturally brightens up the surroundings, sustaining for a long period.
Speaking to SOM, 26-year-old Kishan said, "Beautifying the environment is everyone's dream. In any season, one can enjoy the long lasting splashes of colour. Adding a touch of nature, these dry flowers can be arranged in a variety of ways according to one's taste and life-style.
"First we collect shed leaves and flowers. We can also pluck from plants and trees (jute, shola, cane, palm, lata, coco, etc.). Then the process of drying involves bleaching and colouring, which should be done in the early morning. Drying process is done delicately as flowers and leaves are very soft; especially blossomed flowers should be removed carefully. Drying time depends on the flower, its size and the amount of humidity in the air; three days is the average.
"To retain the delicacy of the flowers, a good packing method is needed which will be helpful for storage, transport and marketing. First we wrap the flowers in paper and place them in a cardboard box to protect them from direct sunlight, rodents and insects," says Kishan who has been involved in this work from his childhood.
"Every flower and petal has its own beauty. I create more than 180 varieties of designs with dried flower and petals. This can also be used to embellish books, diary, greeting cards, purses or other things which customers desire. Usually many think dry flowers include only flowers and leaves. But it's not so. They also include dried seeds, barks, shoots, which can be preserved for year-round floral arrangements for party decorations, festivals etc. Amaranthus, Areca, Coconut leaves, cut flowers, Bachelor’s button, Cock’s comb, Jasmine, Rose petals, Bougainvillea flowers, Land Lotus petals, Rose petals, Mahogany petals, dried grasses, Lily petals, neem leaves and fruit nuts are commonly used for the decoration," adds Kishan.
"Don't consider any shed leaves, weeds, seeds, cones, twigs or flowers as waste. Collect them from your garden or nearby road sides. According to their shapes, colours and texture, they can be used for creating marvelous floral designs throughout the year and you can also earn some money," adds Kishan who feels happy in exhibiting his talent here.

Stoic courage in the face of fate

Here is a 64-year-old woman Lakshmi, hailing from Andhra Pradesh, who has been making handmade woolen clothes with intricate designs for the past 50 years and exhibiting her talent at the Urban Haat. When SOM sat down with Lakshmi for a tête-à-tête, this is what she had to say: "Though it appears that destiny plays a major role in everyone’s life, still one should not bow down to circumstances, instead, we should overcome the problems and stand up courageously."
"I was just 14-year-old and even before I understood what marriage is, I was married off. By the age of 20, I had five children. Till then everything was fine, but one day my husband left me suddenly and married some other girl. I was completely devastated and thought of killing myself along with the small children. But somehow I managed to control myself. It was the woolen weaving work which my mother taught me in my spare time that saved my life and became a life-sustaining job for me."
"In the initial days I used to sell these handmade woolen clothes in residential localities. Later on, I got good contacts and my business improved. Now, I feel happy as I have married off all my 5 children apart from educating them," says Lakshmi with a tinge of pride and accomplishment in her voice.

Poems & paintings to create awareness on women's ailments

Mysore, Mar. 31- Art for art's sake has been transformed into art for the sake of raising awareness about the various ailments that women face. This awareness is created in a series of paintings and poems by Dr. H.T. Chidananda, Principal of Mandya and Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences and showcased by his wife, T. Hemavathi, advocate, painter and poet, who is also an ex-Corporator.
This exhibition is part of day-long International Women's Day being celebrated by the Mysore City Mahila Congress at the Platinum Jubilee auditorium in JK Grounds here. The function was inaugurated by Muktharunissa Begum, Ex-MLA, this noon.
On the occasion, City Mahila Congress felicitated Dr. Geetha Avadhani, Superintendent, KR Hospital, Dharanidevi Malagathi, DySP and renowned poet; Neelamma, a social worker.
About 20 poems and paintings are on show. The poems in colloquial Kannada are understandable by common women. The hormonal problems like hyperthyroidism, dysmenorrheal, menopause, pregnancy, breast feeding and other common diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, asthma, allergy and sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhea which every woman ought to be made aware have been done through this medium of poems and paintings.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Himalayan challenge for the orphans

Dreams-2010, a trekking expedition to the Himalayan ranges for orphaned youth from Southern States in India, has been organised jointly by the International Academy of Mountaineering & Allied Sports (IAMAS) and Society for Trekking and Environmental Preservation (STEP), New Delhi, from April 25. This is an opportunity for orphaned youth to 'climb the highest mountain and live life to the fullest.'
The man behind Dreams-10 is N. Shankara Subramanaya, Chairman, IAMAS and D.S.D. Solanki, Programme Director.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Shankara said "The expedition Dreams-2010 is dedicated to the mountaineer, late Govindaraju of Deccan Mountaineering League, Mysore. This expedition is exclusively meant for the visually challenged, speech and hearing impaired and tribal youth of Karnataka which will be undertaken with great conviction and it is a herculean task."
"The trekking team comprising 13 orphan youth from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and 14 amateur trekkers from Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh will be led by Shankara Subramanaya assisted by Pankaj Mallick, Shrisha Bhat, Mohan Kumar, Dr. Rashmi and Lakshman Raju," said Solanki.
The orphans have been chosen from various institutions like Juvenile Home for Boys, Sadem Road, and Juvenile Home for Girls, Aland Road from Gulbarga; Bapuji Children’s Home, Govt Girls Home, National Association for the Blind, JSS- Suttur and Govt Home for Boys, J.P. Nagar, Grace School, Kumbarkoppal, all from Mysore.
The aim of the expedition is to realise the dreams of orphan youth and provide them an opportunity to have a glimpse of the world. The youth will make the Kuari Pass ascent on May 9 which is at an altitude of 4,268 meters. Kuari Pass is a popular trekking route in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas.
Trekkers will see magnificent peaks like Nandaghunti, Duna-giri, Bethatoli, Hathi Parvat, Devasthan, Nandadevi, Chauk-hama Mana, Kamet, Palki and Trishul which are visible on the way to Kuari Pass. The trail from Ramni to Kuari is also known as ‘Lord Curzon Trail’ named after Lord Curzon who explored this route in 1905.
IAMAS has started making all the necessary preparations and the team will undergo training in rock climbing at Chamundi Hill and Kunti Betta, along with classes on recognising flora and fauna. A medical and physical endurance test will also be held at the Open Air theatre, before the team leaves the city. The youth will be taught high-altitude trekking, snow walking and other activities which are part of the trekking programme.
Solanki said IAMAS is seeking sponsors for the expedition which is expected to cost Rs. 2.99 lakh. The dreams of these orphan youth can be realised only through generous donations by philanthropists.
Those who wish to extend a helping hand to these orphan youths can contact Mob: 09880-273405 or 098451-16835.
Cheques and Demand Drafts may be drawn in favour of 'Drea-ms-2010', payable at Mysore and send to P.K. Ramakrishna, Treasurer, Dreams-2010, Expedition Secretariat, Flowersynth, G-9 and G-10, Industrial Estate, Yadavagiri, Mysore-570 020. [Mobile-98451-15120].
For those who wish to make online donations:
* Account Name: Dreams-2010, SB A/c No. 64054311790.
* Bank: State Bank of Mysore, Siddhartha Nagar Branch, Mysore.
* IFSC Code: SBMY0040273, Branch Code: 40273.
* MICR Code: 570006023, Swift Codes: SBMYINBB054.