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    June 18th, 2017adminBusiness & Economy, Records, All
    A milestone: President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurating the Green Line of Namma Metro Phase I in Bengaluru on Saturday

    A milestone: President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurating the Green Line of Namma Metro Phase I in Bengaluru on Saturday

    President Pranab Mukherjee flags off train in presence of Governor, Chief Minister, other Ministers

    President Pranab Mukherjee flagged off the Green Line of Namma Metro Phase I in the presence of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Governor Vajubhai Vala, a host of Union Ministers and State Ministers on Saturday. He said the country was lagging behind in the execution of urban infrastructure projects compared to Europe and the U.S.

    Noting that Kolkata was the fist city to introduce metro rail in 1984, the President said more than a dozen cities would have metro trains in the next 10-15 years. The Delhi Metro was successfully implemented, he said, and appreciated the work of the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited in the execution of Phase I project.

    With the completion of the 11.3 km-line between Mantri Square and Yalachenahalli, a total of 42.3 km with 40 stations in two corridors — East-West and North-South Corridor for Phase I — has been completed at a cost of ₹13,845 crore.

    Speaking on the occasion, Union Urban Development Minister and Information Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu said the Centre would announce a new metro policy featuring innovative financing, and add a list of new cities to the Smart Cities Project on June 23.

    With the opening of Saturday’s line, the total metro length operational in the country was 370 km (including 13.4 km inaugurated by Prime Minister at Kochi) in the cities of Delhi and NCR, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Jaipur and Mumbai.

    Around 517 km was under construction in various cities, including Delhi and NCR, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Lucknow. Another 522 km was under consideration, Mr. Naidu said.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Nagesh Prabhu / Bengaluru – June 17th, 2017

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    LathaPutannaBF15jun2017

    Designer Latha Puttanna says you cannot duplicate the intricate handwork done over time through machines

    From being a housewife and a beautician to one of the most-sought after designers, Latha Puttanna has had an interesting journey. This year, she celebrates 25 years of being a designer with an exhibition of over 100 hand-made designer blouses.

    “I was already thinking out-of-the-box, drawing, sketching and executing the design on fabric. Marriage was the best thing to happen to me as I was just not interested in studies. I was just 16 then,” she says with a laugh.

    Latha gave up her salon as she felt “stagnated in it” and started “designing my clothes. Whatever I wore was appreciated and friends and family asked me to makefor them too. As an experiment, I designed 80 salwar suits and had my first exhibition in 1992. They were all sold out. That is how my label – Latha Puttanna – came into being. What you see today is a result of my passion and a quarter century of experience. It is not a by-product of any training. The very essence of being an Indian is the USP in my designs. We have such a vast range of textiles and heritage. I am inspired by that.”

    Latha has always worked with natural fabrics. “Embroidery is my biggest strength. Today it is hard to find skilled craftsmen, but every design or thread work comes with a piece of history, be it the fabric or the crafts used. They are priceless and can be handed down to the next generation too.”

    Latha says the blouse she is wearing has embroidery from “over 25 years ago. This was originally used on a kurta. I cut off the sleeves as the work is priceless and has every kind of embroidery on it. Then I attached it to a new blouse and I got a new design. The blouses that we will display has one style of thread work taken from this very blouse and worked in varied designs.”

    Latha says the exhibition is a “tribute to all that I have done over the years, to the people who have worked with me and to our rich culture and heritage.”

    When asked about the focus on blouses, Lata says, “People have always asked me for blouses and I tell them it is attached to this sari or that. I felt the time now was right to display the wide range of blouses we have created. Women can buy, mix and match and wear them with the saris of their choice. The best part of our blouses are that they can be worn on a western skirt or a ghagra, with pants, palazzos or saris. You can match them up and go completely ethnic or blend it with western wear, the choice is yours.”

    “The sad thing is that today, in the fast-paced world, everything is done in a jiffy, from food to designs. So people are losing out on our rich textile history. You can’t duplicate this intricate handwork done over time through machines. I find it hard to cope with that mentality. People are willing to shell out huge amounts for clothes that are mass produced. But with us, every piece has a story attached. So you are wearing a slice of history when you drape our saris or blouses, so why not invest in a design with a story?”

    The exhibition offers over 100 blouses with unique designs. The blouses are priced at ₹4,000 upward and come with Kalamkari prints for lining “so that even the inside looks gorgeous.” Various peek-a- boo openings are in the back with aari work, zardosi and silk patchwork. The venue is Arts village, opposite Bowring Institute, St Mark’s Road, on June 16 from 10 am to 7 pm. Call 7338335169 for details.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Life & Style / by Shilpa Sebastian R / June 14th, 2017

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    MemesBF15jun2017

    When you meet young entrepreneurs Chethan Hiremath and Deeraj Gowda , the men behind the social-media makeover that the Bengaluru City Police  pages have got, the first impression that you get from their camaraderie is that they have known each other for a lifetime. They even live together. But as it turns out, this friendship-cum-business partnership is less than a year old.

    The Twain Meet 
    Chethan tells us, “As people who deal with social media , it is interesting that we met on Snapchat. I was working on a project and needed a new logo and one of the many responses I got was from Deeraj. I liked his design and that’s how we started working together.” The twist in the story here is that Deeraj was, at the time, pursuing his passions in graphic designing and photography, having quit a cozy DRDO aeronautical software developer job. “I had just started my own firm when we met. But after a few discussions we realized that our views were similar and got together,” adds Deeraj.
    Initially, the duo catered to a lot of F&B clients, given that Chethan has a flourishing event management firm to his credit. “But then, one day we realized that none of it was really worth our time. It was as boring as a 9-5 job, just delivering what the client wants — put up some posts and get some likes. They didn’t really want to drive content, which is our strength. Which is when we decided to let go of all our clients and refocus our energy on the big league,” says Chethan.

    Bengaluru Police Onboard 

    One of the biggest clients that this eight-month-old partnership has bagged is the Bengaluru City Police. “Technology is the future and we had read a couple of articles in which Bengaluru City Commissioner Praveen Sood had spoken about his plans in this direction. We knew that if we had impress him and reason why social media should rank high in the scheme of things. It was the perfect opportunity. We sent out a message on their Facebook page, about how miserable they were faring in the online space, while the ground reality was far from it. People didn’t really care what the police were doing. We explained that there are two things that work phenomenally online — negativity and humour — and that we understand both well. We told them that the only way forward would be to get an agency to handle this. We didn’t exactly pitch it for ourselves, but said that we would love to do it for them,” explains Chethan.

    The duo didn’t expect to hear from the city cops, as they have their own social-media team led by MG Nagendra Kumar , DCP Command Centre, which has been doing a good job. “They had about five lakh followers on both Twitter and Facebook all by themselves. Yet, within days of our message, we got a call from them. Initially, they weren’t ready to outsource and wanted us to help with ideation and work from their premises,” says Chethan. Deeraj adds, “We showed them posters and memes around drunk driving and no-honking and explained that the only way to reach out to the younger generation is through what they like doing. Most relationships today are about tagging each other on social media and we thought that memes are the best platform to communicate ideas. And it worked well. Praveen Sood was impressed and then gave us the job”

    The Game Plan 

    Having followed memes over the past 4-5 years, Deeraj says that they have their finger on the pulse and know what is ‘in’ and will trend. “We try to inculcate that meme with a message; that’s how the Game of Thrones and Pablo Escobar memes came about. We blended humour with social messages, without diluting the image that the Bengaluru Police has. Whatever content they have, we find a creative way to put it across. Initially they were reporting stuff, like, for instance, ‘Today we caught a robber’. Who cares? People think that it is their duty. But when we involved a bit of humour to say the same thing, people started paying attention,” says Deeraj, adding that the duo have contests among themselves about who comes up with the better idea and who gets maximum shares and likes.

    But given the seriousness of the job, posts go online only after they are vetted by Nagendra Kumar. “Every single post goes through him and a lot does get shot down. We understand pop culture, so there is a lot of convincing that has to be done, and if you reason well, they will accept,” says Chethan.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News / by Prathibha Joy / TNN / June 14th, 2017

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    KNS Institute of Technology students display the drones designed by them at Eduverse, the ninth edition of Jnana Degula education expo organised by Deccan Herald and Prajavani, at Jayamahal Palace Hotel grounds on Sunday. DH photo

    KNS Institute of Technology students display the drones designed by them at Eduverse, the ninth edition of Jnana Degula education expo organised by Deccan Herald and Prajavani, at Jayamahal Palace Hotel grounds on Sunday. DH photo

    An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at Rs 1,500? Students of KNS Institute of Technology have done it, without much fanfare. They plan to enhance the design to customise the drones for surveillance and transporting goods.

    The makers of the plane – Inayatullah, Debabrata Mondal, Premkumar Singh and Syed Junaid – represented their college along with vice principal Nayeem Ahmad at Jnana Degula-Eduverse event organised by DH and Prajavani.

    Inayatullah said the plane was made of simple polymer materials (expanded polyolefin and polystyrene) and can carry 350 gm payload. “It can fly for an hour at a speed of 45 km per hour. We have used a propeller made of composite material with aluminium coating so that it can fly at a height of 500 feet and withstand force of up to 85 newtons,” he said.

    The team is also working on a plane specifically designed for surveillance.“While the 45 kmph plane can be improvised to make it a delivery drone, we are working on a plane that flies slower, at 36 kmph, providing opportunities for deeper surveillance of a particular area,” Mondal said.

    Inayatullah said the cost of the UAVs will come down further if produced on a large scale. “The UAVs produced by government agencies cost a lot. Our planes are disposable. The army can use the surveillance drone and does not have to worry if one of them is lost or destroyed,” he said.

    The planes can be controlled by a 2.4GHz radio frequency device, which has a range of 2.5 km. “The remote controller cost us Rs 3,500. Considering that it is the plane and not the device that is susceptible to damage, we think ours is the most affordable UAV,” he said.

    “The turbo is imported from China for Rs 90 and sold in India for Rs 250. The same turbo can be made in India at a cost of Rs 40. Nearly 95% of the materials were imported from China. After a detailed study, we found the cost will come down to Rs 600, if we make these materials in India,” Inayatullah said.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> City / DH News Service / Bengaluru – May 29th, 2017

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    BrainsurgeryBF25may2017

    Bengaluru doctor designs low-cost stereotactic head frame

    In brain surgeries, precision is everything — a shift of a few millimetres can make the difference between a successful surgery and putting a patient in coma. One device that improves the accuracy of neurosurgery is the stereotactic head frame, which provides a 3-dimensional coordinate system to help surgeons get the precise location of a nerve or tumour in the brain.

    However, the device currently used is prohibitively expensive, costing between ₹75 lakh to ₹1 crore. A city-based doctor has designed a low-cost stereotactic frame which can be used to operate on both sides of the brain at a time, unlike conventional frames currently used in hospitals.

    The frame designed by Murali Mohan, senior neurosurgeon with BRAINS Sparsh Hospitals, is made of medical grade titanium and costs one-third the current price. Engineers Sharath Bhat and Sadashiv Bhat of the Mahalasa Medical Technology, Bengaluru, developed the device.

    Dr. Mohan’s inspiration was the late Balasubramaniam Ramamurthi, known as the father of Indian neurosurgery.

    The frame which is CE marked (it conforms to European standards) and is pending patent, is currently being used by a doctors in around six to seven hospitals in Bengaluru and Hyderabad for biopsies and deep brain simulations.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sci-Tech> Health / by Cynthia Anand / Bengaluru – May23rd, 2017

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    A selfie moment at Agumbe view point in Western Ghats of Karnataka. | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

    A selfie moment at Agumbe view point in Western Ghats of Karnataka. | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

    Karnataka Tourism’s maiden offer includes a tour of Mysuru and Kodagu

    In what is being touted as the first of its kind by a State-run tourism corporation in the country, the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) has decided to offer a ‘women’s special’ tour package.

    The package, a three-day, two-night tour of Mysuru and Kodagu, promises to be a unique experience for women travellers.

    Priced at ₹6,406 (for a 39-seater) and ₹4,596 (for a 31-seater bus), the package provides a bus for women, accommodation at KSTDC properties, and guides to help. “Our itinerary is such that women can enjoy nature, adventure, culture, architecture, and shopping. There is also a visit to a silk factory, and time to relax at coffee and spice plantations,” said an official. The package has been launched on a pilot basis.

    Officials said they had received feedback and enquiries from potential travellers though the trip was yet to commence. The tour would become operational when a minimum of 35 passengers signed up.

    Although rooms in KSTDC hotels were on a twin-sharing basis, single travellers could be accommodated in single rooms depending on the availability, the officials added. More destinations were likely to be added to the package based on the response to the Mysuru-Kodagu offer.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by K.C. Deepika / Bengaluru – May 22nd, 2017

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    Mangaluru :

    UK-based orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Anand A  Shetty will start a clinical application of stem cell research in the city along with Nitte University. This will help in curing cancer and other related ailments.

    Dr Shetty, who hails from Asode near Koteshwara in Udupi district, was honoured with the ‘Outstanding Clinical Excellence’ award by the UK’s House of Lords this year. Dr Shetty is winner of a host of awards including the prestigious Hunterian Surgical Medal and Hunterian Professorship for 2017 awarded by the Royal College of Surgeons of England for his research on stem cells in particular cartilage repair. Only four Indians have received this award so far.

    A knee surgeon and director of stem cell research at Canterbury Christ Church University, Dr Shetty’s main interest lies in stem cell research, cartilage transplant, accelerated bone healing, and robotics in minimally invasive surgery.

    In an exclusive tete-a-tete with TOI, Shetty spoke about his future plans for India especially the coastal city. “I began my research on stem cells around three decades ago when it was still in its very nascent stage. I got into cartilage and bone repair area. The biggest breakthrough was in 2000, where we did the first bone transplant surgery in the UK. To get such facility to India, with help of Nitte University, we set-up a multi crore facility in Deralakatte campus three years ago and a similar lab set-up in Hubballi for Dharmasthala hospital,” explained Dr Shetty.

    He adds in the second phase his team wants go for cloning. “We want to clone high-milk yielding cow and pig for meat production. To start the process, we want to have clinical application in five years or by 2020 in Mangaluru,” he asserted.

    Indian physicians, Dr Shetty says are most respected and trusted in the UK. If a British citizen has a health issue, he first tries to see an Indian doctor. “Racism did exist when I first entered the profession the 1980s. It changed in 1996 when the Labour government came to power,” he adds.

    Apart from his surgical innovations, Dr Shetty is also the first surgeon to use robotics in arthroscopic knee surgery and gel-based cartilage repair surgery in the UK.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> News> City News> Mangalore News / by Kevin Mendonsa / TNN / May 20th, 2017

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    Soliga tribal community at MM Hills have been trained to use the invasive Lantana species to make furniture.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

    Soliga tribal community at MM Hills have been trained to use the invasive Lantana species to make furniture. | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

    Members of the Soliga tribal community on M.M. Hills use the plant to earn a livelihood by making furniture from them

    Behind the innocuous, little, bright flowers that pepper much of the country’s landscape, lies a sinister tale that threatens to tip the fragile balance of the eco-sensitive forests.

    The near-omnipresent Lantana Camara, originally from South America but introduced in the country during the British Raj, has invaded much of the country’s habitats. The “lantana problem” has forest officials stretched to contain the “invasion” that is blamed for increasing forest fires and choking out native grass and tree species which provide fodder for herbivores.

    For the unassuming Mahadeva, 34, however, the “toxic” weed is now a resource to fuel his livelihood. For seven days in a month, he and around 16 others from the Soliga tribal community set off into the forests of M.M. Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in south Karnataka in search of lantana. The plant is uprooted, and the sticks collected in neat bundles weighing more than 30 kg each. The bundles are then boiled and the bark peeled off. In the next few weeks, the sticks are fashioned, bent, nailed, tied and glued on to form furniture — stools, sofas, beds, bookshelves and more — before the process is repeated.

    “It not only resembles cane furniture, but matches it in durability and quality,” Mr. Mahadeva says.

    His tryst with lantana started a decade ago when the concept of lantana furniture first entered the undulating forests of M.M. Hills — a key part of the contiguous forests that now host among the densest tiger populations in the world. Envisioned by researchers at Asoka Trust for Research into Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bengaluru, over 50 villagers were trained since 2004 to use lantana and develop market linkages for the furniture.

    “At the time we started, the tribal community had lost their livelihood as the Forest Department had prohibited the extraction of bamboo. We taught them how to use lantana instead and helped form a society to market the products. Now, nearly 80% of their livelihood comes out of lantana itself,” says Harisha R.P. from ATREE who is coordinating the project.

    For 30-year-old Madu, who has been working with lantana for over a decade, furniture-making has seen him settle down in his village rather than move around in an uncertain search for daily wage labour. “As demand rises, fewer people are going out to find work. Before, we would be affected when drought hits the farmlands. Now, we have work throughout the year,” he says.

    The centres are set to expand, as workers are now struggling to complete an order to make 50 large elephant statues with lantana. “We are guaranteed ₹500 per day, and are even taking labourers for ₹300 a day. This sort of earning is unheard of in our tribal village,” says Narayana, who has taken charge of processing orders.

    Though away from retailers for now, the demand — placed through direct orders only — is soaring, and production is only constricted by the logistics of transporting furniture from forests. At the three centres in M.M. Hills, over 50 types of products are made that eventually make their way to offices and resorts in urban centres.

    Controlling lantana

    While there have been no scientific studies on the ecological benefit of this work, anecdotal evidence suggests that lantana spread may have been contained locally.

    There are now three centres at M.M. Hills itself, and Mr. Harisha estimates that more than three tonnes of lantana is extracted yearly. “Once uprooted, it takes lantana at least three years to come again. This window may give a chance for native species to thrive again,” he says.

    In many patches of M.M. Hills, this “window” is evident. Ravi, a worker at Anehola centre, says during the early years, lantana could be extracted almost at their doorstep. “Now, we have to go 3 km into the forests to find usable lantana,” he says.

    The expensive alternative would be to mechanically uproot the plant, which has become a threat second only to poachers in deciduous forests.

    During the summer, the weed becomes brittle, turning forests into tinderboxes where fires spread with alarming rapidity. The fast-growing, near-drought-resistant lantana dominates the landscape, gradually outcompeting native plants that are crucial cogs in the forest biodiversity. To top off the seeming villainy of the plant, lantana is toxic to grazers and is actively avoided by elephants. The Forest Department states that in Bandipur Tiger Reserve — which is home to over 100 tigers and thousands of elephants, sambars, gaurs and deer — lantana is found in 80% of its nearly 874-sq.km. expanse. The cost of uprooting lantana in just 5 sq.km. has been estimated to be ₹1.8 crore — or, if one were to extrapolate for the entire reserve, more than ₹250 crore for what is still a temporary solution. It is easy to understand why ATREE pushes for this low-cost innovation that deals with two socio-ecological problems in forests: livelihood and containing lantana. So, why not profit through this proliferation?

    Spreading the innovation

    The success of the M.M. Hills experiment has seen the concept spread among other tribal hamlets. Over the years, ATREE as well as Soliga tribals are called to forests of south India to train others in making furniture. In 2009, The Shola Trust helped set up two lantana furniture centres in Mudumalai Forests — where lantana is found in more than 200 sq.km of forests. Lantana furniture is being made in the forests on the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand; while, a little more than a year ago, 70 persons from four tribal hamlets in forests of Siruvani Hills near Coimbatore were trained by Amrita University.

    “This is just in the training phase now, but there has been considerable success. Just through exhibitions, we have sold ₹1.7 lakh worth of furniture already. We just can’t keep up with the demand,” said Maya Mahajan, Associate Professor, Centre for Sustainable Future at Amrita University. The university plans to expand this to other hamlets in the region, hoping to capitalise on the increasing demand from tourists.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Mohit M Rao / M.M Hills (South Karnataka) – April 29th, 2017

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    April 30th, 2017adminAgriculture, Business & Economy

    MilletsBF30mar2017

    Named Sresta Karnataka and Siri Karnataka, they aim to cater to the growing demand for millets

    In a first of its kind, Karnataka has launched its own organic and millets brands to cater to the growing demand for millets. Sresta Karnataka (for organic produce) and Siri Karnataka (for millets) were launched by the government along with various organic federations in the State during the National Organic and Millets Trade Fair 2017 here on Saturday.

    The brand names can be used only by those farmers who are certified or under the certification process for their products, Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said during the launch. “While many farmers have already shifted to organic, they will be watched for three years so that there is no chemical residue found in their soil, and their products are organic as per regulation norms and global standards,” he said. Only after three years (IC 1, IC 2, IC 3) are they certified fully organic, as Karnataka has “the most stringent certification norms” compared to other States, he added.

    Siri Karnataka was selected keeping in mind the richness of millets to human health and wellness.

    The organic brand created for the regional federations is Sresta Karnataka. The brand-name was selected keeping in mind the importance of organic farming practices to nature, the environment, and ecology. Indicating that the move will facilitate organised marketing of these quality food items, the Minister said farmer groups will be trained on grading, packing, and quality aspects.

    “This is a big step towards taking products from farmers to consumers for direct linkages,” he said. Brands — Siri Karnataka and Sresta Karnataka— were launched by 14 farmer federations representatives along with industry leaders Varun Berry, MD, Britannia Industries, Sanjay Malpani, VP, Future Foods, Hemanth Mallik, CEO- Foods, ITC, Sheshukumar, Big Basket, and Varun Gupta,CEO, Pro Nature. Next gen food startups, big organised and progressive retailers can get in touch with the organic cell that is running this programme, who will facilitate the transaction.

    The fair is organised by the Department of Agriculture, Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Limited (KAPPEC), State agricultural universities, and the Jaivik Krishik Society.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Special Correspondent / April 30th, 2017

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    Food for thought: Cooks of Kondrahalli in Kolar are in demand in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, besides Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

    Food for thought: Cooks of Kondrahalli in Kolar are in demand in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, besides Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

    Faced with odds like unemployment, drought and parched lands, households of Kondrahalli village have made this an alternative source of income

    On a hot afternoon in March in a sleepy village in Malur taluk of Kolar district, 40-year-old Sathish Kumar discusses his family ‘business’. “I have studied up to SSLC, and now I work as a cook at auspicious functions,” he says. “My younger brother Rajesh, who like me studied up to the class 10, is a cook. My older brother Nagaraj, who is 46-year-old, is also cook,” he keeps on explaining.

    Sathish and his brothers are not the only family of cooks in their village. There are 60 households that call Kondrahalli village home, and all but one have taken up cooking to eke out a living. The oldest member of the 60th family that has yet to pick up spatulas, is a retired government school teacher.

    There are villages that nurture at least one wrestler in every household. Others take pride in ensuring that one member is a teacher or a government employee.

    But this is the story of an entire village whose residents, when faced with unemployment, drought and parched lands, turned to cooking as an alternative source of income.

    In Karnataka, Kondrahalli village goes by the moniker ‘Banasigara grama’ (cooks’ village). A majority of the people here are landless and many worked on fields owned by farmers in surrounding villages. But with every passing generation, finding agricultural work and sustaining a livelihood from it was becoming increasingly difficult.

    Career change

    The struggles of two generations of families served as a catalyst for this career change. “Instead of depending on others and blaming nature, we opted to take up cooking,” says Nagaraj, who holds Bachelor’s degree, but prefers working as cook.

    “We are happy with our profession as it feeds our families. It gives us pleasure to feed other people and get paid for his,” Sathish adds.

    Most villagers, like Sathish and his brothers, are second-generation cooks having learned the tools of the trade from their fathers.

    Only the men cook, and their profession for the most part takes them to Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Be it marriages, house warming ceremonies, political functions or birthdays, the cooks of Kondrahalli are in demand.

    Not all 60 families cook for one event. “An order comes in, and depending on the size of the event, a team of 15 to 20 male cooks will go to the venue,” says a villager, adding that on an average they charge ₹40,000 to ₹60,000, which is then divided up among the cooks. The leader of the team — the person who brings in the order — usually gets takes home ₹4,000-₹5,000; for big assignments he can earn as much as ₹10,000.

    “We have experience cooking for even 40,000 people particularly during functions organised by politicians,” says Sathish.

    The cooks of Kondrahalli are adept at different cuisines, but their holiges are in great demand, they say. (Holiges, like puran polis, are sweet flat breads with delicious stuffings made from sugar and peanuts to coconuts and tur dal, cooked on a hot girdle with liberal helpings of ghee.) Mysore Paak is another speciality.

    Regular contracts

    Their fame guarantees them regular contracts from tour operators across north and south India. “None of us have any formal training. Practice makes us good cooks,” says villager Basavaraj, who is of course, a cook. During peak marriage and grihapravesha seasons, the men leave the village to go on “cooking missions”.

    “The men folk will be away for months on end working in far-off places like Kuppam, Punganur and Ramasandra in Andhra Pradesh and Alangai, Kaveripatna, Karimangala, Ambur and Baragur in Tamil Nadu,” says Sathish’s sister-in-law, Saritha.

    At home, women help with preparatory work. “We prepare masalas on grinding stones when the power goes off,” Saritha adds. But when the men return to Kondrahalli from their missions, it is the women who prepare their food. Some gender roles are hard to break.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu  / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Vishwa Kundapura / Kolar – April 29th, 2017

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