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    by S.N.Venkatnag Sobers

    Mysore :

    Not many organisations come forward to work for the noble cause of bringing up special children and make them lean an independent life. Mysore has a few organisations working for special kids. Their endeavours may yield success or fail. But, the efforts put in by them cannot be ruled out. One such organisation is Sneha Kiran.

    Sneha Kiran is a part of Mysore Spastic Society which was started in the year 2002 and has been working for children with Cerebral Palsy (CP). The organisation was started by a group of philanthropists, professionals, volunteers, and parents of children with CP with the objective to cater to the needs of such children.

    Earlier, Sneha Kiran was working in a space which was donated by Raghunath, President of Sneha Kiran. But now, the organisation has its own building in Bogadi, where around 70 special children with CP are being looked after by the volunteers. Sneha Kiran is the only centre committed to provide help and solace to the families of such children in and around Mysore.

    Every good work has an inspiration. For Sneha Kiran the inspiration was Joel, who was affected with Cerebral Palsy and happens to be the son of A.P. James, the Director of Sneha Kiran.

    Speaking to Star of Mysore, James said that it was Joel who inspired him to start the organisation. “I used to visit various places for Joel’s treatment. One day a thought struck my mind and I decided to start an organisation to cater to the needs of the children with Cerebral Palsy and that is how Sneha Kiran came into being,” he added.

    Sneha Kiran admits children from three years onwards. Children are subjected to various rehabilitation programmes to make them self-dependent. Although there is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, these rehabilitation programmes could avoid their condition from getting worse.

    “Children with Cerebral Palsy should be treated as children with problems not problem children. For them, therapy is a way of life and there is a need to try and develop their skills similar to that of normal kids. People should accept them like they accept any other kids. For children affected with cerebral palsy, therapy has to be regular and upgraded accordingly,” said Shashikala Ramnath, an Occupational Therapist.

    It is also important that the normal kids interact with these children once in a while so that these children are allowed to gel well with them and such ventures would also help the special children to be accepted by the society.

    Sneha Kiran will be celebrating its 10th anniversary tomorrow and a special event has been organised at Silent Shores in this regard.

    What is Cerebral Palsy?

    It is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movement and muscle co-ordination. It is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of brain, usually occurring during foetal development, before, during or shortly after the birth or during infancy. These children may have the following problems depending on their severity of the brain damage: Delayed milestones, difficulty in posture and movement, muscle tightness or spasm, involuntary movement, impaired hand functions, impaired sight, hearing and speech, seizures and mental retardation. Although the brain damage is non progressive, if left without intervention, the degree of disability faced by the child will increase as the child grows. All the CP children need some rehabilitation to help them to lead a normal within the limits of their condition.

    Every student at Sneha Kiran is provided with Physio-Occupational and Speech Therapy, Special Education and Pre-vocational Training. Other inputs include Sensory Stimulation, Functional Academics, Assistive Technology (Use of Specialised adapted devices for computer use), Respite care, Parent counseling and Guidance.

    At Sneha Kiran, various rehabilitation programmes are being organised:

    • Special education: This begins with sensory-stimulation, classroom programmes, environmental awareness, pre-academics skills to syllabus oriented study. Pre-vocational training for young adults who aspire to working in a community or be a part of sheltered workshop.

    • Physio-therapy: To develop control of limbs, improve balance and work for better voluntary skills and muscle strength.

    • Occupational therapy: Improve Hand function, self-help skills, aids and adaptations to enable seating, functional skills, mobility and independence to survive.

    • Speech and communication: Most children with CP need speech therapy using speech production gestures and pointing skills, to point at pictures, symbols and written words to communicate. This is part of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). The computer is also a useful tool to aid this communication.

    • Assistive Technology: Enabling the use of computers by special access switches for those who are unable to use the keyboard. These include Ball Mouse, flat switch pads that can be pressed easily by various parts of the body. Children can enjoy simple games, cause and effect interaction and then move on to academic programme. The software is specialised to be slower in speed with word prediction features. This technology opens up the world to children who have CP.

    Sneha Kiran has specialised equipments like CP chairs, wheel-chairs, specialised Physio equipments, special keyboards and software in order to carry out these activities. Sneha Kiran also provides transportation facilities to the children free of cost. At present, around 70 children are being trained at Sneha Kiran.

    Sneha Kiran, is supported wholly by donations from well-wishers. Children go on outings and picnics regularly. Even the parents and staff have picnics to rejuvenate themselves.

    Students of Sneha Kiran have also participated in Special Olympics and other events organised by Govt. departments, Rotary and other NGO’S.

    Art, music and dance is an integral part of the curriculum which adds colour and joy to the lives of these children.

    Those interested in supporting this cause may contact:

    Sneha Kiran, CA-01/ B, Railway Layout, Sharada Nagar, Bogadi Mysore-570 026 or call Ph: 0821-2581113 or Mob: 98440-43965. [ or or visit]

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Feature Articles / January 25th, 2014

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    January 31st, 2014adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Education


    Mysore :

    Noted Sanskrit Scholar Mahamahopadyaya Dr. Vid. N. Ranganatha Sharma (98) passed away at his son’s residence in Kuvempunagar here early this morning.

    He is survived by two sons — Sadananda, a retired Syndicate Bank Regional Manager and Dr. Nagabushan, a skin specialist at Bangalore — daughters Dr. Sharada and Prof. Jayashree, both residing in the US and a host of relatives and friends. His wife had pre-deceased him several years ago. Last rites were performed at Chirashanthidhama in Gokulam this afternoon, according to family sources.

    Ranganatha Sharma’s Profile: Born to an agricultural family at Nadahalli village in Soraba taluk of Shimoga district on 7.4.1916, Vid. Ranganatha Sharma began his career at Chamarajendra Sanskrit College in Bangalore, where he served for nearly 40 years.

    He was staying at his elder son Sadananda’s residence at Kuvempunagar for the last couple of years.

    A prolific writer, Dr. Ranganatha Sharma was credited with over 80 works, including Kannada translation of Sanskrit version of Valmiki Ramayana and other Sanskrit works on Vishnu Purana, Srimad Bhagavatha, Amarakosha, Bhartruhari etc.

    Among the many awards and prizes he has won include Best Teacher Award both at the State and National level, DVG Memorial Award, Tirupati Sanskrit University Award and Hon. Doctorate from Karnataka Sanskrit University, Bangalore.

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / January 25th, 2014

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    January 30th, 2014adminBusiness & Economy, Travel

    New DoubleTree marks hotel group’s debut in Indian IT hub.

    The DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Bangalore is a modern upscale hotel located in the southeast suburbs of India’s technology hub, close to several IT business parks.

    DoubleTree Bangalore will target long-stay guests

    DoubleTree Bangalore will target long-stay guests

    Hilton has opened its first hotel in the Indian city of Bengaluru.

    Designed for long-stay guests, the hotel features 172 rooms, ranging from studios to three-bedroom suites, all featuring living and dining areas, kitchenettes and washer-dryers.

    Hotel facilities include a 24-hour business centre, outdoor swimming pool, steam room, sauna, fitness centre and almost 280m² of conference and banqueting space. There is also an all-day restaurant, bar and a cafe.

    “The opening of DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Bangalore is a significant milestone in our growth in India – a key strategic market for DoubleTree by Hilton,” said John Greenleaf, global head of DoubleTree by Hilton. “This hotel is an outstanding representation of our brand, and we look forward to delivering our globally-recognised service culture… for our guests.”

    The launch in Bengaluru extends Hilton’s Indian presence to 10 destinations: Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chennai, Vadodara, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Goa, Shillim and Bengaluru.

    source: / Travel Daily India / Home / January 16th, 2014

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    This weekend, Bangalore-based bands Agam and Aks will take the stage at CounterCulture at 8 pm to give music lovers in the city a taste of fusion music.

    Agam is a multiple award-winning contemporary Carnatic rock act from Bangalore, which is most famous for being the first band from the city to be featured on Coke Studio . The band’s name comes from the ancient Tamil word meaning ‘the inner self’. Agam’s music encapsulates the boundless, vibrant emotions of the human psyche. Aks is an Indo-Asian rock/fusion act from Bangalore that has been on the music scene since March 2011. They make music pertaining to Indian folk/fusion, with an underlying base of rock/blues.

    source: / The Times of India/ Home> Entertainment> Kannada> Music / TNN / January 17th, 2014

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    Biocon with Mylan eyes emerging markets for first joint drug.


    Bangalore-based bio-pharmaceutical company Biocon on Saturday launched the world’s first biosimilar (developed in an organism) Trastuzumab injection for the treatment of breast cancer here. This is the first drug developed by Biocon in partnership with US-based generic drug maker Mylan . The new drug, CANMAb, will be used to treat HER2-positive advanced breast cancer.

    Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director, Biocon, said the company would also launch the injection in other emerging markets. The CANMab injection will compete with Roche’s Herceptin . Herceptin’s global sales were $6.4 billion in 2012 and Indian $21 million.

    The drug has been jointly developed out of five molecules with Mylan, since a partnership was signed in 2009. Mylan will also launch CANMab under a different brand in India.

    The injection is available in 150mg and 440mg doses at Rs 19,500 and Rs 57,500, respectively. The 440mg dose costs a fourth less than competing drugs, Mazumdar-Shaw said.

    Biocon has set up a factory in Bangalore to make the new injection for itself as well as Mylan. Mylan will source its requirements from Biocon for both Indian and developed markets, a senior company official said.

    Biocon entered into partnership with Mylan for joint development of a series of drugs for the treatment of various cancers in 2009. At present, four other drugs are under development, of which will begin clinical trials later this year, said Abhijit Barve, president (research and development), Biocon.

    Mazumdar-Shaw said breast cancer was the most prevalent cancer among Indians and CANMAb would offer a cheaper option. About 150,000 new patients are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in India, of which nearly a fourth of the cases are HER2-positive and eligible for treatment with CANMAb. Lack of cheap treatment has limited the extent of HER2 testing and it is believed that the proportion of HER2-positive patients is probably higher, she said.

    “Biocon intends to make a significant difference in the treatment paradigm for HER2-positive breast cancer in India by enhancing access to more affordable treatment with CANMAb, which offers the same level of safety and efficacy as the reference product. The launch of CANMAb in India is an important milestone for our biosimilars programme and demonstrates our ability to deliver on our promise of affordable innovation with a high quality, world- class product,” the Biocon chief said.

    Biocon aims to capture about 15 per cent of the market for anti-breast cancer drugs in India in a year. The market is estimated at Rs 130 crore a year, set to double in 2014.

    source: / Business Standard / Home> Companies> News / by BS Reporter / Bangalore – January 18th, 2014

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    January 29th, 2014adminEducation, Science & Technology

    I believe this is the only university in the country with the focused mandate of bridging Indian Shastras and Western Sciences. We will develop this University into an IIT class of an Institution for the traditional Health Sciences of India….”

    — Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Innovation


    Among the few good decisions made by the decrepit and discredited BJP government last year, before it plunged into the election process, was to clear the proposal by Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) to set up a health university in Bangalore. The university, named the Institute for Trans-Disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology (IHST), will be launched on Sunday. It’s heritage with science, not mumbo jumbo.

    FRLHT, near Yelahanka, has been around in Bangalore for a long time — 20 years. Founded as a trust in 1993 by inventor and innovator Sam Pitroda and Darshan Shankar, FRLHT’s declared mission was the “Application of traditional knowledge blended with modern science and technology to design healthcare solutions that are low-cost, safe, effective and accessible to rural and urban populations in India and globally.” The new university itself has two clear purposes: One, it is for “lowering costs and enhancing access, quality and reach of healthcare to millions,” and two, to “facilitate creation of transformative knowledge and original Indian contributions, to the world of medicine and life sciences.”

    What is interesting, and indeed ironical, is that in the midst of all the chicaneries that our netas across political parties are engaged in to scuttle the implementation of the Madhav Gadgil committee recommendations on the Western Ghats, or the modified Kasturirangan panel version of it, these two pioneers chose Bangalore to set up the venture because of its proximity to the ghats. The city is situated so that it provides the best access to both the Western and Eastern Ghats, which are rich in medicinal plants.

    Just to remind readers, some netas and sundry entrepreneurs have been severely distressed in peninsular India ever since UNESCO inscribed 39 serial sites in the Western Ghats on the World Heritage List in recognition of their bio-diversity and natural habitat values. The heritage status, alongside the Gadgil committee recommendations, had seemingly put paid to their ‘development’ project proposals in the ghats. Their hopes are now revived since Very-Moving Veerappa Moily has taken over the Union environment portfolio and has begun to approve doubtful proposals at dizzying speed. The good minister, perhaps, should meditate on them through a weekend at Kedarnath. It’s all very quiet over there.

    Pitroda and Shankar, and their team of unheralded, quiet and studious professionals, are moved by completely different concerns. They believe that the Indian knowledge systems could have “contemporary relevance” and lament that “post colonial India has forgotten its own heritage.” They are working with the belief that along with the rigour of modern methods and applications standards of medicinal research, if investments could be made in the modernisation of Indian systems of medicine, there could be big dividends in terms of “low cost solutions for millions in primary health care.” To achieve this, they seek the “conservation of medicinal flora, fauna, metal and minerals.”

    The field of study is broad and inclusive. They take in “the village-based prakrit stream with one million community-supported healers (birth attendants, bonesetter, herbal healers),” as well as “the town-based samskrit stream with 400,000 licensed physicians.” The database at FRLHT includes 6,560 medicinal plants, 200,000 herbal formulations and 100,000 medical manuscripts. All this to “construct a new Indian model of integrative healthcare for the 21st century.” The database cross-references local systems of medicine and ingredients in several Indian languages and compares them with modern pharmacopeia.

    The foundation’s work has been recognised elsewhere in India and abroad. The modest 17-acre campus in north Bangalore has research laboratories and a 100-bed research hospital with over 150 professionals — scientists, physicians and paramedics; botanists, ecologists, Sanskrit scholars, computer programmers, and community health strategists. Among the interventions they propose to evolve are strategies for nutrition, healthy ageing, low-cost delivery of safe drinking water, herbal remedy for malaria, and programmes for trans-disciplinary health sciences and technology. Because, “no single system of healthcare has best health solutions for all health needs.”

    FRLHT is an organisation that has been taken seriously by health experts around the world. Among other achievements, it has already led “the largest global program for insitu conservation of medicinal plant gene pools at 110 conservation sites… across 13 States” and, as mentioned, set up India’s “only comprehensive computerised database and herbarium of medicinal plants.” It has even set up a network of village “folk healers.”

    This is rare good news for Bangalore, which is otherwise burdened with an inept and unimaginative state government and an officialdom in the limbo of an election year. If Pitroda could do to healthcare and wellness what he and his team of dedicated professionals did for Indian telecommunications, we will all live in a happier and healthier India. So, welcome IHST.

    source: / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Columns> Views / by Prakash Belawadi, BM Bureau / January 17th, 2014

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    Mysore :

    Dr. P. Prakash, professor in Psychology, Mysore University, has been elected as a Fellow by National Academy of Psychology (NAOP), India, for his contribution to the discipline and distinguishing himself as an authority on reading and dyslexia in India.

    He has been working in the area employing multiple approaches — methods that include behavioural (including eye tracking), neural (includes brain imaging), and genetic basis of reading and dyslexia.

    This year Prof. Prakash has co-edited a volume on Psycholinguistics in South Asia and South East Asia, which has just been published by Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

    A recipient of many prestigious fellowships, he has been a Mombusho scholar (Japanese Government Fellowship, 1991-93) and later AIEJ Fellow (1999) in Japan. He was also a Fulbright Fellow twice – during 2000-01 at A & M University, Texas and later in 2011 at Haskins Laboratories, Yale University. He was also Erasmus Mundus Visiting Professor at Potsdam University, Potsdam, Germany (2006). He was visiting colleague in Singapore National University, University of Alberta (Canada).

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / January 29th, 2014

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    January 28th, 2014adminEducation, Records, All

    Mangalore :

    St Gerosa School inaugurated its golden jubilee year recently with a colourful event. The programme commenced with a prayer service. Sr Matilda Monteiro, provincial superior, Sisters of Charity presided over the function.

    Unveiling the logo of the golden jubilee celebrations, Sr Matilda in her address urged people to sow the seeds of education in order to reap the harvest a hundred fold.

    Fr Bonaventure Nazareth, parish priest of St Vincent Ferrer Church, Velencia was the chief guest of the day. Jacintha Alfred, corporator, Falnir ward, Sr Grace Joseph P, secretary to educational society, sisters of charity, Mangalore, Philomena Tauro, the first teacher of the school were the guests of honour.

    Sr Marcelline Braggs, the correspondent of the school, Sr Emma Aranha, the head mistress of the high school, Ida Sequeira and Jean Crasta, the vice-presidents of PTA and GEXSA escorted the guests.

    Sr Marcelline Braggs welcomed the gathering. Sr Emma Aranha read out the various programmes of the golden jubilee year. Teacher Nimitha proposed the vote of thanks. Teachers Marie Vas and Molly D’Souza compered the programme.

    A colourful programme was showcased by the multi-talented, vibrant and energetic students wearing colourful attire, which captivated the attention of the audience.

    source: / / Home> Karnataka / Media Release / Mangalore – Sunday, January 19th, 2014

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    Abhishikta Shetty

    Abhishikta Shetty

    Abhishikta Shetty of Karnataka has been crowned Miss South India 2014. Aditi Shetty and Meghana Shetty, also from Karnataka, were adjudged the first and second runners-up at the 11th Edition of Miss South India Pageant organised by Pegasus here last night.

    Ms. Shetty was crowned by the last year’s title winner Anusha Venkataraman of Tamil Nadu, Pegasus founder chairman Ajith Ravi said in a release on Sunday. R. Raxshmi won the Miss Queen Andhra Pradesh title while Darshithmita Gowda won the Miss Queen Karnataka, Archana Jayakrishnan the Miss Queen Kerala and Shree Iraa bagged the Miss Tamil Nadu titles, it said.

    The pageant was judged by Miss World Parvathy Omanakuttan, film director Major Ravi, Mrs. India Jeemole Jaibin, actor and fashion designer Sajimon Parayil and Media personality Toshma Biju.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bangalore / by PTI / Coimbatore – January 20th, 2014

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    Mysore :

    Dr. Arun Srinivas, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Professor & Head, JSS Hospital, was awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the European Society of Cardiology (FESC) at the ESC meeting held in Mumbai on Jan. 17 & 18.

    Dr. Arun Srinivas was awarded the Fellowship for his outstanding services and experience in Interventional Cardiology for over 25 years.

    He has the distinction of having pioneered and introduced interventional cardiology services in city 12 years ago.

    He has treated more than 50,000 patients and performed over 20,000 angiography and angioplasty procedures, valvuloplaties, congenital heart disease device closures, pacemaker/ICD implantations and peripheral arterial inter- ventions.

    Dr. Arun Srinivas is one of the senior-most Interventional Cardiologists in Karnataka and has obtained fellowship in Coronary Interventions & Pediatric Cardiology from Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia and Peripheral Vascular Interventions from Miami Vascular Institute, Florida, USA.

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / January 22nd, 2014

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