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    Dr Srivats Bharadwaj talks to children and teachers of Brindavan School in JP Nagar

    Dr Srivats Bharadwaj talks to children and teachers of Brindavan School in JP Nagar

    Bengaluru :

    A public-spirited dentist is taking oral health care to the doorsteps of people. Dr Srivats Bharadwaj and his team of 15 doctors are also on a mission to make people aware of the importance of paying attention to oral health.

    At Vatsalya – Centre for Oral Health, experts have been providing care to individuals with no access or awareness about the same. Over the years, the team has conducted campaigns, workshops and camps in the villages, towns and cities of Karnataka. Vatsalya focuses on three areas — home care, clinical care and community health.

    “We are on a mission to give world class treatment on a par with the West or even better,” explains Dr Srivats.

    Recently, the team treated 450 children at government schools in Bengaluru. Its community initiatives began at Chittadhama near Kabini in H D Kote, at a centre for the mentally ill, where patients needed urgent help in oral health care.

    . A girl at Government School in Manjunathnagar receives treatment | Express

    . A girl at Government School in Manjunathnagar receives treatment | Express

    The team carried a portable dental unit that fits into a suitcase and can do everything, including scanning and drilling. Similar camps took the team to Chikkamagaluru and Tumakuru, besides old age homes and orphanages in Bengaluru.

    In 2013, the team adopted Kudur village in Tumakuru district to run a regular oral health care programme. Socare, an organisation that looks after indigent children of convicts, roped the team for a camp.

    Dr Srivats has been treating children with cardiac problems for the past 5 years who need dental care, and the initiative is supported by ENR Foundation, Germany. The 41st group of children visited Vatsalya this month and over 25 children were treated before their heart surgery. More than 500 under privileged children have got a new lease of life under this initiative.

    “Oral health is a window to one’s overall health, and my idea is to drive home this point. Our focus is on prevention as tooth decay and other problems can lead to multiple organ failure and 120 other health conditions,” he explains.

    Drilling, filling and billing is what dentists do today, Dr Srivats says. “Dentists are seen in a poor light when they advocate procedures that are unnecessary and expensive. They don’t advise sealant medicine for children below 18 for the prevention of tooth decay. I am launching a Seal India prevention and interventional programme as it can keep the problem at bay for 20 years,” he adds.

    Vatsalya has two centres in Bengaluru and is opening the third in Rajajinagar. In the coming days, the team hopes to spread its activities to Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

    “We are not aligning with venture funds but are definitely looking at contributors with a social commitment,” says Dr Srivats.

    The aim is to set up community health centres not funded by the government “We hope to make a huge difference in the coming years,” he says.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Bengaluru / by Meera Bharadwaj / July 31st, 2016

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    July 31st, 2016adminRecords, All, Sports


    Cyclist Sandesh Uppar dreams of qualifying for the Olympics

    Sandesh Uppar has always been interested in sports. Born in Shiggaon, a town in Haveri district, he would keenly follow every sporting event. A snippet on cycling caught his attention and he was soon hooked on to cycling.

    He got in touch with a cycling institute in Vijayapura, Karnataka’s cycling hub. The 19- year-old has gone on to win medals in State and National Championships. He also excelled in the MTB National Championship in Pune last year. However, lack of funds seemed to have put breaks on his career.

    Help came from Starkenn Sports Private Ltd, a bicycle company. He says, “Starkenn believed in my talent. They helped me with money and other resources.” Sandesh hopes to participate in the Asian Championships in New Delhi next year and dreams of qualifying for the Olympics.

    He says, “In a couple of decades, I want to start a coaching centre where I can guide and train young passionate cyclists who don’t have adequate resources.”

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus / T.R.Karthik / Bengaluru – July 30th, 2016

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    July 31st, 2016adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    Prabhakar Rao, 85, prepares Ganapathy idols for the coming festival season | Rajesh Shetty Ballalbagh

    Prabhakar Rao, 85, prepares Ganapathy idols for the coming festival season | Rajesh Shetty Ballalbagh

    Mangaluru :

    A family has been making artistic, traditional Ganesha idols for four generations and 87 years.

    Prabhakar Rao (85) and 20 others come together every festival season to shape idols the time-honoured way. “Our patriarch, the late Mohan Rao, began the tradition in the days when idols were still made by hand and with clay. We still abide by his methods,” says Ramu, son of Prabhakar Rao.

    The family makes not more than 200 idols in a season, and 16 of them are consecrated at public places such as Sanghaniketan, New Mangaluru Port Trust, Kudremukh Iron Ore Company, Karnataka Milk Federation, Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers, Police Lines, and the fisheries college.

    In recent years, the family has been finding it difficult to source the raw material: clay and dried rice stalks. Prabhakar Rao has received many honours. The district administration has commended him on two occasions for promoting eco-friendly idols in a Plaster of Paris era.

    “We never use lead-based colours. We use safe pigments and vegetable dyes. The tallest idol we make is 14 feet in height, and is worshipped at Sanghaniketan,” he says. Even at his advanced age, Rao scrupulously follows all traditions attached to sculpting. For example, the making begins only on a day with ‘Chitra Nakshatra,’ a star associated with Ganesha’s birth.

    Quoting the Ganapati Sookta, a religious text, Rao says the deity clears obstacles in the devotees’ way. “Our family has followed sculpting tradition for 87 years. When I was an apprentice to my father, he taught me the standards. I am handing them over to the younger generations without any change,” he said.

    Doc’s touch

    The oldest member in the team is Prabhakar Rao at 85, and the youngest Ankush, all of nine years. The work force arrives at an ancestral house for the season. Dr Preetam Rao, a member of the family who works as a medical practitioner in London, has also arrived this time.

    He is a trained hand at painting the idols.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Bengaluru / by M Raghuram / July 31st, 2016

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    The house of gardener Sampangi, which was built using the funds collected under the Rupee

    The house of gardener Sampangi, which was built using the funds collected under the Rupee


    For over 30 years, 44-year-old Sampangi and his wife and three daughters lived under a leaky roof which they called their home. “The roof would leak every time it rained and we’d have to shift clothes and electronic items to one corner of the house. The house would shake whenever there’s heavy wind,” the gardener recalled.

    Today, Sampangi lives in a two-bedroom home with a garden and three dogs that he found abandoned on streets. His eldest daughter is now married, while his two younger daughters are school students. A photograph of Japanese volunteers from NGO Habitat for Humanity, who constructed the house, is displayed on top of the TV shelf, and his eyes light up whenever he sees the people who made this possible.

    “As my children got older, my wife and I would talk about building a better home. We had even begun saving some money from the meagre amount we earned. But four years later, we were left with only about Rs 1 lakh,” he said.

    Things changed for the better when he met a person from the Habitat for Humanity, through whom he learned about interest-free loan. The rest, is history.
    Rupee for change

    What can you do with Re 1 is a question that everyone asks. Apparently, you can build houses.

    Habitat for Humanity has tied up with 20 schools in Bengaluru. Students, parents and teachers contribute Re 1 per day towards funds to construct houses for people from low-income group. In the past two years, the NGO has raised Rs 10 lakh which has gone into constructing 14 houses in Nagenhalli, Byrathi, Bagalur, Yerapanahalli and other parts of the city. Students, through the volunteer build programme, are also assisting in renovation activities.

    India faces a shortage of about 6 crore housing units, said Rajan Samuel, managing director, Habitat for Humanity India.
    12 lakh in need of houses

    “In Karnataka alone, over 12 lakh people don’t have a decent home while 49% of the population does not have access to a toilet. The Centre has introduced policies like ‘Housing for All’ to provide adequate shelter to each and every family by 2022. The state government too has undertaken measures to provide affordable homes to the poor and to redevelop slums. About 70% per cent of the urban housing need is in the affordable segment and this is where Habitat for Humanity is working,” he said.

    In Karnataka, the NGO is building 74 homes and 123 toilets for the low income, marginalized people, he added.

    According to him, in most cases, women bear the brunt of lack of housing or toilets.
    Learning experience for students

    While lives of people like Sampangi or Kaliyamma, who recently moved into her newly constructed two-bedroom home are being transformed, student volunteers are learning as well.

    “Recently, our students painted a government school as part of the volunteer build programme and they were surprised to see a blackboard. Most of them have seen white boards in classrooms, but never a blackboard on which chalk is used,” said Asha Samuel, faculty incharge of CAS at Canadian International School.

    “These activities help them grow. They come back realizing that there are so many things that they take for granted and so many things they should be grateful for,” she said.

    Poor women bear the brunt

    Women and girls from the lower income families live in highly unsafe and substandard conditions without access to basic sanitation. Majority of them suffer from poor health since they do not have the liberty to relieve themselves when required and have to wait till dusk to go out and defecate. Owning a house with proper sanitation facilities is a deep desire of all poor women across the country. By providing access to decent housing and sanitation facilities, Habitat for Humanity India intends to improve health and provide security for the whole family

    – Rajan Samuel, managing director, Habitat for Humanity India

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bangalore / Merlin Francis / TNN / July 31st, 2016

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    City-based Glorious Festival of Harmony is set to celebrate 25 years of harmony singing on July 30 and 31. From its quiet start in 1996, Glorious is a much-awaited festival today.

    “When we started, it was difficult to put together six choirs from the city because there were no choirs then and nobody was excited about harmony singing. It is starkly different today, with harmony singing being a part of mainstream music. Every year, when schools and college reopen we have students waiting for the festival,” says Regi Chandy, co-founder of the festival, in which over 1000 people participate every year.

    This year, the silver jubilee celebrations include performances by the city’s best schools, colleges, churches and even children’s choirs. Besides independent choir Astrophels, from Kottayam in Kerala, a performance by popular singer-songwriter Sheldon Bangera from Mumbai is another highlight.

    For Chandy, harmony singing is more than just a music performance. “It is not about giving prominence to only one singer. It’s a performance where every voice comes together to make beautiful music,” says Chandy.

    The 25th Glorious Festival of Harmony will be held on July 30 and 31, 5.30pm to 9.30pm, in Dr B R Ambedkar Bhavan, Vasanthnagar.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bangalore / TNN / July 29th, 2016

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    Bharatanatyam artists Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran / Photo : Sudhakara Jain

    Bharatanatyam artists Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran / Photo : Sudhakara Jain

    In an age marked by excessive competition, Bharatanatyam duo Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran tell Archana Nathan that there can be no substitute for hard work, practise and simplicity

    For years now, the sound of the thattu kazhi emerging from a low-roofed house on 18th cross road in Malleswaram in Bangalore, has greeted commuters and passers by. There are tiny boards with the title ‘Rasika Arts Foundation’ pinned onto the gates today but nothing else has changed about the appearance of the 27-year-old dance school set up by Bharatanatyam duo Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran. It is modest in size, retains an old-Bangalore charm, and has survived the commercial strains tugging at the heart of Malleswaram.

    This, however, is not so surprising when you meet the Kirans. If you walk into the room in which Kiran and Sandhya took their first class in 1989 for a batch of four students — a room that is kept intact and now houses a tiny study — one sees that the foundation of humility and simplicity has been laid by the hosts themselves. Years have come and gone but their simplicity seems to have been untouched.

    Kiran and Sandhya are not new to those who are familiar with the landscape of Bharatanatyam in Bengaluru. Their institution has been prolific whether in terms of dance productions, workshops or collaborations. It is home to around 300 students and is the alma-mater for many others settled across the world.

    The couple met when they were both students of Padmini Ravi and then went to train under the Dhananjayans in Chennai – V.P. Dhananjayan and Shantha Dhananjayan – before setting up the Rasika Academy finally in 1989. “When Sandhya came to learn from Padmini Ravi, she had already learned Bharatanatyam for a few years. I was one among two male students in the class at that time. I was very confused because while my heart was in dancing, I was wondering whether I could take it up full-time. Sandhya and I became the best of friends and eventually I told her I want to take up dance as my career. She only said one thing: ‘If you have the conviction, then go ahead. Somehow things will fall in place,’a dictum she believes even today,” says Kiran. By then, Sandhya had already ditched options of CET and Engineering to take up an arts course, just so that she could focus on dance.

    “I realised there was a certain oneness in our thought process and I felt I should ask Sandhya to marry me. When I did, she said she wanted a day’s time. I don’t know what she did in that one day,” he recalls. “I also don’t know what I did with that day. But I told him the next morning that I was okay with getting married but that I was scared too,” adds Sandhya.

    When the couple went to their guru, Padmini Ravi, to tell her that they wanted to take up dance as their career, they got a rather unexpected response. “She said if you are going to take this up as a profession, then I will not allow you into my class. We did not know it then but this was her way of testing us whether we were serious about our decision. Later, she sat down with us and spoke to us about what taking up dance as a career really entails,” recalls Kiran.

    Padmini Ravi, say the Kirans, is someone they are in love with. “Not only was she unconventional when it came to the kind of innovations she introduced in classical dance, she was also unorthodox when it came to her relationship with her students,” says Sandhya. “Fearless is the word. She didn’t hesitate in trying different choreographies and movements. She presented her dance in such a beautiful manner that others too were encouraged to try new things. Sometimes, we feel that a part of her fearlessness has rubbed off on us too,” adds Kiran.

    How did they choose to go to the Dhananjayans in Chennai? “We wanted to learn the nuances of ‘duet dancing’ from them. But another aspect that we discovered is their proficiency in what we today call art management. Apart from stellar dancing, the Dhananjayans knew how to take care of communication, networking and public relations at a time when all of these weren’t professions in themselves. They could put together a show perfectly all by themselves,” says Kiran. “Shantha akka used to say, V.P. na enna theriyuma? (you know what VP stands for?) ‘Very Punctual’ Dhananjayan,” says Sandhya.

    From the Dhananjayans, the Kirans learnt the essence of a duet. “A duet demands that ideas, concepts and thought processes of the two dancers match too. Of course there needs to be synchronisation in terms of physical movements. But most importantly, the sattvam – the essence – has to be one even if it is two different individuals and mindsets performing together,” they explain.

    They recall how in the initial days of Rasika, the first half of the month would be spent teaching their students and the second half, travelling to Chennai and performing there. Teaching, they say, helped them look at dance differently. “With a school like Rasika, it became our responsibility to create the next generation of connoisseurs of dance. These need not be dancers but people who can appreciate dance, which is crucial today,” says Sandhya.

    Having seen a whole new generational change of students over the years, the Kirans feel that students today are a bit impatient and want to have it all. “It is not just the students but their parents too who get worried if their child is not up on stage in a few months after he or she has started learning dance. That apart, young dancers today want to be everywhere and do everything at the same time. They strain and injure their body in the process. Reality TV and Facebook’s offer of instant popularity has made things worse. There are very few takers for the long haul, for a deep investment in dance,” they say.

    Is it also because of a lack of conviction? “There is either a lack of conviction or just too much conviction that they can do everything under the sun. Creativity cannot be forced or planned. It is intuitive,” says Sandhya.

    Ultimately, it is a phase, they say. “A Facebook post today about someone’s dance or play performance is now capable of sparking off a whole gamut of insecure reactions in many others. It is quite amusing to be honest. Why can’t one do one thing properly and focus on it? Why is there such a plaguing worry of irrelevance today? What substitute can there be for hard work and simplicity?” they ask.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> Friday Review / Archana Nathan / Bengaluru – July 28th, 2016

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    July 29th, 2016adminEducation, Leaders, World Opinion

    by Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy, former Head, Department of Ancient History & Archaeology, University of Mysore

    Dr. Shikaripura Ranganatha Rao, popularly known as Dr. S.R. Rao all over the world, has made not merely Karnataka but our country proud by his contributions to Indian Archaeology, art and culture. It was my good fortune that I was his contemporary and I have learnt a lot from him and his works. Added good fortune is that I have been asked to deliver the third Dr. S.R. Rao Memorial Lecture at Bengaluru arranged by his daughter Dr. Nalini Rao, a Distinguished Professor of World Art in one of the American Universities. This is not an ordinary achievement indeed!

    If my memory is right, Dr. Nalini Rao prepared her thesis under my guidance and I am proud of such a brilliant student. Now she has taken the initiative to arrange Dr. S.R. Rao Memorial Foundation for Indian Archaeology, Art and Culture where our Central Minister Ananth Kumar will inaugurate the photo exhibition at Bengaluru (Mythic Society) on Sunday, 24th July 2016.

    About Dr. S.R. Rao: Born in 1922 at Anandapuram in Shimoga district, he received BA (Hons) and MA degree from Mysore and Nagpur Universities. Mysore University awarded the D.Lit degree to him for his magnum opus Lothal and Indus Civilisation. After retiring from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), he met Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister and apprised him of the Indus civilisation. Nehru shrugged his shoulders and said that Harappa and Mohenjodaro have gone to Pakistan and what will you do sitting in India. Dr. Rao had a stock reply: But now I have discovered Lothal in Gujarat which is a better maritime site than Harappa.

    Immediately Nehru saw that Dr. Rao was conferred with the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship. Dr. Rao did not turn back. He researched and wrote the book Lothal and Indus Civilisation. Though lot more research has been done now even today it is considered as the most authentic book on Lothal. When he discovered the dockyard, the first of its kind in the ancient world, he did not like to presume things on his own. He invited technical experts who examined the Lothal dockyard and said that large ships could come down to Lothal and proved that Indus people participated in international trade during that period, which is more than 5,000 years old. The world of scholars were astonished at this great discovery.

    Another special feature of Indus sites was the occurrence of small, square or rectangular clay seals which generally had an animal and a pictographic label writing above. Scholars all over the world tried to decipher this script, but nobody could give a satisfactory reading. Dr. Rao also tried to decipher the script by following a scientific methodology and learnt ancient scripts of Babylonian and Assyrian and began comparing the letters. Many scholars had presumed Indus civilisation to be Dravidian and tried to read the script as early Tamil. By this time it was known that Indus civilisation was the creation of the Aryans themselves. Without any presumption

    Dr. Rao prepared a concordance of all the symbols found on the Indus seals and analysed them. He found that certain symbols occurred very frequently. Thus he came to the conclusion that Indus people were evolving an alphabet from picture writing. This gave him certain readings like pala, mahapala, baka, mahabaka etc. Thus he showed that they were proto-Samskrita and not Dravidian.

    David Diringer, the greatest authority on ancient scripts exclaimed that Dr. Rao has hit the nail on its head. The Russian and Scandinavian scholars agreed to the suggestion of Dr. Rao. Dr. Walter Spink of Michigan University hailed the readings of Dr. Rao’s Indus script. It could safely be said that nobody has improved upon the readings of Dr. Rao. Many scholars suggested that this work deserves a Nobel Prize. Thus Dr. Rao’s contribution to the study of Indus Valley civilisation has not been surpassed by anybody. He was hurt when Dr. Mortimer Wheeler who become the Director-General of ASI wrote a book titled ‘2,500 years of Pakistan’ and even a school child knows that Pakistan was born in 1947. Thus he tried to give a false boost to Pakistan.

    Another important contribution of Dr. Rao was the inauguration of under-water archaeology, known as Maritime Archaeology. He may be called as the founder of this branch of study in India. ASI did not show much interest in this branch. Without the active support of the government, he swung into action with the help of corporates interested in it. Many people thought that Krishna’s Dwaraka was a literary bunkum and was based upon myths. But Dr. Rao disagreed with this and went to Dwaraka (Bet Dwaraka) and with the help of deep sea divers went down to the bottom of the water. He collected lots of pottery and other artefacts which were in use at Dwaraka during Lord Krishna’s period and the scholars all over the world were greatly impressed by this. The devotees of Sri Krishna expressed their gratefulness to Dr. Rao for this great discovery. With assistance and guidance from National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, Dr. Rao opened up a new branch to trace the rise and fall of maritime civilisation. This led him to take interest in ancient as well as modern ship-wrecks. Apart from all these, Dr. Rao took interest in murals of Ajanta, Ellora, Badami, Lepakshi, Padmanabhapuram, Mattancherry and traditional paintings of Karnataka. He also gave more interest to conservation of monuments and also beautified the surroundings by gardens and lawns.

    Yet another achievement of Dr. Rao is the formation of a Circle Office at Bangalore (Mid – Southern Circle) which was given the responsibility of maintaining monuments in Karnataka. Thus Hampi, Shravanabelagola, Pattadakal, Aihole and other places flourished well under his guidance. When he was in Hampi, he found a stone image of a saint and immediately he identified it as that of Purandaradasa. A workaholic, Dr. Rao did not take any rest and worked hard to spread the message of India through archaeology, art and architecture. When he passed away, condolences poured in from scholars all over the world.

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Feature Articles / July 23rd, 2016

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    Mysuru :

    Dr. Hanumanthachar Joshi (in pic), Principal, Sarada Vilas College of Pharmacy, Mysuru, has been awarded the prestigious Travel Fellowship Award by Alzheimer’s Association, USA. Travel Fellowships are awarded to young scientists who make exceptional contributions to Neuroscience Research, especially Alzheimer’s disease.

    He has been invited by the Association to present a research paper on “Cerebro-protective effects of Gangetin alkaloids on sodium nitrite induced hypoxia and ethanol induced neurodegeneration” at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference at Toronto, Canada, from July 24 to 28.

    Dr. Joshi is working in the areas of drug discovery for management of neuro-degenerative disorders, particularly for Alzheimer’s disease. He is also invited by Department of Psychology, Ryerson University of Toronto, Canada, to deliver a guest lecture on management of Alzheimer’s disease and associated complications.

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / July 22nd, 2016

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    Bezwada Wilson.

    Bezwada Wilson.

    The Magsaysay Award winner says India still has over two lakh manual scavengers

    Fifty-year-old Bezwada Wilson, national convenor of the Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA), was declared one of the six recipients of the 2016 Ramon Magsaysay Award by the Philippines-based award foundation, in Manila on Wednesday. Recognised for his efforts to eradicate manual scavenging, Mr. Wilson told The Hindu that India still has over two lakh manual scavengers who needed to be rescued, according to a nationwide survey by the SKA.

    The award citation recognises Mr. Wilson’s work in “asserting the inalienable right to a life of human dignity”. Of the estimated 600,000 scavengers in India, SKA has liberated around 300,000, the citation notes.

    Hailing from a Dalit family in Kolar, Karnataka, Mr. Wilson said his first brush with the local authorities over the abominable practice was in 1986-87, when he saw poor Dalit women cleaning human waste in the public latrines of Kolar Gold Fields. His own family members had been manual scavengers for generations.

    “It was a big town, and in those days KGF was known to be the most electrified town after Tokyo,” he said. Yet, the town lacked public toilets with running water. Moved by the plight of the women who had to clean them every day, Mr. Wilson decided to petition the local town municipality to improve facilities. In 1986, he sent a complaint about dry latrines to the authorities and, when it was ignored, he sent the complaint to the Prime Minister, threatening legal action, the award citation notes. As a result, the town’s dry latrines were converted into water-seal latrines and the scavengers transferred to non-scavenging jobs.

    Despite his 32 years of activism, Mr. Wilson says challenges remain in putting an end to the practice. “No thorough survey has been conducted as yet to enumerate manual scavengers though State governments have been promising one since 2010,” he said. Expressing scepticism over the implementation of the government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, he said the scheme did little to address the plight of manual scavengers and only sought to build more and more toilets.

    Mr. Wilson formed the SKA as a network of activists in 1993. A PIL he filed in the Supreme Court, naming all the States, Union Territories, and relevant government departments as violators of the 1993 Manual Scavenging Prohibition Act, produced positive results. In 2014, the SC ruled in his favour demanding that all States ban manual scavenging and even fixed a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh for families of scavengers who had died on the job.

    “In 2014, we gave the Centre a list of 1,073 people who had died while cleaning sewers, but the families of the dead are yet to be compensated fully. Only 36 people from the families of dead sewer cleaners have been compensated, but they did not get the full amount prescribed by the court,” he said.

    Our Special Correspondent from Bangalore adds:

    Practice still rampant in Kolar

    In the hometown of Bezawada Wilson, who has been honoured with the Ramon Magsaysay award for 2016, manual scavengers are not hard to find.

    The century-old mining set-up at the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) saw thousands of people — primarily from Dalit communities — being brought in to deal with night waste. Mr. Wilson’s father was among those brought from Andhra Pradesh to KGF.

    Though mining operations ended in 2001, the prohibited practice continues in the town where dry latrines are abundant.

    The government claims that there are only 82 manual scavengers in KGF. This is disputed by activists and government officials who peg the figure at 800 families — making it the highest density of manual scavengers in Karnataka.

    “While more than 12 criminal cases have been filed across the State for manual scavenging, there is little clarity on the prevalence of the banned practice. A 2007 survey threw up a figure of 15,375 manual scavengers. This is clearly under reporting, says Narayana, Chairman of Karnataka State Commission for Safai Karmacharis.

    “The number is higher than 25,000,” he alleged. “We have sought a re-survey, but government officials are looking at their list and claiming that the number has reduced.”

    The announcement of the Magsaysay award for Mr. Wilson did not trigger celebrations in KGF. Much of his activities have been in Andhra Pradesh or at the national level.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News / Vidya Venkat / Chennai – July 27th, 2016

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    Memorabilia brought from Chennai being arranged for display at the Museum.

    MCC Commissioner Dr. C.G. Betsurmath is seen displaying the Padma Bhushan Award Certificate of late R.K. Narayan at the writer’s house in city this morning. Others seen are Corporator D. Nagabhushan, MCC Superintending Engineer Suresh Babu, RKN’s grandson Karthik Krishnaswamy and nephew R.S. Jayaram.

    MCC Commissioner Dr. C.G. Betsurmath is seen displaying the Padma Bhushan Award Certificate of late R.K. Narayan at the writer’s house in city this morning. Others seen are Corporator D. Nagabhushan, MCC Superintending Engineer Suresh Babu, RKN’s grandson Karthik Krishnaswamy and nephew R.S. Jayaram.

    Mysuru :

    With the renovation work of Novelist late R.K. Narayan’s house on Vivekananda Road in Yadavagiri reaching completion, the arrangement of the writer’s memorabilia brought from Chennai commenced this morning at the house turned museum, which will be inaugurated soon. The memorabilia include RKN’s cot, chair, table, watch, glasses, books, medals, awards and certificates won by him.

    The photographs and paintings that adorned the walls of the house earlier too have been brought back.

    RKN’s nephew R.S. Jayaram and grandson Karthik Krishnaswamy have arrived in city from Bengaluru to inspect and guide the arrangement of memorabilia. Incidentally, Jayaram too had been living in the same house and was very familiar with the arrangements of all items.

    MCC Commissioner Dr. C.G. Betsurmath, Superintending Engineer Suresh Babu, Assistant Executive Engineer Manjunath, Development Officer Jagadish and Corporator D. Nagabhushan were supervising the arrangements at the museum.

    Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Betsurmath said that MCC had spent Rs. 29 lakh for renovating the house and another Rs. 5 lakh for landscaping.

    He pointed out that the building has been renovated to the original looks including the colour of the paint and wood structures to bring back the memory of yesteryears. He added that the maintenance aspects have to be worked out in future.

    Speaking to Star of Mysore, Jayaram recalled the nostalgic memories of his stay in the house and his association with his uncle RKN. He expressed happiness in conversion of the house into a memorial keeping the heritage intact.

    Dr. Betsurmath has requested people who are in possession of any memorabilia of RKN to pass it on to MCC which could be exhibited at the Museum.

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / July 21st, 2016

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