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    July 11th, 2017adminCoffee News, World Opinion

    Nilphamari farmer defies odds to produce the beans

    Beans harvested from the coffee plants of Abdul Kuddus in Munsipara village of Nilphamari's Kishoreganj upazila. Photo: Star

    Beans harvested from the coffee plants of Abdul Kuddus in Munsipara village of Nilphamari’s Kishoreganj upazila. Photo: Star

    by EAM Asaduzzaman and Andrew Eagle

    Bangladesh has a long, established history as a producer of quality tea. As for that other hot beverage, coffee, despite rising popularity among Bangladeshi consumers over the past few decades, there is no such agricultural tradition. Nursery owner Abdul Kuddus, from Munsipara village in Nilphamari’s Kishoreganj upazila, however, has taken the first steps to change that. He decided to grow coffee, driven by nothing more than unstoppable curiosity.

    “I first heard about coffee in 2009 at a conference run by the Nursery Owners Association,” says Abdul, an energetic septuagenarian who yet walks with a spring in his step. “For a long time I wanted to grow it but I couldn’t procure any saplings.”

    “For about the whole of his life Abdul has been inquisitive on the subject of rare plants,” explains his neighbour Fazal Kadir, a primary school headmaster.

    “Finally in 2014, I managed to purchase 254 coffee saplings from Cox’s Bazar,” Abdul continues.

    Abdul Kuddus

    Abdul Kuddus

    “I contacted the agriculture extension department for advice on how to grow it, but they were uninterested.” Thus Abdul relied on common sense, planting the saplings on his fifteen decimals with a reasonable distance between each one.

    The plants seemed to appreciate Abdul’s efforts. With organic fertiliser they grew quickly. He decided to prune them, cutting their tops such that they didn’t grow any higher than five feet. In 2016 Abdul held his breath. The two-year-old crop for the first time began to grow fruit, which blackened as they ripened.

    Abdul’s family was unimpressed. Who’d ever heard of coffee being grown in Nilphamari?

    “We forbade father to proceed,” recalls his son Md Akram. “We told him all his efforts would be in vain but he didn’t listen. He collected the mature fruit and used a wooden tool, a “dheki” to break them open and bring out the beans.”

    “Of course there is no specialised machine to crush coffee here,” says Abdul. “So I took the beans to a flour mill and ask them to grind it. I got 67 kilograms of coffee powder.”

    Despite the innovative refining process involved, Abdul’s groundbreaking coffee is proving popular.

    “The coffee produced in Kishoreganj upazila tastes really good and has a nice aroma,” says Siddiqur Rahman, who used to be the upazila nirbahi officer of Kishorganj and now works as an additional deputy commissioner in Narail district.

    “I tasted Abdul’s coffee and found it better than the imported brands available in the market,” says Sayed Hossain Shabul, president of a local citizens’ committee.

    Based on the favourable reviews of consumers, Abdul went to the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution in Rajshahi some months ago to apply for a licence for his coffee.

    “They said it was not on their list, so I failed,” he says. “However I did get recognition from the district civil surgeon’s office which issued a licence under the Food Safety Act 2013 under the name “The Bismillah Coffee”.

    Eight ounces of coffee contains 135 milligrams of caffeine, explains Prof Abdul Latif, head of the botany department at Nilphamari Government College.

    “It’s a popular drink that serves as an energy source. The plant is bushy, of medium height and evergreen. It yields bunches of small, marble-like green fruit which is then crushed to extract the coffee powder.”

    Abdul earned Tk 1.3 lakh from this year’s coffee crop, selling it for Tk 2,000 per kilogram in Dhaka.

    Now he wants to extend his plantation to cover thirty decimals. “If the government and private entrepreneurs get on board,” Abdul says, “then coffee cultivation can be a profitable segment of our agricultural future.”

    In the meantime, the local community is already convinced. Several locals have decided to follow Abdul’s lead, buying coffee saplings from his nursery at Tk 250 per piece.

    source: http://www.thedailystar.net / The Daily Star / Home> Back Page / by EAM Asaduzzaman & Andrew Eagle / July 09th, 2017

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    July 11th, 2017adminCoffee News, World Opinion

    Among people of various ethnicities and cultures, higher coffee consumption — whether caffeinated or decaffeinated — was associated with all-cause and cause-specific mortality benefits, according to two new studies published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

    “Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world and in the U.S. population,” Song-Yi Park, PhD, from the University of Hawai’i Cancer Center, and colleagues wrote. “Therefore, even a small health-promoting effect of coffee could have a substantial impact on public health.”

    Researchers for both studies noted that although recent studies have found that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower risk for all-cause death, the relationship between consumption and mortality in nonwhites and diverse European populations is unknown.

    The first study, focusing on nonwhite populations in the United States, included 185,855 blacks (17%), Native Hawaiians (7%), Japanese Americans (29%), Latinos (22%) and whites (25%) who were aged between 45 and 75 years at the time of recruitment from 1993 to 1996. Park and colleagues evaluated coffee consumption via a validated food-frequency questionnaire, which was updated approximately every 5 years. A total of 16% of participants reported not drinking coffee, 31% drank one cup a day, 25% drank two to three cups a day, 7% drank four or more cups a day and 21% had irregular coffee drinking habits. Participants were followed until 2012.

    During an average follow-up of 16.2 years, 58,397 deaths occurred. After adjusting for smoking and other potential confounders, the researchers identified an association between coffee intake and lower total mortality among those who drank one cup per day (HR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.85-0.91); two to three cups per day (HR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.79-0.86); or four or more cups per day (HR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.78-0.87]). Participants who drank one cup of coffee per day and two to three cups of coffee per day had a 12% and 18%, reduced risk of death, respectively. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee produced similar trends, according to the researchers.

    The inverse association between coffee consumption and mortality was significant for all ethnic groups studied except Native Hawaiians. Furthermore, never-smokers, participants younger than 55 years and those without chronic disease also demonstrated an inverse relationship. Intake of coffee consumption lowered the risk for death due to heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

    “Our findings support the recent dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which indicate that moderate coffee consumption can be integrated into a healthy diet and lifestyle, by confirming an inverse association with mortality and suggesting that association’s generalizability to different racial/ethnic groups,” Park and colleagues concluded.

    These results can be applied to other ethnic groups without safety concerns because the association was observed in four different ethnicities, Veronica W. Setiawan, PhD, lead author from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, said in a press release.

    “This study is the largest of its kind and includes minorities who have very different lifestyles,” Setiawan said. “Seeing a similar pattern across different populations gives stronger biological backing to the argument that coffee is good for you whether you are white, African-American, Latino or Asian.”

    “Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play an important role in cancer prevention,” she continued. “Although this study does not show causation or point to what chemicals in coffee may have this ‘elixir effect,’ it is clear that coffee can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle.”

    “We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association,” she added. “If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you’re not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start.”

    The second study, led by Marc J. Gunter, PhD, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, focused on coffee intake and mortality risk in European populations, and included 521,330 participants mainly aged 35 years or older from Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Gunter and colleagues recruited these participants between 1992 and 2000.

    According to the data, 41,693 participants died during a mean follow-up of 16.4 years. The researchers observed a statistically significant lower all-cause mortality for participants in the highest quartile of coffee intake compared with those who did not drink coffee, among men (HR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.82-0.95) and women (HR = 0.93; 95% CI, 0.87-0.98). In addition, death due to digestive disease was lower in relation to coffee consumption for both men (HR = 0.41; 95% CI, 0.32-0.54) and women (HR = 0.6; 95% CI, 0.46-0.78). The researchers found a statistically significant inverse relationship between coffee intake and with circulatory disease mortality (HR = 0.78; 95% CI, 0.68-0.9) and cerebrovascular disease mortality (HR = 0.7; 95% CI, 0.55-0.9) among women, as well as a positive association with ovarian cancer mortality (HR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.07-1.61).

    Gunter and colleagues also evaluated whether coffee consumption was associated with serum biomarkers of liver function, inflammation and metabolic health in a subcohort of 14,800 participants. They found that higher intake of coffee was linked to lower serum alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, as well as C-reactive protein, lipoprotein(a) and glycated hemoglobin levels in women.

    “We found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, and specifically for circulatory diseases, and digestive diseases,” Gunter said in a press release. “Importantly, these results were similar across all of the 10 European countries, with variable coffee drinking habits and customs. Our study also offers important insights into the possible mechanisms for the beneficial health effects of coffee.”

    “Due to the limitations of observational research, we are not at the stage of recommending people to drink more or less coffee,” he added. “That said, our results suggest that moderate coffee drinking — up to around three cups per day — is not detrimental to your health, and that incorporating coffee into your diet could have health benefits.”

    The researchers emphasized that more studies are necessary to determine which compound in coffee may be responsible for benefiting health and to explore the effect of coffee consumption on health outcomes.

    “These findings add to a growing body of evidence which indicates that drinking coffee not only is safe, but it may actually have a protective health effect for people,” Elio Riboli, MD, ScM, coauthor of the study from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said in the release. “While further research is needed, we can be confident that the results from a large European study confirm previous findings seen around the world.”

    In an accompanying editorial, Eliseo Guallar, MD, DrPH, from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and colleagues note that the relationship between coffee consumption and mortality “was modest and sensitive to confounding.”

    “Recommending coffee intake to reduce mortality or prevent chronic disease would be premature,” they wrote. “However, it is increasingly evident that moderate coffee intake up to three to five cups per day or caffeine intake up to 400 mg/d is not associated with adverse health effects in adults and can be incorporated into a healthy diet.” – by Alaina Tedesco

    References:

    Guallar E, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2017;doi:10.7326/M17-1503.

    Gunter MJ, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2017;doi:10.7326/M16-2945.

    Park SY, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2017;doi:10.7326/M16-2472.

    Disclosure: Park and colleagues report funding from the National Cancer Institute. Gunter and colleagues report funding from the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Consumers and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Guallar and colleague report no relevant financial disclosures.

    source: http://www.healio.com / Healio / Home> Internal Medicine> Nutritional Fitness> In the Journals / July 10th, 2017

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    Dubai :

    Kodagu Dakshina Kannada Gowda Samaja successfully concluded their annual ‘Blood Donation Campaign’ on Friday June 30 from 10 am to 3 pm at Sheikha Latifa Hospital, Dubai participated by very many members of the Sangha and friends.

    As the requirement of blood is very much essential during Ramadan, the active members of the Sangha from Ajman, Sharjah, Dubai& Abu Dhabi voluntarily came forward in large numbers and donated blood for a good cause.

    KodaguGowdaKF11jul2017

    Founder President Ashok Uluvarna, Past President Ganesh Achhandira, Harish Kodi, Vice President Sunil Mottemane, General Secretary Kanneriyan Sunil Kumar, and TreasurerDilipUluvaru, were present during the campaign supporting the donors. Also present were Navin Gowda of Vokkalikgara Sangha, Dr. Nanda Kishore & Dr. Rashmi Nandakishore of Riva Laser Beauty and Spa & Dr. TrilokChandrashekar of Medi Clinic Hospital, Abu Dhabi who all participated in the blood donation campaign.

    Rahul Bidappa, Ashish Kodi, AyushKodi, Meena Harish Kodi&JagadishKushalappa ably volunteered the campaign helping the donors in registering and completing the formalities. All those participated in the campaign were served with light refreshments, tea, coffee, fruits & juices by KusumadaraKodi, Ashok Ullvarana, ChandrakantKudwaje, Suresh Kumpala, SubramanyaKadikadka, Yathish Gowda, DilipUluvaru, SamarthaBantwal& Vinod Ramachandra who also sponsored the event.

    Roshan Kampala& Praveen Kalagadge were responsible for the campaign while BalaSalian took charge of the programme.

    source: http://www.daijiworld.com / DaijiWorld.com / Home> Middle East / by Shodhan Prasad / Wednesday – July 05th, 2017

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    The 27-year-old says she has left the decision making about her partners to the coach and that has helped her performance in doubles and mixed

    Photo: Red Bull

    Photo: Red Bull

    2016 was a milestone year for Ashwini Ponnappa. But it wasn’t memorable.

    After recovering from a bout of dengue, she went to the Rio Olympics with longtime doubles partner Jwala Gutta hoping to better their performance from London 2012. Unfortunately, they ended up losing all their matches in the group stage. It was the last time India’s most successful doubles pairing played together.

    A partnership lasted for nearly seven years and saw them win a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championship, a gold and a silver medal in the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games respectively.

    Ponnappa, in her own words, is a fiercely loyal person who did not like changing partners. She had struggled to find her mojo when Gutta had taken a break after the 2012 London Olympics and played with Pradnya Gadre for a while.

    Now, physically and mentally, she was facing a challenge. Fast forward to June 2017, physically and mentally, she is at a good space.

    “Life has changed a lot,” says a relaxed Ponnappa, in an interaction with Scroll.in at the Red Bull office in Mumbai. Her words carry an air of unmistakable satisfaction – the tone of an athlete who has endured a tough time and managed to break out of it. There is no hint of exaggeration and she speaks uninterrupted for a good few minutes, articulating the ups and downs of the past few months.

    Photo courtesy: Red Bull

    Photo courtesy: Red Bull

    s, “Now the coaches decide and if there is a need to switch partners, we switch. It’s about how we are playing together, how the partnership is developing and if there is scope to develop. Now I am open to a lot of things that in the past I was closed to. I am open to suggestions that have helped me grow even more than I have grown in the last couple of years.”

    “I have accepted that if things don’t work out in a particular partnership, it’s time to change. I am open to a lot of things now, not really narrow-minded in my approach towards the game,” she adds.

    While Ponnappa’s current doubles partner, N Sikki Reddy, has been a constant, she has played with three different mixed doubles partners – K Nandagopal, B Sumeeth Reddy and Satwiksairaj.

    Her partnership with Sikki has been constantly improving. The pair started playing in November last year and began 2017, ranked 110th in the world. Halfway through the season, the duo had breached the top 30 and are currently ranked 28th. A title has proved elusive, but they came close at Syed Modi GPG with a runner-up performance. Ponnappa’s excitement about her new partnership is evident.

    “From having a set combination with Jwala, where I understood exactly what my role was, to playing with Sikki where I was not exactly sure about where I move, what I need to do, [it was a bit difficult initially],” says Ponnappa. “Sikki is an excellent mover. I came to realise she is essentially a back-court player too, like me. And both of us being good at the back helps us rotate, we can move in, we can mix it up. That’s helped a lot. We are finding out areas which are our strong points. With every tournament we are getting more confident with the rotation. That’s been important for me, it tells me we are in the right direction.”

    Ponnappa, over the years, had developed the reputation of being the quieter one with Gutta known to be more vocal. Even their on-court chemistry gave the impression that Gutta was the dominant half of the pair, and Ponnappa was, for want of a better word, a follower. Mention that to her and she chuckles and says ‘Jwala used to listen to me as well!’ with a sheepish smile. But now, Ponnappa is the senior-most doubles player in the country and that comes with the responsibility of being a mentor – a role she is enjoying. And without any senior-junior segregation.

    “It’s just a lot of fun,” she says. “I just like figuring out things – like how to play an opponent, watch videos. That helps me guide my partners. It doesn’t mean I am the senior partner and I should be the only one making calls. If they tell me, ‘Ashwini, you could move to the net here’, I am all ears. There is no such thing as I am the senior partner and the other is a junior partner. Once we are on court, we are one unit. My experience does help a bit, I can help them relax and calm their nerves in certain situations.”

    While women’s doubles was always Ponnappa’s focus, she has found a new-found vigour to succeed in mixed doubles. While she has played mixed doubles often, she admits, until now, she never gave it her complete attention. If it was 100% focus on women’s doubles and about half of that for mixed earlier, now both are equal in her eyes.

    She says venturing into mixed doubles seriously has added new facets to her game. Her agility has increased, she moves with ease and is starting to hold her own at the net as well.

    So how difficult was it for her to adopt to this new system?

    “It wasn’t easy,” she says. “That three-month break [after Olympics] was important, because physically I was not fit at all. I had dengue just before Olympics and that shattered my body. Even when I started training again, my body was not responding. In my head I knew I had no injury but my body did not listen. I kept asking ‘Why am I struggling to play? Why am I struggling to smash?’”

    What followed was introspection as Ponnappa spent time on regaining, and more-importantly, redefining her physical fitness along with opening her mind to learning new things about her game. After a tough period in Indian doubles badminton, Ponnappa is excited about finding out where this new phase is headed.

    “With this sort of mindset, I am enjoying doubles, enjoying mixed doubles, enjoying playing with Sikki, enjoying the rotation, enjoying the communication, enjoying moving to the net. It’s just been a whole lot of fun. There is never an end to learning, never an end to growing, if you are really excited about the game.”

    We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.

    source: http://www.thefield.scroll.in / Scroll.in / Home> The Field> Badminton / by Vinayak Mohanarangan / June 14th, 2017

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    Ace Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna, who recently became the fourth Indian to win a grand slam after clinching the mixed doubles title at the French Open, on Wednesday, met Union Minister of Sports Vijay Goel to discuss the promotion of tennis among youth in the country.

    Bopanna, playing alongside Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski, clinched his maiden Grand Slam title at the Roland Garros last Thursday.

    The seventh-seeded Indo-Canadian pair staged a comeback after losing the opening set and defeated Lena Groenefeld and Farah 6-2, 2-6, 12-10 in a summit clash that lasted for one hour and six minutes at Court Philippe Chatrier.

    The Sports Minister shared the pictures of him meeting the 37-year-old tennis star on his official Twitter handle.

    ?Delighted to meet #FrenchOpen Mixed Doubles ’17 winner @rohanbopanna; discussed promotion of #tennis among #youth. Keep inspiring all Rohan!? wrote Goel.

    Speaking to reporters after the meet, Goel said, ?I discussed about the promotion of tennis with Bopanna. He told me about his academy and I am happy that already there are around 70 students there? The government always encourages such private academies.?

    ?I wish he open his academies in the other parts of the country as well,? he added.

    Meanwhile, Bopanna thanked Goel for taking out his time and said, ?It was really nice that he took out some time to meet me?I am really happy that he is encouraging sports a lot.?

    ?I think this is what is required in India for every aspect in our field, no matter what sport it is,? he added.

    Bopanna became only the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam title after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza.

    The All India Tennis Association has also declared that they will recommend the tennis player from Bangalore for this year?s Arjuna Award.

    Speaking about the same, Bopanna told ANI, ?We will know in a few months if I receive the award or not, if I do, I would be very grateful and very honoured.?

    (This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

    source: http://www.dnaindia.com / DNA / Home> India> News> Sports News / ANI / Wednesday – June 14th, 2017

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    Rohan Bopanna clinched his maiden Grand Slam title when he won the French Open mixed doubles final with Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski in Paris on Thursday.

    Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski and India's Rohan Bopanna hold aloft the trophy after winning the French Open mixed doubles title in Paris on Thursday. The pair defeated Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Colombian Robert Farah 2-6, 6-2 (12-10). (AP)

    Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski and India’s Rohan Bopanna hold aloft the trophy after winning the French Open mixed doubles title in Paris on Thursday. The pair defeated Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Colombian Robert Farah 2-6, 6-2 (12-10). (AP)

    Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna and Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski produced a fighting performance to beat their German-Colombian opponents Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah in the final to clinch their maiden French Open mixed doubles title in Paris on Thursday.

    Seeded seventh, Bopanna and Dabrowski took an hour and six minutes to win, saving two match points, as they overcame the unseeded Groenefeld and Farah 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 on Philippe-Chatrier Court.

    Bopanna has become only the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam crown, after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza. Indians have accounted for 20 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. Two of those victories belong solely to India with Sania Mirza partnering Mahesh Bhupathi.

    Bopanna entered the final of a Grand Slam tournament after a gap of seven years. He had also qualified for a Major final in 2010 when he and Pakistan partner Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi entered the title clash of the US Open.

    The 16th seeds had then lost to American twins Bob and Mike Bryan in the final.

    Bopanna is the also the fourth Indian to win a mixed doubles crown at the world’s premier clay court tournament. Bhupathi won India’s first Grand Slam title in 1997 when he partnered Japan’s Rika Hiraki to claim the French Open.

    Bhupathi again won in 2012, this time with compatriot Sania Mirza.

    Paes too had savoured glory on the red clay when he won in 2016 with Martina Hingis.

    Bopanna and Dabrowski did not start well, losing the first set 2-6. The seventh seeds gave away as many as four breakpoint chances and Groenefeld and Farah converted two to take the lead in the match.

    However, the Indian-Canadian combine fought back well to clinch the second set with the same scoreline.

    Though they were broken once, Bopanna and Dabrowski converted three of the five breakpoint opportunities they got to push the match into a match tie-break (earlier known as Super Tie-Break).

    The German-Colombian pair led throughout the tie-break, and held two match points at 9-7. However, Bopanna and Dabrowski somehow managed to save both.

    Bopanna and Dabrowski had their first chance when they took the lead at 10-9. They lost the opportunity as scores were levelled at 10-all but the pair grabbed the next two points to seal victory at Roland Garros.

    source: http://www.hindustantimes.com / Hindustan Times / Home> Tennis / HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times / June 08th, 2017

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    For putting India on the squash map and winning multiple tournaments to secure the world number 10 rank in 2016.

    At eight, when most girls are busy playing hopscotch on school playgrounds, Joshna Chinappa was busy making frequent trips to the Madras Cricket Club and debating which sport — badminton or tennis — she would like to pursue professionally. While good at both, her family background (her father Anjan Chinappa and grandfather Field Marshall KM Cariappa were both squash players) saw her gravitate towards the lesser-known sport of squash. Her standout moment came in the 2014 Commonwealth Games doubles event, when she along with partner Dipika Pallikal Karthik became the first Indian players to win a gold medal; and her stellar performances saw her seize her career-highest World No. 10 rank in 2016.

    The initial challenges
    Squash wasn’t well known when I started playing, and getting financial assistance and sponsorships were tough. My parents could only afford to send me for a couple of tournaments a year and I had no choice but to travel alone from the age of 10, as it was expensive to have someone accompany me on each trip.

    Training routine
    I play about 15 tournaments a year. I love training, so preparing for an event really charges me up. Training each day lasts for about five hours. I work with my fitness trainer on my strength and conditioning and with my squash coach on court. I also do a lot of weight training, and agility and sprint sessions.

    On injuries
    They are always hard for athletes to deal with because sport is our livelihood and passion and to not be able to do something you love is heart-breaking. On the bright side, an injury can help put things into perspective…it can make you much stronger, both mentally and physically.

    On women in sports
    I feel it’s the women today who are really putting sports on the radar. We have so many achievers — strong, powerful women who have come from such diverse fields and backgrounds showing us how, with a little support, wonders can be achieved. It’s so great to see them work hard and win despite the tough circumstances they face. I’m sure that if they receive the support they truly deserve, the sky is the limit!

    source: http://www.vervemagazine.in / Verve / Home> Verve People / text by Tina Dastur / June 08th, 2017

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    WildKaapi01KF03jun2017 Wild Kaapi, your morning coffee comes from certified estates that support gaurs, elephants and monkeys, along with Arabica beans

    Under the cool canopy of native trees in the Western Ghats, coffee bushes spread out, gleaming with red berries. In the early morning hours, if you are lucky, you may spot rare species like the Malabar grey hornbill, water snow flat butterfly or the Asian fairy bluebird among these shade-loving plants. And now, thanks to the efforts of Wild Kaapi — the world’s first ‘certified wildlife-friendly’ coffee brand — you can ensure your morning brew comes from plantations that foster fauna on their lands. Started by wildlife conservationist, Krithi K Karanth — who has has been working in the Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot, for the last 19 years — and her husband, Avinash Sosale, the coffee brand got its certification this April and opened its doors to buyers last month.

    (photo credit: Ramki Sreenivasan)

    (photo credit: Ramki Sreenivasan)

    Live and let live

    Wild Kaapi started as an offshoot of a three-year research project (part of a grant by the National Science Foundation to study coffee, areca and rubber plantations in the Western Ghats). Karanth, of the Centre for Wildlife Studies — with Paul Robbins of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dr Ashwini Chhatre of University of Illinois — measured biodiversity, and studied labour practices and market dynamics of the farming areas.

    During the project, she interacted with over 1,000 planters in the three coffee growing areas of Karnataka — Kodagu, Chikmagalur, and Hassan — and realised how frustrated they were “because they weren’t getting value for their coffee due to the middlemen involved”. That’s when the idea for Wild Kaapi originated, and the duo is now exploring new ways to get a premium price for products that support wildlife. “This includes social enterprises that can contribute to conservation action. (After all) traditional wildlife conservation relies heavily on donors,” says Sosale, who quit a career in automotive business to be a part of the venture. “At this stage we have two commitments: we have told coffee growers we will pay them the highest price, and, with the profit we generate, we will build a conservation fund to award grants to young conservationists,” he adds.

    WildKaapi03KF03jun2017

    Animal tales

    Millennials are more discerning towards coffee, observes Sosale. “Today’s consumer is informed. Ethical and conscious consumption is what we want to tap into.” To qualify for certification, the coffee not only had to have a good cupping (tasting) score, but the plantation had to support a vast biodiversity. Of the more than 187 farms they audited (recording the species of birds, butterflies, mammals, amphibians and trees), only four made the cut: Agora (with 124 species), Bindiga (137), Hulikere (119) and Cornerstone (120). Wild Kaapi has named their single-origin Arabicas after the plantations they are sourced from.

    WildKaapi04KF03jun2017

    Shreedev Hulikere, a third-generation coffee grower with 60 acres in Chikmagalur, who is partnering with Wild Kaapi, says he wasn’t aware of the numerous wildlife species on their estate till now. “While my ancestors traditionally hunted, I’m a conservationist. I tell my labourers not to destroy any bird nests. I know that barbets nest here and they eat the borer worms that destroy coffee. Similarly, I’m not going to chase away the monkeys and civets that eat my coffee because I’m being compensated elsewhere. Just because a porcupine destroys a pepper creeper, I’m not going to hunt it down,” he says.

    Love thy neighbour

    The audit also revealed a few surprises. “We found frogs listed as endangered or threatened in the IUCN Red List (the world’s most comprehensive inventory of global conservation status) at these plantations,” says Karanth. The certification not only places their coffee in a premium space, but also paves the way for a new movement. “If you have wildlife-friendly practices, you can promote sustainable agriculture. We are trying to establish a new model — a profitable enterprise that also enables better livelihoods. This hasn’t been tried before; it’s a new way of thinking,” says Karanth.

    (photo credit: Ramki Sreenivasan)

    (photo credit: Ramki Sreenivasan)

    While their immediate goal is to prove that such a model is sustainable, Sosale is also mulling introducing coffee scrubs, soaps, candles and flavourings — all huge product lines in the international space. Moving into pepper and cardamom, which grow hand-in-hand with coffee, also holds much promise.

    Prices start at ₹390 for 250 gms.

    To know more, and buy the coffee, check out wildkaapi.com.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Life & Style> Homes and Gardens / by Bhumika K / June 02nd, 2017

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    We would like to inform you that the Board of Directors of the Company at their meeting held today, the 18th May 2017 and appointment of Dr. P.G. Chengappa as an Additional Director with effect from 18th May, 2017.

    We would like to inform you that the Board of Directors of the Company at their meeting held today, the 18th May 2017, have considered and approved the following: a.Appointment of Dr. P.G. Chengappa as an Additional Director (Non-executive, Independent) with effect from 18th May, 2017.

    A brief profile of Dr. Chengappa is enclosed herewith. Dr. Chengappa is not related to any of the Directors of the Company. b.Re-appointment of Mr. K. Venkataramanan as an Executive Director – Finance and CFO of the Company for a period of 3 years with effect from 25th October, 2017.

    This disclosure is made in terms of the requirements of Regulation 30 of SEBI (Listing Obligations & Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015.Source : BSE

    source: http://www.moneycontrol.com / Moneycontrol.com / Home> News> Business> Announcements / May 18th, 2017

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    Hotbed for hockey. Nikkin Thimmaiah with his Chendanda team at the Kodava Hockey Festival final.

    Hotbed for hockey. Nikkin Thimmaiah with his Chendanda team at the Kodava Hockey Festival final.


    The Kodava Hockey Festival is testimony that the game is still thriving in Kodagu, feels internationals Nikkin Thimmaiah and SK Uthappa

    A crowd of 30,000 people turned out to watch the Kodava Hockey Festival final between Chendanda and Pardanda on May 14, an eye brow-raising statistic to the uninitiated. This wasn’t an international event, not even a national championship. The average spectator turnout for an Indian Premier League game at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium was 25,000 but this hockey contest — played between families in Kodagu district — beat even the IPL. Cricket, they say is religion in the country. In Kodagu district, it’s hockey that gets the adrenaline pumping.

    “Every player from Kodagu begins his career in this tournament, including me,” Nikkin Thimmaiah, India forward and a member of the Chendanda winning team, said.

    “I watched my father play in this tournament as a six-year-old. That was one of the catalysts that spurred me to take up the sport.”

    The tournament is unique in many ways. A team comprises members of a family and there is no distinction between either age or gender. The festival itself has been conducted annually since 1996. The game, though, goes on through the year as youngsters are encouraged to make it a career. “It’s the most talked about sport in Kodagu and even now, kids are still enthusiastic about the game,” Thimmaiah added. “Kids generally place hockey on a priority.”

    Over the years though, the number of players from Kodagu making it to the international level has fallen. Currently, there are only three — Thimmaiah, SK Uthappa and SV Sunil — in the Indian squad. There’s no player from Karnataka in the junior team, but Uthappa insists hockey is not dead. The sport is now alive, more than ever, and tournaments like the Kodava Hockey Festival keep it ticking. “I began playing hockey seriously after watching my brother play,” Uthappa said. “I played badminton first, but in Coorg, everything is about hockey. Hockey is in our blood and that’s why we start playing. The next influential factor is your family. It depends on how they support and encourage you to play hockey as a child. Thanks to that tournament, it’s a tradition that everyone participates in it.

    “Even now, that culture of developing the sport remains. You often hear that gadgets have taken the fun out of outdoor games. There are kids who use iPads in Coorg but they know how to balance it with the game. I think that love for the sport is influential in getting everyone to play it. Imagine you have to play this sport in every school. You will naturally be inclined to it.”

    But it’s not just this tournament which gets Kodavas hooked to the sport. Uthappa says everyone is interested in playing some sport, but what cricket is to the entire country, hockey is to a Kodava. “We Kodavas follow, discuss and dissect hockey just as other people in the country do with cricket,” Uthappa said. “Families here are aware of everything that we do. Over the years, they have become more educated about hockey, thanks to the promotion and media exposure hockey is getting. Now, everyone’s involved in an educated discussion. For example, they tell me I played well in the first quarter, but my dribbling went awry in the third quarter and so on. Earlier, it was only the basic question of whether you won or lost and by what score.”

    source: http://www.bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Sports> Others / by Aravind Suchindran / Bangalore Mirror Bureau / May 23rd, 2017

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