Kodagu First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Kodagu, Coorgs and the People of Kodagu – here at Home and Overseas
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    At 67, dressed in his PJs and a pair of sequinned loafers, Biddu continues to exude the charisma of an ’80s pop star. No surprise for someone who’s spent over five decades of his life making some of Indian pop music’s most memorable tunes.


    Shuttling between Mumbai, Goa, London and Spain, Biddu
    has charted out a yearly travel calendar that takes him to “happy, sunny places”. “At this age, I want to avoid the cold and snow. It’s a nomadic life, but whether I’m at Marbela or Mumbai, my people know me well enough to know that I like a masala dosa or two fried eggs for breakfast.”

    The Disco Deewane singer is in the city to promote his debut novel, Curse of the Godman, which he penned three years ago. Coming a year after his autobiography Made In India, which captures the singer-songwriter-producer’s journey from Bangalore to Kolkata to London, ask him if writing is his new calling and he says, “I wanted to write this novel for a long time now. But my publishers said they would only publish it if I wrote my autobiography. So I sold myself to the devil.”

    He recalls, “Four years ago, it struck me that I didn’t want to do music anymore. I wanted to open a restaurant or write a book— but the story of my novel hit me sooner.”

    Curse Of The Godman, a mix of “adventure, mysticism, romance and murder” is set in 1950s India and is the story of a tea plantation in Darjeeling, terrorised by a tiger. And like his prolific years as a singer, the new writer too isn’t leaving any page unturned, literally. Ahead of its launch, he reveals that he’s already finished writing his second book: “It’s set in Mumbai and deals with the sexual awakening of a young boy.”

    For a man who delivered some of the biggest hits in his heyday, and still rakes in royalties, was it difficult to change career lanes? “It got boring. I’ve done this for over 50 years now. So the day I decided I had had enough, I went and gave away all my music equipment. My wife thought I had gone mad.”

    For now, Biddu is content living life on his own terms. “A regular day in my life involves long walks on the beach, yoga, lunches with friends and a little bit of writing, At this age, there’s little to complain.”

    Biddu’s musical highlights

    Curse of the Godman is out on HarperCollins for R 299. It will be launched at Crossword Bookstore, Kemps Corner on January 13.

    He won the Grammy for Kung Fu Fighting, in the best selling single category.

    Till date, he has sold 38 million records.

    He produced Disco Deewane which sold 60 million records worldwide.

    Biddu produced music for Qurbani, with songs like Aap Jaisa Koi.

    He became the pioneer of Indi-pop with his pop album Disco Deewane and Alisha Chinai’s Made In India.

    Till date, royalties from Kung Fu Fighting get him anywhere between 60,000 pounds-70,000 pounds a year.

    He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Rolling Stone Magazine.

    source: http://www.HindustanTimes.com / ENTERTAINMENT > Music / by Megha Mahindru / Hindustan Times, Mumbai / December 29th, 2011

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    They are not exactly the three musketeers and may not totally go by the ‘All for one, one for all’ motto, given that their being together is not always in their hands. But, like Arthos, Porthos and Aramis, their surnames too have similar twangs, in these cases ending with the letter ‘A’.

    Meet Robin Uthappa, NC Aiyappa and KP Appanna, the Karnataka Ranji Trophy team’s Kodava representatives, who have in recent times taken the shade off, albeit only to an extent, from the ever popular Kodava sport, hockey.

    Mobbed by fans in the ongoing match against Uttar Pradesh in Shimoga, Uthappa, the leader of the pack, was quite emotional when quizzed on this sudden Kodava influence in the game of cricket. “It is great to be in a team with three Kodavas, and going by the crowd here (in Shimoga), and their vocal support, I can only imagine what it would be like to play a match in Coorg,” Uthappa said.

    This, however, is not the first such instance. In fact, as many as four Coorgs played in a one-day game for Karnataka, this same trio being joined by Shyam Ponnappa, who is now a junior selector. “Oh, that was fun too, and I remember being quite kicked about it,” said Uthappa.

    The hard-hitting batsman,who was part of the Indian World T20 winning squad back in 2007, however, insisted that this was no indication that hockey is taking a backseat, a sentiment shared by Aiyappa. “I don’t thing that’s the case. Hockey is still in Kodava blood,” said Uthappa. “The thing is Kodavas pick up things fast, more so sport. In fact, I don’t know any Kodavawho hasn’t played a sport. Perhaps the difference now is that people see cricket offering a better career comparatively and so more kids are taking to it,” he added. “Hockey is still the national sport and a lot of people in Coorg still play it. But, yes, you can see a lot more kids play cricket there these days,” said pacer Aiyappa, who made a comeback this season.

    And that’s not something that’s restricted to Coorg. The Punjab cricket team that was in Bangalore last week, featured as many as seven Singhs in the squad, leading a wag to remark that perhaps the hockey team had been sent by mistake. That doubt was soon cleared up when Punjab took the first innings honours over Karnataka in the drawn game.

    Cricket is certainly the dominant sport now and the presence of Uthappa, Aiyappa and Appanna is telling proof. More power to the Kodavas.

    source: http://www.articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / Home> Collections / by Satish Vishwanathan, TNN

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    December 27th, 2011adminSports

    Poovamma pockets best woman athlete award

    Despite their efforts, Punjabi University pocketed the overall championship with eight gold, four silver, and two bronze medals.

    Veerendra edged out Arumugam Manikanda of University of Madras by a razor thin margin of 0.02 seconds to claim the men’s 200 metres title. The Alva’s College athlete clocked 22.51 seconds while the silver-medallist Arumugam timed 22.53.

    Another Alva’s College athlete Sabeena rewrote the meet record in the women’s half marathon. Sabeena completed the race in one hour 14 minutes and 30.39 seconds, erasing the previous mark of 1:15:08.60 set by Navjoban Kaur of Punjabi University.

    Mangalore University had more to cheer as Poovamma MR was adjudged the best women athlete of the meet while Jagadeep Singh of GNDU, Amritsar, was named the best men athlete.

    Two more meet records were broken on the final day with Harvendra Singh of VBSP University, Jaunpur, (66.59 metres) in the men’s hammer throw and Suresh Kumar of Panjabi University (1::03:58.26) in the men’s half marathon going under the existing meet marks.

    Results: Men: 200M: Veerendra (Mangalore University) 22.51 seconds, 1; Arumugam Manikanda (University of Madras) 22.53, 2; Niteesh Antony (Kerala University) 22.90, 3.
    110M hurdles: J Surendhar (University of Madras) 14.81 seconds, 1; K Premkumar (Anna University) 14.90, 2; Pinto Mathew (Kannur University) 14.90, 3.
    Triple jump: Arpinder Singh (Punjabi University) 15.72 metres, 1; Rajasekar R (University of Madras) 15.52, 2; Salahuddin SN Mohan (Bharathiar University) 14.82, 3.
    Hammer throw: Harvendra Singh (VBSP University, Jaunpur) 66.59 metres, 1. New Meet Record (Old: 64.10, Chandrodaya Narayan, Chatrapathi Shahuji); Neeraj Kumar (University of Rajasthan) 59.61, 2; Sachin Kumar (HNBG University, Srinagar) 57.49, 3.
    4x400M relay: Kerala University (Varghese V, Nibin M Babu, Binu Baby, Vishnu V) 3:16.97, 1; MDU Rohtak (Pardeep, Mandeep, Amit, Sandeep) 3:17.73, 2; Mangalore University (Manohar C, Ganesh, Manju M, Veerendra) 3:2102, 3.
    Half marathon: Suresh Kumar (Punjabi University, Patiala) 1::03:58.26, 1. NMR (Old: 1::06.59.50, Anil Panwar, Pune University); Rattan Lal Jat (Punjabi University) 1::04:25.09, 2; Nilesh Bodhe (RTM Nagpur University) 1::04:49.51, 3.
    Women: 200M: Santhini V (University of Calicut) 25.40 seconds, 1; Ammu K (Kannur University) 25.95, 2; Chhavi Sharawat (CCS University, Meerat) 26.08, 3.
    100M hurdles: Raji CT (Punjabi University) 14.98 seconds, 1; Purnima Hembram (Punjabi University) 15.11, 2; Darsana MS (University of Calicut) 15.15, 3.
    High jump: Jinu Maria Manuel (MG University) 1.66 metres, 1; Steny Michael (Kannur University) 1.66, 2; Sindhu KD (University Of Calicut) 1.61, 3.
    Hammer throw: Shinde Soniya (University Of Pune) 48.61 metres, 1; Anita (University of Rajasthan) 47.75, 2; Sonam (VBSP University, Jaunpur) 46.87, 3.
    Pole vault: Anusha KP (University Of Calicut) 3.30 metres, 1; Anoosha KK (MG University, Kottayam) 3.30, 2; Dija KC (Mangalore University) 3.30, 3.
    4X400M relay: Calicut University (Ashly Joseph, Darsana M S, Arya C, Anu R) 3:46.76, 1; MG University (Sinsha K, Salini Thomas, Jomy Jose, Soniya P) 3:48.08, 2; Kannur University (Alby Mol, Anu Mariam Jose, Anu Paul, Ammu K) 3:50:00, 3.
    Half marathon: Sabeena (Mangalore University) 1::14:30.39, 1. NMR (Old: 1::15.08.60, Navjoban Kaur, Punjabi University); Remeswari MV (University of Calicut) 1::15:13.44, 2; Rooma Devi (Panjabi University) 1::15:30.71, 3.
    Special awards:Overall championship: Punjabi University (8 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze) 1; MG University (4g, 4s, 3b).
    Team championships: Men: Punjabi University (5g, 3s, 1b) 1; Kerala University (2g, 2s, 1b). Women: Calicut University (3g, 5s, 4b) 1; Mangalore University (3g, 5s, 1b).
    Individual champions: Men: Jagadeep Singh (GMDU Amritsar). Women: Poovamma MR (Mangalore University).

    source: http://www.DeccanHerald.com / Home> Sports / Moobidre, Dec 21, DHNS / Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

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    December 26th, 2011adminSports

    Rohan Bopanna (left) and Mahesh Bhupathi at Bombay Gymkhana / DNA

    Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna talk to Mihir Vasavda about their new partnership and Olympic dreams

    Mahesh, at the start of 2011, did you think your reunion with Leander Paes will end so soon?
    At that time, none of us thought that way. We were looking forward to getting positive results and hoping for the best. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. But I feel good at the position I am in right now. Rohan (Bopanna) has been doing very well for the last couple of years. He is on this really amazing upward curve in his career. Doubles is getting competitive and we rely heavily on power. And Rohan brings a lot of power in our team. So, I am happy that we got this opportunity and hopefully, we will make the most of it.

    How do you look at this new partnership?
    Rohan Bopanna: It’s always a big challenge to play with a new partner. But the experience that Mahesh brings with him will mean a lot. He has been around for more than a decade. So it’s going to help me a lot.

    Mahesh Bhupathi: When you start something new, there are always going to be some nerves. Fortunately for me, I have always been able to make my partnerships work and I know Rohan for a long time. I know his strengths, weaknesses. We’ve been training hard for the last few weeks and hope to get things right when the new season starts.

    What’s the key to make a new partnership work?
    MB: The key thing is we are willing to work together. I think that’s the biggest strength. As doubles players, we have proved ourselves individually. As long as we can work together and believe in each other’s abilities, which we do, then it’s half the battle won.

    Rohan, it’s a big step because you have had plenty of success with Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi.
    RB: It was a tough choice for me to make but an extremely important one. The main reason behind my decision was Olympics. I couldn’t have played (in the Olympics) with Aisam. So I had to think of something new. That’s when Mahesh and I decided to pair up and see how things go.

    Was there any particular point last season when you and Leander felt the time was up?
    MB: Not really. I was informed Leander doesn’t want to play with me anymore. That’s when I called Rohan.

    Was the fact that you and Leander haven’t managed an Olympic medal so far taken into consideration when you decided to split again?
    MB: I would like to believe so. I and Leander have represented India in four Olympics and each time we have fallen short. Something wasn’t working out, though I don’t know what. So, logically, we decided to form a new team.

    Rohan, there have been reports that you had an option to partner Leander. Was it comfortable for you to be in this position where you had to choose between Leander and Mahesh?
    RB: I really wish it was the case. But it wasn’t like that. There are a lot of things involved. You have to take a look at rankings and other such things. I think I can learn a lot from Mahesh. Obviously, we have to work on the rankings aspect so that we can be eligible to qualify for the Olympics but there are still around six months in our hands to get it sorted and we are really looking forward for that.

    Top seeds at the Aircell Chennai Open, Paes partnering Tipsarevic…How do you look at the whole thing?
    MB: For us, it’s a new partnership, so seeding really doesn’t matter. We would really like to win four matches but we will take it one match at a time. It’s a preparation for us for the Australian Open where we would like to do well. It’s always special to play in Chennai.

    RB: Lifting the trophy would be the ideal beginning for us. That would bring in a lot of confidence and satisfaction.

    source: http://www.dnaindia.com/ Daily News & Analysis / Home> Sport> Report / by Mihir Vasavda / Place:Mumbai / Agency:DNA / Sunday, December 25th, 2011

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    December 26th, 2011adminSports

    After Delhi and Chandigarh, it was the turn of Bengaluru to get a taste of off-road adventure through the Great Ford Endeavour Drive.
    On December 17, Ford India showcased the amazing off-roading capabilities of the Endeavour to a group of customers and mediapersons at a specially laid-out track in the Garden City. The safe, yet exciting track included inclines, alternate bumps, slush, 45-degree slopes and a drift/donut area.

    Jagat Nanjappa, a veteran rallyist and off-roading expert, demonstrated the Endeavour’s capabilities and shared important tips on handling an SUV on rough terrains while driving the group over the track.

    Ford India recently launched the new 4×4 Hurricane. The Hurricane Limited version builds on the Endeavour’s ruggedness, safety and reliability — attributes that have won it top honors in vehicle dependability in the SUV segment from JD Power Asia Pacific three times in a row.
    “The Endeavour’s Hurricane edition combines tough exterior styling and commanding road presence with extra comfort and flexibility to give the Indian consumer a comfortable, safe, reliable and robust SUV,” said Ford India’s vice president of Marketing Anurag Mehrotra.
    It’s easy to see why the Endeavour is one of India’s most preferred SUVs: it offers unmatched torque, performance and fuel efficiency coupled with great comfort and safety.

    source: http://www.drivingford.in / Monday, December 19th, 2011

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    The celebration of Huthri (Puthari) festival and annual get-together of the UAE Kodavas was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dubai recently.

    Ponnachetira Arun Kaveriappa lit the traditional thook bolcha (lamp) to formally inaugurate the celebrations. Melodious invocation was rendered by Balyatanda Reena Charmanna. The highlight of the day was a quiz competition and a written composition for children.

    After feasting upon the traditional dish thambittu, happy hours were spent by the bar and the guests savoured an elaborate spread of Kodagu delicacies, followed by dancing to the traditional vaalaga.

    Members of the Organising Committee Mr. & Mrs. Pebbatira Niranjan Cariappa, Mr. & Mrs. Shantheyanda Vikas Achaiah, Mr. & Mrs. Konganda Dilan Mandanna, Mr. & Mrs. Puttichanda Vignesh Aiyappa, Theethira Nanaiah, Machangada Kariappa and Mr. & Mrs. Apattira Chethan Somanna made the event a grand success

    source: http://www.StarofMysore.com / General News / By Lipika Nanaiah / December 23rd, 2011

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    The Tata Coffee chief gets the brew right to claim the No. 2 title


    On a cool November Sunday morning, a threesome waits to tee off on the first hole at the Karnataka Golf Association course in Bangalore. Hameed Huq is convincing one of his partners, a tea drinker, to shift to coffee: the one his company makes. The 60-year-old, Assam-born managing director (MD) of Tata Coffee has spent 35 years in the coffee business. Coffee is a passion, though he admits to drinking just 3-4 cups a day. He is also a Tata Group lifer; the past 13 in Tata Coffee. “For 10 years, growth stagnated,” says Huq. “It is a commodity business, where revenues and growth are volatile.” Tata Coffee is a B2B coffee business — branded coffees are owned by Tata Global Beverages — and subject to the vagaries of the commodity cycle. When he took over as MD in 2007, the company’s revenues from the plantation business were Rs 250 crore. Production cycles were unstable, and quality was not the greatest. His first steps: stabilising the cycle, improving quality and entering the market for specialty, gourmet coffee.

    “Our buyers are mostly in the US, though the former Soviet Union countries are a big export market,” he says. His clients include Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Atlantic Coffee. As environmental sustainability is a big factor in developed country markets, green coffee is an area Huq has directed the company to get into; margins are anywhere between 6 and 20 per cent, he says. He is a great believer in technology too. That is only natural; he has studied the processes in Colombia, the world’s biggest coffee exporter.

    So how did his firm manage to do so well? “How do you drive a commodity business that has no consumer brand?” he asks. “You take out the volatility.” Tata Coffee, which has about 8,000 employees, bought Eight O’ Clock Coffee, the third-largest whole-bean coffee firm by volume in the US. The move has been good for the bottom line, besides giving Tata Coffee a foothold in the US, which contributes about Rs 800 crore in revenues annually. The other Rs 500 crore coming from domestic sales. Whatever Huq has done, it appears to have worked. Sales have grown three times since 2007 and the company’s market cap has grown five times.

    The immediate future, however, looks a little grim. Revenues are sluggish, due to the 2008 crisis. Sales in the former Soviet Union countries do not provide high margins. “People are a problem,” adds Huq. “We still need workers, and too many are migrating out of plantations.” Tata Coffee is investing in its workers. For instance, it is ensuring that the living standards of workers and their families are at a level comparable with workers in developed countries. The next three years will be difficult. Recovery from 2008 is likely to be slow and long. If there is a 2011 European crisis, it might be longer. Huq may need to drink more than his 3-4 cups a day, and the coffee will have to be stronger.

    (This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 26-12-2011)
    source: http://www.businessworld.in / Home> Business> Corporate / by Srikanth Srinivas / December 17th, 2011

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    December 22nd, 2011adminSports

    Vanavasi Kalyan team at Bangalore International Marathon

    Running barefooted, an 8 membered team of tribal youth of Vanavasi Kalyan won Runner-Up award in reputed Bangalore International Midnight Marathon, recently held in the city.

    In an event where nearly 8500 athletes participated, the Vanavasi Kalyan team stood against all odds and won this prestigious Marathon, running in barefoot, has got special congratulations by the public, organisers.

    Midnight International Marathon is first of its kind in the world, was organised on December 10th by Rotary Bangalore’s I.T. Corridor unit, with a motto of ‘Run for a Child’, to create awareness about Child healthcare, nutrition and Child education.

    With just a delay of 90 seconds, Vanavasi Kalyan team secured second place in the Men’s 35km section of Marathon relay. The first and third prizes were bagged by teams sponsored by reputed Software Companies TESCO and HP respectively.

    Vanavasi Kalyan team receiving award runner up award in Bangalore International Midnight Marathon

    Hailing from the dense forest area of Titimati of Virajpet Taluk in Kodagu district, Karnataka, these youth are participating in their maiden Marathon race. Of this 8 membered team, Maada, a student of class 12 is a known sprinter. Others, Vishwanath, Harish, Papu, Raju PN, Suresh, Timmayya, Venkatesh are coolie workers having a high athletic skills.

    With a spirit to imbue the confidence of these tribal talents, well known Physician Dr Rekha S Neela and her husband, businessman Srinivas R Neela, sponsored the Vanavasi Kalyan team and introduced these Vanavasi talents to an International Platform. Venkatesh Nayak, Coordinator of Vanavasi Kalyan Ashrama-Karnataka guided the team throughout.

    Though the Vanavasi youth were lacking many civic facilities, never underwent any coaching or special practice for Marathon, were looking confident during the event. Being barefooted they won this event, just keeping the experience of few previous domestic athletic events. “There are many skilled youth at Vanavasi areas, if a proper care is taken, coaching is provided, talents are nurtured, they are capable bringing glory to nation by winning medals at Olympics”, says Dr Rekha.

    Mr Venkatesh Nayak said “Vanavasi Kalyan has given the nation the Olympian Limba Ram in archery and Kavitha Raut in 10 Km race.”

    The prize distribution ceremony was held at the premises of Hotel Royal Orchid on Saturday, December 17th, in which the audience congratulated the team with a standing ovation.

    Vanavasi Kalyan team at Bangalore International Marathon


    In 2007, The Rotary Bangalore IT Corridor, organized the 1st Bangalore Midnight Marathon. The marathon was the first of its kind in the world, being the only marathon that was run in the middle of the night. The only other similar run in the world was in Norway. This event, though being a night event, was run in full brightness, given that Norway is the country of Midnight Sun.

    The Bangalore Midnight Marathon has several advantages – traffic and pollution is less at midnight, the cool temperature of the night is also conducive for running. Over the years, the organizers have innovated the run, adding fun element to make it interesting for both professional & casual runners alike. Large Display Video screens along the track, decorative lighting, live performances by rock bands & plenty of food add to the fun element of the run. It gives this Marathon a festive feel and makes it it a great experience for the runners & their supporters.

    source: http://www.samvada.org / December 18th, 2011

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    Mumbai, Maharashtra:

    The awardees recognized were Ms Sujatha Burla, Mr Siddu S. Loute, Mr Shreedhara T S and Ms Bhumika Rajendra for their exemplary effort of transforming humans to heroes.

    Bajaj Discover presents Dr. Batra’s 6th Positive Health Awards 2011, held at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall today witnessed Anil Kumble, the cricket legend felicitating this year’s positive health awardees. This was an initiative to honor significant people who live a positive life despite their physical disabilities. Four such heroes were awarded in the presence of about 1,000 people in appreciation of their laudable efforts and their outstanding courage in their endeavor against diseased and disabled conditions of life.

    The winners for this year’s edition of the awards were recognized and selected by an eminent panel of jurists comprising of Smt. Maneka Gandhi, Ms. Anu Aga, Mr. Vivek Oberoi, Mr. R. Balki, Mr. Rajiv Bajaj and Dr. Mukesh Batra. The awardees recognized were Ms Sujatha Burla, Mr Siddu S. Loute, Mr Shreedhara T S and Ms Bhumika Rajendra for their exemplary effort of transforming humans to heroes.

    In addition to a short biographic film on each awardee, attendees at the award function were treated to scintillating performances by the dance guru Shiamak Davar’s troupe of specially-abled children.

    Admiring the spirit of the awardees, the Indian Cricket Legend, Anil Kumble, said, “I am immensely delighted to felicitate these heroes who have fought out the trials and tribulations in life and have created a niche for themselves in the society. The foremost rule of any sport is to never give up, no matter what, but to keep fighting till the end. These individuals have lived that never ceasing spirit and have successfully fought against all the impossibilities in life to create possible winning situations for themselves. I salute Dr Mukesh Batra and Mr Rajiv Bajaj for this extra-ordinary event and for the great work that they are doing to contribute towards such a noble cause.

    Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mukesh Batra, Founder and CMD, Dr. Batras’ Positive Health Clinic Pvt. Ltd. said, “Dr. Batra’s Positive Health Awards salutes people with unyielding grit and unflinching determination, who have beaten all odds to overcome seemingly hopeless situations and have been dedicated enough to make commendable contributions to society. These heroes have demonstrated the strength of the human spirit and have proved that, all it takes to make a difference in the world is a strong will power and great positivity. The Positive Health Awards honor this spirit and re-affirm Dr Batra’s commitment to health and positivity.”

    Reiterating his support to the cause, Mr. Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto Ltd. said, “The Dr. Batra’s Positive Health Awards is a step in a noble direction and we are proud to be associated with this initiative for the second consecutive year. We firmly believe that the lives of these awardees will inspire and spread hope to others.”

    About the Awardees:
    Ms Sujatha Burla (32 years): A road accident that happened 10 years back changed her life forever making her quadriplegic with limited mobility below the shoulders. She is a TEDx speaker and a popular TV presenter for TV9 hosting a show called “Close Encounter with Suzy”. She has never suffered with bed sores in last 10 years as she practices yoga and physical exercises regularly. She provides counselling to paraplegic people and also addresses the NASA & ISRO scientists with motivational speeches on positive thinking and living. She has been running an orphanage for the past 3 years. She belongs to a middle class family from Hyderabad. Her father passed away few years ago. With no financial support from any of her 3 elder siblings, she earns a living and supports her mother too.

    Mr Siddu S. Loute (25 years): Visually impaired since birth, Mr. Siddhu is a Mathematics prodigy fondly called as a human computer. By Class II, he had already memorized math tables up to 56 lakh and now claims to have memorized tables up to 99 crore. When provided with a date from the past or future, he can provide the exact day the date falls on. He has memorized 45,000 phone numbers which makes him a walking-talking telephone directory. He had also participated and won a prize in a popular television show on Sony TV called ‘Entertainment ke liye kuch bhi karega’. His unique talent combined with his irrecoverable condition got him featured on a couple of TV channels such as TV9, Suvarna, Suvarna News, DD 1 and Sakshi. Overtly ambitious as he is, he has completed his LLB and aims to become an IAS officer with an honest intention to help the needy and the downtrodden. Son of a truck driver, he was abandoned by his family since the age of 5, and has since been living independently.

    Mr Shreedhara T S (23 years): Mr. Shreedhara is 100% blind but he can read, write and speak English, Hindi and Kannada. He has developed a Kannada version of the text-to-speak software (first generation open source software) through which any visually challenged person can read, write and work on computers. The Knowledge Commission of Govt. of Karnataka has hosted his software named ‘E-Speak’ on its Kannada Wikipedia website to be used free of cost. He has hands on experience with Windows 98, Windows 2000/XP, Windows Vista, MS Office 2003. He can type at a speed of 35-40 wpm and has extensive knowledge and experience in using the internet. Coming from a farmer’s family, his parents practice farming in a village in the Shimoga District of Karnataka. Currently, his father has come to Bengaluru and has been assisting him in pursuing further education in computers.

    Ms Bhumika Rajendra (9 years): She was only 3, when she had an elevator accident and had to get her right leg amputated above the knee. In spite of this disability, she had always wished to excel in Bharatnatyam and classical singing and would constantly practise to turn her dreams into reality. Though the artificial leg that was fitted to her knee was akin to an alien, she accepted it as a vital part of her being and has ever since been pushing her limits to excel in the Bharatanatyam dance form. During her dance sessions, there have been instances when her skin used to give way and the stump bled. And every time that happened she thought of giving up, but she fought unceasingly against all odds with a positive spirit. She has performed with the famous Kannada cine actor Sridhar at a “Zee Kannada” programme organized by Zee TV Network in Bengaluru. She has given many stage performances and has been extensively covered by various publications. She belongs to a lower middle class family from Kodagu District in Karantaka and her father works as a lecturer.

    source: http://www.indiaprwire.com / HealthCare/Hospitals> Awards /
    December 15, 2011 /India PRwire/

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    There is always a steady stream of visitors at the Spastics Society of Karnataka. On Friday, a privileged bunch dropped in, bringing joy to the special children at the Society.

    Nine members of the Indian national hockey team, accompanied by coach Michael Nobbs, medical doctor Lt Col BK Nayak and selector AB Subbaiah, delighted the excited kids, who jumped up in happiness.

    “It’s brilliant if you can put a smile on the faces of these kids,” said an emotion-choked Nobbs, who initiated the visit arranged by Hemophilia Federation (India) vice-president Vikash Goyal. “Every moment of their life is a such a huge struggle. Most of these kids haven’t done anything wrong in their life, yet they have to undergo such a painful ordeal. We just spent 10 minutes in every classroom, probably less than a minute with every kid, but their joy was incomparable.

    “Some of them watch TV, and could thus identify a couple of the Indian players. The next time they see us play on TV, they will be saying ‘These people came and visited us.’ Most of us are so privileged and yet we keep complaining about the smallest of worries. The players too sometimes feel they haven’t got their due. This visit will make a world of difference to their thinking.”

    The group spent two hours touring the facility, interacting with several kids. It was obvious that most of the players were deeply moved by the plight of these children for whom life has been a struggle since birth.

    “I am just lost for words,” said a teary-eyed Indian captain Bharat Chetri. “You really feel for the kids and for their parents. Apart from the continuous pain of watching their kid suffer, their parents also have to work doubly hard to raise them. Hats off to them,” added Chetri, easily the most popular man with the kids alongside local player VR Raghunath.

    Such visits are being planned by Nobbs on a regular basis. A few days before the Champions Challenge last month, the entire team had met patients at Pune’s Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, which houses several war veterans.

    “We will be doing this regularly,” observed a humbled Nobbs. “As humans, we need to give back to the society in whatever way possible. I heard about how Vikash Goyal lost his 12-year-old son a couple of years ago to haemophilia. It is really heart-breaking. We just did our bit in the smallest manner possible.”

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Home> Sports / DHNS / Bangalore, December 16th, 2011

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