Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bidar-Bangalore train inauguration on September 1st'

Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge will inaugurate a new tri-weekly train between Bidar and Bangalore on September 1.

This was disclosed by former chief minister and Bidar Lok Sabha member N Dharam Singh at a press meet at the District Congress Committee office here on Sunday.

The train’s inauguration will be held at the Bidar Railway Station at 12 noon. The new train will depart from Bidar at 6 pm and reach Bangalore at 8 am the next morning. On the return, it will depart Bangalore at 7 pm and reach Bidar at 8 am the next morning, he added.

“We could not change the timing of the Nanded-Bangalore Express from 12:30 pm to 5 pm despite a series of efforts. However, after Mallikarjun Kharge became the Railway Minister, the district’s long-pending demand for an alternative train has been fulfilled. This has brought happiness to the people of the district and we will celebrate it in a grand manner,” he said.

He pointed out that the Nanded-Bangalore Express train takes 19 hours to cover the 735 km between Bidar and Bangalore. However, the new train will help passengers save 6 to 7 hours, he said.

Dharam Singh said the Bidar-Humanabad push and pull train will also be inaugurated within a month. The demand of Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS) students seeking due recognition for the institute will be resolved within two months. “I have discussed this with Medical Education Minister Sharanprakash Patil and he has promised to solve the

issue within two months,” he said. Compensation to farmers in the district who sufferred loss due to excess rain will be given soon, he added. Problems of the Bidar Sahakara Sakkare Karkhane will be solved soon and a delegation will meet Chief Minister Siddaramaiah shortly, he said.


Bidriware finds remunerative prices on the Internet

The Internet is doing to Bidri artisans what the governments or civil society organisations could not do all these years — provide remunerative prices to the centuries-old handicraft.

Most of the trade in Bidriware is through middlemen in Hyderabad or Mumbai. “They have never paid us well. The trader keeps most of the profits and the artisan is left with a pittance,” Mohammad Saleem, president of the Bidri youth mandal in Bidar, said. A middleman buys a flower pot for Rs. 200 from artisans. But it is sold in the range of Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,200 per piece in Hyderabad or Mumbai, he said.

State-run agencies, including the Union government’s Commissionerate for Handicrafts and the Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation, have long been providing training and raw material at subsidised prices. The Cauvery handicrafts showroom in Bangalore routinely buys bidriware items from handicraftsmen. However, these organisations have not been able to provide them comfortable profit margins. Nor have they been able to help artisans when the price of silver or copper increases steadily or when the sale of bidriware slumps in the market.

Similarly, efforts at forming a federation or self-help groups of artisans have not been successful. The federation does little other than holding occasional meetings or imparting training to craftsmen. The self-help groups are yet to take off.

However, artisans have discovered a friend in e-commerce. Several websites are offering to sell bidriware at good prices. The biggest benefit is that there are no middlemen here. Websites carry details, including photographs of varieties and prices of the art pieces.

“When a demand is generated, their executives call us and ask us to prepare and supply the item. We send it by courier to the customer. Once the item is received, the company transfers money to our bank accounts,” Mr. Saleem said.

Last week, he sent office stationery items such as envelope openers and paper weights to Kerala and wall hangings to art lovers in Rajasthan. He said that the websites kept about 15-20 per cent of the selling price as their profits, compared to the 200-300 per cent profits pocketed by middlemen.

“Compared to our trade with middlemen, the number of pieces sold on websites is less. Therefore, the transaction volumes and resulting profits are less. However, there is a chance of growth and expansion of online trade,” says Imtiyaz Ali, who completed his graduation recently. His father, Ahmed Ali, is an artisan.

Apart from the government websites of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Bidri art can be bought online from some popular private websites. They include bidrihandicraft.com, amazon.com, Christies.com, bonhams.com, snapdeal.com, mirraw.com, artsquare.in, fizdi.com, junglee.com, clickindia.com, redbag.in, artstoreindia.in, creativecraftz.co.in, kalamadhyam.org, craftsvilla.com, zaarga.com, rangiru.com, rediff.com and homeshop18.com.

They are also bought and sold on platforms such as ebay.in, quikr.com and tolmol.com that arrange meetings of buyers and sellers.

“We had thought this craft would die with us. But the online market has made us hopeful that our next generation will continue the tradition,” said Rashid Quadri, national award-winning Bidri artisan.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Dharam Singh wants to contest from Bidar again

N. Dharam Singh

N. Dharam Singh, MP, has indicated that he wants to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Bidar again.

“I will withdraw from the contest if (All-India Congress Committee president) Sonia Gandhi asks me to,” the 77-year-old Congress leader told presspersons on Sunday. He said he was aspiring to become an MP again and denied rumours that he was retiring to make way for someone else.

Asked about some KJP leaders wanting to join the Congress, he said the Congress had not invited any leader to join the party. But there were some developments among KJP leaders who were not willing to follow B.S. Yeddyurappa if he were to return to the BJP, he said.

The Congress would win 20 of the 28 seats in Karnataka in the coming Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Singh said, and added that the Narendra Modi factor would have no effect on the party’s prospects.

He said he had informed Medical Education Minister Sharanaprakash Patil about the problems at the Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences, including vacancies of teachers and lack of infrastructure. “I have told him that students are on strike demanding permanent recognition by the Medical council of India. He has agreed to solve the problems in three months,” Mr. Singh said.

He said Bidar Sahakari Sakkare Karakhane president Sanjay Kheny had told him about the financial problems being faced by the factory. “He wants me to lead a delegation to the Chief Minister, and I have agreed for it,” he said.

The MP said Bidar was likely to get an FM radio station soon. “Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari had assured me that it will be sanctioned,” Mr. Singh said.

“The Rs. 500-crore special package for Bidar, promised by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar last year, was being processed. I have urged the Minister to speed up the process,” he said.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

ಬೀದರ್‌-ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ರೈಲು ಸೆ.1ಕ್ಕೆ ಆರಂಭ


ಬೀದರ್‌-ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ರೈಲು ಸೆ.1ಕ್ಕೆ ಉದಯವಾಣಿ ದೆಹಲಿ ಪ್ರತಿನಿಧಿಯಿಂದ: ಬಹು ನಿರೀಕ್ಷಿತ ಬೀದರ್‌-ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ರೈಲು ಸಂಚಾರ ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್‌ 1ರಿಂದ ಆರಂಭವಾಗಲಿದೆ ಎಂದು ಬೀದರ್‌ ಸಂಸದ, ಮಾಜಿ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿ ಧರಂಸಿಂಗ್‌ ದೆಹಲಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ತಿಳಿಸಿದರು. ಬೀದರ್‌-ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ನಡುವಣ ರೈಲು ಸಂಚಾರ ಅಲ್ಲಿನ ಜನರ ಬಹುದಿನ ಬೇಡಿಕೆ. ಇದೀಗ ಈ ರೈಲು ಯಾನಕ್ಕೆ ರೈಲ್ವೇ ಇಲಾಖೆ ಹಸಿರು ನಿಶಾನೆ ತೋರಿದ್ದು ವಾರದಲ್ಲಿ ಮೂರು ದಿನ ಈ ರೈಲು ಓಡಲಿದೆ ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಿದರು. ರೈಲು ಸಂಚಾರ ಆರಂಭಕ್ಕೆ ಆಸಕ್ತಿ ತೋರಿಸಿದ ರೈಲ್ವೇ ಸಚಿವ ಮಲ್ಲಿಕಾರ್ಜುನ ಖರ್ಗೆಗೆ ಅಭಿನಂದನೆ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಿದ ಅವರು, ಗುಲ್ಬರ್ಗಾ - ಬೀದರ್‌ ರೈಲಿನ ಕನಸು ಕೂಡ ಶೀಘ್ರದಲ್ಲೆ ಈಡೇರಲಿದೆ ಎಂದರು.


Soon, an overnight train from Bidar to Bangalore

Railways awaiting Ministry’s direction, says divisional manager

S.K. Mishra, Divisional Railway Manager, South Central Railway, interacts with Khaji Arshad Ali, former MLC, in Bidar on Friday.

In all probability, Bidar will get an overnight train to Bangalore, senior railway officials said here on Friday.

“We are ready to run the train. If the Railway Ministry were to direct us to start the train, we can do it from tomorrow,” S.K. Mishra, Divisional Railway Manager, Secunderabad division, South Central Railway, who inspected facilities at the Bidar Railway Station, told presspersons. The district administration had agreed to fulfil demands for some facilities, he said.

Members of his team indicated that the train could start running in the first week of September, though they would not specify a date.

It is also likely to run three times a week, at least initially. It could start between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the evening and reach Yeshwantpur between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. the next day. It would then leave Yeshwantpur between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the same evening to reach Bidar by 9 a.m.

The railways wanted an assured supply of around 50,000 litres of water for cleaning the train and filling its tanks every day. “We have promised them the supply. We have a high capacity overhead tank in Gandhi Gunj area behind the station and a six-inch pipeline that connects the tank with the water supply system in the station has already been laid, but has yet to be used. We will start pumping water in two days,” P.C. Jaffer, Deputy Commissioner, said.

According to Dr. Jaffer, the cleaning and filling of Bangalore train rakes would begin after the intercity express left for Hyderabad at 7 a.m.

The demand for an overnight train to Bangalore has been a long-pending one. The Nanded Express that connects the two cities now takes over 17 hours to complete its run. It leaves Bidar at 12.30 p.m. to reach Bangalore the next morning.

The Hyderabad-Bangalore Express, which covers roughly the same distance, does so in less than 11 hours.

Organisations such as the Bidar Chamber of Commerce and Industries had demanded that the timing of the Nanded Express be changed so that it left Bidar at 6 p.m. K.H. Muniyappa, who visited Bidar last year as Minister of State for Railways, had said that it would be difficult, as the timing of several other trains would have to be changed to enable this.

Mallikarjun Kharge, Railway Minister, during a meeting in the Bidar Zilla Panchayat last month, had promised a new train between Bidar and Bangalore, if the timings of the Nanded Express could not be changed.


Indian Badminton League has a Bidar connection

Johnson Solomon, the physiotherapist for the Hyderabad Hotshots team of The Indian Badminton League, hails from here.

The boy,who grew up playing football in the streets of Bidar old city, has grown to be consultant to celebrity players like Saina Nehwal. He has earlier worked with IPL teams during practice sessions.

“I am looking after the fitness needs of the team members. I also help them with their workouts, and nutrition plans,” Mr. Johnson told The Hindu .

“I was interested in sports from a young age. I played football, volley ball and hockey in school. I represented Norma Fendrich High school in athletics and other sports. But, when I passed Class 12, I had no clear idea about what I would do next,” he said.

He chose to study BSc (Physiotherapy) at Kempe Gowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangalore. He got his postgraduate degree in 2002.

“However, I could not get a job immediately and I came back to Bidar. I worked as a coach to the NFHS sports team for some time. Then I got an offer to work as an assistant to the physiotherapist at the Sports Authority of India’s centre in Bangalore.”

He worked with cricketing stars such as Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad. “That was a turning point,” he said. He helped IPL teams during practice sessions in Bangalore.

A few years later, he joined the P. Gopichand Badminton Academy as a full time physiotherapist. He still works with the academy and acts as a consultant during sporting events. He has worked as a consultant to athletes like Harminder Singh who have represented India in Commonwealth Games.

“Mr. Johnson has proven that you can do what you like and achieve success,” S. Neelanjan, a childhood friend and neighbour, said. “He is an example to the youngsters who are obsessed about medicine and engineering and their parents who push them into these professions without considering their tastes,” he added.


BIMS students to go on indefinite strike

Students of Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS) will launch an indefinite strike from Thursday demanding permanent registration number of the college, an official press note released from recognition committee of BIMS stated here on Wednesday.

Without this number, a graduating doctor neither apply for postgraduate examinations, nor can one practice outside the State. The first batch of 100 doctors graduated in 2012.


Bidar Dalits ostracised in their own village, denied jobs

At Jampad village on the Andhra Pradesh border with Bidar taluk, anyone employing a dalit has to pay a penalty of Rs 5,000 to upper caste leaders. Dalits cannot graze cattle in the village and are scared to venture out.

This has been the state of affairs in the village for the last 10 days after dalits tried to go ahead with the construction of an Ambedkar Bhavan under the MLA local area development fund by previous MLA Raheem Khan. District social welfare officer Premkumar told Express that though the government’s construction agency the Nirmiti Kendra had started the process, it could not be completed.

Saidappa, a villager, told Express: “Nirmiti Kendra workers had just dug the foundation when the upper castes in the village stopped the work. They even filled the foundation with mud.’’

Dalits lodged a police complaint against members of the upper caste. “Ever since we filed the complaint, they have been denying us work. We are dependent on them, as they are landlords and we have no land. We will protest before the deputy commissioner on August 27,’’ said another villager, Doulappa.

As many as 50 dalit families have gone to work at villages in Andhra Pradesh like Hokrana and Hussain Nagar. Some have been forced to relocate to relatives’ houses and others are travelling to Bidar town to find work, while labourers from outside the village are being hired to work in the village by the landlords.

Deputy Commissioner P C Jaffer said action will be taken after a report from the district social welfare officer.

Kannada Sahitya Parishat district president Sidramappa Masimade said such incidents happen due to lack of education and social awareness.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

VCI gives nod, veterinary colleges to begin admissions for this year

After several rounds of talks, the Veterinary Council of India (VCI) has permitted the State government to go ahead with admissions for undergraduate courses in the veterinary colleges in Bidar, Hassan and Shimoga in the present academic year (2013-14). Admission to Veterinary College, Bangalore, has already been completed.

Minister for Animal Husbandry T.B. Jayachandra, who was in Delhi for the past two days, told presspersons here on Thursday that the VCI has, in principle, given permission to the government to begin admissions.

Each college offers 60 seats and students will gain admission through the Karnataka Examinations Authority’s CET. “The admission process will commence soon,” he said.

Mr. Jayachandra held talks with Union Minister for Agriculture Sharad Pawar and VCI officials in Delhi and sought permission from the VCI to begin admissions. Only after government gave an undertaking that it would provide all required infrastructure in the three colleges in the next one year did the VCI give the nod, he said. A three-member inspection team of the VCI, led by S.C. Misra visited the colleges last February and inspected facilities. Poor infrastructure was the main reason why the VCI had held back admissions.

The colleges have given an undertaking that buildings, hospitals and laboratories would be constructed soon. The government set up these colleges in 2007 to address the shortage of veterinary surgeons in the State.

More than 5,000 candidates apply every year for the 240 seats in the four veterinary colleges in the State.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lokayukta holds meeting on poor facilities at hostels

Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao on Wednesday held a meeting with senior officials of the Social Welfare Department to address concerns regarding poor facilities provided at Scheduled Castes/Tribes hostels in several districts including Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Bidar and Gulbarga.

During the Lokayukta’s visit to these places, students, especially girls, had complained about low quality food, insufficient drinking water, crammed accommodation and badly maintained toilets. At some hostels in Bidar, there was only one bathroom for 80 girls, Lokayukta Deputy Commissioner Syed Riyaz said.

After getting an assurance from the officials that the complaints would be attended to, the Lokayukta will take stock of the situation after six months. Detailing instances of poor facilities in the hostels, a letter to the Social Welfare Department from the Lokayukta states that at a girls’ hostel in Bidar, 15 girls stay in one small room, while the boys’ hostel houses 10 students in one small room.

In yet another hostel in Gulbarga for girls, students complained that food adequate to one hostelite was told to be shared with four others. The Lokayukta has suggested that a maximum of six students be lodged in the existing rooms and there should be at least one bathroom and one toilet for every 10 students. Food supplied should be adequate and be checked by dietician, once in three months.


Air Marshal Paramjit Singh Gill to visit Bidar today

Air Marshal Paramjit Singh Gill, Air Officer Commanding-in-chief, Training Command, will visit the Air Force Station, here on Tuesday.

Pushinder Gill, his wife, and president of the Air Force Wives Welfare Association (Regional), will accompany him. A former student of the National Defence Academy, Air Marshal Paramjit Singh Gill was commissioned in the fighter stream of the Indian Air Force in 1975. He is a Category A flying instructor with 4,000 hours of flying, including 1,000 hours of instructional flying. He has commanded a frontier fighter squadron too. He has earlier served as the Chief Instructor at the Bidar Air Base, Commandant of the College of Air Warfare, and Senior Staff Officer of the Central and Western Air Command.

Manish Khanna, Air Officer Commanding will receive the visitors, said a release.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Ksheera Bhagya launched in Gulbarga, Bidar

Students lining up to receive milk at the launch of Ksheera Bhagya in Bidar on Thursday.

The Ksheera Bhagya scheme, which would provide milk along with the midday meal scheme in government and aided schools and anganwadis, was launched in Gulbarga by zilla panchayat president Sharanappa Patil Telkur here on Thursday.

The scheme would benefit 3,81,627 children in 2,336 such schools, and 1.24 lakh children (between six months and three years of age) and 1,11,751 children (between three and six years of age) in the anganwadi centres in the district.


Speakers present told the agencies responsible for supplying milk powder to ensure cleanliness and hygiene.

Deputy Commissioner N.S. Prasanna Kumar highlighted the importance of boiling potable drinking water before mixing it with the milk powder. The glasses used by the children for drinking milk should also be thoroughly cleaned.

Mr. Telkur said that this scheme would help reduce malnutrition.

Of the children studying in schools in Gulbarga, 3,05,759 study in 2,065 government schools while 75,868 study in 271 aided schools. President of the Gulbarga and Bidar Milk Producers Federation Mallikarjun Biradar said that the federation would supply over 206.07 quintals of milk powder every week to the schools.

Dattatreya Patil Revoor, MLA, presided over the function and lauded the State for introducing the scheme, which he felt would “go a long way in helping malnourished children improve their health profile and reduce drop-out rates.” The MLA stated that the scheme would also help the government overcome the glut in milk production in Karnataka.

‘Make it successful’

Bidar Special Correspondent writes:

The government programme, which will distribute milk powder to children thrice a week, was launched in Bidar on Thursday.

It will benefit over 4.2 lakh children in over 1,800 anganwadis and 1,200 schools in the district. Every one of these children get 150 ml of milk once every two days.

Zilla panchayat president Santoshamma Pundalikappa inaugurated the scheme by distributing milk to children, and urged teachers to maintain standards of hygiene before giving it to children.

Deputy Commissioner P.C. Jaffer directed teachers and cooks to “work hard to make the scheme a success.” He urged teachers to make sure that there were no complaints regarding the scheme. The headmaster would be in charge of the scheme in each school, and oversee the entire distribution process, he said.

The milk union would supply 1 kg packets to the angandwadis and 20 kg packets to the primary and secondary schools.