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Severe drought hits Karnataka, Mysuru Dasara likely to be a low-key affair

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Ninety-eight taluks in twenty-six districts in Karnataka are on the verge of severe drought. The monsoon has completely failed in at least 16 districts out of total 30 districts. The rainfall in other districts had been less as well, except in 3 or 4 districts where it was up to normal levels, according to a report published in Vijayavaani newspaper, a Kannada daily.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah chaired a high-level meeting on Tuesday night, in which it was decided to declare all the affected 98 taluks as “drought-hit”. The present drought is being considered as the most severe drought since 1972 with the monsoon rainfall being estimated as 28 per cent deficient than its normal levels.

The worst hit are the farmers and the rural population. A huge scarcity of water has been created in various districts. The list of 16 districts which have been worst affected along with their percentage deficiency in rainfall are as follows:

Vijayapura (63), Raichuru (61), Yadagiri (55), Bagalakote (52), Kalaburagi (51), Bidar (50), Gadaga (44), Koppala (41), Belagavi (41), Dharwada (39), Haveri (29), Bellary (27), Chikkaballapura (24), Chamarajanagara (23), Ramanagara (22), Kolara (22).

The water levels of at least 13 dams have sharply reduced as compared to previous year’s levels at this time. For example, the water level at Linganamakki dam has reduced from 126.91 thousand million cubic (TMC) in August 2014 to 66.05 TMC in August 2015. Similarly, the water levels at KRS, Tungabhadra, and Alamatti dams have reduced from 48.41, 97.70, and 117.88 TMC respectively in 2014 to 28.64, 69.57, and 72.45 TMC respectively in 2014 according to the report in Kannada daily.

The Karnataka government has already released around Rs 200 crore towards drought relief, of which around Rs 25 crore is exclusively being used to provide water to drought areas through tankers.

Mysuru Dasara likely to be a low-key affair

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government is also thinking about conducting this year’s Dasara celebration in a simple manner restricted to conducting only the traditional ceremonies. But, the final decision is yet to be taken. The government has asked the Dasara Celebration Committee member to consult various stakeholders, writers and social leaders regarding the issue.

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Mysuru Dasara’s traditional celebrations

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Swarna Bharat Party condemns government’s healthcare policy in Karnataka

The privatisation of health policies was opposed by SBP

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Health policies of Karnataka being opposed by SBP
SBP asks government to work on government hospitals rather then privatising them. Facebook
18th November 2017:
Mr Asif Iqbal, Karnataka State coordinator of Swarna Bharat Party (SBP), today strongly opposed the communist, anti-market and anti-people policy of the Congress Karnataka government to cap healthcare charges in the private sector.
Mr Iqbal said that the Siddaramaiah government should start learning basic economics. Good intentions do not necessarily lead to good outcomes. This communist policy will shut down many hospitals and drive away thousands of health professionals. In this way, it will hurt everyone, including the poor. No communist society has ever done well, and this communist policy will badly harm Karnataka.
In a free market people voluntarily give their custom to the service provider who gives them the best service at the lowest cost. Simultaneously, the desire for profits motivates healthcare providers to provide good quality healthcare while keeping their costs down. And they can’t charge whatever they wish since they are forced by the competition among hospitals to keep prices low. Anyone who makes a profit in such a competitive environment is signalling that he has successfully and efficiently served the people. That is the best outcome for society.
Mr Iqbal said that a government’s role is to create the environment for market-led profitable investments, thereby serving the needs of the community. But instead of identifying and addressing any barriers to investment, the Congress communists are attacking the very existence of the health sector.
Mr Siddaramaiah should remember that the taxpayer does not subsidise private medical establishments, nor should there be any such subsidy. These establishments buy land at commercial rates, pay commercial taxes and get utilities like water and electricity at commercial rates. In fact, SBP understands that most private hospitals and clinics do not break even for the first 5-10 years and most earn barely enough to stay in business.
Mr Iqbal said that instead of Mr Siddaramaiah worrying about the private sector (which is already badly shackled with thousands of rules and infrastructure constraints), he should look within – at the total mismanagement of government hospitals. The private sector is the last ray of hope for the people of Karnataka. Now the anti-people Congress wants to extinguish even this last ray of hope.
SBP also opposes many other aspects of the new health laws, such as a district redressal body that comprises six members but with only one doctor member. Further, there are already several avenues for patients to complain, including consumer courts, civil courts, medical bodies. Creating another body is unnecessary and will only increase fear in doctors’ mind. SBP demands a complete repeal of the new law.

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Bengaluru Won’t Even Have Water To Drink: Siddaramaiah to Modi

CM of Karnataka writes to PM about possible water shortage following Cauvery dispute

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Highlights:

  • Siddaramaiah writes to Modi for intervention in the Cauvery Dispute
  • Says that Tamil Nadu has enough water
  • Asks Modi to call for the meeting of the CMs of basin states

The plot of Cauvery Dispute thickens as Chief Minister of Karnataka calls for intervention of Prime Minister for quick resolution of matter.

Siddaramaiah wrote a two page letter attracting the attention of Modi to extreme unrest in the Cauvery basin especially in Bangalore (Bengaluru) city following the order of the Supreme Court which directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu for ten days.

“If this continues it would deprive drinking water not only to the residents of Bangalore (Bengaluru) city, but also to the farmers of the Cauvery basin,” he wrote.

Siddaramaiah also pointed the adverse affects of this condition on the future of the country’s economy because as conditions worsen in Bengaluru, it’ll have a direct impact on its IT industries.

In the letter he even stated that Tamil Nadu was in a more comfortable position than Karnataka as the present storage in the Mettur reservoir in Tamil Nadu would be more than sufficient to meet the requirement of water for the Samba rice crop.

In a rather satirical tone Siddaramaiah wrote that ‘state BJP unit had proposed to the government not to implement the order of the apex court.’ He added “However, as a constitutional chief executive of the state, I have taken it upon myself to obey the orders of the SC and the water is being released as per the order, which has created more unrest and disquiet in the state.”

Finally Siddaramaiah asks Prime Minister Modi to intervene directly in the matter and call the meeting of all the CMs of basin states(Jayalalithaa for TN) to resolve the impasse.

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Bombe Habba: The beautiful festival of Dolls

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By Nithin Sridhar

Mysore is famous all across the world for its celebration of Dasara festival (also called as Dussera, Dashahara in other parts of India) that includes various religious and cultural events such as the famous Dasara procession that happens on the day of Vijayadashami.

6Among various traditions that are associated with Dasara, one beautiful practice that is unique in its observation is the festival of dolls called as ‘Bombe Habba’.

IMG_20151010_143211The Doll Festival is widely observed across South India. It is unique in the sense that it not only appeals to the people with spiritual or religious bent, but also those who are creative and with tastes for art and handicrafts.

DSC05701Traditionally, the celebration involves arranging the dolls on stepped platform that usually contains nine-steps signifying nine days of Nava-Ratri. The dolls are usually arranged based on themes from Hindu Puranas and Itihasas.

3A conventional manner of arranging the dolls is that on the lower most three steps, the idols of various Gods and Goddess are kept. The subsequent three steps are used to place icons of kings, queens, saints, and other leaders. The final three steps are used to showcase scenes from Hindu festivals and events from everyday life.

DSC05607This arrangement not only serves as a medium to explain various stories from these Puranas containing many moral and spiritual lessons to small children, but it also helps the children to connect with the religion in a creative and artistic manner.

2The central character in the Bombe Habba is the pair of wooden dolls who represent the King and Queen, may be as a reminiscence of olden days when kings used to rule Mysore, who are called as ‘Raja Rani Dolls’ or ‘Pattada Gombe’ (Royal Dolls). These wooden dolls are washed, cleaned, and adorned in new clothes and are usually placed in a prominent position during the display.

7The festival was once widely celebrated across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. But, the practice has dwindled over the last few decades especially in urban areas owing to pressures of modern urbanized life. Now, fewer households arrange and display dolls throughout Navaratri. Many families keep only the ‘Pattada Gombe’ as a customary gesture.

4But, all is not lost yet. With an intention to generate interest among people towards the Doll festival, Ramsons Kala Pratishtana has been organizing “Bombe Mane” (House of Dolls) – an exhibition of thousands of dolls with varied themes, every year since past decade in Mysore.

FeatureThis year, they have organized the 11th edition of ‘Bombe Mane’. The organization intends to not only rekindle the interest among people towards dolls, but also to support various artisans and doll makers.

1Every year, they put an exhibition cum sale of dolls procured from various states for around 50 days during the time of Dasara. One unique feature of this Doll exhibition is that, every year they design the exhibition around a central theme. This year the central theme is ‘Sapta-Matrikas’– the seven mother goddesses of Hinduism- Brahmi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani, and Chandika.

IMG_20151010_142411Speaking to NewsGram, R.G.Singh, Secretary of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana, said that around 400-500 people on average are coming to the Bombe Mane each day. The exhibition began on 25th September and will end on 15th November. Singh added that he expects a sale of Rs. 20-25 lakh this year.

9Dolls made from different materials like clay, wood, terracotta, plaster of Paris, cloth, and metal were all on display. Singh said that at any time during exhibition around 8000 dolls and idols are displayed in public.

IMG_20151010_135603When asked about his involvement with Doll-making industry, Singh said that he has been in the industry since 1970, when he and some others started Ramsons Handicrafts Sales Emporium. Later, they started Ramsons Kala Pratishtana to support artisans.

8Singh said that lately people are preferring smaller dolls over larger ones, and dolls which are easier to handle like those made of wood than dolls made of clay that needs careful handling.

10He added that though a large number of people have begun to purchase dolls which do not have religious themes, yet the majority of sales happen from dolls that depict religious and mythological themes.

Bombe Mane’ is open for visitors between 10 AM and 7 PM till November 15.