Facebook has changed the way we live and think and this buzzing social medium has been used effectively for creating awareness on many issues plaguing the society. Now the Communication and Capacity Development Unit (CCDU) of the Department of Water Resources in Kerala has decided to make use of Facebook in making Kerala a water-friendly society.
A Facebook page ‘Hai Jalam’ has been opened to the public, which will highlight the importance of water conservation. A water droplet on a leaf with the message ‘We should know the significance of water’ forms the cover picture of the profile of this page. Apart from providing water saving tips to the public, it will also share information on rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge models. There is also a blog section in the page. This page is expected to enhance people’s initiatives in water conservation efforts and hopes to create a society that respects water to make sure that every person has access to clean potable water in the days ahead.
Within just two days of its launch, 98 people have already become friends with ‘Hai Jalam and the CCDU team is hoping that at least one lakh people will join. The prime target of this FB page is school students, where they can discuss water conservation ideas and share tips. CCDU also has launched an ambitious scheme to set up Jalashree’ clubs in schools across the state over the next three years to make sure that the future generation is aware of the importance of the conservation of water bodies to sustain all forms of life on planet earth.
This is the sad story of an ashram in Kollam, in South Kerala which is striving to continue its humanitarian services against all odds. Almost cut off from the society for the past many years, this ashram is a treasure trove of many priceless manuscripts and ayurvedic medications. The ashram is looking for Tamil scholars to decipher the century-old palm leaf scrolls with enthamizhu or Kodumthamizhu inscriptions. These rare palm scrolls are thought to contain the secrets of rare and precious medicines for various ailments.
The seer of Avadhoothashram, Sadanandapuram, Kottarakkara,Chidananda Bharati wants to make sure that the priceless wisdom is made use of for the welfare of the community. The seer who took up the charge of the ashram 2 decades back is concerned at the apathy and the lack of attention being shown to these ancient manuscripts. The ashram also has many clay jars with ancient medicinal concoctions. However as the labels on the jars are completely lost, it might require the services of ayurvedic experts to identify the medicines. Many rare books and scrolls have been damaged in the onslaught of time and immediate action is needed to preserve whatever is remaining.
The Swami earnestly wish that Tamil scholars who can unlock the secrets come forward so that these pearls of wisdom is not lost forever. Over the years, the ashram has lost most of its 300 acres of premium land and it now holds only a little more than a hundred acres of land, sixty per cent of which has been retained as natural forest, which forms a natural habitat for a range of wild animals including porcupine, flying squirrel, mongoose, fox, Asian palm civets, snakes, and a large number of birds including peacocks.
The ashram is still involved in producing authentic ayurvedic medications as per the original texts as wished by the founding seer of Sadanandaswamikal. The medicines are hugely popular among people for its premium quality. The ashram premises also has temples of Lord Krishna, Durga, Saint Dhanwanthari besides the samadhi of the founder seer Sadanandaswamikal who set up the Ashram in Malayalam calendar year of 1075.
The sanyasins are averse to the idea of converting the ashram’s resources for materialistic gains, which has in a way made the ashram obscure and hidden from the lime light. Most people are not even aware of the activities of the ashram and its potential has largely remained unexploited till now. The ashram is in desperate need of concrete policies that will bail it out from the present limbo. Sadly for want of disciples, the ashram is also facing the risk of closing down. It will be a shame if the wails for help of this ashram fall on deaf ears as Kerala, considered as the cradle of this oldest system of medicine known to man. The apathy of the administrative machinery and the lackadaisical attitude of the general public have largely been responsible for this sorry stage of affairs where quacks and dubious operators fleece tourists in the name of ayurveda while authentic ayurveda practitioners are left in the lurch!
If everything goes off as planned, the Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (Keltron) would be launching a ‘Central Monitoring System’ (CMS) in a few months time. It is a novel project to bring all establishments including government offices, banks, shopping centres and business firms under the surveillance of security cameras in a month’s time.
Thought to be the first-of-its-kind in India, this project would cost the exchequer around Rs 20 crore, in which over one lakh cameras will be installed in various locations within five years. The expenses will be met by Keltron and the project is likely to be implemented in January next. To make use of the system, the firms will have to pay a fee, which ranges from ₹ 2000 or more, which will help Keltron to recover its investment on the project. The cameras will ensure round the clock monitoring from an exclusive control room, which would be set up in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram.
Keltron is hoping to rope in around 10,000 customers in five years. In a firm there will be one to 10 or more cameras depending on their surveillance needs. Anything shady that is caught on camera will be immediately passed on to the concerned police stations. The camera monitoring would not just ensure the safety of the establishments but will also be helpful in bringing down incidents of burglary and other crimes. Other add on security features like glass breaking sensors will also be installed along with the cameras. Those companies that have already installed surveillance cameras, will also have the choice to be covered under the Central Monitoring System. The proposal, which is in the final stages of implementation is awaiting the approval of the government.
Cochin, the emerging business capital of Kerala has a floating population comprising of people from various parts of India and even abroad, which could make it a target for unlawful activities. Though Malayalees have so far only come up with instances like kidnapping on reel screen and not real life, the possibilities when this familiar scene in many Malayalam movies can become a threat in real life too cannot be ruled out.
In an innovative method to stall such a remote possibility three engineering graduates have developed an easy downloadable software for android phones. The trio Doney P Dev, and his friends Rizwin Azeez Naina(TechLead) and Mahesh J Nair, who has set up their own independent company, August Info Solutions has come up with the Hello Kerala software that can automatically locate the nearest police station to where you are and send an sms to the mobile number of the police station thereby alerting them instantaneously. The sms will have all the details like location address and even if the mobile number does not work, the number will be immediately sent to the cyber cell.
The beta version of this handy software that was developed in about 4 months can be downloaded from the internet for free from Google Play. In a short period of over a few weeks it has received tremendous response from the users and the team might consider developing an advanced pro version depending on the response. The biggest advantage of the software is that even though the system works on Google maps and Global Positioning system, it can still work on phones without an internet connection. In the pro version, the software will be developed for Blackberry and I Phones apart from those with Windows Applications. In addition Hello Kerala will also provide details like roads, hotels, airports, tourist destinations and the events list of the State, making it a useful directory of all the essential information.
So, next time when you think you are being stalked or being targeted by kidnappers, don’t panic. All you need to do is to simply use this powerful tool to ensure police assistance right away.