Kottayam has become the first mural city of India. Eighteen places which include temples, churches and public places in and around the city have been marked with murals of 350 mural artists participated in the mega programme. The participants were from the State, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Germany, Italy and Mexico. In a 13-day camp 300 mural paintings were created by traditional methods using red, yellow, green, black white colours prepared from stones and leaves. Synthetic colours were totally ignored.
One step ahead of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is a Kottayam school. CBSE has introduced theatre studies as selective subject for plus two students from the academic year 2013-14. To outsmart the CBSE, Lourdes Public School of Kottayam has decided to teach folklore and folk dances to get the minds of children attuned to State’s culture. Folk art forms theyyam and padayani have been included in the curriculum from the academic year 2013-14.
As prelude to the introduction of folk art forms a week-long folk cultural fest was conducted in the school.
At last, a lasting solution to the daunting problem faced by the medical community, nay humanity. Once used syringe which we call disposable syringe comes back in a new pack to claim the lives of millions world over. The rag pickers collect them for discredited distributors and they bring them to the market in new packs. According to WHO (World Health Organization), well over 600 crores of syringes are put into reuse. Such reused syringes cause deadly diseases to about 2 crore people every year in the world. If India is taken alone re-use of used syringes issues death warrants to about 10 lakh people every year.
The deadliness of the problem has forced the WHO to give a call to all its member-countries to develop a safety syringe.
Dr Baby Manoj, radiologist, of Kozhikode was in the thought of finding a solution to the deadly problem of reuse of disposable syringe and he has now come out with a lasting solution. His years- lasting research has resulted in a syringe which cannot be reused at all. After an injection you just mild-press by thumb at the spot of syringe-barrel where the needle is fitted. By this simple action the needle automatically bends and further use of it becomes impossible. He has pet-named his innovative syringe as Peanut-Safe Syringe. (see website here)
National Research Development Corporation has honoured Dr Manoj with Innovation Award
He is the doctor humble, a rare asset-quality not seen in many doctors.
A study presented at the recently concluded World Diabetology Congress in Kochi warned Kerala population of high levels of cholesterol and its evil aftermaths. The study, titled ‘Very high levels of untreated cholesterol in Kerala population’, was conducted by Diabscreen Kerala. ”Our literacy is turning out to be a bane as most people are neither medicating for cholesterol nor are they adhering to the restrictions in diet and lifestyle. We surveyed a population of 10,000 across Kerala through 400 camps and found that most people had discontinued the medicine once the levels came down but did not compensate it by controlling their diet, doing exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr Jothydev Kesavadev, who presented the study at the conference.
Among Keralites not only high cholesterol but also high blood pressure and diabetes are there. This trio will create complications like heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney diseases. Be vigilant, less your life will cut short, dear Keralites.
Father Antony Panackal of Kottyam is not an ordinary priest. He is a priest treating around 2000 snake bites every year and is one who has saved thousands of lives during the last 40 years.
He has ability to sense if one is on way to him for treatment and gets ready with ayurvedic medicines for treatment. Just a glance to the bite is enough for him to determine the type of snake that bitten. He has saved many lives written off by allopathic physicians.
His treatment begins with a prayer for divine help.
He is also an expert in catching the snakes and has caught many of them in the past.
His Vishachikilsa Kendram (treatment centre for snake poison) is in Poomattam where he also grows the plants needed for the treatment.
According to him the bite of highly poisonous snake can be treated successfully with the application of right type of medicine in right time.
According to Thrissur based Heritage Animal Task Force rogue elephants have field days in Kerala. A list of killers released by them authenticates the claim.
Thechikottukavu Ramachandran, reportedly the tallest among domestic elephants in Kerala, leads the list with ten human lives and two elephant-lives to his discredit. He is banned by the government from temple processions during this season after the sordid incidence of killing 3 women during a festival in Ernakulam district recently.
The second line killers are Thiruvambadi Kuttisankaran Poboon Unnnikranan aka Erumeli Manikandabn having five killed each. Four lives have lost under the feet of Sankarankulangara Ayyappankutty.
Pallathamkulangara Girishan, Pattambi Padinjarmana Manikandan, Avittathur Ganapathi aka Kadambattil Ganapathi, Mangalamkunni Ayyappan and Unnipillil Kalidasan claimed 3 lives each. The wildness of Muthranthara Kesavan claimed lives. Kalakuthan Kannan, Mangalamkunnu Ganapathi and Pullut Unnikrishnan were satisfied with one life each.
All these elephants move freely, except Thechikottukavu Ramanchandran who has been brought to book, in the absence of proper law.
Rutting elephants are a menace to the mankind, especially in Kerala during temple festivals. It takes time to control such elephants. Some times it takes hours as the skilled vetinarian has to come often from distant place and meanwhile the elephant might have caused immense lose to the properties and lives.
Henry of Kottarakkara in Kollam district has invented a solution for instant control of rutted elephants. He has developed an equipment. A syringe filled by intoxication medicine can be fitted on a leg and when the elephant turns rut the mahout can intoxicagte the jumbo by pressing a remote control. The medicine in the loaded syringe will pass to the leg when remote is pressed and soon after the elephant becomes non-violent.
Only a sum of rupees ten thousand cost him to develop the equipment and if it is produced in more numbers the cost will come down to rupees seven thousand, he says.
Benjamin Bailey who voyaged from England to Kerala about 200 years ago at the age of 25 on a mission to spread Christanity was the person who really reformed Malayalam letters. He was also a cultural reformer in that period in Kerala. He was a missionary of Church Mission Society (CMS). Kerala’s first printing press was established by him in Kottayam in 1821 which was named as CMS press and started printing in Malayalam. It was he who changed the Malayalam types from square to round form, the current format.
He was really the first lexicographer in Malayalam.
American author and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain arrived in Alappuzha in March 2010 to learn about Kerala’s mouth-watering spicy cuisine about which he had heard from many. Later, his visit was featured on Discovery Channel’s culinary and cultural adventure programme titled ‘No Reservations’. (see episode in question) This was hosted by him. His opinion about Kerala cuisine tasted in the toddy shops caught on and foreign tourists started flocking to toddy shops in Alappuzha. Bourdain appreciated not only the cuisine of toddy shops but also the hospitality of toddy shops.
His programme helped a lot to gain global attention and the toddy shop owners are formulating new strategies to lure tourists by their traditional culinary skills and improved way of toddy business.
An article on the travel industry website Skift celebrates the increasing acceptance of visa on arrival procedures around the world. India now offers visa on arrival for some nationalities but has decided not to offer to visitors from some of the major countries like the UK. There is no known reason for India not to extend this service to more tourism visitors and indeed business visitors as it is both a major hindrance for visitors and impacts the competitiveness of the destination. As a company we have frequently lost prospective visitors because of visa issues. In fact it is a mjor reason for us to extend our service to Sri Lanka who already offer visa on arrival or very simple eVisa services through their website. Since Sri Lanka is every bit as terrorism phobic as the Indian government, it clearly demonstrates that there are no overriding issues to moving from antiquated and extremely inefficient visa services as they are operated now. As a businessman who travels to India every month, the recuurent annual need to send in my passport to have a new visa appended is both expensive. 2 to five year visa may appear in principle, but you won’t get one as far as I know.
Wake up India! If you want to compete with Thailand and Sri Lanka you will need to streamline your visa processes soon!