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Citizen Matters JP Nagar-BTM-Jayanagar

Local news like no one else does

`5000 o t 0 5 1 ` m o port, fr p u s r tion! u a c o i l y b s t u n p a s i w h s ter d grow t n a e u Citizen Mat n i t n page 13 o n c o o t u r o y a e o y t r r pe ur lette o e e s e s a e l P

most parents want RELIGION IN SCHOOLS 7 Meet Alan Vincent D’Souza 9 Learning Yoga 14 Turahalli Habba 17 P  hoto exhibits, workshops, charity fundraisers & more

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FREE fortnightly Vol-4 Issue-17

22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012

Citizen Matters Vol-4 Issue-17, 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012 KARENG/2009/28904. Published & printed by Meera K for Oorvani Media Pvt Ltd. Printed at Lavanya Mudrana, 19, 15th cross, Vidyapeeta Circle, BSK I Stage, Bangalore 560060 Place of publication Oorvani Media, #98/1, MMR Plaza 1st Floor, Sarjapur Main Road, Jakkasandra, Koramangala 1st Block, Bangalore 560034. Editor Subramaniam Vincent.

BP can add affect your eye too! Hypertension or high blood pressure causes many changes in the blood vessels of the body. These same changes in blood vessels affect the eyes in many ways. It can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina, the area at the back of the eye where images focus. This eye disease is known as hypertensive retinopathy.


Typically, a person won’t experience symptoms of hypertensive retinopathy in the initial stages. It is usually discovered during a routine eye examination. Therefore it is important to have a periodic eye check up to detect these eye diseases. However symptoms might include headache and vision problems.

BRVO Why is eye check up important and recommended if one has Hypertension?

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Eye is the only organ of the body where the blood vessels can be How is it diagnosed? directly observed. The blood vessels Hypertension Retinopathy can be of the retina can be examined using diagnosed using an Ophthalmoscope, an Ophthalmoscope. This helps the an instrument that projects light to Physician or Ophthalmologist to examine the back of the eye ball. The observe the changes in blood vessels Ophthalmologist will look for signs because of Hypertension, which of retinopathy which include: gives an idea about the severity of Narrowing of blood vessels the disease else where in the body. Fluid oozing from blood vessels Certain signs in the eye are associated Spots on the retina known as cotton with certain systemic conditions for wool spot and example, narrowing of exudates vessels and vessel wall High BP can affect the Swelling of the  changes are predictors blood vessels in the eyes macula (the of heart attacks and too. Symptoms include central area of the cotton wool spots are headache and vision retina) and optic predictors for stroke. problems. nerve Hence eye examination It is important to control Bleeding in the  is important. blood pressure and have back of the eye periodic eye checkups!

Hypertensive Retinopathy How is it treated?

The best way to treat Hypertension Retinopathy is to adequately control the blood pressure and to have regular eye check ups atleast annually or as recommended by the Ophthalmologist.

Can Hypertension Retinopathy be prevented?

To prevent Hypertension Retinopathy, the blood pressure should be kept under control by changing diet, exercises, lifestyle modifications and taking the anti-hypertensive medications as prescribed. In addition, see your doctor on a regular basis for follow up care. DR. MAMATHA S R Senior Consultant Vitreo Retina Shekar Nethralaya

633, 100 feet Ring Road JP Nagar 3rd Phase, Bengaluru - 560078 Tel: 08026593210 fax: 08041209197 Ph:9980562020

jayanagar jp nagar & BTM

When you ask for change in BMTC bus Having got to go to Ulsoor the other day, I boarded G-4 at Jayadeva needless to say, being peak hour, the bus was crowded and I handed over Rs 11 and took the ticket.

Conductor nodded his head and gave me change which I myself didn’t expect-Rs.10x10+Rs.50x8. Can’t get more change than this for Rs.500!

In crowded buses, conductors do not want the obligation to remember and give back the change especially for huge amounts-but once the bus nears destination or crosses the main After the bus turned into Hosur Road, crowded sections, they relax and the crowd reduced. The conductor too getting change for large amount is easy. was relaxed. As the bus crossed Johnson The other day, I asked the conductor Market, I went to the conductor and for change, on route No. 3E enroute to asked him “500-ge change idiye”- Basavangudi from BTM. The conductor asked me whether 10 We have heard rupee notes would do or File Pic of stories of did I require coins too!

conductors abusing or rebuking passengers asking for a change. It makes a difference when and how you ask!

Citizen Reports

Life in a


Veeranna, who works in Park View Darshini, J P Nagar III Phase. Pic: Deepa Mohan Got feedback on our articles? Give us a missed call at 080-300 88 615

BMTC commuters, please try this technique, where passengers and conductors both can be happy!! Siddharth S is a student of commerce and resident of JP Nagar.


eet H Veeranna (30), who has now been working at Park View, a darshini at JP Nagar III Phase (Mini Forest) for eight years out of the thirteen that this eatery has been in existence. He is certainly one of the reasons why this bustling eatery is thriving; he, and his colleagues, always deliver service with a smile, no matter how rushed it is. Veeranna belongs to Kundapur, and came to Bangalore to make a living. “I am lucky and happy to be here,” he says with a smile. He lives with other members of the staff in accommodation provided by Park View owner P N Narasimha Murthy, at Marenahalli. He is able to save enough to send some money home every month to his mother and two sisters, back home. “I work both here, and at our other location (Bangalore

BTM to get a new library BTM will get a new City Central Library branch by 2014. The 3300 sqft library will come up at a Civic Amenity (CA) site at 7th main, BTM layout, 2nd stage. In the first phase ground and first floor will be built. The space will also be used a centre for cultural activities. In the subsequent phases, three more floors will be conducted. The project is coming up at a cost of 10 crore rupees


Tiffany’s near Brigade Millenium apartments)”, he says. His main duties are to oversee the cooking and packing of catered meals to various IT companies, ”We send out about 700 meals a day,” he says proudly, pointing to the huge stainless steel tiffin carriers that are used. He is also in charge of the coffee and tea section, and it’s a delight to be served by him! All the regulars know him well, and he knows each one of them. He remembers to never give me coffee with sugar! “I am happy to have such nice customers,” smiles Veeranna, and I smile too, at the implied compliment! Deepa Mohan is a amateur naturalist, blogger and freelance writer.

Vol-4 Issue-17 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012


The winners of debate contest. Pic courtesy: Rotary E-club


Students debate on reservation in education

Ganesha and lakes In villages, traditionally, local potters collect clay from the lake beds in summer when water level falls. The potters use their own dyes made with turmeric, red mud, plant and other natural colours. At the end of the festival, the Ganeshas go back into the lake waters from which they were born. Today, we are dissuading people from going to lakes with their Ganeshas.


he Rotary E-Club of Bangalore, District 3190, held its annual inter-school English debate competition “The Rotary E-Club Rolling Trophy” on Saturday, September 1st at the “Rotary House of Friendship”.

Tejaswi of St Paul’s English School secured first place, Sarah Biju of Brigade School secured second and Bhanushree of King’s Convent secured third place.The rolling trophy was awarded to Brigade School.

The event saw participation from 10 schools across Bangalore and was a keenly contested one.

The Rotary E-Club also organised RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) programme last Saturday, 15th September for the students of tenth standard at Kairalee Educational Institutions.

The topic of the debate was “In accordance with the Right to Education Act, 25% reservation for poor students in private schools, is the correct way to address the problem of improving education in our country.” Poorna Chandra

Rotarian Venkat Holla is a resident of JP Nagar and President, Rotary e- club of Bangalore district 3190 (2012-13). See

There are several eco-friendly alternatives that have been advertised. Despite this, it is expected that majority of the Ganeshas will not be ‘eco-compliant’ and their worshippers will be seeking out lakes. The material with which the Ganeshas are made, the paints used to colour them and the other accessories that are put on the Ganeshas are most likely going Citizen to be harmful to water Reports bodies and the lives they support. Puttenahalli Lake is not on BBMP’s list of lakes designated for Ganesha idol immersion. “Immersion of idols” is also on the list of Don’ts. But we are prepared! PNLIT has organized two different immersion points where water drums and flower collection baskets have been specially placed. A watchman and volunteers will also be on duty. Devotees who do turn up at Puttenahalli Lake will be asked to immerse their Ganeshas in the water drums at these points and save the lake! Arathi Manay Yajaman Pic: Nupur Jain

State Bank of Travancore, BTM Layout, celebrated Onam festival. Pic courtesy: G Nageswari, branch manager, SBT.

6 CITIZEN MATTERS 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012

Vol-4 Issue-17

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local matters

‘I chose entrepreneurship over education’

He dropped out of college because he believed he was better off being an entrepreneur. His venture is a web platform where both buyers and vendors get a good deal, while he makes his moolah.


4-year-old Alan Vincent Dsouza quit his engineering in his third year, because he did not find any value in the course and risked his career to formally start his own company, Vavia Technologies. He is one of the founders.

Ratan Tata’s inspiring words gave me lot of courage while dropping out: ‘I don’t believe in taking right decisions, I take decisions and then make them right’. Also, 2008 was the right time to start any business. Owing to the recession, we learnt all the nuances.

D’souza lives in JP Nagar and finds Bangalore to be most conducive for entrepreneurship. He thinks that his dots are yet to connect but is confident it will.

I thought of starting a business with this name when I was a threeyear-old. I got selected for Infosys’ contest ’Catch’em young’ when I was in class eight. It was meant to teach children about computers. There I realised that my interest lies in web (internet) and learned the techniques. Later on, gaining some proficiency, I undertook small projects in my locality.

Pic: Alan

When and how was Vavia Technologies formed?

we served about 350 clients across India.

Apart from services, last year we launched our flagship product: After completing my Higher It aggregates Secondary, I came deals for products and to pursue my services from various Nimma engineering course deal providers. It works neighbour in PESIT, Bangalore. as a search engine for However, I did not deals. Recently, we also find much value in launched askthepandit. the course structure and dropped com, under the the umbrella of out in my third year in 2008. This discountpandit, which is a discountwas the time when we started Vavia as-a-service portal. Here we find formally. discounts from vendors according to the customers demand.

What is Vavia all about?

We build web applications. We take an idea, market with minimum budget, build the social media presence and do the search engine optimisation. We provide end-toend solutions for the web. Last year

You dropped out of the college in 3rd year. Why? Do you think education system in India needs a change? I did not see much of value in

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education system. Not that I disrespect it, but I did not find any point learning advance microprocessor without any interest. I took couple of projects including the one to build my college’s website. Then I realised that business was growing. I had a choice to leave my business and continue with engineering. But I chose to venture full time into my business. More than educational institutions, it is the society that needs to change. If we were able to respect the plumber for his job, someone would have created a new tool for plumbing or a new dimension to mechanics for a mechanic. There is no point studying just for the sake of it.

Abhishek Angad


Vol-4 Issue-17 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012


Pic: Wikimedia commons

check outs

When food



ot food is definitely tempting, what if it is smoking hot? A bed of minced meat cutlet with boiled vegetables with some great sauce and maybe mashed potatoes on the side, sizzling away at your table? That would be a Sizzler. Though the roots of Sizzlers are associated with seafood being served on a sizzling platter, there have been several variations with time. There are even vegetarian sizzlers now. Non-vegetarians have several options to choose from. Steaks, chicken, mutton, pork, and of course - the original seafood. The meat is usually minced and made into a cutlet or grilled and served with french fries and lots of boiled and grilled vegetables. The spice levels can be adjusted according to your taste.

Vegetarians need not worry as there are several options available like simply veg sizzlers to cottage cheese and exotic vegetables. The vegetable cutlet or cottage cheese cubes are served with french fries, rice and noodles depending on what you choose. But here, the sauce does the trick and enhances the flavour. There are several varieties of sauces used in the preparation to go with your rice or noodles. Paprika or Black Pepper sauce is will give your sizzler a dash of spice. Lettuce is spread over the sizzler plate and the assorted vegetables, rice and noodles are arranged over it. A sizzle is added by sprinkling a mixture of water and oil over the hot sizzler plate and served. Yana Sizzlers: 145, 60 feet road, 5th Block, Koramangala. Ph: 25505538, 25505542

8 CITIZEN MATTERS 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012

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Cost for two is 600. Alcohol not served. Kobe Sizzlers: 1st Cross, 5th A Block, Near Java City, Koramangala. Ph: 41705607 Cost for two is 800. Alcohol not served. Tomatina: 27th Main, Above Gold’s Gym, 1st Sector, HSR Layout. Ph: 42420606 Cost for two is 800. Alcohol not served. 898 Steaks & Grill: 898, 80 Feet Road, Next To F Chisel, 6th Block, Koramangala. Ph: 30412940 ext:281 Cost for two is 750. Alcohol not served. Bombay Blue Express: 4th Floor, Bangalore Central Mall, 9th Block, Jayanagar. Cost for two is 350. Alcohol not served. Pizzeria Romano: 55, 5th Cross, Above Fulki, 6th Block, Koramangala. Ph: 40953752, 40953751 Cost for two is 1200 without alcohol. Alcohol served. Marhaba: 394, 1st Floor, 7th Cross, 7th Main, MICO Layout, BTM 2nd Stage. Ph: 40997172 Cost for two is 600. Alcohol not served.

Anisha nair

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Check outs

ancient yoga


avatar Yoga practice. Pic: a1000yoga


here are a variety of yoga styles, some modified to suit different fitness needs.

Yoga styles for everyone Though the postures remain the same across different styles, the difference is in its approach and intensity. Power Yoga is a continuous sequence where the asanas are strung together to flow in a sequence. Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga is hatha or power yoga, practised inside a heated studio. This helps in weight reduction and detoxification. Ashtanga Vinyasa is the most rigorous of all flow-based practices like power yoga and vinyasa yoga, having physical, emotional and mental benefits. Iyengar yoga is done with props such belts, blankets and even blocks. The intensity and the type of asanas should be designed based on age, sex, weather because the physiology of the body, especially hormonal activity, differs based on these factors. There are some special yoga techniques for people with different conditions. For example, there are specific asanas for pregnant women. Pregnant women are advised not to overstretch the abdomen and

the emphasis is on strengthening shoulders and the back. These days, Yoga teachers can be certified under governing bodies like AYUSH and UGC approved yoga programmes, both at the graduate and postgraduate level.

International standards like Yoga Alliance and International Yoga Federation also exist. Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre: 16th B Main, Koramangala 3 Block, Koramangala. Ph: 25634991 Anandamaya Wellness Center: #1252, 27th Main, 7th Cross, J P Nagar I Phase. Ph: 22449007 Srimoyi Yoga: Bellandur ( Next to Intel), Sarjapur Outer Ring Road. Ph: 25843122 Due North Yoga Private Limited: #11, First Floor, 1st Cross, 5 – A Block, Koramangala. Ph: 25506145 / 25506142 / 77952 27392 NaVaRaSa: #1016, 2nd Floor (Above Sichuan), 80 feet Road, 1st Block, Koramangala. Ph: 97412 90592 / 8971455021 Indian Heritage Academy: #870, Opp Koramangala Club, 17th E Main, 5th Block, Koramangala. Ph: 25530304

Points to remember The following points will help choose appropriate yoga sessions. The teachers should be certified, experienced and inspiring. The teachers should be able to counsel for proper choice of style and frequency of yoga classes based on one’s needs. The space should be clean and hygienic.

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Center for Yoga and Counselling: #6/3, Above Tata Docomo Office, 8th Main, 4th Block, Koramangala. Ph: 9886152722 Dhrti Yoga Studio: #64, ‘Savinaya’, 1st Floor, 7th Main, BTM 2nd Stage. Ph: 41288665 / 9886021047 Siddhi Samadhi Yoga: 34 1st Floor 4th Block, 11th Main, 31st Cross, East Jayanagar. Ph: 26631909 Ayur Yoga Center: No 1009, 1st Floor, 4th T Block, 26th Main, Jayanagar. Ph: 22457514 Yoga Bharathi: 36th Cross, 4th Block, 10th Main Road, Jayanagar. Ph: 22441486 Artistic Yoga: #1303, 25th Main, above Praveen Novelty Big Bazaar Road, 9th Block, Jayanagar. Ph: 9972246555

Vol-4 Issue-17 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012



Parents want religion schools, intellectuals c In scores of schools, religion and scriptures are being taught by the administrations themselves or organisations from outside. Parents, be it from majority or minority community, appear to want this even as intellectuals worry.


ast year, state government got flak for promoting the teaching of Bhagavat Gita in schools. Activists and educationists had branded this as ‘saffronisation’ of education. But, for decades, Hindu organisations have been promoting Hinduism in schools throughout the state. Prominent of these is Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an organisation that actively promotes Hindutva. VHP holds exams, competitions, sloka classes etc for schools in the city. Ramakrishna Mission in Ulsoor, and ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), are other organisations that have similar programmes. However, such work has continued without getting the ‘saffronisation’ tag.

Culture comes from religion VHP has been holding exams in Ramayana and Mahabharatha for about 40 years now. D N Murthy, VHP General Secretary for South India, says that around 100 schools - government, aided and private - in Bangalore participate in the exam annually. The exams are optional, but across the state, around 45,000 students from 800-900 schools attend the exams. VHP sends appeals to participate, to 7000-8000 schools overall. However Murthy says that the participation from the city schools is low.

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Many schools that participate, do not have Hindu managements per se. The exams are held by a Trust, named Bharatha Samskruthi Prathishtana. This Trust was formed by VHP, after it was banned temporarily in ‘92.

International and Christian schools not approached VHP’s Ramayana/ Mahabharatha exams are three hours long, and is taken up by students in classes 8th - 12th. But international schools and Christian schools are not usually approached. “These schools are usually not interested,” says Murthy.

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between state and religion, and hence religion should be a private affair.

Minority run schools teach religion

Ashok Kamath, Chairman of Akshara Foundation, says, “There is no need for any guidelines on religious teaching, we only need to turn to our Constitution. School is a public place; there is no need to complicate things by bringing religion there. It can be distressing to children.”

St Joseph’s Boys High School has Catholic prayer sessions for Catholic students once a month; these students also have to attend religious sessions three times a week. Students belonging to other religions need not participate.

in critical Pic: Navya P K

He says that the idea is to put children on the right track. “Children have to be taught their cultural roots, else they will go astray. There are consistent efforts by Christians to mislead them. Government has never interfered in this work, so we take their silence as support,” he says.

Values or religion? Schools allowing these exams say that this should not be controversial because the exams are not compulsory, and that parents implicitly support this. They also say that schools run by minority religious managements already teach their respective religions in their schools. Sir M Visvesvaraya PU College in Old Airport Road allows value education classes by ISKCON after school hours. Students are taught Bhagavat Gita in the classes. Shyamala Jogaiah,

cm special

Principal of the college, says that the classes are not explicitly about religion, but about values.

Another opinion is that government Fr Celestine Sera, Principal at the should actively control the school, says, “We are a minority curriculum, avoiding indoctrination. school, and it is a given that Catholic Niranjan Aradhya, Education children will be exposed to their Consultant at Centre for Child and religion. Parents admit their children Law in NLSIU, says here because they that NCERT and know and appreciate Many schools have DSERT - which design that religion is taught. prayers of a particular school curriculum It’s not just us - Hindu religion only, and should be involved. and Muslim schools parents know this. “These bodies also teach their own and their experts They don’t mind religions.” are there so that a because ultimately common curriculum they only look at There are also quality of teaching and can be designed, Christian schools and public can take facilities in schools.” like St Mary’s School their objections to which do not teach He, however, opines government. The religion. that there should not values of all religions be in-depth sessions Carmel School of can be included, on religion as it shifts Banashankari does without focusing on the focus of schooling not have religious specific religions,” he itself. - Ravi Shankar affiliations, and says. Aradhya is also Raman, parent. has a policy of not an advisor to state encouraging religion government on policy in the school. Principal matters in education. Sribala S says that the school is secular and that hence religion is Parents do not see a problem completely avoided. However, parents of school-going Sujata Khadabadi, Principal at children seem to support religion SAAMAR Islamic International being part of schooling, but not too School, says, “Religion is an much of it. They say that one specific important part of education; but it religion should not be imposed on is wrong to not teach it at all, in the children. Soumya Muralidhar, whose name of secularism.” At SAAMAR children study in GEAR International school, all students are Muslims, and School, says that schools should Islamic education is mandatory and teach about religion and festivals part of the curriculum. since parents do not have enough time for this now a days.

Educationists disagree

The educationists Citizen Matters spoke to, disagree with this point of view. They say that the Constitution mandates a clear separation

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She says, “There can be some guidelines from the government so that all religions get equal weightage in schooling.”

Vol-4 Issue-17 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012

Navya P K


for your Info

Heart Attack: Are you at risk? S

eptember 29th is observed as world Heart day. Cardiovascular diseases causes at least 17 million deaths annually. Heart attack typically occurs when blood supply to heart is blocked. If the blockage is temporary, it results in chest pain or ‘Angina.’ If it is prolonged and irreversible, it leads to death of heart muscles, and is called heart attack. It can and does lead to death in a significant number of cases, if immediate treatment is

In addition, obesity is associated Col (Retd.) Dr Mukul Saxena significantly with this disease. More so because it leads to other risk It is therefore imperative to factors like diabetes, hypertension, understand the risk factors associated with heart attack, and hyperlipidemia (high blood check whether you are at risk or not. cholesterol levels) and decreased The most important risk factor, which activity. cannot be modified, is ‘genetic.’ Smoking and alcohol consumption South East Asians, and that includes also increases the risks. health matters

to reduce your risk Genetic predisposition, is something you cannot fight, but there are other risk factors that you can pay attention to. Quit smoking. If you are obese or overweight, consult your physicians. Losing weight is one single intervention which can help control diabetes, blood pressure, and a host of other problems.

Pic: wikimedia commons

Indians, are genetically much more predisposed to heart disease than other individuals.

not provided. It is estimated that 50 percent of all deaths due to heart attack occurs in first hour.

Regulate your diet. Cut down on junk food, aerated drinks, alcohols, chips, peanuts, salt, sugar and oil. Exercise daily. Brisk walking is a good form of exercise. Reduce your stress level. A bit of planning can help reduce stress of deadlines. Meditation, spending quality time with your family and friends does cut down the stress levels significantly.

Easy and safe nutrients for the garden


s urban gardeners we have several simple organic options for ensuring adequate input of nutrients to the soil and plants.


Pic curtesy:

One of the most effective and common

liquid nutrients for the garden is Panchagavya. It consists of five main ingredients from the cow (ghee, milk, curd, cow dung and cow urine) and serves not just as a growth promoting hormone and immunity booster but

Chlorophyll conversations

vinita suryanarayanan

also as a pesticide. It is also a good source of micronutrients for plants and the soil. The usage is as simple as spraying a three percent solution on plants every 10-15 days. Seeds can also be soaked in this solution for 20 minutes before sowing. If you have easy access to free range cows, you could try making some at home.

Effective Microorganisms (EM) Effective Microorganisms is a combination of useful microorganisms (such as 12 CITIZEN MATTERS 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012

Vol-4 Issue-17

lactic acid bacteria, yeast, other fungi) that exist freely in nature and are not manipulated in any way. It occurs in a liquid form and can be used to increase the natural resistance of plants. It also considerably improves the quality and fertility of soil as well as the growth and quality of crops. EM can be applied to plants as a diluted spray early in the morning or late evening. Drenching the soil with EM before sowing is also another method of application. More on fertilisers in the coming issues.

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Support Citizen Matters and give back to your city Dear Reader,

and more.

None of this can happen without a high calibre journalism team that is both exclusively focussed on the city, and partners with citizens week after week, issue after issue. We are the only magazine that integrates You know we have covered major developments professional reporting with citizen-authoring to deliver in the city and a pioneering city especially your own Citizen Matters will be priced from media product to neighbourhoods. November-December 2012 at only you. The name Citizen Our coverage has Rs 6, in a new 24 page format. If you Matters exemplifies had impact and has our approach. like Citizen Matters and would like also facilitated a to receive your copy, please ask your spirit of community So we ask you, the newspaper agent to call Citizen Matters regular amongst reader, at 9845506477, we will make sure it is readers in many to tell us that delivered at your door step. neighbourhoods. this publication is relevant to you and For instance, we are your community in the following ways: privileged to have continuously covered the journey of Puttenahalli Lake in JP Nagar from an environmental * Join the Friends of Citizen Matters Club. Support disaster to the wonderful form it has taken now thanks our journalism with a contribution of 500 to 5000 to citizen leadership and community involvement. Our rupees (barely what you’d spend for a dinner for two or a continuous and critical coverage on BBMP's blind push family). In return you will get exclusive privileges. Email for roadwidening in 2009-10 along the outer ring road us at, or call 98455 06477 to corridor gave a legitimate platform for citizens solidify express your interest, and we will respond with details. their position, till the government was forced to take a * Support the print magazine with a subscription. To step back in general. Today officials think hard before receive our all-new 24 page fortnightly magazine at your they use the word 'roadwidening' without proper door step at just Rs.12 a month. Ask your newsagent to compensation. call 98455 06477. For annual subscription at Rs.150, call More recently, we exposed a massive scam-like us directly at the same number. project BWSSB had propped up in name of cleaning up Please do note this: We are counting on support from readers and Bellandur Lake. Minister Suresh Kumar took note of this patrons. With support from you and others like you, we will be and met the BWSSB chairman. It was also Citizen Matters certainly be able to continue our print editions in your neighbourhood. that illuminated readers through a detailed interview And needless to say, our web-and-mobile based media platform will with P Manivannan, MD of BESCOM that Bengaluru always be there to deliver content and foster citizenship as our social goal. power cuts were not as much due to shortages as they were due to overheated transmission cables. After nearly a hundred fortnights (from early 2009) in print as a free newsmagazine, Citizen Matters is evolving into our next avatar: A reader-supported model.

Subramaniam Vincent, Meera K

Our step-by-step guides and FAQs have always been popular, starting with our property tax payment guide and all the way to getting birth and death certificates

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Vol-4 Issue-17 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012


Turahalli Habba to protest privatisation

Left Concerned citizens. Right Illegal new shrine at Turahalli. Pic: Deepa Mohan


It is the last remaining wilderness space so close to South Bangalore. Nature lovers, cyclists, trekkers and rock climbers alike protested in a unique way, to ensure this last piece of greenery is not lost in the name of development.


ecently BBMP decided that it would put up an “adventure sports hub” on the hillocks of Turahalli forest on Kanakapura road. Nature lovers who regularly trek to the forest decided it was time to protest. Over the years, the pressure of population in Bangalore has meant that the once pristine forest has been “developed” into various layouts. All that remains is just a couple of hillocks. These are beloved to nature lovers, cyclists who organise downhill runs here, rock-climbers who find the crags of the hillock inviting. This is of course apart from the residents around the forest - the shepherds and the cowherds. Several devotees also visit the two temples on the hillocks, even these temples are being “developed” in an illegal way. Leo Saldanha of Environment Support Group, who has always stood against the privatisation of public commons, sent out an email calling for some action. His email underscored the fact that yet again, public property was likely to be privatised and earmarked only for the use of certain sections of society. Deepak Arya, one of the avid and experienced birders of Bangalore, and his friend Venkatesh M, decided to have a “Turahalli Festival” on 9th September, to highlight the fact that many diverse people were enjoying the common space, and would not like it to be privatised. 14 CITIZEN MATTERS 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012

Our group, consisting of nature-lovers and bird watchers, reached Turahalli hillock quite early, as the birds get disturbed once a lot of people arrive on the scene. We climbed up the outcrops and reached one of the temples. A few other people including a group of cyclists and members of “Go Green,” an initiative started by Prabhakar Rao also joined. A banner, saying, “Save Turahalli” was put up on the massive Ficus tree in front of the temple, and several visitors signed it. Leo Saldanha spoke about the past (the free access to forests and public spaces) , the present (encroachment and “development”) and the future (the need to keep public commons accessible to all). A simple vegetarian lunch was served to everyone present; the caterers did not use plastic cups for water, and served the food in steel plates. All litter was collected and taken back. Deepak had requested the caterers to deliver the leftover food to an orphanage. For a long time afterwards, rock-climbers were having a field day, as there were experts around to help the newbies climbers. Many children also tried their hand at climbing, under the watchful eyes of their parents.

Deepa Mohan

Vol-4 Issue-17

On 17 September forest officials met some of the activists and promised to take action and announced a meeting on 13th October to constitute a Urban Forest Committee. Those interested in being a part of this committee can mail Deepak Arya at z_arya@ The meeting was held at Turahalli forest itself. The group that met also found out that the illegal temple structure that had come up two weeks had been removed completely. This was seen as the triumph of ‘the immense capabilities of public and collective action to protect the forests.’

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Bangalore’s own interactive newsmagazine

HEALTH & Nutrition SRINIVASA DENTAL CARE CENTRE Dr. VISHWAS # 383, 8th main, 7th cross, Mico Layout, BTM 2nd stage, Opp to HDFC ATM, Bangalore- 76. Ph:41201345, 9845195605. Multi specialist Dental clinic & Implant Centre. CHILDRENS DENTAL CLINIC DR. NERAJA RAJU Consultant Pedodontist. For appointment : 9845195605, 41201345. Address: #383, 8th main, 7th cross, Opp to HDFC ATM, Mico Layout, BTM 2nd stage, Bangalore-76 worried about your health? Psoriasis, leucoderma male & female sterility (polycystic ovarian disease)torch infection (miscarriage) osteoarthritis (bone, segments degeneration) obesity, hair fall, migraine, headache, asthma sinusitis.For effective ayuervedic and siddha treatment contact ph: 26580337, Mob: 725972300. Adult and pediatric neurology physiotherapy clinic Dr. Akshata nadgir mpt(pediatrics), CMT Consultant at G1-Vidhata residancy, 7th main, 19th cross, BTM 2nd stage, ph9741115687 Visiting time: 10.00Am to 1.00Pm, 5.00Pm to 8.00Pm


INTENSIVE COACHING Foreign programs: ACCA/ CIMA/ CMA / CPA, Indian Programs: BE (merit coaching)/ Bank exams, CA, CS, ICFAI, ICWA & MBA (all disciplines) supported by latest corporate case studies. Contact: Lalitha Group, #5, Behind Smart, 19th Cross, 24th Main, JP Nagar 5th Phase, Bangalore-78. Ph:080-26490907, 9902888485, 9448117457 Email:

Citizen Matters Associate Editor Padmalatha Ravi Community Editor Meera K Editor Subramaniam Vincent Staff Journalists Abhishek Angad Anisha Nair Navya P K Sankar C G Design & Publishing Shivakeshava M Sub-editor (New media) Nagashree Gururaj MKTG/CIRCULATION Raghavendra 9845506477 ADVT SALES Ramachandran P 080-30088614 (leave missed call) ©Oorvani Media Pvt Ltd. No part of this publication can be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Ph: 080 — 41737584 Longer versions of all articles are available online. Citizen Matters is published by Oorvani Media Pvt Ltd to chronicle current affairs of India’s cities, in depth, with a focus on governance, community and culture. More at: Editors note: The advertisement features in this issue are paid-for articles. They are presented by the advertiser to readers for information and promotion. No journalists were involved in preparing them., feedback@

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WRITE ARTICLES on problems you face, ideas you propose, local events you organise or attend and your experiences on day-to-day living in the city. SUBMIT ALERTS on issues that need to be investigated. SHARE EVENTS that your neighbours may like to attend. COMMENT & DISCUSS on whatever matters to you.

Come on, Time to get involved!

Navya P K

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Vol-4 Issue-17 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012


see & do Talks

Argha Chatterjee, Vandana Supriya, A talk on “INDIA’S Meghna Das, Shwetha NORTH EAST” by K Krishna and others, Sreedhar Rao perform the complete Fri 28 Sep, 6:30pm, traditional repertoire. Bangalore International Sat 29 Sep, 6.30pm, Centre, TERI Complex, 4th Alliance Française, Main, 2nd Cross, Domlur II Thimmaiah Road, Vasanth Stage, Ph: 2535 9680 Nagar, Ph: 98861 94545 Thanjavur - A Thousand MUSIC Year Old Temple and its DO RE MI school of Cultural Legacy Lecture by Kalaimamani music and studio presents free workshop Lakshmi Viswanathan, to learn and play Piano, Bharatanatyam dancer Keyboard or Guitar and author Wed 26 Sep to Thu 27 Sep, Mon 24 Sep, 6.30pm, DO RE MI school of Music Bangalore International Centre, TERI Complex, 4th and Studio, #7, Arakere Main, 2nd Cross, Domlur II Main Road, 1st floor, Near Stage, RSVP 9886599675 Reliance Mart Signal, Next to Apollo Pharmacy, Ph: 95910 76336 Dance DISCourse The event promises a 25th Intercollegiate Leading Odissi dancers Music Competition from Bengaluru city, The categories include Madhulita Mohapatra, Carnatic classical vocal,

Hindustani classical vocal, instrumental, light music, film hits based on classical ragas and groups songs in patriotic, folk and ranga geethe. Mon 24 Sep to Tue 25 Sep, National College, Jayanagar 7th Block, Ph:2653 3541


Ranga Shankara Plays 21 Fri (at 3.30 pm) 22 Sat, 23 Sun (at 11am) Jujubee (Tanglish) 60 mins (for 5 year olds and above) 25 Tue, 26 Wed Aadaddella Olithe…? (K), 90 mins 27 Thu, Sambashiva Prahasana (K), 135 mins 28 Fri to 30 Sun Beyond Hattamala (E), 100 mins (also at 3.30 pm on Sat and Sun) Rangashankara, JP Nagar, Phase II, Ph: 2649 3982.

Art 4 Public - open for all photo exhibit at Koramangala (Last chance to catch it) Citizen Matters, in association with Red Frames invites you! National Games Village will host 40+ framed cityscapes over the weekend. Why go to a gallery to see the best of photography? ‘Art 4 Public’ is coming to your doorstep! Enjoy the evening with your family and friends. The travelling exhibition gathers the collective talents and perspectives of amateur as well as professional photographers across India. Sunday, 23rd, September, National Games Village Park - 5pm to 7:30pm 16 CITIZEN MATTERS 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012

Art 4 Public in BTM Next week At BDA Park, 6th Main, K.E.B, Layout, BTM Layout, 1st Stage Sunday, 29th Sep, 10am to 1pm. Talk: Effective way

of handling day to day problems by scholar Dr.K.S.Srinivasa Rao on 30 Sep, 10.30 am, #111, 4th Main, BTM 1st Stage

Vol-4 Issue-17

Music Gear

Dealers in Musical Instruments and accessories

JP Nagar Call


Food for Change

As a part of ‘Joy of Giving Week’ we present an evening of ‘Dine and Donate’ Every donor that makes a contribution of Rs 5,000 to an NGO of his/her choice will be entitled to a free dinner coupon for the gourmet food offered by top chefs from Bangalore’s top 4 & 5 star restaurants on 6th October, 2012 at SAP Labs India lawns. 100% of the funds would reach an NGO of your choice; you make a cheque/ DD favoring the NGO or donate the amount online. Choose your NGO The invite to the evening of fine dining and music will be given to you by the chosen NGO. You can ask your friends too to make a donation to a cause and use this as an opportunity of spending some time together. Date: October 6th, 2012 Venue: SAP Labs India, #138, EPIP Zone, Whitefield, Bangalore 560 066 LIST your event free! Submit your events online or mail

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Bangalore writer translates Subramanya Bharathi’s poems


elected Poems - a book of poems of Subramanya Bharathi translated from Tamil into English by Usha Rajagopalan was released in Bangalore on September 14th. Usha’s relationship with writing began in her childhood. “I was always into reading and writing, and assumed that it was a part of every child’s life. My grandfather would insist I write a review on every book I read, and would later go through the reviews, marking out phrases or words that he thought were well used in the context, as well as those that could be improved upon or expressed differently,” she says. Usha has written three books prior to this one - Get Published (a writer’s manual, OUP, 2001), Amrita (a novel, Rupa & Co., 2004), Corpse Kesavan

Click for

Arakere Lake 7th October 2012, Sunday, 10.30 am to 5.30pm Venue: Classic Orchards (Club House), Behind Meenakshi Temple, Bannerghatta Road, Workshop Leader : Amitabha Saha Roy. Fees: Rs 1000 per person (Incl. Lunch and Tea) Email click.for.lakes@ or contact Amitabha Saha Roy at 8105455200.

Usha Rajagopalan and Geeta Srikrishnan at the book launch. Pic courtesy: author.

& Other Stories (short stories, NHM, 2008). Published by Hachette India, the book is bilingual with both the original Tamil and the translated English side by side. The selections give an insight into the versatility of Subramanya Bharathi (1882-1921) whose work expressed progressive and reformist ideals.

Have a good camera and excited to take picture, but not sure how to get the best from your camera? Here is what you have been waiting for!

Amitabha Roy Saha, an experienced photo will conducts a photography workshop. All the proceeds from the workshop will be donated to Arakere Neighbourhood Improvement Trust (ANIT). ANIT has been working on restoration of Arakere Lake. You can go beyond auto mode to manual mode, learn about composition, exposure, aperture, ISO , tips and tricks and much more. There will be ample hands on sessions. Arbind Gupta is chairperson, ANIT.

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Geetha Srikrishnan presented excerpts from the book, singing in Tamil, while Usha rendered the English translation. One of the guests, Rekha, a Bharatanayam dancer who is doing her PhD in dance knew some Bharati songs and she very sportingly offered to dance to Geetha Krishnan’s singing. Arathi Manay Yajaman

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), INTACH Bangalore, Citizen Matters and Red Frames present a series of events on Urban

Biodiversity, to be held in the first week of October - a curtain raiser to one of the most important international conferences on the UN’s Convention of Biodiversity, the 11th Conference of the Parties that will be held in Hyderabad from October 8th-19th at Jaaga, Double Road 4th-6th Oct: Photo exhibition of select entries from Nature in the City contest. 4th Oct: Talk by Dr Harini Nagendra, ATREE 5th Oct: Dr Madhusudan Katti, California State University, Fresno, California 6th Oct: S Karthikeyan, Jungle Lodges and Resorts. Talks are at Jaaga, at 6:30 pm. On Sunday, 7th October, put on your shoes and caps for an outdoor Nature Journalling workshop by the awardwinning Sangeetha Kadur and Shilpashree of Greenscraps. All events are free and open to all!

Vol-4 Issue-17 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012


Bizarre saga of a Mysore Road mess I

n 2011, I moved back to Bangalore from Seattle. I was conscious that I was not moving back to the city that I knew. For starters, I was moving to a part of the city that I needed getting used to. I had spent all my earlier Bangalore life around Chamarajpet and Srinagar, bang in the middle of the city. But now I had to negotiate Mallathahalli (which gets increasingly confused with the more famous Marathahalli), near Nagarabhavi. And it lay on the wrong side of Mysore Road and far off from anything and everything that mattered.

not stop anywhere before the petrol pump on the way down. It invariably would. Sometimes you could see the traffic piled up right near the entrance to the NICE road clover leaf. The wait would last anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. Painful time considering that you’d be hungry and tired after a long day’s work.

Fly over, under passed, over time It is a gigantic battlefield of work - tall cranes, noisy trucks, angry buses, potholes, dust, gravel and smoke.

Around 2005-2007 there was a road being constructed to link Tumkur Road to Mysore Road, right from the point where the Outer Ring Road from Banashankari met Mysore Road. There you would see a brightly lit By the time I returned, the road was minefield of activity with the metro well in commission and above, the flyovers’ there was the huge mess construction below, of Nayandahalli. Citizen sweaty and stressed out Reports policemen directing There are now flyover(s) traffic. We would wait, being constructed and the cursing the state of roads and the Metro hovering above. It is a gigantic time it was taking for the flyover to be battlefield of work - tall cranes, noisy finished. trucks, angry buses, potholes, dust, gravel and smoke. The flyovers across Mysore road are a marvel by themselves. It is an 18-ft There are days when BMTC plays high construction from the road across truant and I have to hitch on to Mysore road linking the two sides of whatever is available and try to the Outer Ring Roads. There is going somehow get home. Once you got to be another 36-ft high one built over into something you’d climb up the it for through traffic over Mysore Road, slope from the signal on ORR after with the metro adjacent to it, hovering PESIT praying that the bus would 18 CITIZEN MATTERS 22 Sep - 5 Oct 2012

Vol-4 Issue-17

Nayandahalli flyover on Mysore Road. Pic: Vaidyanathan R

last word

above all of them. I would gaze out, predict that they can finish the ramp in a month and open traffic by March, and then April, and then May and then June. August ended without bringing any joy. Finally it opened in mid-September. Let’s not even talk of the flyover at level two, along the other direction. They built pillars, one after the other until the Metro beat them to the spot and put up their own pillars where the flyover should have descended. Funny to read in fiction. Can’t decide whether to laugh or cry in real. Of all the flyovers, grade separators that have been sanctioned, built or being constructed this is the one that was most necessary and it should have happened when the link road was connected to Mysore road. It speaks volumes about the lack of planning or vision that neither the BDA nor BBMP foresaw this state of extreme congestion at the Nayandahalli junction and finished the job years ago! Anyway, here’s hoping that the whole mess gets cleared soon and there can be some peace and respite along Mysore road. Of course, I haven’t started describing the other flyover near Bapujinagar or the roadwidening mess. God save Mysore Road! Vaidyanathan R is a software engineer and ‘long suffering’ Bangalorean.

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