My Story: “I Played Role Of Involuntary Clown,” An Inspiring Story Of Blind IAS Officer…

“A conservative estimate of disabled in India is over 2% of the population. Most of them are fighting silent battles every moment and achieving small wins every day.

Belonging to this community, I feel happy and privileged to be recognised and appreciated to such an extent in the past few months. And at the same time with the existence of the likes of Louis Braille, Helen Keller and many more, I feel humbled.

I have always believed the word “handicap” is a union of two positive words handy and cap, both denote a sense of support. As being handy for someone and as a cap, playing the role of shade in the bright sunlight or taking the hits of crashing raindrops.

I was born in a nondescript village called Choudanakuppe in Tumkuru District of Karnataka and attended my village school till Class 4.

Very early, I began facing certain difficulties in reading the blackboard but as a child, I couldn’t comprehend it (the problem). Both my parents were illiterate, busy making ends meet and struggling with my brother who was losing mobility in his legs.

So call it fate and neglect, I lost my vision completely by the time I was 9.

This was a shock to my family and they tried getting me treatment but to no avail. Luckily my uncle made me join a school for the blind in Mysore and I restarted school.

For a freshly blind child, I needed to adapt to develop the orientation before the society relegated me to a position of losers. I had my share of embarrassments from not being able to find a path to the restroom and unable to bear severity of nature’s call I sometimes attended to it in corridors and classes, much to the disgust of people around me. I played the role of an involuntary clown who couldn’t understand the coordinates of normal clothing – wearing it inside out and upside down. But soon I went on to top the class, I got the badge of honour. I completed my education until class 10 in the same school in Mysore; I still choke with emotion when I think of all the years spent there.

I completed graduation where I met my future wife Achintha, my steadfast support through everything. I subsequently went on to find a job. But despite having a job an unsatisfaction brewed in me and I decided to take the UPSC plunge. My wife dedicated close to 10 hours a day just for my preparation, she would read out to me, make audio notes.

I have been told I have come far in life, but one never should forget where one came from. In my mind, the showreel of my frail mother making numerous trips to get a disability certificate and spending Rs 50 on it makes me jolt up even today.

But I tell this story not to jolt you – I tell it because I want to tell each one of you to never stop aspiring and never give up.”

Story By – Kempahonnaiah | IAS 2017 Batch | West Bengal Cadre

Source…

From our friends at

Humans of Lbsnaa  in http://www.thelogicalindian.com

Natarajan

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Sikkim’s Pakyong Airport Starts Operations: 5 Reasons Why It’s an Engineering Feat!

The Pakyong airport, finally puts Sikkim on India’s aviation map and is an example of stellar engineering.

If you’re flying to Sikkim, the nearest airport is at Bagdogra, in West Bengal, nearly 124 kms from the state capital, Gangtok.

The Pakyong airport now puts Sikkim on India’s aviation map. It is one of the five highest airports in the country and was built over several years, costing an estimated Rs 350 crore.

“The Pakyong (Gangtok) Airport at Sikkim got a license today for scheduled operations. It’s an engineering marvel at a height of more than 4,500 ft in a tough terrain. Will pave way for direct air connectivity to our lovely state of Sikkim, giving a boost to tourism & economic growth,” tweeted Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu.

Tourists, migrant workers and locals will soon fly on the low-cost airline SpiceJet, after it was granted permission to fly to Pakyong from Kolkata under the Centre’s regional connectivity scheme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picturesque runway of the Pakyong Airport in Sikkim. Image Credit: Soumen Mukherjee

1. The Pakyong airport in Sikkim is spread over 990 acres and is the first greenfield airport to be constructed in the north-east region of the country.
2. Over the years, several landslides near the runway resulted in work being suspended twice, but it was finally constructed and earlier this year, a fixed-wing 19-seater Dornier 228 IAF aircraft landed on the runway.
3. The airport is considered an engineering marvel because of its terrain. It is stationed at more than 4,500 feet and lies snugly between the Himalayas.
4. It is around 30 km from Sikkim’s state capital, Gangtok, and is located around 60 km away from the Indo-China border, giving it strategic importance. It is believed that the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be able to land various types of aircraft on the airport’s runway.
5. Until now, Sikkim was the only state in the country which did not have an airport. The Pakyong airport is the 100th functional airport in India.

According to MoneyControl, as per a previous proposal by the Ministry of Home Affairs, due to its “strategically important” location, the security of the Pakyong airport should be handled by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). The CISF is a professional aviation security force that handles 59 airports across the country.

The new airport will be an excellent opportunity for those of you who haven’t yet experienced this beautiful mountainous abode.

Source………Rayomand Engineer  in http://www.the betterindia.com

Natarajan

Small Hands….Big Hearts….Kerala kids break their piggybank for Flood Relief….

Kochi siblings Haroon and Diya donated all the money in their baby bank down to the last penny to kids in relief camps who lost books and bags in the Kerala floods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, Kochi kids Haroon and Diya broke their piggy bank and donated all their money to the Chief Minister’s flood relief fund in Kerala. The brother-sister duo had been carefully collecting and depositing into their piggy bank every single penny they have been receiving since 2016.

“They were in the habit of keeping safe each and every coin and note including the money they received from adults for Vishu and Eid for the past two years,” DC quoted their mother Fathimma, a Kalloor resident, who shared this incident in a Facebook post.

Speaking to TNM, Fathimma said that Haroon, a UKG student, and Diya who is in 4th standard, had been noticing all the buzz in the house for the past two days to help flood relief victims. All of this got them wondering how they too could chip in.

“We were collecting clothes, buying rice and other stuff and putting them in small packets to be sent to the camps. They were noticing this and then they came up to me and asked me how they could help,” said Fathimma

Their gesture delighted their mother who said that she was surprised as she knew how fiercely protective her children were of their piggy bank and its cash contents.

“The piggy itself was handmade by Haroon during one of his summer camps. I once went to take some change from their bank as I did not have the exact amount to buy something and I nearly ran for my life when they found out,” Fathimma wrote in her Facebook post.

Haroon’s and Diya’s contribution to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund is 2210 rupees. They told their mother that this amount was to help kids who lost their books and bags in the floods.

Fathimma also stated in her post that her family wished to contribute to the CM’s relief fund and challenge the alleged hate campaign that discouraged Keralites from contributing to the CM Flood Relief Fund.

Kerala witnessed unprecedented rainfall over the past few weeks resulting in flooding in 10 out of 14 districts in the state. As many as 37 people passed away due to rain related calamities and over 1 lakh people have been left homeless due to the floods caused by the opening of dams in different districts and landslides in Idukki and Wayanad.

An immediate relief fund of Rs 100 crore has been granted to Kerala by the Centre. The State had however asked for Rs 1220 crore as immediate relief as it has suffered material losses to the tune of Rs 8000 crore in the floods.

Keralites are now coming together to help those who have lost their homes and have been put up in relief camps in different schools across the state.

Source…..Sreedevi Jayarajan in www .the newsminute.com

Natarajan

 

Sweden to India: How a Cup of Masala Chai Fuelled IKEA’s Journey to Hyderabad!….

Known as the world’s largest furniture dealer, IKEA has finally set up its first-ever India store in Hyderabad. All thanks to a humble cup of chai!

Founded in 1943 by Swede Ingvar Kamprad and headquartered in the Netherlands, furniture giant IKEA makes revenue worth €38.3 billion with 411 outlets in 49 countries.

Deemed as the world’s largest furniture dealer, IKEA has finally set up it

s first-ever store on a 13-acre campus in HITEC city  Hydearbad.

And while the numerous conversations CEO of IKEA India Juvencio Maeztu had with Indian biggies may be credited for the 2012 plan to finally take shape, there is a backstory many aren’t aware of. It’s how the 48-year-old bossman who relocated from London to Delhi’s NCR Region found a home away from home. All over a cup of masala chai.

It was 2012. Juvencio Maeztu had only arrived in India as the CEO of IKEA India. The switch from London to the bustling city of the National Capital Region was anything but easy.

Speaking to the Economic Times, the 48-year-old recalls, “I had many concerns. I am too small, and India is too big. Could I understand India, its size, its complexity and diversity? Will my European roots constrain me?”

His mind was clouded with doubts, but he had far more important matters to attend. For instance, his morning appointment at the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) in Delhi. And he needed a passport-size photograph.

And so, his driver drove through the lanes of NCR, before making a halt at one of the many hole-in-the-wall photography studios. The one they stopped at was run by an old gentleman.

He just had to take a photograph and be on his way. How much time could it possibly take? He couldn’t be late for his appointment.

And so, the CEO entered the shop and asked the man, “Can you take my photo?”
“Yes,” came the reply.
“How long will it take?” Maeztu asked hesitantly
“Five minutes,” the man said.

The photo was clicked. But the wait for the 5 min – ‘N’ copies of the photograph dragged on for over 15 minutes. The printer was old and dusty, takes time to warm up, the man told him.

But he was quick to offer him – “Masala chai?” he asked.

“No” came the curt reply. Even as the man struggled with the printer, he kept persuading Maeztu to drink a cup of chai. An exasperated Maeztu gave him a brusque, “No”.

It was at this time that the photographer asked, “Sir, what’s the point of life if you cannot enjoy a masala chai for five minutes?”

“Something clicked,” Maetzu told the publication. He moved to take a seat, drank the cup of masala chai. The appointment was forgotten, and the two men chatted for over an hour that day.

He may have missed his FRRO appointment, but Maetzu says, “That was the moment I connected with India. It was a turning point.”

He had finally found a home away from home.

After a long wait of six years, IKEA has now made its debut in India.

While land has been acquired in Gurugram, Bengaluru and Mumbai, the retail stores will only come up in the next few years. With a staff strength of 535 and an investment of Rs 10,500 crore, the furniture giant is here to make it big reported the publication. The current number of employees though is estimated to be around 950 people directly, about 1500 at its store in Hyderabad and aims to hire another 15,000 employees as it expands its operations.

“We are here for the long term. We think of 100 years when we think of our strategy. I have taken no shortcuts. More importantly, I have had no pressure (from the headquarters) to take shortcuts. In the next 100 years, the sheer size of India makes it important. There are other super big reasons. India is challenging us to find better ways to do business. This is a market you need to learn and not come into with an attitude that you know everything,” he said.

The vision is to also have over 25 stores and 20,000 employees in India by 2030.

The report adds how India is the first market where IKEA is rolling out a multi-channel retail online and offline strategy from day one. It is also planning to explore the use of eco-friendly raw materials like bamboo, coconut waste, water hyacinth and recycled PET.

Apart from working with over 80,000 farmers to boost cotton production, it is also helping skill 1,200 women artisans with the UNDP under its programme ‘Disha’ and boost employment from underprivileged communities.

Seems like a journey that began with one cup of masala chai came a long way after all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The staff at IKEA Hyderabad. Source: Facebook
Source….
http://www.thebetterindia.com

What a 60 ft Bridge in Salem meant for Script writer Karunanidhi ….!

The dialogues Karunanidhi penned from the bridge made cinema halls reverberate with claps and whistles of movie buffs and catapulted him to greater heights in filmdom and in politics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even after he became a Chief Minister and a national leader, M Karunanidhi never forgot his humble beginnings. Despite his hectic schedule, Karunanidhi would make sure to travel to a 60-foot bridge on the Yercaud Ghat road from time to time.

He often reminisced of the days when he used to sit there and pen unforgettable dialogues for iconic films like Mandri Kumari.

The dialogues he penned from there made cinema halls reverberate with claps and whistles of movie buffs, and catapulted Karunanidhi to greater heights in filmdom and in politics.

After he moved to Madras, it seemed he missed the panoramic view of Salem city from the mountain heights and the fresh air that he used to enjoy at the 60-foot bridge and longed to return to his favourite joint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 60-ft bridge on Yercaud Ghat road where Karunanidhi used to sit and write.

His colourful film career took flight right at Salem. In 1949-50, M Karunanidhi stepped into Modern Theaters as a dialogue writer on the recommendation of poet-cum-lyricist KM Sherif, writes R Venkatasamy, who wrote Mudhalalli, a biography of TR Sundaram, the legendary producer and the owner of Modern Theaters.

Karunanidhi had worked in Coimbatore Central Studios and at many other studios in Kodambakkam, but it was Salem’s Modern Theaters that gave him his big break into the world of Tamil cinema.

The writer of the film Ponmudi, which was under production, had left his work unfinished and TR Sundaram decided to assign Karunanidhi the task of completing it. Sundaram liked his work and Karunanidhi was employed at a monthly salary.

Karunanidhi had with him the script for a stage play based on Tamil epic Kundalakesi. TR Sundaram was impressed by it and figured that it would make a good movie if it was adapted. And this was then converted into the legendary Mandri Kumari.

American movie master Eliss R Duncan, who was the stable director of Modern Theaters, directed the movie. It was a box office hit and made Karunanidhi into an instant celebrity. The film also gave future Chief Minister MG Ramachandran a big turn in his career.

At first, Eliss R Duncan was hesitant to cast MGR as the hero in Mandri Kumari because of a minor curve on his chin. However, Karunanidhi strongly recommended MGR, suggesting that a short moustache can hide the flaw. The idea was accepted and the film took MGR to great heights in his film career and thus forged a lasting bond between him and Karunanidhi, and both, despite becoming political rivals, had a deep mutual respect for each other.

Mandri Kumari was also the first time that the dialogue-writer of the movie was given credit on the movie posters, writes Venkatasamy. Karunanidhi was one of the few celebrities recognised for his signature dialogues.

Karunanidhi’s contemporaries in Modern Theaters were lyricist Kanadasan, MGR and Janaki. The latter two became chief ministers as well. NT Ramarao, who also worked for Modern Theaters, became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A rare photo of Karunanidhi with his colleagues at Modern Theaters, including late lyricist Kanadasan

Such was the platform that Modern Theaters gave to talented people. It was a one-of-its-kind studio outside Kollywood that made 118 films in all South Indian languages as well as in English. It produced the first colour film in Tamil – Albabavum Narpathu Thirudarkalum. TR Sundaram was seen as a towering figure and Karunanidhi, MGR and Kanadasan who were celebrities, used to call him, “Mudhalalli” (master), writes the biographer.

What remains of Modern Theaters today is only the iconic arch on the Yercaud Road in Salem.

Karunanidhi’s association with Salem’s Modern Theaters remembered by garlanding a poster on the iconic arch.

There is hardly anyone still alive who remembers Karunanidhi’s life in Salem at Sanathi Street in Fort Salem except Vekatasamy (79). The tiny tiled house where he lived survived till recently.

Whenever Karunanidhi came to Salem, he would drive past the arch to the sixty-foot bridge and spend time there alone, remembering his humble beginnings. For the old-timers, a stopover at the bridge will surely conjure up the unforgettable song “Varai, nee Varai,” as it was here that the song was shot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spot on Yercaud Ghat road where Karunanidhi used to sit and write.

The last time he was reported going to the place was in 2009 when he came to inaugurate the hi-tech government hospital in Salem.

Source…..G.Rajasekaran in http://www.the newsminute.com

Natarajan

10th August 2018

 

Delhi-Born Child Prodigy Akshay Venkatesh Wins The ‘Nobel of Maths’!

The renowned Indian-origin mathematician was just 13 when he became the youngest person to study at the University of Western Australia!

Akshay Venkatesh, a 36-year-old Indian-origin mathematician teaching at Stanford University in the United States, is one of the four winners of the prestigious Fields Medal, considered to be the Nobel Prize equivalent for mathematics.

He was presented with the medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro.

Awarded once every four years to exceptional mathematicians below the age of 40 who have made game-changing contributions to the field, Venkatesh was awarded this medal for his “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics,” and “strikingly far-reaching conjectures.”

Besides Venkatesh, the other three winners of this award are Caucher Birkar, a professor of Iranian-Kurdish origin at Cambridge University, Peter Scholze from Germany and Alessio Figalli, an Italian mathematician teaching at ETH Zurich. All winners will receive 15,000 Canadian dollars as cash prize.

Venkatesh moved to Perth, Australia, with his parents when he was just two years old. A child prodigy, he graduated from high school at the age of 13, graduated from the University of Western Australia top of his class in mathematics when he was 16, and earned his PhD at 20.

He also won medals in both the physics and math Olympiads (premier international competition for high school students) at the age of 11 and 12, respectively. Following his PhD, he held a doctoral position at MIT and is currently a professor in Stanford University.

According to the Press Trust of India, he has “worked at the highest level in number theory, arithmetic geometry, topology, automorphic forms and ergodic theory,” besides winning a host of other awards like “Ostrowski Prize, the Infosys Prize, the Salem Prize and Sastra Ramanujan Prize.”

The mathematician was “recognised for his use of dynamics theory, which studies the equations of moving objects to solve problems in number theory, which is the study of whole numbers, integers and prime numbers,” according to The Guardian.

“A lot of the time when you do math, you’re stuck, but at the same time, there are all these moments where you feel privileged that you get to work with it. You have this sensation of transcendence; you feel like you’ve been part of something really meaningful,” he told The Guardian.

Source….. 

Natarajan

 

வாரம் ஒரு கவிதை …” அடுத்த வரி …”

அடுத்த வரி
————-
முதல் வரி எழுதும்போது அடுத்த வரி
அடுத்த வரி என வரிசை கட்டி என்
முதல் கவிதையை எழுதி முடிக்க வைத்த
என் முதல் துடிப்பு இன்றும் என் கவிதை
பயணத்தில் நல்ல ஒரு படகு துடுப்பு !
வரிந்து கட்டி எழுத வேண்டும் கவிதை..அது
அடுத்தவரின் மனதை நோகடிக்காமலும் இருக்க
வேண்டும்! … படிப்பவரின் மனம் என்றும்
மகிழ வேண்டும் என் கவிதை சொல்லும்
நல்ல செய்தியில் !
அடுத்தவரின் துணை இன்றி நான்
அடுத்த வரி அடுத்த வரி என்று தேடி
அடுத்த கவிதை அடுத்த கவிதை என்று
அதே முதல் துடிப்புடன் எழுத வேண்டும் என்றும் !
K.Natarajan
in http://www.dinamani.com dated 24th July 2018