After Coimbatore’s Water Table Collapsed, This Simple Initiative Revived It…Thanks to ” Siruthuli “

As cities across India are facing a severe shortage of water, Coimbatore has been trying to preserve and recharge its groundwater levels. At the forefront of this change is Siruthuli, an NGO that is dedicated to cleaning Coimbatore, and infusing green methods throughout the city!

Coimbatore, which was once a place of abundant rainfall, was shaken to reality following a drought in 2003.

As part of its initiative to recharge groundwater levels in the city, Siruthuli has implemented rainwater harvesting structures (RWH).                                               

“In 2003, Coimbatore received 65% less rainfall than in previous years. This made us release the need to save water, and harvest it when there was adequate rainfall,” says Shruthi Suresh, a representative of the organisation.

The organisation conducted a series of geo-hydrological studies in 2005, to better analyse how to approach the conservation of groundwater in the region. In association with the Corporation of Coimbatore, Siruthuli began conducting rainwater harvesting structures in various locations across the city.

However, one of the significant challenges of the construction was the fact that Coimbatore was primarily a hard rock structure, and thus percolation of water was difficult. The organisation persevered and came up with the idea of drilling bore wells for groundwater.

“We came up with this technique to recharge the groundwater. We recommended two types of structures using this technique. The first simply recharges the aquifers, while the other not only recharges but also pumps the harvested waters so that it can be used,” she explains.

According to Shruthi, the structures are installed in both open spaces, as well as on roadsides.

Today, thanks to the efforts of this organisation, Coimbatore has more than 600 rainwater harvesting structures in different locations across the city.

However, on average it has been observed that the open spaces have seen a much higher level of maintenance than the ones on the roadside ones. There have been instances where some of the roadside RWH structures have been shut down for new roads and construction.

However, the organisation is optimistic and has seen significant growth in groundwater tables, from the time the wells have been implemented. This can be seen in the table below:

The water that is harvested from the ground is what is used extensively for not only daily use but as drinking water. It, therefore, becomes imperative for the citizens of the city, to maintain and use the water judiciously.

Today, even with a shortage of water, Coimbatore maintains stable and sustainable groundwater tables.

This initiative goes along with one of the organisation’s chief objectives, titled, “Water Watch,” under which, they aim to not only recharge groundwater, but also rejuvenate water bodies, and restore the River Noyyal. The river, which once had 34 streams, is now reduced to just four.

In the future, Siruthuli plans to conduct a comprehensive study of the entire region. This will be done to better understand natural drains, vegetation, groundwater levels, land use, and livelihoods. The study will form the basis for developing watershed concepts, RWH structures, and more. These will be applied across Coimbatore, after a series of awareness campaigns.

Siruthuli has also been involved in spreading the message of going green and educating the next generation for the same.

You can read about their initiatives here!

Source…..Anakha Arikara  in http://www.the better india .com

Natarajan

 

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வாரம் ஒரு கவிதை …” கொஞ்சி விளையாடும் கோபம் “

 

கொஞ்சி விளையாடும் கோபம்
—————————-
நேற்று இருந்தவர் இன்று இல்லை …இது
தெரிகிறது எனக்கு !…இன்று இருப்பவர்
எல்லாம் நாளை விடியல் பார்ப்பாரா இல்லையா ?
விடை இல்லையே என்னிடம் இந்த கேள்விக்கு !
நெருநெல் உளனொருவன் இன்றில்லை என்னும்
பெருமை படைத்து இவ்வுலகு …சொன்னான்
அன்றே வள்ளுவன் ! குறளை  பாடமாக படித்த
நேரம் புரியவில்லை அவன் சொல்வது என்ன என்று !
வாழ்க்கைப் பாடம் தினம் படித்து வள்ளுவன் சொன்னது
என்ன என்று புரியும் இந்த நேரம் கோபம் கொஞ்சமும்
வேண்டாம் எனக்கு என்று நினைக்கிறேன் நான் இன்று !
வேண்டாம் நீ என்று நான் சொன்னாலும் விட மாட்டேன் நான்
உன்னை என்று என்னுடன் கொஞ்சி விளையாட வரும்
கோபமே …கெஞ்சிக் கேட்கிறேன் உன்னை , விட்டு விடு
என்னை இன்று ஒருநாள் !
நாளை விடியலை நான் பார்த்தால் மீண்டும் கெஞ்சுவேன்
உன்னிடம்  கோபமே, “கொஞ்சி விளையாட வர வேண்டாம்
நீ என்னிடம்  இன்னும் ஒரு நாள் ” என்று !
K.Natarajan
in http://www.dinamani.com dated 4th March 2018

வாரம் ஒரு கவிதை… ” எங்கும் எதிலும் “

எங்கும் எதிலும்
————–

photo-1485546246426-74dc88dec4d9

எங்கள் வங்கியில் எங்கும் எந்த ஊரிலும்
எந்த கிளையிலும் நீங்க உங்க பணம்
பெறலாம் ..பணம் கட்டலாம் என்று
சொன்னது என் வங்கி …மகிழ்ந்தேன் நான் !
வங்கிக்கு செல்லும் வீண் சங்கடம் எதுக்கு
உனக்கு…. உன் வங்கி கணக்கு விவரம்
இப்போ உன் மடிக் கணினியிலும் கைபேசியிலும்
சொன்னது மீண்டும் என் வங்கி !
வங்கியே என் கையில் இப்போது ..எங்கும் எப்போதும் !
பணம் எடுக்க ATM …எங்கும் எதிலும் எப்போதும் !
விண்ணில் பறந்தேன் நான் …மண்ணில் இல்லை
என் கால் !
எங்கும் எதிலும் எப்போதும் பண பரிமாற்றம் !
உங்க வங்கிக்கு நீங்க வரவே தேவை இல்லை
உங்க வங்கி கணக்கு இப்போ உங்க கையில்
என்றும் சொன்ன என் வங்கி இருக்குதா
அதே இடத்தில் என் பணத்துடன் ?
இன்று சென்று பார்க்க வேண்டும் நான் !
எங்கும் எதிலும் நானாவது கவனமாக
இருக்க வேண்டாமா ? என் வங்கியில்
இருப்பது என் பணம் அய்யா !
Natarajan
in http://www.dinamani.com dated 25th Feb 2018

Unlike the Super-Rich defauters ,this Ex-PM”s familyHonoured their loan liability ….

These are not good times for the Punjab National Bank, which is embroiled in an 11,400 crore-scam allegedly perpetrated by diamond mogul Nirav Modi and his maternal uncle, Mehul Choksi.

For the average citizen, this is yet another instance of a wealthy man swindling public money through dubious loans issued by these banks, and leaving the country without paying back his dues.

Unlike Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya, the PNB, which is India’s second largest public-sector bank, also had famous personalities and their families as customers who have honoured their loans.

Former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had taken a car loan of Rs 5,000 from PNB. After his sudden demise on January 11, 1966, the former prime minister’s widow Lalitha paid back the loan from the pension she received, reported Times of India.

“We went to St Columba’s School on a tonga. Once in a while, we used the office car, but my father did not allow us to use it regularly for any kind of private work. There was a demand at home that we should buy a car,” said Anil Shastri, his son and senior Congress politician, to the publication.

In response to his family’s demands, Shastri approached a senior official from the PMO and discovered that a new Fiat would cost Rs 12,000. Since the family had only Rs 7,000 in the bank, the prime minister decided to apply for a Rs 5,000 loan which the bank sanctioned that very day.

When the prime minister passed away in Tashkent, where he had gone to sign the declaration of peace between India and Pakistan after the 1965 war, the loan remained unpaid. “It was repaid by my mother from the pension she received after my father’s death,” said Anil Shastri.                                                                                                                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This 1964-model Fiat with the plate number DLE 6 is today exhibited at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial in the national capital.

Source….www.thebetterindia.com

Natarajan

 

At 103, This Karnataka Man is one of the oldest Drivers on the Country”s streets Today …

Willy’s, Morris Minor, Fiat, Austin, Ferguson, Mercedes Benz, Chevrolet, Volkswagen – these are just among the few brands 103-year-old CSR Michael D’Souza has driven.

A veteran of World War II, Michael has been driving for the last 85 years.

But giving up his car keys is simply not an option for him. “I enjoy driving and never got tired of it. I will continue to drive till the lord sends me his vehicle,” he smiles.

A native of Ooty, Michael was born to Charlson and Mary D’Souza on October 16th, 1914. Michael’s first tryst with a vehicle was at the age of 18, when he and his 13 siblings drove around Ooty in his father’s truck.

“The licence issued then was a page-long and it was applicable for all vehicles. Unlike today, there was no such thing as a licence based on vehicle category,” he says.

In 1932, he was enlisted in the British Army for 10 years and during his service he travelled to different parts of the country.

“However, due to the loss of my original military documents during transit in Visakhapatnam, my post-service benefits were denied to me. Though I appealed to my superiors for several years, I gave up realising it was a lost cause,” he says.

Meanwhile, Michael married Eliza, and the couple moved to the erstwhile Madras Presidency. Though they had no children, it was a happy marriage, he says, and they regarded the children of his elder brother as their own.

A few years later, Michael joined the Public Works Department (PWD) in Mysore and later he was transferred to Mangalore. At PWD, Michael had the chance to drive the general purpose vehicle, affectionately called ‘Jeep’ (GP). He also was given the opportunity to drive a truck, tractors and even road rollers.

“It was quite an experience, since the department barely had qualified man-power to operate such heavy-duty machines. I was asked to drive everything and I took the opportunity to make the most of it,” he laughs.

In fact, several roads in Mysore, Udupi and Mangalore were first asphalted and sealed when he drove the road roller over them.

In 1982, he retired from service, but the couple stayed on in Mangalore.

Michael got his first license in 1959, and he has renewed it constantly since then.

“On my last visit, the RTO inspector said in jest that should I make it for my next renewal in 2019, then he will award me the permit driving for a lifetime,” Michael smiles.

Considering he has driven so many vehicles, which one does he prefer?

“The GP,” he says, without missing a beat. “It does not skid and in unstable territory you can also shift to a lower gear and drive.”

He has only driven a two-wheeler once. “I got so dizzy, I stopped immediately. I am only cut out to driver vehicles with four wheels or more,” he says.

Except for a brief period in 1993 when he had a cataract surgery, Michael has never stopped driving. At the ripe age of 103, his medical records show that he is incredibly fit for his age and shows no signs of age-related ailments.

His secret, he says, is his diet, which comprises rice, curd, chapathi and bread. Although, up until a couple of years ago, he used to consume meat frequently, lately he has reduced his intake of non-vegetarian food.

“As our age progresses, I believe we should not strain our stomachs. Therefore, nowadays I eat meat only rarely,” he says.

He is also incredibly active – no matter the number of floors, he always takes the stairs.

After Eliza passed away in 2013 – at the age of 83 – Michael’s routine changed. He now wakes up at 4 am every morning to tend to his garden and feed his cat, dog and birds. “Earlier, I used to even have a goat, a chicken and a duck. My wife was very irritated with the tortoise I had, so I had to give him up,” he says.

Always dressed in a formal shirt, pants and a golfer’s hat, Michael still works – he now drives for a local banker and his family. The one concession he does make for his age is that he now avoids going on long drives and driving late in the night.

What does Michael think of drivers today? “Terrible!” he shakes his head. “People just don’t follow lane discipline any more. It’s horrible the way autorickshaws and two-wheelers switch lanes these days. One of the main reasons I don’t drive in the evening is how people thoughtlessly switch on their high beams even on well-lit roads. It can easily lead to an untoward incident.”

In his 85 years behind the wheel, Michael says he has been fined only once for not wearing a seatbelt. “Three months ago, when I was fined, I went to the station to pay the fine. The inspector took the receipt, laughed when he saw my age and the fact I was being fined for the first time, and said he will pay the fine on my behalf and let me go,” smiles Michael.

Ironically, Michael does not own a car, although the centenarian does not regret it. “As long as I am allowed to drive a car, I don’t have any qualms about it,” he says.

Content provided by Story Infinity (Subs and Scribes Media Ventures LLP).

Source….Harsha Raj Gatty in https://www.thenewsminute.com/

Natarajan

 

He is 100 and She is 99…Meet the Kerala Couple celebrating 82 years of Marriage …

The Kottayam-based couple studied in the same school and later went on to marry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ask Madhavan Nair and Meenakshi Amma for how long they have been married, and 99-year-old Meenakshi Amma creases her forehead, as if lost in deep thought. Sitting beside her, 100-year-old Madhavan Nair does not need much prodding to remember the year they got married – Malayalam calendar year 1111.

Meenakshi Amma nods in agreement.  “See, he still remembers it so clearly!” she says, breaking into laughter.

(Malayalam calendar year 1111 is the year 1936. According to Malayalam calendar, 2018 is the year 1193.)

The duo celebrated 82 years of their marriage in December 2017 and the milestone also coincided with Madhavan Nair’s 100th birthday.

In their house near Pallikkathode in Kerala’s Kottayam district, Madhavan Nair – who used to be an active member of the Congress party – and his wife Meenakshi Amma, continue to live their “happily ever after” to this day.

When TNM visited the couple, Madhavan Nair and Meenakshi Amma shared their eight decades-long love story. Although the duo first met in school at the age of 8, little did they know that the coming years would bring them together. After a few years of studying in the same class, both Madhavan Nair and Meenakshi Amma moved to different schools.

Together in youth and old age

Having known each other since a very young age, Madhavan Nair and Meenakshi Amma have retold their wedding story many a time to their children, explaining how theirs had been an arranged marriage and not a love marriage. The couple have five children together, all of whom stay in Kottayam.

“It is true that we knew each other from school. We had seen each other, but hadn’t spoken much. What do school kids have to talk to each other at that age? Years later, our families decided to get us married. So that’s how it happened,” Madhavan Nair says.

Asked about the wedding, Madhavan Nair’s recollection is matter-of-fact: “It was a simple ceremony, no pomp and show like today’s weddings. The wedding took place at her (Meenakshi Amma) house. I tied the thaali around her neck, gave her the pudava (saree) and there was a meal afterwards. That’s how simple the wedding was.”

After a moment’s pause, Madhavan Nair continues: “During our times, nobody got married in temples like now, and young people never eloped! The weddings used to happen at the brides’ house.”

When asked whether they feel the weight of 82 long years, the two of them smile. This writer was charmed to see Madhavan Nair’s toothless grin while Meenakshi Amma guffawed loudly, displaying her perfectly aligned teeth.

The years where Madhavan Nair was involved in party and social work had not been easy on his family, he admits. The odd working hours and the long absence from home did not exactly bode well for a harmonious family life. But Meenakshi Amma is in no mood to send her husband on a guilt trip.

“People would come to get him. He would go with them and share whatever knowledge he had. It never bothered me, since I knew he was going on work and not for anything else. He would return home after work for sure,” Meenakshi Amma says.

However, Madhavan Nair has for long withdrawn from his years of active social life, and now spends most of his time at home. While minor health issues do trouble Meenakshi Amma, Madhavan Nair likes to dismiss age-related woes.

Despite having to rely on a walking stick, the 100-year-old is young at heart.

“I walk around the house and the yard at times. With this walking stick, I can walk as far as I can. But I am not so young any more, I have no teeth left and I don’t think I look good with this toothless grin!” Madhavan Nair says.

Visuals by Lenin CV

Source….Megha Varier in https://www.thenewsminute.com

Natarajan

வாரம் ஒரு கவிதை… ” தனிமையோடு பேசுங்கள் “

தனிமையோடு பேசுங்கள்
————————–
தனியாக பேசி தெருவில் நடந்தால் அவரை
ஒரு மாதிரி பார்த்த காலம் இருந்தது  தம்பி !
கைபேசி காலம் இன்று.. கைபேசியில்
பேசாமல் நடந்தால்தான் செய்தி இன்று !
இது காலத்தின் கோலம் … அலை பேசி
அழைத்தால் தனி இடம் தேடி பேச ஓடும்
நீ தனியாக பேச நினைப்பதில் தவறு இல்லை
தம்பி ..!.
தனியாகப் பேசும் நீ தனிமையை நேசிக்கவும்
வேண்டும் …தனிமையில் யோசிக்கவும் வேண்டும் !
தனிமை இனிமை என்று சொல்லவில்லை நான்
தனிமை ஒன்றுதான் வாழ்வின் உண்மை  என்பது
என் அனுபவத்தில் நான் கண்ட உண்மை !
உண்மை இது உணர்ந்து உன் மனதோடு  நீ பேசு
எப்போதும் … உன் மனதும் உனக்கு சொல்லும்
உண்மை என்ன என்று, நீ தனிமையில் யோசிக்கும்
போதும் …தனிமையோடு பேசும்போதும் !
உண்மை இது நீ உணர்ந்தால் உன் பேச்சில்
இனிமை இருக்கும் …பிறரை மதிக்கும் தன்மை
இருக்கும் … பெற்றோர் உற்றோரின் தனிமை நீ
தவிர்க்க  நல்ல வழியும் உனக்கு எளிதில் புரியும் !
தனியாக யோசி.. பேசு தனிமையில்  உன் மனசோடு !
நீ ஒரு தனி மரம் அல்ல … குடும்பம் என்னும்
தோப்பில் நீ ஒரு சிறு மரம்   என்னும் உண்மை
உனக்கு புரியும் ! உன் தன்னம்பிக்கையும் வளரும்
தன்னால் !
நீ ஒரு சிறு மரமானாலும் உன் நிழலில் வளரும்
சிறு செடிக்கு நீதான் போதி மரம் என்னும் உண்மையையும்
மறக்க வேண்டாம் நீ !
 in http://www.dinamani.com dated 11th Feb 2018
Natarajan