At the age of 7 , He is the youngest to scale the Mountain Kilimanjaro …

He just wanted to see some snow. But he got much more than that.
Samanyu, all of 7, scaled Africa’s loftiest peak and proved that no dream is impossible.
And that age is just a number.
Rediff.com‘s Divya Nair speaks to the mini mountaineer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMAGE: Samanyu Pothuraju at Uhuru peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
All photographs: Kind courtesy Samanyu Pothuraju/Boots and Crampons

On April 2, 2018, when Samanyu Pothuraju, 7, from Hyderabad, was woken up at 3 am by his expedition leader Bharat Taminneni, he didn’t want to wake up.

He begged, “It’s too cold outside. I don’t want to go. Please let me sleep.”

It was the very last leg of their ascent to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro so Bharat would not give in.

Recalls Lavanya Krishna, Samanyu’s mother, “Finally, Bharat told him that if he reached the summit, his favourite (Telugu film) hero Pawan Kalyan would (surely want to) meet him.”

Mention of Pawan Kalyan did the magic.

Samanyu woke up with a start.

Eight odd hours later that day, at 11.52 am, to be precise, little Samanyu made it to the top of Uhuru, the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. And clinched a world record.

At 7, Samanyu is the youngest person in history to scale this peak, 5,895 metres above sea level.

But the Class 3 student, who “loves karate, computers and math,” did not have the faintest idea about the significance of his journey.

“I was wearing a thick jacket and gloves. My legs were paining, but I was happy,” Samanyu tells Rediff.com from Hyderabad.

Last year he was one of the youngest to reach the Mount Everest base camp in Nepal.

What inspired him to go to Africa?

Mount Everest actually.

Says Lavanya, who accompanied Samanyu till Kilimanjaro’s second base camp and not beyond, “When we reached the base camp of Mount Everest, some months ago, he (Samanyu) was disappointed that he couldn’t see much snow.”

“When I told him about Kilimanjaro, he asked me if there would be snow and if he could touch it. I said yes. He said he wanted to go and see the snow.”

For Lavanya, a bank employee who quit her job to take care of her children (Samanyu’s elder sister is 13), sending her seven year old to the top of Kilimanjaro wasn’t an emotional decision.

It was about letting Samanyu have his dream.

She consulted Raji Thammineni of Boots and Crampons, a Hyderabad-based adventure logistics company, to find out how safe the journey was.

“Raji is a friend and she advised I first send Samanyu to a training camp to see if he was fit to go.”

Samanyu passed the camp last year with with flying colours.

“He could climb 50 steps up and down with ease, trek to mountains and even made it to the Everest base camp in October 2017,” says Lavanya.

In November, Samanyu signed up with Boots and Crampons to prepare to scale Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.

In addition to his training, Lavanya helped her son get mountain ready by showing him a video of the terrain daily.

“He saw how people climbed it in different situations — rain, sun, snow, etc.”

Samanyu was keen to see snow. But he also wanted to see East Africa’s famous blue monkeys.”

“He saw three blue monkeys,” Lavanya says.

Lavanya and Samanyu flew to Tanzania on March 27.

“It was supposed to be summer. When we reached it was raining and snowing. My head was paining on reaching the second base camp, so I was asked to rest,” says Lavanya.

The next climb, from the second base camp to the last camp, took approximately 10 hours.

The final stretch from the last camp to the summit was equally long. But Samanyu finished it like a pro, says Lavanya.

‘It required meticulous planning to achieve this mission. We took all the care and precautions to keep the child safe and help him realise (the importance) of his mission to the summit of one of the most challenging mountains in the world,’ Bharat and Raji posted on Facebook about Samanyu’s achievement.

‘Master Samanyu fought bravely with different terrains — rainforest, moorland-rocky landscape, Alpine desert and crater rim — before summiting this wonder of the world. We are extremely proud to support Master Samanyu’s achievement which brought laurels to our country,’ the post added.

The sacrifices

To prepare for Africa, Samanyu had to wake up early and religiously maintain a schedule so he could balance school, extracurricular activities and mountaineering.

“He’d wake up at 5 am and go for his karate classes followed by cycling. After school, he’d train for mountaineering,” says Lavanya.

Samanyu had to follow a strict diet. Not too much sugar. No ice cream.

“I had to eat canned food,” Samanyu tells Rediff.com. “It was tasty though.”

“After we climbed down, they gave me ice cream. I was very happy.”

What’s next

His next challenge?

“I want to do the 10 peaks challenge in Australia.”

Turns out none of this has affected his academic performance: Samanyu, who studies at the Bolton School in Hyderabad, scored over 95 per cent in his last examination.           

IMAGE: Samanyu holds up a printout with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s image at Uhuru peak, Kilimanjaro.

Lavanya and Krishna spent Rs 15 lakhs funding their son’s expedition, but they feel helping Samanyu attain his dreams was their most important mission.

Here’s their message to parents: “Never stop your child from dreaming big. You can guide her /him on what is right and wrong. But support their dreams as much as you can.”

Samanyu is now waiting to meet Pawan Kalyan, as promised. His parents have tweeted the Telugu superstar about their son’s wish to meet him.

Hey, Pawan, if you are reading this feature, please do give lil’ Samanyu a call.

http://www.rediff.com

Natarajan

 

 

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The jingle Trucks of Pakistan …

A typical Pakistani truck driver spends more time with his truck than he does with his wife. Which explains why he wants his 10-ton six-wheeler to look like a new bride.

These trucks plying across Pakistan’s national highways and the neighboring country of Afghanistan are distinctively ostentatious. The entire trucks, from top to bottom, are a riot of colors. Lavishly painted panels containing a mosaic of birds, flowers, landscapes, saints, and actresses in hyper-saturated color palette adorn the exterior, while plastic flowers, draped beads, mirrors, ribbons and velvet grace the interior. The cabin is crowned by a custom built wooden prow wrapped in more kitschy artwork, while a string of metal bells dangle from the chassis all round the periphery. When the truck is in motion, these bells clang against each other like a new bride’s ghungroo. This is where the nickname “jingle trucks” come from—coined by US troops deployed in Afghanistan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: ISAF Public Affairs/Flickr

And it isn’t just trucks alone. Passenger buses, water tankers, transport vans, rickshaws, and even vendors’ pushcarts are psychedelically decorated with eye-popping colors. It’s like a rolling folk art, “a national gallery without walls, a free-form, kaleidoscopic exhibition in perpetual motion,” as Richard Covington puts it.

The tradition of decorating trucks began sometime in the 1920s with the introduction of the long-distance Bedfords—a British-built truck with rounded cab and seven-feet high paneled sides that was to become the country’s most prestigious and dependable truck for more than half a century. Originally trucks were painted with each company’s logo so that illiterate people could recognize who owned the trucks. Gradually, these logos became more fanciful, flamboyant and competitive. By the 1950s, stylized murals and frescoes had begun to replace them. It was only in the 1960s, as the country’s economy boomed, the decorations became increasingly sophisticated to reflect the growing wealth of the drivers and the rise of a new urban class.

Pimping out a truck this way cost truck owners a small fortune. It isn’t unheard of for a driver to spend the equivalent of a year’s worth, or more, of profits on truck decorations. According to a 2005 article, a basic painting and body job costs a minimum of $2500, equivalent to two years of the average truck driver’s salary. Some spend upwards of $10,000 outfitting their rigs. Unbelievably, many truckers will return to the workshop every three or four years for a full vehicle makeover.

“Truckers don’t even spend so much money on their own houses,” marvels Durriya Kazi, head of the department of visual studies at the University of Karachi. “I remember one driver who told me that he put his life and livelihood into the truck. If he didn’t honor it with the proper paint job, he would feel he was being ungrateful.”

A well-decorated truck also gives customers the impression that it is well taken care of and will, therefore, be a dependable way to transport goods.

Truck painting is also a big business. In Karachi city alone, more than 50,000 people are engaged in this unregulated yet lucrative industry. Family-run workshops comprising of apprentices and highly trained artisans, and small shops selling all manners of outlandish ornaments and accessories crowd around truck yards.

Over the years, however, the business has changed. Now instead of meticulously hand painting each truck, mass produced stickers and adornments are used.

“Truck decoration is not stagnating; it is dead,” laments R M Naeem, an assistant professor at the National College of Arts, Lahore. “This is because truck painters treat their work as a source of livelihood. They do not have the time or the luxury to innovate; they repeat the same old patterns, images and icons over and over again.”

However, thanks to artists like Haider Ali, who gave a Ford van a jingle-truck-style makeover a couple of years ago in a parking lot in Pasadena, California, and other painters, it’s unlikely that this quintessentially Pakistani craft is going to die out any time soon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source……..Kaushik in  http://www.amusingplanet.com

Natarajan

 

 

Green Glory: This Indian State Is Ahead of Denmark and Sweden In Wind Energy!!!

With 14.3% of its energy needs being fulfilled through wind and solar energy, it is also a global leader in renewable energy!

In a recent report, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis(IEEFA), a US-based think tank, ranked Tamil Nadu as one of the top nine markets in the world for acquiring a high percentage of net energy needs from renewable energy sources.

The study was an assessment of the top 15 countries or power markets in the world, where the share of solar and wind energy in proportion to their total energy requirements is high. Denmark leads the way, with 53% of its energy coming from renewable sources in 2017, followed by Southern Australia and Uruguay.

In 2016-17, Tamil Nadu acquired 14.3% of its energy needs from wind and solar energy sources.

“Tamil Nadu also leads India in installed renewable energy capacity. Of the total 30 GW of installed capacity across the state as of March 2017, variable wind and solar power accounted for 9.6 GW or 32% of the total. Firm hydroelectricity added another 2.2 GW or 7%, nuclear 8% and biomass and run of river, 3%. As such, zero emissions capacity represents a leading 50% of Tamil Nadu’s total installed renewable energy. With much of Tamil Nadu’s renewable energy coming from end-of-life wind farms installed 15-25 years ago, average utilisation rates are a low 18%, making the contribution of variable renewables to total generation even more impressive,” says the IEEFA report.

Total installed renewable energy capacity for Tamil Nadu stands at approximately 10,800 megawatts (MW), of which 7870 MW comes from wind and 1,697 MW solar, while the rest comes from biomass and small hydro projects. Although it comes third in solar energy capacity behind Andhra Pradesh (2,010 MW) and Rajasthan (1,961 MW), the state tops the charts in wind power capacity ahead of Gujarat (5429 MW) and Maharashtra (4,752 MW). Tamil Nadu generates more wind energy than Sweden (6.7 GW) and Denmark (5.5 GW), the birthplace of wind energy.

“This rise in renewables is predicted to coincide with a slide in coal’s share in Tamil Nadu’s electricity mix, from 69% in 2017 to 42% 10 years later,” says the World Economic Forum. The state has also diversified into biogas and small hydro plants as well.

“As of March 2017, the state had 1 GW of biomass and run-of-river small-scale hydro, 2.2 GW of conventional hydroelectricity, and 1 GW of gas fired power capacity operational (plus another 1 GW of gas under construction),” reports the IEEFA. In an interesting aside, it also hosts the second largest solar farm (Kamuthi) in the country with a capacity of 648 MW.

This is a heartening development as it comes a time when the Government of India has set a target of sourcing 175 gigawatts of energy from renewable sources by 2022.

When it comes to renewable energy in India, one could consider Tamil Nadu as a pioneer of sorts. Most of its wind farms, for example, were built approximately 25 years back.

The natural conditions in the state favour the growth and development of solar and wind energy. The Tamil Nadu coast receives high wind density and velocity. For six months it receives heavy wind flows, while four months see moderate flows. Also, the state receives 300 or more days of sunshine.

The state’s sojourn into renewable energy began as an emergency attempt to fill the growing deficit between supply and demand of power.

Major industries like automotive parts, textiles, cement and leather-tanning, for example, demanded large amounts of power and consequently, the feed-in tariff (payments to ordinary energy users—people or businesses—for the renewable electricity they generate) for the wind energy sector was encouraging.

The price at which wind energy is sold to the people today is determined at an open auction for power utilities. Earlier, the state power regulators had a stranglehold on determining prices but changed to an auction system in 2016.

With the local textile sector first grabbing the bull by its horns, Tamil Nadu also became one of the first states to allow industrial units to establish their own wind power plants. These 20-year-old wind farms owned by the Tamil Nadu Spinning Mills Association (TASMA) generates a little less than 40% of the state’s total wind energy capacity (3000 MW). The Muppandal wind farm outside Madurai, for example, generates 1.5 GW of energy, making it the largest wind farm outside China.

With favourable tariff conditions, the state also made serious progress in the solar energy arena.

“In recent years, the government has also worked to improve its transmission infrastructure, encouraging firms to expand. Since renewable energy is infirm, managing the fluctuation in power generation is key. Tamil Nadu has begun forecasting the flow so that the grid is ready to handle things,” says this recent report in Quartz India.

Having said that, the IEEFA has argued in its report titled ‘Electricity Transformation in India: A Case Study of Tamil Nadu’, it argued how the state’s growth in wind and solar energy generation isn’t enough.

“Tamil Nadu should double its wind energy capacity to 15GW and increase its solar capacity to 13.8GW by 2026-27 to deliver cheaper electricity to customers,” the report said.

Instead, what the state is doing is looking to build 25,000 MW of thermal power projects. “Despite being a world leader in wind energy, Tamil Nadu’s wind farms have ageing and outdated technology. Upgrading the existing turbines alone could double the state’s leading wind energy capacity,” said Tim Buckley, IEEFA’s director of energy finance studies, Australia.

There are other concerns, as well. “Renewable energy assets in Tamil Nadu are facing significant back down (as state power utilities are buying little power from these plants). This adversely impacts their feasibility,” Kanika Chawla, a renewable energy expert at Delhi-based non-profit Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, told Quartz India.

Primarily, the major concerns stem from state regulation-related issues. For starters, the state-owned power utility Tangedco has proposed an additional imposition of taxes on rooftop solar plants, says this Times of India report.

Last July, Tamil Nadu was unable to use all the solar power it generated. In the wind energy sector, the government could stymie TASMA’s ability to drawing back the excess power it delivers to the power grid in the event of a shortage (wind banking). What one must understand is that TASMA generates and delivers excess wind energy to the power grid.

However, the biggest concern is the dire financial condition of the state power utility. In 2016-17, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) posted a loss of Rs 3,783 crore, besides year-long delays in the payment of dues to power-generating units.

As a result, these power generation units are unable to repay loans they had taken from the banks to install all the necessary equipment. The poor state of regulation in the state’s power sector is a real concern.

Source….  

in http://www.the betterindia.com

Natarajan

 

 

A Tribute to a Genius – Stephen Hawking…

Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist, has passed away at the age of 76, leaving a scientific legacy behind him that will undoubtedly be remembered for many centuries to come.

Stephen Hawking

Hawking was born on January 8th, 1942 in Oxford, the United Kingdom to two Oxford University graduates, Frank and Isobel. He had two younger sisters, Philippa and Mary, as well as an adopted brother named Edward.

The family moved to St. Alban’s, Hertfordshire, where they were considered to be both highly intelligent and somewhat eccentric by the locals. They lived frugally in a large, messy house and got around in a converted London taxi cab.

Following his primary and secondary school education, Hawking began his university education as an undergraduate at University College, Oxford in 1959. He was just 17 years old. Although the world only pictures him as a man confined to a wheelchair due to debilitating motor neuron disease that he was diagnosed with aged just 22, Hawking actually gained a reputation as being something of a daredevil during his university years.

He was the coxswain of a rowing crew at the University College Boat Club, and became notorious for steering his crew on risky courses, inevitably leading to a string of damaged rowing boats. He left University College with a Bachelor of Arts in natural science in 1962 prior to starting to work on his doctorate.

Stephen Hawking

His diagnosis with a rare form of motor neuron disease occurred at that time, and it led to him becoming deeply depressed. Nevertheless, he was encouraged to continue his studies by his supervisor, Dennis William Sciama, and was eventually able to demonstrate that Einstein’s general theory of relativity implies space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and end in black holes.

During his graduate years at Cambridge, Hawking fell in love with his first wife, Jane Wilde, with whom he had three children. The marriage would end some 30 years later after the marriage succumbed to the pressures of Hawking’s fame, ideological differences and the difficulties surrounding caring for him in light of his disability.

Despite beginning to use crutches in the early 1960s, he long fought off having to use a wheelchair, but when he finally couldn’t do so any longer, he gained notoriety for wild driving on the streets of Cambridge. He also used to run over students’ toes intentionally and would even spin himself on the dancefloor at college parties.

Together with Roger Penrose, Hawking had his first major breakthrough in 1970. They were able to use mathematics to show that a singularity, a region of infinite curvature in space-time, was the point from which the big bang emanated.

Stephen Hawking

After he realized that he was wrong in his argument about black holes being able to radiate, Hawking was in a Cambridge pub with his students when he suddenly turned up his voice synthesizer to full volume and bellowed that he was conceding defeat. Anyone who studied under his tuition or knew him personally knew him for his wicked sense of humor.

Hawking was elected to the Royal Society in 1974 aged just 32 after the series of radical discoveries he made during his early career, and would become the Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge. The latter is often thought as the UK’s most distinguished academic chair and was once held by Isaac Newton.

His 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, catapulted Hawking to international stardom. It sold over 10 million copies and was translated into no less than 40 different languages. It was around that time that his marriage would begin to break down, but he would go on to remarry in the mid-1990s.

During his lifetime, he won the Albert Einstein Award, the Wolf Prize, the Copley Medal and the Fundamental Physics Prize, however, the Nobel Prize for Physics eluded him. He also returned to the White House (he had also visited during the Clinton administration) to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama.

Stephen Hawking

His life has also been immortalized on screen, not least thanks to the multiple award-winning movie, the Theory of Everything. He also lent his voice and know-how to various documentaries over the years.

Perhaps it’s not surprising to know that Hawking was not a religious man, and dismissed the comforts of religious belief. With that being said, he had once told an interviewee that he wasn’t afraid of death, but he added that he wasn’t in any hurry to die due to how much work he had left to do. The great cosmologist is survived by his three children from his first marriage, together with his three grandchildren.

Watch Stephen Hawking being interviewed by Charlie Rose:

Source……..www.ba-ba mail.com

natarajan

The little girl from Mahabalipuram who is taking Indian skateboarding scene by storm…

Eight-year-old Kamali Moorthy, a child prodigy, is the only girl skateboarder and surfer in her hamlet in Tamil Nadu.

 

It was 3pm on a Friday. The air was hot and salty, and Fisherman Colony, a seaside village near Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, was baking in the afternoon sun. Seemingly oblivious to the heat, a few children are skateboarding on a quirky new skating ramp set up in the street. Among them was an arresting sight – a small girl effortlessly navigating the concrete slopes of the ramp, setting herself apart from the rest.

With her short hair tied up and two front teeth still taking shape, 8-year-old Kamali Moorthy grins as she drops into the ramp from the granite coping and rolls down the slopes, as if she was born to do so. And this is indeed the common belief among many people, from tourists to the fisher folk, who adore Kamali, the only girl skateboarder and surfer in the hamlet.

“Was she born with a skateboard?” asks Steffano Beccari, an Italian sculptor as he watches Kamali on the ramp.

“Right? she makes it look so easy,” responds Aine Edwards, Kamali’s mentor and an Irish entrepreneur residing in Mahabalipuram.

For the skateboarding community in India, Kamali is a child prodigy. She is not a professional skateboarder yet, but she is already a part of the circuit and goes on tours with other skateboarders. How did this young girl from a fishing hamlet in coastal TN become the next big thing in Indian skateboarding?

Destined to meet

“Kamali was only 3 years old when she started skating on a slope built by Holystoked collective, which builds skating ramps free of cost across India,” Aine says, “Mahabs has always been a surfer’s town, and skateboarding is concrete surfing, so it goes hand-in-hand here.”

Velu, a well-known surfer and Kamali’s uncle’s friend taught her and her little brother, Harish, how to balance themselves on a skate board, she says. “He even gifted them two boards. Ever since those baby steps, Kamali has been on a roll, quite literally, teaching herself new tricks every day and skating to her heart’s content.”

However, it was when world-renowned skater Jamie Thomas visited Mahabs as part of a brand promotion event few years ago, that Kamali got her first big break.

“I was down the end of the street and one of my friends mentioned that there was a pro skate-boarder in town. Just then, Kamali came out in a white dress with a skate board in her hand and Jamie Thomas was by the beach. I went and asked him if I can introduce him to a little girl. The rest is history,” says Aine, adding that they were destined to meet.

For Aine, it was just surreal to watch Jamie and Kamali skateboard together.

“What was merely a chance encounter lasted 3 to 4 hours. Jamie changed all his plans and taught her new tricks,” Aine says, “And just like that, he took Kamali’s skills up by a few notches. It was magic.”

“I learned a lot of new tricks from Jamie which I have been practicing. He taught me to drop in from the big one (taller part of the ramp) and to skate through steeper slopes. Then he taught me this cool trick called rock to fakie which I’m not sure how to explain” Kamali chips in with excitement. A talkative child, who is not shy to speak up, Kamali has more than just the sporting talent, she has confidence.

Jamie even sent Kamali a skateboard, on which she has been practicing ever since. Every day, she takes her board and goes to the ramp opposite to her house to hone her skills. However, Kamali’s potential, Aine explains, is not limited to the ramps in her village.

“Last year, we took a bunch of kids, including Kamali, to Mangaluru where Holystoked set up a skate park. She skated non-stop. She dropped in from the top of the ramp which is twice as tall as the ramp she was used to back home. After she got back, she was dejected as she had to go back to the smaller ramp. It was like giving a kid a big candy and taking it back,” laughs Aine.

Skateboarder in the surfers’ family

Aine and Kamali were introduced to each other through a surfer friend who stayed in a homestay atop Kamali’s house. Kamali’s chirpy presence instantly drew everyone to her, and Aine too was charmed the moment they met.

“She was quite a character even then. A lot of fun to hang out with. We soon started going to the ocean to surf and she gradually picked up the art of riding the waves,” Aine recollects.

Unlike the other girls in the town, Kamali was born into a family of surfers and hence it came naturally to her, Aine explains.

“Surfing is in her blood. Kamali only started skating regularly during her school summer holidays, as there was no one to take her surfing. Now she can catch green waves and go sideways on her own, which is quite impressive,” says Aine.

“She has two skateboards and there’s a skating park conveniently located opposite to our house. She has been skateboarding almost every day since she was three. I sometimes think she uses her board more than her feet,” Kamali’s mother Suganthi says.

 

With the surf season beginning in March, Aine says that Kamali is excited to hit the waves again.

Skateboarding into the future

Living with her single mum, Suganthi, and grandparents, Kamali and her four-year-old brother Harish are the first-generation English medium school goers. So, they have to strike a balance between their formal education and sport. But with growing popularity, a lot of the residents around Mahabs want to send their kids to skate. And many of them even ask if Kamali can teach their children, explains Aine.

“The teachers in her school are very encouraging. Some of them wanted to get Kamali to teach skating to her classmates as part of the school’s extra-curricular activity,” says Aine.

“All said, this is still a conventional fishing village and the girls are brought up pretty traditionally. Many in this village don’t understand this culture of skating and surfing. For them it is something that has infiltrated from the West and they wonder what all the fuss is about?” says Aine.

Despite these challenges, Kamali, Harish and several other skater kids aim to shatter stereotypes and become mainstream skateboarders.

Aine and other surfing enthusiasts in Mahabs want to promote the sport in and around the village by setting up more and better ramps in the future. However, when asked about promoting skating through competitions, she remains sceptical, “She is too young to compete professionally. But besides this, skating much like surfing, is a soul sport. Although there are quite a few surfing contests, you do it not as a competition but for the love of the sport.”

Source ::::: Sreedevi Jayarajan in http://www.thenewsminute.com

natarajan

 

 

 

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