Archive for February, 2011

Third Kosli Hasya Kabi Sammilani

Thanks to Saket Sahu for providing following information and photos:

On 15-16th of Feb 2011 the third Kosli Hasya Kabi Sammilani was held at Jharbandh in Bargarh district. It was organized by the ekalabya sahitya sansad, Jharbandh.

Eminent Kosli poets like Haldhal Nag, Sushil M ishra, Achyut Purohit, Debendra Sahu, Banka Bihari and Rajes Karia participated and recited their creations.
The organizers also felicitated Saket Sreebhushan Sahu for globalising Kosli language and Jitendra Pradhan development of  information technology In Jharbandh area

The organizers and the participants were also dicussed stragies to popularize Kosli language and culture. Many eminent persons of Bargarh district and nearby areas participated in this function.


February 19, 2011 at 10:40 am 3 comments

Jam and chocos from mahua soon: Good news for western Odisha

Following is from the TOI:

BALANGIR: There’s more to mahua than a pleasant headiness. The addictive bloom will now be used to make breakfast essentials like jam and jelly. Chocolates and pickles could also be sourced from the intoxicating flower.

Nearly 90 per cent of mahua, which is grown primarily in western Orissa, was being used for the production of country liquor. But now the SC-ST development department and Agriculture Promotion and Investment Corporation of Orissa Limited (APICOL), will be exporting mahua to European countries for making pickles, jelly, chocolate and jam.

Experts from IIT, Kharagpur and IIT, Delhi will train mahua pluckers as to how to collect the flower and ready its components for the export market.

APICOL chairman Balakrushna Ratha said they have got the Central Union Certification (CUC) for exporting mahua raw materials. “We had a meeting with CUC officials recently and put forth this issue as result of which we got the permission to export the mahua,” said Ratha.

He said this effort is primarily aimed at alleviating the economic conditions of marginal farmers and the landless poor of the KBK region.

“On a pilot basis, we have started this programme of training mahua collectors in Balangir, Padampur and Koraput. There will also be SHGs which will be entrusted with the collection work in a scientific way,” said Rath.

February 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

Corruption: similarities between India and Italy

Following report is from the Hindu:

With graft in public life an almost accepted universal norm, the similarities between India and Italy are both striking and startling.

Indians returning from trips to Europe usually tend to grouse about the rude rigidity of the Germans, the haughty froideur of the French, the extreme parsimony of the Dutch or the racism of the Austrians.

Italy, however, brings forth altogether different reactions: “They are friendly, garrulous, welcoming, and it is the only place in Europe that vegetarians can get a decent meal. But they are also thieves and double dealers. Given half a chance they’ll take the very shirt off your back and the shoes off your feet and you won’t even know how it happened, a bit like with the Bambaiya pickpockets. But then, you also somehow feel you are on familiar ground.”

Most Indians say they feel at home in Italy: life is chaotic, no one obeys the rules, policemen can be paid to cancel fines, there is massive tax evasion, the mafia controls large swathes of territory, the government counts for little and for the well-heeled, life is very good indeed.

Hardly anyone, except for a few Christian charities and other NGOs, thinks of the poor. Public money hall-marked for disaster victims tends to disappear into the pockets of officials and cronyism is rampant; homes built for the poor are the first to collapse in southern Italy’s earthquake-prone zones because of the poor quality of materials used ….

Sounds familiar? Well, with regard to the way politics is conducted, with corruption in public life an almost accepted universal norm, the continuing strength of family ties and how society is structured, the similarities between India and Italy are both striking and startling.

In India of course we do not have a jaded, ageing lothario like Silvio Berlusconi at the helm, whose Bunga Bunga nights — lavish parties where he surrounds himself with a bevy of often under-age nymphets — have brought Italy shame and universal opprobrium. Such behaviour would not be possible in India because of the prevailing notions of public (or for that matter) private morality. But like in Italy, hardly any politician caught for graft, blatant misuse of office, or, quite simply, theft from the public coffers has ever gone to prison.

The world might mock and the country’s magistrates might well try to bring Mr. Berlusconi to book for paying under-age prostitutes, for abuse of political office (he ordered the police to free a 17-year-old Moroccan prostitute who called the Prime Minister on his private mobile number from the station where she was being held for shoplifting), or more seriously, for introducing legislation designed to protect him from the judiciary while increasing his own power and influence, but at least half the country’s population continues to support him, admiring him for being a furbo, a clever clogs who has used every trick in the book to outwit the judiciary and get away with a host of alleged crimes and misdemeanours. These include fraud, tax evasion, bribing judges, consorting with the mafia, corruption, conflict of interest, impeding justice, undermining democratic institutions and exploiting them to serve his own vested interests … to name just a few. A recent poll showed that his popularity ratings continued to top 50 per cent and any Italian will tell you that Mr. Berlusconi has a strong chance of being re-elected should he stand for another term.

“In my view Italy is really a political infant, an underdeveloped polity, in a certain sense, a flash in the pan in the developed world. It is astounding, given the levels of corruption we have achieved that Italy continues to have the world’s seventh-largest nominal GDP, (10th highest GDP in PPP terms) and the sixth highest government budget — hugely deficit-ridden of course. But this lack of balance between our economic prowess and the absence of political maturity is the result of history. You must not forget that Italy is a very young democracy — compared to other western powers and that the unification of Italy is barely 130 years old,” Clara Fiorini, a history professor from Milan who says she has compared the situations in India and Italy told The Hindu.

“Like India, Italy was forever being invaded by the outside world. Both our countries are insular peninsulas, protected in the north by the Himalayas in your case and by the Alps in ours. India was constantly taken over, first by the Aryans, followed by the Greeks, the Muslim rulers of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughals, the Portuguese, the British, the Dutch, the French … and the country was divided into several independent kingdoms or city states like Hyderabad, Mysore, Gwalior, etc. It was the same with us. We had very powerful city states like Venice, Florence, Genoa, Pisa or Amalfi. We were ruled by the Spanish Hapsburgs and also by the Austrians. Then came the Napoleonic wars from 1796 to 1814 when Napoleon destroyed several parts of Venice including the great Arsenale or shipbuilding docks and stole some of our best Renaissance art treasures. When you are ruled by foreign powers, the only persons you can trust are members of your own family or community. That is how Italy’s nepotism began. In India of course appurtenance to caste and community have the same effect.

“Italian unification or Il Risorgimento began with Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1861 and continued until 1922. We have had three wars of independence in this struggle to unify Italy and that was finally achieved after the First World War came to an end. But then we launched into the Fascist period with Mussolini and the modern Italian Republic was born only in 1946, just one year before India became independent.

But if India benefitted, in the first years of its existence as a fledgling state from figures as towering as Nehru or Patel to seal the unity of India, the same cannot be said about Italy, where the Vatican and the influence of the Catholic Church remained very strong. Italian intellectuals like elsewhere, including France, were attracted by Marxist ideology, reviled by the Church. The Italian communist party under charismatic leaders like Enrico Berlinguer commanded as much as 25 per cent of the vote.

“It was to keep the communists out of power at all costs that the horrible power sharing formula known as the ‘partitocrazia’ or the reign of the parties was born. For almost 40 years thereafter until the huge 1992 bribery scandal in Milan known as Tangentopoli (Bribe City) the Christian Democrats and the Socialists with two smaller parties, ruled with governments changing every other day. Corruption was rampant. People held their noses when they went to vote — so strong was the stench of corruption — but voted for the four-party combine nevertheless, in order to keep the communists out,” says Fiorini.

As a result of the Mani Puliti (Clean Hands) investigation that came in the wake of Tangentopoli, Socialist Prime Minister Bettino Craxi fled to Tunisia where he died in exile. Giulio Andreotti, seven times Prime Minister, was charged with corruption, murder and for his links to the mafia. He escaped jail because of the statute of limitations, a trick Mr. Berlusconi has used again and again, getting trials postponed, adjourned or delayed or by transferring judges.

If Italians had hoped for a fresh start, with what many called the Second Italian Republic, they were to be disappointed. The major parties, the Christian Democrats, the Communists and the Socialists dissolved to spring up as new political formations. Silvio Berlusconi entered the breach left by the dissolution of the Christian Democratic Party to form first his Forza Italia and then House of Freedom party. His natural allies came from the right — the deeply anti-immigrant and xenophobic Northern League and the newly re-baptised Allianza Nationale (Mussolini’s original fascist formation) led by Gianfranco Fini. The Left, in what has turned out to be Italy’s greatest tragedy, has broken up into several small, squabbling, fractious political formations, leaderless and with no clear programme to offer. It is not surprising, that Mr. Berlusconi, who comforts the country’s right-wing elites and business communities, remains as popular as he is, despite his shenanigans.

But the magistrates, who, in Italy like in India, constitute the people’s bulwark against open and shameless corruption, appear determined to get him. Magistrates said they could file charges against Mr. Berlusconi “as early as next week.” If convicted of buying the services of an under-age prostitute and abuse of power, Mr. Berlusconi could face a long jail term. But he is protected by an immunity law he himself passed and for the moment, remains beyond the judiciary’s reach.

The noted writer of Italian origin Alexander Stille wrote in The New York Times recently: “In almost any other democracy, that would have been enough to end a politician’s career. But Italians are deeply cynical about their political leaders. Believing that ‘everyone does it,’ it is possible to convince yourself that the exposure of Berlusconi’s crimes and misdemeanours is actually a sign that he is being singled out for persecution.”

This is a view, says Stille, which is reinforced by the substantial portion of the Italian media, which is controlled by Mr. Berlusconi. Even the media outlets he does not own outright are either intimidated or under his influence. Much of the evidence in the current scandal (as with those in the past) has not been aired on the principal newscast of the Italian State TV, which, together with Mr. Berlusconi’s networks, enjoy a nearly 90 per cent market share in a country where 70 to 80 per cent of the public gets its news from television.”

February 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

Orissa neglected in railways development: Report from the Samaja

February 16, 2011 at 10:28 am Leave a comment

Bhima Bhoi honour for poet Haladhar Nag

Following is from The Telegraph:

Sonepur, Feb. 15: Here’s yet another feather for the cap of poet Haladhar Nag. The Sambalpuri poet, who is often compared with nature poet Gangadhar Meher, will be honoured with this year’s prestigious Bhima Bhoi Samman for excellence in the field of art and literature.

The award will be given to him during the annual Magha Mela to be held on Thursday at Khaliapali in Subarnapur district. The award is instituted by the Bhima Bhoi Samadhipitha Trust in Khaliapali, which was the work place of saint poet Bhima Bhoi and where the memorial temple of the poet now stands.

Upon hearing about his selection, Nag said he was felt honoured to be awarded a prize that was associated with the name of the saint poet.

“I feel very honoured. Any award is always a good thing for a writer, but this one is special for me, as it is associated with Bhima Bhoi. Bhima Bhoi has always been the source of my inspiration. He was a phenomenal poet who saw the future,” said Nag.

Nag, who has studied up to Class IV only and used to sell peanuts, now casts magic over the audience as he rattles out poem after poem wherever he goes.

His best known works include Mahasati Urmila, Tara Mandodari, Achhia (Untouchables, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s fight against untouchability) and Bachhar, all written in Sambalpuri.

Managing trustee of Bhima Bhoi Samadhipitha Trust, Sadananda Agrawal said the selection committee had chosen Nag for the honour because his contribution had enriched the literary tradition of the region.

“He has been around for quite for some time now and his contribution to enrich the literary tradition of the region has been phenomenal. The trust is happy to honour to such a rare talent,” Agrawal said.

He added that eminent poet Hari Sankar Badpanda would be awarded the ‘Navalipi Samman’ while playwright Atala Bihari Panda will get the ‘Bhagirathi Nepak Sruti Samman’.

“Poet Purusottam Mishra will be awarded ‘Purna Chandra Rath Sruti Samman’. Some other awards will also be handed out on the occasion.”

February 16, 2011 at 10:13 am Leave a comment

Krupajal group to set up medical college in KBK region

Following is from the Dharitri online edition:

February 13, 2011 at 9:26 am 4 comments

Subarna Lok Mahotsav kicks off at Sonepur

Following is from

SONEPUR: THE fiveday Subarna Lok Mahotsav was kicked off by Planning and Coordination Minister A U Singhdeo yesterday. While the morning was confined to holding of boating competition in river Mahanadi, a festival of dance and music was flagged off in the evening at Gandhi Padia here.

In his inaugural address, Singhdeo recalled the rich heritage and tradition of the district and stressed on the need to promote the district as a tourist destination. Later, Gotipua dance from Raghurajpur, Dongria dance from Bhawanipatna, Chhau dance of Keonjhar and Purulia in West Bengal, Bihu dance of Assam besides local folk dance were performed. A development exhibition and Pallishree Mela is also being organised.

February 13, 2011 at 9:06 am Leave a comment

Tourism plans for Deogarh

Following is from

DEOGARH: THE erstwhile capital of Bamanda estate, Deogarh, that has a glorious cultural heritage and literary tradition finally got a place on the tourism map of the State.

Bamanda which has to its credit the first ever printing press, hydro power project and telephone line under Raja Sudhal Deb, saw Tourism and Culture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra lay a foundation stone of Pradhanpat tourism project.

On the occasion, Mishra said that an estimated budget of `1 crore has been planned for development of the project and `60 lakh allocated in the first phase.


He said the State Government was mooting development of a tourism circuit comprising waterfall at Pradhanpat, Kurdokot, Deojharan in Deogarh besides Khulundi in Pallahara and Gudguda in Sambalpur.

He said development of tourism would boost growth of parallel economy and provide employment opportunities.

In his address, Deogarh MLA Sanjib Pradhan said in the absence of industrialisation, the development of tourism would provide an alternative to take the district ahead.

He also drew the attention of the Minister for renovation of Basant Niwas, the rest house of the erstwhile rulers of Bamanda estate.

February 13, 2011 at 9:01 am Leave a comment

Hirakud plays host to fewer migratory birds

Following is from the

SAMBALPUR: Call it climate change or impact of industrialisation on the periphery of Hirakud dam reservoir, there has been a drastic reduction in the arrival of migratory birds to the reservoir under Hirakud wildlife division during this winter season.

As winter sets in, migratory birds come down to the reservoir, one of the places for their suitable ensconce. Thousands of birds of various species migrate every year and stay for four months till  February-end before flying back in the first week of March.

The winged guests from far-flung areas including Caspian Sea, Biakal Lake, Aral Sea, Mongolia, Central and South East Asia and Himalayan region flock to the reservoir in the first week of November every year for the winter sojourn. The winged guests stay for about five months at the reservoir which forms the largest artificial lake in Asia with an area of 746 sq km and a shoreline of over 640 km.

Contrary to preceding years, the number of migratory birds descending on the reservoir is almost reduced to half. It is learnt that only a few migratory birds have come down to the reservoir to the dismay of wildlife officers and bird lovers.

As per available reports, over 21,160 migratory birds of about 27 species had flown from far-flung areas to the reservoir as per census in January, 2010. However, their number has come down to 10,722 during the last month census.

As many as 20 to 25 species of birds are seen in the reservoir and common among them are Common Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Great Duck Bill, Spot Bill (Grey Duck), Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Pond Heron, Painted Stork, Whiskered Tern, Indian River Tern, Gadwall and

Red Wattled Lapwing and Black Winged Stilt.

While the declining number of birds has been a cause of concern for bird lovers, it has become a challenge for the Wildlife Department. Although the cause is yet to be ascertained, it is said to be the result of climate change, massive industrialisation and resultant sound and water pollution.


February 13, 2011 at 8:56 am Leave a comment

A man’s journey from dabbas to doctorate: TOI Report

Following is a TOI report:

MUMBAI: Bijay Moharana was like any young man who came to Mumbai in the 90s hoping to get lucky. By the end of almost two decades, the city gave him more than what he asked for. On Saturday, Moharana (40) received a doctorate after spending a decade pursuing his PhD.

But just that is not his story. Moharana came to the city with a degree form the Utkal University. Enamored by the city and its huge urban sprawl, he would go around Mumbai all day for days on end, and slept on the CST station platform at night. A few months later, a slumdweller in Kalina offered him space in his house.

That’s when Moharana found the university campus. He ran out of money and started working as a dabbawalla. Meanwhile, he also enrolled for his masters in philosophy in 1996 at the University of Mumbai.

He also signed up as a courier boy and frequented The Times of India building as a delivery boy.

Signing up for a master’s course was just the route for a PhD. “My father wanted me to be a doctor. He told me that with confidence, passion and will power, I would achieve my goals,” he said.

Moharana who studied the relevance of yoga in modern times, now works for the Braj Gauri Trust and teaches yoga to cancer patients. “Yoga is all the more important in today’s stressful life,”

Moharana concluded in his thesis.

February 13, 2011 at 8:35 am Leave a comment

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