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Home Features

Features

The Fête de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, is an annual music celebration held on June 21 and celebrated in 120 countries around the globe. The concept of music everywhere has caught up with the Hyderabadi audience too. The vibrant city of Hyderabad hosts music events and along the way spreads peace and happiness.

Every mother may not be a perfect singer, but her lullaby puts her baby to sleep. The child’s tryst with music starts in the infancy and over the years it is refined. Many studies have been carried out to find out how music is pleasing to the ears and mind and soothes frayed tempers. Music in any form is welcome from a toddler to a seasoned singer. In the city of Hyderabad, organisations like Hydourite, CISNE For Arts, Surmandal, Alliance Francaise, Goethe Zentrum Hyderabad, Hyderabad Western Music Foundation and many others bring the best talent to the city and host Music programmes that are much talked about even after the show is long over.

On the occasion of World Music Day that falls on 21 June every year, Alliance Francaise, Goethe Zentrum in association with the Hyderabad Western Music Foundation (HWMF) every year scouts for young talent in the Nawabi city. After a thorough screening, the young talent is given a stage to perform and exhibit their musicology. It is not only western music that is given preference here but even Indian classical including fusion, classic rock, acoustic and folk music artists are given a chance to perform. HWMF founder Joe Koster also regularly holds Western Music classes to spread the love for western music among the Hyderabadis.

Most Happening Festival

One organisation that has been receiving rave reviews for holding music events across the City of Pearls is three-year-old Hydourite. The 100-day festival consisting of 14 weekends is a non-ticketed event and invitation is by passes and completely run through sponsorships or the trio of A V Ramakrishna, Manoj C S and Capt. Anand have chipped in money when required. The city folks are glued to this event because of its quality and presentation. It is the most happening festival in the city.

Hydourite’s Manoj says that Hydourite was a dream of three friends. “Ramakrishna, who hails from Hyderabad, was my batchmate in the catering college and for the past two decades, we have been business partners. Another friend Capt. Anand is from Chennai, and now that we have made Hyderabad our home, we are giving back to the city what we believe that Arts and Culture crosses all borders and music spreads peace and happiness.” Manoj shares that plans to start Hydourite germinated in 2007 but it took final shape in 2012. “We coined2 the name Hydourite – ‘Our Hyderabad, Our Favourite’ to celebrate the spirit of Hyderabad,” he says.

Elaborating further, Manoj says: “Activities have been planned across the spectrum to ensure that every Hyderabadi gets an opportunity to be a part of some celebration. It showcases the best of events, from various parts of this vibrant country and the world, on a periodical basis to an exclusive audience in an exclusive ambience and helps them strengthen the Hyderabadi bond! Hydourite also nurtures and encourages local talent and provides them with bigger platforms to present themselves to the world.”

Speaking on participation of people from an auto driver to an IAS official in their events, Manoj says: “Before the start of the Hydourite Festival in 2014, the city painted its own identity through 32 feet long and 8 feet high canvas, over a period of three days at Prasad’s IMAX. The never before tried experiment was well received, which was evident from the fact that a number of dignitaries graced the occasion. Every day only a couple of blocks were opened and people would paint only that while the others would be closed. Kanth Risa was the main artist who created a rough sketch on this mega canvas and masterminded this mega painting, from start to finish. It was unveiled at CCRT Amphi theatre. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Telangana State Industrial and Infrastructure Corporation, Government of Telangana; L&T Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd chief executive and managing director VB Gadgil, and many others took part in this art show.”

Recalling an incident that happened in the Hydourite’s first season in 2012, the man behind the festival said: “Anandan Sivamani, popularly known as Sivamani, who was a guest for the Sufusion concert, enjoyed the concert so much that he even displayed his expertise of music systems at the sound check station and even did an impromptu performance, much to the audiences’ delight, with requests for an encore pouring in.” Manoj adds: “At that event, Sivamani lauded the efforts of the Hydourite team in bringing together both established and upcoming artistes.”

Dasha-Avatara, well Appreciated

One event that caught people’s attention was the Dasha-Avatara. This has been repeated in two Hydourite festivals “Hydourite’s own production Dasha-Avatara was based on the original concept from the Hindu mythology on the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Each avatara was introduced by bringing the context and rationale for the avatara’s appearance. The legendary stories were unraveled with highlighting the particular philosophy that the avatara symbolised. Taking on from here was storytelling of small story which reflected the same philosophy that the avatara denoted. A musical note and rendering of a relevant couplet concluded the section of that avatara. The ten avataras presented in the multi-art form were Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki,” Manoj says.

The fabulous collaboration of the four different mediums by musician Anasuya Murthy, Kuchipudi and Vilasini Natyam danseuse Anupama Kylash, sand-artist Kanth Risa and storyteller Deepa Kiran had the huge gathering totally glued to their seats, spellbound and asking for more. “The event offered a unique experience of art through sound, sight, movement of body, slithering of sand, captivating words, music and more significantly through the magic that happened when all these came together,” the Hydourite official said.

Hydourite Trust In Place

To ensure that Hydourite runs smoothly, Hydourite Trust, a non-profit organisation, has been formed. “Money received from the events will be ploughed back for promoting events. Last year, we organised many events that brought smiles on the faces of underprivileged children and senior citizens. Plans are also on to establish a cultural center where lot of activities will be conducted to promote performing and visual arts.” “We have also plans for a 500-600 seater auditorium so that concerts can be held for dedicated audience. The Auditorium will also help in achieving Hydourite’s aim of continuously promoting arts and culture and to keep the Hydourite spirit active and in news beyond the 100 day festival.” On the timing of the Festival, Manoj says: “We have our shows on Saturdays, so that people can enjoy and also have a lazy Sunday. Year end is a good time for organising the 100-day festival as there is no exam tension for the kids and the weather is pleasant too.”

The 100-day festival, according to the Hydourite team, has strong support from the Telangana Tourism, PBEL Property Development (India) Pvt. Ltd., Marigold and Avasa Hotels, ABD, BIG 92.7 FM, ITC Fiama Di Wills, Andhra Bank, Tata Docomo, and many other like minded sponsors and well wishers.

Showering praises on the Hydourite Festival, Jaywant Naidu, Hawaiian guitar player and city-based artiste, says: “This festival has a very unique flavour with focus on the artistes and culture from Hyderabad. The event is very professionally organised and all arrangements are planned well in advance.” Jaywant further said: “As we move in time and space, such festivals will leave a memorable stamp in the annual calendar of Hyderabad.”

Fine Arts For Everyone!

Harini Madhira, Founder, CISNE for Arts, trained Hindustani classical vocalist and Kathak dancer, through her organisation has been trying to bridge the gap between Art and Culture of India and its varied audiences with a message that Fine Arts Is For everyone!

Harini says that the event management industry has been fragmented with several companies including hers. “We view this industry as a customer experience industry. We are extremely focused on the concept and the end audience experience. We spend a fair amount of time on understanding the target audience profile, for example age, region so on so forth and build the content around the audience recipient. In our corporate events, HR, marketing teams view us as an extended arm in developing the brief. In our public shows, we get sponsors and we try to match a brand. This uniquely differentiates us from others in the market,” says the CISNE founder.

Speaking on the success of the organisation, Harini says: “Thanks for hinting we are successful (laughs)! Our journey has just begun. But, yes we have steadily made gains. Frankly, I never focused on the success of the company. As with most enduring organisations, we were clear that as long as we are offering great value to our customers growth and success will follow.”

Revealing who captured the spirit and motto of an event in CISNE events till now, Harini smilingly says that there have been a couple of them but there was one event, which was almost like delivering a child. “The jugalbandi of Begum Abida Parveen and Muzaffar Ali is much talked about. Typically in events, you plan for several eventualities but what do you do when your Plan B appears to fail! Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong with that event but the actual event went off very smoothly and was one of the memorable experiences for the audience. It’s been five years and people still talk about it and that feels very happy and satisfying,” Harini recalls.

The event organiser says that corporate clients too have gone on record to say an event was the best and set a new bar. She says: “Even when stalwarts like Dr. L Subramanium and Kavita ji, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan sahab, bless you on stage and acknowledge the effort one definitely feels good and motivated to do better.”

Weather Woes

Does weather make any difference in organising festivals, Harini says: “In Hyderabad, I would say now all the difference because there is no clear demarcated season anymore. It can rain anytime and most of our large event venues are outdoors so we are always on tender hooks.” When quizzed on whether, she attends competitor’s events, she says: “I try to attend all the other good concerts and public events but quite a few times it does clash with our own events.  I am forced to miss them.”

According to Harini, the entire process of planning/conceptualising, marketing and executing an event is very exciting. “I am detail oriented, go to great lengths to get things right perhaps because I started off all alone in Hyderabad. My partner Abhinav is based out of Mumbai. I can’t really pin point one aspect - the  entire lifecycle excites me. I believe you can bring innovation into everything.” Harini says.

On event gyan, the CISNE founder says that now we have lot of players in the city who are into live shows and music festivals. Harini says: “In the last one year, there has been flooding of public concerts across genres. Organising a festival and making sure it is successful in Hyderabad needs loads of planning and homework.”

Harini goes on to say that they are in the midst of planning Monsoon Niravana annual event, which is typically scheduled for July & August. “Monsoon Nirvana features young and upcoming performers in very contemporary/ different format. We are planning to get some very good talent this year also. We will unfold this suspense shortly,” she says.

Mesmerising Audiences with her Singing

Harini Rao, Hindustani Vocalist and Terracotta Jewelry designer has been creating waves across the city and abroad. Apart from singing solos, she has done jugalbandi with Carnatic vocalist and also given vocal support to Kathak dancers in the city.

Harini loves Naushad and Sachin Dev Burman’s music the most, but, Ilaiyaraja will always remain an eternal inspiration for her. “His music is surreal no doubt, but what motivates me the most is the richness he brings to his compositions. The concepts of western classical music, the sensibilities of Indian folk... Think about it. Such grandeur is something that is not really required for ‘mass’ film and popular music but he still goes all out to break boundaries and exceeds expectations. He’s my inspiration to strive for excellence,” Harini says.

Disclosing on whether any song has moved her emotionally, the singer says there are lots of them. “All the compositions by my guru Smt. Swati Phadke moved me to tears when I first heard them. I’m moved by any great piece of music, be it instrumental or vocal. I recently heard my teacher Smt. Sudeshna Gupta sing Raag Bhairavi, and there I was, sitting and weeping like a child,” Harini shares.

For the singer a perfect day is an easy one. “Probably a day, when I get up early, eat great food, sing, dress up and attend my own concert,” she jokingly says. On what friends most appreciate about her, Harini says: “They like how I take things easy and have no ‘baggage’. They think I’m very light (pun intended) and how I enjoy doing what I do. Basically, that keeps me happy.”

Commenting on the music scene in the city, the artiste says that the scene is definitely improving. “With organisations like Hydourite, Surmandal, SICA and NatyaSwara, and people like Mohan Hemmadi ji and Anna Rao ji supporting young musicians it’s only a lot of sunshine,” Harini says. She reaffirms that the only thing that needs to change is for people to value our classical arts. “They should be forthcoming in supporting monetarily as well. It is a bitter truth that getting sponsorship for classical events is not easy. In the US, people pay up front to an organisation in the beginning of the year and that creates a corpus and concerts follow throughout the year,” adds Harini. She states: “Also there’s a culture of donation during a concert. People write cheques and at the end, they’re presented to the artist. I thought that was a nice way of appreciation.”

Giving insight into her musical family, Harini says: “I come from a family of music lovers. And I have cousins who are making a mark in Carnatic music. So it’s a great mix!” Speaking fondly of her first music teacher, the young singer says: “Late Smt. Naniwadekar in Secunderabad taught me as a toddler. I don’t remember much from her class except that she was a sweet grand old lady.”

Recalling her first public performance, Harini says: “I was nervous for a few minutes but as I got consumed by the music, it all seemed at peace. The audience was accepting because I was comfortable being on stage, which was a big lesson for me and helped in a big way in all concerts that followed.” On handling mistakes during a performance, the singer says: “I apologise. Sometimes, I simply apologise even before I start! Usually, you know by intuition that there might be mistakes. Sometimes, what I perceive as a mistake is enjoyed by the listener and vice-versa. So it’s a safe bet to apologise before I start a tricky piece!”

Tips to beginners, Harini says: “I’m a beginner myself. We’re all learners and every concert is a teacher. It is of utmost importance that an artist be one with their art. Get that confidence, it is highly attractive. You understand that the audience will enjoy your music only if you enjoy yourself.” Practicing mantra, she says: “In an ideal world, I’d love to sing all day! But, I sing for three to four hours as regular practice.” Balancing music with family and job, Harini says: “Luckily for me I have to balance only my job and my music. I have an extremely supporting family who loves my music. The rest just falls in place. Of course like everyone, there are bad days too, but I’m very laid back. I enjoy what I do and don’t get stressed easily.”

Listening to one artist for the rest of her life, Harini says: “That’s a tricky one. I’d like to pick two please.Vidushi Prabha Atre and Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar.” Smaller and larger venues have their own benefits, but she prefers smaller venues as there’s a personal connect with the audience which is a great feeling.

Remembering an unforgettable tour, the singer says that the US tour this year. “It opened up many opportunities and I met some brilliant artistes and varied audiences. Americans are very keen listeners. They ask some very smart questions and make an effort to understand nuances. It opened my thinking up to new experiences too,” Harini concludes.

On the whole, with many organisations vying to bring in the best and most sought after artiste to town, the music scene in the city is vibrant. The Hyderabadis are lapping up the local and global music. Every music lover now has a choice and one hopes the musical trend will continue for years to come.

 

Vacations, vacations and vacations. Everyone longs for a vacation. Even before you have unpacked your bags from the present one, you are already planning the next. Youngsters and corporate professionals are always on the lookout for a weekend break. Even schools and colleges can plan excursions to adventure and eco-tourism places. Take a look at some of the options the Telangana State is offering

Taking over the reins as Telangana Chief Minister, K Chandrashekhar Rao, announced on developing a robust tourism industry by investing Rs. 100 crore to erect hospitality infrastructure, increase convenience for in-bound travellers and promote its unique cultural identity. The ongoing Godavari Pushkaralus is an example of what the government has done for the pilgrims/tourists across the State.

The Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation (TSTDC) is keen to focus on lesser-known destinations in the tourism circuit and showcase the culture, heritage and tradition of the State. Warangal and Nalgonda circuits, including Rachakonda Fort and Rangapur Observatory are being developed as tourist spots.

The state wants to promote unexplored destinations like tiger reserves at Kawal, Jannaram, Tadavai and Mannanur which are being developed for adventure and eco-tourism. Other plans also include a light and sound show at the historic Jodeghat village in Kerameri Mandal of Adilabad district and at Basar.

Kumram Bheem Memorial Park

On top of the TSTDC agenda is the construction of Kumram Bheem memorial park at Jodeghat village. It must be noted that Jodeghat is the place where legendary Gond leader Kumaram Bheem had attained martyrdom in 1940 and the chief minister had promised to develop it as a tourist spot.

According to plans, an arch would come up at the entrance of the village, a memorial for the martyr and landscaping would be ready by October this year when the 75th martyrdom anniversary of Bheem would be observed. Later, the museum would come up in a phased manner. Villagers have been assured that there would be no dislocation owing to development.

TSTDC Bouquet of Wildlife  and Adventure Tourist Spots

Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary - The Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Khammam district, is a home to several endangered species. The sanctuary gets its name from the River Kinnerasani which dissects the sanctuary and meets Godavari. The fauna found in this sanctuary are panthers, chinkara, chousinghas, sambar, cheetal, gaurs, hyena, jackals, wild boars, tigers, sloth bear, and black bucks. Tourists can also spot a number of birds like jungle fowl, quails, partridges, peafowl, nuktas, spoonbills, teals and doves.

How to Reach - The wildlife sanctuary is located at a distance of 24 km from Kothagudem and 12 km from Palvancha town and is accessible by road.

Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve - The Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve, spread over Nalgonda and Mahabubnagar, is the largest Tiger Reserve in the country. Spread over 3,568 sqkm the Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Sanctuary is known for its breathtaking scenic beauty.

Situated in the deciduous Nallamala Forests, the mystifying landscape of the lofty hills and echoing valleys, exciting winding roads, perennial rivers, is this most charismatic world of the wild cats. It is a true wild paradise. The mighty River Krishna rises in Sahyadri Hills and makes its way through Maharashtra and Karnataka to flow across Nallamala tiger reserve. Best time to visit the Tiger Reserve is October to June.

How to Reach - Farhabad Tiger Reserve, a part of the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve , is located nearly 154 Km from Hyderabad which involves a diversion from Srisailam highway.

Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary - If you want to explore one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries of Telangana, then you just can’t miss the Eturunagaram Wildlife Sanctuary in Warangal district. The Eturunagaram Sanctuary was declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1953 by the former Hyderabad Government, thanks to its rich bio-diversity. The area in this wildlife park is full of steeps and gentle slopes. On the top of it, the wildlife sanctuary area has some historical significance owing to the existence of tree fossils in this Sarvai area and caves.

The perennial River Dayyam Vagu flows through this beautiful Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary spread over an area of 806 sqkm. The region is covered completely with thick natural vegetation. The plethora of water in the sanctuary attributes to the presence of reptiles like the famous Mugger crocodiles and snakes like the Cobra, Python and Krait. Best season to visit the sanctuary is from October to April.

How to Reach - The sanctuary is located at a distance of 110 km from Warangal and nearly 250 km from Hyderabad.

Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary - Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the important wildlife sanctuaries in the newly formed state. The Kawal sanctuary houses various animals and several varieties of flora and fauna. If you want to get a glimpse of wild animals in their natural habitat, then, the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary is a must see place.

This Wildlife Sanctuary gives you a picturesque view of retreat. Every corner of this sanctuary is filled with adventure and thrill. Thousands of tourists visit this secluded animal kingdom to experience the thrills amidst wild beasts of the region. The wildlife sanctuary is a dry and dense forest with teak, bamboo and many other varieties of trees.

The sanctuary houses several species of animals including cheetal, sambar, barking deer, nilgai, sloth bear, Indian bison, panther and tiger. Tourists can also find reptiles like crocodile, python, monitor lizard, star tortoise and cobra, in this wildlife sanctuary. This tourist spot also provides jeep safaris, and bird watching trips to spot several rare animals in their habitat. During summer, the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary witnesses hot and dry climate. But the monsoon season that commences from June and continues till September adds life to the forest and makes it bliss. Winter is the perfect season to visit the sanctuary.

How to Reach - Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary in Adilabad district lies at a distance of nearly 50 km from Mancherial and 260 km from Hyderabad.

Jannaram Wildlife Sanctuary - Thousands of tourists make it to this secluded animal kingdom for experiencing the beauty of the dense forests that houses many varieties of trees. Winter is considered as an ideal season to visit this sanctuary. Situated in the midst of scenic hillocks and greenery, this is an ideal destination for those who desire to be in unison with nature. Tourists can also take up trekking here in the forests.

Tourists can avail the package that comes with a one-day and two-day customised itinerary, which is also inclusive of transportation, food and boating.

How to Reach - Jannaram is located at a distance of nearly 295 km from Hyderabad and can be accessed by road via Armoor in Nizamabad district.

Ali Sagar Deer Park - Ali Sagar Deer Park, spread over 33 acres, is a very important picnic spot near Nizamabad. Ali Sagar in simple words is a very colourful and beautiful garden developed to attract picnickers from Nizamabad. If you wish to go on a short and rejuvenating trip, Ali Sagar is a right place. It offers a refreshing environment. The park established in 1985 hosts many species of deer. To add to its breathtaking beauty is the enormous forest spread along with a beautiful summer house, well nurtured gardens, a secluded island and a hilltop guest house.

How to Reach - Ali Sagar Deer Park is located at a distance of 13 km from Nizamabad town and is well accessible by road.

Shivaram Wildlife Sanctuary - Shivaram Wildlife Sanctuary located along River Godavari, spread over 36.29 sqkm, is situated in Karimnagar district.  The total area of this beautiful wildlife sanctuary is approx. 36.29 sqkm. Marsh Crocodiles are the fresh water crocodiles which are also known as Mugger Crocodiles are visible here and throughout the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The specialty of these mugger crocodiles outnumber the salt water crocodiles, and can crawl for a considerable distance on land.

The deciduous vegetation of this sanctuary consistits of timan, terminalias, teak, gumpena and kodsha. It also has some thorny shrubs. The wildlife sanctuary attracts a lot of tourists with its wide collection of fauna which includes sloth bear, nilgai, panther, langaur, rhesus monkey, cheetal, etc. The most appropriate time for a visit to this wildlife sanctuary is winter.

How to Reach - Shivaram Wildlife Sanctuary is located nearly 10 km from Manthani and 50 km from Mancherial town.

Manjira Wildlife Sanctuary - Have you ever visited the Manjira wildlife and bird sanctuary in Medak district? If you haven’t, then pack your bags and head for this amazing destination. The Manjira sanctuary is situated along the mighty River Manjira near Sangareddy town.

The charming part about this sanctuary is that one can take an adventurous boat ride for bird watching in the Manjira Wildlife & Bird Sanctuary. There are nine small yet very beautiful islands Bapangadda, Sangamadda, Puttigadda, Karnamgadda etc. which together form the Manjira Wildlife & Bird Sanctuary.

How to Reach - The sanctuary is located at a distance of nearly seven km from Sangareddy town in Medak district and 50 kn from Hyderabad.

Pocharam Sanctuary - Pocharam Forest was reported to be a favourite hunting ground for the Hyderabad Nizam who had declared it as a wild life sanctuary as early as the beginning of 20th century. The sanctuary gets its name from the Pocharam Lake formed after the construction of Pocharam dam on Allair River from 1916 – 1922.

Surrounded by lush green forest, the place has rich flora and fauna attracting winged visitors such as brahminy bucks, bar-headed goose, and open billed stork. The place is an ideal eco-tourism spot where visitors can enjoy spotting five species of antelopes and deer. The sanctuary is home to animals like wild dog, leopard, wolf, jackal, forest cat, sloth bear, sambar, nilgai, chinkara, chital, and four horned antelope. The ideal season to visit is October to May.

How to Reach - It is 15 km from Medak, and around 110 km from Hyderabad.

Shamirpet Deer Park - Shamirpet Deer Park, located in Bolaram Cantonment of Hyderabad, stretches over a vast area of 54 acres with deciduous forest giving shelter to a wide array of animals. Famous as the home to the blackbuck and the chital deer, several other species of deer can also be seen in their natural habitat. The serene Shamirper Lake and the thick vegetation around the park makes it a charming picnic spot.

How to Reach - Shamirpet Deer Park is located at a distance of nearly 25 km from Hyderabad and is well accessible by road - Hyderabad- Karimnagar Rajiv Rahadari.

ADVENTURE

Bhongir - Bhuvanagiri, also known as Bhongir falls on the way to the well-known temple town of Yadagirigutta. The place is quiet popular for its mesmerising fort atop the monolithic hill, which has many tales of times immemorial. The Bhongir Hill is a huge rock formation. It is more than 700-feet high and is sprawled over 40 acres of land. This unique rock is locally known as the ‘Eka sila’.

The Telangana tourism department has taken new initiatives by launching many adventure sports here. Rock climbing in Bhongir is quite popular among people who yearn to face the thrill of living on the edge. These adventurous activities are a perfect exercise to instill the attitude of adventure, which is also key to build a strong personality. Even private organisations conduct rock-climbing sessions here.

How to Reach - Bhongir Fort in Nalgonda district, hub for adventure and trekking activites, is situated at a distance of nearly 35 km from Hyderabad and is well accessible by road.

Vikarabad - Vikarabad is a charming place where one can derive pleasure in trekking. In fact, it is one of the favourite trekking spots for people who crave for adventure close to Hyderabad city. This place is covered with red soil, containing a mixture of rock and loose soil; therefore, it is a thrilling place for rappelling and rock climbing. There are two different trails for the people coming here to have an adrenaline rush. The forest is an ideal place even for beginners.

Vikarabad is surrounded by many small hills, making it convenient for trekking and apart from this; one can also enjoy some wild adventures in the Vikarabad forest. Tourists enjoy forest trails by traversing some of the interior regions of the forest where they enjoy photographing the panoramic views and wildlife, fresh water streams and the verdant greenery.

How to Reach - Vikarabad is easily accessible by road, located nearly 85 km away from Hyderabad.

Where to Eat & Stay

At every tourist spot there are Haritha Resorts which offer ac and non-ac rooms and also cater to food requirements of the tourists.

People Speak

Viswaprasad Raju, Adman & Travel Sketch Artist

Taking a short break, once a month at least, is a relaxation and helps one getting back to work with renewed vigour.  Moreover, my visits also help me to sketch at the serene surroundings. I like to visit my uncle’s farm house near Shakarpally or, sometimes, the Narsapur Reserve Forest for its calmness and greenery. Also the place is not far off from the city. I read, sketch, drive and play.

Ravi Naidu, IT professional & Wildlife Photographer

I have been taking short breaks for the last eight years now with family and friends. It has always been spontaneous as working in the IT field, one is unaware about the schedules and it is good to take a break when it comes. My favourite spots are the Ameenpur Lake, Vikarabad, Ananthagiri Hills, Nagarjunasagar to name a few.

Suresh Kochattil,

GM, Apollo Hospitals

I do take short vacations, once in four months in the state and a long one to Kerala, my home. Being a member of the GHAC, I do take active part in trekking activities. In the state, I prefer the Ananthagiri Hills, and trekking the Moula Ali. My outings are with my family and friends.

Rajani Pothineni, Manager, Telecom Company

I have been taking short breaks since the last seven years every month for two days. Situated at a distance of about 90 km from Hyderabad, Ananthagiri Hills offers a trekking opportunity and lapping up nature. Laknavaram Lake in Warangal is also another attraction. Even the Ramappa Temple also known as the Ramalingeswara temple, 157 km from the city is on top of the agenda not to miss the Surya Lanka beach in AP.

It is common knowledge that Capital city Hyderabad is currently a major draw for the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) activities, due to the growing IT industry, world class convention centre and modern airport. The state also wants to promote cultural events such as Bhatukamma, the largest flower festival. Even Hyderabad’s rich culinary traditions, cultural attributes and historical sites also attract the tourists. If Hyderabad with its Qutub Shahi Monuments ‘Charminar, Golconda and the royal necropolis, the Qutub Shahi Tombs’ manages to get the coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site tag, it will boost tourism in the state in a big way.

Organic Bazaars and Organic Stores are coming up across the city and it is a hit with the people, who are ready to pay more for better health and tasty flavours. These Bazaars build a personal bond between the buyer and seller who look forward to their weekly visits.

Eat Healthy and Live Healthy goes the saying. But are we getting the right food to stay healthy. With scanty rainfall, water shortage, crops have been hit hard most of the time. Some of the farmers are forced to use chemicals to keep insects at bay. Injections are given to buffaloes for production of more milk and so on. Many citizens fear buying fruits as they feel they may have been injected for the colour or sweetening. Now, more and more people are picking up organic food as they are assured that even if they are paying a little more for it, they will not have to spend on medicines and suffer health related issues at a later date.

Many retail stores are stocking up organic pulses, rice and other items for customers keen on eating Organic Food. Some others are flocking to Organic Bazaars to pick up their stuff directly from the producers. We visited one such Organic Bazaar that is held twice a week in the heart of the city at Secunderabad.

Even before, I could enter the place, there were a wide variety of vegetables – raw bananas, cucumbers, lady fingers among many other vegetables near the gate. Entering the place reminded one of a village atmosphere. A complete glimpse of the market was visible from the door itself. Imagine a market in a village, popularly called haat, that has everything from vegetables, fruits, milk, and other paraphernalia for the fairer sex, and pieces to decorate the homes. Also there were some healthy food items to savour too.

Senior citizen couple G Satyavathi & G Veera Reddy, were adding life to living by setting up a vegetable stall. There were all kinds of green leafy vegetables, thin cucumbers (English variety), our own dosakai, popularly called Madras cucumber, beans and all. “All these vegetables have been grown in our own farms. We have a 50-acre farm near Jangam and another 40 acre farm a little further down. Our produce is 100 per cent organic. From the last seven years, our land is organic. Apart from all kinds of vegetables, we grow, corn, fruits and rice,” says the bespectacled Satyavathi.

The lady shares that the turmeric is thanks to Damodar Reddy, who is an award winning farmer from Warangal. “He is the best farmer and we have procured our seeds from him only,” says Satyavathi  Her husband, Veera Reddy adds that they have a proper certificate INDOCERT issued from Cochin for certified organic excellence. We sell organic vegetables, pulses etc. and pure noni juice. The vegetables are produced closer to Hyderabad. We do sell our produce at Hyderabad Farmers Market, Biodiversity Park and at our home in Vasavi Nagar in Karkhana, Secunderabad.”

Venkat Vatti, Managing Director, Farm2Fridge, dons many hats. He is a professional Chartered Accountant, Oracle Financial Consultant and etc. “It is because of passion that I took up organic farming. I have a 35 acre farm and sell my produce here and also at the e-commerce platform. I grow pulses, rice, greens and vegetables. There are no middlemen here and it is a pleasure to bring the produce directly to the buyers. We build a rapport and when I miss a visit, there are many enquiries. It feels nice,” Venkat says.

The accountant turned farmer says that at his farms he doesn’t need any outside support. They are self-sufficient in everything, be it water, electricity or manure. “I have cows and calves, hen and chickens, and fish and the cycle goes on. I have been honoured by the Telangana government and asked to train other farmers in making them self-sufficient. Even the AP government has appreciated efforts for millet farming. I have 35 mango plants and last summer, sold organic mangoes,” Venkat states.

The Farm2Fridge MD takes pleasure in the fact that he owns land, he is a farmer and does farming. “I also take people, especially children, to visit my farms for them to understand ‘How food is brought to their plate’. I have several tie-ups with NGOs too,” says the smiling Venkat.

Many people have complained about the milk they drink and that the curd is bad. Some of them have changed their milk brands, but the quality hasn’t improved. Lt. Col (Retd) M Kootharasan has brought smiles on people’s faces with his milk brand Sido. “I am not making any profit by selling this organic milk, it is only leading to losses. The only satisfaction I have is that the citizens are enjoying this milk. The milk costs Rs. 80 a liter, and you can boil it and freeze it. It will have longer shelf life,” says Kootharasan.

“I believe in the concept of udder to doorstep. Gone are the days, when your milkman would get the cow/buffalo to your doorstep to milk the cattle. I have bought 70 Murrah buffaloes from Haryana that give 150 litres of milk daily. My farms are situated at Malkapuram Village, Turkapally Mandal, Nalgonda District. I can vouch that there is more fat in the milk produced at my farms. Ours is a complete Organic Dairy Farm and we sell all farm products,” the retired army man says. According to him, his venture is getting support from his security agency business.

“At my farm, there is a gobar gas plant and we generate our own electricity. It is my way of paying back to the society and generating employment. Negotiations are on to sell milk at Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Tarnaka, by December,” the retired army man says.

Senior citizen, Vinita Rajan, had lot of handloom stuff from bed sheets, aprons, pot holders to bags. “The pure cotton materials may be expensive, but they have longer durability, “shares Vinita. She was open that the material on display was acquired from other sources to give the people a vision of the best.

Management graduate A Mohan, employed with Ancient Living, says that his company makes organic skin care, hair care and essential oils. “There is lot of demand for our products here. The handmade soaps, aroma therapy, and essential oils are much sought after. Ancient Living, unit of Sri Srinivasa Industries, was established in 2011. This four-year-old company has 30 organic stores and two of them in Hyderabad at Kukatpally and Ameerpet,” says Mohan.

Passion can take some people to any extent. Prasad, a B.Sc graduate, who works at a BPO, has love for handicrafts. He makes his material on orders. “Many of them come to me for return gifts. I do get bulk orders. I manage my stuff single-handedly,” says Prasad. The fare at his stall is coasters, wall hangings, bags – all made from jute, from Kolkatta. There are lovely flowers that have been made by corn flour and added with food colours. The science graduate has earrings, neck pieces and other fancy stuff that is every girls delight. He takes his stuff to Lamakaan and Saptaparni too.

Mythili Jai Chandran, even with her hand in plaster, is all out to get the best for the handloom weavers. “All the pieces here have been sourced from outside. Today, everybody has given a miss to handlooms as they are becoming expensive. It takes nearly a fortnight to weave a handloom saree, but the durability is long. My aim is to promote handlooms weavers,” she says. She has sarees, dress materials, towels and nice eye catching wood work items like kum kum box, hair pin, rolling pin and etc.

Apart from cloth, she had Kasturi haldi, kum kum, and green gram. The kasturi haldi was giving a pleasing scent. “If applied daily, this will ward off unwanted hair. The green gram will cleanse the body of dirt,” says Mythili.

Mirror and bead work is always a fascination with women. On display were mirror bags in various sizes, white metal (looking like silver) neck pieces, shells and many other eye-catching trinkets. The woman behind all this beautiful hand embroidery is Jyothi, who puts her stall only at Secunderabad. Even at the stall, she is busy making interesting things.

A new entrant to this organic bazaar, Ann Swethna Isaac, impressed with Chandrababu Naidu’s Dwcra Bazaar, launched her IndiAnn Weaves. Passionate to help out handloom weavers, Ann has a large collection of handlooms and hand block prints. She has Khadi, Ikats, Pochampally, Kotha silks and many more. “I have procured my stuff from across the country – Kolkatta, Delhi, Punjab, Bengaluru. I mostly sell material, but recently added ready-mades’ in standard sizes,” she says.

Interested in embroidered kurtis or jackets? Yogesh has got his material all the way from Prime Minister’s land Gujarat. The Kutch embroidery works are very eye appealing. “All the material here has been made by my relatives in Kutch. I sell them here at Secunderabad, Lamakaan, Malkajgiri and supply to boutiques regularly,” he says.

Women customers were seen purchasing jowar rice, jowar wheat, millets and bakes from Shyamala. As a health drink, she was selling Amla juice and tasty sprouts. “Everything here is organic and has been dried by solar energy. We have dedicated customers, who week after week pick up their requirements. I also sell my healthy & tasty food at Lamakaan,” she says.

There were other healthy mouth- watering dishes catching people’s attention. As the day progressed, the crowd too got bigger and the materials at the Organic Bazaar were soon disappearing off the shelves.

Organic Bazaars:

• Our Sacred Space, SP Road, Secunderabad

• Lamakaan, Road No. 1, Banjara Hills

• Saptaparni, Road No. 8, Banjara Hills

• Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Tarnaka

People Speak

Jaywant Naidu, Musician: I also shop for Organic food. I look for millets and flax seeds. Buying vegetables is not my department. Once I picked up a dry banana, which came from Kashmir. It was really awesome. My familiar hat too has been picked up from the organic bazaar.

Smita Nanda: I regularly come here to pick up farm fresh organic vegetables. When cooked they taste delicious. I have been using for a long time now and it has controlled lifestyle related diseases. Even some of the handlooms exhibited at these bazaars are very pretty.

Nandini Rao: For me the turmeric (kasturi haldi) and kum kum here are very good. Especially the turmeric as it does not leave any colour on the face, when applied. Even the bath powder helps in cleansing the body.

What Is Organic Farming?

Organic farming is a method of farming system which is aimed at cultivating the land and raising crops in such a way, as to keep the soil alive and in good health by using organic wastes (crop, animal and farm wastes, aquatic wastes) and other biological materials along with beneficial microbes to release nutrients to crops for increased sustainable production in an eco-friendly pollution free environment.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) study says: “Organic farming is a system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic inputs (such as fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, feed additives etc) and to the maximum extent feasible rely upon crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, off-farm organic waste, mineral grade rock additives and biological system of nutrient mobilisation and plant protection”.

On the occasion of Children’s Day, which falls on 14 November, we salute the NGOs, who continuously strive to better the lives of the less fortunate children by not only offering them basic amenities like food, clothing, shelter, but also enriching their lives with other art forms.

Across the globe, Children’s Day is recognised on various days. Women’s International Democratic Federation during its Congress, in Moscow, on November 22, 1949, declared June 1 as International Day for Protection of Children. Even the United Nations at the General Assembly in 1954 declared November 20 as Universal Children’s Day. Universal Children’s Day is not simply a day to celebrate children for who they are, but to bring awareness to children around the globe who have succumbed to violence in forms of abuse, exploitation and discrimination. Children are used as labourers in some countries, immersed in armed conflict, living on the streets, suffering by differences or disabilities.

In India, Children’s Day is celebrated on 14 November, on the birthday of the country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru fondly called Chacha Nehru. Nehru emphasised the importance of giving love and affection to children, whom he saw as the country’s bright future. He wanted to enhance the progress of the youth and established world class institutions like AIIMS and Indian Institute of Technology.  On this day, most schools hold sports day or cultural performances, while the governments organise Children’s Film Festivals. This year Hyderabad will be buzzing with activity as it is the venue for the International Children’s Film Festival scheduled to be held from November 14-20.

We look at some of the NGOs working to bring smiles on the faces of children. In this context, we spoke  to Chaya Pamula, founder, Support Organisation For Kids in Need (SOFKIN), a non-profit organisation registered in Hyderabad, India and New Jersey, USA.

Following is a tete-a-tete with Chaya Pamula:

What motivated you to set up the NGO?

Having lost my parents at an early age, I experienced the deep pain and emptiness in my heart throughout my adolescent years.  The lack of a safe environment and the dearth of opportunity made me resilient as I endeavoured to live up to my vow to my mother that I would grow up as an independent and successful individual. I longed to give some kind of help or support to others who also had no parents. Over the past four decades, I have overcome numerous hurdles as I established myself as a corporate executive, an entrepreneur blessed with a beautiful family. All of this was made possible because I was presented with ample opportunities along the way to excel that was fuelled by my astute determination. The notion of being able to provide a similar forum to the less fortunate had always been at the back of my head.

As I began to investigate, I realised that children from impoverished families do not have the requisite environment that promotes a healthy lifestyle and prevents abuse and exploitation and neglect. Access to quality education was not easily affordable and opportunities were not common. It also dawned on me that the few that had the exposure and the opportunity and the attitude were able to rise and shine only when given a secure environment filled with love in abundance.  After hearing to the heart rending stories and experiences from many of the less fortunate and orphan children during my visits to India, I decided to take the first step towards my ideology and launched SOFKIN.

My mission was to “Support the upbringing of under privileged children, irrespective of name or nationality, caste or creed, race or religion by providing basic amenities, education and medical aid in a secure and healthy environment.” I was aware that there were many organisations already in that space but felt that there was a need for more.  My quest to find a suitable model to adapt and adopt ended with a visit to Maher where a simple concept of a “a home” fascinated me. It is a concept where a small group of children are nurtured in a safe family like atmosphere and provided the basic amenities, including education, medical facilities in a homely setting.

What work do you do?

We work around meeting the following objectives:

1.  We create safe and secure homes for orphans, destitute and under privileged children and to extend support to other global and local organisations undertaking similar activities across the world.

2.  We feed, shelter and educate underprivileged kids and enable them to become self-respecting members of the society and to help create a healthy and a safe environment for the kids. The endeavour is to try and make a little difference in the lives of  a few unfortunate and underprivileged children of the world.

3.  We provide financial support to children needing medical aid, including but not limited to surgeries and providing equipment deemed necessary to carry out normal functions such as providing hearing aids and speech therapy.

4.  We rehabilitate destitute women and widows by providing them opportunity and employing them as house mothers to take care of the kids.

5. These children are treated no different from our own children.

How do children come here?

We had set up the first SOFKIN home as a trial with three kids and a house mother. This was primarily supported by my own funds.  The kids were chosen based strictly on need basis after an evaluation process and a home study.  The children demonstrated exemplary attitude and used the opportunity to excel. The success of the first couple of years in being able to maintain the venture encouraged me to expand and grow. We added 10 more kids during the second year and a second house mother to help run the home.  The work done by SOFKIN and the benefits that the children were getting was spread by word of mouth and the influx kept growing and growing.

The children’s overall improvement in nourishment, health, behaviour and their academic achievements are the witness to the good work which increased the credibility of the organisation and attracted more children to approach us. The children are inducted after a thorough screening process undertaken by trained social welfare professionals.

What kind of facilities do you provide?

SOFKIN provides a safe and secure home with basic amenities like food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical attention and most important of all, a loving family. I am involved in their day-to-day activities giving them support and guidance, inculcating leadership skills and ensuring there is no scarcity in resources provided to them The children are sent to regular private English medium schools and are provided with the tools and technologies to perform better in the modern world. The children are encouraged to use computers under staff supervision.

The children are provided medical care from both preventive and a cognitive context. The Health of the kids is continuously monitored by reputed doctors of the local community and appropriate medical records are maintained. All necessary vaccinations and medications are provided. Utmost care is taken to provide nutritious, healthy and a balanced diet to the children. Sports and exercise are encouraged and the children have an opportunity to participate in various community activities.

The house mothers and the social workers promote and maintain family and moral values through constant interaction with the children. They mentor the children and also tutor the children and enable them to excel at school both at curricular and extra-curricular activities. The entire SOFKIN team is committed to maintaining safety while promoting and encouraging moral values such as honesty and integrity and giving back to the community. We recognise and motivate the children demonstrating these values. Besides supporting the children, SOFKIN also encourages house mothers and caretakers towards higher education so that they may contribute better.

Till date how many children have benefitted?

Today, SOFKIN supports over 90 children in five such homes in Hyderabad and Pune. SOFKIN ensures that the children, teens and young adults are all comfortably placed and are completely self-sufficient throughout their stay.

From the children who have benefitted, have they paid back in any form?

The children live like a family and the older ones train, teach and mentor the younger ones. The sense of responsibility demonstrated by the children is exemplary. The older kids help in the daily chores (cooking, cleaning, teaching etc.). It is their way of contribution to keep the engine running. SOFKIN teaches children the importance of giving back to the community.

In your opinion what is it that the society can do to help the less fortunate ones?

The society should realise the social in-equality and social injustice and work towards eliminating those. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us who are privileged to help uplift the under privileged in some form or the other and bridge the gap between the haves and the have nots. Organisations such as SOFKIN should work together to strengthen their services and extend the reach. Value based education allows the children to appreciate the need to give back and stand as leaders in the community. Therein lies world peace and eliminates the need to have these types of organisations in future.

How can they be integrated into the society?

The society should accept these children and provide equal opportunities to them.  The society should foster compassion and love towards these children and make them feel welcome without adherence to race, religion, and nationality. Proper education and career growth eliminates the discrimination and encourages equality among the communities.

Manavatha Navodaya Foundation: According to R K Raju, founder, Manavatha Navodaya Foundation, Manavatha means humanity and Navodaya means rising of the new dawn, thus the organisation is ushering a new era of instilling the sense of humanitarian service ahead of one’s self.  Manavatha Navodaya believes in awareness to doing selfless service to the needy in the journey of life.

The founder said that Manavatha Navodaya will strive to nourish the young minds with inspiring thoughts that catalyze humanitarian concern to proactive action that sets limitless potential to progress on all fronts. The NGO wants everyone to ‘gift their present’ to the well-being of the future generations in more ways than one.

Manavatha Navodaya Foundation’s key objectives are towards imbibing a sense of selfless service in the young minds of children and youth during their formative years. To nurture the parent child relationship in developing strong family bonding which provides the magical environment for instilling the conscience needed to respect one’s environment, societal values with a sense of responsibility towards common good society that enjoys progress built on peace, harmony and principles of live and let live.

Project 511: Many of you who have watched the bi-lingual socio-fantasy Eega, a couple of years ago, would remember the projection of Project 511 in the film. Project 511 is a Charitable Trust of the Hyderabad Roundtable No.8. Every year, during the Joy of Giving Week, held in the first week of October, they hold a charitable dinner to raise funds for their projects. A research on Government schools in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy district unearthed the plight faced by the lesser privileged students who lacked access to even the basic necessities such as blackboards, toilets and notebooks in schools. The unfortunate state of these schools not only led to a severely compromised quality of education, but also resulted in high dropout rates.

The need for a healthy and holistic environment led Hyderabad Round Table No. 8 (HRT 8) and M.V. Foundation to join hands and work towards a common cause. During the time, the number of schools in Hyderabad district was 511 and thus, on 27th October 2003, Project 511 was born. Since its inception, Project 511 has worked closely with the Government to improve the quality of education among lesser privileged children. They work with 1022 schools currently and have impacted the lives of more than 500,000 children.

Come September 5, all school children want to honour their favourite teacher, while the senior students are eager to enact as teachers, and the governments at the State and Centre honour meritorious teachers. On the occasion of Teacher’s Day, we salute two teachers – Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who have played an immense role in shaping the future of the country.

Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Gurudevo Maheshwara, Guru Sakshat Parabrahma Tasmai Sri Guruva Namaha. (The Guru is Brahma, the Guru is Vishnu, the Guru is Great God Shiva and salutations to the Guru)

Since ancient times Guru has been revered with respect and dignity and he has been given the status of God on par with parents. As per the Hindu Almanac, Poornima (Full moon) falling in the month of Aashad is called Guru Poornima and the Gurus are respected and honoured. Though the ancient guru-shishya parampara, where the shishya spent his educative years by staying with the guru and helping in all household chores, like Lord Rama went to stay with sage Vishwamitra to kill demons and learn weaponry, is weaning, now seen only in imparting of vedic studies. However, since 1962, across the country, September 5, the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the great teacher, academic philosopher, the country’s first vice president since 1952 and second president since 1962, is observed as Teacher’s Day. He was conferred Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, in 1954, in recognition of his meritorious service to mankind.  On this day, students thank their Teachers for helping them learn, while school administration and governments honour Teachers for their work. Across the globe, Teacher’s Day is observed on different dates, but the UN has declared October 5 as Teacher’s Day.

How is Education Instructed?

Education is the procedure of helping people learn. When a person instructs knowledge, skills, values, belief and habits to other people through storytelling, discussion, teaching, training or research, it is Education. This takes place mainly under the guidance of educators/teachers/instructors/mentors. Today’s modern education is divided into stages – pre-school, primary school, middle school, secondary school and senior secondary  school and then college, university or apprenticeship.

The state of Telangana has numerous primary and secondary schools and multiple institutes of higher education universities. In the state, the education system is of 10+2 before joining under graduation. A number of schools in the State follow State/CBSE/ICSE/IB curriculum, while some of the top universities include University of Hyderabad; Palamoor University, Mahaboobnagar; International Institute of Information Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Indian School of Business, Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition, National Institute of Technology, Warangal; Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Hyderabad; Kakatiya University, Warangal; Osmania University, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Telugu University, English and Foreign Languages University, NALSAR University of Law, Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS-Pilani), Hyderabad; Urdu University, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, CR Rao Advanced Institute of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Electronics Corporation of India Ltd. and National Institute of Animal Biotechnology.

It is often said and believed that a good teacher plays a major influence in shaping the life of a person. Every successful person always remembers his/her teacher in their school-college days, who have left a lasting impression. A teacher’s job is a thankless job as he/she apart from teaching in class has to prepare in advance, the chapters to be taught, correct notebooks, take tests and also answer the doubts of pupils with a smile even if it is for the 100th time. Sometimes also sort small squabbles between students.

Students in schools are more enthusiastic about celebrating this day. They want to show their appreciation for their ‘favourite’ teacher. On this day, senior students take charge of running the classes and also organise cultural programmes to entertain their teachers as a token of love and respect.

The Philosopher President

Born on September 5, 1888, in Tirutani, to a middle class family, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was sent to school at Tirupati and then Vellore. Later, he joined the Christian College, Madras, and studied philosophy.

It is said that his father did not want Dr. Radhakrishnan to learn English, instead wanted him to become a priest. His first book, The Ethics of the Vedanta and Its Material Presupposition, being his thesis for M.A. for the Madras University, published in 1908, at once established his fame as a great philosopher of undoubted ability. All his works are landmarks in their respective fields.

To create the bridge between the past and future, the philosopher moved beyond being a mere academic and sought to engage his philosophical and religious studies in the political and social development of the country. Very popular among his students even as a professor at Presidency College, Madras, Dr. Radhakrishnan was offered the professorship at Calcutta University.

Later, for a period of five years beginning from 1931, he served as Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University and in 1939, was appointed the Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University .Two years later, he took over the Sir Sayaji Rao Chair of Indian Culture and Civilisation in Banaras. The warm hearted person was invited to fill the Chair of Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford in 1936 and he retained it for 16 long years.

From 1937 – 1947, Dr. Radhakrishnan ably represented Gandhi’s principles and after country’s Independence provided the ideological armour for Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s foreign policy. He became the first vice president in 1952 and 10 years later became the second president of the country.

Tribute To India

Bertrand Russel, hailing the appointment of Dr. Radhakrishnan as President, said: “It is an honour to philosophy that Dr. Radhakrishnan should be President of India and I, as a philosopher, take special pleasure in this. Plato aspired for philosophers to become kings and it is a tribute to India that she should make a philosopher her President.”

During his tenure of Presidency, the country saw two wars - in 1962, there was the Chinese invasion and in 1965 Pakistan violated our Western frontiers. On both occasions, Dr. Radhakrishnan’s voice, firm and resolute came on the air to reassure a shaken nation. In an address to the Nation, on May 12, 1967, before demitting office, Dr. Radhakrishnan said: “Indian Constitution has worked successfully so far. But democracy was a way of life and a regime of civilised conduct of human affairs. We should be the architects of peaceful changes and the advocates of radical reform.”

People’s President

Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam popularly known as APJ Abdul Kalam, always said: “To enable development of youth first and foremost, the teacher’s love for teaching is essential, with teaching as the soul of the teacher. The teacher must realise that they are responsible for shaping not just students but ignited youth who are the most powerful resource under the earth, on the earth and above the earth. With their full commitment to the great mission of teaching, the teacher transforms himself or herself as a great teacher only when he or she is capable of elevating the average student to high performance.” After demitting office of President, in 2007, Dr. Kalam spent his life travelling and meeting children. His died also addressing the students.

Born on October 15, 1931 to Jainulabudeen and Ashiamma, Tamil Muslim family, in Rameswaram, Dr. Kalam was the youngest of four brothers and a sister. To supplement his family income, at a young age, he sold newspapers.  After completing his education at the Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram, Dr. Kalam went on to attend Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli, from where he graduated in physics in 1954. In 1955, he joined the Madras Institute of Technology to study aerospace engineering.  After graduating in 1960, Dr. Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a scientist.

As a first job, he designed a small helicopter for the Army, but was unhappy with his job at DRDO. He had dreamt of becoming a fighter pilot and missed it by a whisker. After nine years at DRDO, he was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) where he was the project director of the country’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit in July 1980. Between the 1970s and 1990s, Dr. Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and SLV-III projects, both of which proved to be successful.

Soon Dr. Kalam was bestowed with many responsibilities and the government initiated an advanced missile programme under his directorship. Drs. Kalam and V S Arunachalam, metallurgist and scientific adviser to the then Defence Minister R. Venkataraman worked on a proposal for simultaneous development of a quiver of missiles instead of taking planned missiles one after another. Some of the well-known missiles developed by him include Agni, an intermediate range ballistic missile and Prithvi, the tactical surface-to-surface missile.

Great Visionary

It was during July 1992 to December 1999 that the Pokhran-II nuclear tests were conducted during Dr. Kalam’s tenure as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation. Since then he came to be recognised as the country’s best nuclear scientist. In 1998, along with cardiologist Soma Raju of Care Hospitals, Dr. Kalam developed a low cost coronary stent, named the ‘Kalam-Raju Stent’. In 2012, the duo designed a rugged tablet computer for healthcare in rural areas, which was named the ‘Kalam-Raju Tablet’.  The People’s President has always stated that he learnt leadership from three great teachers—Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, Prof. Satish Dhawan and Dr. Brahm Prakash.

On July 25, 2002, Dr. Kalam took over as the 11th President of India, succeeding K. R. Narayanan, to become the country’s first scientist and the first bachelor to enter Rashtrapathi Bhavan. In 1981, he was conferred with the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna in 1997.

During Dr. Kalam’s term as president, the Office of Profit Bill was his toughest decision. In September 2003, during an interactive session at PGI, Chandigarh, Dr. Kalam supported the need for Uniform Civil Code. After stepping down, he became a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong; Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; and the Indian Institute of Management, Indore; an honorary fellow of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram; professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University; and an adjunct at many other academic and research institutions across India. He taught information technology at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, and technology at Banaras Hindu University and Anna University.

For making the Gen X responsible, Dr. Kalam launched a programme called ‘What Can I Give Movement’, with a central theme of defeating corruption in May 2012. The missile man always said: “I feel comfortable in the company of young people, particularly high school students. Henceforth, I intend to share with them experiences, helping them to ignite their imagination and preparing them to work for a developed India for which the road map is already available.” As a mark of respect to this great man, the Tamil Nadu government announced that his birthday, 15 October, would be observed as Youth Renaissance Day.

Before signing off, I totally agree with Dr. Kalam that the teacher should treat all the students equally and should not support any differentiation on account of religion, community or language and continuously upgrade the capacities in teaching so that they can impart quality education to the students, who are country’s wealth.

PEOPLE SPEAK

I became an artist thanks to my Social Studies and English teacher, Satyanaryana Sir of ZP High School, Amangal, Mahboobnagar Dist. He saw my sketches and encouraged me to take up a career as an artist. He met my parents and told them that they should send me to an art school, in Hyderabad. In my second attempt I cleared the test and enrolled at the Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University. While still at school, Satyanaryana Sir also took me to a drawing teacher Yadagiri sir at the boys high school and requested him to guide me in drawing as he visioned me to be an artist. Even to this day, he connects his students to help one another. Salutations Sir!

L Saraswathi, Artist

On the occasion of Independence Day this year, I had gone to school along with my friends and there we met our English teacher Rebbeca ma’am. She immediately remembered me and questioned whether I was still scoring good marks in English? Teachers have sharp memory and even after we have passed out of school, they remember our names and how we fared. May God bless her.

Jaishri Budaraju, ex-student, St. Joseph Public School, King Koti

There are teachers who motivate you, scare you, influence you, and so on. And then there are few who you just adore! It was in my 6th standard that I came across this extremely sweet ‘Class Teacher’, Ms. Vini Vijayan. She had a very sweet disposition and ample patience to explain Mathematics to a disinterested student like me! It was for the first time I figured out that a teacher could be friendly while being authoritative. I fondly share about ‘Vini miss’, who I couldn’t meet since long, but etched in my memory and continuing to inspire me to be amicable! Thank you, Miss!, (inset Vini Miss) Sindhuja, Dancer

There about 50 teachers in my school. But only seven of them come to teach us. My favourite teacher is Munnysa ma’am, who teaches us Maths. Maths is a very tough subject, but she makes sure that we understand the subject well. At the end of the class, Ma’am asks us questions and we are able to reply to her. Her way of explanation is quite well and even difficult problems look easy. All of us eagerly look forward to her class. May her tribe grow.

B.Kiran Sai, Class IX, F1, Bhashyam High School, SR Nagar

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AP - Facts

Mir Alam Tank was constructed in just two years. Constuction was started on 25th July 1804 and it was completed on 8th June 1806. It was built under the supervision of H. Russell of Royal Engineers of the Madras Regiment.

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