Mangaluru’s Ganapathi Bhat builds 'tree scooter' to zoom up tall areca palms

News Network
March 8, 2022

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Ganapathi Bhat goes to work most mornings carrying a homemade contraption consisting of a small motor, a rudimentary seat and a set of wheels - all expertly combined to help the farmer swiftly climb tall trees.

The 50-year-old farms areca nut in the coastal town of Mangaluru in Karnataka and has to regularly scale 60- to 70-foot-tall trees to harvest his crop. Too old to climb, and unable to find cheap labour, Bhat said he took it upon himself to invent a device that would make his life easier. Bhat calls it a "tree scooter".

India is the world's biggest producer of areca nut, with an output of 1.2 million tonnes in 2020-21. Much of this crop is produced along the southern coastal states of Karnataka and Kerala.

"Villagers asked me if I was mad. They had doubts about my invention... whether it would work in the rainy season because the trees would be slippery," Bhat said at his lush 18-acre farm.

Starting in 2014, Bhat said he spent around Rs 40 lakh ($52,824) into research and development. After four years before, he and his engineer partner had a working prototype.

Bhat says he has sold more than 300 of the "tree scooters", which cost Rs 62,000 ($819.02) each.

On a recent morning, Bhat strapped on a seat-belt, which is hooked to the handle of this contraption. He then revved up the scooter, zooming up an areca nut tree. High above the ground, Bhat quickly inspected the crop before descending at top speed.

"I feel proud that I did something for the people through this invention," Bhat said. "I feel that my life is complete now."

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News Network
February 4,2023

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Mangaluru Feb 4: Beary singer and artiste Riyaz Ashraf Kalakar passed away on Saturday February 4, over two weeks after he suffered a cardiac arrest. 

The 50-year-old is survived by his wife, two sons, two daughters and a large number of relatives and well-wishers. 

Riyaz had gained popularity among Beary language and culture lovers through his activities including singing. 

Well versed in Kannada, Hindi, Tulu, Malayalam, Beary languages, he also used to organise events and compere programmes. 

It is said that he was under treatment at a private hospital in Deralakatte following a heart attack on January 22. However, he breathed his last without responding to any treatment.

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News Network
January 30,2023

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Mangaluru, Jan 30: After Vhishwa Hindu Parsishad leader Sharan Pumpwell openly claimed that Hindutva activists killed innocent Muslim youth Mohammed Fazil in retaliation for the murder of Hindutva leader Praveen Nettaru, Fazil’s father Umar Farooq has urged the Commissioner of Police N Shashi Kumar to arrest  the former immediately. 

Sharan Pumpwell during a programme in Tumakur and in Ullal last weekend had claimed that Fazil’s murder in Surathkal was retaliation for the murder of Praveen Nettaru in Sullia.

“Why police is not arresting Sharan Pumpwell despite his brazen confession in public,” asked the elderly man, who lost his young son to communal terrorists. 

In a memorandum submitted to the Commissioner of Police N Shashi Kumar in Mangaluru on Monday, he said that Pumpwell should be arrested and interrogated, Farooq. 

“Sharan Pumpwell has more information on the death of my son. Hence, he should be arrested immediately,” he said.

Fazil, a resident of Mangalapete in Katipalla in Surathkal was brutally killed in front of a shop in Surathkal on July 28, 2022.

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News Network
February 3,2023

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Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state Congress President D K Shivakumar on Friday, February 3, embarked on separate bus tours as part of party's 'Praja Dhwani Yatra' ahead of the Assembly elections, which is about three months away.

The team headed by Siddaramaiah will tour Assembly constituencies in north Karnataka region while Shivakumar will cover the southern districts.

The Siddaramaiah-led team comprising 35 leaders started from Basavakalyan in Bidar district. He will visit 'Anubhava Mantapa' to pay respects to the statue of 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara before addressing a public meeting there.

The state Congress chief's poll campaign started from Mulbagal in Kolar district after paying homage at the ancient Ganapati temple in Kudumalai.

He later tweeted, "Worshipped Maha Ganapati’s Saligram statue at Kudumalai in Mulbagal. I prayed that the Praja Dhwani Yatra should go on without any hassle in Kolar district."

Earlier, Shivakumar's convoy arrived to a rousing welcome at K R Puram in the East Bengaluru as a large number of party workers thronged to garland him and others in the bus.

Later, sharing a video, Shivakumar tweeted, "A glimpse of people's trust in Congress Party's vision- this is how KR Puram welcomed us with inexplicable enthusiasm and love."

Shivakumar will be undertaking his bus yatra between February 3 and 9, heading a team of 54 party leaders.

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