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
October 3,2022

Bengaluru, Oct 3: JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Monday said there is a big question on the ruling BJP's claims of "Acche Din" (good days), as he referred to RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale' statement expressing concern over 'rising income inequality' and unemployment in the country.

The former Chief Minister, in a series of tweets, said the statement by a top leader of RSS, which is the ideological parent-organisation of the ruling party, holds mirror to the present condition in the country.

"BJP's mother-root, RSS' general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale’s statement that economic inequality, poverty and unemployment are very dangerous holds mirror to the present condition in India. Now, there are big questions on the claims of Acche Din," Kumaraswamy said.

Stating that one doesn’t require expertise to say who have flourished, who have lost everything in the last seven years of BJP rule, he said Hosabale himself has said that 20 crore people are below povertyline and four crore youth unemployed. "Then, who became rich in the last 7 years?" Hosabale on Sunday expressed concern over alleged rising income inequality and unemployment, asserting that poverty is posing as a "demon-like challenge in front of us."

He, however, has said several steps have been taken in the last few years to address this challenge.

Pointing out that malnutrition is rampant across the country and there is no drinking water in a number of villages, Kumaraswamy said, "When this is the truth, why is there fear to introspect 'Acche Din'? Hosabale has spoken the truth of what surveys also say."

"Acche Din" is the ruling BJP's slogan which has been used by the J P Nadda-led party and its leaders since the time the party came to power in 2014.

Warning not to be surprised if increasing economic inequality leads to "bigger rage", Kumaraswamy said the country getting caught in the web of ‘corporate world’ is not a good sign. "People’s frustration and impatience is increasing day by day. It is time the BJP woke up," added the son of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda. 

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News Network
September 23,2022

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Mangaluru, Sept 23: Three days after engineering graduate Maaz Muneer Ahmed was arrested by the Shivamogga Police on suspicion of his involvement in terror activities, his father Muneer Ahmed died of cardiac arrest at a hospital in Mangaluru today. 

The deceased is son of former Congress leader and Thirthahalli local body’s former member late Sabjan Sab. 

Maaz Muneer was arrested by Shivamogga Police on September 19 on charges of having links with the banned terrorist organisation – ISIS. It is said his father was hurt and disturbed over the arrest of his son.

Muneer Ahmed is a native of Thirthahalli. The family had moved to Mangaluru five years ago. Maaz did study M. Tech in Mangaluru and he had been working as a delivery boy for a food delivery company.

Shivamogga Police presented Maaz Muneer before a judge in Shivamogga on Friday and got permission for his travel to attend his father’s final rites. 

Shivamogga SP B.M. Laxmi Prasad said Maaz Muneer would take part in the final rites. 

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News Network
September 26,2022

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Mysuru, Sept 26: President Droupadi Murmu on Monday launched 'Nada Habba Dasara' 2022 by showering flowers on the idol of Chamundeshwari at the temple atop Chamundi Hill during the auspicious Vrischika lagna between 9.45 and 10.05 am. 

A huge dais was set up atop the hill for the programme.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot, District in charge Minister S T Somashekar and other dignitaries were present. 

The President had darshan of the presiding deity before launching the festival. 

This kickstarts the 10-day Dasara festival, which is being held in a grand manner this year.

A slew of other events like Dasara flower show, Dasara exhibition, cultural programmes in the Mysuru Palace will also be inaugurated in the evening. 
 

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