Global market 'all open' for greeting cards from this differently-abled unit in Mangaluru

Harsha Raj Gatty | coastaldigest.com
December 26, 2018

For over five-decades now, the differently-abled trainees at the rehabilitation unit of Fr. Muller Medical College Hospital in Mangaluru are turning into 'master' artisans in greeting card and handicraft making. Their artistic endevour that comes alive especially during Christmas has not only gained them recognition far and wide in Europe, but is also aiding their financial sustainability. "We cater to 'orders' for other festivities also, but during Christmas there is a sizable order from the global market," says Sr. Rosaline D’Souza, in-charge of the rehabilitation unit of Fr Muller Medical College Hospital.

Bulk orders from Germany, France, United Kingdom, Australia, continue to pour at this rehabilitation unit, despite technological advancements in the form of email-greetings and Whatsapp forwards. "Yes, there is a popular preference to digital-technology over hard-copy greeting cards these days due to cost effectiveness and easy accessibility. But then there are also people that wish to share handmade and personalized greetings for their dear-ones during festive seasons, which is encouraging," she says.

Of the various creation by the 'differently-abled', most customers re-order for materials processed through ‘Batik-Printing’. D'Souza adds that Batik cards are a bit of a challenge to make, since it requires a combination of wax and colour dyes to give that visual imagery on the fabrics. "The fabric used to make 'Batik' greeting cards are first covered with wax and then crumpled to create fine lines. "The material is dyed with bright colours  that penetrate through these lines (while avoiding the area covered with wax) create an impression of intricate designs. Post processing the artisans scrape off the wax and the fabric is cut into greeting card sizes and stuck on paper. Later, different visuals are customised and printed on the card using ‘screen printing’ method," Sr. Dsouza says.

Priced between Rs. 24 to Rs 30, the rehabilitation unit not only receives orders from abroad but also different private organisations, corporates and students from India.

Besides cards the unit also manufactures wooden toys such as marionettes, picture blocks, memory blocks, tote bags, files, folders for conferences and conventions made out from cloth and jute, says an employee Dileep.

The rehabilitation unit began as part of 'occupational therapy' for leprosy patients by Swiss woman Heidi Dutt Zehnder at Fr. Muller Medical College Hospital in in 1965, since patients once affected by it found lesser acceptance in the mainstream society. Till date, the centre over the period has employed over 400 employees, most of them are differently-abled.

"The idea of our founder was to give necessary emotional-help, socio-economic aid and training to the differently-abled persons and make them acceptable in society, enabling them to live a life with dignity," says Sr D'Souza.

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 25,2022

Mangaluru, June 25: Mild tremors felt in parts of Sullia taluk in Dakshina Kannada of Karnataka last night and today morning, according to reports.

People in Markanja, Kodappala, Goonadka and Aranthodu villages of Sullia experienced mild shaking. However there was no damage reported.

These villages fall beneath the Kodagu region on the foothills of the Western Ghats that had witnessed massive landslides and changes in the river course several years ago. Since then the people in the region have been feeling tremors during the onset of monsoon.

Deputy Commissioner K. V. Rajendra said he has been receiving calls about tremors that lasted a few seconds in Sampaje, Aranthod and adjoining regions last night. He was in touch with the state disaster management authority for more information about the tremor, including its magnitude and epicentre. 

“The district administration is waiting for confirmation from Karnataka State Disaster Management Cell about the tremor and its magnitude and epicentre," he said.

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 23,2022

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Mangaluru, June 21: In a coldblooded filicide, a 45-year-old man pushed his wife and three children into a well and jumped into it today at Hosakavery near Kinnigoli on the outskirts of the city.

Local flower vendor Muhammad Nasir, who heard the screams of the family from the well, immediately entered the well and tried to rescue the children and their parents.

Meanwhile, more number of locals and fire fighters reached the spot and joined the rescue operation.

While the parents survived, the children breathed their last without responding to emergency treatment in the hospital. 

The deceased are Rashmitha (13), a Class 8 student, Uday (11), a Class 6 student and Dakshith (4), who was an Anganwadi student. 

Their mother Laxmi (38) and the accused father Hithesh shettigar are survivors. 

The accused was working in the canteen of MRPL in the past. Recently he had quit the job and started a small-time business after borrowing loan from a bank. He was reportedly facing financial crisis. 

The jurisdictional Mulki police arrested the accused and booked a case of murder against him. 

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coastaldigest.com news network
July 5,2022

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Mangaluru, July 5: Torrential rains in the twin coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi have forced the authorities to declare holiday for schools and colleges today (Tuesday, July 5).

Dakshina Kannada deputy commissioner Dr Rajendra K V has declared holiday for all anganwadis, schools, PU colleges, degree colleges, ITI and diploma colleges in the district. 

Udupi Deputy Commissioner Kurma Rao too has declared holiday for schools and colleges following heavy rain in the district.

"Widespread moderate to very heavy rains likely over Coastal Karnataka districts & widespread very light to moderate rains with isolated heavy rains likely over Malnad districts & scattered -widespread very light-moderate rains likely over NIK and SIK districts," tweeted KSNDMC. 

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