8-year-old Mangaluru boy becomes youngest from Gulf to summit Mount Kilimanjaro

News Network
August 12, 2022

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Mangaluru: Ayaan Saboor Mendon, an 8-year-old adventurer from Mangaluru has became the youngest person in the Gulf Cooperation Council to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The NRI boy, who is currently studying at the North London Collegiate School in Dubai, made history on August 4 as he unfurled the flags of UAE and India on top of the highest peak in Africa. 

It all started with the passion he inherited from his parents, Vani Mendon and Saboor Ahmed, who accompanied on the gruelling 7-day trek to the peak. It was a biting -10°C. The summit of Mount Kilimanjaro lies at 5895 metres above sea level. 

“We were preparing (to summit) Mount Elbrus before Covid. He tried convincing us to take him but he was just 6 then, which made it nearly impossible,” said Ayaan's mother. However, they promised to take him to another peak soon.

“I started my strength training two years ago to summit a peak," said the young adventurer. "It was a tough journey, but all I knew was I wanted to do it, and my parents supported me in it."

The family, along with guides and helpers, started their journey on July 28 and ascended to a height of 2000 metres to reach the first base camp. “I was all excited as I was undertaking an expedition nearly no children of my age are interested in. The moment we reached the first campsite after trekking for 5 hours, I was confident that I would summit the peak,” Ayaan said.

Vani said that they chose the Northern Circuit route which was much longer than the others. “This route has temperature variations. It was an 8-day trek as we wanted Ayaan’s body to get acclimatized to the climatic conditions and the geography there. So there was a gradual decrease in temperature and oxygen levels,” said Vani.

Ayaan was happy to see the animals, birds, and creatures that he watches on screens and in books. “We passed through the rain forest. I saw animals, birds, and plants. It was truly enchanting. I had a chance to experience different weather conditions- rain, fog, sunny and the extreme cold."

The trip was not without its challenges. Ayaan had to battle altitude sickness and harsh weather conditions. On day 6, the family reached the foothill of the peak, at an altitude of 4713 metres. “The temperature was over -15°C and things started getting worse from there,” said Vani. “We geared up for 10 hours of continuous steep trekking at 1.30 AM. By the time we reached Gilman’s point our bodies gave up and Ayaan was crying as his legs were frozen."

"We asked him if he wants to continue," she said. "All I could hear was, yes and 'I want to reach up there and see how the world looks from there'. We had to motivate him and boost his mental capacity,” added Vani.

It was around 10 am they reached Uhuru point - the highest at Mt Kilimanjaro. To celebrate their achievement, Ayaan and his parents unfurled both the UAE and Indian flags at the summit.

“I am very proud to have done this, and I want to thank my parents, my trainer Tariq and my teachers Chloe Taylor and Kate Rees, and the guides for playing a pivotal role, supporting me, and boosting my spirits,” said Ayaan.

He is proud of his accomplishment and says he hopes the climb will inspire other children to pursue their dreams. “My friends, Let's not be in 'cell', Let's return to mud, adventure, and being healthy," says a flag he held up.

The young climber says he was determined to reach the summit despite the challenges along the way and will continue his journey of climbing peaks. “I want to summit Mount Elbrus next,” said Ayaan.

“If this passion continues, I have plans to make him the youngest climber to summit the 14 highest peaks of the world in the shortest span of time - in 6 months, which will be the world record in both feats,” said Saboor.

The mother said that Ayaan has learned a lot from this expedition. “He had been training for this feat for nearly two years. He used to crib about going for swimming classes, strength training sessions. But now he is all ready for anything. He has realised that he is stronger than he thinks,” said Vani.

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News Network
October 2,2022

Mangaluru, Oct 2: Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) demanded that the government should immediately stop the system of halal certification in India. 

HJS national spokesperson Ramesh Shinde told reporters here on Saturday, that halal certification, which was earlier restricted to meat, has now been extended to sale of residential apartments, fashion industry, cosmetics and other food products too.

“We have government agencies such as Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). However, halal certificates are being imposed on various products in the country. For this certification, a requisite fee also has to be paid to a Muslim body in India. The government should conduct a probe into the financial transactions of the particular organisation,” he demanded.

He said that 57 Muslim countries have decided to allow import of only halal certified products. 

“Since Muslim countries insist on halal certification, all the multi-national companies and other manufacturers in India are also behind it. Many MNCs in India are selling halal-certified products in their outlets across the country. However, the government of India does not get any fee for this certification, though crores of rupees are being collected by a private organisation,” he said, and added that a conference against halal certification will be held in Mumbai on October 9.

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News Network
September 30,2022

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Mangalore University is likely to lose 24 undergraduate colleges with the setting up of a new university in Kodagu.

Decks have been cleared for the Kodagu University with the Karnataka Legislative Assembly passing a Bill last week, amending the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2000 to pave way for the constitution of eight new universities, including Kodagu University, which would be bifurcated from the jurisdiction of Mangalore University. Kodagu is situated around 150 km from Mangaluru and is geographically and culturally a different territory.

Currently, the Mangalore University has colleges in Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Udupi under its purview.

The new Kodagu University would also have about 10 colleges that presently come under the University of Mysore.

The largest and oldest college in Kodagu district is the Field Marshal K M Cariappa College at Madikeri.

The Mangalore University postgraduate college and research centre on the Jnana Kaveri campus in Chikka Aluvara is proposed to be the headquarters of the Kodagu university. K S Chandrasekharaiah, director of the centre, confirmed that Kodagu University administrative office is likely to be on the Chikka Aluvara campus.

He said students in Kodagu now have to move to Mysuru or Mangaluru for post-graduate studies, which can be avoided if more job-oriented courses are provided on the Jnana Kaveri campus.

Madikeri MLA M P Appachu Ranjan has requested the government to provide 200 more acres of land to the Chikka Aluvara campus, which presently has 70 acres.

The other universities proposed by the government in the Bill are to be set up at Koppal, Mandya, Bagalkot, Chamarajanagar, Bidar, Haveri and Hassan. Mangalore University Vice-Chancellor prof P S Yadapadithaya said no official communication has been received so far on the formation of the Kodagu University.

As per the new National Educational Policy (NEP), priority is being given to local universities which can provide good education and environment to students, he said. 

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News Network
September 27,2022

Bengaluru, Sept 27: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said Tuesday that the state police have picked up members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) as a “preventive” measure.

“It’s not a raid,” Bommai told reporters here. “Preventive measures have been taken through tahsildars. It’s just that, a preventive measure,” he insisted.

Over eighty persons have been detained by the Karnataka police across the state in swoops at the residences of office-bearers and members of the PFI under the provision of 'Preventive Action' under the CrPc.

“Police work on a lot of information. Based on that, preventive measures are needed. That’s what the Karnataka police have done. In fact, police in other states have also done the same thing,” Bommai said. 

The crackdown has given fresh life to demands by BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders for PFI and its affiliates to be banned.

“PFI and SDPI are another avatar of SIMI, indulging in anti-national activities. They tried to bomb a public event attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bihar,” former union minister Basanagouda Patil Yatnal said. “Centre has taken a strong decision. On one night, the NIA and state police forces raided 200 locations unearthing documents on anti-national activities and foreign fund flow,” the Bijapur City MLA said.

Yatnal said “patriots” want PFI and SDPI to be banned. “Our PM and home minister have made a strong decision. We’re confident that both organisations will be banned soon.”

BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel blamed the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government for the rise of PFI, SDPI and KFD. “When Siddaramaiah was CM, cases on 2,000 rioters were withdrawn, which emboldened them. Their own MLA Tanveer Sait was attacked and still nothing was done. Because of their vote bank politics, these groups flourished across the state,” Kateel charged.

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