Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Nokia's Asha was to empower young women.

The first telecom MNC to set up a full-fledged handset manufacturing facility in India, global communications leader Nokia had been connecting people to progress. By empowering women factory workers and creating community improvement initiatives, it had engineered economic transformation in Sriperumbudur.

Sriperumbudur’s economic landscape had undergone a complete transformation with the setting up of the Nokia Telecom SEZ in January 2006. While its recent decision to stop production of the poignantly named ASHA (hope in Sanskrit) and to shut down the plant itself soon, we recall the hopes of the young women who at one point, composed 70 percent of its workforce.

Our story in the BEST OF CHENNAI had chronicled the heydays when Nokia seemed to be a direct catalyst for economic growth in the region.

Ed: Nokia sold its devices and services business to Microsoft, but it could not include the Chennai plant in the $7.5 billion deal as the Indian government has demanded taxes on software downloaded on handsets manufactured at the unit since 2006.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The hills are alive…with the crackle of plastic

The Queen of misty mountains, Kodaikanal, might soon vie for the title of Queen of garbage hills. The lovely green slopes of the Palani Hills are paying the toll for the popularity of the hilltop getaway, and how.

Tourists throng waterfalls (or stalls)
in scenic Kodaikanal.
Tourists leave a growing trail of litter – water bottles, empty packets of chips, biscuits and every thing they can possibly want to dispose off through the windows of buses and cars.

Plastic is banned in markets and around the popular lake, shopkeepers keep a stock of paper bags made from recycled newspapers. But fruit vendors are prone to slip in a banned plastic cover to keep the fruit from getting squashed. Other hawkers dish out food and drink on plastic or paper plates and cups, all of which fall all around and everywhere but in the trash cans, which are very often seen looking forlorn even as the pile of rubbish around them grow.

What is it with the tourists’ seemingly insatiable urge to munch? Go up Coaker’s Walk and you see them, with their backs firmly turned on the tendrils of mist that cloak the mountains, the far off views of distant peaks and the verdure along the edge. No, what interests the hordes that have spent sums of money and time to travel nearly 7000 ft above sea level, is the row of footpath vendors. From henna tattoos to woollen clothing and of course various eatables, the tourists can’t keep away from the hawkers. Scenic walkway? No, thanks.
Ditto on the route to any of the waterfalls. After the idiotic race to the spot, all they seem to do is to rush to the nearest vendor, eating ceaselessly, bargain vociferously and leave the place in a horrific condition.
None question them; a few valiant signs adjure people to Keep Kodai Clean, and most often these are hidden and obviously unheeded.
- Sandhya Mendonca

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Bombe Habba: Dasara is the time to doll up in Mysore

One of the highlights of the Navaratri Dasara celebrations in Mysore is the bombe habba or the festival of dolls. 

In the days when the city was ruled by the Vijayanagar kings, the rulers showered their benevolence on their subjects, and the people reciprocated by displaying dolls decked up in regalia, and offered prayers for their well being. Over time, animals and prominent people have been to the doll display, including of course cricketers. 

Like this information? Read on in Marvels of Mysore & More: available in all Sapna bookstores in Bangalore & Mysore, Gangarams and other leading book stores in Bangalore.  For the ebook, Click here 

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

A thrilling holiday read: Sentinel House ebook

Lots of long weekends to catch up on your reading and we are rolling out juicy ebooks with our tie up with magzter, the cool digital store. Just click, download and enjoy on your tablet, smartphone or kindle! If you want the paperback copies, please write to

With antics of powerful media houses making as much news as the Mars orbiter, you can’t miss Sentinel House, an insider’s account of media barons and their power crazed shenanigans. The plot moves at a crisp pace and the lyrical prose transports readers through time. Allen Mendonca’s novel is a wicked cocktail of fact and fiction that will keep readers hooked to the last word.

Anita Nair, best- selling novelist, calls it, “A racy read… a novel in the tradition of Arthur Hailey and Jeffrey Archer.”

Mrinal Pande, journalist, author & chairperson of Prasar Bharati, “A searing novel about the intrigues within the Indian media.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Did you know that Karnataka has India's second largest milk co-op ?

The Karnataka Milk Federation is the second largest in India after Amul, and the largest in South India. Its milk is in the coffee served at numerous Café Coffee Day outlets and its ghee is in the famous Tirupati laddoo.  Its milk products power the Indian army and are exported to several countries including USA, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh and other countries. Read more in the BEST OF BANGALORE Innovation edition. Click here to buy online.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Priority class for Karnataka tourism

The tourism sector in Karnataka is looking positive: about 300 places across the state have been identified for their tourist potential and are to be developed in gradual stages with private sector involvement. The sector is expected to generate four million jobs and Rs. 85,000 crore in revenue.

Tourism Minister RV Deshpande receiving the
book from 
Raintree Media Director Aditya Mendonca
Bangalore will also get a world class MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions) facility on a 435-acre plot near the airport. The plan is to make this a ‘Go To’ destination for events, with adventure, heritage and wine trails in the area around Nandi Hills and Devanahalli fort and wine tours for visitors. Read more in the BEST OF BANGALORE Innovation Edition. CLICK HERE to buy online.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bangalore's scientific eco-system

Three institutions in Bangalore are charting new territories in understanding biological science. This cluster of research institutes with the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) as the nucleus, are adding to the city's scientific eco-system. Working at the forefront of biology across several levels, they follow diverse models, and promote innovation and entrepreneurship in this field. Read more in the BEST OF BANGALORE Innovation edition. CLICK HERE to buy online 

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