Advantages of Extra-Curricular Activities

Allowing your child to get involved in extracurricular activities is a wise choice, and it can be very important in helping them to develop their skills. Getting involved in extracurricular activities also allows students to get involved in diverse interests.Enrolling children in a few extracurricular activities can build self esteem and help develop social skills as well as help them to stay physically fit.

Developing a positive hobby in a child goes a long way in keeping him away from negative influences of life and at times, even plays a decisive role in determining his career path. If parents start early in giving their kids several new experiences that help them explore the world around them, the latter are less likely to face the problems arising out of boredom in their life. Kids’ extracurricular activities should be based on what is best for their age.

It is important for them to make friends with other kids with similar interests which is possible by participation in sports. The positive impact on health and emotional development of the kids leave them better equipped mentally to deal with the problems they might face in the future.

Benefits of extracurricular activities of kids are not confined to their personality development but achievement in these activities is also required to get better scholastic grades. There are some schools which have the policy that insists on good grades before they allow them to participate in extracurricular activities.

Freedom Park witnessed a groundswell of support for social activist Anna Hazare

According to the state government’s order in January 2009, which was signed by under secretary, S N Krishna Kumar, the budget allotted for the development of Freedom Park was Rs 10.32 crore. The order clearly stated that any escalation in costs would not be taken into consideration and would be borne entirely by the developer. Yet, according to information obtained under the Right to Information Act, the BBMP cleared bills worth Rs 18.26 crore for the development of the park!

“The original budget for the project was about Rs 7.29 crore which was further revised and reconsidered. The original budget order (NAE/192/MNY/2005) in 2006 and the revised order in 2007 decided the budget would stand at Rs 7.29 crore. But the BBMP commissioner wrote a letter (EE (P.C-1)/PR/48/07-08) asking for another revision of the budget, given cost escalations due to delays. Finally, the Urban Development Department, which had had enough, called for a meeting and passed an order (NAE 506/MNY2007) in 2007 stating that the cost should not exceed Rs 10.32 crore. The bill would be entirely footed by the BBMP and any further escalation in costs would be null and void,” officials in the accounts department say.

Yet, the BBMP generously gave away more than Rs 8 crore of taxpayers’ money in excess for the project. According to information obtained under RTI, Rs 10.25 crore was spent only on development of the park. Another Rs 8 crore was spent on pathways, a children’s play area, the flooring for the people’s court, tree lighting, planting of Mexican grass, erecting a link fence and on the interiors of the theatre.

The project was spearheaded by K Gopal Swamy, the former engineer-inchief, but cost overruns have left officials in his own department flabbergasted. “I don’t understand how almost Rs 50 lakh has been spent on lighting trees in the park!” a senior official in the department said. M Ashok Kumar, the chief accounts officer, BBMP, was inaccessible on phone nor could he be reached in person despite several efforts to contact him.

Incongruously, Hazare is expected to address thousands of the city’s citizenry at the park during his two-day visit starting Friday.

Bangalore Mirror

Swimming Pool an Unavoidable Destination this Summer

From hotels to clubs or high-end townships, swimming pools have become a norm. Swimming pools are no longer considered a luxury as the facility has become increasingly popular and more accessible to people across all socioeconomic brackets. The scorching heat and the humid weather makes the swimming pool an unavoidable destination this summer.

Experts suggest tips for Swimming pool maintenance

Be it an indoor or outdoor pool, they require equal care and maintenance. V Suresh, Manager, Loss and Prevention Department, Accord Metropolitan, says, “The pool is packed during summer with regular customers as well as tourists. We clean the pool on a daily basis and Chlorine is added every day to keep insects and flies at bay. Once in a month we drain the water and clean it completely.”

L Bhaskar, an employee of Cosmopolitan club says, “As it is an outdoor pool, it requires constant cleaning as leaves and insects tend to fall into it. During summer we clean the pool twice a day, and the rest of the year it suffices if we clean it once a day. The pool is closed for maintenance once a week.”

S Ramakrishnan, CEO, Marg properties, says, “A decade ago, maintaining a pool was a tedious affair; everything was manual. Now things have undergone drastic changes, the entire maintenance system is computerised. With the use of high-end technology, water wastage can be kept to a bare minimum.” A digitised swimming pool is on the cards for their current project on MOR.

Swimming Pool Maintenance
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Mohamed Anwar who runs a pool maintenance company throws some light on the various aspects of keeping a pool clean and tidy. “My clientele includes a range of hotels, beach houses and celebrities. Constructing a pool within the house is an increasing trend and maintaining a pool is like maintaining a house. One must constantly engage in underwater vacuuming and suction sweeping. Whether the pool is being used constantly or not, Chlorine and other chemicals must be added and the pool must be brushed regularly. A recycling system is a must in any pool otherwise it will become a breeding ground for algae, fungus and other microscopic organisms. Maintaining a pool costs about a few thousands a month based its size,” he explains.S Sarada, Managing Director, 5th field realtors, a city-based real estate company, speaks about the latest preferences and demands when it comes to building places with a swimming pool. “Over the last few years, the demand has increased tremendously; today it’s a common sight on ECR and OMR road to find a house or an apartment with a swimming pool. In the near future I am sure that pools will start mushrooming even within the city due to the soaring temperatures and relatively low costs of constructing a pool.”

Courtesy: Times of India

Bengal’s first woman chief minister

Trinamool Congress chief and former Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee was sworn in as Bengal’s first woman chief minister on Friday afternoon — the fourteenth woman chief minister in the country to warm that chair.

Mamata became the first non-Marxist chief minister of Bengal after 34 years — almost a generation — ending a near 20-year struggle to enter the Writers’ Buildings, the very corridors from which she was once thrown out during a sit-in protest in front of late chief minister Jyoti Basu’s room.

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Gubbi Goodu an Awareness about Sparrow Conservation

Gubbi Goodu is a campaign to step up awareness on the humble but ubiquitous sparrow and thus to increase their dwindling population in the city. Sparrows, which have been an intricate part of the city’s environment, are now practically unseen owing to urban development eating up their nesting space.

Bangalore, which was once a haven for sparrows, with its shrubs and bushes, typical nesting spaces for these little birds, is increasingly being stripped off its green cover. Additionally, man-made threats such as the rising numbers of mobile phone towers and microwave pollution, pollution, noise and electric wires have made the sparrow’s survival all the more difficult.

The Gubbi Goodu effort is expected to invite them back and help them nurture more offspring.  Gubbi Goodu started by BCIL-Zed Foundation and Zoo Authority of Karnataka will distribute ten thousand sparrow houses to be to the citizens of Bangalore.

An e-book will be made available to those who take these bird houses in order to help them understand how to nurture sparrows. Hariharan Chandrasekhar, Chairman of BCIL Zed says, “We strongly believe that a lot can be done at an individual level to save Mother Earth and her many wonderful creations. We are particular about sparrows because their disappearance has a direct bearing on the degraded environment we are living in. In fact, in the UK, real estate value is high in places where bird population is high – a true indicator of healthy environment.”

He further adds, “The sparrow homes can be set-up in balconies, verandahs, hang it down from pergolas, or even put it up on a tree. One could also place inside the sparrow home, a bird bath or a bowl of water, or even a little unsalted cooked rice. Apart from giving away bird houses, we also plan to distribute flowering and fruiting shrubs, seed balls, and a small packet of grains. If the response is good, the number of sparrow homes will be raised to one million sparrow homes in the next one year.”

M N Jayakumar, Additional Chief Conservator of Forests, says “The house sparrow was one of the most abundantly found birds in the world.  Common birds like the sparrow are bio-indicators of our ecosystem and the rapid decline of house sparrows in our neighborhood are indicators that we have become insensitive to the environment. Rapid urbanization, concrete homes replacing the conventional homes, excessive use of pesticides and no proper place for nesting has contributed to the decline of the sparrow population.”

Coinciding with the World House Sparrow Day celebrated every year on March 20, BCIL-ZED Foundation and Zoo Authority of Karnataka have joined hands to launch the ‘Gubi Goodu’, a campaign to step up awareness on the humble but ubiquitous sparrow and thus to increase their dwindling population in Bangalore. BCIL has set up a helpline – 84318 48224 and site


Thousand Weddings in One Day

Akshaya Tritiya is here…The Bangalore city will turn into one huge wedding hall, huge demand for priests, advance bookings to buy the yellow metal, the jewellery shops were overflowing with special bookings.

According to astrologer Daivajna K N Somayaji, the tradition of getting married on Akshaya Tritiya has become a rage in recent days. “The ritual of Kanyadaana (giving away the daughter in marriage) is considered as most auspicious when done on Akshaya Tritiya. Any good work taken up on this day will bring in prosperity. It’s the day people look forward to every year for starting any new venture,” he said.

The city will turn into one huge wedding hall on Friday with about 1,000 weddings scheduled on the occasion of Akahsaya Tritiya. The day is said to be one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar. According to Vasan T, who owns Gowri Shankar Kalyan mantap near Rajajinagar, there are about 700 medium- and bigsized wedding halls and about 300 small-sized ones in the city. “A minimum of 1,000 marriages will be conducted on Friday. All wedding halls have been booked 4-5 months in advance, ” Vasan said.

Sindhoora Kalyana Mantapa in JP Nagar Bangalore was booked seven months ago for this occasion. Besides, the auspicious day has brought demand for the smaller-sized wedding halls. “Compared to the other wedding halls, ours is smaller, but even we got about 45-50 enquiries for this particular day. But we follow the policy of first come first served,” said T G Hegde from Akhila Havyaka Mahasabha, Malleswaram.

Also, Friday is going to be one of the most hectic days for the city’s priests who are the most sought after.

On the eve of Akshaya Tritiya, the jewellery shops were overflowing with special bookings. Prem Jewellers got about 500 bookings already. “The orders are more for smaller jewellery designs which would be cheaper and people can also buy them on the auspicious day. The price of gold is now Rs 2,040 per gram but we are giving it at Rs 1,990 so it is also a good time to invest in gold,” said B L Prajapati of Prem Jewellers.

Malabar Gold Jewellery shop is going to open at 8 am and remain open till midnight. “We are expecting a 10-fold increase in customers so we have made special counters for different products. We have already received around 300 to 400 advance bookings for jewellery,” said the store manager.

Same with the Joyalukkas stores in Bangalore which will have a special counter for coins and 24 carat gold bars. They have already received around 20,000 jewellery bookings in Bangalore.

Times of India