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2DECCANHERALD * * * 1 2 3 Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spectrumstatescan
MISCELLANY
quails, yellow-throated bulbuls, sand
grouse, quails, sirkeer malkohas and
stone-curlews.
About 90 species of birds and 27
species of butterflies have also been
identified in this sanctuary in a prelimi-
nary survey.
If you wait patiently, you stand a
chance to spot the bears. We were told
by the local folk that the bears are fed
twice – in the morning and evening by
applying a paste of food to the rocks
which lures them to come out of their
hiding places.
There are eight species of bears inthe
world and the Indian sloth bear (Melur-
sus ursimus) is confined to the terrains
of India and Sri Lanka.
The sloth bear feeds on fruits, tubers,
honey, insects and termites, sugarcane
and maize crops and usually hunt for
food during nights and rest during the
mornings.
The bear is a beautiful animal and a
wonderful sight in its natural habitat.
They have a long, dark unkempt coat of
hair andtheir fore limbs are longer than
the hindlimbs. They have small ears and
eyes but are known to have outstanding
olfactory senses.
Normally, adults are about six feet tall
and three feet at the shoulder and are
nocturnal animals. Male adults weigh
about 140 kg and female adults about
75 kg and live anywhere from 40 to 50
years.
To reach this place, head from Ban-
galore to Chitradurga (199 km) on NH-
4, then to Hospet (135 km) on NH-13.
AndthentoKamalapura (12Kms) which
is about 10 kmfromthe sanctuary.
If youare travelling by train, the near-
est railway station is Hospet where
trains fromBangalore and Hubli stop.
Since it is situated close to the world
famous temples of Hampi, you can
make a pit stop here and enjoy the wild
side of nature.
Bindu Gopal Rao
Proud wings of a nation
SOARINGSKIES
The HAL Heritage
Centre &Aerospace
Museumis a
storehouse of
everything
relatedto the
science of flying,
writes Gopal Sutar
W
ant toflyanaircraft without
a license and experience
the thrill without fear?
Want to see the black-box
of an airplane which is ac-
tually orange? Or do you just want to be
amidst old trees and green surroundings
where real planes and helicopters are on
display? If yes, thenheadtoHALHeritage
Centre &Aerospace Museum, the first of
its kind set up in India at HAL Airport
Road, about 10 km from Bangalore city
railway station.
Establishedin2001, theaviationmuse-
um is spread over 10 acres of lush green
land. “It is indeedarare tourist attraction
in the city. You can see a dozen aircraft
models, satellite launch vehicles (GSLV,
PSLV) and fly the aircraft on simulators,”
says HALChairmanRKTyagi.
“We have done some modifications in
last few months so that the history and
the achievements of the country in aero-
nautics are displayedineye-catchy ways,”
he adds.
“Bangalore is not just the IT capital of
India but an aerospace hub as well. One
should not miss this museum, the experi-
enceof whichis as goodas that of beingat
Lalbagh or any other tourist place in the
city,” says an engineering student from
Pune.
Arepository
In fact, it is a completely different experi-
ence to be at this place when one goes
through the rare photographs, audio vi-
sual shows and sees magnificent planes
on static display. Although HAL airport
doesnot operatecommercial aircraftsany-
more, panoramic viewof the landing and
takeoff of variousaircraftsandhelicopters
couldstill beexperiencedascharteredand
test flights takeoff andlandregularly. The
entire stretch of runway could be seen
froma dummy air tower.
The Museum is a repertoire of knowl-
edge for the academically-minded as it
houses a library on aerospace and traces
thedevelopment of theindustry’sexciting
phases since 1940. “With so much hap-
pening in aerospace industry, it is impor-
tant not to lose sight of the past. Our aim
is to preserve the history of aeronautics
Grin and ‘bear’ it
at Daroji
Daroji Sloth Bear sanctuary is located
only 15 kilometres from the Hampi
World Heritage Centre. Set up in 1994
in the eastern plains of Karnataka, it
has proved to be a suitable habitat for
the Indian sloth bears in a span of few
years. Spreadover 55.87square km, the
sanctuary was exclusively created for
the preservation of Indian sloth bears.
Located amidst the Bilikallu Reserve
Forest, the area between Daroji in San-
dur taluk and Ramasagar of Hospet
taluk hosts the sloth bears.
The drive uptothe sanctuary is scenic
withunusual rockformations anda me-
andering Tungabadra river that flows
all along.
Spot me if you can
Unlike other sanctuaries, this one is dif-
ferent. You will not be taken on a safari
here. Rather, you need to climb up a
watchtower and wait for the bears to
arrive.
Again, this means that youare not al-
ways guaranteedtoa sighting. Youneed
to be patient to viewthe bears.
The watchtower is located at quite a
distance so it is imperative to carry a
goodpair of binoculars to helpyouspot
the bears.
Having said that, the watchtower
gives you a panoramic view of the area
and gives you an opportunity to enjoy
the diverse flora and fauna.
The rock-strewn hillocks have a lush
green area boasting of a verdant forest
withexuberant local species of flora and
fauna.
It is estimated that about 120 sloth
bears are living in this sanctuary, apart
from leopards, hyena, jackals, wild
boars, porcupine, pangolins, star tor-
toise, monitor lizard, mongoose, pea
fowls, partridges, painted spur hen,
RECLUSIVEBEINGS Abear withits cubs at Daroji SlothBear Sanctuary.
PHOTOBY MR MANJUNATH
andwearehappythat museumelucidates
so much interest and has become part of
tourist attractioninBangalore,”addsTya-
gi.
There are two major halls, one display-
ing photographs that chart the growth of
aviationineachdecadefrom1940till date.
The second hall displays motorised cross
sectionmodels of aeroengines, highlight-
ingvariousfunctionsof theengines. Some
real engines such as Garrett (used on
Dornier), Adour (powers Jaguar) andOr-
pheus (used on Kiran) could be seen in
operation.
Very few people know that HAL pro-
ducedbusesfortheerstwhileMysoreking-
dom and there is a mural depicting this
scenedatedJanuary29, 1955. Besidesdis-
playing aircraft and aviation models, this
hall also demonstrates air traffic control
models andPC-basedflight simulations.
The Museumhas got the prize posses-
sionof 15typesof flyingmachinesonstatic
display. Efforts are being made to place
more aircraft on display including the
muchtalkedabout fighteraircraft, Sukhoi
Su-30MKI.
Visitors seemto get excited when they
see actual line parachute alongside a
plane. There is also ATC radar perched
with L-band surveillance radar having a
rangeof 200nautical miles whichrotates
at aspeedof 3-4RPM, withthefrequency
of 1250-1350Mhz. Inaddition, PSLVmod-
el and PSLV heat shield are displayed to
giveaglimpseof foraysmadebythecoun-
try inthe space technology.
“Wewouldliketoupgradethemuseum
onacontinuousbasisandthereforethink-
ingof introducinglatest flight simulators,
interactive display kiosks, and upgrading
theaudio-videoroomwiththelatest facil-
ities,”says Tyagi. “We wouldlike to go for
motionsimulators to accentuate the user
experience by giving a very realistic feel
of flying fighter jets and commercial air-
crafts,”he adds.
Looking forward
Some of the future plans include estab-
lishment of orchidarium and herbal gar-
den to add to the beauty of the existing
landscape. Thechallengewouldbetocre-
ate and maintain extremely hot and cold
conditions for flowers and plants to grow
andsustain. Anareaof 200sqmareahas
been suggested to begin this experiment
and may take some time to conceive and
implement. Apart from this, a children’s
playareaandasustainabilitydevelopment
park may also come up in the campus.
Thesustainabilityparkwill aimtoeducate
visitors and students by displaying mock
models of solar systems, bio-gas plants
andhybridwindmills.
The museumis not just a place for fun,
frolic and education, rather it is instru-
mental in chronicling the achievements
of India in the aerospace sector by show-
casing the growth of the Indian aviation
industry and HAL for nearly eight
decades. The Museum is open to public
from9amto5pmonall days.
Thereisacafeteria, rosegarden, aquar-
iumandafountaindisplaytokeepthevis-
itors’ interest alive in case they get tired
afterwalkingaroundthecampus. Youcan
also buy airplane models, T-shirts, caps
andhaveyour pictures embossedoncups
as memorabilia at the souvenir shop in
the campus.
O
f the seven billion people on this
earth, onebillionareIndians. Inoth-
er words every seventh person on
this earthis anIndian. However, manyIn-
diansareeitherilliterateorlackcomputer
literacy and fluency in English, the two
factorswhichgoalongwayinempowering
them. This is an area where Bangalore-
based, rurally active, voluntary organisa-
tion, One Billion Literates Foundation
(OBLF) has its focus.
OBLF aims at equality in education by
bringing English and basic computer lit-
eracytotherural areas specificallyingov-
ernment schools from standard three to
seven when children are at their impres-
sionablebest. Presently, OBLFis activein
10 government schools of Anekal taluk
benefitting400primary school children.
Awide network
OBLFis alsoactiveingovernment higher
primary schools in Adugondannahalli,
Guddhati, Muthannalur village, Hale
Chandapura and government lower pri-
mary schools in Ali Bommansandra,
Bendiganahalli, Lakshmisagara, Kadu-
jakkanahalli and Mysoorammanadoddi,
all inAnekal taluk.
The Foundation has signed an MoU
withtheDepartment of PublicInstruction
under the School Nurturing Programme
in Karnataka. The OBLF model makes
use of existing infrastructure of a govern-
ment school, mobilises resources, aug-
ments the income of the community and
engages volunteer tomentor the staff.
After identifying and adopting govern-
ment primary schools, a baseline assess-
ment of thestudentsisconducted, instead
of gradestogaugetheirEnglishskills. This
enables every child to learn at his or her
ownpace.
“We first teachthe educatedwomenof
Igniting a billion dreams
BENEVOLENT
‘A child without
education is like a
bird without wings’
seems to be the
motivation for the
people at One Billion
Literates Foundation,
writes Michael Patrao
thevillage, someof whomarematriculates
or have completed their PUC and two of
themaregraduatesandoneisapostgrad-
uate. They are paid coordinators and as-
sistant coordinators who are supervised
by a volunteer,” explains Ruby Kamdin,
Volunteer Director of OBLF.
By engaging rural women (who were
never employed before) as coordinators,
OBLFhasnot onlyaugmentedtheirfamily
incomes and made themrealise their po-
tential, but hasalsomadethemfinancially
andintellectuallyindependent. Theyhave
thus been able to build trust within rural
communities.
In addition to monthly allowances, the
coordinators are given educational loans
for their children, two wheelers for com-
muting to schools and constant exposure
tothe worldoutside their villages.
OBLF conducts weekly in-house train-
ing for the coordinators and arranges
trainingforthemwithotherorganisations.
Volunteers are engaged from the city to
takeownershipof eachschool andmonitor
the work done by the coordinators. In an
OBLF
DESIGNS
ITS OWN
SYLLABUS AND
DOES NOT
ENCOURAGE
ROTE
LEARNING AND
USES ROLE-
PLAYING,
STORY TELLING
TO IMPART
CONCEPTS...
innovative approach, “telephone volun-
teers” are also engaged to have daily five-
minuteEnglishconversationswiththeco-
ordinators.
Innovative methods
“Our main strength is we design our own
syllabus. Wedonot haverotelearningus-
ing methods such as role playing and ac-
tivities like games and storytelling in the
teachingof English,”saysKamdin. Thefo-
cusisonafun-filledcurriculumat twosep-
arate levels to teachEnglishandcomput-
ers basics for anhour every day.
OBLF provides copies of the syllabus
created by the Foundation free of cost to
children. It also provides other resources
likelibrarieswithearlylearningbooksand
computersseenusuallyinprivateschools.
“For teaching of basic computers, we
have laptops whichhave beendonatedby
the corporate sector. There is one laptop
foreverythreeorfourchildren. Somephi-
lanthropistshaveevendonatedtabletsand
wehavedevelopedourownapps. Thestu-
dentsareassessedannually, basedontheir
performance andnot onthe basis of their
class or age. They are thus classified into
junior, middle (intermediate) and senior
levels. Theannual cost perchildworksout
toRs 3000,”explains Kamdin.
FounderandManagingTrusteeAnami-
ka Majumder, a software engineer in the
US, moved back to India after 12 years in
May 2010 to set up One Billion Literates
Foundationbecauseshebelievestheneed
of thehouristoimprovestate-runschools.
Anamikanowworks as asoftwareprofes-
sional inthe Bostonarea.
The Foundation is a registered Chari-
table Trust u/s 12AA of the Income Tax
Act. Youcanreachthemat rubyk@onebil-
lionliterates.org or at www.onebillionlit-
erates.org.
AFORTIFIEDISLAND
Basavaraj DurgaIslandin
ArabianSeawas namedafter
aKeladi princeBasavaraj and
houses afort andatemple.
LEARNINGCURVECoordinators learning the usage of computers; (below) Students of a primaryschool learning
the use of tablets. PHOTOS BY AUTHOR
SAFESKIESPushpak, light utilityaircraft;
SatelliteLaunchVehicle; HALBasant, a
1970s agricultural monoplane; Aircraft
engines. PHOTOS BYAUTHOR
VERY FEW
PEOPLE KNOW
THAT HAL PRODUCED
BUSES FOR THE
ERSTWHILE MYSORE
KINGDOM...

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