Four students from Texas University, USA, are currently in the coastal villages near Gopalpur-on-Sea, Berhampur, Odisha on a mission to train students from fishermen families in basic computer skills and communicative English.
Around 30 college students of Venkataraipur and New Boxipalli villages are taking lessons from them at a village community hall at Venkataraipur in the morning and evening.
John, Reanna, Nessa and Lauren came here and stayed for two months as part of a summer internship project. "We requested them to help students from fishermen's families learn the basics of computer and improve their communication skills," said S B Rao, a social activist from the village. The group is a part of Nourish International, a students' body which works towards addressing global poverty and understanding various development projects across the world, he said. "We are happy to impart training to the students in Gopalpur-On-sea. They are amazing. They are picking up the skills very fast. Many of them can prepare power point slides by themselves," said Lauren. "We want to improve their communication skills as far as possible before leaving the country," Reanna said.
The foreign students have already prepared teaching material for the trainees. They are also using computer sets to enable the young boys and girls have hands-on training of using computers. They started taking classes on May 22, and will continue till July 3.
During the period, they have also decided to conduct a training programme for school teachers to improve their teaching skills and make learning much more interactive and interesting for the students. Besides, the students will launch a sanitation drive in the villages in association with the members of the Self Help Groups (SHG) and village development committees.
The group is also conducting a village assessment programme to identify the availability of the resources and problems in education and to work out for the solution, said B Gopamma, another activist from the village. Source: ToI
The walls of the Silk City have come alive with paintings depicting the state’s culture, festivals, temples and tribal murals to counter ugly graffiti, unauthorised wall-posters and open-air urinals. Vibrant colours and striking images decorated with mirror pieces and other adornments are lending a royal touch to several drab walls in the city. Artist Pratap Kishore Bishoyi, the 40-year-old who has created paintings on the walls of the official residence of the additional district medical officer at Gate Bazar along with two of his assistants, said their work has received appreciation from passers-by. “We feel glad that our hard work has paid off when people passing by stand and observe the art on the walls. The advent of modern printing and large printed flex boards had snatched away earnings of painters. So, it feels good that as part of this project we are being paid Rs 30/sqft of painting,” said Bishoyi. For another artist, Pratap Kishore, walls are spaces that can act as the preservers of culture, tradition and heritage of the state. “It gives us immense pleasure to create something that will be a part of the city for a long time to come. We use colours that will not be affected by harsh weather conditions and stay fresh even in sun and rain. Hopefully, the public will take care of our efforts,” he said. The city residents seem to be delighted with the beautification project. But they too are worried about the maintenance of the decorated walls. “The wall painting concept was a big hit five years ago. But those paintings are in a sorry state because of poor maintenance,” said Bhim Nayak, a resident of Komapalli. It gives tourists a bad impression, he added. “The law prohibits littering of streets, public walls, office premises, compound walls of residences and government buildings and others. However, these places are being misused with passers-by spitting, putting up posters, unauthorised hoardings and so on,” said Kailash Rana, chairman, Berhampur Development Authority. “The paintings on walls are an innovative strategy to beautify the city’s defaced walls,” he said. The public works department has taken the initiatives of getting walls painted at the residence of the revenue divisional commissioner, southern division, Khallikote Autonomous College, Sashi Bhushan Women’s College, MKCG Medical College and Berhampur Municipal Corporation office. Source: The Telegraph
This temple has been built by the members of Lord Ayappa Temple Service Society of Berhampur.
This new temple is located near Nilakantheswar temple of Berhampur.
Hundreds of Ayappa devotees took part in the three-day long rituals. Along with the idol of Lord Ayappa, idols of other deities like Ganesha, Kartikeya, Laxmi, Saraswati and Gayatri were also ritualistically established on the premises of the new temple. It may be noted that although Ayappa devotees are not new to Odisha, yet till the eighties they were mostly from Telugu families living in south Odisha.
But during past three decades people from all communities and other parts of Odisha have started to get attracted towards the hard 41 days penance for lord Ayappa and a journey to Sabarimala. In the initial years only middle aged adults were becoming part of this penance. But now large number of youths, women and even children are becoming Ayappa devotees to bring in positive changes in their life style through the long period of pious penance. Source: The HIndu