Wayanad https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad.rss Read latest news updates from Wayanad District Kerala in English. Watch Videos and Photos of Exclusive Breaking News. Onmanorama en Tue, 25 Jun 2019 05:57:43 GMT https://www.manoramaonline.com/privacy.html Wildlife guards injured in elephant attack Panamaram: Three personnel of the wildlife department were injured while trying to chase away wild elephants that entered human settlement areas at Panamaram in Kerala's Wayanad district. A rogue tusker also destroyed a jeep of the wildlife department. The injured are forest officer of the Chethalayam range K K Chandran (32), jeep driver Manual Puthanpura (44) and watcher Rajesh (36). The injured were admitted to the Community Health Centre at Pulpally. The incident happened after a herd of elephants from the Pathiri section of the forest settled down at the farmlands at East Pariyaram. The attack happened when the guards tried to chase away two elephants from the area by 12 noon. One of the tuskers crossed the Neervaram River and entered the Punjavayal-Dasanakara Road. The foresters tried to block the elephant with a jeep as it charged towards people and students. Irked by this, the tusker then attacked the jeep and tried to topple it. The personnel inside the jeep than ran for their lives. They suffered injuries during the escape bid. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/07/13/wildlife-guards-injured-elephant-attack.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/07/13/wildlife-guards-injured-elephant-attack.html Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:20:14 GMT Who shot the viral tiger video and where exactly! Pulpally: A viral video of a tiger chasing bikers at the Pambra area in the Bathery– Pulppally forest road in Kerala's Wayanad district has put the Forest Department in a fix even as a few aver that it was indeed shot here when some expressed doubt about the location amid frenetic social media debates over the clip. The Forest Department has decided to initiate an inquiry into the incident as the video gave rise to several arguments and debates on social media in the past couple of days about the exact location. V. Ratheeshan, Chethalayam Range Officer, Department of Forests, asked the Deputy Range Officer at Irulam for a detailed report. The video, which first appeared on social media last week, was captioned as recorded at Pambra. In the scary visuals a tiger is seen running after a motorcycle after it emerged from the nearby bushes on the left. It is also seen coming very close to the bike, but abruptly it veers to the right side of the road, as the biker races away. It is apparent that the pillion rider shot the video. However, a Kannada news channel later aired the same video and said it was shot on a forest path inside the Bandipur Wildlife Sanctury in Karnataka. The channel had aired it as ‘Breaking News’. According to reports, the video was recorded by the forest guards in the Chethalayam Forest Range in Wayanad as they conducted a search following reports of tiger sighting in the route. But, the Department had denied this at first as leaking the video to social media would lead to disciplinary action against the officials. The video had gone viral before the Department could forbid its circulation. Some regular passengers on the Bathery– Pulppally road point out that the yellow milestone and the culvert, as seen in the video, are absent on the Pambra stretch. However, some others replied that the yellow ‘milestone’ seen in the visuals was of an Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) of some private telecommunication company, and that there was a culvert located nearby. With the video going viral on YouTube as well, enquiries started to pour in from different parts of the country. Range Officer Ratheesan said that enquiry would be conducted into all aspects of the incident and action would be taken against such episodes that cause unnecessary fright and panic among the public. Travellers attest to tiger alert Meanwhile, more people have come up with evidence that the tiger was sighted in Pambra itself. Karthik Krishnan, hailing from Kollam, and Sanjay Kumar, hailing from Thrissur, who were riding along the Bathery–Pulppally route by around 3.30 last Saturday vow that the forest staff had blocked them at Pambra with the warning of tiger sighting in the locality. They were warning the passengers that riding in bike along the road was dangerous as there were reports of sighting a tiger in the vicinity. Karthik and Sanjay remember that the forest staff were blocking vehicles which were ahead of them. Karthik and Sanjay, who are post-graduate students at the Kerala Agricultural University, Mannuthy, were going to the Forest Range Office at Chethalayam for data collection as part of their project work. Karthik and Sanjay say: We met the Forest staff near Pambra while travelling from Bathery to Chethalayam. They were tense and told us to discontinue the journey as a tiger was reported to have been sighted at Pambra. They were letting only the large vehicles to continue along the road. All bike passengers were asked to stop. When we told them that it was an urgent trip, for data collection as part of our project work, they let us pass, following a bus that came along just then. We had travelled along the same spot seen in the video that went viral. Of course, the Forest Department was aware of the presence of tiger in Pambra, and that was why they asked us to stop. After the video went viral and a Kannada channel reporting as it happened at Chamarajanagar in Bandipur area, it had also appeared in many online portals in other languages, as belonging to different areas. The Forest Department has so far been denying the reports that the tiger had jumped at the local Forester and Guard who were riding the bike keeping a watch out for tiger. It is said that the Department hesitates to confirm that the tiger was sighted in Wayanad fearing departmental disciplinary action against the staff for letting the video recorded for official purpose leak out on social media. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/07/01/tiger-chases-bikers-at-pulpally-forest-road.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/07/01/tiger-chases-bikers-at-pulpally-forest-road.html Tue, 02 Jul 2019 01:25:32 GMT Beware of highway robbers on Kerala-Karnataka border Kalpetta: The roads branching out of Kerala from Wayanad district pass through desolate, forest stretches before entering human settlements in Karnataka. Motorists on this stretch are prone to attack by not only wild animals but also by thugs who employ various tactics to trap and rob. Highway robbers have become active once again along the Bengaluru–Mysuru highway, thus instilling fear among night travellers. Their latest victim is N Usman, hailing from Naikkatti, near Sultan Bathery, in Wayanad. Usman was attacked by the robbers by around 1 a.m., the other day, after they stopped his lorry between Ramnagar and Bidji on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway. He was badly beaten up with the jack lever by the robbers who took away Rs. 35,000, vehicle documents and mobile phone. In bike and auto The Bengaluru–Mysuru highway is notorious for robbery. The highwaymen roam around on bikes or autorickshaws. Two years ago, an armed gang waylaid a KSRTC bus in broad day light at Channapatana in Karnataka's Ramanagara district, and robbed passengers. In last March, a private bus that was plying from Bengaluru to Payyannur in Kannur was also robbed. A group of businessmen belonging to Kenichira in Wayanad were also robbed recently as they were going to Bengaluru for trade purposes. In another incident, a gang who appeared in the guise of Vigilance officials, extorted money from a man hailing from Bathery at midnight. Even college students Even college students are active members of many Karnataka-based robbery gangs. Last month, a four-member team including some B.Com students were nabbed in Bengaluru, armed with 1 kg of chily powder, weapons and masks. Another favourite mode of robbery is to make small kids wave for the vehicles in lonely stretches of the highway. The guise of traders The latest ruse of the robbers seems to assume the guise of innocent fruit sellers, displaying announcements giving extra discounts, points out the Police. The boards flaunting the prices which will be very low compared to that of Kerala will be piled up on the makeshift tables carrying the fruits. It is always safer not to fall for these ‘discount’ boards appearing along the deserted parts of the highways. The robbers can also appear behind the traders and fruit sellers. Pursuing on bikes The robbers have a few tricks up their sleeves to trap even the riders of two-wheelers or small cars who speed away, refusing to stop. Following the smaller vehicles in large cars, with the headlight continuously switched on and off is one of their tricks. If drivers of small vehicles slow down, thinking that the other driver wants to overtake, then robbers find it easy to spread chilly powder or to block the vehicle. A group of youngsters were robbed in this manner along the Mysuru-Bengaluru highway in May 2016. Many tricks The robbers have many tricks up their sleeves to con motorists. Splattering oil One of the gang members would cross the road after signalling to vehicles coming from both sides. In between, he would have managed to splatter some oil on the grill of the car, without letting the driver notice. Soon, other members of the gang, who would follow the car on bikes, would point out the ‘oil leak.’ The moment the driver would stop the vehicle to check on the leak, the gang would pounce upon him and rob everything in one's possession. Honey trapping Some gangs use women members to wave at the vehicles from the road side. When the drivers stop or slow down, offering a lift for the lonely lady, the gang members would surge out. The women gangsters can also get into car, then threaten the driver. Chilly powder Another ploy is to spread chilly powder at the vehicles that may slow down at the humps in the forest roads, or on seeing wild animals. Throwing eggs to the front glass of speeding vehicles is another trick. But the most popular one is to throw spikes on to the road so as so rupture the tire. For your attention  Never stop the vehicles in deserted corners, or shrubs or deserted open spaces.  Travel close to larger vehicles as much as possible.  Remember that the gangs can also lie in wait around the ATMs in deserted places.  Never stop the vehicles when you do not find anything wrong with it, even if people point out some trouble, from outside.  Stop the vehicles only on reaching restaurants or petrol pumps. Be alert on these routes/areas Virajpetta-Mysuru Gundalpetta–Bengaluru Mandya, Ramnagar, Hassan, Davangare, Chickamagaluru. Usman narrates his ordeal I’d started from Bengaluru by around 11 p.m. with the loaded vehicle. Since the cleaner could not turn up, I had to start all by myself. I had Rs. 2,000 in my shirt pockets, and a borrowed Rs. 34,000 in the pocket of the pants. I reached Bidji, near Ramnagar, within one and a half hour. It was around 12.30 a.m.. I’d to stop the lorry by the wayside for relieving myself. On returning to the lorry, I found a black autorickshaw lying across my lorry. As I reached nearer, one of the four people in it asked for water. When I told them that water was over, they replied that they needed only some to pour into their vehicle’s radiator. As I felt something was amiss, I climbed into the seat of the lorry quickly. But, the gang who had got down from the autorickshaw by that time, did not allow me to shut the door. They started beating me up using an iron rod, asking for my mobile phone. They grabbed Rs. 2,000 that was in my pocket. They were talking mostly in Kannada. In between, I took out the money that was kept in the pants and dropped it on the floor below the seat, fearing that they may catch hold of it. As the gang noted my action, they beat up my palm with the iron lever, leading to severe bleeding. They took away all documents and the money and fled. Getting down somehow, I waved for many vehicles, but none of them stopped. Finally, I had to drive for around 10 kilometers with the injured hand, stopping at the first restaurant on the way. The people there helped to take me to the hospital, the police also arrived by them. In between, the local youngsters were able to capture one of the assailants as well as the autorickshaw they had used, handing over both to the police. Rs. 12,350 could also be recovered from the nabbed person. The next day also, I spent in Bidji, at the hospital and following up the police case. It is learnt that two others were also nabbed later. I’ve been asked to report at the Bidji Police Station for identifying the robbers. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/06/30/beware-of-highway-robbers-on-kerala-karnataka-border.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/06/30/beware-of-highway-robbers-on-kerala-karnataka-border.html Mon, 01 Jul 2019 00:48:12 GMT Earn Rs 25,000 per month through papaya tapping Open any social media platform and the chances of getting messages extolling the benefits of papaya are very high. Papaya seeds are good for health, papaya can cure dengue fever, papaya can give glowing skin and thick manes … the list of benefits is pretty long. One message that is doing the rounds is that papaya is the secret behind actor Mammootty’s youthful looks. Beyond these tidbits, no one really knows the worth of this large oval sweet fruit that has roots in far off Mexico. But now, papaya in a new avatar is taking Kerala by storm. The novel papaya tapping will be a boon for rubber farmers who are left in the lurch because of plummeting rubber prices. And everyone is also sceptical on whether rubber will return to its glory days. The rubber farmers can only ruminate over the good old days as price fluctuations, rubber imports and bureaucratic entangles have taken a toll on the market viability of rubber. But the cost-effective papaya tapping is a silver lining for farmers as it is lucrative for them. It is the sap of papaya, like in rubber, that is filling the coffers of the farmers. It may sound unbelievable, but it’s true. About Rs 25,000 per month could be earned from one acre of papaya tapping. Many farmers in Kerala are toeing the line of their counterparts in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka who had hit a jackpot with papaya tapping. One such Keralite farmer who is into papaya tapping is Ayub Thottolli hailing from Wayanad. And Ayub reveals how to strike gold with papain (papaya sap). The Mexican touch “Keralites usually experiment with intercropping, terrace farming and floriculture, and they are interested only in farming that’s pretty lucrative. The Kerala farmers will get into uncharted waters only if a particular type of farming was a success in some other place. Papaya farming started to make inroads into Kerala only after other states found it raking in the moolah,” says Ayub. “Everyone will be surprised to know that lakhs of rupees could be earned from the papain tapped from papayas that are thrown away, but initially I too had doubts regarding what will the quantum of income and how farming could be done. I got very interested after realizing that the farming technique was simple,” he recollects the days when he stepped into papaya farming. It was i-STED (Innovation-Science and Technology based Entrepreneurship Development), an agency under the Department of Science and Technology, which encouraged the farmers to tread this path. This agency was instrumental in making bamboo products and virgin coconut a success. “I didn’t have to think twice to take up papaya farming as i-STED had vouched for it,” adds Ayub. Papaya trees should be planted where there are good sunshine and less water, and one advantage of papaya farming is that it is conducive to all weather conditions. It is better to cultivate the Philippines variety of ‘Sinta’ papaya as it gives more papain, says Ayub. The CO3 variety can also be tried out. “The cultivation of papaya is easy as no special attention is needed for the trees. The fruits will be ready for tapping in six to eight months and as in rubber tapping, tapping of papaya should also be done early in the morning,” he adds. A good option indeed “We harvest papain and there are government approved agencies to collect and store the tapped papain. The farmers will get their share of profit as price and other related clauses are fixed as per the agreement inked with the company that buys papain,” assures Ayub, who earns Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 per month from an acre of papaya cultivation. Adds a new hue to papaya Now, the humble papayas transform into something extraordinary. The papain collected from the farmers is made into papain powder. Around 40 kgs of powder are made out of one tonne of papain, and one kg of papain powder can fetch close to Rs one lakh in the global market. “These are the number given by the agencies. The actual price will be much more than Rs one lakh,” says Ayub. After tapping, the papayas are sold at Rs 4 per piece to various bakeries as papaya is the main ingredient of many candies. Value-added products from papaya Just think again if you have a notion that papaya is just a fruit. Papain powder is one of the main ingredients in the majority of beauty products in the market. “Papaya is present in creams, powders, medicines and baby powders, and also a vital component of packed meat and gripe water. Papain powder is even included in poultry feed. Another point to be noted is that papain-based products don’t have any side-effects,” Ayub adds with utmost confidence. Ayub is getting plenty of orders after he tasted success in this venture. Moreover, young farmers are keen to meet him to learn the nuances of papaya farming and tapping. Following the footsteps of Ayub and other farmers who made it big in papaya farming, the government is introducing this type of cultivation in various districts. In the first phase, papaya farming had been put in place in Kasaragod, Malappuram, Wayanad, Thrissur, Idukki and Kollam districts. Many farmers from other districts too are expected to take up this novel way of farming. Ayub can be contacted at 9387752145. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/06/12/papaya-tapping-farmers-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/06/12/papaya-tapping-farmers-wayanad.html Thu, 13 Jun 2019 01:24:40 GMT In Wayanad, Rahul Gandhi's namesake entered the fray for fame Erumeli: Rahul Gandhi has returned home with 2,110 votes. In Wayanad, where the Congress president won a majority of over 4 lakh votes, his namesake had entered the fray and by his own admission he did it for fame. He stayed in Wayanad for nine days during the polls even as the VIP candidate bearing his name arrived a few times ahead of the election. The real name of the non-VIP is Ilayanithottathil Rahul Gandhi. He is a resident of Muttappally in Erumeli in Kerala's Kottayam district, which is a few hundred kilometers south of Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency from where the Congress president won the election as the results showed on May 23. Rahul returned to Muttappally yesterday. I did it for fame, and there was no pressure from any party, says the 'apolitical' Rahul. Rahul was a supporter of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) for a while, but has no party affiliations now. DYFI is the youth wing of the CPM, the main rival of Congress in Kerala. The Erumeli-based Rahul's father Kunjumon was a staunch Congress supporter. He named his sons Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, the former being India's former prime minister and his son is the latter and the current president of the Congress party. A student of folklore, the Malayali Rahul is good at folk art and music. Initially, it was suspected that some political parties had fielded the dummy candidate with ulterior motives. Though efforts were made to contact Rahul then, he dodged those bids. It is a practice among political parties to field the namesakes of their rival candidate so that the latter loses a few votes when voters fail to make out who is the serious candidate. In close contests the votes a namesake may garner may prove crucial. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/05/25/rahul-gandhis-namesake-contested-in-wayanad-for-fame.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/05/25/rahul-gandhis-namesake-contested-in-wayanad-for-fame.html Sat, 25 May 2019 07:01:52 GMT Born in Pune, married to a Pakistani, Saira’s final abode is in Attappadi Agali: She was born in Pune, married to a Pakistani and a teacher in Dubai. And henceforth, Attappadi in Kerala's Wayanad district would be the final resting place of 81-year old, Saira Syed Muhammed. Saira reached Fujairah almost five decades ago. All was well till her husband's death. Saira experienced a deep loneliness after he left her. Only her youngest son Parvez, who became mentally unstable after an accident, was with her at the time. Her eldest son Taj Ali was in Uzbekistan and her daughter Madeena Syed worked in Dubai. With none to take to care of her, Saira's condition worsened. She was plagued with various illnesses. Social activist and founder of Shanti Gramam, Uma Preman who knew her plight came to aid the octogenerian. A year ago, with the help of Malayali expatriates, Uma brought Saira to Shanthi Gramam in Attappadi. She and her son Parvez had been living at the centre ever since. After a long life's jouney which took her to various places, the 81-year-old breathed her last on Saturday morning in God's Own Country. The funeral was held at Agali. The social activist said that her elder brother will take Parvez to Uzbekistan. Shanti Gramam is a physio-therapy centre set in the tribal village of Mattathukadu in Attappadi. It picks up ailing and orphaned individuals from the society and nurses them back to health. The centre primarily focusses on tribal upliftment through skill based small scale industries. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/05/20/saira-dies-at-shanti-gramam-in-attappadi.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/05/20/saira-dies-at-shanti-gramam-in-attappadi.html Mon, 20 May 2019 07:51:57 GMT Cholera confirmed among migrant labourers in Wayanad Kalpetta: Cholera has been confirmed among three migrant labourers from Assam at Meppadi near here. Three of them have been shifted to the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode and 10 others, who had close contact with the three patients, are under observation at the Kalpetta general hospital, said district medical officer R Renuka. She added that the difficulty in communicating with the migrant labourers was slowing down the preventive measures. “One woman, one man and a child are confirmed to have contracted the disease. The others are under observation. However, since Assamese is not a common language here, we had difficulty in communicating with them and creating awareness among their settlements. Now, we are spreading awareness through the migrant labourers' suppliers, and more among them have come forward to support,” the DMO told Onmanorama. Seven families from Assam have been living on the premises of a private estate at Meppadi. On Monday, some of them sought treatment at the general hospital after being down with vomiting and diarrhoea. In between, condition of the three worsened and they were shifted to the medical college. The DMO said that the three were stable and and there was no panicky situation in the district. Heath department steps in Soon after cholera cases were confirmed in the district, the health department increased cleaning in affected areas of Meppadi. Two wells at Nedunkarana were super chlorinated and water tanks were cleaned. The officials from the department also visited the migrant shelters to create awareness. They also supplied preventive medicines in the area. A medical camp was organised at Nedunkarana on Thursday and an awareness class was held at a nearby madrassa. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/05/09/cholera-confirmed-among-migrant-labourers-in-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/05/09/cholera-confirmed-among-migrant-labourers-in-wayanad.html Thu, 09 May 2019 09:50:07 GMT 2 killed in explosion in Sulthan Batheri Wayanad: Two people, including a woman, were killed in an explosion at her house near Sulthan Batheri here Friday, police said. Amina (35), wife of Nasar, and their neighbour Benny were killed in the explosion at Naikatti, the investigating officer told PTI. The nature of the explosion and other aspects were under investigation, police said. Nasar was not at home when the incident occurred, they said adding neighbours, who heard the blast noise, found the mutilated bodies of the two and informed police. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/04/26/2-killed-in-explosion-near-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/04/26/2-killed-in-explosion-near-wayanad.html Fri, 26 Apr 2019 16:16:29 GMT Colony residents face threat of floods in Wayanad Padinjarathara: The whole of Kerala might be looking forward to the onset of monsoon to bring relief from searing heat, but not the residents of Madathumpara colony near here in Wayanad district. The colony, which is near to the Banasura dam, is facing threat of floods. The area is submerged in water when the dam shutters are opened to release water. Most of the houses in the colony were under water in the August deluge last year. Many families are staying in nine houses, and three of them were destroyed in the floods. People who lost their homes in the floods are staying in makeshift houses, which don’t have proper doors, built by voluntary organizations, and the other houses are leaking. As the wells have gone dry, the colony residents have to tread a long distance to fetch potable water. The construction of houses is in limbo due to paucity of funds to acquire land though money has been earmarked for building houses. The authorities concerned said that it was a matter of concern that people were staying in this area despite threat of floods. The demand to find a solution to the problems of colony residents are getting louder. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/04/16/colony-residents-face-threat-floods-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/04/16/colony-residents-face-threat-floods-wayanad.html Wed, 17 Apr 2019 00:34:46 GMT Students of Wayanad’s Odappallam School go ‘international’ Here is a story of special international connections. Students of a school close to the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary and those belonging to schools in several countries are close friends. They are, in fact, pen pals and regularly interact by mail. For instance, Ola, a Class 5 student of Joseph Pilsudski school in Poland recently wrote about herself and her interests to the Wayanad students. On receiving Ola’s letter, Akshay Krishna of Odappallam Government High School gave a detailed reply. Both the letters were in English. The regular exchange of communication between students whose mother tongue was a regional language helped them improve their command over English. Apart from Ola and Akshay Krishna, Adrian Blanco, a Class 4 student of Biscosal de School in Spain and Misha, studying in Class 9 at Lyceum School in Russia are also friends with Krishnapriya, Anand and Avantika of Odappallam school. In addition, Diana Vega Cerovic, a teacher in Russia and Nick Shaffer, a teacher in the Netherlands, communicate regularly with their counterparts in Odappallam school. All this has been made possible thanks to a special ‘English Lab’ that has been set up at Odappallam school, which is adjacent to the forest. The students here now connect with over 300 others in 10 countries through regular mail, e-mail and video conferencing. Opened with the aim of improving the English proficiency of the students, the lab has created a major impact in the school. Japan, Spain, Poland… The first foreign country that Odappallam students contacted was Spain. They initially sent greeting cards to Biscosal de School in Spain in July 2018. Soon, 35 students from each school exchanged letters three times. The letters were sent as regular mail through the Postal Department from Odappallam. Soon, the Wayanad students and their Spanish pals met through video and strengthened their friendship. The teacher coordinator at the Spanish school is Anna Frailey. Next, 17 youngsters of Odappallam school exchanged letters and greeting cards with an equal number of students at Joseph Pilsudski school in Poland. The teacher coordinator there is Theresa B. They students wrote in detail about themselves. In addition, Class 5 students of NMS Hayde school in Austria are pen pals of Odappallam kids. The teacher coordinator in Austria is Nina Kas. Meanwhile, it is the Izisi Misuhata English School in the Japanese city of Saitama that is in touch with Odappallam School. The Japanese students sent a detailed pictorial album which described the various art forms; traditional attire of kimono; gardening technique of Ikebana and the folk stories of Japan. In their reply, the Wayanad students introduced their Japanese friends to Panchatantra stories and musical instruments like ‘chenda’. Kayo Abe is the teacher coordinator in Japan. An international documentary Students of Potskampstraat school at Oldenzaal city in the Netherlands contacted Odappallam school thanks to Nick Sheffer, a teacher there. Now, 16 Class 9 students from each school communicate with each other regularly via video conference. The European kids mostly speak about the festivals in Holland, the schools in that country, their hobbies and music. Another foreign school connected with the Wayanad school is Lyceum at Bryansk city in Russia. The teacher heading the initiative there is Diana Vega Cerovic. As part of their efforts to strengthen the friendship, the Odappallam kids prepared a documentary on their school and mailed it to Russia. The documentary was screened at Lyceum school on February 8, Russian science day. The letters are being exchanged between Class 9 students of Russia and Class 8 kids of Odappallam. Recently, Maria and Rebecca, two women from Sweden who are in India as part of their studies, visited the Wayanad school and interacted with the kids here. A night meeting with the USA In the USA, Classville Montgomery School has established a link with Odappallam school. The teacher in-charge there is Annie Head. Arrangements have been completed for a video conference of Class 5 students of both schools at 8 pm Indian Standard Time on April 4. Meanwhile, letter writing is already in progress with 44 students of Monitora school in Brazil. An equal number of Odappallam kids are writing to them. Anna Luis is the teacher coordinating the effort in Brazil. A school in Malaysia is also in touch with Odappallam. A video conference on the topic, ‘Let us learn more about the diversities of India and Malaysia’ has been arranged at 7 am on April 4. Magi Mook is the teacher in charge in Malaysia. English Lab Odappallam kids were able to communicate with students in such different countries thanks to the English Lab, which aims to raise the English standards of the youngsters to international levels. The idea was mooted during a workshop organized to prepare the school’s academic master plan. N A Jayan, a former student, provided the equipment for the lab, which helped realize the plan without delay. All students of the school learn English with the help of interactive software installed in the computers. A ‘Guest time’ is also held at the lab, where the students interact directly with foreigners visiting Wayanad. During the lunch break, programmes like rhyme time and story time are held to improve the English vocabulary of the students. Moreover, English video songs and stories are played. Such activities are coordinated by student members of the ‘Little kites’ club of the school. People behind English Lab The SCERT recently prepared a documentary on the Odappallam school as part of its project to highlight model activities in Kerala’s schools. According to school headmaster Suraj Nadukkandy, there has been very good progress in the English proficiency of the students within one of the English lab’s launch. The confidence of the students grew after they were given a chance to handle English in a natural setting, said teacher P A Jithin Jith, who is coordinating the project. PTA president A K Pramod and municipal councilor M C Sarath are also providing all support, along with a large number of people. The teachers who are heading the activities at the English Lab are, K K Reeja, M P Shijina, O P Manikkunju, T N Deepa, A Zeenath, M K Sudha and R Indu. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/04/01/students-wayanad-odappallam-school-international.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/04/01/students-wayanad-odappallam-school-international.html Tue, 02 Apr 2019 01:12:33 GMT Foresters trap tiger that attacked them Pulpally: In recent years, Wayanad district has become the epicentre of human-wildlife conflicts in Kerala. The attack on humans from tigers, elephants, boars, monkeys and even bats are common. A tiger that attacked five foresters on Sunday has been caught in a trap laid by the Forest Department early on Monday. The big cat had been creating panic in the human-inhabited areas of Cheeyambam in Irulam in the district. Forester Shajan (34), a resident of Cheeyambam, had sustained serious injuries to head in the tiger attack. Four others – Jayan (26), Balan (35), Suresh (29) and Rajesh (25) left the hospital after medical attention on Sunday itself. The foresters had set a trap for the tiger on Saturday evening but could not catch it. Hence they set out along with tribal watchers in search of it and was attacked midway. The tiger pounced first on Jayan, who shrugged it off. The animal then attacked Shajan and struck him down. The tiger fled into the forest as other squad members cried out loud. An unconscious Shajan was taken to the main road and then hospital. Guards too sustained minor injuries while fleeing from the tiger. This led to more protests from locals. Bid to tranquillise the animal had failed early. Locals had blocked Pulpally-Bathery route in protest against authorities’ inaction in catching the tiger. Its presence in the area lying close to the forest had created security threat to humans as the beast had started targeting domestic animals. The rising elephant, tiger and leopard attacks on the local residents have triggered panic among the people in Wayanad. More than 20 people are killed every year on an average in wildlife attacks in the region. Rising man-animal conflict During drought, the animals and birds from nearby sanctuaries come down to Wayanad forest range in search of water. The forests are shrinking now due to deforestation, climate change, change in use of land-pattern and urbanisation. This forces wild animals to move into places which have adequate water and food. Further, the unprecedented loss of wild habitats has decreased the tolerance level of wild animals to man and his actions. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary has four ranges, namely, Sulthan Bathery, Muthanga, Kurichiat and Tholpetty. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/03/25/foresters-trap-tiger-that-attacked-them.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/03/25/foresters-trap-tiger-that-attacked-them.html Tue, 26 Mar 2019 00:16:36 GMT Tribal woman gives birth in autorickshaw, family thanks driver Mananthavady: A young woman belonging to the tribal community delivered a boy in an autorickshaw here, thanks to the timely intervention of the driver. As a mark of gratitude to the driver, the infant's father said the boy would be called ‘Ponmany’ after the name of the auto. Saritha, the mother, and the infant are now in good health at the District Hospital. She is the wife of Suresh of Cheruvayal Colony in Edavaka here in Wayanad district. Saritha developed labour pains while she was travelling from Kavara Colony, Padinjarathara, where she resides, to pick up her mother from Makkiyad on the way to the hospital. As soon as Saritha started to show signs of labour, auto driver Sanoj, a native of Padinjarathara, turned the vehicle towards District Hospital via the Thettamala route. However, Saritha gave birth in the auto at Thettamala. Sanoj and Keloth Summayya, a housewife living nearby, supervised the childbirth. After the delivery, the mother and infant were taken in Sanoj’s auto to Vellamunda PHC. They were given preliminary treatment there and shifted to District Hospital in an ambulance, accompanied by a nurse. Sanoj had worked as a conductor with KSRTC before the services of the empanelled staff were terminated and took up the job of an auto driver. Suresh, the infant's father, said that Sanoj had not only helped him during the delivery but also refused to accept the auto fare. Sanoj had even handed over some money towards hospital expenses too, said Suresh with deep gratitude. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/03/21/tribal-woman-autorickshaw-birth.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/03/21/tribal-woman-autorickshaw-birth.html Fri, 22 Mar 2019 04:13:09 GMT Two youngsters from Wayanad in Abu Dhabi for World Special Olympics Mananthavady: P V Ponnu and Vimal Jose, students of Fr Tezza Special School, Mananthavady have reached Abu Dhabi to participate in the Special Olympics World Games 2019. There are 27 members from Kerala in the Indian team competing for honours at the event, which is being held from March 14 to 21. Both Ponnu and Vimal are members of the national volleyball team. Ponnu was the captain of the Kerala team that won the gold medal at the National Special Olympics held in Rajasthan in 2016. A member of the tribal community, Ponnu is now one of the main pillars of the Indian team. Meanwhile, Vimal is one of the strongest players in the Indian women's volleyball team competing at the Special Olympics World Games. Ponnu and Vimal are being trained for the last four years by Jobin Joseph, a teacher at Fr Tezza School. As many as 7,500 athletes from 190 nations are participating in the 15th edition of the Special Olympics World Summer Games being held at Abu Dhabi, making it the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world. Special Olympics Bharat, which is accredited by Special Olympics International to conduct events in India, is fielding a contingent comprising 284 athletes and 71 coaches. This is the ninth time India will take part in the event. Since 1987 to 2015, 743 athletes from India have participated in the Special Olympics Summer Games. They have won 286 gold, 304 silver and 378 bronze medals to an overall tally of 968. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/03/15/abu-dhabi-world-special-olympics.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/03/15/abu-dhabi-world-special-olympics.html Sat, 16 Mar 2019 01:46:09 GMT Wildfires destroy vast swathes of vegetation in Banasura Hills Padijarethara: Majority of grassland and vegetation of the Banasura Hills near here in the Wayanad district has been consumed by raging forest fires. The fire, which had spread from Vellamunda, Vlarakunnu and Vellamada regions, started at around 8 pm on Friday, said rescue workers. It is feared that the wildfires would also dry up many water sources originating from the Banasura Hills. Strong winds and extreme heat thwarted the efforts of the forest department officials to the douse the fire on Friday. A group of 60 people, including local residents, are battling it out to extinguish the blaze, and many sustained injuries during fire-fighting. A forest department team headed by DFO Ranjith Kumar and section forest officer Aravindakshan and a group of local people are spearheading the rescue operations. The fire had also spread to the nearby forest region. Three hectares of vegetation in the Ongalleri Hills in the Sugandhagiri section were destroyed in the fire. The forests of Kuravanthodu, Sugandhagiri and Amba regions of the Kalpetta section were also gutted by the inferno. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/26/wildfires-destroy-vast-swathes-vegetation-banasura-hills.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/26/wildfires-destroy-vast-swathes-vegetation-banasura-hills.html Wed, 27 Feb 2019 01:43:30 GMT Wildfire rages on, traffic hit along Mysore-Ooty Highway Wayanad: A wildfire raging in Bandipur, Karnataka, has caused traffic blocks for hours on Mysore-Ooty Highway. Foresters are trying to control the fire that was first spotted at Gopalaswamy Betta and spread to Vachinahalli and Mel Kammanahalli. Traffic on Mysore-Ootty Highway was hit for hours and Mel Kammanahalli check post was closed several times. Hectares of forest have been burnt down, Manorama News report. Karnataka foresters along with firemen are trying to douse it. Strong winds are making the operation difficult. Wayanad reserve is geologically connected to Bandipur forest. If not controlled, the fire might affect the forest inside Kerala too. Foresters are on high alert as 25 hectares in Vadakkanad had burnt down the other day. Read more: Latest Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/24/wildfire-rages-on-traffic-hit-mysore-ooty.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/24/wildfire-rages-on-traffic-hit-mysore-ooty.html Sun, 24 Feb 2019 07:47:11 GMT Temporary approach road laid for Thurki bridge Kalpetta: The members of the Thurki Jeevan Raksha Samithi, a social organization, have laid a temporary approach road to the Thurki Bridge in a bid to overcome the challenges posed by the unscientific construction of the bridge. Though the bridge was completed in 2015, it could not be used as there was a height difference between the bridge and road, and one could reach the bridge only with the help of a ladder. But unfortunately no corrective measures were taken by the authorities concerned despite repeated appeals. Following the apathy of the officialdom, the samithi took the initiative to lay a temporary connection road, which could be used by two-wheelers and auto rickshaws, to the bridge. Hundreds of families of Kaithakolli, Chenawala colony and Adelaide are in distress due to lack of an approach road to the bridge. Total neglect The new bridge was built in place of an aging decades-old iron bridge, and funds for its construction were set aside in 2012. Though the bridge was completed before deadline, the work relating to approach road was indefinitely stalled. The work was stopped on the grounds that building the road was costlier than constructing the bridge. The efforts of the civic body officials to convince the authorities concerned to restart the road works also went down the drain. Hassles galore The residents of Kaithakolli, Chenawala colony and Adelaide have been facing travel woes for many years. The construction of the new bridge has only compounded the problem in hand as they have to travel more than 5 kms to reach Kalpetta town in Wayanad district. Meanwhile, the local residents have decided to intensify their protest against the lackluster attitude of the officials. They have demanded to complete the road works in the near future. Read more Wayanad News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/19/temporary-approach-road-thurki-bridge.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/19/temporary-approach-road-thurki-bridge.html Wed, 20 Feb 2019 01:40:22 GMT Mystery over dog carcasses in Wayanad river Panamaram: Residents of Panamaram town are perplexed over the mysterious appearance of dog carcasses in the small stream flowing nearby. As many as seven bodies were seen a few days ago. They were at least a week old. The next day, another three carcasses were found floating in the stream. Local people informed the police, panchayat authorities, Health Department and Animal Husbandry officials but not action has been taken so far. This has led to protests. The people have taken the stand that the carcasses can be removed only after the authorities concerned arrive at the spot. They said that a post-mortem examination should be conducted to ascertain the cause of death. When no official turned up at the spot on the first day, volunteers of Sathyam self-help group had recovered the carcasses and buried them. When contacted, Panamaram police said that a probe had been launched and the puzzle would be solved soon. Meanwhile, T Mohanan, vice-president of Panamaram panchayat said that, “The mystery has to be unraveled at the earliest and the culprits behind the incident brought to book. The police and the local people have to cooperate for the purpose. Sixteen CCTV cameras will be installed in Panamaram bridge and town to keep a watch over unlawful activities and prevent them.” Read more Wayanad News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/09/mystery-over-dog-carcasses-wayanad-river.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/09/mystery-over-dog-carcasses-wayanad-river.html Sun, 10 Feb 2019 01:39:57 GMT Bairakuppa residents demand capture of man-eating tigress Pulppally: Man-animal conflicts are on the rise and a few places in Kerala are notorious for attacks by wild animals on human settlements. The villagers of Bairakuppa, located in Nagarhole Tiger Reserve area on the Kerala– Karnataka border, has demanded the authorities to capture a tigress that was till recently roaming the adjacent forest areas, posing a threat to human life. The presence of the dangerous tigress in this area, near Pulppally in Wayanad district of Kerala, was confirmed by the Forest Department. The local people stress that capturing the tigress was necessary to ensure safety of the locals. The tigers were posing a menace to humans and cattle in the region recently. Last week, the forest officials had captured a male tiger that is suspected to have mauled to death two persons from the region recently. The 10-year-old male tiger, which was captured after being shot with tranquilisers, was shifted to the Mysore Zoo. The tiger had been posing a grave threat to the villagers in the Machur–Gundara areas near the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve. Footage from the camera installed in the forest area had proved that it was one tigress that killed Madhu, a tribal youth from Manimoola Tribal Settlement at Bairakuppa in December. It was also confirmed that the male tiger had killed two persons, Chinnappan from Gundur and Kenchan of Machur. Experts had also confirmed that both persons were killed by the same tiger. Even though the tigress had killed Madhu, no other untoward incident has been reported from the region after that. The forest officials held that the tigress was not to be seen in the area since then. Experts point out that usually tigers that become weak due to old age or injury set out to capture cattle from villages near the forest area. The tigers usually roam between the isolated colonies located on the edge of the forest. Clarification from the Forest Department Meanwhile, the Forest Department clarified that the captured male tiger was shifted to Mysore on an emergency basis as it needed immediate treatment for some wounds found on its limbs and head. The tiger was captured through tranquilizer shots and later shifted to a cage. The public was suspicious about the motive of the Department personnel owing to the haste with which the tiger was shifted to Mysore without displaying it before the villagers. The forest officials reasoned that had the tiger died during the capture or later due to any injuries, the concerned officials would be held responsible as tiger was a protected animal. Expert treatment was available only at Mysore Zoo. The officials clarified that there were nothing to hide in the shifting of the tiger to Mysore and gave word that the captured tiger was the same one which killed two people. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/05/bairakuppa-residents-demand-capture-of-man-eating-tigress.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/05/bairakuppa-residents-demand-capture-of-man-eating-tigress.html Tue, 05 Feb 2019 05:53:47 GMT Thettamala Govt School launches ‘Kunjuduppu’ project Mananthavady: The babies born of Adivasi mothers at the district hospital here in Wayanad district would be first wearing the cute little dresses provided by the students of Thettamala Government High School as part of the 'Nalla padam' project. The students came to know that the newly-born babies didn't have dresses when they visited the hospital to distribute clothes in the aftermath of the floods last year. That paved the way to launch the ‘Kunjuduppu’ project. The students also decided to collect clothes for the Adivasi new mothers. The project kicked off with District Hospital Superintendent Dr V Jithesh receiving the clothes from the students the other day. Head mistress Merline Paul, Jorly Joy, Cleena Jinesh, ‘Nalla Padam’ coordinates P P Beena and Jithesh Jose spoke on the occasion. 'Nalla Padam' project is an initiative of 'Malayala Manorama' to promote social and cultural activities among schools. Read more Wayanad News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/02/thettamala-govt-school-launches-kunjuduppu-project.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/02/thettamala-govt-school-launches-kunjuduppu-project.html Sun, 03 Feb 2019 01:43:36 GMT Protests in Pulpally after Forest officials sneak out killer tiger Pulpally: A tiger that sent villages bordering Nagarahole National Park into panic has been captured by Forest officials. The beast was tranquillised near Chembakolli, where a man, Kenchan, collecting wild yam was mauled to death recently. The tiger was soon caged and brought to Vella Range Office and taken to Mysuru Zoo by evening. The locals started protesting around noon against the hushed up removal of the beast that killed one among them. The protesters who burnt trees on road and disrupted traffic were dispersed by the police by 5pm. The Forest Department has promised Rs 5 lakh to family of Kenchan. Local protests made it impossible to take the body to the hospital last Monday and an autopsy could be performed only after midnight. Kenchan was later cremated at the colony. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/02/protests-in-pulpally-after-officials-sneak-out-killer-tiger.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/02/02/protests-in-pulpally-after-officials-sneak-out-killer-tiger.html Sat, 02 Feb 2019 12:59:36 GMT Why Kerala foresters should take a leaf out of Karnataka counterparts' book Pulpalli: When the officers of the Kerala Forest Department are scratching their heads over ways to quell incidents of forest fire, their counterparts in Karnataka are ready to respond to the situation with war-like preparedness. The Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka is well-equipped to take care of the forest habitat from fire. It has laid the groundwork for rapid action in case of a fire outbreak at any corner. In the early weeks of December the authorities demarcated the forest area from the human settlements with man-made 'firelines' or ‘firebreaks’ that help to break the progress of fire inside the forests well in advance. Moreover, each forest range will get the service of a fire unit and they have covered the pits in all major forest roads with mud. The officials have formulated a swift response mechanism to bring fire units and tankers to any spot of catastrophe and press firefighters into service within minutes, besides keeping a few watchers and vehicles on standby. The infrastructure of Karnataka forest wing is so efficient that it could locate fire even in the neighbouring Kerala forests with the help of towers placed at high altitudes. So when there was a fire at Vandikadavu in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary last year, Karnataka forest sleuths were tipped by the men at Begur watch tower and they sprung into action armed with necessary gears. Wayanad ill-equipped When the officials in the neighbouring state of Karnataka are miles ahead in countering the disaster, Wayanad paints a poor picture owing to paucity of funds. There is not even a good road inside the sanctuary capable enough to carry vehicles. The construction of fireline is moving at a snail’s pace. By not appointing sufficient number of fire watchers, the Forest Department continues to display a fair amount of apathy in countering forest fires. The very few watchers available are armed with only a chopper and few tree branches. It requires accurate monitoring skill and spontaneous action to prevent forest fire rather than get into work after a fire breaks out. Taking into account the annual forest fire occurrences, no effort was made to purchase at least two tankers for the Wayanad sanctuary. Mostly the fire outbreaks are controlled with the help of Fire and Rescue Services. But nothing could be done in case a fire rages out into deep jungle destroying the precious flora and fauna. However, the Forest Department is keeping its fingers crossed under the notion that chances are less for a fire this time as the state received abundant rainfall this season, and that the forests won't get dried up that may lead to a fire. Quite dismal though, the border areas have already turned arid in the start of January itself. Read more Wayanad News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/01/28/wayanad-foresters-ill-equipped-fight-wild-fire.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/01/28/wayanad-foresters-ill-equipped-fight-wild-fire.html Tue, 29 Jan 2019 02:54:15 GMT Monkey fever: Control room opened in Wayanad, survey to start Kalpetta: The emergency meeting called by Wayanad District Collector AR Ajayakumar on Thursday decided to start a survey on the fever cases in the district after two men from here were affected with Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), commonly called monkey fever. The first phase of the survey would include Noolppuzha, Mullakolli and Thirunelli panchayats, which are more vulnerable. A control room was opened in the collectorate, and the details of the survey would be marked there. The collector said that both the patients were recovering and there is no emergency situation in the district as of now. In the preliminary findings, it is assumed that the disease was contracted from areas of Bairakuppa in Karnataka. On Wednesday, a 35-year-old man from Athattukunnu colony, near Aranappara was admitted at Mananthavady district hospital with KFD and another 27-year-old man from Thonikkadavu colony near Bavali, who was shifted to Government Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode after showing similar symptoms, was also confirmed to have contracted the disease. Though the hamlets of both the men are at a distance of 10 km to 15km, they fall under the primary health centre limit of Appappara, Thirunelli. Both are suspected to have contracted the disease from villages in Karnataka. The officials said that enough vaccines are stocked and more would be brought from Shimoga. To create awareness among the public, more campaigns would be conducted in the district. The collector repeated that those who are moving to the forest should be administered vaccine. Sub Collector NSK Umesh, district medical officer Dr R Renuka, surveillance officer Dr Noona Marja and other heads of departments attended the meeting. The public can contact the control room on 1077, 04936204151 https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/01/24/monkey-fever-control-room-opened-in-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/01/24/monkey-fever-control-room-opened-in-wayanad.html Thu, 24 Jan 2019 14:54:12 GMT Teen siblings drown as bamboo raft overturns Panamaram (Wayanad): Two teen siblings drowned here while playing in the pond situated on their house plot. The incident took place around 2 pm on Thursday while the boys were playing with the bamboo raft in the pond soon after their lunch. The villages of Karakkamala-Chamundi and Vellari Vayal are yet to come to terms with the death of Jesvin, 15, and Josevin, 12, elder sons of Shinoj and Sheeja. As schools were closed owing to the hartal called over the Sabarimala issue, the boys went out to play on the bamboo raft along with their younger brother Christy. As little Christy stood on the banks of the pond, the duo got onto the raft, and moved it forward with the help of a pole. Suddenly, the raft turned turtle and the boys fell into the nearly 8-foot deep muddy pond. The family members and neighbours rushed to the spot on hearing the scream of Christy. Though the locals took the boys out of the water and rushed them to the district hospital, they died on the way. Jesvin was a Class 10 student of Dwaraka Sacred Heart High School and Josewin a Class 6 student of Dwaraka AUP School. Their father Shinoj is a temporary staff with the Mananthavady branch of SBI Bank. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/01/05/bamboo-raft-overturns-death.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2019/01/05/bamboo-raft-overturns-death.html Sat, 05 Jan 2019 11:06:25 GMT Leopard kills tribal youth who went to collect firewood Pulpally: A tribal youth who had gone to collect firewood from Bairakuppa in the Nagarhole tiger reserve was mauled to death by a leopard. The deceased has been identified to be Madhu, 28, son of Dasan from Manimula Kuruma colony at Bairakuppa in Kabanikkara. The body was without a hand and a leg when it was found, while his head was also severed. It has been confirmed that Madhu was killed by a leopard. The incident occurred at Aanamalam on the Bairakuppa-Mysuru route. Madhu went inside the forest on Sunday afternoon and when he didn't return by night colony residents mounted a search on Monday morning and found the body by evening. During the search, they heard the growl of the leopard and took shelter on top of trees. It was then they found the dhoti of Madhu lying not far away. Next to it was the body of Madhu that had been mauled by the animal. Police and forest authorities reached the spot and initiated inquest proceedings. The body has been kept in the forest to carry out post-mortem at the spot itself. Madhu is survived by wife Bhagya and three children. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/12/25/leopard-kills-tribal-youth-pulpally.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/12/25/leopard-kills-tribal-youth-pulpally.html Tue, 25 Dec 2018 08:12:34 GMT 14 tribal students enjoy maiden train trip before Kalolsavam contest Sulthan Bathery: Fourteen tribal students had their rare foray into places far away from their forest dwellings as they arrived for the 59th Kerala State School Arts Festival, Kalolsavam, held in Alappuzha. They came from the forests where the soul of folk songs lies and took on the folk songs of the land with their tribal songs. They belong to the Kattunayakan tribe of Wayanad Manusha, Nithya, Meera, Manikandan and others are students of Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Model Residential School at Noolpuzha near Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad district. They nurtured a dream to travel in a train and they realised it as they proceeded to Alappuzha. They purchased tickets in Jan Shatabdi for their maiden train journey. The journey was similar to the one in buses, noted the students as the popular inter-city train has only chair cars. The students were even eager to experience how to lie down in a train as they have seen in films. The tribal welfare department representative, Vijayan Malayil, who came to know about their wish in this regard, got them get down at Ernakulam Junction station. From there they boarded the Shalimar Express which had vacant sleeper berths which enabled them to stretch themselves for the rest of their trip. En route too they spoke about the tales of the forests. They are children of people who climb huge trees to collect and sell honey, kalpasham (black stone flower) and wild gooseberries to eke out a living. The instruments they use for the orchestra are from their backyard and the songs were the ones sung by their grandmoms. The tribal students were trained by Prajod Urulam and Prasad Chulliyod. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/12/10/wayanad-school-folk-music-team.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/12/10/wayanad-school-folk-music-team.html Mon, 10 Dec 2018 06:38:46 GMT Burial chambers at plantation likely of Jewish immigrants History rests deep in these dolmens. These relics are links to a bygone era and would throw light on a culture that flourished ages ago. The burial chambers, found aplenty near the Edakkal caves in the valley of Ambukuthi hills in Wayanad district, are remains of an ancient megalithic culture. Social worker and author Abraham Benhur stumbled upon seven such burial chambers at his coffee estate in Krishnagiri and that prodded him to unravel the mystery behind the dolmens. Benhur coffee estate is at Pathirakunnu in the Kolagappara valley near Sulthan Bathery, and also not far away from Kuppakoli, Ambukuthimala and Edakkal caves where the relics of the megalithic culture were unearthed. He found these cists while working on his coffee farm in the 1970s. Later, many research scholars visited the burial sites to delve deep into history. Stones, weapons made of iron, oil boxes, utensils and jewellery were found in the burial chambers. The findings vouch for the fact that there was human habitation in Wayanad during pre-historic times. Memories never die Historians affirm that these dolmens were used to bury the dead or preserve the memories of the dead. But they couldn't pinpoint the community to which these burial sites belonged, though many studies were conducted. The chambers found in Krishnagiri had four stone slabs on the sides with a stone cover. Each cist has a porthole through which a person could crawl into the chamber. Such stone chambers were used to bury the dead and in places where there was scarcity of stones, the dead were interred in earthen pots. The memories of the ancestors are rife in many relics such as dolmens, capstones, laterite caves and urns. And these are stories of kings, their empires and wars. Unsolved myths The dolmens found in Wayanad and Marayoor in Idukki district are similar to those unearthed in Israel, Russia, and certain parts of north India. According to Benhur, the tombs belong to Jews who migrated from West Asia. Even before Jewish colonies were established in Mattanchery and Parvur in Ernakulam district, the Jews had set foot in Wayanad, he added. The porthole in the chamber is to perform oil ablution after the dead is buried in the grave. In his book The Jewish Background of Indian People Benhur states that this ritual is followed by Jews after burying the dead. But many historians and research scholars differ from Benhur. A deeper study into the megalith monuments of Wayanad is imperative as fables and myths relating to these burial chambers are lying intertwined to the mystery of many. The megaliths refer to the burials in large stone structures located away from the populated area. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/12/07/burial-chambers-plantation-likely-jewish-immigrants.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/12/07/burial-chambers-plantation-likely-jewish-immigrants.html Sat, 08 Dec 2018 01:49:10 GMT Tale of a ‘handcuffed’ police station Panamaram: This is in no way a curious case of the law catching up with the law enforcer, but an interesting tale of a police station being ‘handcuffed’. The recent floods took its toll on the Kollamvayal police station near Kabani River in Wayanad district as the waters washed away batons, police caps and, to the chagrin of the police, the lock of the building in which the police station was situated. The total loss incurred was worth lakhs. As the building became unsafe after the water receded, the police station was shifted to the nearby panchayat shopping complex. Interestingly, while moving out, the police locked the main door of the building with a handcuff. The new police station doesn’t have requisite facilities, and one has to climb many flights of stairs to the third floor to lodge a police complaint. Now, the Nirmiti Kendra building, which wears a deserted look, has many police-seized vehicles for company. Both police and public are in distress as the police station doesn’t have an own building. Efforts were on to a find a suitable place, which is not affected by floods, on rent but landlords were not ready give their buildings to house a police station. The authorities concerned had earmarked a piece of land for constructing a police station but had to drop the plan as the place was prone to floods. Search is on for a permanent space for the police station. Read more Wayanad News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/11/15/tala-of-handcuffed-police-station-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/11/15/tala-of-handcuffed-police-station-wayanad.html Fri, 16 Nov 2018 03:03:25 GMT Spurt in teen suicides sparks fears of online 'death groups' Kalpetta: Malicious online ‘death groups’ on popular social networking sites that goad teenagers into killing themselves are causing panic among parents in Wayanad after a string of teen suicides over the past one month. A thorough investigation into the death of two youngsters at Kaniyambetta, near here, who took their lives in an identical manner, has been launched in the wake of the suspicion raised by their parents that their sons could have been victims of online ‘death groups’ fueling suicidal feelings. The probe was initiated based on a complaint filed by the relatives of Muhammed Shamas, 17, son of Kadavan Subair and Rasheeda, who committed suicide by hanging at his residence last week. Shamas’ close friend Muhammed Shebin, 17, had also ended his life by hanging himself last month. Following the duo’s death, some of their friends had been showing symptoms of depression and anxiety, raising suspicions that secret social media groups might have influenced the vulnerable youngsters to take their own lives. The police checked the Facebook and Instagram accounts of the victims and it was found that they were active members of groups that glorify suicide and solitude. When the first teenager took the extreme step, his friend had posted the following lines on his Facebook page: “I will be joining you soon.” A day before he hanged himself, the latter also sent a message to his friend asking him ‘will you come to visit me after I’m dead?” Both the victims were ardent fans of musical albums with depressing content. According to their family members, they played songs at full blast in their room while killing themselves using a rope. A week before Shebin’s death, Nisam, 16, son of Kattakalan Moosa of Panamaram, who had run away from home, was found dead in an unoccupied house at Choottakadavu near Mananthavady. He hanged himself after scribbling the names of five people, who likely pushed him to take the extreme step, on the wall of the house. It is said that both Shamas and Shebin were his acquaintances. Following the latest developments, there is a demand to probe the mystery behind Nisam’s death as well. “Close friends of Shamas have revealed that 13 others in their friend circle are members of such groups. We have lodged a complaint with the Kambalakkad police station seeking a detailed probe into the matter,” said Kaniyambetta panchayat president Hamsa Kadavan, who is also a relative of Shamas. The police have decided to identify the teenagers who are said to be members of the so-called social media ‘death groups’ and provide counselling to them with the help of psychologists and their teachers. “We will also conduct awareness programmes in coordination with residence associations and ward-level Jagratha Samitis (vigilance committees) against the misuse of social networking sites,” said Kalpetta DySP Prince Abraham. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/11/04/spurt-teen-suicides-sparks-fears-online-death-group.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/11/04/spurt-teen-suicides-sparks-fears-online-death-group.html Mon, 05 Nov 2018 03:32:32 GMT Kudumbashree to start community kitchens in Wayanad Kalpetta: After the successful implementation of the tribal community kitchens in Attappady, Palakkad, the Kudumbashree mission will establish community kitchens in Wayanad district. As many as 222 kitchens would be set up by the end of November, according to mission executive director Harikishore S. "On a pilot basis, nearly 62 kitchens were set up in Thirunelly panchayat, each catering to nearly 15 to 20 people. More kitchens would be set up in Noolppuzha and Kaniyampatta, apart from nearly 40 more in Thirunelly. These kitchens would be run by tribal neighbourhood groups, as in the case of Attappady. By setting up the kitchens, we are serving two purposes at the same time – giving nutritious food to the needy and empowering the tribal neighbourhood groups," said Harikishore. The Tribal Community Kitchen Project It was the high rate of infant mortality and malnutrition deaths among tribal communities during the 2013-14 fiscal that prompted the social justice department to start the first ever community kitchen in the state at Attappady in Palakkad. The community kitchen project was then taken over by the Kudumbashree in 2014. Community kitchen is a nutritional enhancement programme initiated to address malnourishment among children, pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescent girls, senior citizens and the impoverished. Managed by the tribal women's Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs), women would serve food in the evening. The menu, decided upon after understanding the nutrition requirements of the needy, includes white boiled rice, ragi powder, a variety of pulses like green gram, horse gram and chick pea. This was a revival of the earlier practice of 'Ooraduppu' (hamlet hearth) where the community comes together for meals and shares food. Project in Wayanad According to Kudumbashree Wayanad district project officer P Sajitha, the community kitchens were started in Thirunelly in June. Two of them were destroyed during the August floods, but were soon renovated. The Kudumbashree mission's plan is to set up 76 kitchens in Noolppuzha and 48 in Kaniyampatta by the end of November. “We are serving food in a shed that is constructed alongside the kitchens. So, when the food is served from 4.30pm to 7pm (time is flexible), the needy people can come and gather at the shed, where awareness programmes and tuition classes will also be conducted,” she said. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/11/04/kudumbashree-start-community-kitchens-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/11/04/kudumbashree-start-community-kitchens-wayanad.html Sun, 04 Nov 2018 11:35:10 GMT Creepy moments for villagers as man returns two weeks after his funeral Pulpally, Wayanad: Adikolli villagers here went literally dumbfounded when a man presumed to be dead came back to his hamlet, almost two weeks after his burial. The funeral rites of 48-year-old Saji, was performed at the cemetery of St Sebastian's Church at Adikolli on October 16. But his return on October 31 has puzzled the villagers and police alike who are now scratching their heads to find out the real identity of the corpse that was buried at church cemetery the other day. On October 13 an unidentified body was spotted near Bairakuppa Forest station near Kabani river banks. Presuming the body to be that of a Malayali it was shifted to Mannathavadi taluk Hospital in Wayanad district of Kerala. Due to the absence of a police surgeon, the body was handed over to HD Kote Taluk Hospital authorities in Mysore district of Karnataka on October 16 for autopsy. Saji's mother and brother had identified the one-week-old body based on the presence of a metallic rod in one of the legs. Saji, a construction worker, had undergone rodding surgery after suffering a fracture in an accident at the construction site. The autopsy report also stated the presence of a metallic rod in one of the legs of the corpse. In the wake of the recent developments, Karnataka police have made it clear they are not willing to take back the corpse which was once buried. The body which had started to decay was handed over to the Kerala police after completing all the procedural formalities, said Sub-inspector Puttuswami, Beechanahalli police station, Mysore. However, if a missing complaint is reported the body will have to be exhumed for DNA examination and subject to further investigation. Saji, who had left for work at a construction site in Kannur on September 3, is now bewildered as he lay his hands on his death certificate. Clueless about his future course of action, the construction worker alleged the funeral incident was supposed to be masterminded by his relatives to lay claim to his property. He is not on talking terms with his mother or neighbours. The bachelor leads a secluded life in a single-room house built on 10 cents of land owned by him. Normally, once Saji sets out for long days of work he does not maintain a phone contact with any of his relatives. All the strange developments unfolded only the other day after Saji called on his relative at Panamaram. Pulpalli police, on Thursday, have sent Saji and family members to Beechanahalli police station in Karnataka. The family members, on the other hand have explained that they came to the wrong conclusion as the body had to started to rot. “We were forced to do the funeral in the night itself as the corpse was in an advanced stage of putrefaction,” they said. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/11/02/creepy-moments-villagers-man-returns-after-his-funeral.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/11/02/creepy-moments-villagers-man-returns-after-his-funeral.html Sat, 03 Nov 2018 04:34:13 GMT Wayanad raises a toast for its cup of tea Wayanad is often associated with its coffee plantations yet the hilly district can boast of a tea culture that is a century old. Wayanad's tryst with tea started a hundred years ago, when a group of Englishmen went to the hills to dig for gold. They were frustrated but they left behind a golden hue to the breakfast tables. Wayanad's tea plantations were a byproduct of a gold rush gone awry. The retired soldiers who burned their fingers after successfully mining for gold in Kerala's Wayanad and Tamil Nadu's Panthalloor turned to farming to recoup their losses. They found that tea was the most suited crop for the region. Indian companies took over the profitable plantations after the British left. Wayanad district can now boast of 5,306 hectares of tea plantations at Vaithiri, Pozhuthana, Meppadi, Mooppainad, Tavinjal, Thondarnad and Mananthavadi panchayats. The plantations drew labourers from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. There were a sizable population from the neighbouring Malappuram region too. Many soldiers displaced by the Malabar rebellion of 1921 found safe haven in Wayanad. The tea estates resembled torture camps under the British owners. Labourers were treated disgustingly until they organised themselves into powerful trade unions. Agitations by Wayanad tea labourers had prompted many national trade union activists to visit the plantations. The labourers' colonies were a melting pot of cultures. The colonies were microcosms of a diverse India, where people from different religions and cultures cohabited. The labour colonies celebrated every family's occasions as a common festival. People who have left the colonies still remember the community spirit with nostalgia. The migrants popularised football and other games in the district. Brewing history The tea estates still bear marks of the British pioneers, including unique agricultural tools and wooden buildings. Harrisons Malayalam Company has put together a Tea Museum at Achoor to showcase the heritage of the district. The museum exhibits include utensils such as the oven and the punching machines used to keep a tab on the workers. Wayanad has stepped up its game over the years. The district has a share in the entire processing chain of tea, from cultivation to manufacturing and packaging. Tons of tea are being exported from this Kerala district. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/11/01/wayanad-tea-plantation-history.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/11/01/wayanad-tea-plantation-history.html Fri, 02 Nov 2018 03:12:01 GMT Sultan Bathery shows how to keep a town spick and span This town is indeed the ‘Sultan’ in cleanliness. You will not find even a single pile of garbage on any street in Sultan Bathery. Here, there is no need to turn your face away from disgusting sights like waste dumped on the roadside or try to evade the nauseating stench. The spick and span town, where roads are flanked by potted flowering plants, even draws admiration from overseas visitors. “It is a pleasant surprise to find such a clean town in Wayanad, considered a backward district,” commented a traveller from Qatar. How the feat was achieved The tag of cleanest town in Kerala was accorded to Sultan Bathery municipality barely a couple of years ago. When the then municipal council headed by C K Sahadevan took over the reins of the civic body, the first programme it launched was a cleaning drive to rid the town of garbage. Among the initial works was the clearing of all the 13 drains in the town. Even waste that had been remaining at the same spot for 30 years was removed in that drive. The next measure was the ban imposed on plastic. Subsequently, all the wild growth of plants on the sides of the roads was cleared. This was followed by the round-the-clock watch maintained by the municipal chairperson, councillors and civic employees to nab miscreants dumping garbage in public places under the cover of darkness. Local people, traders and auto-taxi drivers also joined the initiative. The joint initiative produced results soon; the menace of waste dumping came to a halt. Revenue from garbage The administratorsare now paying money to the local people to ‘buy’ garbage from houses and shops. This is to convert it into fertilizer and electricity. A waste management plant is now being set up for the purpose. German technology is used in the plant, which will be operational in three months, said municipal chairperson T L Sabu. Another remarkable decision of the local body is to remove all banners, flags and other display items set up in connection with political meetings within 24 hours after the function ends. Flowers everywhere Every day at 4 am, the nine cleaning workers of the civic body set out with their cart to clear the town of garbage. Within three hours, their work would be over. But they go around the town again in the afternoon, to pick up some minute items like sweet wrappers or a leaf seen on the road. Finally, the road would be as clean as your own house and premises. Potted flowering plants have been placed at several parts of the town. But the beautification does not end there. Sultan Bathery, in fact, has already sown the seeds to become Kerala’s ‘garden city.’ Flowering trees planted several years ago will soon bloom, turning the entire town into a garden. Visitors book Sultan Bathery may be the only place in Kerala where a visitors book is kept at the public washroom. The authorities here know very well that those using the washroom would have nothing against it. The book is full of comments in praise of Kerala’s cleanest place. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/30/sultan-bathery-cleanliness.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/30/sultan-bathery-cleanliness.html Tue, 30 Oct 2018 10:38:01 GMT Wayanad's sole 'railway station' is at a school How many railway stations are there in Wayanad district? If your reply is none, you are off the mark. If still in doubt, head to Lakkidi, where the 'train' bearing the number GLPS 15230 waits at the 'station.' Confused? A group of enterprising youths have given the Lakkidi Govt. LP School a revamp with railway as the theme. The school has received the makeover thanks to ‘Ente Sevanam, Ente Thozhil,’ a web portal launched to find people who are willing to carry out flood relief activities and help in the rebuilding efforts. While the headmaster’s office has been painted to look like the engine, the classrooms have been highlighted with the colours of the compartments. The ‘train’ has been given the same number as that of the school, GLPS 15230. The work was completed in three days by NSS volunteers from AWH College at Kallayi in Kozhikode; artists from Dreams, a collective in Wayanad; the people managing the web portal; local people and PTA members of the school. The web portal www.entesevanamentethozhil.org was formed by a group of IT students in Kozhikode along with Weltrans Human Resource Management Company. Flood-affected people needing support can register with the portal, which will display the list of individuals and firms who are ready to offer the specific service. The spruced-up school was opened for students on October 22. Meanwhile, the school is witnessing the arrival of local people too who are curious to see Wayanad’s only 'railway station' and the 'train' waiting there. Wayanad district does not have a train station. Its nearest railhead is Nilambur Road in Malappuram district. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/28/wayanad-railway-station-school.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/28/wayanad-railway-station-school.html Mon, 29 Oct 2018 01:43:54 GMT Wayanad Maoists reject govt's rehabilitation package Kalpetta: The CPI (Maoist) has rejected the rehabilitation package announced by the Kerala government in May. The Nadukani area committee of Maoists expressed displeasure over what it termed as the 'double stance of the government' in its October bulletin. The bulletin asked if these politicians were ready to stop their political activities if they were given similar incentives. “Will (Kerala CM) Pinarayi, (CPM leader) Kodiyeri and their followers stop their political activities, once they are offered land, jobs and money for marriage in family? The CPM is colluding with the bourgeois government at the Centre to imprison and kill Maoists,” the bulletin alleged. Apart from dismissing the rehabilitation package, the bulletin also flayed a programme organised by the police to congratulate tribal students who scored high in the public examinations. It said such programmes were an eyewash to cover up the violence police continued to inflict on the tribals including the Muthanga unrest, imprisoning tribal boys under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) act. Govt package The government had announced a package in three layers to avoid the radical Left wing activists misusing the package and going back to extremist activities. The package was as follows: Rs 5 lakh for the first category Maoists, and that too in phases. Those who wish to pursue studies, would be given Rs 15,000, for marriage Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,000 for job training for up to three months. For those belonging to the category 2A and 2B, Rs 3 lakh would be given in phases. Those who are ready to surrender their arms also would be rewarded. For example, those who surrender their AK 47 would get Rs 25,000. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/26/wayanad-maoists-reject-govt-rehabilitation-package.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/26/wayanad-maoists-reject-govt-rehabilitation-package.html Fri, 26 Oct 2018 05:16:58 GMT Viral fever, jaundice grip parts of Wayanad Panamaram/ Manathavady: Wayanad district has been hit by epidemics after the devastating floods of August, but the response from the health department has been poor. Jaundice has spread to more areas of Thavinjal panchayat. At Nadavayal, 56 inmates of the Ozanam Bhavan, an old-age home, have been affected by viral fever. Fears have risen of H1N1 symptoms, though there is no confirmation yet. One case was confirmed in the district last month, and a man is currently under treatment with H1N1 symptoms. Protests have risen over the health department's lack of attention though some of the patients are critical. The department was informed of the viral fever in Nadavayal, but a medical team from the district hospital is yet to arrive. Some doctors came from the primary health centre at Poothadi, but only several hours after the information was conveyed. Authorities in the dark The health authorities have tightened preventive measures after the jaundice outbreak was reported from Thavinjal. However, they are still groping in the dark about the source of the infection. Data available as of Tuesday says 34 people have been infected. The first infections were reported among students of the Wayanad Engineering College in Thalappuzha. The health department woke up only after 15 students arrived at the district hospital for treatment. Am expert team of doctors then conducted a study at the college. Water samples taken from wells used by the college canteen and the hostels were sent for tests, as also water used in nearby shops. The college has been closed until Friday, October 25. The closing could be extended as the disease is seen spreading to other areas too. Jaundice-infected people are visiting the dispensary at Valad and the community health centre at Perya. Protests widespread Nadavayal: Anger is mounting over the delay on the part of health authorities to respond to the viral fever in Nadavayal. At the Ozanam Bhavan, 56 of the 74 inmates are down with the illness. Most of the inmates are above 60 years of age and seven of them are tribals. There are 28 senior citizens and 22 bed-ridden patients. Ozanam Bhavan trustee Fr Benny Muthirakkalayil said the authorities have to provide relief to the patients, and should conduct medical camps. Deputy Collector E P Mercy had visited the place as soon as she was informed. A medical camp wil be held at the Bhavan on Wednesday and the district medical officer is expected. The viral fever erupted even as Ozanam Bhavan was celebrating secretary Vincent John winning the award for his services for public health. The award was instituted by the Dr P. Narayanan Nair Charitable Trust to encourage those who render selfless service for public health. Vincent was due to accept the award on Sunday, but viral fever downed him. The winner has been a dedicated public health worker for the poor during the past two decades, and is also an organ donor. Suspect origins Ozanam Bhavan authorities have no idea as to how the viral fever arose. Several people visit the Bhavan to see patients and offer care. One of them might have been infected and passed the germ to an inmate, it is believed. Besides, Vincent John had visited patients at the district hospital two days back. It's possible that he could have got infected from there. Dr R. Renuka, district medical officer, says: “Sale of cold drinks has been temporarily banned in Thavinjal panchayat. Wells and other water sources are under super-chlorination. We are effectively intervening to prevent epidemics. Things are under control. The health department is eternally vigilant.” Dr Paul, PHC medical officer at Poothady, sai: “We've been able to check the viral fever at Nadavayal Ozanam Bhavan. Five inmates suffering from fever, apart from other diseases, will be shifted to Bathery hospital. We got delayed a bit to reach the Bhavan because we were at a camp in the morning. We had sent a nurse initially, however. There is no reason for panic. We're taking necessary measures.” Directives from the health department: Do super-chlorination in all water sources. Use only chlorinated water for cooking and for washing untensils. Drink only boiled-and-cooled water. Keep flies off food items by keeping them covered. Wash hands with soap before having food and also after defecation. Fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly. Do not mix plain plain water in boiled drinking water offered at hotels, bakeries, cool bars and schools. Maintain personal hygeine and keep surroundings clean. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/24/viral-fever-jaundice-grip-parts-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/24/viral-fever-jaundice-grip-parts-wayanad.html Wed, 24 Oct 2018 07:24:36 GMT Official apathy leaves Wayanad tribal family in the lurch Madakkunnu, Kalpetta: A homeless tribal family in Wayanad has been left in the lurch following inordinate delay in allocation of land. Since the past three years, Balan, wife Sandhya and their three children including a nine-month-old baby have been living in a temporary shed put up on a strip of land owned by a fellow community member at Ambalakunnu colony in Vengapally panchayat. Previously, the family was staying in their ancestral home at Oruvummal colony where Balan’s parents, siblings and their children live. Three years ago, they were forced to move out due to limited space in that small house. Seeing the family’s plight, a tribal youth allowed them to put up a temporary shed on his premises and settle down there for the time being. As the tribal welfare authorities had promised them that action would be expedited to allot land to them, the family hoped that they would be able to shift to a new house soon. However, the officials concerned have turned a deaf ear to their repeated requests to sanction the said land to them. Recently, the owner of the plot where the temporary shelter is situated asked them to vacate the place in order to undertake farming. He has no other option as it is the only piece of land he possesses, Balan said. “We live in a tiny, broken-down shelter, but at least we have a roof over our head now. We have nowhere to go if we leave this place,” he added. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/23/official-apathy-leaves-wayanad-tribal-family-lurch.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/23/official-apathy-leaves-wayanad-tribal-family-lurch.html Tue, 23 Oct 2018 08:33:52 GMT This hospital offers its patients free e-rick rides Bathery: The underprivileged and the elderly at Noolpuzha in Kerala’s Wayanad district won’t have any trouble in commuting to their family health centre hereafter. People who come to the hospital but do not have the resources to hire a vehicle to return home or those who have difficulty in walking back to the bus stop can now take advantage of a free electric autorickshaw service launched at the Noolpuzha Family Health Centre. The project, which has come as a great help for the elderly and the disabled is being carried out under the leadership of medical officer Dr Dahar Muhammad. The new service is the cynosure of all eyes at the Health Centre that had been once recognised as the best primary health centre in the country. The rickshaw, which runs on battery, was brought to the hospital earlier this week. It could perhaps be the first autorickshaw that runs on battery in the entire district. On a full charge, the auto will have a range of 85 km. The hospital spent Rs 2 lakh to buy the vehicle made by Kinetic. The fund was approved by the Noolpuzha village panchayat for the hospital. The body works of the auto is yet to be completed. The elderly who come to buy medicines will be dropped till the bus stop or till their home if their house is within 5 km, Dr Dahar said. During emergencies, the auto will also be used to bring patients from their home to the hospital. Read more from Wayanad https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/18/this-hospital-offers-patients-free-e-rides.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/18/this-hospital-offers-patients-free-e-rides.html Fri, 19 Oct 2018 04:26:04 GMT Drop in at Tea Museum as you visit Wayanad Kalpetta: The first Tea Museum in Wayanad has been opened at Achoor, Pozhuthana. It is an initiative of agri-business giant Harrisons Malayalam Ltd. (HML) to spread awareness on the history and tradition of tea industry. The museum has been set up by renovating an old tea factory that was damaged in a fire back in 1995. The 4,000 square feet museum is arranged on three floors. Among the exhibits are those providing information on the history of tea production in India and Wayanad, machinery used for processing tea leaves in the past and old photos of tea gardens and factories. Various machines used in tea factories earlier are exhibited on the first floor. Meanwhile, visitors can taste different types of tea on the second floor, which also houses a ‘Tea bar.’ Merlin Geo, HML deputy general manager (operations) and Benin John, HML Wayanad group manager, said that the ground floor of the museum would provide visitors information on the evolution of the tea industry over the last 100 years. Among the exhibits is a world map showing the important tea-producing areas and the shipping routes used to transport tea and many interesting facts about tea industry. Exhibits on the historic Boston Tea Party in 1773 and a model of Achoor area are also displayed. Entry to the Tea Museum is by tickets. The charge is Rs 50 for adults and Rs 30 for children aged between eight and 12 years. The museum is open from 9 am to 6 pm. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/12/tea-museum-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/12/tea-museum-wayanad.html Sat, 13 Oct 2018 01:46:14 GMT Tusker hit by bus in Wayanad dies Pulpally, Wayand: A tusker, which was critically injured after being hit by a bus on the Mysuru-Mananthavady road, succumbed to injuries on Thursday. The elephant, 48-year-old Rowdy Ranga, belonged to the elephant camp of the Nagarhole National Park. Rowdy Ranga was hit by a private bus heading to Kerala from Karnataka on Monday.In the accident, which occurred at 4 am, and 40 km away from Kutta on the state border, the pachyderm fractured its thigh bones and couldn’t stand on its legs. The Karnataka forest officials were giving medical treatment to the elephant, which was lying on the roadside. They were also finding ways and means to shift the tusker to a safer place for further medical attention.A case has been registered against the bus driver, said Forest Principal chief conservator Punati Sreedhar. As the night ban on vehicular movement exists on Battery-Mysuru, Bavali-Mysuru routes, more vehicles take the Hunsur-Mysuru road during night hours. Environmentalists have also demanded the ban of night traffic in Nagerhole forest. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/11/tusker-hit-by-bus-injured-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/11/tusker-hit-by-bus-injured-wayanad.html Fri, 12 Oct 2018 02:56:53 GMT Armed wing of Maoists blames Kerala govt for flood Kalpetta: People's Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), a banned organisation on Monday, blamed the Kerala government for the recent disastrous floods in the state. It made the charge through notices that were found dropped in the boxes placed at the Wayanad Press Club.Though Maoists usually puts up posters, PLGA does not spread notices in public. In the notice, the left-wing extremist group stated that the government was responsible for turning the heavy rain into deluge with its mismanagement of huge dams. The outfit blamed the government for constructing huge dams, thus putting the lives of people at risks, and later endangering their lives again by opening the reservoirs carelessly. The group also pointed at 'anti-people' development practices such as those by destroying the hills and reclaiming the fields. The group also alleged that the government failed in flood-relief activities, without ensuring ration for the public post flood. It also denounced the state government's reliance on global financial agencies the IMF, ADB and World Bank. It also said the state government is a mere junior partner of the Central government. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/09/armed-wing-of-maoists-blames-kerala-government-for-flood.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/09/armed-wing-of-maoists-blames-kerala-government-for-flood.html Tue, 09 Oct 2018 05:47:53 GMT Black magician, 2 kin died as poison-laced liquor was misplaced Makkiyad (Wayanad): A man's bid to murder his friend, who was suspected to be behind the death of his relative, had inadvertently resulted in the death of three innocents, including a father and son, on October 2. Mananthavady native Santosh, a goldsmith, has been arrested in connection with the case. The death of three members of a family who died after consuming poison-laced liquor was a case of mistaken identity, the police claimed. The deceased were identified as Vellamunda native Thignayi (75), his son Pramod (30), and a relative, Prasad (35). Thignayi practised black magic at Kavumkunnu colony near Kochara in Mothakkara. Santhosh's real target was his friend Sajith Kumar, who had sought Thignayi's services. Murder motive Santosh had decided to kill Sajith due to personal enmity. Santosh's brother-in-law had committed suicide two years ago. Local residents say that Sajith was behind his suicide and a diary note accusing him of abetting the suicide was also reportedly found by Santosh. Suspected spurious liquor kills 3 of a family in Wayanad Execution gone awry On the day of the triple deaths, Sajith had arrived with the accused, Santosh, at Thignayi's house as the thread ceremony of his daughter was held. It is said that offering liquor and consuming it is part of the ritual and the healer, his wife and children also need to consume liquor. Earlier, Sajith had asked Santosh to arrange liquor sold by ex-military personnel at their homes as it was a dry day on October 2 and also on the preceding day.The latter took this as an opportunity to eliminate Sajith. He bought a bottle of liquor, spiked it with cyanide meant for use in the gold shop, and handed it over to his target, Sajith. As Sajith was not aware that the liquor was spiked, he gave it to Thignayi, who unsuspectingly drank it and died. Local residents say that Thignayi had no enemies in the locality. Fatalities rise After bringing Thignayi's body from the hospital, the deceased's son Pramod took the remaining liquor to the house of his cousin Prasad. There, another relative, Shaju, joined them. They poured the liquor into two glasses and Pramod and Prasad drank first. Immediately after consuming it, Pramod felt that the drink was spiked and alerted the other two -- Prasad and Shaju -- and threw the remaining liquor in one glass. But, Prasad had already consumed the liquor from the other glass. The two developed seizures by then and died soon after. Since their eyes were bulging out, the investigating team had concluded that it was cyanide poisoning. Shaju was lucky as he couldn't drink. The police had earlier found that a cyanide-like poisonous substance was laced with the liquor. Since Sajith was not aware that the liquor was laced with poison he has not been named as an accused. Sathosh, who works in a gold-plating unit at Mananthavady, was staying on rent at Vellamunda. Police are yet to confirm if Santosh got the liquor from either Kuttyaadi or Karnataka. Read more from Wayanad https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/08/black-magician-kin-died-spiked-liquor-misplaced.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/08/black-magician-kin-died-spiked-liquor-misplaced.html Tue, 09 Oct 2018 05:14:31 GMT Suspected spurious liquor kills 3 of a family in Wayanad Kalpetta: Three of a family died after consuming spurious liquor at Vellamunda in the district, Manorama News reported on Thursday. The deceased were identified as Thignayi, 75; his 35-year-old son Pramod, and a relative Prasad, 35. Thignayi had apparently consumed liquor around 11 am on Wednesday. The liquor was reportedly given to him by an acquaintance. After Thignayi's health condition deteriorated he was taken to the hospital but died on the way. His relatives assumed that the elderly man had died of age-related ailments and fixed the funeral for Thursday. Later in the night, his son and the relative consumed the remaining liquor. They soon fell unconscious and were taken to Mananthavady district hospital but died en route. Read more: Latest Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/04/suspected-spurious-liquor-kills-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/04/suspected-spurious-liquor-kills-wayanad.html Thu, 04 Oct 2018 06:05:34 GMT Narrow miss for 87 on board bus, driver saves the day Mananthavadi: A major tragedy involving a packed state transport bus was averted here due to the driver's presence of mind. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSTRC) bus lost its breaks on a hill road as it was headed from Mananthavadi in Wayanad district to Kottayam town, via Iritti. The incident happened as the long-route bus, carrying 87 passengers, was on a steep descent at Chekuthanthodu, above the Onnam Valavu, on the hairpin road at Palchuram at around 8.45 pm on Sunday. Driver Anumon realised the vehicle's brake was not working when he tried to stop the bus to let a lorry pass. He stopped the bus by driving it on to a mud bank, which has a deep gorge on the other side. Passengers were rushed out through the driver's door and the front door which could be opened only a little bit. The back door couldn't be opened because the bus was resting on the mud bank. The stranded passengers were later sent in another bus that arrived from the Mananthavadi depot by 10 pm. The emptied bus was repaired temporarily and sent back to the depot late at night. Brake trouble common Such brake trouble has become a routine for buses in the Mananthavadi depot from where the vehicles operate through perilous routes in the Western Ghats. Four buses had the same problem in the past two weeks. A bus from Mananthavadi had break trouble at the Pakramthalam passage as it was heading to Vadakara. The driver was the saviour then. He stopped the bus by driving it into a wall though several passengers sustained minor injuries. The same bus lost its break at Chittariparambu, Kannur, later. The bus was stopped by driving on to a tipper lorry. Nobody was injured, luckily. A Valad-Mananthavadi bus faced the same problem on Venmani descent recently. The driver had a hard time avoiding an accident as he drove with the handbrake on and stopped by pulling off the lever. The bus was packed with students from the Valad school. The Palchuram accident is the latest. The employees themselves say such recurring lapses have to be blamed on the laxity of the KSRTC mechanical staff, as also the shortage of spare parts. If tragedies could be averted in the four accidents that the buses faced within a few days, it was sheer luck. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/01/palchuram-bus-accident-averted.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/10/01/palchuram-bus-accident-averted.html Mon, 01 Oct 2018 08:10:02 GMT Tracking Wayanad twin murder, cops crack 27 theft cases Makkiyad, Wayanad: The police team, which cracked the three-month-old case related to the murder of a newly wed couple at Vellamunda, near here, was able to solve as many as 27 theft cases while extracting information during the course of criminal investigation. At least 16 people were also arrested for their alleged involvement in those cases. On Tuesday, the police recorded the arrest of Vishwanathan, 42, of Kalngottummal at Maruthorayil, near Kavilumpara in Kozhikode district, in connection with the murder of Ummar, 27, of Purinhivazhayil at Panthrandam mile, near Vellamunda, and his wife Fathima, 19, on July 6. A special squad headed by Mananthavady DySP K M Devasia had been formed to investigate the sensational murder-cum-robbery case. As the perpetrator of the crime left no visible clue, the investigators, based on the circumstantial evidence, had concluded that the murder was the fallout of a robbery bid gone wrong. The team rounded up over 700 habitual offenders who were involved in various crimes, including theft, robbery and assault, in Wayanad and Kozhikode districts over the past few years. The police cross-checked the fingerprints lifted from the spot and interrogated them, leading to the cracking of twenty-seven theft and robbery cases that had remained unsolved. Vishwanathan, who confessed to the crime, revealed to the police that he had gone to the couple’s house on the night of July 5 with an intention of burglary. The victims were sleeping in their bedroom when he entered the house through the backdoor. While trying to snatch the gold chain of Fathima, Ummer woke up and grabbed the intruder before shouting for help. The accused hit him with an iron rod, resulting in his death. When Fathima woke up, he attacked her too. After confirming that both of them had died, Vishwanathan robbed the gold ornaments and mobile phone of the woman and sprinkled chilli powder inside the room and on the house premises with an intention to destroy evidence. He returned to Kuttiadi, his native place, the same night and sold the ornaments, weighing around eight sovereigns, to a local goldsmith, and cleared his debts with that money. The police recovered the ornaments during the investigation. The iron rod used for committing the crime was also recovered from a private plantation near the couple’s house. Vishwanathan has several cases of theft, sexual assault and cheating pending against him at police stations in Chokli, Thottipalam, and Kuttiadi. He had also undergone imprisonment in the past, the police said. Read more: Latest Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/20/tracking-wayanad-twin-murder-cops-crack-theft-cases.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/20/tracking-wayanad-twin-murder-cops-crack-theft-cases.html Thu, 20 Sep 2018 05:59:48 GMT Constructions rife around Banasura despite recent landslides Padinjarathara: Landslides were rife in the hilly stretches of Kerala as the monsoon commenced and intensified over the last few months. Over 40 landslides were reported in the catchment areas of Banasura Sagar Dam in Wayanad district after torrential rains in August. However, construction activity is going on uninterrupted in the nearby hills as well as catchment area despite warning of risks by authorities. There had been landslides at five locations in the woods near the dam this monsoon itself. Revenue authorities on Friday issued a memo to stop construction work at a resort at Thandiyode after a landslip there, which the builders tried to cover up. The concealment was brought to the notice of authorities. Sub-collector M S K Umesh and Tehsildar T P Abdul Harris led a team of officials to the location and directed that construction can proceed only if it is cleared after stringent checks. The resort is among several such cottages here. Primarily every resort is a gathering of several cottages on a single hill. Authorities revealed the location of tourist resorts is hard to reach and hence buildings have come up in secrecy. A death had occurred during a landslip while another resort was constructed here last year. There was large-scale landslip near the under-construction resort at Thandiyode. Risk factors Huge buildings in hilly areas which are permanently waterlogged will be at risk when the soil turns weak. Land gets vulnerable when water seeps in and the soil turns moist. Landslides are more likely in areas which are waterlogged. It is mandatory that tests be carried out in such places to assess the soil's structure, the hill's slope, the building's weight etc. However, local people claimed no such evaluation has been done before the construction of most buildings near the dam. Some 223.4 hectare forest land lies within the dam's border. The forest department stated landslide occurred at Bible Land, Karimpinthode, Kattimada, Valanchola, and Elikka in the area. Every landslide brings soil and water into the dam. The constructions take place mostly in places close to the dam waters. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/17/constructions-rife-around-banasura-despite-recent-landslides.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/17/constructions-rife-around-banasura-despite-recent-landslides.html Tue, 18 Sep 2018 02:48:03 GMT Wayanad tribal pitches for traditional farming ways at global meet Traditional farmers have been following old cultivation methods handed down the generations even in the face of financial loss. Cheruvayal Raman, a native of Kammana in Edavaka, has been preserving ethnic varieties of paddy seeds for decades so that such farming practices continue. Raman, a member of the Kurichya tribal community, could raise the importance of traditional farm practices at a global meet recently. This guardian of traditional paddy varieties of Wayanad was India’s voice at the International Traditional Science Congress held in Brazil. A member of the general council of Kerala Agricultural University, Raman is also part of the biodiversity panel of the local panchayat. Raman spoke about the relevance of protecting traditional paddy at the Congress held in Belem, a city on the banks of the Amazon river. The presentations at the event had attracted attention around the world. Titled Belem proclamation, the suggestions were subjected to a thorough discussion. The innumerable tribes living in various parts of the world, traditional healing knowledge and the interdependence of tribes were examined in an indepth manner. A resolution dealt with the lifestyle of indigenous tribal populace, their dependence on natural produce and the research into scientific, social and fundamental aspects. The meet also became a venue to discuss the plight of people forced to leave their native land. It called for using natural produce and knowledge passed down generations. The Belem proclamation soon became an international reference standard. The theme of the 30th meet held this year was protecting the rights of tribal people and preserving biodiversity. With change sweeping the world, the meet analysed the importance of the proclamation and traditional bioscience. Around 2,000 delegates belonging to tribal communities attended the event. Folk performances from various countries were also staged. The event also provided a venue for tribes from around the world to meet together. The first Traditional Science Congress was held in 1988. The Brazil meet was organised by the Federal University of Pará. Brazilian Society of Entobiology also partnered with the event that was held from August 7 to 10. Raman cultivates over 65 varieties of paddy indigenous to Wayanad in his own land. However, such crops are on the verge of extinction. Raman has dedicated his life for preserving bioheritage. He reached Brazil, via Dubai, from Nedumbassery airport. He had earlier represented India at the biodiversity meet involving 11 countries hosted by Hyderabad in 2011. Dr Shaji Thomas, a faculty member at the Paramedical University, helps Raman in his efforts. Also attending the Congress from India was Jay Sreekumar, an anthropologist. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/16/wayanad-tribal-raman-pitches-for-traditional-farming-ways-at-global-meet.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/16/wayanad-tribal-raman-pitches-for-traditional-farming-ways-at-global-meet.html Mon, 17 Sep 2018 01:49:41 GMT Two suffer sunstroke in Wayanad Panamaram (Wayanad): The weather has changed drastically across Kerala even before the damage caused by the recent floods is yet to be contained, Two people reportedly suffered sunstroke in the district on Monday. Both Biju (39) of Kandoth, Punchakkunnu in Nadavayal, and Ismail (34) of Kammanad, Mylady in Venniyode developed symptoms associated with sunstroke around 1.45 pm. While Ismail was repairing a volleyball ground at Kottathara panchayat that was destroyed in the floods, Biju was engaged in house construction when the incident took place.They had felt a burning sensation behind their neck and on the back. When examined, bubbles were seen on the skin and the men were soon admitted to hospital. Severe heat is now being witnessed in the district after the August floods and the reports of sunstroke have spread panic among the local residents. Sunstroke or heatstroke is caused by excessive exposure to the sun. Drastic rise in body temperature, often accompanied by dehydration, results in distinctive symptoms. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/12/two-suffer-sunstroke-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/12/two-suffer-sunstroke-wayanad.html Wed, 12 Sep 2018 05:15:12 GMT Expert panel to study mass death of earthworms in Wayanad Panamaram, Wayanad: A detailed study would be conducted on the mass death of earthworms in many parts of Wayanad after the recent floods, Minister for Agriculture V S Sunil Kumar has said. A state-level team comprising experts from the Kerala Agriculture University, Department of Soil Survey and Conservation, and various research centres in the state has been set up to study the changes in the soil structure in order to understand the impact of the floods on diverse ecosystems. Earlier, Manorama had reported about the strange phenomenon experienced by Wayanad where thousands of earthworms wriggled out of the soil and perished in the open during the past couple of days. “They die as soon as they reach the surface. Every day we sweep up hundreds of dead worms strewn across our farmland,” said a farmer. Dr P Rajendran, associate director at the Regional Agricultural Research Station in Ambalavayal, who had conducted a study on a case of similar nature two years ago, attributed the phenomenon to excess heat and the increase in the temperature of the sandy soil. Earlier, stray instances of earthworms dying en masse were reported only from areas with dry soil, but now, many such cases were being reported from various parts of the district. According to experts, Wayanad has been witnessing dramatic aberration of climate and change in the soil structure. Rainfall in the district increased manifold this year, compared to the previous year. Wayanad received 2906.19 mm rainfall till August 14 and 3303.72 mm rainfall till August 18 this year. This was a staggering increase from the 1019.42 mm recorded in the corresponding period a year ago. The district received 245.37 mm of rainfall on August 9 alone. Following the monsoon season, Wayanad is experiencing wide diurnal temperature swings, as in much of the Deccan Plateau where temperature is high during daytime and low in the nights. It is said that such weather extremes caused by climate change would have an adverse impact on the district’s biodiversity and lead to localised extinction of species such as earthworms that are vital to the natural soil ecosystem. However, many experts are of the opinion that the mass death of earthworms could have been caused by changes in the soil structure. According to them, due to water saturation following the erosion of the top soil, earthworms are forced to come to the surface to breathe. As they could only tolerate a temperature range of 16 to 28 degree Celsius, they perish in the excess heat. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/11/waynad-climate-change-earthquake.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/11/waynad-climate-change-earthquake.html Tue, 11 Sep 2018 05:11:01 GMT Delhi NGO sets up health camp in flood-hit Wayanad New Delhi: An NGO based in the national capital has set up a health camp in the flood-affected district of Wayanad. The camp was set up earlier this month in Kamanna, Wayanad, by the Smile Foundation and has catered to over 186 patients, including 104 women, the NGo said in a statement. The number of children enrolled at the camp are 61, it said, adding services include routine medical check-up, a glucose test, weight check, blood pressure check-up and medicine distribution. As many as 38 patients have been directed to government hospitals through a referral system, it said. People came with symptoms such as weakness, anaemia, joint pain, body pain, skin infection, allergies, gastric pain and headache. The massive floods in the state claimed over 400 lives and caused widespread damage. Read more: Latest Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/10/ngo-health-camp-flood-affected-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/10/ngo-health-camp-flood-affected-wayanad.html Mon, 10 Sep 2018 03:32:46 GMT Lake develops after recent landslide in remote Wayanad Mananthavady: A small lake has developed in an interior area in hilly Wayanad district after a landslide occurred a fortnight ago here. It was noticed only late this week as the area was not accessible so far after the natural disaster. The water body, which is at least one acre in size, has shaped up in a wooded stretch of Thavinjal panchayat after earth slipped and blocked a rivulet. It was only the other day that forest officials and local people stumbled upon the sight, 2 km from Thalappuzha Nalpathimoonnam Mile. The soil that fell from one side of a hill is strewn over forest land across five acres. The earth, boulders and trees the landslide brought have accumulated near a ridge opposite the river and resultantly its course has been blocked. The forest department will request the state geology department to study about the calamity, according to Begur range officer K P Abdul Samad. Forest officials have already inspected the location. Already reports have been submitted to senior officials about recent landslides at Thalapuzha, Pilakavu and Pancharakolli villages, the officer added. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/08/lake-develops-after-recent-landslide-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/08/lake-develops-after-recent-landslide-wayanad.html Sat, 08 Sep 2018 11:32:14 GMT Sand boas surface en masse, raising fears of drought Panamaram, Wayanad: Snakes have been emerging in dozens out of dry soil here after the recent flood in Wayanad. It is said this phenomenon is symptomatic of a looming drought. Several sand boas (iruthala moori in Malayalam) have come out of the soil ostensibly as earthworms started dying since the soil lost its water content and got extremely warm. Hundreds of sand boas are emerging on alleys, fields and even inside houses at Panamaram, Trissilery and Nadavayal areas. Environmental experts say they are coming out as the soil has lost its moisture. The flood is seen to have affected the lifestyle of so many creatures, like earthworms, sand boas, antlion (kuzhiyana), mongoose, rabbit etc. The change in life pattern of the creature is perceived as a sign of a possible huge drought in Wayanad. Sand boas, which cannot survive without moisture, could die en masse. The forest department has included it in the 4th schedule, considering the fact that it is an endangered species. They are burrowing nonvenomous snakes. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/08/sand-boas-surface-en-masse-raise-fears-drought.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/08/sand-boas-surface-en-masse-raise-fears-drought.html Sat, 08 Sep 2018 10:50:09 GMT Wayanad's Theyyam artists lose props, homes in flood Kalpetta: Theyyam artistes from three traditional Malaya families Of performers have been rendered helpless by the floods. The Theyyam season in Kerala kicks off in November and stretches till June. This year though, the 15 artistes near Pazhamudi bridge will be rendered jobless as their props and costumes have been washed away in the devastating flood. The traditional drum 'Chenda', 'Ilathalam or cymbals, costumes and decor stored in the ancestral homes of the artistes were all washed away. Some items were spared by the flood, but most of it were rendered useless. Artists say that it is hard to get replacements for the season that opens in November as the items need advance booking. The Malaya community had been staging Theyyam performances in most of the temples in Wayanad for ages and conforming to tradition they go through a 41-day long ritual of self-restraint. They eat just one rice meal a day and prepare their mind and the body for the performances. Apart from a Rs 5 lakh loss incurred due to the destruction of Theyyam props, the community also lost their homes to the surging waters. Seeking shelter and livelihood, the community has now approached the district collector and the scheduled caste development department. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/06/wayanads-theyyam-artists-lose-props-homes-in-flood.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/06/wayanads-theyyam-artists-lose-props-homes-in-flood.html Thu, 06 Sep 2018 10:05:32 GMT WhatsApp enables cops to come close to public Ever since the Kerala police launched its people-friendly Janamaithri Suraksha a decade ago, there has been an improvement in the general attitude towards the force in khaki. Beyond the unmistakable mellowness in its conduct while probing cases or interacting with the public, its personnel has of late been doing social service as well. That brought the police still closer to the common man. A micro-level story of this is played out at a scenic locality in hilly Wayanad district. At Ambalavayal, the policemen and women are of major support to the residents in times of real need. WhatsApp group to discuss The Ambalavayal police launched a WhatsApp group in 2015 involving people within its area of jurisdiction. The members can post anything related to developments within the station limits. The police will intervene if there is a need. Inversely, the cops will themselves post messages that the people under its jurisdiction must know. There may also be directives, which would come in handy for the people — like it happened recently when the region saw a sudden spurt in thefts. No politics, though. Any political comment made or message forwarded, the member is out. The WhatsApp group admin is Abbas Ali M, a sub-inspector who was in the news this summer for launching a virtual green revolution on the police station premises. Good Samaritans There is also a streak of charity. In fact, one of the initial endeavours of the WhatsApp group was to sponsor a poor tribal student in his under-graduation studies that spanned three years. All these under SI Ali and Janamaithri CRO K Raju. Also, help reaches people in the locality in need of medicine, wheelchair for the physically-challenged, umbrellas for school students, clean-up of Adivasi colonies, spread of anti-drug awareness and betterment of road traffic services. Also, this February, the policemen started an organic farming collective, which ended with great success amid a bountiful yield several kinds of vegetables. During the deluge Incessant rain did not pose much of a threat to rugged Ambalavayal, but the WhatsApp group was flooded with offers of help. It took just one appeal from SI Ali to see an overwhelming response in the social media get-together. Traders and others pitched in, following which Onam kits were distributed to the benefit of no less than 600 people. Plus, clothes were given away to residents of 20 tribal colonies. That activity is continuing even after the festival of harvest. The Janamaithri police staff also visited a few relief camps in the locality. The police station ran free ambulance service, too, amid the heavy rain. Read more: Latest Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/02/whatsapp-enables-cops-come-close-public.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/09/02/whatsapp-enables-cops-come-close-public.html Sun, 02 Sep 2018 11:11:52 GMT Curbs on construction on the anvil for fragile Wayanad Kalpetta: Wayanad district too bore the brunt of recent downpour and floods as landslides and drowning cases were reported from the northeastern part of Kerala. The authorities are now planning to enforce old regulations on raising buildings in the rugged region as it was realised that Wayanad suffered majorly owing to ignoring a three-year-old directive by the district administration on constructions. Land-use laws will be strengthened to ensure that future construction in the district along the Western Ghats will be safe, according to V Keshvendra Kumar, who is now again in (temporary) charge of the district administration. Bihar-born Kumar, a 2008-recruited IAS officer of the Kerala cadre, had issued an order in mid-2015, imposing restrictions on buildings coming up in the district, considering its fragile ecology. The order was also based on directives by the district unit of the Disaster Management Authority. It had, for instance, prescribed a maximum height of eight metres for buildings, even if two-storey, at Kunnathidavaka village under Vythiri. The district’s municipal areas can have buildings up to a height of 15 m if they are five-storied and 10 m if three-storied. But within months of the June 30 order, the then UDF government made moves overriding the regulations. When building contractors managed to secure from court a stay on the implementation of the directive, civic authorities made no counter. Neither did environmental organisations fight the case. Vythiri taluk has suffered the most in the district in the August floods. Massive landslips changed the landscape of Aramala and Anamala villages of Kunnathidavaka. The nearby Sungandhairi reported at least 20 landslides. Acres of earth vanished at Pozhuthana and Ammara after top soil washed away in the deluge. The 33-year-old Kumar, who is a native of Sitamarhi district near the Nepal frontier, has been brought back now as the district head of Wayanad. His chief aim is to draft land-use regulation laws to ensure better health of buildings and their localities. Kumar will soon form an expert panel for the assignment. The body will also inspect areas in Vythiri where buildings have shown signs of sinking. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/28/curbs-on-construction-on-the-anvil-for-fragile-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/28/curbs-on-construction-on-the-anvil-for-fragile-wayanad.html Tue, 28 Aug 2018 07:30:40 GMT Widow, 70, donates goods worth Rs 1 lakh to flood relief Kalpetta: A 70-year-old woman here has donated to flood relief goods worth about Rs 1 lakh. The precious contribution came from a part of her money she had raised after selling her property. The donor, Rajakumari, arrived at the Wayanad district collectorate to hand over the goods. She bought and supplied to the flood relief centre at the collectorate, 25 bags of rice, 10 bags of onion, two bags of sugar, spice powders, vegetables, peas, clothes, sanitary napkins, among other things. One bag of rice, weighing 50 kg, costs more than Rs 2000 in markets across Kerala. Rajakumari sold off her property as she migrated from her native place in Kannur district to Wayanad. She now stays alone at a rented accommodation at Emily near Kalpetta in Wayanad district after the death of her husband Narayanan. She has no children and depends on brothers Sankaran and Mohanan for assistance. Narayanan and Rajakumari had sold off their property in Taliparamba in Kannur district before migrating to Wayanad. As reports of flood misery came in, Rajakumari decided to utilise a part of her money that her property had fetched. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/21/70-year-old-donates-goods-worth-1-lakh.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/21/70-year-old-donates-goods-worth-1-lakh.html Tue, 21 Aug 2018 10:12:07 GMT Rain eases in Wayanad Wayanad: As the intensity of rain in Wayanad reduced, the red alert in the district was withdrawn on Saturday. Shutters of both the dams – Banasura Sagar dam and Karappuzha dam – have also been lowered. While the shutters of Banasura Sagar dam were brought down to 30 cm (10 cm, 10 cm and 10 cm each), the three shutters of the Karapuzha dam were lowered to 15 cm, 20 cm and 20 cm. The opening of the Banasura Sagar spillway was reduced to 30 cm from 65 cm on Saturday morning. One of its four shutters is fully closed now. Also read: What caused the deluge in Kerala? Experts analyse Karappuzha dam assistant engineer Wilson OV said on Friday the shutters were opened by 30 cm, though it was earlier decided to lower them fully. However, the decision to close the shutters was changed later, and the three shutters were lowered to 15 cm, 20 cm and 20 cm. Traffic restored Traffic along Wayanad and Kuttyadi passes (churams) have been restored. The KSRTC is also conducting services from Kalpetta depot to Thrissur. Vehicular traffic along Mysuru-Bathery path has also been restored. However, heavy vehicles have been banned on Nadukani churam, where a crack was spotted. However, authorities have warned that Pancharakolli in Mananthavady where a landslide had occurred earlier this week continues to be vulnerable. Read more: Latest Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/18/rain-reduces-wayanad-dams.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/18/rain-reduces-wayanad-dams.html Sat, 18 Aug 2018 12:51:13 GMT The landslide that battered the new house of a Kalpatta native Kalpetta: Puthuparambil Noufal oversaw every stage of the construction of his dream house. But he lives with a broken heart today as all that remains now is a plot scattered with the debris of what was supposed to be his future home. The whole structure collapsed under a landslip that occurred at Kurichiyarmala hills last Sunday. In fact, the rain-triggered tragedy happened on the day his house-warming was scheduled. On August 8, Naufal and family would have begun living in the new house. Hours before the ceremony, a portion from the top of the hill in Pozhuthana came rolling down destroying the house shattering the aspirations of the 30-year-old man, his wife Rubina, mother Beekutty and the couple’s two children for a better life under a decent roof. The family had been living in a shed nearby for years. They had also shifted all the furniture and other materials to the new house. Noufal was about to leave for the nearby town for some purchase when the family learnt about landslip at the Settukunnu hill in the neighbourhood. Little later, the women heard loud sound, the day’s second landslide, this time from atop Kurichiyarmala. The two women grabbed the kids Ansiya Banu and Mohammed Ansin and ran out. Behind them were stones, rocks and gushing water falling from the hilltop. The family soon saw the wreckage of their house - parts of granite foundation, brick-and-mortar, window grills, wooden planks and stone slabs - all coming apart. In fact, four goats raised by Beekutty also got buried under the debris. It had taken eight years for the house to come up. The construction started when Noufal was 22. The daily-wage worker has also lost his motorbike in the landslip. The five-member family now stays at a relief camp and hopes to get back to their old shed once the monsoon fury subsides. Read more in Wayanad https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/15/kalpetta-wayanad-landslip-house-destruction.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/15/kalpetta-wayanad-landslip-house-destruction.html Wed, 15 Aug 2018 07:59:13 GMT Village body protests opening shutters of Banasura Sagar without notice Kalpetta: Authorities failed to inform people of some regions in Wayanad before lifting the shutters of the Banasura Sagar dam last week, a local village official alleged. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has refuted the charge. On Wednesday, the sluice gates of the reservoir across a tributary of the Kabani river in the state’s north-east region were opened for three days. On the first day, the shutters were opened 200 metres. On two subsequent days, an average 290 metres of the shutters were opened. By Wednesday night, hundreds of houses downstream were inundated. The residents were forced to flee to refugee camps. One of the worst affected areas was Padinjarthara. Village officer P P Prasad alleged that the civic body wasn’t informed that the sluice gates would be opened. KSEB officials said a sudden spell of heavy rain prompted it to open the sluice gates. The move was announced through social media, they said. The information was also spread through a WhatsApp group administered by the District Disaster Management Authority. Landslides triggered a deluge warranting swift action, a KSEB official said, defending the decision to open the sluice gates. The civic body in Padinjarathara will submit a memorandum to the district collectorate listing the extent of damage to the village due to the decision to open the shutters of the Banasura Sagar dam without prior warning. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/12/banasura-dam-opening-protest.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/12/banasura-dam-opening-protest.html Sun, 12 Aug 2018 07:27:01 GMT Pregnant woman rescued from first floor of house Kalpetta: A woman, who got trapped on the first floor of her house as floodwaters entered, was rescued and rushed to hospital by the fire and rescue personnel. She immediately delivered a baby girl. Sajna, 25, wife of Murshid, was at her home in Vythiri prenatal care. She started experiencing labour pains from Thursday night. The landslide at Ammara on Thursday night brought water from the swollen Anoth river into the house. The entire ground floor was flooded and the family shifted to the first floor. The Fire Force rescued Sajna and the others and took her in a boat to a private hospital at Kalpetta. She gave birth to a baby girl soon after reaching the hospital. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/11/pregnant-woman-rescued-from-first-floor-of-house.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/11/pregnant-woman-rescued-from-first-floor-of-house.html Sat, 11 Aug 2018 12:59:55 GMT Wayanad reels under heavy rain; schools, colleges shut Kalpetta: Low-lying areas of Wayanad, including Vythiri and Lakkidi, are submerged in the continuous rain since Tuesday night. Almost all the connecting roads to the district have been damaged in the incessant rains. The low-lying areas are getting flooded after all the shutters of Banasurasagar dam were opened about on Thursday, officials said. The average rainfall in the district till 10 am on Thursday is 24 cms. One woman, Lilly (50), belonging to Lakshamveedu colony near Vythiri police station, died in the landslide in the early hours of Thursday. Five others, who were trapped under a house that collapsed, were rescued. Authorities have opened 50 relief camps. Families from the low-lying areas are being shifted to these camps. Vythiri, Kottappura, Kuppadithara, Kalpetta and Valad in Mananthavady are the worst-hit areas. Traffic through Thamassery churam, Periya churam and Palchuram have been halted. In Kozhikode, one person is missing in Kaithappoyil area of Thamarassery. Cultivation in hilly areas like Thiruvambadi were affected due to landslips. The Marippuzha bridge collapsed affecting traffic on the route. The nearby roads are also flooded. Minor landslips have been reported from Muthappanpuzha, Kaimb, Maripuzha and Kavunkalel, according to disaster management cell here. Holiday for schools, colleges Wayanad district collector has announced holiday to all educational institutions, including professional colleges, on Thursday in view of downpour. CBSE and ICSE schools as well as anganwadis too will remain closed for the day. No change in exams scheduled for Thursday including Plus One improvement/supplementary exams. Holiday has been announced for all educational institutions in Nilambur Taluk of Malappuram district. Water levels have been rising in rivers and dams across the state due to the incessant rain. The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) has warned people to stay away from rivers and dams. Read more: Latest Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/08/wayanad-heavy-rains-schools-holiday.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/08/wayanad-heavy-rains-schools-holiday.html Thu, 09 Aug 2018 08:29:24 GMT Search on for 4 of family in river amid suicide fears Kalpetta: A suicide note and sandals were found along a river bank here on Sunday, triggering concerns about a four-member family who have gone missing. Local people and fire and rescue personnel searched the site near the Venniyode River. It is said the family consisting of Narayanan Kutty, wife Sreeja, children Surya and Sayooj was from Chundal at Anappara in the district. Narayanankutty was reportedly reeling under financial crisis. The police too have reached the spot and the search is on. Details awaited. Read more: Latest Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/05/wayanad-river-suicide-note-family-missing.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/05/wayanad-river-suicide-note-family-missing.html Sun, 05 Aug 2018 09:10:21 GMT Thief who loves preparing food has his goose cooked! Kalpetta: The thief, who's known for trying his culinary skills in places he strikes, has landed in the police net. The theft he carried out at a mess managed by women in Vellamunda on July 10 had attracted much public attention. Sudheesh (29) of Kayalingal, Vellamunda was evading arrest for quite some time. At the Vellamunda mess run by women, he had prepared rice and ate it before stealing money from the counter. After keeping the rice to boil, Sudheesh took a bath in their bathroom before before having the sumptuous meal. While leaving the place, he took Rs 5,000 from the cash counter along with the money in the donation box meant for the palliative care society. He used to not only cook food and eat it, but often took away a portion as ‘parcel’. A few days ago, Sudheesh had entered a hotel in Mananthavady and took away parottas and fish curry from the kitchen. But the closed circuit television (CCTV) camera in the hotel captured his images. He also took the money in the ‘Patheyam’ donation box kept at the cash counter by students as part of the ‘Nalla Paadam’ programme. After the media reported that the police had found CCTV visuals of the theft, Sudheesh shaved off his moustache to avoid being identified. The next day, he broke into the house of an officer from the Panamaram police station. There, he boiled an egg and ate it. Police said that Sudheesh was behind the thefts at a chicken shop in Anchukunnu and some other shops in Mananthavady. He was finally nabbed with the help of the CCTV visuals. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/03/vellamunda-thief-cook-nabbed.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/08/03/vellamunda-thief-cook-nabbed.html Fri, 03 Aug 2018 16:14:20 GMT Banasura Sagar dam sets record, shutters still up Padinjarathara, Wayanad: Kerala has been witnessing downpour which has been unusual in its intensity and duration while considering the pattern of monsoon rains in the past couple of decades, at least. Several dams across the state are brimming and the waters are being continuously released for the past fortnight. On Saturday, Banasura Sagar Dam, the largest earthen dam in India, set a record as its shutters remain raised for 15 consecutive days, a first in its history. The shutters were raised on July 15 after the dam filled up beyond capacity due to incessant rain. The authorities could not shut it so far as the rain hasn't eased a wee bit in its catchment area. This was the first time after 2014 that the dam got filled up and shutters had to be opened. Earlier, the shutters have remained open only for maximum one week. This year, however, the water inflow has broken all records. The shutter was raised 20 cm initially; later it was further raised up to 130 cm. The water release has caused flooding in areas below the dam. A little reduction in the intensity of the rain has now allowed water release at the rate of 40 cm from the three shutters, bringing down water level in rivers and reducing floods in low-lying areas. The Banasura Sagar Dam traps the waters of the Karamanathodu, a tributary of the Kabini river. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/29/banasura-sagar-dam-shutters.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/29/banasura-sagar-dam-shutters.html Sun, 29 Jul 2018 06:27:16 GMT 3 labourers flee from Maoist hold Kalpetta: Three migrant workers taken captive by Maoists in Wayanad escaped tactfully, according to the police. However, a few more workers are still under the clutches of the radicals. The workers were being enaged for the building of a resort when they were kidnapped. The workers who managed to flee are Alauddin, Maqbool and Mikim. While Alauddin escaped after requesting the Maoists for water to carry out his namaz (prayers), Maqbool moved away from the captors by saying that he was looking for a place where mobile phone signals were available. Earlier, Mikim had run away into the darkness of the forest when he was being taken at gunpoint along with Alauddin and Maqbool. It was around 7 pm on Monday, Alauddin requested the Maoists that he wanted some water for ablution before the evening prayers. When the captors allowed him to fetch water, Alauddin escaped into the forest, said the police. After Alauddin’s escape, the Maoists asked Maqbool to contact the resort owners on his mobile phone. As mobile phone signal was not available, Maqbool walked away in search of a place where mobile communication was possible. An abductor, one Soman, followed him. Maqbool walked for some time haphazardly in the forest and when Soman’s attention was diverted for a moment, he escaped. The other captives are being detained by the armed gang in the under-construction resort. The gang included Vikram, Soman, Santhosh and Unnimaya. The resort had neither electricity nor generator, which made things difficult for the Maoists. Read more: Latest in Districts https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/24/workers-escape-maoists-search.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/24/workers-escape-maoists-search.html Tue, 24 Jul 2018 03:41:50 GMT Wayanad native among Maoists who held workers hostage Wayanad: Kalpetta: The Maoists, who held three migrant labourers hostage at Meppadi in the district on Friday, have been identified. The gang included one Vikram Gowda and Wayanad native Soman. They reached Meppadi from Puthuppadi in neighbouring Kozhikode district. The police said their aim was to make their presence felt in the area. They have been charged with provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The activists of a radical Left group had abducted the migrant workers employed in Emerald estate at Kalladi Thollayiram near Meppadi around 6.30 pm on Friday. Maqbool Sheikh, Moquim Sheikh and Alauddheen Sheikh, all natives of Kolkata, were held hostage by the Maoists' gang Friday evening. While Maqbool and Moquim fled from their custody, Alaudheen was released around midnight. Meanwhile, the contractor who provided the service of the labourers to the resort owner said he had spoken to them over phone nine times. He also spoke to the Maoists who reportedly sought a ransom from the resort owner to release the workers. The police and the Thunderbolt launched a search for the radicals. The workers, who managed to escape from captivity, were questioned to get details, the police said. According to preliminary information, there were five people, including women, in the group that abducted the workers, police said, according to a PTI report. When contacted by Onmanorama, the Meppadi police declined to comment. Though there have been reports of Maoists camping in Wayanad, they had not been spotted for months. The presence of Maoists was confirmed in Thamarassery and Puthuppadi areas of Kozhikode district recently. There were reports of the Left extremists being spotted in the areas nearly 30 times in a month. Read more news from Districts https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/20/suspected-maoists-abduct-3-migrant-workers-in-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/20/suspected-maoists-abduct-3-migrant-workers-in-wayanad.html Sat, 21 Jul 2018 10:35:28 GMT Men flee after abduction, rape of minor tribal girls from Wayanad Wayanad: The police are on the lookout for two youngsters from Kozhikode over the alleged abduction and rape of two minor tribal girls from Mananthavady in the district. According to a complaint filed with the Mananthavady police, the girls, residents of an estate here, were lured into a car with the offer of giving them mobile phones. The youth then took the girls, aged 17 and 14, to Ooty. They raped the elder girl and tried to abuse the younger one in a lodge there on July 16. The next day, the men dropped the girls at Sultan Bathery and fled. The police have registered a case against the culprits under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, rape, attempt to rape and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. One of the absconding youth had struck a friendship with the elder girl by talking over phone. More News From Districts | Wayanad https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/19/wayanad-rape-minor-tribal-girls-kozhikode.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/19/wayanad-rape-minor-tribal-girls-kozhikode.html Thu, 19 Jul 2018 18:42:12 GMT Uncommon fish haul in Wayanad worries police Wayanad, which does not have a sea coast, is seeing a big catch of huge fish over the last four days. Fish weighing as heavy as 40 kg are being taken home by the local people from the Banasurasagar dam. As fishing is banned by law here, the police resorted to lathi charge to disperse people engaged in fishing and arrested 20. However, this did not prevent more people from reaching the area for fishing. The authorities have opened the shutters of the Banasurasagar dam and the fish in the reservoir are flowing downsteam, many of them getting killed or severely injured in the fall from the height. It is these fish that the people are taking away. The fisheries department had deposited small fish in the reservoir several years ago which have now achieved full growth. At present, 30 policemen from the Padinjarathara police station are posted at the spot to prevent fishing. Read more: Latest in Districts https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/19/uncommon-fish-haul-in-wayanad-worries-police.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/19/uncommon-fish-haul-in-wayanad-worries-police.html Thu, 19 Jul 2018 06:06:05 GMT Daring thief cooks, bathes in eatery; flees with cash Kalpetta: A smart thief broke into a restaurant here, prepared a fine meal, had a good bath and made away with cash amounting to Rs 5,000. The theft took place at Ruchi Mess House in front of the Vellamunda AUP School. The eatery, operated by a women’s group, was targeted on Tuesday night. The thief apparently went to the kitchen and kept the rice to boil. Meanwhile, he took a towel and soap from the mess and had a bath. He used all the three soaps kept there. After his bath and meal, the thief took away all the money in the restaurant, including that in the donation box of the palliative care society. There were numerous 50 paise coins in it, but they were not taken. However, the thief left his knife, a spanner and a lighter near the towel. Several people were present at the nearby public library to watch the world cup football match till early morning. But they did not realise that a theft was taking place in the mess. The women who manage the place noticed the theft when they opened the mess in the morning. The recent gruesome murder of a newlywed couple took place barely 4 km from this restaurant. According to the police, the murders were committed during a robbery attempt. Another crime has taken place in the area when the probe into the murders is underway. Vellamunda police reached the restaurant and collected evidence. According to officials, the thief wanted to spread panic in the area against the background of the murders. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/15/daring-theif-cooks-bath-cash.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/15/daring-theif-cooks-bath-cash.html Mon, 16 Jul 2018 02:26:41 GMT Panamaram police station marooned in flood waters Panamaram: Rising flood waters have surrounded the Panamaram police station, making it inaccessible by road. The police station can only be approached by boat now. The area was flooded after the Valiyapuzha River breached its banks following continuous rain for over a week. Police officials attached to the station are being forced to use a fibre boat of the panchayat to reach the station as well as go out for investigation. If the rain continues, the entire station will be flooded. Panamaram police station functions from a dilapidated rented building. With the arrival of the monsoon, woes of the policemen have only multiplied. With a leaky roof, many officials have to hold an umbrella while working inside the office. There is no safe and dry place to store case files. Though the police station was opened in 2010, no steps have been taken to shift it to an own building. Several complaints were submitted to the district police chief regarding the pathetic condition of the station building; but no action has been taken till now. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/13/panamaram-police-station-marooned-in-flood-waters.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/13/panamaram-police-station-marooned-in-flood-waters.html Fri, 13 Jul 2018 17:39:59 GMT This literal answer of collectorate employee has invited a probe Kalpetta, Wayanad: A departmental inquiry is on against a government staff who mocked a man who called the Control Room at the Wayanad District Collectorate to check whether schools would be functioning amid heavy rains. "School is there, where will it go," the official is reported to have told Kattiyadan Mohammed Ali of Valad, Manathavady, a father of school-going children. Ali made the call after print and visual media put out a notification from the district collector to call the mobile number 92079 85027 to check if schools are working. The official did not bother to answer when Mohammed asked for his name. Mohammed released his recording of the conversation in Malayalam with the official to media later. The conversation (translated) Mohammed: I'm calling from Valad, wanted to find out if the school will be there today. Official: Of course, the school is there, where will the school go? Mohammed: Not that, I'm asking if classes will be there. Official: What? Mohammed: Want to know if classes will be there. Official: Classes will be held, classes will be held, if there's anything you will be told. Mohammed: Why do you ask me where the school will go when I make an enquiry? Official: No you have to ask if classes are there, you are educated, you have to ask whether classes are there.....where will the school go (audio then gets unclear) Mohammed: Is this number given to us to receive such answers? Official: I said you will be informed later if there is anything. Mohammed: No. I called the collectorate, the nerve-center of the administration. Official: I've told you the school is there, I didn't say it is not there. Mohammed: You asked where the school will go, it is there. Official: That's what I said, you will be informed on TV. Mohammed: What is your name? (Official cuts the call). After Manorama reported the issue, an enquiry was ordered and the home guard was found to be the culprit, who was reprimanded by the collector. The home guard then apologised and said he regretted the incident. Read more: Latest in Districts https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/10/wayanad-collectorate-literate-answer.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/10/wayanad-collectorate-literate-answer.html Wed, 11 Jul 2018 02:11:52 GMT Motive of Wayanad double murder puzzles cops Kalpatta: The police are interrogating migrant workers over the murder of a newly married couple in Wayanad. Ummer, 28, and his wife Fatima, 20, were found hacked to death in their bedroom at Poorinji near Makkiyad on Friday morning. Vellamunda sub-inspector P. Jitesh said 19 migrant laborers have already been questioned. The police are trying to prepare a sketch of the suspect. Ummer was a member of the Tableague Jama Ath where migrant workers were active, local people say. The couple were found with injuries to their head and neck at around 8.30 am on Friday. The police is yet to establish if it was a murder for theft or whether a personal enmity led to it. No lethal weapon has been recovered from the room or from the house. However, the police said a sharp weapon was used. The kitchen door was found forcibly opened from outside. The police found chilli powder sprinkled near the door and in the bed room. Fatima’s studs were not removed. A sum of Rs 4,000 kept in Ummer’s wallet was intact. But Fatima’s gold chain and bangles were missing, sparking suspicion of theft. However, the police is wondering why anyone should target a poor family for a murder for theft. The bodies were found by Ummer’s mother Ayesha who had been to his brother Muneer’s house the previous night as his wife was alone. Neighbours rushed to the spot on hearing Ayesha’s wailing. A special team has been formed under the Manathavady DySP for the investigation. The dog squad was utilised too. Ummer does plantain farming on lease and sells arecanut for a living. Muneer’s housewarming was on the same day Ummer got married. Muneer then flew out abroad, and the mother used to sleep at his house since then. The couple got married on April 19. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/07/wayanad-newly-married-couple-killed.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/07/wayanad-newly-married-couple-killed.html Sat, 07 Jul 2018 09:06:56 GMT Young couple hacked to death in sleep at Wayanad house Kalpetta: A newly married man and his wife were hacked to death in their sleep early on Friday at Vellamunda at Kalpetta in Wayanad district. The murdered couple are Ummar, 28, and Fathima, 20. Chilli powder was found strewn beside the bodies. The police suspect robbery as the motive. Ummar is the son of one Moidu of Makkiyadu house. Ummar's mother, who swooned on hearing the news, has been admitted to hospital. Forensic experts and the police are at the spot. Further information is awaited. Read more: Latest Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/06/young-couple-hacked-death-wayanad-house.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/06/young-couple-hacked-death-wayanad-house.html Fri, 06 Jul 2018 07:44:29 GMT Human-animal conflict increases, panel seeks government intervention Kalpetta: With 140 deaths in 35 years, and 80 in one particular region, the combined panel of organisations that fight against wild animal menace in Wayanad, have sought immediate intervention of government. They allege that no money has been utilised for the safety of the people living close to the forest area, and all promised measures like shock fence, trench, laterite fence, rail fence, and crash-guard rope fencing are not yet implemented. In Vadakkanad, locals have turned to hunger strike to protest against government apathy. The last in the series of death was that of a tribal man, Kunjilan in Thirunelli, who was attacked by a wild elephant while manning a coffee estate in Vallanchery last year. “The wild animals do not discriminate on caste, religion or political ideology of any individual. They attack everyone alike. They attack human beings and destroy crop, frequently invading into human dwellings. It has become a day- to-day affair that the public has to unite and strike,” says T C Joseph, chairman of Wayanad Action Committee against Wild Animal Menace. “The number of wild elephants has increased. During jackfruit and mango season, they will reach out search of food. Water scarcity in forests also forces them to reach human settlements. The menace has been worse in areas like Alathur, Kalakkolli, Pothumoola. Irumbupalam and Panavalli,” he adds. On July 7, the collective of action committees would start protest in Kalpetta, they announced, saying that in India, most number of deaths due to wild life attack are taking place in Wayanad. According to their statistics, of the 140 deaths, 80 took place in Thirunelli and only 59 of them have been registered while 21 have been classified as unnatural deaths. This is followed by Kenichira (10) and Pulpally (6). “Apart from the deaths, more than 500 people have been injured in the attacks and more than 3000 domestic animals killed. Crops amounting to crores of rupees are being destroyed every year. It is impossible to travel during night in all other towns of the district except Kalpetta, for the fear of wild animals,” adds Joseph. He has also alleged that there is no increase in the state budget earmarked for defence activities in the district, though the revenue increased in the last five years. When the jobs in the forest division were divided on contract basis, the opportunities of the tribal communities like Kattunaykkar were lost. A people's vigil formed under MLAs O R Kelu and C K Saseendran, is also not functional. “The rail fence project sanctioned in 2017 for a 7 km fence from Kuruva island is also a non-starter. Rs 10 crore was earmarked for the project,” said Joseph. However, North Wayanad divisional forest officer K C Prasad said that technical issues are delaying that project and it will be started soon. “The project was entrusted to Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society and their plan was approved and sent back to the chief conservator of forest, Kannur. The CCF forwarded it to the government and the same was sent back for slight corrections. I have forwarded the plan with corrections a month ago, and hopefully, the project would start soon,” said the DFO. Number of people killed in wildlife attack Thirunelli – 59 (non-registered 21) Kenichira – 10 Pulpally – 6 Mananthavady – 2 Panamaram – 1 Padinjarathara – 2 Ambalavayal – 2 Meppadi – 3 Vythiri – 4 Bathery – 30 There is a general increase in wild animals breaking into human settlements that lie on the fringes of forest areas in Kerala during the onset of monsoons. Read more: Latest in Districts https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/05/wayanad-kalpetta-wild-animals-attack.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/05/wayanad-kalpetta-wild-animals-attack.html Thu, 05 Jul 2018 07:14:37 GMT Brave Wayanad nurse escapes custody of overseas recruiters Pulpally, Wayanad: Several Indians, including Keralites, who are looking for jobs in Kuwait are stuck there, said nurse Sofia Paulose, who escaped from the confinement of her agent in the Gulf country. Most of them are trapped by travel agents who often work as middlemen. Sofia was given a Dubai visa by travel agents Rajendran and Mavelikkara-native Vishwambharan of a leading firm at Perinthalmanna. I was received by one Ismail at the airport and was taken to a labour camp in Ajman and everything went wrong from there, Sophia said. Sofia ended up working as a home nurse even though she was taken to Dubai after accepting the offer for a nurse's job. When she protested she was taken to Kuwait. When she refused to work as a home nurse there too, her mobile phone was snatched away, and was soon locked up in a windowless room. Ten women were staying in the house. Sofia was asked to cough up Rs 2 lakh when she insisted that she wanted to return to Kerala if she was not given a nurse's job. In Kuwait, two women named Rani and Lakshmi were supervising the operations of Ismail, she said. She was beaten up when she told another agent named Suresh that she would not work as a home nurse. Sofia managed to inform her family members by sending a message using the phone of a woman who had arrived at the agency. Sofia believes that her escape was made possible through a combination of luck and bravery. From Kuwait, she got a ticket to Ahmedabad via Doha. She informed her family members using the phone of a co-passenger. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/02/wayanad-nurse-escapes-custody-of-overseas-recruiters.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/02/wayanad-nurse-escapes-custody-of-overseas-recruiters.html Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:45:27 GMT Police fail to solve mystery of abandoned bikes Kalpetta: The town is witnessing a mysterious phenomenon of disappearance and appearance of abandoned bikes at various locations. Local people said that such incidents had become a common occurrence during December last year. After this news appeared in media, few cases more were reported for some time. However, the strange occurrence has come back to haunt the residents. According to locals, a bike was seen near Kattappana St Martha’s convent for over a week. Though the police were informed about it, no action has been taken. Last year also an ‘abandoned’ bike was noticed in the woods near the same spot and it vanished after a few days. It is suspected that gangs of bike lifters keep the stolen vehicles for some time before handing them over to buyers, mainly in Tamil Nadu. Local people believe that such stolen bikes are used for illegal activities before being abandoned. Numerous vehicles with Tamil Nadu registration numbers ply in the plantation area of Idukki district. Most of the numbers are apparently fake. There are around 2000 such bikes in the district; some of them were stolen and modified in Tamil Nadu, said the local people. Such vehicles have good demand among the youth in Idukki as relatively new bikes are available at cheap prices. None of them have valid documents which help antisocial elements to use the bikes for smuggling ganja, hooch, and banned tobacco products. Read more: Latest in Districts https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/02/mysterious-case-of-disappearing-bikes.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/07/02/mysterious-case-of-disappearing-bikes.html Mon, 02 Jul 2018 02:30:14 GMT Four held for dumping waste in Wayanad forest Kalpetta: Four people have been arrested by the Meppadi police for dumping chicken waste from Thamarassery at Padivayal forest area in Wayanad. The arrested were: P K Rafeeq, V P Nissar, C K Anas of Thamarassery and K M Haris of Balussery. The police also seized their lorry. Dumping of slaughter waste from other districts has become a common occurrence in Wayanad forests and isolated areas in the district. In a recent incident, local people intercepted a lorry in which a four-member group from Malappuram had brought waste to be dumped on a private plot. The men were handed over to the police. According to the police, a lobby which is engaged in disposing chicken waste was polluting the forest in Wayanad. Read more: Latest Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/06/25/dumping-waste-wayanad-forest.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/06/25/dumping-waste-wayanad-forest.html Tue, 26 Jun 2018 01:52:31 GMT 3 of a family die as boat capsizes in Kabani river Kalpetta: A man and his two children drowned in the river Kabani here as a country boat capsized. The deceased were identified as Chakkalakkal Baby aka Scaria, 58, his son Ajith, 24, and daughter Annie, 18. Baby and Ajith drowned while trying to save Annie as she fell into the river, said their relatives who were in the boat. Selin, Nithila and Aleena who were in the boat were rescued by some local people who rushed to the spot on hearing their cries. Lissie is Baby's wife. Read more Kerala news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/04/25/man-son-daughter-drown-in-kabani-river.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/04/25/man-son-daughter-drown-in-kabani-river.html Wed, 25 Apr 2018 15:10:59 GMT Tearful reunion: Long-lost siblings meet after six decades Pinangode, Wayanad: Nearly six decades later, they met again, and the tears of joy just did not stop. It was an emotional reunion reminiscent of movies when Gracy and Mathew walked into their long lost brother George’s house here. Puthanparambil George alias Aboobakar, 68, left his home in Iritty, Kannur, when he was only eight and never returned. On Sunday, he came face to face with his siblings even as the onlookers were moved to tears by the poignant scene. George, ninth of the ten children of Puthanparambil Mathew-Maria couple of Padiyoor, left home after he, along with sister Gracy, were forced to shift to their uncle’s house in Vandiperiyar in Idukki following the death of their mother. George ran away from a life of poverty with a desire to return after earning some money so that his siblings would be able to lead a life of dignity. Until 20, he lived the life of a nomad, doing menial jobs in different parts of the state. Later, he managed to land a job in the Indian Army and after rendering about seven-and-a-half years of service, he opted for voluntary retirement. Thereafter, he worked with a couple of merchandise shipping companies, but never felt like retuning home. Poverty continued to haunt him after thieves stole the iron container in which he kept all his savings. Heartbroken, he went to Wayanad and started working as a daily labourer in order to get out of the financial runt. At the age of 30, George converted to Islam and changed his name to Aboobakar and married Mariam, a resident of Adivaram in Kozhikode district. He returned to Wayanad and settled down in Pinangode. Though he had the burning desire to meet his siblings, his memory failed him as he could hardly remember most of what happened during the childhood. However, he was not ready to give up. With the help of a friend called Vellalathu Abdurahman, Aboobakar began efforts to trace the whereabouts of Gracy and Mathew, and soon the two managed to track down a relative in Vandiperiyar. His joy and excitement knew no bounds when he learned about his siblings. On Sunday, the Gracy and Mathew travelled to Wayanad to meet their long-lost brother. The three were at a loss of words when they came face to face. Apart from their neighbours, Aboobakar’s wife Mariam, children Asmabi and Sibhathullah and grandchildren were present to witness the heart-warming scene. The three recounted stories from their childhood and had lunch together before Gracy and Mathew returned to Vandiperiyar in the evening. More District News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/04/09/reunion-wayanad-60-years-apart.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/04/09/reunion-wayanad-60-years-apart.html Mon, 09 Apr 2018 15:15:58 GMT Tiger spotted at Sulthan Bathery KSRTC depot Sulthan Bathery: The staff at a KSRTC depot here claimed they had spotted a tiger near the bus-wash ramp. The wild beast, which was seen around 6.30 am on Monday, retreated into the nearby forest once it chanced upon the depot personnel. Confirming the presence of the wild animal, a trail of pugmarks could be seen on the spot. Driver P Mohammed stumbled upon the tiger near a bus that was being cleaned on Monday morning. Three other employees - Shibu, Satheeshan and Ravindran - rushed to the site as soon as they were alerted by a shocked Mohammed. Hearing the commotion, the tiger fled to the forest. The area behind the bus-wash site is a forest zone. Forest authorities who reached the depot examined the area and found the pugmarks. A tiger was seen in the locality last week also. Read more: Latest Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/03/20/tiger-spotted-ksrtc-sulthan-bathery.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/03/20/tiger-spotted-ksrtc-sulthan-bathery.html Tue, 20 Mar 2018 05:19:33 GMT Wayanad tribal woman gives birth on bus at Kalpetta Kalpetta: A tribal woman gave birth to a baby boy on a KSRTC bus here on Saturday. The woman, Kavitha, was travelling to Sulthan Bathery from Kozhikode along with her husband, Biju, mother and sister when she experienced labour pain. The baby was delivered around 9.30 in the morning when the bus had reached the bus depot at Kalpetta in Wayanad district. Kavitha and the newborn were rushed to a private hospital. Both mother and child were doing well. Kavitha had been undergoing treatment at the Kozhikode Medical College for high blood pressure for the past few days. The family had boarded the bus from Kozhikode KSRTC bus station on Saturday morning. District collector S Suhas visited Kavitha and the baby at the hospital and handed over Rs 5,000 as emergency relief. Read more Kerala news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/03/17/wayanad-tribal-woman-gives-birth-on-moving-bus.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/03/17/wayanad-tribal-woman-gives-birth-on-moving-bus.html Sat, 17 Mar 2018 12:11:43 GMT An elephantine model for Kerala's temple festivals Batheri: The elephant stood all decked-up amid the sea of people. The idol of the goddess shone brightly over the beast’s imposing head with all the glittering paraphernalia. This was a new beast in Kerala’s famed temple festival circuits, except it was no beast at all. Festival organizers at the Durga Bhagawati Temple at Kuppadi set a trend when they installed the idol over a life-size model of a caparisoned elephant. The mobile model came on a trolley fitted with a steering to negotiate the turnings on the way of the ritualistic parade. The temple management opted for this unusual way of celebrating the annual festival to do away with all the legal hassles associated with parading a real elephant. Animal rights activism and a spate of incidents involving mobbed elephants have spurred the establishment to form strict regulations for parading elephants in public. Since elephants were still an integral part of a temple festival in Kerala, the organizers thought of creating a model of the beast. Help was at hand. Bhaskaran, who runs a modest shop in the village, offered to make the elephant out of everyday materials such as bamboo, sacks and Plaster of Paris (POP). Bhaskaran has always been a part of the temple festival. He used to make still models for the festival parade every year. This year, his model was the center of attraction. Temple committee president Rajeev Kumar and secretary Santhosh Babu, along with festival committee members Rajagopal and Lakshmanan, encouraged Bhaskaran to come up with his take on the elephant. Elephants sell big time in Kerala, even if it is only a model. Bhaskaran’s creation is already being sought by festival organizers from the temples in the area. Read: Wayanad News | Kerala News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/24/elephant-model-kerala-temple.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/24/elephant-model-kerala-temple.html Sat, 24 Feb 2018 11:34:08 GMT Passion for farming takes Siby places Kalpetta: Here is a farmer who enjoys his job so much that he engages in growing every vegetable that he could get hold of. He also cultivates flowers and conducts regular flower-vegetable-fruit shows at various places where his plants and produce are exhibited for the benefit of the public and other farmers. Meet Siby Joseph of Thokkanattu, Kannothu in Engapuzha, who has been organizing a flower show near Kalpetta bypass during the past couple of years. The list of vegetables he grows in Wayanad leaves even other farmers in the district stupefied. The vegetables he cultivated using organic method as part of the Kalpetta show included carrot, beetroot, radish, garlic, small and big onion, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, capsicum, lady’s finger, snake gourd, brinjal and bitter gourd. Wayanad’s climate is ideal for growing such crops, says Siby, who initially launched the venture as an experiment. The other places where Siby holds regular exhibitions are, Balussery and Munnar. Apart from various places in Kerala, this innovative farmer cultivates five acres of land belonging to his friends in Ooty. Among his experimental crops in Ooty is kiwi fruit, which he learnt to grow by living in Arunachal Pradesh for a year. He also produces Chinese cabbage and cos, which are widely popular in North India. Siby, who belongs to a traditional agricultural family, has visited almost all states in India to learn the various farming methods. In Kerala, he has been engaged in running a nursery and in vegetable farming for the last 25 years. Siby can be contacted over his phone no: 9495863142. Read: Latest Kerala News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/20/passion-for-farming-takes-siby-places-.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/20/passion-for-farming-takes-siby-places-.html Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:27:17 GMT 4 youths killed in three bike accidents in Wayanad Kalpetta: Four youths died in separate bike accidents in Wayanad in two days. The death toll rose to four after the second college student who was injured in a bike-lorry collision at Lakkidi on Friday died on Saturday. Noorudheen, 21, son of Malappuram native Abu, had sustained serious injuries and was under treatment at the medical college. He succumbed on Saturday. Kanhangad native Muhammed Safvan, 21, who was riding the bike, had died on Friday. Both Noorudheen and Safvan were students of Lakkidi Oriental College. In another accident, a bike hit an electric post, killing a youth, Vignesh, 20, from Chulliyodu Kazhambukara colony. Yadukrishan, who was riding pillion, has been admitted to a private hospital in Batheri with injuries. The accident occurred near Thiruvambadi temple. In the second bike accident on Saturday, Saji Abraham, 45, son of Valankal native Abraham, lost his life. Though an injured Saji was first taken to Kainaatti government hospital and then to a private hospital in Kalpetta, his life could not be saved. Read more: Latest Kerala news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/17/youths-killed-bike-accidents-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/17/youths-killed-bike-accidents-wayanad.html Sat, 17 Feb 2018 08:52:48 GMT Govt fails to keep its promise to adopt Ammu Pulpally: Ammu, an orphaned youngster belonging to the tribal community, is in a predicament. After official announcements regarding her adoption by the government failed to turn into a reality, Bommi, the elderly woman who was taking care of her, became bedridden. Now, the youngster is forced to take care of her 90-year-old guardian at the hut in Narivayal colony situated in the heart of Pakkam forest area. A class 9 student at Vijaya higher secondary school, Pulpally, she is not attending school now. Malayala Manorama had, on September 22, 2016 carried a report on Ammu, an orphan whose background was not known to anybody in the area, who was being cared for by Bommi. After the report came to the notice of the authorities, they announced that Ammu would be adopted by the state. It was also promised that the woes of the Narivayal colony residents would be addressed. Subsequently, the secretary and other officials of the district legal service authority visited the colony and were convinced of the sad plight of Ammu and Bommi. It was sub judge A G Satheesh Kumar, also the secretary of the authority, who issued instructions regarding adopting Ammu. He had directed officials to enable Ammu to study at a tribal residential school and to sanction a monthly financial aid for Bommi. A decision was also taken to bring Narivayal colony under the ‘Kaithangu’ scheme and ensure benefits to residents. However, it is being pointed out that the only official action so far was inclusion of Ammu’s name in the ration card. Bommi’s family now lives in a shed in the field as their house has been pulled down to build a new one at the same spot. At night, wild elephants haunt the colony and during daytime, the residents face issues like drinking water shortage, lack of toilets and a proper road. Bommi, though bedridden, wants Ammu to go to school. She fears the youngster’s future would be in jeopardy if Ammu does not sit for her annual exams. The family is now in deep crisis and compelled to survive on ration. The sole male breadwinner, Raju - husband of Bommi’s daughter Santha - had died after a tree fell over him in December last. Santha and her four children are living in Bommi’s hut now. Bommi’s husband Masthi had died 15 years ago. Read: Wayanad News | Kerala News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/13/govt-fails-to-keep-its-promise-to-adopt-ammu.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/13/govt-fails-to-keep-its-promise-to-adopt-ammu.html Tue, 13 Feb 2018 11:19:01 GMT Wayanad residents lose sleep as elephant herds make merry Pulpally: Wayanad is seeing the arrival of a different kind of 'tourists,' who are causing much damage in the district as well as posing a big threat to people's lives. Wild elephants, leaving the forests in search of food and water during the dry season, are the visitors leaving a trail of destruction in inhabited areas and on cultivated land. Forest officials say even herds of jumbos not seen in Kerala forests have been reported in Wayanad, suggesting that they came from the neighboring states. Most of the animals causing damage in areas bordering the forest are young. Herds were most recently sighted at Irulam forest area, Chellakkolli and Vadakkanad in the wildlife sanctuary. Elephants from Karnataka have reached Vilangadi in Pathiri forest also. The herds comprise ten to twenty animals and they stroll around villages and plantations like a group of tourists enjoying Wayanad’s natural beauty. During daytime, the elephants remain in the forest and step out at dusk. Till daybreak, they cause mayhem in cultivated land. Even passersby and vehicles coming that way are not spared. Recently, several vehicles were stranded along Chekady route, where an elephant herd was on the rampage. Some elephants, especially youngsters, have a tendency to attack people and cause damage to crops. Though electric fences have been set up to prevent wild animals from entering villages, the elephants bypass the fence and reach inhabited areas. Some elephants travel a long way from the forest. With forests drying up, life has become difficult for animals in the forest. Many elephant herds are facing shortage of food and water and they leave forest out of desperation. Most streams and wells in the wooded areas of Kerala are now dry. The situation is much worse in Karnataka forests. Majority of the elephant herds seen in Wayanad belong to that state, especially Bandipore, Nagarhole and Muthumala forests. The district will, in all likelihood, host them till the next rainy season. Read: Wayanad News | Kerala News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/08/wayanad-residents-lose-sleep-as-elephant-herds-make-merry.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/08/wayanad-residents-lose-sleep-as-elephant-herds-make-merry.html Thu, 08 Feb 2018 12:14:53 GMT Wayanad tribal kid to get a taste of collector's job Kalpetta: Wayanad collector S Suhas will invite a student belonging to scheduled tribe to join him in carrying out administrative duties on February 20th as part of the 'A day with the Collector' program. The novel program aims to boost the self-confidence of tribal students and inspire them to perform better in studies. The eligible student will be selected from among Paniya, Adiya, Kattunayikka, Cholanayikka, Erali and Kuruma communities, which are considered the most backward in the district. The student will accompany the collector in all official programs for a day, getting an opportunity for a close interaction with the top official of the district. Collector Suhas had earlier organized a ride in Kochi Metro for a group of students from Wayanad. The district administration, along with the scheduled tribe development department, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) and general education department, is implementing several innovative programs to tackle issues like high number of dropouts, thin attendance and lack of enthusiasm among parents to send children to school which plague the educational sector in the district. How to apply Class 7 students in government and aided schools take part in 'A day with the Collector' program. In the first round, an essay competition will be conducted on the topic, 'If I become the collector for a day.' Selected students will take part in a leadership training program conducted by Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA). The best student at this program will get the chance to spend a day with the collector. Students should write the essay in their own handwriting and send it to district project officer, SSA, district office, Wayanad, Kalpetta North by February 15. Meanwhile, the collector will visit Vadakkanad Govt. UP school, having the most number of scheduled tribe students on its rolls, and interact with the youngsters. He will also join the students during their lunch. Read: Wayanad News | Kerala News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/07/wayanad-collector-suhas-tribal-kid.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/07/wayanad-collector-suhas-tribal-kid.html Wed, 07 Feb 2018 14:22:57 GMT Good news for Wayanad as accident numbers show a sharp decline In Wayand, the District Crime Record Bureau’s new statistics show a sharp decline in the number of vehicle accidents in 2017. While 2016 recorded 713 accidents, 2017 had 660 accidents in various parts of the district. The death toll was 82 in 2016, in 2017 it came down to 68. Black spots of mayhem The police have identified 66 accident black spots in the district, where accidents have historically been concentrated. National Highway 766 (connects Kozhikode in Kerala with Kollegal in Karnataka via Mysore) Muttil Varyad, from Pathirippalam to Dottappankulam are marked as highly vulnerable stretch prone to frequent accidents. Interceptor unit and Motor Vehicle Department Compared to 2016, the year 2017 recorded lesser number of accidents. The credit for the dip in the number goes to timely intervention by Motor Vehicle Department, the police department and the Interceptor Unit. The Motor Vehicle Department came down heavily on rule-breakers. Apart from intensifying vehicle inspections, the Motor Vehicle Department also organized massive awareness campaigns in the district. The Department spearheaded more than 5000 awareness classes in the past one year on safe driving. The Interceptor Unit was keen on reining in the overspeeding vehicles. As many as 7,718 vehicles were booked for overspeeding in 2017. The department collected 31.52 lakh rupees in fine for overspeeding, mostly from car owners. 5319 cars and 1474 two-wheelers were booked for overspeeding. Police collect crores in fine In the last two years the police have collected a massive fine of 1.28 crores from the unruly drivers for not carrying license and violating seat belt and helmet rules. The police do not have the statistics for the fine collected in drunk driving cases as they are send directly to the court. Police registered 3327 cases of drunk driving in 2016 while in 2017 it was 2275. 2016 accident statistics Total accidents-713 Number of deaths- 82 Critically Injured-484 KSRTC buses which got into accidents-48 Private buses-64 Lorries- 30 Cars- 225 Auto rickshaws-113 500 of these accidents happened in the morning while 213 of them occurred in the night. In 2016, 462 two-wheelers got into accidents. Overspeeding and reckless driving by mostly young riders is responsible for the higher rate of two-wheeler accidents. Most of the bikers involved in the mishaps were aged between 19 and 25. Lack of helmets also contributed to the higher number of fatalities. Driving under the influence is also more rampant among the two-wheeler riders. Statistics for 2017 Total accidents- 660 Number of deaths-68 Injured- 758 Critically injured-468 So far in 2018 So far in 2018, there have been 19 vehicle accidents in the district which took three lives and injured 15. In the last one decade, 667 people died and 8790 people were injured in 6648 road accidents in Wayanad. https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/01/good-news-wayanad-accident-numbers-sharp-decline.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/02/01/good-news-wayanad-accident-numbers-sharp-decline.html Thu, 01 Feb 2018 11:58:31 GMT Wayanad Civil Station in the grip of Monkey Menace Kalpatta: Wayanad Civil Station is in the grip of a monkey menace. The number of monkey population around the Civil Station has risen in the recent times. Monkeys have started to enter the offices, defecate inside the cabins, attack the staff and snatch food from their hands. A day ago two monkeys had drowned in the Collectorate water tank. More alarmingly the monkeys consume the plastic garbage bags dumped in the civil station yard. The civil station premise is strewn with garbage piles. The monkeys eat the plastic packets and covers used to carry food. Consumption of plastic is fatal as it is not digested. Civil station authorities have regularly raised the issue with the Forest Department. There was an attempt to trap the monkeys and release them in the forest but that program was abandoned quickly. The situation, even though grievous, has not grabbed the attention of the Forest Department or animal-lovers in spite of repeated complaints. Read: Wayanad News | Kerala News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/01/24/wayanad-civil-station-in-the-grip-of-monkey-menace.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/01/24/wayanad-civil-station-in-the-grip-of-monkey-menace.html Wed, 24 Jan 2018 12:49:55 GMT Wayanad records 'large' liquor sales Ambalavayal: Sale of liquor in Wayanad is no longer a ‘small’ affair. With the six Beverages Corporation outlets in the district selling Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) worth Rs 239.04 crore during the April-December period last year, Wayanad has proved that it has, in fact, a ‘large’ appetite. In addition to this is the sale of toddy and liquor from other states. The previous UDF government had closed down some Beverages outlets as part of its decision to scale down the number of liquor shops by 10 per cent. The six existing outlets are at Bathery, Pulpally, Ambalavayal, Panamaram, Mananthavady and Vythiri. The one at Vythiri now functions at Kalpetta. ‘Celebration’ time December, which covers the festive season and new year celebrations, saw sales of IMFL worth Rs 31.54 crore in Wayanad. Vythiri (Kalpetta) shop topped the list with sales amounting to Rs 7.16 crore. Bathery followed with Rs 6.68 crore and Mananthavady was placed third, recording sales worth Rs 6.49 crore. ‘No: 1’ in district From April 1 to December 31, 2017 IMFL worth Rs 66.71 crore was sold at the Mananthavady outlet of Beverages Corporation, making it the ‘No: 1’ in the district. Bathery was close behind with sales of Rs 65.50 crore. Vythiri and Ambalavayal recorded sales of over Rs 31 crore. Pulpally shop sold liquor costing over Rs 29 crore, while Panamaram was in poor ‘spirits’, coming last with sales at Rs 14.37 crore. Read: Wayanad News | Kerala News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/01/09/wayanad-record-liquor-sales.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/01/09/wayanad-record-liquor-sales.html Wed, 10 Jan 2018 01:41:48 GMT An IAS wedding with a message Kalpetta: A ‘high-power’ wedding that will take place at Madurai in Tamil Nadu on February 5 which is set to send a strong message against caste, has a Kerala connection. While the groom is Wayanad subcollector NSK Umesh, the bride, V Vigneswari, holds the same post in neighboring Kozhikode. Both are Madurai natives. With Umesh and Vigneswari belonging to the 2015 IAS batch, there were big celebrations in Madurai over the double-sweet honour that came to the city. However, they met and love blossomed only later, at the civil service academy. Umesh, though settled in Tamil Nadu, hails from Saurashtra. Caste is a major issue in Tamil Nadu and several incidents related to it are reported regularly. Inter-caste marriages often spark violence, points out Umesh. With the two Sub-Collectors belonging to different castes, their coming together will send the right message to the younger as well as older generation, says the IAS officer. Read more: Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/01/07/an-ias-wedding-message.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/01/07/an-ias-wedding-message.html Sun, 07 Jan 2018 11:37:33 GMT Succor on highway: Hundreds lend helping hand to man with severed palm Kalpetta: Vijesh Thekkumkattil almost lost his palm. The 32-year-old man's palm was severed when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a car near the SKMJ School at Kalpetta around 11:30 am on Wednesday. Doctors at a hospital in Kalpetta said the palm could be stitched back if he was taken to a hospital in Coimbatore within three hours. Climbing down through the winding ghat road to Thamarassery and passing through the congested towns of Mannarkkad and Palakkad to the Tamil Nadu city in three hours seemed an impossible task yet there was no other way since not one air ambulance was available anywhere in the Wayanad district. What followed was a mass mobilization worthy of a movie script. The police in Kerala and Tamil Nadu worked in tandem as a group of volunteers made sure that everybody on the way to Coimbatore was aware of the passing ambulance with a patient in distress. Sali Karyambadi, an ambulance driver, said he would drive Vijesh to Coimbatore. Members of the Child Protect Kerala offered to coordinate the efforts. They formed WhatsApp groups of their members to alert local units about the ambulance. The ambulance started from Kalpetta at 12:30 pm. Radio Mango pitched in with timely updates about the course of the ambulance. Usually busy roads in places including Thamarassery, Mukkam, Areekkode, Mannarkkad and Palakkad were cleared in no time to make way for the ambulance, which was piloted and escorted by the police. As the ambulance passed the state border, a Tamil Nadu police team was waiting for it to lead the way. The ambulance reached the Ganga Hospital in three hours and 20 minutes. Vijesh was immediately taken to the operation room. The complicated surgery continued late into the evening. Vijesh is the son Viswanathan, Malayala Manorama's agent at Manikavu. The Child Protect Kerala team said the accident highlighted the need of an air ambulance in places like Wayanad. The team could respond to distress situations like this. The phone number is 828199415. Read more Kerala news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/01/04/succor-on-highway--hundreds-lend-helping-hand-to-man-with-severe.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/01/04/succor-on-highway--hundreds-lend-helping-hand-to-man-with-severe.html Thu, 04 Jan 2018 12:28:34 GMT 'Seed pen': A gift that gives life to many Kalpetta: The The 'vithu pena' (pen made of seeds) gifted to customers by a cooperative bank here serves multiple purposes – earns goodwill, provides support to a number of physically challenged people and helps spread the greenery of the state. Made of paper, the pen, when discarded after use, grows into a plant as the seed kept in it sprouts. The pen, presented by Kalpetta Service Cooperative Bank secretary M Vasanthy and staff, is made by Palakkad-based Handicrops, which is engaged in providing a livelihood for the physically challenged . The pen is the main product of Handicrops, which also makes a wide variety of items ranging from umbrella to LED bulbs. Kalpetta Service Cooperative Bank has been engaged in numerous community support initiatives. It has donated a scanning machine costing Rs 20 lakh to Kainatty general hospital and organizes weekly fairs on Sunday to provide farmers a platform to sell their produce. Now, considering the benefits it would bring to several people in the locality, the director board of the bank has plans to start a unit of Handicrops in Wayanad, said bank president T Suresh Chandran. Read more: Wayanad news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/01/02/kalpetta-seed-pen-cooperative-bank.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2018/01/02/kalpetta-seed-pen-cooperative-bank.html Tue, 02 Jan 2018 14:23:00 GMT No staff or vehicle: forest officers marooned in Wayanad Pozhuthan: Office of the Forest Department in Idiyam Vayal in Achooranam Beat, Kalpetta section of Wayanad district, is in dire need of vehicle and staff. The lack of staff and vehicle have crippled the Beat which has 3,700 hectares of forest area under its protective control. The only Jeep in the office has been under maintenance for months. There are only two officers and two watchmen in the office. The Achooranam Beat is notorious for wild elephant activities. The attacks have particularly increased in the past few months. A few days ago the officials had to tranquilize a wild elephant at Vengathod. The officials reached site in an auto rickshaw which was also attacked by the elephant. The officials narrowly escaped the attack. Previously the officials were delayed when a Jaguar was trapped in a residential well in 6th Mile. For days the officials have been receiving complaints of a wild elephant attacking and damaging properties near the 12th Bridge. Each time such incidents occur the forest officials have to hire a vehicle from Kalpetta to reach the troubled spots. They often have to face the wrath of the people for reaching late at the site. It is high time the department heeded the demand for more staff and vehicles for the office. Read more Kerala news https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2017/12/28/no-staff-or-vehicle-forest-officers-marooned-in-wayanad.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2017/12/28/no-staff-or-vehicle-forest-officers-marooned-in-wayanad.html Thu, 28 Dec 2017 11:36:41 GMT Private players put spike in groundwater department works Mananthavady: Amidst predictions of severe drought and early onset of summer, the Kerala Groundwater Department's work in Wayanad district has come to a halt because of lack of staff. Department employees allege that the appointments are blocked due to the interference from private bore well operators. The department had made access to bore well drilling easier for the common people. Those farmers with more than 25 cents of land were given a subsidy of 50 percent to drill a bore well. In case of a failed drilling attempt, the department returned 75 percent of the amount paid by the consumer. The small scale farmers hit by severe drought stood to benefit from this affordable scheme. Meanwhile, the private bore well manufacturers charge heavily for the drilling process without a return back policy for failed attempts. Also, there has been complaints that drilling mindlessly without adhering to regulations is leading to rapid depletion of groundwater. The district officer in charge of operations in Wayanad was removed a year ago. The assistant engineer who carried out the role entered long leave. There are allegations that the AE was under immense pressure from the private bore well manufacturers to comply with their demands. The post has been vacant for more than a month. This has crippled the department's activity in the district sectors facing irrigation and drinking water shortage. The contract workers have not been paid the salary for the month of November. Two of the drilling units are parked idle in front of the Meenangadi office building as there is a dearth of funds to buy fuel. Permanent and contract employees are doubtful about their December pay, too. They demand that the engineer and the district officer be immediately restored and strict action be taken to reign in illegal bore well drilling by private players. Read: Latest Kerala News https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2017/12/19/private-players-groundwater-department.html https://english.manoramaonline.com/districts/wayanad/2017/12/19/private-players-groundwater-department.html Tue, 19 Dec 2017 10:44:56 GMT