Monthly Archives: April 2017

A ray of hope for Young Badaga Association?

A Ray of Hope for Young Badaga Association, if All Willing !?

DV It is official now. YBA has been running an illegal activity (renting the building to marriages) to raise funds which has led to the unsavory tussle for control by rival groups.

The original order dated 5th July 1972 (obtained via an RTI request) granting land to YBA says, ‘The land shall be used for the construction of building for the Association Library etc and for no other purposes’.

One year later the order was amended to state,’The Association was permitted to use the downstairs of the building for recreational purposes’.

The punishment for violating the conditions is also clearly stated. ‘The Government may resume the land wholly or in part with any buildings thereon, in the event of the infringement of any of the conditions of the grant’.

It is a mystery how YBA has been allowed to continue all these years though it did not fulfill any of the original conditions but, on the contrary, was carrying on illegal activities like letting the premises for marriages.

How can different factions fight over the legality of the elections to YBA while the activities of YBA are totally unlawful? This is the question every Badaga should ask himself of herself.

Having now been brought to the attention of the government action is bound to follow sooner or later. Community members like me are determined to make the government take action no matter how long it takes.

Now in that unfortunate event, it will be a great loss of face and shame to the entire community.

But it is still not too late to avert such a situation if only we can all break our stupid silence and prevail upon the warring groups to see stark reality, sink their differences and make YBA lawful, purposeful and the pride of all badagas.

Here’s a 10-point proposal:

  1. Make the members who have had the honour of being Ministers, Chief Patrons of YBA.
  2. Make the sitting MPs and MLAs Patrons of YBA

  3. Form a Governing Council of 10 members representing senior members who have retired as government officials, professors, bankers, doctors and teachers.

  4. Form an Executive Committee comprising present office bearers and representatives of the other factions plus a few neutral observers. This Committee will run of YBA subject to guidance from the Governing Council.

  5. The winning office bearers of the recent elections can be declared but their functioning will be subject to the Executive Committee. A competent non-Badaga can be appointed as full time Secretary for the time being at a good salary and responsibility.

  6. The tenure of the new team will be limited to the original two years and membership to Rs.100.

  7. Proper, transparent and democratic rules and regulations can be formed during the next two years for future growth of YBA.

  8. Membership should be opened immediately and should remain on tap.

  9. All illegal renting activities should cease. It can be decided later how best to make use of the space and premises of the YBA building in a proper manner.

  10. Pending these changes let us all join together and celebrate Ooty Summer Festival, for 10 or 15 days, at the YBA hall in a grand manner to showcase the multi-talents of the Badaga youth.

 

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Young Badaga association, taking everyone for a ride !

YBA taking Courts, Government, Community & Public for a Ride!!

Dharmalingam Venugopal
Honorary Director, Nilgiri Documentation Centre. Kotagiri

Present Young Badaga Association team drives its legitimacy from a High Court order implemented by a retired judge and a retired top official. Despite it being challenged on multiple fronts of late it keeps hanging on to power because the administration, community and the public are helpless.

Fed up with the continuing nuisance, the administration has even come down to mediate between the two unrepresentative groups claiming rights.

The fact YBA has conveniently hidden from the High Court, Government, Community and the Public is that all the fight is over an illegal corpus of funds.

The only bone of contention between the warring groups is the few lakhs of money with the YBA.

The only source of that money is the conduct of marriages in the YBA Hall which is totally illegal. Conduct of income earning activities like letting the premises for marriages is against the non-profit condition on which the government granted the land.

Besides, YBA does not have a license to run a marriage hall. YBA hall also does not qualify for any of the conditions required by law to conduct marriages such as minimum distance from schools, parking space, food safety etc. If a disaster happens every body will be in trouble.

It is not as if that the administration is not aware of these facts. It is in an embarrassing situation. If it takes a positive decision, it will be only endorsing an illegal activity. If it takes a negative decision, it will offend the whole community.

The situation is so pathetic that my RTI to the administration requiring the original order granting land to YBA is yet to be replied even after 40 days.

My representation to the Udhagamandalam Municipality requesting for information as to why an unauthorized institution has been allowed to conduct marriages in YBA has not been replied for more than two months.

The administration has so many important things to attend during this summer months. It is nothing but criminal on the part of us Badagas to take up the administration’s time to solve a problem which has no resolution.

The solution is simple provided us Badagas, ordinary as well as so called intellectuals, give up our hesitation, prejudice and diplomacy to call a spade a spade.

Call on the administration to stop the illegal activity of conducting marriages in YBA Hall. Once that income ceases, let us see how many groups are willing to fight for control.

Once the dust settles down in six months or so genuine members could contest the elections in due manner and take the YBA to glorious heights. Why worry about funds? Badagas are willing to donate if YBA is run honestly, professionally and democratically.

If you agree with me, send a mail immediately to the District Collector.

Congratulations, Dr.Devaraj, from Kethoray Village

Congratulations, Dr.Devaraj

Makkal Sevaiyin Magathuvam” written by Dr.G.N.Devaraj,M.B.A.,M.Phil.,B.G.L.,D.Lt .,[Stenographer, CSTI,President,Govt Employees Co-Op Society,Bhavanisagar,VP,TNGEA, Sathyamangalam], from Kethoray hatti/village, Civil Service Training Institute, Bhavanisagar received best book award from World Tamil University, Washington DC, USA, on convocation at Music Academy, Chennai on 18.3.2017.

 

Ooty – Kodapamund : Throwing caution to winds

Kodapamund : Throwing caution to winds

Dharmalingam Venugopal  [Nilgiri Documentation Centre]

 Kodapamund  originally referred to a Toda mund at the boundary between the traditional  divisions of  Todanad and Mekunad. The Toda mund was abandoned sometime in mid-19thcentury, probably after the opening of Kotagiri-Ooty road.

Map- Kodapamund in 1920s

During the British period it was the preferred residential area for top officials including Major Kelso, the first Commander of the Nilgiri hills.

Post independence,  it remained for long  a sleepy settlement  of hard working farmers, washer men and milk men. The Kodapamund reservoir  fed by streams originating from the Doddabetta ranges used to be perennial source of drinking water for the town.

Degradation of Doddabetta ranges in the 1970s  led to the 1978 landslides and floods which turned the life-giving Kodapamund reservoir  into a killer taking away more than 100 lives.

Since then, the Kodapamund  water channel has been major source of pollution and sewage in the town gradually choking up the Ooty lake.

The Kodapamund channel is the only source of water to the 20 ha lake and runs for a length of 5.5 km of which 3.06 km is within the Ooty town. According to a study, ‘the Channel  is converted into the dumping place of the different types of waters by small hotels, land encroachers, market, shop keepers etc., moreover it has been the outlet for the sewage of the unauthorized house owners and the rain water drains are utilized for this purpose’.

Hundreds of similar studies and crores of funds have been spent  in the name of cleaning up of  the Kodapamund channel and the lake but to no avail so far.

Kodapamund,  situated on the Dodabetta slopes, has become increasingly susceptible to  landslides in recent years. Slides on the Eastern flank of Kodapamund  near the grave yard and on the North east of  grave yard have been recorded. On the road side huge retaining walls reminds one of the vulnerability of the area which has become one of the heaviest  traffic area in the district.

Of late, the Kodapamund area has been allowed to grow into a major tourism area with facilities such as hotels, shops and entertainment centres mushrooming all over. Monstrous buildings are raised right on the road margin with total disregard for building rules, drainage or slope safety. Neither rules nor reason appears to slow down the roller coaster development of Kodapamund.

Severely high traffic, steep slopes, lack of drainage, high density of heavy constructions, excessive and indiscriminate tourist activities amidst   vegetable farming make  Kodapamund a prime spot for environmental  catastrophe.