post

Transporting Sugarcane by Bullock Carts

Pics of families transporting Sugarcane by Bullock Cart in India by Arun Shanbhag

Enroute from Aurangabad to Paithan in Maharashtra State, India. This is quite a common site when driving around rural India. Because such long trains of bullock carts hamper other vehicular traffic and cause backups, our first impression is to curse them out, “why can’t they just stay off the road?”

post

Break at a Marathi Village

Father and Daughter eating a banana behind the Devi Temple, pics by Arun Shanbhag

During our AstaVinayak (Eight Sacred Ganapati Temples) tour, we stopped at a roadside eatery in rural Maharashtra. After a simple meal (roti & sabzi for us; curd (yogurt) and rice for Meera), I sauntered over to a village square.

post

Video: Approaching Kumta on the Konkan Railway

Move your mouse out of the video frame to lose the black border. Music: Mere Desh Ka Salaam, Shobha Gurtu. Those who have ridden the Konkan Railway can attest, the rural countryside with emerald green fields is mesmerizing. I think of an early retirement in a village, a small house and running a school. To […]

post

Scholarships for the Needy: 2009 – 2010

That gift which is given, knowing it to be a duty, in a fit time and place, to a worthy person, from whom we expect nothing in return, is held to be most pure. ~ Bhagavad Gita, 17:20 Several years ago we started these scholarships to support needy girls at the Shanbhag School in Kumta. […]

post

Academic Update from Shanbhag School 2009

Just received results from the recent Karnataka State Board Exams (Std X) for students at the Shanbhag School in Kumta, Karnataka. What a spectacular performance by the students! Congratulations! Our gratitude also to the teachers who do a fabulous job, every day! Summary of Results: 74 students appeared for the X Std, Karnataka State Board […]

post

Scholarships for the Needy

I have previously written about the Shanbhag School, an academic beacon in Kumta and surrounding villages. The Shanbhag High School, managed by the Konkan Education Trust does not receive any governmental aid. But it follows the state determined academic syllabus and guidelines. While we attract many students who can afford fees, our family wanted to […]

post

Fresh-ground Raagi Flour

Raagi Bhakri is a favorite in our home. It’s easy to prepare and very filling. During this past visit to Kumta I replenished our stock of Raagi flour. A few blocks from our place in Kumta is a little “girNi” (or mill) which grinds various types of flour. It is run by a distant relative […]

post

Peanut Farmers Toil

During this season of plenty, we turn our hearts and minds to farmers who toil the land, and bring food to our tables. Their's is a difficult life! Indian farmers would celebrate, simply breaking even. Many are frustrated by the cycle of debt and end their lives, leaving their families deeper in debt! According to […]

post

Sugarcane Fields: Making Jaggery

Photo of Farmer offering Jaggery or Gur by Arun Shanbhag

On a recent visit to India, we took a cab from Belgaum to Badami to see the exquisitely carved cave temples. The route goes through some of the most rural and poorest parts of North Karnataka, with whole families helping in tilling the fields, sowing, weeding and harvesting. See post on peanut farm. Sugarcane (kabbu) […]