KERALA

Reporter's Diary

Organic manure from Rubbermark

Eco-friendliness is being pursued with vigour all over the world. Organic and biodegradable products are in high demand. For the average Keralite, adopting organic practices in agriculture is not an unknown idea. It is the resumption of a lifestyle followed by generations together.

Cow-dung and compost manure were widely used by the farming community in Kerala. It was only after the introduction of artificial fertilizers, coupled with intensive advertising campaign that the farmers turned to them.

It took some time for the farmers to realise the adverse effects of chemical fertilizers on the farm produce. The native farmer was convinced that old is gold. It is at this juncture that a host of agencies started activities for an organic cause.

Not to be left behind, such initiatives have started in Kerala in right earnest. The Kerala State Cooperative Rubber Marketing Federation Limited (Rubbermark) has launched organic manure under three brand names, Bharat Jaiva, Kerala Jaiva and Karshaka Jaiva, meant for different crops.

Organic farm produce being in high demand outside the country, the move makes good business sense. That is also the aim of Rubbermark, trying to emerge out of financial liabilities.

Two classes of students

The sanctioning of self-financing courses in regular colleges has been bringing radical changes in the very character of our academic front. Co-existing of two classes of students on the same campus is bound to cause problems at many levels. The recent decision by the management of the St. Albert's College in Ernakulam to change the class timings has sparked off such a controversy with the regular students accusing the college authorities of favouring the self-financing students.

The management has decided to start classes from 8 a.m. The regular students complain that this step is taken only to provide more facilities to the self-financing courses. They point out that though the classes begin at 8 a.m., the college library will not open till 10 a.m., the regular office time. This will, naturally, make the college library less accessible to the regular students.

They also allege that the regular students are sidelined in getting hostel admissions as well, with the college authorities giving preference to the students of self-financing courses.

Another complaint of the students is that they are not able to use the college auditorium and the playground. The ground owned by the college near the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium has been leased out for years, point out the students. They are planning to go up in arms against the management's decisions.

(Contributed by R. Ramabhadran Pillai and Renu Ramanath)

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