Monthly Archives: August 2014

Kochi doctors perform Kerala’s first pancreas transplant


Kochi :

A hospital here has successfully conducted Kerala’s first combined pancreas-kidney transplant, the third such in India.

The highly complex surgery was conducted on 35-year-old S. Syed Yunus Shahir, an engineer from Palakkad. The donor was a brain-dead 38-year-old patient.

Thanks to the transplant, Shahir is now eating ice cream at will and is all set to return home after a nearly two-week stay at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS).

Ramachandran N. Menon, the surgical gastro transplant surgeon, told IANS that this patient first came to them about two months back and after a series of tests he was cleared for the surgery and then the wait for a donor began.

He said as per the rules of organ transplant and donation, the Kerala Network for Organ Sharing (KNOS), the state government’s nodal agency for organ retrieval and sharing, played a key role in facilitating the smooth transfer of pancreas and one kidney from a brain dead person.

“We got the call from the KNOS informing us of the availability of the pancreas and a kidney and we immediately asked Shahir to get admitted and the surgery was performed Aug 17,” said Menon.

Elaborating on the condition of Shahir, Menon said he was suffering from type 1 diabetes for the past 19 years and developed diabetes-related complications like retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy and end stage kidney failure over the past two years.

Despite using an insulin pump, he had erratic control of the blood sugar which was preventing from effectively doing his work.

“Today, Shahir is on normal diet, his kidneys are functioning normally and is not on insulin. He is having his favourite ice creams, which were taboo for him. He is rearing to go home,” he said.

The first simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant was done in 1966 in the US.

source: / OnManorama / Home> News> Kerala / by Agencies / Saturday – August 30th, 2014

Figuring out radio-controlled aircraft in Thiruvananthapuram

Participants of a workshop on radio-controlled aircraft with the models made by them, in Thiruvananthapuram recently. Photo: Special Arrangement / The Hindu
Participants of a workshop on radio-controlled aircraft with the models made by them, in Thiruvananthapuram recently. Photo: Special Arrangement / The Hindu

Around 100 students and teachers were taken through the nuances of aircraft’s functioning and design, concepts and basics of aerodynamics with its applications.

A two-day workshop on radio-controlled (RC) aircraft turned out to be more than just a learning experience for the participants, bringing in fun and entertainment as well.

The event, held for students and the faculty from various colleges in the State and held at the Trinity College of Engineering here, was organised by Aerotrix, a division of Skyfi Education Labs, founded by the alumni of IIT, Kanpur. Around 100 students and teachers were taken through the nuances of aircraft’s functioning and design, concepts and basics of aerodynamics with its applications, mechanics of flight and structural configurations of a plane.

The participants were then given the opportunity to design, build and test their own RC aircraft from scratch through introduction to the design algorithm of an aircraft and hands-on experience on the electronic and electrical instrumentation of an RC aircraft. After the workshop, the participants-17 teams of students and three teams of faculty-developed 20 aircraft and tested them by flying them on the campus.

“We have been conducting similar workshops with the intention of improving skills and employability of engineering students. We use aero-modelling workshops as a means to deliver exciting and fun-based training to the students and to expose them to the multi-disciplinary demands of the industry,” Adarsh Hariprasad, faculty of Aerotrix, said.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Thiruvananthapuram / Special Correspondent / Thiruvananthapuram – August 22nd, 2014

475 Families of Mar Aprem Church to Bring out Handwritten Bible

Kochi :

After the Catholic Church, now it is the turn of the Chaldean Syrian Church, one of the four archbishoprics in the Assyrian Church of the East, to transcribe the Bible. The 475 families under the  Mar Aprem Church, a parish of the Chaldean Syrian Church in Thrissur, are currently engrossed in transcribing the Bible.

It has been two months since they started the work. Once completed, the manuscript would be worthy of being added to the 100-odd ancient manuscripts – all written in Aramaic -stored at the Chaldean Metropolitan Palace in Thrissur. The transcription is being done as part of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the Mar Aprem Church.

Members of each of the families will write the chapters assigned to them. Thus, their combined effort will bring out a handwritten Holy Bible. They are transcribing the Bible published by the Bible Society of India, which is called the ‘Sathyaveda Pusthakam’ in Malayalam.

“From time immemorial, the Chaldean Syrian Church has a strong legacy of transcribing documents. The attempt to write the Holy Bible could be regarded as a continuation of it,” said Mar Awgin Kuriakose, Episcopa, the Chaldean Syrian Church.

Of the holy manuscripts that lay scattered in different parts of the world, the Chaldean Metropolitan Palace in Thrissur is believed to be having a good collection of them, after Iraq, which is the headquarters of the Assyrian Church of the East. In India, the Assyrian Church is known as the Chaldean Syrian Church, and it is headquartered in Thrissur.

“The 66 books, with 1,189 chapters, were divided in the 10 wards of the parish. We have briefed them on the instructions to be adhered to while writing. The transcription should be done only after the evening prayer. We did not want them to write it at a stretch. They can take their own time. The list of the chapters were given to them as well. They can only write on the paper provided by the church,” said Fr K P Varghese, Vicar, Mar Aprem Church.

“Even the pens were given to them. The numbers of the chapters and the verses should be written in red ink. The rest of the letters should be in black,” he said.

Mar Aprem, Metropolitan, the Chaldean Syrian Church, India, who kick-started the project  by writing the chapter of Genesis, said, “in the olden days, one had to transcribe manuscripts to be ordained as a priest. But,  as time flew by, and with the introduction of the printing press, that practice came to an end. However, this effort would remain in the memories of the people.”

Riju A Mannukkadan, a parishioner, said that his whole family was involved in the project.  “My children would read the assigned chapters aloud. Everyone in the family, except my little daughter, contributes,” he said.  The Sacred Heart Church, Kumbalangi, and the Cruz Milagres Church, Vypeen, are the catholic churches that have transcribed the Bible earlier.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Kerala /by Shalet Jimmy / September 14th, 2014

Old Railway Station Assured of Heritage Monument Status

Kochi :

Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda has assured K V Thomas MP that the old railway station in Ernakulam will be protected as a  heritage monument. The Union Minister communicated this to the MP at a meeting held to discuss the matters related to railway development in Ernakulam.

The MP, in a memorandum submitted to the Minister, demanded introduction of MEMU trains on Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur routes during peak hours. He also demanded a train from Ernakulam to Thiruvananthapuram at 5.30 pm and 11.30 pm. The MP’s demands include, electrification of Ernakulam-Cochin Harbour Terminus, an automatic coach washing machine at Ernakulam Junction and a train to Madhura.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Kochi / by Express News Service / August 29th, 2014

Senior Journalist G Venugopal Passes Away in Kottayam

Kottayam :

Senior journalist G Venugopal died of heart attack today at a private hospital here, family sources said.

He was 59.

He was the former News Editor of Mangalm Malayalam daily.

He also served as the secretary of Kerala Union of Working Journalsits and President of Kottayam Press Club.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala condoled the death of Venugopal.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Kerala / by PTI / September 14th, 2014

White revolution, of sorts

Jeemon Kaaraadi, a dairy farmer from Kottayam, protesting with his cows in front of the Milma Bhavan at Pattom in the city. Photo: S.R. Praveen / The Hindu
Jeemon Kaaraadi, a dairy farmer from Kottayam, protesting with his cows in front of the Milma Bhavan at Pattom in the city. Photo: S.R. Praveen / The Hindu

Jeemon Kaaraadi, a dairy farmer from Kottayam, decided to act after several representations sent to the Milma officials drew a blank.

He, along with a cow and its calf, boarded a pick-up truck to the capital city. For the past 10 days, the three of them are living in a small ‘two-storey’ tent in front of Milma Bhavan at Pattom, with the ground floor occupied by the cow and the calf, and Jeemon sleeping on a cot attached to pillars just above them. One of his demands is restructuring of the milk price charts so that dairy farmers would get minimum prices. “The price of milk has increased in recent times. But it is hardly reflected in payments to dairy farmers. There has been only a nominal increase in our earnings. Also, the lack of clarity in the norms for fat content and Solid Not Fat (SNF) in milk collected from us means that the respective cooperative society can bring down the prices at will,” says Mr. Jeemon. Amid the protest too, he regularly milks the cow. He has stocked up on cattle feed and grass.

“I distribute the milk to the tea shops nearby. A few local people have also begun asking for it, as milk straight from the udder is almost non-existent in the city,” he says.

Some of those who came to the Milma counter close by were seen enquiring if they could buy milk from him.

But his grouse is that none of the officials who pass through the gates daily has asked him why he is sitting here. “Perhaps, they think I will leave this place if there is no response. But, I have just started boiling the milk, and it will take some time to rise and spill over,” he says.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Thiruvananthapuram / S. R. Praveen / Thiruvananthapuram – August 25th, 2014

Ramesh Kanjilimadhom: The barefoot runner

A three-time Boston Marathon veteran, this runner from Kochi is organizing his first marathon this year.

Ramesh Kanjilimadhom.
Ramesh Kanjilimadhom.

On The Run | Ramesh Kanjilimadhom 

Ramesh Kanjilimadhom, 45, ran his first marathon in 2006 at the age of 37; since then he has run 39 full marathons. The Kochi-based information technology professional is always either recovering from a marathon or training for one. A prolific runner, he has run the Boston Marathon thrice, and started the running group Soles of Cochin in July last year with friends. On 16 November, the group is organizing its inaugural Spice Coast Marathon. Kanjilimadhom doesn’t use shoes or music for running, and it seems to be working for him, for his personal record for a full marathon—set in Dubai in 2010—is 3:05:26. Edited excerpts from an email interview:

Why, when and how did you start running?

I started running in my early 30s. A subconscious reason for it may have been my brother getting diabetic at a young age.

Your favourite running gear and soundtrack.

Nature and my environment provide me the best soundtrack. I don’t use shoes much, but clotheswise, I run in a singlet and shorts. Brands don’t really matter much.

Describe your training regimen.

It typically involves five or six days of running a week, almost exclusively in the morning. I try to mix it up with tempo, Interval, long runs, recovery, etc.

Why and when did you take up barefoot running? 

I took up barefoot running in 2009 purely out of curiosity when a friend told me how liberating and strong she felt running that way. I enjoyed it and felt it worked well for me. Since then, I’ve been almost exclusively running barefoot except for some long runs and races.

How did you qualify for the Boston Marathon?

I had no idea what it meant to qualify for Boston, but when I finished my first full marathon in 3 hours, 47 minutes, other runners told me that a BQ (Boston Qualification) was within my reach. I failed a few times, but made the cut in January 2009 for the first time. I have done both high-quantity and high-quality miles training with similar results, so I guess both methods work for me. The most important thing is to remain injury-free and enjoy your runs.

How much difference does it make running barefoot?

It is certainly different. It brings out your natural stride and landing, uses the feedback mechanism from your feet and possibly lets your body make automatic adjustments/corrections. I haven’t had any aches or injuries running barefoot that I used to have when running in shoes. However, it may very well be that barefoot is not the best style for you. There’s only one way to find out; try both.

Is there some personal goal that you have set for yourself?

I’d like to run a sub-3-hour marathon some day. If I can transcend the pressure of performance for races and become a complete zen runner, I’d like that.

Your tips for runners on how to make it to the Boston Marathon.

First thing is to find out what works for you. For some it’s high-volume training; for some it’s high-quality training; for some others, it doesn’t matter. Once you identify the training plan, enslave yourself to it. It’s hard work, but that’s what marathon running is anyway. For high volume, I highly recommend Pfitzinger 18/70; for high quality, either Fuhrman’s FIRST or the Hansons plan. Custom plans from Runner’s World SmartCoach are also wonderful.

Your running group, Soles of Cochin, is organizing its first marathon this year. What can we expect from it?

Soles of Cochin has a fairly large crowd running regularly, training together for marathons and longer races and achieving great things in terms of race times, physical transformations and mental toughness. We felt that it was time for us to organize a full marathon in Kochi. We have named our race the Spice Coast Marathon and identified a flat and fast course that winds through the spice market, along the happening Arabian Sea coast and to a relatively calm port area. It is scheduled for 16 November, when the weather will be nice and mild. We are expecting pretty good crowd support as the runners enter the Fort Kochi area from the relatively quiet Willingdon Island. We also plan to highlight the centuries-old landmarks in the area that bring the character and heritage of the place in focus.

 On the Run is a monthly series that profiles the most enthusiastic Indian marathon runners.

source: / Live Mint & The Wall Steet Journal / Home> Leisure / Shrenik Avlani / Monday – August 25th, 2014

Building a multi-million venture from a small town in Kerala: Corporate360 story

Corporate360 offers SaaS based Marketing Data & Analytics software for B2B marketers. Headquartered in Singapore with subsidiary offices in the US, the UK, Philippines and India, the company offers innovative marketing data & sales analytics solutions for global markets through a disruptive, low cost Data-as-a-Service model.

“The idea behind launching this was to innovate data solutions help B2B marketers identify best-fit target audience for sales & marketing campaigns,” says Varun Chandran, Founder, Corporate360.

The idea for Corporate360 was born when Varun was working for a large technology company in Singapore. He was working in a sales role where his ex-boss and a colleague initiated the idea of developing a sales intelligence and analytics data platform to help them sell better.


Varun took the lead on getting the idea off the ground and startup while the other two colleagues decided to continue with their full time jobs due to security reasons. With their encouragement, Varun bootstrapped and launched Corporate360 with a couple of hundred dollars from his bed room.

Building global venture from a small town in Kerala

Corporate360 is the first international startup in India to start operations in a tier-3 town in Kerala, employing 20 engineers thereby creating jobs in rural India. The company is also a big supporter of women empowerment campaign, 75% of the present workforce of Corporate360 is women.

The company’s Founder Varun started from a humble background. Born in a small farming village in Kerala, he was a national footballer, captained Kerala University and Youth football teams. A college dropout, he went on to work for some of the world’s largest tech companies such as SAP, Oracle, and Dell in 3 countries before  founding Corporate360.

For the first three quarters, he was a one-man company and generated $250k in revenue. He re-invested the revenue back into the business to hire and build teams in Singapore, Manila and India. “At first it was challenging to attract talent especially in Kerala, when he bought his own company building and started the operations instead of renting a space in an IT park. People were hesitant because the company was a non-funded -startup and was not very famously operating out of any technology park,” adds Varun.

Differentiators and USPs

The B2B marketplace is crowded with legacy data re-sellers. There is a huge gap of BigData innovations in this space corresponding to lack of relevancy, accuracy, analytics and data maintenance in the old fashioned model. “Companies end up spending millions of dollars repeatedly to source data sets for their marketing campaigns from expensive, generic data re-sellers. B2B marketers are increasingly looking for insight driven marketing campaigns and switching from the legacy model of generic marketing blast approach,” points out Varun.

Corporate360 solutions are designed to leverage BigData to provide insight driven campaign data and sales analytics. The company is the first in Asia to offer a SaaS based B2B marketing data platform for global markets.

It offers a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind and the most complete marketing data software suite available today. The platform covers company profile, contact intelligence, organisation charts, tech install info, competitive intelligence, predictive analytics, sales triggers & social data through a low cost Data-as-a-Service model. Corporate360 DaaS model is unique and innovative delivering high value for customers, ensuring highest level of data accuracy, ongoing data maintenance and real-time updates.

How Corporate360 works for startups?

B2B marketers and agencies use Corporate360 solutions to access insight driven campaign data such as target companies, contacts, social intelligence, competitive intelligence & sales triggers. They use our platform to retrieve actionable data to design targeted campaigns with tailored messaging.

At present, the company has 900 plus clients ranging from startups to ‘Forbes’ listed corporations. A large portion of revenue comes from international markets such as the US & Europe. Corporate360 clients include HP, Dell, Oracle, and Google etc. The company offers exclusive, low-cost data subscription plans for B2B startups to get them started on their marketing campaigns.

Corporate360 is gaining good traction in global markets with their data driven & structured knowledge discovery solutions for B2B sales and marketers.

Journey from zero to multi-million dollar venture in three years

Corporate360 grew into a multi-million dollar business within three years as a bootstrapped venture. The company is profitable with operations in 5 countries with a team size of 29 executives. Profitable from inception, the company grew from revenue (first year) of $250k to a million dollar mark in just three years, presently forecasted to cross multi-million in revenue this year.

Plans for scaling up

The company is scaling up its offerings with innovative data solutions for marketers. The company is scheduled to formally launch three new cool data applications to their SaaS platform like:

PeeP: A social profiling widget of target audience to help learn more about the background of target prospects.

DataStudio – A comprehensive data service model to refresh & maintain internal data accuracy, leverage external data sets, create predictive data modelling, run accurate sales analytics, and integrate into CRM tools.

SmartWorker – A crowdsource data platform leveraging millions of online workers to perform data tasks at any scale to deliver real-time data updates.

By 2015, the company is aiming to cover 90% of total addressable enterprise market coverage in their data platform.

Road ahead

Corporate360 is expanding with local sales offices in the US, the UK and Singapore. The company is launching new data driven products for B2B marketers and has filed for four patents. “We are also in discussions with some prominent VCs to explore capital raising to accelerate our sales and marketing expansions in global markets,” says Varun.

Acquisition on the card

Corporate360 is in final discussions with a BigData startup company from India for a potential acquisition. The total team size is expected to grow from 29 to 50 this year, primarily expanding Data Scientist teams in India and Sales team in the US.

Website : Corporate360

source: / Your Story / by Jai Vardhan / August 25th, 2014

Malayalam pallikoodam launched


The crowded registration counter at the Orthodox Student centre is a proof that old ‘aasan pallikoodam’ is still a sought after education centre.

When film director Adoor Gopalakrishnan inaugurated ‘Malayalam Pallikoodam’ on Sunday it was a different beginning for the Malayalam New Year for the city. Addressing the crowd, Adoor said that the endeavour is a privilege to the young generation at a time where the culture and traditional values are fading out. He said the project will help the kids to get know the tradition of Malayalam language through the formulated learning pattern developed by poet V Madhusoodhanan Nair.

Adoor distributed wooden slates, which were used as props for one of his films, to nine students who enrolled first as students of Malayalam Pallikoodam.

Pallikoodam offers a package of grandma stories, poems, sand writing and word puzzles to learn the language. “The registration has exceeded the calculated limit of 50 students. Now we are planning to add more batches in the project considering the demand,” said Arun Varghese, programme co- coordinator. Kids aged between 4 and 6 got enrolled at the school.

The idea of “Malayalam Pallikoodam” was put forward by prominent poet and writer Prof. V.Madhusoodhanan Nair. The poet introduced the reincarnation of “Aashan Kalari” to the audience by point outing that the kid who plays by making his own toys will develop managing ability and will start learning things by him.

The “Malayalam Pallikoodam” draws the kids in the city to experience the culture and purity of the Malayalam language through different workshops, games and poems. The kids are provided a two-hour Malayalam learning class on every Sunday which is free from home works, baggage of books, exams etc. “The young generation should know the culture of Malayalam and must be good to pronounce his or her mother tongue clearly. We are now living in a ‘Manglish’ society. Through Malayalam Pallikoodam, we wish to make our young society develop love for the mother tongue and uphold its values,” says Jessy Narayan, Convenor of the project.

Students will be taught under Kolencheri Gopalakrishnan Aasan , who used to teach students in sand writing. The classes will be on every Sunday from 10am to 12pm with fees of Rs 500 per month. It functions at Orthodox Students Centre, opposite AKG Centre.

Renowned literary scholars and poets including Perumbadavam Sreedharan, Prabha Varma, Rose Mary, artist Narayana Bhattatiri also spoke to kids on the first day of Pallikkoodam.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City / by Jisha Surya, TNN / August 18th, 2014

Manorama’s free heart surgery programme begins

Representative image
Representative image


The first medical check up camp organized by Malayala Manorama as part if its free heart surgery programme, Hridayapoorvam, for 100 needy persons began on Sunday.

The medical examination for people from districts of Thiruvananthapuram to Ernakulam is taking place at a specially arranged camp at Malayala Mnorama office premises here.

More than fifty children with heart-related ailments has already arrived for a check up organised by Malayala Manorama in association with Madras Medical Mission.

The medical camp is conducted by a team of doctors led by Dr. Ajith Mullassery, Director of cardiology department, Madras Medical Mission. Dr. K Shivakumar, head of pediatric cardiology division, Dr. V.M. Kurien, consultant, cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Sreeja Pavithran, Dr. Bharath and Dr. P. Balaji are other team members.

The check up is being conducted in a mobile diagnostic clinic (MDC) with complete diagnostic facilities.

source: / Manorama Online / Home> News> Kerala / by Manorama’s Correspondent / Sunday – August 24th, 2014