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There’s a mango in your mail. Karnataka postmen to home deliver the fruit from today




A screengrab of the KSMDMC's website for ordering mangoes. The fruit will be delivered through India Post.
A screengrab of the KSMDMC’s website for ordering mangoes. The fruit will be delivered through India Post.

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Bengaluru: Karnataka’s mango farmers got some sweet news this week — their produce will be delivered right to the doorstep of consumers through the Indian Postal Service.

The Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation (KSMDMC) has tied up with the postal service to deliver the fruit within a week of receiving the order. However, the service is limited to within the state.

According to the board, consumers can place their orders on the website and postal deliveries will begin from 17 April.

Speaking to ThePrint, KSMDMC’s managing director C.G. Nagaraj said farmers will be given a separate login on the website to check orders and what category of mangoes is in demand. They will then have to deliver the mangoes to the Central Post Office in Bengaluru. Since fruits come under essential goods, farmers are allowed to commute and transport their goods to markets.

“The delivery of orders will take place only on Tuesdays and Fridays, and a special van has been allotted by the postal department to deliver the mangoes,” Nagaraj said.

Officials said all safety precautions will be taken and deliveries will be carried out while following social distancing measures.

Following the Covid-19 outbreak, farmers faced the prospect of their produce going to waste given the nationwide lockdown, which was extended to 3 May.

Also read: Everything is rotting, say Maharashtra and Karnataka farmers as shut markets spell doom

Pricing & quality check

KSMDMC has ensured that the mangoes are priced competitively and consumers aren’t steeply charged as demand goes up.

Typically, mangoes cost upwards of Rs 200 per kg, and can go upto Rs 400 per kg, depending on the demand. However, the KSMDMC has fixed the price range between Rs 90 to Rs 170 per kg, depending on the variety. For instance, Sindhura will cost around Rs 100-110 per kg while Badami will cost between Rs 150-170 and Alphonso will cost around Rs 150-170 per kg.

“The mango season lasts three months and we hope to facilitate the farmers with innovative measures so that they don’t undergo losses. They are being constantly advised to price the mangoes such that they do not face losses and is acceptable to consumers,” said Nagaraj.

The farmers registered with the portal have been trained on how to price their produce, package it, and do a quality check. More than 20 farmers are currently enrolled with the KSMDMC.

Mangoes inside a ripening chamber | By special arrangement
Mangoes inside a ripening chamber | By special arrangement

As a part of their quality-control measures, the mangoes should be free from cancer-causing calcium carbide, which is used to quickly ripen the fruit. The board has, instead, told farmers how to naturally ripen mangoes using KSMDMC-approved ripening chambers, a process that has been accepted worldwide. These chambers are units that use natural ethylene gas to ripen fruits. This is done when fruits don’t get enough sun naturally.

Among the farmers registered with the KSMDMC is Pratap, who has 20 acres of land in Hosakote, Ramanagara district.

“I have three varieties — Totapuri, Sendhoori and Raspuri growing in more than 350 trees on my farm. We usually give produce worth Rs 20-25 lakh in bulk to retailers. This time, we have decided to enrol with KSMDMC with the hope that it would help boost sales,” he said.

Abhay Kumar, who farms mangoes and grapes in Bijapur, said the state government’s portal will help farmers like him earn during the lockdown.

“Since the Covid-19 crisis, we have been having very tough times. The mango season has just started… we are able to sell both in the markets as well as through the government website. We could have earned profits if we tried to sell during normal times, but now we are at least assured of a respectable price through the mango board,” said the farmer from Bijapur.

Apart from the postal service, KSMDMC has also begun tying up with Resident Welfare Associations in Bengaluru to allow farmers to supply directly to customers.

Till date, nearly 10 tonnes of mangoes have been delivered in Bengaluru through this direct farmer to flat process.

Also read: Karnataka bracing for spurt in Covid-19 cases by April end, a long fight ahead: Yediyurappa

Mango business

The state grows close to 12.5 lakh metric tonnes of mangoes each year across 1.8 lakh hectares in 15 districts. It is the third largest grower of mangoes after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

This year, officials from the KSMDMC expect produce to come down by almost half, and range between six to eight metric tonnes.

Nearly 100 varieties are grown across Karnataka, including Alphonso, Benishan (also called Banganapall), Badami, Mallika, Totapuri and Neelam. The first set of produce of the Sendhoori and Badami variety from Ramanagara and Kolar is ready for sale as they are harvested earlier than the other varieties. Markets in North Karnataka, which grow the other varieties, are expected to begin sales in May and June.

Also read: Gandhi cursed ‘luscious’ mangoes he once loved because he wanted to transcend sex & desire


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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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