Kerala government launches Subodham project to end liquor, drug abuse

Kerala government has launched Subodham, a major campaign in a bid to wean people away from addiction to liquor, drug and other substance abuse.

It was launched by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Art of Living Foundation founder Sri Sri Ravishankar.

About Subodham project

  • Subodham project aims to free one lakh people in the state each year from alcohol addiction, through systematic, comprehensive awareness campaigns.
  • It also aims to achieve the ambitious target of making the state totally alcohol free over the next 10 years.
  • The project is supported by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
  • Several non-governmental organisations (NGOs), religious leaders and other stake holders are also participating in the project.
  • Under this project, state government also has decided to introduce anti-drug and alcohol awareness content in the curriculum from the academic year 2016.

The Subodham project is envisaged by the state excise department and will be implemented by a high-level committee comprising experts from various fields.

This project is also state government’s first step towards ‘Punarjani 2030 Project’, an initiative to completely eradicate the menace of substance abuse.


Rare spiders sighted in Western Ghats

Researchers have discovered rare huntsman and jumping spider in the Western Ghats belong to the Sparassidae and Salticidae families.

They were discovered by the research team of arachnologists led by Dr. P.A. Sebastian, Director of the Division of Arachnology in Sacred Heart College, Kochi in Kerala.

Huntsman spider- It was sighted at Ponmudi, Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. These spiders are known for their speed and unique hunting mode. Sometimes they hide in the ambush and surprise the prey.

Some of these spiders make a substrate-borne sound when they detect a chemical left by a nearby female of their species.

Jumping spider- It was sighted at the Malayattoor and Bhoothathankettu reserve forest. These spiders jump from one place to another like a grasshopper.

The jumping spider was given the name Stenaelurillus albus due to the presence of a unique whitish area on the copulatory organ of the male spider.

The discovery is considered unique as only 17 species of jumping spider having mating plugs have been reported of the approximate 5,800 jumping spiders recorded.


Adoor Gopalakrishnan honoured with Bishwaratna Dr Bhupen Hazarika International Solidarity Award

Acclaimed filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan on 29 March 2015 was honoured with Bishwaratna Dr Bhupen Hazarika International Solidarity Award.

He was presented the award by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at the function held at Guwahati, Assam.

About Adoor Gopalakrishnan

  • Gopalakrishnan is regarded as one of the finest filmmakers of India.
  • As a film director, producer and script writer he had played a major role in revolutionizing Malayalam cinema.
  • Adoor’s debut film was Swayamvaram (1972) which had pioneered the new wave of cinema movement in Kerala.
  • For his contribution to film industry, he has won 16 National Film Awards, 17 Kerala State Film Awards and several international film awards.
  • Adoor is also honoured with Padma Shri (1984) and the Padma Vibhushan (2006). In 2004, he was awarded with Dadasaheb Phalke Award- highest cinema award of India.

About Bishwaratna Dr Bhupen Hazarika International Solidarity Award

  • It is a biennial award instituted in 2013 and named in the memory of the cultural doyen Dr Bhupen Hazarika.
  • The award carries a memento, citation, collection of books and cheque of 5 lakh rupees.
  • The award was instituted by the Asam Sahitya Sabha and sponsored by the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL).

The first recipient of this award was eminent research scholar and dance exponent Lubna Marium from Bangladesh.