September 15, 2012

Living in Bengaluru

You are new to the city.

And you want to get the issues at the RTO fixed, connect with the local tax authority, get your gas connection done and find ways to save water or negotiate the city's roads.

Can some one or some place help you do this and more?

It is a question that my friends at Oorvani Media in Bangalore asked themselves.

Last month, they launched 'Living in Bengaluru' and if all goes well, the publishers will look to run a second edition.

Written by the Oorvani team of writers and freelancers, the book is a handy guide - from property and local tax matters, to voting and voter ID cards, from management of apartment complexes and residential associations to tips on security and outdoor activities, this book has been welcomed by a cross section of people who address Bangalore's civic and community issues.

T. V. Mohandas Pai says that 'for the first time, citizenship has been made the centerpiece and focus in a publication.'

Catching up at a food court in Bangalore's sprawling Jayanagar neighbourhood, Oorvani's Subramaniam Vincent tells me that the positive response to this book is inspiring him and his colleague K. Meera to consider similar publications in the future.

Subbu is an old friend who, on resettling in Bangalore after studying and working in the USA chose to take to community journalism. Subbu and Ashwin Mahesh have done a great job in running India Together, a unique online civic journalism web site.

In Bangalore, Subbu launched 'Citizen Matters' as a print and online journalism venture and got communities to engage with local issues.

Now, they are moving into hosting local events like kitchen gardening and managing waste workshops.

"Living in Bangalore' will be a useful guide for lots of people who have made this city their home in recent years.

And 'Living in Chennai' must be thought of in our city.

Our Mayor, Saidai Duraiswamy has been asking his officers in the Corporation's newly-added zones to put up public information boards. Good.

Now if Duraiswamy can join hands with Rotary Clubs to publish 'Living in Chennai', it will be a useful venture.

Our friends at Oorvani in Bangalore will be happy and can be of help.

If you need the Bangalore book it is selling at Flipkart at Rs.89.

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