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    December 31st, 2013adminBusiness & Economy

    Now, there is a forum for Dalit entrepreneurs, locally! The Tamil Nadu chapter of Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) +was launched in the city recently.

    Tamil Nadu Minister for Industries P Thangamani inaugurated the forum in the presence of Chennai Mayor Saidai S Duraisamy and other dignitaries.

    The forum’s motto is ‘Be job givers and not job seekers!’ Speaking on the occasion, Milind Kamble, national chairman, DICCI said that Tamil Nadu had the largest number of Scheduled Caste entrepreneurs in the country.

    DICCI, which is providing connectivity among Scheduled Caste entrepreneurs, also takes up various activities like funding business through Venture Capitals, he added.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Express News Service – Chennai / December 23rd, 2013

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    December 31st, 2013adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Sports


    In the film, Alisha is paired with Vietnamese actor Johnny Tri Nguyen, who had debuted with Tamil film "7am Arivu". (Publicity Material)

    In the film, Alisha is paired with Vietnamese actor Johnny Tri Nguyen, who had debuted with Tamil film “7am Arivu”. (Publicity Material)

    Alisha Abdullah is set to make her cinematic debut with upcoming Tamil thriller “Irumbu Kuthirai”, which will portray her in the role that’s true to her real life persona – a bike racer.

    A Promotional Poster of the film, 'Irumbu Kuthirai'. (Publicity Material)

    A Promotional Poster of the film, ‘Irumbu Kuthirai’. (Publicity Material)

    “The film is about two biker groups with a passion for racing. We thought it would be ideal to have a real racer as part of the story. I was told Alisha had turned down several film offers in the past, but I still approached her and she happened to love her role, which is of a racer,” director Yuvaraj Bose told IANS.

    “She instantly agreed to do the role. I think she will fit the bill because she just has to be herself in the film,” he added.

    In the film, Alisha is paired with Vietnamese actor Johnny Tri Nguyen, who had debuted with Tamil film “7am Arivu”.

    The film also features Atharva Murali, Priya Anand and Lakshmi Rai in important roles.

    Alisha, who started driving at the age of 9, won her first championship title when she was 13 years old. She is also a popular Indian car racer and has participated in several national championships.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Entertainment> Tamil / by IANS – Chennai / December 31st, 2013

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    December 30th, 2013adminGreen Initiatives/ Environment, Nature
    There will be 150 anti-poaching watchers for STR: 90 for Sathy division and the rest for Hasanur Division./ File Photo / The Hindu

    There will be 150 anti-poaching watchers for STR: 90 for Sathy division and the rest for Hasanur Division./ File Photo / The Hindu

    With the newly-created Hasanur Forest Division taking formal shape, the department is able to plan effective monitoring in the cross-border areas of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) with relative ease, according to officials.

    The department is in a position to bolster manpower by inducting more anti-poaching watchers chosen from among locals in the forest area with innate knowledge of the terrain. There will be 150 anti-poaching watchers for STR: 90 for Sathy division and the rest for Hasanur Division.

    Camps for anti-poaching watchers with monitoring equipment would be established in cross-border areas to prevent movement of poachers. Patrolling by anti-poaching watchers in areas specified to each individual could be read with GPS technology, Conservator of Forests and Field Director, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, I. Anwardin, said.

    The divisional and range level officers would be able to address ground-level issues more effectively, he said.

    The new division was carved out of the Sathyamangalam Forest Division that had jurisdiction over 1.4 lakh hectares of forest area. More attention could henceforth be provided to Thengumarada landscape, said Mr. Anwardin. Sathyamangalam forest division was the largest in Tamil Nadu before bifurcation was effected. Alongside the ranges of Hasanur, Thalavadi and Germalam altogether spread over about 50,000 hectares, the Hasanur Division has eco-development and Forest Squad ranges as well. The rest of the forest area comes under four ranges of Sathyamangalam Division including Bhavani Sagar and T.N. Palayam ranges. Rangers of territorial ranges can hereafter focus exclusively on the main task of tiger conservation, and preventing cross-border movement of poachers, Deputy Director of STR P. Pari said.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Madurai / by R Krishnamoorthy / Erode – December 16th, 2013

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    December 28th, 2013adminArts, Culture & Entertainment


    Christmas may be just around the corner for most in the city who are easing into the holiday mood. But a section of the city’s Anglo Indian community have already had a four-month long X’mas – given the loads of prep behind their recently released festive album. “My family thought it was pretty weird…me listening to carols in August,” laughs Darren Netto, the lead guitarist.  He  goes on, “But we had to go through tons of carol renditions on the web, before we chose what we were going to put on the album.”

    Incidentally, Kul Kuls and Rose Cookies is in its second volume, the first was released in 2011. Darren explains, “We took that break in between to reach out to more veteran Anglo musicians, so this time – everything is bigger.” And he isn’t kidding. With 30 musicians (come of whom have been singing for 30 years) who collaborated on the project, the results are a grander orchestration, huge voices and big guitars.

    Testament to their big sound is a video of Merry Christmas (Christ is Here) that released online just yesterday. “It was a song sung by John Lennon after the war in Vietnam,” says Orlando Ambrose, who produced the project. “And not many people have heard of it here, but it’s actually one of the most covered Christmas songs by artistes like Maroon 5 and Christina Perry on YouTube,” he adds.With a total of 15 singers on the song, this one is a must watch out for any carol bug this X’mas season. In fact, we’re told that given the huge line-up of voices and multiple harmonies, the vocals alone for this one song took three whole days to record in the studio!

    There are also plenty of Christmas favourites of course – both classic and contemporary. You can expect tunes like Mary’s Boy Child and Silver Bells alongside a more present day Rockin’ Around the Chritsmas Tree and Please Come Home for Christmas on the song list. Music enthusiasts can look forward to a couple of originals on the album as well, from city-based bands Blues Conscience and Second Coming. With a little bit of country, a touch of the blues and a liberal dose of rock ‘n’ roll – we’re not surprised that this Christmas album has an electric guitar with a Santa hat on its cover!

    Kul Kuls and Rose Cookies, An Anglo Indian Christmas Album is priced at `160. Copies are available at Bob’s Fashions, Perambur or you can contact 9789097530 for details.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Sonali Shenoy – Chennai / December 19th, 2013

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    Differently abled children at a day care centre in Perambalur district./ by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    Differently abled children at a day care centre in Perambalur district./ by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    Autorickshaws employed for bringing kids to day care centres

    The district has registered a rare achievement in the care of differently abled, with “zero home-based differently abled child” in the district. All the 467 differently abled children in the age group of 0 to 18 suffering from multiple disabilities have been attached to the 10 day care centres run under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).

    It was the initiative taken by the district administration with the active participation of the SSA, Pudu Vaazhvu Thittam and the department of differently abled welfare that saw the new horizon in the form of creation of adequate day care centres.

    Till a couple of years ago, the district accounted for only four day care centres – one in each block. District Collector Darez Ahamed, a qualified doctor, realising the importance of adequate facilities for the rehabilitation of youth with disabilities, got six more day care centres under the SSA. He allocated Rs. 3.35 lakh for each centre from the Collector’s discretionary funds for improving the infrastructure, besides procuring physiotherapy-related equipment and teaching learning material.

    The differently abled children identified at the special screening camps were enrolled and attached to these day care centres and this enabled them get the benefits extended by the government.

    In the absence of adequate day care centres, many children with disabilities remained indoors for years and the rehabilitation initiative of the government did not reach them because of the distance involved, absence of adequate trained hands, and so on.

    The Collector’s initiative has brought relief to the parents of these hapless children, who undergo special education programme in the centres. Special teachers and physiotherapists had been attached to them. Till recently, one physiotherapist was in charge of two centres, but now each centre accounted for a physiotherapist. The parents could not bring their children to the centres for want of transport facilities. Now, autorickshaws have been hired for bringing these children to the day care centres every day and Rs.12,000 is earmarked for each centre for a month – Rs. 4,300 under SSA and Rs. 7,700 under Pudu Vaazhvu Thittam. The children’s performance is monitored by special teachers and their physical and behavioural patterns are monitored regularly.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Tiruchirapalli / by Syed Muthahar Saqaf / Perambalur – December 19th, 2013

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    Chennai :

    You could soon spend the day fishing at Chetput lake and relaxing on its banks. The fisheries department and the corporation are working on a plan to turn the lake in the heart of the city into a boating and fishing centre.

    People can bring their own fishing poles or rent them and park themselves on the dock for a while. “They will have to release the fish they catch back into the lake after taking a photograph. Fishing is on a CPR basis — catch, picture and release. The whole sport and thrill should be about the catch,” said a fisheries department official. “We will provide bait like small fishes, worms and caterpillars,” said the official.

    Nine months ago, the state government announced a 42-crore makeover for the lake. Though the water remains blackish after the clean-up, officials and consultants are happy with the work. “We have been asked to create an eco-friendly fishing spot-cum-sports park,” said a senior corporation official in charge of the project. “We plan to introduce boating for recreation on the eastern side of the park. Around 70% of the water will be dedicated to it,” he said.
    Until now, people from the city interested in a boating trip had to drive all the way to Muttukadu on East Coast Road or to Pulicat.

    The area surrounding the lake will have a food court with sea food, a children’s play area and park, a walking and jogging track and a multi-level parking lot for 60 cars and 100 two-wheelers.

    The government plans an angler’s dock on the Spurtank Road side of the lake. The fisheries department will start farming two omnivorous species – karimeen (etro fish) and Pangasius – for angling. “We need fish species that are carnivorous or omnivorous, so that they get attracted to the bait,” said the official.

    The lake now has three omnivorous species – tilapia, snakehead fish and catfish – of which only tilapia is easily seen. “Snakehead fish and catfish can be caught in summer when the lake’s depth reduces to seven feet,” said an employee of the department. “We need to increase their population through farming.”

    The lake spread over 42,570 sqm is home to many herbivorous varieties of freshwater fish like carp like rohu, mrigal and anabus, ornamental fish like gourami, and small fish like gambusia.
    Until now, the lake and its surrounding area, spread over 65,235 sqm hectares, were used as a dumpyard and a sewer. “After it was cleaned, we can see the greenery around the lake and the water clearly after two decades,” said Nikkita Talreja, 24, a wedding planner who lives in Chetpet. “Earlier, swarms of mosquitoes would descend on the area every evening because of the filthy lake.”

    Though tenders for the project are to be floated within a fortnight, officials admit they have a challenge on their hands to improve the quality of water. “Before we start planting fish seeds, which are baby fish bought from the hatcheries, we should try oxygenating the water a little more,” said another fisheries department official. “We should make the soil and water a little more organic. We should also aerate the water through fountains to keep it circling and prevent stagnation,” she said.

    The water in the lake stagnates and smells because it has no outlet. “The corporation has promised to construct stormwater drains leading in and out of the lake,” said the official. A compound wall is to be constructed where the lake borders Chetpet slum and Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital to prevent dumping of garbage and hospital waste. “They are the main culprits behind the pollution. An eco-friendly area can be achieved only if garbage dumping stops,” added the official.

    source: / The Economic Times / ET Home> Environment> Flora & Fauna / by Pratiksha Ramkumar, TNN / December 19th, 2013

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    December 26th, 2013adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    Around 40 dancers performed with several celebrities, attracting a crowd./  Photo: N. Sridharan / The Hindu

    Around 40 dancers performed with several celebrities, attracting a crowd./ Photo: N. Sridharan / The Hindu

    Organisers of Chennai International Film Festival performed to popularise event among residents

    In a move to popularise the ongoing Chennai International Film Festival in the city, its organisers conducted a Zumba dance event at Besant Nagar beach early on Sunday morning.

    The event was launched by S. Lakshmi, DCP (traffic, south) Chennai. This is the second event, after a flash mob at Express Avenue mall five days ago, which saw CIFF organisers reach out to residents to popularise the event.

    The sound of foot-tapping music and a milling crowd of dancers wearing pink T-shirts in the centre of the beach attracted a lot of beach regulars including joggers, amateur footballers and Frisbee players, to the Latin American dance form increasingly used in fitness programmes.

    Around 40 Zumba dancers performed with several celebrities, and took turns to show off their moves. Senthil Kumaran, who choreographed both the flash mob at Express Avenue and the Zumba event, said the intention was to present a variety of dance forms from around the world.

    “The film festival is a place where one can see a large number of films from different countries and cultures. Similarly, the idea was to showcase different styles such as Russian folk dance, Merengue, Bachata and Calypso within the Zumba routine.” He was surprised at the enthusiastic participation of the crowd, he said. which is often labelled as conservative.

    The crowd also got to witness well-known Bharathanatyam danseuse Anita Ratnam combine traditional Bharathanatyam with Zumba dance moves. Admitting that it was ‘liberating’ to not have to worry about postures and gestures on stage for once, Ms. Ratnam said she hoped CIFF created a space for movies that are not star-driven.

    “It is about giving the audience a chance to choose. We have a thriving but mono-film culture. We must strive to build an alternative cinema culture,” she said.

    Those who performed included actors Ashok Kumar, Shantanu Bhagyaraj, TV anchor Ramya and actor Manu who is best remembered as the heroine of Ajith Kumar’s ‘Kadhal Mannan’.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Udhav Naig / Chennai – December 16th, 2013

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    December 25th, 2013adminGreen Initiatives/ Environment, Nature
    The Hindu Heavy rain continued for the second day on Friday in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur. / Photo: B. Velankanni Raj / The Hindu

    The Hindu Heavy rain continued for the second day on Friday in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur. / Photo: B. Velankanni Raj / The Hindu

    Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts continued to experience heavy rain for the second day on Friday.

    “We have received less than normal rainfall so far under the northeast monsoon. So, the welcome rain is good for both samba and thaladi crops,” officials said. Samba and thaladi have been raised on nearly 2.50 lakh hectares in both districts.

    Thanjavur town experienced the maximum rainfall of 42.8 mm in Thanjavur district in the last 24 hours that ended at 8 a.m. on Friday. The other chief amounts of rainfall recorded in the district are:

    Manjalaru 22.8; Papanasam 22; Neivasal Thenpathi 20.8; Tiruvaiyaru 20.4; Vallam 20; Kumbakonam 19; Tirukattupalli 18.5; Tiruvidaimaruthur 18.3; Grand Anicut 17.4; Peravurani 17.2; Budalur 14; Eachanviduthi 16.2; Kurungulam 13, Lower Anicut 12, Pattukottai 10; Adirampattinam 9.5; Madukkur 9.2; Orathanad 6.4; and Vettikadu 6.3.

    In Tiruvarur district, Kodaval received the maximum rainfall of 55.6 mm during the same period, followed by Tiruvarur 25.4; Valangaiman 25.2; Needamangalam 20; Nannilam 18.4; Tiruthuraipoondi 13.4; Pandavaiyar head 13.4; Muthupettai 11.6.

    Sirkazhi recorded the maximum rainfall of 27.2 mm in Nagapattinam district, followed by Anaikarachathiram 25.5; Tirupoondi 24.4; Nagapattinam 19.8; Mayiladuthurai 19.6; Thalaignayar 18.8; Manalmedu 15.8; Vedaranyam 9; Tarangampadi 5.

    In Perambalur district, Venbavur recorded 21 mm, Thazhuthazai 12 mm; Chettikulam 9 mm; and Padalur 7 mm.

    Karur district received a total of 222.60 mm rainfall during the same period. The chief amount of rainfall (in mm) recorded in major centres across the district are Palaviduthi 30, Mylampatti 27, Kadavur and Anaipalayam 25 each, Aravakurichi 21.6, Panjapatti 21, Thogamalai 19, K. Paramathi 12.6, Karur town 12.4, Krishnarayapuram 12, Mayanur 10 and Kulithalai 7 mm.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> National> Tamil Nadu / by Special Correspondent / Thanjavur – December 14th, 2013

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    The top portion of an ancient burial urn, believed to be from the Megalithic period (300 BC to 100 AD) has emerged from sand near Tarangamdabi in the district due to heavy rains and sea erosion, official sources said.

    The entire district has been receiving heavy rains due to consecutive depressions in the past three weeks. The sea is very rough and coastal areas are experiencing sea erosion.

    Tahsildar Azhagirisamy, who visited the spot and inspected the urn, said some fishermen noticed it emerging from the sand in a coastal burial ground at the sea front at Perumalpettai in Tarangambadi.

    He said the urn could not be unearthed immediately as the sea was rough. Also care had to be taken to unearth it without damaging its structure, he said, adding that the procedure would be completed once conditions are normal.

    He also said complete details of the urn would be known only after archaeological examination.

    It may be noted that the fertile Cauvery Delta in this district, particularly Tarangambadi, Poompuhar, Mayiladuthurai and nearby villages, are believed to have served as great centres of human settlement even during pre-historic periods.

    Pottery and urns belonging to these times, particularly the Megalithic period (300 BC to 100 AD) have been unearthed from many places in this area in the past.

    In the megalithic period, soldiers were usually buried with their belongings in the urns. Officials feel the urn might also belong to this period.

    source: / Business Standard / Home> PTI Stories> National> News / by Press Trust of India / Nagapattinam (TN) – December 14th, 2013

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    December 24th, 2013adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Education

    Trichy :

    The three-day inter-department annual cultural extravaganza of the St Joseph’s College, Trichy began on Thursday. This year, the college is celebrating the silver jubilee year of the cultural competition programme, which is titled INDEP.

    Until 1987, the cultural festival, which was conducted as Fantasia with participation from other colleges in the region, became an inter-department affair due to certain student skirmishes, said its principal Fr Andrews.

    St Joseph’s dean Selvakumar told TOI that the events were primarily aimed at building the communication skills of the students who had stage fright or inhibitions, a virtue that is largely seen as one of the prime employability skills in the job market.

    There were elocution competitions both in Tamil and English and a programme titled, “We will meet” projected an imaginary conversation between two present day politicians at the diametrically opposite political ends.

    source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Trichy> Programme / TNN / December 14th, 2013

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