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    Dr. Sudha Dheep, addressing the meeting of Soroptimist International. /  Photo: S. James / The Hindu

    Dr. Sudha Dheep, addressing the meeting of Soroptimist International. / Photo: S. James / The Hindu

    The city’s well known gynaecologist Dr. Sudha Dheep was elected as the fourth President of Soroptimist International (SI), Madurai, at a simple installation ceremony this week. She took over charge for the year 2014-15 from outgoing president Sukanya Jegannathan.

    The SI started by 80 women in 1921 in Oakland, is an international volunteer organisation for business and professional women working to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities across the world. The Madurai chapter is the 16th Soroptimist Club in India and the second one in Tamil Nadu after Chennai. The Indian branches of Soroptimist International are affiliated to the U.K. body and started with its headquarters in Pune 15 years ago.

    In its five years of existence, the Madurai chapter has undertaken several socially useful projects and worked on creating awareness among the city’s residents on plastic waste segregation and management, created a green space, offered scholarships to college students and worked with HIV-positive children.

    The Madurai Chapter has 28 members drawn from different professions from Madurai, Sivakasi, Dindigul and Rajapalayam. They have all joined to share their time, talents, and financial resources to enrich the communities and make a difference especially to women.

    “We are lucky to have been born in families that respect their women. Let us use this opportunity to bring about changes in the lives of women who are abused when young and negelcted when old and sick,” said Dr.Sudha in her acceptance speech.

    As vice president of the club last year, she initiated the “Good Touch Bad Touch” project in various schools. Projects are carefully chosen to address the challenges faced by individual communities and particularly women.

    Outlining her priorities in her new role, Dr.Sudha said, she would take up goals for a good cause that will transform the lives of women and girls. In the coming days, the members plan to use education as a tool for ending violence against women. They also plan to hold more awareness and screening camps for anaemia, menopause, breast and cervical cancer. “We would like to do few projects but in a big way for a greater and socially relevant impact,” said Dr.Sudha.

    The members intend to continue with more projects on good and bad touch that will educate, enable and empower women and girls besides the ones on safeguarding the environment from plastics and promoting eco-friendly disposal of waste.

    Dr.Sudha Dheep’s new team consists of A. Latha as vice president, Sabina Ali as secretary and R.Jayanthi as treasurer.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus> Society / by Soma Basu / Madurai – April 24th, 2014

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    One of the milestones with Tamil numerals found at Adhanakottai near Pudukottai./ Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    One of the milestones with Tamil numerals found at Adhanakottai near Pudukottai./ Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    A milestone carrying Tamil and Roman numerals has been found at the Koozhiyan Viduthi village near Adhanakottai on Sunday.

    A group of teachers from the Government High School in Gandarvakottai found the milestone and have informed the revenue authorities of Pudukottai.

    The milestone gives the distance between Pudukottai and Adhanakottai as six miles in Tamil and Roman numerals. “This indicates that that the residents of the area, till a century ago, were fully aware of the Tamil numerals,” says A. Manikandan, one of the teachers who is also the district vice-president of Tamil Nadu Science Forum.

    A Tamil scholar S. A rumugam, who coordinated the study, said that another milestone being preserved at the museum at the Thanjavur Palace referred to the distance up to Adhanakottai and Thanjavur in Tamil and Arab numerals.

    Sangam era

    M. Muthukumar and B. Rameshkumar, both teachers, said the ancient Sangam era was best noted for the use of Tamil numerals.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Tiruchirapalli / by M. Balaganessin / Pudokottai – April 21st, 2014

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    Mahendran (left) and Sivakumar, demonstrate their weaving skills. / Photo: Nahla Nainar / The Hindu

    Mahendran (left) and Sivakumar, demonstrate their weaving skills. / Photo: Nahla Nainar / The Hindu

    The tragedy is that nobody wants to follow us in this trade. We spend around Rs. 50 on the wire, but our labour is getting costlier because it is so hard to find skilled workers

    I am Sivakumar, and this is Mahendran, my close friend and guru who taught me how to weave seats for chairs. Mahendran, who is like an elder brother to me, has been weaving for the past 40 years. His father was also a weaver.

    We normally use nylon wire from Maharashtra for weaving. It’s costlier than locally produced wire, but of better quality. We have to buy the wire by weight and the quantity varies according to the order. You get almost all the colours except for pink, gold and brown, which are no longer in production.

    Repairing or weaving a new seat costs Rs. 150. This is much cheaper than reupholstering a sofa, which could start at around Rs. 5,000.

    In a day, we can weave up to 4 seats, but that’s not enough to make a living. So I drive an auto-rickshaw in my spare time.

    This skill is easy to pick up; I learned it from Mahendran just by observing him. There are no tools, but your hands get calloused due to yanking the sharp-edged wires for a tighter fit. There are just four basic steps and you have to create a strong mesh that can seat anyone comfortably on the chair.

    A woven chair can last up anywhere between two to 10 years, but of late we are seeing new furniture being brought for repair frequently. Before, people used to have real teakwood chairs that had in-built frames for the wire mesh; now it’s all cheap country wood with removable seats.

    Middle-class families with old furniture are our regular customers. As most of the offices these days are air-conditioned, they have shifted to cushioned chairs. But we can still find woven seats in government offices and educational institutions. A mass order from these places can make us a neat profit.

    The tragedy is that nobody wants to follow us in this trade. We spend around Rs. 50 on the wire, but our labour is getting costlier because it is so hard to find skilled workers.

    We cannot afford to rent a place of our own – so we work on the pavement outside Mahendran’s house. It’s a little noisy, but what can we do?

    It’s a difficult way to make a living. Even blind workers, who used to traditionally be employed in this sector, have shifted over to selling agarbattis (incense sticks) because it is more lucrative.

    (A fortnightly column on men and women who make Tiruchi what it is)

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus> Society / by Nahla Nainar / January 03rd, 2014

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    OotyKF28apr2014

    Governor-General William Bentinck’s trip to Bangalore, Mysore and Ooty in 1834 when he coordinated the attack on the ‘problematic’ raja of Coorg, Chikka Veerarajendra is well-documented in the book titled ‘Ootacamund-A History’, written by Sir Frederick Price in 1908.
    Chikka Veerarajendra and the East India Company were at loggerheads since 1830.Governor General William Bentinck who was more interested in reforming India than in annexing new territories, had to deal with the Raja of Coorg who had dared the British by keeping in custody one of their emissaries, Kullapalli Karunakaran Menon.
     
    A long sojourn
    Lord William Bentinck set out from Calcutta on 3 February 1834, on board the Curacoa to Madras.He wanted a first-hand assessment of the situation in Coorg and for this purpose, the commander-in-chief Sir Robert O’Callaghan was in attendance.
    The Governor General also had to deal with administrative issues concerning Mysore. The reason for him to visit Ooty for an extended stay was to improve his rather poor health.
    Bentinck reached Madras on 15 February 1834 and set out for Bangalore via Vellore.
    In Bangalore ,strategies on Coorg were finalised in consultations with Sir Robert O’Callaghan.
    Lord Bentinck halted in Mysore and was put up at the precursor to Rajendra Vilas Palace atop Chamundi Hill, which was originally built by Robert H Cole, the earlier British resident at Mysore.
    Bentinck set out for Ooty via Gundlepet, and it was while they were travelling on 15 March 1834, that war was declared on Coorg.
    Lord Bentinck’s entourage reached Ooty on 22 March. At Ooty, the only suitable accommodation for the staff of the Governor-General and that of the Commander-in-Chief was “Sir William Rambold’s Large House”, which was a grand hotel built in 1832 by an influential British entrepreneur named William Rambold.However, Rambold soon ran into financial difficulties. The hotel was rented frequently by senior officers of the East India Company.It was in 1842 that Rambold’s Large House became the Ootacamund Club, or the Ooty Club.
    During Lord Bentinck’s sojourn in Ooty, Lord Babington Macaulay arrived at the hill station on 25 June, 1834.
    The Governor-General and Macaulay met each other for the first time at Rambold’s Large House.
    Macaulay chose a small cottage nearby where he lived for several months to write the Indian Penal Code.
    Governor-General Bentinck stayed in Ooty till end of September 1834.On his return journey, he again passed through Mysore and reached Bangalore on 9 October.
    He sailed aboard the Curacao on 26 October from Madras and reached Calcutta on 14 November 1834.
    Wild rumours
    There are also records of Lord Dalhousie’s sojourn in Ooty from 7 March 1855 to 29 October 1855.
    Dalhousie’s visit was primarily for health reasons. However, he was not too comfortable in Ooty and soon shifted to Kotagiri.
    During Dalhousie’s stay in Nilgiris, one of his ADCs took permission to visit Coorg, where his brother was a coffee planter.
    It was in 1852, that Dalhousie reluctantly gave permission to the Raja of Coorg to travel to England along with his daughter Gowramma.
    The Aide-de-camp (ADC), on his return, narrated an amusing incident to his boss. Coorg being a rather remote province, news from the outside world took time to percolate.
    Very often, wild rumours floated amongst the small but growing community of British planters.   One such rumour was that the British and their allies had lost the Crimean War and that Queen Victoria and her family had fled to India!
    However, Dalhousie who had a temporary telegraph line installed at Nilgiris had already received the news that the British and their allies had taken Sevastopol from the Russians.
    On his journey back to Calcutta, Dalhousie stopped in Bangalore during early November 1855, and was the guest of Sir Mark Cubbon. Dalhousie narrated the Coorg rumour to the British officers and after inspecting the troops, he formally announced the fall of Sevastopol.
    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> Spectrum / by CP Belliappa / April 2014 (28th)
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    April 28th, 2014adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    Balasaraswathi / by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    Balasaraswathi / by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    Padams in Tamil stand on their own merit, with their pristine music and emotion-packed lyrics.

    The venerable nagaswaram vidwan Sembanarkoil Vaidyanathan ascended the stage to accept the honour that was being bestowed on him. None expected what followed. He sang the Atana padam ‘Chumma Chumma Varuma Sukham’ by Ghanam Krishna Iyer and swept the audience off their feet.

    Sembanarkoil Vaidyanathan / by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    Sembanarkoil Vaidyanathan / by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    How could any dancer resist the magic of such padams? Or a musician, for that matter? Wistfully, I remembered the other delectable padam in Atana, ‘Tiruvotriyur Thyagarajan,’ often rendered by K.V. Narayanaswamy. He never failed to include Tamil padams in his concerts. Sanjay Subrahmanyan often electrifies his performance with one or two Tamil padams which he resurrects. The Begada padam ‘Yarukkagilum bhayama’ was a masterpiece of the legendary Balasaraswathi. While the musicians bring to the fore the weighty classicism of the music, the dancers bring alive the myriad emotions of the lyrics as well as the contours of the music.

    Sure enough, the padam makes the most challenging demands on an artist. “Padam paada padam varanum” (To sing a padam, one needs to be mature and mellow) is a pun quoted by teachers of yore. The dictum would apply to the dancer as well. A major hurdle for dancers today is the paucity of musicians who have a wide repertoire of padams. In earlier times, there were musicians who were exclusive padam singers for the second half of the concert. Jayamma’s padam rendition for her daughter Bala is legendary. The spiralling cost of an orchestra today would make two singers for a concert an unaffordable luxury.

    The padam is an awe-inspiring entity and has to be approached with due respect. The learning and perfecting is a process that can stretch over weeks or months, to get every gamaka, anuswara and breath right. If the musician has to go through such travails, the dancer needs to invest more time to learn and absorb it. Even if artists are prepared to learn and perfect padams, whether they would have the audience is a moot question.

    The padam is understood to be of a ponderously slow gait. The pada varnams are said to have taken the adjective ‘pada’ to denote leisurely gait. While there are a good number of padams in Tamil that are slow paced, majority of them are medium paced or have madhyama kala gait.

    The Tamil padams composed in the latter half of the 18 and the 19 centuries, broadly fall into two categories, bhakti and sringaraSome of the bhakti-oriented padams don the garb of sringara in the madhura bhakti mode. Muthu Thandavar’s ‘Theruvil Vaarano’ is a classic of this genre. By addressing a God, some of the sringara padams make pretence of madhura bhakthi. Kavi Kunjara Bharathi’s enchanting compositions such as ‘Varattum Swami Varattum’ on Muruga fall into this category.

    Both varieties, for all purposes, can be taken for secular padams depicting day to day situations and emotions. They are monologues with catchy refrains as their pallavi. In a milieu where artists jostled in the court and vied with one another to catch the attention of a patron, these compositions had an edge over poetry that was recited and sung. The padams could be performed in dance, far more vividly than recitation or music.

    Male domain

    To find himself described as the cynosure of the maidens of the land, would flatter the male ego no doubt. It is to be remembered that this was an exclusively male domain and the songs were composed by the males, for the males and of the females. Many of the padams indulge in description of the female anatomy and were perhaps not meant for the general public. The lyrics are conversational, colloquial, ungrammatic and have a liberal sprinkling of words and phrases that are region specific and dialect oriented. The reader is flummoxed by indecipherable words such as pathakku, alavaadi, koetti, idumbu, tholi etc., that may be obsolete or an error of the scribes. It is to be remembered that these songs were passed down through learning by the ear with no published lyrics to follow. It is possible that the singer or the listener or both were not well versed in poetry and merely repeated what they assumed to have heard.

    The venerated scholar Dr.U.V Swaminatha Iyer , who has published the biographies of Ghanam Krishna Iyer, Goplakrishna Bharathi and Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan , along with some of their songs under the in his foreword to ‘Sangeetha Mummanigal’, says, “ Most keerthanams in Tamil do not adhere to the grammar of poetry. The involvement of several experts in music stops with the music and their knowledge of poetry is limited. Musicians who are composers have not gone beyond keeping to the rules of rhyme in their compositions. Only a few have a sound poetic knowledge and have composed songs that are like golden flowers with fragrance.” He concedes that he could not totally ignore the songs in spite of their lack of poetic and literary merit, because “the manner in which they were tuned was acclaimed as the authoritative norm in music.”

    A revisiting of the padams from the perspective of dance offers a rich and varied field for exploration through abhinaya. A survey of the heroines proves that “Here’s God’s plenty.” Bhanudatta’s Rasamanjari describes more than a thousand types of heroines.It is unlikely that many of the composers of the padams were aware of the treatise or the classifications. They wrote from real life around them and picked up words and phrases in common parlance, mainly among the women of their times. Hence a nayika fretting over the tardiness or infidelity of her nayaka could be a parallel to a maiden today lamenting over her lover’s behaviour. The spokesperson of a sringara padam could be a maiden, a matron, a mother chiding the errant daughter, a friend advising the nayika, concubines bickering about each other and so on. Human nature has no boundaries of time or space. Therein lies the appeal of the padams to an audience today in any part of the globe. And the music which is most felicitously and inseparably entwined with the words, enhances the haunting mood of the lyrics and emotions. These reiterate that Bharatanatyam is the visual form of Carnatic music and elevate the dance into Drsya Kavyam (visual poetry).

    While it is fairly obvious that the padams must have been inspired by day to day occurrences and observations, not much is known about the context in which they were composed. Wherever information is available, it is a piece of jigsaw puzzle of the social life of the times.

    Coming back to ‘Chumma Chumma varuma sukham’ (Will happiness occur on its own / will happiness occur repeatedly), the song oscillates between good humoured advice of a heroine’s confidante and a hint at madhura bhakti. The unevenness in the tone is explained when one learns the context in which it was composed. Ghanam Krishna Iyer was a unique musician hailed for his expertise in the Ghanam mode of singing. It called for rigorous training and vocal prowess. Once when he visited Tyagaraja in Thiruvaiyaru, the latter’s disciples were singing his kriti E papamu jesithira in Atana ragam. Krishna Iyer took up the pallavi to expound the ragam and elaborate on the line. When Tyagaraja requested him to sing one of his own compositions Krishna Iyer sang the impromptu pallavi line Chumma Chumma varuma sukham in the same ragam and elaborated on it. After his return to his home village he was entreated by his admirers to complete the pallavi with anupallavi and charanam lines and he composed them.

    Regardless of the hows, whys and wherefores of their creation, the Tamil Padams stand on their own merit, with their pristine music and emotion packed lyrics. For those who clamour today for secular themes in dance, here is a gold mine.

    Tyagaraja’s request

    Sujatha Vijayaraghavan presents a lecture on padams and javalis titled ‘Chumma Chumma Varuma Sukham’ (Will happiness occur on its own?/ Will happiness occur repeatedly?), on April 20.

    The song itself oscillates between good humoured-advice of a heroine’s confidante and a hint at madhura bhakti. The unevenness in the tone is explained when one learns the context in which it was composed. Ghanam Krishna Iyer visited Tyagaraja in Thiruvaiyaru once. The latter’s disciples were singing his kriti ‘Ee Papamu Jesithira’ in Atana. Krishna Iyer took up the pallavi to expound the raga and elaborate on the line. When Tyagaraja requested him to sing one of his own compositions, Krishna Iyer sang ‘Chumma Chumma Varuma Sukham’ in the same ragam and elaborated on it. After his return to his home village, he was entreated by his admirers to complete the pallavi with anupallavi and charanam lines and he composed them.

    Natyarangam schedule

    Venue: Narada Gana Sabha, TTK Road

    April 19, 6 p.m.: Bharatanatyam by Ishwarya Ananth (Disciple of Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy); 7.30 p.m.: Madhumita Sriram (Disciple of A. Lakshman)

    April 20, 6 p.m.: “Chumma Chumma Varuma Sukham,” a lec-dem on Javalis and Tamil Padams by Sujatha Vijayaraghavan. Music by Geetha Raja; Dance by Radhika Vairavelavan and Saranya Nambhi.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> Friday Review> Music / by Sujatha Vijayaraghavan / Chennai – April 27th, 2014

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    The ramparts where dreamyeyed soldiers once sat and penned letters to their loved ones back home has become a feasting ground for crows fighting over leftovers. The crash of the waves is now drowned by the drone of traffic. The alleys once graced by the swish of silk gowns are now the turf of veshti-clad politicians and sober military men.

    Recollections may differ, but most agree that walking within Fort St George often feels like turning to a new chapter in a history text book.

    “There are buildings dating back to the 17th century and the more recent ones from the 1950s. All of them have a story,” said K R A Narasaiah, an ex-Navy personnel who stayed in the fort in 1959. Narasaiah, who is also a history enthusiast, recalls spending his nights in a big airy room, just north of the fort museum. “Life wasn’t easy as the water was salty and the mess food horrible. But I used to look forward to my evening walk. There was this eerie and exciting feeling while watching the silhouette of these historic buildings at dusk,” he said.

    Stories abound in Fort St George, which now serves as one of the administrative headquarters for the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu and houses a garrison of troops. Built in 1644 on a piece of land purchased by the East India Company from a Vijayanagar chieftain named Damerla Chennappa Nayaka, the fort (referred to as White Town) faced the sea and was a hub of merchant activity. Historians say modern-day Madras evolved from the villages that surrounded the fort, which was more than an epicentre for trade.

    “With six metre high walls, the fort also withstood a number of assaults in the 18th century,” said Vakula Varadarajan, who conducts heritage walks.

    Relics in the 18th century fort museum, which once housed Madras Bank, are vestiges of this history. Noted officers from the colonial period stoically look out of framed paintings that adorn the walls, mammoth chests that once ferried goods across the ocean lie sealed and coins that changed numerous hands lie behind glass cases.

    “But, it is St Mary’s church that encapsulates the real history of the fort,” said Varadarajan. Built between 1678 and 1680, it is the oldest Anglican church in India. “The church teems with stories that lie interred in the tombstones or entered in the wedding and birth registers,” he said. Other buildings of importance are Admiralty House, where Clive once stayed, Old Government House and Banqueting Hall (now Rajaji Hall), grand arsenal and King’s Barracks.

    However, like most heritage monuments in the city, the signs of decay are clear. Quite a few buildings within the fort’s precincts are a picture of neglect. But what ASI officials are more concerned about is the renovation of the more recent Namakkal Kavignar Maaligai close to St Mary’s church. “The state government asked us for permission to undertake repair works, but there are obvious signs that they are deviating. Construction work so close to protected structures will take a toll on them,” said an ASI official.

    A member of the Heritage Conservation Committee under the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority said the renovation work was meeting all the norms. “The structure needed serious repairs and was posing a risk to the public. The project went through various committees before it got the go-ahead. Yes, safety of the heritage structures close by is a concern, but we’ll also have to keep public safety in mind,” said a member.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com /  The Times of India / Home> City> Chennai / by Ekatha Ann John, TNN / April 18th, 2014

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    Tailor P. Murali Raj makes jeans for both men and women and for all age groups / . Photo: T. Saravanan / The Hindu

    Tailor P. Murali Raj makes jeans for both men and women and for all age groups / . Photo: T. Saravanan / The Hindu

    At a time when people thought jeans could only be bought readymade, I had different ideas. I sourced cotton and denim from Mumbai and Coimbatore and tailored them according to my customers’ tastes. Readymades do not always fit all people. Some need alteration. But when customers come to me I have the cloth and I can tailor the trousers to their exact measurement.

    My father V. Periasamy set up this exclusive outlet three decades ago, when he came here from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). My brother P. Ravichandran and I manage the shop today. I regularly update myself to combat stiff competition from bigger players. I study the market every fortnight. Now, I tailor popular designs such as pencil fit, boot cut as well as denim shirts. Generally readymade jeans have round cut pockets which some customers find awkward. So I introduced cross pockets and they instantly became a big hit. It encouraged me to experiment further and now I also tailor cargo-style pants.

    I make jeans for both men and women and for all age groups. I start my day by nine in the morning and wind up at 9.30 in the night. On Sundays I work till 2 p.m. During festivals I have a flexible schedule. I charge Rs.650 for a pair of trousers. Initially, we found it difficult to convince people to come to us as they were after branded jeans. But today, I tailor anything between 30 to 40 jeans every day.

    (A fortnightly column on men and women who make Madurai what it is)

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus> Society / as told to T. Saravanan / Madurai – April 16th, 2014

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    TrichyCF27apr2014

    A private donor has sponsored the bakery unit at Tiruchi Central Prison

    Micro industrial activity in the Special Prison for Women here has diversified with the commissioning of a bakery unit inside the sprawling jail.

    Machinery required for manufacturing certain bakery items have been supplied by a private donor to enable women prisoners take up production.

    A group of six women convicts have been engaged in the manufacture of sweet and salt biscuits, vegetable, and egg puffs in the bakery unit to start with.

    Prior to venturing into the new activity, the handpicked convicts — all aged below 40 — were trained for 15 days in making a range of bakery items by a faculty member from the Tamil Nadu State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Thuvakudi.

    The training was imparted to the select women prisoners through the Rural Self Employment Training Institute of the Indian Overseas Bank.

    The manufactured bakery items were supplied to the prison bazaars in Tiruchi, Madurai and Palayamkottai for sale, prison authorities said. The raw material required for the manufacture of bakery items was being procured by the Prisons Department.

    Jail officials said plans were afoot to make bread, bun, and cup cake in due course at the bakery unit. Wages would be paid to the convicts engaged in the bakery unit and deposited in the prisoners’ cash property account.

    Officials said prisoners were involved in making pickles and garments. Pickles manufacture commenced about three months ago and were supplied to the prison bazaars at Madurai, Palayamkottai, Puzhal in Chennai, and Tiruchi.

    The garment unit in the prison, accommodating over 125 prisoners, makes nightwear. Plans were afoot to start a prison bazaar near the Special Prison for Women here soon, say officials.

    The objective of starting these micro-level industrial activities was to keep the prisoners especially convicts serving long terms engaged in some productive vocation which would earn them wages and keep them occupied without giving room for negative thoughts, said an official.

    Besides Tiruchi, Special Prison for Women is also situated at Vellore and Puzhal.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Tiruchirapalli / R. Rajaram / Tiruchi – April 16th, 2014

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    Chennai :

    The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras will honour a science writer, an edupreneur, academics and industry leaders with the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

    Lalgudi V Ramanathan, head, Energy and Nuclear Research Institute in Brazil; Krishnan Raghavachari, professor of theoretical chemistry, Indiana University, US; Tirumalai S Sudarshan, president and CEO, Materials Modification Inc, the US; Venkatraman Sadanand, associate professor of neurosurgery, Lomo Linda University Medical Center, US; Raju Venkatraman, founder, MD & CEO, Medall Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, Chennai; Ananth Agarwal, professor of electrical engineering, MIT, and president, edX, the US, are on the list of awardees.

    Science writer and author of ‘The Edge of Physics’ Anil Ananthaswamy; Ramesh Govindan, professor in the department of computer science, University of Southern California; Kannan Lakshminarayan, founder and managing trustee, Fractal Foundation, Chennai; and Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president, Search Advertising, Google Inc, the US, will also be honoured.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Chennai / TNN / April 17th, 2014

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    ArtsCF27apr2014

    If art exhibitions were  all about sensitive eyes and visual treats, the art exhibition put up by the students of Stella Maris College at the Lalit Kala Akademi recently would have you racking your brains for newer definitions. From aromatic rooms to magnetic attachable plaster of Paris lips and video installations, the art exhibition was hardly an acrylic and oil affair.

    The art installation of Eun Young featured diverse subjects such as piping hot samosas before a gigantic photograph of men sitting before a food stall on the Marina beach.

    Madhini, another student who had put up her exhibition, had a set of paintings with the recurring motif of lips. Along with a few of her paintings were magnetic lips, which could be detached from the paintings and replaced by the viewers according to their choice on the painting. The artist had tried to bring out her experience with stammering and the silence that people with it have to put up with.

    Taking it to the personal level, some had paraphernalia such as childhood photographs and gifts from friends incorporated with the art work to showcase their experience. Christima Shaju, herself a myopic, in her painting All that We See had used a canvas with Braille dots and others with blurred and darkened images to bring out the perceptions of people with different kinds of disabilities of the eye.

    “Students today are much more open to experimenting, in terms of technique and the plurality of approach. Things like installations, which are very new to the international and even more to the Indian art scene have already caught on in a big way,” said Lakshmi Priya, assistant professor, Department of Fine Arts at Stella Maris College.

    Meanwhile, a large part of the exhibition was centered around life in Chennai, Carnatic music and classical and folk dances to autorickshaws.

    Nature, spirituality, identity and deprivation were some of the other major themes at the exhibition.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Express News Service – Chennai / April 17th, 2014

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