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    (From left) Sugalchand Jain and Dr. V. Shanta of the Cancer Institute, writer Sivasankari, R. Seshasayee of Ashok Leyland and N. Ram of Kasturi and Sons Limited at the function—Photo: M. Vedhan

    (From left) Sugalchand Jain and Dr. V. Shanta of the Cancer Institute, writer Sivasankari, R. Seshasayee of Ashok Leyland and N. Ram of Kasturi and Sons Limited at the function—Photo: M. Vedhan

    On the occasion of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Cancer Institute (WIA), its chairman V. Shanta recalled the years of struggle that the team faced to ensure that the hospital functioned properly.

    Speaking at the function on Friday, she recalled the formative years of the institute, when it was difficult to find donors.

    “ Today, we have a new problem, with no space being available on either of our campuses for any development,” she said.

    The Cancer Institute (WIA), founded by Muthulakshmi Reddy in 1954 when her sister died of cancer, started out as a four-bedded hospital. Sixty years later, it is a 500-bed speciality hospital.

    N. Ram, chairman, Kasturi and Sons Ltd., said the negative portrayal of cancer in the media and culture was a problem. “In recent years, the scenario had changed a bit, but the problem continues to take a toll,” he said.

    The Diamond Jubilee Book of the Cancer Institute was released by Mr. Ram. Ram Santhanam of the TVS Group, Sivasankari, Tamil writer, N. Sugalchand Jain, chairman, Management Committee, Cancer Institute (WIA), K.R. Purushotham from the Satyanarayana Trust, N. Sankar, chairman, Sanmar Group, and A. Krishnamoorthy, chairman, The Amalgamations Group, were present.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – March 31st, 2015

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    Tuticorin :

    A five-member team, including a woman, that has been paddling their fibre kayaks for six days on the scenic Gulf of Mannar Sea completed their expedition here on Sunday, doing so with the satisfaction that they have been able to educate at least some coastal communities on the need to keep beaches free of pollution and littering.

    Jehan Driver, Arjun Motha, Rizwan Gani, John Suganth and Charmine Pereira from Quest Expeditions and Aqua Outback had set off from Kuntakal near Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district on Tuesday, flagged off by Ramanathapuram district collector, K Nandakumar. They were received here by Coastal Security Group (Marine Police). The team paddled for 49km a day and camped in some beach at night. “We stopped at coastal villages and talked with local people. We told them how important it was to keep their coastal environment clean and protect their resources for sustained living,” said Rizwan Gani. Jehan Driver, who led the team, explained that the objective of the expedition was to create awareness about the vast natural reserves Tamil Nadu has to offer and the sustainable practices that will keep it pristine. The expedition also aimed to promote Kayaking as a sport and let people know the importance of preserving the natural environment of the marine biosphere to encourage other sportsmen and sportswomen to practice and enjoy their non-motorised sports.

    “Gulf of Mannar is a marine eco-system in the country that has remained clean till now and it should be protected. We could share this message among the people we met in the coast during our paddling. We collected more information on the beaches, besides watching pristine islets to check if there are any poaching activities. We could see that marine life is still flourishing in the region and we should protect them together,” Driver said. The team also expressed their concern about untreated sewage mixing in Gulf of Mannar waters. Based on their findings, they will prepare a report which they will submit to concerned government agencies, they said. Government agencies like Indian Coast Guard and Coastal Security Group and additional director general of police, C Sylendra Babu were of great help, they said. Having succeeded in their first venture, they plan to turn this into an annual event to keep the tradition alive.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Madurai / TNN / March 30th, 2015

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    PROUD MOMENT:Thenmozhi and Sister Stella who received awards for writings in Tamil and social work.— PHOTO: A. MURALITHARAN

    PROUD MOMENT:Thenmozhi and Sister Stella who received awards for writings in Tamil and social work.— PHOTO: A. MURALITHARAN

    At World Working Women’s Day

    Women achievers in various fields were honoured at the World Working Women’s Day observation organised by Department of Women’s studies, Bharathidasan University, here on Friday.

    Sister Stella, founder of Asisi Farm and Training Centre, Kanyakumari, was honoured for her social service and Thenmozhi, Tamil writer for her Tamil writings.

    Karpaga Kumaravel, Syndicate member, Bharathidasan University, gave the awards to the achievers.

    A. Puratchikodi, faculty, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Anna University, Chennai Regional Office, said sexist tendencies started even at the level of brining up children. Daughters were discriminated against sons. Preference for son still prevailed in spite of strides made in various fields.

    “Women are afraid to even walk on the streets of Delhi after 8 p.m. and they openly concede this,” Ms. Puratchikodi said.

    N. Manimekalai, Director and Head, Department of Women Studies, Bharathidasan University, said that inequality should be removed.

    Prizes distributed

    Prizes were distributed among winners in various competitions.

    Students of Srimad Andavan Arts and Science College here won the first prize for group dance.

    Students of Chettinad College of Arts and Science College won the second prize, and Bharathidasan University Constituent College at Lalgudi won the third prize.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Tiruchirapalli / by Special Correspondent / Tiruchi – March 28th, 2015

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    March 29th, 2015adminBusiness & Economy, Nature

    Coimbatore :

    While most panchayats close to the city have grown rapidly in the last ten years, the Ettimadai town panchayat has remained the same, with very little development. While residents await good drinking water, wide roads and job opportunities, local body officials are completely out of tune with their needs. However, some industrialists predict that once the airport expansion begins, opening up the southern end of the airport, the area might become ideally located for development.

    “Ten years ago, I was working in a spinning mill in Madhukkarai, but the mills and workshops closed down and we had no choice but to continue farming and rearing cows,” said R Kanakaraj, a milkman in the village. Residents said that even basic amenities such as good roads and drinking water were lacking in the area. “In the last ten years, several colleges were set up here but not even one private player was allowed to set up an establishment in the village,” said S Shanmugam, an auto driver. Some panchayat sanitary workers said that they did not have many job opportunities in the area and thus several people were moving out of town to look for work. “We don’t even have a health centre here,” said Subramanian, a local. A few residents blame the inefficiency of the panchayat president for the lack of development.

    The village officials said that they have done all that they could for the village. “It is located in the border area and thus many people don’t like to settle down here. Proximity to mountainous terrain and forests do not allow the land to be sold to industries,” said a town panchayat official. According to industrialists, the entire stretch after Madhukkarai became a hot spot for development after the Vellalore integrated bus stand was announced. “Moreover, since all other stretches have been developed, the south-western stretch of Coimbatore including the bypass road would definitely develop in the next three years,” said D Nandakumar, president, chamber of commerce.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Coimbatore / by Komal Gautham, TNN / March 26th, 2015

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    March 29th, 2015adminEducation, Sports

    National Engineering College, Kovilpatti celebrated its 31st sports day on Thursday. Nikhil Chittarasu, Commonwealth games silver medallist and high jumper, from the Southern Railway was the chief guest and declared the sports meet open. K.R.Arunachalam, Member, Managing Committee of the college presided over the meet.

    Mr. Chittarasu said students should take part in sports activities along with academics. Further, he emphasised the importance of physical exercise to lead a healthy life. He also appealed to the students to work hard to achieve their desired goals.

    Raghu, Director of Physical Education, presented the annual sports report and said the college team participated in events of football, volleyball, best physique, hockey, handball (women) and ball badminton (women) tournaments in Tamil Nadu Inter Engineering Sports and Games (TIES) held at Sri Sairam Engineering College, Chennai from January 29 to February 12 this year. S.Shanmugavel, Principal and students attended.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> National> Tamil Nadu / by Staff Reporter / Tuticorin – March 29th, 2015

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    March 29th, 2015adminBusiness & Economy, Records, All
    Vinod Dasari, MD, Ashok Leyland, (3rd from right), releasing a book ‘Dawn of a Golden Era’ during the aiema golden jubilee valedictory function, in chennai on saturday. (EPS)

    Vinod Dasari, MD, Ashok Leyland, (3rd from right), releasing a book ‘Dawn of a Golden Era’ during the aiema golden jubilee valedictory function, in chennai on saturday. (EPS)

    Chennai :

    From 400 small scale units to around 2000 small and medium scale firms, Ambattur Industrial Estate has come a long way.

    To celebrate the estate’s Golden Jubilee year, members and officials of the Ambattur Industrial Estate Management Association (AIEMA) from all over the State gathered at ITC Grand Chola on Saturday and awarded its past office bearers for their contribution.

    “This industrial estate which was opened in 1963 has grown and is counted among the largest in the country today. This has only been possible because of the support we have got from several Government departments and of course our members. It’s an honour to be a part of its Golden Jubilee celebrations,” said R Shridharan, chairman, AIEMA.

    Shridharan went on to read out a few events the Association conducted in the past. “AIEMA has also been a part of the Tamil Nadu State ranking carrom tournament, kabaddi tournament, dental and diabetic camps. AIEMA has also been one of the first industry associations to make voluntary blood donation.”

    Vinod K Dasari, managing director, Ashok Leyland presided. He spoke about the association of Ashok Leyland with the units in the estate.

    “Today Ashok Leyland is worth `14,000 crore. This would not have been possible without the support of our employees and especially our suppliers, a large number of whom have their workshops at Ambattur Industrial Estate,” he said.

    “We have never had a single defect from their side, and we have been able to achieve fine quality because of these suppliers. I hope our relationship with AIEMA grows and strengthens over the years to come,” Dasari added.

    Sivagnanam, additional advisor to the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said, “AIEMA has employed over two lakh people which is a herculean task even for ones running a 20,000 crore industry. I thank you for demonstrating your leadership and making AIEMA  a living example of hard work and dedication in this country.”

    Also present on the occasion were V Muthuswamy, president, TANSTIA and Gautham Venkatramani, executive director, India Pistons.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by ENS / March 28th, 2015

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    Madurai :

    The community radio of Dhan Foundation has bagged second prize in the category of community engagement awards at fifth National Community Radio Awards.

    Minister of finance, corporate affairs and I&B, Arun Jaitley presented the awards at a function held in New Delhi on Monday. The ‘Vayalagam’ community radio has been operational since 2011, operated by the Madurai District Tank Farmers’ Federation under the Dhan Foundation. The station, which is available at an FM frequency of 90.4, covers a 15-km radius.

    “Uluthundu Vazhvom”, a radio show focusing on agriculture, is one of the most widely listened-to programmes in the region, overtaking even commercial FM channels. The programme has many takers among the elders here.

    The eight-hour channel is estimated to have a regular audience of 5,000 people, mostly farmers in the Kottampatti, Singampunari and Natham blocks. Besides passive listeners, it also has listeners who interact with the programme coordinators.

    Popular shows include farmers’ views, experts’ views and harvesting techniques which the listeners claim have benefitted them immensely. Programme designer T Sundarapandian said they planned the shows based on seasons and the farmers’ requirements. The crop of the season is also a deciding factor in the programmes on the channel.

    The radio station organises monthly review meetings with the farmers and programmes for the next months are planned based on the farmers’ expectations and reviews. As most farmers use their mobile phones to access the programmes, the station also gives out information on the “talktime” plans provided by mobile networks everyday.

    “Gramathu kuyil”, another popular programme, broadcasts songs sung by people from the local community, which are recorded by the programmers either on the field or on the studio. Shows detailing important events in history that had taken place on a specific date also received good response, Sundarapandian said.

    Much to their delight, farmers receive special wishes on their birthdays and anniversaries as the volunteers in the village information centres work closely with the farmers, obtain information from them and pass it on to the radio. Farmers are hoping that the station would go from being an 8-hour channel to a 24-hour service like other FM channels.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Madurai / TNN / March 18th, 2015

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    Chennai :

    Showering praise on Tamil poet-saint Kothai Andal, BJP MP Tarun Vijay on Wednesday said the Vaishnavite icon had challenged male supremacy 1300 years ago, inspiring women to assert their rights to make personal choices.

    Not only did he mention the lone woman saint of Vaishnavite tradition at the Women in Parliament Global Summit 2015 held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he also presented a portrait of Andal to the global chairperson of the summit, Sylvana Koch.

    Tarun Vijay said Andal’s legacy must be followed by women across the continents to make this planet happier and safer for women. “Gandhi said women don’t need protection, but a freedom to make choices and freedom to make decisions. Poetess Andal, who was born in Tamil Nadu 1300 years ago is a great symbol of that power. Making choices for her and challenging male domination in that era”, the BJP MP said.

    “India’s legacy is to respect women. I begin from Andal to Lal Dyad of Kashmir and to Sister Nivedita and Rani Gaidinliu, who fought against the British at the age of 16, and Indira Gandhi to our present day world boxing champion Mary Kom, India is a saga of women empowerment in a sea of gender discriminations.”

    He said India was leading the world with highest number of micro level women members of gram panchayats which is about 1.4 million. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign to help women resulted in a mission to build 12 million toilets helping girls and women. Revolutionary Jandhan scheme empowered women most and just a signature enabling exercise made them feel good and empowered.

    LoneVaishnavaiteCF27mar2015

    “I was in Ladakh to inaugurate this scheme when a bank manager asked a woman to sign on a form. She was perplexed and said, but sir, only big and influential people sign, I can merely write my name. When manager taught her to sign, that was a defining moment for her and she felt empowered. A mere opportunity to put a signature brings about a change in her life. Its the decision making power that she enjoys”, Tarun Vijay said. Place technology in the hands of women to change the world for betterment, he added.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Express News Service  / March 26th, 2015

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    BargurCowsCF27mar2015

    Bargur farmers have a lot to expect from the Government following the exhibition of indigenous cattle at Thurasanampalayam on March 29.

    At the outset, the prize money has been doubled this time. The first prize winner for the best breeder will receive Rs. 20,000. The second and third prize winners respectively will receive Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 5,000.

    There will be two first prizes, four second prizes, and eight third prizes.

    Besides, there will be consolation prize of Rs. 2,500 each. In all, there will be 13 prizes for cows and same number of prizes for oxen.

    The prizes will be distributed by Animal Husbandry Minister T.K.M. Chinniah.The Minister is also expected to announce formation of a milk society for Bargur cattle rearers, it is learnt. Presence of the society would logically lead to increase in animal population, which has come down drastically, in due course

    At preset, the milk sourced from Bargur cows are being used for self-consumption since the yielding capacity of the cows is low.

    With the Bargur Cattle Research Station coming up, there is scope for enhancing the yield through selective breeding, sources said.

    In the long run, the idea of Aavin is to source the milk yielded by Bargur cows separately and sell it in the premium category, sources said.

    Casein 2 protein present in the milk of Bargur cows is considered ideal for consumption by people with cardiac problems, sources said.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> National> Tamil Nadu / by R. KrishnaMoorthy / Erode – March 27th, 2015

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    March 22nd, 2015adminLeaders
    'Traffic' Ramaswamy, 83 in action on the roads of Chennai.

    ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy, 83 in action on the roads of Chennai.

    Chennai :

    Age for them is a number, not a limitation. At 80 and 90, these Tamil Nadu politicians, bent on going the extra mile, defy ailments, confinement to wheelchairs and take to the streets campaigning vigorously against corruption and on other national issues.

    Meet “Traffic” Ramaswamy . He’s 82 and going after illegal hoardings. Congress veteran Kumari Ananthan is a year senior and on a Madurai-Tuticorin walkathon demanding prohibition. CPI’s R Nallakannu has touched 90, but there’s nothing stopping him from protesting against illegal sand mining.

    Of course, nothing can hold back DMK chief, 91-year-old M Karunanidhi. He’s leading a protest in south Chennai against the “anti-poor, anti-farmer” land acquisition bill.Guess who’s leading the stir in north Chennai? It’s party general secretary K Anbazhagan, 92.

    A respected PIL petitioner; Ramaswamy is respected for being re lentless. All things illegal make him see red: Illegal hoardings, illegal buildings, encroachments, traffic violations, politicians and bureaucrats violating laws. He was in prison till Tuesday . When he was freed, he immediately went ripping illegal hoardings.On Thursday the fearless activist struck at the AIADMK headquarters.

    “I’ve been filing PILs from 1998; I’ve filed more than 500 in Madras HC and 25 in SC. I’m getting more aggressive with age. Though I get threats from politicians and toughs, I never give up,” Ramaswamy tells TOI. On March 13 Madras HC gave the city police an earful for arresting him in a 4am raid, calling it totally unjustified.

    Kumari Ananthan proudly flies the Congress flag in a state where it’s struggling for survival. A Gandhian, his struggle now is for total prohibition. He started his 12-day Madurai-Tuti corin march on his 83rd birthday on Thursday . This is his 10th padyatra, his first was n 1967.

    Nallakannu, 90-year-old CPI veteran, is a former state party secretary . He’s valued for his simplicity and has been a fighter of long standing, having joined politics at age 15. “We need to meet people and be with them for their issues…Merely issuing statements isn’t enough,” he says.

    As for DMK stalwarts M Karunanidhi and K Anbazhagan, they need no introduction.Their party faces criticism for corruption and other issues, but both have been involved in many protests against the state and Centre.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Chennai / by Karthigaichelvan.s,  TNN / March 21st, 2015

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