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    It is a powerful medium. The radio station is expected to reach 50,000 people in 30 villages in both Puducherry and Tamil Nadu,  K. Senthilkumar,Director, SARVAM

    Your FM station brings happiness to the community as they get to hear their own voices on the radio. This is what makes our station special!” says Natesan Bala, station manager of the PudiyaUdayam community radio station at Poothurai village (Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu) near Puducherry, which was launched on Tuesday.

    The PudiyaUdayam 91.2 FM radio station is a project of the Sri Aurobindo Rural Village Action and Movement (SARVAM) which has been working in the area of village integral development for the last ten years.

    It now works in 15 villages, including Poothurai, says K. Senthilkumar, Director, SARVAM, and head of the radio project.

    “We had a journal called Grama PudiyaUdayam (village new dawn) which was well-received by the villagers. This is when we thought of a community radio station which can reach out to more people, including those who are illiterate. We got the licence from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting last month,” says Mr. Senthilkumar.

    The radio station is expected to reach 50,000 people in 30 villages in both Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, and broadcasts can be heard up to 10 km away, says Mr. Senthilkumar. The radio station, which is equipped with a 30 metre tower, includes studios for live programming, recording and hosting talk show programmes.

    For and by the villagers

    The station will be managed by a village committee of 12 members and volunteers, apart from Mr. Bala and Ilandjejiane, programme coordinator, who will together decide on the programmes. Programmes for children, women, labourers and aged persons, apart from devotional and patriotic songs, and health segments have been planned. The villagers participate in the programming by recording their own songs and stories, including long-forgotten tales, say Mr. Senthilkumar.

    Some scheduled programmes include ‘Namma Ooru Nalla Ooru’ which will have information about a historical place or monument of the area. Another programme is ‘Ninaivirukkum Varai’ which will have senior citizens taking listeners down memory lane with their memories. ‘Nambikkai Siragugal’ will have interviews of successful women self-help groups and entrepreneurs. “This community radio station is easily accessible to the villagers, and its doors are open to the community,” says Mr. Bala.

    “It is a powerful medium. Students will benefit through motivational talks on how to prepare for examinations. With Jipmer close by, we will have doctors giving information on health. We will also be getting officials from the agriculture department to talk about farming, as well as a programme on livelihood options. Radio also keeps aged people engaged,” says Mr. Senthilkumar.

    Programmes on the first day included devotional songs, a segment on diabetes and interaction with P. Agilan, Director, Indian Bank Self Employment Training Institute and Anbu Kamal Raj, Lead District Bank Manager, Indian Bank on banking initiatives.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Tamil Nadu / by Annie Philip / November 25th, 2015

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    November 25th, 2015adminLeaders
    Former Tamil Nadu MLA A S Ponnammal

    Former Tamil Nadu MLA A S Ponnammal

    Madurai  :

    Veteran Congress leader and seven-time member of the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly A S Ponnammal died of cancer on Tuesday. She was 82.

    She was undergoing treatment at Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH).

    Ponnammal was first elected to the assembly on Congress ticket from Sholavandhan constituency in 1957. She represented the constituency for two terms till 1967.

    She was elected to the assembly as an independent candidate from the same constituency in 1980.

    In 1984, she won from Palani on Congress ticket. Later she won on Congress ticket from Nilakottai (in 1989 and 1991). In 1996, she contested the elections on Tamil Manila Congress ticket and won.

    After her health condition deteriorated, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi called her up and enquired about her health. He offered to shift her to another hospital, but Ponnammal told him that she was offered the best care at GRH.

    Ponnammal is survived by three daughters and a son.

    The final rites would be held at Alaganpatti in Nilakottai where she was born and lived most of her life, relatives said.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Chennai / by J. Arockiaraj, TNN / November 24th, 2015

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    File photo of the Indo-Belgian couple Suresh and Sarah

    File photo of the Indo-Belgian couple Suresh and Sarah

    Namakkal :

    The three-month long ordeal of an Indo-Belgian couple came to end with their marriage getting duly registered with the Registration Department of the state government.

    Their joy had no bounds when R Suresh, a tribesman hailing from Kolli hills and Sarah, his Belgian lover, tied the holy knot at a function held atop the hills on August 17 this year.

    However, the excitement and ecstasy of the couple and their respective family members waned when the newly-wed tried to get their marriage the legal stamp.

    “Initially, the Registration Department officials turned us away citing lack of credible documents to validate our marriage. So we approached the Namakkal Collector, who directed us to submit the application with Sub-Registrar’s office in Senthamangalam”, Suresh recalled.

    But the hassles did not stop there. It had just began as the authorities there raised the jurisdiction issue after sitting upon the application for weeks.

    The life after marriage of the couple, who fell in love while employed in a cruise ship, did not drift along the current as they had to run from pillar to post.

    Finally, it was found out that the couple had to submit the application with SR office in Namagiripet. The entire process had to be initiated from the beginning once again. In the mean time, Sarah, who came on a tourist visa, had to return leaving her husband here. The ship seemed to run aground but the man held his nerve to fight all odds. The officials began to ask for document after document to endorse the marriage giving sleepless nights to the 28-year-old Suresh.

    “At last, our marriage was registered under the Special Marriages Act on November 9 and the registration certificate was handed to me ten days later”, he said. The couple nurtures hopes of settling down in India in the future.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by R. Sivakumar / November 23rd, 2015

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    November 23rd, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    Madhav Chari

    Madhav Chari

    Chennai  :

    Chennai-based jazz pianist Madhav Chari died of a cardiac arrest here on Friday morning. He was 48.

    A mathematician, Madhav rose to fame as a jazz pianist. He had given concerts all over India and abroad.

    Music composer A R Rahman and other musicians like Ehsaan Noorani condoled his death.

    “Madhav Chari, may you rest in peace… Gone too soon…,” tweeted A R Rahman

    “RIP my buddy and undoubtedly the finest jazz pianist in India #MadhavChari you’re up there with Coltrane and Miles now,” tweeted Noorani.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> Cities> Chennai / by Kamini Mathai, TNN / November 20th, 2015

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    November 20th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Records, All
    Rathi Punithavathiyar

    Rathi Punithavathiyar

    Coimbatore :

    Ostracized by her family at the age of 14 for being a transgender, Rathi Punithavathiyar has come a long way since then. She recently launched her book and became the first transgender author from the city.

    The book, written in Tamil, was launched in the city at the cultural fest organized by the members of Coimbatore district transgender welfare association.

    “When I turned 14, I realized the changes in my body and I yearned to become a lady. But my family members did not understand me and I had leave home,” said Rathi. With no one to support her at that young age, she faced several hardships.

    “I was not aware of many things as my parents had taken really good care of me. I was forced to do things that I was uncomfortable with including begging,” she said.

    But influenced by the several achievers in her community, including Padmini who became the first transgender news reader, Kalki, an author and several becoming doctors, she decided to do what she liked the most – write.

    Though she studied only till Class 10, she said she was confident that she would author a book. “Finding a publisher was the most difficult task,” said Rathi.

    After several months of hardship, she finally got the book published. It would be available for public from January. “This book is the first part and I am working on the second part as well which would be published by March. Telling the stories of transgenders gives me extreme happiness. I hope that one day the society would treat us equally,” she said.

    The event saw was also a platform for many transgenders from the city to showcase their talent. Many performed dances, took part in the fashion show and recited poetry.

    “This event was mainly held to launch our website that will cater to various needs of the trangenders. Also, to help people understand our community,” said Sangeetha, state president of the transgender welfare association.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Komal Gautham, TNN / November 18th, 2015

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    November 19th, 2015adminUncategorized
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    November 16th, 2015adminUncategorized

    Several issues affecting society at large has been effectively addressed through public interest litigations filed before the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court by individual activists. At the same time, frivolous petitions have added to the burden of judiciary.

    In the nineties it was common to spot reckless fish cart riders causing accidents in the busy thoroughfares of Chennai. These riders, mostly fish vendors and load deliverers, used to zoom past on tricycles that were illegally fitted with mechanised engines.

    'Traffic' Ramaswamy. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam / The Hindu

    ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam / The Hindu

    When the police and transport department officials failed to rein them in, a frail man, ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy, decided to take up the task of checkmating the violators. A former weaving master in the now defunct Binny Mills, Ramaswamy filed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition in the Madras High Court questioning how an illegally modified motor vehicle could be allowed to ply on the streets. The court promptly banned the mechanised fish carts in 2002.

    This was just one of the successful legal battles fought by Ramaswamy, now an octogenarian. He has thus far filed over 500 PILs, some of them of controversial ones, braving threats from vested interest elements. Though he does not have a legal background and encounters problems in communicating in English, Ramaswamy appears as party in person to argue his cases.

    Judges and many lawyers at the Madras High Court recognise him as he was the one who obtained a stay against constructing a flyover on the NSC Bose Road near the court in 1998. He was also instrumental in getting a one-way traffic system reversed on the same road.

    Another man, who has successfully litigated on matters of public interest, is social activist A. Narayanan. Founder of CHANGEindia, a centre for research and advocacy on social and governance issues, he moved a PIL to get a State-wise ban imposed on entry of human beings into sewerage manholes and septic tanks. His litigation eventually led to the enactment of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 in India.

    “PIL can only be a part of an activist’s larger engagement for advocating change. There should be lot of research before filing a PIL petition and it requires constant follow up to ensure that a favourable order is implemented,” points out Narayanan.

    Asked how effective a remedy is the PIL, he says in a country bogged by poor governance, lack of accountability, deep rooted corruption, unresponsive and undemocratic, power-centric administration, lack of engagement with civil society and more importantly failure of regulatory institutions, people are being driven to the courts for seeking relief.

    “When more and more people approach the court with genuine public interest, definitely we can expect a positive change throughout the country,” says RTI activist Jawaharlal Shanmugam. He had successfully fought a PIL to secure compensation to 16 patients who contracted Hepatitis-C virus while undergoing treatment for kidney ailment at the State-run Stanley Medical College Hospital in Chennai earlier this year.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Tamil Nadu / by Suresh Kumar / Chennai – November 16th, 2015

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