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    February 29th, 2016adminEducation, Records, All, Science & Technologies

    Chennai:

    Sastra University on Sunday presented National Science Day awards.

    Delivering the lecture, D P Singh director of National Assessment & Accreditation Council expressed the need for senior scientists to mentor youth to take up a career in science. This he said was essential for innovation with three prerequisites – novelty, relevance & implementation.

    He also awarded the ‘Sastra – Obaid Siddiqi Award’ to professor K Vijay Raghavan, secretary, department of biotechnology, ‘Sastra-G N Ramachandran Award’ to professor T V Ramakrishnan, distinguished associate, IISc Bangalore and the ‘Sastra-CNR Rao Award’ to professor T K Chandraeskhar, former secretary, Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and professor N Sathyamurthy director of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News Home> City> Chennai / TNN / February 29th, 2016

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    A screenshot of the doodle.

    A screenshot of the doodle.

    The founder of ‘Kalakshetra’ was honoured with numerous national, international and state awards.

    Search engine giant Google on Monday celebrated the 112ndbirth anniversary of Rukmini Devi Arundale, a pioneering dancer of the 1930s, and a visionary institution-builder who built a public cultural and educational centre known as Kalakshetra.

    The doodle features a depiction of Rukmani Devi in traditional dance attire with flowers in her hair holding up a mudra amidst trademark lettering of the search giant in trailing pink.

    Rukmini-Devi-Arundale established the International Academy for the Arts in 1936, renamed as Kalakshetra in 1938 (kala refers to the arts, and kshetra to a field or sanctuary).

    One of the eight children of Nilakanta Sastri and Seshammal, Rukmini was born on February 29, 1904, in Madurai. Brought up in the traditional set up, Rukmini Devi was trained in Indian music by some great musicians. But dance in which field she was to make her mark later was absolutely forbidden to young Rukmini. The only women permitted to dance at that time were the ritually dedicated women known as devadasis in South India.

    Rukmini’s father, who was a Sanskrit scholar and an ardent Theosophist, enlarged the intellectual dimensions of his orthodox family by exposing them to the humanist ideals of Theosophy. In one of the Theosophical Society parties, young Rukmini met George Arundale, close associate of Dr. Annie-Besant. Arundale fell in love with young Rukmini who was then barely 16 years of age. He proposed marriage. They were married in 1920.

    Love for animals

    Rukmini’s love for animals and birds is well known. A Rajya Sabha MP in 1952 and 1956, she introduced the Bill for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which was passed in 1960. She was Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board from 1962, till her demise.

    Rukmini Devi was honoured with numerous national, international and state awards, including the Padma Bhushan (1956), Sangeet Natak Akademi (1957), Desikothama (1972), Kalidasa Samman (1984) and many others. She served as a Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) for two terms.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Entertainment / by Internet Desk / February 29th, 2016

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    NoticeBoardCF28feb2016

    The Bransons of Madras

    “Shame on you, Muthu, not remembering Branson Bagh,” said Karthik Narayanan, a former President of the Madras Club, referring to my history of the Club, The Ace of Clubs, wherein it was recorded that the Club had established its second avatar in Branson Bagh after moving from its first, what became Express Estate and now mall. So chided, another penny dropped; I’d heard of a Spring Branson too, who, in his time, was a well-known Madras lawyer. But it was my chronicling colleague Sriram V who linked up the dots in a long mail to me.

    Spring Branson of Branson Garden, Branson Garden Road, Kilpauk, may or may not have been related to the fellow-lawyer who was the occupant of Branson Bagh, but it was the latter, Reddy Branson, who was connected to the Richard Branson of my item on February 15th. And Sriram proceeds to bring us up-to-date with those Branson roots.

    He begins his story in the 1820s with a Harry Wilkins Branson who — given the date when he was a Managing Partner of Pharoah & Co, Printers and Publishers — was likely to be the second great grandfather. And it was he who in 1832, marrying for a third time, wed Eliza Caroline Wilson Wellington Reddy, with a George Wellington as witness. Somewhere in those Wilson, Wellington, Reddy lines there was a Telugu maternal connection or, possibly, even a potential paternal one.

    To Harry and Eliza Branson was born Frederick George Reddy Branson, who studied law and became a solicitor, setting up a firm called Branson & Branson. Sir P S Sivaswami Aiyer once recalled that the firm had the largest amount of business with Indian clients in Madras in the 1880s. The reason for this, states Sir Sivaswami Aiyer, was “due to Mr Branson being a linguist. He could speak Tamil, Telugu and Hindustani better than any native could.”

    It was Reddy Branson who lived in Branson Bagh. After his time, the house was acquired by the Rajah of Bobbili, who lived there till at least the 1930s. After World War II, the property passed into the hands of the Madras Club, which, moving from Club House Road, settled into a purpose-built facility that replaced the old house. The property later became the site of government offices, of the Sapphire Theatre complex and Khivraj Motors, and is today part of a multi-storey commercial block after being with a political party for a time.

    According to a High Court of Madras record, Branson & Branson existed till 1907 by when R Branson, W Branson and their manager had died. Who W Branson was awaits unearthing. But whether they were kin of Spring Branson is not known; James Henry Spring Branson was the son of James William Branson, who, as a barrister, practised in Madras in the 1830s. Spring Branson was Advocate-General of Madras in 1887 and a Member of the Legislature from 1886.

    Sriram concludes. “It is a pity that a book titled The Branson Family of Madras: 1756 to 1863 is no longer available.”

    Tailpiece: N.S. Yogananda Rao, referring to my item on Richard Branson, says ‘Reddy’ is a caste name, not a surname. I am aware of that, but I also know that most Reddys use it today as a surname.

    *****

    The Museum Tower

    It was a tower (Miscellany, February 15) that existed for no more than a year, writes my fellow-chronicler Sriram V, who says he had seen brief mentions of it in a centenary volume the Madras Museum had brought out in 1951, and in Prema Kasturi and Chithra Madhavan’s South India Heritage, “but the picture was a pleasant surprise.”

    Designed by Henry Irwin, the tower was meant to be very much part of what was called the Connemara Victoria Public Library & Museum Section. A traveller of the time, Eustace Alfred Reynolds-Ball, says it was inspired by the Palazzo Vecchio of Florence. Jan Morris, the journalist, said it was “unsuitably phallic”, but I still think it was just Irwin trying to do something one better than Chisholm’s Chepauk tower.

    A year before the tower was completed in 1897, Irwin retired to Mount Abu and, as in the case of the High Court of Madras, J H Stephen, Chief Engineer, PWD, Madras Presidency completed the work. Whereupon Governor Sir Arthur Havelock inaugurated it in the presence of G S T Harris who had succeeded Irwin as Consulting Architect, Government of Madras. No one knows why, but, shortly afterwards, Harris began instigating a whole heap of rumours that the tower was not stable. He also persuaded the Governor that the library-museum complex would be better off without the tower. Stephen tried his best to keep the building in place, but the Governor had meanwhile heard stories that Irwin had also done less-than-par work in Simla. Havelock, thereupon, decided the tower should be pulled down, though there was much public opposition to it.

    When Harris lost no time in getting the earth around the tower loosened and the bricks and stones at the top knocked down, there was much public protest, but it was ignored. And, sometime in 1898 the tower ceased to exist, according to Indian Engineering by Patrick Doyle, which was published in Calcutta.

    Tailpiece: I’ve discovered who Geoffrey Burkhart, who sent me the Museum Tower picture, is. Dr.M.A Kalam, former head of the Madras University’s Department of Anthropology, tells me that Dr Burkhart was a regular visitor to the Department from the 1960s, when he started his research for his doctorate, till recent years when he was working on several projects. A frequent visitor to Madras, Burkhart is Anthropologist (Emeritus) with the American University, Washington D.C. Dr.Burkhart’s research from 1983 focussing on an Arcot Lutheran Church congregation, led him to the churches in George Town and an interest in colonial Madras. This resulted in a plan he put together for a study group (of retired people) at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of American University, the subject being “Telling Lives in Colonial Madras”. He organised it based on personal narrative: letters, diaries, biographies, autobiographies, etc.

    Kalam also sends me today’s picture of a warning sign somewhere in or near Madras taken in the 1940s. The photograph was accessed and sent to him by Burkhart. I wonder whether any reader recognises it or knows anything about it.

    *****

    A Gurkha thambi

    Not only did he rise from jawan to battalion commander but he, a Gurkha from Pokhara, Nepal, became a Madras thambi in the process. The story is told in a letter from Col. B Nasir to his friend, Om Prakash Narayan, who forwarded it to me. Col.Um Bahadur Gurung of 19 Madras is, however, a man grieved today. It was his ‘little brothers’ who died in Siachen, including Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, the search for whom Gurung kept going, staying put at around 20,000 feet all the time as he supervised rescue operations on the spot, keeping his men going in relays.

    Gurung joined the Gurkha Rifles as a sepoy and, in tough competition, was chosen to join the Army Cadet College, Delhi, which trains other ranks to be commissioned as officers. He then did a stint in the Indian Military Academy and was commissioned into the Intelligence Corps. But when he was sent to 19 Madras on attachment, his superiors found his ability exceptional that a special request was made – and pursued – to keep him with the battalion. A former commander of his says, “He was a Gurkha but he was received very well by the Madrasis, especially after they had seen him in action at the Line of Control.” Adds Maj.Gen Virendra Kumar (Rtd), “I had left a report with my successor that we should try to retain him, especially for his conduct in small team operations. It is not easy to make the transition from jawan to officer, but Gurung made it through the written tests and interviews. Look what he has delivered today. Bodies have taken six to eight months to be found in the Glacier.” But Gurung had faith; he always had a never-say-die attitude, writes Col. Nasir.

    *****

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> Metroplus / by S. Muthiah / Chennai – February 27th, 2016

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    February 28th, 2016adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    Karthikeyan (fifth from the left) with his troupe  P Jawahar

    Karthikeyan (fifth from the left) with his troupe  P Jawahar

    Chennai :

    The inseparable couple are truly a marriage made in heaven. You might have heard the couple in almost every Hindu marriage and also during importance functions at temples. No one can miss the sound of the nadaswaram and the thavil. The former especially is not an easy instrument to play. Even years of practice doesn’t guarantee you the correct sound, says M Karthikeyan, a music college student who is also a proficient nadaswaram player.

    “When you are playing a flute, which is also a difficult intrument to play, you are not digging deep for air like you are when playing the nadaswaram,” he says.

    The sound that is emitted from the instrument, like the air, is also equally deep and resonating. “That might be one of the reasons the instrument is not encouraged too much

    at sabhas,” opines Karthikeyan. “For some people it is too loud.”

    Another physical hurdle while playing the instrument is holding it for a long times. But that, Karthikeyan says, can be done with practice. “That is why it is important to start early. I joined training when I was seven or eight years old,” he informs. “Also, with several years of training, you have to learn to work with thavil players who always accompany you.”

    Catch music college students perform nadaswaram and thavil at the Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha on February 27, Saturday.

    Factoids about Nadaswaram

    • The name supposedly comes from the
    • it’s snake-like structure (naga). It is
    • also attributed to nadam, meaning pleasant sound
    • The instrument is made out of a tree called aacha. Nowadays even bamboo is used
    • Seevali, the blow piece, is made of a plant called Korukku Thattai
    • It is said that king’s court required two things, vedham and nadam

    Thavil Facts

    • Two different skins — the skin of a goat and the skin of a cow, are used to make the two sides of the thavil
    • One side is played with the stick (left) while the other side is played with the hand (right). Jackfruit wood is used for frame
    • The stick is made out of the thiruvachi plant, a medicinal plant. Rice paste is used to make koodu, which is worn in the hand
    • Mallari is a unique composition played by the nadaswaram along with the thavil

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Express Features / February 27th, 2016

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    The Ekavalli Amman shrine Photo: Dr Vijay Sriram

    The Ekavalli Amman shrine Photo: Dr Vijay Sriram

    Early one morning this month, I set out for Prakasam Salai (aka Broadway) with a few friends, our destination being the Pidari Amman Koil.

    It all began with a search on Google, regarding the North Gate of Fort St. George. I came across a House of Lords paper dating to 1839. Right-wing Protestants of Madras had complained about the practice of the East India Company supporting Hindu and Muslim festivals in the city and its environs. The paper listed several ‘heathen’ events, in which the Company played a part. Among them was the annual procession of the Idol Padarier, the Goddess of Madras. The festival, an ancient one, had not been held for 30 years when Mr E, the Collector of Madras, decided to revive it in 1818. The person referred to is obviously the orientalist FW Ellis, who helped establish the College of Fort St George, gave us the Dravidian proof for the southern languages, and translated the Kural.

    Ellis, however, died before his plans became a reality. The Company took it upon itself to revive the custom in 1821, and annually sanctioned Rs. 350 for its conduct. The Goddess was brought out of her shrine in procession and came to the North Gate of Fort St George. There, the collector waited upon her and presented her with a ‘gold botto called talee, a piece of red silk cloth called Cooray with Doopa Deepum (incense)’. Town was then a walled city, and when it was found difficult to carry the idol through the Pully Gate at the end of Thambu Chetty Street, the height of the arch was increased at Company expense.

    The Eicher map of Madras revealed a Pidariar Koil Street in Town off Broadway. A call to good friend Prasanna Ramaswami confirmed that Pidari is the Tamil derivative of the Sanskrit term Pida Hari — destroyer of suffering and that it was a Goddess.

    And so there we were, looking for the Pidariar temple. We got caught up in a poultry market that comes up each Sunday in the environs, but managed to reach Pidariar Koil Street; from there, we turned into Amman Koil Lane. There was a shrine for Goddess Ekavalli, whose figurine and bali peetham pointed to a venerable past. Without revealing what we knew, we asked the priest about the temple’s history. He did not know much, but he did remember his father telling him that sometime in the distant past the Goddess set out each year on a tour of her city’s bounds and that the collector waited on her at the Fort. That confirmed that this was indeed the Goddess Pidariar. As to how she became Ekavalli is an unsolved mystery. When did she stop going out? That too is not known.

    The temple happily shares a wall with a mosque. In Chennai, secularism is a way of life.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus – Hidden Histories / by Dr.Vijay Sriram (Sriram V)/ Chennai – February 26th, 2016

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    ApolloCF27feb2016

    Chennai  :

    Apollo Hospitals Chennai has recently transplanted a pancreas.

    Generally, the pancreas is transplanted along with kidneys.

    The pancreas harvested from a 20-year-old brain-dead person was flown in from Coimbatore and successfully taken to Apollo Main Hospitals, Chennai, with the help of Chennai Traffic Police who created a green corridor from the airport to the hospital.

    The recipient is a 33-year-old man with insulin dependent diabetes and ‘hypoglycemia unawareness’. These patients do not get warning signs of low blood sugar (sweat, heart pounding etc) and consequently just drop when the sugar gets critically low.

    The organ was transplanted by a team of surgeons at the Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai. Dr Anil Vaidya le the surgery.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Express News Service / February 25th, 2016

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    When Chennai girl Divya Ajith Kumar became the first lady cadet to bag the prestigious Sword of Honour from the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in 2010, little did she know she was inspiring girls across the nation. Renu Shekhawat from Rajastnan followed in her footsteps and joined the OTA last year. Like the 33 other lady cadets about to pass out of the academy this March, Renu hopes to bag top honours. The women will have to compete with 150 other gentlemen cadets including trainees from across the world.

    Divya soon became Captain and was the first woman to lead a CRPF contingent at the 2015 Republic Day parade in the capital. “When I read in the newspaper about Divya’s achievement I decided to join the Army . Gender is no barrier here at the academy .We are all put through the same gruelling course,” says Renu.

    Just last year, it was academy under officer M Anjana from Ernakulam who won the Sword of Honour. Anjana, 25, worked at a law firm after studying at the Government Law College in Mumbai. A trained Bharatnatyam dancer, she also holds a master’s degree in fine arts. She outclassed more than a hundred other male cadets to bag the credit for merit and overall performance after 48 weeks of gruelling training. The cadets are put through unforgiving physical tasks including route marches where they run for distances ranging from 20km to 40km through perilous terrain.

    The trainees this year missed out on participating in the Chennai Marathon as they had just completed the mandatory 40km run the previous day at Hanumanthapura. Anjana was a podium finisher at the marathon when she was in Chennai undergoing training. Sahadev Rathore, who completed the run says, “It is the toughest of the endurance tests.”

    Women match men in strength training and other physical tasks that include a 14-obstacle courses, to the point that one can hardly differentiate between men and women training at the academy . Age or marital status is no bar either as proven by 2015 `Veer Nari’ recipient Ruchi Verma who joined the academy after her husband Major Vineet Verma died in action in the insurgency-hit Balipara, Assam L in 2013.

    The ‘veer nari’ title given to army widows wasn’t enough for Verma: She stepped out of the comforts of her home and virtually took over her husband’s duty to the nation. Last year, 24year old Ruchi was among the 185 cadets of OTA who were formally inducted as officers of the Indian Army . “My life has turned upside down since I joined the training academy, ” Ruchi had said after the piping ceremony that commissioned her as lieutenant. She hopes her six-year old son Akshat Verma will join the Army someday .

    The trainees at the academy are looking forward to this year’s piping ceremony, to be held on March 12, where winners of top honours including gold, silver and bronze medals, and the coveted Sword of Honour will be announced. Women cadets stole the show last year where Anjana also won gold, while the bronze medal went to another lady cadet, Madhavi Rai.

    The passing out officers will be posted at various army bases across the country where they will command troops of soldiers starting April.
    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News Home> India /by Abdullah Nurullah / TNN / February 26th, 2016
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    The store will cater to professional and amateur artists, hobbyists, students and children. Photos: R. Ragu & Special Arrangement

    The store will cater to professional and amateur artists, hobbyists, students and children. Photos: R. Ragu & Special Arrangement

    Amritha Venketakrishnan is on a mission to take the family-run Hindustan Trading Company to greater heights. She has started Madras Art Store near Alwarpet

    This store near Alwarpet promises to be a hot destination for professional and amateur artists, hobbyists, students and even children. Selling everything from wax crayons to imported paints and stationery items, the Madras Art Store has something for everyone.

    For, Amritha Venketakrishnan, 27-year-old proprietor of this shop, it is a challenge to expand her family business and at the same time be different.

    The store is a unit of Hindustan Trading Company, a 65-year-old store selling art products and stationary items. “The company was started by my grandfather, P.V. Narayanan, in 1948 at Sowcarpet. Back then, it was selling cashewnuts and glass feeding bottles. A few years later, my father P.N. Venketakrishnan took over the mantle. He finished his class X and dropped out of school to look after the business. He started another store near Ajantha Hotel on Royapettah High Road. Meanwhile, my uncle was taking care of the Sowcarpet store. When the Deccan Plaza hotel was being constructed where Ajantha stood, we had to move out. But, customers requested my father to start a store in the neighbourhood itself,” says Amritha.

    The store shifted to the adjacent complex. It was still selling gift articles and stationary products. “The idea of selling art material was given by our customers themselves. But, a chance encounter with an art material importer at an exhibition was what diverted the business towards art supplies. Imported art material were hard to find some 20 years ago. My father was not sure if this would work. But he took the risk and succeeded. Slowly renowned artists and even hobbyists started frequenting the store,” she says.

    Their most famous customer was M.F. Hussain. “He visited the shop twice. Artist Achuthan and art director Thota Tharani are also our clients,” adds Amritha.

    Now, Amritha wants to carry forward this legacy. She has been spending time at the store right from her school days. “My summer holidays would be spent at the store. After finishing my college I decided to take over my father’s business. But it took me four years of working here to take the next big step: of expanding,” she says.

    She is looking to create a new set of clientele. “My target is art students and graphic designers. For niche requirement, people may still have to come to my father’s store,” says Amritha, who will be managing both the stores.

    Madras Art Store is at F1-F2, First Floor, Mookambika Complex, No. 4, Lady Desika Road, Mylapore. For details, call 89391 77621. The store is opening on February 21.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> Downtown / by K. Sarumathi / Chennai – February 20th, 2016

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    KaliCF24feb2016

    Chennai :

    When PVSK Palaniappan, son of a coffee and cardamom exporter based in Virudhunagar, had his first encounter with an aerated drink a century ago, he was instantly enamoured with his experience and the possibilities. Here was a drink that the average Indian had never tasted. And for Palaniappan, all of 23 years and waiting to try something new, it was a chance to break away from his father’s business and build something on his own. Thus began the journey of one of Tamil Nadu’s most iconic soft drinks brands — Kalimark.

    A century down the line, Kalimark now has the founder’s great-grandsons who are all set to change the quintessential, small-scale family business into a corporate entity that can take the fight to the giants of the soft drinks industry. The success of the slow, but steady re-invention, can be seen in the 14% market share that Kalimark’s flagship product has secured in Tamil Nadu.

    “We’ve been around for a century. But it was only in 2010 that we embarked on our current push. Until then, Kalimark the brand and Kali Aerated Water Works, the company that manufactured the products under the brand, were a small business,” points out Jeyandran Dhanushkodi, fourth generation director. In the time since Kalimark’s new avatar began, it’s best known drink, Bovonto, has become ubiquitous across the State’s major cities. Kalimark has also come out with a series of new products from Trio (orange flavoured soda) to Ginger (a fizzy ginger drink). Its latest launch, made during its centenary celebrations on Monday, is Vibro. a new version of ‘paneer soda’.

    But before Kalimark could become the 6,000 cases per day and Rs 170 crore business it is today, it had to transform the idea in the young Palaniappan’s imagination to reality. “Both my grandfather (Palaniappan) and grandmother, Unnamallai Ammal, began that journey by buying a small, hand-operated machine that would inject gas into water and pressurise it. He took the products to some of the shopkeepers in the area and it was an instant hit,” narrates KPR Sakthivel, a third generation member of the board and the family’s oldest. The success and demand saw Palaniappan set up his first factory in Virudhunagar in 1916.

    The business took off and Kalimark became the go-to brand for soft drinks in rural Tamil Nadu — or ‘Colour’ as it was, and is still, called in those parts. Units were opened in Madurai, Tirunelveli, Tiruchy, Kumbakonam, Chennai and Karaikudi over the years. The firm has been growing at 25% every year for six years, says Jeyandran. But Kalimark had to wait another 43 years before it would come out with the product that would define the next half a century of its existence — Bovonto, which contributes to 95% of the firm’s revenue.

    The company has now come close to breaching the Rs 200 crore mark in revenue and is targeting Rs 1,000 crore by 2020 in its battle to stay alive in an industry dominated by two global giants — Coca Cola and Pepsi. “But it was the advent of the two that has made it easier. Without them, soda would never have gotten past its limits as a luxury product,” says Jeyandran.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Jonathan Ananda / February 23rd, 2016

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    Chennai :

    Associate professor Jayachandran’s is a story of many firsts. A first-generation graduate from an agricultural family, he was also the first visually challenged student to earn a PhD in Tamil literature at the international level. Last year, he was made the Head of Tamil department in Presidency College, the first visually challenged person to become HoD of a department in the college’s 175-year history.

    The 53-year-old is the senior most professor in his department. “I was made the HoD based on my seniority,” he says modestly, while dictating notes to an assistant at his office. The furniture in his office and the infrastructure of the classrooms and the department in general seem to have been unaltered since the year the department was formed in 1856. “There are no office assistants and sanitary workers appointed and not enough financial assistance. So, we have to pay from our own pocket,” says Jayachandran.

    A native of Kumalam village in Villupuram district, Jayachandran studied in Cuddalore till Class 5 and completed his schooling at the Poonamalee School for the Blind. It is here that his desire to become a professor was born.

    “I had a visually challenged teacher when I was in Class 5. I thought, probably this is the line destined for people like us,” he recalls. College education at Pachayappa’s and a PhD at the University of Madras followed — he was a student of the varsity’s former vice chancellor, Professor Porko.

     

    Dr R Jayachandran  P Ravikumar

    Dr R Jayachandran  P Ravikumar

    Jayachandran considers himself lucky, as he could not see the ‘looks’ from people who discriminated against persons with disabilities. But, his hearing sense, which works perfectly, had to bear some of the insensitive remarks. “Please don’t sit on the first bench! Feels like bad omen,” a lecturer had told him when he was a college student.

    In 1990, he got his first posting at Kolanjiappar College, Virudachalam, where the students too used to take advantage of his condition. “Compared to my initial days, students at Presidency College are more cultured. They help us out,” he recalls.

    Jayachandran, who had climbed the steps of The Great Wall of China in 2006, says he still has a long way to go. His interest now is to help visually challenged students with computer training. His expertise extends to the Braille teaching methods on a computer and he has also helped develop the Braille and audio division at Anna Library.

    His wife, Vennila Juliet, is a teacher at a Corporation school and the couple have a daughter.

    FACTOIDS

    9 Visually challenged professors in Presidency College, including Dr R Jayachandran

    5 Professors out of 22 are visually challenged in the Tamil department

    3 Visually challenged professors in the English department and one in the History department too

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Srikanth Dhasarathy / February 24th, 2016

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