Chennai First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Chennai, Tamilians and all the People of TamilNadu – here at Home and Overseas
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    June 20th, 2017adminAmazing Feats, Education, Records, All

    firstwomanengineerCF20jun2017

    When Dr Shantha Mohan, who is writing a book on the women graduates of the College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG), contacted me recently, seeking more information on May George (Miscellany, February 3, 2014 ), I got more information from her than I could give. I’d always thought that the College had admitted only two women students, its first, in 1940, but I learnt from her that three had been admitted. They were PK Thresia, Leelamma George and A Lalitha, all receiving their degrees in 1943 with the certificate having ‘He’ struck out and replaced with a handwritten ‘She’.

    A history of the College brought out by it in 1991 curiously states that the first women students were only two and one got her degree in Electrical Engineering, the other in Civil. Shantha Mohan provides me a wealth of detail about the Electrical Engineering student, Lalitha, so it must be presumed that the other two she mentions did Civil Engineering.

    Lalitha, married at 15, was 18 when she had her daughter. A few months later, in 1937, her husband passed away. Determined not to stay at home and mourn or to remarry, she decided to take up a professional course. Lalitha applied to CEG in 1939, an all-male institution at the time.

    It was her good fortune that her father, Pappu Subba Rao, was Professor of Electrical Engineering there and he persuaded Principal KC Chacko (the first Principal with a Doctorate) and Director of Public Instruction RM Statham, who was all for women’s education (Miscellany, August 24, 2015) that it was time the College admitted women students — and Lalitha became CEG’s first woman student, a widow and a mother at that. With the gates opened, Thresia and Leelamma followed her in. Lalitha stayed on a year after they left to get her Honours degree.

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    After a stint with the Central Standards Organisation in Simla, Lalitha spent a few years with her father, helping him with his research. He patented a Jelectromonium (an electrical musical instrument), smokeless ovens and an electric flame producer. But the need to make a living on her own beckoned, and she joined Associated Electrical Industries, a British firm.

    She then began designing transmission lines, doing substation layouts and executing contracts. She was noteworthily associated with the work on electrical generators for the Bhakra Nangal Dam.

    After 30 years with AEL, including the time after it had been taken over by General Electric, Lalitha retired, much of the last years of her working life focused on supervising contract projects. She was the only woman engineer from India to attend the First International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists which was held in New York in 1964. Thereafter, she was active in international women’s engineering organisations internationally till she passed away in 1979.

    She had once said, “Electrical Engineering runs in my blood. My father, four brothers, nephew and son-in-law are all Electrical Engineers.”

    Shantha Mohan adds a request to all this information: “If you have information about women engineers from CEG from the 1940s to the 1960s, please let me know at shantha.rm@gmail.com.”

    The Philippines connection

    Many moons ago, on December 22, 2014, I had written about Tambaram railwayman Noel Fuller’s search for roots. At that time he had discovered that his great grandfather, Albert James Fuller of Madurai, had married Ellen Matilda Narcis, really a Narcisonian and an Armenian. Her line Noel traced back to Coja Sultan David who arrived in Madras from Isfahan in Persia around the 1720s.

    Coja Sultan David became a leader of the Armenian community in Madras and his son, Aga Shawmier Sultan, was the owner of that ‘Great House in Charles Street’ in the Fort known as Admiralty, or Clive House. Noel’s search for his Armenian ancestors’ tombstones led him to that of the wife of Coja Sultan David which he found on St Thomas’ Mount. The Aga Shawmier Sultans, husband and wife, are buried in the yard of the Armenian Church in Madras, a church raised on the site of the Shawmier chapel which the family gifted to the community. All Noel could discover at that time was that Coja Sultan David had died in Pondicherry in 1754 and had converted to Roman Catholicism just before he passed away so that he could be buried in consecrated ground, the Armenians having no church of their own in Pondicherry.

    Pondicherry yielded him no tombstones, but the information that after the English had taken the city in 1761 they had ravaged it, reducing even tombstones to rubble. The story then goes that in 1765, when the East Indiaman Earl Temple was to sail for Manila, it needed ballast and the rubble of Pondicherry was loaded on it. In the South China Sea, the ship hit a reef and sank. Salvagers in 1997 found in it, intact, the 1,335 kilogram tombstone of Coja Sultan David. There’s a missing link here, but the tombstone, its engraving still clear, is now in the Philippines, an exhibit in the Manila Museum.

    Wrong again

    My computer help once again sent out the wrong picture and, so, last week we had, with Subedar Subramanian, Brigadier K Sampath, one of the speakers, instead of the Subedar’s son Durailingam as mentioned. My apologies to Brig Sampath and Durailingam.

    The chronicler of Madras that is Chennai tells stories of people, places, and events from the years gone by, and sometimes, from today.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Madras Miscellany> Society / by S. Muthiah / June 19th, 2017

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    Tuticorin  :

    The 106th death anniversary of freedom fighter R Vanchinathan was observed at several places, including Vanchi Maniyachchi Maniyachchi Junction railway station and Kovilpatti in Tuticorin  district, on Saturday.

    The participants demanded the government to set up a memorial for Vanchinathan at Vanchi railway junction and also urged the rail department to erect Vanchi’s statue at the junction. It was at Vanchi Maniyachi junction where Vanchinathan shot dead the British government – appointed – Tirunelveli collector Robert William D’ Escourt Ashe dead, before killing himself on June 17, 1911.

    Tuticorin collector N Venkatesh garlanded the photo of Vanchinathan at the railway station and paid homages to it. In his speech, the collector recalled the history of the freedom fighter Vanchi. Vanchi was born to forest officer Regupathi Iyer and Rukmaniammal at Sengottai in Tirunelveli. He joined the freedom movement after hearing public speeches of veteran freedom fighters V O Chidambaram and Subramania Siva, said the collector, while asking students to involve themselves in public life.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Chennai News / June 18th, 2017

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    Dharshana (PTI Photo)

    Dharshana (PTI Photo)

    Krishnagiri :

    The nation was busy celebrating toppers who scored over 99 per cent in the CBSE Class XII exams, and Dharshana’s journey to scoring 96.6 per cent got less attention than it deserved. But her story is worth telling, for she overcame a different set of challenges on her way to success.

    A student of Nalanda International Public Sc­­h­o­ol in Krishnagiri, Dharshana, who has only parti­al vision, came third in the persons-with-disabilities cate­g­ory of CBSE exams, scoring 483 marks out of 500. Dharshana has no vision in her left eye and partial v­ision in the right. “She worked really hard right, but we did not ex­pect her to grab the third position,” says her father R Mohan, a businessman. “Her hard work to­ok her to this position. Dhars­h­ana wrote the exam herself, wi­th additional time of one ho­ur.”

    Parents of children with disabilities should spend more time with them, says Mohan. His wife Vijayalaskhmi is a stay-at-home mother and Dharshana is the second of their two daughters. “They expect this because they do not have many friends. So parents have to step up and spend time with them, be their friends, their guide… and they definitely will achieve their goals.”

    “I want to become an entrepreneur,” says Dharshana, thanking her parents, friends and teachers who were happy to hear about her achievement. “I want to study BCom. My father is a businessman and so I naturally like business,” she says.

    How the students fared
    Overall Pass Percentage
    2016: 83.05%
    2017: 82.02%

    Region-wise pass percentage
    95.62% Trivandrum
    92.6% Chennai
    88.37% Delhi

    Gender-wise pass percentage
    87.5% -Girls

    78% – Boys

    63,247 students scored above 90%
    10,091 students scored above 95%

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by M. Sabari / Express News Service / May 29th, 2017

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    AncestorCF12may2017

    Several visitors from abroad come every year looking for ancestors — something, meaning lineages, few Indians are interested in. I can only suggest to them the Archives or this church or that cemetery. But, what is a constant surprise is how much information they already have. And, providing an example were my latest visitors, Norman and Gwen Rider from the UK. They were looking for information about Charles Robert MacGregor Ferguson (1847-1920), the second great-grandfather of Gwen. This is what they’d already found:

    Charles Ferguson was the son of Private James Ferguson, 15th Hussars, and Harriet (Chinnema) Chinamal. They had married in Bangalore where Charles Ferguson was born and baptised. James Ferguson died there in 1849. Harriet Chinamal died in Madras in 1903 and was buried in St Andrew’s Kirk. Tracing her family is one of the Riders’ least-likely-to-succeed quests.

    The other quest is trying to trace Charles Ferguson’s career. He married Anne Elizabeth Ward in St Matthias’ Church, Vepery, in 1868. She died in Coonoor in 1878 after bearing him three children. He then married Alice Emmeline D’Abreu and had two daughters before she died the same year he did, when she was 64. Details about his career are scanty, also occasionally fanciful as in: “1861 — Lucknow. Government Survey Department, Post and Telegraph Department and became Postmaster General in Lucknow until 1902 and received a Government pension till the day of his death in 1920.” Joining service at 14? It was possible in those days for Anglo-Indian boys who’d learn on the job. But, Postmaster General sounds like gilding the lily. He was ‘Telegraph master’ in Pudupet in 1868, then, judging by family births and deaths (all listed), in Coonoor, Lucknow and Chittagong.

    The note on Charles’ retirement reads: “Government pension Yelagiri Hills area of South India. Joined a group of Scots families who farmed at Sunnybanks and Bethany where they were self-sufficient growing crops and keeping animals.” He died in Salem and was buried there. Norman Rider added that it was recorded that on his father’s death Charles was left in the care of his godmother, Maria Sandway, in Bangalore in 1849 and that, it was believed, sometime thereafter, that the boy was placed in the Madras Male Orphans’ Asylum (from which St George’s, Shenoy Nagar, grew).

    That’s quite a compilation from church and cemetery records and the British Library’s India: Select Births and Baptisms, 1786-1947 and India: Select Deaths and Burials 1719-1948. Even ‘select’, those must be quite some compendiums. But, for all that, the Riders still wonder whether there are Post and Telegraph and St George’s records to help them.

    The Riders are only a couple of the hundreds of persons from the UK and elsewhere who come in search of roots. With all the modern technology available, can’t some kind of network be established to help these searchers?

    A dance doyenne remembered…

    Kalakshetra and Nrithyodaya recently remembered someone who had made Bharatanatyam a significant part of the Singapore cultural scene for which she was awarded that country’s highest honour for artists, The Cultural Medallion, and was selected for its Women’s Hall of Fame. The remembrance was the passing away of that dance ambassador, 79-year-old Neila Sathyalingam, in Singapore, recently.

    ‘Neila Maami’, to all her students, did post-graduation and, later, taught, at Kalakshetra. She and husband S Sathyalingam, a talented mridangist, an alumni, and a teacher there, moved to Singapore in 1974 with his job and founded Apsaras Arts in 1977. Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music flourished in Singapore as Apsaras grew. That growth included Rukmini Devi-style dance dramas, Kannagi and Sivagami, her last, two memorable ones.

    Ancestor2CF12may2017

    The wedding of Suntharalingam Sathyalingam and Neila Balendra linked two of Colombo’s leading Jaffna Tamil families. Sathyalingam and I grew up together as neighbours, but none of that family’s love of music and dance rubbed off on me. Instead, I learnt about politics and ethnicity at the knee of that maverick Ceylonese politician, his father C Suntharalingam, a mathematics Tripos, too, who first used the word ‘Eelam’ in Parliament. None of his family was as committed to politics.

    …. and a young hero too

    The ambush of CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh reminded me of a 60-year old action that Capt D P Ramachandran of the Colours of Glory Foundation narrated to me in great detail a while ago. In the 1956 ambush, a 30-plus patrol of the Sikh Light Infantry found itself surrounded by 500 Naga insurgents. Second Lieutenant Polur Muthuswamy Raman of North Arcot District had the choice to surrender or suicidally fight it out. The 21-year-old chose the latter. Four hours later, during which Raman was twice wounded, there was relief. Another patrol of Sikhs at a higher elevation, spotting their colleagues pinned down, fought their way downhill to join them. The link-up broke the insurgents, but Raman and Major Mehta Singh, who had led the other detachment, lost their lives.

    Mehta Singh received the Kirti Chakra, the second highest gallantry award for counter-insurgency action. Raman got the highest award, the Ashok Chakra. Proudly, almost six decades after its alumnus had laid down his life in Nagaland, the National Defence Academy named a new academic building the ‘Raman Block’.

    The chronicler of Madras that is Chennai tells stories of people, places and events from the years gone by and, sometimes, from today.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Society> Madras Miscellany – History & Culture / by S. Muthiah / May 08th, 2017

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    The 65-year-old former STF chief does push-ups on the Marina in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: Dinesh Krishnan

    The 65-year-old former STF chief does push-ups on the Marina in Chennai. | Photo Credit: Dinesh Krishnan

    But the country’s most famous bandit-catcher still can’t get his wife to read his book

    This is not in his book but Veerappan, India’s most notorious bandit, had K. Vijay Kumar, India’s most famous bandit-catcher, who had been on his trail for most of his uniformed life, in his sights on three occasions. Not more than 500 yards away. All Veerappan had to do was squeeze the trigger, and with even a standard issue .303, which can take a target down at 500 metres, Vijay Kumar may not have got to write a book about how he killed the bandit.

    Veerappan was a good marksman, Vijay Kumar says at the Police Club in Egmore, Chennai, where he is hours away from launching his book, Veerappan, Chasing the Brigand. At the back of the Police Club, where he stays in Room 108 every time he visits the city, stretches a lawn that now has shamianas erected to serve, as he puts it, “high tea” to the 300 people he expects in the evening. Many of them will be gun-toting buddies from his Veerappan days. The dais is green like the backdrop, which has hills painted over it; in the foreground are male mannequins wearing camouflage combat fatigues and pith hats with leaves sticking out of them.

    As he walks me through the programme for the evening, I can’t help mentally picturing one heavily moustachioed policeman chasing another excessively moustachioed brigand—is this quaintly archaic term the right word for someone who killed 124 people?—through 1,200 square kilometres of forests in three States over several years, each taking turns to scope the other through the business end of a gun. The forensic specialist told Vijay Kumar that Veerappan at 52 had the body of a 25-year-old. At 65, the cop looks just as fit.

    Vijay Kumar was lucky he lived to tell the tale, unlike some other policemen. He is not superstitious, just lucky. His lucky charm is about as big as an old 25 paisa coin, maybe a little bigger, with the image of the Hindu god, Ayyappa, whose temple he has been visiting from the time he was in college studying Shakespeare, Milton and Thomas Hardy. He pulls it out of his black wallet and shows it to me. He has carried this charm around for as long as he can remember. He got this particular one after he lost a similar one 10 years ago. There have been times when the wallet had no money, but the charm would always be comfortingly there.

    Roughly how many times has he visited Sabarimala, I ask. “More than 35 times,” he says unhesitatingly, “maybe 40”. Sometimes he goes twice a year. And does he follow all the procedures? Ayyappa demands a stringent pre-visit regimen. “Yes,” says Kumar. “So you didn’t have a drink to celebrate the night you finally killed Veerappan?” “No,” he says, “I am fairly abstemious. I had a drink much later, maybe two months later. At that time, I was going to Sabarimala.” I consider his response and say, “That certainly qualifies you for sainthood.” He laughs uproariously and shoots it down, “No, hardly!”

    Ultimately, when Vijay Kumar closed the file on Veerappan on Monday, October 18, 2004, at 11.10 pm, he did so without exchanging a single word with the bandit who died under the impression that the policeman who kept chasing him was related to MGR’s nephew, a rumour then floating around.

    The mission

    By the count of ballistics experts, in the encounter that began at 10.50 pm and lasted some 20 minutes, 24 policemen fired 338 bullets on the vehicle that carried Veerappan and three members of his gang after they had been lured into the kill area, out of the forest and on to the road at Padi, 12 km from Dharmapuri. Only three bullets found the bandit. Of the three, one went clean through the left eye. Veerappan’s moustache, which spread like a tarantula sitting on his face, remained untouched.

    I ask Vijay Kumar why so few bullets found the mark. He says that Veerappan might have been hit early on in the ambush and fallen down even as the other bullets slammed all around him. He should have been killed instantly but he wasn’t. Veerappan was still dying when the policemen yanked open the vehicle door. It was the only face-to-face moment between the two foes. No words were exchanged. No words could be. Veerappan was on the verge of death, his remaining eye already losing focus.

    Was there anything he would have told Veerappan had he had the opportunity? It is not exactly superstition, but as long as Veerappan was his target Vijay Kumar had always kept a picture of the bandit at hand to remind him of his mission. He now tells me that he would have told Veerappan that it would be a relief to finally throw away the picture; over the years, it had weighed heavier and heavier, like an albatross.

    Being a cop

    What was easier, I ask. Killing Veerappan? Or writing a book about it? “Both were equally formidable missions,” Vijay Kumar says, laughing. In fact, the joke in his “immediate circle” of friends is that he took almost as long writing about Veerappan as he took to hunt him down. Vijay Kumar had a version of the book ready two years after the mission, but it then became a protracted struggle. Maybe, he told himself, he was too busy for the book. He says, “You know that Wordsworthian quote? The one about the parent hen? I guess in my case the egg took too long.”

    My Wordsworth is rusty, but the picture is vivid. As vivid as the frustration that comes through in the book when the reward on Veerappan’s head touches Rs. 5 crore and yet no one comes forward with information. Picture this:

    Police officer: You will get five crore if you can help us catch Veerappan.

    Villager: Five crore? How much is that in goats?

    Police officer: If one goat costs Rs. 2,500, that would be 20,000 goats.

    Villager: What would I do with so many goats? They will be unmanageable. It’s better to hold on to my life.

    I ask Vijay Kumar if there is anything he put into the book but took out later because he thought better of it. He thinks, then tells me how one night after eating poha, his stomach started rumbling at one in the morning. When he could bear it no longer, he rushed over and shook his buddy awake and both set out. In the jungle, they always followed the buddy system: each had to look out for the other. The buddy kept watch while Vijay Kumar went to answer the call of nature. After he’d squatted, he realised that the spot he’d picked had elephant dung everywhere. It was too late to go elsewhere and he hoped it would be okay. But almost immediately he heard his buddy hissing insistently, “Aiyaaa! Aiyaa! Yaanai! Yaanai!” (Sir, elephant!) He knew if it was a single elephant, he would be done for, but then, barely a few feet ahead, out of the inky black night, several elephant forms began to emerge like dark mountains on the move.

    I probe no further, but I realise the episode had a happy ending because it isn’t in the book.

    I ask instead: what does your wife Meena think about your book? He begins to smile. “She hasn’t read it,” he says. He intends to try other means to get her to read it but he isn’t sure he will succeed. She usually can’t get beyond five pages, he says. “If she does finally read your book,” I ask, “will you go to to Sabarimala?” He laughs uproariously again. “Of course, I’ll be happy to go again to Sabarimala but I doubt whether even Lord Ayyappa can make Meena read my book.”

    sudarshan.v@thehindu.co.in

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Society / by V. Sudarshan / February 25th, 2017

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    February 23rd, 2017adminAmazing Feats, Records, All, Sports, World Opinion

    VenkatesanCF23feb2017

    The feat has earned the sensei a Guinness World Records Certificate of Participation

    R. Venkatesan has won gold medals at various international taekwondo championships, but he is extremely proud of his recent achievement, because it’s different from most other achievements he had managed before and it has a connection with Guinness World Records. Recently, Venkatesan, secretary, OMR Taekwondo Academy, won the Guinness World Records Certificate of Participation for exhibiting face kicks for more than a thousand times in an hour at a taekwondo kick tournament.

    While receiving the award at a recent function, the Sensei, who specialises in karate, taekwondo, boxing, kick-boxing, kobudo and silambam, said, “From my childhood, I have wanted to master various martial arts, especially taekwondo. I have learnt yoga and meditation too. Taekwondo develops strength, speed, balance, flexibility, stamina, self-control and self-conditioning and improves concentration.”

    According to Venkatesan, this Korean martial art combines combat and self-defence techniques with sport and exercise.

    The taekwondo kick tournament was organised by J. R. International TKD Academy, Andhra Pradesh last year, and around 50 contestants from across the country, including 12 from Tamil Nadu, together exhibited face kicks more than 58,000 times.

    The Sensei has learnt the martial art from John Alexander, secretary general, Association of Tamil Nadu Taekwondo, and his students have won gold, silver and bronze medals at several tournaments including the 17th State Taekwondo Championship conducted at the SDAT Ground in Tiruvallur in January 2017; the 36th National Taekwondo Championship conducted in Dehradun in November 2016; and Speed Power International Taekwondo Championship conducted in Malaysia in 2015.

    “I wish my students represent the country at the Olympics,” says Venkatesan, who is an executive committee member of Association of Tamil Nadu Taekwondo and can be reached at 9841306396 and 9500020300.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by T.S. Atul Swaminathan / February 17th, 2017

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    Tiruchy Deputy Commissioner A Mayilvaganan with chief minister O Panneerselvam. (EPS)

    Tiruchy Deputy Commissioner A Mayilvaganan with chief minister O Panneerselvam. (EPS)

    Chennai :

    At a time when the police are facing uncomfortable questions from all quarters including courts, activists and opposition parties, here is a young officer who has stood out. Tiruchy Deputy Commissioner A Mayilvaganan has become a lone ranger in khaki in the State today, applauded for the way he handled the jallikattu protests.

    On January 23, the day when the protests took a downward spiral into violence and street battle in Chennai for which the police are under fire for their alleged role,  Mayilvaganan stood out for his impassioned speech that coaxed protesters to disperse peacefully. The way in which he handled the protest and protesters has impressed many on the corridors of power, almost from the High Court of Madras to the Chief Minister.

    While hearing a case seeking relief from various persons affected by the violence, Justice R Mahadevan of the High Court had asked the officer to be present at the court on Monday. Today, the judge openly expressed the court’s admiration for the way the protest was handled.

    Later in the day, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam also invited the young officer to his chamber in the Secretariat to express his appreciation of his work.

    Helped by his experience in Madurai, where, as the Additional Superintendent, he witnessed the brewing discontent among the people over jallikattu, Mayilvaganan was calm in handling the protests when it began turning ugly in other parts of the State. According to sources, police personnel were asked not to use their lathis against the crowd.

    Even when the students took their protests to the street blocking the road near MGR Statue, he appealed to them not to bring a bad name to the protests that had been peaceful until then. The video of this impassioned but patient speech he gave on that day went viral on social media platforms, which made many sit up and take note of the young man.

    “So far the protest has been good without any untoward incidents, and as an outcome of your protests, the government has passed an ordinance which would pave way for the conduct of the bull taming event in coming days. It is wise to end the protest now,” the Deputy Commissioner appealed to about 100 students through the loudspeaker.

    Subsequently, a section of police personnel went on to convince the students individually by explaining them the provision of ordinance and other legal developments in ensuring the conduct of jallikattu in coming days.

    Soon enough, the crowd dispersed, perhaps the first protest venue in the State where protesters took an official’s word on face value.

    Before being posted at Tiruchy last year, Mayilvahanan, served in Ambattur, Chennai, as Deputy Commissioner, and was ADSP (Headquarters), Madurai before that.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by Express News Service / January 31st, 2017

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    DurgaDeviCF29jan2017

    Meet 22-year old nursing student W. Durgadevi of Peranampet in Vellore district, the recipient of the prestigious Anna Medal for Gallantry, 2017, presented by Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam at an impressive Republic Day celebrations here on Thursday.

    The award was in appreciation of her “timely, brave and noble act” of rescuing her classmate from drowning, as a wooden make-shift bridge over Cooum river connecting the Island Grounds in Chennai gave away in the early hours of June 5 last year.

    “We were casually standing on the bridge, and suddenly, the wooden surface under our feet was going down. It was dark and we heard screams everywhere. That was when I saw my classmate G. Nandhini drowning and crying for help and I rescued her,” recalls Ms. Durgadevi.

    But does Ms. Durgadevi know swimming? “No!,” she chuckles. “I don’t know how to swim but I saw many were trying to step over Nandhini and find their way to safety. I don’t know how and why, but I wanted to save her, who was crying for help,” she recalls.

    Both of them were classmates doing B.Sc. Nursing at a college here and were at the Island Grounds on that day to take part in a marathon, which was organised to create awareness for breast cancer.

    While her former classmate is now working as a nurse in a private hospital, Ms. Durgadevi is pursuing Post Basic Diploma in Critical Care Nursing as well as working part-time as a nurse.

    “My father is my role model. I’m quite happy that he is proud of my endeavour and this award,” she says with a smile. She has four siblings, including an elder sister. Her mother is a home-maker in her native Peranampet.

    The aspiring nurse says though she is proud of this award, it would in no way alter her course towards her primary goal of becoming the best nurse, who would always be available for help and care.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Special Correspondent / Chennai – January 27th, 2017

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    Chennai  :

    Stalwarts and eminent professionals from the healthcare industry gathered for the book launch of ‘Ward 10 – Remembering Rangabashyam’, a chronicle of the life of celebrated gastroenterologist, the late Dr N Rangabashyam, at a ceremony in the city, on Thursday.

    Rangabashyam, who passed away in 2013, was a pioneer in the field of surgical gastroenterology and proctology. He was the first person to establish the Dept of Surgical Gastroenterology at the Madras Medical College, and served as the honorary surgeon to former president R Venkataraman. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2002.

    Apollo Group Chairman Prathap C Reddy speaks on late Gastroenterologist Rangabashyam at a function held to launch a book on the latter | P JAWAHAR

    Apollo Group Chairman Prathap C Reddy
    speaks on late Gastroenterologist
    Rangabashyam at a function held
    to launch a book on the latter | P JAWAHAR

    Speaking at the function, chief guest Dr Prathap C Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group, said: “I admired NR, as he was fondly known, in every way – not just as a wonderful colleague but also a respected teacher who showed his proficiency in his field. No wonder Ward 10 (his ward at MMC) was always filled with students who wanted to learn from him!”

    Dr Abraham Verghese, vice chair for theory and practice of medicine, Stanford University, USA, recounted his experience as a student under Rangabashyam, describing him as “a skilled surgeon”, but short-tempered if his colleagues failed to keep his high standards. “He leaves behind a legion of physicians whose moral compass is absolutely set,” said Verghese.

    The book was launched by Chitra, Rangabashyam’s wife, who presented a copy to Reddy. ‘Dr Rangabashyathin Saritham’ – a Tamil biographical sketch by Shanthakumari Sivakadaksham, was also released.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> TamilNadu / by Express News Service / December 16th, 2016

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    Carnatic vocalist, playback singer and composer Mangalamapalli Balamuralikrishna, who burst into the music world as a child prodigy, died on Tuesday. He was 86 and is survived by his wife, three sons and three daughters.

    His music appealed to both the connoisseurs and the laymen alike. In classical music, he was able to give “play acting” to the essence of the lyrics in his song. In the film world,  “Oru Naal Pothuma”, a ragamalika in Thiruvilayadal, “Chinna Kannan Azhaikiran”, a Reetigowla-based song in the film Kavikuil, “Mounathil Vilayadum Manasatichye” from the film Noolveli  and the Abhogi song “Thanga Ratham Vanthathu” from the film Kalai Koil continue to enchant a generation of music lovers.

    A native of East Godavari district of the erstwhile Madras Presidency, his father Pattabiramaiah was a musician and his mother Sooryakanthamma was a veena player. He gave his first concert when he was nine and the quality of his music is explained by the fact that All India Radio (AIR), Chennai, included him, a child artist, in the list of A-grade artists.

    He was also an accomplished violinist and once accompanied Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, the pioneer of the modern-day Carnatic concert format.

    Balamuralikrishna learnt violin by listening to his father playing the instrument.

    “Since my father was against me playing violin, I created my own instrument. Once I summoned courage and played his instrument in his absence. When questioned by my father I admitted and played Bhairavi ata thala varnam.  My father was impressed and allowed me to play the instrument,” he had recalled in his biography Sangita Perunkadal, penned by Ranimynthan.

    Violin playing came in handy when his voice underwent changes in his teens and could not sing.

    “He had a magic voice. He is to Telugu keerthanas what M.M. Dhandapani Desikar was to Tamil music. Since Telugu was his mother tongue, he knew the meaning of Thiyagaraja’s keerthanas and would not maul them,” said clarinet maestro A.K.C. Natarajan, who also learnt many keerthana’s from him.

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    Actually Balamuralikrishna’s career in film industry began as an actor. He played the role of Narada in the film Bhakta Prahalada on the request of A.V. Meyappa Chettiar. It was a Telugu film and was dubbed in Tamil, Hindi and Kannada and he played the role in other languages also. His first song is also for a Telugu film Sati Savitri.

     

    “S. Varalakshmi was the heroine of the film and she learnt music from Balamuralikrishna. She requested him to render at least one sloka in the movie. But he ended up singing all the songs for the hero A. Nageswara Rao,” recalled Ranimynthan, the biographer of Balamuralikrishna.

    When K. Balachander directed Apoorva Ragangal, he told M.S. Viswanthan to compose a song in a rare raga to justify the title of the film. It was Balmuralikrishna who helped him compose the song Athisaya Ragam in raga Mahathi. His other creations are raga Sarvashri, Lavangi, and Sumukham.

    He also scored music for the first Sanskrit film Adi Sankarar . He won the national award for best playback singer, music director and classical singer. He was awarded the Sangita Kalanidhi award of the Music Academy. He is also a recipient of France’s Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> National / by B. Kolappan / November 23rd, 2016

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