In a major find that throws evidence to Erode’s connection to Tamil Brahmi era, a research team of Pondicherry University found several pot shells containing Tamil Brahmi letters dating to 500 BC at Kodumanal near Chennimalai.
A team of students from Pondicherry University, led by Dr K Rajan and TN archaeological department assistant director Subramaniam, has been carrying out research for the past one month in the region. Recently, the team during its work in Kodumanal found several antiques, besides the pot shells.
Team members, while explaining about the Kodumanal find, said that Tamil Brahmi words like Adinthai, Madanthai, Kuviran, Sumanan, Samban, Vindaveli, Pannan, Bagan, Yadan, etc were found on the pot shells.
Detailing the Chennimalai’s connect to ancient days, the team pointed out that the area had 165 tombs and of these 17 were taken up for research.
While in one of the tombs, many precious stones were found, the team during its study in the region also stumbled upon shell bangles, roulette pottery and sword bit contained spheroidal graphite phase and forge welding of high carbon cutting edge, etc.
The present excavations were made in 8 points near Pandiyan Nagar and a burial ground. Many beads, high quality iron materials like arrow heads, spears, swords, megalithic tombs, iron and steel furnaces, several precious stones like garnet, carnelian, lapis lazuli, sapphire, quartz, etc., were found. The area also contains some objects made of tusks and other materials which could have been used for weaving cotton in those days.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States>Tamil Nadu / by Express News Service – Erode / May 17th, 2013
The infamous Manjolai incident, in which 17 persons succumbed in police brutality on July 23, 1999, has been brought out as an autobiographical short story.
The incident happened during a procession in support of the Manjolai estate labourers’ struggle for wages on the banks of Thamirabarani in Tirunelveli. The story is one among the 21 short stories penned by Mari Selvaraj, which has been brought out as a collection, Thamirabharaniyil Kollappadaathavargal, by Vamsi Books.
Probably, Mari Selvaraj is the first writer from Tirunelveli to document the incident through a short story and his short story collection has gained momentum in literary circles now.
Born in Puliyankulam of Tirunelveli district, Mari Selvaraj is the fifth son to his parents, who are agricultural labourers. “The freedom that poverty offered me has given me rich experiences and I have many stories to share,” says the author.
Speaking to City Express, Selvaraj shares about his journey as a writer to an assistant director in Kollywood. “My entire schooling was in my village. It was when I stepped into the law college, I first came to a town. But college life was not a good experience. The first question I faced was about my caste. Since I was considered as an insubordinate student, whatever I did went wrong. At one point of time, a police case was registered against me and that was when I discontinued my studies and ran away from home,” says Selvaraj.
Selvaraj came to Chennai with Rs 1400 and took up jobs in places like petrol bunks while simultaneously searching for a better job.
“My search ended when I joined as an office boy in the office of film director Ram,” he says.
Ram was making Katradhu Thamizh then, which had actor Jiiva in the lead role. “The film developed my interest in cinema. After the film, Ram had a break for three years. That’s when we came close by getting to know each other well. Ram gave me books and films, and guided me well. He also started a blog named Kaatchi for me so that I could convey my thoughts through writing. The stories of Thamirabharaniyil Kollappadaathavargal were first published in this blog. Later, I became an assistant director to Ram and it’s been seven years of my association with him.”
The stories in this collection travel in diverse platforms and are mostly about either politics or relationships.
“Party leaders see politics as business. Mine was ‘frustrated politics’ because whatever I lost in it during my early life have not been compensated till now. Tamil Nadu is in a state of ‘sexual poverty’. Having a woman’s friendship is considered a fantasy. At this juncture, understanding either sex becomes critical. I think my stories reflect that criticality.”
Inspired by writers G Nagarajan and Saadat Hasan Manto, Selvaraj wants to direct a film as well.
“Though I keep writing, my ultimate aim is to direct a film which brings reputation to whatever I learnt from Ram. I believe that will be the true respect to my mentor,” he concludes.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by N. Vinoth Kumar / ENS – Chennai / May 08th, 2013
Nearly four years ago, G. Muriel was rescued along with four other girls from an unrecognised home in Tiruvallur district, by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC).
Today, she and her friends have passed the State board class XII examinations with flying colours.
Another young student, Padmavathi, a resident of Pallipattu in Villupuram, who was rescued from a forced child marriage last year, also passed, scoring 795 out of 1,200.
The six girls are inmates of a home run by Madras Christian Council of Social Service in Perambur.
Muriel scored 1,047, and is over the moon. She, along with Mary Ann (972), Sheeba (961), Rejolia Mary (982) and Esther (680), studied at Everwin Matriculation School, Kolathur. Padmavathi studied at Government Higher Secondary School, Villivakkam.
“Muriel and her friends were rescued by CWC after a complaint about the unrecognised home. The home was subsequently closed down. The six students were referred to us by CWC. Since it is vacation time now, they are about to begin part-time jobs,” said R. Isabel, director of Madras Christian Council of Social Service.
Muriel wants to pursue B.Tech in information technology. “I want to study well and earn a good salary. I am very happy that all my friends have passed. We have been together since childhood,” she said.
Padmavathi wants to do a degree in mathematics and work in a bank.
Ms. Isabel said the students were in need of sponsorships to be able to go to college.
The Government Children’s Home for Girls, Kellys also had reason to cheer, as nine of the 10 girls who had appeared for the exam, passed. “Some of them are orphans, while others have single parents. They are studying at the Government HSS, Purasawalkam,” said an officer at the home.
Of the nine, V. Shanthi scored 760, followed by M. Gokila (727) and B. Pradeepa (711). Gokila, a native of Dharmapuri, wants to become a nurse to take care of the health of her villagers.
Nine of the 12 inmates of Puzhal Central Prison who appeared for the board exams have passed. Notable among them is suspected Maoist leader Sundaramoorthy, who scored 835. Thirty-nine convicts lodged in different central prisons across the State had attempted the exams.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Staff Reporter / May 11th, 2013
The Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) witnessed a rare surgery treating the dilation of the blood vessel from the heart. Mani, a 55-year-old farmer who was admitted to the GH a month ago with complaints of difficulties in swallowing, was later diagnosed with thoraco abdominal aortic aneurysm (abnormal dilation of blood vessel).
“This is the first time we have saved a person with the blood vessel bursting, especially when the aorta, which is the major blood vessel, ruptures,” said Dr Kanagasabai, dean, MMC. “Only 50 or 60 patients a year get admitted with complaints of blood vessel enlargement, but this was the most risky surgery so far.”
“It was a matter of seconds to save the life, when the blood starts to pump out at a high pressure after the blood vessel breaks off,” he added. The patient was immediately moved to the operation theatre, after he vomited blood.
A graft, which was 8 inches long, was stitched along the ruptured blood vessel. A team of surgeons from the cardio thoracic surgical and vascular surgical team performed the surgery, which lasted more than six hours.
In a corporate hospital, the medical bill would be around Rs 3 lakh. “ More than 10 units of blood were transfused to the patient,” Dr Raja Venkatesh, HoD, cardio thoracic department, said noting that the patient’s life could not have been saved if he had not been admitted.
BP and cholesterol could also be a risk factor for such a complication, the doctor warned, adding, “but such a disorder could even occur without any risk factors involved and surgery is the only way to save the life.”
source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> News> Current Affairs / DC / May 16th, 2013
May 18th, 2013Green Initiatives/ Environment, Historical Links, Pre-Independence, Nature, Records, All
An ongoing survey at the sprawling Bryant Park in Kodaikanal has revealed that it is home to exotic tree species such as camphor, silver maple and blue gum.
Led by horticulture deputy director S. Raja Mohamed, a team of officials has undertaken a survey of locating, identifying and naming exotic tree varieties in the 20.5 acre-botanical garden planned and built by English forest officer H.D. Bryant in 1900 and named after him.
Mr Mohamed said the survey has brought to light the existence of camphor, silver maple, creeping juniper, alnus tress and blue gum trees in the park for more than 50 years. Some of the exotic varieties had been planted by Bryant himself while creating the park.
Two camphor trees imported from China have been identified and they have been in the park for the last 75 years. “A large evergreen tree with 20-30 m in height was identified by the distinctive odour of a crushed leaf,” he says.
The park has one Acre saccharinum, commonly known as silver maple, imported from Japan, and it is 60 years old. Often planted as an ornamental tree because of its rapid growth and ease of propagation and transplanting, its seeds are food source for squirrels, chipmunks and birds and its trunk tends to produce cavities which can shelter squirrels, owls and woodpeckers.
Also found is a Juniperus horizontalis, whose common name is creeping juniper or creeping cedar, a low-growing shrubby juniper, native to North America. Believed to have been imported from Japan, the tree is being maintained in the park for the past 35 years, the horticulture officer informed.
An Alnus nepalensis, a multipurpose alder tree found in the subtropical highlands of the Himalayas, has been growing in the park for over 60 years now while one southern blue gum or blue gum, an evergreen tree, one of the most widely cultivated trees native to Australia, has its presence in the park for 50 years.
Mr Mohamed says, “All these exotic varieties have been in the park for several decades now but have gone unnoticed over the years. With the flower show at Bryant Park scheduled for two days from May 19 as part of 10-day summer festival in Kodaikanal, we initiated the survey. The naming of these species is on and no doubt they would be an added attraction to the visitors.”
source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> News> Current Affairs / DC / May 14th, 2013
The odds of poverty in life did not dampen the spirit of S. Jayasuriya, who bagged the first rank in higher secondary examinations this year and shared it with another student S. Abinesh, both hailing from private schools in Namakkal. The first rankers secured 1189 marks out of 1200.
“I am overjoyed, so is my family. I did not expect the first rank, though expected some state rank. Now, I will pursue my dream to do MBBS and specialise in Orthopaedics,” said Jayasuriya of Vidya Vikas Matriculation Higher Secondary School at Tiruchengode in Namak-kal.
Jayasuriya’s mother Anandhi is a tailor and father Senthilkumar has been bed ridden, after an accident a decade back. Despite coming from poor background, he scored 197 in Tamil, 194 in English, 198 in Physics and 200 marks in Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics.
“I always kept my family’s financial situation in mind, which helped me focus on studies. I thoroughly studied the subjects from the beginning, set a target before me and achieved it,” said the first ranker. ”It is a proud moment for us all. My son had understood our poverty and focused on his studies,” said his mother Anandhi, shedding tears of joy.
Equally elated was S. Abinesh, a student of Green Park Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Namakkal, who shared the first rank. ”I will become a cardiologist, which is my passion,” he said adding that one need to develop an interest for studies to be success-
“We need to concentrate on the subject of study, understand it clearly and study well,” said Abinesh, son of P. Sekar and Latha, who scored 196 in Tamil, 193 in English and 200 in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics.
Abinaya wants to do CA
Tamil was H. Abinaya’s second language till class ten. But in order to get more marks, she shifted to Sanskrit and achieved her target by securing state second rank in the overall category. Abinaya, a student of SDAV Higher Secondary School in Chengalpattu scored 1191 marks out of the total 1200.
She got centum in Commerce, Accountancy, Economics and Business Maths. “My English mark was only 193. Had I scored even one mark more, I would have got state first rank,” said Abinaya, who got 198 in Sanskrit.
Her father Harihara Subramanian is working in a private company, while mother Sornam is a teacher. While her parents expected her to follow the footsteps of their elder daughter and study for engineering, Abinaya changed tracks by choosing commerce group in class eleven. “I wanted to follow the foot steps of my uncles, who are practising CA,” said Abinaya.
Sainithya secures joint state third
R. Sainithya (17) has started her journey towards chartered accountancy in a jubilant mood. Even though she is just another person in her family to aspire for CA, as her father and two sisters are already in the financial profession, still she has garnered more glory at a young age by achieving joint third rank in Plus-2 exams this year.
A student of GRT Mahalakshmi Vidyalaya in Ashok Nagar, Sainithya was aspiring to emulate her eldest sister Sri Lakshmi, who was a school topper in Plus-2. But then, Sainithya achieved more than she expected. She scored centum in Commerce, Accountancy and Business Maths. Her total score was 1190 marks, which includes 198 in Sanskrit.
Nivedhitha scores 198 in Tamil
For A.S. Nivedhitha, achieving a state rank was a dream that she narrowly missed two years ago in class 10. But this time in Plus-2, she made it in style, scoring centum in three subjects. The Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School student scored full marks in Computer Science, Maths and Chemistry. She got 198 in Tamil, 192 in English and 197 in Physics.
She was ranked third among students who chose Tamil as second language in the state. She scored 1187 out of the total 1200. Nivedhitha’s parents M. Swaminathan (civil engineer) and S. Sailakshmi (bank employee) were elated to see their daughter achieve state rank.
“I want to become a computer engineer,” said a beaming Nivedhitha, who did not take any special coaching. School correspondent N. Vijayan said his school always discouraged students from taking private classes. “We always give coaching with individual attention. So we inform our students not to take special tuition outside,” he added.
TN toppers aim for cardiology
Namakkal: A.K. Kanmani and U. Manothini of Green Park Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Namakkal have secured 1187 marks.
For U. Manothini, though becoming an IAS officer was the childhood dream, a heart surgery performed on his father had made her to change her goal when she was at Class VIII. “I know the pain my father suffered with heart ailments. Hence, I decided I should study cardiology and become a doctor,” said Manothini, a native of Thanjavur.She also said that since her village was not developed, she would serve there as a cardiologist.
Kalaivani, daughter of a private bus conductor Elangovan and mother Sivagami, too wants to serve people as cardiologist. Though hailing from a poor family, she was offered education free of cost at her school, Kurinji Matriculation School.
Her marks are Tamil – 198, English – 190, Physics – 199 and 200 in Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology. The marks of A.K. Kanmani, native of Perambalur, daughter of Kaliyamoorthy, were: Tamil – 198, English – 192, Physics – 197 and 200 in Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics – 200.
source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> News> Current Affairs / DC / May 10th, 2013
Last week brought the heartening news that the National Art Gallery at the Egmore Museum complex is to be restored at a cost of Rs. 11 crore.
For years, heritage activists have feared that the weak dome would soon collapse.
The Empress Victoria Memorial Hall as it was originally named, had its foundation stone laid on January 26, 1906 by the Prince of Wales, later King George V. Designed by Henry Irwin, it is inspired by Akbar’s Bulund Darwaza in Fatehpur Sikri, though much smaller in size. Completed in February 1909, it became home to the Victoria Technical Institute. In 1951, it became the National Art Gallery, displaying some of the country’s best paintings.
A personal favourite among these, and which I hope will be displayed at a prominent place when the building is restored, is Allamai (Aloo) Khareghat, of a well known Bombay-based Parsi family. It is a rather unusual work of the painter who was better known for his portraits of gods, goddesses, kings, queens and stunningly beautiful women. This is a portrait of a shy Parsi girl, clutching a parasol and setting out for a walk. The story behind the painting is given in Rupika Chawla’s Raja Ravi Varma, Painter of Colonial India(Mapin Publishing, 2010).
The subject is Allamai (Aloo) Khareghat, of a well known Bombay-based Parsi family. Ravi Varma and his brother Raja Varma were frequent visitors to Bombay and while there, became very close to the Khareghats. The artist, according to his sibling, greatly enjoyed conversing with Allamai, who was, “a very intelligent lady having a thorough English education.” One day, Ravi Varma was particularly fascinated by a pose that Allamai struck as she stepped out for a stroll and captured it on canvas.
In 1902, Allamai moved to Madras where her brother Meherwanjee Rustomji Khareghat worked for the PWD. She married Rustom T. Patel, a businessman of Ooty and made her home there. In 1926, the couple’s daughter Mary married Nogi P. Clubwallah, who came from a front-ranking Parsi family of Madras.
Widowed early, Mary dedicated her life to social uplift, joining the Guild of Service, becoming an honorary presidency magistrate and remaining for life a magistrate of the Juvenile Court. Her contributions to the war effort earned her the sobriquet ‘darling’ of the Army from Gen. Cariappa.
In 1952, she founded the Madras School of Social Work, which is now recognised by the government as an institution of higher education. The MSSW pioneered several things we take for granted today — meals on wheels, health centres, bakery units and schools for the deaf. Mary Clubwallah-Jadhav (she married again) was nominated to the Madras Legislative Council in 1946, serving three terms. All this is only a part listing of her contributions and achievements.
In 1952, the Khareghats donated the Ravi Varma painting to the Government Museum. Allamai Khareghat-Patel was present in person as was her daughter. A photographer captured the old lady, standing beside her depiction in the first flush of youth.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Sriram V. / Chennai – May 14th, 2013
May 14th, 2013Amazing Feats, Historical Links, Pre-Independence, Nature, Records, All, Science & Technologies
The house owner A Thangavelu, who wanted to construct a commercial complex at the site where the building was located, faced a dilemma on whether to demolish his ancestral home or to retain it. “We were planning to construct a commercial building on the plot, which is located in one of the prime areas on Mettupalayam Road. However, it required demolishing the house spread over 2400 sq.ft, which was constructed in 1950,” he said.
That’s when a Haryana-based engineering company came to his help, which successfully ‘lifted’ the house in a bid to reinstall it 40 feet away. He has not only saved the money on building a new house, but managed to retain the house where he grew up.
“This would have required a huge investment as the house had to be first demolished and another structure built after getting the approval.
When we heard about the innovative concept of shifting the house by lifting it, we were optimistic of keeping the ancestral house intact by investing about Rs 20 lakh. Building a similar house would have cost nearly Rs 80 lakh,” Thangavelu added.
TDBD Engineering Works Pvt Ltd, involved in lifting and shifting building structures, claims it to be the heaviest building they have shifted anywhere in India.
“The company has shifted many buildings, where the maximum weight of the building was approximately 150 tonnes. This is first time we moved a house weighing around 400 tonnes. For this purpose, we utilised 300 rollers and 300 jacks,” Gurdeep Singh, chief engineer of the company said at a press conference here.
“A team of 12-15 workers over the past 60 days lifted the house by one-and-a-half feet and moved the house by 35 feet as on Monday,” Singh explained.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by Express News Service – Coimbatore / May 14th, 2013
Breaking the trend of the last few years, two boys secured the first spot this year in the Plus-2 examination. However, girls did outshine boys once again with 91 per cent pass percentage as against 84.7 per cent by boys.
Last year the pass percentage among girls and boys had stood at 89.7 per cent and 83.2 per cent respectively. A total of 13 students, including seven from Namakkal district, shared the top three ranks.
Jayasuriya S from Vidyaa Vikas Boys Higher Secondary School, Namakkal and Abinesh S from Greenpark matriculation higher secondary school, Namakkal shared the first spot with a score of 1189 of 1200 marks.
Palaniraj S from Vidyaa Vikas Boys Higher Secondary School, Namakkal and Akalya R from Sri Vijay Vidyalaya matriculation higher secondary school, Hosur shared the second place with 1188 marks. Nine other students shared the third spot.
But Chennai girl is ‘unofficial’ topper
Neither happy-go-lucky character nor a personal tragedy at home could stop S. Kaavya (17) from attaining glory in her Plus-2 examination. Kaavya, who scored 1192 out of total 1200 marks, may not officially be the top ranker of the state, but she had every reason to be happy on Thursday, as she has scored 100 per cent in four subjects. Interestingly, this Chennai girl, who studied French as her second language, has scored three marks more than the official state topper.
Only child of bank manager father A. Shanmugam and housewife mother S. Shanthi, Kaavya, who scored full marks in Commerce, Accountancy, Business Maths and Economics has decided to become a chartered accountant. “I am not going to join any college. I have already started attending classes for CA foundation course,” she said, adding that studying in London School of Economics is her dream.
Kaavya, who was class captain of 12 C at Rosary Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Santhome, developed interest in various subjects at a very young age. She completed her BA in Hindi through private exams and holds grade-3 certificate for guitar and grade-2 certificate for drums from Trinity College London. This apart, she also plays chess and enjoys trying out new recipes. Her next target is to learn swimming.
“She is a very friendly person. As a class captain she never showed off her power,” said S. Sathvigha, who studied with Kaavya from LKG. Their class teacher Elizabeth Rani, who taught commerce and accountancy, praised Kaavya for her obedient, sincere and hard working attitude. “Her hand writing and presentation would be neat. She always finished within top three ranks in the class,” Ms Rani added.
School principal Mary Zacharia pointed out that the school has introduced continuous assessment programme last year, which seems to have yielded results. “We started compulsory morning test (7.30-8.30 am) and special coaching in the evening (2.30-3.30 pm). It has proved helpful,” she said, adding that the school used to achieve lot of state first ranks earlier, but this year’s result was its best performance in the last one decade.
Meanwhile Kaavya’s mother Shanthi dedicated her daughter’s success to her sister’s son, Jayendra Prabhu, who died after meeting with an accident when Kaavya was in the midst of her exams. “We had to leave Kaavya in the care of our neighbours and attend my nephew’s funeral. Despite our absence and tragedy in the family, she managed to score well in the exam,” Shanthi added.
90 government, private schools get 100% pass
Of the 400-odd schools (government and private) in Chennai city over 90 have secured 100 per cent pass percentage.
According to an analysis provided by the directorate of government examinations, several government schools had a pass percentage of over 80 per cent. Some private schools like Little Flower Convent higher school for deaf and blind, A. V. Meiyappan matriculation higher secondary school, Jai Gopal Hindu Vidyalaya matriculation higher secondary school, West Mambalam, Shri A Ganesan matriculation higher secondary school, Velachery Sri Krishnaswamy matriculation higher secondary school, KK Nagar and several others scored 100 per cent results.
Correspondent of a private matriculation school in Chennai says its obvious that city schools would produce 100 per cent results as it had better faculty, infrastructure and especially electricity for students to work in the laborato-ries.
“There is disparity even in the city with top schools scoring more marks and some schools located in northern suburbs securing less marks”, another administrator said.
source: http://www.deccanchroincle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> News> Current Affairs / by N. Arun Kumar / S. Sujatha, DC / May 10th, 2013
It was the only Corporation school to achieve a centum pass
Sethupathi Pandithurai Higher Secondary School, managed by the Madurai Municipal Corporation and located next to a public toilet on New Jail Road here, created a record of sorts with all the 41 students of the school passing the Plus Two examination this year.
This was the first time since its establishment as a high school in 1937 and subsequent upgradation as a higher secondary school in 1978 that the institution, functioning with limited infrastructural facilities, had registered a centum pass in a Board examination.
It also turned out to be the only school among the 14 Corporation schools in the city to score a centum pass this year.
The other schools registered a pass percentage ranging between 85 and 99.2.
School headmistress A.Esther Emma Olive said the fete could be achieved only because of the cooperation of the students, their parents and six higher secondary teachers. She said special classes were taken up to 8.30 p.m. for the students.
The efforts had borne fruit as the school first rank holder V.Veerapandi, son of a casual labourer, scored 1,025 marks despite studying in the science stream.
“Almost all of our students are from Below the Poverty Line families. It is a real challenge to groom them and we are doing it successfully with God’s grace,” she added.
Corporation Chief Educational Officer R.Mathialagan said 2,537 students from the 14 Corporation schools had appeared for the Plus Two examination this year. Of them, 2,365 passed.
The pass percentage was 93.04 which was very close to the district’s pass percentage of 93.77.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Madurai / by Special Correspondent / May 10th, 2013