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Monday, January 31, 2011

SYMA Goldwinner Child Fest 2011 - Drawing Competition

This time, it has been a different experience for the Organisers.  SYMA an Organisation of more than 3 decades of social service has been conducting competitions for the school children titled “Child Fest” for close to two decades now.

The concept was to create a congenial atmosphere promoting competitive spirit and enthusing the school children to participate in extra curricular activities also, bringing out the best out of their natural talents.   Over the years it has taken great shape and is now a very popular event amongst the schools in City. Most of the School Annual publications make a mention of their wards winning prize in our SYMA Child Fest.

For years the venue has been NK Thirumalachariyar Girls High School and Child Fest has been a two day affair for  more than a decade now.  This year for administrative convenience, the  Managing Committee of SYMA deemed it fit to hold it on two different dates and at two different venues.

The drawing competitions were held on Sunday 30th Jan 2011 at The Hindu Higher Secondary School,
149 Big Street
, Triplicane, Chennai 600005. With the experience gained in the past, the competition was in 6 groups for students ranging from Lkg to 12th standard held at four different time – staggered to ensure that there were no two activities at any given time.  

THE VENUE :

Students cannot dream of a better venue for drawing inspiration. The bricks and saffron coloured walls with Indo-sarsenic architecture has inspired many and created many worthy students.  Hindu High School founded as Dravida Patasala for tamil boys which later amalgamated with The Hindu Andhra Balura Patasala for telegu boys that were in existence in 1852. In 1860 they were amalgamated as The Triplicane Andhra Dravida Balura Patasala and in 1898 renamed “ The Hindu High School”.  It has been a great learning  centre producing eminent personalities and transforming the lives of tens of thousands of people into responsible citizens for the cause of nature building.  

On Sunday, most roads lead to Big Street and there was buzz of activity in and around Pycrofts road and Bells Road (Bharathiyar Salai and Jagjivanram salai, respectively) leading to Hindu High Schools.  Crowds turned up in large number. 
a section of the crowd

A total list of 1500 participants would please any Organisation though this is low by SYMA’s tall standards.  The shift in venue and the dates being closer to the Public examinations probably caused to the reduced numbers.  The numbers did not dampen the enthusiasm nor the quality.  In fact the Judges found it extremely difficult to restrict the prize winners and in certain categories, picked up more than the specified numbers for the special prizes.  The long list of winners in different categories are available in our website : www.syma.in and some of the winning entries can be seen at : http://picasaweb.google.com/SYMATRIPLICANE/DrawingCompetition#

This drawing caught the eyes of all.  Drawn by a 8th standard student – Selvi Tanuja – this represented a tiger, nay not a simple drawing of tiger but the fierce animal as seen inside a human eye.  Good thinking and great execution…

The Programme was inaugurated in the morning by Mr Thirumalai, present Head Master of Hindu High School.  Appreciating the efforts of SYMA, he gave an inspiring speech to the students impressing upon them the need to study well, and do something back to the society when they grow.  The programme started with traditional invocation to Lord and by lighting of ‘kuthuvilakku’ by Shri Thirumalai and TA Sampathkumar, President of SYMA.

Volunteers of Soundarya Rathinamala, a group of others who were brought by Mrs Uthra Sarang, SYMA volunteers and others ensured that everything was according to the plans drawn up earlier.  The event was well coordinated by our Secretary R. Sanjeevi, whose team deserves special mention.  

Nestle India was at the venue providing their brand of snacks to students and parents as well.  

All the participating children were given prize and a Certificate commending their participation.  In the end, the children and parents left with happiness writ large in their faces and We at SYMA were also happy in having conducted an event in a nice manner.

The venue now shifts to “Mylapore Fine Arts Academy” – where Singing, Quiz, Instrument Fusion, Dance and Fancy Dress would unfold on 6th Feb 2011.  The Fancy Dress competition this year is restricted for children of Lkg, Ukg and I standard only and is open to all.  For the rest of the competitions, the student would represent their school and hence the completed entry form duly certified by the respective school is compulsory.  

SYMA thanks you all

Regards
S. Sampathkumar
Secretary.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Will Marine Museum in Chennai become a reality - INS Vela - Chola naval valour


I have on more than a couple of occasions shared something on Customs duty, which is a tax on goods imported.  All goods coming into the country go through the procedure of customs for the purposes of proper examination, appraisal, assessment and evaluation. Tamilnadu has many Ports, some of which have existed for centuries.  The ancient city of Puhar was destroyed by sea around 1500 years ago.  There are speculations that this could have been due to a tsunami.  History repeats itself and on 26th Dec 2004 on a black Sunday, another Tsunami caused havoc in the coasts of Cuddalore and Nagapattinam killing hundreds.

This article is not about the devastation or about the havoc caused by Tsunami.

In olden Tamilnadu, there existed Thirvai (Customs duty & Excise) – a Unit employed for deducting a fixed % of a commodity for a particular season.  Trade voyages were influenced by ocean currents and hence the rates were variable.  There was Aaivu [Inspection & enforcement) – an  Action arm of the trade law which  inspected ships for contraband, illegal goods, wrong declaring of tonnage, small crimes control and the protection of the Harbours ; Ottru (Intelligence Corps) of the territorial waters which normally tailed vessels and gave period updates for the rulers   - all these related to a great dynasty of the Tamilnadu.

The naval or sea force was so well organized and had numerous  sub-units of operational reasons and organizational  - there was Kanni unit commanded by Kalapathy which was a rank.  ‘kanni’ in tamil means trap and this was a tactical formation used to lure the enemy combatants during a strategic deployment.   There were many kingdoms in India known for warfare and some known for Naval power.  Cholas reigned supreme especially in sea faring.

There are many accounts of finest  sea-faring traditions from Ancient India  dating back to centuries before the modern area.  Lothal is one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization.  Lothan in the modern state of Gujarat was excavated in 1955 by the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India].  Lothal’s dock connected the city to an ancient course of Sabarmati river on the trade route between Harappan cities with Arabian sea.  The excavations provided an idea of the ancient port city and its naval tradition.  Shell compass had been used in those days for navigation and for study of astronomy much  before Greeks.  The Sangam literature contain volumes about Chola sea faring.  It contains the names of the Kings as also of the Chola navy.

There are records of chola naval activity, of the kaveripoompattinam also known as Poompuhar which was a natural harbour in the mouth of river kaveri.   The present day Poompuhar is a town in Nagapattinam district of Tamilnadu. This was once a flourishing port which also served as capital for the early Chola kings.  Silapathikaram  describes in detail the city of Puhar as having two districts – Maruvurpakkam near the sea and Pattinapakkam to its west.    In Purananuru – big ships entering the port, precious merchandise from overseas being unloaded is mentioned.  Pattinappaalai describes Puhar in great detail.  It also provides details of merchants and their trade in Puhar.

Chola dynasty known for its valour  ruled parts of Southern India for long.  Their heartland was the fertile valley of famed Kaveri river and they ruled for long time.  At their peak, they reined over significantly larger area – the whole country south of Tungabhadra.  Rajaraja Chola and Rajendra Chola are names to remember.
the chola kingdom

Tamil emperor Arulmozhivarman alto titled Rajakesari  was the King popularly known as  Rajaraja Chola I.  He established larger Chola empire during his rule between 985 and 1014 CE.  His kingdom extended as far as Sri Lanka in the south, Kalinga (Odissa) in the North east.  Besides his battle exploits, it was exactly a thousand and one years ago,  he built the World’s first complete granite temple – a brilliant Brihadeeswarar Temple (Peruvudaiyar Kovil – Tanjore Big Temple)

His naval powers ensured that he annexed parts of Sri Lanka and occupied the islands of Maldives.   The Cholas left a lasting legacy on the sea front which Tamilnadu can ever be proud of.   His Navy could undertake combat and non combat missions, peace time patrol and interdiction of piracy, escort trade convoys and more, which a modern Naval super-power can be proud of.

Now history has presented an opportunity to recall the valour of Chola and reminisce the erstwhile naval power of the Region.  There is news that  the State is mulling acceptance as a gift the decommissioned naval submarine – “INS VELA” for converting it into a museum based in Chennai as reported in the Express newspaper.    The Regional Director of  National Maritime Foundation (NMF)  was quoted as saying  that ‘a naval museum out of a submarine will be a good revenue earner as well as remind us about our great maritime tradition’.   The report stated that State Govt. has to send its views to the Defence Ministry which will set the ball rolling. The submarine museum in the sands of much touted Marina or somewhere along the Coast could be a great visual retreat and opportunity for inspiring future generations attracting them to Indian Navy.

aerial view of Vizag museum 


INS Vela had served the Indian navy for 37 years and was decommissioned last year.  For the uninformed, another  decommissioned  naval submarine INS Kursura was converted into a museum in 2002 and is attracting crowds in Vizag.   INS Vela was commissioned on 31st Aug 1973 and after meritorious service decommissioned on 25th June 2010. 

Its technical specs are :
Displacement:            : 1,952 t (1,921 long tons) surfaced
2,475 t (2,436 long tons) submerged
Length:                        91.3 m (299 ft 6 in)
Beam:             7.5 m (24 ft 7 in)
Draught:                     6 m (19 ft 8 in)
Speed:                        16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) surfaced
15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) submerged
Complement:             75 (incl 8 officers)
Armament:                 10 533mm torpedo tubes with 22 SET-65E/SAET-60 torpedoes, 44 mines in lieu of torpedoes

Vela & Kursura were brought from Russia with which the submarine arm of Indian Navy had been created.  Vela  is reported to be a Foxtrot class submarine, a NATO reporting name of a class of diesel-electric patrol submarines that were built in the Soviet Union.  A total of 58 such vessesls were built for the Soviet Navy at the Sudomekh division of the Admiralty Shipyard (now Admiralty Wharves), St. Petersburg

These vessels were capable of operation below the surface of the water.  In naval parlance, submarines are referred to as boats rather than ships.  German subs were called U Boats [Unterseeboot]. Periscope is an instrument for observation from a concealed position. In its simplest form it consists of a tube with mirrors at each end set parallel to each other at a 45-degree angle. Periscopes allow a submarine, when submerged at a shallow depth, to search visually for nearby targets and threats on the surface of the water and in the air. When not in use, a submarine's periscope retracts into the hull.

Ships are extremely attractive and it would be wonderful, if this concept materializes and INS VELA finds a resting place in the shores of Bay of Bengal in Chennai.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

India speaking - on roads and at cross roads

Onion prices might spiral.  Gold may touch new high.  Share prices might rally but there is one market which is steadily increasing.  You can find them in every street corner – the new Cell Zone – a local shop selling mobile phones and accessories. 

It seems that people are buying new mobiles on all occasions – whether festive or not – not only new, people keep upgrading – every one talks about features – whether really needed and whether such features are really used are best known to the buyers !!  There are service providers in buckets – BSNL, Airtel, Aircell, MTNL, BPL, Videocon, Vodafone, Idea, Space, Uninor, Tata, Virgin – the list appears endless.  Added to the confusion are the Chinese, Korean, Taiwan and little known country made sleek ones challenging the glitzy ones. The Whole Nation seems to relish speaking. 

Prior to 2 decades from now, we had only landlines which were location specific as opposed to the person specific mobiles – electronic devices that allow two way communication based on cellular network of base stations.  These Global System of mobile communications (GSM) have an international standard.  In some parts of the World, the only type of cellular is GSM which uses digital system using TDMA technology.  These are primarily 2G utilizing networks for transmitting information which are – Frequency division multiple access, time division multiple access and code division multiple access.   In India also in some parts of the World, we have CDMA mobiles also.  Then there is 3G of which much more (scam) is on air in the recent times.

Technology is to be appreciated but how suddenly the Nation has found the need to communicate all the time – you see people shouting at the peak of their voice in the early morning in street corners, in market places, in buses, in trains and everywhere. The problem gets confounded for they are talking when walking, crossing, cycling, driving two, three, four or more wheelers – unmindful of anything or anybody else on the World. 

The Indian telecommunications industry is the world’s fastest growing telecommunications industry.  By some estimates, there are close to 750 million telephone subscribers and 700 million mobile connections.  The Indian mobile subscriber base has increased in size by a factor of more than 100 since 2001.  In the coming years, this is bound to grow more.  Whilst it is good looking at the direct and indirect employment and the revenue generation, there are many harmful effects as well. 
mobile speakers collaged from Dinamalar

The Indian democracy unfortunately has the habit of not adhering to rules unless there is strict penalty.  In the Chennai city, you can see this for yourself.  Stand in a busy corner – you will see bustling two wheelers, the unpredictable autos, buses and trucks – so many in number – most of them bending their neck, holding the mobile between their shoulder and bent head and talking. Just as you feel cursing them, you see bunch of walkers, laughing merrily as they talk to someone on their cell and they don’t stop even when crossing the road. How and why suddenly they have become so interested in music, that they have the ears plugged on all the time – when on road or off it.    When will they realize that they are imperilling their lives and that of others and contribute to road accidents.  Worst is the case at Railway crossing – there are reports of people losing their lives when trying to cross the track, they were oblivious of the train as they were busy talking or hearing to music.  Train is supposed to run in its track and is that to be blamed for loss of life ?    Why the Nation is suddenly existing in a mental state where they cannot exist without  a mobile.

Then there is the menace of texting. The younger generation lives on texting – sending SMS in dozens, nay hundreds.  They skillfully manipulate, compose, send or read messages or e mail when on road.  When one turns around in any traffic hold either at a  signal or a traffic snarl, one is certain to notice impatient youngsters pulling out their mobiles to check whether they have received any message.  Please don’t relate this to the speed with which people respond to official e mails……..  Research in Western countries have revealed that texting while driving leads to increased distraction behind the wheel.  

Whilst nothing will change here, it was in some ways satisfying to note of a  rule in USA prohibiting commercial bus and truck drivers from texting while operating commercial motor vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), the agency of the Department of Transportation had promulgated the no-texting rule effective Oct 2010 and had made further inroads by considering a proposed rule prohibiting  commercial truck and bus drivers from holding, reaching for, or dialing their cell phones while driving. Drivers who violate the rule would be subject to a penalty of up to $2,750 for each offense, and drivers could have their commercial driver’s licenses revoked for multiple offenses. Employers that allow or require their drivers to use cell phones while driving would be subject to a penalty of up to $11,000. An estimated 4 million commercial drivers are expected to be affected by the proposed rule.

This rule effectively bans hand held devices and does not extend to hands free.  It is reported that FMCSA has  requested comments from the public on “the feasibility, operational impact, and safety benefits of prohibiting hands-free mobile telephone technology” by commercial truck and bus drivers.  In US they have what is known as Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations Comprehensive Safety Analysis which throws up such provisions in the safety of road users.  They are keen to make their roadways less dangerous by keeping those roadusers fully attentive to the road.  To them the second the focus gets shifted away from the road, there is potential of an accident.  Presently the roll out is more for the commercial road users, perhaps wisdom might dawn to extend it for the other category of road users as well.   

States have responsibility of keeping their roadways accident free.  Drunken driving is an offence and so should be tampering with a mobile device whilst  driving.   They have understood that drivers who tried reaching to an object when driving were more likely to be involved in accident.  

Some of the tips of the US Dept of transportation  are extremely meaningful and easy to follow :

1)     Do not fixate on non-driving related objects when driving.   Keep your mind engaged with driving related information and do not focus on external objects such as bill boards or buildings.
We see so many getting distracted by the posters and other things on road side.
2)     Avoid smoking while driving – it would require removing one or both the hands from the steering wheel to light a cigar and hold it.
We regularly see the menace of people putting out the cigarette butts or pushing off the ash from a moving vehicle, unmindful of the those following on road.
3)     Turn off your cell phone while driving.  There they say that if you have to use, pull of the road and keep your conversation short.
They are contemplating scenario in a highway, where there is ample way on the side.  Not on the narrow roads where everyone is driving at breakneck speed, busy all the time and have to imperatively talk for hours.
4)     Minimise eating and drinking while driving  - this is not only messy but more dangerous as it creates a physical and visual distraction to drivers, requiring removal of one or both the hands from the steering wheel juggling food or beverage.  

There are some countries where  using either a hand-held or hands-free phone while driving is illegal – they are Israel, Japan, Singapore, some states of US.  Some have more stringent rules for school bus drivers.  Safety is of prime concern – but in Chennai city most children travel in so called school vans – mostly private, rickety, drivers with minimum education and scant regard to rules, talking on mobile and parents also calling to enquire…..

When will people learn from other’s experience and keep others in safety ?

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Results for Group F (11th and 12th) : Gold Winner – SYMA Child Fest 2011




Group F :  (For the Students of 11th and 12th  Only)

Date                                 Sunday – 30th Jan 2011

Time                                09.00 am

Venue                               The Hindu Higher Secondary School,
Big Street, Triplicane, Chennai – 600 005.
The topic for drawing was : Stop – Listen – Proceed   Way of Life

Here is the List of Prize winners : -
The winners will be awarded Prizes at a function to be held on 6th Feb 2011 at 06.30 pm at The Mylapore Fine Arts Club, Mylapore, Chennai 600 004.

For any further enquiries contact :  044 – 28441078 or e mail us at : srinivasyoungmensassociation@yahoo.co.in

Results for Group E (9th and 10th) : Gold Winner – SYMA Child Fest 2011


Group E:  (For the Students of 9th and 10th  Only)

Date                                 Sunday – 30th Jan 2011

Time                                09.00 am

Venue                               The Hindu Higher Secondary School,
Big Street, Triplicane, Chennai – 600 005.
The topic for drawing was : Green Revolution in Agriculture

SYMA - Goldwinner Child Fest 2010-2011
Group E (IX and X standards)





Prize
Student Name
School
Std & Sec
Tele No





First
Shwetha. G
S B O A
10 - K
9884244301
Second
Jayanthi. P
Dr Vimala Convent Mat Hr Sec School
9
9841445726
Third
Antony Fenix. M
Dr Vimala Convent Mat Hr Sec School
9
9444045313





Special
Sajna Gokulakrishnan
S B O A
9 - L
9444981279
Special
Narayana G.V.
Dr GMTTV Hr Sec School
10 - A
9677109389
Special
Sathya. M
Dr GMTTV Hr Sec School
10 - A
9789852569
Special
Ashwin. G
Dr Vimala Convent Mat Hr Sec School
9 - A
9884523729
Special
Lingeshwaran K
Dr GMTTV Hr Sec School
10 - B
9790946730


The winners will be awarded Prizes at a function to be held on 6th Feb 2011 at 06.30 pm at The Mylapore Fine Arts Club, Mylapore, Chennai 600 004.

For any further enquiries contact :  044 – 28441078 or e mail us at : srinivasyoungmensassociation@yahoo.co.in

Results for Group D (6th, 7th & 8th ) : Gold Winner – SYMA Child Fest 2011

Gold Winner – SYMA Child Fest 2011 – Results for Group D (6th, 7th & 8th )
Date                                :  Sunday – 30th Jan 2011
Time                               :  03.15 pm
Venue                              :  The Hindu Higher Secondary School,
Big Street, Triplicane, Chennai – 600 005.



SYMA - Goldwinner Child Fest 2010-2011
Group D [6th, 7th and 8th standards)





Prize
Student Name
School
Std & Sec
Tele No





First
Manikumaran. M
Zion Matr Hr Sec
VI - 1
9940341977
Second
Venkatesh. M
Dr Vimala Convent Mat
VI - A
988473204
Third
Keerthi. J
Kola Perumal Vaishnava
VIII - A
9444079807





Special
Bhuvanesh A.K.
DAV Sr Sec School
VII - D
9865103135
Special
Tanuja. D
DAV Girls Sr Sec School
VIII - C
9884800518
Special
Muthukumaraswamy.K
St. Thomas School
VII - C
9444678181
Special
Dileep. P
Dr GMTTV Hr Sec
VII - B
938018891
Special
Dineshkumar. A
Dr GMTTV Hr Sec
VI - C
9840188045
Special
Kalai Selvan. A.
Dr GMTTV Hr Sec
VII - C
9840188645
Special
Priyadarshini. R
DAV Girls Sr Sec School
VII - A
9384631168
Special
Hema. P
KPCVSS School
VI - A
9150905872
Special
Srinath. G
Nazareth Matr School
VII - D
9444640263
Special
Jerio C. G
DAV Boys School
VI - A
944532858
Special
Sharannivas. A
SVMNS School
VIII - B
9884058003
Special
Midhuna. K
DAV Girls Sr Sec School
VI - C
24992144
Special
Madhumithaa. M
DAV Girls Sr Sec School
VII - D
9962481550
Special
Poojitha. D
Good Shepherd
VIII - C
9962792299
Special
Lokesh. V
St Louis Institute
VIII - A
9841263354
Special
Karthick. R
Little Flower School
VI - B
9818901154
Special
Prithiviraj R
Dr Vimala Matr Hr Sec
VII - A
9710840112
Special
Durgadevi
PSBB School, Tnagar
VIII - B
9940374321
Special
Smruthi K.K
Sri Sankara Vidyala
VII - B
9444805583
Special
Vishwath Ramaniyam. B
Nazareth Matr School
VII - D
26551925
Special
Shreya. S
Sri Sankara Sr Sec
VII - C
42054659
Special
Soudamini. S
DAV Girls Sr Sec School
VI - B
28170875
Special
Sandeep S
Dr Vimala Matr Hr Sec
VII - B
9710840112
Special
Rohit. K.R
S B O A
VII - E
9894564285





The winners will be awarded Prizes at a function to be held on 6th Feb 2011 at 06.30 pm at The Mylapore Fine Arts Club, Mylapore, Chennai 600 004. 


For any further enquiries contact :  044 – 28441078 or e mail us at : srinivasyoungmensassociation@yahoo.co.in