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The News, read by Coimbatore

A STORY BEHIND NAVA INDIA-COIMBATORE
The News, read by Coimbatore
^^^^



Nava India was the largest Tamil daily from Western Tamil Nadu and it was founded by Prof P.R.Ramakrishnan (PRR) in 1948.

The progressive Tamil daily was established with P.R.R (1916 - 2008) as its Managing Editor. The printing press was on Avanashi Road and V.N.Ramaswami officiated as its Editor.

Nava India was priced at one anna and its objective was to inculcate and share progressive ideals while sharing news with the general public. The famous poet Velliyangattan was with Nava India.

The 'Ur Vambu' or the gossip column by U.R.Ramakrishnan in the newspaper was popular. E.V.Ramaswamy was the main photographer and S.M.Sanjeevi Raju its Correspondent. Nava India ‘s other journalists included E.Ramakrishnan from Coimbatore, R.Dorairajan of Ooty, C.S.Raghavan from Pollachi, U.A.Sadasivam of Udumalpet, V.S.Kailasam from Erode, C.N.N.Murthy from Tirupur, K.S.Venkataraman from Dharapuram, G.S.Ramachandran from Gobichettipalayam.

The paper did very well in Western Tamil Nadu and on the request of the then Chief Minister K.Kamaraj it set up shop in Chennai, too. The special supplement released by Nava India on the occasion of the inauguration of the Southern India Mills Association Building under the Chairmanship of R.Venkataswamy Naidu contains rare information pertaining to the textile industry of the golden era. Journalist E.Ramakrishnan of Nava India recalls a few incidents during those times. He remembers asking Pandit Nehru who had spent time horse riding in Ooty if he rode regularly in Delhi. Nehru, he says, laughed aloud and said he never had the time to do so. When Chief Minister K.Kamaraj inaugurated a scheme relating to Siruvani by turning open the first tap, Ramakrishnan was the first one to taste the ‘nectar-like water’. Nava India also covered a conference of women in Gobi attended by Indira Gandhi, who later visited PRR’s residence. Ramakrishnan remembers, “Our Managing Editor involved himself with the paper on a daily basis in spite of his busy schedule. Nava India was always known for its qualitative reporting."

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/hidden-histories-the-news-read-by-coimbatore/article7065199.ece
 

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Wow, great work on this thread. My interest in Coimbatore was recently propped up after I got to know that my great grandfather who was a freedom fighter also played a part in Kovai's history. I've collected as much English sources of info I can find on him and created an article on Wikipedia - Kovai Subri.

He also happened to be the Municipal Chairman and MLA during those times, and the Hindu article on him credits him with creating Gandhi Park. Sadly i'm unable to get any other sources for these claims, and it would be great if those in Coimbatore can see if his photo or records are there in the Town Hall. Any help appreciated.
Good to know aout this!!!
 

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Historian C.R. Elangovan recalls the 40-year struggle it took to bring Siruvani water to the people of Coimbatore.


One hundred and ten — that is the number of water taps that supplied the sweet Siruvani to the people of Coimbatore. It was on April 29, and the year was 1929. “In Race Course there were just six water connections,” says C.R. Elangovan. He has recorded the history of Coimbatore in eight books including Coimbatore Varalaru, Siruvani and Kovaiyum Cinemavum.

People offered flowers and worshipped the tap. It was the lifeline of Coimbatore, he says. It took 40 years for the project to see light. And, it was the entrepreneurial spirit of the visionary C.S. Rathinasabapathy Mudaliar that made it happen. Rathinasabapathy Mudaliar took charge as a member of the Municipal Corporation as a councillor and then became the chairman. “He gave a new lease of life to the proposed government project of generating hydel power from Siruvani and also meets the drinking water requirements of the city. The South Indian Railway Company, a private company entered the project in 1913 and agreed to fund it,” he says.

Later, they dropped out and supported the hydel projects at Kundha and Pycara in The Niligiris. Coimbatore missed the bus and this was not the first time.

The first document available on Siruvani scheme is from a lecture by S.P.Narasimmalu Naidu on August 25, 1889 about his visit to Siruvani Hills and Muthikulam Falls. In 1889, he submitted a proposal to bring the water downwards from Muthikulam Falls to River Noyyal.

“A representative of the Indian National Congress, Narasimmalu Naidu was also a journalist, orator and landlord. A multi-faceted personality, he was keen to do public service. In the course of his treks in the Velliangiri Hills, he had observed that the Muthikulam Falls had abundant water all through the year. He made several trips there. It did not deter him that elephants and tigers roamed freely in the forest. After heavy rains, there was the danger of malaria. And it was leech infested. But he battled it all and conducted a survey,” says Elangovan.

He submitted the proposal to the collector. It was to connect Muthikulam Falls, a perennial source of water with Noyyal to meet the drinking water requirements of the city. They put the project on hold due to lack of funds. Five other drinking projects, using water from River Noyyal bed above Vellalur Anaicut ( 1893), Chithirai Chavadi canal scheme (1900), Muthannan Kulam (1901), new reservoir below Krishnampathy kulam( 1908) and from Sanganur stream and Singanallur tank, turned out to be failures. “There was neither electricity nor any vehicular connectivity from Noyyal to get the water to the city. And, people continued to suffer,” he recounts.

It was Rathinasabapathy Mudaliar’s charisma and his influence in Madras that helped kick-start the project in 1920. “He visited Siruvani hills with the official survey team. The Revised Siruvani scheme was a package of drinking water and hydel power projects. The water from Muthikulam falls, Pattiar, Paambar streams together become the Siruvani River. The project took off in full steam,” says the historian.

They started the construction of a check dam at Siruvani to collect the water and bring the major portion of water down through a tunnel.

Skilled labourers were brought in from Kolar Gold Mines of Karnataka. Though everything went smoothly, heavy rains played havoc. It led to heavy landslides and the entire structure crumbled. But, Rathinasabapathy Mudaliar didn’t give up. After a quick recovery work, the water was brought to the town on April 26, 1929. And, Coimbatore boomed. The sweetness of the water is attributed to the green atmosphere, and the balanced mineral content. “For most part, it travels without any interference from human habitation. So there is no pollution. When Rathinasabapathy Mudaliar died, people placed Siruvani water at his feet and prayed.”


http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/40year-struggle-to-bring-siruvani-water-to-coimbatore/article7185104.ece
 

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http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/the-story-of-raja-veedhi-saits/article7287255.ece

The story of Raja Veedhi Saits

Tikamdas Rajani was a merchant dealing in rubies and diamonds at Shikarpur, a part of Sindh in Pakistan. Sindhi merchants were involved in trade and thanks to the railroad which came to India, they could explore greener pastures. That is how Madhavdas, the second son of Tikamdas came across Coimbatore during one of his travels. He liked what he saw of the city, its developing commercial atmosphere and its people and he decided to move here. The family set up home and shop in Coimbatore before partition.

Naraindas and Gobindram, Madhavdas’ brothers moved in with their families too and thus and began a fresh chapter in their lives from the Raja Street area of the city. The son of Naraindas, octogenarian C.N. Rajani, or as he is fondly known, Chunilal, remembers studying at the Stanes Anglo Indian School. He also remembers the train journeys which took them back and forth between Sindh and Coimbatore, “The train journey lasted about four days. We boarded the train at Shikarpur and then change trains twice at Marwar and Mumbai in order to come to Coimbatore. We carried food with us, traditional stuff such as koki - a fat onion stuffed roti, lola – a sweet phulka, dhal stuffed phulkas and fried potatoes along with pickles and the famous Sindhi papads. Water was refilled at railway stations. The entire family travelled together. We never returned to Sindh after Partition. Our family established the banking firm ‘Naraindas Gobindram’ before independence with the resources on hand and later we added capital thanks to compensation granted by the Government of India.”

Naraindas Gobindram was located in Raja street and the family began lending money to traders, jewellers, cloth merchants, bus operators, theatre operators, etc., in Coimbatore and later in Erode, Pollachi, Palladam, Tirupur, Mettupalayam and a number of other nearby commercial centres. It was in these centres that they funded vegetable vendors, bidi manufacturers, farmers and the knitwear industry. The banks used to refinance the Sindhi banking firm thereby enabling the indigenous bankers to expand their base further. The firm Naraindas Gobindram had hundreds of clients who borrowed money for short durations but regularly and collections were weekly, monthly and quarterly.

Adds Chunilal, “We had a busy accounts department where all the transactions were recorded and since we had a large number of clients we used to asses the general commercial condition on a regular basis. Those days Coimbatore was the only big trading and retail centre. Therefore the commercial establishments were kept open for longer hours in order to provide service to the mofussil customers. The people of Coimbatore were sincere and we hardly had any bad debts. We did not face difficulties and were quickly absorbed into the society. Our neighbours took very good care of our children and we never felt out of place, ever. We were always on the move and would travel for business. Our community was mostly located in Raja street, Oppanakkara street, Vysial street and Thomas street those days. The people of Coimbatore were not only enterprising but also very hospitable. On our part we reinvested every rupee we made here itself and never took capital out of the city and are happy for having done so. I must further state that captains of the local business community like P.K.Doraiswamy Gounder were always very helpful."

The Sindhis took to banking and a number of them were popular textile merchants too. They established the Sindhi Vidyalaya, Shikarpur Sindh Bankers Association , temples and a number of other institutions. They celebrated the Sindhi New Year - Cheti- chand, Diwali and other traditional festivals with gusto. They continue to worship their patron deity, Jhoole Lal, who they believe has guided them for over thousand years. Jhoole Lal apparently promoted harmony among the various communities in Sindh.

“As children, we would go to the Shaahibag canal in Sindh and bathe in the waters while our mother Godavari cooked for us. The waters of the Indus nourished us. The only thing that we miss are the many varieties of fruits that was available in Sindh those days. However the coffee houses of Coimbatore and the tree lined Race Course, the water bodies of Coimbatore made us feel at home."

The family of ‘Naraindas Gobindram’ were known as the Raja Veedhi Saits and like the other members of this community they moved on to R.S.Puram. Over the years they have become teachers, doctors, and businessmen who have added much to the commercial and social fabric of Coimbatore.
 

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Coimbatore’s Punjabi connection

Coimbatore’s Punjabi connection^^^^



The Khanna family, which settled down in Coimbatore after Partition, established a string of businesses including Rhythm House and Super Crush by 1949

Sait Lakhuram & Sons were general merchants who also dealt with arms and ammunition in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) before the Partition. The firm also manufactured ice and soda in the walled town of Bannu. It was managed by the family of Kuljasrai Khanna. Around the time of World War II, Kuljasrai and his sons — Prakash Lal, Roshanlal, Somnath, BrijMohan and Jagmohan — got an opportunity to run military canteens.

Octogenarian Brij Mohan Khanna remembers moving to Coimbatore at the age of 16 after an arduous rail journey. The family took care of the needs of the Wiltshire regiment (stationed at Pooluvapatti on Siruvani Road) and the Scottish regiment in Dommilipalayam. Brij Mohan used the military vehicles to pick up provisions and other requirements. When the military camps closed after the end of the war, the Khanna family branched off into other businesses. Brij Mohan remembers going back to the NWFP one last time during the Dussera of 1946.

The Khanna family settled down in Coimbatore after partition and the Union Government gave a small property near Variety Hall Road to compensate them for their loss of property in the NWFP. Subsequently they established a string of businesses including the Triplex Drycleaners, Ajanta Cycles and the Rhythm House and Super Crush on N.H. Road by 1949.

While Rhythm House sold and serviced radios, Super Crush produced and distributed a variety of ‘cool drinks’.

The firm used water from the Siruvani to manufacture these drinks. Alum was used to filter the water and essences from Bush Boake & Allen were used as flavouring. Sugar was purchased under the permit system and the glass bottles and caps were from Alembic. Locally made wooden crates were used to store the beverages. Super Crush was one of the earliest to distribute them on tricylces to their clients.

Super Crush was sold at all the petty shops in town and was also available at all theatre canteens. It was supplied to the Madukkarai ACC factory in bullock carts and the Defence Services were also major clients.

The Defence Services tested the samples at their Mysore lab; sent their personnel to spray mosquito repellents at the Super Crush facility; and their doctors would ensure the regular inoculation of the workers.

The drinks were priced at 15 annas per dozen while the sodas were available at 12 annas per dozen.

Brij Mohan Khanna remembers, “We supplied Super Crush beverages to all weddings and it was exclusive at the sporting events in town. We sent our beverages to the Ooty Race Course in the racing season and we made special beverages exclusively for Rai Sahib K.L. Johar’s Sea Lord Hotel in Cochin. In fact we were the first to supply beverages for the first-ever car races held nearly 60 years ago in Sulur. Super Crush was also available at the stores located in the spinning mills in Coimbatore. We celebrated the Silver Jubilee in the 1970s. Our sodas were a favourite in all the political meetings those days.”

In fact Brij Mohan Khanna’s family organised the first Punjabi gathering at Coimbatore on Baisakhi in 1953. “Those days, we used to skate from our house on N.H Road to Attupalam on the concrete road.

This was the first-of-its-kind bridge in India constructed by H.S. Singh. I studied at the Sanathan Dharma School in Bannu. However, I could not continue my education here for our NWFP Education Board was not recognised in the old Madras State. My interest in diving, swimming and hockey on skates made my younger days really interesting. Mine was the first Punjabi wedding in town. The growth of Coimbatore turned me into a construction person and I built many structures for the Defence Services later.”

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/coimbatores-punjabi-connection/article7715893.ece
 

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Taking to their wheels

Taking to their wheels^^^^




The cycle is back in favour as a green mode of transport. Many years ago, it was a popular mode of transport, cost effective and easy to maintain. In 1895, Annie Londonderry went around the world on a bicycle. The same year William Fraser, the Englishman who worked for Sir Robert Stanes, brought the bicycle to Coimbatore. He lived on the southern side of the Coimbatore Spinning & Weaving Mills, the Fraser Square.

The cycle was a great hit, especially for those who relied on bullock- or horse-drawn carts for transportation. Cotton farmers especially, began to use the cycles to travel to cotton markets and the newly established ginning factories on the eastern side of the Coimbatore district.

Brothers P.S.G. Venkataswamy Naidu, P.S.G. Rangaswamy Naidu, P.S.G. Ganga Naidu and P.S.G. Narayanaswamy Naidu cycled beyond Avinashi up to Erode for work. The founders of Radhakrishna Mills, V. Rangaswamy Naidu and Rao Bahadur Gopal Naidu of Peelamedu also cycled all the way to Avinashi. Octogenarian businessman M. Palaniswamy Chettiar remembers getting his first bicycle in 1939 for Rs. 85, a princely sum those days, he says. “Raleigh was a famous brand and, if one fixed the famous ‘Brooks’ seat on it, it was costlier by about four rupees. Green cycles were costlier. My friend P.A.R. Viswanathan had a dynamo-fitted cycle that cost nearly Rs.100 those days. Once my cycle was stolen and a friend identified it near Rainbow theatre. The thief abandoned the cycle and ran away.”

G. Rathinavel of Royal Theatres remembers, “We used to offer cycle tickets those days. Our theatre held a maximum of 634 cycles at a time. We charged one anna for cycle parking and later it was increased based on inflation and market conditions.” L.G. Balakrishnan & Brothers from Coimbatore was a market leader, which made the famous ‘Rolon’ cycle chains. Doctors visited their patients on cycles. Dr. S.R. Srikantan, the famous physician, used to go about with a jacket and his medical kit on a cycle in the busy Big Bazaar area in the pre-war days.

There were several cycle shops on Variety Hall Road. The Shah Cycle Importing Company and the Presidency Cycle Importing Company are the oldest. Chetan Shah of Shah Importing Company says, “Our company started over 60 years ago by Udaykanth Popatlal Shah. We had an import license and cycles came from Raleigh in England. Each imported case held 10 cycles. We assembled them before selling them. People waited to take delivery of their cycles and the entire family visited the shop, did a puja and then took the cycle away. We charged separately for the pedal and the seats. Cycle renters were our big customers and they used to buy 24 cycles in one go. There was a popular scheme for Government employees to purchase cycles and it was a big driving force then. Earlier kerosene lamps were used as lights and subsequently the ‘Miller’ dynamo came in. We sold puncture repair kits too. The spares came from Ludhiana and we sold brass bells first and bells made of other materials thereafter. Some of our customers fixed fancy accessories and looked after their cycle very well. The locks, baby seats, side boxes came from England those days. Booking agents took orders directly and the companies sent their technicians to train our people. The doyen of the cycle industry world wide, Om Prakash Munjal, visited our store to promote the Hero cycles. One had to get a license from a Government office located in Podanur in order to use a cycle. An aluminium label was issued by the authorities and it had to be fixed on each and every cycle.”

Cycles began to be used by factory workers, women, milk vendors, cooking gas distributors and sweet vendors in a big way later. Old-timers like Rammohan recall, “There was a vendor who sold jude garam (flattened channa mixture), sonpapdi and kulfi on his cycle. He would sing as he cycled and did business.”

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/on-the-shah-cycle-importing-company-and-the-presidency-cycle-importing-company-the-oldest-cycle-shops-of-coimbatore/article8028927.ece
 

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Podanur - welcoming in the first train

Built in 1862, the Podanur Railway Junction, considered the oldest in the entire region, has been visited by leaders during the freedom struggle and has its share in history. Even the Chennai Central Junction was built only in 1871, nine years after the Podanur one. The junction, an old structure, has withstood the test of time and vagaries of nature for the last 140-odd years. The building has not gone through any major structural change and the colonial building had just seen fresh coats of paints. Whenever, there used to be minor repairs, it was carefully attended to replacing only the worn out portions and the appearance has been kept intact, say railway officials. However, around the structure, there had been several developments to meet the growing demand for facilities. Some of the oldest items in the Junction namely glass jars, hat hanger (used by the British railwaymen), carved iron stair case and wooden benches are still there.

Podanur Junction has its share of legacy too. It was on November 19, 1921 that a goods wagon from Malabar region came to Podanur and on opening the same the officials were shocked to see 60 to 70 dead bodies tumbling out. The victims were those arrested by the Malabar police during the violence that erupted in what was known as Khilafat Rebellion or Mappila Rebellion.

Next was when Mahatama Gandhi visited Podanur Junction on March 19, 1925. Later, during his campaign tour for Harijan welfare in January 1934, Mahatma Gandhi was scheduled to reach Podanur Junction. But because of the fear of crowd management, the train was stopped mid-way at Chettipalayam and Gandhi alighted from the train, was picked up in a car by T.S. Avanashilingam Chettiar and was driven to Coonoor.

The junction, just six km from Coimbatore, has four platforms and eight railway lines. On an average, 65 pairs of trains pass through it and some of them do not even stop at Podanur. Whenever there is a discussion to decongest Coimbatore Junction or to develop a satellite station, Podanur is highlighted as the best choice.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/podanur-welcoming-in-the-first-train/article8090776.ece?ref=tpnews
 

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The oldest Chess Association in India

The oldest Chess Association in India^^^^

The oldest chess association in India, Coimbatore District Chess Association celebrated its Platinum Jubilee just a few days ago. Apart from creating huge stars in the country, CDCA was also responsible for Vishy Anand becoming a GM - the five time World Champion made his final GM norm in the Sakthi Finance GM tournament in Coimbatore! This article pays homage to the wonderful talents produced and the incomparable work done by this Association.

Coimbatore District Chess Association is 75 Years Old
The oldest Chess Association in India – the Coimbatore District Chess Association celebrated its Platinum Jubilee recently. Founded in 1940, the first President of the Association was Sri GK Sundaram (1915 – 2009), uncle of India’s Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan, and GKS also became the President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, the forerunner of chess in India, later. Coimbatore has had a telling impact on the growth of chess in India and particularly the Tamil Nadu state. Though much of the activities here date back to 1920s, the history was carried down by mouth without solid proof.

During the tenure of 75 years, Coimbatore DCA has produced several national champions, state champions and organised several national and international tournaments. The man behind the growth of chess, even before the advent Vishy Anand to chess was Sri. N. Mahalingam (1923 – 2014) from Pollachi, an agricultural and industrial town in Coimbatore district, who served All India Chess Federation and Tamil Nadu State Chess Association as president.



Dr.N. Mahalingam receives an award from the then President of India Dr. J. Abdul Kalam
It was Dr. Mahalingam who announced hefty cash incentives to achievers of IM and GM titles, not from Government or association, but from his own pocket. The ardent chess lover had matched wits with several grandmasters over the board and was a keen follower of the game.



Dr. Mahalingam plays a game with Vishy Anand
Coimbatore shot into prominence for another reason – five times world champion Viswanathan Anand achieved his third and final GM norm to become the first grandmaster of India in Sakthi Finance GM tournament here in 1987. Anand has more successful incidents related to Coimbatore – he won the Asian Junior Chess Championship at Coimbatore in 1984. Later, when Anand emerged World Junior Champion in Philippines (1987), his team manager was Sri T.P. Narayanan, a dedicated coach and administrator, who was the secretary of Coimbatore District Chess Association. Narayanan also served as secretary of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association.



When Anand emerged world Junior champion in 1987, his team manager was Sri T.P. Narayanan from Coimbatore



Anand achieved his final GM norm from the tournament at Coimbatore

Anand en route to achieving his final GM norm at the Sakthi Finance tournament in Coimbatore scored wins against Ravi Hegde, Mithrakanth, K.Murugan, Pravin Thipsay, Evgeni Vasiukov, Efim Geller, Lanka Ravi and Shekhar Sahu. Here is Anand's fine victory over Mitrakanth



Coimbatore has not lagged behind in producing chess players. Guess who the boy is? He was born and brought up in Coimbatore. He is...

.International master V. Saravanan, a regular contributor to Chessbase, hails from this industrial city.



PV Nirmala (right), played for India in the Chess Olympiad at Dubai in 1986



Former Commonwealth champion IM P. Mithrakanth is a calm and quite player. His chess career has helped him to get a job in NLC as Sports officer.
We showed you a game above where Anand beat Mitrakanth is just 27 moves. Just a year later Mitrakanth did better by beating Vishy in 26 moves! Here's the game:


Gireman Ja (left), contributed to the gold medal winning performance of India in the World Youth Olympiad in China (2013). He has also won several state titles.



VS Rathnavel won the bronze medal in the World Youth Chess Championship at Brazil in 2010



K Priyanka played in the National Women Premier championship 2015 held at Kolkata. R. Ganesh, who represented Indian Under 15 team in the exposure trip to Russia is also from Coimbatore



IM Raja Ravisekhar who worked for Lakshmi Mills in Coimbatore won the national championship twice, in 1976 and 1979



The present secretary of the district association is V. Vijayaraghavan, an experienced international arbiter, who officiated in the World Youth Chess Championships in Slovenia in 2012, is seen here with the legendary Arthur Yusupov.
The Platinum Jubilee celebrations were organised in a grand manner. Tournaments were held for various categories and sections, for which prizes were awarded on this day. Outstanding achievers of the district were recognised by presenting mementos. The function was presided over the President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association Dr.M. Manickam (of course, from Coimbatore), the illustrious son of an illustrious father Dr.N. Mahalingam.



Shri D.V. Sundar, Vice President of FIDE, nine times national champion IM Manuel Aaron, Sri.V. Hariharan were the chief guests from the chess fraternity. Mr. Jayabal, President of CDCA and Mr. Rajesh Doraiswamy from Salzer Group of Industries, the main sponsor of the event also adorned the dais. Mr.D.V. Sundar elaborated the contributions of Dr.N. Mahalingam to the development of chess in India and Tamil Nadu. Eighty years old Mr. Manuel Aaron narrated the interesting incidents that had happened during national and international tournaments in Coimbatore.



Dr. Manickam released a souvenir on this occasion, the first copy of which was received by Sri D.V. Sundar. Also seen in the picture are nine times National Champion Manuel Aaron, V. Hariharan, General Secretary of All India Chess Federation, FIDE Vice President D.V. Sundar, TNSCA President Dr. M. Manickam, Coimbatore District CA Secretary V. Vijayaraghvan, CSCA President N Jayabal, N. Govindarajan, one of the guests of honour and D Rajesh, Patron of the Organising Committee
The credit of organising the Platinum jubilee functions and also the several tournaments in connection with the occasion goes to Mr. N. Jayabal, President of the district association, Mr.V. Vijayaraghavan, the secretary and Mr. A. Muthusamy, former state champion and also the convener for the entire show.

ChessBase India congratulates Coimbatore District Chess Association for their humongous contribution to the development of chess not only in the state of Tamil Nadu but in the entire nation.

http://chessbase.in/news/cdca-75-years/
 

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Books document history of R S Puram, lives of industrialists

Books document history of R S Puram, lives of industrialists^^^^

COIMBATORE: How many people know that R S Puram was carved out of 400 acres of agricultural land in the 1950s to primarily create more housing for people of a growing town?

Many more facts about the locality are revealed in historian C R Elangovan's new book 'R S Puram Andrum Indrum' which was launched on Tuesday evening.

It was an evening of nostalgia for seasoned writers and publishers who had gathered at the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the launch of the renowned historian's two books 'R S Puram Andrum Indrum' and 'Kovaikkum Thozhil Endru Peru'.


R S Puram serves as a role model for not just Coimbatore and the state but the entire country, said publisher K Jagadeesan. "Besides being well-planned, it has a mixed population of Tamils, Telugus, Kannadigas, Malayalees and north Indians. "The whole area is planned so well that it forms a perfect square with its four corners being Thadagam Road, Mettupalayam Road, Cowley Brown Road and Mill Road," he added.


Mayor P Rajkumar, who was the chief guest of the event, said that every time the corporation saw R S Puram, named after Diwan Bahadur Rathnasabapathy Mudaliar, on their map, they were filled with pride. "The roads are not perpendicular to the main road, but have splays or blunt edges, making turns easier, as per international standards," he said. The original builders had even left a small space on either side of the road called sanitary lane, but over the years, it has been encroached on.


The mayor also welcomed the idea of the two books, saying they would serve as fitting momentos for visiting tourists. "Whenever I travel abroad I like to get a small booklet about the place I'm visiting. Now, I can hand out these books to visitors," he said.


Speaking about 'Kovaikkum Thozhil Endru Peru', where the historian has chronicled the lives of industrialists G D Naidu, A V Varadharajan and Pazhamudhir Chinnaswamy, ICCIC president D Nandhakumar said, "We wanted to document their stories as a treasure for future generations.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/Books-document-history-of-R-S-Puram-lives-of-industrialists/articleshow/53835651.cms
 

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History of one of Asia's largest villages

History of one of Asia's largest villages^^^^




Vellalore village in Coimbatore district is one of the Asia's largest villages. It is located on the southern banks of the Noyyal River. In the past, it has functioned as a very important trade center associated with the Ancient Roman economy. According to Mr.Jagadeesan, an official of the Kongu Kalai Kalanjiyam, among Roman coins that were excavated in Tamil Nadu, 80% of them were unearthed from Vellalore alone. He further adds that trade between the two centers has been happening even prior to the 1st Century.

Historical inscriptions that speak about the region indicates that the village has been called with names such as 'Vallalore' and 'Annadana Sivapuri'. In two of the old temples located in the village, the names of the Chera kings, Kokandan Veera Narayanan and Kokandan Ravikothai can be seen, indicating that the region must have been under the Chera rule for some period of time.

The Vellalore lake adjoins areas like Podanur, Chettipalayam Village, and Singanallur. With a perimeter of 4.5 km, the lake has an irrigational spread of over 617 acres. It receives water through 'Raja Vaaikkaal', a canal that flows from 'Sunnaambu Kaalvaai'. Today, the canal bed and sides of Raja Vaaikkaal remains encroached, and more than two thousand houses have been built on these encroached lands. The situation is such that, only if the encroachments on Raja Vaaikkaal are removed, water flow into the lake is possible.

Our forefathers built this very wonderful canal with a width of around 80 ft. It passes through Podanur, Sai Nagar, Nadar colony, Konavaaikaal Paalayam and finally reaches Vellalore Lake. Whenever water flows in the Noyyal River, water is supposed to flow into the lake as well. But in the last 30 years, only twice the lake has received water from Noyyal and that too just partially. The reason is, the entire water path to the lake is now filled with muck and garbage. If the existing canal, which runs to a distance of about 6 km is desilted, the level of underwater tables in nearly 20 adjoining villages will rise substantially. But then, in order to bring the lake 'back to life', support of people from nearby villages and help of Coimbatore Corporation are required.


http://simpli-city.in/web/articles/219/history-of-one-of-asia-039-s-largest-villages
 

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The founding of the Tamilnadu Jewellers Federation

The founding of the Tamilnadu Jewellers Federation^^^^



Coimbatore is today the largest jewellery manufacturing centre in South India. The city was among the earliest to have guild for jewellers in this part of the country. :cheers:The pioneering jeweller from Coimbatore P.A.Raju Chettiar (1895-1984) was instrumental in ensuring that the modern day jeweller was united with his creed while also providing the best to the customer. P.A.Raju Chettiar (the jeweller who happened to be the first to hallmark jewellery in India and gurantee the buy back of jewels from customers way back during the year 1917) felt that the jewellers could use their trade bodies to serve the needs of the poor in addition to addressing their issues as part of social responsibility. He founded the Coimbatore Arya Vysya Nagai Vyabarigal Mahasabhai during the year 1923 and brought in the common rate policy for the jewellers of this region, a move which was much ahead of the times.



Jewellers of the then Madras State used to visit Coimbatore and seek guidance on a regular basis from P.A.Raju Chettiar and this fueled the need to establish the Coimbatore & Jewellery Fine Arts Association in 1951 which eventually led to the founding of the Tamilnadu Thangam Velli Vairam Nagai Vyabarigal Sammelanam (Tamilnadu Jewellers Federation) by the year 1952. The first meeting of the Tamilnadu Jewellers Federation was held at Madurai and it was the first ever conference of jewellers from all over the State. Our State was known as "Madras" then, however the jewellers felt the need to call their guild so due to their love for Tamil and it was P.A.Raju Chettiar who motivated them to do so.



P.A.Raju Chettiar at the head of the table, along with the jewellers and Meenakshisundaram Achari, diamond smith and close friend of M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar

All the leading jewellers of Tamilnadu attended the conference and they included Vummidi Pandurangaiah, Nathella Sampath Chetty, K.Ramakrishna Pillai of K.R & Sons (Coimbatore), K.R.Radhakrishnan, Meenakshisundaram Achari (Coimbatore) - the wonderful diamond smith and personal friend of the first Superstar of Tamil cinema M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar etc., The conference went on for two days and the jewellers of Madurai played host for the same. P.A.Raju Chettiar was elected as the Chairman of the conference and the Minister for Handicrafts, Government of Madras Dr.U.Krishna Rao was the Chief Guest. The "Mani Vizha" Malar - a souvenir authored and published by S.A.Manickkam the Editor of "Kovai Murasu" on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of P.A.Raju Chettiar, carries the inaugural address which sheds light on the problems and issues faced by the jewellers of the yonder era.


P.A.Raju Chettair addressing the jewellers



In his inaugural address, the veteran jeweller P.A.Raju Chettiar who put Coimbatore on the jewellery map of the world extolled the jewellers of the State to set up local Jewellery Guilds and affiliate them with the Federation. Its surprising to note that the Tamilnadu Jewellers Federation was born before several of the Jewellers Associations who joined in later. Thanks to the founding of the Jewellers Federation, the cities and towns with jewellers followed common trade practices and this was in the interest of the customers. The speech of P.A.Raju Chettiar addressed the issues relating to Sales Tax and license fees, the Factories Act wherein he stated that an exemption was required for jewellery manufacture for it was a craft which had to be learnt from childhood. He stressed the need to use common weights and measures all over the State while also seeking exemptions from the Shops and Establishments Act with regard to holidays on 'Muhurtham' days for people would want to purchase ornaments on such auspicious days. Again he spoke about the need to let off the jewellers from the clutches of the "Levadevi Sattam" dealing with pawn broking for the jewellers used to really help the common man by lending up to 75% of the value of the ornaments compared to pawnbrokers who used to lend up to a value of 50% only. Those days the eyes of law were not kind to jewellers in connection with retrieval of stolen ornaments and a number of jewellers went through ordeals due to the same. Several innocent jewellers got into trouble with the police and the attention of the Honourable Dr.U.Krishna Rao was drawn towards this issue too.



The First conference of the Jewellers from all over Madras State held under the auspices of the Tamilnadu Jewellers Federation was a grand success and the Government of Madras granted exemptions to the jewellery sector. P.A.Raju Chettiar who was known as the "Henry Ford" of the jewellery sector during the period of change in India did much for the jewellers, craftsmen and everyone concerned with this sector during his long career. Coimbatore has thus far had three people who have headed the Tamilnadu Jewellers Federation and they are P.A.Raju Chettiar, K.Govindarajulu and D.R.Raghunath. Several jewellers from Coimbatore including the pioneering wholesale jeweller K.S.Pandurangan have done much for the Tamilnadu Jewellers Federation.



From the first ever conference of Jewellers at the time of the historic founding of the Tamilnadu Jewellers Federation

http://simpli-city.in/web/articles/202/the-founding-of-the-tamilnadu-jewellers-federation
 
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