A literary conference on saint-poet Thiruvalluvar, author of Thirukkural, was jointly organised in Visakhapatnam by VGP World Tamil Association and Tamil Kalai Mandram to mark the unveiling of Thiruvalluvar statue at the TKM premises. Seventy Tamil scholars took part in five different sessions, along with nearly 25 women scholars. Each scholar dealt with one couplet with a theme. Head of the department of Tamil in Stella Maris College, Chennai, Ulaga Nayaki, Palani, led the team of scholars. Former Vice Chancellor Avvai Natarajan, writer and journalist Dhivakar, poet Seeralan, and Perumkavikko chaired a session each while the fifth was ‘Pattimandram’ a debate on family values and sacrifices by husband and wife for the welfare of the family, conducted by Avvai Natarajan and the participants included A. Manoharan of Vizag, Devakumar from Vijayawada and Rajamanickam of Hyderabad.

Padmasree, aged eight, rendered some of the 1330 couplets of Thirukkural with flawless explanation of the rich moral values embedded in the work. She was given cash awards by Visakhapatnam-based Durai Swamy and others. Colourful dances to songs in Bengali, Marathi and Tamil were also staged as part o the conference with notable performances by students of S. Thilakavathi of Nirmala Music and Dance, Gajuwaka.