Speakers stress on keeping city clean, especially river Vaigai

‘Madurai Deepam’, the ceremonial torch for ‘Maamadurai Potruvom’ was lit at Tamukkam Grounds in Madurai on Friday, marking the inauguration of the three-day cultural extravaganza.

Freedom fighter K. Lakshmikanthan Bharathi lit the torch at 10 a.m. in the presence of Collector Anshul Mishra, Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa, Corporation Commissioner R. Nanthagopal, freedom fighter I. Mayandi Bharathi, chairman of the organising committee Karumuttu T. Kannan and other members from the committee. The deepam was taken to Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, St. Mary’s Church and Goripalayam Mosque before being lit at the Tamukkan Grounds.

“Madurai is the motherland of Tamil literature. It is among the ancient cities of the world. It has a non-perennial water source in the river Vaigai”, said S. Venkatesan, Sahitya Academy award winning novelist and one of the vice-presidents in the organising committee.

“That the city flourished in trade and agriculture by depending on river Vaigai that had water only for four months in a year shows how efficient the city was in water management in the ancient days”, he said. “Madurai is one of the few cities in the world where the historical structures are still intact. We should remember it is not just the duty of the Corporation and the district administration to keep the city clean”, said Mr Karumuttu Kannan, while seeking the people’s support to keep the city clean in the future.

Mr. Rajan Chellappa recalled references to Madurai from various literary works such as ‘Madurai Kaanji’. “The lay out of the streets in Madurai, the temple architecture and business activities during day and night have found references in several works of literature, which also praise the ancient city for its cleanliness. We should take a vow to keep the city clean, especially river Vaigai”, he said.

Mr Anshul Mishra urged the youth to take interest and get to know the historical and cultural importance of MaduraiFormer district collector of Madurai S. S. Jawahar and former corporation commissioner of Madurai P.W.C. Davidar also spoke on the occasion.

Hundreds of college students formed the audience and the girls were clad in colourful ‘Sungudi’ sarees in tune with ‘Sungudi’ day.

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