‘Maamadurai Potruvom’, first edition of the three-day cultural extravaganza in Madurai, evoked a positive response among the public, particularly the youth.

“Hereafter, this will be another festival we will look forward to every year in Madurai. It really was an opportunity for us to educate our students on the rich culture of our city and the programmes definitely had a good impact,” said L.R. Sangeetha Priya, Assistant Professor of the English Department in Fatima College.

The students and staff of our college were too happy to patronise ‘Sungudi’ saris, unique to Madurai region. Promoting products that are unique to Madurai in the colleges was a good idea, she added.

Enlightenment

“The celebration gave us so much of happiness because the entire city was enlightened. Rs.20 lakh worth ‘Sungudi’ saris were sold in the sales organised in nine colleges in the city. It was a success that a large number of youth were attracted to ‘Sungudi’ saris”, said R. Shankar Narayan, Assistant General Manager of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), who organised the ‘Sungudi’ sale in colleges.

Clad in varied vibrant hues of newly purchased ‘Sungudi’ saris during the inauguration of the festival, the college going crowd definitely set the tone of ‘Maamadurai Potruvom’, which glorified everything about Madurai.

Events such as the carnival pulled huge crowds to the roads and saw them take part in the celebrations.

“We witnessed several dance forms native to Madurai for the first time at the carnival. The live telecast of the carnival in local television channels was also a good idea. It reached the people who did not come out of their houses”, said R.Vaishnavi, a teacher of Lakshmi School, Veerapanjan.

As many as 36 different forms of dance were performed at the carnival.

“We are extremely happy with the impact of the carnival. Next year more tableaux would be included. This year, people were motivated by watching tableaux on the antiquity and rich history of the city. In future, the achievements of people from Madurai, the products manufactured in Madurai and other aspects would be highlighted during the celebrations,” said S. Rethinavelu, senior president of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who organised the carnival.

“The carnival was something new for Madurai. The three-day celebration gave us a proud feeling about the city we live in and we are glad that something is happening to glorify Madurai”, said S. Parthasarathy, a businessman and an aero modeller, who conducted an air show as part of the celebrations at Race Course Grounds on Sunday.

Besides, educating the public on Madurai’s antiquity, culture and heritage, another aspect, the mayor, collector and the organising committee, harped upon on all the occasions of the celebration was to keep the city clean.

Pledge to keep the city clean of garbage; the organisers urged the public during the inauguration of the celebration at Tamukkam Grounds on Friday.

“The programme has given the public all the motivation needed to keep the city clean. The corporation and the public should join hands to keep Madurai clean,” insisted Ms Vaishnavi.

Volunteers should be identified in each residential area and they should be made to monitor that their area is clean, she added.

“More youngsters should be included in the team of volunteers. Especially, the Vaigai should be kept clean throughout the year. It is not just enough if the river is cleaned prior to ‘Chithirai Tiruvizha’ or any other festival,” Ms Vaishnavi said.

“We have seen enough of Madurai’s past glory during the three-day celebration. Now the real challenge is whether the city will be kept clean at least hereafter. Cleanliness is something Madurai has disregarded for a long while now. To evolve something substantial, the corporation and the public should join hands,” said S. Karthick, a doctor of Apollo Hospitals in Madurai.

Awareness created

“Great awareness has been created among the public on the importance of Madurai. It is time to give utmost priority on the cleanliness aspect of the city. Most importantly, the entire course of the ‘Vaigai’ should be cleaned and kept free of drainage henceforth,” said Mr Rethinavelu.

“People have shown tremendous enthusiasm during the celebration. That spirit should be kept up in maintaining the city clean”, concluded Mr. Shankar Narayan.

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