Newspaper marts and small shops in different parts of the city were all decked up with copies of The Hindu and its supplements.

They were celebrating their victory in the display contest organised by The Hindu for retail outlets in the city during the last three months. Participants were judged for their innovative display of the newspaper and its supplements in their stores.

As many as nine outlets emerged winners in the contest that was organised for 400 select retail outlets engaged in the sale and distribution of the newspaper. Actor Vivek gave away cash prizes totalling Rs.45,000 to the winners on Friday.

The actor visited the nine outlets – Kumar News Mart, Annai News Mart and Jaya News Mart in Mylapore, Lakshmi News Mart, Aminjikarai, Sridevi News Mart, Kilpauk, Junaitha News Mart, Thirumangalam, Saraswathi News Mart, Choolaimedu, Thangam News Mart, Santhome and Ponniamman News Mart, Purasawalkam – and congratulated the winners.

As the actor stepped out of his car and walked towards the small stores, fans excitedly crowded around him enquiring about his latest film and finding quick photo opportunities to pose with him.

After the actor visited a few outlets in Mylapore, a bearded man, in his late forties, walked up to Mr.Vivek and said: “Sir, include a message on this bus day nuisance in your next film. It's becoming a major problem.”

“Sir, I saw Seedan today. I bunked school, picked up a black ticket for Rs.500 to watch the film. I loved your comedy track,” said a teenaged fan, who ran up to the actor's car. “I value such opportunities precisely for these reasons. Meeting people and getting their feedback is very exciting,” said Mr. Vivek. Observing that several ideas and inputs for his “message-based” comedy sequences came from the common man, he said: “Humour should be based on current themes and be relevant to viewers.”

Describing The Hindu as a “movement”, he said “The newspaper takes credible information and knowledge to every nook and corner. I am an ardent reader for years.”

For retailers too, the paper has meant a lot. S. Kumar, owner of a newspaper mart in Mylapore and one of the prize winners, said: “I am a chemistry graduate. I even got job offers in Bombay. I find being in the business of newspaper very exciting and have never thought of any other profession.”

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012

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