The emphasis will be on improving participation from the northern and western parts of the city

The Madras Week 2013 celebrations will begin on August 18. 

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, historian S. Muthiah said that this year, the emphasis would be on improving participation from the northern and western parts of the city. The celebrations in previous years tended to focus more on neighbourhoods in the southern and central parts of the city, he noted.

“Local tabloids should cover celebrations in each neighbourhood,” he added.

“There will be more walks this year. New ideas are also under consideration,” said Vincent De Souza, one of the coordinators of the celebrations.

Several IT companies, clubs and Rotary Clubs organised programmes last year and are planning to do more this year. The celebrations have also spread to areas such as Tiruvanmiyur, Nanganallur and Tambaram. Private apartment blocks and various societies are also planning their own events.

Madras Week, which 10 years ago, started off as Madras Day — a platform to celebrate the founding of the city on August 22, 1639 — has become virtually a month-long celebration judged by the number of programmes held last year. The celebrations this year will end by September 1.

This year, a number of hotels will host talks while others will present art and photographic exhibitions besides organising food festivals with Madras cuisine as their theme. Art galleries have also taken to this event in a big way.

The Murugappa Group’s State-wide Madras Quiz for schools is now an annual event and will be the highlight of the Madras Week. 

The Chennai chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is also planning several competitions for schools and colleges, such as quizzes, elocution contests and debates with the city as the focus. 

Local groups in Vadapalani, Kodambakkam and Anna Nagar are planning events including walks and quiz contests. Chennai Heritage,  publishers of Madras Musings, will be hosting eight talks at various locations, on subjects related to the city. It will also lead several heritage walks in the city during the week.

Participation is purely a voluntary effort by those wanting to organise programmes during Madras Week. 

Co-coordinators will encourage such participation, try to organise publicity for the events, offer advice, and, where possible, arrange venues.

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