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On the wings of hope

Now a new year brings with it the promise of change and new hopes  

It’s been an eventful year, to say the least. The city sank, but its people rose. Bridges were broken, but bonds were built. Now a new year brings with it the promise of change and new hopes. Five Chennai personalities share their expectations for the city in 2016 with Team MetroPlus.

Celebrate our spirit

This city never fails to surprise me. Just when it proved that it can beat any feel-good Hollywood crisis movie, through its acts of kindness to strangers, during the December deluge, it goes unnecessarily ballistic over the ‘beep song’ right after.

My hope for the city is that it does not forget the genuine spirit of mankind that every single person discovered in himself/ herself during the crisis. The spirit that rose above silly battles we choose to fight on a daily basis united us. I hope that unconditional generosity continues to remain at the surface and doesn’t get buried beneath trivialities. And I hope it doesn’t take another crisis for us to be nice people again. 

- Suchitra Karthik, Singer

A city for everyone

My biggest hope for the New Year is that people rediscover Chennai in an ecologically sensitive way. I hope people understand the city better; that they are blessed with over 300 lakes, two marshlands and a hill range. Chennai is not home to just us, but to the black bucks, Olive Ridley sea turtles, a variety of birds and frogs; we should hence be environmentally responsible. 2016 should be the year when we give back to the city that gave us our job and everything we have; it should be the year that we celebrate Chennai at an individual level.

- Arun Krishnamurthy, Founder, Environmentalist Foundation of India

Circle of days

Hope is a placebo for those who place their belief in fortune tellers and star positions. I see the next 365 days like the last 365 and a million 365s before it; changes will occur if I endeavour to make it happen, otherwise it will all be the same. We are already in a phase where mass hysteria is art, where worth is calculated in YouTube hits and awards are for sale. In 2015, some people died and some defied, more selfies were taken and many were forsaken. 2016 will arrive as did 15, 14, 13 and 12, and it too, for 366 days, will strive and weigh. We will continue to do what we do, and keep walking. The city will stay and watch us walk; it will count to 365 and then, begin again.

- V. Balakrishnan, Artistic Director, Theatre Nisha

Lead by example

Will this always remain a dream… that Chennai should be one of the cleanest cities to live? That hygiene and sanitation should be a way of life for each and every individual, rather than ‘projects’ or ‘drives’? When I see my fellow humans being callous and insensitive, which is evident from how much we pollute our surrounding areas by spitting and littering, stripping them of their sheen, it irks and saddens. The cognisance that a clean nation is a ‘healthy’ nation has to come from within each one of us. Let us lead by example — starting from teaching our children and everyone around us what is right and wrong, the merits of recycling to save our planet and minimising the amount of waste we churn out. This 2016, let us unite to make the earth a better place for us to live in.

- Sudha Ragunathan, Carnatic singer

Youth power

I hope 2016 is when we realise the mistakes we have committed in the past and become more equipped for the future. We should not forget the days we suffered during the floods; now that relief is over, rehabilitation is the key. There are many Government school children who have lost essentials like books, uniforms… It’s now time to inspire them to get back to school. I also hope that we take stock of roads and houses this year; I foresee 2016 to be a year when we’ll be more socially responsible, irrespective of who we are. I also expect to see a lot more youngsters at the forefront, taking the lead in educating and helping people. On the whole, I wish to see a positive society taking shape in Chennai.

- Vishal, Actor

Embrace responsibility

We need to continue the spirit that we had during the floods, and we should not wait for another disaster to show the same spirit. Importantly, we need to be responsible citizens and also be responsible voters in the coming year.

- R. Aswin, Cricketer

(With inputs from Raveena Joseph, Srinivasa Ramanujam and Akila Kannadasan)

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 4:36:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/hopes-for-chennai-in-2016/article8049912.ece

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