A clean sweep for Coimbatore

K. Bhagyaraj and Poornima Bhagyaraj are excited about being the brand ambassadors of Swachh Coimbatore

If you move one step forward; your civilisation also moves one step forward”

Director and actor K. Bhagyaraj says he was impressed when he saw these words on the walls of a rest room in China. “It shows the amount of creativity and thought that has gone into driving home the message on cleanliness. How we communicate is important. Even in films, the way you tell a story is what makes the audience sit up and take notice. We should adopt a similar approach to messages about clean bathrooms, homes and streets,” he says.

A clean sweep for Coimbatore

The actor and his wife Poornima are special brand ambassadors of Swachh Coimbatore. “As a Mannin Mainthan from Coimbatore, I am happy to be a part of it. We take pride about our culture, but we also have to learn some lessons from foreign countries, especially the way they keep their surroundings hygienic and clean. ”

The actor says he was amazed to see crystal clear water bodies in Canada, the country of lakes. “There is zero pollution and the water is so clean that you can see up to a depth of 10 feet. When anyone sees a piece of garbage on the road, they pick it and put it in the dustbin. Every individual has to take the responsibility to keep his keep his veedu and naadu clean. One should do it from his heart, and not out of compulsion.”

A clean sweep for Coimbatore

Says Poornima Bhagyaraj, “It is our collective responsibility to leave behind a healthy environment for the future generation. We have to start with small steps to keep our house clean, teach our children to keep our surroundings clean and this will automatically lead to clean streets.” Poornima is also actively involved in Lake Area Residents Association in Chennai. that spreads awareness about garbage segregation at home. We use the wet waste to make compost and send the dry waste for recycling. Yet we still see filth piled up on the roads. Every single individual has to be committed. It seems like a herculean task, but we have to start now.”

Bhagyaraj shot for his film Suvarilla Chithirangal at the VOC Park, Rangammal School, and several other films in and around Coimbatore like Gobichettipalayam, Pollachi, Thimbam, and the Nilgiris. He calls them his sweet memories. He recalls fondly how his school took them on an excursion to the aerodrome to show them an aircraft!

Besides the temples and the flourishing textiles and automobile industry, what sets Coimbatore apart is its connected with Nature, says Bhagyaraj. “Some of my friends living in Ettimadai rush home early as the elephants will be crossing the path once it gets dark. I have seen Indian Gaurs and Leopards in the Western Ghats. When I was shooting for the song ‘Ammaadi idhu thaan kaadhala’ for the film Idhu Namma Aalu in Satymangalam forest, I have seen people hunting wild boars. The wild boar pretends to lie unconscious when shot, but starts attacking once they go near it,” he laughs. Poornima remembers watching Guns of Navarone at the Central Theatre and enjoying ghee dosai at Annapoorna. She says she cannot forget the Japanese cake filled with sweet cream in one of the bakeries here. “Coimbatore is a frequent haunt now. The drive on Coimbatore- Pollachi Road, the boulevard of trees, especially the golden-flowered Kani Konnah is unforgettable. I have shot for a number of films in Ooty, Coonoor, Pollachi, Gudalur and the Doddabetta peak…all beautiful locations. With time, Coimbatore has become cosmopolitan but people still value their culture and traditions which is a good thing.”

Her very first Tamil film Nenjil Oru Mul was shot in Coimbatore. “I remember doing a shot where I had to run on the flyover!

We stayed at Alankar Hotel. That’s when I for the first time saw Rajinikanth and his wife Latha.

They were staying at the same hotel. It was a fan moment for me,” smiles Poornima, who later co-starred with the superstar in several silver jubilee films. Her favourite films are Manjil Virinzha pookal and Olangal in Malayalam and Darling Darling Darling in Tamil, directed by Bhagyaraj. He also acted as the hero in the film. “It was highly competitive.I wasn’t sure if I’d get the role.

Finally, I got it. And, everything changed after that film. I became his wife.”


Poornima will be appearing in a horror film Mohini. “For young actors today, too many good things happen and in a very short time. They don’t get to enjoy the success of a long run in the theatres. In our days, our films ran for 100 days and the roles stayed on in people’s minds. We enjoyed a long-standing career. Roles were tailor-made for us. To get fashion ideas, we flipped through the magazines and invested a lot in creating something new, be it the costumes or the roles. Now, everything is available on Google which is a big advantage.”

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 2:39:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/k-bhagyaraj-and-poornima-bhagyaraj-are-excited-about-being-the-brand-ambassadors-of-swachh-coimbatore/article22397370.ece

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