TAMIL NADU

Focus on AIDS awareness

December first week has become synonymous with AIDS awareness programmes in colleges throughout the city in the last few years. There were a handful of events this year too:

Dr. Dharmambal Govt. Polytechnic hosted an AIDS awareness programme organised by the NSS wing of the Directorate of Technical Education. A seminar on AIDS awareness and competitions were conducted on the occasion. At the Sri Kanyaka Parameswari Arts & Science College, the NSS volunteers organised a mime competition while Sindhi College volunteers formed a human chain outside their college and took out a rally. Students of Shree Chandraprabhu Jain College organised a street play for creating awareness among villagers of Annupampattu in Tiruvallur district.

Also during the week, the students from the Department of Microbiology, Hindustan College of Arts and Science were all ears at a presentation by an undergraduate microbiology student.

NCC students of the DG Vaishnav College organised a human chain to observe World AIDS Day and students of the Guru Shree Shantivijai Jain College for Women attended a lecture on the "humanistic approach towards HIV victims".

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Students of the Madras School of Social Work organised a day-long entertainment programme for mentally ill children. Children from Aashreya and Karuna School for Special Children, run by the women's organisation of the Railways, participated. The event featured games for children and caretakers, mimicry show, dance performances by hosts and guests.

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College campuses may just be Chennai's last refuge from the urban jungle. The city's few green patches are few and far between, which is probably why most of Chennai's rain ended up merely washing grimy pavements clean instead of soaking into the city's parched earth. But perhaps, with all the tree planting and water harvesting workshops that have been occurring on a regular basis on campuses across the city over the past month, Chennai's student community has begun to change the situation.

The University of Madras is the latest to join the water harvesting campaign. This week they discussed how important it is to spread the message beyond just their campuses and make it a `social passion'.

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Engineers of tomorrow chipped in with their share of care for the environment and people. The National Service Scheme and Youth Red Cross of Jerusalem College of Engineering organised a tree plantation programme, an eye screening camp and a dental camp on Wednesday. The programme was got up in coordination with the Lions Club of Madras Park Town.

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On to the NCC : It conducted a 10-day all-India Advanced Leadership camp in DRBCC Hindu College, Pattabiram.

A total of 372 cadets from 17 Directorates of the country attended. A host of competition-based events such as platoon drill, obstacle race, kit layout and cross-country were conducted under the supervision of senior officers. On the final day, Colonel H. Kaul, Director of Tamilnadu, Pondicherry and Andaman Directorate, lit the camp fire.

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Moving over from social causes to fests, students from the Jaya College of Arts and Science went about muttering `Zougoulougoubamba' most of last week as they prepared for their annual French festival. In spite of its name, which sounds like a series of war cries, Zougoulougoubamba was all about integration and the importance of learning another language.

The Madras Christian College's Chemical Society on the other hand worked at making chemistry popular with school children with an inter-school quiz.

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Ethiraj College's Department of Plant Biology celebrated `Lantana' recently. Besides delving into important topics such as Indian medicinal plants and Bioinformatics, the students also got a chance to let their hair down and swap their detailed diagrams of plants and vegetables for the real thing, thanks to the vegetable carving and flower arrangement competitions that were organised.

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Fests taste better when you add a little food to them. Or in this case, dessert. Vel's Institute of Hotel Management organised Dessert Storm, for children from over 200 schools, in association with Nestle. Students were awarded prizes under two categories _ the best innovative dessert and the well presented dessert _ after the judges had a tough time in choosing just one winner.

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In League Institute of Catering and Hotel Management, a group of trained chefs made their way out of the campus into world of food and beverages. It was the valedictory for the first batch of successful students.

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(By Sudhish Kamath, Saptarshi Bhattacharya and Shonali Muthalaly)

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