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An Informative Book on Dolphins in the Chilika Lake

DSC00026As part of world environment day, Alliance Francaise of Madras organised an event to launch a book for children titled “Ira the Little Dolphin” by Shekar Dattatri on 7th June 2014 at Edouard Michelin auditorium, Alliance Francaise of Madras, College Road, Nungambakkam. A film on Irrawaddy dolphins and Chilika Lake was screened on the occasion.

Following the launch an interactive session was held between the audience and Shekar Dattatri. Brilliant photographs bring Ira close to the book reader. Shekar Dattatri is an award winning wildlife filmmaker and conservationist. Shekar Dattatri spent many weeks observing Irrawaddy dolphins while making a film on Chilika Lake. This is the third book of Shekar Dattatri with Tulika after Lai Lai the Baby Elephant and Riddle of the Ridley. The newly launched book, Ira the Little Dolphin is a very interesting and informative book for youngsters. It has an excellent collection of photographs.

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World Last Week

Saturday 24th May
 An original page of Tintin comic was sold at an auction for 2 million. The comic strip featuring boy reporter Tintin dates back to the year 1937. It is signed by creator Herge.

 An enterprising Australian is selling the English word The written on a piece of scrap paper on eBay. The bidding for the word which can be used in thousand sentences has already reached a whopping 10,099 Australian Dollars.

 Oscar winning Adele has agreed to become a judge on the X-Factor by 2016.She is currently busy recording her third album.

 Alex Chacon travelled 2,02,690 kilometers across 36 countries on 5 motorbikes in 600 days just to capture beautiful unique photos and positive places from around the world.

Sunday 25th May

 Poorna, a 13 year old from Nizamabad District, Hyderabad has become the youngest girl to scale Mount Everest. Her parents are agricultural farmers.

 A cat named Poppy in England is the world’s oldest living cat. It is 24 years old, in human age it translates to 114 years old. The cat’s favourite food is fried chicken, fish and chips.

 A Los Angeles based digital concept artist, Dan Luvisi has now turned some of the famous Hollywood cartoon characters into bad criminals. The paintings are part of his art series titled Popped Culture.

 A group of Russians have found a rather unusual place to practice their stunts. They now go to the highest beam of a local radio tower to do some deadly acrobatic stunts and somersaults.

Monday 26th May

 Bonsai is the art of growing plants in miniature planters. But now this art has become smaller. There is a trend of raising tiny bonsai less than 3 centimeters called Cho-Mini Bonsai.

 The most beautiful and attractive flowers now comes in glass. A Seattle based master glass blower Jason Gamrath creates pretty realistic looking flowers made out of glass.

 In Brazil in a place called Morro Do Alomea, a series of 22 artworks have been designed on canvas by 10 local artists. The art works are displayed on the rooftops of houses.

 In a new study conducted by Oxford University researchers, it is found that mental illness can be more deadly than smoking. In fact serious mental illness reduces life expectancy by 10 to 20 years.

Tuesday 27th May

 According to California based SETI Institute, the chances of finding life beyond earth were bright and positively good. The instituted stated that Aliens can be found in 20 years.

 Nature is inspiring scientists to make some of the world’s smallest, fastest and most efficient drones till date. The first small drones were used for search and rescue operation in Japan.

 A British inventor has developed X-Men movie style magnetic shoes that can use to walk on walls and rooftops. The shoes are fitted with electro magnets.

 Turkish archaeologists have discovered a 1200 year old wooden object which they claim is an ancient equivalent of a modern day tablet computer. The device was found in Yenikapi area of Istanbul, Turkish Capital.

Wednesday 28th May

 American artist Emily Flint uses nature as her inspiration to create stunning surreal portraits of women. She chooses women as her subjects because she finds them beautiful, complex and brave.

 Singer Whitney Houston’s life will be soon on the silver big screen, with Angela Bassett all set to direct a film that will focus on Whitney Houston who died in the year 2012.

 A Russian circus crocodile was send to a doctor for medical treatment after getting hurt while travelling in a zoo bus. The doctor gave treatment for the animal’s injuries and the crocodile recovered soon.

 The moon may get broadband soon, so that future generations visiting the moon will be able to communicate with their people on planet Earth. NASA has already demonstrated developing a broadband network on the moon.

Thursday 29th May

 Dogs will soon want owners to put the kettle on, thanks to a British company which as now launched a range of premium herbal tea bags varieties only for dogs.

 Scientists have found that a drug used to treat multiple sclerosis may pave the way for a pill that can erase bad memories. The drug would fade previous experiences that caused pain and hurt.

 Scientists have for the first time ever solved a 150-year-old evolutionary mystery- the iconic kiwi actually once flew. It is also confirmed that kiwi’s closest relative is not the emu.

 A NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars has found a new gigantic crater on the surface of the Red Planet. The crater is the largest new impact site ever seen on Mars.

Friday 30th May

 The entire taxi business runs on promptness and quick reach. But in Japan, a new taxi service called Turtle Taxi is launched for people who wish to travel slow and steady.

 A Singapore based instagrammer named Melissa travels the world and posts pictures of her hand holding a food item against a popular background of a place in a country.

 Canadian robot, called ‘Dextre is replacing a faulty camera on the International Space Station’s Canadian robotic arm. For the first time the job was done robotically.

 Worker ants have been found to be more effective in processing information than Google. Ants are capable of complex problem-solving strategies that could be widely applied as optimization techniques.

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A Drop of Sunshine for a bright future!!

Schizophrenia Research Foundation and Press Institute of India organised a function on 24th May 2014 at Mental Health Center, SCARF, North Main Road, Anna Nagar West Extension to present the SCARF-PII Media for Mental Health Awards. In the English Language Category, the first place was awarded to Reshma Valliappan. The welcome address was given by Dr.R.Thara,Director of SCARF. Mr.Sashi Nair, Director, Press Institute of India spoke on the need for reporting  with sensitivity. The chief guest Mr.Rajiv Menon, Cinematographer and Film Maker distributed the awards in the presence of Dr.Jaya Shreedhar, Chairperson, SCAR-PII Awards Committee.

Lady junctionThe award presentation function was organised to mark World Schizophrenia Day which falls on 24th May every year. Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF) has been actively involved in treatment and rehabilitation of the mentally ill and in creating awareness on mental health. SCARF has been designated by World Health Organisation as a Collaborating center for Mental  Health Research and Training. Reshma Valliappan is the Co-founder of Mind Arcs and a member of several other national and international groups for persons with mental illness. Reshma entered the field of mental health advocacy during her own battle with schizophrenia. Being the protagonist of a documentary that received several national awards based on a recovery called A Drop of Sunshine forced her to think about her role in the area of self advocacy. Battling several other health issues caused by brain tumour, she took it upon herself to create more awareness and sensitizing anyone and everyone she crosses path with on the area of unseen disabilities and mental health. Her work uses a variety of creative tools to address issues and challenges stereotypical models of living and acceptance through a group she runs called the Red Door.

Reshma is involved in cross disability alliances nationally. Along with pursuing double masters she is a guest lecture, painter, story teller, mime artist, writer, martial arts, dancer and manager for all her alter egos. So what happened when Reshma collided with schizophrenia, she fought it. Step by step she rebuilt her life and took her destiny into her own hands. A Drop of Sunshine chronicles Reshma story of survival and gives hope to those similarly diagnosed with psychiatric conditions.

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Free tailoring and embroidery classes for women

free training course for womenJayalakshmi Ammal Educational and Charitable Trust based at SP.20, 3rd Street, 1st Sector, K. K. Nagar invites application for its 45th batch of free tailoring, beautician and embroidery course exclusive for women.The application forms can be obtained from the office and course will be commen from June 4. Vaira Sekar (Founder) said that 3 month course will be conducted by eminent faculties and many of their alumnus are working in reputed firm and running their own units. He said that government approved certificates will be issued after the course completion. For more details contact 2371 1184, 99404 52539 and 72994 56969.

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Lufthansa celebrates 20 years in Chennai

Lufthansa celebrated 20 years of its presence in Chennai with the introduction of new Business Class seat with full-flat, horizontal sleeping surface in its Chennai -Frankfurt route. The new Lufthansa Business Class seat boasts a full-flat horizontal sleeping surface measuring 6.5 feet in length. The seat, which at the push of a button, converts to a comfortable bed, offers exceptional comfort as a flat bed or as an upright or reclining seat, with its intuitive adjustments, additional storage space and enhanced entertainment system. The new Business Class seat is already available in Lufthansa flights to Delhi and Mumbai.  Mr. Wolfgang Will, Director, South Asia, Lufthansa, said, “The first Lufthansa flight landed in Chennai in 1994 and it’s been a wonderful journey for us. On the occasion of completion of 20 years in Chennai, we would like to thank our customers and our partners with the introduction of our latest global offering – the new Business Class seat on our refurbished A340-300 aircraft operating on the Chennai-Frankfurt route.

Lufthansa integrated its customers very closely into the development of the new Business Class so it would be able to offer a product that was totally in line with their wishes and requirements. An eight-week trial was conducted on the Frankfurt-New York-Frankfurt route. In all, 1,349 passengers and a specially recruited test crew evaluated the prototype on flights LH 400 and LH 401 in terms of comfort, ease of use and technical stability.The outcome is a seat that meets the most discerning demands with regards to seating and sleeping comfort. In addition, Lufthansa has improved many details which, taken together, create maximum comfort. Additionally, each passenger has more surfaces to place their personal items and additional storage compartments on the actual seat. The new Business Class seat is a major component of Lufthansa’s largest investment to date in its inflight product. Over the next few years, some three billion euros will be channeled into product improvements for passengers. “All of that shows that we are offering our Business Class customers an exceptional experience at every step of the travel chain,” said Wolfgang Will.

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Feeding and caring for street dogs

Aishwarya and her mother S. S. Uma, residents of No-52, North Boag Road, T. Nagar, Chennai  have started ‘Ammu Foundation’ an organization serving for stray dogs on May 25 on 1st death anniversary of their pet dog. Aishwarya said that she call her pet as Sister, lived with her sister more than 6 years without any gap. She said that in memory of her pet dog, she started feeding stray dogs on the street but now more than 10 stray dogs very close to her and named all the stray dogs on their street.

Now, she and mother walking with paper plates along with dog eatables nearby streets to feed the stray dogs, she added. She said that to spread service and care to stray dog’s organization was formed. Aishwaraya appealed pet lovers those who are interested to feed stray dogs like biscuits, rice, eggs and other dog eatables to feed more dogs. She is preparing for IAS examination For more details contact 99406 58359.

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First of its kind strategic partnership with ASKME to empower SME segment

Aircel, one of the leading innovative mobile service providers in India and ASKME a local discovery platform to provide ‘Pay per lead’ generation plan through an operator billing system entered into unique partnership with ASKME. In India, there are over 48 million SMEs, contributing 8% to economy’s GDP; proving to be a segment with huge market potential. The revolutionary business lead generation service will provide SMEs the convenience to pay only for the potential leads, thereby helping SMEs address the biggest challenge of upfront investment for increasing business. Under this partnership, ASKME will promote the registered SMEs through its various channels and Aircel will offer easy lead payment solutions on SME prepaid or postpaid connections.

In addition, registered SMEs will enjoy the benefits of premium presence across mediums with quality lead generation and the flexibility to activate and deactivate the service. Speaking on this alliance, Sankara Narayanan K, Head- SBU 1 (Chennai & RoTN) Aircel, said, “Aircel is delighted to be the first telecom operator to provide operator billing solution to the ever growing SME segment. Through this partnership with ASKME, we plan to enhance our enterprise business and offer the segment to grow their business through easy lead payment solutions. This partnership is an excellent amalgamation of ASKME’s robust reach in the SME segment and Aircel’s innovative offerings in the marketplace.” Commenting on this partnership, Jaspreet Bindra, CEO, Getit Infomedia said, “This is a first-of-its-kind partnership in India wherein a telco and an online business have come together to tap the SME market. We bring in over a decade of experience of working with SMEs and working with Aircel would definitely help us further enhance it.

Under this partnership, we aim to cover the untapped SMEs through this unique model which has been customized keeping in mind the requirements of Indian SMEs. We hope that Pay-per-Lead model will ensure a fair revenue model for SMEs and create a trusted business ecosystem”. Customers can dial toll free number 54422 or log on to askme.com to get local search information of various sectors like hospitality, real estate, automotive services, Furniture and Furnishings, Apparel etc.

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Rehabilitated Olive Ridley Sea Turtle ‘Pallavi’

Tree Foundation is involved in Marine Biodiversity Conservation, focusing on Sea Turtle and Dolphin conservation. The community based conservation and research program is jointly carried out in the partnership with The Wildlife Wing of The Forest Department, The Fisheries Department and the Indian Coast Guard. Tree Foundations’ Sea Turtle Protection Force, Senior STPF – T.A. Pugalarasan rescued a very weak, dehydrated, Olive Ridley turtle on 20th February, 2014. The information regarding the stranding of the turtle was given by Mr. Arun of Students Sea Turtle Conservation Network.

TREE FoundationThe female olive ridley turtle was found washed ashore on the Mahabalipuram shore with her left front flipper missing due most likely to an entanglement in a fishing net. The turtle was brought to Tree Foundations Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at Neelankarai that is run with special permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden, Tamil Nadu Forest Department. The turtle was named ‘Pallavi’ (as she was found along the beach of the ancient Pallava Dynasty). With mere volunteer support from students from WCC (Women’s Christian College), Roots & Shoots volunteers, Sea Turtle Protection Force members, Tree Foundation nurtured ‘Pallavi’ towards complete recovery. Mr. Lakshmi Narayan, Chief Wildlife Warden, Chennai, Tamil Nadu; Mr. S. Tyagi, Deputy Inspector General-Indian Coast Guard (East), Mrs. Geethanjali, I.F.S, Wildlife Warden,Mr.S.S.Bhaskar, Inspector of Police-Neelankarai and Dr.David Raj, Forest Range Officer, Headquarters- Chennai, students, volunteers and well-wishers presided over the release event.

‘Pallavi’ was taken by boat 3km off shore from Periya Neelankarai fishing village, and released into the sea on May 24th 2014 at 9:45 am. The rapidly dwindling population of Olive Ridley sea turtles is a sign of the declining health of the oceans worldwide. Mr. Lakshmi Narayan IFS, Chief Wildlife Warden, said that sustained conservation will lead to successful Species Conservation. Mr.S.Tyagi, Deputy Inspector General, Indian Coast Guard (East) said that as Coast Guardians it is mandatory for every Coast Guard to protect sea turtles and all marine forms, and that they are very happy to be associated with Tree Foundation for the past 8 years conducting Safety at Sea workshops, Medical Camps for the fishing community, thus involving them and making them aware about the importance of sea turtle conservation and the need for ethical fishing.
Mrs. Geethanjali I.F.S, Wildlife Warden, Chennai also pledged her support to sea turtle conservation, and emphasized that the Forest Department and such organizations are jointly doing a commendable job. Dr Supraja Dharini, Chairperson, Tree Foundation said “Through our 13 years of conservation efforts, we have seen fishermen along Chennai and Kancheepuram coast turning into guardians of their main source of livelihoods, the sea! But there is still an urgent need to sensitize the fishermen along the southern coast of Tamil Nadu where the threats to sea turtles are numerous, she added.

Protecting the sea turtles is like protecting the whole wealth of the ocean. Rehabilitating injured turtles calls for more volunteers, to contribute. For details contact 94443 06411 (or) E.Mail- treerootsandshoots@gmail.com

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Educating all customers to utilize the technology embedded services!!

Dr. N Kamakodi is the Managing Director and CEO of City Union Bank. Speaking about the financial results for the Fourth Quarter and Financial Year-2013-14 he stated that City Union Bank’s total Income for the FY 2014 grew by 16% to Rs.2847.13 Crs from Rs.2462.39 Crs in FY2012-13. Net interest income for the FY-2014 went up 22% to Rs.759.39Crs from Rs.624.01 crs in FY 2012-13. The operating profit for the FY 2014 was higher by 11% at Rs.580.97 Crs as compared to Rs.523.45 Crs in FY 2012-13. Net profit posted growth of 8% in FY 2013-14 to Rs.347.07Crs from Rs.322.02 Crs in FY 2012-13.

Know yr neighbour1The Bank’s net profit in Q4 of FY-2013-14 enhanced by 1% from Rs.82.49 Crs to 83.34 Crs. The bank’s interest income was higher by 6% at Rs.635.42 Cr and its total income increased by 7% to Rs.726.26Crs. The net interest income for Q4 FY 2014 went up by 7% to Rs.184.66 Cr and Operating Profit stood at Rs.143.96 Cr in Q4-FY-2014. During the Financial Year -2013-14, the bank has opened 50 more branches and installed 162 ATMs. The total branches & ATM as on date were 425 and 950 respectively. The number of POS terminal installed as on date is 2698. During the current fiscal the Bank is planning to expand the network by opening 50 more branches and installing more ATMS. The Bank at present provides easy payment of TNEB Bill and other utility payments. Fixed deposits can be opened online with the click of a button with all features embedded. Kiosk and cash acceptor machines have been installed in selected branches for speedy customer service. Customers without net banking facility can use Kiosk machines for internet banking transactions. Customer through express desk counters can do cash transaction / funds transfer within the bank. The total advances of the bank recorded a growth of 6% and rose from Rs.15343 Crs as on 31.03.2013 to Rs.16224 Crs as on 31.03.2014. Similarly total The bank’s net worth as on 31.03.2014 increased by 31% to Rs.2006 Crs from Rs.1631 Crs as on 31.03.2013.

The Return on Equity stood at 19.08%.  The Gross NPA at the end of FY 2013-14 stood at 1.81% and Net NPA level was at 1.23%.The bank’s intention is to educate all its customers to utilize the technology embedded services. Mobile banking has been introduced for convenient banking for its customers.

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City Bee

Saliyar Monthly Meeting
The monthly meeting of Saliyar Mahajan Sangh Chennai Branch will be held at 11am on 29th June 2014 at Door No-4, Tamil Nadu Housing Board Complex, Luz Corner, behind Vinayagar Temple) Mylapore, Chennai-4. For details contact A.Palanichamy on 9884603087

Vocational Training
National Association for the Blind, Tamil Nadu Branch based at Madhavaram,Chennai will be starting a vocational training programme for the visually challenged from 16th June 2014 onwards. There will be free boarding and lodging. For more details contact 044-65450856.

St. Jude’s Feast
The annual feast of St Jude’s Shrine, Thiruvellavayal (Kattur) Thiruvallur District is on from 25th May to 1st June 2014.On 1st June there will be a van service for the pilgrims from Minjur railway gate. There will be Novena and Holy Mass on all days at 6pm. On Sunday, 1st June there will be Holy Mass at 6.30am,8am, 9.30am,11.15am, 12.30pm, 3pm and at 5pm. For details contact the shrine office on 0427934337, 9840758475.

Music Concert
Chitra Poornima Satish would be performing a Carnatic vocal concert on 20th June 2014 at 5.30pm at Vani Mahal, GN.Chetty Road,T.Nagar. She will be accompanied by Sudarsan on the violin and Suresh Narayanan on the mridangam. The music concert is organised by Vani Mahal Chennai.

Activity workshops
A motivational training programme initiated by Swetha Reddy for teens aged 14 to 17 years will be held to motivate and inspire them to excel and be successful in life. To register contact 9791165689. Ashvita Nirvana conducts recycled paper origami workshops for people interested in paper art. For more details call 044-42699026.

Art Shows
Chelian Art Gallery presents a solo painting exhibition titled Journey. The art show is on at Cholamandal Artists Village, ECR,Injambakkam till 8th June 2014.It is open from 9.30am to 6.30pm on all days. A painting exhibition by Brijesh Devareddy titled Linera Fetish is displayed at Kadambari art gallery in Dakshina Chitra premises, ECR. The show is open on all days till 4th June 2014.

Music Competition
Sri Suprabhata Sahba based at West Mambalam will conduct its annual competition in classical and devotional music on 22nd June 2014. The contest is divided into three categories namely, senior, junior and sub-junior. The last date for registration is 10th June 2014. For more details call 24800440, 9444183090.