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Heritage 2012

‘Into the Past, Onto the Future’, screamed the posters of the first inter-college development management festival organized by Tata-Dhan Academy(TDA), Madurai, called Heritage-2012. The motto of the event was to take urban India to rural Bharat. And it did just that.  The inaugural function was simple, yet proud. The stage was decorated with traditional ‘thoranas’. The inauguration function started sharply at 10:00AM and was anchored by TDA Faculty Ms.Vijayabharati. Prof. Venkataraman, a renowned authority on Tamil history and culture was the chief guest. Others on the stage were Mr. M.P.Vasimalai, Executive Director, DHAN Foundation; Mr.Ponnu Swami, SDM, National Insurance Corporation, Ms. A. Umarani, TDA, Director and Mr.Vinit Kumar, the student representative from PDM 12. The function started with a prayer rendered by Soumya, Smriti, and Shilpa of PDM 12, and readings by VinaySankar and Garima Mishra, both students of PDM. After the prayer, Mr.Vinit Kumar delivered the welcome speech. Ms.Vijayabharathi then invited the chief guests, participants and an alumnus of PDM, Mr.Anurag Asthana for lighting the lamp of knowledge, culture and tradition.

Ms.Vijayabharathi, described the “uniqueness” of Heritage and explained the concept of 3Ds (do, document, and disseminate) and 3Rs (relate, respect, and relevant). She mentioned that the Heritage concept was seeded by PDM 11 and implemented by PDM 12 and supported by the PDM 13 students. Then she invited the chief guest Dr.Venkataraman to address the gathering.
Dr.Venkataraman’s speech was very inspirational, and focused on the importance of heritage. He raised many historical issues related to culture. He gave an example of how some cultural traits has persisted throughout different eras of civilization in India. He also mentioned that culture can have both tangible and intangible aspects. He also added that, though India as a country is very diverse, it is fundamentally united. He added that culture is the identity of the individual as well as the community.
Mr.Ponnuswami, applauded the event and remarked that “it is a good event and it needs to be continued next year.”
Mr.Vasimalai described how PDM 11 and PDM 12 students had earlier participated in the Yukti event of TSM. From there, he said, the TDA students were inspired to conduct a similar event. Moreover he added that preserving culture and heritage is very important. He told a story of one of his visits to France for a conference. In between events, they had a break, and they played a 400-year-old traditional game. In this way, they were preserving their heritage, and he had respect for that. “Similarly, we have so many different traditions and practices, and cultural games that were played during childhood that are quickly forgotten. Now is the time to change all that, and preserve these aspects of our heritage for the generations to come” added Mr.Vasimalai.
Finally, Mr.Vasimalai declared the event open, and participants proceeded to their respective venues.
Afterwards students moved to the Keezhamattaiyan village for inauguration of Heritage -2012 in the village. The villagers showed their great hospitality with their folk dance and songs. They came with their traditional dress adorned with flowers. First up, they told the history of temple and about its importance in their lives.
The students also joined with them in their traditional dance and folk song. Villagers also provided some light refreshment to all. Then they showcased their traditional games.

Day 1

Medha: The Development Quiz: The development quiz was the first competition to be completed at Heritage 2012. The quiz focused on social and economic development issues. There were 10 participants from four colleges: Agriculture College and Research Institute, Madurai; Thiagarajar College of Engineering; Thiagarajar School of Management; and V. V. College. Event was facilitated by Vinay Shankar (PDM 12), Swadeque (PDM 12) and Birijaprasad (PDM 13). Since the students were from different colleges studying in different disciplines, Medha came as a very interesting competition. All the participants were very eager to respond to the questions about development. The results will be declared today, so be sure to check back!
Best team: This event took place in the afternoon had three preliminary rounds, co-ordinate by Vinit Kumar of PDM 12 and panel judges were Mr.Madhan Kumar, and Mr.Rajan of DHAN Foundation. The game started with “Matka” breaking in front of the main stage and the audience enjoyed a lot. The game was tough, as, out of 8 teams none was able to break the pot. After that, event moved over to the class room. At the end of first day, 3 teams were eliminated and 5 remaining teams would fight it out today.
Marketing of Rural Products: Marketing of Rural Products is the one of the flagship events of Heritage-2012 co-ordinated by PDM students Jitendra and Seema. The participants of this event belong to management, engineering, agriculture and arts background. In this event too, students came from different colleges to participate and they also went to Keezhamattaiyan village and interacted with the villagers.
Students asked about their traditional products and indigenous practices and they observed the condition of village. Different colleges had different rural products to market.  They went with their own ideas but after speaking with villagers they understood about each product like the source of raw materials and idea about each product like whether it is income generating for villagers, easily preparable etc. These sorts of questions were asked by students and they had very good conversation and exchange of ideas. In some cases, students changed their beliefs.
After lunch all participants of this event discussed about the traditional rural products in their team and they gave their feedback how they felt with community and what they learnt from community. They gave their view what can be done by youth to generate income for community. After feedback they participate in the quiz related to rural product marketing. Final round will happen on 12th August 2012, in which each team will present, how to promote their products in market.
SANSKRITI: Sanskriti means culture and in India, it is evolving every day. It is not just about keeping traditions as it is, but changing ways of doing things while upholding what is good. In India costumes vary to a great extent. Each state has their own traditional costumes and attires that are deeply rooted in history, religion, tradition, customs and culture of specific state.
In Sanskriti or the Traditional Dress competition event, a total 12 students participated from different colleges such as TSM, American college, Vivekananda Degree College and TCE. The event was facilitated by PDM students Smriti and Garima. The American college students Gopi Shankar and Senthil came with very ancient attire named as Thodi. They wear only white dress and in different styles.   TSM represented by two girls (Nivedita & Bhomika) came in costumes of girls from Meghalaya and Assam.  Third team from Vivekananda College did an act on “Nattamai”. It was based on an ancient village justice system in Tamilnadu. Later, another team from the village presented different yogasanas. Little children from villages also participated in Sanskriti event. They came in different traditional costumes of Tamilnadu and impressed the judges and all audience.

Chitralekha (Drawing): Colours ‘spoke’ silently yet powerfully regarding poverty in Keezhamattaiyan. The event started with observation by the participants. They also got an opportunity to experience the tradition, culture, traditional games, folk dance, and taste the traditional and delicious food. They were able to identify the issues relating to poverty in the Keezhamattaiyan village from different perspectives. Peaceful and silent environs of Tata-Dhan academy hostel made participants involve fully. Observations, thoughts, and feelings came out very nicely.  Shilpa, Seema and Soumya, all PDM students facilitated the active participation of the students.

Manthan- the debate: This was one of the most interesting events wherein 6 teams participated from 5 colleges. All participants were quite active during debate. There was a healthy competition between all participants and in all rounds. This event helped share the views and arguments of participants.

The performance by the participants showed that the youth have concern about current happenings in India. IN every round, the competition was very tight. In the final round the TCE & TSM colleges selected for the topic-“Is the educational system in India encourages self-improvement or societal improvement. Both side raised lots of points with relevant examples. In the panel, the three judges were Madhankumar, Rajan and Ponnuswami (NIC), facilitated by Liji and Suhas (PDM students).

Day 2

Varnabharathi (Rangoli): The event started with a formal welcome by the Keezhamattaiyan villagers. Participants got an opportunity to experience the traditional games, folk arts and taste the traditional foods. Participants were given a topic “Because I am a girl”. Participants observed, interacted and gathered information regarding the domestic violence and other female issues in the Keezhamattaiyan village. Participants drew the drawings by using the colour powder and flowers.  Colours spoke about the meaning and reasons behind the tears and smiles of women. Women related issues were drawn by the participants and generated interest among the lovers of the art.

Chitraloka(Documentary): Documentaries are like mirrors of our society, reflecting the realities, which many of us fail to see. They are the windows to understand our complex multi-dimensional world. Through Chitraloka participants try to do just that. The focus of the Heritage-2012 was on culture and development, and participants got the topic just seven days before.  Some of the interesting documentaries made by the students focussed on the mobility of people and the trend of forgetting one’s own culture, due to modernization. The ‘Hidden Secret focused on gender discrimination. ‘The Truth’ tried to make a point on equality. Participants from TSM and American college were outstanding. Judges Adhinarayanan, (TDA faculty), and Ponnuswami from DHAN foundation, appreciated them for their attempt.

The real purpose of a documentary film should be on pointing out the problem, so that the audience can think of possible solutions and awareness matters too. Rajeev Ranjan from PDM 12 and Nagraaj from PDM 13 facilitated very actively throughout the process.  TSM student won the first prize and the American college secured the second prize.

Best Team: The four teams who reached the third round were American college, Vivekananda College and two teams of Thiagaraj School of Engineering.  In the third round, the participants were asked to make 4 equal squares from the pieces of papers which were given to them in the envelop.

In the final round, the Vivekananda team amazingly made a big 9 feet paper tower, while the TCE students could not apply the engineering concepts and they did not reach even 3 feet. Since the game was very tough the participants were shown one video of the same game. Finally, the Vivekananda team won the Best Team event. Team 1 and team 2 of TCE got the both 2nd and 3rd price consecutively.

It was very enjoyable and gave good learning experience to the participants.  The judges were Shanti Maduresan, Rajan and K.P Bharti-all DHANites.

Communication with Community: This event showcased the development issues in the villages such as primary education, sanitation, alcoholism, water problem, and child labour. Totally three groups performed- TSM, TCE and Vivekananda. The first performance was by TCE and they took water problem in that village. They did a short play.

The second team was Vivekananda and they took primary education and alcoholism in the village. This group also did a drama. The third team took water problem in that village

Each of them took twenty minutes for the drama. Totally five judges were there including villagers. Mr. Adhinarayanan, Mr. Palanisami and three villagers were the judges.

The first place went to Vivekananda, second place to TSM and third place to TCE.

Talash (Identifying a potential development leader): Whenever you are responsible for managing people, whether as a senior manager, project executive or director, you want to be a leader that others will follow. The leadership quality is the key to get success in all aspects. This event, Talash, was searching for someone who could be a potential development leader who is management savvy, intelligent, and with a unique personal style. These three features are the define a leader. A development leader must be very close to the community, and communities are diverse. Thus, a development leader must be multi-talented, professional, and committed. Talash explored how each participants were “professionally committed” to the society through three steps. Eight participants participated from different colleges.

The event gauged three qualities of a leader; strategies, standing by values and result-orientation. From the situation analysis the panel selected one as the development leader.

PRACHARAN: (Marketing of rural products): Second day of rural marketing started at 10:30 am in which presentation was given by participants from four colleges. Mr. M.P Vasimalai (Executive director of Dhan foundation) and Dr. Damodaran Jena from Tata Dhan Academy were judges for this event. The four colleges participated were Thiagarajar School of Management, Thiagarajar School of Engineering, Vivekananda College and Agriculture research institute. They gave presentation on how to market rural products.  They also gave ideas on how to make the livelihood out of these rural products to make it sustainable.

The products were based on the traditional practice of keezhamattaiyan village which are physiotherapy, cow dung cake, broom stick and mat weaving. These products are not very popular or preferred in urban market but participants came with some interesting ideas to take it to urban and rural market. Participants pointed out these products needs less investment and mostly got from natural resources which are readily available in any village in India.

After each presentation audience and judges asked questions to participants and they discussed about the traditional products which are not getting enough support from market and how to revive these products so we can preserve ancient knowledge and practices for next generations. There are many products which are similar to products presented in events like pot making which are not performing well in market but many communities livelihood depend on this product so India like developing country should give preference to indigenous products so it will bring financial security for rural India.

After all four presentation completed judges gave their evaluation to coordinator of heritage. Each team gave feedback and gave suggestion on how to conduct this event more successful in future.  Each team was curious to know the result of this event and they discussed with other teams and asked opinion on their presentations.  In the main stage where coordinator of heritage announced first prize of this event which is got by Thiagarajar College of Engineering. Second prize got by Thiagarajar School of Management. At end of the heritage all college students gave their feedback about Heritage.

Mudra (Folk Dance): In the HERITAGE, Mudra- the folk dance event is the last event. India is rich in culture; folk dances are one of the representatives of the Indian culture.  All the tribal and village societies have their traditional dances. Mudra was the platform to bring those traditional dances in front of student community.

This event was facilitated by Shweta Hegde of PDM 12 and Parth of PDM 13. In this event, totally three teams participated, and  one guest dance from the side of community. TSM students presented the Gujarat’s rich culture on stage. They presented the “Dandiya” of Gujarat. They got 1st prize. Another dance was a Tamil traditional dance presented by Vivekananda College. This dance performance is unique in terms of showing the balance between music and person.

The motive of organizing such kind of event in Heritage is to provide the space to student community to understand our very basic cultural part.

HERITAGE is not merely an fest, behind this event there are many efforts has been taken, Tata Dhan academy feels that it is proud movement for all that we have taken an initiative which will continue in coming years also.

August 12, 2012 at 4pm   there was the valedictory program of the HERITAGE 2012, including prize distribution for all the 11 events conducted in the two days program of HERITAGE, with the comparing by Faculty event coordinator J.N. Vijayabharati

D.G.Sethuraman, Art and History professor, Madurai Kamaraja University was the chief guest. M.P.Vasimalai, chairman of TDA,  Ms.Umarani, director of TDA,

K.P. Bharati, Programme  Leader of Development tourism in DHAN Foundation, Mr.Vedachalam, Retd.Archiologist, were  on the dais. First K.P.Bharati has given the brief introduction about the over view of heritage.  Then the students from different colleges have given the reflection about the heritage event and also about our TDA. They expressed that, this is their privilege to come and participate in heritage as well as TDA , and this was the overall expression there. This is followed by the reflection from the lecturer of Vivekananda College. Chief guests and other guests were addressed the audience. Then prizes are distributed by guests for students and community. The overall champion has got by Thiyagaraj School of Management. Ms. Umarani has wished all the winners, participants, and the students of TDA. The mentor of the TDA and executive director of the DHAN Foundation announced the closing of HERITAGE 2012 and wished for its continuity for coming year, the program is ended with the vote of thanks by the student event coordinator Shweta Hegde of PDM XII batch.

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