Thursday, May 05, 2016

I love India, I love Chennai....

A long time ago, I was informed that it is actually just 9 I got drawn into a group called I-Fix, another initiative that was formed on idealism, fuelled by youthful energy with a desire to make a change. There may have been others, in fact I remember voting for Lok Paritran, remember that party of youngsters like Surya in Ayudha Ezhuthu who wanted to clean the muck of politics and contested with the symbol of an axe?

I-Fix wanted to make a change by doing little things by the individuals themselves without waiting for institutional or government support. Yes even before the politicians made “Namakku Naame” an election stunt, there were initiatives by the common man who sought to make things right one step at a time. I-Fix was into fixing potholes, those silent killers that we loathe on the roads but seldom find any solution to including not meeting the elected councillors for resolution. I-Fix volunteers used to meet quietly in some predetermined spot and fill the potholes with available material and tools. I remember going for a couple of these pot hole fixes.

Like other initiatives I-Fix also receded from memory and it was a pleasant surprise when a mail came with a reference to I-Fix and with an invitation for something new. Since I-Fix days I have been following the key person Vijay Anand online and so when the mail came from him I probed further. The initiative was interesting, outrageous and yet it was idealistic. I was hooked. The reason was very simple, I love India, and I love Chennai a.k.a Madras.

Let me digress for a moment to give a personal back ground: Off late I tend to fly at least twice a month so I use the now much hated Chennai airport at least 4 times. Make no bones about it, we the people of Chennai deserve a better airport than this one which I am told was in the news again for having the 63rd instance of a glass panel crashing down. Yet this airport has one redeeming feature, each time I exit it I look up at the majestic Tricolour flag which flutters across the sky. If you are scratching your head and wondering about it, watch it for it the next time you go there. A 100ft odd (I’m guessing) tall flag mast with the tricolour is near the Canon board that is now the landmark for the app driven cab operators.

This flag always brings a smile to my face and for a brief moment it makes me feel proud of being an Indian. The flag sadly is almost out of sight for those outside thanks to the Metro that completes dominates the skyline. The flag howver reminds me of yet another flag which I saw in Connaught Place Delhi which is breath-taking for its size and appearance and more importantly for its location. There is something magical about the Tricolour fluttering high in the sky and this magic has drawn other like-minded people together for an initiative called The Chennai Tricolor Initiative (excuse the American spelling).

I am now sharing below the details of the initiative from the website:

Initiative Overview

Chennai Tricolor is a volunteer driven initiative (open to all), with the mission to install a monumental flag in Chennai in Marina Beach.

What Is The Issue, Problem, Or Challenge?
Since the Monumental Flag went up in Delhi, there are several cities across the country which have gotten monumental flags installed. Chennai is yet to have a flag that is in a public space. While it has been typically institutions - war memorials, airports, ports, and institutions that have been setting up these flags, in the true spirit of Chennai that was on full display during the Chennai floods, we thought about this initiative being one that is of the people. We will still be working with the government on land permissions etc, but this will be a citizens' owned initiative.

Key Information
Height of Flag Pole being Planned: 207 ft
Ideal Location being Planned for: Marina Beach, Chennai
What does it cost: 40 Lakhs
When: August 15th or August 22, 2016


Why should you be a part of this initiative?
-       Because it is a community initiative by folks who call Chennai home
-       Because it is done by your friends
-       Because you love the Tricolour
-       Because you love Chennai
-       Because you…
-       Because you…
-       Because you…
-       Because you…
-       Because you…
-       Because you…
-       Because you CAN

Do join this initiative and share it among your friends and family. One day when you go to the Marina and see the Tricolour fluttering majestically above, you can tell everyone “I am a part of this”.

Read more about this initiative here:

Image courtesy – Google Images

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