Sunday, April 19, 2015

N.R.Thiagarajan (NRT): Freedom Fighter, Parliamentarian, MLA, MLA, CLP leader in Madras Assembly.

N.R. THIAGARAJAN (1913 - 1969) 

NRT was a freedom fighter, architect of development of Madurai, Parliamentarian, builder of the Congress Party and Man Friday of Sri. Kamaraj.  

He was born on 16th April 1913, as the fourth child of Rathnasamy Naidu and Venkatammal in Karisalpatti Village.  He had his education in his native village and he was drawn to national movement at a very young age.  He was the key organizer of civil disobedience movement and quit India movement in the Madurai district. He was imprisoned many times and spent about 51/4 years in Vellore, Alipuram and Tirunelveli prisons. He launched movements for boycott of foreign goods and promotion of swadeshi goods.

At the young age of fourteen N.R. Thiagarajan joined in National movement and Congress Party. He started his political carrier as the president of the village Congress Committee of his native village Lakshmipuram Pudupatty.  Latter he became Taluk Congress Committee secretary of Periyakulam.  In 1946 he became the president of Madurai District Congress Committee president. NRT was the key person of all the political activities of Madurai.  He was a very powerful orator and he could inspire thousands of youths in freedom movement and Congress party. He was responsible for building Congress from the Grassroots in Madurai District. 

He had close association with Periyar. He organized Temple entry of Harijan in many Temples of Periyakulam Taluk. NRT was a great social reformer and worked for the emancipation of Dalith and women. Sri. P. Kakan a great freedom fighter and minister from the Dalit Community was a close friend and Associate of N.R.T. 

After India’s independence he was elected as the first President of the prestigious Madurai District board in 1949.  He was the president from 1949 to 1954.  Madurai District was one of the biggest districts of Tamilnadu consisting of present Madurai, Theni and Dindugul Districts.  During this period he could develop a five year plan for the development of Madurai District.  His focus was on primary education, primary health, rural housing, linkage roads to rural areas, drinking  water supply, irrigation works for agricultural development and industrial development.  He laid the foundation for the industrialization of Madurai.  Then chief ministers of Tamilnadu Rajaji, Kamaraj and Kumarasami Raja gave whole hearted support for his efforts to develop Madurai region.  

As the president of the District he gave importance to education.  He had a vision to start schools colleges and an university in Madurai District.  As the District Board President he could start about 500 primary schools and 32 high schools in remote areas of Madurai District.  The first Rural Arts and Science College in a remote village of southern TamilNadu was started in Uthamapalayam because of his tireless efforts in 1956. He started about 16 primary health centers and maternity centers in Madurai District. 

Because of his initiatives industrial estates were started in Madurai,  Theni, Dindugul and Palani. Theni, his native town had very positive features for textile industry and cotton cultivation.  Because of his efforts, an irrigation scheme was implemented to irrigate above 12000 acres of dry land with Vaigai river water in Theni region.  It helped the farmers to cultivate cotton in large areas. He invited Sri Jawaharlal Nehru to inaugurate the first textile mill in Theni in the year 1962.  Because of NRTs efforts now the region has emerged as one of the textile hubs of south India. 

As the District Board President immediately after independence he took extraordinary efforts to provide transport facilities to the villages of Madurai district.  N.R.Thiagarajan was a great parliamentarian.  He served in the Assembly and Council of Madras Legislature.  He was known for his oratory skills in the legislature. He was the leader of the Congress Party in the Legislative Council of TamilNadu Assembly between 1964 to 1969.  He was the opposition party leader in the Legislative Council, when DMK came to power from 1967 to 1969.  He was an active member of the Madras Assembly between 1957 to 1962.  He asked the highest number of questions in the assembly and made assembly sessions very productive.  He was responsible for the establishment of university in Madurai and he actively worked for the selection of the site for the university and its inauguration.  The governor of TamilNadu nominated him as a member of the first senate of Madurai University. 

As the District Board President, he had a vision to build a dam in the vaigai river to develop agriculture in the dry regions of Madurai District.  He impressed Kamaraj on the benefits of constructing a dam in Vaigai river in Madurai District.  About 40000 Acres have got irrigation facilities from the Vaigai dam. In 1950’s there were no medical college in the state outside Chennai. As the president of the District Board he sent a proposal for starting a Government Medical College in Madurai and he allotted the District Board land to the construction of Madurai Medical College.  Now the Madurai Medical College has been upgraded in to an all India institute serving around 12 Districts of south Tamilnadu.

He had a close and special relationship with Sri. K. Kamaraj.  Like Kamaraj, NRT was also started as a humble grass root worker. NRT was the right hand of Kamaraj in politics and he could translate the ideas of Kamaraj in to reality.  NRT was the member of the TamilNadu Congress Working Committee for more than twenty years. As the president of District Panchayat he regularly visited hundreds of village panchayats and closely studied their issues and problems. Local Body leaders of Madurai District elected him to Legislative council of Madras as their representative in 1964. 

NRT was a great Gandhian and he was actively involved in Gandhian movement.  He was the President of Madurai District  Bhoodhan Movement and helped Acharya Vinobha to collect 4,000 acres of land for Bhoodham.  He personally participated in the Pathayathra of Vinobha.  He also donated his personal land for bhoodhan.

NRT tirelessly worked for the people and the nation upto his last day.  He died in the year 1969 at the young age of 56.  He is still remember for his contribution for the development of Madurai, Dindugul and Theni Districts. Government of Tamilnadu honoured him by naming the district hospital in Theni as N.R.Thiagarajan Memorial District Hospital.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pranjala Yadlapalli wins Asian junior championship

New Delhi: India's Yadlapalli Pranjala clinched the Asian Junior Tennis championship title after a come-from-behind victory over top seed Chinese Zheng Wushuang here today.

The second seeded Indian won with a 5-7 6-2 7-5 scoreline in the final against her formidable rival, who happened to be her doubles partner in the event.

It was double delight for the 16-year-old Pranjala as she had won the doubles trophy yesterday.

Coached by former Davis Cup player Ilyas Ghouse, Pranjala trains at GVK Tennis Academy in Hyderabad.

"This competition is next to junior Grand Slams. The competition was intense. My opponent in the final is higher-ranked player and I had lost to her in the second round of ITF Grade I event in January. I am glad I could beat her this time," the Class XII student said.

Pranjala, who has started playing on the ITF Pro circuit, said she will train for the next two three weeks and then she has a ITF grade I junior event lined up, followed by the junior French Open championship.  

Arikapudi RamanaRao who wowed Tamil Nadu

Arikapudi Ramana Rao is a rarity in Indian volleyball. 

Not only did he excel for his native state (Andhra Pradesh), Rao also shone in Tamil Nadu, his `second home'.Rao carved a niche for himself as a coach too, becoming in 1986 an FIVB (Federation Internationale de Volleyball) instructor, the first Indian to do so. 

It is no surprise then that Rao, the national team's head coach during the Asian volleyball championships in Perth, Australia, in 1991, is among the chosen few to have won both the Arjuna award (in 1977-78) and the prestigious Dronacharya award (in 1990-91). 

Born in Chamallapudi village near Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, volleyball caught Rao's attention relatively late, at college."While studying at Hindu College in Guntur, I used to play both basketball and volleyball regularly since both courts were side-by-side," recalls Rao.He did well for the college in both disciplines. "There came a point when I had to choose between the two, and I went with volleyball," says Rao. It was a master-stroke because soon after his graduation, Rao got an offer to join the Southern Central Railway (SCR) team in Hyderabad. "At SCR, I had an opportunity to play in various nationallevel tournaments which gave me the exposure. Soon, I featured in the Indian team which was a huge high," he says. 

In 1970, Rao shifted base to the erstwhile Madras, courtesy an offer from State Bank of India (SBI) "They (SBI) had to wait for about six months before I joined, since Railways were reluctant to relieve me. I had to report on April 30, 1970, and I got my relieving order only a day prior to that," says Rao. But that didn't affect Rao's performance and he soon made his mark with his new employers in his new home. "SBI had a great side, and most of the members were part of the state side." 

He may have been a part of numerous victorious squads throughout his glittering career, but winning the maiden national title for his adopted state remains close to Rao's heart. "The 1975-76 nationals in Trichy where we won the title were special. We were two sets down in the final, and the crowd, which had gathered in large numbers, left the stadium disappointed. By the time we pulled things back, there were very few left to cheer us," says Rao. 

However, many fans came to congratulate Rao the next day after learning about Tamil Nadu's spectacular win through the newspapers. "Be it during a practice session or during a game -we were always cheered by the spectators in Madras. 

If not for the crowd, I don't think there will be volleyball or the players," he says. 

2 Kammas among 18 Indian American Kids Win 2015 National Geographic State Bees

2 Kammas among Eighteen Indian American youths from around the USA were recently named winners of the 2015 National Geographic State Bees.

Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to inspire students to be curious about the world. 

As state winners, each youth will receive $100 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their respective states in the national finals of the Bee at the National Geographic Society headquarters from May 12 to 14. 
The winners, by state, are:

Shriya Yarlagadda, 6th Grade, Grand Blanc East Middle School, Grand Blanc.

Ajaya Tummala, 8th Grade, Caddo Middle Magnet School, Shreveport.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Satya Nadella tops global CEO pay chart

NEW YORK: With a pay package of $84.3 million (Rs 525 crore) a year, technology giant Microsoft's Indian-origin chief Satya Nadella has emerged as the top-paid CEO in the US, as per a new list.

The Equilar 100 CEO Pay Study, an analysis of CEO salaries at the 100 largest public US companies as measured by revenue, was last year topped by Oracle's Larry Ellison, who has been now pushed by Nadella to the second position.

Another Indian-origin CEO, Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, is ranked 19th with $19.08 million. Legendary investor Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway is ranked last at 100th position with a total compensation of $464,011 million.

Ellison ($67.3 million) is followed by Steven Mollenkopf of Qualcomm at the third place on the list with $60.7 million.

Others in the top-ten include Robert Iger (Walt Disney), Larry Merlo (CVS Health), K Rupert Murdoch (Twenty-First Century Fox), W James McNerney, Jr (Boeing). James Gorman (Morgan Stanley), David Cote (Honeywell International) and Kenneth Chenault (American Express).