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Vaigai River Restoration Pageant features a procession of giant mobile sculptures, spectacular costumes, and musical bands with site-specific performances along the banks of the Vaigai River from Villangudi to Albert Victor Bridge and the Maiya Mandapam, in Madurai. asiainitiatives.org. As this is just a symbolic initiation, we plan to take up serious ground-level cleaning activities with these people,” says Gurunathan, the Director of DHAN-Vayalagam Foundation for the upkeep of water bodies. “Though, open defecation has come down these days, domestic waste should be stopped from being let into the river,” he says. • Work with artists-in-residence to create spectacular visual arts works such as mobile sculptures/puppets and costumes for the procession inspired by the species, habitats, issues, and restoration efforts of the river. She is also the Co-Founder of “URBZ: User Generated Cities” (www.urbz.net), a think tank committed to empowering people at the community level to improve their own neighborhoods. First, we served scholars with research tools alone. The magnificence of Madurai as a cultural center since the Tamil Era 2,500 years ago, as well as the beauty of the Vaigai River that runs through it, has been celebrated for thousands of years in Indian literature and sacred texts. Redevelopment of Periyar bus stand, Vaigai river front development, street scape redesign of four Masi Streets and construction of convention centres at Tamukkam with the total project cost of Rs 324 crore are to be completed by March 2020. The entire pageant will also get three random stops. Lower Manhattan Cultural Council http://arunajdasantrust.org/index.php?lnkpage=main Here the ancient past exists alongside the modern world, with its people still practicing sacred and ancient traditions rooted in its legendary history. Godavari River. They will be presented with specially woven sungundi shawls bearing motifs of fish, the symbol of Pandiya kingdom. The project raises awareness to mitigate the severe crisis of … Will a cultural pageant help to sensitise the people to the resource that the river once was and make them feel more responsible towards its restoration? it out An old project that was put on the back burner, deserves relook, say experts In 1969, the government evolved a scheme to im pound 7.4 tmc water from the upper reaches of Vaigai river to benefit Virudhunagar and other areas in irrigation and provide drinking water. For the past 20 years Sekar has been researching and documenting the Vaigai River and is Co-Author of Stretch of Life on the Vaigai River with Peter Nabakov. Vaigai seems more barren than ever and the crisis is more severe than ever,” she says. Bamboo artist Prakash has been working hard to make the perfect outline of the giant fish sculpture that will be covered and decorated on the exterior with plastic bottles and metal cans. • Builds partnerships with local schools, environmental organizations, farming groups, and community and cultural centers throughout the Madurai area, inviting groups to create performances and visual art for participation in the pageant. Earth Celebrations is a New York City based non-profit organization founded by Felicia Young which works to engage communities to address and effect change on ecological issues through the arts. Founder/Executive Director. Mohammed Zubair, a student of DHAN Academy, hailing from Anand, Gujarat, compares the Vaigai with the Tapti. Geeta is the past President of the American Institute of Architects’ Japan Chapter. Verses from Thevaram and Silapathigaram, in praise of Vaigai were also sung during the procession. Prior to Chithirai Festival in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India. • local artists, performing groups, schools, environmental organizations, community and cultural centers that are invited to participate in the collaborative creative process and culminating performance. A project to restore the Vaigai River in Madurai, India that is in a severe crisis due to pollution, waste dumping, and the drying effects of climate change. “Only the community that uses and needs the river can honour and protect it,” says Felicia Young, the Founder and Executive Director of “Earth Celebrations”, a non-profit organisation in New York. The Vaigai river delta covering an area of 2,500 sq.km. The cultural pageant may be a token action, but DHAN as the catalyst wants to drill the message of involvement and responsibility into all stakeholders. The cluster is proposed to be developed under SFURTI. • Highlight and mobilize community engagement and support for river clean-up efforts including: trash removal, alternatives for waste disposal, clean public toilets, functioning drainage systems, water flow, storage, and irrigation. She has produced large-scale theatrical pageants for the past 25 years such as the Rites of Spring: Procession to Save Our Gardens (1991-2005) on the Lower East Side of New York City, which mobilized a grass-root effort and directly led to the preservation of many community gardens on the Lower East Side and throughout New York City. But, construction of the dam affected its flow and the release of industrial and bio-medical waste and domestic sewage into the river and decreasing rainfall has led to the river’s woeful state. 1 Name of the project Cauvery (Kattalai) - Vaigai - Gundar link project 2 Type of project (Irrigation or Multipurpose) Multipurpose 3 Location Central coastal region of Tamil Nadu 3.1 River basin a) Name Cauvery basin, Streams between Cauvery and Vaippar b) Location Tamil Nadu 3.2 River / tributary Cauvery and Gundar rivers He has specialized in community organization, designing development interventions in the fields of natural resource management, livelihood promotion and institutional development. Rajasekaran as Co-Director of the Vaigai River Restoration Pageant Project will coordinate with DHAN Foundation and Earth Celebrations, engage collaborating community partners, artists, and performers, and manage production logistics. We have invited suggestions from people and activists to keep the river clean.” Craftsmen will be incentivized to use traditional vegetable dyes rather than chemical pigments that pollute the river. 1. • Highlight and initiate proposals for visions for the future of the river such as a river park along the banks of the Vaigai and other recreational uses that promote the care and appreciation of the river, its historical legacy, and future as an ecological oasis within the city. For this Felicia has an off-beat idea. Chellappa said, “We have also planned for an eviction drive to remove all the encroachments along the Vaigai river and expand the roads along it to make it useful for commuters.”. Photo by Jacques Torchon Jr. Wetlands and Water costume in Earth Celebrations’ Hudson River Pageant, New York City. http://www.dhan.org, Asia Initiatives • Industrial and chemical pollutants flowing into the river. The organisers have asked the people of the city to save their used plastic and tin cans as the fish which is going to be brought to the city on Saturday would be decorated with the trash cans by the people of the city themselves, including students and anyone who is interested. •  a colorful procession along the banks of the Vaigai River featuring giant mobile sculptures/puppets, costumes, and visual processional artwork. a social action art initiative and an international collaborative effort to restore the sacred Vaigai River in Madurai, South India that is in a severe environmental crisis due to pollution, waste dumping, and the drying effects of climate change. • Organic Planting Performance celebrating the river as a life source for agriculture and sustainable organic farming and importance of water storage tank restoration for irrigation. Email this Article ... A sunrise over Vaigai River in Madurai Tamil Nadu India.jpg “To begin with, the idea is to attract, educate, sensitise and mobilise people, especially those who live along the river banks, to not to further ruin the river but to help in its revival,” adds Gurunathan. • historic legacy of the Vaigai River honored for thousands of years in Indian literature. ... Madurai, the second largest city in Tamil Nadu is located on the fringe of the project … The Corporation will spend ₹60 crore on beautification of the river front and the remaining ₹21 crore would be diverted to the PWD for building check dams. The Vaigai River Restoration Project & Pageant built a collaboration of stakeholders including diverse sector organizations, government agencies, educational and cultural institutions, schools, farmers, artisans, scientists, engineers, youth and residents and people living along the riverbank throughout the urban and rural area of Madurai to collaborate on the effort. A second ‘kali’ would depict the restored Vaigai River and carry forms that would signify green, wind and water. -Staff Reporter, The Hindu, “Untreated effluents have raised the pollution level of water. Earth Celebrations, Rajasekaran Jesudasan is a Trustee of Arunachalam Jesudasan Trust and Field Director CM Centre Madurai Services for International Scholars, Educators, Researchers & Students in South India, where he is currently on a sabbatical for a year until May 2015. Image Sources: Left- Heritage of India; Right- Indian Temples History; Middle- rémi Karner and Pema; Bottom- Wikipedia. has the apex at Manamadurai. Latex Spray; Coir Needle Felt Roll Vaigai Dam at Twilight Vaigai Dam in the Daylight Vaigai dam closeup Vaigai dam Full view Vaigai dam backwater reservoir Vaigai dam sideview projects are Lower Bhavani, Mani Muthuar Cauvery Delta Aarani River, Vaigai Dam Amravathi Sathanur Pullambadi, Parambikulam and Neyaru Dams. Professor of Anthropology, Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, USA Quick View. Helping her out are environmental organizations, academic institutions, washermen and farming groups, activists, government and district administration representatives and corporation councillors, corporate bodies and industrialists, cultural institutions, artists, performers and the common man of Madurai. It is called ‘incentivising’ the community, meaning to give away incentives for effecting social change. Samy Project Hub has been established as a project company in Madurai 2014. Mulaipari festival at Koovathupatti, Tamil Nadu; Young students performing traditional dances. In the last 20 years, Felicia has, through advocacy projects and theatrical pageants, effected preservation of the community gardens in New York city, addressed climate change and restored the species and habitats of the once polluted Hudson river. Here the ancient past exists alongside the modern world, with its people still practicing sacred and ancient traditions rooted in its legendary history. DHAN has selected a dozen ‘river custodians’ and divided the stretch of the river from Kochadai to Viraganoor dam into 12 zones. Con Edison. These custodians would be honoured during the pageant. – Professor G Balaji, Department of Architecture, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, “A proper vision from all stakeholders will help preserve our rivers.” The partners have made a commitment of at least five years to this project and effort. Students of Fatima College are coming out with poetry on the river, which would be displayed on a rickshaw during the pageant. Vaigai River Restoration Project. Pena Manoharan, a policeman-turned-poet who took part in the pageant recalls how he was abhorred by the sight of people defecating in the river on his first visit to the city in 1975. The toxic foam was observed due to water pollution. Men in procession carrying large decorative ambala kalvadis. There will also be kavadis designed in the form of nine feet tall temple gopurams highlighting the species of land, water and air and the Vaigai ecosystem. Under this project 8.5tmcft of surplus water from Cauvery near Mayanur barrage in Karur will be diverted to Vaigai river in Madurai and further to Gundar via channels. “City people can sign up for various roles and tasks for the procession and thereby be involved in the exercise to bring back their river to life,” she says. Dr. S. Banumathy. 1 Name of the project Cauvery (Kattalai) - Vaigai - Gundar link project 2 Type of project (Irrigation or Multipurpose) Multipurpose 3 Location Central coastal region of Tamil Nadu 3.1 River basin a) Name Cauvery basin, Streams between Cauvery and Vaippar b) Location Tamil Nadu 3.2 River / tributary Cauvery and Gundar rivers The Hudson River Park Trust The native third generation New Yorker who is also a community cultural development artist and theatrical pageant director is working on Vaigai River Restoration Pageant (VRRP) with local stakeholders and aims to stop further ruin of the river. In Stock. Hudson River Restoration Pageant (2009-2012) Hudson River Restoration. Madurai, situated on the banks of the Vaigai River, in Tamil Nadu, Southern India is known as the Temple City of India. He was instrumental in promoting various network organizations. On going engagement and actions continued to thrive with river clean up actions, full moon ceremonies and processional river walks, and a Vaigai River Restoration Trust was established along with an official panel appointed by the Mayor of the City. Though Felicia’s art for social change advocacy projects and cultural pageants have proved to be a success in the U.S, she is not sure of the impact here in Madurai. Artisans and replicas of all things connected to the river will walk the pageant on May 12, under the initiative of Earth Celebrations. She was surprised when students shared their ideas for restoring the Vaigai River with parks, organic shops, fishing, sports, recycling bins, clean public toilets, playgrounds for children along the embankment. The Vaigai River, which originates on the eastern slope of the Western Ghats, flows east and discharges into the Bay of Bengal. The reservoir created by the construction of Vaigai Dam now impounds about 58,000 cubic ft. Felicia Young of Earth Celebrations shared her Hudson experience with the participants. The big cultural pageant will also bring in a giant fish measuring 21 feet in length along with three small fishes to emphasise on the benefits of restoration and release of species into the water. Direct Action Fashion Show Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (2013) The Vaigai River Restoration Pageant: April 2015 The Vaigai River Restoration Pageant Project is an educational ecological art project that engages the local community, raises public environmental awareness, and mobilizes direct action and support to restore the water quality, species, habitats and health of India’s famous Vaigai River in the ancient temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India. Singapore. The Vaigai River Restoration Project  & Pageant was initiated in concept by Felicia Young of Earth Celebrations in January 2014 in response to witnessing the polluted state of the Vaigai River in Madurai South India, a city where her ancestors lived for hundreds of years from the 1700’s and earlier. S. James, The Hindu, PAGEANT: PROCESSION WITH SITE-SPECIFIC PERFORMANCES. Read more. Mixing of waste water in ponds and the river formed the toxic foam. Earth Celebrations Website, Hudson River Pageant Sponsors Community partners include: DHAN Foundation, Tata/DHAN Academy, Thiagarajar College of Engineering and Architecture, Fatima College, Lady Doak College, Vivekananda College, American College, Sri Meenakshi Government College for Women, Gandhi Museum, Women’s Empowerment Groups with DHAN Foundation, Madurai Corporation (Deputy Director, S. Shanti), City Officials (Mayor, Rajan Chellappa, Collector I. Subramanium), Rotary Club Madurai, Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple,  Sundararaja Perumal Temple and Vandiyur MariammanTemple, Chairpersons of four corporation zones,  Superintending Engineers of TWAD Board and Tamil Nadu Housing Board District Forest Officer and District Revenue Officer and diverse stakeholders of Madurai. Compare. “We have divided the stretch into 12 zones right from Kochadai to Viraganur and families living on the banks will be given the responsibility of maintaining their part of the river. The system is benefited from both the South-West monsoon and the North-East monsoon. She has roped in Dr.Gita Mehta, Professor of Architecture in University of Columbia and her Social Capital Credits Model wherein people get rewarded for any good work. [4] As Field Director at CM Centre, Sekar organizes every resource necessary to provide for the needs of scholars and students, ranging from setting up meetings with government agencies, NGOs, individuals, private institutions or business houses to interviewing a village shaman. Varusanadu is a village panchayat (code: 232202 ) in Theni District of Tamil Nadu, which is located in the bank of Vaigai River. Ensure the Idols are Made of Clay, The Hindu, Image Sources Starting from Top: K. Ananthan, The Hindu; Earth Celebrations Hudson River Pageant Puppet Workshop, New York City; Only by increasing the water flow of the river, it can be brought to life again. A bullock cart will carry a giant decorated kadamba pot. She worked with the arts in New York from 1991 to 2005. The Executive Director of Dhan Foundation, M. P. Vasimalai, said that action groups would be formed along the banks as custodians of the river to prevent dumping of garbage and flow of sewage. 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