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Coimbatore all decked up for grand Tamil meet

K. V. Prasad

Procession showcasing greatness of Tamil civilisation, the highlight today

— Photo: K. Ananthan

LANDMARK event:The site of an exhibition in the foreground and the main event venue in the background are awash with light as Coimbatore awaits the grand opening of the World Classical Tamil Conference on Wednesday.

COIMBATORE A sense of excitement, tinged with Tamil pride, has gripped this city on the eve of the World Classical Tamil Conference beginning on Wednesday, June 23.

There was a celebratory atmosphere in the CODISSIA Trade Fair Complex, the venue of the WCTC, on Tuesday. Aesthetically fashioned structures to hold the inaugural event, academic sessions, seminars, exhibitions and cultural events attracted wide attention. People lined up from Avanashi Road to see them.

By evening the crowd had swelled as the structures were bathed in bright lighting. The roadside walls picture episodes from literary works and phases in the history of Tamil Nadu and Tamil literature. There are depictions of traditional sports and martial art forms, too.

The rich biodiversity of the land has been captured in paintings on a wall of the VOC Grounds, near the Corporation Zoo. Large banners and arches on roads add to the festive fervour and ambience.

Since Sunday, the main thoroughfares have been lit up. Private firms maintaining roadside parks have illuminated them.

A procession showcasing the greatness of Tamil civilisation will be taken out on Wednesday evening. Interspersed over a length of a kilometre are stages put up for various sections to view the procession of 40 floats, titled “Iniyavai Naarpathu (Noble 40)”.

A stage has been erected for President Pratibha Patil, Governor Surjit Singh Barnala, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and others to watch the procession.

The scale of the event is reflected in the sheer size of the venues for various proceedings.

The President will inaugurate the meet from a 6,400-sq. ft. dais. As many as 50,000 people will watch it from a 4.4-lakh sq. ft. enclosed structure. The size of the venues for events such as academic sessions, exhibitions and debates ranges from 100 sq ft to 12,000 sq ft.

Right through the conference, a variety of classical, folk and contemporary art forms will be presented.

A flurry of development works, landscaping, painting of walls with images from classical works and involvement of various sections of society marked the run-up to the event. A 10-km stretch of the arterial Avanashi Road – from VOC Grounds to the airport – has been transformed in terms of infrastructure and aesthetics. There are steel shelters at bus stands, new pavements and tiled parking spaces.

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