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Public campaign seeking Heritage Act planned

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: This year's Madras Week celebrations will look beyond conducting a host of events with the organisers planning a public campaign appealing to the State government to enact the Heritage Act.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, historian S. Muthiah said that they have been asking for a Heritage Act for the last 15 years, but it has never moved beyond the draft stage. “There is growing consciousness among people about heritage. Having got that how do we get the government to act? The Act covers heritage and culture,” he said. A signature campaign is being planned to mobilise support.

The organisers, who earlier had a meeting on Wednesday, said they met to set the date for the Madras Week as well as to rope in more volunteers to conduct events, especially in northern part of the city where the response is yet to pick up. From celebrating Madras Day (August 22) as the city's birthday, the annual programme is now spread across a month. This year the celebrations will be held between August 21 and August 28, but festivities would start from the second week of August itself.

“Madras started with the north, but we are yet to see the kind of response. We need more volunteers from north Chennai coming forward to organise events,” said Mr. Muthiah.

It could be in the form of exhibiting old photographs of a street or bringing out a lesser-known fact about an area in north Chennai, said actor Mohan Ram. Historian V.Sriram underscored the need for involving more north Indian communities settled in these pockets.

“If there is a historical importance in your place, then we can help you,” said Vincent D'Souza, publisher. “Any person who wants to invite our list of 30-50 speakers, the organisers help them out,” he added.

S.R. Madhu of Rotary Club of Madras South appealed to all Rotary clubs in the city to involve in the Madras Week celebrations.

Individuals who wish to celebrate the founding of the city, could email editor@madrasmusings.com or themadrasday@gmail.com.

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