There was a flurry of activity in Chennai catering to every age and taste. The fortnight started with a Conference on Disaster Management: Certainty the object—Uncertainty the Reality which was organized by the CII, Southern Region. The programme had a list of Speakers with very high profile and they represented the Services, the Police, the Private and Government Sector and the field of Medicine. All the speakers gave an insight into their field of work and the steps that were taken to minimize damage when disaster struck —be it natural like the tsunami or man made, like terrorism.
One of the speakers, Cmde (retd.) S.Shekar, Regional Director, NMF, Chennai chapter set the tone to his speech on ‘Organizational Aspects on Disaster Management’ by saying, ‘In our country everything has to be under the Prime Minister and named after a particular family to get attention—but what after that?’ which sounded more like a rhetorical question where the speaker doesn’t expect an answer but in the context of our country the answer is obvious, I thought.
Mr.M.R.Ranganathan, Chairman,ABK—AOTS Dosokai and Chairman, Nihon Technology Pvt. Ltd. spoke about ‘3/11 Japan Triple Disaster —Lessons to learn.’ He said the Japanese are known for their patience and resilience,believed in team spirit and worked in a group, where no single person takes the credit (since no one is considered an expert). Their morale is always high as they believe in the saying, ‘nana kurobi ya oki’ which when translated means, ‘fall seven times-rise eight times. This was much in evidence when the triple disaster occurred in March ’11, he said.
The closing Address in the evening was delivered by Gp. Capt.(retd.) L.V.Mohandas, Head—Internal Security and IT,CII,SR.
The 17th. of December was the Silver jubilee of SERFAC, an NGO founded by Dr.Sr.Catherine Bernard for creating an awareness and sensitizing society about the importance of stable marriages and healthy families which are the most important resource base and natural environment for its members. Service and Research Institute on Family and Children (SERFAC), a pioneering Institution has been in the forefront of the Family Movement in India, Asia and the World since 1986 and continues to be one amongst the few family organizations, that continues to focus on the world-wide and local impact on the family as a social unit through its local and global programmes.
In his key-note address, Hon’ble Justice N.Santosh Hegde ,retd. Supreme Court Judge, Former Solicitor General ofIndiaand Rt. Lokayukta commenced his speech by going into his humble family background and the mile stones in his career, culminating in occupying the high office in the judiciary. He owed his success to the values instilled by his father, he said and continues to adhere to them, he reiterated. He inaugurated The Post Graduate Course (M.A.) in Child Counselling initiated by SERFAC. In the post lunch session, The Role of the Family in Contemporary Life Situations with Reference to Education/Civil Society/Governance and Politics /Women /Corporate Entities/Religion were discussed by invited speakers.
I noticed Music lovers and Food lovers flitting from one sabha to another right from morning to later in the day and into the night using every opportunity to appease their taste for the art and palate. Some made it very clear about their choice between the two making a dash to the canteen of the MusicAcademy!
Down the week there was a book launch by the Madras Book Club, the venue was Tag Centre on TTK road and the book was ‘Balasaraswathi: Her Art and Life’ by Douglas M.Knight jr. I expected a large turn out for the event and the only reason for not a very large audience (the regulars were conspicuously absent) I thought was the on going music season.
N Meera Raghavendra Rao