India can seem so chaotic; I can’t even believe how that whole thing came together. She has a BA in Art History from Skidmore College, 1987, and a MA degree in Performance Studies from New York University, 1994. S. James, The Hindu, PAGEANT: PROCESSION WITH SITE-SPECIFIC PERFORMANCES. Marco Polo called Madurai the most splendid province on Earth. 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. Felicia is confident that the educative and innovative VRRP will get people to initiate positive change. Source: Godavari river rises from Trimbakeshwar near Nasik in Maharashtra and flows for a length of about 1465 km before outfalling into the Bay of Bengal. 1. 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. And as Felicia says, “Gandhi utilized ‘non-violent resistance’ as social action to create change. 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. Later on, we full-fledged entered into the field of preparation of a thesis in supporting Research scholars all over India. Mulaipari festival at Koovathupatti, Tamil Nadu; Young students performing traditional dances. 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. 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. Felicia Young of Earth Celebrations shared her Hudson experience with the participants. Water Users Association in Xlth Branch Canal Periyar Vaigai Project : Farmers Experience River imgation systems irrigates one third of the imga&d area in Tamil Nadu. “I am the Vaigai Devi, symbolising prosperity and natural wealth,” smiles Manju. Dr. Geeta Mehta, PhD, Project Co-Sponsor, Founder/President of Asia Initiatives. The Vaigai River will be renewed with creative inspiration and collaborative efforts of the community as well as the support of the many individuals and organizations in Madurai and beyond who care about the future of the rivers, natural resources, ecological sustainability, and water on which we all depend for our future survival. 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. He has over three decades of experience in development work and is one of the key people in setting up Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN). He served for more than 25 years as Resident Coordinator for the University of Wisconsin’s College Year in India Programme, Madurai, and during that time also assisted a great many visiting scholars from USA and European Universities. Compare. Development of Humane Action (DHAN) Foundation, an NGO and nonprofit organization based in Madurai, South India, has a mission to “build people and institutions for development innovations and upscale (them) to enable poverty reduction and self-reliance in poor communities.” The program has identified ‘Water’ as a unique tool for alleviating poverty and has evolved into a separate people’s institution, the ‘DHAN Vayalagam (Tank) Foundation (DVTF)’. The cluster is proposed to be developed under SFURTI. The Vaigai River Restoration Pageant, according to Earth Celebrations, which was involved in the restoration of the Hudson with community involvement, attempted to “raise awareness to mitigate the severe environmental crisis of pollution and contamination of a major natural water resource and to counter the effects of climate change.”. – K Kalidas, President of Osai, an environmental NGO, “The Vaigai river bed, which is dry in most parts, is often used as a garbage dump by people in the surrounding areas as well as passers-by. This River-Linking project is a large-scale civil engineering project. Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad is a success story only because of effective people-government collaboration. Interlinking of River (ILR) programme is of national importance and has been taken up on high Priority. These custodians would be honoured during the pageant. Hudson River Restoration Pageant (2009-2012) Hudson River Restoration. Vaigai Herbal Hair Oil. Bridge to help in groundwater recharge. Students of Fatima College are coming out with poetry on the river, which would be displayed on a rickshaw during the pageant. This project proposes public pools and ecological filtration areas to support and formalize sites for the bathing, laundry, commerce, and recreation that have long occurred along the river’s edges. Rated 0 out of 5. Founder/Executive Director. Compare. AI has pioneered the use of Social Capital Credits (SoCCs) to incentivize local people to undertake social good activities, and will develop the SoCCs system to incentivize attendance in the workshops, and the restoration the Vaigai River, working closely with the local community and other stakeholders. Chemical Dye Pollution, The Times of India Quick View. The long-term project will be implemented in collaboration with New York-based Earth Celebrations, Asia Initiatives, district administration, Madurai Corporation and educational institutions. Lived and worked in Madurai, South India, and lived 35 years in Asia, including Kobe, Japan, where rivers are a prime cultural/ecological feature of the landscape. The project aims to link rivers via a network of canals and reservoirs all across India. Direct Action Fashion Show Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (2013) The Foundation aims to restore water quality and access water through tank-based watershed development supporting agriculture needs. Photo by Carl Saytor. At another point, community leaders will be honoured and recognised as river custodians. An initiative was also being taken to plant trees along the Vaigai to add beauty to its existence. ... Madurai, the second largest city in Tamil Nadu is located on the fringe of the project … The Vaigai river in Madurai continues to overflow on the third day as well and has disrupted normalcy in the city. Communities come together to create them,” she says, and adds, “I am inspired to make this project happen and it is only a start in turning the river into a truly vibrant public space.”. He is also holding various positions in national and international forums, working groups, task forces and missions of Central and State governments on these themes. Rated 0 out of 5. Mohammed Zubair, a student of DHAN Academy, hailing from Anand, Gujarat, compares the Vaigai with the Tapti. Geeta is the Adjunct Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Columbia University in New York. Con Edison. “Though, open defecation has come down these days, domestic waste should be stopped from being let into the river,” he says. Her friend, Manju holds green leaves and a placard displaying the ‘recycle’ symbol. Under this project 8.5 tmc feet of surplus water from Cauvery near Mayanur barrage in Karur will be diverted to Vaigai river in Madurai and further to Gundar via channels. This initiative is leadby Dr. Geeta Mehta, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Columbia University and the Founder/President of Asia Initiatives. The theatrical pageant is an innovative and creative strategy to engage community participation, raise public environmental awareness, and mobilize direct action and support for the efforts addressing crucial issues of the Vaigai River that impact the lives of the local community. Hudson was once highly polluted and today has beautiful parks, promenades and boating clubs along its banks. But the Vaigai has the potential of becoming a grand waterway again, says Felicia. The only difference this time will be the seriousness of an issue – how to revive Vaigai, the city’s lifeline. Craftsmen will be incentivized to use traditional vegetable dyes rather than chemical pigments that pollute the river. She has produced and directed theatrical pageants and community-based arts projects for numerous organizations including: the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the Alternative Museum, Lincoln Center for The Performing Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Brookfield Properties> arts World Financial Center, The World Trade Center, and Earth Day New York. The project raises awareness to mitigate the severe crisis of … PUDUKKOTTAI: Foundation stone for the Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar river linking project will be laid in January 2021, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Thursday. She worked with the arts in New York from 1991 to 2005. 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. • Utilize ecologically friendly practices in the creation of art projects, incorporating the use of recycled, natural and organic materials. Pageant Date: April 2015:Prior to Chithirai Festival in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India, Idols being taken out in a procession before immersion as part of Vinayaka Chathurthi celebrations in Madurai. Except for the heritage development project, the remaining four projects are more than 90 percent complete. It is a concept based costume, according to Felicia. • Raise awareness to keep the river clean and not dump waste. Photo by Rachel Elkind, Boat Dance, choreographed by Alice Farley in Earth Celebrations’ Hudson River Pageant, New York City. R. Ashok; Photo Feature in The Hindu turns PIL Petition. 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. Photo by Jacques Torchon Jr. River Species Costumes in Earth Celebrations’ Hudson River Pageant, New York City. RAISE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS AND EFFECT CHANGE The system is benefited from both the South-West monsoon and the North-East monsoon. The project has come at a critical moment to have an impact on the future of the Vaigai River and to serve as a global model for ecological and social change through creative and artistic community action. Vaigai; Hair wash Powder. The mayor has ordered cleaning operations of the Vaigai river after appointing 200 corporation workers. Join Us and Help Support the Vaigai River Pageant Project Currently, Madurai Corporation is executing Vaigai Riverfront Development Project under the Central government’s Smart Cities Mission at a cost of ₹81.41 crore. • Raise awareness among local population for health of the water quality of Vaigai River, honoring the river, water, and natural world within the urban environment Biography. Image Sources Starting from Top: K K Sundar; Through the Xpress Lens, Continents Insolites, S. James, The Hindu, Oochappan, TrekEarth, INFORMATION ON VAIGAI RIVER POLLUTION AND CLEAN-UP EFFORT, Vaigai Social Awareness Short Film by Kalai Selvan, Corporation to Patrol River Bank to Stop Dumping of Waste, Corporation Invites Public for Cleaning Vaigai, Felicia Young is a theatrical pageant director and founder of Earth Celebrations a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging communities to address and effect change on ecological issues through the arts. Compare. • Sand mining the riverbed. More colleges in Madurai district had shown a keen interest in associating themselves with the project, Mr. Vasimalai said and added that it would evolve around a long-term sustainable plan. Here the ancient past exists alongside the modern world, with its people still practicing sacred and ancient traditions rooted in its legendary history. Image Source: R. Ashok; “And Quietly Flows a Much Sullied Vaigai,” The Hindu, Image Source: R. Ashok; Photo Feature in The Hindu turns PIL Petition, The Hindu, “Once the preliminary work of clearing garbage is completed, measures will be taken to stop public from letting sewage water into the river. Vaigai River Restoration Pageant Project: To celebrate and restore Vaigai River’s water, species, and habitat in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India FOUNDING CO-SPONSORS (CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW SoCCs WILL HELP IN VAIGAI RIVER RESTORATION) Read more. Interlinking of rivers in India: The ambitious project of Inter-Linking of Rivers is the long-cherished dream of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. • Improvement of the water quality from contaminants for healthy drinking water which the community depends on for survival. There is no point in talking about Vaigai’s glory only in the past tense, says A.Gurunathan, the project director of the long-term Vaigai River Restoration Project initiated by the DHAN Foundation. Felicia was shocked to see further deterioration in Vaigai when she visited Madurai recently. I wish the same kind of result for Vaigai.” At the beginning of the rally, the students of Fatima College read out poems they had written in praise of Vaigai. This initiative is leadby Dr. Geeta Mehta, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Columbia University and the Founder/President of Asia Initiatives. S. Praveen Kumar, Project Executive, Water Knowledge Centre, Dhan Academy, says there is a need to follow the wisdom of our forefathers by restoring the traditional water systems. Twenty-five years ago, the Vaigai River was a clean, natural waterway. 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. 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