Eastern Bridge – RCME Newsletter, Issue #04







  • Crocodiles are cute?!


  • Annapathiram

  • Vidhyadhaan

  • Idhayagaanam


  • Omega Healthcare visits VEC Thoraipakkam

  • Omega Healthcare visits Bheemanapet Community College 


  • Installations

  • Visit to Cheshire Homes


  • Seeding Success- The Dr. MS Swaminathan Award




In what was yet another eventful fortnight, we saw momentous participation from the club members. The highlight of our fortnight was the MS Swaminathan Award, for which we had the Hon’ble Governor of Tamil Nadu, Thiru.R.N. Ravi as the chief guest. All of us present were bowled over by his proficiency in agriculture and his wisdom on how politics invariably affects produce. The awardee, Dr.K. Keshavulu has achieved stellar milestones in the seed industry and is now fittingly the first president of the International Seed Testing Association. As you turn the pages of this newsletter, you will find that his achievements are innumerable and his dedication towards the seed industry is commendable, to say the very least. Following stead, we also had a unique guest speaker, Mrs.Pramila Rajan, Director – Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, who shared with us facts about crocodiles with such enthusiasm, that one starts to wonder why one found them eerie in the first place! 

We were also happy to have Omega Healthcare visit our vocational training centre at Thoraipakkam and the Bheemanapet Community College and get their vote of approval on the stupendous state of affairs there. The Annapathiram and Vidhyaadhan programmes were as successful as ever and the contributions received for both have been exemplary. I request our members and their families to continue the generous contribution towards these causes and participate in large numbers. 

Excited for the fortnight ahead and looking forward to your support and contribution


President Rtn. Ramakumar


Barely reeling in from reporting the activities of the previous fortnight, here I am typing out with great vigour, the activities of the current fortnight! RCME has the reputation of  undertaking every activity with great zest and passion and it manifests in the manner in which every event is organized. Every part of every function deserves to have its own article, whether it be the simple presentation of the bouquet or the delectable menu for every event. As an editor, I can therefore not leave out anything! Everything is worth documenting.

​This newsletter in addition, also has a very special piece in light of the Madras Week. Senior advocate Mr NL Rajah, who is the repository on all things Madras, has kindly agreed to be the guest writer and share with us his take on the history of the Madras High Court.  The newsletter is therefore bursting with information and I hope the content and the composition fulfils your expectations. 


With love and commitment,

Rtn. Ramya Subramaniam
Assistant Secretary


Guest writer- Mr.NL Rajah

The origins of the Madras High Court – Growing Roots in the Colonial Era
                                                                N.L.Rajah, Senior Advocate, Madras High Court 

For better or worse — fair and foul — the world we know today is in large measure a product of Britain’s age of empire. The question is not whether British imperialism was without blemish. It was not. The question is whether there could have been a less bloody path to modernity. Perhaps in theory there could have been. But in practice?
– Niall Ferguson, in “Empire”

Metamorphosis of the Legal System
​The Metamorphosis of the Madras High Court from its embryonic locus to the status of a Constitutional judicial authority makes for a fascinating study. The period of its growth and development falls into four distinct periods.  The first period runs from 1600 to 1800. The purview of the second period ranges from 1801 to 1862 and the third period synchronises with the beginning of the history of the present High Court till 1947 when India attained Independence.  The fourth period is the post-Independence (from 1947) period.
​As far as the Madras Presidency was concerned, Francis Day obtained from the Rajah of Chandragiri in 1632, a lease of the site known as Madraspattinam or Chennaipatinam. It was on this site that Francis Day built Fort. St. George. Madras, therefore, happens to be the first territorial acquisition of the East India Company in India. 


Guest writer- Mr.NL Rajah




August 3rd, 2022


The header was the first thought that surely crossed the minds of everybody present for Mrs.Pramila Rajan’s talk. Mrs.Pramila Rajan is the Director of the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and she is wildly passionate about animals and nature. She graduated in Zoology from Ethiraj College, Chennai, and earned a postgraduate degree in Mariculture from Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi. She then went on to pursue the aquaculture line for a major part of her career and headed an Ornamental Fish Farm and Export Unit in the outskirts of Chennai. So safe to say, she has been swimming with the fishes and dancing with animals all through her life.

​It was while she was volunteering at the Madras Snake Park over the weekends, that she was introduced to the Madras Crocodile Bank in April 2021. With the wealth of experience she had, she took over as the director of Madras Crocodile Bank, India’s largest reptile zoo in April 2021 to experience the excitement of the reptilian world.

​Her talk on the different kinds of crocodiles was amusing and her affection towards the slimy creatures manifested in the way she spoke about them. She also shared with us unique initiatives based on virtual reality using which they spread awareness about how snakes don’t harm unless harmed. 

​All in all, the talk was informative and inspiring. Clearly all those deliberations about crocodile made the members curious and we swarmed her with questions! 


Rtn.Sujitha Arvind,
Director, Club Administration



Feed the needy

In a grand fashion, with Rtn. Sudhir as the chairperson, Annapathiram has facilitated the provision of a magnificent number, (5200 as on 31st of July and 1100 in August till date)to the following orphanages and old age homes.

When Where How Many
03.08.2022 Akshaya old age home 200 meals
05.08.2022 Akshaya old age home 200 meals
06.08.2022 Sevalaya 400 meals
08.08.2022 Akshaya old age home 200 meals
09.08.2022 Sevachakra orphanages 100 meals 
  TOTAL 1100 meals




August, 10th 2022

As part of the Vidhyadhaan Project, RCME sponsored two girl students at Sri Ahobilla Mutt Oriental School in West Mambalam and one girl student at RKM Saradha Vidhyalaya in T Nagar. The entire cost of sponsorship is Rs.23,000.

Our National Flag was also presented to them.

Rtn. Raman V Kumar
Chairman: Vidyadhaan
Rtn. Shivram
Director: Community Service Development



July, 26, 2022

World Elders’ Day was celebrated at Little Sisters of the Poor, on Harrington Road, Chetpet with the Idhayaganam team. Established in the year 1934, this home for the aged in Chetpet is a top player amongst social service organisations in Chennai. At present, the home houses more than 170 aged residents.

The team from RCME consisted of Rtn. Latha Parameswaran, Rtn.Sudarshan, Rtn.Balaraman, Rtn.Hiranand, Rtn. Rammoorthy and Rtn.Sudha Sudeep. Most of the residents happily joined us barring a few due to mobility issues. However they enjoyed the music from their rooms. There were a number of residents who were wheeled in to the venue and were eager to be musically bound. The venue was beautiful and open air and perfect for a musical evening with all the elders ardently listening to the music. Some even donned their dancing shoes! There was an ensemble of soulful and fast numbers, both in Hindi and Tamil. The residents of course were a bit tilted towards the evergreen melodies, music-nostalgic of their times. Some of them had tears in their eyes and were visibly moved by some of the numbers rendered. T’was an evening of sheer memories, nostalgic melodies and a lot of fun and dance.
Not to miss the food sponsored by Rtn.Leo Srinivasan, which was the cherry on the cake, with a live dosa counter and of course yummy delicacies. The food was relished by all, including us and the sisters, who were very eager to have us over again!

A satisfying evening for us, as we could carry our elders into a world of music and nostalgia.

PP Rtn. Sudha Sudeep



Omega Healthcare visits VEC Thoraipakkam

​IPP Rtn. Srinivasa Rao, Rtn Manoj Babu, Rtn Kumar of RCME gave a tour of VEC Thoraipakkam to Ms Sunandha (CSR Head) and Mr Kannan (CFO) of Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt Ltd. on 04th August 2022.

All of them witnessed the newly commenced Aari Class, sponsored by Omega Healthcare.

Ms. Sunanda interacted with the students of Aari class. They were further appraised of the fact that the students, who were given sewing machines by VEC, earn between Rs 2,000 and Rs 10,000 a month.

Overall, the Omega Healthcare team expressed their happiness about the setup of the new Aari Class, benefits provided by the 5 new Juki Tailoring Machines and benefits provided by BenQ Interactive Flat Panel (IFP), funds for all of which having been provided by them.


Rtn. Manoj Babu
Chairman, Vocational Excellence Center, Thoraipakkam
Rtn. Vinod Kumar Subbaiah
Director, Vocational Services.


Omega Healthcare visits Bheemanapet Community College

​Omega Healthcare’s CSR Lead Ms. Sunanda and CFO Mr. Mohan visited Bheemanapet Community College. The college in-charge Mr. Kumar and trainer Mr. Balaji showed all the new equipment RCME purchased with the CSR funds from Omega Healthcare to train the paramedical students. She was quite impressed with the new equipment and the purpose it will serve.

BenQ interactive displays purchased from the funds sponsored by Omega Healthcare were demoed with vocational training videos and smart classroom infra for Tally and Paramedical programs.

Rtn. Praneswari, Rtn. Srinivasa Rao, Rtn. Kumar Narayanan represented RCME in this 2 hour visit by Omega Healthcare at Bheemanapet Community College.


Rtn. Kumar Narayanan
Committee Member, Vocational Excellence Center, Thoraipakkam
Rtn. Vinod Kumar Subbaiah
Director, Vocational Services.



P S Matriculation Higher Secondary School Installation

July 27, 2022

​The new president and his team were pinned by President Rtn. Ramakumar. Students from P S Matric were extremely motivated and excited, talking about numerous RCME projects like the Terry Fox Run and RYLA, in which they participate yearly.


National Public School, Installation

8th August 2022

​National Public school installed their Interact Club in grandeur. President Rtn Ramakumar collared the incoming Rotaract president. The Cheerful Board was pinned and the new team is ready and excited with a big list of projects planned for this upcoming year.


Rtn. Jagdish Babu
Chairman: Interact Club of National Public school
Rtn. Sai Sivakumar Raya
Director: Youth Service



Visit to Cheshire Homes

​Children from Shraddha Children’s Academy visited Cheshire Homes. Cheshire Homes aims to provide services including, but not limited to, awareness raising, medical care, rehabilitation and support to the disabled  and impoverished members of our community irrespective of their gender, age, class, community or socio-economic standing through community based programs and otherwise.
Apart from engaging with the residents, the students also distributed papers, clothes, board games and chocolates. All in all, it was a wholesome heart-warming experience that the students are sure to cherish.


Rtn. Revathi Sanjeev

Environment Protection

Seeding Success


August 8th 2022

The Award Function
The Dr M S Swaminathan Award for Environment Protection 2022 was held on Monday 8th August 2022, on the eve of the 97th Birthday of the father of Green Revolution, Dr M S Swaminathan. The venue, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation was lush and lovely, and was a fitting contrast of serenity and calm against the excitement and fervour of those present.
The Chief Guest was the Hon’ble Governor of Tamilnadu Thiru R N Ravi and the Awardee was Dr K Keshavulu, President, International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) , Zurich , Switzerland and Managing Director, Telengana State Seed Organisation.
The event commenced at sharp 6:00 pm with a beautiful rendition of the national anthem and Tamil Thai Vazthu sung by the students of Little Flower School and was followed by a crisp and celebratory welcome address by the President, Rtn. Ramakumar.

​In his Introduction of the award, Rtn.Nachiappan, gave an overview of the two decade old history of this award as also the illustrious past recipients of this award. Rtn.Revathi, the Award Chairperson, then introduced Dr K Keshavulu to the audience.

​The citation was eloquent and effervescent and was penned and read out by Rtn Sudarshan. It was a tribute fitting of the man, Dr.Keshavulu for his stellar role in bringing food security to our country through Seed management. The citation was conferred on Dr Keshavulu by the Governor Thiru Ravi amidst thunderous applause.

The Awardee
Not often do we come across a man, who takes his background, amplifies it with knowledge and hard work, and returns it to his background, to benefit the nation as a whole. Dr K Keshavulu is a humble man, difficult to imagine given his proficiency on the seed industry. Dr. Keshavulu completed his graduation in Agricultural Science in 1994, and post-graduation in Seed Science and Technology in 1996. His PhD was a specialisation in Seed Science and Technology from the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University in 2006 and Post-Doctoral Fellowship Research from the University of California, Davis, USA, where he also worked on advanced genetic and molecular basis of seed dormancy, germination and seed quality and worked as a strategic member partner for United States Agency for International Development.

​Dr. Keshavulu is a farmer-centric scientist. He has organised training programs for farmers by involving national and international experts that have helped the farmers adopt better technologies/practices, and improved their skills in quality seed production.

​His contributions to the seed industry through various national and international capacity-building programmes, international cooperation, network building, policy advice, regulatory frameworks to name a few, have improved the expertise among the seed professionals of both public and private industries. He is instrumental in increasing the quality consciousness and quality control system in the Country. Millions of farmers now have access to quality seeds which has led to increased productivity and the nation’s food security.

​Under his strategic leadership and scientific vision, about 20 lakh quintals of seeds of different crops have been certified by TSSCA annually and about 5 lakh quintals of seeds are being produced and distributed by Seeds Development Corporation every year, benefiting about 25 lakh farmers across the country.

​He has motivated several hundreds of organic farmers and traders through organic certification and regular outreach programmes, thereby contributing to the growth of sustainable agriculture, environmental protection and promoting the concept of a healthy society for a wealthy nation.

​Dr Keshavulu, in his acceptance acknowledged that he was proud to receive the award named after such an illustrious scientist as Dr M S Swaminathan. He spoke at length about the need for a robust seed management infrastructure as the back bone of food security especially in a country like India which has billions that need to be fed. His passion for the seed industry shone bright in his speech and the audience was enthralled at the intricacies within the seed industry.

The Governor’s Effusions
The Hon’ble Governor in his address, spoke from his heart about the food situation in India, commencing from Independence when food scarcity was at its peak to the current scenario when food is being exported to many countries by India. His talk was educational, enamouring and emotional, for he mentioned how India was being oppressed by the colonizers, who were collecting more in taxes than what the farmers would earn. He described with great distress, the fact that the farmers would be forced to produce certain non-food crops such as fibres and opium and adopt extremely unsustainable forms of cultivation. Naturally, food scarcity was at its peak and despite good production capacity and willingness to produce, the Indian subcontinent suffered at the hands of the colonizers.

​Shift ahead 75 years, and India is in a position to export to other countries! We not only adequately feed ourselves, we are able to feed the rest of the world too. This massive difference, he attributes, not only to the change in policies but also to Scientists like Dr M.S. Swaminathan and Dr Keshavulu who have made this possible by their world class research and hardwork. Politics plays a role in agri produce was the clinching message he put across.

​Rtn Babu Krishnamoorthy delivered the vote of thanks, after which a national anthem was played to signal the end of the award ceremony. Another elegant award ceremony was delivered by RCME , adding yet another feather to the cap.


Rtn. Babu Krishnamoorthy


Madras Week Special

​Madras has a special place in the heart of her citizens. On her celebrated week, let’s look at the city that inspired some to raise awareness and others to build leadership positions in their pursuit.


​The first ever woman student of medicine to be educated in an all men’s college was Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy. Born to Sri Narayanaswami Iyer who was the principal of Maharaja’s college at Pudukkottai she was raised to lead. When women at the age of 15 would get married, she decided to fight her way into college, that too in an all-men’s college, MMC where she stormed her way into and got admission. She married at 24 with the condition that she would be treated as an equal. As a doctor, she fought against the system of wet nursing, in which upper-class and dominant caste women would have their babies breastfed by Dalit women. She passed a resolution to set up separate hospitals for women and children and the government also accepted her proposal to open up a children’s section in maternity hospitals. In 1922 she was beside her dying sister who was suffering from cancer. Agonized, she caused the starting up of the Cancer Hospital. Hapless at the fate of destitute women she wanted a hospice for them and thereby was born Avvai Home wherr she served as its first lady alder woman. One woman in a man’s world, she stormed to break their suffocating grip. She didn’t arrive one day too early. The Park around the Aavin parlor at the mouth of Besant Avenue in Adyar is rightly named in her memory as is the road from the Adyar bridge.


​The weaving community needed a place by the river. The looms they used were of course hand operated but the cloth needed to be dyed and what better a place than beside the Cooum river. They used a natural dye that was not fixed and thereby with every wash the print would fade (or bleed) and create a certain personalized customization for the wearer. Called the bleeding Madras, the fabric was a rave as far out as in the US. Chinna Tari Pettai, or Chintadripet, gave the city an immortal weave.

Marina Beach

​Summer in Madras wasn’t something the English rulers could get their heads around, so they took their capital to Ooty, but the elusive winter months weren’t relenting either. They had to find a way to keep themselves cool but more importantly their food. They searched for a way to get the frozen ice sheets from the North Atlantic to India. It wasn’t terribly successful until the studious Tudor brothers discovered that woodwool (shavings from saw mills) would insulate them on the long journey from Boston to Madras, a trip that took all of 4 months. These ice sheets were stored in a building not far from Fort St. George. It was called the Tudor House but for the commoner it was simply the Ice House.

PP Rtn. P. E. Ramakrishnan

Chanflix and Chill

​“Paper Rocket,” starring Kalidas Jayaram, Tanya Ravichandran, Renuka, Karunakaran, Nirmal Palazhi, Gouri, Kaali Venkat, Poornima Bhagyaraj, and others.
Direction: Krithika Udayanidhi.

​It is about a story of a group of people, a Stage – 4 breast cancer patient, a brain tumour patient, a person with suicidal thoughts, a young swimmer who is now paralyzed, and an angry young girl who has bad childhood memories. They all have one dream, to travel around and meet their friends and relatives. Kalidas Jayaram, who plays the lead role of Jeeva, who lost his father and cannot come out of the loss, agrees to drive them around. The team travels to Tirunelveli, Karaikudi, Marakanam, and MerkuMalai to meet their loved ones, while Karunakaran, who plays the role of Tiger, joins them for his suicidal mission. This beautiful, feel-good drama tells what happens in everyone’s life. How their life takes a new turn forms the rest of the story.

​Accolade belings to the Director, Krithika. She makes us travel with them and enjoy every moment they cherish. After a long gap, watching a feel-good web series and not the usual crime thrillers makes one happy. A few moments are unbelievable and dramatic but enchanting and enjoyable.

​Kudos to the cameraman Richard Nathan! The camera speaks prepossessing poetry by capturing the scenic areas, including Namma Chennai, throughout the journey.

​Music directors Simon K King, Vedshanker, and Dharan Kumar, have provided some good melodies.

​Big shout to the Dialogue writer—brilliant scripting with many self- awakening dialogues that make us think, smile, and in a few instances, laugh out loud.

​Karunakaran’s comedy is well knitted along with the story and makes us laugh. In the final moments, when he is attempting suicide, like Kalidas, we are hoping and holding our hearts for his safe return.


Rtn. K Ramachandran