Early this year, on the sidelines of a media seminar I happened to chat with film director Sp. Muthuraman. I asked him if he could help us organise ‘walking tours’ inside AVM Studios in Vadapalani.
Muthuraman belongs to the AVM ‘family’ and AVM and Prasad are the only two big film studios that survive in this city.
Muthuraman did not warm up to this suggestion. He acknowledged that tours inside studios were good for the public but he said he was always wary of letting people get close to shooting floors or production centres because fans always got the better of the crew and the actors.
Muthuraman had a point. But I have not given up on this idea as we keep expanding the walking tours of our city.
Muthuraman lives in the Vadapalani neighbourhood and he also lends a hand to community projects quietly.
Next weekend, in Saligramam he will launch the sale of paper bags which have been made by school dropouts.
This is a project thought of and supported by a local group of Sai devotees of this area. This group has been working among boys who live in the slums along the Buckingham Canal in Mylapore. Finding that it was a tough task to get these boys back to the classroom, the group did the next best thing - taught them a simple skill and got them to do paper bags and thamboolam containers.
This accomplished, they hope the sales of the bags in bulk will earn these boys decent returns.
Hopefully, this Sai devotee group can network with the large stores in Vadapalani and K. K. Nagar and Virugambakkam, expand that to Mylapore and ramp up this community project.
There are any number of little community projects that are run in our neighbourhoods.
Could we have smart people who can help to network them across the city so that they grow into significant enterprises?