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Praise for She Toilets

Good morning, Chennai!

☀️ Today’s weather: Mostly sunny and humid for the day.

🧐 Did you know? Senjee Pulnee Andy, a graduate of the Madras Christian College, was the first Indian to travel abroad for a medical degree at the University of St Andrew’s in 1860.

🚺 She Toilets a boon

She Toilets deployed in several areas have been praised by residents and public service workers.

What’s it about? Last month, 15 She Toilets were flagged off across several zones. As of October 5, six have been deployed to cover three zones. While the Chennai Corporation has promised more public toilets to deal with open defecation, several existing ones are unusable and inaccessible.

  • Each She Toilet has four cubicles. There’s a common wash basin in between the cubicles. An LED screen on the outside of the bus plays videos on the importance of healthcare and hygiene.
  • It has a tank to collect sewage which is pumped into the stations of the Chennai Water Board and Sewage Board. There are plans to set up a facility that sells hygiene and sanitary products. However, the toilets are still not accessible to persons with disabilities.

Goals and path ahead: There will be additional She Toilets in the future based on the usage of the current ones. There are also plans to install ramps to make them more accessible. For this initiative to succeed, the toilets need to be well-maintained.

🐾 Hub for illegal pet trade

Chennai has become a hub for the illegal exotic pet trade.

What’s it about? Thousands of exotic animals reach India and make their way to the city’s clandestine markets in Red Hills, Pallavaram, and Broadway. Despite being illegal, the trade of exotic animals continues as the law fails to catch up.

  • Some estimates put the trade’s worth in Chennai to be ₹1,000 crore. Markets here have connections to the Far East. In the Pallavarram markets, animals fetch ₹10 lakh in sales daily. There are about six breeding farms that have exotic wildlife worth ₹100 crore.
  • A pair of macaws can cost up to ₹15 lakh. A De Brazza’s monkey can cost ₹8-10 lakh. Despite amendments to the Wildlife Protection Act, authorities are waiting for guidelines. Till then, the maximum fine is ₹50 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Journey: It begins with wildlife carriers who are often residents of Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Malaysia. Some of the people involved are labourers from Tamil Nadu who need some quick money. There are also large-scale breeding activities without checks, with tier-2 cities also getting involved.

🥘 Bringing Ambur to Chennai

Three cousins banded together to open a diner that serves only traditional Ambur cuisine.

What’s it about? Cousins Thadey Zeeshan Anees, Mohamed Samee and Mohammed Faraaz have their roots in Ambur and dreamt about opening a restaurant in Chennai to offer flavours of their home. After a year of research, they opened Ambur Canteen.

  • Initial research showed Ambur biryani had become popular among Chennaites. But the restaurant also offers more like the Ambur platter with vegetarian options.
  • The name Ambur Canteen was chosen because they wanted people to experience casual rather than fine dining. Their parents help shape the recipes to ensure they’re authentic.

Opportunities: With Chennai’s food culture expanding, people are exposed to various traditional and regional cuisines like Dindigul, Chettinad, etc. During the lockdowns, people began experimenting with home recipes.

🧑‍🏫 School of Sustainability

(Image credit: IIT Madras’ X post)

IIT Madras has launched the School of Sustainability to prepare students and professionals to tackle climate change.

What’s it about? Climate change and global warming are the important challenges of our time. The school will bring together faculty members across departments and research institutes.

  • The school will offer a minor course on sustainability and an interdisciplinary master’s programme. There are also plans for capacity-building programmes for working professionals.
  • The school has earmarked four key areas of R&D – decarbonisation, modelling and scenario development, human settlements, and behavioural and industrial change.

Making it sustainable: The campus has been made more sustainable, with freshwater consumption reduced to 1.4 million litres a day thanks to recycling.

📊 Today’s Poll

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Do you like spicy food?

  • I like spicy food.
  • I don’t like spicy food.

❓ Today’s Question

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What area of the city feels ripe for commercial development?

Reply to this email with your answers.

🗞️ In other news…

That’s it for today. Have a great day!

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