Nam Veedu, Nam Ooru, Nam Kadhai, an ongoing local history project that documents Chennai’s familiar but somewhat-singular images and stories, has launched Nam Local which gives the exercise a different focus. It expects residents to present those familiar things, including the bustle of everyday living, that the pandemic has robbed the city of.
“This initiative is all about inviting people to express what it is about the city that they miss the most: They can express themselves through photographs, illustrations, cartoons, articles and poems,” says Thirupurasundari Sevvel, founder of Nam Veedu, Nam Ooru, Nam Kadhai.
M. Lakshmi Supriya, an architect from Nanganallur, has made a collage of flower and vegetable vendors, convenience stores, laundry service in her neighbourhood.
Rajesh Seshadri, a visual designer from Nanganallur, has done paintings about commuting, wheeling EMU trains, MTC buses, rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and share auto-rickshaws into the exercise.
N. Ramaswamy, a HR professional from Anna Nagar, has shared photographs of locksmiths, launderers and stationery shops in his neighbourhood. S. Sahana, a freelance illustrator from Mylapore, presents paintings of a flower vendor and a tea shop owner, two familiar faces on her morning walks.
Vidya Thirunarayanan from United States and Faiza A.N. from Dubai have penned down their impressions about small-scale entrepreneurs and vendors in T. Nagar and Pudupet respectively, where they had lived earlier.
Nam Veedu, Nam Ooru, Nam Kadhai is also trying to help small-scale entrepreneurs who have been hit hard by the lockdown.
Thirupurasundari Sevvel says, “We introduced an auto-driver to a senior-citizens couple who needed someone to run errands for them. We found work for a tailor. Auto-rickshaw drivers, vendors, launderers, tailors, and petty shop owners are part of our everyday life and we reach out to them now. After all, it’s people who provide meaning to a place.”