NRI News

Chicago Street Named after Jayalalitha

by Nand Kapoor, Chicaho Bureau Chief

Chicago, April 29 - On April 27 '96, the Dr. J. Jayalalitha Way on Devon Avenue from Broadway to Lakewood Avenue was unveiled & dedicated with an Inter-Faith Prayer and an impressive community rally. Dr. J. Jayalalitha Way is located at a major intersection in the Northside of the City of Chicago where major roads, Broadway Avenue, Devon Avenue and North Sheridan meet. The Dr. J. Jayalalitha Way is the first portion of the long winding West Devon Avenue which bears Honorary street designations for Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Golda Mier (Ex Israeli Prime Minister), at different segments of the Avenue.

At the Colorful Ceremony held at the major intersection a dove each was released by the representatives of the following nine organizations who are co-sponsoring the World Day For Children's Celebrations to commemorate the 48th Birthday Celebrations of Tamilnadu Chief Minister Dr. J. Jayalalitha in 48 different countries from February 24 '96 to April 12, '96. The Co-sponsoring organizations are - International American Friendship Society, Lamb Of God International Ministries, Bahadur Yar Jung International Research Institute, South Asian Performing Arts Council Of America, World Peace Academy, US International Development Alliance, South Asian Organization For Aids Awareness And Prevention, Inc., The Wellness Foundation, and Indo-American Chamber of Commerce Inc.

Illinois Governor Jim Edgar congratulated Dr. Jayalalitha On the unveiling Of Dr. J. Jayalalitha Way, a sign named in honor of her leadership and accomplishments. Governor Edgar commended Dr. Jayalalitha for her commitment to the oppressed and underprivileged people of South India. "Your selfless dedication to the promotion of social justice is highly commendable", Edgar added in a personal congratulatory letter to Jayalalitha.

Hundreds of Balloons were released at the dedication ceremony. Inter-Faith prayers of the Jewish Faith, Hindu, Muslim and Christian faiths were offered at the start of the ceremonies at the major intersection. The person who was instrumental for initiating this historic land mark legislation, Illinois Senator Howard Carrol unveiled the sign amidst a prolonged applause and cries of "Puratchi Thalaivi Vazha" rent the air. A large number of the Indian community had assembled at the major intersection despite the cold weather.

The ceremonies was followed by a Luncheon tribute to the Living Legend.- Dr. Jayalalitha at the Vegetarian Indian restaurant, "The Woodlands Of Madras" located on Devon Avenue. At the Luncheon meeting, Mrs. Shanthi Thangaraj, Reception Committee Chair welcomed the gathering. Dr. Louis Mithra, President, US International Development Alliance, and Organizing Secretary of the World Day for Children Celebrations read the City of Chicago proclamation honoring Dr. J. Jayalalitha with the Street dedication for her revolutionary leadership and proclaimed Dr. J. Jayalalitha as the selfless daughter of India.

Dr. S.Kallaichellam, Coordinator, 48th Dr. Jayalalitha Birthday Celebrations committee, New York presented the 122,000 Eye-Donor Pledges and 95,000 Anti- Dowry pledges collected during the 48 day long birthday celebrations in 48 countries to the Federation President, Dr. Vijay Prabhakar. Dr. Vijay Prabhakar, President, World Federation Of Tamil Youth Inc., receiving the pledge announced that a permanent monument honoring Dr. Jayalalitha's services to Children would be erected soon in a Headstart Children's Center in Wisconsin.

Speaking on behalf of the American Community, Illinois Senator Howard W. Carroll, paid rich tributes to Dr. Jayalalitha stating that he would be introducing legislation in the State of Illinois Senate to provide for All Woman Police Station and Universalization of Primary Education on the same model as being implemented by Dr. J. Jayalatitha. Senator Carroll added that in each of the bills a special mention of Dr. J. Jayalalitha and her programs would be made. Indeed today, America is learning from Dr. J. Jayalalitha's Tamilnadu on Woman & Children issues, he added amidst applause.

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