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    With Independence Day almost here, a crowdfunded initiative celebrates democracy

    This year has seen a close contest of sorts between different cities to hoist the tallest tricolour flag in the country— what with Ranchi hoisting theirs in January at 293 feet and Hyderabad in June at 291 feet. While we are in no such race, the city might just get the tallest beachfront flag in the country, thanks to the Chennai Tricolor Initiative (CTI), a citizens’ drive to crowdfund and hoist a monumental national flag, standing at about 207 feet, at the Marina Beach. The flag, which was supposed to be installed this month, is now expected to go up on December 7, the first anniversary of the Chennai floods, owing to the installation formalities and permissions. “The floods shattered the city but we also saw a spirit of togetherness and democracy, of bringing strength to everyone. Out of sight is out of mind, so this flag will serve as a reminder,” says Vasumathi Anandan, a part of the initiative’s think tank and researcher at an international organisation in Washington DC. A core team of 35 volunteers is working towards the tricolour’s installation, proposed behind the Gandhi statue at the beach, with costs estimated around `50 lakh, which the team hopes to source from the public. It will be maintained by the government, once installed. The link for contributing to this initiative opens on their website today.
    Details: chennaitricolor.in

    — Lavanya Lakshminarayanan

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