We had a very successful TOV mass viewing programme in Pondicherry UT. Except for Mahe where the monsoon has started, all the other three enclaves organized huge mass viewing of the TOV – in Karaikkal, Yanam and Puducherry. Totally there were more than 200 viewing centres organized through Resource Persons trained extensively on how to safely watch the TOV, in a State Level and four regional level Training Programme.
In many places, there were huge traffic jams where people flocked to the government schools where TOV viewing was arranged. On a Central TOV Programme organized at the Pondicherry Beach near to the Gandhi and Nehru statues, about 8000 people watched the TOV today. There were elaborate arrangements made to the make it smooth. Three telescopes were arranged at the Beach where crystal clear projections were arranged for the public. Apart from these, solar goggles, welder’s glass (No.14), Multimedia Presentations and live coverage from the various centers, schools, other regions like Karikkal were also relayed. From small kids, to very old people lined up to view the TOV at the Beach including senior citizens, women, school students etc.
The Chief Secretary of Pondicherry, Ms.M.Sathyavathi, IAS, Special Secretary to DST, Dr.S.Sundaravadivelou, Mr.Lakshminarayanan, MLA (former Minister for Education), Mr.AV Subbramanian MLA, and a host of political leaders also watched the programme. The Director of the Dept of Science, Technology & Environment, Govt. of Puducherry, Mr.M.Dwarakanath, Senior Scientific Officer, Dr.Sagaya Alfred, Senior Scientific Officer, Mr.Srinivasa Rao, Dr.Ramesh, Mr.Kalamegham – all officers from the DSTE also were present through the entire transit period.
The programme was catalyzed and supported in Pondicherry by the Dept of Science & Technology, NCSTC, Govt. of India, DSTE, Govt. of Puducherry and organized by Pondicherry Science Forum. All the relevant materials, software, information were provided by the Vigyan Prasar, DST, New Delhi.
Altogether preliminary assessments from all the centres suggest that the total viewership of this TOV was about 3 lakh people in the UT. Never in the history of the Pondicherry UT, has such a large gathering has been organized where people of all ages, sex lined up and watched the little Venus crossing the Sun.
There has been extensive coverage from the Media, local TV channels etc. also. We intend to come up with more photographs in the hours to follow.
For Pondicherry Science Forum