www.chandigarhwallahs.com – the first social-networking-site (SNS) for residents of The City Beautiful and for those who have a Chandigarh connection, was launched in the city today. Among prominent Chandigarhwallas present at the launch, were popular film star and television personality Ms. Poonam Dhillon, entrepreneur, ad-man and Chairman, Dentsu India Mr. Sandeep Goyal, Prof. Avaninder Chopra of Chandigarh’s DAV College and Mr. Anil Talwar of Talwar Jewellers.
While SNS such as Facebook, Orkut or MySpace are popular with netizens, they are ‘one-solution fits-all’ kind of websites where anyone from anywhere can register and be part of the online community. What makes www.chandigarhwallahs.com one-of-a-kind is the fact that it is a dedicated, Chandigarh-specific social-networking-site made especially for anyone whose life has been touched by The City Beautiful.
www.chandigarhwallahs.com is a social-networking-site for anyone, anywhere in the world who at some point of time or the other, called Chandigarh “My home. My city!” This unique SNS is for people, who have lived, studied or worked in Chandigarh, or have family or friends here. It is a SNS for anyone with a Chandigarh story!
Reminiscing on her Chandigarh connect, renowned film, television and theatre personality Poonam Dhillon said, “I left Chandigarh more than 30 years ago. I studied at Carmel Convent and we used to live in Sector 9. Today, even after so many years, my fondest memories of my growing up years are all centered around this city!”
Ms. Dhillon added, “Whenever I’m traveling, it’s very common that someone walks up to me and says, “I’m from Chandigarh as well!’ That instantly sparks a conversation and we then discover that there are at least a dozen people we know in common. That is the magic of the Chandigarh bond. That is the intrinsic beauty and warmth of our city. And it is this proximity, this closeness that we wish to further strengthen through www.chandigarhwallahs.com.”
Commenting on the need for such a website, Ms. Dhillon said, “The entire idea of developing a site like took off when friends like Sandeep, Parambir (senior IPS officer posted at Mumbai) and myself would catch up on good old days in Chandigarh. We realized that even though all of us have branched out of this city, our hearts are still rooted here and we keep coming back to Chandigarh. We realized that there would be so many more people like us and a website like www.chandigarhwallahs.com would truly help us stay connected with home, no matter where in the world we may be!”
Mumbai based ad-man Sandeep Goyal, Chairman Dentsu India and former Group CEO, Zee Telefilms did his entire schooling and college in Chandigarh. A true blue Chandigarhwallah, Mr. Goyal said, “www.chandigarhwallahs.com is a labour of love. It is a heartfelt attempt to connect all those who live here and all those whose hearts still live here! You can take a Chandigarhwallah out of the city but you cannot take the city out of a Chandigarhwallah!”
Professor Avaninder Chopra of Chandigarh’s DAV College said, “Our city has one of the largest student populations in this part of the world. Most youngsters today are very net-savvy. www.chandigarhwallahs.com gives them a city-centric platform that can effortlessly connect with their existing Facebook or Orkut account.”
Another well known Chandigarhwallah, Mr. Anil Talwar of Talwar Jewellers said, “In my line of business, I am fortunate to interact with a lot of people who come home to Chandigarh from different corners of the world. And they all want to keep in touch with the city. At the Carmel Ball last week, and at the SJOBA Ball last night, for the tens of alumni who came back to participate, hundreds others were dying to join in but could not make it. www.chandigarhwallahs.com will keep them informed of all the local news, happenings and events so that they can at least be ‘virtually’ connected!”
Adding to what his father says, Dhruv Talwar (22) who has just returned from studying in the US and now works in the family business said, “Even in the US, I would find special affection and closeness to anyone from Chandigarh. It was a natural kind of bond. This city does this special thing to all who live here.”
The list of famous Chandigarhwallahs is just unending. Not even counting well known local residents, the city’s alumni include famous politicians and statesmen starting with the Hon’ble Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who taught for many years in the city and still owns a house in Sector 11. Add to that Ministers and ex-ministers like Kapil Sibal, Kumari Selja, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sushma Swaraj; activists like former cop Kiran Bedi, sports icons like Kapil Dev, Jeev Milkha Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Abhinav Bindra to name just a few.