Founder’s Day at Bharat School

As part of their Founder’s Day festivities, Bharath Senior Secondary School organised a ‘Village Fest’ on Nov. 24, for its students and their families.

Various innovative stalls like instant photo, career choreography, animation, balloon sculpting, pottery and rice art attracted the students. Fun rides and games, food stalls selling cotton candy, sugarcane juice, bangles and all other aspects of a village Thiruvizha were arranged at the school grounds.

The amount collected from the ‘Village Fest’ was donated towards Gaja cyclone relief to Melkudi Kadu, a village in Pudukkottai.

Primary school students of Besant Arundale Senior Secondary School, Kalakshetra Foundation dressed as freedom fighters for their fancy dress competition held on Nov.26 at the school premises.

Birth story of Adyar neighbourhood – Part 2

In continuation of the interesting stories last week on Adyar neighbourhood – Sastri Nagar and Besant Nagar, we bring you more …..

P.K.Prabhakar, Retd.Deputy Director, Ministry of Commerce, Govt.of India, now a resident of Kalakshetra Colony, is able to give a 100 year old history of the neighbourhood. His memory has to be commended for its thoroughness in detailing the history of several landmarks. His clear narrative of the neighbourhood :

“The Little Bridge was lined with toddy shops. A little to the South, the present day Arunachalapuram was known as ChekkuMedu with 2 oil pressing units giving it its name. ‘Guindy School’ in Kasturba Nagar was run by J.Krishnamurthy who later shifted it to Rishi valley. So Dr.Annie Besant wanted to start a school to train children in the Theosophical pattern and started Besant Memorial School in 1935. (Col.Olcott started a school for Harijans – Olcott Memorial School). My father P.S. Krishnaswamy was its first teacher. He was trained directly by Baden Powell, the Founder of the world-wide Girl Guide / Boy Scout Movement. My father and V.K.Krishna Menon (later Minister of Defense) were thick friends. They stayed at Pappanchavadi in a potter’s house and cooked for themselves. They studied at B.T College run by Dr. Annie Besant. Later Krishna Menon entered politics while my father remained an educationalist. I tagged along with my father for 3 years because the admission age for Std.1 was strictly maintained as 5 years 8 months. We had British teachers from Oxford.”

The whole of Adyar-24 villages in all was collectively called ‘Elliots Beach’ earlier.

“I will tell you one incident in 1943. On the road from the bridge to the signal near St.Patrick’s there was a big pond which irrigated the paddy fields of Arunachalapuram. The Pillayar kovil in Gandhi Nagar was called Sudukaatu pillayar. There were not many devotees to the shrine. A politician who wanted to project his Party’s atheist image held a clay pillayar idol in his hand and slippered it. Religious sentiments were hurt and the repercussion was that people thronged in huge numbers to the Sudugattu pillayar temple to show their solidarity. Pillayar became famous overnight.

Gandhinagar was actually Mettucheri. When the whole area was bulldozed for construction, the people there had to be given an alternate space. Their headman approached the Governor who said ‘find a porambokku and it will accommodate all those who have ration cards’. So they settled at Govindarajapuram. It was clayey soil there and with no roads the place was slushy. When TT Krishnamachari came for his election campaign, the people asked him not to enter the village until they are provided with roads. Lorries and trucks came streaming in with materials to lay the road.
Damodharapuram was actually ‘Urur Cheri’ as per records. My father ran a night school there and I was the ‘Petromax light’ bearer. Gandhi had visited Hindi Prachar Sabha then. He was brought to visit this place. A National leader called Govind Damodhar had passed away just a few months back. Gandhi renamed this place as Damodharapuram.”

“There was harmony and no discrimination among us. Next to Avvai home was the Urur village (Urur was called so because the Maniakarar lived there, hence ‘oorukkellam ooru’) housing Naickers. We grew up with people of different communities. My Paati used to feed us all rice urundais in our palms. She even used to order the milkman’s son to join us. I had one uniform for scouts. My friend’s mother, a Gujarathi, gave me two more sets because mine was tattered. No one felt embarrassed to give or take.”

“It is very disheartening now to see ‘Each one for himself’ attitude in the present generation. There is no community feeling,” Prabhakar ends with remorse.

to be continued…

School students voice their opinions on Adyar River

Reciprocity foundation (RF) and AWCEM organised contests on the theme of ‘Save The Adyar River Today (START)’ in schools near the Adyar River. START is an initiative launched recently by the Foundation. The finalists from the schools performed at the Inter-school finals hosted by Bala Vidya Mandir on Nov.28.

Competitions such as junk art, poster making, video creation and dance drama / skit were conducted at school level in St. Patrick’s School (ICSE), St. Michael’s Academy, Bala Vidya Mandir, Sri Sankara Senior Secondary School and Chettinad Vidhyashram.

The winners from the 5 participating schools were invited to the inter-school cultural and awareness programme. The contests were judged by an eminent jury and the overall winners were awarded with various sustainable products as gifts. The overall trophy was won by Chettinad Vidyashram. Marja Artamaa, International Secretary of the Theosophical Society, was the chief guest of the event.

START – is a project to build solidarity and consensus for action among the stakeholder groups to rejuvenate and restore the Adyar River.

The artwork, movies and presentations created by the students will be shared in For more information contact Rasika Ramesh at 99625 04155 / or Rukmani Mohan at 93822 22939 /

VaccesS – awareness exhibit on accessibility

‘VaccesS’, a programme aimed to create ‘Awareness on Accessibility’ for persons with disabilities is organised by Vidya Sagar on Dec.9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at its premises.

Physical access and access to communication and information, is a basic right of every individual. The exhibition will showcase products and equipments of day-to-day utility with accessibility features, designed and promoted by different companies, assistive devices and information materials on various aspects of access. All are welcome.
For details contact Kavithaa at 88257 49536 and Radha Ramesh at 94444 00373. At Vidya Sagar, No.1, Ranjith Road, Kotturpuram.

Free skill training programme for SC candidates

Premier Center for Competency Training (PCFCT), Thiruvanmiyur is offering free skill development and training programme for students from scheduled castes in the logistics sector for 45 days, commencing from Dec.14 from 9.45 am to 5 pm.

The National Schedule Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) in association with CII Institute of Logistics, Chennai is executing this project across the city. PCFCT is offering this logistics training at its premises in Thiruvanmiyur. The mission of this project is to promote prosperity among schedule castes by improving their income through skill development and other innovative initiatives. Selected candidates will receive a stipend for attending the programme and will get suitable job placement in the industry after successful completion of the course.

Applicants should be above 18 years and should have completed class 10 (pass or fail). For details contact Balaji – 90252 89042 or Sasikumar – 99429 24970. At Premier Center for Competency Training, L-7, Phase – 1, Dr.VSI Estate, OMR Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Opp. Hotel Holiday Inn, Thiruvanmiyur.