T. S. Atul Swaminathan
With a view to prepare to Class X students for public examination, which begins on April 4, the Chennai Corporation is providing nutrient meals in its high schools across the city. “It is given during coaching classes which is held after school hours,” said a teacher of Chennai High School, Kamraj Avenue, Adyar.
“We offer Channa, white peas, Moong Dal, and white bean from Monday to Friday and free meals at noon on Saturdays. It helps the students to stay brisk, active and concentrate on their lessons without feeling tired,” he pointed.
Special coaching class began in Chennai Corporation Higher Secondary School, Ayanavaram, in January. “More than 150 students attend these classes everyday. We offer channa dal, groundnuts, and green peas before the commencement of the classes,” said a teacher.
Says, Carmel Mary, Principal of Chennai High School, Vanniya Teynampet, “As most of our students come from a poor background they often skip breakfast which is an important meal of the day. It is said to improve memory and aid tasks that require good attention span. I therefore try to arrange for snacks at times even tiffin for the children. Quite a few sponsors and philanthropists have come forward to help me out. I will try to arrange for something this way till the beginning of the examination in April.”
The Chennai High School, on K. P. Street, Mylapore, has written to the Sai Baba Trust, Mylapore, to help them out with some food for the children in the evening. Keeping up the promise, the temple daily sends them loads of goodies such as sambar rice, coconut rice, lemon rice, kesari and pongal. “It is so useful for our children who hardly get anything to eat at home,” says the head mistress of the school.
Most of the staff opine that it is not only the coaching that is going to help these children score well but also the healthy food stuff that is being offered to them during these hours.