K.N. MURALI SANKAR

A school, which began with five students, celebrates it golden jubilee.

Tiruvalluvar Tamil Patasalai, a school which aims at promoting Tamil language, literature and culture, celebrated its golden jubilee last year. From primary sections to the SSC, it has 200 students for whom Tamil is the first language. The remaining subjects are in English. Interestingly, though a majority of the students are Telugus, they speak only in Tamil on the school premises. The school began with five students in a rented building near the Durga Kala Mandiram in Gandhi Nagar in 1954. A group of Tamilians, who migrated to the city, took the initiative to establish the school. After two decades, the school was shifted to its own building at Purnanandampet. A.P.S. Ramasami Nadar, a prominent businessman, donated a site for construction of the school, while many philanthropists came forward with liberal donations. "Tamil film star Sivaji Ganesan came to the city and donated Rs. 10,000 to the school. N.S. Krishnan and company, the then famous theatre troupe, performed a play "Dalapathi" and donated the proceedings," recalls R. Ganesan, headmaster of the school. Some of the students of the initial batches had the privilege of joining the same school as teachers. The medium of education was Tamil till 10 years ago. But now, it is one of the compulsory subjects."Some of my classmates are working in banks and different Government departments in the city. Whenever they have time, they come to the school and spend some time with us," says D. Anbu Selvi, an old student of the school who works as the social studies teacher. "We are running the school with five teachers. We need at least two to three more to run the school more effectively," Mr. Ganesan said.