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“TNHB initiative affecting a social cause”

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TNHB’s decision not to continue the lease has affected students of this school. —
TNHB’s decision not to continue the lease has affected students of this school. —

Aloysius Xavier Lopez

Eviction of West CIT Nagar school forces students from weaker sections of society to join other schools

CHENNAI: With the Tamil Nadu Housing Board ordering the eviction of West CIT Nagar Residents’ Association Matriculation School, many students belonging to weaker sections of society have been forced to join other schools.

“Fifty years of community service would go waste if the school is prevented by the TNHB from serving the poor students belonging to the weaker sections of society,” said K.N. Gopalan, executive committee member of the West CIT Nagar Residents’ Association. The Association, a society registered under the Societies Registration Act in 1962, is in charge of the management of the school.

The school was started in 1962 with one ground of land donated by Srinivasa Mudaliar. Started as an elementary school, it has become a matriculation school providing quality education to poor, backward students of the neighbourhood.

Mir Murthuza Ali, a parent of one of the students of the school said that the institution was a boon to people living below the poverty line .

“We request the government to intervene and help the school to serve the poor students,” he said.

Another parent, G. Suresh, said that the school provides quality English education to poor students at an extremely affordable cost.

“Former Chief Minister K. Kamaraj had appreciated the work done by the school for the welfare of the weaker sections of society,” Mr. Gopalan said.

As a result of the recognition for the school from people like Kamaraj and former President R.Venkataraman, the government had given 2.5 grounds adjacent to the school on lease for 25 years to provide a playground for the school. The land provided by the government is also the only way to enter the school building. As the lease agreement came to an end in 1997, the school had requested the government and the TNHB to extend the agreement.

However, the TNHB had asked the school to pay a rent of Rs. 2.7 crore for the use of the land beyond 1997. It also ordered eviction of the premises.

“The school had no other option but to seek judicial intervention as the education of students was at stake,” said Mr. Gopalan.

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