Downtown

“Education is the only way to empowerment”

T.A.J. Dharmaraj started with 25 students; he now runs a full-fledged organisation with 89 centres.Photos: Special Arrangement

T.A.J. Dharmaraj started with 25 students; he now runs a full-fledged organisation with 89 centres.Photos: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: T.A.J. Dharmaraj

A trust in Madhavaram conducts free tuition classes for underprivileged children. K. SARUMATHI reports

For nearly 30 years, this organisation in Madhavaram has been trying to impart education to poor students.

Started by T.A.J. Dharmaraj, the Anaithum Padaithavarin Karunai Samadana Ulagam Trust offers free tuitions to slum children in the neighbourhood. Its founder sees education is the only way to upliftment.

Hailing from a poor family, Dharmaraj had difficulties finishing school.

Economic constraints meant he had to work as a daily wage labourer at the age of 19. He didn’t want a similar future for other children. Therefore, he began to take tuitions for students during his leisure hours in the morning and evening. What started with 25 students on the roads of Madhavaram has today grown into a full-fledged organisation with 89 centres across the State, helping 2250 students. Most of these children are from government schools.

“Getting students to attend the classes is the biggest challenge. We have to talk to the parents first and tell them why it is important for their wards to attend these classes. As incentive, we have awards such as ‘best student’ and ‘clean student’.

Apart from covering school syllabus, we also give them value-based education,” says Dharmaraj. For children of construction labourers, who don’t get to attend school, separate classes are conducted.

The trust has employed over 60 teachers.

“Many of the teachers are our old students, who want to help after having finished their studies. We pay them a small salary,” he adds.

Also, a home for visually impaired students has been established at Madhavaram. “We started a home for the visually impaired in 2000. At present, around 70 visually impaired students are living here. So far, we have helped 332 visually impaired students finish their education and be gainfully employed,” says Dharmaraj.

The Trust also runs free tuition centres in Kodungaiyur, Minjur and Moolakadai.

The trust also feeds poor people every day, sponsors fees of deserving students, provides 10 kg of free rice to over 100 widows, helps destitutes and arrange for the marriage of visually impaired women. Free medical clinics are operated near Madhavarm with the support of doctors.

Dharmaraj next wants to start computer and vocational training centres for students.

To support the organisation, call 93828 85727/72994 67725. Address: No - 54, Anaithum Padaithavarin Alaya Street, Francis Colony, Madhavaram

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 12:50:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/imparting-education-to-poor-students/article7488964.ece

Next Story