Madurai

This Corporation school in Madurai now has smart classrooms, thanks to alumnus Shiv Nadar

Elango Corporation School   | Photo Credit: S James

The renovation is nearing completion and the 650 students and 40 teachers of Elango Corporation School can’t wait to celebrate. In place of the 82-year-old building now stand modern structures to provide a robust learning environment to students. It has brought smiles on every face inside the campus.

S K Aditya and his friends studying in Class X can’t believe this is the same place they were coming to for the past 12 years. The image the children have of the earlier building is of cramped classrooms where fans made more noise than serving their purpose; children sat on cracked floors; walls with seepage and worn out furniture; pathetic toilets with dismal water supply.

Now, a cool infrastructure is being readied for them; it is equipped with state-of-the art computer labs, science labs, and a library with 10,000 books, an air conditioned auditorium and canteen. The 22 smart classrooms with high ceilings, natural light and air, electrical wiring, huge green boards and audio-visual set up has already brought about a positive change in the school.

Elango Corporation School

Elango Corporation School   | Photo Credit: S. James

“Earlier, everything around was dull. Now, the atmosphere is comforting that we feel inspired to work hard and do well in the Board exams next year,” says Aditya.

S A Sahayarani, who has been teaching Math and Science for middle school students for the last 20 years, says despite lacking basic amenities, students from dysfunctional families and lower strata of society come here because they want to study. “And this is a huge leap for them.”

“Majority of them are first generation learners and are now proud of their school that will stand out as a model not only among the 64 Corporation schools in the city but private schools too,” says principal M Rajendran. Installation of roof-top solar plant to power all equipment, murals on the walls inside and outside the classrooms, open learning spaces, a generator-back up, a public address and CCTV surveillance system, and new sleek furniture will also be added. Estimated at ₹15 crore, it is likely to be completed by the end of this year.

Children studying at Elango Corporation School

Children studying at Elango Corporation School   | Photo Credit: S. James

The staff is happy about the newly constructed toilets fitted with swanky accessories. “In my 32 years of teaching here, never for once did I see such a spic and span washroom,” says M Selvi, the High School Economics and Political Science teacher. “Earlier there were three unclean toilets without water. They were stinking and we didn’t dare enter,” she says. “For so many years we suffered. Today we are overjoyed by the international standards of facilities,” she adds.

The 1937 building has got this makeover thanks to its illustrious alumnus — the industrialist and the founder-chairman of HCL, Shiv Nadar. He studied here from 1952 to 1954. His sudden visit in 2011 changed the fortune of the school, says Rajendran. “He told us with infrastructural enhancement, the quality of education and teaching will improve,” adds Rajendran.

Children studying at Elango Corporation School

Children studying at Elango Corporation School   | Photo Credit: S. James

“Creating an atmosphere conducive for learning is his way of giving back to society,” says Subbaraman B, Center Head, HCL Madurai, who is overseeing the work. “Deserving children from socially backward and economically weaker sections need to be encouraged and there is no better way than this,” he adds.

The students — for whom education is free here — will be involved in implementing sustainable solutions such as waste management, water harvesting and planting native species inside the school in order to help them build an ownership to the place.

“It is an invaluable gift to our students, who will now not only study with renewed vigour but also feel special every day,” says Rajendran.


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 9:58:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/elango-corporation-schools-alumnus-shiv-nadar-hcl-founder/article28797547.ece

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