The State government is committed to improving women’s education and the free bus ride for women is an effort in this direction, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said here on Wednesday.
“We are about to introduce ₹1,000 a month as an incentive to government school students who pursue higher education in colleges,” he said, addressing the 75th anniversary programme of Stella Maris College (Autonomous) in the city.
Mr. Stalin recalled his association with the college.
“When I was in school, I would take a (29 C) bus to my school (Madras Christian College High School) in Chetpet from the Stella Maris bus stop (near his house). I would get down at the same bus stop while returning home. I still cannot forget those days. Even 15-20 days ago, I stopped a 29C bus to check on the free bus scheme for women (introduced by him),” said Mr. Stalin.
Picked up by police
The Chief Minister recalled how he was picked up by the Teynampet police in 1971 when he tried to paste a poster about a stage programme in which his father and the then Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and M.G. Ramachandran were supposed to attend.
“One of my comrades went to paste a poster on the compound wall of Stella Maris College. He got into an argument with a security guard who complained to the police. The police had picked us up. I did not tell them who I was and I have never done that. But I was let go after they came to know of it. As someone who was disciplined by a security guard of the college, I feel proud to visit the same college as Chief Minister who holds the Home portfolio,” he said.
Inspired by move
Mr. Stalin said he was inspired to launch the beautification of the city after seeing the artworks on the compound wall of the college. “The most important facet of this college is that it was founded on August 15, 1947, the day India became independent to provide liberation to women,” he said.
Mr. Stalin launched a coffee table book about the history of the college on the occasion.
Rosy Joseph, principal of the college, welcomed the gathering.
Health Minister Ma. Subramanian, Central Chennai MP Dayanidhi Maran and Thousand Lights MLA Ezhilan Naganathan were present.