TAMIL NADU

Government school gets new building, facilities after a decade-long wait

K. Raju

PALANI: Over a decade old ordeal of students of Government High School at Balasamudram near here has come to an end thanks to construction of a new building to house 10 classrooms, constructed under ‘Namakku Naame’ scheme with 50 per cent contribution from philanthropists and clubs. The school has started functioning in the new building from Saturday.

Students, who had been toiling with no basic facilities for a long time, have spacious and well-ventilated modern classrooms in RCC building and all basic amenities, including protected drinking water and toilets besides a play ground are available.

With the installation of a 250-litre capacity water purification system at a cost of Rs.80,000, students get clean and protected drinking water. With 600 students and 12 teachers, the Government Middle School was upgraded into high school on July 7, 1997. It was functioning in an old building which was in a dilapidated condition. Teachers often conducted classes either in the open or under trees for the safety of children. Those buildings caved in due to torrential rains in 2007. The situation was very pathetic then. Later, the school authorities sheltered students in an unused private godown. With no toilet or drinking water facilities, classes were conducted in this building till now.

People of Balasamudram had struggled for three years to make their dream a reality. petition seeking land for construction of school building was given to the then Collector R. Vasuki. The land identified by local people was ‘Mandhai Poromboke’ (grazing field) under the control of Animal Husbandry Department. With consent of the local people, the land was converted into ‘natham poromboke’ land.

Over five previous Collectors of the district, who now assume top positions in Chennai had cleared all hurdles to hand over the land to the school for the construction of building. There were no funds with the government. Later, it was advised to construct the building under ‘Namakku Naame’ Scheme.

The construction cost of building was estimated at Rs.40 lakh. The economically-weak Balasamudram people could not mobilise Rs. 20 lakh as public contribution.

The Southern India Spinning Mills Association Managing Committee Chairman J. Thulasidharan offered Rs.22 lakh.

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