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It was a lesson in self-reliance taught by the teachers of a school, not through books but through action.

One of the three buildings of the panchayat union middle school at Murugankudi in Cuddalore district had been functioning with badly damaged floors for a long time. It made things difficult for students, especially during rainy days. Rather than wait endlessly for the government to make the repairs, the teachers decided to spend out of their own pockets to set things right.

The teachers launched a collection drive, paying from their own pockets as well as receiving contributions from former teachers of the school who had moved on to other institutions. Altogether they managed to put together Rs 75,000 and got the renovation works going. Soon, the floors were as good as new, and classes could resume there.

The teachers launched a collection drive, paying from their own pockets as well as receiving contributions from former teachers of the school who had moved on to other institutions. Altogether they managed to put together Rs 75,000 and got the renovation works going

The selfless service of the teachers for the sake of the children and the school deserves much appreciation but they shy away from publicity.

Children resume their classes on the clean new floors, thanks to the teachers who made selfless contributions to get the broken floors fixed

The school has been teaching around 234 students from Murugankudi and other adjoining villages, employing seven permanent teachers, including the headmaster, and three other part-time teachers. Launched as a primary school in 1926, it has grown over the years into a middle school. Even students from private schools have shifted to this school, says headmistress J Viji Annie, remarking that it speaks volumes about the school’s increasing popularity thanks to its dedicated teachers and sincere students.

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The students of this school not only had to put up with broken floors, they also didn’t have proper sanitation. They had to answer nature’s call in the open space away from the school. Girl students in particular had to walk all the way to the banks of the Vellaru river, 200 metres away from the school.

Repeated representations made in this regard to the officials concerned and at the grama sabha meetings had been in vain.

A copy of the letter sent by class 5 student Madhivadani to the Chief Minister seeking his help to get toilets constructed for the school

A class 5 student Madhivadhani then took the initiative to write to the Chief Minister about their problems. It did not go in vain, unlike appeals to the grama sabhas. Minister of Labour Welfare C V Ganesan launched the works of building toilets at the school and congratulated Madhivadhani for her initiative.

The toilets, being constructed at the cost of Rs 12 lakh, will be ready very soon. “It will be of immense help to the students,” said K Murugan, vice-president, Tamil Desiya Movement. He added that the school owes its growth to its dedicated teachers, its alumni, Murugankudi school development committee, the school management committee, parents and the public.

A class 5 student Madhivadhani then took the initiative to write to the Chief Minister about their problems. It did not go in vain, unlike appeals to the grama sabhas. Minister of Labour Welfare C V Ganesan launched the works of building toilets at the school and congratulated Madhivadhani for her initiative. 

Another issue that the school faces is that it lacks space to accommodate enough classrooms as the total area of the school is less than 3,000 sq ft. This means students of two classes must sit together and attend classes. Hence, the school management committee chief Thamilmozhi has taken up the issue with the grama sabha.

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A few organisations such as Tamilaga Uzhavar Munnani, Tamil Desiya Movement, a women’s group, Thiruvalluvar Tamil Mantram, Senthamizh Marabuvazhi Velaan Naduvam, Murugankudi School Development Committee, Tamilaga Ilaignar Munnani and so on have also petitioned the minister during his visit to the school in December last year regarding these issues. The minister has assured them that two new classrooms would be constructed on the second floor of the school building.


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