Giggling schoolboys at Kovalam Primary School
Photograph John Sargent

The Venkatraman Memorial Trust (known as the Venkat Trust) has brought education to the poor fishing village of Kovalam, near Chennai in Tamil Nadu, India

Despite India now being the sixth largest economy in the world, there are millions still living on the breadline.  The rich get richer and the poor remain in a state of dire poverty, more than half of the country’s wealth being owned by just one per cent of the population.
The villages in particular suffer from lack of schools so thousands of children are destined for a lifetime of menial, poorly paid jobs, like their parents and grandparents before them, thus perpetuating the poverty which has blighted their families for generations.  In Tamil Nadu alone, 2500 villages have no free schooling at all and in 2004, when the Trust was set up, Kovalam was one of them, apart from the seriously neglected primary school. 
Happily for Kovalam,  since then education has been turned-on-its-head and today, through the work of the Venkat Trust, it is is a village of educational excellence, its children now enjoying an excellent education from kindergarten through to university and colleges, enabling hundreds of young people to get degrees (unheard of previously) and enjoy fulfilling careers.  The future is bright.


All money raised goes to India and all UK costs are covered by the Trustees

Read about how we support pupils in Primary and Higher Secondary Schools

One of our greatest successes; with over 400 children being sponsored for £14 a month.

Find out more about the buildings and sports grounds we have built

Goodbye poverty. It’s called education
Our latest video tells the story of the Venkat Trust and our work in Kovalam

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Watch the video of the Gwyneth Powell Memorial Garden on the Higher Secondary School roof when it first opened.

Listen to Sylvia telling the Trust’s story on BBC Radio Sussex.

Your donation can help us change lives in Kovalam