Buildings, buildings and more buildings. Most of our major projects have needed them and over the years we have built eight buildings of various shapes and sizes.
The first was the two-storey Ganesh Building of classrooms at the Panchayat Primary School, followed by a shady open sided Dining Hall, a haven for the children out of the burning sun.
We then bought a strip of land and put up the two-storey Venkat Tuition Centre for the sponsored children’s weekly gatherings and VMT’s offices. A small playground with swings and seesaws continues to delight any small child who happens to be passing. This was followed by another land purchase, a sizeable area, for a sports ground for the Primary School. We didn’t know it then but our land purchases were very astute as prices have soared since then.
Our flagship is undoubtedly the magnificent High School, now the Higher Secondary School, and sports ground, jointly run with the Government but designed and built by the Trust. The Government owns the land. Although large with classrooms on two floors, we needed more rooms when we were promoted to Higher Secondary School status, which enabled us to include standards XI and XII – our sixth form. A six classroom building is already in use to help with the influx of 400 more students and a further 12-classroom extension with two further science labs is under construction.
The quirkiest and most versatile of our bricks and mortar is the large Janakiraman Community Hall, the JR Hall, built on land we already owned – we took back a section of the Primary School’s sports ground which they didn’t need. The pillar free ground floor is a massive 90’ x 40’, an ideal size for our 400 sponsored children’s activities and theatre-style events.
The flexible partitioning in the JR Hall’s upper floor gives it elastic walls. It accommodates the Trust’s offices, the 25-seater English language audio visual lab, music room, the roomy University Club – a meeting place for our university students, a small library and a large model railway.
The Trust believes that physical exercise is an important part of children’s mental and psychological well-being. Before our arrival, there were no sports facilities for the Primary School, then the only school. Now, with their own sports ground, PE is included in the curriculum as it is at the Higher Secondary School where there is a large sports ground ‘built’ and maintained by the Trust.
Thanks to a generous supporter the cricket pitch includes nets and a bowling machine. Both boys and girls enjoy the mixture of sporting activities available to them and we even have a girls’ cricket team.
Sport goes indoors too. Thanks again to a Trust supporter we have a splendid snooker table shipped from the UK, free of charge, by snooker’s professional body. Such has been the interest and the success of our students at interstate snooker tournaments that we now have two tables. Both boys and girls excel and one is now a coach at the prestigious Madras Cricket Club.
Below is a bird’s eye flight over Kovalam Higher Secondary School before the extension work began