Wednesday, Dec 10, 2003
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By R. Sujatha
PICTURE PERFECT: Students of the Hindu Higher Secondary School outside the building on Big Street in Triplicane. - Photo: N. Sridharan
The school has produced eminent vocalists, sportsmen, scientists and journalists and actors. Some of the distinguished personalities in the long list of alumni include Nobel laureate, S. Chandrasekar, Kasturi Srinivasan of The Hindu, `wizard of wonder drugs' Y. Subba Rao, former Attorney General, K. Parasaran, vocalist, G. N. Balasubramanian, and vocalist and cricketer W.V. Raman.
The school has seen many changes brought about by its headmasters. Some of the headmasters include G. Subramania Iyer, one of the six founders of The Hindu, V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, educationist, G.V. Narayanaswami Iyer, who promoted Carnatic music, and P.A. Subramania Iyer, whose period was considered the golden age in the school's history. The former students also served on the managing committee of the school. The Hindu has been associated with the school since 1879, when Mr. Subramania Iyer took over as headmaster. M. Veeraraghavachariar, one of the founders of the newspaper, was a member of the school committee for 30 years. Kasturi Srinivasan was an alumnus.
Once known for admitting `middle class' students, the school now caters for the children of fisher folk in and around Triplicane. "People who come here say the fee is low. We have been losing students to private schools," says T. Vipranarayanan, the school headmaster.
Until 1984, when matriculation schools were introduced, the school had 4,500 students. Now it has only 1,858 students, of which nearly 1,200 are from economically-weaker sections. About 700 students partake of free meals that the school provides. The free lunch scheme was implemented in the early 1940s by headmaster R. Nambi Iyengar.
The school library has 10,000 books, a collection that has been put together since the inception of the school. Many of the books--in English, Sanskrit, Hindi, and southern languages--are rare and out of print.
Sports goods are available with the school but there is no swimming pool. However, this has not deterred S. Suresh Kumar (ninth standard) who holds the national record for 1500-metre free style.
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