Mayamankurichi is a village in Alangulam Taluk, Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu. It is reasonably well-connected with the nearest town Tenkasi and Tirunelveli, a regional center, about 40 kilometres away.
The village is composed of some 3000 inhabitants. It is not irrigated by canals or tanks and agriculture has to make do with local waterbodies for irrigation. The village can thus have no more than 1 or 2 crops a year. Most inhabitants are small landholders or marginal agricultural labourers. During lean days for agriculture, the men migrate to nearby Kerala for daily wages. Bidi making is a perennial activity to sustain the village.
The village is mostly made up of the poor and marginalized whose children depend on the local school for an education.
Almost 700 children study here and there are 30 teachers. The school was started by Gandhians Narasimhan and Muthusamy. After their time, the family of Muthusamy has continued to run the school. The present management is led by Shri Kamaraj, the son of Muthusamy and his son, Shri Muthuselvan.
After 1993, the Government of Tamil Nadu stopped paying salaries of private school teachers for classes started after this point, citing budgetary constraints. As a result, the 8th to 12th Standards, which were started after 1993, are not financed by the Government.
It is extremely essential that the school remains functional, especially from Class VIII to class X. Failing which, the greatest loss would accrue to the girl child who generally don’t travel beyond 1-2 kms to attend school. If the School withdraws classes, the highest number of drop-outs would belong to the Scheduled Caste category that constitute a large portion of the village population.
The school charges Rs 400 to 600 per annum as fees for classes from 8th to 10th. 11th and 12th standard students are charged Rs 2500 to Rs 3500 per annum, depending upon subjects chosen. Younger children up to 5th Standard are also provided a free van service, since distances are such that they cannot walk to school. Older children are required to pay Rs 200 per month.In academic year 2017-2018, the school achieved a pass percentage of 98% in the Tamil Nadu State Board SSLC exam and 97% in the 12th Standard Board examinations. Needless to say, this is superior to the percentages from Government schools, which usually are in the 85% - 90% range.
Two campuses exist for the school:
The old location inside the village, which has been renovated last academic year at an expense of Rs 10 lakhs. This amount was entirely met through private donations.
A new 3 acre facility that has been constructed over a period from 2011-2018.
All buildings have been recently painted, with proper compound walls and safety precautions. Drinking water facilities, an incinerator for sanitary waste disposal, compound wall and painting works were carried out in 2018, at an expense of Rs 4.5 lakhs, met through a online crowd funding campaign carried out by Indic Activists - http://www.indicacademy.org/#network
he school currently runs an annual deficit of Rs 7.95 lakhs. Part of this is being met by regular contributions by donors to the tune of Rs 2.04 lakhs annually. However, this still leaves a short fall of Rs. 5.9 lakhs per annum
Notably, education is free for classes I to X at this school. and a van facility is provided for free to 55 students in classes I to VII.
It is in this background that we make an appeal for funds to overhaul the school's sanitation infrastructure. The needs are: