Monday, December 19, 2011

New Uniforms for 2012 :-)

On the 18th of Dec 2011, all our children received New Uniforms :-)

Sailing Event - Merchant and Professional Regatta

Our 7th grade children, participated in a lovely Regatta at the Royal Madras Yacht Club on the 10th and 11th Dec 2011. 

It was fair weather, lovely winds and great company :-)

Our young sailors enjoyed themselves, apart from learning this challenging sport of sailing - thanks to RMYC.

Children's Day Celebration 2011

Fancy Dress 

Prize Distribution

Tailing the Elephant

Songs by our 7th Grade children
It was a fun filled Children's Day Celebration on the 14th Nov 2011.

Our children had a whale of a time with games, songs, fun and prizes :-)

Visit by Shailu Shuresh

On 20.11.2011, Ms Shailu Suresh of  "Om Vedic Heritage Centre" Singapore, visited our school and spent a whole morning with our children...

She gave a wonderful talk and an interactive session on "focus" to the children of 7th grade.

In her own words:


I am sure all of us agree that unquestionably education is significant for one’s overall growth. When any child fails to acquire the basic skills needed to qualify for well-paying earning opportunities and escape poverty, he/she will also fail to function as a productive and responsible member of the society.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, even till today in many very low-income and underprivileged families, children are much less likely to be in school than children from more affluent families. My path crossed the path of an altruist who even as a child became sensitive to this inequality that existed and continues to exist in the society. Being inspired by the ‘goal directed force’ within Captain Nandakumar, I saw myself automatically being drawn towards becoming part of this great cause and help prove with significance (in scientific terms), the hypotheses that ‘the cost of educating children far outweighs the cost of not educating them’.
Hence, a visit to the ‘gurukulam’, a school started by Capt Nandu in 2004, that offers Free education to children from very low-income families in Panayur and Kovalam villages in Tamil Nadu became essential and I was there for a day on 19 November 2011.
I must say that reasonable inferences can be made even on the first visit to the gurukulam, from just observing the school premises, administration, good policies and most importantly key outcomes such as the behavior and attitude of the ‘gurukulam children’. Apart from the regular provisions for school children such as teaching and learning material, stationery, uniform, play material etc, I noticed that great attention was being given for the overall growth and well being of the child by providing extra-curricular activities such as karate, yoga and exclusive yatching lessons even.

Many children who do attend such free schools receive inadequate education because of poorly trained, underpaid teachers, overcrowded classrooms, and a lack of basic teaching tools such as textbooks, blackboards, and pens and paper and here I noticed that all these key aspects were well studied and taken care of. Important aspects such as ensuring that teachers do not physically or mentally abuse children, ensuring the quality of food being served to the children, provision of a library etc were all being looked into with great attention to detail. Children are even motivated to be better citizens of tomorrow by being trained on good values and principles in life by means of personalised motivational talks, ‘How to Live’ classes and effective tools such as awarding the child ‘+’ points or ‘-‘ points based on his behaviour, attitude etc.
So I must say that this effort witnessed by me in my 1-day trip, has two messages for me and the public:
i)     It is not a good idea to just observe from a distance as if this mission were just Captain Nandu’s and his team’s, but you and me can also become part of it by devoting ourselves (contributing in time, service, money etc to the best of our capability and capacity) and make our lives more meaningful and purposeful.
ii)   Having seen such models of ‘Increasing the welfare of fellow citizens through seva’ we too can lead an altruistic path by freeing our heart from any self-centered desires and devote ourselves in believing that we live for other people’s sake.
Last but not least credit for this exemplary service rendered to mankind/to our fellow but less fortunate brothers and sisters, goes to Captain Nandakumar and his other committee members for their commitment and visionary and administrative abilities.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A trip to the Planetarium and Library

Class 4 and 5 had a field trip on the 26th Aug. Here is a description by the class teacher:

ass 4 and 5 went for a one day trip to Anna library and Birla planetarium. The Students and teachers gathered at Panaiyur and started at 8.45 am sharp on 26-8-2011, by our school bus. We reached the library first and visited all the floors. Students were very happy and excited on seeing the building, and the beauty of Chennai from the top floor. Then we moved to the Children's section and they all got excited again when they saw the many story books, atlas and games. We left for the Planetarium by 11.30 am and went first to the show, all the students were fascinated and listened to the show carefully, then we went to the 3D show and to lunch, then to the science world and finally to the park. We left from there by 3.15 PM and reached home safely. We enjoyed a lot.  - Class 4 teacher."

Less than Ordinary Trip

Carol Lee, who has been supporting Gurukulam for a very long time visited our school. Her experience in her own words:

"Above all, my best wishes to all in Gurukulam, Trust Children School. 

It has been my pleasure to meet the children, teachers during the school visit on Aug 20th.  I have had a hilarious and unforgettable experience, with fun, laughter, sharing with the children and learning to understanding the needs of our little friends' progression at Gurukulam.  Their excitement, energy, happiness and warmth are so inspiring and touching.  Having watched of their karate practise in the early morning in which they demonstrated it with full enthusiasm, we shared a lively conversation in a number of interesting topics from sports to martial arts, geography and cultural exchanges.  

Over all, the most impressive part of Gurukulam is children's achievement in their UNSW assessment in Mathematics where they have achieved High Distinction and Distinction.  And, they were happily rewarded for this achievement. Children, your great results has shown that the standard of your mathematics is similar to that of Singapore's students from topnotch schools.  Nonetheless, in very near future there will be potential mathematicians from Gurukulam with the credit of this wonderful achievement going to the teachers who had made this possible through their contribution.  Three cheers to all of you!

On the other hand,  the extraordinary cum multitude contrasting schooling environment from home has reminded me of how fortunate our children in Singapore are having all the great facilities and the opportunities to attend school. Our children at home should spare a thought for the less fortunate and appreciate more what has been provided for them by the Government, community or family. 
Last but not least, I would highly recommend everyone's participation to help grow and evolve Gurukulam, for all economically under-privileged children, for a better future, which is the point of me being here in the first place.

Warmest regards,
Carol LEE"

Monday, August 8, 2011

Energising Programme with Actor Dhamu

Actor Dhamu with our faculty

Enthralling our students with his mimicry

Helping our children energize their brain cells...


Students opening up to their faults and confirming their positive attitude towards change


These words were ringing in every child's ear after a workshop with Actor Dhamu.

It was a day that began at 8 am and ended at 4 pm with a non-stop workshop. It was a day which brought tears and laughter - and more importantly a conviction to grow into better adults...

Actor Dhamu took the children through a series of exercises aiming at opening their hearts to their love for their parents, for their faults that needed to be corrected and towards becoming a "Champion". He succeeded in bringing all this and more to every child in Gurukulam.

He then enthralled everyone with mimicry and jokes...

Dear Actor Dhamu, you have touched each one of us and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts...

You are a part of Gurukulam now, through your love and together let us bring up our children to grow into wonderful human beings.

We are touched that you had taken a whole day off from your hectic schedule to reach out to our children...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

School Begins

....and the school begins :-)

The school reopened for the new academic term on the 15th June, with games, fun and new hopes for a better future...

We have now 8 full time teachers, working under Mrs Shuba Subramaniam, our Academic Adviser:









B.A.English D.P.T.T






M.Sc.Medical Biochemistry






B.C.A, M.C.A



B.Sc., B.Ed.,



B.A., B.Ed, B.Lit Tamil

Ms Sabita Currimbhoy, who has worked along with me at the Royal Madras Yacht Club and a sailor herself among others, will be working with us part time and bringing in her expertise.

Mr Vajaravelu continues as our Yoga teacher,

Sensei Murali continues as our Karate teacher,

Ms Venilla will work as our Accounts Assistant...

...along with our non-teaching staff will be instrumental in bringing our children up.

Let us wish them all success, and the satisfaction of bringing in a positive change to our society...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Semester at Sea students volunteer time at Gurukulam

JEFFREY A. KOTTLER, Ph.D, Professor of Psychology, Semester at Sea

along with 20 students volunteered time at Gurukulam. It has been a wonderful time of learning, creativity and fun.

In Prof Jeffrey's words:

I wanted to thank all of you for providing such an amazing experience for our students and staff during our visit to the Trust Children school these past few days. The exchanged between your students, teachers, administrators, and our our group from Semester at Sea were so meaningful. The children were crying when we left yesterday, as were some of our students. Three of our students stayed behind to continue their visit for another day. Everyone was so happy with the generosity, hospitality, and warm welcome that you provided at the school and with the Rotary Club. I know that you have never arranged an extended service trip like this before but I want you to know that I hope it is the first of many such trips in the future.

Although I have spent time in many lower caste schools, and worked with children and teachers for many years, I was SO impressed with the work you are doing. The enthusiasm of the teachers, the warmth of the students, was so inspiring to all of us. I hope that our visit remains a lasting memory for those in your school just as I'm certain it will for all of us.

With warm regards,

Professor of Psychology
Semester at Sea

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Medical Camp

1st March 2011

Kamakshi Memorial Hospital conducted a full fledged medical camp for our children with 6 doctors and 5 para medicals. Ms Poornima was the co-ordinator.

The doctors did a thorough check up of all the children along with their parents and have recommended a few children for further investigation.

Thank you dear Doctors and staff of Kamakshi Memorial Hospital. We are grateful for your loving care...all of us here join together, in saying - Thank you :-)


14th Jan 2011

Pongal or the Harvest festival is very colorful in India.

Our children had a wonderful experience too.

Under Ms Gomathi's, supervision, our children drew colorful pictures and enjoyed a special treat - "Pongal" (which also means - sweetened rice). Art and celebration went hand in hand :-)