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Thursday, February 5, 2015

slum kids may get free ride to School ~ wonder which part of State !!

Semmencherry is a suburb situated in Kancheepuram District – Wikipedia describes.  It has a temple of Pallava era, a notified heritage structure.  Today’s TOI carries a report that students travelling from Kannagi Nagar near Semmanchery to corporation schools in the core city areas are likely to get free transport. The civic body is conducting a survey on how many students travel to schools where they studied before moving to Kannagi Nagar.  “If the number is significant, we are likely to propose a free bus service in this year's civic budget. They have already been given free bus passes. We will also analyse the age group and if schools in Kannagi Nagar are sufficient,“ a corporation official is quoted as saying. “The buses will also be utilised for other purposes such as excursions.“
A photo of busy OMR

The corporation is awaiting the government's nod to take over public schools from district administrators in the extended areas. Mayor Saidai S Duraisamy said the proposal was pending but added that the schools would not be neglected. “Schools in Kannagi Nagar are not up to the mark in infrastructure and don't have enough teachers. If the proposal is accepted we can raise the standard of schools in resettlement colonies so students need not travel long distances,“ the corporation official said. The corporation will also consider shifting children to schools in areas close to Semmenchery.  Ever since hundreds of slum dwellers were re-settled in tenements Kannagi Nagar, providing proper education facilities for their children has been a problem. These children either travel long distances to corporation schools where they studied earlier or make do with illequipped schools in and around Kannagi Nagar.

A study by Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities and Housing and Land Rights Network last July showed schools in Kannagi Nagar near Semmenchery have only 2,000 seats for nearly 20,000 children, and 42% of them are forced to commute more than 20km to other schools. A solution to the problem is expected in this year's civic budget.

A laudable move indeed by the Government caring for the Urban poor.  Now, if you ever thought that Semmencherry is a remote village – please read on !

Semmencherry is situated on the famous Old Mahabalipuram Road aka OMR – IT Corridor considered a rich expanse where almost all the airconditioned buses of Chennai Metropolitan buses ply.  In fact it is a terminus too for some MTC buses.  It is closer to the more famous Sholinghanallur. 

Some regularly travelling on OMR and marvelling the beautiful buildings on either side of the road, may not be aware that there are places like Semmencherry lying just a kilometre away. Here are some photos of Semmencherry

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

5th Feb 2015.

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