The 135 students of Municipal High School in Padikuppam near Thirumangalam are a happy lot. Police personnel teach students here, clean the premises, provide the students nutritional fruits occasionally and inculcate moral values.
The Thirumangalam police, who adopted the government school this week, take delight in fulfilling even the modest demands of the students.
The institution, which was launched as a primary school in 1966, was upgraded to a middle school in 2002 before a high school on July 18, 2017.
Maintaining a positive image of ‘khaki’ has always been challenging and police are taking serious efforts to earn the love and respect of the students in the school. Police personnel have also taken up the responsibility to revamp the dilapidated school building.
Apart from the 135 students, the school has eight teachers handling various subjects. The innovative idea to adopt the school was mooted by Chennai police commissioner A K Viswanathan after which M S Muthusamy, deputy commissioner, Anna Nagar, and inspector M Ravi made the dream come true. “This has given us more chances to interact with students. People and children no longer fear us but willingly co-operate in maintaining law and order,” said Thirumangalam inspector Ravi. This would help police curb crime in the area in the long run, they believe.
So far, the policemen have bought tables, chairs, plates, a march-past drum for the students and a bureau to keep the certificates of the children safely. They have also taken up restoration work of the school building by raising funds so that poor students get to experience better facilities. Earlier, it was a place for anti-social elements who used the campus to consume liquor and discard the bottles on the premises, setting a bad precedent for the students, sources said.
M Maheswari, headmistress, told TOI that the police personnel were a blessing in disguise for them. “They meet even the smallest demands made by us. With better amenities, the students are able to concentrate on studies better,” she said. The school is set to get a new library soon.