School Principal's Holmesian Skills Help Nab Elderly Tobacco Peddler

Published: 29th February 2016 03:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th February 2016 08:12 AM   |  A+A-


CHENNAI:  When a seventh standard student lodged a complaint that a fifth standard student was reeking of the smell of tobacco, the school principal Jeeva G R, head of Thiruvalluvar Gurukulam Middle School, Saidapet instead of punishing the student, made it her mission to trace the ‘maava’ (mix of processed tobacco, betel nut and lime) back to its source - the dealer.

With a little help from her students, she said “we didn’t have to look too far. The culprit was a paati that no one would have suspected, sitting meekly outside the gate.”

Jeeva recounted her story on the sidelines of a two-day State Convention on ‘Children Against Tobacco’ organised by the Mary Anne Charity Trust on Sunday. The elderly woman identified as Murugamma who sold maava packets for `5 to `10 a packet was requested to empty her bag, and the principal had the presence of mind to film a video as proof on her cellphone.

“I wanted to make sure that there would not be a repeat of this. I suspected that the same woman had influenced six girls at our dropout centre who were found to be addicts,” added Jeeva.

As expected, Murugamma absconded the next day, but a police complaint against her on the charge of selling tobacco to minors was lodged.

Founder of Naam Tamizhar Katchi Seeman and Padma Vibushan awardee Dr V Shanta of the Cancer Institute were present at the event.

An android app was also launched by organisers at the event to prevent the consumption of tobacco among students.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp