Guiding light to land govt jobs
Free coaching centre, started by IAS officer MG Rajamanickam in helps underprivileged youngsters to bag government jobs.
MADURAI: After finishing her chores, it was routine for 35-year-old Meghala from Thiruvathavur in Madurai’s Melur block, to go to the government school nearby to prepare for competitive examinations. A mother of two, she had been studying by borrowing books from her friends and relatives.
The first graduate from her family, Meghala says she used to fail the exams by narrow margins as she didn’t have proper study materials and guidance. In August 2022, while she was enroute to the school, a passerby suggested that she join ‘Arivagam Kalvi Maiyam’ classes in Thiruvathavur. She decided to take the chance and joined the classes. She cleared TNPSC Group IV, Group II Prelims and Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) within a year.
Like Meghala, five others also got government jobs after enrolling at the free coaching centre, started by IAS officer MG Rajamanickam in 2018. A native of Thiruvathavur, he is working as commissioner of rural development department in Kerala.
Dharmalingam, a revenue inspector who volunteers to teach at the centre during weekends, says, “In this generation, when some people fight with their siblings or other relatives for property, Rajamanickam is using his ancestral house as a free study centre to help the youngsters of his native village.”
Rajamanickam has also constructed a library in the centre of the house, that is over 80 years old, with his own money, where apart from study materials, old question papers are also available for the benefit of the aspirants. “The centre is open 24x7 so that the aspirants can access the resources anytime and even stay back at night if needed,” Dharmalingam adds.
The centre has around 30 teachers, who regularly conduct classes there. Even Meghala continues to help other aspirants during her free time. Apart from the classes, Rajamanickam conducted summer camps for schools kids in Thiruvathavur for the first time this year.
He says, “There are three government schools in and around Thiruvathavur and the students there don’t get much exposure. I didn’t want them to spend their vacation idly and hence, I decided to begin this camp. I spoke to my friends and with the help of mutual contacts, we were able to gather volunteers to conduct a variety of classes including dance, music, drawing, handwriting, typewriting, tailoring, Silambam, Valari among others.”
He says he was surprised to see a turnout of 570 persons on the camp’s first day. “I had expected only around 75 applications,” he says. Through this summer camp, they learned new skills, they learned about building a good career. “Will be a good number of young students, it will teach them to pave a path to set high goals for their future. We are also ready to make their dreams come true. Though it is a short summer camp, it transformed their minds on a larger level”, he said.
Retired District Educational Officer (DEO) Selvaraj, who is the coordinator of the summer camp says when he was the headmaster of Government Higher Secondary school in Thiruvathavur, he had approached Rajamanickam for support in developing the infrastructure of the school. “He immediately arranged Rs 25 lakh sponsorship from Kerala for the school and that’s how we came to know each other. I am glad to be a part of his journey.” “After the success of the camp, we are planning to arrange skill development classes for the youths on the weekends,” he adds.
(Edited by Ashutosh Acharya)