Attakulangara School

By Aswani Dravid

Wood and Plank representing the year of establishment Picture Courtesy – Anjali Gopan

Once in India, when education was a privilege of the rich and higher castes, a man named T. Marthandan Thampy, started a primary education centre for the under privileged. This is a landmark in the history of organised school education in India. This school with a glorious past had more than 2000 students until a decade ago. Owing to lack of maintenance funds from government, it is currently in a dilapidated state with the heritage buildings in a state of significant decay and has only less than 100 students and a few teachers now.

Dilapidated state of first school building Picture Courtesy – Anjali Gopan

Citing various development reasons and calculating the economic viability of the land, the city development authority has decided to replace the school with a bus bay-cum- shopping complex.

This school which is rightly termed as ‘green lungs of the city’ is getting demolished. And around the globe, we see many such activities whereby man overlooks nature for development. Kerala, which was famous for the onset of monsoon rains, is burning in heat now. But still more than fifty, century old giant rain trees have been earmarked to be felled and buildings which are older than these trees are in ruins.

School is filled with 50, centuries old rain trees Picture Courtesy – Anjali Gopan

Against the demolition, there is huge resistance by civic, educational activist groups and the school protection committee formed by alumni has been working hand in hand with environmentally conscious groups like TreeWalk.

About the Author

AswaniAswani Dravid

Aswani is currently doing her Ph.D in Maritime Security with the University of Kerala. She has experience as a freelance journalist in the media for four years. Her research background and focus on community collaboration has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles. Trained in academics and journalism, she constantly probes into the causes and effects of events that we face as a society, through her writing.