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School name

Venu Udayar high School


Palayanur village
Tiruvarur district
Tamil Nadu.

Nearest railway stations

Tiruvarur junction
Tip: While Tiruvarur is much closer than Kumbakonam, there are far less trains to Tiruvarur.

Nearest bus stops

Major bus station hubs: Tiruvarur, Mannargudi
Local bus stop: Palayanur (on Vadapathimangalam to Mannargudi route)
Tip: Though Tiruvarur is closer than Mannargudi, the difference is small. bus no 2a 416 pla 13a



Started in 1932 by an Indian independence activist, Venugopalasamy Udayar, as a non-profit school. Originally started as a thinnai pallikoodam (verandah school) for lower classes, it has developed into a middle school now, offering classes up to 8th level. Its day-to-day working is currently being managed by his son, Nandagopal Udayar. Since the school is not a government school, its expenses are covered by a combination of outside donations, managing family's own properties and some government aids. The village is primarily (>90%) dependent on agriculture. Due to recent changes in rainfall patterns, the economic conditions of the village families have suffered a lot - so much so that the mid-day meals provided at the school is one of the biggest incentives for most children to come to school, since its their only solid meal for the day. The nearest internet browsing cafe is in a town a few miles away, but it is neither easily accessible (due to distance and price) nor does it provide a supervised learning environment.


The school recently moved into a newly constructed building. The place has electricity for most parts of the day and has access to a telephone line. It does not have an internet yet, but can be obtained with relative ease once the computers are ready.

Looking for

Looking for sponsors to support the cost of OLPC laptops and for donors willing to donate their used laptops (G1G1). See below for contacts and collection centers. We are also looking for donors willing to donate their used desktops or "normal" laptops.

Why this school?

Apart from being the kind of school that OLPC aims to target, it also has a long track record of a motivated and sincere management. The managing family is committed to bring this project to the school and to give students the access to the web of knowledge. I know this for a fact because I am closely related to them (with founder, Venugopalasamy Udayar, being my maternal grandfather). The family had recently arranged for donations to fix the decades-old building and is not able to gather any more donations to buy OLPC laptops.

Also, the Tamil Nadu government's recent introduction<ref></ref><ref></ref> of Activity Based Learning (ABL) has proved<ref></ref> to be very effective. But the ABL method has been implemented in classes 1 to 5 only because the use of low cost activities like rhymes, song, drama and charts does not work in higher classes. The introduction of effective high tech activities (through OLPCs) will complement the ABL in lower classes and will help to continue the ABL methods in higher classes too.

Contacts and collection centers

  • Contact in Europe and Coordinator of this project:

S. Guhan
PhD student, University of Bonn (Theoretical physics)
17 Endenicher Allee, Room:3315
Bonn 53115, Germany.
Email: guhan.web {at gmail dot com}
Visiting Card: click here

  • Contact in North America:

Dr. S. Astha
Resident, National Institutes of Health (NIDCR)
11400 Georgetowne Drive
Potomac, Maryland 20854, USA.

  • Contact in India:

V. Nandagopal
Correspondent, Venu Udayar Middle School
Palayanur village (Koothanallur via)
Tiruvarur district, Tamil Nadu.

S. Revathi
141A, 5th Street, Krishna Nagar, W. Tambaram,
Chennai 600045, Tamil Nadu.


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 PALAYANUR CONTACT                                                                                                                                          S.ELANGOVAN                                                                                                        MELA STREET PALAYANUR