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Siragugal 100: Giving Wings to Tribal Students to Fly

‘Siragugal’ is a special initiative for tribal children, launched in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvallur district by an IAS officer. The initiative’s main aim is to reduce school dropout rate among tribal students. The students are also gently guided towards higher education,with educational tours and online motivational classes.
Indian Masterminds Stories

In Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu, an IAS officer is changing the lives of tribal students through his unique ‘Siragugal’ initiative. A teacher provides knowledge and inspiration to young minds. And that’s precisely what IAS officer and Tiruvallur District Collector Dr Alby John is doing. He takes tribal students on exposure visits to premier educational institutions, gives them online classes and prepares them so that they can avail the best opportunities in life.

The initiative is mainly aimed at reducing the school dropout rate among tribal students and guiding them onwards towards higher education. Indian Masterminds interacted with 2013-batch IAS officer Dr Alby John to learn more about his initiative.

IAS officer Dr Alby John, Collector, Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu

SIRAGUGAL 100

‘Siragugal’ is a Tamil word that means ‘wings’. Talking to Indian Masterminds, Dr Alby John said, “Siragugal is an initiative we launch for educational outcomes of tribal students. Tiruvallur district has a larger number of schedule tribes.There have been many cases of tribal students stopping their education journey in primary standard only and going for work along with their parents. So, we identified 100 students from the tribal community and formed a group called ‘Siragugal 100’. Every month, we arrange a 2-day exposure visit for them. They visit police stations, hospitals, factories, IIT Madras, Birla Planetarium, Anna University, etc.,and in the evening,they attend motivational classes on life lessons.Along with this, we are also giving them online classes to improve their educational outcome. We have mobilised CSR funds and given them 100 tablets also.”

The students are from 9th and 11th standard. Out of the 100 chosen students,about 20-25 students were able to clear competitive exams. The officer says that when these students get good employment and do well in life, they will be good examples for the entire community, and more people will join the education movement. 

UTILISING CSR FUNDS

Dr. John further said that they although the initiative has been planned for a period of two years as of now, he plans to continue it.

“We have got support from Indian Bank to continue this programme. We will maintain the weekly physical meeting with students and their visit. We have selected five teachers at the district level to teach in the special classesfor students. This will help them to achieve good results in board exams and get admissions in premier institutions. We are encouraging and guiding them for competitive exams, also.”

Mentioning that the programme does not need much funds,he said that they are managing fine with existing resources.

“Teachers are already there. It is not a very expensive programme to run. And Indian Bank is already supporting us with CSR funds.”

Managing to get CSR funds and utilising them in a noble programme that aims to give wings to children to fly high, is indeed a much appreciable gesture, and Indian Masterminds wishes the officer all the best in his endeavour.


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