28 October, 2020

Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, Chennai

Students greet their teacher with a 'Gurubhyo Namaha' and in turn are blessed with a 'Sukhi Bhava'.

Padma Sheshadri, Chennai
Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, Chennai
In 1958, when Y.G. Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy wanted to get her second son some Indian/Hindu education, she found that Chennai only had missionary schools "which did not let children even celebrate Ganesh puja". So she, with friends from the Nungambakkam Ladies Recreation Club, set up Bala Bhavan, a thatched-roof school that imparted students "Hindu values". This went on to become the Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan which today has three branches in Chennai. Of these, the PSBB Senior Secondary School is the most sought-after. Most admissions happen at the KG level; students invariably continue up to Class 12. Initially affiliated to the state board, PSBB shifted loyalties to CBSE in the ’80s. On the surface, the senior secondary school at Nungambakkam—with its cramped atmosphere, a playground five minutes away and a bunk-shop for a canteen—hardly comes across as Chennai’s most wanted school but "appearances are deceptive", as Harish Anand, a proud Class 12 PSBBian puts it. For want of space, students who study up to Class 8 at the Thirumalai Pillai Road branch move over to the...


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