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Educational Development Day

During the British regime, only seven percent of the Indian population was receiving an education. When Kamaraj was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, from 1954 to 1963, new schools were opened, educational facilities were expanded, every village had a primary school and every panchayat had a high school. During that time, the education level grew to 37 percent of the population.

Kamaraj strove to eradicate illiteracy by introducing free and compulsory education up to eleventh standard. He introduced the Midday Meals Scheme to provide at least one meal per day to the lakhs of poor children. He also introduced free school uniforms to irradiate caste, creed and class distinctions among young minds.

In his honor, the Tamil Nadu government declared that Kamaraj’s birthday (July 15) would be celebrated as `Educational Development Day.’ Accordingly, this event was celebrated at Sri Ramana Matriculation School with student elocution and poetry competitions. Karunanithi, the school’s correspondent, presided over the function along with Mr. Mytheen Khan, a follower of Kamaraj. Mr. K. Ramesh, an Advocate from the Tiruvannamalai District Court was a guest and delivered a good speech about Kamarajar. Mr. Manigandan the school’s English teacher, and Mr. Balaji, the Tamil teacher, made presentations about Kamarajar in their respective languages. Later, prizes were awarded to the winners of the competitions and sweets were distributed to all the students.

Coincidentally, Kamaraj and Karunanithi share the same birthday. Teachers presented him with a photograph of Bhagavan Ramana and students also offered gifts.

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Independence Day, August 2006

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