Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXXI No. 14, November 1-15, 2021

Delhi’s ‘Madrasi’ school set to complete 100 years

by M.R. Narayan Swamy

P.H. Sundaresa Iyer, the founder-teacher of DTEA.

There could not have been a more modest birth. Who would have imagined that a school with just one student and one teacher in a small room would eventually blossom into one of the best schools in the Indian capital, producing exemplary academic results year after year! Welcome to the Delhi Tamil Education Society (DTEA) which will soon complete 100 glorious years.

Ex-students and retired teachers, who lived through the times when studying in DTEA was considered a matter of pride, still recall their school years with a sparkle in their eyes. Some became emotional as they remember the struggling years when the school operated in tents; at that time, no one was sure if DTEA would succeed. But success did come, in part due to divine blessings and in part due to the dedication of the school’s founders, teachers and a Tamil community that valued quality education more than anything else in life.

When it was born in Simla on Vijaya Dasami day in 1923, DTEA was known as the Madrasi Education Association (MEA).MEA became DTEA half-a-century later.

The 1930s was when Tamils began settling down in Delhi in steadily increasing numbers to serve the British bureaucracy. Armed with a knowledge of English, typing and shorthand skills, most Tamils held lower rung posts though some were perched in the middle level. The community had a single concern: how to educate their children in a place far away from their hometowns without losing touch with Tamil?

S. Natarjan.

The MEA founder was P.H. Sundaresa Iyer, who was known for his immaculate English and stylish western clothing. Interestingly, for someone who laid the foundation for what became a hugely successful school, PHS, as he was known, had only passed Class X. But he was a visionary. The Tamil community respected him. After registering the MEA in 1919, he set up in1923 a primary school which soon shifted to Delhi, eventually finding its way to its present location on Mandir Marg (then Reading Road) in the heart of the capital. For two decades, PHS shuttled between Delhi and Simla (the British Raj would shift en bloc with the officialdom to Simla every summer). Teachers were recruited and more and more students were enrolled.

Until Independence in 1947, only the Mandir Marg MEA School existed. A second school came up in 1951 at Lodi Estate and the third the next year at Karol Bagh (Pusa Road). Once Independence dawned, the Tamil community in Delhi began to swell. Most lived in central and south Delhi to be close to their government offices – the reason the schools came up in this swathe of the city. New branches were founded in Lakshmi Bai Nagar in 1958, in Moti Bagh in 1961 and in R.K. Puram the next year. An existing Tamil school in Janakpuri was taken over in 1975, three years after the MEA changed its name to DTEA when Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi made it a condition in lieu of a one-time grant. It was only in 2020 that the 8th school was opened in Mayur Vihar.

S. Natarajan, one of the most accomplished and respected Principals of MEA/
DTEA schools with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru when he came to inaugurate
Lakshmi Bai Nagar school.

The first school was set up with small voluntary contributions from the mostly middle-class community. The first higher secondary classes (Class 9 to 11) began in 1946 and the first batch of higher secondary students passed out in 1949. All the schools began as primary or middle school; it was only later that the higher secondary wing was added. The school had one single motto: study, study, study.

“I believed in strict discipline but with dignity and decorum,” recalls S. Natarajan, one of the most successful Principals to serve MEA/DTEA until 1991. “I did not believe in declaring a child failed. To me, it is a sad reflection on the school if a child is not motivated even to merely scrape through the annual exam.”

A man widely seen as an architect of MEA/DTEA schools was K. Suryanarayanan, who was also a decorated Principal. Hailing from Madurai, it was he who introduced the school uniform and started terminal exams for all the branches. He also introduced inter-school transfers and began the practice of having Saraswati puja in every school to bless senior students on their farewell day. The Indian government picked Suryanarayanan for the National Teachers Award. In the same year, the Delhi government chose him for the State Award – a rare but well deserved dual honour.

If Principals like Natarajan and Suryanarayanan succeeded in their mission, it was due to the quality brought in by the teachers, male and female, who produced students who went on to become successful doctors, charted accountants, lawyers, bankers, business executives, business leaders, teachers, architects, journalists, scientists, IT wizards, airline executives, government employees (at all levels), military personnel… The list is endless. Erstwhile star and Bollywood ‘Dream Girl’ Hema Malini is from DTEA. Many students settled down abroad with plum jobs.

Outgoing Class 11 Group Photo of DTEA Lakshmi Bai Nagar branch,
1974-75 batch.

MEA Lodi Estate school leaving batch Science students 1959-60.

All the three Principals, V. Subramanian, T. Rajagopalan and N.M. Rajaram, played a ­stellar role in the growth of DTEA. It will be near impossible to list all the teachers who served with distinction, winning the hearts of students and parents alike. Despite the many administrative responsibilities they had, DTEA Principals also took classes and were indeed masters of the subjects they taught. If Natarajan was a doyen of English, Rajagopalan and Rajaram taught Mathematics and Chemistry respectively with passion. While an overwhelming number of teachers were Tamil, there was no parochialism. Many north Indians served MEA/DTEA with unquestioned diligence and loyalty, a handful of them – including N.K. Sharma, who later became the Principal of one of the schools – learning and speaking Tamil fluently! Some teachers authored text books which the CBSE prescribed for schools across Delhi.

Staff members sitting Left to Right: K.Ramasubramanian, K.V. Haraharakrish-
nan, S.Yegneswaran, V. Swaminatha Iyer, David Gnaniah, S. Natarajan, Jaya
Venkataraman, Makhan Lal Jan, A.P. Narayanaswami Iyer, S. Ramakrishnan,
Tej Kiran Jain.
Standing Top Row – Third from Left is Tulsi Ram – Senior most Class IV staff
who joined the MEA from the days PHS Iyer started the school.

No account of DTEA will be complete without mentioning M. Visalakshi, who was popularly known as “Chitti Teacher”. She joined MEA when she was just 18 and went on to teach generations of children in Class 1 (there was no KG or nursery then) for – believe it or not – 40 long years! She had a unique way of teaching. She was always armed with a small stick but she loved the five-year-olds as if each of them was her own child. The Delhi government – which funds DTEA – not only conferred the Best Teacher award which included a citation and cash on her just before she retired but gave her a two-year extension in service.

P. Srinivasan, whose father S. Padmanabhan was one of the founder members of the Janakpuri school, recalls his days with nostalgia. “I remember we even swept and mopped the school floor daily in the (initial) absence of a peon. We did not mind, and our parents were not hurt seeing us do so-called menial work.” The Tamil community started the Janakpuri school in 1973 with just two students at the late Padmanabhan’s house after he and his family moved to a rented accommodation. A second flat was rented out in 1974 to accommodate more students. Eventually, in 1975, DTEA took over the school.

Barring a handful, no teacher believed in corporal punishment. Of course boys known for erratic conduct had to be disciplined. Occasionally, someone was asked to stand on the bench or outside the classroom for a while. A single whack with a scale was viewed as a major punishment. One or two teachers ordered “thoppukarnam”! Every student knew that he or she would have it if the teachers ever complained to their parents.

DTEA School Laxmi Nagar branch.

DTEA School Janakpuri branch.

Right from MEA days, the school had a rule: No Tamil speaking family will be denied admission at any time of the year. This was unique to MEA/DTEA schools. The idea was that government servants got transferred all the time and no child should suffer on this account. On top of it, the school had a very different – and one could say convenient – timing: 10 am to 4 pm. Thanks to this, no student was flogged to wake up at sunrise! And till the mid-1950s, MEA was the only south Indian school in the capital.

Tamil was taught right from Class 1. Hindi was a subject from Class 2. As long as school ended with Class 11, students had the option to opt for either Tamil or Hindi from Class 9. The medium of instruction was English. Teachers made it a rule that students should speak only in English while learning English. Although it raised eyebrows then, ex-students feel it was this insistence that made a huge difference in their personality growth, enabling DTEA products to successfully take on their counterparts from the better known and richer public schools.

Considering the quality education that was provided, education in MEA/DTEA was virtually free in view of the meagre fees. No tuition fee could be levied till Class 8. This was a massive relief to Tamil families who were mostly cash strapped in the 1940s, 50s and 60s as they had just one bread winner but had two, three or more children to be educated. Donations were not accepted though, of course, the community chipped in regularly with contributions big and small. Cultural and musical events were staged to raise money. Souvenirs were brought out for advertisement revenue. Legends in music and arts – M.S. Subbalakshmi,Lalgudi Jayaraman and S.P. Balasubramanian (to name only a handful of the many) – gave concerts for DTEA. Even embassies in Delhi were courted. It is with money collected painstakingly in this manner that the school buildings and other infrastructure including well-stocked libraries came up one after the other, doing away with the tents and ‘dhuries’.When the schools functioned under tents, an impromptu holiday would be declared whenever it rained!

If C. Rajagoplachari opened the Mandir Marg school in 1946, Madras Chief Minister K. Kamaraj inaugurated the new school building at Lodi Road in 1955. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone at Lakshmi Bai Nagar in 1960. Madras Chief Minister M. Bhaktavatsalam laid the foundation stone at Karol Bagh in 1963 and the school was inaugurated six years later by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. When Prime Minister Indira Gandhi attended a DTEA event at Lodi Road, she invited the legendary P.H. Sundaresa Iyer to come to the stage. It was only then people learnt that PHS had taught Tamil to Indira Gandhi at Teen Murti Bhavan.

The Lodi Road school houses a beautiful marble idol of Gooddess Saraswathi. On Vijaya Dasami day, Saraswathi puja was held every year in all the branches. Before the school leaving examination, the Lodi Road students’ Hall Ticketswould be placed before the Saraswathi idol and handed back after a devotional prayer, with the blessings of the Principal and the teachers.

MEA/DTEA was more than a school. In reality, the schools were an extension of a student’s family. Every cultural and religious value one believed at home was also practiced in the school. During holidays, the school buildings hosted cultural and religious events. Ramanavami would see katha tellers from Tamil Nadu regale eager audiences comprising of parents and students. Groups like South Indian Samaj regularly held functions which often ended with students, parents and teachers sitting in winding rows, partaking tamarind, coconut and curd rice.

(To be concluded next fortnight)

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  1. S Mohan says:

    Nostalgic. Re lived those days !!

    • KVS Raman says:

      Very well written, taking back to god old days. I had the opportunity to study in 3 out of the 8 branchs – LBN, Mandir Marg and Lodi Estate. All those teachers and saars, Principals, who made our school what it is today and were instrumental in shaping our lives were brought back in front fo my eyes by your write up.


    Very nice article on our DTEA SCHOOLS. READING IT LIKE v r on those days studying in one of the school at Laxmi Bai nagar. Very beautifully put forth about the school history. Thanks waiting for next article as promised.

  3. P. Parameswaran says:

    I was a student of Madrasi school ( Reading Road ) in the years 1936 to 1940. The school had only 4 classes. We had to move to Harcourt Butler to continue.


    Nice write up. I sttudied under Mr. Natrajan &. Mr. Rajaram. Also under chitti Teacher. Retired as a Senior Manager from a Nationalised Bank. Owe everything to my school.

  5. V.. MURLI says:

    I was a student of Laxmi Bai Nagar school from the year 1961 to 1972..This article is nicely written but I may add that many Ex- students of MEA schools who later worked as teachers and went on to become the Principal of the schools. I remember Ms. Indu Bala and Ms. K.Anuradha to name a few who joined as teachers and became the Principal later.

  6. V.ROHINI says:

    Such a exhaustive narration, with every minute details. I really appreciate your interest and patience. You have mentioned about every stalwarts who made the school, what it is today. I remember what all those things you have mentioned.
    I was a student of DTEA from 1957-68.Then worked as teacher in the same institution from 1972-2011.
    Hats off to you for this article

  7. D.Sampath says:

    The nostalgic days spent in the tent school in karolbsgh the enduring relations with classmates the green memories of karuveppilsi that have escorting the students to school ,the non conversion puppy love relationships which with teachers and class marrs which keep your past do green with love…..oh let me relive those days

  8. Srinivasan shanmugam says:

    A true picture of such a humble and beautiful bunch of schools very described and narrated.
    Hats off to the writer. As an ex student of LBN I enjoyed being part of such a great institution

  9. L indira 1964 batch says:

    Any amount of praise is insufficient where MEA school is concerned. I completed 11th standard in 1964 and to this day I think about my school, my dear dear teachers and many dear friends, the foundation in every subject that has stood its mThe atmosphere was such that one wants to attend school even when not well Glory to my school and all my teachers

  10. Yagna Ramakrishnan says:

    Thank you for the wonderful article on the School, we cherish. The R.K.Puram Branch had also wonderful teachers, viz. Smt. Jayalakshmi (Prinicipal); Smt. Sampoornam; Smt. Bala; Smt. Visalakshi; Smt. Janaki; Smt. Rajeswari; Shri Chandrashekaran; Shri Dhamija; Shri Kannan; Shri Gupta; Shri Bharadwaj; Shri Chaturvedi; Smt. Saroj Gupta; Smt. Saroj Bhatia;Smt. Promila Goel; Ms.Agarwal; Smt. Mathews, to name a few. We learnt a lot from this School, which was friendly to the Middle and Lower class people, as rightly said in the article. I remember we paid 38 paise, which rose very meagerly. Certain poor students were also given free uniforms and books. Though the school remained an Aided school, has been a wonderful experience. We are really proud to be a DTEAites.

    • PRAVEEN RAJ V says:

      38 Paise I vividly remember the tuition fee.

    • Malathi Narayanan says:

      I am from last batch of 11th class 1977. Fondly recall the days of dust storms & rains when school would be automatic holidays, Aruna, Padmaja, Geeta teachers and Dhamija sit well!!! Our school had its own charm which can’t be compared to today’s schools. Our times were different. Lots of friends from then still continue… our childhood was far less stressful than today’s generations..V nice article which takes us back.

      Malathi, 1977 batch

  11. V.Desikan says:

    In 1962-63, our principal of Mandir Marg, introduced vedic classes in the evening for selected students. Unfortunately this was dis continued after his transfer from the school

  12. Maj Gen KR Prasad says:

    Fond memories rush back to remind me of those wonderful days.
    Brilliantlly written…. Nostalgic memories ! Looking forward to next part !!

  13. Jayandhi Krishnan says:

    I am proud that my both children joined DTEA Janakpuri from Class 9 onwards. Happy to share that both if them are in very good positions. Thanks to the Management,teachers and entire staff for their contribution.

    • Parvatihi armeshwar says:

      Excellent coverage. I studied in Motibaug branch from 1969 to 1979. I am proud to be a part of DTEA Family.

  14. Venkataraman sriram says:

    Nice write up. Any amount of praise is insufficient. I was a student of DTEA from 1969 to 1974. A big salute for this article.

  15. T vaidyanathan says:

    Thanks for this nostalgic article about our school.. Thanks to all our Guru’s who put in their heart & soul to shape our future..

  16. T vaidyanathan says:

    Thanks for this nostalgic article about our school..Salutations to all our Guru’s who put in their heart & soul to shape our future..

  17. Alamelu k says:

    Alamelu k student till1969, Teacher 74 Jan to2010Dec
    So nicely penned the birth of DTEA and its journey till today, nostalgic as I was a student and teacher at mandir Marg , for me it was fun filled career, when in tents in Mandir Marg school we have spotted even snakes during school time !I can never forget wonderful teachers like T Rajagopalan sir , NM Rajaraman sir ,Bhuvaneshwari ,Krishnaveni , NPParvathi , Malathi Mani , Sundari Ananthanarayanan to name a few , many more beautiful memories

  18. RAJKUMAR R says:

    Well researched and written article. Waiting for the concluding part. I was a MEA/DTEA Lodhi Estate student from 1967 to 1979 .

  19. M. Vidya says:

    I am a student of Pusa Road from 1990-1997. I cherish all the years in D.T.E.A. From 1986-1989 I studied in D.T.E.A RK Puram and Moti Bagh. My mother (S.Vijayalakshmi) has been a teacher for almost 3 decades in multiple branches of D.T.EA schools. Proud to be one of the students of a renowned school in Delhi

    • V V Narayanan says:

      She was my teacher in Moti bagh. I vividly remember her. I was in Moti bagh from 1964 to 1970 when Mrs. Rukmini Sampat was our principal

  20. Rama Mahadev says:

    The school built our character. I studied in Mandir Marg from 1958 to 1964 and passed Higher
    Secondary from Pusa Road in 1966.I recollect many teachers as also Tulsi Ram who used to be spinning charkha outside Principal’s office in Mandir Marg. I remember him with great respect.
    I also have nice memories of David Gnaiah Sir,Jaya teacher,Ramakrishnan Sir,Tamil Pandit Sir,T.Rajagopalan Sir, Ragavachari Sir,Awasthi Sir,Bhagirathi teacher,Rukmini Sampath as Headmistress who used to come in a 2 wheeler wearing Madisar.Many teachers were Such great role models.
    I also remember with fondness Karuveppilai thatha who used to escort many children to Pusa Road School.This article is so comprehensive. I remember hearing Shri Karnanidhi suggesting change of name from MEA as ‘Madrasi’ was not taken with respect in North India and the word ‘Thamizh’ should form part of School Name.

  21. J ANAND says:

    I studied class IX to XI in DTEA, Laxmibai Nagar. I passed out my higher secondary in 1976 with 62% marks, then quite good. Thanks to WhatsApp, we are in touch with some of our former classmates. Always looked forward to visiting the school; in fact, last visited in 2018-19.

  22. Col B Srinivasan says:

    I was a student of MEA from 1952 to 1963. Started with Reading Road school, shifted to Lodhi Road when it was started, then shifted to Lakshmi AI Nagar school when that was commenced, back to Lodhi Road to complete my Higher Secondary education. After Higher Secondary along with Parmeshwaran I went to IIT Delhi and joined army in Corps of Engineers immediately after completion of engineering. S Pattabhiraman, one of our classmates left after 10th class to join NDA, later became Vice Chief of Army Staff in the rank of Lt Gen.

    My favourite teacher in school was our Chemistry teacher Rajaram Sir. I had a chance to meet our Principal K Surya Narayanan Sir after his retirement in Madurai at TVS Nagar where I had paid obeisance.
    I was present when Sh Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone at Lakshmibai Nagar school.

    Overall my experience in the MEA school(s), right from class 1 to class 11, was excellent.
    It was indeed a nice reading of our school history, quite a few of which I was not aware of.
    My best wishes to MEA (now DTEA) to achieve excellence in future also.

  23. Col B srinivasan says:

    Nice history to read. Quite a few of which I was not aware of. I studied in MEA from class 1 to class 11 in Reading Road, Lodhi Road, Lakshmibai Nagar and completed schooling in Lodhi Road. Lt Gen S Pattabhiraman who became Vice Chef of Army Staff was our classmate. After schooling Parmeshwaran and self joined IIT Delhi and later army in Corps of Engineers.
    I had a chance to meet our Principal Surya Narayanan Sir in Madurai at his residence in TVS Nagar.
    My best wishes to the DTEA for excellence in future also.

  24. Dr A.V.RAMAN says:

    I was in Mandir Marg school between 1950 and 54 as one of the 1954 batch passing Higher Sec . It was then a single branch. As names of Pincipals and senior teachers have been mentioned, let me mention some unsung heros like Ambi Sir in office, Kuluyhu Mama in the canteen. , Lathan the sweeper, Hira the peon.
    Their support in the growth of the school is equally praiseworthy

  25. V PRAVEEN RAJ says:

    Joined lodhi estate branch in 1970, remember the beautiful Saraswati idol at the entrance. Later moved to JTA school in 1974 which later became DTEA janakpuri and finally passed out from MM in 1982. Lovely memories..

  26. Karthik Bhanu says:

    Meticulously written article that transported me back to my time at DTEA Janakpuri, 1988-1990 where Natarajan Sir was our principal. The teachers there took personal interest on each and every student, the value of it we realised even more only as the years passed by. Nalini Teacher, Usha Teacher, Meena Teacher, Rukmini Teacher..each one of them are revered by my batchmates even now. And we remain thick friends to this day.

  27. Sukumar says:

    Excellent. Filled with nostalgia. We of the 67 batch when we celebrated our golden jubilee we really relived our school days.

  28. Shankar says:

    Superb write up
    I was a student of Mandir Marg from 1959 to 1963Hats off to the writer
    I retired in 2017 as CFO of a multinational software group. As an ex student of reading road I enjoyed being part of such a great institution

  29. Shankar says:

    Superb write up
    I was a student of Mandir Marg from 1959 to 1963Hats off to the writer
    I retired in 2017 as CFO of a multinational software group. As an ex student of reading road I enjoyed being part of such a great institution and I am really proud to be DTAiet

  30. Rangarajan says:

    Thank you for the wonderful article on the School.
    Such a exhaustive narration, with every minute details. I really appreciate your interest and patience. You have mentioned about every stalwarts who made the school, what it is today. I remember what all those things you have mentioned.
    I was a student of DTEA from 1960-67. studied in Rajinder nagar tent school upto 7th class. Moved to pusa road 8th class.Higher secondary from mandir marg 1964-1967. our drawing teacher later became PA to PM Chandra Shekhar 1990-91.

  31. S. Narayan says:

    Very nicely written article that reminds us of our MEA school days. I completed from Reading Road. I had the opportunity of studying in Lodi Road school also and under our great teachers and mentors including PHS. It was a marvelous time which can never be forgotten thanks to our great and dedicated teachers who inspired us. No wonder our students did well in their careers spread over India and across other countries. We feel lucky indeed.

  32. V. Bhaskar says:

    An excellently articulated write-up about MEA / DTEA group of schools.  It very well summarizes, (an almost) century old history of the school.

    I joined MEA but passed out from DTEA!, yes, my entire schooling was from this very group of schools. I passed 12th in 1981.  I moved from a concrete school premises (Pusa Road) to a school of tents (RK Puam).  I had no regrets, as our house was very much nearer to the school.

    We had excellent teachers, who knew each one from every student’s family.  Some teachers who spoke harshly (in today’s terms),  ensured that we follow the narrow path of disciple and keep our focus on studies.  We are indeed indebted to each one of them.

    Not just the education, the south-Indian lifestyle that was inculcated, ensured, we DTEAites were at par culturally and spoke better Tamil than our cousins, deep south.

    The alumnis of DTEA spanning across all the continents, are well placed and economically strong.  They themselves can support the school immensely.  But, there seems a few concerns about the quality of students that used to pass out in 70s and  80s compared to what is happening now.

    The way we cannot choose our parents, our school also seems to have been detained for each one of us.  We are, what we are, is mainly because of ‘The DTEA culture’.

    Long live DTEA.

  33. Hemalatha says:

    Any amount of praise about our MBA school is less.I studied in Lodi estate branch..I was a student of MBA from 1955to1966.I owe a lot to my teachers and the wonderful guidance of our principal Shri. K.Suryanarayanan.I still remember how our principal himself revised our entire 3 year syllabus in a span of just 3days.The wonderful write up brought nostalgic memories.We never complained when our classes were held in tents.Our school used to be one of the top schools in Delhi.Our school students always figured in the merit list in the Board exam.Our school students used to be a terror to others in inter school competitions.Proud of my Almamatter.

  34. Srikanth Natarajan says:

    Loved it to the core. Reading it gave me goosebump. I was part of LBN and finished my 12 yrs in 1983. Overall it was a great experience and still feel proud about DTEA and was lucky to be a student of the school.

  35. P S kala says:

    I love my school. I was student of pusa Road branch from 1967 to 1979 the first batch to introduce 10 plus 2 system.
    I owe a lot to my school and teachers.

  36. Mannargudi V. Ranganathan. says:

    This School is to be an Exemplary one. The recent achievements of DTEA have to be established. The Participation in the Republic Day function will be appreciated by which the Patriotism encraged. The present administration officials should have to think for establishing the DTEA College in the National Capital as well as in Madurai in Tamil Nadu as a Tribute to our society’s Founders the Greate.

  37. Mannargudi V. Ranganathan. says:

    Participating in Republic Day Events, and Establishing a DTEA College in the national capital as well as in Madurai (Tamil Nadu ) will help to maintain its great Heritage.

  38. Shyamala Raghunathan says:

    Fantastic article. Took me back to my most enjoyable period of life. The foundation was so stong that many of us have come out with flying colors. I belong to the 67 batch, we are still in touch with many of our batch mates.

  39. K. Rangamani Narasimhan says:

    Excellent write up about MEA/DTEA schools. I feel proud to be a student of mea from 1964 to 1972.Few months in Pusa Road then 4yrs. In Motibagh and finally passed out from Lodhi Estate in 72.All my siblings Ravi Prabha myself Rangamani and Radha are students of mea school. With the blessings of our teachers and of course parents we are all well placed. While appreciating the efforts of founders of the school it is also worth mentioning the efforts of the Alumni group in keeping up the glory of our mea/dtea schools. Thanks and best wishes to all the group members

  40. A G Ranganathan says:

    Wow…Loved to read about my school, teachers and principals. Very nicely written and went back to my school days trying to visualize my school days from class 1 to 12th. I passed out of the school in 1981 from Pusa Road . Thank you for sharing and await for the next part.

  41. Mrs jayamangal says:

    Very good article about MEA Schools. Very proud to say that Iam also a MEA student from lodhi road
    Passed out in 1975 .this article took me to those golden days .love that saraswati statue. Hall tickets will be issued after offering poojaas to saraswati 1975 mr ganju was principle.i am really touched by this article

  42. Prem Menon says:

    Andha naal njabagam nenjile vandhadhe nanbane nanbane, Indha naal andrupol inbamai illaiye nanbane nanbane….. I passed out in 1975 from LB Nagar alongwith the author MR Narayanaswamy. Very well written.

  43. Ramachandran V says:

    Excellent summary by the author. I started in DTEA Pusa Road from nursery till 5thd standard in 1971. Shifted to RKPuram DTEA in 1971 end . It was a see change from concrete to tent school, from 40 plus students per section in Pusa Road to 20-22 students per sectio in RK Puram. Most of us being children of Govt servants all had more or less the same upbringing, shortage and simplicity imbibed rigrht through (like buying second had books from previous batch students, school uniform getting passed on from elder to youger siblings and so on). Jayalaksmi teacher was the principal when we passed out of the first batch of 10+2 in 1979 (from RK Puram). She had an elephantne memory that she could recognise and remember every student at the school by name right from nursery to the 12th. I have fondly kept the letter written by her on passing that year. Both by brothers also passed out from the same school. Best part is that not only are our school friends still in touch but they happen to the best buddies even now. Moreover, the schools had holidays on every conceivable tamil religious /cultural festival like avani avittam, skandha sashti, Varalakshmi vratham and so on We never missed on any of the south indian functions or festival even if we were in North. We had the best of both worlds- independence and teaching quality of a private school with the fees and affordability of a Govt school. While we lacked in sports we more than made up in studies. Though some like M Janaki 1977 RK Puram batch used to win gold medals in badminton at the state and inter state completion by her sheer skills and hard work with minimal sports infrastructure at the school. We are indebted to the school, it’s teachers (my apologies for not naming each of them – all are worthy of respect wnd our pranam) , support staff, founders and other visionaries who helped achieve this momentous journey which I am sure will continue for another century and more. Best wishes to carry this proud legacy to the next generation and beyond.

  44. Col B Vasant Kumar says:

    I joined DTEA school Mandir Marg in the year 1975 and passed out in 1981. I have very fond memories of my school. The days we spent under tents when there was no classrooms. It was dusty and hot under the tents but we thoroughly enjoyed those days. Those carefree days of fun brings back flood of sweet memories. How can I forget our strict disciplinarian Vice Principal Vikram Deva Sir, no one could escape his keen eye for spotting trouble makers. Bhuwaneshwari teacher the HoD of Biology department was a legend. Her dedication and depth of knowledge of Biology is unmatched. Hemalatha teacher (Science teacher) Laxmi teacher (Sanskrit teacher) are but few of the long list of extremely talented teachers who made a lasting impact on me shaping my world view. Last but not the least Jaipal Chandra Sir my Guru who help me understand the fundamentals of calculus and helped take up engineering later in life. I owe a lot to my alma mater. it is the tutelage I received from great teachers at DTEA Mandir Marg that shaped my future. I am eternally grateful to all of them.

  45. Dr K Ramalingam, Airports Authority of India says:

    Excellent write-up! The article along with the second part should be posted in all the right schools for the present and future students should know the history of the DTEA schools. My daughter from Lakshmi bai school and Modhibagh School Mrs Sumathi Khanna is an entrepreneur with MBA, my son Dr Naveen Rajkumar was from Lakshmibai Nagar, a school topper in Science and Sanskrit. He is now a scientist in San Francisco .
    I was President PTA, Lakshmibai Nagar and was Vice President of DTEA for two years 1995-97.
    Very well administered and well established teachers. Ms Vijayalaksmi teacher used to take my both children to all science exhibitions in other Schools. He was motivated for science research. Yes, he is now a renowned scientist in molecular biology with good publications in Nature Journal.

  46. Raja Iyer says:

    So I joined the Laxmi Bai nagar in the year 1968.
    Our principal was sh. V. Subramanian. My father was working with ministry of education. He received respect in all the dtea school. I shifted to moti bagh when I was in 4th STD. Very talented teachers were there on those days.

    • RAJAGOPALAN says:

      I have wonderful and pleasant memories of DTEA LODI ROAD Branch where my family had the good fortune of quality education. My wife was a student and a Physics teacher, my son studied there entered IIT and now in a very comfortable position abroad My daughters studied there and they are wonderful human beings. ALL THE CREDIT GOES TO DTEA GROUP

  47. Pingback: Delhi’s ‘Madrasi’ school set to ­complete 100 years – II « Madras Musings | We Care for Madras that is Chennai

  48. Jamuna Venkataraman says:

    Very Nostalgic. Our father was a Hindi and Sanskrit teacher A.P. Narayanaswamy Iyer.
    I graduated in 1962 from Reading Road which is now called Mandir Marg.
    I would love to get hold of our class picture if possible.
    I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada and have been in Canada for 54 years.
    Reading this article took me back to my school days.
    Thanks very much.

  49. Dr. K.V..Krishnamurthy says:

    I completed my higher seconday at the MEA Mandir Marg (then Reading Rd) IN THE YEAR 1956. Those days especially 1947 to 56 were great for MEA School. first batch higher sec. in 1948 and followed by honors acheived every year subsequently. our batch had record first divisions and three rank holder within the first ten and including the state first (S.Padmanabhan). i am personnaly thankful to the great teachers we had and am proud that I was taught by P,H.S. Iyer , K suryanarayanan sir, lovable Sri. T.R, NMR, Smt Jayalakshmi.
    cannot forget the lab asst. like Kundan (phy) and Chait Ram (Che). it has become my habit that when I meet seniors from Delhi any where that I ask them if they studied and at MEA.
    Great school.
    Incidentally my life partner is also from MEA school.

    • A.T.Vasudevan says:

      Brigs back old memories .my siblings and I were students of what was affectionately called Madrasi school.As Reading road school did not have science group,I shifted to Lodhi road school and passed out in 1958.we were residing in reading road.most of the old timers would remember the tents which were our class rooms.thanks for old memories

  50. P Bharathan says:

    I studied without a break from 1954-65
    The School and especially the teachers
    Shri S Natarajan Shri NM Rajaram inspired me to perform well all through
    my life I am in touch with three of my classmates
    How can the Alumni strengthen the School?

  51. M Deena DAYALAN says:

    It’s very stupendous task for establishing an Educational Institution for the benefit of Tamils. Especially which caters to the lower rung and middle class people. I was in New Delhi at Lodhi Colony in 1973-74. Staying in Lodi Colony and working in Indian Bank as PO. Chidambaram mess and dearest friends from Tamil Nadu like R Ramachandran, Shankaran, used to go to Ram Mandir at the Lodi Colony which was very small. Our visits to DTEA Lodi Road at times of festivity. Once we attended the Drama festival of Actor Manohar. School was really service oriented and taught students from all walks of life.

  52. Hemalatha Seshadri says:

    I studied in MEA, Karol Bagh and completed my education from the institution in 1971
    I topped in History in the Board Examination that year
    Subsequently did my under graduation in History in LSR and post-graduation in JNU

    Migrated to Chennai and worked in Padma Seshadri School, Nungambakkam
    I retired this year as Principal of The PSBB Millennium School, Coimbatore

  53. Hemalatha Seshadri says:

    Passed Higher Secondary in 1971 from MEA, Pusa Road
    Topped History in the Board
    Graduation from LSR and post graduation in JNU
    Worked in Padma Seshadri, Chennai
    Retired this year as Principal of The PSBB Millennium School, Coimbatore.

  54. Srinivasan seshadri says:

    Excellent and very nice summary write up on the growth OF DTEA School in Delhi.
    I was a student from 67 to 77and it was a great place to learn and grow. My teachers particularly inhigher secondary ms santosh madam, Anuradhapura madam, Geeta madam encouraged us to become a good student and achieve our goals. I am ever grateful to th for their guidance.

  55. Nagarajan says:

    I passed out from MEA in 1971 from Lakshmibai Nagar Branch. Admitted in school when the foundation of school was laid by India’s first’PM. Needless to both Chitti teacher anf Sundari teacher who laid the foundation in class 1, later years maths teacher Nagamma , TKPK, Devanaygam sirs also responsible for further development. I remember for reasons many others may know for his punishment style of using Pencil between two fingers. Just for one year and half to RKP branch to return to LB Nagar. From 7th to 11th was transformation. In 8th class, Priya teacher who used to take History class entered and asked any one knows meaning of Mimicry, i raised my hand and gave answer. Then she asked me whether I can perform few imitations and when I presented few, the entire class burst in laugh. She immediately told me to perform in school Children’s Day event which was on the following day. I was taken aback and told her I need to practice, but she simply said do what I know or can. When I started performing, I simply how and what I was doing. The entire school including couldn’t control laughing including school Principal Mr Subramanian a strict disciplinarian. Sharing this is how teacher’s brought out hidden talent. Of course our English teacher Mrs..Santosh was outstanding and she did came on to the stage on 22 February to receive momento from actor Sharat Kumar in Delhi. There were many teachers including Prabhavathi who turned me from below average student to above average within a span of 3 years from 9 to 11 class. Of course Aarya sir the Hindi sir, Chaturvedi Commerce sir, English teacher Ms Kapu (not to be confused with Domestic science Kapur teacher) were all responsible for what I and many others are today. By the way our Principal Subramanian sir used to arrive in school in Cycle. We began our schooling in Tamil upto class three and English was one’subject. It has helped to learn English better than what’s being followed now. Also there was no discrimination then except a section of students whose parents used to work as Domestic help in many South Indian homes were called “Saleth Kara'”, as a small children we didn’t know. I think it’s changed for good. I heard the quality of teaching has gone down.

  56. R Rengaraja says:

    The school brings back the old nostalgia of reminisces when I go down the memory lane. The time was teachers treated the student as their child. I. Studied till 1983 in Moti Bagh. At that time Sri m sivarama Krishnan was the principal. My father was a teacher in Moti Bagh and worked in Mandir Marg. Lb nagar, and RK puram for sometime. My father’s younger brother retire from LB nagar. And my father’s elder brother started from LB nagar.

  57. C.Narayanaswamy says:

    This is C.Narayanaswamy.Studied at Karol Bagh,Reading Road and Lodi estate 1952-62. Thanks to the excellent teachers I could crack IIT entrance exam ,which enabled me to study at IIT Madras.Because of this background, I was fortunate to go through elevator instead of climbing steps in Corporate heriarchy..Worked at National Thermal Power corporation as Executive Director at age 39 and as Vice President in Mutinatiinal Corporation ABB/ Alstom. Working in these companies ,I could contribute to Design and construction of Thermal Power plants, which was most needed then to boos Indian Economy.

  58. Latha Rajamani says:

    Studied from 1958 to 1965 at Mandir Marg branch and shifted to Mumbai.I remember Hema Malini used to be my brother’s classmate.

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