Pachaiyappa's College, Chennai steeped in history needs urgent restoration and improvement of academic standard

Pachaiyappa's College, Chennai

Philanthropist Pachaiyappa's statue in 

Above image:  A devout Hindu and Philanthropist Pachaiyappa Mudaliar''s statue on college campus in Chennai. Born in a poor family, he became a wealthy man before he was 25.  In the 1700s  he  was considered   the "greatest contributor to charity the Madras Presidency has ever known."....................

The very mention of Madras or Chennai from higher  education point of view comes to senior citizens like  a few colleges  like Presidency, college, etc and  Pachaiyappa's College is one one among them.  Pachaiyappa's College (1842) is the 4th oldest institution in the country next to Madras Christian College (1837) and Presidency College (1840) It is also the first sole Indian college in Madras Presidency fully managed by the Indians.

Pachaiyappa's College, Chennai  was started  by a  trust formed in the name of philanthropist, Pachaiyappa Mudaliar, who was a Dubash - commission agent and interpreter with  the English company. When he died at the age of 40 in 1794,  he left behind a vast fortune worth  more than Rs.7 lakhs- a whooping sum in those days (it is now worth billions of rupees). As he was unmarried and had no legal heir, his wealth became a subject of legal battle for four decades among his relatives. It was famous attorney George Norton  who put an end to the long dispute and set Rs.4.5 lakhs aside for education though as per Will executed by Pacahiyappa  Mudaliar the wealth must be spent on Hindu temples, for the benefit of the poor, Sanskrit learning, etc. 

Forty years after his death the trust formed with court interference had  started a school which later grew into  Pachaiyappa's Central Institution at Popham's Broadway on  January 1842.  Later it was upgraded into degree granting Pachaiyappa's  college in 1889 and later  shifted to the present location. 

 It has the rare distinction of being the  first educational institution in South India, not funded by the early colonial rulers under the English company. The administration is being governed by a board of 

Pachaiyappa's College, Chennai

Above image: The college buildings were built in the Indo-Saracenic style, incorporating Indian as well as European style. The college  began in 1842 as a Central Institution at Popham's Broadway. Later shifted to China bazaar/Flower bazaar  (formerly Esplanade, later called NSC Bose road).The college now has a big campus on  Poonamallee High Road in northern Chennai. Both the college and the hostel buildings need urgent repair and restoration work.................. 

.trustees called Pachaiyappa's trust board which also manages many colleges and properties. It is one of the largest trusts in India and many scholarly papers have been published on the philanthropy of Pachaiappa Mudhaliar, a humane person with a large heart.

In the last several years, this once reputed college that produced many well-known personalities and politicians like late  late K. Anbazhagan, late Musasoli Maran and others,  is poorly managed, according to media report.  Many buildings on the campus  need repair and restoration work as they are slowly crumbling.

Today, the college is in famous and has got a bad reputation. A few years ago  in 2018  several unruly students got a bad name for the college. Covering a huge campus of 43 acres of land in a prime area in Chennai, though benefactor left a large chunk of wealth for  many educational as well as religious  institutions as per his will, the historical college is being avoided by the public because of poor maintenance by the trust board and undisciplined unruly students.  

building in poor shape. Pachaiyappa's College, Chennai

building in poor shape. Pachaiyappa's College, Chennai

Way back in 2018  many college alumni  complained  that because of  some corrupt and dishonest trustees on the trust board the college had fallen from sublime to disgrace, further damaged  by on campus violence among students. They also resented that the institution’s academic standards had fallen way down. 

it is no use living in the warmth of past glory and  the trustees have to come forward and repair the crumbling building, improve the standard of teaching and restore the college back to old glory. The sooner they do it, the better. If Pachiyappa, the most benevolent man in colonial Madras were alive he would have shed tears that would drench the institutions built in his name  using his hard-earned wealth. He set aside his wealth to serve the poor and needy, but the management threw his high ideals in the wind.  Noted Maths genius  late Ramanujan  (who did FA in this college), and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister CN Annadurai are among its many alumni. Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar and Swami Vivekananda  passed  through portals of this hoary institution.

It is the responsibility of the trustees to bring new light to this college; it is a wonderful way to honor the great man who believed: ''Service to people is service to God''