Amala Amala Annai Higher Secondary School, built by the Cuomo Foundation in the rural village of Mambakkam (Tamil Nadu, South India) was officially inaugurated on June 20th, 2019. The grand ceremony which saw the attendance of over 1,000 invitees, was organized by the Diocese of Chingleput and the Cuomo Foundation. The ceremony took place with the presence of Church dignitaries from the Dioceses of Chingleput and Madras Mylapore, members of the local administration, chief representatives of the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), the Cuomo Foundation Members, the school staff, children and their parents. After the traditional blessing of the premises, delivered by the Most Rev. Dr A. Neethinathan, Bishop of Chingleput, Maria Elena Cuomo, President of the Cuomo Foundation, cut the ceremonial ribbon, opening a new era to the youth of this poverty-driven rural region, located 80 km southwest of Chennai.

The school, built following the most up-to-date ecological guidelines, received last year the prestigious “Platinum- National Excellence” certification from the IGBC. Amala Annai Higher Sec. School becomes the first ever rural school for the disadvantaged in the state of Tamil Nadu, to receive the coveted honour which officially recognises remarkable buildings nation-wide, built within sustainable methods recommended by the IBGC. During the ceremony, Vasudevan Suresh and Gurmit Singh Arora, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the IGBC respectively presented the official plaque to the Foundation. Among the other IGBC representatives were The Padma Shri C N Raghavendran, Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Chapter, Ajith Chordia, Vice Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Chapter, K S Venkatagiri, Executive Director and Vivek Venugopal, Executive Officer.

Organised on the theme ‘Green Education & Sustainability’, the opening’s real protagonists remained, however, the school children to the future of whom the pioneering high school is dedicated. The dance performance they delivered was among the main highlights of the evening. It showcased not only the cultural skills of the school community, but also their awareness in front of the global issues. The leitmotif of the performance was the traditional five elements of matters—earth, air, water, space and fire—a millennia-old oriental wisdom from which the IGBC’s green guidelines emanate…

Offering a safe and purpose-built educational environment for hundreds of school children from some 25 villages, Mambakkam’s new school complex is poised to inspire many generations to come and leave a durable impact in the region.

PHOTO: From left to right — Peter Hungerbuhler – Member Cuomo Foundation, Ajith Chordia – Vice Chairman IGBC Tamil Nadu Chapter, Francisco A. Diaz Lison, CEO Cuomo Foundation, Vasudevan Suresh – Chairman of the IGBC, Padma Shri C. N. Raghavendran – Chairman IGBC Tamil Nadu Chapter, Maria Elena Cuomo – President Cuomo Foundation, Gurmit Singh Arora – Vice Chairman IGBC, Most Rev. Dr. A. Neethinathan – Bishop of Chingleput, Fr. G. Backiya Regis – Vicar General, Fr Vailankany – Correspondant, Most Rev. Dr. George Antonysamy – Archbishop Madras-Mylapore

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