Revisiting CAM school

After reading the article on CAM school that was posted on this site, I decided to visit the school campus. I am not an alumni of this school. I had passed by this school hundreds of times during my school years. Many a times, I along with my friends, used to play cricket on the school play ground. Nobody used to stop us from playing, even though we are not from this school. The bright-red-brick constructed main building was not of much interest to us. Our only interest was the vast playground and the shady trees. As kids, all we knew about the building was that it was a memorial to a man called ‘Coles Ackerman’. We had no clue as to who this man could be.

Finally, I stepped into the CAM compound on a Saturday morning, expecting the noise of hundreds of children. Surprise! it was very quiet and peaceful. It took a while for me to realise that it was a second Saturday and was a holiday for the school. I started walking around looking at the building. The building clearly looks aged. The bright-red is now dull red. The needles in the clock on the tower are missing.

But it still holds a charm. The building is full of Gothic arches.

Looking at me photographing the school, a gentleman approached me and asked, “Are you related to this school?”. That started a long chat between us. Here is the gist of our chat.

Pasupuleti Venkata Ramana is an old student of CAM School. He was in the composite maths batch.(his was the last composite maths batch). He joined in1978 and continued till 1984 when he finished his 10th. He fondly remembers his school days, during which time Mr Mitra was the head master. He shows me the XD (tenth D section) room and says “this was our (his) classroom in those days.” The room XD currently is locked and is being used as stores.

Ramana showed me the White hall which was used as a prayer hall for students of 8,9 and 10th classes, and the Red hall which was used as a prayer hall for  6th and 7th class students. Head Master’s room also was part of the Red hall. Ramana currently works as a document writer near the sub-registrar office  and stays at mulapet. He can be reached on 9989017055.

I also happened to meet Mr.Soloman ,who joined CAM school as a craft master in 1987. He informed me that currently there are around 300 students in classes from 6th to 10th and the medium of instruction is  Telugu.

 

I move to the western corner of the building and find this cornerstone proudly proclaiming, that it was laid on 6-feb-1911. A sense of awe engulfed me. I just realised that this building is 100 years old. Is it the cornerstone or the building that is 100 years old? (cornerstone is more like our ground breaking or bhoomi puja. The building would have taken some more time to get completed) It hardly matters to me. I was consciously watching something that is around 100 years old. It was a very strange feeling. I might have seen 100-year-old things in life but never consciously.

 

 Next to the corner stone was this plaque which was another jolt to me. This plaque proves wrong the general public assumption that this is a memorial to a single man named ‘Coles Ackerman’ . It clearly says that it is a memorial for two gentlemen named Abraham Coles (1813-1891) and Warren Ackerman (1827-1893). And the year of construction is 1911, which means the building was completed in 1911 itself.  Happy centenary!!  Wish some one takes this up seriously and do something on the centenary year. Ex-students of CAM, are you listening?

 

 Adjacent to the Red Hall, is the Administrative building which was built in 1970. On its wall is a warning written in Telugu telling ‘Outsiders should not enter the school premises. Playing games or using the playground for any other purpose is banned. Trespassers would be punished.’  I am an outsider and I have trespassed. I should be punished. Wish someone caught me and took me to the principal. I would have interviewed her also, may be kneeling down!! You can see for yourself, what kids did to the other notice, which says “In this compound playing games is not allowed.” I would have missed many good times in my childhood,had this been the case then.

 

 This is the playground, where I played as a child. By the way, it is a holiday and how come it is so empty and no children playing? May be they are preparing for EAMCET!!. (Oh! yes, in Andhra Pradesh students are made to prepare for EAMCET 7 years in advance.!!)

 

 

 

 

 Watch this picture closely, you will see an iron bar stuck into the branches of an old neem tree. This tree is right behind the Red Hall. As a child, I have been told that the British used to hang people here to this iron rod. Many kids used to be scared even to go close  to this tree. I seriously doubt, if the British hanged any one here. I am sure they had better gallows.

 

 

 

Behind the Red Hall is this white building which was meant to be a hostel. This building was opened on 18th December 1915 by Lord Pentland, then Governer of Madras. And today is being used as a B.C girls hostel. I wonder why this building is in Islamic style?

 

 

 

 The plaques on the white hostel building mention two names, George Ackermand and J.Ackerman Coles. The plaque on the Red Hall mentiones Abraham Coles and Warren Ackerman. Can some one tell me about these Coles and Acker’men’? I am a bit confused, as to who’s who?

 

 This building in the school compound. It could be the residential  quarters of the head master.

 

 

 

 

 

– Nellore Lover

 

 

Sri City SEZ – Taking Nellore international

If there is anything that has taken Nellore international after SHAR and prawns (aqua culture), it is Sri City SEZ. Sri City (Satyavedu Reserve Infracity Pvt. Ltd.) is South India’s largest private sector multi-product Special Economic Zone (SEZ). It is located at Tada near Sullurpet. Spanning an area of 7000 acres, it provides international class industrial infrastructure to companies wanting to setup manufacturing units. It is attracting thousands of crores of investment into Nellore.

Sri City Vision

As recently as Nov-2011, the Chief Minister of AP has participated in the ground breaking of 10 units and dedication of 20 operational units and 13 units under construction . International and Indian companies such as Hunter Douglas, Unicharm, NHK Spring, Aisan, Kusakabe, EagleBurgmann, Tattva Energy and Mohan Mutha witnessed the ground breaking ceremony. The companies are from diverse businesses such as Auto Components, Building materials and Light manufacturing. Premier educational institutions IFMR and CBS were amongst them. Japanese conglomerates such as Kobelco Construction and Kobelco Cranes, Italy’s VRV Group & Lavazza, Thailand’s Rockworth-Al Reyami, US based Control Components Inc. and Bahrain based BFG were among the leading Industries located at Sri City.

Sri City Visitor Center Nellore
Sri City Visitor Center

If Pulicat lake is attracting  birds like  flamingos, pelicans across borders. Sri City(which is situated just opposite to the lake) is attracting both foreign and Indian companies. One look at the customer list of Sri City tells you how many international companies are making Nellore as  their home in India.  At this  rate, it could well become the pride of Andhra Pradesh. Let us all wish good luck to Sri City. Incidentally  Mr Ravindra Sannareddy who is from Nellore is the co-founder of Sri City.

Pulicat Lake View From Sri City SEZ Nellore
Pulicat Lake View From Sri City SEZ

List of Indian and International Companies in Sri City SEZ

More Sri City Photos on Flickr

Websites: http://www.sricity.in | http://www.sricity.org

 

CAM High School, Nellore

The imperial facade of the Coles Ackerman Memorial (CAM) High School reminds you of its glorious past. This prestigious christian missionary school with a large play ground was once the most coveted school. It was well renowned for its experienced teaching staff and academic infrastructure.

CAM School was started in 1840 by the Free Church Mission of Scotland. The 16 acre campus was later taken over by the Telugu Baptist Mission in 1904.

CAM school is now in a dilapidated condition and badly in need of repair. Most of the playground was converted into residential colonies. If you are an alumni of CAM school please share your experiences by posting a comment here.

Murali Krishna Tiffins – taking Nellore’s fame across borders

Being a citizen of Nellore, I pass by Murali krishna Tiffins near Madras bus stand every day. I never had any special regards for it. It was just another good place to have breakfast. I am used to my friends saying good things about this place which I never took seriously. But all this changed in the last one week, during which three separate incidents made me see Murali Krishna with a new regard and appreciation. Incident one: I was in Bangalore to meet my friend and I happened to tell a software engineer that I am from Nellore, she immediately said “Muralikrishna” and continued, “I am from Guntur, and whenever I drive from Bangalore to Guntur I make it a point to not take the bye-pass and eat at Muralikrishna. On my way back to Bangalore, I make it a point to pack something from there.” Incident two: I had an NRI friend visiting Nellore on business purpose for few hours. As soon as he landed, he said “Take me to Murali Krishna”. I convinced him that we should finish work first. After work, when I thought he almost forget about it, he dragged me into Muralikrishna. He ordered special idly, which is made by steaming idly batter directly in an oval shaped, steel bowl and served along with the steel bowl. This is unlike the usual ‘idly shaped’ idly(how else can one describe the shape of idly), Did he like it? Yes very much. And the next time this NRI visits Nellore, I better take him to Muralikrishna before he asks. Incident three: He is a CEO of a Vijayawada based company. He often travels across the world. Whenever he travels between Vijayawada and Chennai, he gets someone deliver packed food from Muralikrishna, at railway station. Now when I pass by Madras busstand, I look at Muralikrishna with pride. Thank you Murali Krishna for making Nellore famous across the state and country borders. If you are from Nellore,do share your experiences about Murali Krishna Tiffins. If you are passing by Nellore, do drop in. You won’t be disappointed. -Nellore Lover

Indian Institute of Handloom Technology, Venkatagiri

Sri Pragada Kotaiah Memorial Indian Institute of Handloom Technology was established in Venkatagiri of SPSR Nellore district in the year 1992 in memory of late Sri Pragada Kotaiah, (Rajyasabha Member) M.P, the renowned weavers leader of Andhra Pradesh. This Institute is one of the 8 Institutes in India under the control of Development Commissioner for Handlooms, New Delhi Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

This institute is functioning under the administrative control of the Director of Handlooms & Textiles and Development Commissioner, Apparel & Export Parks, Government of Andhra Pradesh at state level. The institute building is located in 25 acres of land in Venkatagiri town, which is one of the handloom clusters consisting of 20,000 weaver families producing the renowned Venkatagiri sarees, a blend of superfine cotton and pure Golden zari.

This Institute is offering DIPLOMA IN HANDLOOM & TEXTILE TECHNOLOGY (DHTT), a 3 yr diploma course. Apparel and garments Making Technology (AGMT) is also taught as a subject in the final year, which makes these students to get immediate placement in the private sector. SSC is the minimum qualification required to join this course. 66 candidates are selected every year on merit basis. Andhra Pradesh state reservation policy will be observed while filling the seats.

Stipend will also be paid @ Rs.400/-, 450/- & 500/- respectively during the three (3) years. The application for admission into DHTT can be downloaded from their website: http://iihtvgr.com. The admission notification will be advertised in newspapers in the month of May every year.

Address:

SPKM Indian Institute of Handloom Technology
Venkatagiri, SPSR Nellore District
Andhra Pradesh, India – 524132
Phone: 08625 -257260
Fax: 08625-257826

Email: help@iihtvgr.com, iihtvgr@gmail.com
Website:  www.iihtvgr.com
Common IIHT site:  www.iiht.ac.in

PRINCIPAL: +919866334827

Prabhagiri Patnam, Podalakur

Prabhagiri Patnam, a tiny hamlet located 11 km from Podalakur in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, is a village of relics. A magnificent Siva temple that was built during the Chola regime is in a dilapidated condition now. Majority of the 101 smaller temples and ancient stone wells in the village have crumbled over time.

It is believed that the name ‘Patnam’ indicates that it was a trade centre during the medieval period. Temples were also constructed here during the early period of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century. Megalithic burials found in the area indicated that the village dated back to at least 500 BC. According to the villagers, most of the temples were destroyed in invasions by Muslim kings in the medieval era.

Only the Perumallaswamy temple and a Siva temple built of beautifully carved granite stones are remaining now. The archeology department restored the Perumallaswamy temple. However, the Siva temple has been ravaged by treasure hunters. Prabhagiri Patnam is surrounded by four hills, Krishnamma konda, Pedakonda, Chirutalakonda and Vishnukonda; and it is believed that each hill had a temple in the past. A stone idol of lord Krishna is still lying atop Krishnammakonda, though the temple is in ruins.

Bhagavan Sri Venkaiah Swamy Mandiram, Golagamudi

Golagamudi temple is located about 15 km from Nellore city. A sage called Venkaiah lived here in the mid 20th century and attained maha samadhi at this place. People continue to worship him as Bhagavan Venkaiah Swamy. Aradhana the annual function is celebrated every year during the month of August.

A.S.Peta Dargah, Anuma Samudram Peta

AS Peta Dargah is located about 60 km from Nellore city. This is an ancient dargah also known as Khaja Rahamatulla Dargah is visited by people of all religions from different parts of the country. Urs (Urusu) is celebrated every year amidst a large number of devotees.

Masthan Vali Dargah, Kasumuru

The tomb of Syed Kareem Ulla Shah Qadri (populary Known As Ka-leh Shah Mastan Baba) lies in Kasumuru village 35 km away from Nellore. Devotees refer to him as Kasumuru Masthanayya. He is one of the great fakirs 18th century. Many people come to visit and worship at the fakir’s tomb to get rid of their ailments.

Urusu (fair) is celebrated here every year on the 26th day of the auspicious period of Rabbi-ul-awal. Large number of devotees visit Kasumuru Dargah Shareef of on the occasion of Urs irrespective or caste of creed or religion.

Sri Subramanyeswara Swamy Temple, Mallam

The temple was constructed by the Chola rulers around 11th century in Mallam village near Nayudupeta, about 90 km away from Nellore. The Vasanta Mandapam in the temple is in the form of a chariot drawn by a pair of horses. The 64 pillars of the mandapam are decorated with pictures of creepers and tales from Ramayanam, Bharatham, Bhagavatam and Siva Puranam.