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'Siragu' means a feather, and a feather makes up the wing that lets a bird fly. Our aim is that Siragu Montessori School , will be a feather in the wings for its children to fly.

We believe that children belong in schools and not in streets. So we, at Suyam, started Siragu Montessori in June 2003, specifically for children of street dwellers and other economically challenged groups in the society.

Located at Palavedu Pettai, in Palavedu Panchayat, near Avadi, Chennai, the school provides enjoyable and relevant quality education to first-generation learners in Palavedu Panchayat and to street children from in and around Chennai.

We follow the Montessori style of education to help build creativity in the children and realize their potentials. The child's overall/holistic development in an eco friendly environment is our emphasis.

The beginning of the school was in the Nadaipathai Pookkal Program. The Nadaipathai Pookkal community in Shastri Nagar, in Palavedu Panchayat, were initially suspicious of our efforts and intentions. But after much interaction, the community itself started pressuring and encouraging us to start the school. They saw that meeting their educational needs provided them with an avenue to better their lives.

Siragu also provides education to families in Palavedu Panchayat who have been, for generations, scavenging, farming, pig farming, manufacturing or working in brick kilns, and are economically deprived. All the children at Siragu are first generation learners. For the children from brick kilns we provide a bridge course for the 6 months that these children spend with their parents in the kilns. At this time the children are away from their schools.

As a local community based school, Siragu facilitates easy access to the school for local children. Siragu provides a child friendly, flexible and customized, curriculum that includes vocational education as well. Our teachers are from the community. And we also provide empowerment programs to the community.

Siragu also runs a hostel, where we house our 14 adopted children. We adopt children who face parental pressure to beg, to absent themselves from school, and live in dysfunctional homes where parents focus on day to day survival without giving much importance to the children's development. We also adopt street children in Chennai.

Our staff at present includes a Principal, a Vice Principal, a Coordinator, 6 Teachers and 3 Non-teaching staff. Additionally, a Montessori trainer comes on a monthly basis to work with the teaching staff. The teacher student ratio is 1:13. Our curriculum is bilingual, in Tamil and English, and includes educative interactive fun activities such as miming, theatre etc.

Today, within a year, the school is recognized by the community. Starting with 25 children, now 82 children study in Siragu. The school is also recognized outside the community. On July 30 2003, Mr. P.S. Ramamohan Rao, Governor of Tamil Nadu, visited the school.
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