In 2011, a strange idea struck Ra Se Sivaraj. While working in Kancheepuram, the 41-year-old head constable of the Tamil Nadu Police Department began training young aspirants at his home in Achirapakkam, now part of Chengalpattu district. In the four years, before he was transferred to Villupuram in 2015, Sivaraj trained nearly 30 people who went on to be selected for the police department. That was just a humble beginning.
In Villupuram, he decided to open a larger training centre at Kappur, his native village. And so, on a 2.5-acre plot of his family’s farmland, he built a state-of-the art training centre that includes grounds for physical training, a library, classroom, and separate dormitories for men and women. Over the years since then, students from various districts, including Madurai, Thiruvarur, Karur, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Chennai, Salem, Tiruvannamalai, Cuddalore, and Puducherry, have flocked to Sivaraj’s training centre.
The serene village of Kappur is home to Puthiya Siragugal, a unique training centre empowering young people from underprivileged backgrounds with same dreams. For those who dream of a career in uniformed services or clearing the competitive exams but can’t afford the means to acquire the necessary training, Puthiya Siragugal gives wings to fly.
“In February, I opened a free academy for civil service aspirants, and currently, 45 students are undergoing training,” said Sivaraj. His goal is to provide economic support to the community by training and educating young people to get government jobs.
A staunch believer in the power of education to bring about economic change and reduce social inequality, Sivaraj emphasises discipline during his training, which he believes will produce responsible students who will serve society. “Many of my students come from impoverished backgrounds, and after securing government jobs, they help their siblings achieve the same, significantly improving their economic status,” says Sivaraj.
Unlike other training centres, Puthiya Siragugal provides physical training for uniformed services selection and mandatory library hours for additional knowledge and future development. His centre also provides typing classes in both Tamil and English, with many students passing government typing tests. The training also includes weekly sessions by special guests to up the motivation.
Sivaraj manages to balance his work schedule with training students, and his younger brother Sathyaraj and relative Pradeep, who cleared the Group 2 exam, support him in taking classes for students. His sister Jeevitha trains students in typewriting.
Sivaraj’s plans include setting up an academy for Tamil language development to encourage and nurture new writers and poets. He plans to conduct exams based on Sangam literature to promote reading these works among students and the public. He also organizes medical camps for villagers and encourages his students to donate blood.
With his commitment to his community, Sivaraj is molding future government employees, particularly for uniformed services, who will serve society with dedication and discipline. Through his centre, Sivaraj is providing a brighter future for economically disadvantaged youth and making a significant difference in their lives.