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Olcott Memorial Higher Secondary School

The Theosophical Order of Service (TOS) has recently issued a special edition of their International Newsletter dedicated the Olcott Memorial Higher Secondary School (OMHSS) at Adyar. For over 120 years OMHSS has been providing a solid education for underprivileged boys and girls in Adyar, a large neighborhood located in south-Chennai, India.

Among many services the School also provides free education in Tamil (transitioning to English Medium), along with textbooks, school supplies, school bags, uniforms, a nutritious breakfast and lunch, regular medical check-ups, and also guidance and counselling for the children and their parents. Read more from the Newsletter.

Students at the school

Ms. Lakshmi Suryanarayanan writes:

One of the first items of welfare work taken up at Adyar was the education of the poor and the deprived; for soon after the Founders came to India, Colonel Olcott began the pioneering work of establishing free schools for boys and girls from the lowest strata of society.  After his death, two of these schools were aptly named Olcott Memorial Schools. They were later merged into one school catering for children in the Adyar area.

This school, which was started by Col. H.S. Olcott, is located in the south eastern part of Besant Gardens, Adyar. It provides free education for underprivileged children, both boys and girls.  They are given free textbooks and uniforms, and the government also provides a nutritious breakfast, and a nourishing mid-day meal for every child.

H.P.B. Hostel for boys

The Hostel provides homelike stay for boys, who cannot live at their homes for various reasons, often related to difficult backgrounds. The number of boys has dropped during recent years, but the Hostel is very much functioning, and admission for deserving boys is open to welcome them. Picture of the boys meditating, dates back to January 2015.

Boys meditating - Photo © Richard Dvořák


The Olcott Memorial Higher Secondary School, H.P.B. Hostel, Social Welfare Centre and Vocational Training Centre are managed by Olcott Education Society (OES), which has an integral relationship with the Theosophical Society and functions from its International Headquarters at Adyar.

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