History / Achievements

     When Swami Vivekananda returned from the west, he exhorted the youth of the country to dedicate themselves to the service of the Motherland and ameliorate the distress of their fellow beings. In Madras his call met with a ready response. When he reached Kolkata (then Calcutta), he sent Swami Ramakrishnananda, a Direct Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna to Chennai (then Madras) to start a centre.

     During his work and activities, Swami Ramakrishnananda came across several cases of bright young boys eager for education but not having the resources, even for food and shelter. There was a boy of Mysore whose both parents died in an epidemic of plague and the Swami took him under his care. Four other boys came in search of food, shelter and education from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh but found themselves lost in the streets with no one to look for support. Thus, out of compassion for boys in such a predicament, the Home was born in 1905.

     With his blessings and at his behest Sri C.Ramaswami Iyengar, an ardent devotee of Swami Ramakrishnananda started the Home on the 17 February 1905 with 5 orphan boys in a small building in Mylapore, given free of rent by Dr. M.C.Nanjunda Rao. It was shifted afterwards from one rented building to another to accommodate more and more boys.

      In 1916, Sri S.G.Srinivasachariar made a generous gift of a valuable building site of 15 grounds in Mylapore to the Home. Later, the adjoining piece of 11 grounds was acquired. Thanks to the pioneering efforts of the indefatigable Sri C. Ramasamy Iyengar a plan was made to construct a massive building on this land.

      Swami Brahmananda, another direct disciple and the spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna, laid the foundation stone for this building on 10 May 1917, Vaisaka Pournami, the birthday of Lord Buddha and he himself inaugurated the new building on Akshya Tritiya day 10 May 1921.

      The Home was formally affiliated to the Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math in 1918. After Sri Ramaswamy Iyengar’s death in 1932, his cousin Sri Ramanujachariar took over as Secretary of the Home. During his stewardship the Home grew from strength to strength. The number of boys admitted in the Home increased to 295 as on 1955. The Home is the earliest educational institution of Ramakrishna Mission in South India and almost all educational institutions of the Mission in Madras have grown under its fostering care in their early years.

     During the Second World War, in 1942 the Residential High School was shifted from Mylapore to Uthiramerur as per the evacuation plan of the Government. Later in 1946, it was shifted to Athur (near Chengalpattu). In June 1958 it was brought back to Chennai.

     Initially the object was to provide free board and lodging for destitute and orphan boys allowing them to have their education in a nearby school. Later for a fuller realization of the Gurukula ideal, a Residential High School was started in 1922.

     After sometime, vocational training was also started which was later developed into a Residential Technical Institute imparting a diploma course in Automobile Engineering. As per Government directive this course was later changed as a 3 year diploma course in Mechanical Engineering from 1958 onwards. To commemorate the centenary of the Home in the year 2005, two new courses have been started, viz., Diploma in Automobile Engineering and Diploma in Computer Engineering so that the Home can serve more number of orphan and destitute boys. The Technical Institute was now a full fledged Polytechnic College.

     The Home also provides free board and lodging facilities to deserving boys studying in Vivekananda College situated nearby.

     A non-residential Ramakrishna Birth Centenary Primary School started in the year 1936 to mark the birth centenary of Sri Ramakrishna. It serves mainly the poorer children of the locality studying in Tamil Medium. The Home thus runs 3 educational institutions, which are the Residential High School, Residential Polytechnic College and non-residential Centenary Primary School.

     So far about 8100 students have benefited by the facilities provided by the Home. For carrying out its activities, the Home entirely depends upon public donations and it hopes to continue its silent work with the help and unfailing support of its friends, well wishers and old students.

     Since its inception, thousands of students and through them their families have been rehabilitated. All of them reached self-fulfillment both materially and in the finer graces. In as much as they feel and declare that their stay in the Home was not only happy but one that shaped their attitudes for the betterment of their lives, the Home considers its efforts have been amply rewarded.

     Helped by the Home at a crucial stage in their lives, and by dint of their efforts, all of them not only came up in life but were instrumental in helping others, their social awareness kindled by the training they received in the Home.

     We have in our Alumni a galaxy of eminent men, internationally renowned professors, scientists, defence officers, philosophers, senior administrators (both in Government and outside) doctors, engineers, technicians and last but not least, monks of the Ramakrishna order.

      Even the humble folk among them have displayed virtues of honesty and devotion to duty so much so, the Home Student is trusted and preferred in any selection for admission or for appointment.

     In its chequered history covering over a century, the Students Home gave rise to and promoted the growth of several organizations devoted to education of the weaker sections of the society. At present, all those organizations are functioning as branch centers of the Ramakrishna Mission.

Among them are:

  • Schools of Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, T Nagar, Chennai: Started on 13th June, 1932 with a single school the T Nagar complex consists of several branches catering to all classes.
  • Ramakrishna Mission Sarada Vidyalaya, T Nagar, Chennai: In 1938 an organization by name “Sarada Vidyalaya” started for the alleviation of women in distress, by Sister Subbalakshmi. It was affiliated to the Mission through the good offices of the Home. Thus the Mission gave stability and continuity to the women’s welfare.
  • Ramakrishna Mission, Malliankaranai: In the 1930s a philanthropist donated 146 acres of dry land and transferred 36 acres of trust property in a village by name Malliankaranai, 81 KM from Chennai, to the Students Home. Starting from this base, the Home developed it in to a rural centre consisting of an estate for agriculture, a High School and an Elementary School for boys and girls and a rural hostel for orphan and destitute boys aspiring for education. This fully developed centre was given a separate branch of Ramakrishna Mission status in the year 2000.
  • Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College, Mylapore, Chennai: The Home had provided land, building and all the initial support for the startup of Vivekananda College. This college has established a reputation for great achievements and for inculcating moral outlook.