The Madras Seva Sadan

Nine decade legacy that is dedicated to Social Causes, Education, Arts, and Sports

In the city of Madras, there have been many affluent couples. However, only a few of them have truly considered the plight of those who struggle to survive and have actively helped improve their lives. Among these few couples were Sir Mutha and Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao, who dedicated their lives to uplift and empower the lives of distressed children and young women.

In 1928, faced with the departure of Mrs. Margaret Cousins from India, Mr. Deodhar of the Poona Seva Sadan Society took charge of the Women's Home of Service (who’s Honorary General Secretary was Lady Andal), with an initial donation of Rs. 750. As Mr. Deodhar was disinclined to incur further expenses, Sir Mutha, made a princely donation of Rs.10,000, thus establishing The Madras Seva Sadan.

By establishing The Madras Seva Sadan, Sir Mutha & Lady Andal became leading agents of social change in the City. Over the next four decades of their fruitful lives, they made substantial contributions to education, social welfare and reform in the Indian society. This continues till today, through The Madras Seva Sadan.

With a rich history spanning over 90 years, the many institutions under The Madras Seva Sadan have thrived. Today, The Madras Seva Sadan stands as one of the most revered institutions in Chennai, celebrated for its inclusive social and cultural values. It remains unwavering in its commitment to shaping accomplished individuals with well-rounded personalities through education, sports, social causes and arts.

  • Sir Mutha & Lady Andal
    Sir Mutha & Lady Andal
  • Sir Mutha & Lady Andal With Alumni of The Madras Seva Sadan Girls School
    Sir Mutha & Lady Andal With Alumni of The Madras Seva Sadan Girls School
  • The Madras Seva Sadan - T.Nagar campus
    The Madras Seva Sadan - T.Nagar campus
  • The Madras Seva Sadan Girls School- students of the Vth From (Class X)
    The Madras Seva Sadan Girls School- students of the Vth From (Class X)
  • The Madras Seva Sadan Girls School - practicing yoga
    The Madras Seva Sadan Girls School - practicing yoga

Our Journey

Explore the journey of The Madras Seva Sadan – where compassion continues to meet enduring impact

  1. Lady Andal with Mrs. Margaret Cousins in the Women's Home of Service - providing purpose for destitute women


    Where it all began – The Women’s Home of Service

    The Women's Home of Service represented the social service side of the activities of the Women’s Indian Association. The WIA was founded to fight against illiteracy, child marriage, the devadasi system, and other social ills. Some of the illustrious founders of the Women's Indian Association include Mrs. Annie Besant, Mrs. Margaret Cousins, and Dorothy Jinarajadasa, among others.

    The Home was started with the purpose of providing adult Indian women in distress, a course of training in handwork to enable a life of dignity.

    The Home was situated at 'Udayavanam', Royapettah High Road, Mylapore, Madras and was successful at large, partly due to the vision and relentless dynamism of its President Mrs. Margaret Cousins and able assistance by its Honorary Secretary Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao.

  2. Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao's generous personal contribution enabled the continuity of the Home that was started by Mr. Deodhar of Pune


    Genesis of The Madras Seva Sadan

    When Mrs. Cousins had to leave India in 1928, it was decided that Mr. Deodhar, a representative of the Poona Seva Sadan society, would take over the Women's Home of Service by paying Rs. 750 for its goodwill.

    As Mr. Deodhar was disinclined to incur any financial obligation, The Madras Seva Sadan was born, from the erstwhile Poona Seva Sadan Society (represented by Mr. Deodhar) and funded entirely by Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao with his personal contribution of Rs.10,000 (a princely sum in the 1920s).

    The Madras Seva Sadan was temporarily located in No. 2, North Mada Street, Mylapore, Madras and began functioning as an independent body, soon after.

    • No 7, “Shenstone Park”, Harrington Road, Chetpet and it's 13 Acre, serene campus dedicated to The Madras Seva Sadan Organization


      Permanent location of The Madras Seva Sadan organization

      At first it was a struggling home with a precarious existence, offering shelter to a handful of destitute girls, in a rented building in Mylapore.

      It blossomed into a full–fledged institution, imparting literary, cultural and vocational training with constant care, nurturing and the unfailing guidance of the Founders.

      In 1930, The Madras Seva Sadan began functioning from it's own campus, 'Shenstone Park', situated at Harrinton Road in Chetpet (where is continues to function from, even today).

    • The Madras Seva Sadan is one of the first institutions of it's kind to provide hostel facilities for working women


      Working Women’s hostel by The Madras Seva Sadan - run from the early 1930s to the mid 1980s

      The Madras Seva Sadan initially provided hostel accommodation for about 10 working women during the 1930s.

      Over time, The Madras Seva Sadan built a new building, which was inaugurated in the year 1969 by the erstwhile Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, India – Dr. M. G. Ramachandran.

      The inauguration was Lady Andal’s last public duty at The Madras Seva Sadan, before her demise.

  3. Inauguration of The Madras Seva Sadan Higher Secondary School for Girls by H.E Sir K. V. Reddi Nayadu


    A school dedicated to education of the girl child

    Started in 1930, the School initially offered comprehensive academic & vocational courses for women and girl children. Over time, the School has developed into a Higher Secondary School with classes from I to XII.

    Zeven at the very begining, various vocational courses were offered that enabled students to learn occupational skills to sustain themselves.This was in addition to imparting training in the prescribed academic curriculum and other life skills.

    Today, students are given every opportunity to excel in a multitude of extra-curricular & co-curricular activities such as sport, art & crafts and as a result, they have been consistently winning laurels at the state and national level.

  4. Sir Mutha's creation of a memorandum of governance that was used a template for Societies formed subsequently


    Registration of The Madras Seva Sadan as an independent society under Act XXI of 1860

    Memorandum of the Society was drafted by the late Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao himself.

    This memorandum went on to become a template for subsequent societies, founded after The Madras Seva Sadan Society.

    The memorandum continues to be the preferred template, with minimal changes and is used by Societies to this very day.

  5. Cottages built using the generous contributions from Perumal Chetty & Sons, Sir Muthaiah Chettiar and other generous donors


    The Madras Seva Sadan provided refuge to 80 displaced girl's in its campus

    During World War II, at the request of the government, The Madras Seva Sadan opened its doors to 80 girls, who were evacuees from Burma.

    All these girls were subsequently well settled in life, thanks to the care and support provided by The Madras Seva Sadan.

    Many of them got married, with their marriages being conducted by The Madras Seva Sadan, on its own campus.

  6. Lady Andal with an early batch of students from the Nursing, Teaching and Secretarial courses


    Amoung the earliest Industrial School's in the Country, started exclusively for Women

    The Government hospital of Royapettah provided nursing training to resident pupils of The Madras Seva Sadan, who With the help of The Madras Seva Sadan were placed in various hospitals & nursing homes across the city.

    The Madras Seva Sadan also provided teacher training to aspirants and subsequently, absorbed some of them in their own schools and helped the rest get employment in other schools across the city.

    This is in addition to vocational training such as weaving, rattan work, enamelling, and lace making that was being provided by The Madras Seva Sadan to help with self employment of women.

  7. Inauguration of the new building at the Tambaram campus with Ms. Clubwala Jadhav, erstwhile president of The Madras Seva Sadan and Mr. N. V. Rao, erstwhile correspondent of the school and Mr. Munu Aadi (speaker of Tamil Nadu Assembly)


    The Madras Seva Sadan Higher Secondary School founded in Tambaram, in response to an urgent request from the Government of Tamil Nadu

    During the early 1950’s, the people of Tambaram petitioned the Government to setup a school providing quality education, as there was a dismal lack of good schools in the area.

    In response to that appeal, The Madras Seva Sadan Higher Secondary School, spread over 12 acres in Tambaram, was set up.

    Aided by the Government, this Tamil Medium school has evolved into a Higher Secondary School catering to students from the LKG to the 12th Standard.

    This school also offers vocational training such as weaving, tailoring, carpentry, electrical science and much more.

  8. Rehabitation Centre - Built using generous donations from Mrs. Rathi Rajamannar, in memory of her husband Mr. T. Rajamannar


    Early rehabilitation centre for patients cured of mental illnesses, started in conjunction with the Government Institute of Mental Health, Kilpauk.

    Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao started another great humanitarian program dealing with other marginalised members of society, namely the rehabilitation of “Cured Mental Patients” (as they were referred to then).

    These 'cured' patients who were discharged by the Government institute of Mental Health, Kilpauk, had no one care for them, as even their own families shunned them.

    The Madras Seva Sadan's rehabilitation programme provided boarding, lodging and post-rebab employment to these 'cured' patients. Many of them were employed by The Madras Seva Sadan itself, to help them gain purpose and dignity in life.

  9. Early photo of Sir M. Venkatasubba Rao Higher Secondary School in T. Nagar


    Founded by Mr. N. V. Rao, nephew of Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao in order to provide quality education in the T. Nagar locality of Chennai

    Established based on the prestigious ISC Board of Education, with just 10 students.

    It subsequently became a Higher Secondary School with classes from LKG to XII following the Tamil Nadu State Board syllabus. In 1998, the school became a co-educational institution, following requests from the parents.

    The school is currently undergoing a metamorphosis and is becoming a school dedicated to different forms & paths of learning such as – cognitive learning for children with special needs, behavioral & occupational therapy for gross and motor skill development and the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).

  10. V. Emberumanar (Perumal Chetty & Sons) inaugurates the new classroom for the fledgling Lady Andal School


    Foundation of the Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao Matriculation Higher Secondary School, on the Montessori Model of Education

    Starting with just 8 students in 1987 within the Chetpet campus of The Madras Seva Sadan, the School evolved into a Higher Secondary School, catering to students from class I to XII with a staff to student ratio of 1:15.

    In 1998, it became one of the earliest schools in Chennai to adopt a dedicated, inclusive policy for mainstreaming children with special needs (such as - cerebral palsy, autism, Down’s syndrome, dyslexia, and other mental & physical disabilities) in learning, gross and motor skills.

    The alumni network of the School's alumni boasts of several prominent sportspersons, film & TV personalities, apart from state rank holders, in various academic disciplines.

  11. Shanthi Sadan Building for assisted living, established for women over 60


    Shanthi Sadan is an assisted living centre design with geriatric care and wellness in mind

    Currently housing more than 20 women along with trained support staff to help the residents with any medical or non-medical needs that they might have.

    Shanthi Sadan is housed in the Thatikonda Nacharamma building within The Madras Seva Sadan Chetpet campus.

    All festivals & important events are celebrated with the ladies of the Shanthi Sadan, in conjunction with the Home for Children – “Prem Vihar”. Many a fun evening is spent this way.

    • Children at the Learning Centre, learning with the latest audio visual equipment


      Dedicated Learning Centres in all campuses

      The Learning Centre, started in 1998, supports children with learning difficulties and is present in all of The Madras Seva Sadan campuses.

      The Learning Centre employs trained teachers, certified in special education, as well as, teachers-in-training. They ensure that learners with difficulties can be mainstreamed using unique and customized learning methodologies.

      Additionally, various teaching aids such as Smart Boards, Computers and other learning tools are used at the Learning Centres to help improve student comprehension and understanding of subjects.

    • ORCA - the 6 lane, 25 metre swimming pool for nurturing professional swimmers


      ORCA - the host to many inter-state and inter-school swimming competitions

      Swimmers are rigorously trained at 'ORCA' by a National Level Swimming (NIS) coach, in line with international standards.

      Many Inter-School and National competitions are held regularly at the swimming pool of The Madras Seva Sadan.

      ORCA also hosts its own swimming meet called “Padma Bushan Lady Andal Inter-School Tournament & Swimming Meet” with participation from schools all over the city and state.

  12. Early Occupational Therapy Centre with speciallized equipment


    Occupational Therapy Centers to help develop cognitive, gross and motor skills in children

    Right from the Activity Centre (pre-KG), children strengthen their gross and motor skills by attending therapy sessions at the Occupational Therapy Centre, manned by specially trained staff.

    The Madras Seva Sadan welcomes children with dyslexia, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and other differently abled children, across it's educational institutions.

    Currently, more than 400 students (1:10 special students to regular students ratio) are provided support at the Occupational Therapy Centers that are present in all our campuses. Several of these students have gone on to have successful careers in their lives.

  13. Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall - A versatile venue for international and local performances, seminars, conferences, events and much more.


    A state of the art Concert hall, situated in very heart of the city

    The Concert Hall is a 1200 seater, multi-level, air-conditioned theater with a large 2600 sq.ft. stage, an open-air space and a 200 seater experimental theatre to promote emerging talent.

    Integrated with some of the most advanced audio-visual & lighting equipment, with trained sound and light engineers - this concerl hall is a one-stop shop catering to everything from solo performances to street plays, and even philharmonic orchestras.

    The Concert Hall is a huge support to the Madras Seva Sadan’s charitable activities, while also supporting other NGO/Not-for-profits by providing them with special subsidies.

  14. Self-financed, English medium school in the suburbs of Chennai


    Sir & Lady M. Venkatasubba Rao school is an English medium school, situated in the Tambaram campus

    Sir & Lady M. Venkatasubba Rao school was started to provide quality education for children belonging to middle-income families in the Tambaram locality.

    The School is entirely financed by The Madras Seva Sadan and has classes from LKG to the 12th standard.

    The campus features a state of the art turf cricket ground and astro-turf practice nets.

  15. Sir Mutha School, started at the behest of parents in the Chetpet campus


    Sir Mutha School is based on the CBSE Curriculum & the National Pedagogical Plan outlined by the Government of India

    This curriculum was adopted at the behest of the parents, given that it would prepare students to compete better on the national stage.

    The school has a strength of more than 1300 students, with state-of-the-art infrastructure for academics with extra-curricular & co-curricular activities such as NCC, Scouts, Guides, Sport, Art & Crafts and Technology Centres.

    Children learn to appreciate other cultures and perspectives by being taken on various field trips and exchange programs within and outside India, from Class 6 onwards.

  16. State of the art, Turf Cricket ground in Tambaram Campus


    The Madras Seva Sadan Cricket Academy – “Garuda” was setup to provide impetus to Cricket by providing speciallized coaching, equipment and facilities, to children

    The Madras Seva Sadan Cricket Academy - Garuda, started with a turf cricket ground and 3 astro-turf practice nets at the Tambraram campus. Today, it features 3 more astro-turf practice nets in the Chetpet campus, as well as, an automated bowling machine.

    The funds raised from coaching school students by a BCCI Level B coach (TN state level) are used to provide free cricket coaching and gear to the girls from our Government-aided Schools, with the objective of being the first to field a all-girls cricket school team from Chennai.

    The cricket teams from Lady Andal Matriculation School and Sir Mutha School have participated and emerged victorious in multiple city and state level championships, since the establishment of Garuda.

    • Building on the original “Home for Women” that was started in 1924 and bringing it to a logical conclusion


      “Prem Vihar”- a Home for destitute women and children situated in the Chetpet campus of The Madras Seva Sadan

      Dedicated to the memory of erstwhile honorary General Secretary - Mrs. C. Prema Kumar - “Prem Vihar” further consolidates the vision of her mentors, Sir Mutha & Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao.

      A spacious complex built over 73000 sq.ft., Prem Vihar houses more than 120 children and provides a fun environment within which to grow & learn.

      It has also evolved into an umbrella for other NGOs and Not-for-Profit groups by becoming a facilities partner of choice to conduct their programmes - completely free of charge.

    • School for Sound & Music located within The Madras Seva Sadan's Chetpet campus


      Dedicated school with sound and music infrastructure, including equipment, for aspiring artists to hone their craft

      Established in January 2019, the School for Sound and Music that empowers aspiring musicians to hone their skills and explore the depths of their talent.

      A dedicated space to learn and practice various instruments to excel at their chosen musical vocation

      Technical aspects of music production such as sound engineering are also taught in the school.

  17. Lady Andal School - Marching into the Future


    Lady Andal School

    Recognizing the importance of creating globally aware citizens, Mrs. Krithika Kumar Quintal & Mrs. Tamara Ann Coelho, great-grandnieces of the founders, worked together on transitioning Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao Matriculation School into an International Baccalaureate school.

    Progressing from the Early Years & Primary Years Programmes to the Middle Years Programme & finally, the Diploma Programme - Lady Andal School aims to become one of the esteemed IB World Schools in India.

    In keeping with this vision, The Madras Seva Sadan has built a LEED certified, energy efficient building with world-class teaching facilities featuring state of the art “SMART” classrooms, a multi-level library, 70 seater seminar hall and fully networked, secure and hi-speed access to the internet for teachers, staff and children.

Our Founders

The Founders, visionaries and guiding lights of The Madras Seva Sadan, over the years

Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao
Founder Of The Madras Seva Sadan

1878 - 1960

Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao
Founder Of The Madras Seva Sadan

1894 - 1969

Mr. N. V. Rao
Founder Of Sir M Venkatasubba Rao School

1925 - 1992

Mrs. C. Prema Kumar
Founder Of Lady Andal Matriculation School

1949 - 2017

Our People

The governing body members of The Madras Seva Sadan

Expanding on the work started almost 100 years ago by the Founders

  • Dr. Sadayavel Kailasam
  • Mr. N. Jayachandran
    Vice – President
  • Mrs. Krithika Kumar Quintal
    Honorary General Secretary
  • Mrs. Tamara Ann Coelho
    Joint Correspondent
  • Mr. N. Venkatnarain Rao
    Honorary Treasurer
  • Mr. Sunil Shanker
    Chairman - Advisory Board
  • Mrs. Maria Rao
  • Mrs. Jyothi K. Sethupathi
  • Mr. N. Nilakantan
  • Mr. Prithie Singh Rekhi
  • Mr. Calvin Quintal

From The Heart