The Mangaiyar Illam is the hostel for Vidyalayam children founded in 1972. In the early years it was small and over the years it has grown with over 75 children living in. A Warden with two assistants together with two cooks and char woman help to run the Illam efficiently.
The ethnic conflict brought in more children from the war torn areas of the north and east. And to manage these numbers a three storeyed block was built with Swedish aid. More dormitories had to be included together with a well appointed dining room, pantry and kitchen with funds donated by Maharajah Organisation in memory of Mrs. Sellam Rajendra.
The hostel is run on pure Hindu lines – wholesome vegetarian food is served, religious observances are meticulously followed, with the children participating in all religious fasts and festivals. The day begins with Venkateshwara Subrapatham or Thiruvembavai hymns in the month of Margali. In the evenings, around 5.45pm the children assemble in the Kalagam Shrine room and after prayers go for evening study supervised by a special teacher. The children sing the Thank you song "Brahmaarpanam” before each meal, wash their own plates and in groups learn to keep the dining hall clean.
A special graduate teacher has been appointed to be in charge of the education of the children – especially the younger ones while the older O Level and A Level children study on their own under the supervision of this teacher.
The Middle and Upper class children are members of the Shaaka Group which meets every Tuesdays under the guidance of the Bramachari of the Chinmaya Mission in Sri Lanka. As members of the Youth movement, they participate in Chinmaya activities and quiz programmes.
Each year on Bhagavan Baba’s birthday, the Kalagam hosts a luncheon for the Satya Sai Samithi in Colombo.
The aim of the Management is to make a ‘Home away from Home’ for the hostellers. Together with the Study Time, a time for relaxation is also found when the children are involved in indoor games.