10 New OLPC’s Donated to Deepam

Friends – We have some good news – Our Friends at Cognizant (CTS ) / Team Everest have donated 10 new OLPC’s to Deepam. These laptops will be used at the new centre that Deepam’s starting this weekend at Alwarpet,Chennai. The class 4/5 students at this school will benefit from these machines.

Anuradha ( quick thinking, as always), has some wonderful ideas to put the OLPCs to use, at the centre. We will hear more from her, in the coming days .

A big thanks to Kartheeban Chandramohan, founder of Team Everest for supporting Deepam. Also, thanks to Srini for liaising with Team Everest and making this happen.

Deepam – Nalanda library

Hello Deepamites,

The Library project was launched on the Children’s day . Children at 2 centres ( West Mambalam and UK Centre ) will be able to utilise the library, for a start. We will soon roll out the project at other centres as well. Library will be a ‘student-run’ and volunteer-supported project.

Deepam is partnering with Nalanda Trust in this project. Nalanda Trust is run by Kavery Nambisan, an Indian Novelist / Doctor who was nominated for the Asian Booker prize last year. Deepam and Nalanda share a similar vision , to provide access to books for the children and encourage them to take to the books and benefit, just like all of us. Nalanda trust currently runs libraries at Pune / Hyderabad . Nalanda will be supporting the library project, financially and Deepam will be running this library. Inaddition, Deepam will benefit from Nalanda’s experience in running the library project in other cities.

Thanks to all the Deepamites who helped launch the Deepam-Nalanda Library project – Saye and Sriram in particular took initiative and made the library ‘ idea ‘ , a reality.

Childrens Day 2009 at Deepam UK Centre

We were hoping the rains would go away for that special day, but no, it was pouring ! An hour before the event, we inspected the premises and noticed some water trickling in. But thankfully, once the celebration got underway at 2.30pm, nothing seemed to matter. The regular set of children turned up, and after several smiley exchanges of Happy Childrens’ day, the white Deepam T-shirts were distributed to the them (S-M-L). Out came the fabric colours, and then, ever-energetic Archana gave clear instructions to the children on how to use each type of colour, wax crayons, blocks, rollers and tubes. Newspapers were spread all over the ground, and Radhika took charge at the centre of the circle formed by the group. They couldn’t wait to begin. Over the next hour, as we strolled around, we saw different pictures emerging on each T-shirt….brand Nike, Michael Jackson, Chevrolet Cruze and what not ! Many of them highlighted the round collar too. It was a riot of colours ! The masterpieces were then collected and using hangers, were hung out to dry on a makeshift clothesline. Wow ! It was brilliant to see them all together!

It was then time to Launch the Library project, a new initiative at Deepam. Ram engaged the children in a discussion about the significance of a library and reading, and soon the set of books were given out to the children, mostly based on the child’s interest. We hope to get the children hooked to the reading habit, and judging from the initial response, it may be easier than we think.

The serious bit over, all eyes were now on the chocolate truffle cake placed enticingly on the table. The cake cutting made the event like one big birthday party. The plates with cake and biscuits were passed around to all the children, the caretakers, and volunteers. ….All this while, something was happening behind the scene. The surprise of the day was the deepam Tiger ! The children were amused and happy to see a growling tiger suddenly emerge from the back, and enjoyed taking pictures… Srini’s efforts paid off and the Tiger was a super hit ! All happy faces, more exchanges of Happy Children’s day and it was time to go.

– Anuradha