TCS dress donation @ Deepam

TCS, Chennai made a noble initiative to donate dresses to all our kids on the account of this year’s Deepavali. The event was held a week after Deepavali on 9th Nov. Deepam wishes to thank TCS on this wonderful gesture that was recieved very well by our kids and volunteers. Some pictures from the event are attached

Excursion to Planetarium- VRS Center

With incessant rains through night, it looked like we wouldn’t have enough kids to take for the excursion today. And so 3 of us went to the school to make sure the few who turned up, went back home safely. Much to our surprise, we had a full strength of 20 kids and after a lot of discussion, deliberation and confusion, we decided to stick to the plan and take the kids along in 2 cars and an auto. And as expected, it turned out to be a memorable visit to the Planetarium. 

Children were super excited to see live models at Transport, Ocean, Electronic & Communication and Mirror galleries. Children were then provided some refreshments which was followed by the astonishing 30 min cosmic show which was an absolute visual treat. The children were then taken to a 3D show with entertaining kids films. 
While the weather stayed spectacular from thereon, we returned back to the school after a magnificent outing. The photos will speak the rest of the story.

“Featured Volunteer of the Month” for Oct’13

Our endeavor to reward enthusiastic volunteers every month continues to be a testimony of Deepam’s recognition for our volunteer fraternity.
In this order, Srividya of VRS center is our “Featured Volunteer of the Month” for Oct’13. A short write-up on her by the center head Abhishek Mundra is given below…
“Srividya is an extremely committed volunteer and has been an active volunteer with VRS for almost 2 years now. She participates pro-actively in all our efforts and makes valuable contribution when required. She was deeply involved in the ‘Curriculum Planning’ exercise and her spirited participation and involvement were a motivation to the Deepam Curriculum Team.
Srividya commutes an hour every Saturday, but that is no deterrent  She currently teaches the kids of the Advanced Batch at VRS and is very effective in her interactions with the kids. Kudos to her for a very deserving ‘Volunteer of the Month’ award.”

Featured Volunteer For SEP’13-Anand Lakshmi Kanthan

 Anand Lakshmi Kanthan from WM center has been awarded the “Featured Volunteer of the Month” for SEP’13
A short write-up about Anand from Praveen (Center head for WM Center)

“A model volunteer for our center, Anand has acquitted himself with great dedication and love for the kids from his beginning at Deepam in 2012. Taking ample initiative, be it in helping with field trips, annual day or having a camera ready for every event,he amazes all with his ‘can do’ attitude. Never once has he sulked in travelling long distances every week from Vandalur to West Mambalam, or shall we say from one zoo to another. The children always adore him, and so do we … Kudos Anand !!”

Deepam VRS center – Madras Day outing

As part of the Madras Week celebration across the city, there was an exhibition at the CP Art Center, Alwarpet. There were paintings, sculptures and models, describing Madras as it was many centuries ago, and chronologically tracing its history down the ages, until the British took over.    Today, VRS center kids were treated to a one-hour outing of this exhibition about the Madras Region before the British.  Our group of 18 kids and 5 volunteers reached there in ten minutes, after finishing off with the English session by 11.30 AM  Earlier two volunteers had checked the place to ascertain if it would be appropriate for our ten year olds. We were lucky to get one of the organisers to give the children a guided tour of the exhibition. He patiently explained all the facts in Tamil, pausing now and then to query them on some interesting facts..such as the origin of the word ‘Catamaran’, or how ‘Mylapore’ got its name.  Few visitors joined our group to benefit from the guided tour, and some friendly onlookers asked the kids which school they were from. For their part the kids were very well behaved, and attempted to understand the context of the exhibits. We relished the short outing as well as the sweet five star that was handed out at the end to each of us.
Here are some pics of the short and sweet Madras day outing.

“Featured Volunteer of the month” for Jun’13 – Balaji

Balaji from KBM center has been awarded the “Featured Volunteer of the Month” for Jun’13

A short write-up about Balaji from Prasanna (Center head for KBM)

“Balaji has been a regular volunteer ever since we started our KBM center. He has gone one step further from just being a regular volunteer and be a inspiration for all others. His level of interaction and involvement with the kids is always amazing. Never have I heard the word NO / NOT POSSIBLE from him, always willing to do anything and everything for the smooth functioning of the class. Has been a pleasure having him @ KBM and hope he inspires more volunteers in the years to come.”

“Featured Volunteer of the Month” for Jul’13 – Sindhuja

Sindhuja from Olcott center has been awarded the “Featured Volunteer of the Month” for Jul’13
A short write-up about Sindhuja from Sugumaran (Center head for Olcott)
Sinduja is always present, smiling and contributing.  She has evolved well over the last year to take on more responsibility at Olcott. She has not only contributed individually, but also brought her friends and relatives along to Deepam

She is a law graduate and her works portrait the same in taking bold decisions and confidence in arguing for a valid point from her side. Her boldness reflects on our kids to enable them in walking a step ahead. A recent example was during a team segregation, where most of the kids preferred to join with her team

She led the initiative in preparing the curriculum from Olcott’s end during May month along with her friends. She also worked on the field to prepare an assessment plan for this academic year”

“The selfish act of volunteering “(by Karthik Padmanaban -volunteer @ VRS center)

The selfish act of volunteering 

 Volunteering is a bit of a selfish act. At least, it is that way for me. Most people perceive it to be some altruistic service that we offer others, typically to some subset of a society who have not been as fortunate as us. However, it is so further from the truth that I am taking this chance to set the story right.

 I only gain whenever I go to Deepam, and gain tremendously.

 First – the warmth. The effect of a simple 2 hour interaction with a bunch of mischievous and innocent children is nothing short of therapy to an otherwise crafty corporate week that just spun past. The noise and giggles are music departed from the clicking keypads and obtrusive phone rings. Have no doubt – the welcome we get and the good mornings that we receive are as genuine as it gets. Soak it in.

 Then, we learn. We understand the disparity that exists in our society and the tribulations of children thrust into situations for no fault of theirs. We get to realize how fortunate are to have been gifted the parentage, upbringing, education and resources that we enjoy and very often take for granted – and it puts a lot of our pains and complains in perspective.

 We feel good. Especially when you see a kid who you have been guiding, construct a full sentence in English, read off a book, participate in plays and talk back in confidence, the enveloping feeling is massively rewarding. If the soul needs soup, this is the best kitchen in town.

 Finally, it’s fun! Tremendous joy. The volunteers at VRS are, downright and mildly speaking, a crazy bunch of people who get along like a house on fire.

 We sure come to Deepam to help and teach the kids, and we certainly hope they benefit, but I go back home having gained a whole lot more than I gave.

 – kp