Deepam Outstanding Volunteers – 2014

Deepam’s Outstanding Volunteer Award is given to volunteers whose performance in the year has made a difference, made people take notice and follow their examples.

Deepam takes immense pleasure and enormous pride in acknowledging and sharing with everyone, such splendid performance by such volunteers by honoring them with this Award. 

Here are the 2 awardees this year

Praveen Venkatachari : 

Praveen is a fantastic example of someone who is highly passionate about education & teaching. 

As a volunteer, he laid the foundations of a good computer program at Deepam . He identified books for teaching computer basics, which was used by all Deepam children this year. He made ‘Computer class’ at WM centre a reality by dedicating 30 minutes exclusively for teaching computers to 5th standard children. He constantly thinks of ways to reach English and Computers to children and is a major contributor to curriculum on Deepam Dropbox with valuable information / files. He made a ton of other contributions, in devising a common Assessment Test sheet for all Centers, built the new website for Deepam, Built a better volunteer on-boarding forms and many more.

As a leader, he listens to his team and is open to suggestions. He strives to make it easy for volunteers to execute ideas.  Has a great sense of responsibility, adapts to changing situations, and willingly takes on any role as situation demands. He has also maintained a good rapport with WM school Principal to ensure weekly Deepam classes go on smoothly.

As an individual, he is someone high in integrity. He is always on time and in a totally volunteer setting, has a 100% attendance at Deepam classes in West Mambalam. 

Rohit Narasimhan :

Ever since he’s been introduced to Deepam, Rohit has been an extremely committed volunteer at VRS centre. True to his nature, Rohit usually avoids the limelight, but is easily amongst the most reliable volunteers. He is a regular at VRS Centre, actively teaching children for the past 2 years. 

For all kinds of events / outings / activities etc, Rohit’s leading participation can be taken for granted. He is invariably unfazed about any responsibility he is given or the tasks he takes up. His involvement with the kids and volunteers is extremely cordial. 

In addition to his regular contribution as a teaching volunteer at VRS centre, Rohit has gone out of the way to ensure the STARS program at VRS centre gets a yearly funding. He also took a big initiative in helping Deepam pitch and win the funding from World Bank in 2013. 

From the most routine tasks such as putting the laptops for charge every week to pitching for complex funding projects, Rohit’s dedication has been outstanding. An award well deserved and we look forward to him doing many more interesting work!

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.”