The Malar Trust, based in Northern Italy, and dedicated primarily to increasing the availability of Higher Education in Tamilnadu among the poorer and socially disadvantaged classes and communities, has been the partner of SAVE-INTL on several projects in 2011. Together we funded and managed the rebuilding of the toilet facilities for the 200 students in the Amuur Panchayat one through eight grade government primary school, a project now successfully completed. Additionally we together sponsored, funded and managed a pilot program of free coaching for the crucial Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examination given statewide in Tamilnadu and India at the conclusion of the 10th grade. The latter was such a success that the project has been expanded to approximately six more free coaching centers starting in September 2011.
A report from the Malar Trust on our joint activities can be downloaded here:
As part of SAVE-INTL’s ongoing support for youth athletic teams we provided the Mullipakkam Village team with two branded volleyballs on July 22, 2011. SAVE-INTL sponsors a tuition school in Mullipakkam which is directed by Mr. Sengkharani on the left in association with John Wilson of the W.E.T. NGO based in Sembakkam Tamilknadu. Volleyball is an increasing popular participant sport in Tamilnadu with many villages having multiple teams and with the State Volleyball Team of Tamilnadu being the champions of India in 2011.
On November 1, 2010 “Sonny” S.V. Saravanan of TVO and I were invited to the office of the Union Panchayat Chairwomen of Thiruporuur District, Vijay Lakshmi Krishnan to accompany her on a tour of two middle schools in two of the 51 Panchayats(or Institutional Democratic Village Governments) under her jurisdiction, which includes over 51 Panchayats, or institutional grass level democratic village governmental units.
Riding in her District car from Tiruporuur towards Sembakkam and then right, we were accompanied by several of her staff. Our first stop was the Nellikuppam Panchayat, Amapettai village. Here are a few photos of the Village’s defunct community center and the newly refurbished Vinayagar Temple, plus some typical housing.
It is in imminent danger of collapse as the walls were originally made using clay- sand rather than cement.
Because of the danger posed by this structure it is slated for demolition but VijayLakshmi Krishnan conveyed the community’s desire that it be replaced and suggested that SAVE-INTL and its partner TVO might be able to design and construct a replacement building. Presently the cost of a 25ft X 15 Ft (8m X 4.5m) building of reinforced concrete with a cement sheet roof is approximately $4500 – add a flat concrete roof with a stair access and it is $2000 more. Donors are invited to contribute to this future project.
Adjacent to the defunct community center is a temple to the God Ganepati sometimes known as Ganesh or Vinayakar.
Note the contrast in the condition of the two structures.
After examining the damaged Community Center the entourage proceeded to the Amapettai Government Elementary School, passing some typical village housing
At the elementary school we were surprised to be greeted by Mr. Ayappan, teacher in charge, who has “moonlighted” for TVO and SAVE-INTL as an after-school “Tuition” Teacher during the evening in nearby Mullipakkam Village. Amapettai is very lucky to have Mr. Ayappan working for them as he is one of our best and most dedicated teachers with a strong flare and dedication for teaching basic spoken English.
We then proceeded to the adjacent Melaiyuur Panchayat Village School, grades 1-8, which lacks any toilet facilities for the 200 6-14 year old boys and girls who attend. SAVE-INTL intends to remedy this glaring lack later this year as we have at Amuur Village Public School, whose damaged toilet facility remodeling is currently underway and progressing nicely.The original toilet facility, pictured below, was originally constructed with its septic tank on property owned by the Church of South India (CSI). When this error was discovered, the septic tank was demolished by the CSI, rendering the Melaiyuur School Toilet facility completely unusable. Presently the stalls are blocked with thornbushes (see photo below) and the structure is slated for demolition, as it is economically unfeasible to build an alternate septic tank.