On August 25th 2011 we distributed two free notebooks, pencils, sharpeners, and erasers, to each of more than 125 school children who attend our sponsored free Tuition Schools or evening study centers in Kazhanipakkam, Anandapuram and the Irula tribal enclave in Kunnapattu Panchayat. This was made possible in part by a donation of 50 Euros from one of our long time supporters. Please consider making a similar small donation to help distribute free school materials to needy rural children. We support and maintain an additional 19 tuition centers in the Tiruporuur block of Kancheepuram District, Tamilnadu South India. For more information about our programs please download this factsheet.
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.
The Economist has prepared a map of India which shows graphically and by statistics the economic and social condition of different Indian states by comparing them to countries in the world which have closely equivalent numbers. Remarkable and clearly shows that India, despite all the hype about its emergence as a developed super-power, has a long long way to go.
Panjanteertee is at the end of a hard to find country road in a remote area of Tiruporuur Block, Kanchipuram District, Tamilnadu. No buses stop there. It is a 100% Parayar Caste Hamlet and the land around it is very heavy with clay: terrible soil for agriculture. Uninhabited until about 30 years ago when the CPI political party worked successfully to have the village relocated from land they were said to be “squatting” on ( i.e. had no legal right to under laws administered by local Upper Caste dominated government, police, and judges.)
Work is well underway for the inauguration of the long-planned Amuur Village Computer and Technology Center, located in a two room building constructed by TVO and SAVE-INTL with the financial assistance of the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund of Kiel Germany.
The Center is conveniently situated on the Main Road between Tiruporuur and Manampathi, just south of the Old Mahabalipuram Road in the Tiruporuur Block of Kanchipuram District, about 35 KM south of Chennai, Tamilnadu. Just adjacent to the Village Bus Stand, the building has a flat concrete roof with the computer center room about 5 by 8 meters in size. We have already brought three phase power to the building and wired the computer room for a minimum of eight computer work stations.
Another documented report showing that the barriers to advancement for the socially disadvantaged in India have not be surmounted, leaving many casualties and blocked dreams. How can this be overcome? How many generations will pass before this social-structural impediment to equality disappears?
If (roughly) the world population is 7,000,000,000, and the population of India is 1,200,000,000, then India is about 17% of the world’s total population. If Dalits, or those of the lowest, formerly untouchable castes, comprise about 15% of the total number of peoples in India, or 180,000,000 (sixth largest nation if independent!) then Indian Dalits are 2 1/2% of the world’s total population. Or one out of forty humans experiences life highly stigmatized, reviled and socially shamed just because of an accident of birth.
When Sonny Saravanan, my partner from Tamilnadu Village Outreach, and I went to inspect the finished electrical remodeling of the Anandapuram Community Center we were met by the informal so-called young men’s Youth Group of the village. They were very grateful for the work we had done to make their village community center useable again after so many years of neglect and were very appreciative of the professional quality of the rewiring, the high levels of lighting and the three high quality fans that we had installed.
As is quite common in the villages where SAVE-INTL is active, there is a youth volleyball team in Anandapuram, and it is our policy to support these teams with free volleyballs and nets when requested. The Anandapuram Youth Group asked me for some help with a new net and some volleyballs, as they had none, and I remarked that there was already a good net strung up on their steel volleyball net standards in front of the community center and wondered why they needed another one. They explained that the net I was looking at actually belonged to another village and that their own net was badly damaged. I asked that it be brought out. While the net was in bad shape, I said that it could be used as a practice net with the purchase of some fishermen’s string and rope and a little work but that we would immediately provide them with some quality volleyballs which I had in my office in Mamallapuram. A committee from the Anandapuram Youth Group soon came to see me in Mamallapuram just before my departure for a two month trip outside India.We gave them a couple of quality branded volleyballs (see photo) and I promised on my return to provide them with a tournament quality net. They then told me the following story which I feel is illustrative of the problems faced by India’s Amateur Sports Groups.
Their village fielded a youth volleyball team two years ago which participated in a Tamilnadu State-wide tournament of villages. In their own District of Kanchipuram, which has a population of over two million, they managed to attain the rank of SECOND best volleyball team, despite the small size of their village of just 274 inhabitants, and a handful of young men.
This is a truly remarkable achievement for a poor rural Dalit village, yet no Gov’t Sports Authority, Private Business or NGO has seen fit to help (at least to date) them continue to pursue their excellence by supporting them with volleyballs or nets.
I promised to help them with volleyball equipment as long as they continued to aspire to be the BEST village volleyball team in Tamilnadu. They also asked for uniforms/jerseys for their team, a request I promised to consider.