Sunday, August 16, 2009

Most Memorable Independence Day of My Life

I spent my best Independence Day ever and so did KK, Ram, Archana, and Dr.Karthick. I opened my eyes on 15th August morning to a light drizzle and a cool climate whihc cheered me up instatntly. The lovely weather was a precursor to the day that would follow.

Deepam launched the “Take Home a PC” initiative at the Olcott Memorial High School. A week back Muthuselvi would not dream of an ordinary desktop and now, she got her hands onto an Apple Mac PC.

After the I-Day ceremony concluded at OMHS, Muthuselvi was informed and she was dumb-found and left without any words to express herself. All the teachers at Olcott, headed by the HM Mary Miss and the Director Lakshmi Maam, witnessed and expressed their hopes on Muthuselvi.
After that it was only installling the pc at her place and thats all… it made the best I-Day of my life…





One very important thing to note is Muthuselvi is quite familiar with Windows but we knew she was alien to Mac.This has provided her with one more challenge which we are very sure she can tackle. She is strong on her fundamentals and quite inquisitive by nature. It will be very interesting for a girl of her talent to venture forth and discover new things. After all life is an exploration itself!!!

- Basu

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Take Home a PC - First step in a thousand mile journey starts this Saturday

Dear Friends

I am glad to announce the launch of an important an program, "Take home a PC' , which we hope will be a precursor to the ambitious "one laptop per child" program. This is an important milestone in our journey and glad we are able to do it this year..

All of know the importance of computers and its power to transform lives. Many of us have directly benefited from our exposure to information technology and for some of us (like me) it is our livelihood. We are not just talking about computer technology, but leveraging computers as enablers to better the lives of less privileged kids amongst us.

India as a country cannot progress if significant population of our society does not have access to tools that enable them compete in the global economic playing field. With the equal access to educational tools like computers, kids from less privileged background can perform and shine at par with the other kids. That's why we are very excited about the small beginning we are making with Take Home a PC.

our objective is quite simple with Take Home a PC.. Deepam would like to give a PC and possibly access to Internet to every child who successfully complete one year program. This we believe will open the whole new world of possibilities to the kids and their families.

Take Home a PC makes a small beginning this Saturday @ Olcott Memorial High School. We will be giving a PC to an exceptional student who went through our program last year. She is intelligent, bright and more importantly has passion for learning. We are truly delighted to see Muthu being the first recipient of a PC under this program.

We would really appreciate if you can be present @ Olcott for this brief ceremony which will happen along with the Independence day flag hoisting ceremony. Details as under..

Where: Olcott Memorial High School
When: Flag hoisting ceremony starts @ 8:30AM and our program would be around 9:00ish.
Date: Aug 15, 2009

Deepam on India Today

Deepam and our work featured on India Today - the volunteer team represented by Archana and Karthikeyan.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Volunteer of the Month :)

Couple of months ago, i got a mail from a guy in 2nd year college enquiring about opportunities to volunteer at Deepam. He was coming back to india on a 2 month vacation from NUS Singapore and wanted to volunteer 'full time' during the 2 months. Archana and I met up with him at a coffee shop and discussed undergraduate studies in India / Singapore mainly and Deepam, on the side. He offered to contribute to the curriculum team and ensure all our class' had a structure to it. He said he would start the next day and visit the deepam centres. On my way back, i was thinking how could a young guy who topped academics all his life, who lived in another country for sometime relate to Deepam and the kids we teach and offer meaning contribution.

And i didn't have to wait too long to know the answer - in a week, he pinged Archana and me, so regularly on Gtalk, that i had to run away !!! ( to earn my living!! ). Not that he was 'time wasting' in any way - he was always bouncing ideas on improving curriculum , fund raising , PR and many more. And on most days during his stay in Chennai, he would work on the ideas he suggested and action them. He worked along with Archana and structured the computer curriculum for Deepam, in no time. He also turned up to teach at Olcott School / KC centres and started to interact with the kids. Slowly, he found new areas to contribute and was contributing everywhere!!! He , on his own initiative, got in touch with NDTV Hindu / local newspapers , to do a story on Deepam. He never discussed getting in touch with NDTV with anyone, till he brought them to do a story on us. He was more 'action' and less 'talk' in areas where he didn't need support.

He didn't stop there. He worked with the 'web team' to do a new website for us ( which will be ready soon ), worked along with Meera to publish a 'Deepam newsletter' and many many more. It was such a pleasant experience for all of us at Deepam, to work with him. He had some fantastic ideas and more importantly 'Executed' them as well. All of his ideas are 'do-able' and was 'rooted' in reality. It was amazing to see this coming from a 20 year old.

Deepam surely benefited through Abhinav and in a lot ways, he exhibits a quality that Deepam aims to follow - More 'action' / 'execution' / 'doing' than just discussing ideas. He is our volunteer of the month :)


Abhinav, with the children at UK Centre.
Receving the volunteer of the month award from Ram, our founder.
Celebrating Abhinav's birthday :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dictionaries for the children

Hello Friends,

Deepam is planning to provide mini-dictionaries to all the children we teach.

If you know any organisations / individual interested to sponsor the dictionaries, please let us know.

Thanks
kk

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Deepam Sessions Aug 8-9th weekend








Centre Day Timings Center Location Centre Lead Contact
Uroor Kuppam 8 Aug 2-30 to 4-30 pm Near Besant Nagar Beach Balaji 9884277487 braghavan[at]gmail[dot]com
Kakkan Colony 8 Aug 4-30 to 6-30 pm Besant Avenue, near Fruit shop Basu 9940064384 shankarnarayananbasu[at]gmail[dot]com
Pudiyador 9 Aug 11-00 to 1-00 pm Vannathurai Anupama 9003269018 anupama.s3[at]gmail[dot]com

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Deepam All Hand's Meet (AHM)

Dear Team,
We will have our first AHM next Sunday. Here are the details :

Date : August 9th, Sunday
Time : 4 - 6 pm.
Venue : P S High School, Mylapore, RK Mutt Road, Opposite to Ramkrishna Mission
Agenda: All Deepam volunteers ganging up to meet and discuss about future plans.

Who can Come

This is general body meeting for all Deepam- Bridge The Divide Volunteers. If you are getting mails from from the google group : bridgethedivide@googlegroups.com, or receiving this through a mail, or hearing this from a friend you can simply walk in.

Any problem/doubt ? : Ring me at 99400 64384 or mail at shankarnarayanbasu@gmail.com

Forget all formalities, if you want to give-back to the society, Just Be There!!!

Thanks,
Basu.
Deepam-Lead.

PS : Thanks Gopal for arranging this venue for all of us.