Thursday, September 25, 2008

Update on Mumbai education project

We have been supporting the education of a milkman in Mumbai for the last three years and recently our volunteer Padmaja and her father have been helping the daughters in preparing for their examinations. This e-mail is about how the children are faring in their exams...

Hi everybody,

This is a small but quite a significant update on the educational progress made by Raju the milkman's daughter in her studies. She is currently in Std X , and has just given her unit tests in the last week of August. She has scored 71% overall ( equivalent to almost 82 % when compared to the State board pattern of correction).She has secured 29/30 in Geometry and 22/30 in Algebra.Previously she was weak in these subjects, but she has worked very hard on her concepts and has done exceedingly well.She has scored more than 85% in Science as well.

She aspires to pursue a course in Biotechnology . We at DreamIndia sincerely hope that she is able to fulfill her dreams and this could turn out be an yet another success story in the making..

Dream India

New center at Airoli

This is an e-mail communcation from Rupesh, who has started Dream India's latest chapter in Mumbai, Airoli. We have managed to pull in NSS volunteers from a nearby school and this mail is regarding the plans that Dream India has made to involve those students.

Hello friends…..
As you must be knowing we had motivated 20 Mehta college students about our airoli project. Zillions of thanks to DreamIndia for giving a proper formal approach to college about this project. The number has gone down to 16 now. No needs to worry these 16 are like 160! Yes there was an inertia period wherein these ‘raw energy’ was spread about and not much concentrated but we hope after Sunday’s event we will definitely get the desired response from these passionate lot. Padmaja we really missed you a lot. I wish you get some more dedicated volunteers for our other centers. All the student volunteers here wanted to talk to you.

Arun, Kailash, Beena, Dipti really made the show a huge success. Kailash had also invited few of his friends in this event whom he felt could bring a lot of value to it later. I requested for his laptop he arranged for the projector on the spot. Excellent effort! Arun made gr88 motivational speeches using examples, arranged for the tea snacks, xeroxes for the students. Beena had brought the pens, papers etc for the students. And all these from them without being told about this. Fortunately we don’t have just team members in our project; we have Leaders!!!!!!!!!! We don’t we thought we had already spoken a lot about the project, commitment, seriousness etc.
But as well said pictures speak more than words we showed them 2 videos which made them realize the importance of team spirit and leadership. We then discussed some serious issues too like..

Filling up of 3 registers, keys of the rooms, some shuffling and filling up of the teaching slots, daily college meeting for 10 minutes by all, register entry for the same, showing all the 4 registers every week, girls to leave at 8 pm, agenda for the meeting between students and school teachers (Yes, It happened today, all attended it !!!!!!!!!!), ways to solve queries and doubts by meting teachers 12-6 pm, making a matrix of kids v/s books, uniform received, importance of balance of both the subjects to kids, students having the email account so that we all stay connected as a community and much more.

We also told the students to inform us beforehand about their exams and camps so that we can plan for backup volunteers during this period. These students are having exams from 2nd October to 12th October. So a pause from them. Challenge phase for us!

We also gave them some good news/motivation about their English speaking workshops, training about teaching and understanding kids from Ameeta Iyer, President of New Era Foundation. She is an excellent lady doing loads of work in navi-mumbai area mostly concerning counseling the teachers and schools. Much more about her. Will tell you later.
One of the 3 places where tuitions are going on in the morning and evening is her office/hall. And you know what? I had just spoken to her once personally and when the college denied for giving its premises for tuition activity, just one phone call to her did the magic. She was leaving for her native for 10 days but she handed over the key to us so that our activity does not get disturbed!!!!!!!

We also further motivated the students by informing our future plans like vocational training to the elder girls, computer courses, medical camps, stress relieving programs for the parents, picnic with the kids etc….
Finally we also handed over 5-6 copies of the paper to these students appealing other students of the college to our project. But I feel we have to get some picture posters now to make this awareness more effective.

A great power-packed Sunday which I will never forget in my life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rupesh Goseta

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reading Session in chennai

First, thanks to you and your friends for sharing this info with us. I reached the place at 10.30. Mathimaran was waiting for me and we got introduced with ourselves. The place was teeming with the visually challenged friends and volunteers. From Mathi, I came to know that there were about 150 students and slightly lesser number of volunteers. I was surprised when I saw a foreigner who had come over there as a volunteer.

One of the coordinators then introduced me to two students, Govind and Shanmugam. They are doing their M.Phil in Tamil Literature at Presidency. I recited them two chapters from ‘Kudumba Vilaku’ and two chapters from another Tamil subject whose name I don’t know how to translate to English J

I was amazed by their listening skills. I asked them how to proceed, whether I should read it twice and so on. Pat came the reply that it’s enough if I read it for them once. They grasped the entire stuff in just one reading. Wow!!!

It was a great experience reciting Tamil literature. I did this last during Tamil classes in my school days J. I felt like Solomon Papaaiya, when I was reading the classic literature J

I also interacted with Govind and Shanmugam, nice guys. They told me about their daily lives and how they study and so on. They stay in a hostel in Saidapet and go to college daily by bus. They were asking about my studies, my work, hobbies etc.

I told them that I also wrote exams for visually challenged people as a scribe. They got my mobile number and told me they will contact whenever necessary since getting scribes were difficult it seems.

We fret over trivial things when something goes wrong but all such things are nothing compared to the problems and challenges these people endure. We should definitely learn from their self-confidence and the way they fight the struggle in their daily lives.

During the course of the reading session, water and tea were being served. After the session got over at 12.30, lunch was provided to all the students. There were many volunteers serving food and organizing the anna dhanam. Since I had got some personal work, I didn’t participate in it and will lend a hand the next time (not to eat but to serve food ;) )

All in all, it was a very nice experience and now I am spreading the news to my friends and will try to bring in more volunteers.

Best Regards,

Hari Prasad K.

Updates on SV home projects

Dear Friends,
I take great pleasure in updating you the status of the projects by Dream India for SV home kids. Ravin and myself, we visited SV home in Poonamalle on Saturday, 20th September, 2008.
  • We left Adyar at around 7.15 to reach SV home by 8.30.
  • We could visibly see the happiness in the kids when they saw us. They were all preparing for their quarterly examination in the morning.
  • We spoke to them and discussed about the Gandhi Jayanthi celebration on Sunday, Oct 5th, 2008.
  • Looks like they have already started preparing for it as Parthy had given the topics to be discussed on phone.
  • We met Kamala madam and discussed about the newspaper subscription project.

  • We were really amazed to see that right from the day DI started newspaper subscription, August 4th 2008 on wards, madam started the routine of students taking notes on important events covering all sections of news from newspapers.

  • Each day after prayer in the evening, before the study hours, one of the students would read the news of the day.
  • They have already completed two long size notebooks of news.
  • Ravin and myself, we were totally surprised to see this awesome effort from their side. We were wondering how to effectively make use of this newspaper project, but the kind of positive spirit from them assured us about the success of this project.
  • Later madam signed the attached documents and project we declared completed. On behalf of DI, Ravin and myself, we signed the document.
  • This was followed by a detailed discussion on the plans for Gandhi Jayanthi Celebrations on Oct 5th, Sunday.
  • Details of the same given below.

Plans for 5th:
  • After 10 to 15 minutes of discussion with madam, Ravi and myself we decided on the following,

a) 7.30 - 8.00 Volunteers reach SV Home.

[ Parthy, Ravi, Ramya, Viji, Srini, Baskar and Nata confirmed so far. Kavitha - Tentative ].

b) 8.00 - 9.00 arrangements

Arrange the desks and tables with the help of students for quiz and elocution competition.

c) 9.00 - 9.30 - Screening test for quiz

- Would be in Tamil. Questions being prepared by DI Quiz group.

d) 9.45 - 10.45 - Elocution competition.

- Topics already given to the students. Madam told us that anywhere between 10 to 12 students would be selected. She is doing an internal selection to make sure we do not run out of time. 5 minutes of the small kids till 5th and 10 minutes for 6th + students.

e) 11 - 12.30 - Quiz

Indian Independence , Sports, Current affairs, General Knowledge, Personalities and a few other topics. We do not have a projector, so we would use a LAPTOP for Audio/Video rounds.

f) 12.30 - 2 - Lunch

Special lunch - Veg Biryani, a sweet and ice cream by Dream India for all the kids and staff.

g) 2.15 to 4 - Cultural programs by kids and prize distribution.

Students would sing, dance and do some skits. This would be followed by Prize distribution.


  • Madam told us about the need of dictionary for the kids. This made us plan as follows.
  • All kids who stand first, second and third would get an English to Tamil dictionary, certificate from DI and a trophy. In addition, first prize would get another small book and so.
  • Madam also asked for a common dictionary for the Home.


Parthy, Ravin and Nata - would arrange for the trophies and books required.

DI Quiz group - Preparing the quiz module.

Swami and Parthy - Elocution topics and scale to judge the participants.

Parthy, Nata, Ravin and Baskar - Arrangement for Lunch.

Madam - School already has one microphone, we have asked madam to arrange one more.

Ramya, Viji and Srini - Arrangement of banner and other logistics like laptop on Sunday.

Request interested people to write to me asap so that we can plan this event properly. We are doing a quiz competition and a kind of this for the first time and your inputs would really be of great value.

Also, as far as madam knows, for the past 15 years, there has never been a quiz competition at SV home. This would be first time for them as well. Let us hope to do our best.

The approximate budget we have in mind is Rs.5000 for this event. Of course, a proper request document would be made and shared with the team. It has already been two days since the visit and I did not want to delay this any further and hence shared without the document.

Would like to thank all those volunteer friends who are working across the globe for this event. Also our thanks to couple more, India Sudar - for it is only from them the idea of quiz program came to us and our dear Rajender for letting us know about SV home.

Let me tell you one thing - The kids of SV home are really amazing. They have a superb passion towards the event and the energy they had in them on Saturday completely convinced me and Ravin that we are gonna have a fantastic day on Oct 5th, 2008.

Do join us on this first kind of event in DI - and of course, be a part of History! Don't be the one to hear others say " I was there when it happened", rather be the one who says so!



Dream India

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Report and snaps of DI Vasantham Onam celebrations!

Dear Friends,

On Sunday, 14th September, as per plan our DI Chennai team visited Vasantham, a school for special children and spent the day with the kids. To say the day was memorable for all the volunteers and kids would be an understatement. We really had wonderful time and in fact madam told me that for the first time ever the kids got involved so much.


  • Hari was the first one to reach Vasantham. Parthy, Kavitha, Srini, Ramya, Viji and myself we met at T.Nagar around 8.30 A.M
  • Ravin joined us at Thirumanagalam and by the time we reached Vasantham, Baskar too joined us with his mother.
  • DI team was all set by 9.45 and straight away our friends started arrangement for function.
  • Ramya, Kavitha and Viji with the guidance of Baskar's mom made lot of kolams.
  • Hari, Parthy, Srini and myself we were involved in arranging the chairs and temp roof for the function.
  • Ravin and Baskar [ he put a mehendi shape like BUS ] were busy decorating kids with Mehendi.
  • By 11 we were all set for the pooja. Guruswamy did the foundation pooja of the "constructing a roof on terrace" project.
  • After this, we started of with the programs. All of us prayed for the unfortunate victims of the delhi bomb blast and started the event with paryer song.
  • DI members performed jokes from movies.
  • Students from Alpha college of Arts and Science sang a few songs beautifully, danced amazingly and entertained everyone very well.
  • Volunteers from YOU did a magic show and also danced to a few tunes.
  • Hari sang a beautiful song for the kids.
  • Following this, we had drawing competition for the children. The kids came up with wonderful pictures. One important thing to share here is the picture made by our Srinivasan. He just took 2 minutes to draw a college girl thinking about "Dream India". It was amazing to say the least. [ drawing is in the album from Ravin below ].

  • By the time we were done with the drawing competition, it was 1.30 and we called it time for lunch.
  • Our friends served the special lunch from DI to the kids.
  • Sambar rice, Corriander rice, Biryani, Tamrind rice, Curd rice, Payasam, Carrot halwa, Jangiri and superb Avial were part of the special menu.
  • After serving the kids, all DI friends had their lunch. The food was really awesome.

  • After lunch, we started off with musical chair to ensure all digest the food we ate. The kids really had fun during their rounds and later even the volunteers joined in.
  • This was followed by couple of games for kids: Walk with notebook on head and Lemon Spoon. Volunteers to joined in.
  • Next was an interesting part of game as it involved eatables. Bun eating it was....! Along with kids, I too participated in this. Parthy ate a few without even competing.
  • In the mean time, we decided to use the concept of "Gift Voucher" idea from Vasantham and gave a surprise birthday gift to Ramya. She bought a superb painting made by kids.

  • We had a Andhakshri session and this was followed by prize distribution for kids.
  • All those who won in games and drawing competition were given prizes by volunteers.
  • The kids too gave special gifts for volunteers on behalf of Vasantham.
  • We winded up the day with volunteers and kids joining us for dance.
  • Around about 6.30 we left Vasantham, madam arranged for us to be dropped at Thirumangalam. It was a long but wonderful day at Vasantham and the kids made the day really special for everyone.
We thanked madam for giving us the day for us and she requested to share her sincere thanks to everyone in DI for the wonderful support.

Please do find the completed Project report for the event attached.





"Hesitating to act because the whole vision might not be achieved, or because others do not yet share it, is an attitude that only hinders progress." - Mahatma

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Updates on Classes@Adyar Corp school

Dear Friends,

Our Dream India Chennai would have another chapter very soon at Adyar. We have already started the work for conducting classes. Please find an update on the same below. Thank you.

Parthy and myself we visited Adyar corporation high school yesterday morning. We met the HM and gave a copy of the order from corporation to him. We also briefed him about the plans we have.

* I would be collecting the names of students today.

* 30 students [ 15 each from 2 sections of 8th std ] out of the total strength of 90 which includes boys and girls as well to be inducted.

* Parthy would be visiting the school next Wednesday to address the students on what we plan to do [ as it would be in the evening, would not be possible for me to join ].

* Students have their quarterly exams from September 12th to 23rd, after which school reopens only by 3rd of Oct.

* Our classes [ apart from intro next week ] would begin in full swing from Oct 4th, 2008.

* Syllabus preparation is already on, will share the details soon.

* Regular updates are being sent to Joint Commissioner Ms.Anu George.

Dream India

"Hesitating to act because the whole vision might not be achieved, or because others do not yet share it, is an attitude that only hinders progress." - Mahatma

Monday, September 8, 2008

DI Chennai: Report and snaps of KK Visit - September 7, 2008

Dear Friends,

As planned, our DI Chennai team along with my friends from TCS- Morganstanley visited the old age home Kaakum Karangal at Thiruvanmiyur last evening.We served Veg Biryani, Raitha, Panner Butter Masala and Bananas to all 43 inmates of the home. We had many of our friends from far off places, even like Anna Nagar, join us y'day.

Hari, back in India, was the first one to reach KK. Soon, Bala and Parthy joined him. As soon as we had Hariharan, Anand, Sajitha, Rajashree, Chris, JP, Elavarasi, Vimala and myself there, we started with the prayer session. Soon after this, each of us started serving dinner.

We took note of the concern of a few that food was spicy. [ We had obviously requested food to be less spicy and oily ]. Overall, the evening was very special that most of us spent a lot of time compared to earlier visits discussing with the inmates. There was also a request to perform cultural programs etc for them during the next visit. We would be planning for the same soon.

Starting this month, this project would be officially executed as Dream India E&C Trust's project. We would issue receipts to donors, make project report and collect all the bills too. Attached the project report for this event.

Friends who were present last night:

Elavarasi and Vimala.

Friends living abroad supporting the cause:



Next trip:

  • We have planned our next visit on "October 12th, 2008".
  • Proposed dinner: idly, dosa or Poori.

Once again, my sincere thanks to everyone for making the evening a special one.

Dream India

"Hesitating to act because the whole vision might not be achieved, or because others do not yet share it, is an attitude that only hinders progress." - Mahatma

Monday, September 1, 2008

Updates on Ponni - First mark in all subjects 1st Internal!!!

Dear All,

A very happy news to share with you all. Our Ponni has scored first mark in all the subjects in first internal exam. She has scored 465/500 and has come out first in the class.

I am sure the day she would make us all feel proud is nearing. Thanks to all the members to their wonderful support.


"Hesitating to act because the whole vision might not be achieved, or because others do not yet share it, is an attitude that only hinders progress." - Mahatma