Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Day at Fat Chef

Dream India’sDream Catchers’ initiative started with the idea of taking children to modern day work spaces and expose them to the jobs available in these spaces. The hope is that they would then dream beyond the jobs that usually youth from their (Economically backward) communities get into. This would also result in improved performance in classrooms due to the added motivation to study hard.

Fat Chef, a multi cuisine restaurant based in Whitefield, Bangalore, agreed to be the first business to co-experiment this idea with us. Due to the limited space available in the restaurant, we agreed to bring in 10 children from the nearby government school (Ramagondanahalli) to visit the restaurant during a working day, for about 2 hours. So 6 girls and 4 boys from class five, accompanied by their teacher and volunteers and videographers from Dream India walked the 10 mins from the school to the restaurant. They were all greeted with a welcome drink and a brief history of the restaurant by the founders Vandana and Matheen.

The kids were then quickly shown around the place – the reception, the store room, the service area, the kitchen, and the wash areas. They were then split into two groups and one group was taken to the kitchen and the wash area, while the other was shown the service area and the store rooms. The staff from Fat chef took pains to explain each and every aspect of their work and why they did what they did. The teams then interchanged and went through the other experience too.

Then we gave the kids some lone time to sit and discuss what they had observed and to come up with questions if any. We also divided them into groups and asked them to write down what all they would consider if they were to open a restaurant of their own.

The teams then presented their ideas of opening a restaurant. The different staff members, most of whom had been with Fat Chef for more than a decade, spoke about their growth journeys, how they learnt new stuff, etc. The kids had some questions which the staff clarified too and then the day ended with finger licking pizzas and hot, irresistible brownies!

The children will soon write down their reflections and share it with us. And some of them told us of how elated they were to be given this opportunity. The teacher spoke of the need of more such exposure to the kids as well if they are to find out and follow their passions in life.

If you know more businesses that could help host children like this, let us know by writing to us at Businesses could be anything from Metro rail repair and maintenance sheds, Flipkart handling godowns, Chumbak design studios, Taj hotel, Sports academies etc. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Action2020 & Dream India Scholarship Form – Plus two students from Tamil Nadu

Dear Friends,
The floods in December 2015 affected a whole lot of people in Chennai and Cuddalore.  Dream India along with our partners – Action2020Patterns, Paalam – Mr.Rajarajan , Future India Trust , MREC Tamil Alumini group, Singer Mr. Amith and Vasantham carried out flood relief activities.
Our core area and strength has been our work on education sector and we thought providing scholarship to the children who complete plus two from the flood affected districts would be the right thing to do.
Points to Note:
  • Scholarship would be provided for 100 students who completed plus two in 2016
  • Preference will be given for – marks(900+ for rural and 1100+ for City), flood affected districts children, government rural school, farming background, low income group children etc
Step 1:
Step 2:
  • Scholarship team would review and select students matching the criteria mentioned above.
  • Those who are selected for further review be would be informed via email/phone.
Step 3:
  • Further details on their admission to the college and course would be obtained.
  • Students joining management quota and paid seats WILL NOT be entertained.
  • Scholarship would be provided for all approved full time courses that will be done ONLY in  India.
Step 4:
  • Students who fulfill all the criteria mentioned above would be informed and invited in person to receive the scholarship.
  • The details of the venue and date of issue of check would be informed appropriately.
General Points:
  • We plan to provide a scholarship amount of maximum of 10,000 INR per student. Decision of Dream India team and partners would be final and no questions on selection/disqualification would be entertained.
  • Dream India and partners reserves the right to determine or change the number of children who will be selected for scholarship.
  • This scholarship would be provided only in the FORM of check and in any case CASH would not be provided.
  • The terms and condition for receiving the scholarship would be informed before step 4.
  • All the best to all the children.
One more important point, please do not lose heart or take wrong decisions in life because of your performance in public exams. Please do count on us. We will always be there for you to support and guide you.
You can drop an email to – and we will do our best to guide you and help you overcome the challenges you face.

 Let us follow the path shown by Great Dr. Kalam and spread his message of love and Dream India. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Dream India Disaster Management Sessions for Coporation School Children - Update

Dear All,

"Mugavari" Ramesh brother and Sanjeevi bro visited corporation office last week of December and got approval from our Worshipful Mayor for the sessions.

During the discussion with Education officer we were told permission for 3 - 4 hours session would be difficult as students are already on a tight deadline. We have requested approval for at least one period i.e 40 mins.

We have been asked to give a revised letter and specific schools whom we plan to target. We are in the process of getting the approval for this list. We should be through with this in the coming week.

Will keep you all updated on the project. 

Dream India

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dream India - Updates on Projects Planned post Chennai Floods

Dear Friends,

We are closely monitoring the relief/rehab work being carried by Government and other NGOs in Chennai. We are also in the process of discussing our next steps towards the same.

Currently most of us (the NGOs) are involved in the assessment phase of rehab. Dream India's strength has always been our connect to education system. 

We work closely with children of corporation and government schools and been doing that for close to about 10 years now.

Action2020 team has expressed complete support for all the projects listed below. All these projects will be executed as Action2020 projects.

We would like to thank singer, song-writer Mr. Amith Sivashanmugam for helping Dream India by donating the revenue from his Album #SongForChennai.

We are currently thinking on following projects to be carried out,

Project 1 - A

Scholarships for students from Chennai. We plan to provide scholarship for students who complete their higher secondary this year from Chennai.

Criteria and the number of students to be provided are being discussed. 

Project 1 - B

Scholarships for students from Cuddalore. We plan to provide scholarship for students who complete their higher secondary this year from Cuddalore.

Criteria and the number of students to be provided are being discussed. 

Project 2

We are planning to conduct "Disaster Management" sessions for corporation and government school children. We will be starting with Chennai.

The sessions will be designed to enlighten the children and will be informative as well fun to learn.

We plan to have a small booklet printed on the same and distributed.

We are working with professionals and officials on this. 

Project 3

Dream India will conduct sessions on "Disaster Management", "Health", "First Aid" and various other important topics every quarter. 

Participants will have to pay a fee and attend these sessions. Target audience are students and professionals from various other industries who are not aware of the topics.

DI trustees, Friends and Well wishers are providing inputs and we will get back with clear updates on all of these at the earliest.

We thank you all for the confidence in Dream India. We will ensure that each of your contribution is used for the needy as we ever do.

Thank you.

DI Trustees

Saturday, December 12, 2015

DI and Future India Trust - Flood Relief

Dear Friends,

We received 100 blankets from Future India Trust, one of our partners in Action2020. Thanks to Ravi and Shiva. Special thanks to Guna sir for sending it from Karur.

We are planning to distribute them to the areas identified by us already.

Natarajan Raman

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Appeal for DI Relief Work - Exercise Caution - Dec 5th 2015

My dear fellow brothers and sisters who are currently away from Chennai and who feel guilty and bad for not being able to be on ground. Please take this assurance from me. City is getting better and most of the places are accessible. Lack of mobile network connectivity does not mean people are in soup. Volunteers are on ground ensuring people get basic needs addressed. So please do not worry and more importantly DO NOT feel guilty and donate to some XYZ.

At many places, People have reached a stage where they throw food as it is in excess and clothes are being dumped in rooms. Of course there are places where there is need, but that would become balanced only when the problem of same place getting dumped with more stops. Everyone is cooking food and do not know where to give. People in camps have started asking for choice of food, biscuits or anything that they see from what is being taken there. If anyone or any NGO asks for donation, please speak to them.

Understand what is that they do, what is going on and then donate. It's not the same emergency situation as it was three days ago where you had to give without questioning. Person taking money now should be able to explain their plans clearly on what they need to do. If the person taking your money is not someone whom you cannot reach out by a call or email or text, then it's time to stop giving. It's accountability stuff on both sides. Your job does not end by donating and their job does not end by just taking it. Take time, find out right people on ground, it could be your own friends group or a neighbor next to you. Do things through them than doing it just because someone is popular.

Thanks for being there for people always. #chennairains #chennaifloodsrelief #chennairelieffund

TN Flood Relief - Cuddalore relief work

Date 7th December time 7:00 PM Dear all, my friend Mr. Shiva +919787971708 is at kurinjipaadi village in cuddalore district. They are visiting interior parts of village and finding the needs of people. As per the research, people are having challenge in getting food. Main reason being lack of utensils and material for cooking. 

People claim interior parts are ignored and seems to be true. If you or any of the teams are looking for a right resource to ensure right people get the material, please talk to him. He is an engineer from Pondicherry and his team is completely out on visits to help people. Let us do our bit for cuddalore as well. 

Dream India ONLY did co-ordination work here by linking our friends to the right resource.

Regards Natarajan , co-convenor Action2020, 
Dream India 9940677570