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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:12 pm 
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Karthigai Deepam in Trichy has a therapeutic side to it

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Karthigai Deepam, the most ancient festival of Tamils, is incomplete without the lighting of 'agal vilakku' (oil-filled clay lamps). But in Trichy, the lamps light up the lives of many special children.

Tapping into the high demand for lamps during the festival, the Spastics Society of Tiruchirapalli has been using colouring of lamps as an occupational therapy for children with cerebral palsy to improve their coordination and motor skills

With the Karthigai Deepam festival just around the corner, the society which conducts rehabilitation programmes for around 130 children with cerebral palsy has chosen 30 to paint as many as 6,000 clay lamps for this season. Around 4,000 pieces of agal vilakku painted by children are ready for sale while work on the rest is underway.

Each piece would be sold at `5 this year.

The initiative of roping in special children to paint agal vilakku was floated by the director of the society C Shanthakumar.

"A few years back while visiting Chennai, I happened to see clay products painted by special children on display in an exhibition. As it is a simple process and requires less effort, I thought of using the same as a therapy for our children," Shanthakumar says.

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term that defines various physical disabilities caused due to damage in the motor cortex of the brain.

Children with such conditions face difficulty in speech and free body movement. The centre encourages children with cerebral palsy to paint lamps as functional and vocational training are scientifically proven to be viable options to rehabilitate children with such conditions.

"We usually commence the painting process two months ahead of Karthigai Deepam festival when children in batches would paint the raw clay lamps. Hand-eye coordination is crucial in painting the tiny lamps, and this improves their motor skills," says T S Gouri, special teacher at Spastics Society.

The usage of multiple colours creates excitement among children, encouraging them to be innovative while designing patterns, say special teachers.

"The process of painting would impart self confidence in children as they feel contended after making and marketing a product," says P Malathy, a special teacher in the society, whose child is also a participant.

Apart from agal vilakku painting, the centre also implements occupational therapy such as paper file production, packing spice products, and jute bag production to rehabilitate children suffering from cerebral palsy.

Many such children who were trained at the centre, have found employment in the packaging industry and housekeeping works, while some have become entrepreneurs running petty shops and leading independent lives.

Since no medicine or surgery can correct the cerebral palsy, the special teachers insisted the parents of special children to enroll their wards in rehabilitation homes for leading an independent life through training.



source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/in-trichy-karthigai-deepam-has-a-therapeutic-side-to-it/articleshow/61745410.cms


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CSR activities in Trichy
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:36 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:26 pm 
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A morsel for everyone

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V G Ravindrakumar Agasthiyar Annadhanam Trust in Tiruchi joins volunteers to distribute free food for poor people in Puthur, Tiruchi. | Photo Credit: M.MOORTHY

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The Agasthiyar Annadhanam Trust has been serving free meals to the needy for 26 years

“Hunger is hunger; it knows no religion. All of God’s creatures, from the ant to the elephant, are slaves to hunger. So we serve this food to anyone who comes to us,” says V G Ravindrakumar, whose charitable organisation Agasthiyar Annadhanam Trust has been feeding the needy in Tiruchi and Samayapuram for 26 years now.

On a recent weekday afternoon, as men and women queue up for their free lunch in a yard in Puthur, Ravindrakumar joins 10 volunteers in personally ladling out the dishes of the day — tomato and lime rice.

The lunch is cooked by Ravindrakumar’s wife Revathi at their home in Ex-Servicemen’s Colony, Ponmalai. Ravindrakumar prepares the breakfast of gruel (kanji) or pongal.

Those who want to eat on the spot are given melamine plates covered with a banana leaf to hold the rice. The others, who want to pack up the food, are asked to queue up separately with their vessels.

The rules are simple: two generous ladles of piping hot rice and a small spoon of pickle per person. No food in vessel lids or plastic packets. Diners must wash their plates and stack them back. And no queue jumping!

In about 40 minutes, the mass lunch is over. Over 400 people have been fed. Ravindrakumar will be going back to start work for the next day’s meals.

Helping hands

Ask him how it feels to feed at least 600 people on a daily basis, and Ravindrakumar replies, “It is said that God can be glimpsed in the smile of a poor person. I feel gratified to be able to satisfy the hunger of so many people. It’s the best feeling in the world.”

Ravindrakumar remains inspired by his father, V Govindaraj, a retired Railways employee, who started charity in 1991 by supplying hot water to patients in the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital. Six months later, the retiree and his friends started serving gruel. After his father’s demise five years ago, Ravindrakumar, also a Railways worker, took voluntary retirement from his job to devote himself to the food charity. “I earn a pension of ₹19,000, which is enough for me and my wife and for the food preparation,” says Ravindrakumar.

The rice is sourced from Ravindrakumar’s fields in Mangathenapatti village, Keeranur, where the couple hosts a mass lunch every Sunday.

“During my father’s days, the money used to be tight, but this is slowly changing as more people come forward to sponsor meals on their special occasions,” says Ravindrakumar. Sri Agathiar Sanmaarga Sangam of Ongarakudil, Thuraiyur aided the charity during its initial years.

Special calling

Agasthiyar Annadhanam Trust (which functions under the Rangaraja Desika Swamigal Trust), has 22 permanent sponsors every month. Expenses for the rest of the days are made up by the trust’s funds. “We have never stopped serving food because of the lack of sponsors,” says Ravindrakumar.

The amount of rice used varies according to the meal: 25 kilos for kanji, and 15 for pongal in the morning and 35 kilos for lunch. “I get up at 3 am to make the breakfast and despatch it by 6am. If we get a sponsor, I make kanji. Otherwise it is pongal,” says Ravindrakumar. “My wife takes over the lunch preparation from 10am. We have to be in Puthur by noon. The lunch menu is changed every day, because we want people to enjoy a balanced diet when they eat our food.”

A permanent location would help them to serve dinner too, feels Ravindrakumar, though this has yet to materialise.

The charity has 30 volunteers and also maintains a website. Besides Puthur, the trust distributes food in selected temples and schools. Ravindrakumar doesn’t know who will take over the food mission after him. “One needs to have a special calling to carry this forward. I didn’t expect to follow my father in this. Similarly, if someone is to follow me, it should be ordained by God,” he says.

More information on www.agasthiyarannadhanam.org/



source: http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/v-g-ravindrakumar-agasthiyar-annadhanam-trust-nahla-nainar-interview/article20103806.ece


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:33 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:38 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:15 pm 
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NIT honours three entities for exceptional social service

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A school for destitute, another for autistic children and an organisation making expensive higher education accessible for meritorious students were honoured at the sixth edition of HumaNITTy — the social responsibility arm of NIT Trichy — here on Friday.

The financial trustee of Malarchi School of Renaissance, P Mahalingam, was awarded the humanitarian award for his over three-decades-long service of special children. Malarchi is perhaps among the very few schools for special children in rural areas.

Based out of Keeranur in Pudukkottai district, Mahalingam has dedicated his life for 72 underprivileged children among whom 10 are orphans and many are surviving with single parents.

The director of Pravaag, Geetha Ramanujam, was another awardee whose services fcor autistic children were recognised at the event. Running the special school at KK Nagar in Trichy for over 11 years, the school has about 63 children. Considering the award as a recognition for her service, Geetha lauded the social welfare activities of NIT Trichy students.

The founder and managing trustee of Maatram Foundation, Sujith Kumar, was another awardee recognized by HumaNITTY. He along with his friends has been ensuring that money shall never be a barrier for bright students to pursue higher education.

The group of HR professionals has so far helped 482 meritorious students get free seats in top colleges. Launched five years ago, the foundation is also the source of fees for many deserving students.

HumanITTy has so far conducted 23 outreach events spanning close to 50 "acts of giving" at rural schools, orphanages, oldage homes and special schools.



source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/nit-honours-three-entities-for-exceptional-social-service/articleshow/61074902.cms


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:32 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:22 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:22 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:07 pm 
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