Introduction Ashwini Charitable Trust (ACT) is a Registered NonGovernmental Organisation that educates and empowers underprivileged children in and around the slums of Ulsoor, Bangalore and supports them till they are gainfully employed. We run an After-School Activity Centre. The Trust provides the children with the following: - Tuition and coaching classes - Stationery, notebooks, raincoats, blankets, bed sheets, medicines, and vaccines - Classes in Dance, Drama, Art and Photography - Computer training - Professional training in writing resume, facing interviews - Emotional counseling to face problems in life and WHO life skills training Our primary concern is to educate the children and we also pay their school and college fees. We do not charge the children any fee for any of the above.
Contents How far have we come? Milestones Funds and volunteers
What are our regular activities? What have our kids learnt? Methodology and activities
How did we celebrate? Festivities
How far have we come? Milestones
Class wise information
College/technical training (16-20yrs)
For the past 4 years we have been using our Resource Centre for all our activities. Due to our growing numbers, we decided to rent another premises nearby. This is a small bungalow very close to the Resource Centre (RC) We call this the Learning Centre (LC) which is used for all academics. The Resource Centre is now used for meetings, dance and drama practice and watching movies. It also houses the computer lab with 10 computers and state-of-the-art library with over 2000 bar coded books.
Painting the LC The employees of Goldman Sachs painted the LC as part of their CSR project. The motifs on the walls are exactly the same as the Resource Center. It has now become something of a landmark with painted animals, friendly sun and a huge painting of a tree with the children's hand prints on it. Cleaning & fun The Cisco Marketing and Technology teams led by Ms Lea King volunteered a day of service at the Resource Center. They helped us redo the flooring of our labs, cleaned up the entire premises and also spent time playing games with the children. The computerised library We always had a library but with the help of a software - EasyLib donated by the Cisco marketing team, we were able to bar code all the books in our library. We have also issued library ID cards to the children. Now the oldest child of the Trust operates the library and issues books every Saturday. Our Computer Lab The children go to Surabhi Charitable Trust for basic computer training. In 2008 the Cisco marketing team donated and set up the network system in our computer lab. The children use the lab to improve their computer skills and also surf the Internet for information related to their various assignments and projects. Our very first employee Mrs Mani joined us as administrative staff in March 2008. She was a teacher in NCS (the very first school we started from) before joining us.
How far have we come? Funds and volunteers Although the efforts of one person may seem small, every act of service can have an important impact on someone … and millions of individuals can create a revolution of sorts. Whatever your reason for volunteering or sponsoring, once involved, it’s easy to get hooked— to ‘catch the spirit’ of community involvement!
Fund raiser, Art Auction Katya and Wim Elfrink of Cisco arranged an art auction to raise funds for ACT and Karunashraya. Some leading painters from the city and other parts of the country painted masterpieces which were then auctioned. Volunteering pledge by ARM Anil Gupta of ARM Embedded Technologies has been an active volunteer with ACT, teaching maths to Class X students for the past four years. During the inauguration of ARM’s new building, presided over by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, ARM pledged 2000 hours of volunteering to ACT. Donations in kind Lea King and Donald Williams donated computers and a fax-copierprinter. The furniture and cameras were donated by the Cisco Marketing Team. The Cisco Marketing and Technology teams donated a laser jet printer. Mercedes Benz & Dell donated computers.
What are our regular activities? Parent’s Meetings Issues addressed include induction process of new admissions into the Trust, procedures to follow, children's discipline and preparation for SSLC examination. Volunteer's Meetings Our group of volunteers meets periodically . These meetings help them to understand the children's background and be more effective in tutoring them. Volunteers also share their success stories with all of us. Children's Monday Meetings Thought for the day, narrating stories, addressing problems and inter-personal issues are handled at these meetings. Currently the children from class VII and upwards are learning to make power point presentations on various topics and present them at the meetings. This is a part of the ‘kids teach kids’ initiative. Saving Bank Accounts All the children of the trust hold savings bank accounts which they jointly operate with their mothers. Birthday celebrations We celebrate birthdays of the children on the last Saturday of every month. All the children whose birthdays fall in a particular month gather to cut a huge cake. We also gift them a cake to celebrate with their families. Home visits We conduct home visits to understand the children’s backgrounds and challenges. This also helps us to build the community spirit. Food Program We provide snacks for the children everyday. We organise lunch on many occasions including Children's Day, Bakrid, Durga Puja, Diwali and Christmas. Nutritional supplement We have created a breakfast cereal mixture with the help of the mothers. Every child is given a kilo of this mix every month thus meeting their daily requirement of vitamins and nutrients.
What have our kids learnt? Methodology and activities Our Methodology We follow Howard Gardener's Multiple Intelligences Theory which states that all aspects of human intelligence can be studied under 8 broad categories: Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Musical, Kinesthetic, Environmental, Spatial, Linguistic and Mathelogical. At ACT, we arrange and involve the children in various activities so that we are able to determine the children's dominant intelligence and train them further in that field. In this way, the children will be able to seek employment in areas that best suit their native intelligence and abilities.
Dance and Sports to enhance Kinesthetic intelligence The Rotaract Club, Kalyan organised an Inter-NGO meet called VISWAS â€˜08. The children participated in group/solo dancing and singing competitions where they won several prizes. Bangalore Marathon - Mercedes Benz sponsored 50 children for the Celebration Run of the Sunfeast World 10k Run. Activities to enhance Intra-personal and Inter-personal Intelligence This summer, we had bi-weekly classes in Life skills for children above Class X. The classes were based on the World Health Organization's stipulations. We focused intensely on Self-Awareness, Managing Emotions, Understanding Interpersonal skills and Goal Setting. The classes were practical and the children were given team activities thus providing them with live samples of their behaviour. Goldman Sachs organised a visit to Sandhya Kirana, an old age home. Our children sang and danced for the old people there. They were moved by the plight of those who had been turned away by family members. Creating Emotional Wellness and Happy Memories We organise picnics to places of cultural and historical interest to improve the children's knowledge and create happy memories leading to emotional wellness. This summer we visited the Bangalore Palace(organised by Goldman Sachs) and the ISKCON temple (organised by ARM Embedded Technologies)
Outdoor activities to improve Environmental intelligence All our childen love nature and some love gardening.Goldman Sachs organised trips to GKVK Agricultural College and Bannerghatta National Park. The senior children researched on both topics through the Internet and made power point presentations to all. A well-wisher, Mrs Shanthi Soni donated dozens of potted plants. These are tended to by our children. Mathelogical Intelligence- activities to improve academics Goldman Sachs organised a series of workshops for the children. Science Day - The children made volcanoes with baking powder, plaster of Paris and Mirinda. There were ooohs and aaahs when the volcano frothed orange lava. Cultural Day - The children read story books, solved puzzles, participated in quizzes and enthralled their audience with song and dance. Maths Day - Vedic Maths, Mental Maths, tips to handle the subject were discussed. History and Geography Day -. The world wars were the subject of discussion in History. The physical features of India - states, capitals, water bodies were studied in Geography. Oracle employees volunteered at the Center as part of their world wide day of service. They organised quizzes, anthakshari, board games, puzzles and created a unique newspaper fancy dress competition where the children had to create their costumes using newspaper. Some of the children were innovative enough to create a nurse's uniform complete with syringe and BP machine. Volunteers from Cisco organised Maths Day for the primary children. Creativity in Technology- Video essay contest 16 senior children were divided into four groups. Four topics were selected: the Human Network, Communication and Collaboration, Technology and Globalisation. Each group had to choose one topic, write a script and shoot a 5 minute movie. They also had to make a power-point presentation around the same subject. They were given 3 cameras for this and a lot of guidance from the members of Cisco. The children made their presentation after preparing for two months. They were judged by over fifty expatriates from the Cisco community who were in Bangalore for a Global Leadership program. The winner for the power-point presentation was the team who worked on Globalisation. The Best Movie prize went to the Human Network team which showcased ACT as a living example of human networking.
Movie time We had a private screening of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games’08 at Beijing, China(organised by Lea King of Cisco). BBC's Planet Earth series was screened with the help of Donald Williams of Cisco. The main hall was darkened to simulate a cinema hall and chips and soft drinks were circulated to complete the movie experience. These were possible because of KYAN, the community computer donated by Goldman Sachs. Guest Speakers Our aim is to see that all the children get jobs suited to their abilities and temperament. In this connection we regularly invite professionals from various walks of life to address the children. This year senior members of Cisco and Goldman Sachs spoke about future careers in HR, Marketing, Finance and Work-Life balance Col. Malhotra of PWC spoke about careers in the Armed Forces. Ms Mrinalini Ingram of Cisco shared her life story through a very interesting presentation. Mr. Anil Sharma from Infineon shared his life experience. Mentoring Program This year, both Goldman Sachs and Cisco initiated a mentoring program where volunteers motivate and mould children preparing them for the job market. The senior children spend a couple of hours every week making presentations to their mentors. They are learning to write resume and prepare for interviews. ‘Kids teach kids’ is an initiative where senior children teach primary and middle school children various subjects and also coach them to make power-point presentations.
How did we celebrate? Festivities Republic Day The children got an opportunity to perform a series of patriotic dances at ITPL. This was arranged by our esteemed volunteers, Arpita Datta and Jyoti Ganapati from Infineon and co-sponsored by Ascendas. Durga Puja 20 children of ACT were invited to dance at the inaugural function of Durga Puja organised by the Bengalee Association. Scripted by Paromita Sen Hershan the children enacted a touching pantomime of wild life being poached for man's selfish interests. Diwali Celebrations Thanks to Anil Gupta who arranged for the fire crackers, this is the third consecutive year that we have been able to celebrate Diwali. The volunteers organised the children into groups according to their age. Fireworks were distributed to all. But the show stoppers were the colourful rockets that took our breath away. Christmas celebrations The children were invited to a party ( the first ever party that most of them had attended) at the homes of Lea King, Katya and Wim Elfrink (Cisco). Trampoline, aiming and shooting games were some of the attractions. This was followed by dinner. Our children also danced to a feast of patriotic songs. Lea King gifted her Christmas tree to us which the children decorated. We organised lunch for all the children, their mothers and our volunteers. On Christmas Day, Radio city FM 91.1 arranged for the lead pair of the Kannada film, Haage Summane, Kiran, Suhasi and the cameraman to visit our centre. They cut a cake with our children, sang songs and danced.
Through their eyes Video contest, organised by Cisco was an unforgettable project for us. We learnt how to do power-point presentations and to take videos. While we were taking the footage we learnt how to convince people to act in it. Though we had misunderstandings between us regarding the project, we learnt how to collaborate with each other. We learnt how to access the internet and to use many websites other than Google. Now we feel free to use the internet. Shashikala.J, 19yrs, II BCA, St.Josephâ€™s College of Arts and Science on the video essay competition. I liked the time management which Northern Trust follows for the different processes in office. I like the way Vishal (team leader) explained to me about their processes. They also taught me how to mingle with their team. I felt very confident being with their team. I liked the way they work, which inspired me to work as one of their employees in their office. Somia.E, 20yrs, III B.Com, St.Josephâ€™s College of Commerce. On her internship at Northern Trust After the Cisco project I have become comfortable with computers. I have learnt many things, one of them being how to create an attractive power-point presentation. I have also learnt to use the movie maker, to edit videos, download pictures and surf the internet. Now I have learnt how to work as a team. S.Sharadh Kumar, 16yrs, I PUC, RBANMS College, about the Cisco video essay project.
I was very nervous when I stepped into the college. I saw students talking with all their friends. I felt very lonely and I felt like crying. Then I went to the auditorium, there I was sitting alone. After some time a girl came and sat next to me. I was feeling very nervous to talk to her. Even then, I came out of my nervousness and spoke to her confidently. Before this, wherever I went I used to call my friends with me. But this was my first experience to talk with a stranger. From this my journey of interacting with people and studying in Josephâ€™s started. Now I am bold enough to talk with all the students. Lakshmi.B, I B.Com, St. Josephâ€™s College of Commerce, on her 1st day at college. It was our 1st presentation in a big company in front of all the Cisco team, which had a lot of foreigners. I was very nervous but after seeing the other teams presenting, my confidence increased. When I entered the stage to speak for a minute I was very nervous. But slowly my confidence came back. After the presentation we were anxious about the results. But we got the prize for the best video. Now I will be more confident in future presentations. Kasturi , 17yrs, II PUC RBANMS, on her 1st presentation to a big audience.
Acknowledgments We are grateful to the following for their invaluable support Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, Ashok Chakra Katya Elfrink Lea King Cisco Marketing Team Cisco Women Action Network Rotary Club Goldman Sachs Prema Krishnamurthy Infineon Technologies Pvt. Ltd. IDG Ventures Pvt. Ltd. Indigo Printers Northern Trust Share Initiative Our distribution of essential commodities would not have been possible but for the generous contributions made by the following people. We acknowledge their kindness and desire to make a difference in the lives of the ACT children. Thank you for supporting our food program Susan Philip Flora Decors S. Jayesh Athmika and Sankalp Bangalore Cares Kuheli Ghosh Jyotsna Ramkumar Divya Nahendra Manivannan and Kumudavalli Volunteers who make a differenceArpita Anil Jyoti Dipu Arvind Ipsita Preeti
Chandrashekhar Mythili Zach Prasad Nidhi Allan Kavita Madhulika
Lokesh Sonia Chugani Geeta Narang Satya Krishnan V Ramesh Birunda Chandrasekhar Bandi Sunil Arvindam Anupama
Kurunji Gita Clare Poojitha Ravi Anupama Ritwik Ashwani
Priya K Vasanth Nikhil Shekhar Divya Pankaj Shabana Priyamvadha
Shakthi Umesh Radha Sahana Siddharth Sneha Meera Aarthi
We welcome our new volunteers Sumit Jhelum Sneha Mohit Hariharan Sushyant Ishwar Neha Richa
Piyush Vishal Ankit Nirupama Dheebshibha Praveen Sheila Sujaya Shanthi
Don Patrick Shruthi Archana Rashmi Salil Neeti Shuvadeep Naveen
Abhijit Anuj Aathmika Niharika Vikas Smita Usha Abhishek
We wish the following volunteers a happy married life Aarthi and PV Sakthi and Ramesh Mythili and Shekhar Nidhi and Prasad Priyanktha and Anand
Ipsita and Sanjip Shabana and Neybi Priya K and Uday Kumar Richa and Abhishek Neha and Geet
We are grateful to all our donors. Following is a list of some of themJayanta Majumdar Preejith Madhuri Daftardar Salil Agarwal Srikanth Srinivasan Irene Raju Rishi Mukhopadhya Karthick Nahendra Nagesh Praveen Aravind Purohit Vasanth Ramkumar B.T Phillip Mohan Rama Sudha Sorabh Gupta Kamal Lamba Sharanjit Kaur Tejraj Gulecha
Hariharan IDG Ventures India Indu Bhandiyan Philips Electronics Pratima Rijhwani D Link Sonya Kaushik Overseas Women's Club Gauri Saha ARM Embedded Tech( P) Ltd. Sunil Aravindam State Bank Of India Birundha T.S Mahalingam & Sons Nitin Khedkar Surabhi Charitable Trust V.S Hemmady Price Waterhouse Cooper (P) Ltd. Arpita Datta Menda Charitable Trust Ashok Rijhwani Dell Foundation Paromita Sen Harshan Infineon Technologies (P) Ltd. Bhavana Ladies Wing Bengalee Assoc. Leena Rotaract Bangalore, Kalyan Lavina KYNKYNY V. Ramesh CSB Manik Arora Shiya Joseph T.C Meenakshisundaram