MCI (P) 102/01/2015
Helping Kids be SMART Online
Coming Together, Achieving Together
Jayne Jayanti’s Grooming More pre-school ITE Youth Leaders business Success 14
AFFIRMING CLOSE TIES
15 KEEPING THE COMMUNITY INFORMED
01 02 03
• CEO’s Note • New School-Based Student Care Centres on the Way • US Teachers Pay a Visit • Affirming Close Ties
• Half-Time 2015
• Girls’ Day Out!
• Helping Families Celebrate the Festive Season
12 04-05 • SINDA Youth Club—5 Years of Service to the Community
• Coming Together, Achieving Together
13 • Envisioning Our Future • Go on, Give it a SPIN
06-07 • Jayne Jayanti’s Pre-school Business Success
08 • Raising the Adventurous Spirit
09 • Soaking Up Some Family Fun • Helping Kids be SMART Online
14 • Grooming More ITE Youth Leaders • SINDA Youth Symposium
15 • Keeping the Community Informed • Gathering Thoughts on Successful Ageing
17 • Animal-O-Mania • About Us
Publisher Singapore Indian Development Association EDITORIAL TEAM Corporate & Marketing Communications Division, SINDA CHIEF Editor Ravindran Nagalingam, COO, SINDA production Editor Dhanasegaran Narayanasamy design & layout Green House Design + Communications Pte Ltd printer Stamford Press Pte Ltd Licence No: L022/04/2012
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• Jumanji Glee • What’s Ur Plan?
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CEO’s Note Dear all, We are at a point in the year where SINDA hosts many of its signature events. We recently held the Joint Tuition Awards where students from the tutorial programmes of all four Self-Help Groups received accolades for their improved performance at the major landmark examinations. Close to 700 students from the four groups were present and it was a sight to behold at the ITE College Central, where the event was held. It is also noteworthy that this year, SINDA had the largest group of recipients—200 award winners. This is a move in the right direction—it is an indication that students in our tutorial programmes are improving and achieving much better results. It is also a reflection of SINDA’s programmes and how these influence students towards creating better futures for themselves. SINDA also recognised and motivated the top achievers in the academic, arts and sporting arenas at the SINDA Excellence Awards recently. This year’s ceremony saw some 414 Singaporean Indian recipients who have demonstrated excellence in their chosen fields. These are the cream of our community’s youth. They are poised to achieve more and SINDA will help more youth reach their potential. As much as tremendous innate potential is present in each and every youth, SINDA believes that our youths can only fulfil their promise with proper guidance and direction. We have seen what youths can achieve when they are motivated, passionate and empowered.
K Barathan CEO, SINDA
Youth have an intrinsic power to bring about positive change and solutions to a myriad of social issues. Much of this potential comes from having a sound education and the development of positive character traits and values. This is why SINDA offers a host of youth enrichment and leadership programmes to accompany its education initiatives. Motivational and mentorship programmes run by SINDA aim to help youth build positive values, develop good character, redirect their focus on education and boost their self-confidence. In this edition of SINDA Connections, you will read about many such programmes. Participants in these programmes have been very encouraging examples of students and youth who have walked through SINDA’s doors and experienced tremendous benefit and personal growth. The leaders of tomorrow will be those who begin from their weakest points; those who understand that in order to realise their ambitions, they need a team, they need a vision and most importantly, they need shared leadership. It is essential that we develop our youth to their fullest, for they are the citizens of the future.
New School-Based Student Care Centres on the Way SINDA, together with the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Yayasan MENDAKI and The Eurasian Association (EA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education on 13 August to set up 30 school-based Student Care Centres for students of all races. The first four centres will start in 2016.
Photo Credit: Ministry of Education
US Teachers Pay a Visit SINDA recently played host when 40 teachers from the United States dropped by on 14 July, to understand Singaporeâ€™s educational landscape. We were happy to share our education initiatives for the Indian community, and our visitors enjoyed interacting with students at our Seng Kang STEP Centre!
Affirming Close Ties
Every year for the last four years, SINDA has celebrated the warm relationship we share with the Ministry of Education (MOE). This collaboration sees almost 250 teachers taking on the role of SINDA Liaison Officers (SLOs) at MOE schools. At the 2015 SINDA-MOE Partnership Ceremony on 27 May, SINDA President Ms Indranee Rajah said she was “happy to note that both organisations see each other’s work as mutually complementary and their working relationship is strong”. At the Grassroots Club that afternoon, partnering schools were honoured for their dedication towards making a difference in the lives of our students. Among these, 83 schools support SINDA’s programmes by hosting them at their premises. In her speech, Ms Indranee noted that SINDA has steadily evolved to stay relevant to the current educational landscape. Indeed, we now have programmes for both primary and secondary students (STEP and Project Teach), plus ‘A’-Level tuition project Saadhana (by NUS Tamil Language Society), as well as the non-academic, motivational programme, Youth Victory, among others. With the schools’ help, SINDA managed to reach out to and help more than 6,800 students in 2014. The close rapport between SINDA and schools has a contagious enthusiasm—even students are getting in the act by mentoring SINDA kids, like Raffles Institution’s Eagle’s Eye group. Among the educators we thank especially are the SLOs, who often take time and effort to go the extra mile for their students. Ms Vijayalakshmi Vijayan, a teacher at Montfort Junior School, recalls how they were unsure about the SINDA programmes when first introduced in the school. “So I only encouraged five students who were performing badly in Mathematics to attend,” she admits. “However, even within that year, these five students performed very well in the examinations and went on to good secondary schools.” The schools also welcome SINDA’s holistic support which includes the family. Chua Chu Kang Secondary School, for instance, also hosts SINDA’s parenting programmes for those in its STEP classes. The SINDA-MOE partnership is a wonderful example of working well together. Here’s to a strengthened bond for years to come!
SINDA Youth Clubâ€“5 Years of Service to the Community You may have noticed, in recent years, our youth blazing into action. That is in no small part due to the efforts of the SINDA Youth Club (SYC), which has been busy pushing out diverse learning and leadership opportunities for 17-35 year-olds. At the core of SYC is a desire to cultivate servant leadership among its members. It is no easy task to start such a club from scratch but what a start they made! From its humble beginnings, the club now has reached out to over 2,000 youth and runs more than 10 exciting youth leadership programmes. This year, the SYC celebrates its 5th anniversary. Officially launched in 2010 by DPM Teo Chee Hean, the SYC has groomed many new leaders since, who are in turn inspiring others.
Our Youth Confident, active, motivatedâ€”the SYC is alive with people who want to make a difference. These young ones are fuelled with passion for our country and community. What distinguishes the SYC is that although it is part of SINDA, it is managed by a team of young members who bring with them much professional expertise. This group, together with able support from the SINDA secretariat, has been the driving force behind the many schemes to cultivate our post-secondary Indian youth.
SYC’s Signature Programmes SYC’s events aim to instil a sense of competence, usefulness and belonging in our youth, so that they can become “catalysts of positive change”. “Our purpose is not to replicate the work of other Indian youth organisations,” its manifesto notes. Instead, the SYC hosts annual networking sessions and forms collaborations. These are some of SYC’s signature programmes.
SINDA Young Leaders Programme (SYLP) The flagship programme of the SYC, the annual SYLP empowers Indian youth to excel in community building, service and leadership. This six-month intensive course sees participants engage in both local and overseas projects. Kristin Samivellu, a researcher with the Ministry of Home Affairs and project lead for the SYLP, has seen youth develop into capable young leaders through the programme. She says, “One is never too young to share one’s time and abilities for the betterment of the community.” Third-year NUS undergraduate A Vigneswari is also on the organising committee, and the SYC says, “We are so very proud of having Vicky on board, because she is an alumnus of our inaugural SYLP! It was designed to equip our youth with the tools to become social change makers, and Vicky has gamely put her skills to good use.” Indeed, Vicky has since taken on many roles, including that of co-leader of SYC’s first blood donation drive.
The TLP consists of informal dialogue sessions with subject matter experts, in order to broaden our youth’s local and global perspectives. It also aims to get them thinking critically about current affairs and develop as holistic problem solvers.
Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) Catering to tertiary students and young working professionals, the DSS offers a chance to engage with community leaders. Ministers, former Members of Parliament, Chairpersons of successful MNCs and other eminent professionals have helmed this annual session.
A’s the Race Mentoring offers motivational support, and this programme pairs university undergraduates with ‘A’ level and diploma students to see them through what is often a challenging stage in their academic life.
SINDA Youth Leaders Seminar (SYLS)
ITE Leadership Programme (ITELP)
Vicky also takes on facilitation and operations at the SYLS. This yearly seminar helps youth develop the skills and understanding they need to become effective leaders within culturally diverse communities. It also provides opportunities for them to apply what they’ve learnt.
Indian youth in ITE are primed for leadership and service roles through this seven-month-long programme. Following a leadership camp and soft-skill modules, the ITELP culminates in a community project conceptualised and implemented by participants.
Vicky shares, “Volunteering with SYC has been so rewarding—life-changing ideas, networking with likeminded youth, and friends forged for life!”
SINDA Sports Initiative (SPIN)
Thought Leadership Programme (TLP) “I wanted to create a programme that would help youth engage with opinion shapers as well as immerse them in key societal issues,” says Malminderjit Singh. An Executive Director of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mal has been at the forefront of the SYC since its inception.
SPIN encourages youth to sustain a healthy lifestyle through sports. Piloting this programme is Jeremy Aruldoss, civil servant and Singapore’s 2005 SEA Games representative in Karate. Jeremy believes volunteering and sport have a lot in common. He laughs, “You’ll make friends, learn to motivate yourself and others, and you’ll be a champion— a champion for causes you believe in!”
A Vibrant Society SYC is all about youth helping youth. As Cliff Richard sang: “Young dreams/Should be dreamed together/Young hearts shouldn’t be afraid”. Here’s to more years of SYC helping youth achieve their dreams!
If you would like to join the SINDA Youth Club to enrich yourself and contribute back to the community, give us a ring at 1800 295 4554 or visit our Facebook at SYC Connections today!
JAYNE JAYANTI’s PRE-SCHOOL BUSINESS SUCCESS Premier pre-school White Lodge has welcomed many SINDA children as part of its corporate social responsibility projects, encouraging them through play to work in teams, take risks and be creative. “We love it! The children learn creatively and are happy—that is truly special for us,” says Founding Director Jayne Jayanti Nadarajoo. SINDA Connections finds out what drives the 46-year-old mother of two.
Why did you set up White Lodge, and what do you aim to achieve through it? White Lodge was set up for my son, as I wanted him to have a wonderful pre-school experience. My aim then, as now, was to provide a learning environment with an emphasis on longer-term intellectual and emotional growth to balance academic success. Today, this is our strength. All our children are well-prepared for their next school placements.
Your work is centred on pre-school kids. Why do you feel early childhood education is so important? Early childhood education supports a child’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. A very high proportion of learning and growth in mental and physical abilities takes place before six years of age—that’s when they need high quality personal care and learning experiences to support their development. Children are like sponges and their thirst for knowledge and information is remarkable. There is a lovely quote from Bill Gates on this: ‘’The first five years have so much to do with how the next 80 turn out.”
White Lodge is a lot about a holistic, not just academic, education. How do you go about it?
We work hard to help each child by presenting equal focus on EQ and IQ. What good are skills and knowledge if you are not able to apply them? White Lodge celebrates all festivals and cultures as we embrace diversity and internationalism. We introduce and encourage acceptance of all people and a love for the world we live in. This inclusive learning environment teaches empathy from a young age.
How can parents be more effective companions in their child’s life journey? Parents are the number one influence in their children’s lives, right through teenage years and beyond. Listening and talking is the key to a healthy connection between parents and their children. They have to listen to their children with interest, without being intrusive.
What have been some of your proudest accomplishments? The opening of Melbourne Specialist International School is a great personal achievement for me. This special needs school caters to children 4 to 18 years of age and I am working towards a vocational programme for students aged 18 to 21 years. We hope to give out two scholarships next year, to support the community. I am also excited about the upcoming launch of SpiderFit at SkyGym,
We believe that children should experience learning as an adventure, and that such stimulation inspires and encourages the development of their imagination. We understand the child’s perspective and within White Lodge provide a world in which they can explore and express themselves best.
“Listening and talking is the key to a healthy connection between parents and their children. They have to listen to their children with interest, without being intrusive.”
which is an excellent fitness and coordination programme from the United States. Physical literacy sets a strong foundation for learning.
You’ve worked hard to be where you are now. Has it always been tough going? The reason I am successful is because I have never been afraid of hard work. My dad passed on when I was 11 years old, and my mother had to support my siblings and me. At a young age I went to work full-time to help the family too; I learnt to be independent and not to feel sorry for myself. Even my studies in Early Childhood Education were completed as I worked full-time. We lived simply, but with a strong belief in God to give us strength and to guide us through.
What pushes you to achieve more? I am a role model to my children Saktish and Kenisha. I want them to be good people who effect change and make a difference in the world. I am blessed to have the support of my family and my team, and skills to help me achieve my dreams and aspirations. My ultimate goal is to be a philanthropist and help educate more children in Singapore and abroad.
Raising the Adventurous Spirit School holidays mean camp time! So it was for 76 Secondary 1 and 2 students who gladly put aside their books to rough it out for three days and two nights from 8 to 10 June. Coming from 21 STEP Centres, the teens converged at the BB/GB Campsite for Camp Arise 2015. Taking the theme ‘Challenge Yourself’ to heart, the participants gamely took on rock climbing, raft building, expeditions and outdoor cooking. “It was very thrilling and exciting! I had to overcome my fears many times,” said one student. Just as enthusiastic were former participants, returning as trained Peer Leaders, and proud to co-facilitate the camp. “I loved the campfire,” enthused a teen, talking about the highlight of the camp. That night, the youngsters celebrated their new friendships and camaraderie with cheers and songs, together with SINDA CEO Mr K Barathan. It won’t be the last time the teens will be together—a booster session is scheduled to reinforce the values they emerged from camp with: motivation, self-esteem, resilience and self-awareness. Who knows, but many may be back for future editions of Camp Arise, as Peer Leaders, next!
Soaking Up Some Family Fun
113 students and their families enjoyed a splashing good time, when SINDA’s Family Division brought them to Sentosa’s Adventure Cove Waterpark on 30 May. Armed with Families for Life picnic bags from the Ministry of Social and Family Development and tickets to the SEA Aquarium, the happy group set off after lunching at the Umar Pulavar Tamil Language Centre. It was a new experience for many of the families, who are in the low-income bracket, and turned out to be vastly popular. Participant Vineswari enthused, “My children loved it! It was a happy family day for us once again.” Not just a bonding opportunity for families, the activity brought strangers together, too. “We really enjoyed getting to know new friends,” smiled Amutha at the end of the day.
Helping Kids Be SMART Online As our kids grow up in the internet age, it is more and more important that they learn the do’s-and-don’ts of navigating cyberspace. For 21 Primary 3 and 4 students, this meant two captivating mornings learning how to “Search Meaningfully And Reply Thoughtfully (SMART)”, and practise good etiquette online. The cyber wellness workshop, held on 25 July and 1 August, gave needful advice to their parents, too, on bringing up their children in the digital age. Facilitating this pilot programme in collaboration with SINDA’s Family Division was the Ministry of Communication and Information, as well as partners National Library Board, Media Literacy Council, Media Development Authority and Infocomm Development Authority.
Jumanji Glee “The camp was awesome!” 10-year-old Sreenita Suppiah from Pasir Ris Crescent STEP Centre gushes. She was one of 121 Primary 4 to 6 students who had just completed the fourth installation of Camp Jumanji at the SAFRA Adventure Sports Centre. The three-day overnight camp over 4-6 June challenged the tweens with a whole barrage of confidence-building activities—from pitching their own tents, abseiling and sky-walking, to bouldering and aqua challenges. Sreenita proudly declares, “I learnt to manage myself on my own, although it’s my first time away from home.” Camp-mate Shakti Thilaimakesvaran, 10, also appreciated the fantastic team spirit among new friends. He added, “The camp helped me overcome my fears, and I learned to be independent. “I hope SINDA holds this camp again!”
What’s Ur Plan? “Come chill and chat with us,” the programme invitingly beckoned. 116 Secondary-level STEP students stepped up and shared their hopes and plans at a whole-day workshop on 25 July, led by motivational speaker Ramesh Muthusamy and his trainers. The highly interactive, activity-based programme at Serangoon Garden Secondary School took the teens through goalsetting, nurturing a right mindset and effective time management. The students also got a headstart in developing a career blueprint, as Mr Ramesh guided them to build “better game plans”. That’s one cohort that’s all powered up for the coming exams, and well-prepared for future success!
Half-Time 2015 About 50 teenage boys had a ball of a time when the June holidays kicked off with a two-day residential football camp. Held over 2-3 June at Golazo LLP in Jurong, the aptly named Half-Time 2015 saw the secondary school boys put their skills to the test in multiple round-robin games. Said one teen, “What I liked most was training very hard with my team-mates.” Indeed, camaraderie and hard work were the order of the camp, what with circuit training, footwork and technique high on the agenda. Their industry had a highlight—the Night Futsal Tournament, in which they took on not just each other, but also established teams SINDA Lions and Stadio Dazzlers. The excitement never let up, and on the second day, the SINDA Invitational Tournament saw futsal teams from various voluntary welfare organisations and self-help groups taking on the challenge as well! Our SINDA boys eventually placed a brilliant third, with Jamiyah Children’s Home coming in second and the team from Goodlink FC taking home the champion trophy. Well done, boys! You’re all winners!
Girls’ Day Out! SINDA’s Girls’ Day Out, held on 19 June, was a great way for some secondary school girls to make new friends and get tips on being awesome inside and out. The 13- to 17-year-olds had a blast with an inspiring session on nailing first impressions, by Vasantham artiste Ms Hayma Malini. The 38 teens enjoyed learning about body language, dressing well and etiquette, and picked up nutritional tips for healthy skin. The day’s programme gave the girls’ levels of self-respect and self confidence a huge boost! An adrenaline-pumping turn on trampolines ensured the afternoon ended on a real high.
Coming Together, Achieving Together The 12th Joint Tuition Awards on 29 August celebrated the achievements of students from all four Self-Help Groups (SHGs): SINDA, Chinese Development Assistance Council, Eurasian Association and Yayasan MENDAKI. Of the 694 recipients this year, more than 200 were from SINDA, with PSLE students making up more than half the cohort. Other award-winners were stars from the GCE ‘N’ and ‘O’ level examinations. Guest of Honour Mr S Iswaran, formerly Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, noted, “This diversity attests to our conviction and commitment that education is a springboard for any Singaporean of any community to attain a better future.” He alluded to the Prime Minister’s National Day Rally speech, where three key ingredients for Singapore’s success were named. Mr Iswaran noted that these—a harmonious multiracial society, culture of self-reliance and mutual support, and the bond between the Government and the people—also underpin the work of the SHGs. Specifically, Mr Iswaran highlighted the importance of education as “the surest means of ensuring social mobility in our meritocratic society”. Speaking at the event at ITE College Central, Mr Iswaran gave special mention to SINDA’s own Ilamurugan Pavithra, who was awarded Overall Best Student at the ‘N’ levels. Lauded for her remarkable improvement after two years as a STEP student, Pavithra is continuing with STEP as she prepares for her ‘O’ Level examinations at Gan Eng Seng Secondary School. She says, “We need to study hard, but also need to know how to study smart.” Also lauded at the event were Ayyapparaj Sabarees Kumar And M Bharath, the overall best improved students for the PSLE and ‘O’ levels respectively. Both students attributed the significant achievements in their landmark examinations to the STEP programme. As an SG50 salute, a cookbook, Singapore’s Multiracial Recipe, which the SHGs collaborated on to publish, was launched, too. Aiming to introduce our food heritage to the younger generation, the cookbook also reminds us of what makes us Singaporean and what unites us. So also our students, who come from all walks of life, different races and diverse backgrounds, reflect this year’s JTA theme of ‘Coming Together, Achieving Together’. Congratulations to all JTA winners! May you inspire others as you achieve your dreams and aspirations.
Envisioning Our Future “Each generation brings with it a fresh burst of enthusiasm, energy, vitality. Each generation is fired by its vision of the ideal society in an ideal world. The ideal can never be achieved but because men have ideals, those societies progress.” —Lee Kuan Yew, 24 January 1988 On 12 June, Singaporean Indian youths heeded the call to develop a vision and make a difference in society, gathering at the 2015 SINDA Youth Leaders Seminar (SYLS). At the three-day residential programme at The Prince George’s Park Residences, National University of Singapore, a hackathon format was used for the first time in the SYLS. Challenging the 17- to 21-year-olds from diverse backgrounds, the topics ran the gamut from the elderly, to access to justice and more. Through the hackathon, the youth—all leaders in their respective fields and organisations—worked together to develop a vision for our community. Facilitator Shrisarayu Gnanasekaran, 20, a former participant, shared, “The SYLS is all about understanding people and our society better. When I was a new participant in 2012, little did I know that young people could contribute to nation-building.” For the 130 participants, a highlight was the closing dialogue with Minister for Social and Family Development Mr Tan Chuan-Jin. Another clear favourite was a panel session on challenging conventions, hosted by Mr Viswa Sadasivan and Mr Aaron Maniam.
Go on, Give it a SPIN Are you stressed by academic pressure? In order to cope better, there are three key things you mustn’t neglect: your physical health, mental well-being, and social interests. SINDA’s Sports Interest Group Programme, or SPIN, is here to help! We’ll show you how to inculcate healthy living habits through fun and innovative sports and activities. Inaugurated just last year, we’ve so far conducted SPIN Futsal, Yoga, Captain’s Ball and SPIN Cycling sessions. One new feature which kicked off in September 2015 is health management, for those of us struggling with weight and fitness issues. Check out our other programmes on the way—activities you always wanted to try, like American Football, Tchoukball, Boxing, Dancesport, Dragon Boating, Bouldering/Top Rope or Canoe Water Polo! To find out more, give Mr Ram Prakash a call at 6393 7256, or email him at email@example.com. We’re hoping to build a sustainable group of like-minded youth who love keeping fit. If that sounds like you, go on, give us a SPIN today.
Grooming More ITE Youth Leaders Our youth want to be given opportunities in volunteering and leadership and the SINDA Youth Club has just the right programmes for them! It’s only good news when our youngsters are keen on giving back to the community. Following a series of focus group discussions held last year, where the interests and needs of ITE students were uncovered, the ITE Leadership Programme was conceptualised. From 10-12 April, an inaugural batch of 25 teens from ITE underwent a three-day residential leadership camp, emerging with the motivation and confidence to make a difference. Since then, they have been coming together regularly for workshops to hone their skills. What they have learnt will come in handy when they take the big step into actual service: a community-based project, of their choice, for their peers. This group effort kicks off in the last quarter of the year, and the students will have to visualise, plan and execute the project. Empowered as youth leaders, they will be taking on more responsibility as concerned citizens in their community, learning to galvanise the support of their peers as well. What a great start for our ITE teens, on their road to their dreams!
SINDA Youth Symposium How do our youth believe they can sustain Singapore in the next 50 years? 50 of them under SINDA’s Thought Leadership Programme came together on 29 August at St. Joseph’s Institution to give their take on Singapore’s future. Coming from all walks of life, the young people attending the inaugural SINDA Youth Symposium animatedly discussed considerations in safeguarding our country’s success. Topics included driving a collective Singapore identity and Singapore’s survival. The panel speakers, who came from various industries in both the public and private sectors, offered a lively mix of perspectives, which one participant described as “a real eye-opener”. She added, “Often we don’t stop to think about where we are now, and where we want to go from here on. This symposium has forced us to think out-of-the-box, hearing from esteemed captains of industry. I’m glad to have been a part of this.”
Keeping the Community Informed It is important that the Singaporean Indian community is kept updated and aware of the work that SINDA does to uplift the less privileged in the community. A series of five dialogue sessions were conducted in 2015 and aimed to reach out to Singaporean Indians through Indian grassroots leaders and religious organisations. Their aim: to enhance residents’ awareness of SINDA’s programmes and services, and strengthen their support for these initiatives. The five meetings were each held at a district—Central , Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast. Engaging the audience were members of parliament Mr Inderjit Singh, Mr Vikram Nair, Dr Janil Puthucheary, Mr Zaqy Mohamad and Dr Maliki Osman respectively. Also raising awareness of our services were our various divisions, who manned booths to explain their respective programmes. In addition, Question-and-Answer sessions helped clarify matters ranging from our education schemes to our family programmes. The engaging sessions have been a revelation for many, giving participants a better appreciation of SINDA and its work.
Gathering Thoughts on Successful Ageing As life expectancy has increased by 10 years over the last three decades, we may feel forever young. So what are our Indian community’s aspirations for life as seniors? On 2 May, 68 adults over 40 years of age came together for a focus group discussion on Successful Ageing. Held by SINDA in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the programme was part of the Action Plan for Successful Ageing under the Ministerial Committee on Ageing. Our local elderly Indian population currently stands at 9%, and may triple by 2030. How do we keep ourselves engaged, lead fruitful lives and actively contribute to the community and economy as we age? Through the open and lively conversations, more was gleaned about what our community thinks and hopes for, especially in relation to lifelong learning. We at SINDA will use this to better define the role we can play. The morning’s event was graced by SINDA President, Ms Indranee Rajah.
Helping Families Celebrate the Festive Season “Giving, sharing, and caring for the communities during the different festive periods”—Associate Professor Mohammad Faishal Ibrahim, former Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Transport neatly summed up what SINDA’s annual Celebrate! project is about. Speaking at the launch of 2015’s exercise to spread cheer to needy families, Prof Faishal also noted, “It is a very important gesture because we live in a multiracial society, and it is more meaningful this year because of SG50.” In time for Hari Raya, the festive giving began on 27 June this year, in conjunction with SG50 Kita. Receiving the $100 NTUC vouchers for distribution were nine volunteer groups—Aflaaq Stars Education and Cultural Society, Singapore Kadayanallur Muslim League (SKML), United Indian Muslim Association of Singapore, Singapore Tenkasi Muslim Welfare Society, Sai Action for Family Relief and Needy (Saffron), Singai Tamil Sangam, Hindu Sabai, Credit Suisse and Citibank. In the weeks following, the volunteers distributed the gift-packs island-wide to 370 Indian Muslim beneficiaries under SINDA’s Family Service Centre and other help agencies. Veteran volunteer Mr Raja Mohamed, General Secretary of SKML, joined in for his eighth consecutive year. He said, “By being involved in this project, we develop greater empathy and fulfil our responsibility towards those who are less fortunate.” SINDA also distributes vouchers to families celebrating Deepavali and Christmas.
Animal-O-Mania So you have visited the zoo and you think that you know every animal. But think again! Look carefully at the pictures below and guess the animal. It may not be as easy as you think it is! To enter this month’s contest, submit your answers, together with your particulars, to SINDA Connections Contest c/o SINDA Family Division, No 1 Beatty Road, Singapore 209943. Your entries have to reach SINDA by 19 December 2015. This contest is only open to primary school students, who are Singaporeans or Permanent Residents. 3 correct entries will each win a $50 voucher. The winning correct entries will be picked in a draw and the judges’ decision is final. Winners will be contacted by SINDA to collect their prizes and winners’ names will be published in the next SINDA Connections.
Guess the following animals
Congratulations to the winners of the previous contest! Kandhasamy Kesav, Primary 5 Bukit View Primary School
Reia Sandhu, Primary 2 Methodist Girls’ School
Kaushik Elangovan, Primary 6 Jiemin Primary School
ABOUT US VISION
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
To build a strong and vibrant Singaporean Indian community together
Patron Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
MISSION To build a well-educated, resilient and confident community of Indians that stands together with the other communities in contributing to the progress of multi-racial Singapore VALUES Respect, our culture Integrity, our foundation Service, our promise Excellence, our pursuit
Chairman, Board of Trustees Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam Life Trustees Prof S Jayakumar Mr S Dhanabalan Mr S Chandra Das Mr J Y Pillay Mr Sat Pal Khattar Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam Mr K Shanmugam Dr N Varaprasad
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Term Trustees Mr Inderjit Singh Ms Indranee Rajah Mr M Rajaram Mr V Shankar Mr Ravi Menon Mr R Jayachandran Mr Girija Pande Mr Gautam Banerjee Mr Ravinder Singh Justice Judith Prakash Mr K Kesavapany Advisors Dr Vivian Balakrishnan Mr S Iswaran Mr Hri Kumar Nair Mr Vikram Nair
President Ms Indranee Rajah Vice Presidents Mr Viswa Sadasivan Mr Shabbir Hassanbhai Secretary Mr Sarjit Singh Treasurer Mr Shekaran Krishnan Members Mr V P Jothi Mr R Rajaram Mr Puvan Ariaratnam Mr R Subramaniam Iyer Dr Joshua V M Kuma Mr K V Rao Mr Raja Mohamad Maiden Mr R Chandra Mohan Mr K Ramamoorthy Mr Sarbjit Singh