One of the focus areas for United Way of Chennai, is to work with juvenile children and children living with conflict of law. United Way of Chennai has been funded by the HCL Foundation for working in two homes for the juvenile children, one housing the girls and yet another housing the boys. January 14-17 of every year is the festive season for all South Indians, the largest festival season called “Thai Pongal”. Interns from the School of Social Work were placed with United way of Chennai who was in turn placed with the girls home. The interns planned a day for “pongal” for the children with the volunteers from their college and HCL Technologies one of the largest software company in the US and India.

There were eight activities that were planned for the children traditional and village oriented. A small village was set up in the home and decorated typically depicting an environment that of a village. Each of these activities had a creative head, a volunteer to transfer knowledge to the children and a teacher to volunteer for ensuring that the kids understood and will be able to perform. All these activities were skill based and competitive. It was ensured that all 217 children in the home had the opportunity to participate in any one of the activities. One of the long time volunteer from Barclays bank came forward to sponsor the afternoon meals to all the children which cost around $500. The entire program had the participation of nearly 150 volunteers in total right from the idea to the implementation. The program had been assisted by nearly 40 volunteers on the day.

Namma Ooru Pongal at the Kellys observational Home for girls by United Way of Chennai.

1. Village scenario with the pongal pannai and pongal to be made for 150 students.

2. Vanna kolam – rangoli on “ottrumai”

3. Combination of 8 dance styles – Karagattam, kollatam, parai, etc.

4. Uri adithal

5. Kai vannam

6. vanna oviam – painting of pots

7. Kolai kolai mundrikai – traditional games

8. Pattuku pattu

The entire program is coordinated by the interns from School of Social Work Vaishanvi and Prasetha placed with UWC.

Gifts are sponsored and each child will be recognized for their creativity and energy.

The impact:

  1. The interns with UWC were trained on all aspects of how to plan and implement an event with the help of volunteers. They are placed with the home for a short period of three months. But this opportunity gave them the chance to be familiar with the place, teachers and children on a one on one basis.

  2. The HCL volunteers apart from funding the program had the opportunity to integrate with the program and to weigh the rapport created by UWC with the home.

  3. This program has created a large visibility for HCL and UWC among the students and teachers of the home.

  4. The program was done by the children and for the children.

  5. It was attended by Mr. Alagappan, Chairman of UWC and Mr. Raghuraman the Treasurer and board member of UWC. The participation by the members of UWC board enhanced the visibility and gave a facelift for the program.

  6. Children had a variety of food donated by Asha Mathen. Sweets were given out by the AMM Foundation.

The volunteers and the children cooking the Traditional pongal

The volunteers and the children cooking the Traditional pongal

Traditional “Parai” dance performed by the underprivileged children

Traditional “Parai” dance performed by the underprivileged children

Traditional bharathanatyam by the kids trained by volunteer

Traditional bharathanatyam by the kids trained by volunteer

 Kids preparing the pongal the traditional food item helped by the student volunteers

Kids preparing the pongal the traditional food item helped by the student volunteers

Children waiting to have their food – the background is the picture of Jhansi Rani – woman warrior

Children waiting to have their food – the background is the picture of Jhansi Rani – woman warrior

The back drop for the program done by kids with the training rendered by the school of social work

The back drop for the program done by kids with the training rendered by the school of social work

 HCL volunteers assist the student activities

HCL volunteers assist the student activities

 

Photos and Videos sponsored by Aadhavan.