Sunday, June 21, 2009


One of our expat Ultimate Frisbee players, Manickam (mostly known as Manix), and his dad run an NGO in Chennai called Pudiyador.
This evening I had a chance to go and visit their Besant Nagar center to see what they do. The intent is amazing.

Pudiyador adopts a community at each of its 3 centers and works with kids and uninitiated adults to enhance learning for the kids. The slum around this Besant Nagar center has people who are primarily dhobis, construction workers, street hawkers, and similar low skilled workers. The low skill jobs necesitate that most folks (both parents) work for long hours. Hence, there isn't much time for their kids typically. The good thing about this slum is that most of the kids here go to school which is typically till about 4.00pm. But, between 4.00pm and 9.00pm till their parents come back, these kids basically just loiter around. They don't do homework, or work on improving skills. It's not a question of incapability, but more a question of motivation and exposure. The school system encourages mugging / rote learning, which isn't the most motivating factor to study. Besides, the quality of teaching is quite poor, and hence these kids don't understand even what they're taught. Their homes are typically a single room with a TV.. (thanks to our Tamil Nadu Government and the free colour TV scheme), and hence offers a lot of distraction.
These kids when passing out of school find it very hard to survive in the real world... where they have to compete against kids who have had exposure to a lot more things. Eg. Art, craft, sports, etc. Hence, they come out with an inferiority complex in some cases, or lack of confidence, or lack of leadership qualities, etc. This is where Pudiyador fits in.
Pudiyador steps in between 5.00 and 8.30 in the evening and facilitates enhanced learning opportunities to the kids of the slum.

You can read more about it in the link below

If any of you want to volunteer to teach a bunch of underprivilidged kids once a week for an hour, please let me know. I can put you in touch with the right person. It can be anything from art to dance to theater to craft, etc. Deepam has already stepped in and is helping these kids learn and use computers. They could definitely use a lot more help. Just 1 hour of your time in a week?
Chennai Ultimate will be hoping to step in soon to teach the kids some Ultimate Frisbee. This will be a program that we will run just like we do at Olcott Memorial School. Teach the kids to play Ultimate and more importantly, the Spirit of The Game (SOTG). This helps in their hand eye coordination, as well as makes them better human beings. The background from which these kids come from.. they are used to breaking / bending rules to get ahead of the next guy. We will hope to teach them to respect fellow human beings, and respect the rules, and get rid of the "Win at all costs" attitude that pervades all around us.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there an address or number we can reach out to to volunteer?

11:38 PM  
Blogger Rhapsoder said...


The contact number and address is on the Pudiyador website!

11:51 PM  

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