Monday, April 09, 2007

NDTV profiles Eastside Story

Reaching out: Chennai slum children script film
Alaphia Zoyab
Monday, April,9 2007 (Chennai):

She has been nicknamed Mug-Up Mangamma because all she does the whole day is mug up her lessons.

But how much is Mangamma actually learning? Nothing is the answer.

Yet across government schools and tuition centres this is what happens - mindless memorising and the occassional caning.

Frustrated with this system, some children from the slums of Chennai scripted, directed and acted in this film Mug-Up Mangamma and it is even being screened abroad.

Helping hand

Trained by an NGO Nalandaway, the little film-makers are showing the world a thing or two - literally.

"One person looks at it as a need to create more fun in education, another person looks at this as a tool to prevent corporal punishment in schools," said Sriram V Ayer, Founder, Nalandaway.

It is a refreshing children's perspective and highly impactful too. One of the kids, Sandhya, told NDTV that her teacher watched it and now actually stops to ask her and the other kids if they have actually understood what she has been teaching them.

"It is much better than before," said V Prabhakar, Student.

Mug-Up Mangamma is finally taught Newton's third of motion by a senior student with the help of these fruits. For the first time she understands and is immediately nicknamed 'Pick-up Mangamma'.

It is just one of eight honest films made by the very children, who might be poor but full of talent and wanting to make a change.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Maid servant's daughter gets job in Accenture

Lata was one of the oldest child in our mentoring programme. A very studious and intelligent child she joined the programme during her 12th standard.

Lata resides in Villivakkam a slum in Chennai where the monthly income of any household may not exceed Rs. 2500/-. Her mother a hard-working maid servant was determined to make her child succeed.

Lata today has been appointed as a software programmer at Accenture with a starting pay of Rs. 14,000/- (per month) when she is just in her 2nd year of graduation.

Lata was part of the 'accelerated learning' programmes that helps children to be explorers of knowledge through activity and experiments. She was also mentored and financially supported by her mentors Mr. Rajesh of Infosys, Bangalore and Ms. Mansi Mehta, Chennai.

I sincerely thank Mentors - Rajesh, Mansi and Ms. Rati Forbes, Ms. Megahana and Mr. Piyush of Forbes Marshall, Pune who support our Villivakkam Learning Programme.

I am extremely thankful to all who have played a part in bringing about a positive change in the life of a child.

So long,

Sriram Ayer