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Archive for April, 2009

About the Skits

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Some of our volunteers from Dallas, Texas, wrote out a number of skits to emphasize various human values to the community. We hope that we can teach them to the kids in the Ramavaram community so that, in the process, they can learn the values imparted by the skits.

The values that were emphasized are:

  • Generosity
  • Humility
  • Determination and Perseverance
  • Non-Violence
  • Peace
  • Right Action
  • Honesty
  • Respect
  • Self Confidence

The skits have been written in English and we need help to get them translated into colloquial Tamil. If this is something you can do and you would like to volunteer your services, we invite you to contact us. We would really appreciate the help. The skits are short and are only a page or two long. They are designed to last for only a few minutes each in keeping with our needs to keep things simple for the sake of the children.

In upcoming posts, we will be posting synopses of the skits, a statement from the authors about the skits and the skits themselves.

The skits were written by Krishnakanth Chiravuri, Srikanth Chiravuri, Vidhi Makanji, Neil Mithal, and Abhiram Gunturi, from Dallas, Texas, USA.

Plans for May 2009

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

May, 2009 is around the corner. For most of us, this means that we won’t be in the city for this month. Nonetheless, we have a number of plans for Sangam India that continue throughout May.

  • Educational Programme – We have plans to continue the educational programme that started last March in operation throughout May. It will be run by the members who are still in Chennai. However, we are short-staffed and we could use all the help we could get. Please send us an email at info@sangamindia.org if you can volunteer your time, on a weekend, for just a few hours. During this month we will hold the same programme but it may be simplified due to the reduced staff on hand. Nonetheless we are committed to maintaining our relationship with the community and to making sure the children will still have our company. Stay tuned on this blog with more exact details of upcoming visits.
  • Research – During May, a lot of our members will be doing extensive research on various things in order to advance our work. This will range from talking to other NGOs in people’s hometowns, researching educational opportunities, vocational training programmes, and legal research to advance Sangam India to NGO status.
  • Skits – A number of volunteers from Dallas, Texas, have written a series of wonderful skits demonstrating various human values. We hope to teach these to the children of Ramavaram when we get back and we need help with translating them from English to colloquial Tamil. If you can help with this, please let us know.

Promotional Packet

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The Promotional Packet contains the following:

It is attached here as a pdf file. It is designed to print on A4 size paper (if you should need a 8.5 x 11 format, please contact us and we can prepare one.)

edit: this should print well on both size A4 and 8.5 x 11 paper.
Additionally, a promotional e-packet is not available for easy on-line viewing.

Notes for Meeting Held on April 28th, 2009

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Here is a summary of the meeting held on April 28th, 2009:

  1. Legal
    • Discussed various aspects of Indian NGOs including citizenship requirements, property requirements and FCRA limitations.
  2. Educational Programme – May
    • Safwan to be in charge of the programme for May.
    • We will working on assembling him a team to run the programme during the month. Volunteers are greatly needed.
    • Ideas:
      • simple games
      • coloring programmes
      • reading programmes
  3. Plans for May
    • Navyatha, Shilpa, Nivedita, Sriram – to continue legal work.
    • Rifa – Educational research in Bangalore
    • Sriram and Nivedita to create a promotional packet
    • Mounica – to research local NGO
    • Thinesh – protein packets
    • Vasundhra – hygiene research, contact NGOs in Delhi, and to research vocational programme.
    • Everyone promised to come up with a lesson plan and to research idealist.org
    • We made a facebook group for active members to discuss the projects they are working on. All are invited but it will be an active discussion to work out the current business of Sangam India. To join, please contact us.

Anand Charity: "Building a better India, slum by slum"

Monday, April 27th, 2009


Anand Charity
is an Non-Profit Organization based in California which “aims to identify and provide need based financial support to organizations involved with health care, primary education and disaster management in India.” In the short span of 2 years, they have been able to donate over $32,000 for charitable causes across India.

We’ve been mentioned in this quarter’s “News @ Anand,” a quarterly publication by Anand Charity. You can download the pdf by clicking the link above, and you can also read the full interview (not included in the newsletter) here.

Passing by a slum or a group of poor children in soiled clothes playing on the streets is an everyday sight in almost every city in India. So common, that we tend to ignore it. But for two NRIs who had come to Chennai to study Medicine, this plight could not be overlooked. Just a few months into college, they decided to start Sangam India, a charity organization, with an aim to reach the underprivileged sections of the society. Since its inception in early 2008, they have been working with the Ramavaram slums, around River Adyar in Chennai. They have ameliorated the slum conditions by providing nutritious meals, sponsoring education and medical camps for its residents.

What inspired you to start Sangam India?
It is very easy to turn a blind eye to the injustices and inequalities that we encounter in day-to-day life, but we have a responsibility to those around us. Sangam India started out of a desire that we, as medical students, should do at least something small for the underprivileged. We started out as a small group giving out food and are now growing into a larger organization, taking on health care and education initiatives in addition to our original aims.

Click here to read the full interview and click here to read the newsletter (pdf).

Thanks to writer Mrinalini Daran for taking the time to write about us and for helping to raise some awareness about the work that needs to be done in Chennai.

Educational Programme – Day 6

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Today was the sixth day of our Educational Programme, and overall it went well. Today we had a lot of kids getting involved and we were able to reach our objectives that we planned.

Once we got the children together, we got started. We decided not to use the laundry facility because most of the kids were already in the field and it would have been too difficult to get them to come. The first part of of our programme was to get the kids together and to teach them about pollution and about keeping their environment clean. Mathangi and Vivek did a great job telling the kids about the importance of using clean water and about taking daily baths. They also emphasized the importance of throwing one’s trash away in a designated place.

The second part of our programme was the continuation of the “When I Grow Up…” programme that we started on the third day of our educational programme. Having previously discussed doctors and teachers, we continued our programme with a discussion of policemen. Safwan, one of our members, dressed up as a policeman and told the kids about what they do. A number of kids were excited about this and wanted to be policemen and women. He told them about the importance of following the law and that it took a lot of studying, physical exercise and hard work to be a in the police. We hope that were able to inspire a few of them about this line of work. In addition, many of the kids enjoyed getting a chance to try on the police uniform afterwards.

The final part of our project was done by Alex. He taught the kids how to make paper airplanes. This activity was a hit with the kids and they had a lot of fun learning how to do it. It also helped them to learn how to follow directions and it gave us a chance to interact with the kids one-on-one. We all had a lot of fun doing this project and we hope we can do something like it again.

We’d like to thank people for coming out for their first time today. Vivek, Manoj and Neil were all very helpful and we hope to see more of them in the future.

This concludes the first part of our educational programme. Many of us will be going home for the month of May. We do have plans to continue the program next month with the people that will be in Chennai. If you can help volunteer for our project some time in May it would be most appreciated, and we really hope you will contact us about this. We look forward to coming back in June with a lot of fresh energy.

Photos from Educational Programme – Day 6

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Here are some of the photos from today’s Educational Programme, held on April 25th, 2009. Check back tomorrow for a post about the visit.



Click here to view the rest of the photos.

Today’s trip to Ramavaram

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Here is a brief summary for today’s trip to Ramavaram. We have a couple of activities planned for the children.

Police-man: In a continuation of our “When I Grow Up…” project, we will have one of our members dressed up as a police man. He’ll tell the kids about what policemen do and the importance of being honest and the value of hard work. We hope to inspire a few kids about this line of work for when they get older.

Environmental health: The educational committee has a few points about environmental health that they plan on presenting to the group.

Orgami: Alex will teach the kids a few points about Orgami as today’s activity.

Hope to see you all there!

Upcoming Educational Programme – Day 6

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

This Saturday is the last day of our Educational Programme before most of us leave for our May holiday. (However, we do have plans to continue the programme throughout May.) We hope that you can come out and help us with it!

Check back tomorrow for the plan that is being by the Educational Committee.

Hope to see you all there! Please contact us and let us know if you’re coming. As usual, it begins at 4:30PM and goes till about 6:00.

Go to event on facebook

Update: for the time being, we are now going to be holding our programme in the nearby laundry facility. To get there, you just have to turn around the corner of the street. For those of you who have been with us for a while, this is where we have held our health camps. This should save us from crossing the river which is a rather sticky process.

Educational Committee

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

As you might have gathered by now, we have recently established an Educational Committee, under the umbrella of the Infrastructure section. This is headed by Bhavya Krishna, who has been actively involved in planning recreational activities for the children since Sangam India’s inception. The purpose of setting up such a committee is to dedicate a sector of the Sangam India members to planning insightful activities for the children that combine fun and entertainment with learning and positive reinforcement. So far, the activities that Bhavya and her team have been wonderful, and we are looking forward to seeing more from them.

Members of the team are:

  • Bhavya Krishna
  • Sahithi
  • Vishnupriya
  • Pranusha
  • Nithya
  • Nitya

If you are interested in being a member of the team, even if you don’t live in Chennai, we need you. If you have any ideas for learning objectives, games, or activities for the children, please let us know and we will put you in touch with the committee. We are in need of bright minds to help us move our Educational Programme forward.