Category Archives: Children Education

In Memory of Nandini

Malar Trust organizes a youth suicide prevention day

Last Sunday, Malar Trust India organized a commemoration day one year after the passing of Nandini, a child of Poonjeri who, at only 14 year of age, committed suicide for reasons that were never clear but were probably linked to a small disappointment in love.

The event, which was attended by more than 200 of our students from all our centers, was organized in order to share this experience with the children, to explain to them the importance of sharing their problems with their parents, friends or adults of the center.

The day was organized in collaboration with the Indian Association “The Banyan” – which is a large network of local counsellors who deal with mental problems at various levels – and was financed by the Italian association “Inseme per l’India” represented by its founder Marilena Lingua.

After a few hours of beach games and a shared meal, some of Banyan’s staff and our president G.Rupakanthan took the floor, telling the story of Nandini and inviting everyone to comment and express their opinion. Some of the videos from that day are more visible on social media thanks to the professionals from the trusted company

We thank Marilena and the friends of The Banyan for their precious help in making this important day happen.

Panjartheerthi Irular children attend school regularly

Irular children at Panjartheerthi school

Irular children at Panjartheerthi school

On March 2nd we visited Panjartheerthi school where most of the children from our Tuition Center attend school from 1st to 5th standard.

Interviewing the new headmaster we understood that most children now attend school regularly after having breakfast at our Center every morning and they are all normally clean and happy.

This is a big change since we started this project in November 2014! (see post)

In Panjartheerthi we help about 25 Irular children with the aid of a cook and a very good new teacher that does her job with passion and commitment.

Beside breakfast we provide all children with school bags, notebook and stationary

Panj school1

Malar Trust Students’ Motivation Camp


Career Guidance Meeting – May 2nd, 2015

After our first experiment in 2014, we decided to organize another Motivation Camp for our afterschool students last week.

Motivation Camps are rather common in India; however, during these events, students listen to “experts” in the academic world such as school presidents and local politicians who will, for a small sum of money, go on an on for hours about how important and fun studying is, without giving any useful and practical information and without interacting with the students.


Our managining trustee, Mani Rupakanthan, welcomming the Manamathi panjayath leader

During this event the Malar Trust staff gave an overview of all of the University’s fields of study, relating them to specific subjects learned in school. Moreover, all state sponsored financial aids available for underpriviledged students were illustrated. This is very important especially for the poorer families with which we work, given that they are often unaware of such aids.

Students who attended our Motivation Camp are both our 11th or 12th grade afterschool students who will need to decide within a couple of months on how and if to continue their studies as well as 8th to 11th graders. A few university students sponsored by Malar Trust grants also attended, talking about their experience and answering questions from the younger students.

Even if this seems like a small, unimportant event, these kids have a great need for direction. Blind ambition and ignorance often lead parents to sink deep in debt in order to enroll medicore students in private colleges to study engineering. Students who hate math enroll in the academically demanding group 1 (math, physics, biology) high school in hope of gaining admission to engineering or medicine. All of this happens in complete ignorance of all the alternatives offered by the vast number of faculties of the Indian University.

Challenging new programme launched in Panjartheerthi

After eight months since we opened the Tuition Center with Save International, for Irula and Dalit children of Panjartheerthi, we now need  to improve children attendance at school: to convince the about 30 children to go to school regularly is the aim of this project.


Group picture of Panjartheerthi Irula students

We recently met the Head Teacher of the local school and she is desperate to improve attendance. In order to keep the school open she needs at least 20 children but despite the 35 children enrolled this year (31 of which are Irula), there are only very few children at school when there is a government inspection. She says the children do not come school, often she goes to look for them around the village in the morning. She finds that the children are often not clean and are hungry, sometime away with their parent when they find jobs away from the village. Conditions in the village are very basic.

It is interesting that most of the children do come to the existing Tuition Center regularly, perhaps this is because of the daily snack we offer? What else we can offer to encourage better school attendance and improve the lives of these children and their families?


Children having breakfast before going to school

We thought that if we offer a place where children can come in the morning, get washed, have clean school uniform and a good breakfast, this may help.  Obviously this service will be for the children who do really go to school.  We met with the families, parents and children and they agreed to try this service.

Luckily we soon found a small house to rent very near the Irula village, with a kitchen, bathroom, store room and a small terrace in front of the house where the children can sit and eat. We hired two young women from the same community, one to cook and the other will help the children to wash and dress, both will wash all the school uniforms.


Children go to school after breakfast

On November 17th we started with 26 children attending the first day.  After two weeks the project is a great success.  The Head Teacher can hardly believe such a quick change to school attendance.


The Tuition class in the afternoon

Also because the house is so close to the village we decided to use it to run the afternoon tuition session.  We hired a new teacher, Mrs Rajeshwari, and left the other teacher, Megala, to continue with the Dallit children at the other building. The Head teacher, cook, other helper and tuition teacher will work together as a team to provide the service and check the attendance at breakfast and afternoon tuition also match with the daily attendance at school.  Our hope is that this service for school children will greatly improve the lives of the families in the Irula community and help them continue to develop new opportunities.


Launched a new coaching program for 10th standard students


TVO request for MTI support to its coaching class in 4 villages

Also this year we decided to continue and even improve our collaboration with TVO (Tamil Nadu Village Outreach), sponsoring its program of coaching classes that help students to pass 10th standard exams.

TVO is a local NGO supported by the American Association Save International and this year the number of classes supported by malar Trust pass from three to four, being Arunkundram village added to  Ellandoppu, Mullipakkam and Karanai.

After three years, the benefit of this project is definitely proved: the number of students that last year passed 10th standard with excellent results has been impressive: especially in Elandoppu, and thanks to the capability of its teacher Gnanasekharan, a vast number of students passed the exam scoring more than 400 out of 500 total marks.

Malar Trust will pay for the salary of all the four teachers, while Save Int’l will pay for extra things like coaching guides, stationary, transport and students awards.

The project, for the duration of eleven months, worth about 1 lahk and is granted with Malar Trust Onlus funds