SEED PLAN - Seed in Madurai

Project Brief: Seed provides study centers in Karumbalai slum with volunteers teaching evenings and weekends. There are numerous clubs and extra-curricular activities to bring out the potential of every child
Project Type: Tuition Centers (description)
Primary Focus: children from slums (description)

Secondary Focus: creating resources

Area: Urban
Supporting Chapter Contact: Boston/MIT
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Melli Annamalai
Project Partner(s): Ted Adams
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , Dr. T. Adams, SEED Coordinator,18, Azad Street, Gandhinagar,Madurai,
TAMIL NADU  625020
Tel: 452-2526342
Stewarding Chapter: Boston/MIT
Jul 2012Boston/MITUSD 7100
Apr 2011Boston/MITUSD 4880
Sep 2010Boston/MITUSD 6555
Dec 2009Boston/MITUSD 9548
Oct 2008Boston/MITUSD 9500
Mar 2008Boston/MITUSD 9500
Oct 2007Boston/MITUSD 7650
Jul 2007Boston/MITUSD 2500
Mar 2006Boston/MITUSD 9476
Dec 2002Boston/MITUSD 3267
Dec 2001Boston/MITUSD 5778
Dec 2000Boston/MITUSD 5030

Total = $80784

Seed believes in bringing out the potential of each child by individual care and attention. So many children from among the urban poor drop out because of lack of support at home and in school. Seed provides the critical support necessary for the children to realize their potential and succeed - compete on par with children from more advantaged classes.

Seed has about 40 children supported by partners in the United States. Children who are eager to learn and have already shown the potential by working against several odds are part of this support program. The number is currently limited to enable Seed coordinators and volunteers to give individual attention to each child. Each partner financially (and with moral support) supports one or more children. Correspondence between the partner and the child is encouraged. The children typically are in the local government schools to begin with; with the support of the study center, their learning vastly improves, and depending on their interest and potential they are moved to private or govt. aided schools (which are perceived as better). In some sense the goal is to do what a middle class parent would do - send their child to the best school they can afford and which is accessible and which the child can do well in.

The study centers at Karumbalai provide a place for children to come and study on evenings and weekends. Apart from the simple advantages of electric lights (not available in every home), it provides a space for volunteers (many of whom also come from disadvantaged backgrounds) to teach. In addition the study center is the is the hub of all activities Seed is involved in. It has a library, recently added some computers, and has several active clubs. The journalism club, the 'En' club (En means 'Why' in Tamil, is the name of the Science club), the drama club, the debate club all thrive with the activities of the eager children. Various workshops related to these clubs are conducted throughout the year exposing the children to whole range of activities including tasks like organizing an event. The structure and activities of Seed enables the potential of each child to be realized. Some are great organizers, some are excellent debaters, some are budding scientists.

Seed celebrates local festivals in all religions and cultures (that are relevant to Karumbalai). They learn about the history and background of each festival and the reason for the celebration. Many educational tours have been conducted to nearby places - to historic temples, museums, forests which provide a source of learning not often available to children in India. One of their long tours was to Kerala. These tours really open a child's mind. The children for the most part had rarely been able to travel out of Madurai before.

The study center and is activities is open to any interested child in Karumbalai (support for educational expenses like fees, uniforms and books is limited to the 40 children as mentioned above).
The goal of the project is to encourage and financially support the education of children. It began in the slum of Karumbalai and might slow spread to other slums in Madurai as others are encouraged by the successes of Seed.
Seed was started in 2000 when a set of events came together. Karthik Bharathi of Karumbalai (the area where Seed works), on encouragement from Dr. Taj of nearby K.K.Nagar had been taking up some activities in the slum of Karumbalai. Dr. Ted Adams decided to move to Madurai from the US, and had come across Karthi's and Dr. Taj's work. He decided to provide the funding support (personal support and funds raised from friends and family in the US), and the coming together of Ted and Karthi formed Seed. The name "Seed" refers to their belief that every child has immense hidden potential which the child can live up to when encouraged and supported, just as a healthy plant grows when watered and nourished with care.
Dr Ted Adams is the overall coordinator. Karthik Bharati, who is from Karumbalai is the key person in the day-to-day running of the study centers and related activities.