Asha Trust - Project Dream

Project Brief:
Project Type: Formal Schools (description)
Primary Focus: to go to formal school (description)

Secondary Focus: other

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Chennai
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Arjun Radha
Project Partner(s): Bhaskar Venkateswaran
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , ,,,
Stewarding Chapter: Chennai
May 2014ChennaiUSD 5200
May 2013ChennaiUSD 4154
Aug 2011ChennaiUSD 8251
Nov 2008ChennaiUSD 1750
Jun 2008ChennaiUSD 4928
Jul 2007ChennaiUSD 2000
Jun 2006ChennaiUSD 1224
Dec 2005SingaporeINR 116430
Dec 2005ChennaiINR 60040
Jun 2004SingaporeINR 84000
Dec 2004ChennaiINR 93892

Total = $35232.0916

The project involves working with six Government schools and two ICDS balwadis in Thiruvarur district of TamilNadu. Asha Chennai’s involvement started in two remote villages in this district namely, Rishiyur and Vilakudi. Rishiyur is a particularly small and remote village with a population of about 1500. Vilakudi is a bigger village with a population of about 4000. Around 2002, Mr. Arjun, Mrs. Radha Arjun, Mr and Mrs Shyamalan were running a project in this village to improve the education, economic conditions etc. in these villages. These villages are the ancestral villages of Mr. Arjun and Mrs. Jaya Shyamalan. Asha Chennai has been involved in the project right since its inception in late 2002. The project was launched in November 2002 with initial participation from DP Prakash and NNV Prasad.

Agriculture is the mainstay of Thiruvarur district and hence the region is heavily dependent on timely rains. There are no industries and hence the job opportunities outside of agriculture are limited, leading to exploitation and very low income for agricultural laborers. Hence, providing quality education to the younger generation becomes all the more important.

Asha Chennai believes the revival and strengthening of the government schooling system is essential to the implementation of any mass education initiative in India. The education scenario in this district is similar to the rest of the state, particularly in the rural areas. Government schools and ICDS balwadis exist but with serious deficiencies. We started working with two schools and now work with six schools and balwadis associated with two of these schools.

We currently work in the following villages (schools & balwadis) in this project:
1. Rishiyur – Panchayat Union Middle School (PUMS) & balwadi
2. Vilakudi – Panchayat Union High School (PUHS)
3. Vilakudi – Panchayat Union Primary School (PUPS)
4. Arisivapuram – PUPS & balwadi
5. Kaarichangudi – PUPS
6. Poovanur – PUMS
In these institutions the boy: girl ratio is approximately 1:1. We hope to see the following qualitative improvements due to this project:

1. An acceptable educational environment that is conducive to and promotes learning
2. A motivated and trained group of teachers that cater to these children.
3. Children who perform at or above the level expected for their age.

As the project progresses we hope to develop better metrics to measure the progress of the children and the success of the project like monitoring levels of numeracy and literacy skills of the children.

Other General Inputs from Asha:

Asha Chennai has undertaken several projects with government schools. As part of these projects, Asha Chennai provides several standard inputs including,

1. Appoint teachers to improve the teacher-student ratio in the school.
2. Bring the teachers from these projects to Chennai for training. This would be covered under the budget for Project Rightstart.
3. Uniforms for the students. The one set that the government gives is grossly inadequate for wearing every day for a year.
4. Education material as appropriate for the class. This would range from crayons to atlases and geometry boxes; notebooks/slate for the children.
5. Provide scholarships to students for higher education as necessary. This would be covered under our Scholarips project.