Sunday, February 26, 2006

Letter from Premavasam

Prema Vasam - is an orphanage for special (mentally retarded) and normal children at Gerugambakkam, near Porur. We visited this place few days back and were very much touched by the lively and lovely environment there.
Indhra is physically disabled(cannot walk) and a resident of "Prema Vasam". She is doing Ist year B.Sc Computer science in St. Joseph's college. Her academic record is simply great - Started schooling only in 8th std, scored 420 in 10th, 890 in 12th, college 1st in Ist semester. Fees comes to around Rs. 11500 per year.
Right now Indra's educational expenses are taken care by Prema vasam which is providing food, shelter, clothing, medical as well. They don't get any specific sponsorship for these two. Running the daily chores of Prema vasam itself is a big challenge for them.
HM has decided to take up the fees for Indhra and paid her fees for this year. Below is a letter from Mr. Selvin, the care taker of Premavasam:

HM Process

HM has formalized the process of helping for a request in the following manner.
HM has taken this decision to make the whole process transparent and to give sufficient rights to all of the members. HM requests all of the members co-operate with the new method during the process of a request for help.

Recommendation --> Discussion --> Validation --> Approval --> Progress Tracking

- Any member can recommend through the recommendation document.
- It will be posted in the group.
- Only the concerned helping minds member will prepare the document and send it to the group.

- Any member can take part in the discussion.
- Disagreements if any in the recommendation will be discussed.
- The validation committee will address the response from the group members and if there is no disagreement, it will be moved for validation.
- If there is any disagreement with valid points, the recommendation will be rejected.
- The duration of discussion is around 2-3 days.

- Only the members in the validation committee will take part in the validation process.
- Any one can volunteer for validation committee at any time.
- Validation committee will validate the candidate through a personal meeting
- They will post their views in the group after validation.
- If the validation committee is not satisfied in the validation process, the recommendation can be rejected with proper reasons.
- The duration for validation is 7-10 days based on availability of the candidate and work schedules of validation committee members.

- Only the members in the validation committee will take part in the approval process.
- After successful validation, the amount will be decided in the approval process
- The duration of approval is around 1-2 days.

Progress Tracking:
- The recommended Helping Minds member and validation committee monitors the performance of the candidate who received help from Helping Minds periodically and provides assistance for successful career.

Agreement from the student:
- In case the student is selected for help by Helping Minds, then the student needs to send a copy of his mark sheets for every semester and keep the Helping Minds informed of his assessment marks as well. He/she needs to show continuous improvement in his studies.
- He also needs to sign an agreement form that he will repay the amount to another deserving student once he gets a job so that the amount will be used for another deserving candidate.

Beneficiaries of HM

Following is the list of students sponsored/being sponsored by Helping Minds:
K. Murugesan : Completed B.Tech (Chemical Engineering) in Anna University and searching for job.
Muthupandi : Completed B.Tech (Chemical Engineering) in Anna University and searching for job.
Nadana Sabapathy : Completed Diploma
Venkatesh : Doing III Year B. Tech. Chemical Engineering in A.C. Tech. Anna University
Babu : Completed B.E. in MIT, Anna University. Placed in Infosys through campus interview.
Milkkal : Doing second year ECE in Erode Sengunthar Engineering College.
Yamini : Doing III Year Engineering in Sri Venkateshwara Engineering College.
Easwara Moorthy : Completed MCA in Anna University. Got job in Cognizant Technology Solutions (C.T.S.)
Priyanka : Doing 7th Standard in Bala Saravana Vidyala
Anand : Doing III Year Engineering in MIT, Anna University
Siva : Doing III Year Engineering in MIT, Anna University
Bala Velan : Doing first year Catering Technology
Nowshath : Doing II Year BE at Crescent Engg College, Completed DME in AVC Polytechnic with the help of HM
Shantha : Doing I Year BSc in PMT College, Sankaran Koil.
Indhra : Doing II Year BSc in St. Joseph's college, Chennai. Physically handicapped; inmate of Premavasam
Karthik : Doing II Year B.Tech. Chemical at A.C. Tech college, Anna university
Praveen : Doing Final year B.E. computer science in Velalar College of Engineering & Technology, Erode Now got placed in Allfon Systems Pvt. Ltd, Chennai.
Kanchana : Doing III year in CIT Coimbatore
Baranidharan : Doing third year B.E (EEE) in EGS Pillay Engg College, Nagapattinam
Kannan : Doing final year B. Tech (Chemical) in Anna university
Kumaresh : Doing final year B. E. in CIT Coimbatore. Placed in C.T.S. through campus interview.
Marimuthu : Doing 3rd year B Pharm at Vel's college of Pharmacy, Chennai
School fees of Children of precious ones orphanage
1 day food expenses of Akshaya - an NGO in Madurai providing food to the people on the streets

Saturday, February 25, 2006

HM Medical Camp

Jan 29, 2006 was an important day in the calendar of the Helping Minds. It was the day, when HM organized the first Medical Camp for the not-so-privileged people of our society, at Bell Nagar, Medavakkam. Bell Nagar has around 50-60 families living in huts. Since the recent rains have flooded the area and there is still water stagnation, we felt the need for a medical camp in that area. HM's medical camp facility was utilized by around 60 people, of which 20 were children. Overall the health of those people was fine and there were no major infections or allergies. Most of them had common cold and general weakness, for which we have given basic injections & medicines.

Since the pre-appointed doctor was caught-up in an emergency case, we had to search around for an alternate doctor. In the last minute, we were supported by Dr. Prabhakar of Mother Teresa hospital, without whom this camp wouldn't have happened. We must express our "sincere thanks" to Dr. Prabhakar for his timely help and also spending his valuable time and effort for this noble cause. Special thanks to the nurse who was very kind to the patients and managed the injection and medicine distribution part. We must also express out gratitude to Mr. Pozhilan who gave us the permission to use the Medavakkam community hall for conducting the medical camp.

The HM volunteers who were present on field of the medical camp on 29th January'06 were Muppi (Geometric), Nethaji (AdventNet), Sankar (Infosys), Thiagu (AdventNet), Vignesh (Orchid Chemicals) and Kala (Housewife).

Overall we were very impressed about the Doctor's sincerity and the peoples' response in the camp. This medical camp is a great success and a new milestone for HM activities.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Activities of HM

Current Activities of HM:
- Conducted classes for students from rural areas from 1998 – 2000 on basic Engineering Subjects. Also trained group of economically backward people in reading and writing skills at Chennai.
- Sponsored education fees, hostel fees, and mess fees for 24 students (of both School & College level) till now.
- Aiding “Akshaya Foundation”, Madurai with free meals scheme for the destitute. This is being undertaken on request basis from the foundation owner.

About Helping Minds

Helping Minds was conceived in the year 1999 by a group of friends from Anna University, Chennai, with the help of some distinguished professors of Anna University, Chennai. Initially, the team started teaching technical subjects to junior students hailing from the rural background and providing basic education to the child workers in the neighbourhood.

On March 2002, the team encountered a junior student of Anna University who was having financial constraints in paying the college fees. There started the compelling desire in all well wishers of the affected student to help him financially to complete his graduation. The intentions got strengthened to concrete acts in due course of time, and the Helping Minds group was born to enable the economically less privileged students to complete their studies. The group has been registered on October 2004 by the name “Helping Minds Social Welfare Association".

The Helping Minds group has grown to 200+ members across the globe. The members participate in the group by contributing financially, helping to identify the needy students, evaluating the background of the students for eligibility to obtain the aid, and also by mentoring the students who are about to complete studies and are looking out for jobs.

If you are interested to join this group, shoot a mail to