Project Sangamam - Poondi
Report for Sept-Dec 2005 

ASHA Chennai Projects
Sangamam Poondi – Working with Primary schools near Poondi

Jan 4th, 2005
Contact Rajaraman Krishnan

Recall …

The project was approved and started in September 2004. We started work with the schools at Kuppammal Chattiram and Kanakavalli Puram in September and with Pattarai Perambudur in January. This academic year we also started supporting a fourth school at Kunnavalam and the Balwadi at Kuppamal Chatthiram.


Happenings during Sept - Dec 2005

1. Financial Update

Proposed Amount for academic year 2005-06: Rs 4.28 Lakhs.

Total Funding Received: Approx Rs 2.2 Lakhs

Total Expenses Incurred: Approx Rs 2.4 Lakhs (June to Dec)

Expense Breakup (June – Dec)

Honourarium to teachers : Rs 1 Lakh
Uniform : Rs 62K
Infrastructure & Maintenance (incl labour) : Rs 50K
Learning Materials etc. : Rs 20K
Administrative (office rent, office materials, photos, travel etc.) : Rs 8K

This year we did not distribute uniforms for the children at Kunnavalam. We have also provided only two teachers for the school. Most of the other work proposed in the project proposal have been carried out.


2. General Update

Since Sept-Dec falls in the middle of the academic year, things are proceeding as usual without many events to report. All the Asha teachers are continuing to work at these schools. The teachers currently are, 

  • Kuppammal Chatthiram -- Devanayaki and Sumathy.

  • Kanakavalli puram – Arputhamani.

  • Pattarai Perambudur – Jayanthi, and Mythili.

  • Kunnavalam – Saraswathi and Deepa.

There continues to be very good support to our work from the government teachers and officials. There has been increasing recognition of our work with these schools at the district level. Asha's work has received lots of praise at District level meetings of the heads of schools and the AEO (Asst. Educational Officer), DEO (Dist. Educational Officer), BDO (Block Development Officer) etc. We have received several requests from other schools in the area asking us to also support their school. While we are enthused by the support for our work and the motivation of the teachers to help their school, we are commited to expand our reach gradually and not take up more work that we can manage.


3. Infrastructure work undertaken

The unprecedented rains in all these areas during this season (Nov-Dec) brought with it its own challenges. While none of the schools were flooded, Pattarai Perambudur had to be closed for about 3 weeks becaused it served as a relief shelter. Out teachers there worked in other schools during this time. The school at Kanakavalli Puram leaks very badly. It is a proper concrete building with concrete roof. The concrete is falling apart at several places to expose the steel rods inside. The building was built only 7 or 8 years back. It seems to have been constructed very badly. It would require about Rs 3 Lakhs to be rebuilt. It is well beyond repair. The school has requested funds from several government departments etc. At Asha we are waiting to see if they are able to get some support. Asha would help with part of the requirements but will not be able to undertake the entire building.

We have undertaken the following infrastructure work at the various schools.

  1. We had to fill the ground in front of the Kuppamal Chatthiram Balwadi with loads of sand so that it is not flooded during rains. Prior to our work the children used to wade through knee deep to get to the Balwadi.

  2. We raised the level of the play ground at Kanakavalli Puram. The ground was at a lower level than the rest of the area and once again water accumulated there during rains. We thankfully did these before the unprecedented rains.

  3. Asbestos sheets were replaced at Kunnavalam and Kuppamal Chatthiram to fix a few leaks.

Note the government has put a compound wall around the Kunnavalam school. The school now has good infrastructure.


4. Other materials

We have further purchased the following materials for the schools.

  1. Some more additional Educational and sports materials for all schools.

  2. Uniforms for the children at Pattarai Perambudur school. We had already given it to the Kanakavalli Puram and Kuppamal Chathiram schools. Kunnavalam received uniforms from the government. The government uniforms were surprisingly of a very good quality! We hope this is a trend and not a one off event

  3. Mats for children at all the schools. This was especially necessary after the rains. The ground was cold and often wet.


Expected Activities for Upcoming Months

In the next couple of months the following activities are expected in this project,

  1. Provide a cooking area for Kuppammal Chatthiram.

  2. Conduct the baseline evaluation of the children’s skills at the four schools.

  3. Have a meeting with the heads of the different schools and the district level officials to have a discussion about the longer term focus of our efforts etc.