- In August 2012, the SI Madurai Fund for Empowerment through Education (SIMFEE) was established. From August to June 2013, 14 scholarships have been awarded to students to complete their full 3 year education at college level. This is an on-going project, open to female students of all colleges in Madurai. The scholarship is based on merit and awarded to deserving students from economically weaker sections of society.
- SI members of Madurai, unanimously decided to adopt a local school in the village of Kalikappen – situated on the outskirts of Madurai. Since then, the school has been the hub of a large part of activities conducted by SI Madurai. Various projects are being carried out periodically, in order to promote the well being of the children of Kalikappen. For example, various medical camps were held for the children; on festivals, SI members celebrated with the children by distributing sweets and gifts, footwear, books etc. were donated to the children, SI members volunteered to teach English at the school, A play slide was installed for the children etc.
- With the help of Mr. Babu Bhaskar the art teacher at Lakshmi School, SI Members turned a dull Sunday into a colorful afternoon of fun for the 35 children at Birds Nest Organization. Mr. Bhaskar patiently showed the children various techniques of drawing and painting. This was the first time the children had attended an art workshop. At the end of the session, a school bag with geometry box was given to each child. As a sequel to the workshop the paintings were framed and were up for the sale to raise funds for further social work.
- A ‘Better Skills, Brighter Future’ Skill share workshop was held at Meenakshi College for women – This was a one week workshop where various sessions with an emphasis on soft skills (Time management, leadership skills, effective communication, stress management etc. ) were conducted.
- ‘Play time Pals’ – A weekend holiday activity camp was held for 30 children at an activity center in Madurai.This camp was conducted by SI Members.
Public Awareness Campaigns
- SI Madurai and the Flag Foundation of India joined hands to carry out a special project to increase awareness about our national flag on the 15th of Aug. 2012. To take our unity in diversity beyond pure symbolism and translate it into action, 5000 miniature flags and flyers carrying a quiz about the Indian flag were distributed to the general public, at various points in the city. Additionally 100 posters carrying the quiz were displayed at prominent places in the city.
- The purpose of this campaign was to create awareness about the little known facts about the Indian Flag, to create unity in the society by strengthening the patriotic bond and to help our community rise above the various divides like gender, religion, caste etc. commonly found in our society.
- SI Madurai participated in a motor rally with a twist. For two, three and four wheeled vehicles, the ‘quiet rally’ involved a treasure hunt where participants shuttled around the city hunting for clues, in their chosen mode of transport but without the use of horns. The event addressed the issue of the increasing level of noise pollution in the city due to traffic and honking. The purpose of the rally was to create an awareness on how noise pollution damages physical and mental health. It aimed to increase awareness among the vehicle users to reduce the unnecessary use of horns, and to convince everyone that we CAN drive without honking in spite of Madurai’s traffic
Donations and Charity
- The members of SI Madurai recently paid a special visit to the children of Anbagam school and interacted with the children who were overjoyed to see us. Biscuits and sweets were distributed and the children accepted them with great enthusiasm. The SI members spent about half a day with the children and interacted with them. They showed us their greeting cards, scarves, crafts, incense sticks etc. that they had learnt to make as a part of their vocational training. SI members were more than happy to purchase these handmade items from them and help them raise funds. Sometimes, the best gifts we can give these children, are the gifts of affection, care and time.
- The Thiyagam Women Trust is a centre for the physically disabled women where employment is provided to them by running tailoring units and computer centers. The needs of the Thiyagam Trust were assessed and all SI members were requested to donate new and second hand household goods that could be used at the Thiyagam trust. The members responded enthusiastically by donating items like Kitchen utensils, computer accessories, clothes, books, a tailoring machine etc.
- On the occasion of Diwali (Nov. 2012) a story telling session was held at Kalikappen school and sweets/ gifts were distributed to 500 children from local village schools.
- SI Madurai held a poster campaign against the use of plastic bags which were less than 10 microns in texture. The campaign stated as a poster design competition for students at local institutions. The poster campaign was aimed to create awareness and sensitize the public about the adverse impact of plastic on the environment and the food cycle.
- Additionally, a rally with 5000 participants was organized by SI Madurai, advocating the ecological mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle plastics. People from all walks of life – students, NCC volunteers, heads of service organizations, members of the city’s administration etc. joined hands to help make Madurai cleaner, greener and environmentally safe.
- Following the Rally, Dr. R. Vasudevan of Thiagarajar Engineering College, a pioneer in plastic fortified road technology, offered to take all plastic waste from organizations and use it for laying stronger roads. According to Dr. Vasudevan, one tonne of plastic, or ten lakh plastic bags could be used for laying upto one kilometer of road.
- In relation to this campaign, under another project called ‘Operation Clean up Melamadai’, SI Madurai motivated volunteers from local colleges to help clean up the residential locality of Melamadai, which was choc a bloc with landfills from non-biodegradable waste. SI Madurai also supplied the residents of Melamadai with 500 fabric bags to help stop the use of plastic and curb accumulation of non biodegradable waste and also ensuring safe disposal of waste items.
- In line with our projects that aimed to make madurai green, a new park for the city was conceptualized. A competition was conducted for the Architecture students of Thiagarajar College of Engineering. As a part of their curriculum, they were asked to design and present the layout of the park. The winning design was then developed as the worlds first SI Park – the Cosmo Green Park, which was inaugurated on the 2nd of October 2012. The project aimed to provide a safe, ‘green space’ in the city for children.
Health & Wellness
- To commemorate World Breast Cancer Day, (Oct. 19th), SI Madurai organized a talk on breast cancer awareness. The session was held at Thiagarajar college where 200 women participated and learnt about the importance of self examination and early detection. The speakers also clarified many myths and misconceptions about breast cancer.
- An eye camp was also held for women. The 500 women who attended the eye camp were screened and treated for common eye disorders.
- Another camp for general well being and holistic approach to life was organized by SI Madurai in which the importance of proper diet, exercise and meditation were discussed.
- Apart from the above, a “Life after 40″ presentation was organized, which highlighted stress management and healthcare for women after 40. This session concluded with a talk on the benefits of yoga and a demonstration.
- SI Madurai recently organized a session on music therapy conducted with the help of a music therapist from Israel. This session showed members and guests a helpful new technique of relaxation and refreshment.
- A medical camp was held for 300 girl children at Usilampatti with basic medical checks and blood grouping, in association with the ICCW and Apollo Hospitals Madurai
- An Eye care camp was held at a local hospice center, with free eye check-ups for over 50 inmates. Free eye glasses were provided. The camp was held in association with Aravind Eye hospitals Madurai.
- A Life Saving Skills workshop was held at Devadoss Hospital with a demonstration on basic first aid