New Delhi – November 19th, 2013
Empowering the girl child since 1920 Mahila Mandiram Wins National Award for Child Welfare (see Media Coverage)
New Delhi – November 19th, 2013
(As reported in The Hindu on May 25, 2012)
A Rs.1.75-crore waste treatment plant is being set up by the SMSS Hindu Mahila Mandiram at Poojappura in the city that will generate electricity from garbage. The project has received the approval of the City Corporation.
Power from garbage
A statement released by Mahila Mandiram here on Thursday said that the 500 cubic metre plant, to be set up on the Mahila Mandiram campus by the NGO Biotech, would have a capacity to process five tonnes of waste and produce 750 kW/hr power per day.
“This is a pay-and-use facility, which can be made use of by people, institutions or commercial establishments that do not have space to treat waste. But the facility will be free for four residents’ associations in our neighbourhood. Around 200 residents will be benefited by this project,” Mahila Mandiram secretary M. Sreekumari said.
She said the work on the project, which would be taken up soon, would be completed in 60 days.
The power generated from the plant would be used for running the plant as well as to meet the energy needs of the institution. “Additional power generated will be given back to the grid and can be used for lighting street lamps,” the statement said.
Mahila Mandiram, a women’s welfare organisation, was also planning to involve the ‘Clean Well’ workers of the City Corporation who lost their job following the closure of the Vilappilsala solid waste treatment plant, the institution said. The institution already had a biogas plant of 100-kg per day processing capacity. A major share of the cooking gas of the institution canteen was generated from this plant, the statement said.
“This is a clean energy project which does not involve any pollution. Instead of becoming a bane for the local people, our model of waste treatment will be a huge blessing for our neighbours,” Ms. Sreekumari said.
You truly made a difference to us. In addition to the girls having a lot of fun while learning, the interaction exposed them to real life professionals and college students thereby giving them role models to aspire to.
We would like to acknowledge your efforts with a few words from your website: http://makeadiff.in/
What’s MAD all about?
The Make A Difference project was initiated by a few of us in our second year of college when we saw a large disparity in the way rich and the poor learned. We realized that the system created a gap from the very early years of a child’s life and as time passed by, the gap only increased. We saw a huge untapped resource amongst us youngsters who if provided the right platform were capable of bridging the gap. Hence 20 of us in the city of cochin founded Make a Difference with a vision “To bridge the inequality in society through education.”
India has one of the highest drop out rates in the world. Even though over 70% of our children enroll for primary education, 72% of them would have dropped out by the time they reach standard 10. But being first generation learners, education is most critical for this 72%.
In Make a Difference, we currently focus on India’s urban underprivileged, particularly children in street shelters, orphanages, and poor homes. Our children are street smart, intelligent and mature. Yet hardly any of them get the opportunity to continue their education after 10th. This is primarily due to two reasons.
First is the lack of financial support. Most children are taken care of only till the age of 15, after which they are on their own. The education they receive till then is very generic and provides them with no specific skills, which forces them into doing menial jobs for a living.
Second, and more important reason why even the children who are sponsored cant cope up is the lack of quality education. Our children go to schools where the medium of instruction is in the vernacular language till 10th. But after 10th, the medium is compulsorily in English and most jobs have English language proficiency as one of its basic requirement. Hence even if we are able to sponsor students with good scores for higher education they are unable to cope. The bridge here is the English language.
Our aim is to ensure the underprivileged children are brought into the main stream so they can chose their careers based on their potential and interests and not their financial constraints.
Our English course is a five level program of 100 hours each. Every year our children go through 56 interactive classes of two hour duration. By the end of the 5th level the child’s communication skills will be at par with a private school student. We have an active placements program that runs side by side to keep the children aware of their career options and keep them motivated to study harder. We have initiated our computer program in Cochin where we have computers in the ratio 6:1 installed in every centre which means every child will get half an hour of computer class every day.
Our aim is to ensure a 100% retention rate in Indian schools. Currently we work in 11 districts in India with over 800 volunteers, teaching 2500 children. We plan to reach out to 10,000 children in the coming year.
This is our first Blog Post. We hope to make these posts regularly so we can keep our donors and well-wishers informed of Mahila Mandiram activities.
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