Bhumi Corporate League – Play for a Cause

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Badminton

  • ​May 3 | Sunday | YMCA, Nandanam, Chennai
  • Categories – Men’s doubles, Women’s doubles, Mixed Doubles
  • Entry fee per team – Rs.1,500
  • Tournament format – 1st Round – 4 team league format; subsequent rounds – knockout format among the winning teams from league round
  • Points system – 1 set 30 points; Finals – 3 sets 21 points
  • All other standard rules shall apply​
  • Both the team members should be from the same organisation
  • Players shall carry their own badminton racket
  • Referee’s decision will be final and binding

Carrom

  • April 26/May 3 | Sunday | Venue within Chennai city
  • ​​Categories – Men’s Doubles, Women’s doubles
  • Entry fee per team – Rs.1,000
  • Tournament format – Swiss
  • Points system – 25 points single set
  • ​​No of rounds – 5-7 depending on the number of entries
  • All other standard rules shall apply​
  • Both the team members should be from the same organisation
  • Boards and coins will be provided by the organisers.
  • The players may bring their own strikers
  • Organisers decision will be final and binding

Chess

  • April 26/May 3 | Sunday | Venue within Chennai city
  • ​​Categories – Men, Women
  • Entry fee – Rs.500
  • Tournament format – Swiss Rapid
  • Time control: 30 minutes each
  • ​​No of rounds – 5-7 depending on the number of entries
  • All other standard rules shall apply​
  • Boards and coins will be provided by the organisers
  • Arbiter’s decision will be final and binding

Table Tennis

  • ​ April 26/May 3 | Sunday | Venue within Chennai city
  • Categories – Men’s doubles, Women’s doubles, Mixed Doubles
  • Entry fee per team – Rs.1,500
  • Tournament format – 1st Round – 4 team league format; subsequent rounds – knockout format among the winning teams from league round
  • Points system – 3 sets 11 points; Finals – 5 sets 11 points
  • All other standard rules shall apply​
  • Both the team members should be from the same organisation
  • Players should carry their own TT bats
  • Referee’s decision will be final and binding

Careers: Coordinator, Operations

Job Description: Coordinator, Operations (Full Time)
Location 1: Chennai | Location 2: Coimbatore

The applicant should be willing to travel extensively within the state of Tamilnadu and interact/work with people including beneficiaries, centre authorities and vendors.

Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Visit & identify shelter homes (orphanages) and community centres to assess suitability and need for Bhumi programmes
  • Visit & shortlist beneficiaries for Bhumi’s programmes
  • Identify and engage vendors, procurement of materials (on need basis)
  • Assist HR team in organising recruitment campaigns
  • Tracking, reporting and managing of teaching materials and assets at shelter homes (eg. Computers)
  • Day to Day Operations

Preferred Education Qualification / Experience:

  • Work experience – desirable
  • Any graduation – desirable, not essential

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Reasonable interpersonal and communication skills –Tamil & English
  • Basic computer skills – MS Word & Excel – Desirable
  • Resourceful, responsible and self-starting
  • Willingness to travel extensively – locally
  • Having a two wheeler – essential

Other Information:

  • Reporting to: Chief Operating Officer
  • Expected Age: Below 30
  • Scope: Willing to work flexible hours
  • Remuneration

– Chennai – 12,000 – Rs.15,000 p.m
– Coimbatore – 8,000 – Rs.11,000 p.m

  • Expected Joining Date: Immediate

If you qualify and are interested to take up the role, send in your resume to careers@bhumi.org.in

Volunteer Den – Arwindh Paneerselvam

ArwindhA little about yourself (origin, education, past work experiences)

I was born in Trichy and completed most of my schooling there. Later my academic pursuits took me to Coimbatore and then to Australia. Right now I work as a Technical specialist in an R&D center here in Chennai. Food, Travel and reading are the stuff that interests me the most.

How did volunteering with Bhumi happen (including beginning, which project you volunteered for)?
It entirely happened by accident. My colleague (Vinoda Akkina) once had asked me to buy a smile ticket for Nakshatra and spoke about Bhumi. I was a little curious and asked her if I can join the event. She agreed and took me as a D-day volunteer. I was a little hesitant on how would the members take me in, since I was new to the group. But there were no hiccups and I was able to gel with the volunteers immediately. Within half an hour I was so comfortable and by the end of the day I felt that I was already a part of the team. The next week, I registered and joined Lakshya. Life has never been the same to me after that day!!

What change did these experiences bring in your life? How has Bhumi altered you, personally?

Bhumi has definitely made me a well-rounded person and a socially-responsible individual. I used to be a very silent person and wouldn’t interact with anyone unless it was absolutely necessary. When the opening for a HR role came, I saw it as a challenge to be more social and took it. I believe I had done a good job, had made the program meetings more interesting and moved the volunteer engagement to a better level.  Over the period of these three years, it has also made me more confident, easy-going and had gotten me a lot of beautiful friendships.

One most memorable incident in your life as a Bhumian.

This one started off as a small discussion wherein we decided to shoot a small promo for Bhumi’s Hi5 Club. I was a great fan of the Pharell william’s “Happy” video and was suggesting to shoot a version for Bhumi. Most people were skeptical on whether it would work. We have never tried anything of that sort before. We approached Doc for suggestions; he said yes and gave a half hour slot during the Lead Bhumi training to shoot with the whole team. We never really had a script, but everyone pitched in and gave their ideas. Within half-hour it became an awesome, fun, collaborative project. After seeing the initial shots, we were really thrilled and decided to make it even bigger. We started to pull in every volunteer who came across in the coming weeks and shot wherever it was possible across the city. The final cut was so full of energy and once uploaded it immediately became one of the most-watched and most-shared video of Bhumi. That little video was a live testament to the fun, easy-going, collaborative nature of every Bhumian. Till date, I’m really proud that I was a part of that team which made it possible.

Tell us about one Bhumian, who you think is a very good inspiration for you

Almost every one of them stands out in a different way. If I had to specifically choose, the first would be Bhargav. He has been right there from my first induction and through many of the Lakshya sessions. He has an innate ability to motivate people and cajole them into taking up tasks!! And by default the other person is our Doc, Prahalathan. Over the short periods I’ve interacted with him, I’ve always admired his humbleness and the patience to listen to others’ view points. Both of them continue to inspire me.

Any specific, special moment with kids or volunteers you would like to share with us?

Every day with Bhumi has been a special experience for me. Among them, it’s usually the last hours of Nakshatra that always stand out. Watching the faces of about 1000 kids filled with happiness and gratitude gives you a satisfaction that couldn’t be matched by anything else.

A message to every volunteer at Bhumi

I would like to reiterate the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has!” Over the course of three years, I have seen so many little ideas being shaped up into beautiful things touching the kids’ lives. Never stop dreaming and never hesitate to share an idea, no matter how trivial it is. There would always be some person who would need it and someone among our team who would help make it better.

Volunteer Den – Rumia Mukherjee

A little about yourself (origin, education, past work experiences)
Hi I’m Rumia and thanks to my defenserumia background (Dad) I’m basically from many places.  Born in Lucknow, then schooling started in Pune (Maharashtra), trolled through Dalhousie (HP), Allahabad (UP) and finally ended in New Delhi, all Kendriya Vidyalayas. Graduated from WBUT (West Bengal University Of Technology), B.Tech. I currently work in Tech Mahindra as a Software Engineer since 2.7yrs. I was an active member in my college community help group called ‘Sparsh’ and I have organised blood donation camps, cloth/books donation drives etc. I have also worked with special children of ‘Shanti daan’, Missionaries of Charity- Kolkata. Besides, I started pestering my maids with books, taught them how to dial and write phone numbers which I consider a small achievement for me

How did volunteering with Bhumi happen (including beginning, which project you volunteered for)?
I always believed education is one of the strongest weapons to fight against social evils. One fine morning I got a SMS from Bhumi regarding Kolkata start-up and hence a meeting. There was no looking back since then. Currently I am volunteering for Little Einsteins – Mathematics. I love kids and generally they mingle well with me. That was my notion until my topic of conversation with them was MATHS! :D Kids like to keep distance with books and more so if it’s Maths. So obviously we were not welcome initially as ‘teachers’. But as we started teaching in our ‘Bhumi way’, kids did not seem to mind much. They are generally happy to see us now. Small achievement again

What change did these experiences bring in your life? How has Bhumi altered you, personally
Like I said I am an education supporter among all social work. Working with kids has only strengthened my belief system. I can see more clearly the gap between ‘education’ and ‘learning’. My friends and I at Bhumi try our best to fill this gap and have learnt team work, dealing with noisy kids, expanding patience limits in the process. Personally, I would like to thank the kids I teach as my patience has become 3folds (and increasing) . I have definitely become a better person and have become more aware. Big thank you Bhumi ! One most memorable incident in your life as a Bhumian. One of our 5th standard kid had to leave as she was shifted to another home. We could not meet her the last time but to our pleasant surprise she left a ‘Thank you’ card for us. She drew it beautifully and wrote lines with her imperfect English and perfect love for Didis and Dadas. 

Tell us about one Bhumian, who you think is a very good inspiration for you
Tough to name one! I like Tanushree’s energy very much. Also love fellow volunteer friends’ dedication too much,  Rashmi’s helpfulness.. I learn from all of them, at least try to 

Any specific, special moment with kids or volunteers you would like to share with us?
With kids, every day is a memory. Even the way they lovingly call us ‘Didi’ and ‘Dada’ is special to us! With volunteers I love the after class tea sessions, that’s our ritual at Hope Foundation.

A message to every volunteer at Bhumi
Don’t think of the result and keep giving your best to kids. Somewhere you are touching their lives crucially, you may not even know! May be they are not getting the math you are teaching but they are learning the polite way of talking, from the way you talk to them. May be they are grasping the way you interact with other volunteers and learn team-work! May be someone is inspired to become a teacher like you… you never know. YOU GUYS ACTUALLY ROCK and keep rocking!

 

Careers: Educational Projects Coordinator

Job description: Educational Projects Coordinator
Location: Chennai

Bhumi’s partner, KarmaCompany is seeking an Educational Projects Coordinator capable of handling the day-to-day affairs of our various education programs. At present, KarmaCompany’s work in this field is related exclusively to the Right to Education: KarmaCompany hosts community outreach sessions to raise awareness, facilitates RTE applications, acts as a liaison between schools and families, serves as a watchdog for school compliance, and offers financial and educational support for all RTE-admitted children. Upon successfully handling these responsibilities, the Coordinator will also have the opportunity to develop other education-related activities with the resources and guidance of the organization.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Spearhead the Chetpet area’s 2015 Matriculation Right to Education drive
  • Work with in-need families to facilitate their applications to nearby schools
  • Maintain meticulous records regarding family eligibility and application status
  • Communicate with families regarding their application and answer general queries
  • Discuss unique admissions requirements with school administrations
  • Draft correspondence letters to school administrations, education officials, and other relevant bodies
  • Conduct monthly follow-up calls to the 20+ admitted families from previous drives
  • Devise surveys, reports, and other relevant bench markers to gauge assimilation and welfare of all RTE-accepted students
  • Meet with school administrations to check on each child’s academic progress
  • Issue recommendations and develop programs to better serve RTE-admitted children
  • Complete the online RTE map in Google Maps Engine (specific training provided)
  • Work with our group’s tutor to enhance the RTE after school English program
  • Develop and refine the LKG and UKG curriculum for the tutoring program (specific training provided)
  • Perform basic administrative tasks such as issuing scholarships, salaries, and maintaining logs of expenses

Other Responsibilities Include:

  • Assist other organizations with RTE-related efforts
  • Attend education seminars, workshops, and events related to the RTE
  • Recruit and work with volunteers to maximize impact
  • Find NGOs and respective programs worthy of support, financial and otherwise
  • Spearhead short-term, micro education projects in partnership with other organizations
  • Promote KarmaCompany’s programs via social media, blogging, and through the organization’s website.

Preferred Education Qualification/Experience:

  • Advanced degree, preferably in social work or childhood education
  • Prior volunteer experience, preferably in education
  • Prior experience leading, implementing, and documenting short-term projects

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Fluency in English and Tamil
  • Hyper-responsive to email communication
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to handle stress and tight deadlines
  • Innovative, optimistic, proactive and capable of working with a variety of people
  • Enjoys working with underprivileged families

Other Information

  • Scope: Full-time
  • Salary: Negotiable based on qualifications and experience
  • Expected start date: Immediate

To apply for this position, please email karma@bhumi.org.in with your resume and cover letter. To learn more about our organization, please visit www.karmacompany.org

India among 21 countries facing ‘extensive’ learning crisis

‘Ambitious’ curriculum, which outpaces the child’s learning ability, is the most significant factor behind the poor learning outcomes of Indian schools, says a latest UN report released worldwide early this week.

The report, ‘Education for all – global monitoring report 2013-14′, places India in the top bracket of countries likely to achieve a primary enrolment target of at least 95 per cent by 2015, but questions the quality of education, placing India among the 21 countries facing an ‘extensive’ learning crisis.

The report states that less than half of the children were learning the basics in 21 of the 85 countries with full data available. India features in this list along with 17 countries from sub-Saharan Africa, Mauritania, Morocco and Pakistan.

Volunteer to teach

Volunteer to teach

Part of the learning crisis has been attributed to the ambitious curriculum drawn out for children in India, including disadvantaged learners. Contrasting this to Vietnam — where the curriculum focuses on foundation skills and is closely matched to what children are able to learn, especially disadvantaged learners — the report pointed out that India’s curriculum “outpaces what pupils can realistically learn and achieve in the context and time given”.

“In Vietnam, students perform well, on an average, on tests administered at different levels with varying contents. In India, however, children’s learning progress declines in higher grades,” the report says.

In Vietnam, the national curriculum consists of nine subjects, of which six are taught in the early grades, with the majority of time allocated to Vietnamese and mathematics. By contrast, the National Curriculum Framework for India recommends a broad curriculum of 10 subjects in primary schools.

The Indian framework aims to orient teaching towards higher order skills for secondary education, while the Vietnamese curriculum has a stronger focus on building foundation skills. Yet, critically, it is in Vietnam that schools are ultimately preparing pupils better for a post-primary curriculum.

Report seeks to quantify the difference between the two curricula. “In Vietnam, 86% of eight-year-old children answered grade-specific test items correctly. Similarly, 90% of children aged eight in India did so. However, when 14 to 15-year olds were asked a two-stage word problem involving multiplication and addition, 71% of children in Vietnam answered correctly, while in India the percentage was 33%.”

“Post-2015 goals need to include a commitment to make sure the most disadvantaged groups achieve benchmarks set for goals. Failure to do so could mean that measurement of progress continues to mask the fact that the advantaged benefit the most,” the report added.

The report said that the ‘global learning crisis’ is costing governments $129 billion a year. Ten countries account for 557 million, or 72 per cent, of the global population of illiterate adults.

Ten per cent of global spending on primary education is being lost on poor quality education that is failing to ensure that children learn. This situation leaves one in four young people in poor countries unable to read a single sentence.

The latest annual status of education report (ASER) of India also highlights the sorry state of learning outcomes.

The report states that in the wealthier states of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, it was in 2012 that maximum number of rural children were promoted to grade 5; however, only 44 per cent of these children in Maharashtra and 53 per cent in Tamil Nadu could perform a two-digit subtraction.

Educationist and co-founder of Pratham, Farida Lambe agrees, “No doubt that our syllabi are subject-oriented instead of being children-oriented. This becomes ineffective since children have different abilities. Besides, our curriculum doesn’t help in developing analytical skills and independent learning.”

Report also emphasises on bilingual education at the primary level.
“Learning in mother tongue increases the learning outcome. This issue is being debated in India since decades with education activists and psychologists voicing their support for mother tongue education; but no proper policy has been chalked out yet though law makers and political leaders have been casually referring to it. On mother tongue issue, opinion is divided. Tawde supports primary education in mother tongue. In fact, he insists that history, geography and social sciences must be taught in the mother tongue only,” says a principal of a government school in Mumbai. “However, there is a difficulty in teaching in mother tongue in a cosmopolis like Mumbai, where 70 percent are non-Marathi speakers.”

Admitting that early education in mother tongue helps, Lambe too doubts the effectiveness of the mother tongue formula in a country like India where dialects change every 100 km. “Children of Nandurbar are not able to comprehend the kind of Marathi our textbooks have. Same is true for other languages,” she says.

Source: DNA

Gifting compassion and love

Bhumi recently conducted an event in an attempt to connect two groups usually set wide apart by age. Some of our children visited a home for the elderly with beautiful cards and gifts tightly clasped in their tiny hands and the experience was quite priceless. The children, through this activity, learnt that to spread love one needn’t invest in great deeds, just small gestures would do. We were overjoyed by the profound respect our children had for the elderly.

Bhumi wholeheartedly thanks Akshaya Trust for giving our children this wonderful opportunity.

Gift Compassion 01
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Careers: Tutor (Part-Time)

Location: Chennai
Subject: English / Mathematics (classes 1-5)

The tutor is expected to supplement Bhumi’s teaching programme at our shelter homes (orphanages) during weekdays.

Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Teaching children after school
  • Coordinate with the Coordinator of the centre to understand what needs to be delivered that week

Preferred Education Qualification / Experience:

  • Work experience – not necessary
  • Students doing Under Graduation/Diploma (any stream) – Preferred
  • Any graduation – desirable, not essential
  • Class 10 pass – Essential

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Reasonable interpersonal and communication skills –Tamil & English
  • Willingness to travel

Other Information:

  • There are no age restrictions
  • Scope: Part time, weekday evenings and either of Saturday or Sunday
  • Remuneration: Stipend of Rs.3,000-Rs.5,000 p.m. based on the candidate’s profile and work
  • Expected Joining Date: Immediate

If you qualify and are interested to take up the role, send in your resume to careers@bhumi.org.in

The journey behind Yantra: January 2015

There come these occasional moments when we realise that all the preconceptions we held about some things were absolutely flawed. I had one such moment during the Robotics Workshop which was organised by Bhumi and Dwengo (a Belgium-based NGO which supports people interested in robotics) this month. The workshop was primarily held to enable under-privileged children to improve their interest in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). A Google Rise winner (hence, the UDAVI Project was funded by Google), it saw participation from 35 children across six shelter homes and orphanages in Chennai. Now, mind you, very few children here were even familiar with computer applications beyond MS Word or Paint. But, the enthusiasm they showed in learning unfamiliar concepts is what led me to bust that notion I had.

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In one instance, Veerachan and Jakulin (students of Class 8), who were using computers for the first time, impressed the audience with their active participation and performance in the introductory robotics course. They took minimal effort to comprehend the concept of binary numbers, loops, shortest path algorithms and finite state machines. I must say, the organisers from Dwengo also put in commendable efforts to make the children learn these concepts in a fun and interactive way, thus engaging all of them and developing a passion in them to learn new things.

On the second day (of the workshop), the children were introduced to basic hardware used in robotics, like LCDs, motors and sensors. Many said they were able to understand the working and functioning of each part separately. They were also able to understand, with relative ease, the pin diagram of the microcontroller used in the Dwengino board and its interface with other peripheral devices. They gained hands-on experience with these devices. And of course, they were thrilled when their names appeared on LCD panels and they made the motor rotate to their wish and will.

On the third day of the workshop they actually built robots by themselevs. They challenged their limits by coming out with creative ideas to build robots that could fly, that could be an obstacle detector, a light,  a line follower, a garbage collector , a painter and even a scorpion . The fact that the robots were autonomous is an icing on the cake. They learnt the tricky part of coding and logic, using interactive games and simple software. They could even design their own algorithms with the assistance of volunteers.

I02Overall, it was surprising to see that, even after a few days, the children remembered every small detail from what they learnt about robotics. Studies and learning aside , the biggest positive they could take out of this workshop was that they were exposed to a world they never knew existed. They made new friends (Bharati from Webbs found new friends in Avvai Home and Kali from Seva Samajam befriended children from SISTWA), and they developed an attachment with the volunteers, especially with Francis and Naveen, the workshop organisers. A second revelation was that language never proved to be a barrier . They interacted with Francis at ease and cleared their doubts.

The most humbling opinion they put forward was that they felt special when individual care was given to them. Since the children were used to being one among many in a classroom, the sudden importance and individual attention given to them boosted their confidence. With no presumable exaggeration, I recall their words; “What we learnt these three days is imprinted in our minds. We rarely learn such fun and interesting things in school.”

What this shows is that they are more than happy to attend such sessions and are looking forward to even more. Such heartfelt feedback not only reassured us of our work, but also motivated us to reach greater heights in giving these children the best the world can offer.

Photos from the workshop can be viewed on: http://bhumi.org.in/2015/01/27/robotics-expo-by-children/

– Nithin Krishna, Bhumian

Yantra: Robotics Expo by children – January 2015

35 children from six of our learning centres participated in a Robotics expo in Chennai on January 25, 2015. The children had earlier participated in a two week workshop by volunteers from Bhumi and Dwengo (Belgium) and made their own robots. Here are the results of their enthusiasm and tireless efforts. The UDAVI Project is a winner of Google Rise 2014.

Scorpion – A robot that runs on all terrains

Image 01 Image 02Garbage picker – An automated robot that picks up garbage in its way and drops it at a predefined point

Image 03 Image 04Buggy – A four legged bug robot that walks

I01 I02Light controlled waste dump robot – A semi–automated garbage cleaner that picks up and drops garbage depending upon the lightI01

I02Light Eater – A simple light following robot

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I02The Phoenix – A robot that flaps the wings at a speed depending upon the light intensity

I01 I02Line Tracer – A robot that follows a black line on the floor

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 Collision avoiding art-bots – A robot that traces its path on white paper and forms patterns by avoiding obstacles in the course

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