More than 27% of youths in India are excluded from education, employment and training while a large majority of working adults are employed in the informal sector, such as agriculture.
From 30 June to 15 July 2019, a group of 20 students from NTU Tamil Literary Society (NTU TLS) set off to Puthukudi village, Tirunelveli, to reach out to one of these less privileged communities in India.
Project Aram 2019 focused on education, specifically for kids and teenagers. To achieve their project objective, the team revamped a classroom for Ganapathy Primary School and set up a library to inculcate a habit of reading among the children. Classroom walls were painted, all the blackboards in the school were renewed and donated books from Singapore were stocked up in the library. Team members began each day with story-telling sessions to engage the children and cultivate an interest in reading. Conducted in both Tamil – the villagers’ native language – and English, the sessions helped the children slowly ease into reading.
Outside of the classroom, the team emphasised the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The children were introduced to three simple dance routines that will help them stay active while having fun. Grooving to favourite local Tamil tunes, the dance routines were a hit with the children!
On the cultural front, the team members also learnt about the saree weaving business in the village. Through interactions with the weavers and seeing the Saree Weaving Factory, members better understood the job of weavers and the difficulties they face. In return, the team shared their knowledge of social media and how it can help the saree business grow and prosper.
Overall, this service-learning experience and interactions with the villagers in Puthukudi village will definitely remain as an invaluable memory for these 20 students.
“No matter how tiring our days were, the simplest of call for me “Kalyani Akka” by tiny little chirpy voices would somehow wipe all the fatigue away.” Kalyani D/O Ravindharan, Treasurer
About NTU Tamil Literary Society (NTU TLS)
NTU TLS is a young vibrant Society which started back in 2010 with the main aim of celebrating their very own Tamil language and promoting the literature part of the language in various ways, especially among the young. The Society strongly believes that the language needs to be effectively promoted among the Tamil community through various Key Events that are conducted annually.
NTU TLS is well known throughout Singapore for its biennial student production, ‘Uthraa’. This mega production aims to bring out the talents of youth in NTU. The main objective of this production is to promote the Tamil language appreciate the Tamil Literature through performing arts and to encourage young talents in the Tamil theatre scene.