SMART students grabbing Smart packages!

Dear Friends,

It gives me immense pleasure in sharing with you all that our SMART students are doing wonders. Not only they are being placed with top-notch companies, but are also bagging attractive packages ranging from 1.5 Lakhs to 4.5 Lakhs. Coming from the difficult backgrounds, our students are filled with passion and energy to do something in life. We at TMF give wings to their dreams and a belief that dreams do come alive!

This month we saw many placements happening, but the one which caught our attention, was the placement of Vishwanath Tata, a SMART student from Hyderabad. He bagged a decent package of Rs. 4.5 Lakhs and is working as a software analyst with Hexagon Capability Pvt Ltd in Hyderabad.


Friends, with the Women’s Day approaching, I must congratulate my women cadre which is raising the bar every single day. Monica Anthony, a mother to a small boy is now a Subway parcel delivery officer and earns 12,000 p.m.
Shikha, one more SMART student is now happily working with Centre For Sight as a front officer and earning 17,000 p.m.

More power to our Youth!

Warm Regards,
Loveleen Kacker

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SMART students Dubai bound!

Dear Friends,

We are very proud to share that the first six students from a Mumbai SMART technical welding center at Thane, Mumbai, have been placed globally! These young men – Atif Dildar Marne, Mohammed Sadre Alam, Ibrahim Azam Maniyar, Mohamed Aquib Vasid, Kahafa Nizam Dongre, Sosef Nizam Dongre – will be joining a UAE based company with a handsome salary of Rs. 21,500 per month. Students went through a rigorous assessment process from the employer and, along with their six-month training experience they very easily cleared the practical tests as well.

SMART has successfully trained 60,000 young men and women with a placement rate of over 70% in the last six years. Through SMART we have created an industry – led model for skill development that is both scalable and replicable while maintaining high quality training standards. In all these years we have placed students in job roles suited to their background but this is the very first time that our six students are all set to rise and shine like stars on a global platform. I am personally very elated with this fantastic news and strongly believe that they will do excellent in this new role.

Everyone at TMF wishes them a bright future, and a fulfilling career.

Watch this space for all the updates and exciting news on our six rising stars as they get ready to board the flight of their dreams!

Best of luck students!
Warm Regards,
Loveleen Kacker

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Two Days, Two Triumphs

Dear Friends,

It has been an eventful month at Tech Mahindra Foundation.

First, I am happy to share that we have inaugurated the second Tech Mahindra SMART Academy for Healthcare in Mohali. It is a matter of pride for us that like the SMART Academy in Delhi, the Academy in Mohali is also equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories – Operation Theatre lab, Dialysis lab, X-ray lab, Basic Skills lab and a computer lab. Not just that, we already have over 70 admissions and the medical fraternity in both Delhi and Chandigarh have acknowledged the high quality of the training imparted, the faculty and the infrastructure. Mr. Vineet Nayyar, Mr. Arun Nanda and Ms. Rajyalakshmi Rao did the honours.

The second feather in our cap has been the honour of receiving the FICCI Corporate Social Responsibility Award in the category of ‘Education, Skill Development and Livelihood’ for our flagship employability programme SMART (Skills-for-Market Training). This is the first dedicated award for SMART on a national platform. By the end of FY17-18, SMART will have trained 65,000 young men and women across India.

I would like to thank everyone who has supported the Foundation’s endeavours.

With best wishes,
Loveleen Kacker

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Talking Hands Restaurant: A Special Culinary Experiment


Dear friends,

What makes a restaurant stand out? Is it just the food? What about the am- bience and service?

Talking Hands, an unassuming restaurant in Hyderabad, has no Michelin stars, and no celebrity chef. It serves all the local favourites like Chicken 65, and chilly chicken. For me, though, it stands out because it is proof of how inclusive em- ployment can make perfect business sense. Save for the cook, all the staff are deaf. It was set up a few months ago by our NGO partners the Deaf Enabled Foundation (DEF) along with the Telangana tourism department. I was delight- ed to enjoy a lunch at Talking Hands with the TMF team on a recent visit to Hyderabad.

As soon as you enter the restaurant, a bright mural shows the most common gestures in sign language. The menu further teaches you how to communicate with the staff, as do the table mats. Each dish on the menu has a sign code, and diners can learn the ges- tures to place their orders. I am happy to add that 13 of their employees were trained at our SMART+ centre run in partnership with DEF. We were served personally by Mohammad Hanif (in the photo below), a SMART+ trainee, who has also worked at the Lemon Tree Hotel, and is now proud to be the Senior Steward at Talking Hands.


With only a little more attention to detail than your average restaurant, Talking Hands succeeds in walking the talk as far as inclusion for persons with disabilities is concerned. We hope to see the hospitality industry welcome more persons with disabilities into its workforce.
Talking Hands has brightened up the lives of 25 deaf employees. I hope that this festive season will bring the Talking Hands team suc- cess in their endeavours!

May this Diwali bring us all light and inspiration from role models like Talking Hands!

With best wishes,
Loveleen Kacker

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Five years of creating happier classrooms!


Dear Friends,

Government schools come under a lot of flak for underperforming, and in most cases, rightfully so. Some time ago, I’d spoken about how government school teachers are not under-qualified, but what is missing is a ‘tadka’ of motivation, pushing them to transact better in the classroom.

 One project shattering the stereotype of the disinterested teacher is the In-Service Teacher Education Institute (ITEI), the result of a successful public private partnership between Tech Mahindra Foundation and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC). EDMC directly runs 365 primary schools. It employs nearly 5,500 teachers to teach 2.15 lakh children. This year, ITEI will complete five years. Over the past five years, it has conducted several workshops not just in subject matters such as mathematics, English and science, but also techniques to manage large classrooms, creating a child friendly environment in school, practices to ensure inclusion and equity, fair assessment of children and ways to enhance parental involvement in children’s education. 

 Perhaps one of the most significant changes we have managed to bring about has been in the attitude of the teachers – where they now look forward to workshops with our trainers, rather than viewing it as yet another duty to discharge. Each training session ends with feedback from the teachers, and over 85% of the participants find the trainings relevant and enriching. Do watch this video to see how ITEI is transforming government schools in East Delhi, one teacher at a time!

 I am pleased to share that EDMC is keen to extend this partnership beyond the original five years, and other municipal corporations have expressed interest in a similar programme being created for their schools. We hope that in the coming years, ITEI will show that government schools can deliver value to their students.

Warm Regards,
Loveleen Kacker.



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Adding colour to their school, and our lives!

The subject of the mail “Inviting Artists” was so overwhelmingly enticing to the people like us who spend our whole time in the workspace, sadly parted from our colourful hobbies. The thought of painting came off as very refreshing to our minds. There was also this feeling of excitement when we got to know that the tiny tots of BBMP Chinnayanpalya were the targeted audience.

 As the schoolchildren were enjoying their summer vacation, TMF in association with volunteers from Tech Mahindra thought of giving them a warm welcome on the school re-opening day by adding an essence of freshness. As a part of that, we initiated a plan to white wash the walls and give the school a brand new look. The activity of cleaning the walls of the classrooms and getting it ready for the white wash lasted around two weekends. We could have hired an external vendor and got the things done in a regular manner, but we did not opt that way though it was easy. Instead, we all assembled and started working on it in spite of the hurdles we came across in accomplishing our plan. 


Scrapping the remains on the walls, dusting the rooms and cleaning was a tedious task. Nevertheless, the teamwork paid off well and we could successfully wind up the task over a weekend. Accomplishing the other pending activities such as painting the black boards, white wash of the entire school was the target for the next weekend. It was a challenging task for all the volunteers as no one was aware of white washing and painting the walls. However, the volunteers were so stubborn and never gave up until we got everything done. A strong feeling of inner joy kept us motivated and that is how we achieved our targeted milestone.


Our next mission was to paint the educational aids in the classrooms, make specific pictures related to library area, idea zone etc. For adding a touch of beauty to the freshly painted school walls, there was an invite for artistic volunteers. When the interested parties gathered, we held a short meeting to discuss and materialize the third weekend activity. Different themes and educational/informative images aimed at changing the look of classroom walls and the common area, were brought up and listed down. We finally geared up for the planned activity.


We distributed the task among all our members and started working on it. It is a wonderful feeling to do paintings on walls. We, who were used to paint on chart papers and canvas boards were immensely happy painting a big picture on the walls. The colorful outcomes depicted cravings of the artists hidden in us and our passion towards these artistic hobbies. Smears of colorful paints on our hands served as a pleasant reminder of the fun we had in this process of decorating the classrooms. 


Finally, I would like to thank TMF for giving us this wonderful opportunity, yanking us out of our monotonous routine and awakening our inner artist. Wish to see more of such assignments from TMF and all the very best to the lovely and energetic volunteers who contributed for the event’s success. It leaves us in a great contentment when our efforts contribute in making someone smile.


           Farheen Khan

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Spotlight on the SMART Academy, Delhi

Jaspreet: Hospital Front Office & Billing Executive, Moolchand Hospital.


Dear Friend, 

We’ve been running the first Tech Mahindra SMART Academy for Healthcare for the past year. A little more than a year down the line, we’re delighted to share some success stories from the Academy. This is the first of a three part series.


Nineteen year old vivacious Jaspreet has not let her difficult life get her down. One of a family of four, she was studying in grade eleven in the government secondary school, Adarsh Nagar when her father (who owns a TV repair shop) met with an accident, and suffered a spinal injury that left him bedridden. The family found itself faced with an extended sickness and hospitalisation in a major hospital.


“Surgery cost… huge… We are financially backward and my brother earns Rs 17,000… Family is first..” says an ever smiling Jaspreet. She always wanted to be in the medical field and when her mother heard about the Tech Mahindra SMART Academy for Healthcare, she visited it, and immediately loved the greenery, the infrastructure and the teachers she met. “Medical space fascinates me,” Jaspreet says. “I go home and look after my father who I am very emotionally connected to. On Sundays I like going to the Sisgunj Gurdwara and listening to the Gurbani.”


Jaspreet’s self confidence and fluency in English helped her ace two intense interviews taken by Moolchand Hospital, and receive an offer of Rs 1,68,000 per year as a CTC. She is the very first student from our first ever Hospital Front Office & Billing Executive batch from the SMART Academy, Delhi to be recruited. We are proud to see Jaspreet at the helm in Moolchand Hospital! 


Best of luck Jaspreet!

Warm Regards,

Loveleen Kacker


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10 Years-100 Centres

Dear colleagues,

Today Tech Mahindra Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Tech Mahindra Ltd. reaches two important milestones.

The first milestone is that April 2017 marks ten years since the establishment of the Foundation. Since 2007, we have been diligently working in the areas of education, employability and inclusivity for persons with disabilities.

What I would like to say here is that it is not the mere fact of completing 10 years that is noteworthy, but the journey the Foundation has taken over the past decade.

Mr. Anand Mahindra said to us once, “Education is the single most powerful intervention for transforming lives.” India is a young country compared to many developed nations. The median age is 29 years, and a majority of the population is below the age of 35. There has been a lot of buzz around India’s ‘demographic dividend’ waiting to be tapped, and an equal amount of concern about the same young people whose progress in life might be obstructed by a lack of access to education and skills at the right time. We hope to make sure the ‘demographic dividend’ pays off by living our motto of ‘Empowering through Education’.

A SMART Solution

With this in mind, in addition to our school support programmes ARISE (All-Round Improvement in School Education) and Shikshaantar (where we train teachers from government schools), we began to work in the area of skill development 5 years ago. In 2012-13, we opened three SMART (Skills for Market Training) centres to skill young people in urban areas, most of whom were school drop-outs or unable to continue to higher education. We taught them English, computer skills and crucially, coached them in ‘workplace readiness’ so that our SMART trainees could walk into a new job prepared for what would be expected of them. Two years ago, KPMG assessed SMART and concluded that there is a social return on investment (SROI) of Rs 13.29 for every rupee invested. When the most vulnerable in society are empowered, everybody benefits.

In five years, we have grown from 3 to 99 centres and have imparted skills to 50,000 young people. Under the banner of SMART, we created SMART+ which skills persons with disabilities and SMART-T which imparts technical training. Last year, we raised the bar for our SMART programme by establishing the Tech Mahindra SMART Academy for Healthcare in New Delhi, which has the capacity to train up to 2000 allied health professionals in a year.

This brings us to our second milestone.

Today we will inaugurate the 100th SMART centre in Mumbai, in association with the Helen Keller Institute for the Deaf and Deaf-blind. This centre is the first of its kind as it will tailor elements of SMART-T and SMART+ to provide technical training to persons with disabilities.

Where we are now

The TMF team has grown to over 50 people in 12 cities across India. We have been fortunate to see our programmes deliver value to our beneficiaries and also to society in general. It’s been a joy to see more and more of you join us in volunteering every year. 2016-17 saw the largest rise in both how many of you volunteered and how many hours you spent volunteering with us.

Here’s where we will stand by the end of today:

12000+ Volunteers

100 SMART Centres

67 Education and Disability Projects

50,000 young people skilled

Over 2,50,000 beneficiaries across programmes

Going forward

As the world progresses, it is all the more imperative that we ensure that our young people at the bottom of the pyramid are not left in the past by what the future holds. We do not hold the answers to all the problems society faces, and we know that our work touches a fraction of the total number of people who need interventions like SMART to be able to take charge of their lives.

The road so far has neither been easy nor perfect. We have struggled against the challenges of India’s huge young population, made mistakes and come away wiser for them. Through all these years, what has ensured that we persisted, even when we worried about the impact we were making, has been the unstinting support the Tech Mahindra family has given us.

We now have a decade of learning and growth behind us, and are earning the trust of the communities we work with. We are quietly confident about taking on the challenges of the next 10 years.

A small note:

Going beyond numbers, it is absolutely crucial to understand what it really means to ‘impact’ someone’s life. On the occasion of 10 Years – 100 Centres of Tech Mahindra Foundation, we’ve created a short video called ‘Do Gullak’ (Two Piggybanks) loosely inspired by a true story to showcase what ‘empowering through education’ really means.

And to all of you at Tech M, please know that all your efforts, and our efforts are together making someone’s life – and nearly 2,50,000 other lives – change for the better!

Warm regards,

Loveleen Kacker


Tech Mahindra Foundation

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Kickstarting the Digital Revolution

Kickstarting the Digital Revolution: Tech Mahindra Volunteers in Mumbai lead the way

We’re trying to kickstart a digital revolution! It’s impossible for us to imagine our lives today without email or apps. Access to email and bank accounts are necessities to us, but to many young students at our Tech Mahindra Foundation SMART centres, they felt out of reach.

Thanks to over 80 volunteers from Tech Mahindra Limited and Tech Mahindra Foundation’s Mumbai team, a small digital revolution is just getting started. On the 4th and 7th of March 2017, 84 volunteers from Tech Mahindra Ltd. helped SMART students and alumni go digital at 9 SMART centres across Mumbai. From being off the digital map entirely, within a few hours, over 390 SMART students and alumni emerged armed with bank accounts, email addresses, apps to scan their documents and operate their new bank accounts and of course, Facebook accounts to show off these new skills.

“Our day began by visiting Tech Mahindra Foundation SMART Centre to teach students creation and usage of email accounts, social media platforms, cloud storage and bank accounts. To be presented with such an opportunity was like a breath of fresh air in our daily routine. We were still doubtful about whether these students may need knowledge from us pertaining to social media and use of applications in a world where internet has reached every corner…but we realised …it’s still a dream to be accomplished by them.” says Vidhi Sony and Priyanka Nair, Tech Mahindra Ltd.volunteers.

Our volunteers patiently helped the students to open email accounts and to use Google Drive to store their files. They also taught the students to open Facebook accounts and added them to the newly created TMF SMART centre Facebook groups.

Also supporting this drive were branch managers from Karnataka Bank Ltd. The branch managers spoke about the importance of having a bank account and helped the students open their own accounts. In fact, we are happy to say that of the 390 plus SMART students and alumni, 299 opened accounts! Those with the minimum balance will receive access to debit cards, cheque books and more facilities. Crucially, many of these students also chose to sign up for insurance coverage provided by the bank.

With these basics in place, the students were then shown how to make good use of the apps on their phones. Apps like Cam-Scanner are extremely useful to quickly scan documents and share them such as offer letters, appreciation letters and more. Thanks to BHIM, they can check their bank account balance and carry out transactions.

The volunteers also spent time impressing on them the need to maintain security and privacy on the internet. “The entire initiative was just as useful to us in understanding and socializing with people outside the social media just as much it was for them understanding social media. We hope our contribution goes a long way in helping more underprivileged students.” says a Tech Mahindra Elitian.

Our SMART students are enthusiastic and capable but have not received enough opportunities in life because of their backgrounds. Through our SMART centres we hope to give them the skills to succeed in modern India. As Sagar Mestri, a Tech Mahindra volunteer put it, “It was a very good experience for the volunteers as well as the students, as the students became aware about the importance of digitization and its benefits.”

The total count at the end of the digital drive

Bank accounts registered: 299

Email accounts opened: 352

No. of students who downloaded apps: 243

Facebook accounts opened: 309

Volunteering doesn’t have to be complicated or very time-consuming. Even one afternoon can help make a difference to someone’s life, as our now digitally savvy SMART students can attest to. As our volunteer Vidhy Sony put it, “Finally coming to an end to a stellar day, we were catalyzed with a sense of commitment to carry on undertaking such events in future where we can contribute towards the bright future of our nation. As it’s said “Man maketh society, and society maketh the world.”

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Ground Zero gives Ultimate Happiness

Author: Dipti Wadhwani

“I would suggest everybody to volunteer and experience the joy of making people happy”

Before I could realise I was done with four years of my college. Travelling, partying and socialising was all I did along with my studies. I always wanted to work for a social cause but had no idea of nearby NGOs as I had recently shifted to Mumbai. I joined Tech Mahindra and in the second week itself, along with my colleagues I was taken out to do some social work. It gave me an amazing opportunity to do some actual work for a good cause, in fact I felt fortunate to volunteer for Tech Mahindra Foundation.

As part of volunteering programme, we had to visit slums and inform people about the SMART programme that provides skilling opportunities to youth enabling them enter a career of their choice.

We did some interactive fun activities like street play, taking out rallies to spread awareness about the SMART programme. We told people the benefits of joining the programme and how they can realise new heights. It gave us immense pleasure and inner peace when they showed interest.

While interacting with young boys and girls I learnt that lack of interest and support hinders their educational and vocational capacities. We pledged to help people know about the programme and told them that the Foundation offers the course FREE.

Unexpectedly, we also met a young girl who got job after completing the course from SMART. She happily came forward and shared her positive experience with the people of her community.

The interaction made us love the community and the young people even more. In a nutshell, I would like to say that Volunteering at Tech Mahindra Foundation taught us some beautiful life lessons

“To see someone smile and to know that you contribute something for that smile gives ultimate joy.”
Thank you Tech Mahindra Foundation Team and TLS Team for giving us this priceless opportunity.



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