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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The Year-End Euphoria

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Mobile Science Lab

In an effort to promote hands on learning experience and inculcate scientific temper in children, Tech Mahindra Foundation supports Sahayata Trust an organization which reaches out to 18 government schools in Hyderabad through a Mobile Science Lab.

When we began, we came across many government school children who had to rely on a few colorful pictures and of course their imagination, to understand basic scientific phenomena such as the reflection of light or photosynthesis in plants or burning of magnesium.

Today, these students are not only able to effectively handle and use different scientific instruments but are also confident enough to demonstrate experiments to the larger world through videos. Now, these kids not only listen but also can question with full confidence.

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11th SMART Centre Inauguration

On the 7th of December Mr. Riaz Mulla, Professional Learning Head at Tech Mahindra(Technical Learning Services) & Location Council Head Mumbai, inaugurated the 11th SMART Technical Centre in Thane District at Bhandup West. The SMART Centre will provide two and three wheeler Automation Training and equip the students to be placed as Assistant Auto Technicians. The training program is four-months long, and will include Job Training.

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An Inclusive World

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