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Aug 9, 2019

BEING SAFE BEFORE THE MONSOON

Feeling safe in the renovated house.. Anithakumari
Feeling safe in the renovated house.. Anithakumari

“My greatest concern was- how will we survive the next monsoon?” says Anithakumari, a self-employed tailor and mother of a 6 year old, whose house in Parakkadavu had suffered serious damages in the flood. “I raised some loans, but that was nowhere near enough. I was getting sleepless. That was when I came to know about ATMA Foundation’s work.” Soon enough, Anitha met the headmistress of the nearby Parakkadavu L P School, and through her, got in touch with ATMA. Now, 4 months later, she proudly welcomes us to her finished house, secure in the knowledge that, whatever the rains might bring this time, her aged father, young son, and herself will be safe from the fury.

Ajithan, another resident in the area, was bed ridden with a back-bone injury when the floods hit. He recalls the day when, despite his health condition, he found the strength to stand on his feet and take his family to safety. He has not looked back since. With financial support from the ATMA- GlobalGiving flood relief project, his house is now fully restored, and his family safe.

It was the same story with all the families that the ATMA team visited, in the vicinity of the Parakkadavu L P School, for whom support had been provided for repairs, maintenance and rebuilding of homes damaged in the flood. ATMA has adopted an approach wherein the families themselves get their needs assessed by a qualified engineer, and prepare a budget. The requests are assessed by experts in the ATMA team, and if reasonable, given a go-ahead.

ATMA strives to identify and support those who are in genuine need, and who have no other sources of support. 10 families have completed the work now, and more requests are in different stages of processing.

As part of the Livelihood Rebuilding initiative, the ATMA Digital & Financial Empowerment Project is also getting ready for launch. This will educate people on financial planning to combat emergencies (including insurance & investments), digital banking, online employment opportunities, entrepreneurship opportunities, etc.

Meanwhile, monsoon fury has once again descended on Kerala, with serious outcomes predicted in 12 districts. Team ATMA is gearing up once again, to help our people withstand the calamity and to overcome it together.

Sharing the Joy... ATMA Team with Ajithan
Sharing the Joy... ATMA Team with Ajithan
Jul 29, 2019

Mobility Aids Given

"Using crutches of the proper length has greatly increased my ability to walk. Earlier, I used to have constant back pain. Now, after getting training to walk properly with my new crutches, that pain is gone.  Life has become much easier now" , says 44 year old Lissy, who works in a tailoring unit. She was given elbow crutches under the ATMA Mobility Project. She was assessed and trained by experts at the ATMA Mobility Camp. A pair of crutches were specially made for her, and delivered to her home town of Kodakara.

27 year old Janeesh, bedridden with Diplegia, was given a Toilet Chair under this project.

With this, the number of people supported with Mobility Aids by ATMA Foundation, has reached 74- including the victims of the Kerala Floods in 2018. 

Jun 4, 2019

Refreshing the Mind...

It was a glorious moment for Anupriya – as she completed her first ever work of Mural Painting, guided by her favourite teacher, Ms Usha.  She, like all children at ATMA Gurukulam, had an amazing summer vacation, with a host of activities specially planned to refresh and rejuvenate the young minds.

The holiday season kicked off in April, with a movie in one of the plush theatres nearby. This was followed by a trip to the circus, and a special buffet dinner arranged for them at a good restaurant. The children also had their first experience of Live theatre, when they were taken to watch the famous Malayalam play ‘Kadamattathu Kathanar’ by the renowned Theatre group ‘Kalanilayam’ , which was being performed in a specially prepared arena in Thrissur town.

The children were also given ample opportunities to explore their creativity – with sessions in fabric painting, mural painting and creative writing, under the guidance of expert teachers.

In April, the children were taken on a 5-day trip to Puttapparthi, to attend a youth camp. The trip involved overnight train journeys to and fro – for many children, it was their first train journey! The children enjoyed every moment of the long travel- partly by train and partly by bus – singing and dancing, sharing snacks, stopping by way-side tea shops for refreshments, waiting in the railway platform, playing games... it was exciting beyond words!

Soon after, it was election time in Kerala! 5 of our ‘children’ have already grown up into responsible voters – and proudly cast their first vote at Sree Ramakrishna School polling booth at Puranattukara. The run up to the voting day was marked by an avid interest in newspapers, followed by heated discussions on social and political issues. It really was a joy to watch – our little ones grown up now, fully set on the path to responsible citizenship!

In May, the children were given the opportunity to participate in another Individual Development Camp at Saraswathi Vidyanikethan School, Chengamanadu. The camp helped them to introspect, gain new insights on Life, focus on their blessings, and set SMART goals to achieve what they want in life. The camp also had active games sessions, where the children made full use of the large school ground and its sports facilities.

The summer vacation concluded with the announcement of results of all those who had appeared for board/university exams. The children had put up a good show – with excellent performances in their favourite subjects.

With this, ATMA Gurukulam has also reached another milestone – our first college graduate! Amrutha U A has completed her undergraduate programme – getting her degree in Family and Community Science from Vimala College, Thrissur, with an A Grade. She is preparing for the entrance test to do her Masters in Nutrition, and has also joined an internship programme with the Dietitics Department of Daya Hospital, Thrissur.

A special get together was organised at ATMA Gurukulam to felicitate the achievers, and also to inspire the others to put forth their best performance in the coming school year.

On the whole, summer at ATMA Gurukulam has been a season of Joy, Creativity and New Hope – as we look forward to our children growing up into young adults – forging their own paths to success, happiness and service!

Getting Creative with Mural Painting
Getting Creative with Mural Painting
Lunch at Sobha Mall, Thrissur
Lunch at Sobha Mall, Thrissur
Performing Yoga at Youth Camp
Performing Yoga at Youth Camp
 
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