Sixth Sense Foundation, a Coimbatore based non-profit organization has set up a community centre at a small village called Pinjivakkam near Thiruvallur, around 50 kms from Chennai. The community centre set up in 5000 sq ft area in the prime centre of the village, gives the village children access to after school education classes, internet, electricity and toilet facilities.
The community centre helping 150 children has a full time facilitator to manage the after school sessions. The facilitator appointed by the NGO is tasked with ensuring that the sessions are conducted on time and attend them. Through these sessions, the children stay updated with the lessons taught in the school and the facilitator also conducts periodic tests to prepare the children for exams. The centre also has computers with internet connection which children use for doing different projects related to their learning.
SG Suryah, Managing Trustee of Sixth Sense Foundation says, “The concept was conceived after my visit to the village in 2017. I was told that school dropouts were very high because of various reasons. The village witnessed only 30% Pass Percentage in the board exams. Those children who clear the exams drop the school and are either sent off to work in fields or married off. This centre and our Foundation ensure that pass percentage improves and take care until they finish college”
Pradeep Gunasekaran, Founding Trustee and General Secretary of Sixth Sense Foundation says that after the centre was set up in 2018, special coaching was given to children who face board exams. “The pass percentage in 2019 has improved to 70%. We feel that was a drastic change. We are planning to support the children financially to continue their education”.
Apart from this, the community centre is also a place where vocational courses are conducted for the women of the village empowering them to be self-sufficient.
“10 vocational training programs were conducted this year and 100 women have benefitted out of these training sessions” says the Facilitator Ambedhanand
Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of building 100 smart villages through the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, the foundation aims to make Pinjivakkam a model village in the region.
“We are looking forward to setting up more centres in villages across Tamil Nadu”, Pradeep says.