May 22, 2010

Dr. Reddy’s Foundation is a unique Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme.
It runs short training courses which impart basic and special skills to poor youths and prepares them for a job in different sectors.
Thousands of young men and women have benefited from this Foundation which is promoted by the hugely successful Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories in Hyderabad.
The Foundation runs a few centres in our city.
Earlier this month, the head of the Chennai Chapter of the Foundation ( contact phone - 23651797) mailed a brochure and a letter with a request.
It was an appeal to the local media to publicise the short term courses offered locally so that people would be aware of them and also share this information with families and youths who stand to gain from it.
In the city, there are courses in retailing and hospitality, sales and BPO and they are run in places like Mint and Velachery, Triplicane and Ayanavaram, typically neighbourhoods where the need is immense.
I shared this information with a teenager who has been working part time at our office. Ayyappan, a Chennai School student has just got his Plus Two exam results and he is not in the clouds. He did not score high in math and chemistry and though he has begun applying for engineering courses, he is unsure.
Ayyappan’s parents work in the construction industry and they are hoping that their son will study further and get a job that will change the course of his life.
Information and opportunities like the ones that Dr. Reddy’s is providing to youths like Ayyappan rarely reach their homes or schools. Hence, they are not able to make the most of what is on offer alternatively.
We must create an informal/formal channel which makes available such information to those who can gain from it.
Our photographer R. Saravanan at Mylapore went that extra mile to locate and talk to two students who topped in their schools. He came back with stories of young people who just cannot afford college education though they have excelled.
Perhaps the request for financial support from the well-off will change the course of these lives.
There are many more in our neighbourhoods who can make a mark if they are provided small funds and educational and vocational guidance.
You have the opportunity to contribute.

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