Young woman in Chennai strives to develop govt school kids

Chennai: Mylapore students in the city have something great to cheer about as a young engineering graduate, P Vyjayanthi Mala is slowly making an impact at schools across the area for the past four years.

Vyjayanthi is running her educational initiative, ‘Seed Stem’ where she takes classes for free at government schools along with few of her friends.

The initiative began at Lady Sivaswami Ayyar Girls Higher Secondary School in Mylapore – the school where Vyjayanthi studied.

Speaking to News Today, she tells what her initiative does and how she got the idea. “I always used to question about the teaching methodology,” she says.

“When I was in my first year of engineering, I wanted to do something for the society as I saw that very few women are in the technical field when compared to men. I wanted to address the gap. Thus I started my initiative Seed Stem.”

She adds that they target co-education schools also.

Vyjayanthi and her friends teach subjects like maths and science practically. “I really had a nice response from the children. I taught them in the weekends as I used to have college in the weekdays when I first began,” she says.

Vyjayanthi also says that she has started to concentrate on environmental education. “I want to make children environmentally responsible,” she says.

She then reveals that she also brought in organic farming. “The school has mid-day meal scheme and many children are fed here everyday,” says Vyjayanthi.

“As the school had a big space, I decided to bring in organic farming and make children to be involved with the process. They showed extreme interest. Near the school’s kitchen, we arranged a compost pit to collect all the vegetable wastes.”

The students also take care of a herbal garden. “After seeing good response from the teachers and students, the school started to sponsor the initiative,” she says.

Vyjayanthi says that some organisations help her in every possible way. “I also call professionals to give lecture on topics like plastic awareness,” she says.

“We also organised a paper bag making session. I also take children to events that happen in and around Mylapore.”

Vyjayanthi speaks about how she funds her initiative. “I manage with my pocket money. Some of my friends helped me set up,” she says.

“As I don’’t have enough funds, I couldn’’t expand more. But I am trying to get support and to help me carry forward my initiative. My plan is to expand my work with other government schools, so I can impact children from poor backgrounds too.”

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Mohammed Rayaan