Chennai: Nursing was not as robust in the past as it is in the present. M Srinivasan, a mechanical engineer, felt the dire need of professional nursing care. This brought Srinivasan, K R Paramesvar, a retired management professional, C S Raghunathan, a mechanical engineer and Saraswathi Vaidyanathan, a retired nurse together and found Sarva Vidya, a not-for-profit organisation. It is working in several capacities to uplift women and children from several villages of Tamilnadu.
Formally established in 2005, the trust is aimed at training women from disadvantaged background to become patient care trainers.
Explaining about the the programme ‘Empower to Enable’, founder trustee Srinivasan says, “As part of the initiative, we cherry-pick girl children from the hamlets who cannot afford to study further. Our representative speak to them and their families and enroll them in our two-year diploma in First Aid and Healthcare Assistance programme which is affiliated with Tamilnadu Open University.”
Being one of the trustees and principal of the course, Saraswathi designs the structure and syllabus.
“The children are given accommodation here in Chennai, attend classes in our trust and we also have a lab for experiments,” Srinivasan adds.
The students are given professional training at hospitals to enrich the theoretical learning experience. This way, the trust does its bit to help children from underprivileged background up their game.
However, the members realised that they should not stop with just giving this and also initiated two additional programmes. One being ‘No Child Left Behind’ and ‘Village Connect’. “We select children from Chennai and selectively in villages who need financial help and tutor. It is an additional training besides the regular school coaching for ‘No Child Left Behind’. We have not been able to take this programme to many villages due to lack of volunteers and funds; we have been self-funded thus far,” says Srinivasan.
“At any given time, we have 50 children who are being benefited by our initiatives,” he says.
Through ‘Village Connect’, the team trains women in tailoring and conduct health camps from time to time.
Documenting the lives of a few of the graduates of their programmes, they launched the book Success Stories recently in Chennai.
While this is their journey so far, the trustees have a vision to empower more children and women and make them financially independent.