Ullas Trust works with high school students to build their personalities
Adolescence is a crucial phase in a child’s life. What they experience then has a long-term impact. Ullas trust, a Chennai-based NGO, focuses on reaching out to high school students during this vulnerable stage and helping them nurture their dreams and aspirations. They work on the personalities of children through interesting activity-based programmes.
“Children at this age do not want free advice. They hate preaching of any kind. Through our workshops we help them develop their personality in a fun-filled way,” says Padmini Sharathkumar, executive vice-president and global head, Marketing and Communication of Polaris, who has been part of this programme from its early years.
The deserving students from standard nine to 12 are selected through a test and they spend time with the employees of Polaris, where they follow a module. Talking about the programmes, Padmini says, “Summit is a weekend intervention programme, where students go through personality development and a technology skill development module to improve their communication skills, confidence, memory skills. They also learn active team work, public speaking, leadership skills and have computer lab sessions. The ‘Touch the Soil’ module is exclusively for students from villages, which lack facilities. It comprises of ‘Diary of Dreams’ and ‘Planning’ workshop for standard nine and 10 students respectively. What makes this programme even more special is that former students of Ullas interact with the present ones. When students see one of them in a successful position, they are inspired to work harder.”
In Chennai, they work with 208 schools across the city. “Various schools request us to organise workshops close-by. We have various chapters within the city where students come and spend their evenings,” she says.
They are in Carex, Polaris office in Ambattur and Navalur; Assumption Higher Secondary School, Nungambakkam; Gopalapuram Boys Higher Secondary School, Gopalapuram; SMD Venugopal Chetty Higher Secondary School, Choolai; Mothilal Fomra Hr Sec School, Sowcarpet; and Government Girls Hr Sec School, Ashok Nagar.
They plan to make the programmes reachable to every student. “It is a priceless feeling to see our students do well in life. Nothing makes us happier than getting a call from a student who has a success story to share.”