TAMIL NADU

Venture to improve lives of slum youth

LAUDABLE EFFORT: Commissioner of Police R. Sekar with Tamil Maiyam founder Jegath Gasper Raj after opening Give Life Cafe at Loyola College. M.Mahadevan of Hot Breads is in the picture. —

LAUDABLE EFFORT: Commissioner of Police R. Sekar with Tamil Maiyam founder Jegath Gasper Raj after opening Give Life Cafe at Loyola College. M.Mahadevan of Hot Breads is in the picture. —   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: K.V. SRINIVASAN

Special Correspondent

Give Life Café in Loyola College to offer them training, part-time jobs to students

CHENNAI: On Friday, the smell of freshly baked bread and coffee lured the students to Give Life Café in Loyola College. It is a venture aimed at improving the lives of the youths in the slums near the college campus in Nungambakkam.

Just after Commissioner of Police R. Sekar inaugurated the café, there was a rush to sample the reasonably priced goodies — pastries, sandwiches and doughnuts.

The idea is to encourage students to give back to society what they had gained from it, says M. Mahadevan, whose Hot Breads is associated with the programme. The manufacturing unit inside the café and the popular Barista coffee counter would offer training to the slum youth, who are already beneficiaries of the college’s outreach programme.

The café would be managed by the entrepreneur cell of the college.

It would also provide part-time jobs to interested students of the college. Mr. Mahadevan says the café would reach out to 7,000 college students.

The college has tied up with Stella Maris to supply baked items at a discounted rate.

The surplus from the sales at the café would fund the college’s scholarship programme.

“This initiative will help to feed 13,000 children,” he told the students.

Akhila Srinivasan, founder of Give Life Foundation, who made the first purchase at the café, said the students would be helping 15,000 children in the 5-9 age group, who would otherwise go to school on a hungry stomach.

The project, in which the foundation is also involved, aimed at reaching one lakh children in three years, she said.

Loyola College’s outreach programme was started seven years ago and today it covers 23 slums with three lakh beneficiaries.

In the last four years, over 150 students have taken up higher education at the college, the authorities said. College principal Albert Muthumalai, Rector K. Amal, and Tamil Maiyam founder Jegath Gasper Raj, besides senior college authorities participated in the event.

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