"“The development of women through education, skill enhancement, and training for acquisition of new avenues for economic and intellectual well-being has been a core mission of the C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation (The Foundation). In keeping with this mission, practical, life-help sessions to increase women's economic independence, which in turn, would help their emancipation, have been a regular feature of women's programmes.
Young and adolescent school girls from economically weaker sections of society reap benefits from the Foundation's unique sponsorship programme called "EACH ONE TEACH ONE" whereby girls' from poor families are assured of education up to Std. XII in a good school. This 9-year old project has helped hundreds of poor girl students to continue their school education. Many have already graduated from school under this programme and have gone ahead for higher education. The girls come from women-headed families and this educational opportunity helps prevent them from being used as labourers elsewhere.
Not only education but also catering to the needs of special children, the Foundation has established the Saraswathi Kendra Learning Centre for Children (SKLC) in 1985. This is an alternative centre for slow learners, dyslexic, autistic and learning disabled children. Experts and specialists in the field of psychology and special education have provided valuable inputs to help several thousand special children receive a basic or vocational education.
Skill enhancement programmes for girl children of Mamallapuram have resulted in the adaptation of traditional drawing and painting as a career. The girls are trained in traditional arts and, with their talent and skill, are generating an income, besides marketing their paintings through their own Self-Help Group.
Village women of South India are given health, first aid and nutrition education. Several herbal gardens have been established and women are trained in extraction, processing and production of herbal remedies. Many women's groups have been trained in enhancing traditional craft skills for contemporary needs through the adaptation of traditional crafts and inculcation of new skills. Project management and administration are essential parts of every training programme.
C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre, established in 1989 by the Foundation, provides environmental education, design and training in eco-friendly technologies such as the construction of smokeless chulhas, organic farming, tree plantation, horticulture, vermi-composting and producing bags from waste paper as an alternate to plastics. Thus the achievement of the multiple goals of women's economic independence, better health and environmental protection are met.
Tribal women in the Nilgiris have been trained by the Foundation to conserve their art and craft traditions and utilize them to generate an income. Kurumba painting, Kota pottery, Paniya bamboo crafts and Toda embroidery have been adapted for contemporary market needs, thereby conserving the tradition and improving the lives of the tribals.
Women's Craft Bazaars are organized regularly to provide opportunities to individual women entrepreneurs and Self-Help Groups to sell their products. The Foundation provides a permanent outlet in Chennai for the marketing of arts, crafts and other products made by Self-Help Groups, individual women and tribals.
The Foundation has helped the disadvantaged sections of society, particularly women, children, tribals and the disabled into independent, confident and successful individuals who can combine the traditional with the modern and derive maximum benefit out of this synthesis.
Dr. Nanditha Krishna received the
C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre received the
Dr. Nanditha Krishna received the