News and Reports

Pudumai Penn events

Students from affluent families have the advantage of educated parents and a vast network of well-informed relatives and friends to mentor and guide them on education and career choices. Unfortunately, Pudumaipenn scholarship holders lack such a mentor network. They are also not exposed to structured learning interventions in the form of workshop or training programs.

To provide our scholars with a mentor network the Pudumai Penn Foundation hosts an Expert Talk session bringing in experts from a variety of fields to speak on important topics. The foundation also facilitates regular training programs and workshops which help the scholars acquire life skills as well as subject specific knowledge. These expert talks, training programs and workshops help motivate these talented young women to aim higher, expand their horizon, stay focussed and achieve their long term goal of building a successful career.

December 15th, 2019
Diversity and Inclusion- facilitated by Jacintha Jayachandran

Jacintha started the session by drawing attention to the fact that our world is populated by people of diverse backgrounds . India itself is a country that is so diverse in every aspect. Culture , food , language, dress , customs etc. Using illustrative examples she demonstrated how as Indians we recognize the Diversity that makes up India , however we are not inclusive in our behaviour and attitude .

So while Diversity can be classified as Data , it is our behaviour that demonstrates Inclusiveness.

With several real life examples Jacintha drew attention to the fact that preconceived notions lead to biases that prevent inclusiveness ; whether it is at work , home or a social setting. The message that was driven home was that in the world of work in particular , it was necessary to be sensitive to a) Gender differences ( male female , transgender etc) b) Differences that arise out of Geographical distances c) biases that could arise due to co-workers who belong to different Generations d) People who are differently abled.

The clear take away for the participants was that our success and ability to function well is linked to how Inclusive we are of people with diverse backgrounds history and capability.

The success of the session can be judged by the following message sent by one of the participants currently in her final year of college , to Jacintha .

“I am scholar from Pudhumai Penn foundation. Really I enjoyed this session and I learnt how to behave and embrace all in the society . It will be very useful to survive in the world in the way of good manners. Thanks a lot mam for spending your time with us and for giving us a good message.”

November 17th, 2019
Improving English Communication through the use of Games – facilitated by Bhavani Raghunandan and support by Prathima Rajan & Aarti

The 17th of Nov saw students playing a game called JAM – standing for Just a Minute. The game was to help improve their spoken English skills. They were given ten topics like their favourite actor, food, dress, teacher, movie, song, social cause etc. they were asked to prepare to speak for at least a minute on any one topic that they would get by picking lots. The students were far more confident speaking about these topics and had a good time. At the end of the session, the resource persons gave a general feedback on their performance and tips on to how they could improve.

November 10th, 2019
Improving English Communication through the use of Games – facilitated by Bhavani Raghunandan and support by Prathima Rajan & Aarti

A game called Shipwreck was conducted on the 10th Nov 2019. The principle of the game is that the participants are all travelling on a ship, which is sinking. There is only one life jacket with the captain. The participants draw lots one at a time and take on the personality of the name given in the slip they draw. Each of them has to argue and justify in one minute, why she is the one (as the person she represents) who needs to be given the life jacket and saved. At the end the participants themselves judge their friends and decide who has to be saved depending on how convincing her argument was.

Through this game they practice their English speaking skills, learn to listen and make a fair judgement, and since the facts about 25 well known people were given to them it helped improve their general awareness.

October 13th, 2019
Communication Improvement Workshop – a leading MNC CSR – Toastmaster Initiative – facilitated by Bharath Nagarajan and Reena G.S.


The “Recruiter’s viewpoint” session was the 4th and final session in the series of sessions facilitated by Bharathkumar Nagarajan. It was conducted by Senior HR consultant Ms Reena GS as a leading MNC CSR-Toastmaster initiative. The objective of the session was to give an awareness to the audience about the aspects that a recruiter might expect from their candidate so as to choose them as a prospective resource to their organization.


The session included areas like attitude needed by the candidate, what are the dos and don’ts before appearing for an interview, how and what to prepare, a couple of mock-interviews and some activities. The audience were able to get a complete picture of the learning program by connecting the learnings from the earlier 3 sessions and converge to this final session. They also revisited their old queries now with a new viewpoint.

October 06th, 2019
Communication Improvement Workshop – a leading MNC CSR – Toastmaster Initiative – facilitated by Bharath Nagarajan and Jayashree

The Second session in the series of workshops started with the recapping of the topics discussed on communication and with few scholars sharing the write-up “Tell me about yourself”

The first topic covered was Interpersonal communication. Bharath addressed the different types and importance of interpersonal communication viz., ease of conversing (small talk, telling facts, opinions and view points and personal feelings), negotiating, defusing verbal criticism and positively affirming one’s stand. The session was interspersed with activities and slightly touched upon human values.

The Third session in the series was on Etiquette and was led by Jayashree. She had explained the different types and importance of etiquette in the corporate world with small magic indicates “yourself is your first inspiration”. She explained about body language and gestures to be followed, mistakes in etiquette and a mindset towards etiquette. The session included different activities for the participants.

September 22nd, 2019
Communication Improvement Workshop – a leading MNC CSR – Toastmaster Initiative – facilitated by Bharath Nagarajan , and supported by Vidya Raghunathan

Workshop commenced with Vanaja addressing the students on the importance of improving their communication for leveraging employment opportunities and growth subsequently. She also stressed that mere degree certificate may give them a job but not a successful career. For that they should meticulously plan and attend all the workshops to improve their general awareness of the expectations of work environment. Expressing their thoughts well is a key requirement associated with their career growth. Vanaja also thanked Vidya and Bharath who made this workshop possible before the final years get ready to face job interviews.

Bharat Kumar Nagarajan who runs the Toast Master Club within his organisation, shared his insights on the importance of the communication with a funny video and how communication should not be.

1) First he talked about the inspiration, collaboration and time management. He quoted the below Thirukural and explained about the power of communication

சொலல்வல்லன் சோர்விலன் அஞ்சான் அவனை
இகல்வெல்லல் யார்க்கும் அரிது. (647)

Solalvallan Sorvilan Anjaan Avanai
Ikalvellal Yaarkkum Aridhu. (647)


Mighty in word, of unforgettable mind, of fearless speech,
‘Tis hard for hostile power such man to overreach.

Explanation It is impossible for any one to conquer him by intrigue who possesses power of speech, and is neither faulty nor timid.

சொல்லாற்றல் படைத்தவனாகவும், சோர்வு அறியாதவனாகவும், அஞ்சா நெஞ்சங் கொண்டவனாகவும் இருப்பவனை எதிர்த்து எவராலும் வெல்ல முடியாது.

2. He gave inputs to overcome the communication barrier

a. Prepare and practice

b. Observe others opinion or the matter of fact they convey to us.

3. He gave the following tips

a. Dress code is more important.

b. Breathe a lot of time so that your tension gets rid off.

c. Speak up with your ideas when in groups.

d. Writing improves your concentration increase the vocabulary.

e. The way of giving feedback is very important.

4. He explained the types of communication and how to communicate with hands on activities

a. Verbal communication

b. Non-verbal communication (91% of the people understand non-verbal communication)

Finally pairing program was suggested for the below activities, where two people work tandem to attain the goal

1. Have a write-up on “Tell me about yourself” in 150-200 words.

2. The 2nd person review and provide effective feedback to the first person and vice-versa.

September 01st, 2019
Interviewing Skills workshop by Kalpana

The 2019 – 2020 Skill Development Workshop commenced with Kalpana facilitating a wonderful session on “Preparing for a Placement interview” for all our final year students .

Vanaja highlighted the importance of English language skills in securing employment and career progression of the students. Also introduced Bonnie to the scholars.

The session covered various aspects like how to dress for an interview , how to enter the interview room and the initial greeting , documents to carry , body language during the course of the interview , sample of questions one can expect and the appropriate responses.

Kalpana displayed a whole list of the typical questions asked to freshers .


a) Tell me something about yourself

b) What are some of your achievements and failures

c) Why do you want this job

d) How do I know you can be trusted with responsibilities

e) Why should I hire you etc.

Using short role plays the girls were encouraged to respond to these questions and were given tips on what is appropriate to disclose at this stage and why.

Giving several simple examples from daily life Kalpana demonstrated how it was easy to convince the Interviewer that the Interviewee has traits like “Eagerness to learn”, “Flexibility” “Decision making skills” etc; all skills that are critical in a job environment !

The session wrapped up with an assignment urging each student to do a self audit and note down one’s strengths , achievements , examples to demonstrate the above and areas for improvement .

The girls were very “present” throughout the session and we were amazed how most of the girls had such varied talents and interests.

Natarajan who was also present shared some of his thoughts . Kalpana’s passion and energy was so infectious, the session ended on a high note !

Past Events

Progress reports

We publish annual reports on the progress of our courses and candidates.The Annual Progress Reports for various years are given below