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.

23rd February 2020
Developing a Positive Mindset by Rajini Sriraman

Sunday 23rd February witnessed a large gathering of our scholars, across all years, for Rajini’s session on “The power of Positive thinking”.

The session began with dealing with one’s Fears. Accept yourself, Act in time and Emerge boldly was the message.

The girls were divided in groups and were encouraged to share their top fears. Stage fear, Fear of being judged, Fear of expressing ones views, Fear of exams, Fear of speaking in English were some of the recurrent fears expressed.

Through an interesting activity Rajini encouraged the girls to open up, express themselves and liberate themselves from these Fears which were limiting them

“Fears is an Energy and a Time consumer” was the takeaway from the exercise.

Having set the set the stage and a positive energy in the room, Rajini then demonstrated how each individual was responsible for “creating one’s own happiness”

The brain is an adaptive organ. The brain can be rewired and planted with positive thoughts. The girls went through an exercise which demonstrated how every negative thought can be converted into a positive one. Remove all mental barriers. Have a positive mental image of yourself, Build emotional and mental immunity, Expect the Best were the strong messages.

The energy in the room was high at the end of the session and it was evident that the close to 70 participants felt stronger about their ability to overcome their fears and create their own happiness.

February 2nd 2020
Team Work and Interpersonal Skills by S.Chandrasekaran

The core message of the session was that “Communication plays a big part in our interpersonal relationships”. S.Chandrasekar demonstrated this with several examples and simple activities.

Activity 1 – The girls were asked to move around and greet each other in a perfunctory manner. After that they had to switch to greeting each other warmly.

The take away from this simple activity is the change in Energy. A warm greeting always makes both the recipient and the giver more energized! If we approach people warmly, almost always, it is reciprocated.

The next lesson was that for each of us our name is our brand. And the behaviour we exhibit creates that brand. Giving several examples he demonstrated how we have good intentions, but the tone we use when we communicate and our choice of words, often do not convey our good intentions.

“Always understand the “purpose” of the communication, then the right words and the right tone will automatically come” was the oft repeated message.

The girls did an interesting activity, wherein they listed their “Relationship Shrinkers” and their “Relationship Flourishers”. This exercise made them introspect and realize how their own behaviour can impact other people’s behaviour both in a negative and positive way.

The third activity required the participants to convert many YOU (blaming) messages to “I” messages, which are nonaggressive and therefore more productive.

It was a very engaging session with lessons that our scholars can carry for life !

January 5th, 2020
Create and set Your Own Goals by Vidya Raghu

Vidya started the session by establishing that “Energy is core” to success. And that each one’s mantra should be to “Grow Grow Grow”

The girls were taken through a short visualuzation session of what they want to achieve by January 2021 and how they would *feel* having achieved that dream. Some of the girls were invited to share their dreams and Vidya stressed on how important it was to invest in helping themselves achieve that dream. Giving several relatable examples Vidya demonstrated how small steps taken with the right attitude and in the right time can lead to achieving one’s Goal. The girls were urged to “SEE your Goal, FEEL your Goal “.

The second half of the session was spent on setting Goals that were Specific, in different areas of one’s life and tips on how to take stock and measure success. There might be temporary setbacks, but “Do not compromise your Goal for the temporary problem” Vidya repeated .

The session ended on a HIGH Energy note. Each participant was asked to set and review their individual Goals and share it with the group during the course of this week.

A highlight of the session was the involvement of our Alumni.

At a meeting conducted with the Alumni a few weeks and facilitated by Rajini, many of them volunteered to support. One of the suggestions was that they share their real life experiences of the “world of work” with our current students.

Two of the alumni working with leading IT organisations were present for the workshop. Both girls urged our scholars to be regular for the sessions that are conducted by the Foundation. They said it was only when they met their peers at work that they realized the advantage they had from the mentoring received at Pudumaipenn. “Focus on your Goal and work towards it !”, they urged the current batch.

It seemed to give the students a lot of confidence when someone who had also studied at a Government school like them could stand in front and talk confidently about her experiences at work. Sreedevi referred to the tips she had got at The Interview Skills session (kudos to Kalpana !) that helped her at the final interview at Cap Gemini .

This is a great initiative and we hope it will accelerate in momentum!

December 22nd 2019
Alumni Workshop of Pudumaipenn by Rajini Sriraman

It is six years since Pudumaipenn was launched, and in the last 5 years around 50 plus students have graduated. Many of them have joined various leading organisations based in Chennai, and a few have opted for higher education and are pursuing post graduate studies of their choice. A couple of these graduates have got married opting for domestic bliss and home making. That is their choice but not a desirable outcome for Pudumaipenn graduates. Hopefully they will take up something at a later date after taking care of their family needs.

Pudumaipenn Operations initiated a chat board for alumni to keep them engaged in the Foundation activities and to have a discussion on their experience in their work environment. We also wanted to find out how much of the skills building that was done for our students benefitted them and helped them slide into their organisation smoothly and settle down to do their work with ease. We also wanted to find out if there were any gaps in our understanding which we could address and thereby enrich our current skills program. But as most of them were very busy with their work and personal pressures, there was hardly any conversation in the chat board. The students were familiar with each other, but they could not open up on the issues they faced at work and any help they needed.

It was then decided that a face to face workshop may be a good option to initiate discussions with our Alumni for mutual benefit. It was welcomed by most of them and they agreed to come on a Sunday for discussion. The date was fixed for 22nd December, a time which is a fairly relaxed holiday time in most organisations. Around 25 Alumni participated which was heartening. Our volunteer and veteran Facilitator Rajini Sriraman volunteered (on our request) to facilitate the discussions.

Feedback given by few alumni are shared below:

Alumni 1

I felt so happy to come back to the place where i have learnt many things because Pudumaipenn has made me realize who I am and where I am. All those workshop are now helping me a lot. Not only me every one of us is now ready to face everything. Now I am able to speak in English without any hesitation. Its because of Pudumaipenn. Thanks to each and everyone. Eagerly waiting for next meeting.

Alumni 2

We are all attending the alumini meet with excitement and happiness. It is all about the knowledge Pudumaipenn gave us and how well we are able to apply the same in the real world. It is a great honor for us to share feedback and suggestions of our graduation journey. We are proud to share our experiences. Thank you so much for giving this wonderful opportunity of meeting again and sharing our experience.

Alumni 3

The alumni meeting reminds me the classes we attended a years back and it has been the great experience to share our views and to stay in touch with Pudumaipenn

Overall what we gathered was that the Skills program was very successful and had given our students an edge in their workspace as expected. They also would like us to keep an online repository of the workshop contents for them to refer when needed. They also felt the current online English language program needs to be strengthened by a few interactive sessions.

One happy outcome of this workshop is that many of the early Pudumaipenn graduates would like to support the Foundation which helped them and volunteered to help us in workshops and mentor their juniors. This is a wonderful gesture and we gladly accepted. And we are proud to have so many volunteers who will mentor and guide our future students

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.

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