Wednesday, August 06, 2008

2 for 4

"If you want to run, run the 100 metre race. If you want to experience something, run the marathon" - Emil Zatopek

Can't agree more with this great Czech runner's words. The marathon experience , when contrasted with my 100 metre experience, has so much more to offer to life - the friendships, the lessons, the 'collective' high's , the opportunity to run and raise money for a cause and many more. The last aspect of Marathon running is something am mailing on here -

A bunch of us are working on 'Deepam' - A program to take computers to underprivileged kids in Govt. Schools , Slums and Orphanages. More about the group can be found here . It has been a fascinating journey for us in the last 7 months - Taking 'Deepam' from just an idea to teaching 40 kids every weekend in Chennai, right now. Personally, the class is something i look forward to - 2 hours of being friends with the little kids, answering their questions , learning from them and experiencing a high - to witness 'Deepam' connect with the kids and seeing them take to computers with curiosity !

Am running the Chennai Half - Marathon on Aug 31st 2008 and the Singapore Marathon in Dec 2008 . In addition to finishing these runs in less than 2 hours & 10 mins and 5 hours, i wish to raise money for the Deepam activities through these runs.

2 for 4 : Through these 2 runs, i wish to raise 4 lakh rupees - this money will be utilised to get computers, Internet connection and reading material for the kids. We wish to place the computers permanently at the locations we teach - Govt. Schools, Slums and orphanages.

I request you to support me in this effort - If you can donate / spread word about the program, i would really appreciate it.

Please do get in touch with me, if you can support in some way.


( karthikeyan dot vijayakumar at gmail dot com )
+91 9884217276


alpine path said...

Cool :) Great effort! Good luck! Keep us posted about your marathon experiences.

Raz said...

dont get me wrong.. but is computer the one needed by poor kids? instead u can spend this 4 lacs which i am sure u will raise to educated more kids by other other help.

it takes Rs.2000/- per yr for a 11th kid to study in a remote village of tamil nadu .
Simple Math - 200 kids will be able to complete their 11th or 12th with this money... u think COMPUTER can compensate this? *tch* *tch*

Karthikeyan....KK said...

@ Alpine - Thanks :) You interested in running one ? :P

@ Raz - No offense taken :). This money will be used to get computers and some reading material. The plan is to place the computers ( with net connection ) at community centres in slum areas and make the kids use NET.

Yes, the money can also go into funding a kid's education. But for now, a major portion of the money can be used to set up the infrastructure needed to support the kids at the slums we teach currently.

We would definitely want to be in a position to fund 200 kids. But we don't have the big resources. We need to start and start somewhere, even if it is very small.

We want to be able to get the kids to ask questions , dream , use computers with confidence, be able to solve problems and many more. Now, am not sure if by just supporting education of 200 kids, we would be able to do all that i said. With due respect to the teachers in the govt schools , i wonder how many of those kids are 'inspired' to be curious and energetic.

To make a difference, we need to work closely with the kids. We are learning everytime we teach the kids ( or the kids teach us :) ). We currently teach at 2 locations and with the learnings from these 2 locations, we want to go teach at other places.

To answer your question - Yes, all it takes is 2k to 'go to school' . But am sure it takes much more to make the kids 'curious' and 'inspired' for a lifetime. We want to do the latter ... its much harder and requires a lot of personal time and effort. But we want to do that !

Btw, thanks for the thought - why don't you join our egroups and contribute your ideas and more ?

Raz said...

Ok! Firstly , I wasnt asking u too help educate 200 kids. I was trying to tell how 4 lacs can be spent in a better way!

Now, coming to the point... sending kids to school help them complete their high school education and thus help them get a job.
//the kids 'curious' and 'inspired' for a lifetime.// with no meal on their plate?
i rather believe in teaching them some skilled work which would atleast help them live!

Say u r teaching a 5th std kid computer... wht if he drops out while he is doing his 7th std? will the "computer inspiration or the curiosity he has in him" will help in any way! NO! he wil ve to work in a workshop or a tea stall or as a officeboy.

Jus coz u want a CSR u neednt do anything. u can do something which is actually useful.

And yeah, I am not just talking, I ve directly first hand experience going to govt schoolsteaching the kids and a few stuffs like that- the small step which I am able to :).
Thanks for the offer.

Karthikeyan....KK said...

@ Raz - Firstly, no CSR :) . I dont work in a big corp. I run a small startup. And all the work that i do is in my personal capacity ( there is no place where Deepam is mentioned in connection with my startup ). So, there is no CSR 'driving' us.

About the usefulness of our work - When you find time, come over and see us in action. With just the volunteers' time and their computers, we have been teaching 40 kids right now. We have not collected any money so far.

We take the kids through a 4 month basic computer course - Word / Excel/ Internet etc. We found that the kids' english knowledge is very poor. So, we teach english as well. We also are planning to show videos on interesting topics.

Yes, i agree with your point on 'job orientation' - we did have a lot of discussion on that. We evolved from just trying to teach computers to teaching english and more, in addition to computers.

A few weeks ago, we had a lady join us - she is 20+ and wanted to learn Word / Excel and be able to apply for data entry jobs. She comes to the sessions along with the kids ( class 8/9/10 )

As i said we are learning by the day. We would like to make an impact. We would need a lot of support - volunteers , funding and more. If you got the time, you are welcome to join. Thanks

Raz said...

We both are looking at this from two different angle. Anyways Best of luck for your endeavors.

U guys teach at Olcott School Besant Nagar?

Karthikeyan....KK said...

Yes, at Olcott school and also at Uroor Olcott Kuppam ( close to besant beach ).

alpine path said...

Yup! I'd love to. I'm already doing a walkathon with a local group here for a cause. But I guess I need to first reach the 6 mph limit in the gym before I head out to run in real marathons. Or is that not needed?

Karthikeyan....KK said...

@ Alpine - 6 mph isn't the criterion. We just need to slowly improve the daily mileage... i started from 15 min runs. I can send you a training plan for a half marathon , if you are interested. Am sure you can easily do the big long runs :)

alpine path said...

Woah! that was fast :) Sure, I'd love that :) Can you send it to myalpinepath at gmail dot com? Thanks a million!

Raz said...


i know u guys teach at olcott. bt there was an ad in adyar times(its a local adyar free paper) by avvai home asking for lady tutors who cld work part time for them. they needed volunteers. i thot u might be able to arrange for them.

do help them if u can.


Charanya said...

That's an awesome cause! All the best!