June 7, 2017
School and college drop-outs take up small jobs and are given a chance to participate in skill development classes of the NGO Kalvi Thunai. This helps them in getting better employment, says NGO founder Siva Swami, who adds that it is to provide educational support to the deserving in Coimbatore.
Swami, who is 68, explains how he did his graduation and post-graduation in chemistry, but landed in sales. “I used to work for a company called Bush Boake Allen, now called IFF. When I quit in 1998, I was practically heading a business unit.in. I then joined Packaging India of Cavincare. I was the president of that company till 2004. Later, I quit and established a talent search company. People who have Saraswati, I get them Lakshmi,” he says with a smile. Sivaswami’s talent search company Bharadwaj Career Ssolutions is still running in a remote area.
“Coimbatore is the best part in Tamil Nadu to live in. The only problem is too many people from Chennai have moved in here and brought with them the heat,” he says in his jocular style. Siva Swami and his wife now live in ‘Santhosham’ complex, technically a retirement home.
“My wife and I set a mission for ourselves that we usefully spend our third innings,” he says and on January 23, 2014, established Kalvi Thunal as an after-school centre.
“We bought a building and converted it into the centre. We invested around Rs 40 lakh to for the infrastructure and got it registered under 80 G, that is anybody who gives a donation to us will get a tax concession” he says.
Kalvi thunai believes that if the children finish their homework, they will be regular in school. Other than the tuition class, it also conducts health camps, cultural events and leadership programmes.
“So, what happens is that by 4 or 5 in the evening, the children pile up in the centre. We have students from fourth standard to 12th. Nearly 125 children have registered. Each class has a teacher and the children are not charged any tuition fee,” he says. Kalvi Thunai has, so far, got the public’s support, but does not function as a revenue model.
“In February 2017, we got tied up with BOSCH. They have a company in Coimbatore, too. They have a CSR project and under that we conduct our skill development classes. It is a two-month course.” The classes will begin on June 21 and will cover communication skills, customer service, interview skills and spoken English for which the fee is Rs 500.