Future of 20 lakh students "at stake" - The Hindu
  Meet on non-formal education - The Hindu
  Meet on non-formal education in Chennai - The Hindu
  A School for underprivileged - Adayar Talk
  Globetrotting for a cause - The Hindu
  Fundraiser Jam! - Adyar Times
  Community programme with crew of USS Curts - The Hindu
  Pleasant meeting His Excellency Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India - Daily Thanthi
  A Show for Charity - The Hindu - Metroplus
The Hindu - Friday, September 30, 2005

Future of 20 lakh students "at stake"

March to seek Chief Minister's intervention in formalisation of the non-formal educational set-up

CHENNAI: The Foundation for Innovative Casework (FICAS) and the Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Matriculation & Higher Secondary Schools Welfare Association are jointly organising a peace march on Friday seeking the Chief Minister's intervention to formalise the non-formal educational set-up.

"If the Government goes ahead with its announcement to close down unapproved schools, the future of over 20 lakh [students] would destabilise," said J.S.N. Nimmu Vasanth, founder president, FICAS.

"We are very thankful to the Chief Minister for extending the last date," she said. Ms. Vasanth said that it would not be possible for thousands of non-formal schools to carry out the necessary changes. They could only adhere to basic norms relating to safety and infrastructure. "We are requesting the Government to formalise the non-formal set-up so that there is some rule by which these schools operate and at the same time children do not lose out on their education," said Ananda Arumugam, president, Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Matriculation & Higher secondary schools Welfare Association.

The march will begin at the Munroe statue at 3 p. m. and end at the Government Guest House. Astrologer pandit Kaliyur Narayanan, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, Prince of Arcot, Father K. M. Jose, Vice Provincial, Don Bosco Group of Institutions will participate in the closing function.

The Hindu - Wednesday, Aug 10, 2005

Meet on non-formal education

CHENNAI: A State-level conference on `The efficacy of non-formal education' is scheduled to be held on August 27 at Vijaya Mahal, T.Nagar.

The programme is jointly organised by the Foundation for Innovative CASework on Education (FICAS), PRICE Philip Rajaiah Institute of Continuing Education Pvt. Ltd., in partnership with the Madras University's Adult and Continuing Education Department and State Resource Centre.

The conference hopes to turn the attention on non-formal education.

With the increasing number of illiterates and high dropout rates, it is essential that people are given the right to education at least up to the school level, according to J.S.N. Nimmu Vasanth of FICAS.

The Hindu - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2005

Meet on non-formal education in Chennai

CHENNAI: A State-level conference would be held in Chennai on August 27 to "bring about a rejuvenation in academic outlook and to inspire educationists and policy-makers to realise the efficacy of non-formal education as an academic entity and not just as an alternative bordering on vocational and skill training per se."

The meet will be organised by the Foundation for Innovative CASework on Education (FICAS) and PRICE Philip Rajaiah Institute of Continuing Education Pvt. Ltd., in association with the University of Madras and the State Resource Centre.

Highlighting the importance of the conference, Jamuna Kalyani Sridharan, Chairperson, PRICE, said the meet would impress on the teaching community the need to impart quality education to the children and to deliberate on anomalies in the present system. She stressed the need for enforcing non-formal education as an alternative to the formal stream, particularly in view of the growing number of illiterates in proportion to the literacy rate owing to population growth.

Nimmu Vasanth, founder president of FICAS, said the Government should adopt a flexible approach while enforcing the safety needs of schools as even schools which came under the recognised category found it difficult to fulfil these regulations.

Nalini Parthiban, former Principal, Vana Vani Matriculation Higher Secondary School, said non-formal education should not be mistaken for informal education, as quality education was provided through the non-formal sector.

Adayar Talk / 9 - 15 July, 2005

A School for underprivileged

Educating a poor child is equated with godliness in Tamil literary classics. True to this saying Vidya Nivas of Kotturpuram offers quality education to the wards of the poor and the downtrodden at a nominal fee. For some deserving children, the entire fee is waived, says Nimmu Vasanthkumar, Founder trustee of the school. The motto of the school is to make these children better citizens and better human beings, says the founder. She says that her vision is to provide free primary education through her trust FICAS (Foundation for Innovative CASework). FICAS launched in 1995 aims at providing basic infrastructure for education and proper counselling and guidance for the slum children in the Kotturpuram Housing board tenements.

The school is situated on land given by the Slum Clearance Board. 'We want to inculcate value based education to the wards of the poor and the underprivileged. We also want to provide ample scope for social upliftment of poor women,' says Nimmu Vasanthkumar. 'Our endeavour is to put these children on an euqal footing with their convent counterparts', she said.

The school has classes from LKG to fifth standard and students were taught to be both proficient in Both English and Tamil. 'I don't subscribe to the view that English medium students are better than Tamil medium students. For this you can take me as an example, a Tamil medium student. I learnt English in my engineering graduation and I think I am reasonably good in my English,' she adds in a modest vein.

This school is just a beginning in the transformation of the wards of the down-trodden, she says. It is runs with public donations. To know further about the school phone +91 44 24470614.

The Hindu - Thursday, March 4, 2004

Globetrotting for a cause

Here is a globetrotting deejay who has found an addiction in Chennai - its food and music. Genetic Drugs, the name he has on his identity card and wants to promote, jockeys for a radio station in Berline, which plays 24-hours non-English and non-American music. His real name, he says is secret and is used only for his bank account. He sources his notes from tribal and regional music all over the world.

The Nadaswaram and the devotional songs of Tamil Nadu have appealed to him. "Chennai is my old love. I came here first in 1992 and took part in some 'puja' ceremonies in Mamallapuram. I don't understand Tamil but still mix voices and music because I only care for emotions," says Genetic Drugs.

Though of German origin, Genetic says he would like to be identified as a person belonging to the world. "I am proud to be a local. I belong here, and everywhere I go. I don't have a national identity."

Genetic's music is also a pot pourri of sound bytes from all across the globe - from Oriental to Latino; from Indian to African; and from European to American. So why the name Genetic Drug? He replies: "I want to promote this brand." His first name Genetic identifies with his culture and being, a culture that evolves from an assortment of ethos. Drugs, he said, symbolises the addiction that he has towards music and other cultures. "If you enter strange cultures, you will discover new aspects of your self in social interaction," he advises the young.

His message for the world: "Socialisation. Go out and speak to your neighbour. And also humble." For, Genetic has taken a stand against war, especially with what he called the destruction of German culture following the World War II.

He is in Chennai as part of 10-week round-the world tour to source more inputs for his music. During his stay, he has been lending his musical skills for causes too. After Zara and MGM, he will be part of yet another fund-raiser for a voluntary organisation. This Saturday, he will entertain visitors to EC 41 to raise funds for Foundation for Innovative Casework on Education, Economy and Environment (FICAS), a volutary organisation running a school for slum children in Kotturpuram. The event, said Nimmu Vasanth, Founder President, FICAS, is for the youth.

Adyar Times / February 29 - March 6, 2004

Fundraiser Jam!

Foundation for Innovative CASework on Education, Economy and Environment (FICAS) based at Kotturpuram will organise 'Spacejam' a dance and music programme on March 6 from 10 pm onwards at VGP Beach Resorts, EC 41 on East Coast Road.

Genetic Drugs, a DJ and VJ from Germany will perform on stage.

The event is a fundraiser for the construction of Vidya Nivas, a school for the underprivileged at Kotturpuram. For details contact 24470614. Donor passes of Rs. 300 per couple are available at local stores.

The Hindu - Thursday, July 10, 2003

The crew of the USS Curts, an American ship, sends time with student of Vidya Nivas Primary School, Kotturpuram on Wednesday.


Daily Thanthi - December 15, 2002

Our Pleasant meeting with His Excellency Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India.

English translation:

President expressed happiness in meeting school children of Vidya Nivas School (Undertaken by FICAS)

To each student he asked about their future plan. Students answered that they could like to become doctors, engineers, etc.

Finally the children read a poem "Ellorum oor kulam, Ellorum oor Inam" (All in one race) which was heard with pleasure by The President.

The Hindu - Metroplus April 5, 2001

A Show for Charity

Crazy Creations' Jurassic Baby, will be staged on April 12, 6.30 p.m., at the Narada Gana Sabha. The play is being presented as part of the Foundation For Innovative CASework on Education Economy and Environment's efforts to raise funds for a school for under-privileged children at Kotturpuram. Blossoms Matriculation School functions in a shed with a dilapidated structure accomodating over 250 children. Donor passes (Rs. 50, Rs.100 and Rs. 200) to the show are available at Odyssey, Landmark, Lifestyle and Rex Fashions. Donations are also accepted. Contact 4470614 for details.

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