Posted by: greatfoundation | October 3, 2012

Drawing Competition in Aug 2012

A group of nine enthusiastic volunteers arranged a drawing competition on 14th Aug 2012 for more than 125 children studying in the third and fourth grade at the Mahadji Shinde Primary school. The drawing competition began at 8am and continued till 10.30am.

The volunteers (Sharad, Deepak, Mrs Tandon, etc) arranged and conducted the event wonderfully. Everything was planned to the smallest detail. The volunteers provided a drawing sheet along with a set of crayons, a pencil, an eraser and a drawing book to each child. In addition to this, the group of volunteers also provided a Parle G biscuit packet and a chocolate to each child.

During the two hour drawing competition, the children drew and coloured keeping in mind the various themes such as the rainy season, independence day, etc. Buzzing with creativity the children came up with a few innovative and simple drawings. The judges finalized the winners post careful selection. After this the children were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals based on the level of creativity expressed in their drawings.

Really appreciate the effort  the volunteers put in to organize the event successfully and systematically. The school principal informed us that the kids were very happy to receive the drawing books, crayon sets, biscuits and the chocolates. Kids at the school find joy in small things and the event created a memorable moment for them.

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Posted by: greatfoundation | June 23, 2012

GREAT distributes notebooks at the schools

On 23rd June 2012, GREAT volunteers distributed notebooks to more than 900 children at Mahadji Shinde High school and Primary school; Dr. Ambedkar High school and Primary school. Thanks Utpala, Sridhar PichaimuthuVivek KumarVarun NavaleSharad Sen Sharma, Shaista, Pritesh, Priya, Dhwni Patel, Shobhit, Sandeep, Ashwin, Amol, Hrushikesh, Jeet and Shruti Prasad. We had  a fun filled day and approximately 2,000 books were distributed to the children along with pens, pencils, erasers and sharpeners.

This event brought a smile on the faces of the children as they were overjoyed.

This event is going to be followed by two more events where notebooks will be distributed across the other schools. Kudos to the GREAT Team 🙂

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Posted by: greatfoundation | June 18, 2012

Employment Program 2012: empowers kids

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GREAT Foundation began its Employment program in April 2012. It was a 60 day program that covered areas such as Mobile repairing, Beauty Parlour course, Personality development and Spoken English. Approximately 40-60 students who had completed their tenth standard exams had enrolled for the program.

The entire program was arranged by GREAT Foundation and was sponsored by Trent.

Of the total students enrolled for the beauty course around eight students took the State level beauty course qualifying exam and have cleared it.

Click here to view the kids in the Beauty Parlour course





The students who enrolled for the mobile repairing course have already been placed with a few mobile repair shops. In addition to this, they have started repairing mobiles near their slum areas.

The students have been extensively trained in the above and in Spoken English as well. This can be observed by the confidence exuded by the students.

Click on the image to view the video of the Children participating in the personality development class.

Posted by: greatfoundation | March 29, 2012

GREAT completes a decade

We have worked our way from a small beginning into an NGO that has come a long way. We still have to achieve our final objectives. We appreciate the continuous support of the management (advisory board), volunteers, well wishers, donors that we have grown and have been able to achieve the NGOs set objectives. Please join us at the 10 year celebrations.

Mentioned below is the invite:

Posted by: greatfoundation | March 24, 2012

Volunteer meet 24th Mar 2012

GREAT volunteers met up on Saturday 24th March 2012 to discuss the details of how the forthcoming June sessions are going to pan out.

We have been teaching continuously for the past year and now the summer break has set in. The meet was aimed at taking a stock of our teaching efforts and the feedback for the same, how we can improve it and so on. The session led to a healthy discussion of what problems we were facing and how we could tackle them. In short a fruitful session. Thanks to all the fellow volunteers for attending the session. You are our greatest asset. 🙂 We ended the session with binging on gajjar ka halwa, biscuits and a mango fruit juice.

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Posted by: greatfoundation | February 16, 2012

Charity begins at home

Charity begins at home

By Utpala Joshi

I was at Ravindranath Togore School on last Saturday. This is an English medium school run by the Pune Cantonment Board where more than 500 children study up to 7th class. The number of children is increasing every year and soon the school will add 8th standard class. The background of the children remains the same as in other schools where I work – financially underprivileged. Many of the parents are working as unskilled labor, peons or painters or are small shopkeepers. The school does provide mid day meal, school books and uniform to each student. The atmosphere at the school is always full of energy and hope.

Given this background, I am used to hearing of financial difficulties to implement initiatives at the school, be it a library or a computer room. We are making progress on these too but more about that in another blog post.

Here I want to tell you of the magnanimous heart.

Imagine my surprise when the school teachers proudly showed me a certificate for raising funds for the Cancer Aid society. By bringing in small contribution starting from 50 paise to a few rupees, they have been able to raise a total of Rs 12,951!

This is a decent amount that can be used to meet medicine expense of one patient for a month or two. It might be able to support a family that has lost a breadwinner to cancer; with meals for few weeks. Why, it even might pay for a qualified researcher’s part stipend. The money can definitely be used constructively in the battle against cancer.

I was very happy to see the certificate and to recognize that everybody can help and make the world a better place. These children have not stopped from contributing whatever they could. They have not used the money for an occasional treat that they deserve. Everybody has contributed a little and together they have raised an amount to make somebody’s life better.

I am delighted that by raising the money they have given me something valuable too!

Posted by: greatfoundation | January 22, 2012

Toy library at Mahadji Shinde Primary School

A group of five helped set up a toy library at Mahadji Shinde Primary school on 21 January 2012. The dedicated group, conducted the toy drive at their respective companies and then brought the toys at the School. The toy library is meant for children studying in the nursery.

The toys covered, learning tools, puzzles, learning boards, alphabets, a play horse, a ball, etc. The children were overjoyed on receiving the toys and having an option to play at school during their break.

A big thanks to Priya, Kashish, Harsh and two others (Sorry I missed out on your names).

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MoM held with Volunteers on 26th Nov 2011 at 10 am in Ghorpadi High School.

Members present:

Dr. Viney Kirpal

Mrs Utpala Joshi

Mr. Aviral

Mr. Inderpreet Singh

Mr Prateek

Ms Jaslene Bawa


Dr Viney Kirpal, described the visit of the team from Azim Premji Foundation, Bangalore to meet the Principals and teachers of the schools and evaluate their training needs. The team was visiting on the invitation of GREAT Foundation. After visiting the three high schools and four Primary schools it emerged that:

  • There is no in-service training for Primary School Principals and teachers.
  • The Primary school student’s concepts were very weak. The high school teacher’s complaint was that because of this, they did not know whether to complete the syllabus or to develop the student’s basics first.
  • All the teachers expressed readiness to be trained.

In light of the above, Dr. Kirpal felt it was necessary to review the level at which volunteers should teach for best results and benefit to the students. (Action: another meeting with volunteers will be called one week before the SSC preparatory holidays to take a call on this matter).

Until the next meeting volunteer teaching may continue as at present.

Further, Dr. Kirpal reported the main recommendation of the Advisory Board of GREAT Foundation to focus on employability skills such as soft skills training of the students of Std VIII, IX, X, XI and XII. This would prepare the students for easier entry into good jobs.   Action: Dr Kirpal requested volunteers to explore if any corporate house trainers would like to volunteer for such training.

The meeting ended with thanks to all the members.

GREAT Foundation and other finalist NGOs at Apeejay Surendra Volunteer Awards 2011 function is being relayed on CNN IBN. We request all the well-wishers and fellow volunteers to watch the show.

Thank you.

Posted by: greatfoundation | October 15, 2011

Vroom Vroom: Sixth std kids building cars

SAE India has organised a competition among schools across India, where children from the sixth grade belonging to Public and Government schools will participate. The competition involves students forming a team of six students each. After forming the teams, the students are required to make a car using card board, plastic wheels, cello tape and a balloon. The students have to use precision while making their cars, since the cars have to move a straight short distance at the highest speed. The individuals in the teams are allotted the designations that are held at actual Automotive manufacturing companies. For example, Design Engineer, Test Engineer, Project Manager, etc.

These students are responsible for their independent divisions such as preparing the base of the car with the use of cardboard, fitting the wheels with the use of empty refills, putting in place the pipe that connects the balloon with the cars axle. All these parts have to be fitted in a proper fashion to ensure smooth functioning of the car.

After the car is ready, the Test engineer checks if all the parts of the car are in place and are fitted properly. Last week, I had visited the Mahadji Shinde High school where 5 teams of sixth grade students were busy making their cars and testing them. They were so engrossed with the activity, that it was a great experience watching them work together in teams, helping each other out, checking if their cars were moving in a straight line and with what speed.

Video 1: Children practicing on their cars

Video 2: Children with their cars all set to go vroom

A simple exercise being conducted under the guidance of the Eaton team headed by Sridhar, Aditi and Aviral has instilled in the kids a sense of responsibility, laws of Newton and motion.

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