DATE: 11/03/2012

PLACE: Kunaan kuppam, Light house kuppam,  Sembasipalli kuppam, Thirumalai nagar, Nadu kuppam, Nakathuravu and Arangam kuppam. 

TARGET GROUP: Fishermen community

TIME: 11am to 2pm




The camp started at Arangam kuppam, beginning with a welcome speech by our Secretary Ms.Vimala Rani. She briefed the audience about the programme and what aid/ assistance they can expect from us. The participants were quite hesitant in bringing forth their issues in the beginning resulting in very little participation. However, Advocate Ms.Chenthoori and Advocate Mr.Aravind Raj broke the ice by informing about certain rights including free education for their children, importance of securing birth and death certificates, domestic violence etc,. This encouraged the crowd to participate. The advocates offered their guidance to the participants in issues of land disputes, ration card anomalies and other government issued certificates. Panchayat leader Mr.Karunakaran provided CHEER immense support and encouraged the audience to participate and get their doubts clarified.

            Advocate Mr.Prem Anand, Advocate Mr.Gokul Vasudev and Advocate Mr.Siva Kumar joined the weekly meet of the villages at the Light House kuppam. They had an interactive session. The participants brought forward their land issues both personal and common to village. The advocates visited the disputed area and guided them with possible solutions in resolving the dispute between the villages.

            Advocate Mr.Surendar and Advocate Ms.Deepika approached the participants of Kunan kuppam. The residents spoke about their protest and grievances against the Kattupalli Shipyard. Here, the participants were however, reluctant in discussing their personal issues to the advocates. It was learnt that the villagers solve their issues - whether personal or common, only in the village meetings in the presence of village heads and other residents. The participants also told that they would never let an outside authority interfere in their issues. The participants requested that they would require help in empowering, educating and counselling the younger generation as incidents of suicide for petty issues and disputes were ever increasing in the surrounding villages.

Programme organisation and Co-ordinating the participation of villagers were taken care by Mr. Aswin Kumar and Mr. Gopinath Padmanabhan.

Key Challenges Faced:

  • Reluctance of the villagers to discuss issues with an outsider because of long prevailing custom of dispute settlement through strong traditional social systems.
  • Ignorance and/or fear about the Legal system, the procedures involved in settling disputes, expenses and time-delays.
  • Lack of awareness about the benefits and/or remedies available to them while approaching proper channels of the government and law agencies.

Mohammed Idris and Alagukarthick from Al Ameen High School, Madurai, students of renowned Art Teacher Mr. Shanmuga sundaram, taught our children at the Katrampatti RLC
various art and craft techniques over the 5-day holiday camp. The children had a lot of fun learning from Mohammed and Karthick. Needless to say, so did our team.

It would be unfair to list just a few names to express our gratitude and appreciation. Chennaites, our friends from the other cities in TN, the wonderful supporters
from Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra, and elsewhere... it seemed like most of us wanted to be there for each other. More than saying thank you we are very proud of this
display of strength and humanity.

Just like several other teams and organisations, we had a varied group that came together to do their bit. A special thanks to the residents of Harmony
Apartments,Chetpet, (our hub), who were taking care of the volunteers with their hospitality and delicious food even in such difficult times, the very generous donors
and sponsors, and the amazing volunteers.
Of course this doesn't mean that all is well after the floods. The work will continue. As always, we would need your continued support.

Based on a pilot study two places in Cuddalore district that were affected by floods were identified for relief distribution. Thanks to the quick and generous response
from our donors, our team of volunteers was able to distribute 125 bags of rice (5kg per family) and 70 tarpaulin sheets at Sinthamani Kuppam and 135 bags of rice (5kg
per family) and 100 tarpaulin sheets at Karuvepambadi (Perumal Eri). Our hearty thanks to all our donors for their timely contribution and everyone who helped us out
at Cuddalore.

Date – 28/01/2016
Place - Sacred Heart Girls High School, Church Park.
We, along with a Medical Team from Ragas, organised a free Medical and Dental Camp, for the students of Sacred Heart Girls High School, Church Park. Around 400
students participated in this camp.

Date – 15/12/2015
Place – Parangipettai, Chidambaram

CHEER conducted a pilot study at four places in Parangipettai which was affected by flood. Relief Materials consisting of Tarpaulin Sheets, Rice (5kg per family),
Plastic Mats, Bed sheets, Biscuits, Soaps, Candles, Match box, Torch Light, Sanitary napkins, Mosquito Repellants, Milk and clothes were distributed at Poovalai - 250
Households, Agaram - 100 Households, Ponanthittu – 180 Households & Karikuppam – 260 Households. Cheer was able to conduct Medical Camps successfully with the help of
Dr.Amudha Sivanandam, Dr.Ashok Kumar & Dr.Rajiv Tilak at all the above mentioned places. Our hearty thanks to all our donors and volunteers for their timely response
and contribution, Mr.Naresh who helped us with Transportation, Mr.Sivanandam and Mr.Premanand who helped us with food and accommodation at Parangipettai.

Date – 09/04/2016
Place – Sangolikuppam, Cuddalore
Second phase of relief work was conducted at Sangolikuppam, Cuddalore, where a medical camp was organised by Mr. Hariharan. Over 300 families benefited from this camp.
Our thanks to Arthi, Prashanti Suresh, Mohammed Salman, Dhileep, Rajadityan and Vijay for helping us out.

During the puja holiday season, the boys at our Katrampatti RLC, participated in a 4 day VolleyBall Coaching Camp. They were trained each day for two hours in the
morning and two hours in the evening by P.Sugumaran, Sports Trainer from Madurai Kamaraj University & Sathyamurthy, Volley Ball Coach. The kids were introduced to
professional rules and regulations. Each session started with warm up exercises, which was followed by basic training, form correction, and ended with stretches. Why
only the boys, you ask? Our girls were a bit too shy this time, but soon we will have a sports camp for them as well.
Our sincere thanks to Mr. Sugumaran and Mr. Sathymurthy for the success of this camp.

Date - 02/06/2015

One day camp was organised for the students of 3rd Standard. The future of our nation was occupied with a lots of fun filled activities starting with a puppet show on Child Abuse for the kids and their parents. Following which there was a vegetable drawing activity where the kids were asked to make an art using the vegetables given to them. A magic show was perfored for them as an ice breaker. Post lunch sessions involved activities like clay modeling, pot gardening (2 pots per individual was given which included transplanting of ridge gourd plant and sowing of spinach seeds) and wealth out of waste. In between there was a session on how to take care of the their eyes for the kids and eye donation camp from Shankara Nethralalya. We ended the program by playing animated short films on Environment and Girls Safety.

Place - Jawadhu Hills

The Citizen Camp 2013, was recently conducted in Jawadhu Hills for 36 students. The students, who belonged to classes 8th to 12th, were a shy lot. One even said he doesn't like girls.

It was almost half a day before we could break the barrier. This we did with the help of puppets. Yes, puppets ! The boys enjoyed performing their own stories about social issues.

In the following sessions they were taught about Child rights, Forest Dwellers rights and about Human Rights. A brief discussion about the Constitution of India was also conducted.

In the debate and public speaking session, the boys spoke about the benefits and disadvantages of doing their higher studies outside the hills. They shared stories of their daily lives, farm work, festivals, lack of sports facilities, their families, history of the hills etc,.

Another session was held on how to seek information under the RTI Act and how a public petition can be filed.

The last session was frantic with kids practising for a show to be performed in front of the Brothers and Fathers of Don Bosco Institute. The boys performed a dance, a puppet show, a street play and public speaking on lessons they learnt from this camp.Certificates of completion were then distributed by the Brothers, a few of the sponsors who had paid us a visit, trainers and the new friends we made there.

Place - Alagar Koil, Madurai

Cheer conducted a 5-day summer camp for the residential students of Mahatma School in Alagar Koil, Madurai. The 121 students were put in two batches.
The camp kicked off with an orientation session about the ngo, the schedule of the camp and candid introductions of the students. This was followed by several ice breakers and team building activities.

The second day, the students were put into groups that discussed the UDHR, Fundamental Rights and Duties citing examples from movie scenes and real life incidents. Many current issues were also discussed. The third day was a session on puppetry. The Cheer trainers put up a small puppet show to introduce the children into the world of puppetry. They were then put into groups, asked to script puppet plays on given topics. Each team and each student was trained in handling puppets and staging the play.

The following day, the teams performed their puppet plays. Each play had a social theme and message.

The fourth session was a fun filled day with students doing role-play and giving short speeches. In the earlier sessions, the participants were taught to use the right body language while speaking in public. They followed what they learnt and tried to give 30 second extempore speeches on many topics that were given. They also had a short duration creative debate. The students also tried their hand at theatre games that encouraged them to show out their acting skills.
In the final session the students were introduced to RTI. They were taught how and when to file an RTI. Following this, Ms. Arthi Devi, Urban farming expert, made a presentation about organic farming and the importance and benefits of growing our own food. After this the students were given hands on training on square foot gardening. They were also given cups and seeds to grow their own beans whihc can be transplanted in their homes when they go on their summer break.
The final day also had a session where some students volunteered to showcase their talents. A feedback session was had where the students told what they enjoyed and what they did not about the camp. Some students even wrote letters to the Cheer team.

REPORT: The students enjoyed the camp as most of the learning was through activities and in groups. At the end of the camp, it was definite that they were aware of their rights and they had established a sense about how others rights are to be respected and protected. They had better confidence in expressing their opinions about many issues.

Place - Oddanchatram

Our last camp for the summer of 2013 ! About 36 and some more eager children from Government schools, participated in this camp on law and social responsibility.
The Cheer team was wondering about the acceptance of this programme in Oddanchathiram, considering that it was the first camp of sorts in this area.
However, we were happy when we heard from the parents and the children that they would eagerly wait for the next camp. The Children participated with such enthusiasm whether it was the games, scripting their own play on social issues or giving a speech.

What was amusing was that many many children who did not belong to the category of students we were targeting would stand in front of the gate waiting for us to organize something for them. An informal session was held for them too

Place - Udhavum Ullangal

Cheer conducted its Citizen Camp for the students being given education scholarships by Udhavum Ullangal . The students belonged to classes 5 to 12. The five day camp covered the subjects of constitutional law of India, human rights, puppetry, public speaking and organic gardening. Link to the sponsor organization

Place - Katrampatti, Thirumangalam, Madurai

The Cheer team conducted a four day summer camp for the students of Katraampatti Village, Thirumangalam, Madurai. 60 students from various age groups participated in the Citizen Camp. The camp started with an orientation session about the NGO, the schedule of the camp and introductions by the students. This was followed by several ice breakers and team building activities.

On the second day, the students were put into groups and were asked to discuss Child Rights with the help of printed materials given to them. This was followed by a session on right body language in public speaking. The students were asked to talk for 30 seconds on topics of their choice. In the next session, our resource person Ms. Arthi Devi, an Urban Organic Farmer made a presentation on healthy food habits and conducted a demonstration on kitchen gardening and square foot gardening. The day concluded with various team building activities.

The third day commenced with a session on basic English Grammar where parts of speech were taught. For better understanding, the explanations were done in both English and Tamil. The Afternoon session was about Human Rights, where students were put in groups and asked to discuss about UDHR Principles by relating them to real life incidents they had witnessed and scenes from their favourite movies. And each group was asked to present their discussion to rest of the class.

On the final day, the trainers taught the kids about the Right to Information Act, 2005, how to file an RTI application and about the Fundamental Rights and Duties enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Our trainer Mr.Mohammed Salman, then interacted with the children and spoke about the importance of moral values. The afternoon session started with a puppet show performed by the trainers on Child Abuse, followed by an introduction on puppetry. The children were then put into groups, asked to script a puppet play on the given topics. Each team and each student was personally trained in handling puppets and staging the play. That evening, the teams performed their puppet plays each having a social theme and message. Later, we had a valedictory function which was presided by our Chief Guest Mr.Lakshmikanth, Assistant Public Prosecutor, Madurai High Court, who gave a motivational speech to the children. Towards the end, certificates were distributed.

Place - Garikkayur, Nilgiris Dist

The Summer Citizen Camp 2015, was recently conducted in Garikkiyur, Nilgiris District for 41 students, who belonged to classes 1st to 10th standard at Government Tribal Residential School. There were kids who traveled from various other villages which don't have a proper road facilities to the village where the camp was held.
The first session started with student Introductions and ice breakers. Followed by a brief talk about Cheer's Objectives and Activities.
In the following sessions they were taught about Child rights and about Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A brief discussion about the Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Constitution of India was also conducted.
In the debate and public speaking session, the students spoke about the "Contribution of Men and Women in our Society"
Another session was handled by Advocate Harinath Babu who explained to the kids the procedure for seeking information under the Right to Information Act 2005 and how a public petition can be filed under Public Interest Litigation.
The last session was buzzing with activity as the kids practised for a special performance for their parents and other villagers. The kids performed a dance, a song about all the Districts of Tamilnadu a puppet show and speeches about the lessons they learnt from this camp. Certificates were then distributed by the Chief Guest Alphone Raj, Managing Trustee - Island Trust. Who extended institutional support to our team through out the camp.

Place – Pallavaram & Thriuvanmiyur

Our Citizen Camp this year was different in many aspects. We had two, week-long sessions, where 60 children from the gypsy community in Pallavaram and Thiruvanmiyur, respectively, participated. This was quite a challenging experience for our team, as most of the kids had either never been to school or were drop-outs. Our trainers had to engage the children in creative ways to hold their attention and trigger interest to participate the next day. Organic gardening, english alphabets and 50 everyday words, basic human rights, dance, and group games were taught. The kids and our team greatly enjoyed the experience. Interestingly, when our team visited the kids to give them photos of the camp, the kids enthusiastically showed them their plants.

Date - 30/06/2013

Place - North Chennai

We were excited about performing at Daimler as a part of their I-Day celebrations and we had an amazing audience! A story about where Patriotism stands today, was well received.

Date - 30/12/2013

Place - Jawadhu Hills

A free dental camp was organised at Jawadhu Hills in December 2013. Cheer had partnered with Ragas dental college and CIKS-Jamnamarathur and successfully conducted the camp for 988 children. CIKS was our hospitality partner. The local Forest Dept Officials helped us greatly in mobilizing the students. The 19 member team from Ragas, inclusive of 2 surgeons were the heroes of the camp, who managed to handle the large target group in a short span of time.
There were initial hiccups in handling small children and managing frequent power cuts. However, the overall response was great to the extent that the locals questioned us why the camp was not targeted for the adults too.
Hopefully, next year we would be able to conduct a general medical camp for the residents of Jawadhu Hills.