The daily wage earners' students who go to government schools have no one to help them with the school work. Such students are not completely able to understand as to what all is being taught in school, so they dread going to school.

Swamy and Mahalakshmi, a retired couple in Coimbatore's Pachapalayam, run Kalvi Thunai - a free education centre for underprivileged children.

They emphasize that the student revises the day's lesson and that they complete their assignments timely.

Established in 2014, the organization offers after-school support to students from classes IV to XII, helping them with homework, facilitating them for the understanding of difficult concepts, organizing extracurricular activities and outings often. The organisation also aims to secure the holistic development of the child.

This NGO started as an initial investment of Rs 40 lakh from the couple, who bought and renovated the education centre building. They have now donated it to Kalvi Thunai with the hope that their work will continue past their lifetimes. The organisation has around 140 students and 11 paid teachers. Many students have excelled out in the studies which they have received here and have now been inducted into various professions.

The couple after their retirement decided to serve for the society - in a way to give back to the society.

Mahalaxmi also works as a counsellor. Dealing with the problems like depression, anxiety associated with children. They started teaching their domestic helpers' children with the positive result rebounding. Later, they worked on the idea of setting up of an NGO that was to take the shape of an educational centre for the underprivileged students. With students flooding in number, the number of employees also started increasing.

The biggest challenge that the couple had to face after the setting up of an organization was convincing the students to come and study there. Swamy says, 'Everybody wants Lakshmi ( Hindu goddess of wealth ), they don't want Saraswati ( Hindu goddess of knowledge). Both the parents and the students took time in understanding the importance of education. They always needed a little helping hand or in little push.

More students joined with time, and the centre started building a voluminous structure. The institution as of now runs into two batches. Earlier, the batches were divided on the basis of science and commerce streams.

The institution regularly aims in making education accessible to students, which makes the process of education enjoyable and something they can look forward to. The institution also emphasises that the students learn all the subjects and also find interest in all of them.

The institution also extends the opportunity of learning several ancillary techniques. On every Friday, there are storytelling sessions and an audiovisual programme for the younger batch. The curriculum tries to cover a variety of subjects.

Every month, they have some cultural event organized which seeks participation of majority of students.

Besides classroom education, Kalvi Thunai also focuses on extracurricular activities. Occasional trips are also organized. Holding of extracurricular activities broadens their universe.

Along the way, another challenge was when the studies got disrupted amidst the pandemic. In order to sustain themselves, the students were forced to work in some odd jobs. The institution also makes the students realize the long-term benefits of education.

It also offers vocational training courses and soft-skills development. Basics of English language and Computer Science is also taught in schools. They are also taught soft-skills so they can better integrate into an official environment. They are taught about the office culture. The former students of the institution who have finally succeeded also extend their support for the development of this institution. Many of the partnership companies also extend financial support to the institution.

Despite the challenges faced, the organization is ready to educate, inspire and stem in confidence in the students. They are being moulded to become the rising Morning Star of the country.

'The children are the root to heaven, the morning star, the bright moon, the house of endless love.' - Anonymous.

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