I love to keep you updated on the ministry of Roofs for the Roofless in Chennai, India. I knew the founders as poets, writers for decades … and also as creators of one of the most effective, self-effacing, grace-filled ministries I know. These are their son Dayalan Devanesen’s words:
Just to let you know that the Inauguration of the Work Skills Program
was held on 26 September 2017. It was held at very short notice
because Dr.Fr. Xavier Alphonse came to Chennai and agreed to talk to
the Chandran Devanesen Rural Comunity College (CDRCC) students.
However, when we went to pick him up we found that he was not well. We
decided to call Mr. Anto Vincent who is a Consultant to ICRDCE on
Community Colleges. He is the ex Vice Chairman of Ford India and a
past Director of MRF. To our great surprise he accepted and we picked
him up on the way to the Rural Community College.
It was wonderful to see all 64 Diploma students in their new uniforms
that had been designed by Nanda Devanesen. Individual measurements are
taken for all the students. The womens uniforms are made by the
students in the Fashion Design and Garment Making Course.
It was good to see the large number of parents who attended the function.
Mr. Anto Vincent gave a very energetic interactive talk about how Life
Skills complemented Work Skills.He discussed a quote from the
Thirukkural. ” Just as the stalk of the ( lotus ) flower is
proportionate to the depth of the water, so is man’s greatness
proportionate to their minds”. ( The Thirukkural is an ancient
classic Tamil text comprising 1,330 couplets or kurals dealing with
everyday virtues of an individual) He urged the students to develop
their thinking. He ended by saying that in addition to good
workmanship there needs to be good leadership for the development of
I spoke to the students about the 5 E’s of the Community College:
EDUCATION – We have an alternate education system that gives
a second chance to those who have dropped out from school
EMPOWERMENT- We help students to develop Life Skills and Work Skills
,help themselves and learn how to learn
EMPLOYMENT – Getting a job for every student is an important
outcome of the College
ENRICHMENT- The students add value to their families,
communities and to the nation
EXPERIENCE- The students could experience God in their lives
as they moved forward
The function included the lighting of the Kuthu Vilakku ( Traditional
Lamp) by groups of parents ,students and college staff. This was
followed by a candle lighting ceremony where all the students and
staff candles were lit by the special guests. The Nursing students
then came forward and took the Florence Nightingale Oath.
After the Inauguration function every parent was met and had an
opportunity to speak to Mrs. Ragini Sekar, the Life Skills teacher,
about the impact of the Life Skills Course on their children. Many
parents said they saw major change and transformation in the attitudes
of their children.
The last photo shows the new trees that are being planted on the
college campus . Nearly all the campus trees were destroyed by Cyclone
Vardah in December 2016.
Please continue to uphold Roofs for the Roofless in prayer. Dayalan Devanesen.
This is marvelous!!