Vidya Shankar

Education

  • B.Tech. M.I.Ch.E
  • PG Dipl Child Rights Law (National Law SchoolBangalore)
  • AMI International Elementary Montessori Diploma

Present Area Of Work & Contributions:

  • Founder and Chairperson of Relief Foundation, an Organization which was set up to find Rehabilitation Solutions for children in distress and in Institutional Care. Since Sep. 1998. Relief Foundation has done intense work with children in need of care and support especially in the Juvenile and Observation Homes in Chennai. Now all efforts are engaged in strengthening rural preprimary and primary education for children as a mode of prevention of delinquency and drop outs. (Email relieffoundationindia@gmail.com, Website : www.relieffoundation.org.in )
  • At present pursuing spread of Quality preprimary and primary education in rural areas by Empowering rural youth to start Micro schools (or small schools) with seed money and the methodology of training. Relief Foundation runs CASCADE a Montessori Resource centre for children, and their families to bring out their full potential through Home Education and Co-operative learning.
  • Was Chairperson of Juvenile Welfare Board, Chennai District, from Aug 2001 to Dec 2003 and an adjudicating Member of Juvenile Justice Board (Juvenile Court) in Chennai from November 02 to Nov 05 adjudicating for rehabilitation of children.
  • Has trained over 2500 teachers and Juvenile Justice professionals on Child Rights and Child psychology besides laws related to children.
  • Secretary of Adoptive Families Association (TN) and active Member of SuDatta (Karnataka) which function as Adoption Support groups & Resource Centre promoted by Adoptive Parents. As an Adoption and Parenting Educator , created a network of adoptive parents and Adoption Interested persons throughout the country, offering counseling and support programs for parents and children to improve and better familial relationships since March 1995.

Other Significant Contributions:

  • Earlier had conceived and implemented the Co Management concept of Government Children’s Homes and Observation homes between 2000 to 2007, in the city of Chennai, with the Dept of Social Defence, Govt of Tamilnadu, serving children entering the Juvenile Justice system aided exclusively by public participation and contributions. This System of upgrading services to children with active civic participation with corporates and volunteers as seen as one of the first in the country to this extent in the area of family empowerment and child welfare. Conceived and successfully implemented the Mentorship Program for Orphan adolescents and pre-adolescents in Institutional care to guide them for a responsible future. Improving the living conditions of these children, family support programs, Help Desk counseling services, regular medical camps, besides their rehabilitation /family reinstatement is the prime area of work besides updating the vocational training programs, bridge education classes and study opportunities for children in these homes benefits over 2000 children every year. At present volunteers and partner organizations run programs in the Homes with Relief Foundation’s support.
  • Involved in the Rules making committee and anchored the Drafting of TN State Rules for Juvenile Justice Acts – both 2000 and Amended Act 2006.
  • Designed and conducted training programs for Juvenile Justice and NGO professionals besides Child Welfare Committee and Juvenile Justice Board members
  • Has over 40 city based volunteers from all walks of life to participate in projects involving underprivileged children and destitute women.
  • Conceived the city’s first Volunteer Bank offering Training and placement Programs for Volunteers (Local and International) and Corporate groups and engaging them in useful Community Work of their option.
  • Conducted a series of Parenting workshops for more than 3000 parents of School children titled “PARENT IS A VERB”
  • Conducted a series of workshops for teachers of different schools on “Awakening values in Children”