Stella Maris Centre for Development of Resources for Inclusion and Vocational Enrichment
(SMCDRIVE)-In Progress

Training in Life skills/soft skills: A session, for Principals and Senior Teachers of the schools run by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Chennai, was conducted to highlight the importance of Lifeskills. There were about 22 participants and Dr. K.V Kishore Kumar, Director, The Banyan, Chennai, was the trainer. The session was conducted to emphasize the importance of life skills and to introduce them for school children, in order to promote their good physical and mental health. The participants showed interest in taking back the learning to their classrooms. A three-day life skills workshop will be organized in the next academic year.

Training in Low-cost nutrition: A representative from Women's Collective, a non-profitable organization, visits SMCDRIVE once a month and offers training for the women from the nearby communities. Women are trained to prepare low cost nutritious foods such as SamaiPayasam, Varagu Sambar Rice, Mani Corn Dosas, Samai. Pongal etc. On an average, about 150 women participate and are benefitted by this programme every month.

Flood Relief: Soon after the Chennai floods in the month of December 2015, SMCDRIVE came to the rescue of many marginalized people who were affected by the floods in then ear by slum communities of the College, namely Thiruvikakudiirupu, M.K.Radha Nagar, GangaikaraiPuram, S.S.Puram, Nakeeran Nagar, and MKR Nagar. Immediately after College reopened, the relief work was started by the BSW students and the II MSW field work students placed at SMCDRIVE. With the help of Bhoomika Trust, a non-governmental organization, the students networked with Chennai Volunteers and personally visited the nearby flood-affected slum communities. A need-based assessment survey was then carried out.

Based on their needs, people who had an identity proof i.e.either a Ration card /Adhar card/Voters Id, were identified and selected. Tokens specifying the date and time to collect the relief materials were given to them. This helped in a fair distribution of relief materials without disruptive overcrowding. Later, about 100 people who did not have any identity proof were also selected, based on their immediate needs and were also given relief materials.

This distribution of flood relief materials was organised at the Shanthi Bhavan premises of the college in a well-organized manner on 22.12.2015 and 23.12.2015. About 780 families were given dry rations and clothes.

Clinic Services to promote Mental Health - A multi-disciplinary team from the NGO, The Banyan, Chennai, comprising of a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, SocialWorker, Counsellor and a Nurse visits Shanthi Bhavan every 3rd Saturday in order to provide treatment, holistic care and support to people living with mental disorders from the nearby communities of the college. The chief consultant is Dr. K.V. Kishore Kumar. The first mental health clinic was on 19th December 2015 and about 7 patients visited the clinic and the second, on 23rd January 2016 helped 14 patients. The clinic is open to all and is free of cost. After making a detailed assessment, patients are given total care: consultation, treatment and counselling services are provided by the professionals. The prescribed medicines are also given free of cost. It is slowly picking up and is becoming popular in the community.

Counselling and Referral services: Professional Counsellors are available at the centre from Monday to Friday. It is open to all, both the College and the Community. The Counselling services offered are strictly based on professional ethics. After a thorough assessment, if necessary, referral services are also made. If needed, family counseling is also taken up. The Counselling services offered are free of cost and has been utilized by many from the college and the community.

An orientation programme on Sensitization on Mental health was conducted for the MSW students by Dr. KV. Kishore Kumar, Director, The Banyan. This served to motivate and encourage students to understand mental disorders and to volunteer to work for people living with mental disorders.

Training Fieldwork Students: MSW & BSW students from Stella Maris College and Madras Christian College are offered training in field work at SMCDRIVE.

Medical camp for Elderly Women: In connection with observing the International Women's Day on March 8, 2016, SMCDRIVE, in collaboration with HelpAge India, organized a Health Campfor the elderly women from the nearby communities of the College (Nakkiran Nagar, Tiruvika Nagar, SS Puram, and MK Radha Nagar) on 23 February 2016. Consultation with the doctor and medicines were given free of cost. Arrangements are made so that the women can further utilize the mobile clinic services for follow-ups.

Lay Counselling Course: A six month certificate course in Lay counseling  offered by  The Banyan Centre was  inaugurated on 8th Aug,  2016. The evening also saw the inaugural  of the Nalam Centre. Mr. R. Nataraj  MLA, Mylapore constituency was the Chief Guest for the occasion.