About PonnVandu

Ponn is a Tamil word for gold while Vandu means something like bug or beetle. The words cover most beetles including the ladybirds, of which a yellow variety (‘golden’) can be seen here in India.

Ours is a small trust founded in 2003 in the town of Coimbatore in South India. There are presently two trustees. Our purpose for PonnVandu was to serve our society and world with our gifts and abilities.

We are very interested in helping children with learning and mental difficulties, so right in 2003 itself we started a very small therapy centre that can handle just a dozen kids, and staffed and equipped it. Beginning with just 3 children, today we have provided therapy for over 260 children many of whom have moved into regular educational streams or been otherwise measurably helped by our efforts.

We also have an evaluation programme for children to assess not just mental ability but physical development, personality, and areas of strengths and weaknesses.

Being nature lovers our second area of focus is preserving what’s left of India’s biodiversity. We train volunteers to assist the Forest department and we actively involve in taking censuses, rescuing wildlife (particularly snakes in the city) and in spreading information and enthusiasm for preserving our precious forests, oceans, both for biodiversity and habitat. To help fund our activities we organise very limited and exclusive ecotours of South India.

Our third area of concern is AIDS prevention and providing treatment, counseling and support for AIDS patients. Primarily we have focussed on helping married positive women as these are mainly silent sufferers often with positive children too.

Last but not least is our concern for providing micro financial assistance to needy entrepreneurs. Mostly we work with groups of housewives to provide additional/alternate sources of livelihood.

For details on what you can do and how you can help, navigate to the Participate page.

The serious planning for PonnVandu started in April of 2003 and the trust was officially registered as a Public Trust with the registrar in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, in October 2003. Sam L. Carr is the current managing trustee (find out more about Sam at his personal blog CHALLENGE. or HERE for almost the same content but in wrordpress. Don’t be surprised to find a number of the PONNVANDU posts at Challenge too as Sam is the major contributor of articles to all three of these blogs and shamelessly plagiarises his own work in both directions!

6 responses

5 08 2008
Matt Godino

Thank you for your valuable resource and for the exceptional work you do. Unfortunately, our world desparately needs more people and institutions like you. Keep up the good work!

I have a developmentally disabled nephew, Alex, who is approximately two (2) years old. My brother and his wife, who is a pediatrician, live in another state and we communicate fairly frequently via email and over the phone. However, I am regularly at a loss when I am at the toy store or look online to buy something for young Alex. Might you have any suggestions for useful and fun toys for the lad?

His mom recently replied to my query in this regard and said he I could get him a car or truck or something he could hold. I would love to find him a quality toy or ? for him to enjoy.

All replies will be greatly appreciated: mattbellini@hotmail.com

Many thanks!


5 08 2008

Matt, thanks for the words of encouragement and I am glad that you were able to find some information here that is be of use to you!

A kid that’s “developmentally disabled” doesn’t really carry enough definition for us to be very certain of what this particular child’s difficulties are and what would then constitute a helpful toy. Still I can try and give you some suggestions.

1. For two-four-year-olds, there should not be any detachable parts to the toy that might fit into a child’s mouth, and toys should be certified nontoxic.

2. Any toy that has interesting textures will be useful for sensory integration and will stimulate tactile discrimination.

3. Toys that introduce shapes and colors will be good.

4. Simple pull-alongs that can be perhaps strung together without great effort and then separated too would be nice.

5. Fitting shapes into their molds as a variation on the “peg board” idea can be very helpful, challenging and fun.

I hope this gives you some ideas to work on.

16 05 2010

call me 9791099885

16 05 2010

i have king cobra in my land pls come and take it

16 05 2010

Mr. Kannadasan, thank you for notifying us. I (Sam) will get in touch with you as soon as I reach Coimbatore on Monday. I am currently out of town surveying a different project. I will call you on the 17th.

17 05 2010

Well, I tried to call you but did not get an answer. I’ve also sent you an sms, so do call me when you can and once we get the details and if logistics permit, we WILL try to help you out.

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