21.01.2018

New Bus Extends SINDA’s Reach to the Heartlands

Mobile office-on-wheels brings SINDA programmes those who need it most

 

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATED: 21 January 2018

 

  1. 21 January 2018 – Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) & Second Minister for Defence launched the SINDA Bus at the Gambas Pongal Celebrations 2018. The bus, a first-of-its-kind for Indian organisations in Singapore, allows SINDA to extend its reach into the heartlands to make its programmes and services more accessible to the community. “I urge everyone to take advantage of the bus. If you know of someone who can benefit from the services offered by SINDA, spread the word and ask them to visit the SINDA Bus to find out more” said Mr Ong in his opening address to the crowd.

 

  1. The SINDA Bus acts as a mobile satellite centre to bring its services to peoples’ doorstep. The bus will be a resource centre for Singaporeans to understand and subscribe to the services that SINDA provides and will be a conduit for connecting them with national help schemes and services. The bus will extend SINDA’s reach from 20,000 in 2017 to 25,000 in 2018 – a 20% increase in its total outreach.

 

  1. While the Bus aims to serve Singaporeans as a whole, the deployment of it will focus on estates with high Indian concentration as over the years, SINDA has identified that there are a number of people who need support in the form of enrichment or assistance but do not know how to go about seeking the right avenues for help.

 

  1. Also present at the launch, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law and President, SINDA, Ms Indranee Rajah shared some of her experiences from past door-knocking exercises where she met low-income families who did not know who to turn to: “Knowing the demographics of the neighbourhood that the bus is going to be at provides us with an ability to bring relevant information to the residents there, showcase some of our programmes and extend our outreach by catering to their needs.”

 

  1. In addition to being deployed at events and programmes, SINDA has worked closely with community partners such as the various Indian Activity Executive Committees (IAECs) and other Indian organisations, to deploy the SINDA Bus at nationwide community events. More than 100 engagements have been planned for the SINDA Bus in 2018, which include:
  • Family-centric programmes such as parenting workshops and SINDA’s Back to School Festival.
  • Youth programmes such as camps and school engagements.
  • Community events such as ground engagements, block parties and door-knocking exercises.

 

  1. SINDA CEO, Mr K Barathan said: “SINDA is strengthening efforts in education and investing more in pre-school, youth and family areas. The SINDA Bus will offer more information about such programmes – the programmes may not be conducted in the bus itself but people can learn about the programme and sign up for it immediately. It is important that collaborations between SINDA and community organisations take place so that more people will benefit from the presence of the Bus at various neighbourhoods and ultimately, the community will be uplifted as a whole.”

 

  1. A variety of programmes have been planned to be held in SINDA Bus and will cater to different demographical groups to ensure everyone can benefit from this initiative. The modular design of the SINDA Bus ensures that it can be easily configured to suit a variety of purposes. When necessary, the bus can function as a mobile Family Service Centre or a venue to hold reading classes for preschool children in different estates in Singapore. Additionally, the Bus boasts a first-of-its-kind environmentally friendly feature by using lithium batteries instead of regular diesel generators to power the electrical needs of the bus (e.g. lights, air-con and television) when it’s stationary. This ensures less air and noise pollution during deployments.

 

  1. It is hoped that the presence of the bus in the heartlands will build a stronger relationship with the grassroots, thus helping and reaching out to more residents. Welcoming this move, Gambas IAEC Chairperson, Mr K S Bhaskar said: “Such an initiative should be applauded as it plays a vital role in creating a close connection between people and the range of programmes available to one and all, and particularly those who need help. Partnerships and involvement at the grassroots level are key in achieving this goal.”

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For more information, contact:

Manesh Rangarajan (Mr)

Executive, Corporate & Marketing Communications Division, SINDA

DID: 6393 7269

Mobile: 9009 8921

Email: manesh@sinda.org.sg

Priyaa Vasudevan (Ms)

Executive, Corporate & Marketing Communications Division, SINDA

DID: 6393 7228

Mobile: 9169 1532

Email: priyaa@sinda.org.sg

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