Speech by Mr K Barathan, CEO, SINDA at the SINDA Parenting Conference on 31 August 2014 at Umar Pulavar Tamil Language Centre
Mr R Dhinakaran, former nominated Member of Parliament and Managing Director, Jay Gee Group of Companies
Mr Thambyrajah, Education Sub-committee, SINDA
Ladies and gentlemen
A very good morning to all of you
- I am very happy to see all of you at the SINDA Parenting Conference 2014.
- Though education remains SINDA’s core focus, SINDA’s programmes and services also cater to family needs and youth aspiration, to support education initiatives. Our programmes and services are designed in line with SINDA’s mission to build a strong and vibrant Singaporean Indian community together.
- SINDA has developed the 4 key thrusts for SINDA are maximising educational opportunities for all students, inspiring youths towards greater achievements, engaging parents to play an active role in their children’s lives and forging a stronger relationship with community partners. Today, I would like to touch on our thrust of engaging parents and ultimately, building cohesive families.
- Our family programmes engage parents in effective ways to play a supportive role and equip them with the relevant skills to motivate and encourage children. We hope this would in turn enable the children to focus on their strengths and reach out to their fullest potential. The family division at SINDA provides opportunities for families to come together to enhance family cohesiveness and resilience, and parents have a significant role to play in this aspect.
- At times, parenting is challenged by the lack of extended family support. In the past, parents received greater support from grandparents, aunts and uncles and neighbours. However, today, family members often live far away and this has led to a significant loss of support for parents. Hence parents are faced with the necessity to act alone and are isolated in the face of parenting challenges.
- With the rising importance of academic performance, parents also have to deal with the pressures of ensuring that their children are on par with other children. This becomes an even greater pressure, when parents are unaware of the various educational pathways available for their children.
- To assist parents in overcoming such pressures, SINDA has numerous programmes and services, such as:
- Family Days and Family Bonding Camps which encourage family togetherness; and
- Conferences, Workshops and Talks for parents promote effective parenting.
- SINDA also has a wide array of educational programmes and motivational Programmes for children of all ages:
- Specialised programmes for pre-schoolers aim to give pre-schoolers a head start in learning;
- And not forgetting the various Financial Assistance Schemes available through SINDA’s very own Family Service Centre, for families and students.
It is our hope that all of you will make use of such programmes and services, to build better families and face any challenges that may come.
- Today we have amongst us, families who have faced challenges and with the help of SINDA, have succeeded in building cohesive and resilient families.
- Ms Lekshmi Parimala was diagnosed with diabetes when her youngest child was just 2 years old. Her husband. Mr Sivaraman is the sole breadwinner. During the initial stages of her diabetes, it was difficult for Ms Lekshmi to actively teach and guide her children.
- However, Lekshmi’s top priority was to be an effective mother for her daughters. She made efforts to cook heathy meals and exercise on a daily basis. As a result, her health condition improved, enabling her to play a more active role in her children’s lives.
- Despite the family’s struggles, all 3 children are doing well in school. The eldest child, Suvetha, has graduated from SINDA’s Eagle’s eye programme and is presently a secondary 1 student at Crescent Girls Secondary School. Their other 2 daughters are at Zhangde Primary School and have topped their classes.
- The second pair of parents I would like to mention today are Mr K Kanaiah and his wife, Ms Vinnavan Vanaja.
- Kanaiah was the sole breadwinner working as Security Officer. He also suffers from heart disease. Vanaja is a housewife and was unable to work, as she required regular medical attention.
- SINDA has helped this couple and their children in various forms, and I am proud that with our assistance, this family today has achieved high success.
- Their eldest child, Pavitra, has completed her Bachelor of Degree in Chemistry in NUS this year. During the course of her education she was awarded with SIET bursary and she will be starting her teaching training in September. She is also the emcee for today’s event.
- Her twin brothers, Revinesh and Rohinesh are currently both serving in National Service as Corporal First Class. Revinesh will go on to study Business Administration at NTU, while Rohinesh has secured a place to study Engineering at NUS.
- SINDA is proud to have played a role in the lives of these families, and their successes are testament to the impact of SINDA’s programmes. I look forward to more of you coming forward to participate in our programmes and help build a better future for your children and ultimately, the Indian community.
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the programme.