Peer Volunteering

Paadhai Extends Gratitude to Peer Volunteers for their Contribution to ELE program In a heartwarming gesture of appreciation, Paadhai, a non-profit organization, expresses profound gratitude to its dedicated Peer Volunteers for their service in enhancing educational experiences for students.

Throughout the first academic term (Jun-Dec 23), Peer Volunteers (PVs) collaborated with Paadhai to support students across two schools in subjects like Maths, Science, and English for grades 6 to 9. Their efforts significantly enriched the learning environment and garnered praise from school management, teachers, and students alike.

The PV sessions were hailed for their impactful contributions to student learning and engagement. Their enthusiasm underscores the profound impact of volunteerism in driving positive change in education.

Looking ahead, Paadhai is gearing up to assemble a fresh team for the upcoming 2024-25 term, reaffirming its commitment to providing support to schools, teachers and students.

Paadhai extends its heartfelt thanks to all Mentors and Peer Volunteers for their unwavering dedication and invaluable contribution. Their passion and commitment serve as a beacon of inspiration, fueling the organization's mission to empower students and transform lives through education.

Paadhai Initiatives: First and Second Quarters of 2024

Health Care – Dispensary Support for Wayanad (Niravilpuzha): Continuing our commitment to health care, Paadhai will provide ongoing support to the dispensary in Niravilpuzha, Wayanad, ensuring that essential medical services reach those in need.

Enhanced Learning Environment (ELE) Activities: In the realm of education, Paadhai's ELE activities for the first two quarters include connecting mentors with schools, continuing the engagement of Peer Volunteers (PVs) from Abu Dhabi school, and exploring the expansion of PVs for 2024 to involve schools in Sydney and our global network.

Training of Challenged Persons (Antharbhaava): Antharbhaava, Paadhai's initiative for the holistic training of challenged individuals, progresses with the completion of baking training. Ongoing sessions in tailoring and gardening are underway, empowering individuals with diverse abilities.

Documenting Native Knowledge of Herbs and Medicinal Plants: In collaboration with Sarjapura Curries, Paadhai initiates the documentation of native knowledge concerning herbs and medicinal plants. The objective is to create a comprehensive record, laying the foundation for a small herbal farm dedicated to tribal school children, providing both education and practical training.

GIS Products for NGOs: Collaborating with JungleScapes, Paadhai will help customize GIS products for effective project monitoring, management, and reporting of Lantana removal in the Bandipur, Mudhumalai, and Wayanad Forests. Another initiative where GIS could be of help is in Mariamma Trust's efforts to reward Tiger-Kills, enhancing conservation efforts.

Volunteers: Over 30 students from a local institution will join Paadhai as volunteers for 6 to 8 weeks during this period. These enthusiastic students will be actively involved in various projects, contributing their skills and energy to both Paadhai's initiatives and associated NGOs' projects. We are also forming a Peer-Volunteering group for the school year 24-25

Paadhai remains committed to making a positive impact in healthcare, education, and community development, and we appreciate your continued support in achieving these goals. Together, we can create lasting change and empower communities for a brighter future.

KaiThozhil - Channapatna

Introduction to Edible greens and wild vegetables: We shall start our day with a forage walk into our naturally grown farm to identify various varieties of edible plants and wild vegetables.In this session we want to share knowledge about our philosophy of saving seeds. In this session we also want to share about heirloom seeds and its benefits for the ecosystem of this region.


This year, Paadhai supported Ahum Trust on their arts and crafts initiative. Kalakrida, is a community arts workshop for the children studying in government schools.

Check out thei report
Kalakrida Report

Paadhai: Jan23 to April 23 our effort

With focus on STEM, Arts and crafts are often left behind. Worked with AHUM to offer students, from Government schools, Summer camps where they could learn two art forms of their choice

Skill and educate trainees and teachers in handling Autistic children – this was done in the Stem lab of Colors NGO

Rural Community Trust runs a home for poor and needy children. Paadhai supported them on this year’s uniforms and educational material

Deskits: Backpacks that can turn in to small desks. Very useful for rural children who don’t have tables or desks, at home. We made 200 of these and distributed to 6 of our ELE schools

Continued our support for the Women Empowerment program of Desh Seva Samiti(DSS). This is a grievance redressal cell within Mumbai police stations operated by DSS for over a decade

Thanks to all our donors and volunteers, in these efforts.

Paadhai Meet 4 Feb 2023

Paadhai MEET – On 4 Feb 23 (Saturday) we organized a MEET. This was a friendly ‘getting to know each other’ kind of MEET. More than 50 people, from different parts of India, participated.
The idea was to give various stakeholders (volunteers, associated NGOs, Project teams, beneficiaries, donors and well-wishers) a chance to meet and interact. We also had an online session where short presentations were made. Overall, it was a fantastic evening.
We thank all participants – physical and online. Looking forward to increased project activities.

KaiThozhil - Dharapuram

Introduction to Edible greens and wild vegetables.
Organized by Paadhai, Bangalore
Event handled by Suresh Kumar

Laptops for Wayanad school

One of Paadhai donors organized Laptops for Wayanad school. They are all set now.

KaiThozhil - Forage Walks on Jul 31(Sunday)

Introduction to Edible greens and wild vegetables: We shall start our day with a forage walk into our naturally grown farm to identify various varieties of edible plants and wild vegetables.In this session we want to share knowledge about our philosophy of saving seeds. In this session we also want to share about heirloom seeds and its benefits for the ecosystem of this region.

Event Date: July 31, 2022
Event Timings: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Sarjapura Curries Farm, Sarjapura, Bangalore
Organized by Paadhai, Bangalore
Event handled by Suresh Kumar

Click here to Register for Event

Tribal School in Wayanad opens for 22-23

The tribal school in Wayanad had a tough time, due to Covid lockdowns, the last couple of years. This year, they have started ahead of time with students streaming in.

Paadhai constructed a Training and Production center, last year, with generous donation from Dr Raguram, our trustee (single contribution to cover the entire cost). This center was inaugurated in March 22 and would be actively put to use in the current academic year only. We look forward to working with the school on ELE activities as well.

On World Environment Day (Jun 5)
students planted saplings around the campus

ELE Programs for the School Year 22-23

Paadhai supported many schools and communities, online, in 21-22. Our volunteers handheld teachers and students with content and mentorship.

Areas of support included curricular and non-curricular subjects, for mainly secondary levels as well as a few generic, school level programs.

This year, we would support a lot more. Content for primary and secondary levels, programs in Inclusive education, experiments and field visits and several adhoc programs.


Tribal production

During the Covid time, Paadhai worked with tribal women in Wayanad. Along with WGST, we trained these women using the tailoring equipment available at the residential tribal school(which was closed, due to back to back lockdowns). They produced masks and bags. Many known organizations and friends bought these.

The whole exercise of designing and requirements specification happened online. The team ramped up in a few months so as to handle steady delivery of orders. One area where requirements kept coming is for Gift bags for companies and Thaamboolam bags for weddings. Most of our well-wishers order such bags for their children's weddings. Feel free to get in touch with for your requirements.


ELE calendar – Jan to May 2022

Activities across various schools/institutions


  • Advance English by WEF – once a week, from end Mar 22 (for 6+ weeks)s
  • Handholding for Keywords (L1 and L2) – Meena/Sujata – 3 sessions – Feb 22
  • Introduction of Science kit – Mar 18
  • How to Engage Students? – two sessions, in May 13 & 20
  • Introduction to ELE primary content –May 16


  • English – once a week, pilot program under way
  • Handholding for Keywords (L1 and L2) – Meena/Sujata
  • How to Engage Students? – Jayasharee - Three sessions, just completed
  • Primary content – dates, to be agreed upon


  • Introduction to ILP/ELE content
  • Keywords introduction – to be scheduled
  • English by WEF – a pilot for Six week started, mid-Feb


STREE 2022 - Women Empowerment project

Paadhai, along with another local NGO, has initiated an ambitious Women empowerment project called STREE 2022 (She Transforms Routine to Equitable Entrepreneurship) . We plan to identify and mentor 300 women entrepreneurs in three states - Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. This is a huge effort. Based on our earlier efforts in such rural and tribal projects, we are confident. Look forward to participation from all friends, volunteers and donors

STREE-2022 Concept note


ELE – Related activities and modules (Year 2021-22)

Paadhai’s ELE Program has seen wonderful progress and success since its inception. Much of this credit goes to our volunteer educationist and enthusiasts. Here is a glimpse of the Activities and Modules for 2021-2022 :

  • Mentorship and Content

  • Content Curation and Creation

  • Ad-Hoc Modules Creation

  • Peer Learning and Volunteering

  • Supporting Other NGOs

ELE – Related activities and modules (Year 2021-22)

Paadhai’s ELE Program has seen wonderful progress and success since its inception. Much of this credit goes to our volunteer educationist and enthusiasts. Here is a glimpse of the Activities and Modules for 2021-2022 :

  • Mentorship and Content
  • Content Curation and Creation
  • Ad-Hoc Modules Creation
  • Peer Learning and Volunteering
  • Supporting Other NGOs


Enabling Learning Across Geographies

Farming is a great way for children to learn life skills. As real-world experiential learning currently remains limited by circumstances, Paadhai works on filling this gap wherever possible. The Rotary School in Channapatna is involved in a UN project on Framing Techniques and the school chose the topic of ‘Vineyard and Wine-Making’. Paadhai, through its network, connected the school to a vineyard in Brazil - The Terazzos Vineyard in Sao Paulo owned and run by Mr. Fabio Nascimento.

Mr. Nascimento conducted two sessions. The first one was on Farming– cultivating grapes - while the second one covered Wine Making. These sessions were very useful for the students and were enjoyed by all participants. Here are the recordings of these sessions

I. ELE session on Farming Techniques – Grapes (Oct 21) -

II. ELE session on Farming Techniques – Wine Making (Oct 22) -



Support for Rural Community Trust

Paadhai’s outreach program has benefited several rural and remote communities including the one in Villupuram. In addition to ad hoc support over the years for Rural Community Trust (RCT) in Villupuram, Paadhai has sponsored and facilitated the distribution of study material/notebooks for the children to enable their right to education. Several after school training programs in English and Computers have also been undertaken for all students in this home run by RCT.

Key areas of support to RCT include infrastructure improvement, access to running water and salaries of operational staff, from time to time. Last year, Paadhai assisted them with Security Cameras and this year(2021), we are providing the home with Power back-ups.



Educational Content for schools

As a part of our Enhanced Learning Environment (ELE) programs, Paadhai handholds schools and communities with content and mentorship. Our main focus is to train and equip the teachers, so that they could educate their students better. The content that we create or curate is audio-visual in nature, so as to make learning interesting. Check out more on ELE...

Paadhai uses and curates content of other NGOs as well (ILP, is worth mentioning here). These curated content (open source) are made available, freely, to all.

ELE mentors conduct orientation sessions to schools to introduce our content, to their teachers. You can watch one such session here-



Ventilators for Hospitals - Doctors' feedback

Paadhai worked with BCD, a Swiss organization, and a couple of other Indian NGOs to import and distribute Non-Invasive Ventilators (NIV) to hospitals in India. We had two rounds of these requiring efforts in identification of beneficiaries, import, logistics and support.

Over the past months, over 50 NIVs have been given to 20+ hospitals. There was an online session to get the feedback from the doctors on these COVIDAIR Ventilators.

You can see here as to what the doctors have to say…



ELE introduction - Aug 7 & 11 sessions

One of Paadhai’s projects, Enhanced Learning Environments (ELE), provides curriculum content, learning tools and mentoring support to schools and teachers. This is accomplished by handholding teachers to effectively deliver all these in a classroom environment.

ELE has been scaling up rapidly, with volunteers from different parts of the world – from Sydney to Seattle and Sao Paulo to Neuchatel. Our volunteers are all well educated people and as the ELE support is delivered remotely, they’ve been eager to actively participate. Right from their own homes, and by committing only an hour or two per week, they are able to add immense value to this program. In August, we have a couple of sessions introducing ELE to new volunteers.

ELE overview -
Q & A -


7-Aug-21 & 11-Aug-21

PAADHAI’s co-founder, James, is no more

James Koenig, one of the founders of Paadhai, passed away. He was a wonderful human being – compassionate, peace-loving and highly invested in Social causes. Here is an Eulogy from our Managing Trustee.

It’s with a heavy heart I remember, celebrate and pay tribute to the life of an amazing man and my dear friend, James.

The devastating Tsunami of South Asia was the one that connected us. James, along with some others, had raised funds but were unsure of the best way to direct those funds. The interactions that followed, about long term rehabilitation as opposed to one time support, planted the seeds of a friendship that was to last for decades.

Both being strong advocates for social causes, James and I decided that we explore the possibility of setting up a charity that focused on change – one that would look at need as it arose and work outside the box to promote independence and sustainability for individuals and communities living in the most vulnerable of circumstances.

The charity known as Paadhai (path, in Tamil) was born. From then on, for many years, James and I met every few months working on projects for rural and tribal communities in India. James acted as the Managing Trustee for Paadhai, Switzerland. He, Michelle and Laure spent a lot of time on our projects and were even in India for a few weeks, visiting project sites. A moment that will always be memorable for me, was when James organised a fundraising orchestral performance in Victoria Hall Geneva, made up of 100 volunteer violinists from his choir. Wayanad tribal school was the beneficiary of this heart-warming event - Paadhai could set up a corpus for them.

It was no surprise to me that James built his professional career around supporting those less fortunate. He was passionate about opening the doors to possibilities for children living with disabilities. I’ll be forever grateful to him for having provided the opportunity to organise and participate in a trek with the children and carers from his institution. A truly inspirational experience for me!

James Koenig was the essence of human kindness. He was a giver who lived his life with integrity and purpose. He was compassionate, peace loving and highly invested in social justice. We are all so much richer for having known him. His passing is indeed a great loss not only to his family and friends, but also to humanity. He will be most sorely missed.



What did ELE accomplish in 20 -21?

– a quick summary
Schools – Spoke to four, worked with a couple
-Channapatna; mentoring, content, adhoc module (Music, Maths and More) – Max efforts
-TVS; content introduction
- Wayanad; basic discussions; plans for ELE Skills training module and mentoring;
- CBE; many interactions at school and individual levels; they could use our content


Aug 2020 – Mar 2021

Sara School Renovation:

SARA MIDDLE SCHOOL, a 50+ year old school, was facing the threat of closure, due to lack of basic infrastructure mandated by the Government. Paadhai sent out a request, a few weeks ago, and we got significant donations for this cause.

Sara School was primarily built to support the education of children of weavers who can't afford primary education, although it admits any child from a low- economic background. To date, this school has helped 7500+ children get educated!

Mar – Jun 2021

Beds to Pudukottai Hospital:

Donations from a small group of donors, enable Padhaai to procure and equip the government hospital in Pudukottai, Tamil Nadu, with 50 beds. This was a timely gesture (Covid period) and was well appreciated.

Thank You!

Greetings from Paadhai.Recently you generously contributed for this project- Hospital beds for pudukkottai Government Hospital in Tamil Nadu.

Accounts, Paadhai

May 2021

Production center & Training Hall

One of the Trustees of Paadhai, Dr Raguram, under-wrote the entire construction costs of a Production center and training hall. These efforts started in Jan 2021 and are close to completion. The center would be ready for use in Aug 2021. Paadhai monitored the plan and building of this facility.

Aug 2021

Non-Invasive Ventilators, from Switzerland

BCD, a Swiss company, was ready to donate NIVs to India. Paadhai played an important role in identifying the right beneficiaries and distributing these. Here is a thanking note from our trustee.

Thank you, BCD – Thank you, Switzerland!

Switzerland as a country has been kind to me in several ways. Together with a few Swiss friends, Paadhai, a non-profit that focuses on education of rural and tribal communities, was founded. Many of Paadhai’s initial projects would not have been accomplished without the active participation of volunteers and donors, from Switzerland and France. Adding BCD to this list…  They donated some NIVs to India, which is grappling with the Covid pandemic.

These donations could not have come at a better time.  Our heartfelt thanks to Cedric and his team. I also take this opportunity to thank Switzerland and its people !

-Ramesh Santhanam, Paadhai (Ramsoft)


Apr – May 2021

Tribal Production Center, Wayanad

Paadhai worked with Tribal communities in Wayanad to make Masks and Bags, during Covid time. Our ability to get quality results without visits was remarkable.

Wayanad tribal school – that Paadhai supports from 2007 - has tailoring machines for training their students. As the school was closed due to Covid Lockdown, these were used by tribal women to produce masks and bags. Paadhai team helped them in getting orders. This activity became self-sustaining in 6 months time. One of our successful livelihood projects

Nov 2020 – Jan 2021

Enhanced Learning Environment (ELE)

Based on earlier project experiences, Paadhai came up with the right model of supporting schools with mentorship and content

  • Give the freedom to learn – should not be restrictive in use of what is available in the school and offered to students
  • Computers, Gadgets, Instruments and resources are all for students.  The utilization of these have to be maximized, not curbed
  • Encourage students to try and learn by themselves.  Be a guide.  Give the direction.  But, make them learn themselves
  • In a good environment, students ask more questions than the teachers.  Create such an ambience
  • Children learn well themselves.  In pairs or a group.  Group them up. Give them the content or tools.  They will learn !
  • Role of the teacher is to introduce, be around as a guiding force. To facilitate and motivate
  • Students should not be afraid of the administrators and teachers.  They should respect them – this is a major requirement in many of our institutions
  • Use existing content, globally available, free. Don’t spend time recreating them. Identify the right material and use them effectively
  • Create opportunities for practice and growth.  Those lagging behind can work with online material and toppers in the class
  • Build an environment where children want to be present and develop an appetite to learn
  • Make all the assessments fair and transparent.  Never Punitive

‘Hole in a wall’ experiment – A TED talk … in line with our ELE

Aug 2020

Educational projects: Focus on training teachers and content mapping

Paadhai worked on several education and training projects. These varied from financial support and project management for education related projects for rural and tribal institutions to content creation, attempting various teaching methods, online training and creating learning environments. Our objectives in all these attempts has been to work schools and communities to ‘Create effective environments’ to learn

Key projects that yielded significant results, particularly in rural and remote schools, have been …

  • Mapping global content (like Khan academy and others) to local syllabus (Karka project done with Altius, Chennai)
  • Training the teachers, on subject matter as well as in creating such a learning environment (Projects in Wayanad and Channapatna)
  • Providing the necessary or missing devices/gadgets (several schools and supplementary education centers in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala)

2006 - 2016

Project Karka – Teaching through Computer Labs

Project Karka was structured on the following premises - Invest in curriculum delivery and Invest in ICT. It was launched in 2012 in a Government school, which provided free education to the underprivileged, in Chennai

Bulk of the resources were applied towards providing educational facilities to students and recruiting quality teachers (as against investing in real estate & construction). By associating ourselves with an existing institution, we were able to deliver better. Karka was replicated in other schools, later

2011 - 2014