Ithika’s three programmes – Ilanthalir, Thisai and Kaadu are designed to provide children with a well-rounded set of life skills that would equip them to not just navigate through daily challenges, but build on their talents and flourish into creative, independent and successful adults.
Participants of the program, are teenagers who face significant challenges on a daily basis. Traumatic life event(s), cultural background/expectations, peer attitudes, the influence of mainstream media (for example: on-screen violence), the stigma around physical/mental disability, etc. are all factors that stifle their development into confident, moral and healthy adults.
Research has shown that these factors increase susceptibility to stress, depression, obesity and tends to make them victim to bullying, unsafe sexual activity, forced labour, drug and alcohol use and also internet (social media) addiction.
The Ilanthalir program works with teenagers to help them understand these issues and equip them with the resilience to overcome such challenges/distractions during the most transformational phase of their life. The program offers structured sessions which are supported by our staff and volunteers.
Tamil is a proud 4000-year-old culture which is noticeably fading away, because of negative effects of globalization. People are likely to adopt the concept of xenocentrism (the preference for the products, styles, or ideas of someone else’s culture rather than of one’s own) these days trying to move away from the classical tradition of ours.
The goal of the Thisai program is to rejuvenate Tamil traditions in art and science by teaching teens about our history and its relevance in the modern world.We teach native art forms such as:
- Silambam (weapon-based martial art)
- Therukoothu (folk dance)
- Oomai Nadagam (Mime)
- Karakattam (Property [POT] -based art)
- Oyilattam (Property [Cloth] – based art)
- Parai, etc.
The Kaadu program focuses on the importance of ‘going green’ – to raise awareness about environmental issues and the means to reduce our impact on the planet. Planting trees is one of the easiest and most sustainable ways towards a healthy environment. We also teach about producing sustainable crop, through the use of natural fertilizers and techniques such as ‘seed-ball’ to enable plant growth in harsh habitats. In addition, children are informed about the need to properly dispose harmful non-biodegradable products.
We have made it our tradition (since inception), to encourage youth involvement in such activities. Aside from the environmental and aesthetic benefits, we believe this helps them cement their understanding of our lessons.