Madurai, November 6, 2023: Heritage Welfare Foundation today celebrated annual day function at Heritage Madurai hotel for the 7 years of commitment and service. Around 250 people including students and their parents from 7 villages, teachers, village leaders and eminent personalities of Madurai participated in the event. Students who were trained by the foundation showcased their skills by performing Silambam and other related martial art forms.
Honorable Justice Sivagnanam, Judge of Madras High Court, Madurai Bench and Mr. Kumar Jayanth IAS, Additional Chief Secretary of Labour Welfare and Skill Development – Govt of Tami Nadu were the Chief Guests of the event and the Guest of Honor was media personality C. Gopinath. Chief Guests honoured the village leaders and teachers for their contribution to improve students’ welfare.
Speaking on the occasion, Madras High Court Judge Justice V. Sivagnanam said, “Discipline helps people succeed in life. Being a disciplined person is more important than being educated and admired. Also, being dignified and speaking kind words, according to Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar were some of the other important qualities needed for people to be successful. Silambam was intrinsically connected to the culture of Tamil people. Rather than being called a martial art, Silambam could be more appropriately called a cultural art”.
In his address Additional Chief Secretary of Labour Welfare and Skill Development Mr. Kumar Jayant recalled his training experience of handling situations after clearing IAS in 1992. He also said, “Students should channelize the energy and practice yoga and physical exercises. Time is a precious commodity and once it is gone, you can never get it back. I request parents to give their children freedom to choose their future . I wish the Heritage Welfare Foundation all the very best for the future.”
Ms Rukmini Thiyagarajan, Founder of Heritage Welfare Foundation Madurai in her welcome address said, “Our Foundation was started to help rural children and bring about a change in their lives. We choose Silambam, our ancient sport to teach children in villages. It is scientifically proved that practicing Silambam helps the youngsters to be focused. It also helps them to be disciplined in school. We have taught 300 students so far. Our mission is to reach 1000 in the next few years. I thank all those who have helped in this journey of learning and resurrection of village youth.”
Heritage Welfare Foundation Madurai (HWF Madurai) started its community service activities in 2017. The foundation was born out of the need to bring opportunities to the under privileged. To divert the alcoholism in some youth in villages, HWF Madurai started the Silambam classes to develop better focus. After attending silambam classes, their interactions with parents and siblings had improved. They enjoyed their learning time of the martial art and began to appreciate its impact. The hand eye coordination required in silambam left no room for error. Their minds were sharper and their skill level improved with practice. HWF Madurai decided to expand this activity to other villages and from 2017 to 2023 we have been able to cover 7 villages, teaching silambam and yoga every Saturday and Sunday. We have over 300 students studying Silambam and 5 teachers. HWF Madurai also started a tuition centre in Paravai, where they teach after school classes for children.