OUR SUCCESS STORIES

Sunitha Dhamodaran

My name is Sunitha Dhamodaran, currently working as a Solution Manager in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) , Technology Services India. Prior to joining RBS in Mar-2010, I worked with Polaris software Lab Ltd for 5.5 years.

My journey with MENTORS started in the year 1999, when I was studying 11th standard in Rani Meyyammai Girls' Higher Secondary school. It's the same year, my family situation turned out to be so miserable when my father passed away due to Cancer. Without knocking the doors for help, I was offered financial assistance of Rs. 1200 by MENTORS to pursue my 12th standard with the recommendation from the then Headmistress Mrs. Sundari. I stood school first and was aspiring to pursue my engineering and Mr. Raghupathy, Mentors, Managing Trustee and facilitator for Foundation For Excellence recommended my profile for scholarship and I was awarded full scholarship for 4 years to complete my engineering course in Electronics & Communication. It’s not just the financial aid that I received from Mentors , but also received guidance to clear interview through several workshops and moral values for life through its code of ethics – Honesty, Excellence and Compassion.

I must say that Mentors code of ethics have fetched me several awards in my professional career – Two “Spot Excellence” awards, “Going Extra Mile (GEM)” award and “Konark” award in Polaris and also the “Big Thank You” award in Royal Bank of Scotland. Konark is the most prestigious award in Polaris for exemplary performance during my tenure in Polaris and a Konark is regarded as the change agent / ambassador for Polaris.

Mentors has not just helped me grow in my professional life, but also helped me to fulfill my personal responsibilities for my family. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Mentors for being very supportive throughout my life and also honoring me to share my experience with everyone on the launch of Mentors website. I’d also like to request all young scholars to practice Mentors code of ethics and as you grow up the ladder and trying to balance personal and professional life, please remember there is a 3rddimension to all our lives which is giving back to the society.


Karthick Ranganathan

My Family and Schooling:

I was born in Chennai. My family is small with my father, mother and my sister. I got married two years before and blessed with a baby girl in January 2015. During my school days, my father worked in a private concern for a meager salary and we had a very normal life. Since my parents believed the great asset for the children is education, they placed me in one of the best school in our locality.

I completed my schooling in Sri Sankara Vidyalaya Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Pammal and did my engineering in EVP Engineering College from Madras University. I had never known of bad financial situation of my family until my SSLC. But during my Higher secondary education, my father company was permanently shut down and we faced hell a lot of bad financial concern. He was not able to pay my school fees also. He searched for a job everywhere in Chennai and finally got a clerical job in a Jewel shop in Pammal for a very meager salary of Rs. 2000/- per month. He somehow managed the family as well as our educational needs.

My Hard Days:

Time came for the real bad situation after my schooling. I have scored good marks in HSC. Since I had an ambition of becoming Engineering professional, I wrote an entrance exam with the help of one of my school teacher, who knows my family situation and trained me without any fee. But anyway studying Engineering was like ungettable fruit for me because of my financial situation. With my marks I got a seat in Central Polytechnic to study Computer Science. So I thought of sacrificing my ambition and joined the polytechnic, but every day I went to polytechnic without any interest. My parents were not able to digest on seeing my sadness. So they asked each and everyone they know in our locality for financial help to join me in Engineering. But I was not aware of this (Even my father bend down on his knees to someone for this which I came to know through my Mother after some years).

One day they told me to go for the Engineering counseling and I got the seat also for studying Mechanical Engineering. My school principal encouraged me very well and also helped financially from her own earnings. Through her, I was introduced to Mr. Viswanathan, head of Pammal Sankara Eye Hospital, who lit up my life to brightness by introducing to Mentors. After that through Mentors, I got the scholarship for my entire engineering studies from FFE and managed to complete my Engineering with higher aggregate (80.5%).

To achieve this great degree, My parents sacrificed a lot in their life. My father was not able to meet our miscellaneous educational needs like stationary, daily transport charges, etc...apart from family needs. On seeing this, I decided to do some work beside my studies to take care of these needs. So I started to take tuition for two school students in evening after my college hours from first year itself. And also I used to put daily newspaper in our area in early morning before going to college. By this way, I earned about Rs.700/- monthly and met my basic needs and successfully completed my Engineering in the year 2004.

My Successful Career:

At the end of fourth year, I got a job in a small scale industry in Ambattur for a stipend of Rs. 1500/-. Even though it’s a very meager salary, I didn’t think of it. This attitude is because of Mentors who shaped me very well to follow their code of ethics “Honesty, Excellence, Compassion” and I started doing my service to the company. From that moment onwards, my life escalated financially and met my family needs without any ease. I worked hard for two and half years and it has paid me many awards and appreciation. Then I got a job as an Engineer in Ashok Leyland, one of the leading Auto Industry in the country and I continued my excellence there also and promoted as a Senior Engineer in two years. After working for nearly about five years, I moved to one of the greatest MNC in the world, Caterpillar as a design engineer in 2011. I even went to Unites States of America (USA) as a part of my work for six months. I am still working in CAT and now promoted as a Lead Engineer recently. I enjoyed my life in every company with the continuous motivation from Mentors elders Mr. Raghupathy and Mr. Venkateswaran.

Now I think I have everything in my life. I am taking care of my parents well, who melted like a candle to brighten up my life. I have my own house, vehicle and more than the basic needs to lead a normal life. Of all these, I am now in a better position to help others, which I made a promise to FFE and Mentors at the time of studies.

It is right to say that Mentors & FFE made my life colorful. I strongly say that whoever follows Mentors code of ethics, “Honesty, Excellence, Compassion”, they will have a very successful life.

Show your excellence in all parts of life, be honest in every situation and live more satisfactory life by showing compassion on others. That’s what Mentors teaching everyone. Jaihind!


Meenakshisundaram

I am currently working as Systems engineer at Intel, Bangalore. When I was in school, I used to feel that getting admission to a good engineering college was very difficult. I felt that even if I secure admission to an engineering college, my family would not be able to afford the high educational expenses.

I would like to thank Mentors in encouraging me and helping me to secure FFE’s scholarship. Because of FFE’s scholarship and right guidance from Mr. Raghupathy and Mr. Venkateswaran (Mentors trustees), I got motivated and worked hard. This helped me to get admission to B.E. in Madras Institute of Technology (MIT, Anna University). After graduating from MIT, I did M.Tech in Electronics (RF Design) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.

My hobbies include learning new tools/technologies, following technology news and building (trying to buildJ ) DIY (Do-It-Yourself) systems/ circuits. My advice to aspiring students would be to set high goals/ambitions. I would like them to follow Mentors code of ethics. Many times, I have felt happy for taking right decisions by following Mentors code.


Clara Celestina

I am Clara Celestina, an "Associate Software Engineer" at "Tech Mahindra Ltd Chennai". I have completed Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA) at Stella Maris College Chennai. My hobbies are singing, dancing and playing Chess and I love to be exuberant in whatever I do.

I have faced (The) challenges (that) when I tried to get into an IT Company. The first result of my interview was a failure in the campus recruitment, the second company's interview which I tried was also a failure and the third was again a failure and the next recruitment that came to my college was Tech Mahindra and I strongly decided that I should get placed at-least in this interview. I googled lots of probabilities and practised on it and I even practised to speak confidently in-front of my mirror to face the Group Discussion and HR round and Yes! it worked very well.

Our MENTORS code of ethics of honesty, excellence and compassion, mean a lot to me in both professional and personal life. As a part of my compassion I have conducted Spoken English classes when I was still in the College during the year.......( for students) at MENTORS Kovalam village to the evening class students and also with this in my mind " A candle is not going to loose anything by lightening another candle".

Last but not least my advice to the aspiring students are," Please do have self-confidence and work hard to achieve your (respective) goals in life . Even if you fail (for) several times, remember that "Everything is possible when you (because we) believe (and let's stand ) that together you can( to) smell the fragrance of success"


Satish Mohan

I am Sathish working in Accenture as a Team Leader with about 10 years of experience in Software Testing. In 2005, I did B.Sc. Mathematics from Vivekananda College, Chennai . During my school and college days my family faced many financial problems which made me realize my responsibilities as a student to focus more on my studies and also to earn to support my family. I picked up some part time jobs as shop attender during evening times and managed time for my studies also. Without I FFE scholarship I would not have had a way to cover my fees.

MENTORS Code of Ethics - Honesty, Excellence and Compassion helps everyone in any part of life. After entering into the job career, I have realized that I should stay ahead by continuous learning and showing Excellence in my contributions . In my opinion, Compassion is the very powerful one, because it is related to Humanity. We should grow by helping others.

Showing Excellence and being honest have become a part of me. Without being honest is like wearing a costliest shoe and a small sand pebble inside it. One can't walk comfortably despite the costliest and most comfortable shoe.

Create a dream and fix it in your subconscious mind. I still remember how I felt excited by seeing Cognizant (CTS) office in Cathedral road Teynampet when I go to my college 1st and 2nd year. Later during my 3rd year, when CTS came to our college for campus recruitment, I cleared campus interview and got recruited by CTS during my final year. This was how I started my corporate career. My present dream is to become an Entrepreneur. So I have started my own Direct Selling business along with few top business people around and helping others.


Sundar Mohan

I am Sundar Raman, Chartered Accountant (CA) currently working as a partner in one of the leading CA firms. I lost my father when I was 16 years of age. Situations around me forced to take Commerce stream, instead of science stream. My total strength then was my mom who working as a cook stood with me all through my difficulties.

Major challenge faced were lack of finance and proper guidance , That time, in the year 2000, someone referred me to MENTORS.

Based on my academic excellence and family income MENTORS provided scholarships for my B.Com study in Vivekananda College , Chennai . They made me practice MENTORS code of ethics which provided the guidance for my daily decision making. With my passion and love for my profession , I have many achievements to me credit .

My advice for aspiring students to be always an ANSWER to most of the problems by reversing the situation that caused it with a positive attitude to face the situation , using wisdom based on experience and with adherence to value system, namely honesty, excellence and compassion. Make your parents feel proud and make your best efforts in making their desire come true. If you can dream it, you can do it.


PARIVAKKAM- M. Mani

After completing ITI ( Industrial Training Institute) diploma course from CTI , Chennai , Guindy ,and obtaining first rank, joined L& T Valves division as a machine operator. During my tenure in L & T , I also took up the leadership of Labour Union and discharged my responsibilities in an honest manner.

My native place is Parivakkam, near Poonamalle in Chennai. In 1999 , there, I initiated social work to serve students, youth, village residents , through Parivakkam Village Welfare Association.

During that time , we had the fortune of coming in contact with Late Mr.R.Rajesh who was then involved in rehabilitating many Village Temples in Tamil Nadu including the Siva Temple in Parivakkam. On my request for getting resources for my social work, he introduced me to MENTORS' key personnel , namely, Mr.M.Raghupathy and Mr. M. Venkateswaran.

As result , our Welfare Association, with the help of MENTORS, successfully carried out many welfare activities, namely, providing the local Panchayat Middle School with furniture for all the classes, toilet facilities, drinking water facilities , arranging tailoring training and supplying tailoring machines to women folk, supplying fruit bearing tree saplings to the residents; also for conducting evening classes to students , in one room of an Old Age Home, to enable them to take up higher studies.


In 2012 , with MENTORS help , we formailsed our structure as Parivakkam Charitable Trust (PCT) , a registered public Trust and also obtained approval to get donations with 50% tax exemption under Sec 80 G of the Income Tax Act.

With MENTORS suggestion and resources , construction of a 15 -lakh Mentoring Centre of PCT was commenced in April 2013 and completed in Feb 2014. The Centre has all facilities including, class rooms, toilets, drinking water , computer . About 80 students ( in 2020) from Class 1 to Class 10 attend evening classes guided by 3 teachers, namely Mr.A. Aridoss, Ms.R. Nagabushanam and Ms. A. Gomathi. In addition , MENTORS Scholarship for Excellence (MSE) beneficiaries also conduct classes as a part of their community service.

Every year MENTORS, on our recommendation, grant MSE to about 25 underprivileged students for Class 11, Class 12, ITI, Diploma , Degree courses including Engineering, Law. The students on an average get Rs 20000 per year as MSE scholarship.

The aim of our Tuition Centre is not only to build in them academic excellence , but also character building through practice of MENTORS Code of Ethics of " honesty, excellence and compassion" . Towards this end we celebrate national days , birthdays of great leaders etc. We also teach students Yoga and meditation.

We are sure that the MSE scholars of our Tuition Centres will become role model leaders in any profession they take up, during their professional career.


Nehru Nagar(Ennore) - B. Anandan

I live in north Chennai in a place called Nehru Nagar in Ennore. I am working as a Machine Operator in Ashok Leyland Company. In 1979 , along with some of my friends I started a Welfare Association to do social service . Through this Association, initially we provided service to the local community by organising free health camps, free eye camps, blood donations, planting of tree saplings etc.

In 1989 we started conducting evening classes to provide tuition to underprivileged students. In 2011 in the open terrace of my house I started conducting evening tuition classes from class 1 to class 12 and this is being continued to about 85 students .


Towards strengthening our activities ,in 2014 my friend Mr. R. Narayanan, Managing Trustee of Coastal and Rural Development Trust ( CRDT), Kovalam, introduced me to MENTORS and we were happy that MENTORS adopted our Tuition Centre to extend their services. On the suggestion of Mr. Raghupathy, Managing Trustee of MENTORS, we formalised in 2016 , our structure as a registered public Trust called Sri Ramakrishna Vivekananda Charitable Trust ( SRV) of which I am its Managing Trustee

From then on MENTORS provided resources for paying to the part time teachers who conducted the evening Tuition Classes to the students. MENTORS also extended their MENTORS Scholarship for Excellence ( MSE) to students who passed the 10th/ 12th Board examination, meeting their criteria and securing admission in Polytechnics / Colleges. Every year more than 15 students get MSE each getting a maximum of Rs 20000 per year.

In building character in the students of our Tuition Centre, we make the students understand and practice MENTORS Code of Ethics of honesty, excellence and compassion. We also celebrate Swami Vivekananda' birth day on 12 January ; also National days and birthdays of great leaders of our country by conducting sports and other competitions and distributing prizes to the winners.


Kovalam - R. Narayanan

I belong to the fishermen community living in Kovalam on East Coast Road in Chennai. I have been going to the sea for fishing since my 12th year. In 1995 , my outlook on life changed on reading the books of Swami Vivekananda and in particular the books " Karma Yoga " and " Let us build a New India" and I initiated social service through the Kovalam Village Welfare Association. Our services included: beach cleaning, construction of foot paths etc. In 1999 Late Mr. Rajesh introduced us to MENTORS.

With their help and guidance our social service covered , conducting eye camps, general medical help 3 days a week , running evening Tuition Classes.


For some period I was running the Tuition Centre in my house and later in the premises of Kailasanathar Temple. After a few months , temple authorities did not permit us to have classes in their premises as the number of students swelled to 150 . Knowing this , MENTORS encouraged us to have our own land and building and they made an initial contribution of Rs 2 lakhs. Encouraged by this, I could mobilize a total of Rs 17 lakhs with which we could purchase land and construct a building.

On the suggestion of MENTORS in 2002 , we finalised our structure as Coastal and Rural Development Trust ( CRDT) as a registered public trust of which I am now the Managing Trustee . We have an I Tax benefit exemption for donations under section 80G and we also secured FCRA registration, from the Home Ministry of Govt. of India, to get donations from other countries . The building has two floors and a playground.

With MENTORS assistance , for the last 18 years (from 2020) we are successfully running evening classes and so far we could arrange through MENTORS , scholarships to over 170 underprivileged students to get higher education . MENTORS also assisted in providing funds to the parents of students of the Tuition Centre for the construction of toilets under the Govt. scheme.

CRDT is also assisted by Dr. Sivakumaran and Mr. Raghupathy, in their individual capacity, for our projects such as desilting of the Temple Tank which charges many local wells in residences; planting of about 150 Cocoanut tree saplings.

So far more than 170 students secured MENTORS Scholarship for Excellence ( MSE) and each student , presently getting about Rs 20000 a year. Before examination time. MENTORS organises mentoring sessions to the students to equip them to overcome fear of examination. We also cultivate in the students the habits of " honesty, excellence and compassion " as described in MENTORS Code of Ethics. To built in them the needed character, we celebrate important national events , like Swami Vivekananda's birthday on 12 Jan , independence day , republic day etc when we conduct sports and other events and distribute prizes.

Let us build a new India.

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