Honoring C R Ranganayaki

With anguish and with a heavy heart we announce the passing away of Mrs C.R. RANGANAYAKI at age 99 years. She was absolutely healthy and active until very recently. Hailing from one of the prominent families of Chennai, she retired as a professor in physical education from a leading government college. She served Pathway for over 20 years as president, vice president, and most recently as trustee of the Dr Dathu Rao Memorial Charitable Trust, which is the Indian tax-exempt non-profit which holds Pathway’s funds. She was highly supportive of the work and mission of the organization, and loved the services rendered for the disabled and poor.

In the year 1990 Prasad and the dear late Ruby Ponniah met this lady in her beautiful old stately bungalow near the famous Marina beach in Chennai. Those were the days of struggle, as Pathway was run in a rented premises in Adyar, and Prasad was feverishly trying to get hold of a piece of land to construct their own building. She joined them in a series of meetings with Manda Krishnamurthy a very well known ‘social worker’ who was in charge of the largest and oldest orphanage for girls in Chennai, the Avvai Home, and whose husband, Dr. Krishnamurthy, eminent oncological surgeon and chairman of the famous Cancer Institute, was the son of Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy, Free India’s first woman doctor. These meetings paved way for them to contribute the piece of land where the current Chennai building was built with fabulous support from Judge William Sheffield.

We greatly miss your kindness, benign presence and wise counselling. Thank you for your grand life and wonderful contribution!!!.

May = Summer Break

In addition to being the hottest month of the year, May is the time for Graduation and Summer Break when the students at the Pamela Martinez School visit their relatives. Dr. Prasad and Chandra took this opportunity to travel to the U.S. and meet in person with some of Pathway’s supporters.

Prasad met with a group of U.S. volunteers to answer questions and give instructions. Pictured (from left to right) Zaid Malhees, Social Media Team; Abby Wells, Social Media Team; Erica Morey, Volunteer Program Team; Richard Flores, Social Media Team; Scott Christensen, leader of Social Media and Website Teams; Ben Ehlert, Endowment Team; Dr. David Bryce of the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University, leader of the Endowment Team and member of the Pathway Advisory Committee; Karen and Jim Dosdall, newsletter editors; (not pictured) Kyle Tuft, Social Media Team; Dr. Gordon Gibb, Special Education Dept., BYU.

Of course, the most important person of the Prasads’ visit was their newborn first grandchild, Wyatt Rohan Prasad, born in April, this year, to Chetan and Tessa Prasad in Provo, Utah.

Congratulations to the 2015 Graduates

The year 2014-15 has been a great year for the children of Pamela Martinez/Pathway Matriculation School, climaxed by the fantastic news that all the students had passed the 10th standard examinations. It was delightful to hear the laughter and see the smiles of children. Soorya and Charles, who had caused some concern, had also passed. It certainly called for celebrations. A colourful event to celebrate the occasion was held at Pamela Martinez Matriculation School.

It was interesting to see that girls had performed considerably better than the boys, as with the previous years’ rankings. Among the girls, Jyothilakshmi received 92.3% for Pathway’s highest marks, with centrum in science and social studies, while Karan scored 82% to lead the boys.

All the children did well, receiving excellent support from the teachers. The students had the opportunity to tackle several practice exams before the final government tests. This experience was spearheaded by Sudha Subramaniam, who devised methods to make lessons interesting and to improve scores, introducing novel techniques and designs, being ably assisted by Principal Annadurai. The efforts of the teachers need to be praised as each one of them took upon themselves the responsibility to guide and goad each child to study and perform. Teachers Gunasundari, Subhashini, and Dhanasekaran, along with Principal Annadurai, were honored during the occasion.

It was really wonderful to see the performance of Jyothilakshmi, who had scored 92.31% in aggregate, topping the area, with centum or full 100% score in science as well as in social studies. Pathway salutes this girl and has selected her to receive the Pathway Excellence Award, comprised of a cash award and a citation, that will be presented at a later date. This quiet, unassuming girl, hailing from a very poor and dysfunctional background, without a mother, was described as extremely studious and focused by Sudha Subramaniam who had groomed this girl as well as other children in the class.
Jyothilakshmi in her speech thanked Pathway for everything. She described her 12 year stay at the Children’s Home as a fabulous experience. She conveyed her grateful thanks to teachers, warden and caretakers for caring for her. She had words of advice to her juniors, She asked them to be obedient, listen to the teachers and elders, and study hard. When asked what she intended to study in college, Jyothilakshmi said that she was dreaming to become a doctor.

This was a special time of jubilation as the students arrived one by one. It was touching to see the exchanges between the teachers and students, as all celebrated the success of their efforts. There were tears, both of happiness and sadness, as the children said their farewells and prepared to leave their Pathway home and felt both anxiety and excitement about the next steps they should take.

Sudha Subramaniam addressed the children and the teachers and urged them to do well in their lives. She said that Pathway’s doors will always be open to them for any help they may need. She urged the children to utilize this resource and benefit in every aspect in their lives. She reminded students how Pathway and the school had greatly influenced their lives, as there has been sea change not only in their appearance, growth, and development, but also in their total achievement and potential.

Founder-Director of Pathway, A D S N Prasad congratulated the children and the teachers for this wonderful result. He counseled the children on the values of life that are much more important than just scholastic performance, that it is important to gain all-round excellence in life so that they can be great people of character first and then great citizens of India. He called on each one to follow a righteous path. He asked the children to be grateful and follow the teaching of our Lord, outlining stories of very poor children who had succeeded in life, not only by studying hard but also by contributing to the welfare of the family and of society. Since all the children at the Pamela Martinez /Pathway School were the first in their family to attend school, he said that it was very important that they did well since they would be models to be emulated by generations to come. They need to be grateful to their alma mater and their teachers at all times. Dr. Prasad stressed that young Pathway graduates should excel in English as they proceed higher as it would be the passport for their future.

Chandra Prasad congratulated all the children and teachers and said that she was very proud of their performance and looked forward for their continued achievements in life and welcomed every one of them to contact Pathway at any time. Dhuli Patnaiak congratulated the children. Principal Annadurai and teachers addressed the audience. All the outgoing children were presented with tasty snacks, and a cell phone so they can keep in touch.