A Boy and His Idealogy

Erraboina Sai Kiran is an alumnus of Kalleda School who is very admirably keeping his late grandfather’s livelihood as a shepherd alive, while simultaneously balancing his own career aspirations to join the Indian Army!

Sai Kiran has completed his B.Sc in Computer Science and is strongly motivated to become a soldier in the Army. While pursuing his degree, he trained himself for Army selection. However, sadly, his grandfather came down with Covid-19 and passed away. His grandfather used to graze sheep and after his death, no one was willing to take over his sheep and his father decided to sell them. However, Sai Kiran requestion his father to not do so and told him he would look after the sheep till he gets his dream job in the Army. He suggested that he sell the sheep after he joins the Army. His father conceded his request readily and with great pride in his son’s compassion and determination.

Now he practices for his physical fitness from 5am-7am and then goes with the sheep to the field to graze them from 9am-6pm. He says, “This is an opportunity to learn about this ancient profession that has been practiced by my forefathers for generations. I would like to honour my grandfather and forefathers by following in his footsteps.”

It warms our hearts to see our students taking up family responsibilities so willingly. It also makes us proud how he is being a role model for the younger generation by keeping a local and traditional occupation such as sheep herding alive.

We can see his strong spirit and his confidence in himself and pray that he fulfils his Army aspirations soon!

Celebrating the Beautiful Bond of Friendship

It’s beautiful to see the strong bonds of friendship and friends coming to each other’s aid.

Konda Poojitha and Soujanya are 1st Year students in the RDF VAPV Junior College, who have been friends since childhood.

One day, on her way to college with her father, Soujanya’s dress unfortunately got caught in the back wheel of her father’s bike. This caused the bike to lose balance and both Soujanya and her father were thrown from the bike! Fortunately, neither of them was seriously injured. Soujanya had a small wound on her right hand which her father got treated by the local doctor. He then dropped her off at college.

Though the injury was minor, it impeded her ability to eat or do her work. Her friends stepped in, helping her eat and writing notes for her. Soujanya expressed her happiness at having friends like Poojitha and appreciated her classmates too for helping her.

When her father visited her at the hostel after a week, to inquire about her health, she told him about her friend’s support and kindness. Her father thanked Poojitha for looking after his daughter.

We would also like to appreciate Poojitha’s willingness to help everyone and wanting to be of service to others.

The Importance of Food for Health, Healing and Holistic Living

RDF education philosophy is predicated on the intrinsic connection between the body and the mind. Hence our holistic approach towards educating rural children encompasses not just academic pursuits, but fitness through sports and yoga, a calm mind through meditation and yoga practices, nourishing the body through providing a balanced midday meal to all children in our schools and providing an enriching environment for the physical, mental and emotional well-being on our students.

To demonstrate the importance of Health Mind & Healthy Body, an awareness project was conducted in Matendla School on the importance of ‘Balanced Food’ for leading a healthy life.

In order to demonstrate the simplicity and ease with which every student can access balanced meals at home, they were asked to bring vegetable, pulses, cereals, leafy vegetables and other food items from home. They brought more than expected!

The Science teachers, along with the help from the student Sevaks (student helpers) exhibited all these items in the assembly. They explained the nutritional profile in all the items and how they can benefit from consuming them in their daily lives.

We were pleased to see the students’ energetic participation in this project. They were curious about the information being presented and came to know the importance of different foods.

A very important takeaway from this project was also to respect food and not waste it.

A Sweeping Innovation!

K. Vignesh of Class 6 in Rollakal School has shown creative thinking skills by coming up with a novel broom made from local materials!

Our education focus has always been to nurture students in thinking innovatively and create solutions for local issues. Generally, we don’t think twice before purchasing a broom to sweep our homes, whether in urban or rural areas. We observed that rural people were purchasing plastic brooms to sweep and swab their houses.

Since rural communities live close to nature, this is not a good trend, especially since they have been making brooms from date palm leaves and coconut tree leaves. This concerned Vignesh, who decided to revive the making of traditional brooms. However, he came up with a broom that is cheaper to make and not harmful to the environment, like plastic brooms.

We think innovative thinkers like Vignesh are role models for society and the upcoming generations. We are so proud that Vignesh, at such a young age, is already thinking of ways to better his community and contributing to society and the environment.

Celebrating Independence Day with Independent Thinking Skills!

It’s beautiful to see young children showing sensitivity towards the environment and coming up with interesting ways to reduce waste and enhance their creativity simultaneously!

Veronica is one such enthusiastic student from Redlawada School, who cares deeply about the environment. She has participated actively in the school’s social awareness programmes and has obviously taken them to heart. What amazes us is the fact that she is only in Class 6!

She is a bright girl who participates actively in all curricular and co-curricular activities. On the occasion of Independence Day, she created 23 national flags from waste material and gifted them to the school during the Independence Day celebrations in the school.

She says, “We must reduce the use of plastic flags. It’s simple to make flags from recycled paper and other waste materials.”

Her parents and everyone in school are very proud of her effort!

We salute her spirit and independent thinking!

A Teacher’s Dedication Towards Child Development

Rapolu Muralikrishna is a computer teacher in Kalleda School and has been part of the faculty since 2006. He joined the school right after completing his Bachelor of Science degree.

He is a very humble person who has always shown unwavering dedication worked towards upskilling himself with the latest knowledge in computer skills. Since he is a lifelong learner, this is what he motivates the children to do in order to become accomplished at computers.

He takes a lot of pride and pleasure in being a teacher and takes a keen interest in all school work. He has mentored a couple of students who have demonstrated much interest in learning computer technology and students who wanted to create photo shoots and video blogs.

He believes, “What we give to society is what comes back to us. Hence we should always be responsible for building a nation.” “I thank RDF for giving me a great opportunity to work with rural children and a committed team.”

Chandana Fulfils Many Dreams!

This is the story of Chandana from Matendla School who has achieved a perfect 10/10 GPA in her SSC public examination!!

Initially, when she joined the school in Class 6, she faced a little trouble in adjusting to the English medium classes due lack of English in her former school.

Gradually she participated in various co-curricular activities to make sure her learning was constant. She repeatedly revised topics at home and clarified doubts with the help of teachers and attended school regularly.

She says that what helped in her test-taking abilities were the many practice tests, grand tests, pre-finals and revisions, along with evaluation classes, which were carried out towards the year-end by her teachers.

Our school’s new interface and the daily assignments helped her stay prepared and her teachers spent extra time with her in class which paid dividends through her SSC achievement.

Now she has proudly fulfilled not only her parent’s dream but also her school’s.

Celebrating Abhinay’s Resilience and Success

We celebrate Rollakal School student, Varkala Abhinay’s victory in the Class 10 Board Exams this year, despite several health challenges.

Abhinay has been suffering from back pain, neurological disorders and other medical issues since he was young. Due to this, his academics suffered, though he tried his best. We were worried about him once he reached Class 10, given that it is the crucial Board Exam year!

The management and staff of the school supported and motivated him in various ways to ensure some measure of success in the exams. We are so proud of the way that the school supported him and stood by him till the completion of the exams.

We were so happy when he received his results with a GPA of 7.0 – a stellar effort on Abhinay’s part. It is a matter of pride for everyone that he cleared his exams with a good score despite his troubles. We celebrate his brave spirit and resilience.

We would also like to thank our dedicated school team for standing by him, hand holding him, helping his parents provide their support too, in order to reach his goal. We pray that he continues to be motivated and achieve every success that he deserves in life.

Life Responsibilities

Rural children learn family responsibilities very young. Many of them endure heartbreaking and difficult circumstances, yet we see them face life with determination and resilience.

Mencharthy Geetha is a studious and clever girl from Redlawada School. She lost her father as a little girl. Her mother is the sole bread winner in the family who works as a daily wage labourer. Geetha understands the responsibilities her mother has to shoulder as a single parent and helps in every way she can.

She helps in household chores like cooking, cleaning, getting groceries from the village market. She also helps her in agriculture work in order to bring in more money for the family. She does this while attending school full time and participating in all school activities with enthusiasm! She loves athletics and is active in the sports arena. She’s also good at studies and helps out in school activities too! Her energy is amazing to see! Geetha dreams of becoming a police officer. This will allow her and her family the security of a government job, make them financially stable and enable her mother to stop backbreaking labour work. We pray that life provides everything that Geetha and her family deserve.

A Guiding Hand

Nireesh, an alumnus of RDF VAPV Junior College, has got a job with the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), after several years of attempting exams and not clearing them. He was inspired by the stories of his seniors who worked hard, faced challenges head on and eventually got Government jobs.

As a student, he was an average performer. After losing his father when he was only in Class 2, his mother worked hard in the fields as a daily wage earner, to send him to school. Living in a single room, with his grandparents, he felt that his life was very hard. He completed schooling and a Bachelors in Pharmacy, but did not know what to do. His brother in law suggested he take the constable exam but he did not qualify. He also had no money for coaching lcasses. Another 2 attempts also resulted in lack of success. In his 3rd attempt, he got the CRPF job.

He says, “I got strong support and encouragement from my brother in law as I was feeling lost. I saw other students getting jobs in my village and wondered why I was not able to. Now I am happy. My mother is also very happy and informed all my relatives.”

“I understand the struggles of rural students as I faced them myself. Since I got help from my brother in law, I also will help and support at least 3 orphans or children who really need guidance and financial support.”

We stand proud with Nireesh and congratulate him on getting his dream job. We admire his resilience at not giving up and his generosity of spirit to guide needy rural children who need a strong mentor.