A Passion for Art

Talent is always noticed and encouraged in RDF schools. Supporting children’s innate talent gives them a lot of confidence, which transfers into other areas of their life too.

Tagore, a Class 6 student of Rollakal School is a gifted artist who has always been encouraged by his father, Vinay, to not just pursue studies, but his art too. A daily wage labourer, who lost his wife when Tagore and his younger sister were very young, Vinay is a loving father and is determined to provide for their education.

Tagore’s drawings are greatly commended by everyone in school too. He has a keen interest in drawing pictures of Gods and Goddesses, animals and birds, which he draws with finesse. He wants to become an engineer and pursue his passion for drawing simultaneously. Even though he’s young, he teaches drawing to other children, who show a lot of enthusiasm to learn from him!

We wish him the best in everything he dreams of pursuing in life!

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Clean Villages, Clear Intentions!

Villagers & students, clearing a ground together

Completing school is just one aspect of how RDF engages with its school community. Our education methodology focuses strongly on creating well rounded individuals who care not just on themselves as individuals, but are also inspired to act and create change in the world. This change begins with home.

Social awareness is a vital part of our education and every aspect of what they learn also focuses on how it can help their local, rural communities in positive ways. Inspired by the ‘Swachch Bharat’ (Clean India) campaign instituted by the central and state governments, the students of Matendla School organized an awareness campaign to keep their villages clean. The entire campaign was conceptualized and implemented by the students! The locals participated enthusiastically too and together, they pledged to work together and keep their environment beautiful and clean.

We are super proud of these young agents of change and the energy and vigor with which they take on challenges!

Innovation Galore!

There’s innovative and interesting teaching and learning happening in so many different ways in RDF schools. Despite running for 23 years, the creativity we see in our classrooms and outside them too, never ceases to amaze us!

The exquisitely cut peepal leaf map

Nikhil sir’s chalk stupa in the news!

In Rollakal School, teacher Nikhil has gained local renown for his expertise in micro arts. While studying  B.Ed, he made 2 oxen with ragadi soil that looked lifelike! He did this project to honour rural India and symbolize that the farmer is the back bone of India. He has also made chalk engravings such as the Stupa of Telangana Martyrs and the 2019 Cricket World Cup. On India’s 73rd Independence Day celebrations in the school, he cut the map of India on a Peepal leaf which looks fantastic! Our students are thrilled to learn these art forms from him & understand how art can also create employment.

Girls, leading & teaching a class

In Redlawada School, the Class 9 students in have created a system to learn independently when a teacher is absent. Two students select the subject and topic, with one doing the reading and the other writing the important points on the board. We are proud of their ability to self organize and take responsibility for their education, engage proactively and feel empowered to lead!

All attention, as students listen to football instructions

In Matendla School, the Class 9 Hindi teacher created a very interesting lesson on Football, which was in the syllabus, by actually organizing a football match for the students! So excited did this news make the kids, that they raised the money to purchase a shiny, new football! The Physical Education Teacher was brought on board to explain the rules and show them how to play. It was a wonderful day of play and learning as the boys and girls played together, learnt about team spirit, discipline, motivation and practice!

The ‘Quick Cleaner’, at work!

In the RDF VAPV Junior College, who knew that studying in the corridor and watching the sweeper try unsuccessfully to clear out the rain water, would lead to a creative burst? This is what happened with Venkatesh who wondered how to create a cleaner that could sweep out the water using less manpower and less time? As an avid Physics student, he drew models for feedback from the Principal. With his encouragement and funding, he quickly came up with a working model which was demonstrated to the teachers and students. With more design inputs, the college now has a ‘Quick Cleaner’ which has made life so much easier. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention!

The staff and students indeed make studying in RDF schools a wonderful world!

Sporting a Bright Future

The rural communities that RDF works with have been struggling in poverty for generations. Hence, we leave no stone unturned to run the best schools we can with good infrastructure, education and training, with help from our committed supporters. Rural children deserve the best, so our schools are like a second home to them!

The Kalleda school team, after the girls’ win

Our students’ sports accomplishments reflect the effort we put into our education model. Harshitha and Spoorthi are Class 10 students from Kalleda School who started learning Archery in Class 8. With consistent daily practice, they won accolades at several National level championships in 2018 in the under-14 and under-17 categories. These achievements have resulted in their selection to the prestigious Calcutta Sports Authority of India (SAI) sports college, a central government initiative.

The Rollakal school team after their win

Similarly, we are also thrilled that 2 of our younger students from Rollakal School, Chinnu and Manoj of Class 4, Rollakal School have got admission into the state run sports school, a tough competition in which students from 33 districts competed for a mere 40 seats!

With complete financial support covering tuition, boarding and lodging, these children can now look forward to full education, a good career in sports and financial stability for their families.

Save Birds, Save Nature

A small pond on campus for small animals & birds

The RDF VAPV Junior College prides itself on the environmental awareness it strives to create in its students, in order to help student develop in a multidimensional way. The college community has been doing a lot of work to conserve local flora, fauna and birds by planting trees in campus which has increased the green cover and biodiversity, including putting up bird feeders.

Drawing submitted for the bird themed competition

 

 

In order to deepen awareness, they have formed a club called ‘Birds Club’ which includes 5 boys, 5 girls and a lecturer. The students collect photos, including taking photos themselves and want to create a local Birds Gallery. Through this, they are learning about bird species that are on the endangered list such as the vulture which is ecologically important.

 

 

 

 

The group conducted a painting and drawing competition on the theme of birds to generate further interest in their work. There was a tremendous response from everyone. This competition helped many more students realise the need to protect birds. They have now taken on the responsibility to help promote ways to protect local species among the local community too. We hope their concerted and conscientious effort pays off.

Volleying for our Teachers!

Teaching is an invigorating and challenging profession. RDF teachers are very dedicated and always going above and beyond their duties, to ensure a vibrant learning environment for their students. Hence, looking after them – their rest and recreation; honouring their contribution, is very important to us.

To this end, a sports day is conducted for teachers once a month in Matendla School with the help of the senior school children. The children take this responsibility to organize a fun day for their teachers very seriously! In September, Volleyball was the chosen sport. The teachers were divided into team, with the students acting as umpires.  Some teachers didn’t know how to play the game, but the other teachers and students patiently explained the game and they did their best.

The teachers reported feeling energized and mentally refreshed. Like their students, the lesson of team spirit and collaboration went deeper. All in all, it was a great day for the teachers and the students too!

Traditional Wisdom in a Modern World

Kids engrossed in a simple game with stones

Education and school brings the world to the doorstep of the rural children we work with. It helps them understand the world and learn ways of engaging with it. While the aim is to provide them with a quality of education that empowers them with skills and tools to lead independent lives and be free of poverty, simultaneously, we also ensure that they remain rooted in traditional practices and wisdom too.

A ‘talipot’ thatched hut

As the current generation is living in a dizzying digital age, with its impact penetrating rural areas as well, we encourage our students to play traditional games too. As cities get more urbanized and electrified, our students see their families build homes with natural materials such as the ‘talipot’, a native palm variety, used to build thatched houses that keep their homes naturally cool in summer.

They see and learn animal domestication, with the cow being worshipped and being a provider for milk and cow dung. Washing their house with cow dung once a week ensures protection from mosquitoes, insects and flies – so much better than chemical based disinfectants! Rearing hens is common and a source of income for rural families.

With widespread degradation of the environment, rural wisdom teaches our students about how to live in harmony with nature and her creations. There is so much that they learn from their elders, in addition to what they learn in school. It’s no surprise that our students are very eco conscious and green activists, an attitude and ability that we hope they carry into their future too!