Having happy children and satisfied parents is a very rewarding experience for RDF staff. Parents in Redlawada village are very happy that RDF established a school in their area. Private school education has become expensive and unaffordable for many and the RDF run school is a boon for those who were unable to send their children to school. They are happy with the academic and extra curricular activities and also the nutritious midday meal that the child is provided. Our aim is to ensure that there is overall development of the child and testimonials from parents can boost our morale and make us strive to do better.
The road to success in the Class 10 Board Exams is fraught with anxiety, extra classes, tests and re-tests, cramming et al. It can get really overwhelming for students! Not so in RDF Rollakal School, who have a clear plan of action which paves their path to the Board Exams. Many students drop out at this stage in the school life due to fear or their inability to cope. However the team at Rollakal plans their support program at the start of the academic year. The well thought out plan targets syllabus completion prior to December. Each Saturday from July to November is earmarked for weekly tests. By ensuring syllabus completion by December, extra study hours are made available January onwards, from 6:30-9:30 am and 5:30-8:30 pm. Assignments are conducted in February, with grand tests in March. Through such organised activities, students feel well prepared and face the Board exams without fear. This approach has proven successful, with the school securing 100% pass rate in the past two years.
Parents in rural areas send their children to school in the hope of having children lead better lives than them. While schools do allow children to secure jobs and provide some financial security to their families, it is often rued that rural livelihoods are endangered due to the new generation working in urban areas than in rural villages. Therefore it is always refreshing to see our students continue to show interests in rural livelihoods – be it agriculture, dairy farming or local arts and handicrafts. Ramu, a 15 year old enrolled in Matendla School is one such student who opts to learn dairy farming with his father. He does well in school and makes sure that academics are not neglected and spends all his spare time helping his father. Ramu feeds their two buffaloes and oxen, along with milking the cattle. In the process, he learns valuable practical farming experience, right from rearing, production to sale. These are lifeskills which can’t be taught in a classroom. Such practical lifeskilling will serve him and all students in good stead, regardless of the profession they choose to follow.
All RDF schools have flourishing kitchen gardens which not only provide valuable skills to students in understanding the lifecycle of plants and growing a vegetable garden, but also provides greens and other vegetables for the Midday Meal Program. RDF supports the Tech Mahindra Foundation sponsored Zila Parishad High School in Bahadurpally and this alliance has now gone a step forward by creating a kitchen garden in the school premises. The students and staff worked enthusiastically to prepare the beds, plant seeds and saplings, nurturing their garden which resulted in a rich yield of nearly 20 kgs of green vegetables like Thotakura, Methi, Palakura and Gongura! These have been used twice for the midday meal service in the school. We congratulate the school team on their positive efforts, learning new skills which will go a long way in creating a healthy and thriving environment in the school.
The heart wrenching effects of deforestation on the lives and habitats of animals was poignantly illustrated when RDF Kalleda student captured this monkey’s photo. With trees being cut down for logging and construction, the starving monkey quenched his thirst with a discarded cup of Thums Up! Such loss of habitat is what drives monkeys and other animals into areas populated by humans, looking for food and water. The poor creatures then get labelled as a menace!
Recognising this serious problem, the CM of Telengana has launched the ‘Haritha Haram’ program for afforestation. RDF schools have been propagating many local level greening campaigns for several years as part of the ‘Social Awareness Program’ amongst villages. The visible effects of deforestation, which students see around them when they see their farmer parents struggle due to lack of rain or forest animals trying to survive drinking Thums Up, is also brought alive in classroom discussions and planting more trees in each school. A student’s birthday is also celebrated with planting a sapling, rather than distribution of sweets. The staff and students of Kalleda put this succinctly, “Plant at least 2 or 3 plants in your home and gift a bright future to the new generation. A tree may produce a million matches, but a match can devastate a million trees in the forest. As human beings, the onus for afforestation and avoiding deforestation is on us. The preservation of forests is the first responsibility of the people.”
We have a brilliant student named B. Ganesh in our school. Currently, he has just completed 5th Standard. He lives in Bahadurpalli. His talent in Math has been exceptional. Despite his young age, he is able to do oral Math on par with his high school seniors and in some cases displays greater mathematical ability than 10th Standard students. He has displayed a great aptitude for learning new things and has a great thirst for knowledge. He is a quick learner and can grasp any concept after hearing it only once. He also has a unique ability to compute the day when given a specific date. Twice, he was awarded the first place in Tournament of the Minds. He also plays the drums very well. We have firm belief in his ability and talent. He has the potential to become a very good mathematician. At the school, we are very proud of him and call him our Ramanujan.