Our School, Our Family

RDF students have been studying at home due to the pandemic, attending online classes. However, online classes are a completely new medium for rural children and their families, so there was a period of adjustment as we transitioned to online platforms.

Rajkumar, a Class 9 student in Rollakal School is a bright and curious boy. Though his parents are daily wage earners, they are determined to educate their son. However, their meager income meant that they could not afford to buy a smart phone for his online classes.

They came to the school, seeking a solution to help their son with continuing his education. They school team provided them with a smart phone and he has been happily attending his classes.

His parents and Rajkumar are very happy that the school helped them in their time of need and that he can continue his education comfortably.

Creativity ‘Wood’ Do!

Giriprasadh is an enterprising boy, studying in Class 6 in Rollakal School. His father is a carpenter and Giriprasadh spends his spare time watch is father make things from wood. He uses the left over wood to make items for his or his family’s use, such as a pencil box, geometry box etc.

His friends at school admire his handiwork and want to learn how to make wood items from him. We will not be surprised when we see him conduct a wood making workshop sometime soon. Life provides the great platform to learn many life skills. We admire how a young boy like Giriprasadh had a great idea to utilise the left over wood, instead of letting it go to waste and come up with creative ways to use it. Our world needs young creative thinkers like him!

The Story of an Exemplary Girl

Rural life is very challenging, with economic uncertainty and social issues brought on by poverty. Yet we see our students make the most of the education opportunities and do their best in meeting their education and career goals and lead their families out of poverty.

Samatha, studying hard at home

Samatha studied in Kalleda School from Nursery to Class 10 and is now in 2nd year junior college. Her father is unemployed and doesn’t make any effort to provide for the family. But her mother, determined to help Samatha and her younger brother complete their education, runs a small hotel and is the main breadwinner.

Despite their difficulties, Samatha has always been a school and college topper and has a clear vision for her life. Not only does she work hard at her studies, but she also works in the fields as a daily wage earner, in jobs like weed removal or cotton collection. She also does household work alongside her grandmother. They do not have a gas connection in their house, so she also collects firewood from the forest to cook. She does all this work without complaining about her life.

Samatha, working in the fields, to supplement her mother’s sole family income

 Her ambition is to be an Indian Administrative Officer and help underprivileged children and improve the lives of rural people. We have no doubt that she will accomplish all that she has set her eyes on, just like she did in school and college. Girls like Samatha are an inspiration to all our students, showing responsibility for her own life and a sense of leadership to help her community.

An Alumnus Helps Farmers

We congratulate Matendla School alum, Mailaram Rekha who recently got an Agriculture Executive Officer contract job.

Rekha always wanted to help her local rural community which is predominantly comprised of farmers. Right from school, she was determined to succeed in her educational endeavours and participated wholeheartedly in academics and extracurricular activities. After completing high school, she obtained a diploma in agriculture and partially self fund her studies by working at a general stores.

Her duties in her current role involve spreading awareness among farmers and helping them utilise government agricultural schemes. She is known for her compassion towards farmers. A self reliant young lady, Rekha visits all the villages on her scooter. We hope her spirit and abilities inspire many rural girls to reach for their goals and help locals.

We sincerely wish that she receives all the recognition she deserves for her effort and is able to help many more farmers.  

Fertilizing a New Idea

Vadde Shiva is Class 9 student from Rollakal School, whose family depends on agriculture for their livelihood.  Shiva has been helping his parents on the farm in his spare time and experienced the hard labour and struggle of working on a farm.

He came up with a novel time saving method to spray fertilizer on their crops. He took the empty fertilizer bag which cost nothing, cut it like a shirt, filled it with fertilizer, wore it like a shirt and then sprayed it on the crops while walking in the field. He has helped a few other farmers use the same method. His parents appreciate his idea and his help to reduce their hardship.

We love Shiva’s creative thinking in assessing a real life problem and coming up with a simple solution that comes at no cost and benefits many.

Saluting Inspector Soujanya

RDF strongly believes in educating girls and our schools put in a lot of effort to spread awareness in locals about the importance of educating girls.

In honour of International Women’s Day, the RDF VAPV Junior College invited Inspector Soujanya who works in the local police station. Her life story about her determination to prove herself and be independent touched everyone’s hearts.

She said, “I proudly wore the police uniform at the age of 21 years. I worked hard and am not educating my younger brother and sister. I feel happy and courageous to be a part of the Indian Police. I believe a girl can do anything. Women compete with men in all fields. This is the right time for choosing the right career for your life. Work hard, be bold, be disciplined, be passionate and have strong determination. These are the characteristics of success. Don’t be afraid of anything and be ready to face difficulties.” Her passionate words resounded in the hall and inspired many girls we’re sure!

She motivated everyone to focus on their studies and be well read on different subjects in order to achieve a good position. We salute you, Soujanya, for the brave path you tread!

Loving Earth and her Creatures

For us at RDF, successful students aren’t necessarily those who do well academically; but also those who imbibe kindness and compassion towards all living beings.

The unrelenting Indian summer is very hard on birds and animals. The RDF schools implement a lot of measures to help such as increasing the green cover in the school campus, putting water bowls for birds and small animals and also arranging artificial birds’ nests, made from natural fiber, in order to save birds from the hot sun.

It has taken some time for the birds to take to these nests, make them their home and start laying eggs. In the early days, they did not stay in these nests for long. Now we are delighted to see birds laying egg and young hatchlings chirping from these safe havens. We are especially pleased to see a multitude of sparrow families, birds that have nearly been driven away due to development and urbanisation.

In olden days, farmers used to feed grains from every new crop to birds, but in the present age, their habitat is being destroyed. Our teachers sensitize students about animal and bird welfare by motivating them to practice environmentally friendly habits and create a good environment in school and at home.

The pictures in this story are from Redlawada School.

Girl of Steel

Forged in the fire of difficult family circumstances since she was a baby, RDF Kalleda alum, Ushasri, now 21, has proved that she is built of a strong mind and nature.

She lost her mother at the age of 2 and was then brought up by her grandmother till she passed away too, when she was 7. After that she was brought up by her father and step mother.

Right from the start, Ushasri was an eager student in academics as well as in design and arts. She worked hard and completed school with high marks. On the basis of her Class 10 marks, she got admission in Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) and continued to study sincerely.

During this period, her father fell ill which created economic hardship for the family. Ushasri made the decision to work to support her family. She applied for a postal job and got an Assistant Postal Master job, based on her Class 10 results.

Now, she balances her postal job by working 5 hours a day as well as continuing with her IIIT studies to become an Assistant Engineer. She does this without complaint and with dignity.

Girls like Ushasri are role models for our students to show that hurdles can be overcome through grit and having faith in oneself. We salute her courage and spirit!

A Young Girl’s Will to Succeed

Lasya, helping a fellow student

We see amazing resilience and a will to succeed in our youngest of rural children!

Lasya is a spirited and mischievous Class 2 student in the RDF-Tech Mahindra Foundation partnership Government Primary School, Bahadurapally. Due to the pandemic, schools have been conducting online classes for primary school students. However, due to lack of technical knowledge, her parents could not support her in attending online classes.The teachers visit students’ homes regularly to understand their difficulties and helping the family with solutions.

Lasya, with her teachers, in school

During one such visit, her teachers advised her to attend school once a week due to her inability to join online classes. She caught up with her pending work very quickly, with just once a week attendance! She also took the initiative to share her notes with friends in neighbouring villages! Though she did not have facilities at home to study, she did not give up and made maximum use of the opportunity given to her by her school and achieved her target.

We really admire Lasya’s self motivation, leadership qualities and hardworking nature. Her teachers say of her, “If the fire in your heart is strong enough, it will burn away any obstacles that stand in your way.”

Music with a Message

RDF teachers contribute to the betterment of our students in ways that go beyond academic instruction. Many work tirelessly for the extended rural community too.

We are proud to have in our midst, Siluveru Sudhakar, a Telugu lecturer in the RDF VAPV Junior College. He is a singer, composer, lyricist, director and a motivational speaker! He uses the power of lyrics and music to spread important messages and awareness about rural challenges and how to overcome them.

Sudhakar comes from a musically talented family. He grew up listening to his mother sing and his father was part of a musical troupe too. In school, he won singing contest and has written over 150 songs on themes like dowry, farmers, nature and love.

We are all inspired by his music and using his talent for rural development and social good.