Play makes Learning Fun!

The extended schools closure due to the lockdown has seen our students and teachers creating innovative methods of learning and supporting each other.

Recently, one of the teachers from the RDF-Tech Mahindra Foundation partnership Government school visited students to check on their progress and inform them about the T-Sat app and online classes. Several students gathered to meet and spend some time with her.

The teacher decided to use their time together to practice some English, Telugu and Maths concepts using Play-Way method. She used some stones and tamarind seeds for this which the students thoroughly enjoyed! They played another mathematical game, moving around and practicing calculations while playing. Even their kids’ parents enjoyed themselves and felt happy.

Everyone is eagerly waiting for schools to reopen, meet their friends and teachers and to learn many more things together.

A Fine Student’s Passion for Fine Arts

Akhil Prasad is a 10th grader from Kalleda School who is a wonderful artist. It is his dream to find a career in Fine Arts. He started drawing in Class 3. His talent in drawing was recognized at this early age and has been greatly encouraged by his teachers and parents.

He is very expressive in his artistic creations. He loves to draw nature, creatures, weather, portraits of great people, trees, rivers, rocks and earth. His paintings have won the 1st prize twice at the Mandal level and selected to the District level 3 times!

During lockdown, he educated himself on various drawing and phone techniques using the mobile phone that was provided by the school. We have always believed in allowing children to follow their innate talents and personal interests, in addition to their academic education. Several RDF students have created successful careers and a bright future for themselves in pursuing creative interests. We have found that active engagement with such activities leads to better focus and concentration and enhancing creative thinking skills in children.

We wish Akhil the very best for his future and will continue to support his dream in any way we can.

Anusha’s Personal Growth with Farming

Anusha is a 2nd year Intermediate student in the RDF VAPV Junior College. Her father is a street vegetable vendor and a farmer with a small 1 acre plot of land. Here, her father has been cultivating tomato, ridge gourd, lady’s finger and leafy vegetables. Anusha has always helped her father in the field in her spare time.

During lockdown, with more time on her hands, she took to farming more seriously. She learnt how to sow different crops and how to take care of them. She frequently clarified her doubts with her father who patiently answered all her questions. She asked her father to be given the opportunity to cultivate some vegetables separately. Even though she used no chemical fertilizers or pesticides, she got a good crop. Her father was very happy with her results and appreciated her for her wonderful farm work.

She says, “I love farming without using pesticides and I would like to grow more vegetables in this way. Every day I watch vegetable farming videos and want to do more. I am proud to be the daughter of a farmer. I wanted to show that a daughter of a farmer can do wonders in farming land. Nowadays there is a great demand for organic products and I want to grow organically grown crops. These days, everybody wants to get a white collar job, so who will be a farmer? I ask all nature lovers to choose farming too, whether as a vocation or an avocation.”

We love Anusha empowering herself and her community through advocating farming. She is a role model for her peers and everyone in her village.

A Young Conserver of Traditional Crafts

Suthari Sathwika is a Class 5 student in RDF Rollakal School. Sathwika is an all rounder, good in her academic work, and with a lot of enthusiasm for co-curricular activities too. She actively participates in sports and speaks on stage without shyness or fear.

It’s no surprise, then, that this young and diligent girl has taken to learning her family’s traditional work – carpentry. From a young age, she has been observing her father at work, eager to learn everything from him. She now has some good carpentry skills and helps her father make various goods.

In addition to this, she has also been educating others to learn their family’s traditional occupation, which has been sustained for centuries. She believes preserving local arts, crafts and traditions will give rural children a job of their own. She is certainly a strong advocate for conserving rural heritage and craftsmanship!

Fruitful Results of Technical Training

Bhukya Chamanthi is a bright alumnus from Redlawada School. When she was 12 years old, she lost her mother. Inspite of suffering this immense loss, she continued to attend school regularly, with good attendance, while taking on household work too.

Not only was she diligent in studies, she was also the best Kabbadi player in the girl’s team. She went on to complete a Bachelor of Science degree, following it up with training in Medical Laboratory Training. Her years of efforts have paid off and she now works as a lab technician at a Multispeciality Hospital.

Whenever she visits her village, she motivates the younger generation on how to study and succeed. She says, “I am thankful to RDF for providing me with good learning facilities. I learnt English and worked hard, with the help of my teachers to improve my English, even though it’s not my native language. Learning to use computers in school also proved to be useful for working as a lab technician.”

It makes us so happy to see success stories like Chamanthi’s, which provide a lot of inspiration to our students.

On Track to her Goals

Kumari Kongari.Rachana, a Matendla School alumnus, is right on track in achieving her educational and career goals. Filled with determination right from school days, she recently got a free seat in Gurunanak Institutional Technical Campus, one of the top 20 engineering colleges. She opted for the IT stream according to her goal. An RDF wellwisher supported her financially in reaching her goal.

At school, she was also renowned for her enthusiasm for sports, participating in Fencing from Class 6 onwards. She participated in many District and State level competitions, including 3 Nationals. We wish Rachna the very best to achieve all her goals and dreams!

We have seen our rural students really rising up to the challenge of the being at home due to the pandemic and being enterprising to learn new skills at the same time!

 Akhilesh, a 2nd year Intermediate student is an active and diligent student, who approaches life with curiosity. He worked hard at his studies and secured a distinction in his 1st year exams.

During lockdown, his grandfather wanted a haircut, but could not do so as everything was closed. When shops slowly started to reopen, Akhilesh purchased a hair trimmer for Rs. 600, with his pocket money. He urged his grandfather to stay home as he is a senior citizen and offered to cut his hair. His grandfather allowed him to do so and was happy with the result. Soon after, he cut his father’s and cousin’s hair too. He watched tutorials online and learnt the fundamentals of hair cutting and trimming.

He says, “I saved some money and learnt one new skill during lockdown. I enjoyed this a lot, while doing this job at home, with passion. I believe that we need not depend on others all the time. We can stand on our own feet. I believe in my strength. Now I want to learn some more hair cutting techniques. I also want to learn many skills in my life in various fields.”

We are 100% sure that Akhilesh will succeed at whatever he puts his mind to.

Subhangi’s Success

Subhangi is student of Class 4 in the RDF-Tech Mahindra partnership Government Primary School in Bahadurapally. Her parents migrated from a remote rural area for work and better education prospects for their children. Her parents are daily wage workers who want their children to study well. So they are doing their best to motivate them in studies and co-curricular activities.

She initially had language difficulties as her mother tongue is a tribal language. Despite this, she attended school regularly and put in her best effort to do her work properly.  Under the care of the friendly teachers at the school, Subhangi’s interest in studies improved and she proved herself to be capable student. With the encouragement of her parents and teachers, she developed self learning skills and is on the right track of learning effectively.

Directing RDF’s Growth

RDF Directors visited the schools in April, to interact with Class 10 students.

The Rollakal School team writes, “We always look forward to a visit from our Directors. The visit motivates our students and staff, filling them with confidence. This contributes to our overall educational and personal progress. We really appreciate that they visit every class, inquiring about their progress and answering students’ queries. For Class 10 students, they provided excellent guidance on how to do well in their exams, how to select the right course and succeed. They emphasized the importance of good communications skills in our daily life. They are pillars for the development of our education methodology and the growth of RDF institutions. We are very grateful for their wisdom and insights.”

On Learning and Life

The pandemic and subsequent closure of schools created a situation in which our rural students and teachers had to get familiar with online learning. They have worked hard to integrate platforms such as WhatsApp, Zoom, YouTube videos to create content and help students learn well even while at home.

Bhavya is a Class 10 student from Redlawada School who has put in tremendous effort to develop her technical skills. Her parents are daily wage labourers who were worried about her education during lockdown. However, they needn’t have as she attended her classes regularly and with the help of her teachers, quickly became adept at using online platforms and resources to complete her work.

Kudos to Bhavya and our entire student and teacher community for keeping up their efforts in ensuring that education for rural children could continue in such unprecedented times. They sure know how to adapt to challenges!