Archive for December, 2016

Safeguarding the Kitchen Gardens

Like the five RDF institutions, the Mandal and Zilla Parishad schools in Bahadurpally village that are a part of the Tech Mahindra Foundation and RDF program partnership, have provision of planting fruits and vegetables in their kitchen gardens. Despite the efforts of the caretakers, in previous seasons, saplings couldn’t grow due to water shortage and pests.

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Yield in the Primary School kitchen garden

However, effective water management techniques such as saving water in drums and usage of boring water augmented the growth of the plants. The bandicoots and pests continued to remain a problem in the schools. The usage of natural pesticides prevented damage to the plants and produced good yield.

Yield in the High School kitchen garden

Yield in the High School kitchen garden

The seeds of spinach, soya beans, bottle gourds, tomatoes and papaya were purchased. Due to the above mentioned initiatives, the produce increased significantly in the schools. The sweet potatoes produced were used for cooking and served to all the students of the high school.

Beeriah and his wife, Ellava, the watchman and caretaker team have worked ceaselessly in order to protect the kitchen gardens and ensure that it flourishes. We are very grateful for their efforts!

Rakesh rocks Redlawada! :)

rakesh-redlawadaRakesh, a Class 8 student in RDF Redlawada School, has twin passions. The first is his fondness for computers and the other is sports. While he is inspired by the determination and hardwork of his older sister who is pursuing biology, physics and chemistry, Rakesh is inclined towards Software Engineering. He feels very fortunate that his school has a fully equipped computer lab where he spends a lot of time learning about computer hardware, software and computer applications.

His passion for sports is being honed by the school Physical Education Teacher. With daily practice and a nutritionally balanced diet comprising extra milk and eggs that is monitored by the PET, Rakesh has represented the school in Mandal level, District level and National level Student Olympics. His sports hero is Usain Bolt, having learnt about him and his retirement while watching the 2016 Olympics on television. Inspired by his life struggles and achievements, he aspires to be among the top 5 athletes in India.

Rakesh is very proud of the sports facilities and extracurricular activities that are offered in the school, something that his friends miss out on in other schools. He has made friends from other states while participating in National level events. Narrating an incident that happened during the National level competitions in Gujarat, he said that he made friends with another boy from UP. It was funny interacting with him because he could only communicate in English and Telugu while the UP boy was fluent in Hindi. Though they both tried communicating in English, neither could understand what the other said. Luckily, a boy from the Andhra Pradesh team helped translate. That experience showed him the importance to know another language apart from his mother tongue.

While he is fanning his dreams of a future in sports, for now Rakesh wants to encourage sports among young children in his village. Since his friends and cousins, enrolled in other schools are not exposed to sports or sporting facilities, he feels that his knowledge and training can help them. Way to go Rakesh! We are very happy to hear that he is paying it forward by sharing his talent and skills in his community.

 

 

Aiming Right!

A decade has passed since RDF produced its first archery champion in Pranitha. The decade since 2006 is filled with numerous archery champions and records at the District, State, National and International level.

RDF’s archery achievements continue to make us proud. At the same time, we are also humbled by our students’ perseverance and determination to push themselves and bring accolades for themselves, RDF institutions and the community.

The RDF VAPV Junior College was honoured to host the State Archery Championships that was organised by the School Games Federation of India. Over 180 talented archers from 9 districts in Telangana participated in the event. As per protocol, the event was divided into 3 categories – under 14, under 17 and under 19. RDF was represented by 6 archers from the Junior College and 7 archers from Kalleda School. Accommodation for all participants was made on the college premises.

(2nd from L) Mr. Prashanth Patil, (R) Ms. Vijaya Laxmi

(2nd from L) Mr. Prashanth Patil, (R) Ms. Vijaya Laxmi

The event was held on 26th and 27th November. Mr. Prashanth Jeevan Patil, Collector – Warangal Rural District was the Chief Guest for the inaugural ceremony while Ms. Vijaya Laxmi, Mandal Revenue Officer – Parvathagiri Mandal was the Guest of Honour. For the Valedictory Function, Mr. Sudeer Babu, Warangal Commissioner of Police and Mr. S. Mahender, Warangal Assistant Commissioner of Police were the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour respectively.

After 2 days of intense competition, the Ranga Reddy district emerged as the overall champions while the Warangal Rural district team, playing in their own backyard, was declared the runners up. 3 archers from the Junior College and 5 from Kalleda School have been selected for the National level competitions.

The jubilant RDF archery team

The jubilant RDF archery team

We congratulate the RDF archers for their achievements and wish them the very best for the upcoming National level event.

Creating Social Awareness on Intoxicants and Tobacco

RDF’s holistic approach to education involves the core component of a robust Social Awareness Program. Helping local communities with social issues is part of all RDF schools’ philosophy.

The staff in Matendla School was growing increasingly worried about the consumption of pan masala, guthka and alcohol by senior citizens in the village. Concerned about the ill effects of such habits on the impressionable mind of young children and other family members, the staff wanted to do something that would not just help create awareness but also ensure that RDF alumni, children and the wider community not fall prey to such vices.

ms-dec-2The school organised a well planned evening wherein folk songs and a skit were used as tools to allow the community to understand the gravity of the situation. The skit was put together by students of Class 8, who used humour to highlight the issue. The audience was able to easily relate to the problems presented and stated that it reflected their social reality. The staff also conducted a presentation to explain the various medical problems that can come about as a result of such habits.ms-dec-3

We hope that the right message was conveyed to everyone present and the efforts of the Matendla School team help the villagers manage the situation proactively with the information provided to them.

Pravalika Prevails

When Pravalika was born, 15 years ago, her parents scarcely knew the strength of her will or the fire in her belly that would lead her to strive to lift herself above the impoverished circumstances she was born into.

A Class 10 student in RDF Rollakal School, Pravalika has done herself, her parents and her school proud with her grit and will to succeed. After joining the school in Class 5, Pravalika was exposed to numerous extracurricular and sports activities – experiences she had never gone though in her previous school. It was sports that beckoned her, after discovering an innate talent in volleyball and kabaddi. Working tirelessly before and after school, she was selected to the State Level in both sports – a first for her school and her family too!

Throwing herself wholeheartedly into the experience, Pravalika was very happy to have the opportunity to interact with sports team from other districts at the State Level meet in Hanamakonda. During the competitions, she became very nervous due to the large crowds. In her opinion, she can overcome her nervousness by participating in many more such events. Her parents are very proud of her sports accomplishments.

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One wonders where her resilience comes from. Pravalika’s family resides in a village 2 kms away from the school. Due to low awareness levels and financial difficulties, her parents couldn’t continue their education. However, her father being a very determined and hardworking student, managed to complete Class 10. Today he is employed with the Northern Power Distribution Company (NPDCL) of Telangana. He earns 10,000 per month and is responsible for lifting poles.

On the other hand, her mother did not attend school. She works as an agricultural laborer on others’ farms. Since agriculture promotes cyclical unemployment especially in summers, her mother then switches to MGNREGA. The usual work assigned to the group would be repairing of roads, digging, planting trees etc.

During school holidays, Pravalika works in cotton fields with her mother. According to Pravalika, her mother is a very dynamic person. It was her mother’s idea to teach Pravalika about the harsh realities of agricultural work. In her mother’s opinion, one must never forget their roots and hence association with agriculture is mandatory.

Pravalika dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and help her village by generating employment for villagers. However, prior to taking that step, she would like to gain experience by working professional establishment. With the same steady clear thinking that we recognize in her, she understands that it is a tough task but is confident that in future years, villages will be vehicles for economic growth.

A Student’s RDF Journey

Abhilash is a Class 6 student in RDF Kalleda School who joined the school 3 years ago. Initially a student in a private school near his village, his parents chose to move him to an RDF school as they weren’t satisfied with the quality of education in the old school. Abhilash’s uncle recommended RDF. After getting to know the school, his parents shifted both their sons to Kalleda School. His father works as a RTC driver and mother is an agricultural laborer.

ks-abhilashAbhilash enjoys going to school now. He recalls not feeling happy with the teachers in his old school, who, he says, would come to class, complete the lesson and leave. He feels RDF teachers are more supportive, attentive to student’s needs and explain everything. He enjoys his time in the Voice Lab, the Computer Lab, Science Lab, Sports and the Library. Since his previous school was devoid of such facilities, he has gained a deeper appreciation of how such facilities benefit students.

Abhilash has a younger sister as well. She is a Class 4 student in a Government school. His parents are currently not in a financial position to send her to Kalleda School, but he really wants her to experience all the benefits he feels privileged to have at RDF. He also feels that his parents pay more attention to the male children in the family. He hopes that she will be able to attend an English medium school next year.

At present Abhilash uses the RTC bus to commute to school every day. In his 20-30 minute bus ride, he meets students from other schools as well. In all the other schools, the children carry lunch boxes where as in RDF; the lunch is served in school.

He wants to study well and become a police officer. He narrated a story that influenced his decision to join the police force. In Abhilash’s village, there was a robbery in one of the houses. After an investigation, the police were able to catch the thieves. The due diligence involved in the investigation and the process made a strong impression on him. In another instance, a 14 year old girl’s marriage was fixed. Due to the timely intervention of the police, the marriage was cancelled and the bride’s father was arrested.

The incidents in his village have made him realize that the police force plays a very vital role of safeguarding society and preventing crimes. This is now his career aspiration and we wish him the very best in achieving all his goals in life!