Archive for April, 2017

Alumni Give Back

Over the years, RDF alumni have always come back to their schools to help innumerable ways. The connections remain alive, wherever they are.

In Matendla School, it was the entire Class 10 batch from last year who paid a surprise visit to the school and sponsored a Midday Meal, along with biscuits! Everyone was very touched to learn that they had saved their pocket money for several months to make this generous donation! They personally served all students and teachers, a gesture that moved many!

Though RDF students have shown over and over again how much they care for their schools, every gesture continues to warm our hearts. This good deed by mere 16 year olds will live in our hearts for a long time!

To the Aid of Friendship

What happens when an 8 year old falls and injures herself? Do you imagine an adult rushing to her aid to soothe and assist her? But this is not what happened. When Priya of Class 3 in Redlawada School injured herself in the school’s playground, it was her friends, D. Deepika and S. Harshitha who ran to help her.

They had the presence of mind to get her back to the main school building and bring the First Aid box. They administered the primary treatment till the Science teacher, Mr. Ashok, arrived to help them.  The 3 girls have been friends since LKG, so while it is no surprise that they helped their friend, what made the act notable was the remarkable composure of both girls as they calmed their friend and treated her wound.

The qualities of compassion and empathy demonstrated by Harshitha and Deepika, as well as the ability to make a quick decision to solve a problem is what makes this incident stand out for us. Instead of getting worried or waiting till an adult arrived, the young girls took matters into their hands. Again, such stories make us feel very proud and we thank the school for noticing the girls’ abilities and bringing it to everyone’s attention.

Commending an innate talent, an act of kindness, noticing the good things in children go a long way in bolstering their belief in themselves. We are sure both girls will continue to be positive role models for their peers and the community as they grow up.

Chess Mate!

RDF Rollakal School has a budding Vishwanathan Anand in its midst!

Koushik (R) at the State Level championship

Meet Abbaraboina Koushik, all of 9, who recently won a Gold medal in a State Level Chess competition that was open to people from all age groups, held in Hanmakonda. Hailing from a poor family, the son of agricultural labourers, Koushik, from a young age had the grit and passion to do well in whatever he decided to do.

This deep determination can be seen in the way he approaches chess, absorbing the training provided to him the Physical Education teacher as well as his academics. A self motivated person, he was encouraged by the school Headmaster and PET to participate in the State Level championship. Unperturbed by going up against people much older and experienced compared to him, he was delighted to bag the 1st place!

The Telangana Sports Authority Director, Mr. Rajanala Srihari, commended him on his effort as he handed him his gold medal and merit certificate.

We commend Koushik, his family and Rollakal School for championing his spirit and his talent. We are very proud of all that he has accomplished at the tender age of 9. He is certainly an inspiration to everyone!

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Games for the teachers

Girl child education is a prime focus area in its vision to educate, engage and empower rural children and communities. It has worked tirelessly for the past 20 years to convince rural people to invest in the education of their daughters, encouraging them to view girls as equals, with a right to education and providing employment to women.

The Headmaster addressing the audience

Therefore, the occasion of Women’s Day on 8th March provided a platform to honour the girls and women who are a part of RDF schools. In RDF Kalleda School, the Headmaster addressed the audience about the importance of events like Women’s Day and RDF’s focus on providing education to girls in order to skill them, become earning members in their families and to do away with the practice of child marriage.

 Thereafter, the female teachers were invited to speak about issues they have faced in their personal lives and in society in order to live a life with dignity. They urged the audience to understand the biases faced by women and requested them to treat women in society fairly and honour their role in society.

Having fun playing ‘Musical Chairs’

Fun games such a tug of war, balloon breaking and aim and throw were organized that everyone enjoyed thoroughly and brought in an air of gaiety to the day. While Women’s Day is just 1 day in the year, RDF continues its work with rural communities every day of the year to empower them in numerous ways, in order to bring about changes that can create a more equitable society at the grassroot level.

Nature’s Hero

We received a lovely note from S.K. Navaz, a BPC 2nd year student at the RDF VAPV Junior College who is passionate about trees and conserving the environment. Here is his letter, reproduced with his permission –

 “My name is SK Navaz, studying in BPC 2nd year. My favourite subject is Botany. I love trees. I plant ten saplings every year. I have taken on the responsibility of watering the plants in my campus daily and I feel very happy to see all the trees growing because they are the fruit of my own labour. I closely observe my trees. There are different kinds of fruits that grow on them like badam, cherry and regu. I feel happy that students and birds ate most of them. I prefer to spend my leisure time with my trees. I urge everyone plant 5 saplings every year. Let us join hands to save the environment.”

Local media article on the plant varieties in the campus

The Junior College students and staff have been making a lot of effort in greening their campus and spreading awareness on the importance of maintaining a green cover and having plant diversity too. So far they have planted 424 varieties of plant and aim to have 1000 plant species! Their work has been covered in the local media and commended by local communities.

The change makers that India needs reside in her villages. Living close to nature, in areas that still retain some of their verdant charm, young people like Navaz can still see the degradation of the environment. Their zeal and determination is admirable and we hope their positive influence can spread far and wide. As he champions trees, we need to champion young people like him who take on the challenging responsibility to be the change they want to see in the world.

A Good Hand for Handwriting

The two Government schools in Bahadurapally that are part of the School Quality Improvement Program – a partnership between RDF and Tech Mahindra Foundation follow RDF’s best practices when it comes to upgrading student’s and teacher’s skills. RDF continues to do its work with rural, underprivileged children due to its committed education partners and also thanks to passionate trainers and volunteers.

One such passionate volunteer was invited to the Mandal Parishal Primary School and the Zilla Parishad High School for a training training program on ‘Handwriting Skills’. Aimed at techniques to improve handwriting skills for Primary and High school students, the workshop was facilitated by expert handwriting specialist Mr. Azaz Ahmed.

The school was abuzz with excitement as many had already viewed his handwriting skills session on YouTube and Whatsapp. During the workshop, he trained students in writing in Hindi, Telugu and English. He explained new techniques to develop good handwriting, including how to and how not to write.  He also won hearts by singing Sanskrit slokas and narrating motivational anecdotes to the audience. The feedback received from the students and staff was very positive. Mr. K. Balraj, the schools’ Telugu Pandit said that he loved Mr. Ahmed’s way of teaching and found it an unforgettable class. The schools intend to have him back for more sessions soon!