Archive for September, 2017

With Grace and Spirit…

Suresh (centre) helping with classwork

Life has dealt many blows to Suresh, but at the young age of 9, he is a beacon of inspiration for his peers and those younger and older alike.

Happy at play with friends

Suresh studies in the Mandal Parishad Primary School, Bahadurapally, supported by Tech Mahindra Foundation and RDF. His father passed away in an accident when he was just 3 and sadly, so did his mother, due to health reason when he was just 5. Brought up by his ‘peddamma’ – mother’s sister for 2 years, due to circumstances, had to put him in a state run orphanage. But at the tender age of 7, despite the tragedy of his circumstances, Suresh showed grace and compassion to everyone. With his sense of responsibility and ownership, he became a block leader in the hostel, supervising neatness of uniforms, washrooms and the kitchen garden. Suresh takes great pride in his work.

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A natural leader, even at school, he helps classmates willingly; is good at art, writing and academics. He loves to play kabaddi and volleyball. He is really happy to be studying in the MPPS and has a desire to become a doctor, which we feel will come true! Touchingly, Suresh thanks his hostel mates, teachers and the school team for all the opportunities life has given him. This quiet boy touches everyone’s heart with his selfless spirit and magnanimity!

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Ready for Radio!

The RDF VAPV Junior College is very happy to inform that they have introduced the ‘Vanitha Pai Red FM’ – a novel concept to develop communication skills for its students.

Having fun with the in-house news announcements station!

The ability to communicate effectively in any field is generally what can help students in their careers. The goal of introducing this program is to help students to think creatively on a variety of topics of their choosing, share important news, information and messages with their peers and teachers, help with inhibitions or shyness in using English or speaking, improving general knowledge and share their own experiences, speak on current and world issues, as well as speak on philosophical and moral principles and values. Hence there is a range of themes that students can choose in order to enhance their speaking and communication skills – something that will suit everyone!

Of the students, by the students, for the students’!

Everyday, one group of students plan and execute a Red FM activity. All the students have taken to this platform enthusiastically and look forward to expressing their thoughts and ideas on a variety of topics. Red FM is run during three scheduled times during the day, outside of academic activities. It is refreshing to see students listening carefully to others’ bulletins, information and ideas.

Kudos to the Junior College team on creating this platform to help their students develop the essential life skill of good communication!

Flowers of Honour

Schools are always a bedrock of excitement on the occasion of Teachers Day, not the least for the reason of dressing up as teachers!

RDF Rollakal School, like all RDF schools also paid a fitting tribute to Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and all its management and teachers. However, there was a lovely difference to the celebrations. A social and environmental cause was a part of the celebrations – children were asked to avoid bringing anything made with plastic. Kids are normally keen to give small tokens as gifts to their teachers, therefore, this year, they decided to only present flowers.

The kids collected many flowers and then painstakingly fashioned them into garlands and bouquets – a delight to the eyes and the environment!

The teachers were very moved by the flowery creations and their gesture.

Thank you to the staff for always guiding our children in the right direction, towards greater conscientiousness, responsibility  and honouring themselves, their community and the planet!

 

Traditions, not Trends!

Urban areas are witnessing a revival of traditional arts, crafts and food practices. Organic bazaars are de rigeur in many parts of Hyderabad and across the country and people gleefully buy local produce, organic fruits and vegetables and traditionally prepared spices and delicacies. This is a very positive trend.

However, in rural communities, such as those that RDF works in, traditional has never been ‘trending’! Generations old practices still find their rightful place amongst families. Children grow up with mortars and pestles and stone grinders instead of expensive food processors. These traditional methods are something the villagers are proud of and hence teach these practices to the next generation. Since RDF staff also belongs to the same communities that the children belong to, discussions on culture and traditions take place very normally and within the context of their social and cultural reality. The schools also support these practices which have been proven to be more beneficial and healthy for people and the environment.

To say the least, food prepared the traditional way tastes absolutely heavenly – every urban visitor to an RDF school is testament to that fact!

Making Magic!

Children and even many adults across the world are enchanted with Harry Potter’s world of magic! In India, shows by local magicians are an essential part of childhood that remain in our memories for a long time. Even adults are not immune to the charm of magic and trying to learn a few tricks to amaze their families and friends!

Ventriloquism in action!

A troupe of magicians was invited to RDF Matendla School in order to create an atmosphere of fun, excitement and enjoyment for children as well as staff. The magicians wowed the audience with over 40 tricks and ventriloquism. Everyone was amazed and delighted with the tricks on display.

Learning tricks time!

The icing on the cake was when the children got to learn some tricks from the masters! Now we have these budding magicians happily showing their new found prowess to their friends and families!

We are grateful to the magicians who provided a day of entertainment and fun to our children and giving them a lifetime of memories! It was an absolutely magical day! Thank you!

Immersion in New Traditions

Vinayak Chaturthi is a huge festival across the length and breadth of India; celebrated in a multitude of ways by the ardent followers of Lord Ganesha.

In recent years, there has been widespread coverage on the damage done to river systems and other water bodies due to the immersion of POP idols. Sadly, many people continue this ritual despite the sustainable alternative of using clay being easily available. At the same time, we are happy to see many groups using clay idols to venerate Lord Ganesha.

RDF schools have been making clay idols for 10 years, including getting the larger community involved. This year, the students and staff made clay idols together and distribute these idols to villagers. The children, as in previous years, with the strong belief and desire to make sustainable changes, went around surrounding villages to motive villagers to only use clay idols.

It was amazing to see the dexterity with which the kids shaped and moulded the idols and the enthusiasm with which they approached their elders and community to become more aware and conscious citizens, rather than blindly follow rituals. They were able to convert those resistant to the idea of making such a change. Such is the power of belief and conviction for the greater good of society!

On the day of the immersion, the children sang many songs and performed traditional dances on the festive journey to immerse their idols in the local lake and tank. We have seen the positive impact these efforts have brought in the lives of staff and children – right from understanding their role in protecting the environment, to team work and rallying people to a just cause, to using their creative and artistic abilities to fashion beautiful clay idols and seeing the outcome of their positive attitude on the larger community. These real life experiences and skills cannot be learnt in a classroom – they come from engaging and empowering individuals to ‘be the change they want to see in the world’!