Archive for July, 2019

Turning Around Life!

We have seen time and again how creating a nurturing environment in school brings out the best in children and teachers too. Now in the 5th year of a quality improvement partnership with Tech Mahindra Foundation, the 2 government schools in Bahadurapally are attracting families from villages further away due to becoming known as schools providing a high quality of education and healthy environment.

Simhachalam (L), reading a book with his classmate & friend

The turnaround we see in many students time and again, show us how they blossom, under such care. One such case is Simhachalam, a Class 7 student in ZPHS. He lost his father in an accident at the age of 6 and was unfortunately abandoned by his mother. He was being looked after by an aunt, but due to her own financial difficulties, she couldn’t afford to any longer. An uncle, a warden at a children’s orphanage and hostel, heard about him, took him in and enrolled him in ZPHS.

At play! Having fun with Kabaddi

By this time, 6 years had passed since his father’s demise and Simhachalam was displaying disruptive behaviour. He refused to come to school and didn’t do school work. His teachers understood his difficult life circumstances and that he hadn’t had much support or care. They worked with him patiently, letting him be, counselling him and giving him a lot of attention. Slowly, his trust built up and he started to attend school regularly. Given that it was the one place where he could be himself, he started to enjoy school and became interested in his studies and extracurricular activities such as kabaddi.

In just a short span of 1 year, he is able to read Telugu, English and do basic Maths. He’s made friends and his classmates even celebrated his birthday, which was a very moving experience for everyone! We’re grateful to the TMF team for being such a light to children from deprived backgrounds – not just financially deprived, but emotionally deprived homes too. To see him smiling, robust and of sound mind and body makes our work worth all the effort!

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Partnership with Parents!

Parental support in underprivileged and financially deprived rural families goes a long way in ensuring the children stay in school, finish education and do well.

Annaram Rajashekar is a Class 9 student in RDF Rollakal School. His family comes from a very poor background, with both parents eking a living as daily wage labourers. Despite the high stress from finding daily work and earning enough to keep the home fires burning, his family was determined to send him to a private school and that too, an RDF school! They had heard a lot about the facilities in our schools and the quality of teachers. With the added support of the school team, to help them financially if needed, Rajasekhar studies happily in school.

Encouraging Sports Dreams

Sports is a way of life in RDF schools. Children look forward to the Sports classes, with more and more children engaging in various sports like athletics, volleyball, kho-kho, kabaddi, martial arts, badminton, fencing, archery and even yoga! Over the years, several RDF children have won at district, state, national and international level competitions. We are grateful to our Physical Education Teachers who are dedicated to developing our students’ skills in various sports.

Sreeja, in her Class 4 classroom

Sreeja, with (L) school PET & (R) Asst. Headmaster

Ch. Sreeja is a Class 4 student from Matendla School who recently cleared the District level selection for enrolment in a State run sports school. These schools provide academic and focused sports coaching, helping students build a career in sports, which open up many work opportunities for them.  Like all RDF students, Sreeja comes from a financially poor family. Her father is a lorry driver and her mother works as a labourers. She has practices very hard under the supervision of the school’s PET, before and after school, in order to do well in the selections. Each student’s achievement strongly motivates other students to also put in effort, practice and accomplish their personal sports goals.

We pray that Sreeja continues to do well and obtain a seat in the Government residential sports school.

Self Care

The ability to look after ourselves is also a life skill. Having a clean living environment by taking care of our surroundings definitely not the domain of just women! When the boys from the RDF VAPV Junior College returned to their hostel after the summer vacation, they found that the heat and rains had taken a toll, with dust and peeling paint on the wall. The rooms definitely needed sprucing up!

They took the praiseworthy initiative to clean and repaint the room by themselves and did not ask for any external help in order to do so. It was also great to see them collaborate and self organise themselves into groups in order to tackle the tast efficiently – again, life skills that are very much required. It is very heartening to see that RDF children took this initiative. This is a skill that comes in handy when anybody moves to a new location.

The Right Values

RDF prides itself on the excellent value based education system that forms the fabric of its schools. While academic education certainly has its place, RDF has made tremendous effort to inculcate life skills in its students, placing a lot of value on human relationships.

Cheran (R), feeding Josh

Cheran is 11 years old and studies in Class 6 in Redlawada School. He likes being in school and engages well academically and in extracurricular activities too. He is a natural helper and is always eager to assist. Recently, his younger brother, Josh, injured 2 fingers on his right hand and needed help with everyday tasks. It was big brother, Cheran, who took it upon himself to help Josh as much as he could.

It’s beautiful to see the emphasis on family values in our students. Seeing care in relationships and acts of kindness sets the right example for our students. Social responsibility starts with our personal lives first and then flows in our outer world. In this consumerist world, we hope these are the right values that will enable students to balance all aspects of their lives.