Archive for January, 2020

Striving through Struggle

RDF’s children live in difficult circumstances. To see them face their reality with dignity and determination is very humbling.

Santosh, cooking at home

Santosh is a 1st year student in the RDF VAPV Junior College. His parents moved to Hyderabad to work as daily wage labourers, making him the sole caretaker of his aging grandmother. This entails doing all household chores and studying full time, which he does without complaint! In addition, he also needs to support the family’s meager income, so he finds daily wage work on the weekends and all holidays.

Looking after his grandmother

Recognising his financial hardship, RDF provided a fee scholarship to him. He’s sincere in everything he does, right from looking after his grandmother to his studies to work. One would think his life may feel like a burden, but Santosh looks at life with a big smile, making him popular with teachers and students alike.

We are positive his great attitude and resilience will pay big dividends in his life.

A Feast of Festivals!

Kalleda School celebrating Lord Krishna’s birthday (Krishnashtami)

India is a country, rich with cultural traditions and festivals. It’s a link to our history and is a wonderful way to keep generations in touch with the best that our history offers.

Festivals such as Ugadi (Telugu New Year), Diwali (Festival of Lights), Raksha Bandhan (celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters), Krishnastami (Lord Krishna’s birth celebration), Boddemma (honouring the feminine divine) etc. are celebrated and cherished in RDF schools.

Girls celebrating Bodemma

By celebrating every festival together, the children learn not just the rituals pertaining to a festival, but also the values embedded in the festivals and their rituals such as respecting elders, behaving with kindness, helping others, sharing what we have etc. We believe understanding the deeper nuances of our festivals help build character and good citizens.

The pictures accompanying this post are from Kalleda School.

Radiant Rajeshwari!

Seeing children blossom in a nurturing learning environment is a delight to witness. Our teachers are trained to spot students’ talents and skills and encourage them. This teacher training has been imparted by RDF staff to the RDF-Tech Mahindra Foundation partnership Government schools in Bahadurapally too.

Rajeshwari, a class 5 student is quite the role model for her peers. She is self directed and self motivated which shows in her academic and extracurricular performance and is especially interested in sports and drawing. She is committed to improving her English communication skills which makes English her favourite subject! In fact, English speaking skills are equal to those of English medium school students!

She is also helpful towards other students and spends interval time to read books and help her younger brother with his reading and writing skills. Her ambition is to study well and become a doctor. She is very happy with the good quality of education being provided in her school and feels grateful to her teachers for supporting her every step of the way.

Friday-Dryday

The Telangana Government has launched an initiative ‘Friday-Dryday’ to combat diseases arising from mosquitoes breeding in stagnant water. This has been taken up by RDF schools with enthusiasm, as an integral aspect of working with the local communities and a commitment to social responsibility.

The Matendla School team comprising of students and teachers, along with local leaders, created an awareness campaign to help villagers understand the danger of storing water in uncovered barrels, drums and pots in and around their houses for long periods of time. They were made to understand how mosquitoes lay eggs in open water, creating breeding grounds and creating various diseases from mosquito bites.

This situation is preventable, so in response to this scheme and the Matendla School campaign, the villagers have started a ‘dry day’ on each Friday, when they gather to clean stagnant water in their homes and in the village, to ensure areas are dry. We’re happy to see the community working together to create safe surrounding and contributing to their wellbeing.

Bridging Communities

RDF’s work extends well beyond the classrooms and the walls of the school. Community engagement is a core part of our mission. Over the years, each school team has worked with utmost commitment to motivate the rural communities about the power of education, educating girl children, mitigating social issues, increasing awareness about environment issues etc. With a core tenet of transparency, many bridges have been built between each school and the rural communities in which they operate.

Our holistic education philosophy and academic and extracurricular accomplishments have led many organisations and individuals to visit our school, with a view to understand our work and find meaningful ways to contribute.

Rollakal School was visited by some students from a Hyderabad based corporate school and their parents, with a view to meet students and clarify subject specific doubts. There was a lively discussion regarding various subjects and the visitors were impressed with the students’ understanding and knowledge about various subjects and concepts.

The Class 10 students met separately to talk about the Class 10 exams, get advice on preparation, sitting for competitive exams and career development. They also conducted a fun quiz competition, which met with an enthusiastic response. Together, they played volleyball, badminton and cricket, ending the day on a high.

While leaving, they said, “The village and the school environment is filled with greenery. It’s a beautiful environment. We are very happy that our children enjoyed themselves with the children in the school, like their brothers and sisters.”

A Memory Test

Sitting for competitive exams are a part of the Indian education system, in order to get admission into various courses after the completion of the Class 12 examinations. The ability to recall from memory is an important aspect of these exams, so our teachers come up with fun ways to boost memory skills for the students.

Redlawada School conducted a Memory Test for 60 high school students. 37 objects were placed on a table and students were given 2 minutes to note and memorise the objects. After that, they were asked to recall and write the names of the various objects with its correct spelling. Each object was allotted one mark.

Such activities to enhance learning and memory skills are conducted routinely and the students enjoy them immensely. When learning is fun, retention is high!