Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Cultivating our Cultural Identity

RDF’s holistic system of education is future oriented by creating a school environment and processes dedicated to nurturing students and giving them the skills and tools that can enable them to procure good jobs and help their families out of poverty stricken lives. At the same time, the local culture and traditions are also nurtured, with students enthusiastically participating in local festivals and keep traditional games alive. Another avenue to understand our past is also through exploring mythology, religion and the Bhagavath Geetha.

A group of 8 students from Class 9 from Kalleda School were interested in learning and understand this holy Hindu scripture, hence learnt slokas from the Bhagavath Geetha for 2 months, practicing daily for half an hour, after school hours. Their dedication and interest was admirable. They participated in the Mandal level Bhagavath Geetha Parayanam and essay writing compition. 3 students won 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize and have been selected to participate in the District level competition. Learning slokas is no mean task and these young ones learnt 24 slokas and their summaries! They said they felt very happy to learn the slokas and get a closer understanding of their meaning and context and our rich past.

The kids are certainly an inspiration in the school, not just due to their achievements, but also through their perseverance in learning about the Holy Geetha and attempt to understand it’s importance in our lives. Though they faced problems with pronunciation initially, their hard work paid off!  In this way, the school is playing a significant role in creating awareness about our tradition, culture and ethics and creating a bridge between the past and the future!

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Taking to Taekwondo

RDF’s first generation learners join school carrying hopes for a better life through the power of education. Unfortunately, many schools interpret education to mean classroom learning, but RDF realizes that education and learning goes far beyond textbook education. It lies in following a child’s interest and nurturing it to give them a sense of self and a belief in their abilities. Hence, RDF schools focus on the all round development of its children and a key area of focus is sports and games.

The impressive medal haul at the District level Taekwondo competition

RDF children have been doing very well in sports, having won many accolades right from the Mandal to the National level and international level participation too. The number of sports that these eager to learn kids have been specializing in has also grown in scope from athletics and archery to yoga, martial arts and fencing too! Redlawada School’s expansive grounds are being put to good use for sports development, with Taekwondo training being offered by the Physical Education Teacher, Mr. Thirupathi. Since this is a new sport, the kids have been practicing sincerely every morning and evening in the school. Their hard work is bearing fruit, with 22 students selected to participate in the District level Sub junior Taekwondo championship in Tandur. 14 students won Bronze and 8 won Silver, with 3 students selected to State level! That is wonderful news and a powerful confidence booster for our young Taekwondo fledglings!

The proud Taekwondo team

Such selections and achievements create a very powerful impact on not just the students, but at the school and community level too, since parents can see the difference in their children through sports participation. It builds their trust that their child is in good hands and that teachers truly care for their betterment.  Such achievements create an inspirational buzz in the school and there is collective feeling of pride. It pushes other students to take up a particular sport too. This build a great atmosphere in the school. We are super proud of Redlawada School’s encouragement of its students. We know they’re now eyeing the National level and we pray, that like their counterparts in Kalleda and Matendla schools, they too achieve this next step in their sports journey.

For the Love of Poetry

Telugu poets from the Telangana region have been working towards preserving the poetry writing tradition in the vernacular. Groups of poets have also been encouraging new poets in rural areas. To promote the art of Telugu poetry, they organized a programme called ‘Urura Kavisammelanam’ in the RDF VAPV Junior College campus.

Several regional poets read out their poems to much applause and appreciation by the attendees, including the young JC students! G. Susmitha of MPC 2nd Year has been exploring poetry as a medium to express her thoughts and feelings. She was nervous to read out her poems in front of the esteemed guests, but was encouraged by her lecturers and friends. She writes about the importance of parents, friends and the beauty of such relationships. After reading out her poems, she gave her views on the importance of maintaining familial relationships, expressing her sadness when she hears of parents being sent to old age homes, when to her, they are akin to Gods.

Her simple words and heartfelt expression won the hearts of the audience and the guests awarded her a cash prize of Rs. 300, a shawl and a memento. We hope young Susmitha explores poetry writing further and earns a name for herself!

Education World Ranking

The RDF family is over the moon with the announcement of the Education World Rankings with the 4 RDF schools winning awards in the ‘Best Co-Ed Day School’ category! For rural schools to be recognized for their efforts in quality education is very gratifying!

Rollakal School got a score of 900 out of 1500, with a national ranking of 242 out of 1000 schools, ranked 35 at the State level and 1st rank at the District level! We couldn’t be prouder of the school’s achievement, starting so humbly in a semi permanent structure a little over a decade ago and look how far they’ve come!

We have to commend the school team for taking our Vision of Educate, Engage and Empower and implementing it at the grassroot level. They have put in tireless efforts to develop the quality and scope of education, both inside and outside the classroom via teacher training, student development programmes, involvement in sports & games, participation in Mandal, District and State level competitions and exhibitions in Science and Arts,  communication and personality development workshops and developing student’s skills by involving them in school operations via student committees in areas such as Mess, Water, Discipline,m Clean & Green, Games, Library etc. Social responsibility is encouraged by undertaking community level engagement programmes. The parent community has also strengthen with their involvement in the Parent Committee and being a crucial stakeholder in school operations and supporting the development of the school’s education activities.

These are some of the parameters that have allowed Rollakal School to shine and receive this award.   We hope their light shines stronger and brighter for years to come!

A Green Award!

The MPP and ZPH schools have been thriving under the care and guidance of the Tech Mahindra Foundation and RDF partnership since 2015. This is the 4th year in which the schools have been supported in all aspects of its operations – infrastructure, education, midday meals, teaching learning materials, setting up of a library, bridging the parent and village communities with the schools etc. These efforts and facilities have firmly established both schools as quality education providers and pillars in the community.

Greening the environment has also been a key aspect of developing the school, with both RDF and TMF, as well as the Telangana government providing saplings and plants to the schools. The garden has been maintained by Mrs. and Mr. Beeraiah – the schools’ security team and we are indebted to the deep care they have provided to the blossoming of this garden. When you walk into the schools, you are greeted with the extent of the greenery in both schools!

The kitchen garden, sponsored by TMF and RDF occupies pride of place in the schools. This organic garden has provided many seasonal vegetables, herbs like coriander, mint and sorrel for the midday meals. In addition, it is also abundant with flowering trees, mango, papaya and coconut trees! It’s a paradise for the community, who have watched the efforts of the school teams to grow and nurture these gardens, adding to the green cover in the neighbourhood.

School principal receiving the award

In appreciation of this effort, the school received the ‘Haritha Mitra’ award on 15th August 2018. This awarded was given at the District level by the State Home Minister, Sri. Nayini Narsimha Reddy, for greening the environment and maintaining the school surroundings in a neat manner!

We are all so proud of this honour and the effort that has been put in by the entire school team to create this oasis and providing a wonderful example for the children and the community on the importance of caring for the environment!

Ramu’s Inspirational Story..

Life is not easy for RDF children who come from families that have suffered generations of financial and social hardship. Yet, time and again, we see in them, a resilient spirit that makes them push themselves to do the best they can. They take advantage of all the opportunities being provided in RDF schools in order to achieve their goals of completing higher education and having a good career.

Ramu, with family in his thanda

Ramu, an alumnus of RDF Kalleda School belonged to a typical RDF family. He hailed from a Lambada tribe and cycled 5 km to school daily from Seethya thanda to his school. His parents eked their living as farm and daily wage labourers. Ramu loved school and felt that the world was brought closer to him through textbooks and watching documentaries and videos with his teachers. He didn’t feel isolated in his remote thanda. “I always knew that I do well in school and for that I was willing to sacrifice the small joys of growing up”, he once profoundly told his teachers. During holidays, he worked on farms too, in order to financially support his family. He even insisted that some of his earnings go towards his education – this high level of self responsibility and perseverance is a characteristic we see in many of our rural children. In Class 10, his hardwork and his positive attitude ensured that he came out with flying colours, obtaining the 1st rank in the Mandal with a 9.5 GPA!

(L) Being sworn in as Head Boy, (R) As MEO, during ‘model elections’

Explaining a Science exhibit to school visitors

Young children like Ramu create a positive impact on the school, the students and the community because people like him demonstrate how one’s attitude towards life can alter its course. It demonstrates the values of determination, hardwork, sacrifice and working towards achieving ones goals – these are inspirational values for other children to imbibe. These are values that are lived by students, teachers and many members of the rural communities that we serve and these are values that we actively promote in our schools.

Students like Ramu inspire us to work even harder to ensure that RDF institutions remain inspiring and enriching spaces for children to feel cared for and blossom into their best potential!

The Spirit for Sports

RDF puts in a lot of work to go beyond classroom education and arm children with real life skills that will benefit them. Therefore, a lot of effort is put into training teachers, who in turn, mentor children to develop skills that can truly help them in higher education and careers, thus providing them with tools to break the bonds of poverty that they live in. One such route is through sports coaching. We are extremely proud to have produced several District, State, National and even International level players in various sports. All credit goes to the excellent coaching provided by the Physical Education Teachers and the determination and perseverance of students to put in the hard yards and do the very best they can.

Recently, 7 students from RDF Rollakal School participated in Sports School selection competition in Hanamkonda at JNS Stadium. We are very happy that 6 students were selected to the State level Sports School competition. Every year, RDF children make it in sports schools across the state where they can focus on sports and academics together, ultimately getting an entry in Government jobs – a stable source of income and financial freedom for the family!

We feel really happy at the achievement of our students and appreciate the hard work being put in the school’s PET, a well trained teacher, who works patiently with the children each day, giving guidance and instructions concerning every game and sport being played by the children. You can see the dedication from the children, as young as Primary School level, when they come in before school and stay back after school to practice, without being asked to! Now that is motivation!

Such selections have a positive impact on the entire community because other students feel inspired and the ripple effect ensures that they too start focusing more on sports! In addition, time spent outdoors is good for the body, mind and spirit – therefore an atmosphere of good health is also created.

We look forward to the bright future of all these children, who so richly deserve the best that life can offer them!