Archive for the ‘Inspiring students’ Category

Unmasking Care during Lockdown!

Vivek, a Class 3 student of Matendla School was inspired to make homemade cloth masks. He shared this idea with his mother, a tailor and sister, a class 10 student in the same school. Together, this family made 5000 masks with their own humble income! They collected cotton cloths from the villagers, handwashed them thoroughly with the antiseptic disinfectant Dettol, then Vivek’s mother machine stitched them.

The masks were then distributed in surrounding villages to the residents, including to local police, medical, revenue and electricity department personnel and sanitation workers.

We are very touched with Vivek’s level of social responsibility at such a young age and one family’s sincere desire to help their community!

Designing a Local Waste Water Management System

Non teaching staff constructing the soak pit

Student laying layers of rocks & stones for the soak pit

The Matendla School staff and students recently successfully completed the construction of a soak pit in order to increase the amount of groundwater for use in the school. This school community project shows us once again the power of collective intention and empowered action! The idea came forth after the high school students visited the model village of Hebrahimpur, where a soak pit project was undertaken as a village initiative and each family participated to ensure completion.

The primary treatment chamber linking to the soak pit

The water coming out of the septic tank is not pure. Therefore, the primary purpose of having a soak pit is to receive this effluent water, called ‘greywater’, from the primary treatment unit e.g., the school’s septic tank. The soakpit treats this greywater coming from the septic tank and discharges clear and non-harmful water into the ground. The greywater that passes through the soak pit gets filtered, which results in the smaller particles of effluents settling at the bottom of the soak pit, which get digested by microorganisms and is a sustainable degradation process. The filtered water then discharges through the porous walls of the soak pit, resulting in clean water being discharged into the environment.

The design to execution process managed by the students and non teaching staff also turned out to be a great way for students to understand waste management systems and the engineering that goes into it. The students enjoyed doing this hand-on project, adding a lot of knowledge to the topic of waste water management.

Crafting Fun

Wonderful cardboard creations!

We are all born with creative capabilities and these abilities are honed in RDF schools, based on the particular interest of a child. This approach has created wonders in many children, making them more confident in themselves, believing in their abilities, becoming more creative in a particular art or craft and helping others learn too!

As part of Art & Culture classes in Kalleda School, Class 10 students made various handmade designs. Through such sessions, we are also able to promote local art and craft practices, thus keeping cultural vibrancy intact. The pre-primary and primary children observed the making of these designs, which they did with rapt attention. After that, they were then encouraged to make their own. The kids, older and younger, loved making stuff with their friends and teachers. The community feeling of learning in joy and sharing was palpable!

Proudly displaying all their creations

The children are now using the extended time to make even more interesting and wonderful art and craft items. The children also learn no-fuss, no-mess and low cost ways of making their designs, which can help community handicrafts immensely.

Everyone has been having fun making their sharing their items. So think of a fun art or craft project with your family and we guarantee you will have a lot of fun!

Meditation Matters

Students, during a meditation training session

The pursuit of good academic grades and college admissions create a lot of stress in students’ lives. At RDF, we are determined to not allow stress to impact the mental and physical well-being of our students. Hence, yoga and meditation are an intrinsic part of our holistic education philosophy.

Sridevi ma’am, presenting meditation books to the children

We are grateful to have yoga and meditation teachers who volunteer to help our students and teachers in developing a daily practice and be stress free!

Sridevi ma’am, with the Redlawada School HM

We were introduced to Mrs. Vedantham Sridevi, a retired Headmaster of Government High School by the Hindi teacher in Redlawada School. She conducted a training session on the importance of meditation and how to do meditation. She also donated a few meditation books to the school.  Now, students are doing meditation three times a day, including at home, and have reported feeling more at peace, with better focus and concentration levels.

It’s important to us for our students to achieve their goals through a balanced approach, rather than stressing about marks and grades. We are happy to see the power of meditation take effect in their daily lives.

Turning a Precious Life Around

When Deva, currently in Class 4, joined the RDF-Tech Mahindra Foundation government Primary School, we was a very silent boy. He refused to interact with either his classmates or his teachers and was uncommunicative too. He preferred staying alone, in his own world. Since the teachers have been trained in helping students at their own pace, they never pushed him to do anything he wasn’t ready for.

Deva (circled), proudly displaying a work of art

Over a period of time, their gentle encouragement allowed him to open up. As he started to come out of his shell, there was a complete turnaround in his attitude and behavior! He become enthusiastic and engaged in his studies, games, sports, art & craft, drawing etc. Now he is called an ‘all rounder’!

It is a blessing to witness such change in students’ lives. Once again, we thank the teachers, who are sincere students during their own training and eager to implement everything they learn. We are so happy for Deva and grateful to the teachers for their hard work at helping the students. This is how change and empowerment can be created – one step and one child at a time – with care and patience! 🙂

Empowered Alumnus

Each month, the RDF VAPV Junior College invites guests to motivate students in different spheres such as sports, creative fields and academics. Last month the JC team invited an alumnus who is well settled in life and is a teacher.

Afreen was an MPC (Maths, Physics, Chemistry) student of the 2010 batch. She passed her Intermediate exams in 1st division. She was a sincere and intelligent student, always thinking innovatively about her studies and life. Inspired by her college lecturers’ methods of teaching, she joined a Teacher Training course and was successful in getting a job as a Government School teacher at the young age of 20!

She spoke about her journey saying, “My father supported me a lot of achieve my goals. He always told me the values and education play a main role in life. I was also inspired by my teachers. I believe that hard work never fails and everything is possible to the common man if you have the will.” Inspiring words, indeed!

She spoke of how universities have evolved to have a variety of useful courses. She urged the students to select a course based on their interest and passion and that success would automatically follow. As a girl, who was provided the opportunity to pursue education and her dream, she has also committed to sponsor the education of one girl every year.

We are so proud of wise Afreen and are happy that she will continue RDF’s vision to educate and empower girl child education in her own way!

Leading her Future

Harshita, helming a class project and helping her classmates

Very often in schools, there is tendency to see children through the lens of their academic performance only; labelling them as intelligent or slow learners. However, children, like all people have many merits that extend beyond their academic capabilities. RDF teachers receive regular training in order to identify the many talents or behaviours in students that can be honed.

A natural leader and speaker

Receiving the top prize for her performance in a play

Harshita is a Class 9 student in the RDF-Tech Mahindra Foundation partnership Zilla Parishad High School, Bahadurapally. Her father is an auto driver while her mother is a housewife. Her parents dream big for her, wanting for her, what all parents from underprivileged backgrounds desire – a better life for their kids through education. But Harshita doesn’t always perform well academically. However, her teachers see many great qualities in her which will serve her well in life – she’s good at sports, is honest and courageous and goes out of her way to be helpful to her classmates, other students and her teachers too. She has earned renown for her leadership qualities, taking initiative and responsibilities willingly with a smile in several activities. She is known for tackling problems head-on, be they personal or others’.

Aren’t responsibility, ownership of self and work, problem solving skills, the ability to make decisions and help others, all hallmarks of good leaders and managers? Harshita’s future promises to be bright and whatever she chooses to do, we’re positive, her employers and colleagues will be lucky to have her!