Archive for the ‘Inspiring students’ Category

Dancing towards your Dreams!

Harsh is an alumnus of Redlawada School. From the time he was in school, he was passionate about dancing.Whenever he got the opportunity, he would showcase his dance skills. He was encouraged by his teachers to keep building his skills which helped immensely with his confidence and motivated him to keep practising and improving.

Recently, he formed a ‘Kolatam’ group in Redlawada village. This is a traditional, rural dance form that he wants to propagate. He has inspired many local youngsters to join him and is providing dance coaching to them. His hard work is paying off when he won an Appreciation Certificate at a District level Kolatam competition.

His dream is to reach new heights of dancing and encourage local talent.

He acknowledges the role played by RDF in reaching for his dancing goals since RDF focuses on developing children’s innate talent, in addition to academics.

His family is very happy at how his life is shaping up and is proud of his achievements. Other students are inspired by his passion, his achievements and his helping boost new talent.

We are so proud of Harsh for not only his personal accomplishment, but that he’s also devoting time and energy to help others improve their skills and reach for their dreams

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On Your Marks!

Sporting activities have got a new angle at Matendla School.  A new perspective has been brought in through the ‘Marks for Sports’ programme that was introduced by RDF Director, Mr. Andrian Kennedy. The aim is to encourage children to improve their sports skills by treating sports as a regular subject and allotting marks.

Marks for Sports is a 5 star fitness programme. It has been introduced and implemented in Matendla School before being taken to the other schools. The process was started by testing the students in 5 categories viz. Shuttle Run, Toe Touch, Standing Jump, 9 Minute Run and Speed (50 metres) Run. Student performances are recorded and a star rating system is assigned for each test – the stars are equivalent to the performance based scores in the tests. Any student who doesn’t qualify can attempt the test again in the next academic year.

The students are enjoying the new system and are pushing themselves to perform better. It is hoped that not only will the students improve their sporting skills and enhance their performance, but that they will receive the benefits of taking up sporting activities such as improved coordination, flexibility, stamina etc, regardless of their marks.

This is yet another way to engage our students productively and gives them an avenue to participate in interesting activities to develop their skills. We are glad that they have taken to this programme and are thoroughly enjoying themselves!

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!

Proud Accomplishments

RDF and its partnership schools teem with stories of quiet accomplishments by our very sincere and hardworking children. Powered by a passion to overcome their difficult life circumstances, these children amaze us with their zeal and determination to prove themselves and do well in whatever they set their minds to!

Chinna

Chinna, a Class 6 student’s parents are private service workers on a very modest income, determined to help their children lead better lives. Chinna loves Science and got nominated to participate in the mandal level Science Fair and was awarded the best student! He aims to make it to a National level stage and keeps experimenting in the Science lab, a passion fully supported by his teachers. Fingers crossed for you, Chinna, to accomplish all your and your parents’ dreams!

Aruna

We’re also super proud of Aruna, a Class 10 student in the same school. Considered an all-rounder, she attended a talk in TNR Academy on ‘How do we live in Society?” Students were encouraged to take to the stage and express themselves and Aruna was eager to do so! She spoke with elan and answered many questions with confidence, which won her a cash award of Rs. 500! Her parents, an attender and sweeper in a neighbourhood college, couldn’t be prouder of her achievement, as are we!

 

An Inspirational Interaction

Students interacting with Mr. Ahmad on stage

Mr. Ajaz Ahmad is renowned in the Telangana region as a motivational speaker, newsreader, handwriting trainer and has received many awards in his illustrious career. The RDF VAPV Junior College was honoured to receive him as a guest, in order to interact with the students and faculty.

He spoke at length about the over-dependence on technology and how it is degrading human values due to loss of social interactions and values. He definitely had the students’ attention from the get go when he asked them if they wanted to know how he achieved what he did in his life. The answer, of course, was a resounding ‘yes’! He explained that yoga and dhyanam (meditation), for just half an hour a day gave him the equanimity and focus, which has helped him tremendously in life! He inspired the students and the faculty with his wit and wisdom, giving them many helpful ideas on a range of themes like how to manage time, personality development and how to build one’s career. He also delved into reading and writing techniques which will be very useful in their academic work.

He ended his inspiration talk with saying that, “Success depends on hard work”, urging them to put in effort to feel pride in their achievements and making their parents and the college proud. Everyone had a wonderful time meeting Mr. Ahmad and absorbing the wisdom and practical techniques which he shared so generously with everyone!

A Whole day of Holistic Interaction!

RDF works very hard to provide resources to its children and teachers in order to aid their growth and development. Living in poverty for generations, we understand the life circumstances and limitations that the community faces and the programmes and mentoring they need to achieve their dreams and goals, as first generation learners. The philosophy also guides the progress of the 2 Tech Mahindra Foundation schools in Bahadurapally, which have come to be regarded as beacons of quality education in the surrounding villages.

The Sri Ramakrishna Foundation (SRK), Bahadurapally conducted a full day session on Life, Aims & Goals, Career, Moral Values, Success and Role of Parents for the students of the Zilla Parishad High School. The main aim was to gently encourage students about how to live in present day society, without fear and lead a life based on their moral values and how to achieve their goals.

The morning session was led by Mr. Bhargava Nagaprasad and Mr. Adiseshu. In addition to the main themes, they specifically spoke about financial difficulties and how to reach their financial goals. Plenty of inspirational examples from real life were given to the students in order to motivate them, such as Dr. Abdul Kalam’s humble roots and achievements.

In the afternoon session, Mr. Bhagicha Singh of TNR Academy and Mr. M.D. Rao were the speakers. Mr. Rao, at 85 years of age, who leads an independent life, proved to be a source of inspiration for everyone present. They also spoke on health issues such as abstaining from ‘gutka’ and alcohol and focus on looking after their parents’ wellbeing and achieve life goals. Mr. Singh spoke about the social problems of female infanticide and education for girls, urging students to encourage women and treat them with respect and preventing exploitation of children through child labour.  They also motivated the students to be of service to the country and help in its progress. Sarath, Jyothi and Vinayaka of Class 6 & 7 respectively were appreciated by the speakers for their confidence and ready answers. Mr. Rao was impressed with another student, Aruna’s thoughtful responses and gave her a cash reward of Rs. 500 on the spot!

TNR Academy gave each of the 247 students present an exam pad, pen, pencil box and notebook! They also promised to provide free coaching to ZPHS students, based on merit. The day ended with positive feedback from the students who felt inspired by the talks and ready for action!

 

Maintaining a Strong Rural Connection

It is humbling for us to see our rural children feel rooted in their environment and derive inspiration from it. In this age of migration to urban centres, in search for better opportunities and financial security, it is really nice to see children feeling connected to their reality and everyday life too.

Bullock carts have been used since the dawn of agriculture as a mode of transport and still flourishes in rural India, supporting the rural agrarian economy. V. Shiva Kumar, a Class 7 student from Rollakal School loves riding in bullock carts! He loves the slow and steady gait of the cart and likes looking after the sturdy ox that pull the carts. So inspired is he with the humble bullock cart, that he decided to make a working model of one from everyday materials found in his home and school.

RDF children are taught about conservation and recycling and take their role in environmental welfare very seriously. All Shiva used was old cardboard, newspaper, sticks, binding wire and pins to create his bullock cart. He didn’t spend any money on this creation. He was so proud of his accomplishment, as are we!

Well done, Shiva, for exemplifying RDF values and feeling proud of your roots. Maintaining this strong connect with rural India is very important for us, even as children graduate school and go to bigger towns and cities for work. We have seen RDF children, time and again, return to help rural communities in myriad ways, as we are sure, Shiva will too!