Archive for the ‘Life skills building’ Category

Girl power!

We feel overjoyed at seeing RDF girls, first generation learners, making their mark in the world. This is what Matendla School alumnus, Sumalatha, wrote to us:

“I’m Sumalatha from Matendla. Without RDF we didn’t have life in the society. RDF is oxygen for us. With RDF support I got a police job in the Excise department. I’m the first lady in my village to get a job in the government. So I’m very proud as a woman. Our school taught me life skills & values.  I will never forget it.”

Our alumni show us over and over again that our holistic education model is creating impact with every alumni success story. There are charting their way through empowering choices. Each student’s success is helping turn lives around for underprivileged rural families. These stories also encourage rural families to educate their girls.

We are super proud of Sumalatha and every RDF student’s accomplishment!

Our Alum, Illuminating the Path to Education

Our biggest barometer that we are truly empowering rural children comes from our alumni, our constant cheerleaders! While each alumni story is a reason for celebration, our alumni are also drawn to help RDF in myriad ways.

Rakesh, (Front,left) with his constable training group

Jilla Rakesh joined RDF Redlawada School in Class 4 and is currently in the final year of B.Sc. Mathematics. He hails from a poor tribal family, where children are sent to work in order to earn daily wages, instead of being sent to school. However, Rakesh’s family thought differently and were determined to have him complete his education and start a career. Last year, he applied for the State Civil Police Constable job, cleared the physical tests, but didn’t clear the written test due to English language problem. Undeterred by this result, he met the RDF staff for suggestions to improve his English skills and is now waiting to take the next round of written exams.

He meets his community members to motivate parents about the importance of education and send their children to school. He credits RDF for providing him with a solid foundation and giving equal importance to academics, extracurricular activities, games and sports; intrinsic to our value-based education model. Whenever he comes back to his villages, he meets the school students, encouraging them with his own life examples and urging them to go for their goals. A good singer, he also sings inspirational songs for everyone! His inspirational talks have turned some families in his ‘thanda’ (tribal village) around and they have started to send their children to school!

We are so proud of Rakesh’s sense of social responsibility and his sincerity to develop rural communities through education. He’s a great role model for our students and his community too and we hope many other young people like him motivate rural parents about the power of education!

Kids Just Want to have Fun!

It is so important for students to have fun, rather than being consumed by academic pursuits. The 5 RDF institutions and the 2 Government partnership schools follow a philosophy of holistic education, with emphasis on sports, pursuit of vocational skills, nurturing students’ innate talent and extracurricular activities, alongside academics. Students genuinely enjoy coming to school and thrive in the nurturing environment.

Students of the Tech Mahindra Foundation – RDF partnership Government Primary School in Bahadurapally village, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, put up a wonderful ‘Balothsav’ (Children’s Festival) just before lockdown started. At the time, unaware of the impending lockdown, the kids were also very busy preparing for their final examinations; yet their enthusiasm for this event made them put in the work required to prepare well. They balanced their academic responsibilities and preparation for this festival in a wonderful manner!

Students from all classes participated in skits, songs, drill, folk dances, speeches and other cultural activities. The Chief Guest was impressed with their performance and encouraged them continue focusing on such extracurricular activities. H also appreciated the support given by the teachers. The day ended on a high note, with everyone basking in the glow of executing a well planned and delivered event that brought joy to the students, teachers, parents, the village community and other attendees. The children were gifted examination writing boards, which they were delighted to receive!

For the Love of Theatre!

Theatre is a beautiful medium for self expression, personal and personality development, as well as learning!

Two Rollakal School students, studying in Class 5 & 6 respectively, are not only good in academics, but have fantastic artistic skills too! Both of them are fond of role playing and love playing the role of ‘Pothuraju’ during the local ‘Bonalu’ festival celebrated during harvest season in Telangana. Pothuraju is an avatar of Lord Vishnu, who protects people from evil.

Both become completely immersed in their role, while on stage, mesmerizing and impressing the audience with their acting skills! We hope both continue to follow their passion and continue to delight audiences with their talent and prowess!


RDF’s Covid-19 Warriors

Bharath, only 10 years old & a student of Redlawada School, is winning hearts with the help he’s providing rural folks in and around his village. To prevent the spread of Coronavirus, he met a few tailors and asked them to stitch masks by collecting cotton cloth himself!

Bharath (L), distributing masks to locals

Inspired by the socially responsible activities he saw and participated in school, Bharath also ensures the cleanliness of his village and spreading awareness about hygiene. His parents are very happy to see their son step up to undertake such responsibilities. The villagers are also lauding his efforts, saying they understand how to stop the spread of the coronavirus because of Bharath.

We are so proud that he’s utilizing these unexpected holidays by being a good citizen and setting an example for everyone.

An alert RDF teacher realized that his neighbor had arrived by flight from a Covid-19 affected area and had not gone for a medical check up on arrival. Our teacher informed medical officers, who visited him at home for a test and then sent him for quarantine. They appreciated our teacher’s effort and said every citizen must be alert, help authorities and stop the spread of the virus

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.

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!