Archive for the ‘Community Engagement’ Category

Our Role in Enrollment

The Telangana Government has launched the ‘Professor Jaya Shankar Badibata Programme’ which aims to drive enrollment levels in schools by motivating and encouraging families to enroll school age children and school dropouts to join neighbourhood government schools.

ZPHS students in the school enrollment rally in Bahadurapally

As part of this initiative, students of the Tech Mahindra Foundation sponsored Zilla Parishad High School, along with staff from ZPHS and the Mandal Parishal Primary School, conducted an awareness program and rally in and around the village of Bahadurapally.

Students, as spokespersons of their school, spoke to parents to encourage them to send their children to school, giving details about the high quality of education and facilities that are being provided as part of the school improvement partnership between TMF and RDF.

Students talking to the local community during the drive

The villagers responded positively and were found to be aware of best practices being implemented both the government schools through existing parents and children.

With many school age children still not in school and school dropouts getting marginalized in society; such initiatives are crucial to helping families making an informed decision to send their wards to school.

 

Alumni Give Back

Over the years, RDF alumni have always come back to their schools to help innumerable ways. The connections remain alive, wherever they are.

In Matendla School, it was the entire Class 10 batch from last year who paid a surprise visit to the school and sponsored a Midday Meal, along with biscuits! Everyone was very touched to learn that they had saved their pocket money for several months to make this generous donation! They personally served all students and teachers, a gesture that moved many!

Though RDF students have shown over and over again how much they care for their schools, every gesture continues to warm our hearts. This good deed by mere 16 year olds will live in our hearts for a long time!

Nature’s Hero

We received a lovely note from S.K. Navaz, a BPC 2nd year student at the RDF VAPV Junior College who is passionate about trees and conserving the environment. Here is his letter, reproduced with his permission –

 “My name is SK Navaz, studying in BPC 2nd year. My favourite subject is Botany. I love trees. I plant ten saplings every year. I have taken on the responsibility of watering the plants in my campus daily and I feel very happy to see all the trees growing because they are the fruit of my own labour. I closely observe my trees. There are different kinds of fruits that grow on them like badam, cherry and regu. I feel happy that students and birds ate most of them. I prefer to spend my leisure time with my trees. I urge everyone plant 5 saplings every year. Let us join hands to save the environment.”

Local media article on the plant varieties in the campus

The Junior College students and staff have been making a lot of effort in greening their campus and spreading awareness on the importance of maintaining a green cover and having plant diversity too. So far they have planted 424 varieties of plant and aim to have 1000 plant species! Their work has been covered in the local media and commended by local communities.

The change makers that India needs reside in her villages. Living close to nature, in areas that still retain some of their verdant charm, young people like Navaz can still see the degradation of the environment. Their zeal and determination is admirable and we hope their positive influence can spread far and wide. As he champions trees, we need to champion young people like him who take on the challenging responsibility to be the change they want to see in the world.

Empowering the Self with Self-Defense

RDF has a core vision of educating and empowering the girl child. Over the years, many social and educational programs have been conducted for students and parents on the importance of girl child education and encouraging girls to study, work and become financially able. It is a matter of great pride for the RDF family that many girls have topped not just in academics but in the sports field too. Many students from the 5 RDF institutions have taken up martial arts, with the encouragement of their teachers and parents too!

Therefore, it was gratifying to learn that the Commissioner of Police of Warangal Rural District, Mr. G. Sudhir Babu, initiated the largest self defense lesson at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Warangal. The aim was to make women and college girls more self reliant by imparting key self defense techniques to them.

The smiling and confident team from the junior college

The smiling and confident team from the junior college

The RDF VAPV Junior College sent 50 girl students for the program. The students were trained in pairs by martial art experts, getting the individual attention that was required to master these techniques. The session was very well planned and executed. After the day long session, the girls came back to the campus and trained the students who could not attend, on the techniques learnt. The session has given them more confidence and they stated that such sessions should be conducted frequently.

Safeguarding the Kitchen Gardens

Like the five RDF institutions, the Mandal and Zilla Parishad schools in Bahadurpally village that are a part of the Tech Mahindra Foundation and RDF program partnership, have provision of planting fruits and vegetables in their kitchen gardens. Despite the efforts of the caretakers, in previous seasons, saplings couldn’t grow due to water shortage and pests.

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Yield in the Primary School kitchen garden

However, effective water management techniques such as saving water in drums and usage of boring water augmented the growth of the plants. The bandicoots and pests continued to remain a problem in the schools. The usage of natural pesticides prevented damage to the plants and produced good yield.

Yield in the High School kitchen garden

Yield in the High School kitchen garden

The seeds of spinach, soya beans, bottle gourds, tomatoes and papaya were purchased. Due to the above mentioned initiatives, the produce increased significantly in the schools. The sweet potatoes produced were used for cooking and served to all the students of the high school.

Beeriah and his wife, Ellava, the watchman and caretaker team have worked ceaselessly in order to protect the kitchen gardens and ensure that it flourishes. We are very grateful for their efforts!

Aiming Right!

A decade has passed since RDF produced its first archery champion in Pranitha. The decade since 2006 is filled with numerous archery champions and records at the District, State, National and International level.

RDF’s archery achievements continue to make us proud. At the same time, we are also humbled by our students’ perseverance and determination to push themselves and bring accolades for themselves, RDF institutions and the community.

The RDF VAPV Junior College was honoured to host the State Archery Championships that was organised by the School Games Federation of India. Over 180 talented archers from 9 districts in Telangana participated in the event. As per protocol, the event was divided into 3 categories – under 14, under 17 and under 19. RDF was represented by 6 archers from the Junior College and 7 archers from Kalleda School. Accommodation for all participants was made on the college premises.

(2nd from L) Mr. Prashanth Patil, (R) Ms. Vijaya Laxmi

(2nd from L) Mr. Prashanth Patil, (R) Ms. Vijaya Laxmi

The event was held on 26th and 27th November. Mr. Prashanth Jeevan Patil, Collector – Warangal Rural District was the Chief Guest for the inaugural ceremony while Ms. Vijaya Laxmi, Mandal Revenue Officer – Parvathagiri Mandal was the Guest of Honour. For the Valedictory Function, Mr. Sudeer Babu, Warangal Commissioner of Police and Mr. S. Mahender, Warangal Assistant Commissioner of Police were the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour respectively.

After 2 days of intense competition, the Ranga Reddy district emerged as the overall champions while the Warangal Rural district team, playing in their own backyard, was declared the runners up. 3 archers from the Junior College and 5 from Kalleda School have been selected for the National level competitions.

The jubilant RDF archery team

The jubilant RDF archery team

We congratulate the RDF archers for their achievements and wish them the very best for the upcoming National level event.

Creating Social Awareness on Intoxicants and Tobacco

RDF’s holistic approach to education involves the core component of a robust Social Awareness Program. Helping local communities with social issues is part of all RDF schools’ philosophy.

The staff in Matendla School was growing increasingly worried about the consumption of pan masala, guthka and alcohol by senior citizens in the village. Concerned about the ill effects of such habits on the impressionable mind of young children and other family members, the staff wanted to do something that would not just help create awareness but also ensure that RDF alumni, children and the wider community not fall prey to such vices.

ms-dec-2The school organised a well planned evening wherein folk songs and a skit were used as tools to allow the community to understand the gravity of the situation. The skit was put together by students of Class 8, who used humour to highlight the issue. The audience was able to easily relate to the problems presented and stated that it reflected their social reality. The staff also conducted a presentation to explain the various medical problems that can come about as a result of such habits.ms-dec-3

We hope that the right message was conveyed to everyone present and the efforts of the Matendla School team help the villagers manage the situation proactively with the information provided to them.