Archive for the ‘Social Responsibility’ 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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Here’s to Healthy Living!

Mounisha (L), explaining the theory of natural and healthy living

Mounisha, a 2nd Year BPC student at the RDF VAPV Junior College, has been providing nutritional coaching to her friends, after learning about harmful chemical additives in fruit. A Chemistry lesson on how chemicals impact the nature of fruits and soil, in turn harming our health and Iives had a profound impact on her. She says, “My teacher explained about the number of chemical being used in growing vegetables and fruits – that the fruits, vegetables and chicken are contaminated. I was concered about this and explained to my friends how eating such produce impacts our health and our future negatively. I took my friends to the Chemistry lab and explained this to them in a practical way.”

“I came up with a list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts for my friends and the community, which are” –

 Don’t:

  • Don’t drink cold drinks. It pollutes our bodies and the environment
  • Don’t eat fruits and vegetables sprayed with chemical fertilizers, pesticides etc.
  • Don’t eat boiler chicken

Do’s:

  • Drink coconut water
  • Eat naturally grown fruits and vegetables, that have been grown without use of chemicals
  • Cook vegetables using natural ingredients
  • Eat free roaming, natural country chicken (Natu Kodi)

The practical lesson!

Mounisha’s friends took her message to heart and have agreed to spread this awareness in their communities about eating natural foods and avoiding the use and consumption of produce grown with chemicals. We are very proud to see Mounisha making an empowered decision not just for her health, but those of her friends, their families and the extended community too! We hope that her concern and practical solutions find its way into many homes, enabling them to make healthier choices and lead healthier lives.

Sporting a New Look!

Rollakal School now has a beautiful new running track, thanks to the financial help of Mr. Sai Reddy, who is a Project Manager in a local company. The community based networks that have evolved over years of building relationships built on mutual trust, have borne fruit for our rural, underprivileged children in many wonderful ways!

It is humbling for us to see how the locals also treat the school as their own as evident from the numerous ways locals help our schools. The belief in RDF’s vision to educate, engage and empower rural children and their families has been wholly embraced by the local communities too! With our focus on childrens’ holistic development, sports plays a crucial role in building confidence, team work and achievements. RDF students have won many accolades over the years in the sports arena; so the sense of pride runs strong!

With the new race track, not only does the school literally sport a new look, but everyone is excited about using it for athletics practice, hosting competitions and parades and create strong, capable and fit students.

 

Time Transcending Stories!

The handmade ‘Story Board’ story holder

RDF Redlawada School team came up with a wonderful idea to document old stories that have only been passed on orally between generations and create an library of such stories! The project is called ‘Story Board’. The children were asked to meet elders in their families, especially their grandparents’ generation and bring any stories that their grandparents remembered.

Tucking his precious story away securely!

The kids took this up very enthusiastically and came up with a rich treasury of tales encompassing moral, historical, comic and inspirational themes! The teachers then helped the children to write down the stories grammatically. With so many stories pouring forth, the idea is to share these stories in class as well as during leisure time. With families, even in rural areas, spending a lot of time on mobile phones and TVs, the loss of social interaction between generations became a matter of concern. This idea was to an attempt for grandchildren to spend more time with their grandparents and bond with them over story telling.

The grandparents and parents felt very happy with this community bonding project. The children actually felt there was so much to learn from their grandparents and they came back to excitedly share stories with one another! We hope that this e-library grows, for these old stories to find their way into the younger generations for many more years to come!

 

The Importance of Voting

It’s election time in India and as  a part of the ‘Continuous Comprehensive Assessment’ programme, Kalleda School conducted a message oriented activity on ‘Awareness on the Importance of Voting’.

The kids took up a campaign in their community in order to drive home the importance of voting. They urged them, saying, “Your vote is your choice to elect the public representative. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain. The power to change our country starts with you single vote.” The main aim of the campaign was to achieve 100% voting in their local communities.

The kids, passionate about creating change, motivated everyone to utilize their vote to elect the right public representative and vote for their progress and development. A group of students also enacted a drama on the voting system! Together, they made an oath to cast their vote, ending with a chant of ‘Vote to Change the Future’.

It is amazing how conversant the students are on social issues and have the passion to create change. It shows a willingness to engage with issues that affect them and create solutions, in their own way, that address the problem – in this case, casting their vote and thinking about how to develop the villages. Well done, teachers and students of Kalleda School on taking up such an important issue and taking the steps to create change!

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!

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!