Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Revolution. This word has so much in it. It has led to catastrophes and also has led to a chain of positive developments. I would like to quote an example of a revolution, which has given me (and a whole lot), a new lease of life.

February 2006

We (Me and a good friend of mine) attended a website launch function. We happened to meet a humble person who spoke about a school named Kaliyuva Mane, imparting education for rural kids. We felt a deep sense of satisfaction after hearing to the founder. We simply loved the concept! Our heart skipped! We thought of visiting the school and exploring more about this wonderful place. This simple thought of visiting the school has brought out so many changes.

There were no rows of buildings or lush green lawns to boast off, but the school premises was filled of laughter of lovely kids. There was a sparkle in every kid’s eyes. It reflected the philosophy of Kaliyuva Mane.

After bidding adieu, we came back home with zillion thoughts churning in our minds. It was very sad to hear the obstacles which were hampering the growth of children and school. Erratic power supply, lack of quality teachers, Infrastructure etc were the rampant challenges. I saw a role model in the founder who had stood strong against all the odds. We felt the dire need of joining hands with this super cool place.

We started spreading the good word with our dear buddies. In no time we were a team of 3 with a single motive of making an impact for Kaliyuva Mane. Technology helped us to get in more people for our volunteer family. Most of the family members were studying pre-final year engineering in SJCE. They used to visit the school in weekends, play with children. Some of them used to teach, some wondered what to do. One thing is sure all those who have visited Kaliyuva Mane share brotherhood/sisterhood with our children.

Some of the haunting memories that I can recollect from these 3 years

* We spent a good amount of time in naming our group.

* Sometime in May 2006, we set up stall at ACEthethic(Computer Science Department festival of NIE, Mysore) for promoting Divya Deepa. This was the first fund raising effort from our volunteer family :) We were able to amass about 2000/- by selling greeting cards. I cherish those tough times when we stood all through the day, explaining about Divya Deepa and the concept of volunteering. Folks from computer science department were mesmerized by the ideology and passion of their fellow students. They came forward to contribute a white board and few stationary items :-D. It was fun carrying this stuff in an open van!

* We held periodic meetings to discuss about what all we can do.

* Divya Deepa website – http;// has undergone various changes from plain HTML pages to CMS based.

* The darker days of Mysooru Unplugged 2007 when things didn’t worked out. We worked our asses off to make sure our dream baby takes a good form. The one spirit making it happen finally made this fund raiser a stellar show. We learnt a whole lot of things – How media works, How companies make use of events for brand promotion, How a dedicated team can make wonders, How challenging it is to deal with police, How challenging it is to dream big without a pie in hand, How to keep the team as a family when egos are prevalent. In one line I would say this was a true answer for the haunting question “What does a group of mad, patriotic youngsters can do in a short span of 25 days?”. Now we are dreaming of a much bigger extravaganza – India Unplugged :)

* A volunteer meet was held post MU to thank the volunteers. It was one of the most memorable days! Still remember that evening when some of us discussed about things we did, the pains we under went. Those nostalgic moments’ makes my eyes wet anytime, any day.

* The sleepless nights spent by fellow volunteers for completion of souvenir which we brought out post MU. The Souvenir release ceremony which was held in Institute of engineers is worth mentioning. One of our family members volunteered for this function. She had exams just 2 days after the function. This shows the deep rooted connection which we have with Kaliyuva Mane.

* The idea of customized T-shirts which emerged during MU. This simple idea has got a great potential. We wish to capitalize on this idea and use it as one of the strong ways for raising operational expenses.

* Teaching subjects, crafts, dance etc. I would like to applaud the efforts of volunteers who taught craft, dance, subjects and music to our children.

* Planting trees which we procured from forest department.

* We kept stalls at Infosys, Sasken, Juniper, DELL, Wipro, Excel Soft and other corporate houses with an aim to promote the good word.

* Design discussions of learning area. It was an eye opener for all us.

* Design of our newsletter. We still have a long way to go in this.

* Discussions about Solar, Paper Empower

* Bondage that we have developed with children. It’s a priceless gift that we have got form almighty :)

This list goes on… :)

In Kaliyuva Mane, Kids are given ample time, opportunity and freedom to learn, explore things. Here the children learn life skills, self reliance, arts, computers, subjects, sports etc. The best part is the freedom. If children does mistake, they are given opportunities to succeed.

Today we can see learning areas, Kids bank, laboratories, a small play area, hot water facility, volunteer block etc. All this is because of endurance and hardships of our beloved founder, children, staff, patrons and volunteers.

More than anything, the evolution of children. Children who used to drop out of schools are now happily studying. Their broken dreams have gained wings. They have started dreaming to become self reliant. I have seen few children transforming from pranksters to disciplined and sweetest children. The very reason is the love, care, warmth, freedom, values inculcated in this temple of wisdom called Kaliyuva Mane.

Many volunteers have been a part of our volunteer family. Most of them have stayed for a shorter span, very few are staying from a long time. The milestones what we have achieved are minuscule examples to convey the immense potential of youth.

Kaliyuva Mane is a word which means home for learning. We are deeply attached with children and the school. It’s not only a school, but a holy place, a second home for all the fellow family members who are committed to realize the dreams of Future India.

I dream to see Kaliyuva Mane as a school which will bring out the best of the best Bureaucrats, Leaders, Artisans, Technocrats, Doctors, Social Entrepreneurs and more than anything self reliant, patriotic, proud citizens of Bharat...

I wish that this line resonates in every youth's ears all through the day and even in slumber


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