Sunday, May 9, 2010

A milestone for Divyadeepa!

Greetings from  Divyadeepa family!

We are very happy  to share this important milestone that the children of Kaliyuva Mane have achieved on May 5th, 2010. SSLC results were out. 6 out of 7 who appeared for the important exams, emerged with flying colors. One of them secured a First Class too.

The highlight of their journey was their commitment towards accommodating 10 years of education into their 3-4 years of education in Kaliyuva Mane!  All children cleared the exam in English medium.

What makes this feat so special and satisfying?  Each of them hailed from rural BPL family.  Most of them are first generation school-goers.  Some had dropped out from main stream schools due to various reasons.
Here we present their profiles :

Prashanth’s (19 years) mother is working as a domestic help. Prashanth was studying in a Govt.  school. Compulsions of life, made him quit the school in 2003, without completing 7th standard.  He left the school to work as a child labourer at Ooty, Coimbatore and Hassan at a tender age of 12.

3 years ago,(during 2007) upon seeing an article on Kaliyuva Mane in “Mysooru Mithra”, one of his acquaintances called us and enquired about job opportunity for Prashanth. Considering his age, we wanted him to study. Initially, there were some behavioural issues owing to his tumultuous background. Also, he had forgotten what he had studied in primary schools.  He soon started showing interest in studies.

Sachin’s (15 years) father is a mason. Sachin was studying in a Govt. higher primary school in his village. . By the time he completed 5th standard, he lost interest in studies as he was considered as a slow learner. Eventually, his parents brought him to Kaliyuva Mane where he had to undergo learning from the scratch. We found him to be very bright but having some problems in learning languages. 

Nanjunda Swamy (21 years) was studying in Govt. higher primary school at Mellahalli. During 2000, when he was 11 years old, he lost interest in the school and bid good bye to it, without completing 5th standard.  He started helping his father in farming. One of his uncles, who was a beneficiary of our literacy programme at Mellahalli brought him to Kaliyuva Mane in 2007. He continued his education after a gap of nearly 7 years, because of which he had forgotten to recognize even Kannada alphabets and numbers.  

Narayana (15 years) used to attend the local village school once in a blue moon. Village games like marbles, top and chinni-dandu attracted him more than the village school. He was least interested in studies.  His brother who was a beneficiary of our supporting classes at Srirampura, brought him to Kaliyuva Mane in the year 2005. Initially he was not comfortable at Kaliyuva Mane. However, gradually started liking environment prevailing at Kaliyuva mane. 

Santosh (18 years) was not good at studies. Because of this he used to get upset  One day he left the school without completing 7th standard.  He took to grazing sheep. When Kaliyuva Mane was started, his parents admitted him to the school. Initially when he joined Kaliyuva Mane, he was irregular. He was a bit quarrelsome also.  After a year or so in 2007 he expressed his desire to join as a resident scholar.  Gradually he started learning from scratch. 

Mahesha’s (15 years) Mahesha was studying in 6th Govt. higher primary school, Dhanagahalli.  He was bright.  But due to severe financial constraints, his parents were on the verge of discontinuing his education.  One day his parents had come to Divyadeepa as construction helpers  They contacted Kaliyuva Mane regarding Mahesha’s admission.   In 2006, he joined Kaliyuva Mane as a resident scholar. He has passed the exams in First class. 

At Kaliyuva Mane, we have discovered that an uncluttered mind is a pre-requisite for learning. Love, care and empathy are the essential ingredients for an uncluttered mind.  We believe strongly that children should retain a ‘sense of wonder’ in them and enjoy their childhood to the brim.  A healthy emotional atmosphere is very necessary for the children to blossom.  We also feel, a certain degree of freedom is necessary for the children to learn. Children respond to activity based learning and interactive classes. At Kaliyuva Mane we are striving hard to practice these principles in letter and spirit. 

The response from the kids is really heartening. This has added more responsibility on our shoulders.  We are aware, the expectations from Vivek group children who are going to appear for SSLC examination during 2012 will be more.  We hope God gives us enough strength to live up to the expectations. 

The learning from these results should not be missed. The above children needed an opportunity to prove themselves. All they required was love, care and empathy. And they found it at Kaliyuva Mane.  

This would not have been possible without the support of a number of well-wishers and volunteers who stood by us during the testing times. Divyadeepa runs entirely on public donations. We are lost for words to describe their contributions. A young brigade of volunteers from local engineering colleges goes around the city collecting newspapers from houses to raise funds for these children week after week. A software engineer quit her cosy job in a reputed company to join Kaliyuva Mane as a teacher. A housewife commutes 30 KM a day to teach the children. The list in endless.  

Divyadeepa wishes to express its deep gratitude to all those people who have helped us to brighten the present and future of these children. Though it is a moment of joy, we cannot afford to be complacent. We are aware of the challenges facing us. A number of opportunity-deprived children are knocking at our doors. We need to build the future of many more such children. Hence, we appeal to you to help us transform many more children into self-reliant citizens of India.

We welcome you to Kaliyuva Mane, to experience first hand, an atmosphere full of joy and hope.
Come, join us, and be a part of this beautiful journey! 

On behalf of Divyadeepa family of kids, volunteers and staff