An idea can change a life! Indeed, the idea of this residential school changed the way India looked at residential education system. In rich tradition and with the true spirit of the “Gurukula” school of thought, took birth in 1971, the Andhra Pradesh Residential School at Sarvail, a far flung village in Nalgonda district.
The school, which is celebrating 40 years of its establishment this week, is the first residential school set up by a State Government in the country. It has come a long way in these four decades lifting a few generations out of illiteracy and also inspiring the establishment of many such schools, notably the acclaimed Navodaya Vidyalayas at the national level.
But the birth of this school wasn't an easy one. It required the burning desire of former Prime Minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao and the benevolence and large heartedness of Sarvodaya leader, Maddi Narayana Reddy, who donated 44 acres of land for the school. “It was a place for thousands of parents in this economically and educationally backward region to look forward to educating their children,” recalls Chukka Ramaiah, noted academic and MLC.
“It was a centre of academic excellence that paved way to the bright world of opportunities which lay beyond the sleepy hamlet,” says Burra Venkatesham, Commissioner of Information and Public Relations, an alumnus of the school. Another prominent alumnus, M. Mahender Reddy, Additional DGP (Intelligence) recalls the prime quality he inculcated from the school system - discipline. “It was not just academics but the school gave a unique personality to every student with its distinctive approach to learning,” he says. “But for the foundation at school my career course would have been different.”
Another alumnus, A. Dinakar Babu, Managing Director, Civil Supplies agrees and says the team spirit that school environment inculcated in him has shaped his personality. “Being in a hostel and doing everything on our own gave us great deal of confidence and face the challenges with ease,” he says. All the successful alumni say the role of teachers and their constant guidance was a major factor.
No wonder, the school has produced over a 1,000 doctors and engineers apart from professionals in various fields. As prominent Paediatrician, B. Narender Reddy, who is also the president of the Alumni Association says, “The discipline inculcated and direction provided by the teachers still guides the alumni in their professions.”
The association through its alumni spread far and wide contributes a lot to the school. Recently, the association raised Rs. 10 lakh to replace cots in the hostels and furniture in the school. And they say the idea is to spread the spirit of Sarvail far and long.
Set up in 1971, AP Residential School at Sarvail in Nalgonda district is the first residential school It has produced over a 1,000 doctors and engineers apart from various professionals
Set up in 1971, AP Residential School at Sarvail in Nalgonda district is the first residential school
It has produced over a 1,000 doctors and engineers apart from various professionals