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Success against all odds

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Worth a mention: Kaliyuva Mane in Mysore takes care of underprivileged children and specialises in alternative mode of learning.
Worth a mention: Kaliyuva Mane in Mysore takes care of underprivileged children and specialises in alternative mode of learning.

Special Correspondent

Six out of seven students of Kaliyuva Mane pass SSLC exam

Many of them had dropped out of school and were child labourers

Next batch of children in the organisation will take up SSLC exam in 2012

Mysore: Never mind the numbers. But the odds against which the results were achieved make it a success story worth emulating.

For, six out of seven students of Kaliyuva Mane (Home for Learning) cleared the SSLC examination. What makes their efforts spectacular is that the students are from the underprivileged section of society and had dropped out of schools and were also employed as child labourers.

But thanks to the intervention of Divya Deepa Charitable Trust, which runs the Kaliyuva Mane at Kenchalagudu village on the Manathavady Road, these students passed the examination. The school, which specialises in alternative mode of learning, is driven by a belief that each child learns things in which it is interested, at is own pace. So, the students who had dropped out without completing their high school had to start from a scratch but managed to squeeze in 10 years of conventional education within four years of learning. The school caters to the needs of the underprivileged children and those from below the poverty line families, and those who have not attended school.

The numbers may seem insignificant for those familiar with assembly line production of distinction holders in mainstream educational institutions.

But for these children who had no hope of education and had given up on learning, it is a major milestone and holds out hope for the millions like them.

M.R. Ananth Kumar of Divya Deepa Charitable Trust explained: “What makes this feat so special and satisfying is that each of them hailed from rural BPL family. Most of them are first generation school-goers. Some had dropped out from mainstream schools due to various reasons”.

So meet the young achievers some of whom will take up vocational course to rebuild their life. Prashanth (19 years) was studying in a local government school but compulsions of life made him quit the school in 2003 and he did not complete his seventh standard. He left school to work as a child labourer at Ooty, Coimbatore and Hassan at a tender age of 12 and help his mother who is a domestic maid. By a quirk of fate, he opted for a job in Kaliyuva Mane. But, the trustees of the organisation put him to their alternative learning school.

So is the case of Sachin who is 15 years old. His father is a mason and Sachin considered to be a slow learner, lost interest in studies by the time he could complete 5th standard. Eventually, his parents brought him to Kaliyuva Mane where he began his studies from a scratch.

Nanjunda Swamy (21 years) was studying in government higher primary school at Mellahalli. In the year 2000 when he was 11 years old, he lost interest in going to school and bid good bye to it without completing the 5th standard. But he was brought to Kaliyuva Mane where he continued his education after a gap of nearly 7 years by which time he had forgotten to recognise even Kannada alphabets and numbers.

Narayana (15) used to attend a local school in his village but was least interested in studies. But his brother, who was a beneficiary of the Kaliyuva Mane, brought him to the institution and today Narayana has completed his SSLC.

Similarly, Santosh had dropped out after 7th standard and was tending sheep. So was Mahesha (15) of Dhanagahalli whose father is a construction worker. Mahesha joined Kaliyuva Mane in 2006, and has passed the exams with a first class.

Mr. Ananth Kumar said this was the first batch which appeared for the SSLC and a few more students will appear for the examination in 2012.

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