Hyderabad

Playing mentor to talented underprivileged children

Students at a reading session at Gnana Saraswathi Foundation’s Sadhana Kuteer in Ranga Reddy district. (Right) Students having food on the premises of Sadhana Kuteer.

Students at a reading session at Gnana Saraswathi Foundation’s Sadhana Kuteer in Ranga Reddy district. (Right) Students having food on the premises of Sadhana Kuteer.  

Gnana Saraswathi Foundation offers free residential facility every year to give special and focused coaching

It is not due to lack of talent and merit that keeps many promising students from poor and underprivileged sections from doing well in life but lack of resources and exposure to garner opportunities at the right time to make their mark in this competitive world.

Yet an individual, Sada Venkat Reddy, made it his mission to spot the talented students from government schools and offer free residential camp facility for 45 days in a year to give them that special and focused coaching, conducive academic ambience and motivate them to do well despite their economic and social backwardness.

Over 530 government schools in Rangareddy, Vikarabad, Medchal, Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar districts recommend three students each for the residential camp. Among them, 300 students are selected through a written test every year. Permission is taken from the District Education Officer for the students to attend the camp and the State government sends its resource persons and government teachers to take classes.

For the rest of the time, Gnana Saraswathi Foundation’s (GSF) team of volunteers and mentors guide the children.

Many of the students who attended the camp since 2011 did well and pursued higher education.

Mr. Venkat Reddy (45), a post-graduate and social worker, made this possible for the poor students of government schools by setting up GSF in 2008 with the help of donors who contribute their mite. “I started organising camps for rural students in three categories - sports, academics and cultural (SAC) activities. The students are selected through competitive test for different categories based on their area of interest.”

About 200 to 300 volunteers and experts in various fields offer their free services to GSF to run the residential camps.

Mr. Reddy’s goal is to give 1,000 talented students from underprivileged sections to society every year in these categories and help them achieve their goals.

What motivated him to choose this service activity of helping government school students?

Mostly children of weaker sections and daily wagers attend government schools. If not for the generous teachers and mentors who spotted the brilliance of B.R. Ambedkar and Abdul Kalam Azad when they were students and gave them opportunities to excel, the nation would not have realised their worth and benefited from their immense contribution to the nation.

“Who knows what these students can achieve and give back to society if given right opportunities and support,” is his conviction.

Involved with ongoing ‘Lakshyam’ residental camp for SSC students, an annual affair for 45 days for government school students, ahead of their public examination at the peaceful Sadhana Kuteer at Vinobhanagar, Ibrahimpatnam in Rangareddy, he said the land was leased to run the residential camps.

The residential camps for sports and cultural events are organised for 45 days in a year but in three or four spells coinciding with the school vacation.

Singing, painting, yoga, elocution and essay-writing are included under cultural and literary activities, he says.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 5:41:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/playing-mentor-to-talented-underprivileged-children/article30813892.ece

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