An NGO founded by two college students back in 2010 to fund the education of underprivileged children has grown from strength to strength, helping 150 students financially over the years and mentoring a further 200 students.
The NGO, named Vadaanya Jana Society, was founded by Ashok Padapati and Arun Anantaram back in 2010. At the NGO’s 12th anniversary function held in the city on Sunday, the duo narrated how they began their journey of social service by supporting a young child labourer who was working at a tea stall. The boy left them stunned with his knowledge of mathematics, which inspired them to embark on their endeavour, the duo recalled.
While the duo raised funds from friends, family and philanthropists, a major focus of their NGO was to provide not just financial aid to needy students but also to provide mentoring and guidance, they said. Around 40 students who did well in a recent talent test and those who have grown up to become professionals in their field spoke about their journey.
Mr. Ashok said they had spent only a small amount — around ₹15 lakh so far — and given scholarships worth ₹1.75 lakh last year to 140 talented government school students, but a large number of people from all walks of life had been supporting the students by guiding them in the profession/field of study they were interested in.
Those who attended included Neelam Ramesh, principal of Penukonda Govt. College, who had supported many students personally, Ravikanth Ramana, a caterer, S.K. Lenin Babu of a charitable trust, social activist Anil Kumar of Discover Anantapuram and Y.V. Malla Reddy of RDT’s sister organisation A.F. Ecology.
A horticulture officer, Mahesh Naik narrated his inspiring journey about completing his post-graduation from a reputed national college for which he did not have money and later in cracking a competitive exam for the job with the support of Vadaanya. A similar story was narrated by a chartered accountant also named Mahesh, who said he was able to complete his articleship in 2021 during COVID-19 and get a job with a ₹10-lakh package thanks to the help offered by the NGO.