I am in Bangalore since last week on a vacation. I am baffled by the changes all for good,some for bad. It now takes two hours to criss 12 miles on a working day. THis used to take me 20 minutes just a decade ago.
I have seen my share of rich India, the expensive restaurants, every possible company from the world has a set up here. from Intel, to HP , IBM you name it. Its there. With that comes high pay packets and skyrocketing real estate. If you think India is a cost saving measure forget about being here. Its a great place for R&D, Brain power , design etc.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit a school in a village called Muddinahalli . This is a school started by some very dedicated people who had a vision to educate rural India back in the 1980’s. They at that time had left the city live to start this rural school that educates kids from villages around and now from all over India.
This school now produces top rankers in country ( Called CBSE board). The school today has many facilities that were not heard in rural india many years ago.Its now run by Satya sai education trust known for world class education centers in India. This is just one of the many hundreds of organizations trying to improve the roots of India.
This school has no government grants, no expensive fees ( education is free , just some basic ameneties have to be paid). I was curious to see thier computer lab. they had decent pentium class computers around 30 much less compared to other private schools here. The kids are just hard working. These kids many come from a very poor background shine today just because they can. All they need is an opportunity.
The school still has severe water shortage, needs help in so many forms. My dad is trying to investigate how to solve the water shortage crisis. As things go its not very easy.
They have medical camps for villages and many leading doctors and industrialists and many others try to do what they can. Although there is lots more to be done.
Then i got to go with them to a nearby village called PuttatimmanaHalli in Kolar district of Karnataka after Chikka ballapur.
We drove though small roads from National Highway. This village had a celebration day for kids who come to a bala vikas conducted by a group of volunteers every sunday. These young folks work in day jobs in Bangalore and surrounding places and weekends in this and other nearby villages. These youngsters make the difference. Hats off to their hard efforts to brings up the kids in these villages ( the future of India), trying to bridge that ever growing gap between the rich and poor.
I work in Seattle and once i am there i have no idea of whats is going on out here much. My weekends are spent doing not much, or just having fun ( as they call , just chill) while these folks are out there making a difference.
To our surprise there were around 100 bright kids who came to the occasion which as held in the local school. That has till 9 standard. Only two teachers and a real tiny tiny room they call school.Contrary to this there are international schools where parents pay through their nose to inculcate similar value at a much higher price where there are two teachers for every 1o kids. Amazing divide.
My dad was one of the first ones to light the lamp to start the occasion. they had skits and songs and speeches. The bala vihar group gave each kid a gift of notebooks pencils etc they need fot thier class. These kids sat through 3 hours in scorching heat and enjoyed every bit of it. I was also called to give away these books. I felt honorned for having give me an opportunity to hand books to India’s brightest and hardworking kids that are trying to break the barrier and make a difference. I am sure they will make the future India safe, secure and proud.
It is a fact that Sir Vishweshwariah was born in Muddinahalli. Yet the actual village has had no improvement except the wonderful and serene school at the foothills of nandi hills near Bangalore.
Here are some pictures from the day .
It will make me think twice before i get my next item in my wish list. Every dollar, Every rupee can make a huge difference to these kids. If you want to help please do let me know. You can make a difference too.
They need whatever you can give. They need your time,lots of encouragement, learn to speak english and good heathcare system. There is no hospital in sight for many many miles around this village . Its only 2 hours from BAngalore. Think of the other really remote villages. Not sure how they even treat themselves.
They sure could use books for a library being built for kids from KG to 10 standard. I am just writing this on my blog as i just want my thoughts expressed.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.