Abhyudaya is not a school its just a free tuition centre for poor children, it’s surprising that a tuition centre has transformed the life of several children from nearby slums and semi urban areas. Abhyudaya provides coaching for class 1 to 9. In these free coaching centre more than 3600 children from class 1 to class 9 get free tuition.
These free tuition centres are called kalika Kendra. Jnanagiri a Free SSLC coaching is conducted every year for 110 days for 250 students. Children who pass the exam are given scholarship called vidyanidhi to enrol into diploma and degree courses. Talent search competition called aarohan is conducted every year for these children.
Abhyudaya free tuition starts to these socially deprived children from class 1 itself and goes on till class 9. Later these students get free special coaching class for class 10 also. Students who fail at SSLC get one to one coaching. It is ensured that students do well in their exams. Since most of the students cannot afford to pay their fees, Students who join colleges also get scholarship. If a students come to Abhyudaya during the young age, when they leave it is ensured that they are enrolled in some good professional degree or diploma or ITI courses. Many families also get transformed as the student get transformed.
These free tuition centres are called Kalika Kendra. Children from slums cannot sit and study at home due to the atmosphere there. Even their parents cannot tutor them. But at Abhyudaya the volunteers take time from there buzy schedule and coach the children in a classroom like environment. The volunteers also check if the school had given any homework and they help the children complete them. In a way the volunteers do the job of what parents do in a home where parents are educated.
Jnanagiri, 110 days free SSLC exam coaching
Another big program conducted in a mission mode is called Jnanagiri, started in 2014 it is a Free 110 days special coaching class for class X (SSLC) students by eminent teachers of Bangalore. These teachers don’t get paid except for the travelling. Students for SSLC coaching are selected after a counselling session with the parents and the student together.
During this session the parents have to sign a written undertaking consisting of 13 points. The undertaking consist of some points like parents will not distract the children at home by watching TV, they will not give the children two wheeler and mobile, parents will not give work to the children which will make them tired, parents have to regularly attend the teachers meeting etc. Preference for coaching is given to children who are from lower economic background. Some of the common professions of the parents are: drivers, factory workers, house maids, construction labourers etc.
Many students come from nearby area by walking, cycling or by bus. One Person an auto driver by profession is a handicap with only one leg. But he came to the counselling in his auto to get his son enrolled. A parent owning a car may not find it difficult to take their children in their car. But for an auto driver taking their children means sacrificing a day earnings. These parents who themselves not well educated, have a very strong desire to support their children to lead a better life in future by getting them proper education.
The classes for SSLC coaching are held for 5 days for 1.5 hours and 3 hours on Saturday. In this way students get around 120 hours of intensive coaching for 3 months in various subjects like mathematics, science and language. Every Sunday some noted persons from the society like scientist, doctors, police officers, army officers, top corporate executives, professors, journalists etc are invited. During this session, the children get some idea about how to be an achiever in life and also get an idea about various career prospects. Normally a child from low income group does not have opportunity to interact with big personalities as their family don’t have any such relatives or friends .
These Sunday session gives them an opportunity to see noted personality and get inspired. It also gives an opportunity to the noted personality to interact with such children. Since students are from both Kannada and English medium Coaching are conducted in both the medium.
Student from low income group have performed very well in the SSLC exams and have taken good marks after taking training from this place. Few of them are from very weak economic background have also enrolled into various professional degree courses. Previous year in SSLC exam 28 students scored 98% and above, 142 students scored distinction. Students who fail are enrolled for supplementary exams, one to one coaching with special personal attention ensures their success in the successive exam. No student who enters this coaching centre is allowed to drop out at any cost. Around 250 students had attended the coaching last year.
This SSLC coaching is being held from past four years. It has produced many achievers. One Boy was cleaning cars and was also associated with drug peddlers. Volunteers at Abhyudaya brought him out of his criminal associations; put him into coaching and today this boy is in his final year MBBS. One family was full of thieves, the family had to leave their profession of stealing as the children took up coaching and scored well in exams. A girl was living in a large abandoned water pipe, volunteers got her into the coaching centre, she studies well and now she is doing her degree course. A boy was staying in 40 sq feet house which is smaller than even a room for most of us. Today this boy is doing his degree course. As per D Lakshminarayana who is one of the executive team, who is also a fulltime working Engineer by profession, there are many such stories. One may need several days to listen to the story behind each student.
Many students share their experience about the free coaching at abhyudaya. One girl Swetha daughter of labourer shared her experience. She took coaching at abyudaya from class 4. now she has taken the special coaching for SSLC class X exam. She told how she has gained confidence to speak openly in public along with getting good coaching at Abhyudaya. She is from Narayan nagara government school. Students who have 100 percentage attendance during the free coaching are given a small gift to encourage attendance.
Vidyanidhi is another program run by Abhyudaya. As its name suggests, it is about providing scholarship to children to pursue further education. Students are selected based on their economic background. More than 550 students have received the benefit last year. Some parents who received the scholarship have given back a part after utilising what was required by them. These parents were not financially rich, they could have utilised this amount for other purposes but the influence of Abhyudaya is such that their conscious did not permit them to use it for anything other than children’s education. identifying students who are really in need of scholarship is done by volunteers by visiting house of the children to ascertain their social and economic background.
Abhyudaya conducts an event called Aarohan every years a unique competition for socially deprived children. Most of these students were from Slums and villages in and around Bangalore south. 1600 children participated in various competitions. More than 300 volunteers and judges were there in the event. Children participate in essay competition with the themes like Swachh Bharat and Service to society in daily life. Essay was written either in Kannada or English as per the convenience of the children. Children speak In pick and speak competition with good confidence level. According the organisers Public speaking gives confidence to these children which will later help them a lot in their life. Theme of drawing competition is to draw famous personalities like Sir M Visweswariah, Bhagat Singh, One could find many unique Bhagat Singh drawn by the children. A quiz competition is also held where children are asked various questions related to our national importance.
These children are very fond of Science exhibition. solar system, rocket, drones etc are prepared by the children. it’s surprising that these children know all these. A student from bommasandra government school had made a model of forest with city in the outskirts. At the edge of the forest they had shown some vehicles and people. It shows that these children are well aware about the importance of forest and are aware about the destruction of forest and man animal conflicts. Mimicry was one more favourite program to participate by the children. They imitated birds, animals and film actors very well. This is a real hidden talent which come out only during such competitions.
According to Laxminarayana one of the organisers from abhyudaya, such events gives these deprived children an opportunity to exhibit their talents. Once the talent of a child gets recognised there is no end it that child will keep participating in several programs at different places.
The organisation back end support, logistic support etc is done by several volunteers consisting of working professionals and women who are home makers. What is surprising is that there are no full time people in Abhyudaya. There are more than 80 training centres throughout south Bangalore. At many locations, place is given by some good citizen and volunteers conduct the classes there regularly in a disciplined manner. Material requirement for the tuition centres like floor mats, boards etc are donated by several patrons. Running a tuition centre in Abhyudaya cost Rs 75000 which is much less compared to a private centre; this is due to the various material and logistic contribution of volunteers. Many students who do not have basic material are provided a stationery kit costing Rs 850 per students. The 110 days special coaching class for SSLC class X cost Rs 500000. Vidyanidhi scholarship of total Rs 75 Lac is distributed. School kits like books pen pencils bags are given all the children in the kalika kenrda this cost Rs 60000 per kalika Kendra. Hygiene kits are provided to each children in the kalika Kendra this cost Rs 15000 per kalika Kendra.
Journey So far
25000 students have reveived free tuitions, 5000 students have received the vidyanidhi scholarships, 1600 students have received free SSLC coaching till now,
What Volunteers say Abhyudaya
Abhyudaya is run by all volunteers consisting of working professionals and homemakers. The volunteers daily go to job, fulfil their family commitments and take time every day during evenings and on weekends for abhyudaya.
Most are working professionals like lakshminarayana is working in KPTCL, Vidyashankar is a visiting faculty in PES, Venu Gopal is working in Engineering centre, chandrashekar is a finance professional, Bhadrinath is retired from education department. Some like Veena Bharve a homemaker who devotes her time daily at the Kalika kendra (coaching centre) after completing her work at home.
According to Lakshimarayana D who is part of executive team, Children will not get into the company of bad elements as the daily come to Abhyudaya teaching centre.
According to Vidyashankar a visiting faculty as PESIT and a volunteer teacher at Abhyudaya, many children in India come from a society where parents cannot afford good education or teach them proper values. Helping these children with coaching, training, counselling etc can accelerate the development of our country. This will make our economy strong and make India number one globally.
According to badrinath who is a volunteer and part of executive team, Citizens should continue their professional job sincerely and help their companies to grow stronger day by day, this is their primary duty. But at the same time they should also volunteer and spend some time, money and energy whenever possible in helping organisations who are trying to make India free of poverty.
Crime rate, bad social elements are not born but are created due to the circumstance where they live. You cannot immediately change the circumstances where a person lives but the creation of bad elements can be prevented by creating the good elements inside these students. That is the work of abhyudaya. That is social transformation.
According to vidyashankar children who come to Abhyudaya not only get free coaching but many of them have been able to come out of some big personal problems in their life.He gave few examples of this. One student who took coaching at Abyudaya lost her father, due to financial problems the girl and her mother were on the verge of commuting suicide. Volunteers at abyudaya who came to know this helped the girl and her family. Today the girl is doing 4th semester BE at PESIT. 30% of teachers of abyudaya are their own students who have taken free coaching at abyudaya. This is a big achievement. Abhyudaya is producing people with philanthropic charitable mind who want to give back to the society. Last year 8 students had failed, they were counselled and all of them passed. Most of the children who fail are due to physiological problems.
Imagine what would happen if even few students from socially economically deprived get spoilt due to bad condition in their surroundings. Hence abhyudaya had taken up a very great challenge of preventing the creation of bad elements in the society. This is a great contribution to the society and the nation by Abhyudaya.
Many children from Abhyudaya have excelled in life, several have enrolled to professional courses like engineering, medicine, diploma, fire fighting etc. for a child from normal background getting into these courses is not a difficult thing. But for children from slums and socially deprived background not getting into crime and getting into a good course is itself a big achievement.