Potpourri of Knowledge

In an ocean of 8000 thousand books, Bibi Jaan of Class 8 from Govt. High School, Doddaanekundi, b11was silently engrossed in a book which gave her deeper insight to the views and vision of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru. Her 35 other classmates were also enchanted by the pages of the books which told them everything that they wanted to know. From syllabus to story books, recopies to arts and craft, dictionaries to encyclopedia, you name it and they had it. Apart from that they also had newspapers in three languages of Kannada, English and Hindi which gave them a daily dose of news from around the world. “I love Mathematics and want to become an Engineer one day, but being a good human being is equally important”, said the confident Bibi Jaan who has never skipped her library class, which is also her favorite place to be during free periods.

Mr. Muneshe, the Head Master of the school, feels lucky to have such enthusiastic and self-motivated teachers and children who helped him bring the library to life in just a short span of one month. With a collection of 8000 books already in his kitty, he utilized the amount given to him to develop a place where his students will be at ease while their mind sailed through the ocean of knowledge. He bought chairs, almirahs and tables for them and painted the walls with quotes and pictures which gave them a welcoming feeling every time they entered the room.b12

“In my 20 years of experience I have observed that the children are not very keen in reading, but the library changed this scenario in a very short time”, recalled Ms. Kavita, the library in-charge of the Doddaanekundi Govt. High School. She also shared that previously when there was no separate library room then the children used to sit on the floor and read which used to be very uncomfortable for them, but now they have a separate well ventilated room and also chairs and tables to comfortable glide through the waves of knowledge. On asking how the cataloging of the books was done, she smiled and said that it was not an easy task as they had so many to arrange. But still they didn’t take any help from the children as they only wanted them to utilize that time to read and learn. The small team of teachers took on themselves this herculean task and worked extra time to make it possible.

Mr. Anand Kumar, the Physical Education teacher who readily gave up his sports room for the library was very happy with the new addition in the school. He believes that sports and books together make a complete person as sports refreshes and strengthens the body while books strengthens the mind. In the library one can see the various trophies that the children won in various sports and now Mr. Kumar wants to see a similar result in academics too with the help of the library.b13

As a future plan, the headmaster and the teachers share the same vision, that is, to add more general knowledge books in the library so as to help the children prepare themselves in a competitive world where knowledge is their only savior.

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Pathway to a Whole New World

The moment you enter the library of Govt. High School, Immadihalli, you feel as if you b8have entered a digitalized corporate setup where you have your personal cabins and confortable revolving chairs. As you take your seat a new inspirational quote welcomes you every day. This is because of their collection of 1000 such quotes which they shift from one cabin to other every day. These are all the efforts of the Headmaster of the school, Mr. Shiva Reddy and the library in-charge Ms. Subha Hedge.

 “I love books”, beemed Subha when asked why she accepted the role of the in-charge, “the library gives the teachers also an opportunity to enhance their skills and teaching techniques.” For the headmaster, he just wants the best in the world for his students. When asked about the unique setup of the library he shared that he wanted his students to get a feel of the corporate setup early in their lives so as to spark their aspirations and motivate them to dream beyond. Also the design of the library is such so that it can be converted into a digital library cum smart class room in the near future.

b9Mr. Reddy even went ahead to research on the best colors to be used on the walls and for furniture so that the children feel calm, relaxed and can concentrate more. Also one of the unique things about this library was that all the 2500 books were not kept in almirahs but open shelves as the headmaster believed that the books should be kept in open rather than behind the mirrors so that the children feel that the books are more accessible and they are free to touch, feel and read them.

To achieve such high aspirations the headmaster also worked hard to find new collaborations in order to give his 45 children of each class a corporate set-up. He reached out to the community, local leaders and other companies who donated him floor mat, the comfortable revolving chairs, laptops and even free Wi-Fi!

On interacting with Balaji, Neha and Bhawna of Class 10 about their new library, all wereb10 very eager to share their views. Since they had to sit on the floor in the previous library room, the cabin and revolving chairs were more than what they could have imagined the new library to be like. The various books gave wings to their imagination, aspiration and knowledge. Here apart from the syllabus they read about Subhas Chandra Bose, an Indian freedom fighter, M. Visvesvaraya, an Engineer from Karnataka and also ‘Panchatantra’ a collection of Indian folk lore. The various varieties of books not only made them a good human being but also became a pathway for them to a whole
new world. But with Science and Mathematics as the favorite subjects of all the three, the school promised an IAS officer, Doctor and Engineer in the next few years.

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SRF Foundation and HP Launch “HP World on Wheels (HP WoW)” Mobile Bus for Digital Inclusion in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan

DSCN7897It was a moment of ‘WoW’, wonder and pride for us at SRF Foundation, as we became theRZ8A6792 flag bearers for launching the first IT enabled digital bus, ‘hp World on Wheels (WoW)’ one of its kind, at SRF plant location, Bhiwadi, today. The Chief Guest of this memorable day was Mr. Muktanand Agarwal, Dist. Collector, Alwar, who cut the ribbon and gave our mission a head start. Also present during the event were Mr. M. L. Yogi, Urban Improvement Trust (UIT) Secretory, Mr. Manish Arora and Mr. Shantanu Chatterjee from HP Digital India Team, Mr. Awadesh Gangwar, SRF Bhiwadi plant head, Dr. Rajbir, Sr. VP SRF Bhiwadi, Dr. Suresh Reddy, Director, SRF Foundation.

RZ8A6836Apart from them other government officials like, Mr. S. C. Mathuria, General Manager, DIC, Mr. Manoj Kumar Sharma, ADPC – SSA, Mr. Ramesh Chand Sharma, BEO, Tijara, Sarpanch of Jhiwana, industry representatives from Bhiwadi, representatives from Foundation, teachers and students from our program schools in Bhiwadi and members from the community, all graced the event which marked an important date in the history of digital education.
SRF Foundation’s 20 seater, IT-enabled HP WoW bus will offer a mobility solution to help
bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas through PPP model by bringing easy information technology access to the isolated and disadvantaged groups in 18 villages and the government schools of those villages in Bhiwadi (Alwar Dist.), Rajasthan. It will also promote IT enabled education through e-learning modules and entrepreneurial and skill development courses will help train school children, rural youth and communities, among others by acting as a Community Service Center (CSC). With increased awareness of computers, the local population will get linked to Government programs and initiatives. This initiative is in keeping with SRF Foundation’s mission to provide quality education and skill development training programs across the country.

Dr. Rajbir gave a warm welcome to all the revered guests and the community membersDSCN7879 present, while addressing the community, Dr. Reddy gave a brief introduction to the bus in simple language for the people present and informed them about the benefits which they can avail from the same. The representatives from HP asked the teachers, students and the community members present to give them a feedback after using the bus and inform the in charge about any issue that they may face as it will only help them to improve their services in the next busses that they will soon launch in the rest of the states of India.
Mr. Yogi hailed the new joint initiative of SRF Foundation and HP as according to him the knowledge of technology is the need of the hour and in the near future people and children who will not know how to utilize technology will be termed as ‘illiterate’.

The Dist. Collector of Alwar, Mr. Agarwal expressed his high expectations from this new DSCN7925venture. He shared that he would eagerly wait to witness the wave of change and evolution which SRF Foundation and HP partnership would bring about in Bhiwadi. He was also proud of the fact that the very first digital bus was launched in Bhiwadi giving an opportunity to the children to get a hands on experience of technology at a very early age. Further on he requested the representatives of other companies and factories who were present to follow the footsteps of SRF Ltd. in terms of the CSR initiatives that they have been doing in Bhiwadi for the past 12 years. From his own end he promised all the support whenever required for the cause of education in Bhiwadi.

Towards the end of the event, Mr. Awadesh thanked the people present and instilled in them a sense of ownership by reminding them that the bus was for their own benefit and hence its safety was also their responsibility.

The SRF Foundation ‘HP WoW’ project in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan aims to impact over 45,000 people across 18 villages in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan during the 39-month partnership tenure. 

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Our Treasure Trove

A story of change from Govt. Higher Primary School, Kaveri Nagar, Bangalore.
b1Away from the hustle and bustle of the classrooms below, Sandhya, a student of Class 7 of GHS, Kaveri Nagar, was quietly engrossed in understanding the ‘inside’ of a human body. One could feel the 30 minds working in sync with the bundle of knowledge in front of them. Here they did not need a teacher to tell them what they should do or how to behave, as they had the books, their best friends, to guide them and take them to a whole new world.

When asked what she was reading, Sandhya looked up with bright eyes filled with the amazement of the new found information and a mouth ready to share it all. “I am reading what a human body is made of, I didn’t know we look like this from inside, it’s so complex and beautiful at the same time”. It was surprising to see a little girl of Class 7 to find beauty and complexity in the same thing at such a tender age. But her library changed her. With an interest in Science, History and Biology experiments, Sandhya knew where to get her favorite books as she also helped her teachers in setting all the 2000 books in order.

b2Ms. Fatima, the in-charge of the library also shared the same passion as the children. A government school student herself, she nostalgically recalled her school days where they did not had access to a library, but she is happy to see her students get that opportunity which most of the government school students are deprived of. She has seen a marked change in the sentence framing, reading and writing skills of the students since the library has been made accessible to the students.

b3Even the Head Mistress of the school, Ms. Shweta, has observed a similar change in the students and was very proud of her library which she developed and systematically organized with the help of her teachers and students. With the grant that she received, she ensured a colorful set up with quotes and cartoons on the wall which will help attract the students and will appear more appealing to them. Apart from that she got almirahs to arrange the books and chairs and table to help children sit together comfortably while they embarked on a new journey where they made new friends and learned new lessons every day.

With her leadership anb4d contacts she even got support from IT companies like TCS and Dell which contributed 400 books for the library. Even Kanada Sahitya Parishad helped her to enrich her library with 300 literature books.

As a future plan, the team of Kaveri Nagar School wants to digitalize the cataloging system, add more books to the library and add a projector to the library in order to aid audio visual learning covering syllabus, general knowledge and child friendly movies. She is also looking forward to an increase in enrollment with this new attractive addition to the school.

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Around the World in 40 Minutes

Clapping, singing and dancib5ng and then suddenly pin drop silence! This is how the library period starts in Govt. Jr. College, Hoodi. The library in-charge, Mr. Madhaygowda, uses this age old technique of Nali – Kali which literally means Play and Learn. He shares that this technique increases the concentration and easily captures the attention of all the students. With a capacity of 50 students, the library is well lit, ventilated and filled with beautiful quotes and pictures of Jnanpeeth Award winning authors from Karnataka and inspirational leaders and scientists from around the world.

Apart from 3665 books from varied fields including syllabus subjects, stories, autobiographies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, general knowledge and reference books the library also has a special place and stand for the newspapers of English and Kannada language which gives the students a daily dose of the latest updates from around the world. This new library is in stark contrast to the previous library room which was congested, dimly lit, noisy and was divided into craft and library room.

b6Sharing her passion for Science, Fiza, a Class 10 student, shares how the library introduced her to the ‘proof’ of everything. In a short period of only a month, she has already read various books about famous scientists like Albert Einstein and Graham Bell and concepts of Science. Enchanted to know the little secrets behind the working of everything in our day to day lives, Fiza wants to become a Scientist and contribute significantly to the rich heritage of India in the field of Science like she has contributed in the beautification of her library.

When asked about the best thing about her library, she proudly demonstrates the e-cataloging system in a laptop which helps in keeping a track of books after they have been issued and also gives all the details about the book like its title, author’s name, publisher and edition. In her leisure time, she loves coming to the library to quench her thirst for knowledge, she even comes here during her recess time.

Mr. Kantaraju, who is also one of the library in-charge, took help from one of his friends working in another organization to develop a child friendly software in excel for cataloging and issuing of books. Discussing further on the benefits of library he shared that the process has helped them connect with new donors and social workers in the area. Also the projector in the library has helped in teaching difficult topics to the children in a more interactive and effective way. The library also has a collection of e-books of different subjects.

b7Ms. Sarojamma, the Head Mistress of the library also proactively worked to outsource Rs. 2.7 lakhs from the community, companies and social leaders to give her students the best of everything in their library. She actively involved all the teachers and the students during the whole process which instilled a sense of ownership among them and also helped them learn new techniques and process.

As a future plan, she wants to ensure optimum utilization of all the resources present in the library, especially the projector by introducing new innovative methods of teaching through audio visuals and presentations for all the three languages being taught in the school, that is, Kannada, English and Hindi.

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Mewat Children’s Tryst with Technology at Shri Sambhawana – Technology Mega Festival

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An exposure visit to the annual event of Shri Sambhawana – Technology Mega Festival, at the Shri Ram S15326389_1293558557331647_8469968909913503270_nchools (TSRS), Aravali, in the month of December, by our 60 children from Mewat Rural Education Programme (MREP) schools, opened new doors into the exciting and wondrous world of Science for them. Accompanying the students were Science teachers, champion trainers and Gurugram DIET faculty members from our Science promotion pro gramme of Techniques of Teaching Science (TTS). The participating children belonged to the middle schools of Kherla, Salamba, Kawarsika and Rojka Meo who were interested in Science and had performed well in the subject.

The day was full of learning and enjoyment for the children as well as the teachers. During their tryst with technology the children got a chance to have a glimpse into the world of augmented reality and virtual reality and its relevance in the 21st century. Over 15 stalls with more than 50 projects related to Science were on display. There our team studied and gained information of various working and 3D models of STEM, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and robotics which were prepared by the students of TSRS. The models covered various topics of STEM and Science like catapult, scuba diver, water and air cannon, secret message, chemical clock, colored shadow, telescope and kaleidoscope, kinetic and potential ener15327367_1293558630664973_6507674963198353657_ngy, water pumping system, air purifying device, growing plants without soil, wind power, making devices through chemical products, DNA isolation, app ideation and much more. While ensuring a balance between fitness and enjoyment in life, the children also shook some leg on the beats of Zumba and even tried their hands at the gaming zone.

There was also an exhibition on CERN experiments and how they study the building blocks of matter. But the highlight of the day was a stimulating live interview with Dr. Archana Sharma who motivated the students to follow their passion and pursue a career in Sciences. Apart from this, the children also got a chance to take a virtual live tour of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN, an European Organization for Nuclear Research.

Overall, the visit was an enriching one which helped enga15327235_1293558973998272_800506358542950836_nge the young minds of the students and boost their morale to replicate the same at their schools. The team of TSRS ensured that our children and teachers got full exposure of all the stalls and they specifically ensured full understanding of our children about all the models that were presented and cleared their doubts about its concepts and application. One of our teacher shared, “The event was an excellent combination of technology, education and enjoyment. There were interesting and thought provoking exhibits by students along with amazing Robotics projects. For me it was a good learning experience and was really feeling lucky to be a part of such a grand event.”

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Mustafa-the boy on a mission.

The school starts at 9:30 am but Mustafa leaves home at 7. So what does he do in that time period?
Travels? No, he lives nearby.
He plays? No.
He spends time with friends? No.
Mustafa is on a daily mission during this time, where he makes sure that he takes along maximum students to school. As there is irregularity and attendance issues, he visits homes that even fall out of his way to school.
The 13-year old boy even talks to parents about sending their wards to school regularly. Mustafa who is in 7th Std. even asks his seniors who don’t come to school, but they fend him off.
Why does he do it? ” Because exams are coming and if they don’t come they’ll fail’.
Why are you so bothered? “Because i don’t want any one to work in stone quarries”. Most villagers either work in fields or in stone quarries in Mewat to earn a living.
After some more digging in, he told how his father worked in a stone quarry and would sustain serious injuries frequently while working in it. He works no more and stays at home.
A crusader, a torch bearer – Mustafa is an example for all of us. Such souls will definitely show the path to their community and will also go on to grace the world with their light.

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