How a free tuition center called Abhyudaya is helping slums children to fulfill their dreams
Every child has a dream no matter where they are born, to whom they are born. The dream is born the day the child is born. The child does not know that its parents are poor until that day when it finds that its dreams remain unfulfilled. How can parents fulfill the dream of a child when they are not able to fulfill day to day needs. A child leaving in a small house dreams about a big house. A child with torn clothes dreams about new clothes. A child who has no cycle dream about its own cycle. But the child does not realize that with a good education, it can get a good job and this can help it to earn well and fulfill its dreams. Many parents in slums may not realize the importance of education. They may force their children into small-time jobs at a young age or to support them in household jobs.
Most of the parents who are poor send their children to government schools where the quality of education is not up to the mark, this may be due to lack of teachers. These children have to study at home daily. But when there is disturbance both at home and nearby, how can children study. House in slums is very small. They may be made of only one small room with a kitchen. The entire family will be living in the same small room. It is very difficult for children to concentrate here.
Also Read: How poverty impacts Education in India?
In most middle-class home parents will daily keep track of their child’s studies. The parents will pay attention and get the child’s homework done. But if a parent is uneducated how can they do this. Not all parents can send their children to private tuitions as it cost them a big part of their earnings. Hence the children are not able to study well and they somehow pass to the next class and ultimately they drop out at class X when they face public exam.
Many children who don’t study well stop going to the school as soon as they drop out. Some of them may get attracted to petty crimes like stealing some items or supporting big thieves. As these children grow up they may become bad elements of the society.
The root cause of many problems in the society is a social and economic disparity. Lack of proper education is the root cause of poverty and crime. To a large extent lot of our problems can be solved by proper education of the deprived children. No dought government is putting its best effort in poverty alleviation programs but even now after many years after independence, we find a lot of children struggling to get a proper education.
Looking at this problem, Mr. D Lakshminarayana started Abhyudaya in 2004. One day Lakshminarayana D found that few children were involved in stealing petrol from bikes. When he traced the children, he was surprised by the living condition and their education. So he decided to start a free learning center with 12 children. As days passed more centers were started in several slums. He inspired several working professional to join his movement. People like Mr. Vidyashankar and much more joined hands with lakshminarayana . This gave a big boost to the movement Abhyudaya. Many more volunteers joined and became volunteer teachers. Thus the free learning center Abhyudaya was born.
Free learning center or Kalika Kendra by Abhyudaya helping deprived children to study well
Today Abhyudaya has 80 centers with 3000 students studying daily from 4:30pm to 6:30 pm. The volunteer teachers tutor the children and pay attention to them like a teacher and like a parent. Daily they check the books of the children, ask them what they studied that day at school, and assist them in doing their homework. If the student was not able to understand something in the school they ask the volunteers to clear their droughts. In this was the children will not lose track of their subjects. Many times, as these students are not able to understand something at school, they lose interest in studies. But with help of volunteers at Abhyudaya the children get their doughts cleared and this prevents them from losing interest in their studies. By coming daily to these free learning centers, the children don’t get into bad company. Children at the free learning center also get books, bag, stationery and Hygiene Kits.
Professional teacher and special coaching Jnanagiri for deprived class X students
Founders of Abhyudaya realized that more professional coaching was required for class X students. The class X exam or SSLC exam as it is called is a turning point in Karnataka. It is a public exam held by the governing board. This exam decides the future of most of the children. Failure in this exam is a very demotivating factor for the children. In 2014 Abhyudaya started a special coaching class for class X exams just for few months before the exam. The focus of this coaching was mainly to help students clear their exams with good marks. Around 250 students get the special coaching every year. Selection of students is purely based on their family background. Preference is given to students who come from poor families. Most of the parents are laborers, workers, housemaid, drivers, street vendors etc. Before starting the coaching class a counseling session is held along with the parents and the students. Parents are asked to give an undertaking that they will not divert or disturb their children. Parents are regularly called to interact with the teachers. The special coaching is conducted in different subjects like Maths, Science, Language etc for 110days, for 6 days in a week. Every Sunday special interactive sessions are conducted where a prominent person in the society come and interact with the children. Interacting with inspiring persons gives the children an opportunity to understand the various professional and ways of reaching there. In 2017 SSLC exam 28 students scored 98% and above, 142 students scored distinction. Few of the students who failed were given one to one coaching so that they could pass in the supplementary exams. It is ensured that the students don’t drop out once they come to the free learning center at Abhyudaya.
Unique Career Counselling at Abhyudaya
A unique career counseling is conducted by volunteers of Abhyudaya. These children come from poor background and their parents are not having much awareness as they do not read newspapers or know how to use the internet. Hence their awareness about various career options is very limited. All they know is few professions like police, teaching etc. Hence Volunteers of Abhyudaya decided to start career counseling from 2018. Students who were school dropouts and working in small part-time jobs also were part of this counseling. According to Vidyashankar, these children have absolutely no idea on what to do for their future. All they know is to catch hold of someone and get into some petty jobs. Volunteers of Abhyudaya counseled the students and gave them insight into various courses like professional photography, animation, video editing, journalism, Pharmacy etc.The students were also apprised about various apprenticeship openings in different companies. Several students from a nearby slum and Lower income group houses attended the program. According to the students, such programs are very helpful as there is no one who can guide them in their family or friends circle or neighborhood.
Talent search competition Aarohan by Abhyudaya
Every child has a unique talent. The child itself is unaware of its own talent. Who knows one day the child may excel in life due to its unique talent. A child may become a great singer or actor or painter or an orator or a poet in future. But this cannot happen all of a sudden. Someone has to identify the hidden talent and then encourage the child in the correct direction. With This objective in mind every year Abhyudaya conduct a unique talent hunt competition for the socially and economically deprived children. Several children. Around 1600 children participate in the various competition. More than 300 volunteers ensure smooth functioning of various events and competitions. Children are very excited to participate in various competitions. One can be surprised when they see the entries in science exhibition. Items like drones, rockets, forest etc were prepared by using waste items. Who knows a future scientist like Shri Dr Abdul Kalam may get start their journey from here. Competitions like pick ad speak, quiz, essay give the children more confidence, it does not matter if they win or not, participation itself helps a lot in their personality development.
Financial aid to pay the fees
Many of the children who come to Abhyudaya were economically very poor. The volunteers realized that in spite of giving good coaching, the children were not able to get into colleges as they did not have money to pay for the fees. This prompted team Abhyudaya to start Scholarship or financial aid program for the poor students. This was not an easy task. With constrained budget and without any big corporate support, this idea was very difficult to fulfill. But this did not stop them. Volunteers started visiting houses for the needy children to access their financial and family background. They made a list of the children who were very poor, took help of individuals for funds and finally conducted a scholarship program. In this way every year around 650 students was given financial aid. This number was still short of the targeted 3000 students. Students have been able to join several courses like BCom, Engineering, ITI, Diploma, medicine etc. After joining the colleges few students returned back their scholarship as they got some fee exemptions. This sort of integrity is a very great thing which Abhyudaya has groomed in these children.
How much does it cost for all these programs at Abhyudaya
Nothing is free on this planet. Everything has a cost. Even if you want to help someone freely, you still have to spend some money at some other place. Very few will give you something freely if you tell them you are donating it to someone. There are few exceptions, few people give some discounts or give one item free if you buy many items. But still, you need to spend a major portion of the money. Running the special class X coaching for 110 days for 250 students at one center cost Rs 500000 a year. This translated to Rs 20 per student per day. Hygiene kits provided to students in the free learning center cost Rs 15000 a year for one center. Running each free tuition centers cost 75000 per year. Providing books, bags and other stationery etc for the children at on center cost Rs 60000 per year which translated to Rs 200 per student per month. Scholarship program costs Rs 75 Lac per years. This translated to Rs 10000 per year per student. Raising fund has been the very difficult task as most of the volunteers are fulltime working professional who has scarcity of time. They find it very difficult to devote time to teaching, administration and raising funds. In spite of all difficulties they raise funds so that they can take care of all cost and expenses of Abhyudaya and ensure its smooth functioning.
Few personal stories about social and economic transformation by Abhyudaya.
Every student at Abhyudaya has a story to tell. Each of them has come from the very challenging background. If one hears their story they will find that every story has some similarity yet there is a lot of uniqueness. Actual stories can be published but not their names. One girl was not having a house to live, she lived in an abandoned large water pipe. When volunteers of abhyudaya spotted her, they enrolled her in a government school and helped her with free tuitions at Abhyudaya. She passed her exams in class X with good marks, got financial support to pay the fees and finally enrolled in a professional course. She is now in her final year degree course. A girl was staying at 40 sq feet house, a space very small even for a room for middle-class standards. This girl could not study daily at home due to disturbance. She took the free tuition at Abhyudaya, got financial support and now she is studying her Bcom. One Boy was involved in Drug pedalling, volunteers at Abhyudaya helped him to come out of this habit. The boy today with the support of Abhyudaya is studying medicine. One boy has no father, his mother does some household jobs, he daily puts newspaper in the morning. With help of Abhyudaya coaching and financial support, he is doing pre university course in good college.
Physiological support and moral lessons to students at Abhyudaya
Children who come to Abhyudaya not only get coaching related to their subject but also learn how to lead an honest, integral life. One girl lost her father. She and her mother were having a lot of financial problems, they were on the verge of committing suicide. When volunteers at Abhyudaya observed that the girl was depressed they found that girl had some problem. They counseled her and found a way of getting some financial support for her family. Both the girl and her mother are now living happily and she is studying in a college. Few children have forced their parents to quit criminal activities as they felt that living honestly was more important than surviving with money earned through criminal activities. This transformation of young minds is due to the moral lessons of Abhyudaya.
What are the achievements of Abhyudaya
Giving achievements in numbers will only reflect a very small portion of the achievements of Abhyudaya. If a girl and her mother were saved from the jaws of death, that itself is a very big achievement. But in this world of numbers and statistics, it very important to quantify the achievements. From 2004 till now more than 25000 students have got the benefit of the free learning center. More than 5000 students have received a scholarship. This has enabled many students to pursue various courses like BCom, BE, MBBS, ITI, Diploma, PUC, BSC etc. From 2014 till now more than 1600 students received the special class X SSLC coaching. This has saved many students from becoming a school dropout. Our activities have helped many children by preventing them from the company of bad social elements. The biggest achievement of Abhyudaya is the social and economic transformation of an entire family. These children who do well in their studies get into good jobs, grow professionally and their quality of life improves.
Who are the people behind Abhyudaya
Abhyudaya is run all by volunteers. It consists of an executive team who run the day to day affairs and it consists of an advisory board who guide the executive team.
People in an executive team are D Lakshminarayana , KN Hiriyannaiah, Badarinarayan, BA Subramanya, Devanand Gaddam, Badarinath Dixit, KH Amith Kumar,YS Ganesh, Venugopal, Chandrashekar, Mahendra, Veena Barve, Shivashankar Rao, Anuradha Joshi, Bhargava and Paneendra Kumar
People in the Advisory board are Dr. Sameera Simha Renowned Educationist, Sri Thippeswamy President KKSS, Dr. S Raghotham Research Scholar, Sri Ganapathi Hegde Secretary KKSS, Prof BV Sreedhar Swamy National College, Sri HV Manjunath GM IT Industry, Prof TR Vidyashankar Math Enthusiast, Sri. Kailash Poddar Businessman, Sri Subba Narahari Rao GM, Suprajit Industries, Sri. GP Shivakumar Former Vice President TVS.
The founder D lakshminarayana is working in KPTCL he has studied BE and MTech, Vidyashankar has done MTech from IIT madras and a visiting faculty for MBA, venu gopal is software professional in MNC company, chandrashekar is self employed he is a finance professional, Bhadrinath is retired from the education department. veena have a homemaker and yoga expert. Anuradha Joshi is retired from a bank.
These people devote their time daily at the kalika kendra after completing their work at home or office. Abhyudaya is a special project by Keshava Kripa Samvardhana Samithi to transform the society.