'Learning house' teaches how to face future
The students, all of them from educationally backward rural areas, have accommodated 10 years of education into 5 years at Kaliyuva Mane. And, they have cleared the exam in English medium.
To supplement the government’s initiatives to make education universal, Divyadeepa runs a free residential and non-residential school ‘Kaliyuva Mane’ for the benefit of rural children such as dropouts, children going to schools but not reaching the grades and children with difficult family backgrounds.
According to M R Ananth Kumar, managing trustee, Shwetha’s father works in a mutton shop and mother a domestic help. Her father is illiterate, while mother has studied up to fourth standard.
They stay in a tiny rented shed at Srirampura village. Shwetha’s mother takes responsibility of the family, with five children. Her father has not visited Kaliyuva Mane even once where his daughter stays since five years.
Shwetha dropped out of a Kannada medium school, due to inherent disinterest, rote teaching methods, lack of guidance at home, fear of punishment at school, etc. After that 10-year-old Shwetha started accompanying her mother to work.
“Shwetha’s mother Bhagya used to come to Kaliyuva Mane during exigent situations. One day Bhagya had come to Kaliyuva Mane with all her five children. We asked the eldest child to join the school. But Shwetha was keener. So she became a part of Kaliyuva Mane in 2007,” he said.
She was at Kaliyuva Mane for three years. But, gradually, her interest declined. After the summer vacation in 2011, Shwetha did not return. She went to Bangalore and was working at someone’s house taking care of a one-year-old infant.
That experience was an eye-opener for her. She came back to Kaliyuva Mane. She is the first girl to have passed 10th standard in her family. A few days ago, her younger sister Megha joined Kaliyuva Mane as a resident scholar.
Now, Shwetha wants to stay at Kaliyuva Mane and learn dance, arts and tailoring.
Both parents of Manu, from Mellahalli on Bannur road, are illiterates and do farming. Manu lost interest in studies and dropped out from school after first standard.
Manu started helping his parents in farming and taking care of cows. Manu’s uncle Shivalingu had learnt reading and writing at literacy classes conducted by Divyadeepa at Mellahali in 1996.
Shivalingu brought Manu’s parents to Kaliyuva Mane and Manu became a part of it in 2007. His younger brother 14-year-old Mahesha is also studying there. He had dropped out of school four years ago.
Renuka Swamy S M lost his father when he was quite young. His mother brought him up, by working at a small eatery in a village on the outskirts of Davanagere. Her dream was to give her only son good education. She had studied up to ninth standard. So, she admitted him to a private Kannada medium school.
But Renuka did not show interest in studies. He failed in sixth standard and stopped going to school. Renuka’s mother learnt about Kaliyuva Mane and brought him here in 2008. He gradually started evincing interest in studies.
M Rajeshwari’s father, from Ashokapuram, works as a painter. Her mother is a housewife. Rajeshwari is the youngest, among four daughters. She was attending a Kannada medium school.
Rajeshwari’s eldest sister Jaishri was trained at Divyadeepa and she presently works for the organisation. Jaishri was worried about her sister’s poor academic performance. So, she brought her sister to Kaliyuva Mane after sixth standard. At Kaliyuva Mane she was subject to assessment. She could not even write a few lines in her mother tongue.
She joined Kaliyuva Mane as a day scholar in 2007 and as a resident scholar in 2009. She became studious and hard working. Now she has passed SSLC with first class. P Dhanush’s father Puttaswamy was working for a private firm at Kollegal.
But he lost job and could not afford his son’s education. He was introduced to Divyadeepa in 2003 worked at the organisation’s dairy and farm. Kaliyuva Mane was started in June 2005. His daughter joined the same year, while Dhanush who had completed fourth standard joined in 2006 as a resident scholar.He has passed SSLC with first class.
Shivaraj’s father, from Dhanagahalli, works in an industry. His mother is a housewife. Shivaraj’s father, who came to know about Kaliyuva Mane, brought the boy in 2007 as a day scholar. In 2009, he joined as a resident scholar. His younger brother Manju also studies here.