Students turn teachers to help underprivileged peers

Students turn teachers to help underprivileged peers

Venkataramaiah, principal of K Dommasandra Government School, honours the student volunteers.

Like many youngsters, Adya Satapathy loves to put a smile on people he meets. If the smile is on the face of a student from an underprivileged background, it is even sweeter.

Spurred by the enthusiasm for learning among government school students and those in orphanages, Satapathy, a pre-university student, spends his free time teaching them. "Watching the smile when they learn something new is priceless. It is something more people should take an interest in," he said.

Satapathy is the youth leader of the Anvaya youth programme, where student volunteers teach their peers in government schools who have fewer opportunities to learn.

Each weekend, the student volunteers, many of whom are from private schools, teach those studying in Class 1 to 9 in government schools and orphanages. The effort is towards helping them gain a greater understanding of the subjects they find tough.

"Right now, they're teaching at eight schools," said Sampath Ramanujan, founder of the Anvaya Foundation, which runs the youth programme. "Our plan is to scale the programme up to 14 schools."

Fundraiser in the pipeline

Not stopping with teaching, the students are also planning a fundraiser with the help of their parents, friends and neighbours to create better facilities at the government schools.

"The Smile Schools initiative aims at supporting government schools. As part of the initiative, the volunteers provide white uniforms, white shoes, school bags, notebooks and stationery to the government school students in the village limits," said Ramanujam, who is also a corporate professional.

As part of the Smile Schools initiative, the volunteers also offer life skills training, character building and leadership skills.

K Dommasandra Government School, Seegehalli Government School and Kadugodi Urdu School are among the eight institutions where the volunteers teach.

"I believe I can learn a lot by teaching," Trisha, a student volunteer, said. "This programme helps me connect with my own community and develop social awareness while helping them."

Recently, Venkataramaiah, principal of K Dommasandra Government School, felicitated the volunteers for their efforts.