miscellany - Inspiration from a pyramid

miscellany - Inspiration from a pyramid

Every day, sitting inside a pyramidical structure, students begin their classes with meditation. At PaRanga Vidya Kendra, meditation is a part of the education. The pyramid structure of the classroom is the brainchild of M R Ramamurthy, founder of PaRanga High School in Torepalya in Magadi taluk of Ramanagara district.

“Research has shown that pyramidical structures have their own energy effects and this energy makes one to be more effective and efficient. It provides effective high-energy environments for meditation. Pyramids also help reduce the level of stress and tension in the physical body. Keeping all these things in mind, we planned to construct pyramidical classrooms,” explains Ramamurthy.

As a youngster, he was fascinated by the pyramid after reading about it in a magazine. It remained etched in his mind throughout his student days at Magadi and later at National College, Bengaluru, where he obtained his BSc. He did his BE from Mysore University and topped it with a M Tech, at IIT, Madras. Serving as the  deputy director (structure) at the National Aerospace Laboratories, he was a part of space projects like Prithvi, ASLV, GSLV, PSLV and LCA. In 2003, he decided to take voluntary retirement and engage in philanthropic activities full time. With a donation of five lakh rupees from Ashraya Hasta Trust, he built the first pyramid classroom on a four-acre inherited land.

The school had a humble beginning with 60 students, all hailing from rural background. With contributions from different philanthropists and institutions, the strength has now grown to 400. Today, in all, there are 11 pyramids, one each for Classes one to 10 and one for LKG. Each classroom is 30x30 feet and accommodates up to 40 students.

These pyramids are constructed using tiles and ventilation has been provided with glass tiles. Together, they comprise the PaRanga Vidya Kendra. Pa stands for the first syllable of his mother’s name, Parvathi, and Ranga is an abbreviation of his father’s name, Ranganatha Rao. “In Sanskrit, ‘Paranga Chetana’ means ‘from ignorance to wisdom’,” explains Ramamurthy.

The aim of the school is to provide quality education to the less privileged, often ignored, marginalised kids and develop them into responsible citizens. Special attention is paid to educate girl children. Primary education is in Kannada medium, while the higher classes have English as the medium of instruction. There are 21 teachers with Lakshman B R as the principal. The classrooms have natural lighting and electricity is used only in the science lab.

A mid-day meal programme called ‘Annapoorna Seva’ was launched in October 2011 to cater to all the children. Initially, with the funds collected, the school was able to provide daily meals to 110 children only. However, Sai Spiritual Centre Trust, Bengaluru, as a part of its social service activities, has committed to provide meals to all the 400 students.

Ashraya Hasta Trust acted as a catalyst during this school’s initial stages. The Rotary Bangalore West (RBW), a regular supporter of PaRanga School, approached Project Management Institute Bangalore India Chapter to support its solar LED lamp project (‘Light for Education’ project) to provide lamps to needy students in rural areas. Along with other rural schools, 30 LED lamps have been provided to students in Classes 9 and 10 in Paranga School.

Effective teaching methodologies have been implemented taking into account the particular environment of the children resulting in getting well-trained teachers. The combined efforts of well-wishers has yielded rich dividends. The PaRanga High School has consistently stood first among the schools in Magadi taluk. “The results of SSLC in 2012-2013 have shown that our kids have surpassed all the other schools in the taluk with pass percentage of 100%,” says a proud Ramamurthy.

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