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Sanskrit school in Melukote crowdfunds for survival

Anandashram, founded by Paramahamsa Ithyadi Satagopa Ramanuja Jeeyar is grappling with problems of infrastructure.

Amidst debate on Sanskar and modernity, a last standing Sanskrit school in Melukote of Mandya district is struggling hard to propagate Sanskrit learning and pass on the language to the future generations.

Said to be one of the last schools at Melukote, the Anandashram founded by Paramahamsa Ithyadi Satagopa Ramanuja Jeeyar is grappling with problems of infrastructure.

Determined to bail itself out of its liabilities, the school has adopted crowdfunding for its survival.

On knowing about its crumbling infrastructure and mounting debt over the years online, several techies, MNC executives from across the globe have been on a crowdfunding spree assisted by Ketto for the last one month. The school with about 20 kids of 7 to 12-years and five teachers has already pooled in about Rs 22 lakh from more than 800 donors from UK, USA, Singapore and the Middle East.

According to Vijayaraghavan V Vasudevan who has been coordinating the process, Melukote—a prominent Srivaishnava centre - had several Sanskrit schools. But over the years, almost all of them have faded away. Sources in the Karnataka Sanskrit University revealed to DH that only Anandashrama and another school run by the Muzrai department are functioning at Melukote.

“This is the last private school and functioning under crumbling infrastructure. It operates out of a thatched sheet room and teachers have not been paid for the last 19 months.

“The walls of the schools have no foundation and unable to withstand rains and winds. We have taken up this crowdfunding exercise only after consulting the Jeeyar Swami. To begin with, we want to clear all the liabilities and construct a new building with the rest of the money,” clarified Vijay.

Varun Seth, CEO, Ketto said, “Promotion and preservation of ancient Indian languages is of great importance and need of the hour.
It feels great that our platform was able to harness the power of technology to raise funds for this school which was on the brink of shutting down.” The school, recognized by the Bangalore University, has now applied for affiliation
to the Karnataka Sanskrit University.

Prof Padma Shekar, Vice Chancellor of the Sanskrit University said, “The school has been teaching the Geeta, Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavata, Sri Bhashya and other texts. We have received their application for affiliation. Accordingly, our officials have visited the school and inspected the infrastructure. Based on the report, we will provide permission to run classes from this academic year.”

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