Take care or Take charge - The women who are changing the face of rural education in Shankarnarayana


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By Anil DSouza, Halealve
Bellevision Media Network


Anil D’Souza, born and brought up in Halealve, a small coastal village 4 kms from Kundapur, Anil completed his studies from VKR Acharya English High School, Kundapura. He completed his pre university studies from Bhandarkars College, Kundapura. During this time he developed interest in writing small poems and sketching cartoons.  He graduated from St. Josephs Engineering College, Mangalore as a Computer Science Engineer. During this period, his bus journeys from Mangalore to Kundapur every weekend, used to be thought provoking time resulting in wonderful writings. He was campus recruited to Tata Consultancy Services, where he worked as Software Engineer for 3 years in Chennai. His desire to study more led him to pursue his MBA in Management Consulting at Cardiff University UK. During this time if Anil wasn’t at work or at the university, one would find him spending most of his time reading several books ranging across various topics in the Cardiff Central Library.

 

He has a number of articles published on Daijiworld, the most famous being Eddie uncle and his views about the social problems.  He began writing in Konkani for the parish magazine “Milan” and slowly graduated to writing in English. He has a unique quality of narrating asimple incident coupled with humor and providing a significant social message at the end of it.

 

Along with reading and writing he has passion for sports and enjoys playing a wide variety of sports like cricket and badminton. He also loves swimming and watching Cricket, Football and Tennis too. He thinks of himself as a good cook and every weekend he cooks something different by watching youtube. Anil is a big history buff and loves collecting history books especially on subjects like Atlantis and Ashoka- the Great.

 

Currently Anil is working as a Business Development Executive in a leading mobility solution provider company in Dubai.

 

Bellevision is pleased to introduce Anil D’Souza to our viewers as he has promised that he will be contributing his exclusive article to our readers regularly.

 

To begin with he has narrated below an extraordinary story of two bold women Renita Reshma Lobo and Shamitha in the man dominated world.  Fighting against all odds these two young women managed to give a lease of life to many poor children by starting a school named after the great saint of the destitute and poor Mother Theresa.  We request our readers to read the complete successful story of these extraordinary young women and if you like the story and even if our readers would like to contribute to the school, you are most welcome and the details are given at the end of this great article by Anil D’Souza, Halealve.

 

  

 

Take care or Take charge - The women who are changing the face of rural education in Shankarnarayana

 

Way back in 1997, I was a 13 year old studying in 7th standard in a private school in Kundapura. I had a classmate Mohan who used to travel from a place called Shankarnarayana. The place sounded remote and seemed to be at the farthest corner of the world. The final exams got over in March and we were expecting our results sometime in April end and as expected Mohan stood first – not only in the school but in the whole district. The summer vacations passed on and I was all geared up to begin my high school studies in the same school. The first day was fun as l met all my old friends , talked about holidays, the way we spent them,  new clothes, new books, new labels on our freshly bound books etc. There were many new faces as our school had classes 10 and many of the schools in the vicinity had classes only up to 7. I was looking for Mohan, who was missing from his first day in high school. It was raining heavily and I thought he might come the next day. I was disappointed as he did not turn up on day 2 as well. The week passed and Mohan was not there. I enquired with my teachers and got the bitter news that Mohan had stopped education and was now sent to Bangalore to work in a hotel. Imagine a topper, being sent to work in a hotel. Mohan had potential to go places, but he ended up in a hotel as a cleaner. There are lots of Mohan’s out there.

 

Fast forward to year 2013- Mohan has been promoted and he has now become the head waiter of the same hotel he started his career as a cleaner and I am working for a MNC in Dubai. He was the topper in school and I was nowhere near him when it came to academics. In an ideal world, even he should have been doing well, but NO. The word “ideal world” has ceased to exist anymore. !  The only advantage I had then was – a school nearby and parents who could afford my school fees. The causes for Mohan’s plight are many- uneducated parents, lack of financial support to pursue studies, too many siblings and of course a quality school in the neighborhood. Well Mohan has no regrets now as the year he left to Bangalore saw two young ladies Renita Reshma Lobo and Shamitha arrive in his forest surrounded village. I am glad to introduce to you Renita and Shamitha and narrate their story. I am inspired by these two ladies and hope you too are inspired to do something to alleviate the rural population from poverty through the means of education.

 


Renita Reshma Lobo and Shamitha

 

Renita Reshma Lobo and Shamitha were born in the city of Mangalore and after graduating began their career as teachers in a school in Siddapur. Siddapur is a small township some 10 to 20 kms away from Kundapura. Both of them enjoyed teaching the poor children and   had bigger ambitions and aspired to do more for the rural population of the region. But after two years, their parents wanted them to come back home, as they knew the hardships of village life. It was a time, where there were no mobiles, computers and internet. Communication was as not as efficient as it is today and I do not want to say anything about roads. Well to be frank, even now, when I speak to them over the phone, the lines are pretty lousy.

 

They decided to move back to Mangalore and had no idea what life would treat them to. God reserves the strongest people to do the most difficult jobs. Something strange happened when they had packed their bags and were ready to leave from Siddapur. Dr. Chandramouli, in whose house they were staying as tenants said by chance “Children these villages are really in need of you. Why can’t you girls do something innovative and something good for these rural people? Why can’t you open your own school so that we will have a quality school for our children”. Renita and Shamitha both looked at each other’s face. That night they knelt and prayed to Almighty. God reserves the strongest people to do the most difficult jobs. The same night they decided to start a school which could be afforded by the poorest of the poor. As said earlier, when god has made a plan through someone, he rightly guides them through difficulties and hardships. He himself shows the way and it was no different with these two girls. They began their scout for places in and around Siddapur to start a school. They had a plan to start a school in a village which really needed a school and as I said earlier, god led them to Shankarnarayana.

 

 

 

 

 

Starting any venture is not an easy task and it was the same for Shamitha and Renita. They were relatively inexperienced in teaching and management. They hired a small open stage from the village Panchayat and begun their work. They purchased a few old benches and desks and started their school which now had 12 students in class LKG and UKG.  After 2 years, they hired a bigger building which had 6 rooms. The rents and furniture were paid for with whatever little savings they had from their two year teaching job in Siddapur. The school began to grow and at this moment, has classes up to 12. There was need for bigger building, large land and to facilitate all this, Shamitha and Renita have taken a huge loan from Canara Bank. There was and is no greed in their hearts and only a selfless motive to do good to the society. We need more people like these in today’s world. As two young girls who had a catholic educational background, life in Shankarnarayana was not a joy ride in the park. The villagers of this Hindu dominated place, had hostility towards them initially, which gradually faded away as they realized the real motive of these two young girls. They were mocked by people, and yet they came out stronger. True courage is when you decide to give it one more shot, instead of giving up. If I was in their situation, I would have called it quits and gone back to the comforts of my home.

 

If you think these were the only ordeals they had to face, you are wrong. Getting children into schools was a major task as parents were uneducated, financially backward and preferred their children to earn just like my friend Mohan. The main concern was finances and the apprehension of the parents as to how would they help their children in their academics- in things like doing homework, making them study for their exams and so on. Renita and Shamitha answered these apprehensions by making the children complete their homework after school hours and also took up the financial responsibility of most of the kids to an extent where their fees looked affordable to their parents. Good quality education never comes free as it needs good passionate teachers, good books, good equipment, and so on. I have mentioned the breakup of the yearly fees of LKG through 12 and the number of students in the current academic year to make you aware of the magnitude of the operation. A school which started in an open stage has grown to a fully fledged quality institution.

 

CLASS

STUDENTS

FEES FOR THE WHOLE YEAR

LKG

50

   5680   

UKG

56

5680

I

60

5370

II

72

5370

III

80

5790

IV

70

5790

V

49

6150

VI

66

6150

VII

58

6114

VIII

62

6114

IX

57

7470

X

39

9640

PUC

190

9000-13000

Total

909

 

 

[People willing to sponsor a child’s education for a year can do by referring to the above table.  A child could be sponsored throughout his/her education till 12th grade. There could be business owners who could sponsor a child or donate equipment/books/computers as a part of the Corporate Social Responsibility].

 

Education really makes a difference in one’s life and I believe education is a birthright of every individual just like independence. To showcase the quality of education imparted in this institute, one has to see the impeccable behavior of the students and the respect they give to elders. The results of our school are good too. Mother Theresa’s have been able to attain an overall result of 100 % in 2012 and 97% in 2013 in PUC with 99% in Computer Science, 100% in Electronics & 100% in Physics. One of the Class X student got 98.33% standing 9th in the state, and out of 51 students 25 have got distinction and 24 first class. Class X is securing 100% every year. Even in CET Engineering, the best rank is 569 this year. In the past 2 years science students have entered top five Engineering colleges like BMS, M,S Ramahaih, PESET and VTU in Bangalore. Well the dream of the ladies is realizing and as Shamitha emotionally says “We feel satisfied when the results come out bearing rich fruit for all the hard work put in by teachers and students collectively”.

 

Many of us have a wrong notion of education. Some of us think education is all about books, learning, by hearting from the books and vomiting the answers during the exam. What good is such education? At Mother Theresa’s institute, Shamitha and Renita have made sure that extracurricular activities are not given back bench status. Activities such as martial arts, classical dance and singing are given equal importance. Students are enrolled into Ayurdhama (growing medicinal plants) Eco club, Science club.  Besides this Diwali, Christmas, Eid are celebrated so as to build respect in the little minds towards all religions. World peace day, Anti Drug Day, Senior citizens’ day World Environment Day are celebrated every year.  Science Champ, Math Champ, Chess Champ, Spell Champ, Business Champ are conducted in High school and PUC level. Cultural competitions are the main part of School programs. Scouts and guides, gift exchanging programs, patroness day celebrations etc are a few occasions through which students are encouraged to channelize their energy to creativity.

 

 

 

Education is expensive and quality education comes with a high cost. Laboratories and their equipment are expensive. Currently, Mother Theresa’s has PUC with streams like Electronics, Computers, Biology and Statistics. As we know, these subjects are more fun to learn in the labs i.e. practically. There is a shortage of computers in the labs, inspite of which this institute has been able to secure such high standards and high quality results. Imagine what would happen if the facilities were adequate.

 

Renita and Shamitha have managed this institution extremely well so far and they will work untiringly towards providing free education to the poor meritorious students which is their ultimate goal. We all may not be able to do what these girls have done. It takes extreme courage, loads of dedication and determination. Isn’t it our responsibility to help Renita and Shamitha realise their dream and in turn realise our hidden dream too. It is time we take charge of our nation- “Take care or take charge”. Well Shamitha and Renita have taken charge to uplift the rural population and it is our turn to take care of them. There is a strange satisfaction when one does something good. I just felt it. Did you? I wish these two ladies lots of luck and wish them only the best in their future endeveaours.

 

The bank details are given below:

Name of the Bank: CANARA BANK.
IFSC: CNRB0001176
MICR: 575015012
Name of the account: Mother Teresa Memorial Education Trust
Address of the Bank: Kadri Branch, Kadri road, Nalapad Buildings, Mallikatta, Mangalore 575003.
Account Number: S.B-A/C-117610100 8592

 

Details of the trust:

Name: Mother Teresa Memorial Education Trust
Type of organization: Educational and Social.
Address: Alape, Post Padil, Mangalore 575007 Karnataka, India

 

This Trust is registered as no. 86 at the year 2000-2001 at pages21-32 volume 124 of book IV at the Sub- Registrar office, Mangalore city.

 

All the Donations to the Trust is exempt u/s 80G of the Income Tax Act

 

Contact Renita and Shamitha at: motherteresatrust2000@yahoo.co.in
Contact me at: anilsouza@gmail.com

 


Dear Bellevision Readers/viewers,

 

Last week we introduced Arathi Adiga with her special travelogue Russia which was appreciated by many of our readers and we would like to thank you all for your comments and appreciation. We also welcome any talented writers, artists, educationist, political analyst, religious leaders who would like to contribute with their exclusive article and share their knowledge, and we will be more than happy to publish their articles, subject to approval by Bellevision Editorial Body.

 

Thank you

Team Bellevision 

  

 

 

Comments on this Article
Citizen, Moodubelle Wed, July-3-2013, 1:06
We need such dedicated teachers in every town and village, specially Moodubelle needs such visionaries and goal oriented teachers as leaders.
Philomena Pereira, Dubai Wed, July-3-2013, 12:50
I am really impressed by the courage of these two young Ladies, may God Bless them to achieve their goals
Ramesh P., Kundapur Wed, July-3-2013, 7:59
Great inspirational work by these ladies. Hats off to you for your courage.
Sr.Vilma, Kuntal Nagar Mon, July-1-2013, 12:42
Praise God for the tireless efforts of Sharmita and Renita and Congrats! May it inspire many more. I do appreciate Anil s narration of this true story
Philip Mudartha, Mumbai Mon, July-1-2013, 7:02
May the ladies achieve their mission beyond their own dreams
Stany D Souza, Mangalore Mon, July-1-2013, 6:08
Hats off to Dear Renita and Shamita. U both are a role model for the future generation. May god grant you good health and support and may all your future dreams come true.
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Mon, July-1-2013, 3:16
Inspiring article from Anil DSouza While I feel sad for Mohan, am highly impressed by the dedication, motivation and inspiration. May God bless them!
Arathi Adiga, Dubai Sun, June-30-2013, 6:47
Very inspiring story, god bless two courageous women. Anil what I like in your write up is narration. It s excellent. Keep it up all the best.
William Fernandes, Mumbai / Mangalore Sun, June-30-2013, 6:35
We need such dedication and selfless service for the betterment of humanity in todays world. May God bless your work and shower with abundant blessings. You are a true role model for todays generation.
Vijay Dsouza, Udipi Sun, June-30-2013, 6:30
Very inspiring true story of courageous ladies. Thanks Anil Dsouza for highlighting such great work. This shows that when one focuses and strives hard, he can achieve same. Great inspirational story.
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