- Vanavasi Kalyan Parishad operating in 2,00 tribal regions across the State
- Improving the living condition of tribal households
- Equipping inmates with life skills to lead better lives
Hailing from the womb of Mother Nature, girijan students at the Vanavasi Kalyan Parishad in Deendayal Nagar, near Malkajgiri, Hyderabad, are determined to carve an identity for themselves above that of their social status. The organisation, which started off with only 10 children in 2008, now provides free shelter, food and education to over 40 inmates coming from remotest tribal villages in Adilabad, Warangal, KumaramBheem districts of Telangana. Operating in around 2000 tribal regions across the state, Vanavasi Kalyan Parishadh also aims to developing living conditions of tribal households by conducting regular health camps and helping them receive quality education through their single teacher schools for the illiterate.
“The primitive tribals depend mostly on products of the forest for their livelihood and are illiterate. Even if they want a brighter future for their kids they have no idea where to start and who to consult. That is where our job lies. We appoint volunteers at various identified and unidentified Vanavasi Grams, support primary education by tutoring them in their own habitat and then pick up the meritorious ones to the Parishad hostels to help them reach great heights that their parents drea of ,” shares Sai, incharge of the room.
Right from tidying the rooms to cooking food for their fellow beings, filling up water for everyone to use and growing vegetables in their courtyards, the giriputras consider the hostel no less than their homes. Here they are not only taught to read and write but are equipped with life skills to aid in socialising and building up self confidence.
“I come from a family whose primary source of income is through basket weaving, fishing and selling honey. Since we didn’t have a proper school to study, I had to move to Badrachalam to finish my 10th at Sishumandir supported by RSS. It s there I learnt about the Kalyan Parishad, gave an entrance exam and was selected. Only after I started living here I did realise what living in a society means. I feel privileged to have gotten this exposure and but now I want to help the lesser privileged ones of my community by becoming an IAS officer,” expresses Sree Hari Reddy, a native of Konda Reddy tribe who studies there.
Leading a disciplined life at the Vanavasi Kalyan Parishad, student indulge in cultural activities like tribal dances, bhajans, aartis etc along with keeping themselves fit through sports like Kabaddi, Kho-Kho and Archery. Since most of them are taught in their traditional languages, many of them face trouble in studying at colleges in the city. Hence, English course are taught to them throughout the year. As a kind gesture, many lectures and tutors volunteer to help them study in the evenings.
It is surprising to know that right from the building, to the food and even to the solar panels, the Vanavasi Kalyan Parishadh is funded by indvidulas and private organisations. “What is over whelming is that students, who pass out from here, return to help us in one or the other way. A boy who came here for his intermediate studies, has now become an ophthalmologist and conducts eye camps at the home frequently, “says Sai.
Away from their family and bereft of resource, what these young minds await is for a guiding hand that could help them reach the skies.
By Maitreya Tadepalli
Courtesy: Hans India