DRISHYA, an educational movement spearheaded by DRRT (Dwaraknath Reddy Ramanarpanam Trust) in 2001 emerged as aresponse to the need for innovative and empowering education for children living in urban slums of Bangalore. DRISHYA developed as a joint effort of DRRT and AVAS (Association for Voluntary Action and Services) was a much-needed corollary to two decades of work in the slums of Bangalore where AVAS had established the land and shelter rights of the poor. DRRT pioneered the DRISHYA movement through its networked platform of DRIK-DRISHYA-VIVEKA.
The conventional education system, limited as it is in vision and scope, provided no answers to resolving the vital issues of poverty and lack of purposeful opportunities that enabled children growing into youth in urban poor and rural communities.DRIK and AVAS worked together to search out a new model of education, to provide these deprived children with new choices to carve out their lives, and to evolve the best system and framework for leadership development. DRISHYA addressed these fundamental inequities by shifting the notion of a school from a fixed place to a set of spaces that exist and operate simultaneously within and outside of the community. That was the hub and spoke model. DRISHYA succeeded in doing this by channeling knowledge and understanding created at many levels – physical, emotional, cognitive and psychological, in ways that interact together, resulting in a holistic and transformative educational experience for the students.
This education model based on a hub and spoke concept, located in communities, was guided by Geetha Narayanan, who, with her years of experience and expertise in other educational programs could help us formulate a learning module to help empower young children from indigent families. For over a decade and more, the RC Foundation led by Anju Chandashekhar and her magnanimous philanthropy reached out in support of the DRISHYA Kalika Kendr as (activity and learning centers as they were called), and gradually DRRT founded the DRISHYA Foundation as an independent entity.
DRIK Drishya founder Mr. Dwaraknath Reddy is led by the children of indigent communities for whom Drishya was established. The first steps were taken in 2001.
DRISHYA, an education movement pioneered and established by the DRIK initiative of the Dwaraknath Reddy Ramanarpanam Trust, was set up as learning and activity centers in response to the need for innovative education for children living in urban slums of Bengaluru.
Drishya Students were not only taught basic reading, writing and mathematical skills, but are also encouraged to think creatively and act independently. The DRISHYA curriculum is evolved with a focus that is realistic and socially responsible, derived through freedom of expression and thought.
Providing Rights Based Education
Education for change is what the DRIK was established for.
Change from what?
From inequality to justice, from violence to peace, from ignorance to knowledge, from weakness to strength, from fear and diffidence to courage and confidence, from depravation to a revitalized and collectivized society so that the lives of indigent communities are transformed.
DRIK initiatives and networks were established essentially to bring in transformation wherever there was exploitation and oppression. And so transformation became the overarching theme in DRIK PATASHALA from where we derived different rights-based relevant topics that not only stimulated an interest in the children but also became a tool for change in the communities.
A spiral curriculum was created and each theme was progressively developed from standard 1 up to standard 7. From the 8th standard to the 10th the children followed the same rights based thinking but in preparation for the 10th standard and eventually exams were completed by doing the Andhra Pradesh open school secondary certificate examination.Today many children are in colleges and doing graduate and post graduate studies.It is very heartening to see how many of them are class, school and college leaders.
DRIK – Nacoldev (Nakkala Colony Development) Learning Centre was set up striving to impart knowledge and creative learning that will make the change in the lives of these indigenous community. This was the first time that these families had access to any form of education.
The school is currently run by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Many children went on to study high school to learn beyond their elementary education. DRIK helped stabilize the wellness and the holistic growth of children at DRIK Nacoldev.
SATSANG RURAL SCHOOL
Satsang Rural School (SRS), located in the hilly hinterlands of Ma Konda behind Satsang Nagar, Andhra Pradesh, India, was revived and reopened by the Satsang Foundation, in association with Dwaraknath Reddy Ramanarpanam Trust in 2012. Children from the surrounding villages of Mekalavaripalli, Siriguntalapalli, Diguvapalli and Kattragaddalapalli became the first batch of the revived school.
The children at SRS were nurtured in a multilingual environment, where Telugu and Hindi were also taught along with English. Within a year network of villages has spread to Ponnutipalem, Mittamaripalli, Patchetlapenta, and Panasmakulapalli.
Following the DRIK pattern and philosophy of education, Satsang Rural School also followed an unique and innovative approach to education. All lessons were planned based on a community-rights based curriculum that evolved dynamically, founded on the philosophy of making education empowering for the poor and the oppressed, building up self-worth of highly alienated children from marginalized and caste-divided villages, and promoting sustainable model of leadership development. The curriculum is rooted in the inherent strengths of the local rural communities.
Incorporating parents’ concerns and views and welcoming aggregate contribution in their own child’s development as well as guiding them to look at at the Satsang Rural School with a sense of ownership and responsibility is another important aspect of ensuring participatory development and change.
Our team of staff continues to keep the community motivated and is actively involved in regular village gatherings and meetings. Infact the focus now is on community schooling and linkages with Government schools.
Our team continues to be inspired and spurred in creating an environment of self-development and promoting a sustainable model of leadership development such as that was at the Satsang Rural School which has now merged into Satsang Vidyalaya under the auspice of Satsang Foundation.The work continues in the villages by the Grace of Sri.M.