DRIK Initiatives And Networks
Under the aegis of DRIK (An initiative of DRRT), several path-breaking educational initiatives have been innovated and established, these include, DRIK Jeevanotsava, DRIK Patashala, DRIK CEF, DRIK Viveka and Drishya and many more.
DRIK is where education goes beyond schooling. It is all about sustainable learning processes that foster empowerment, self-reliance and leadership. DRIK works with a community specific, region based and socially relevant curriculum that is evolved contextually and inspires the young minds to think and act independently.
These learning and education centers set up by DRIK revitalize the severed roots between the poor and their heritage, their inherent potential and strengths. DRIK promotes learning where deprived children and youth understand their history and culture, learn traditional skills of their communities that are dying out, and are enabled to feel their self-worth by taking control of their lives, their environment and well being of their communities.
In fact, every subject taught, every thought debated, every dialogue had, also takes expression through an array of colors and myriad hues on paper, cloth, glass or even waste.
JEEVAN implies life, and UTSAV celebration.
For many indigent children living in slums, urban poor surroundings, and remote rural communities, life was often full of uncertainties and insecurities. In a crowded urban environment, like in the city of Bengaluru, children living in low-income settlements were witness to vice, corruption, street quarrels, and family discord. They accepted their economic hardships and social constraints as their resigned fate. Parents forced by poverty neglected their children's educational needs.
Lost in a world, where Gandhi once said "there was enough for every ones needs but not for everyones greed", a world wrapped in materialistic and consumerism driven aspirations, the younger generation, both the elite and the poor, were sometimes faced with a conflict of values. Young minds grew confused, frustrated, discouraged and even depressed. They had no opportunity to express their innate creative talent and abilities, nor discover themselves through laughter and play.
DRIK Jeevanotsava, a cultural empowerment network based on humane values of love, peace, equality and the joy of childhood, was launched in 2002 in the slums and villages by DRIK, in collaboration with DRRT and AVAS.
Some of the most popular mediums of expressions like singing, dancing, and theater, are being used extensively to allow children to experience the richness of our culture, diversity of our people and teachings of our great leaders, instilling in them a sense of courage, unity, and pride in their origin and their roots. Sports and athletics is also used to build team camaraderie and leadership in the children and youth. Yoga is taught to quieten the minds.
The initial challenge was to motivate communities to allow their children to explore and network together towards their own development, but today Jeevanotsava has reached thousands of children in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu in India.
DRIK Patashala was launched to provide destitute children in the slums and villages of Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh, a rights based education by building up a relevant and need oriented curriculum.
The vision was to create learning opportunities by which the children are encouraged to think independently, question watchfully, understand discussions, discern information, debate logically and ultimately be empowered by knowledge that is relevant to transform their lives and their families living and working conditions.
Education, therefore, becomes empowering and enables the development of leadership qualities in the children to take on responsibilities at their schools, homes, and in the communities.
By developing a spiral curriculum, the study plans and learning capsules are creatively evolved based on relevant themes. In spite of the fact the curriculum is in regional language, it has not hindered our children succeeding in an English spoken environment.
Asking some basic overarching questions about transforming lives from poverty to progress, from war to peace, from subjugation to sustainable survival, from destruction to the protection of our planet, and reasoning as to how a just society can be established, the DRIK facilitators are specially trained and capacitated to help students with knowledge and learning.
The impact has been felt when the children took the lead and open doors to become pioneers, leaders and change makers in an hour of need.
DRIK patashala, having empowered students through alternate learning tools and ideas chose not to continue in a format that redefined formal systems of schooling in a changing regional government's education program. Today it has moved into a larger horizon of government schools and community integrated learning programs. The same spirit of rights and values based curriculums creation and teaching continues
Nakkala Colony Development
DRIK Nacoldev was founded in response to the cry of an indigenous community called the Nakkala Colony located near the famous temple town of Tirupathi in Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, India. Three score families had been uprooted from their traditional tribal homes in the name of development and thrust in the midst of a fast urbanizing small city many years ago.
Losing their roots, ostracized by society as being ignorant and illiterate, being unaccepted by the system that looks down upon this community, these families found themselves lost and insecure.
Having heard their plea for a school DRIK established the DRIK Nacoldev learning center striving to impart knowledge and creative teaching that can transform and bring change in the lives of the tribal community.
This was the first time that the indigenous families had access to any form of education. The day began with silent meditation for the children and through the day children would find themselves unleashing their creative energy and discovering a world of laughter and color by using available resources like seeds and beads, chalks and crayons, mud and plaster, leaves and cards etc.
After running the center for a few years, the Government of Andhra Pradesh was enthused by the program and along with contribution by DRRT built a school within the community, which is now managed and run by the Government. Children from first to fifth grade, along with their parents are encouraged to attend school and attain literacy. Many children excitingly have also started going to high school to learn beyond their elementary education.
The seeds have been planted and the sapling nurtured, but a lot more needs to be done in this exciting project but for now, team camaraderie, learning to share, clapping hands in unison towards collective empowerment is tangible.
Every child today has the opportunity to discover the joy of childhood. DRIK Foundation helped stabilize the wellness and the holistic growth of the children at DRIK Nacoldev.
“Where the sky is my roof, the mountains my boundaries, and the lake the mirror of my future, there may I learn the Truth of myself and of a society where every child has the right to a childhood.”
Devi stood on a mound of brown earth at the DRIK-Viveka campus, pivoted around on her feet like a spinning top, hands swinging in gay abandon and hair flying in the air. Gasping for breath in awe of what she saw around her she said “thank you so much for showing me a world outside of my slum, that I did not know existed for real. I feel the magnitude of that huge mountain within me. I suddenly feel big inside.”
The DRIK-Viveka Campus, was conceived for the Devis of the city slums, languishing in abject poverty. It was born to liberate the spirit of children living in polarized worlds, and for bonding together children living in the slums of the city, caught in a snare of urban poverty and those in villages, languishing in rural neglect. Neither knew the other's world, but both survived despite the shackles.
Forty acres of barren and dry land, approximately an hour from Bengaluru, was bought by DRRT (Dwaraknath Reddy Ramanarpanam Trust) to establish a learning and education institution for indigent children around the villages of Chikkaballapura town and the slums of Bangalore city. This today is the DRIK-DRISHYA- VIVEKA CAMPUS.
Mr. Dwaraknath Reddy, founder of DRRT and DRIK Foundations held a dream. He shared with his daughter Anita Reddy the vision to build a learning and knowledge center that would be driven by compassion. In order to build an instituition that would give the children and youth the best opportunities in education, he bought and dedicated this land for the cause.
DRISHYA, an educational movement spearheaded and established by DRRT emerged in response to the need for innovative education for children living in urban slums. DRISHYA emerged as a cooperative effort of DRRT and AVAS (Association for Voluntary Action and Services) partnership. AVAS, a non-profit organization that has worked intensely in many slum communities for more than four decades, focusing its endeavors on their empowerment. DRIK pioneered the DRISHYA movement based on the work done by AVAS in slum communities.
For over a decade and more, the RC Foundation has reached out in support of DRISHYA Kalika Kendras. (activity and learning centers as they are called)
The children who live, play and experience the subjugating environment of a city slum have few experiences that stimulate hope for an equitable future. AVAS’s efforts in organizing poor communities in the slums, impacted over 50 thousand people who benefited from the work done by the members of the Trust, this experience created the need to additionally center around the requirements of the children—specifically children who live in the squalor of India’s urban slums and are denied of many rights, namely housing, health and the luxury of a creative and productive childhood.
The conventional education system, limited as it is in vision and scope, provides no answers to these vital issues.
DRIK and AVAS have worked together to search out a new model of education, to provide underprivileged children with new choices to carve out their lives, and to evolve the best system and framework for leadership development. DRISHYA addresses 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.
DRISHYA succeeds 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.
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.
Children's Education Fund
Children's Education Fund, a community approved fund managed by the children with support from parents and DRIK members.
The prime objective of providing financial aid is to enable poor children to directly access the financial support provided by the Trust, take ownership of the financial aid, be involved in decision making and manage it by themselves and for themselves.
Interested in joining our cause?