12-year-old girl determined to fulfil father’s wish
On a cloudy afternoon in June, we visit the Government Lower Primary School in Dasrahalli, Bangalore. The gloomy phase soon changes with the echoes of children. While we enter the school, some students are enjoying a session of Kho Kho. Started in 1954, The Government Lower Primary School in Dasrahalli, Bangalore is home to 422 students and 15 teachers. Mr. Gangahomaiah, teacher in charge has been teaching here for the last 3 years. He comes with 23 years of experience as a teacher.
To build a child’s personality, discipline is important and Gangahomaiah believes that this facet is one of the important principles of life. In the school, every child is encouraged to learn and Gangahomaiah has diligently worked to help improve education in the school. “We involve the children in all sorts of education activities in school. We have comprehensive smart classes for students to make learning a better experience. This improves the cognitive abilities of the children here at our school,” he added. Even the computer laboratory is fitted with reliable computer systems, a sign that this school is taking a keen interest in improving educational standards for its students.
We are then introduced to 12-year-old Yashoda who tell us her story. With an aspiration to become a teacher, Yashoda, is a bright student in class and is amongst the toppers in her section. During the discussion, Mr. Gangahomaiah reveals that Yashoda had recently lost her father. A sudden sickness struck him in late 2014 which unfortunately led to his sudden demise. Her father was formally a carpenter and was the only working member of the family. “My mother was a home maker till the demise of my father. Since he was the only working member of the family, my mother started working at a garment industry to make ends meet.” Yashoda and her mother reside at a small one bedroom house about a kilometer away from the school. “Initially it was hard for us because my father provided us with everything. We were shocked when he passed away,” says Yashoda.
What Yashoda tell us next is inspiring. “My father’s wish was that I become a lecturer at a college and educate students. He inspired me and I want to do my best.” His demise, in fact hasn’t deterred her from following her ambition of becoming a teacher. Determined to follow her aspiration, Yashoda also wants to give back to society. “When I start teaching, I will also make it a point to educate the poor,” she added with a smile.
As we conclude our conversation,the bell rings for lunch and we don’t want to keep Yashoda waiting.During the lunch hour, the students at the school are taken to the dining hall on the 3rd floor. Its pulao (rice based dish cooked in a broth) and curd (yogurt) for lunch as students’ line up for their meal. Yashoda is particularly fond of the pulao and says, “I love the pulao served by Akshaya Patra. The vegetables are nutritious and healthy for us.” We thank Mr. Gangahomaiah for his hospitality and wish Yashodha all the very best. She signs off with a ‘Thank You’ and commends Akshaya Patra for providing mid-day meals to her school.
Mr. SS Rajamouli and Mr. Shobu Yarlagadda on a tour of our kitchen in Narsingi, Hyderabad on December 11