Raja Shekar; Pulappa, (husband of) A. Saraswathi; Nagaratna und Munemma
Are standing in the new classroom just completed – it is situated at the boarder of the property in front of the school office minimizing our green area which was already small before. But the main thing is that the students have enough space… Our teachers are fond of the new room. (At this time Jayalakshmi, Sabitha and M. Saraswathi were absent because of examinations in Kadiri; Chandra Mohan was at the yoga course in Bangalore).
The next foto shows the momentary situation in the back part of the school:
Our workman is standing at the corner of the school building on the platform which has the width of approximately of 40 inches or 1 meter. The big boarder stones at the right side (visible in the back part) have been removed because we had taken the decision to enlarge the classrooms up to the boarder of the property. But there were some complications... The neighbor who had donated the property to the city of Mudigubba 22 years before argued with the teachers that we have no right to put the enlargement into practice. So we stopped the building measures in favor of a thorough investigation of our loyal situation. Now we have the result that the mentioned neighbor had donated 7, 5 cent of land in 1986 (1cent of land is 40, 46 square meters or 1% of 1 acre - 4046, 8 square meters); but the size of the temple property (where our school is situated) is only 5, 8 cent. Now we have to find out whether the neighbor has to give more land as mentioned in the official donation document; so we have to go to the panchayat to clear this… In each case it is very obvious that we have the right to enlarge our classrooms as planned. But if we receive some more land some other possibilities are also present. So we wait for the results of our visit at the Surpanch.
Anasuya (LKG-teacher and wife of headmaster Chandra Mohan) is pregnant with her second child and does not work as a teacher in this school year 2008/2009. She wants to continue in the school year 2009/10.
Anasuya with Prabath
So we engaged Munemma as a temporary teacher for one year. She has been a teacher at our school in the school year 2006/07 and dropped because of familiar matters. She received the promise to get a permanent job if one of the other teachers wants to drop. But of course one important condition is that she practices our new kinder garden education we have been busy with in many workshops. Headmaster Chandra Mohan, but as well the other teachers joining in these workshops, is responsible for teaching Munemma concerning these essentials.
Nagaratna married on August 8th and will be absent for three months. She wants to come back in November; so we are looking for one more temporary teacher. And the next vacancy is already visible: M. Saraswathi is also pregnant with her second child. She wants to have a break starting in February 2009...
Chandra Mohan completed the yoga course of one month length at the Vyasa institute in Bangalore and brought also some yoga books and CDs to the school. Now our students will receive professional yoga teachings and learn some yogasanas...
Important information concerning the recognition: Chandra Mohan, school advisor Manjunath Reddy, Prabakhar Reddy (president PRDS) und I have been to the Auditor (District Accountants’ Supervisor) in Anantapur – a very well known and farsighted man. He gave an advice to us concerning the recognition we are not very happy with… We have completed the process of application for the recognition; so it is only a question of time to receive it officially from the D.E.O. (District Education Officer in Anantapur). But there is one problem… In Andhra Pradesh it is a condition for a school giving the application for the recognition that there has to be a society caring for the financial and other matters. Because of this reason we started the Shanti Ananda Education Society in November 2006. But we are in a special situation because our school receives funds from overseas. At this moment the Shanti Ananda Education Society has no right to receive foreign funds - for this purpose we need the FCRA – Foreign Currency Registration Account. But we can apply for the FCRA only when the society exists more than 3 years. Because of this situation the Anahata Society in Munich (recipient of the donations in Germany) transfers the funds to the PRDS (Prabath Rural Development Society); every month the PRDS gives the money to the school basing on the sanction letter given by me. As soon as we will receive the recognition officially all the financial transfers compulsory have to be handled by the Shanti Ananda Education Society only. But how to do this without the F.C.R.A.? So what to do in this fiddly situation? As mentioned above the Auditor gave the advice to us to postpone the official receipt of the recognition. We should receive the recognition officially when the Shanti Ananda Education Society received the F.R.C.A. meaning that we have to wait for at least one year. We can apply the F.C.R.A. in April 2009, but it will take some months till this process is completed… But there seems to be no other possibility – although the teachers and the parents are not very happy with this situation. The recognition is important for the good name of the school. But children who want to leave to another school can receive a “transfer certificate."
Impressions of creativity in the afternoon
A. Saraswathi in a game of skill with pebbles
Teachers and me performing a Red Indians’ Song
All Students of the school going in a circle singing the song
Last not least I want to inform you about a big movement for the alphabetization of the rural poor in India: Ekal Vidyalaya (inspired by Swamy Vivekananda) started in 1999 in India (Vidyalaya is the Sanskrit word for the traditional Indian school outside, for example under a tree) (www.ekal.org). When I visited the Nagananda Ashram some days before a 10 days’ teacher training took place - approximately
50 teachers were gathered. Ekal Vidyalaya has at this time around 990 schools in Andhra Pradesh only and in 16 states of India 15.000 schools – they are all one teacher schools. They are specially designed for small villages – often tribal villages - in the rural areas. Only villagers can become teachers, they earn 1000. - Rupees monthly; the education is conducted three hours in the morning only. Within
three years the children learn reading, writing, counting and singing; they receive teachings in manners, hygiene and body exercises; even handicrafts and general science are offered. I was impressed by the commitment of the teachers taking part in the training in Nagananda Ashram. They were concentrated on the training of the traditional stick dance (Kolatam); this was the first time for me that I saw women and men dancing together. An important element of Ekal Vidyalaya seems to be that the teachers have to practice permanent training; that means that every teacher has to visit training camps regularly. The temporary and service oriented movement Ekal Vidyalaya receives big support in India and in foreign countries. They have the aim to conduct 100.000 schools in India in 2011 to teach more than 450.000 children. More than 5000 full time volunteers are busy – impressing numbers giving inspiration to us.
Kolatam training of the Ekal Vidaylaya training group in the Nagananda Ashram
With sincere greetings from South India,
Helga Shanti Fründt
Foreigners should give their donation to this FCRA account
Shanti Ananda Education Society
Andhra Bank, Mudigubba Branch
Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India
Account No: 185410100007532
Indian persons should give their donation to the
Shanti Ananda Education Society
Geetha Nagar, Mudigubba 515511
Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank
Account No. 19073080607