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Eveline Gerritsen

Sri Vivekananda Vidya Kendra School in Hoskote

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

In november of 2019 I had the opportunity to visit Sri Vivekananda Vidya Kendra School in Hoskote, close to Bangalore. I received a warm welcome of Nagaraja Guptha, the Secretary of the school. Nagaraja was very excited to meet me and wanted to show me the school that he had build over the past 25 years.

First he brought me to a small classroom with a group of 11 children sitting on the floor. All the children have a disability like down syndrome or autism. It was up to the teachers to learn them a profession like making candles, creating bathmats of old sarees or folding paper bags for the pharmacy. They were learning these children skills so that when they are older they are capable of proving a small income for themselves, since Nagaraja believes it will give them confidence.

Later on we walked to the several buildings of the school and the Secretary told me that he started the school with one small classroom and now they have 4 different buildings with classrooms. He also told me his vision “Imparts value based education with a long term perspective. Develops in the students a spirit of social service and a concern for the less fortunate people. To enable the students to prepare for a career or further studies.”

Especially the concern for the less fortunate people was a very important asset for Nagaraja. Some children in the school were wearing black school uniforms so I asked him why? He explained to me that those students were from more fortunate families and these students paid an extra school fee for every student of the less fortunate families. This way every child could go to school.

Thanks to Astha Shakti, a nonprofit from Bangalore, all the students could eat a warm meal during lunch so that they had enough energy to learn. If I have the chance I would definitely go back to see Nagaraja Guptha again. His mission in life is such an inspiration for others.

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