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Tanmatra - Help My Children Fulfill Their Potential

Tanmatra is a Sanskrit term which comes from the root words, tan, meaning “subtle,” and matra, meaning “element."  In the Vedic theory of creation, it is the tanmatras that form the basis of all physical existence.  Simply put, Tanmatra translates to "potential". That is what my kids are, little children full of potential.  

Hello! :)
My name is Varun Goverdhan and I am a fellow at Teach For India. I work in a Government School near Vijaynagar in Bangalore and teach 70 enthusiastic 5th graders.

My kids come from low-income households and tough backgrounds, but are determined to not have that define them. They are curious about the world around them and are eager to learn and grow. My mission, over the next two years, is to create an ecosystem where these kids are encouraged to realize their potential and grab the opportunities that will help their families live a better tomorrow.

To accomplish this, we need to develop our school into a welcoming place where students are excited to come spend their day. Currently, our school lacks some of the basic amenities that children in schools need. We currently do not have clean drinking water, basins, soap, fans in certain classrooms etc. We also have minimal classroom and floor space where we currently try to accommodate around 480 children.

Our primary aim with the money is to have a functional water purifier, revamp the bathrooms, install electric fans in the classrooms, rejuvenate the ground outside the school and construct two additional classrooms to accommodate the influx of children. Additionally, I plan to introduce some basic technology in our classrooms and provide some interesting learning material.

All my expenses with the donated money can be viewed here. I will regularly update this document, so you can keep track of our projects. My kids and I are extremely grateful for every donation made here and no amount is too small. These projects will also benefit the community around by making our school a symbol of progress through quality education.

If you would like to donate in non-monetary ways, feel free to shoot me an email at

Thank you very much :)
Ask for an update
7th August 2017
Hello Donors!

It has been slightly over a month since the fundraiser began and I am still overwhelmed by everyones generosity and eagerness to help. My kids and I are extremely grateful for every single donation we have received. (Above: Asma, Noor, Muskaan, Arbaz, Hussain and the others during break.)

This is the second update, for both you and us, to be able to measure our progress. Our three main priorities for our school site are: Sanitation and Hygiene, Stationary and Resources, and Infrastructure. These three areas will be addressed over multiple phases over two years.

1) Fans and lights and have been installed in one of classrooms where we didn't have any before. The children used to sit here throughout the day in the heat. But now they love their classroom!
(Above: Work being done. Below: Shambhavi, Sowmya, Esther, and Likita enjoying their new fan.)

2) We have provided 25 children with English workbooks. We will be using these books throughout the year to help bridge the literacy gap. I currently take extra classes with these children every Monday and Tuesday where we work specifically on this book. My hope is to expand this to around 50-75 children in the coming months.

3) Book Club!
 I have identified 8 of my children who are excelling at English and decided to start a book club with them. Each of them is provided with a story book and a dictionary. Every 2-4 weeks, we debrief what we have read and answer some questions. The we rotate the books and begin again. I plan to extend this to around 30-40 children at different levels to inculcate a love of reading.
(Below: Sufiya, Noor, Arshiya and Asma excitedly holding up their new books!)

4) We have been having some problems fixing/replacing the water purifier in school. However, towards the end of last week I was able to find someone who was certain he could fix it. We should hopefully have it ready in a couple of weeks.

5) Work has begun on constructing the wash basins for our children. Most of the masonry work is done with mainly the plumbing work left to do. The kids are so excited to see the work going on.

6) We have equipped all of classrooms with trash cans and dust pans. Driving cleanliness is one of our key goals.

We would not be able to have done any of this work if it wasn't for your donations and I am eternally grateful for that. I will be constantly working over these two years to bring the school and the children to the best level I can. I wanted to thank you for helping me do all of this work and for helping me give my children opportunities they would normally not have. If you have any questions/suggestions please feel free to shoot me an email at As usual, all expenses will be updated on this excel sheet. There is still a lot of work to be done, so do expect more updates coming your way!

Thank you,
Varun Goverdhan
2017 Fellow - Teach For India

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Beneficiary: Varun Goverdhan info_outline