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I am fundraising to setting up of an English Lab

Why am I fundraising?

To buy computers and all softwares required to setup this lab.

What do I plan to do with the funds?

For the procurement of the computer and software.

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28th April 2016
Dear Supporters,
I am Vishnu, a Milaap Open Fellow in Bangalore. I visited Shishu Mandir recently to write an impact story about the school. The first person to greet me when I entered the premises of Shishu Mandir was the school’s ever smiling director Mr. Anand. Along-serving member of the school, I could feel the sense of pride in his tone when he spoke to me about the children and his school. I couldn’t help but notice that every single child in the school could speak English fluently.
Mr. Anand shed light on two most essential aspects of his school - English is the primary means of communication and special weightage is given to girls, which is why the boy-girl ratio at the school is 30:70. He painted a picture about the environment and the ground realities of the children’s backgrounds through stories. Most children in the school come from families with backgrounds of domestic abuse and alcoholism. More than 60% of the children in this school have grown up in father-absent homes. They have witnessed premature deaths of their father sowing to excessive alcohol consumption and their mothers taking up sex work in order to make ends meet. He then went on to tell me the story of a girl studying at his school who had to go through the trauma of watching her father burn her mother alive. His voice twiddled as he spoke about it. “She is now studying her twelfth standard at Christ University,” he added.
All children in the school are from the nearby villages and slums. The school firmly believes in the ripple effect of education. Educate one child, educate a family. Therefore,when selecting students, they choose only one child per family owing to this philosophy. They use the RTE (Right To Education) Act to help other children get admissions in good schools in the neighbourhood. More importantly, they are well aware of the fact that the performance of the children in school is heavily dependent on their surroundings back home. They have established women’s groups and a support system to sensitize and help the parents understand the role of education in a person’s life.
I was introduced to two vivacious girls, Visalakshi and Vivilya, who were part of the 'Aspire' program by KPMG. The Aspire program covers all education costs of 36 girls studying in the school. The focus here is on awareness; all the girls are encouraged to travel around the country and make themselves more aware, fully sponsored by KPMG. “These are the girls spoilt by KPMG,” Anand sir joked. They were going to act as my guides in the school. Brimming with  confidence, they explained different aspects of life at Shishu Mandir - the serious and the quirky parts.
I saw the new labs, the basketball court, music rooms, social studies labs, and the library. They took me to classes and let me take photos. All the children made funny faces for the camera. The facilities were impressive, and in fact, much better than most private schools. There were 22 teachers for 250 children; the highest student teacher ratio I have ever seen.
Next, I asked Vivilya to take me to her favourite teacher. This turned out to be her English teacher,Ms. Meena who was also the vice-principal of the school. As I entered the room I saw a massive cabinet filled with trophies of all sizes. “These are the state and national trophies in basketball and football won by both girls and boys over the past few years,” Vivilya pointed out.
I congratulated the English teacher on her efforts as I could clearly see the results in my interactions with the students. She thanked me and admitted that it was the result of a combined effort by all the teachers in the school, and not just her. A lot of students seem to go to her with their problems. She told me about students who excelled in their careers despite coming from severely limiting backgrounds. The biggest problem most children faced, she told me, was that their parents did not understand the value of good education. Children perform best when encouraged by their parents. Good education empowers children to make their own choices and improve the lives of not only their own families but also future generations.
As I said goodbye to her, a child walked in with tears in her eyes to talk to Meena Ma'am. 'Impact'is what came to my mind. As a teacher, she gives children the confidence to confide in her. She takes up their issues, finds effective solutions to their problems, and motivates them to do their best.

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Beneficiary: Shishu Mandir info_outline