WE BELIEVE. Help my students go Above and Beyond. | Milaap
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WE BELIEVE. Help my students go Above and Beyond.
of Rs.3,00,000
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    This fundraiser will benefit

    Nikhil Lingutla

    from Bengaluru, Karnataka

First things first
Ima say all the words inside my head
I am fired up and tired of the way the things have been ……..
(Lyrics of Imagine dragons’ Believer)

The above few lines perfectly phrase the feelings of me and my students about our classroom infrastructure. Hence we have decided to transform our classroom for a better opportunity to learn and achieve what we want to. WE BELIEVE.
Brief Summary | Too Long; Didn't read
I, Nikhil, currently work as a teacher in a Government school in Bengaluru. My students are the children of daily laborers who work long hours for minimum wages. Our classroom has several issues that need immediate attention. Hence we are seeking your monetary help. Every donation, no matter how small, would make a difference. Please consider donating to this noble cause.      _______________________________________________________________________________


My name is Nikhil Lingutla and I am a fellow at Teach For India. I teach 40 extremely curious Grade 7 students at Government Kannada English Model Primary School, KP Agrahara, Bengaluru. My background includes a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Oregon State University in the USA.  I also have about four years of experience working as a software engineer at VMWare, Palo Alto, California before leaving it all to join the Teach for India fellowship.

The classrooms in my school are tiny and cramped. They are piled with outdated racks and desks which are laborious to move around and are sometimes hazardous to sit in. The switchboards in our classroom are completely broken and we HAVE to play with danger every day. The classroom floods up even for a small amount of rain. There is no proper drinking water facility, we have to go to the nearest hotel if we are thirsty. How is a child supposed to come into this environment and be able to attain an excellent education? How are teachers supposed to prepare children for the 21st century in classrooms like these?  What can I, as an educator, do to help these children and best equip them for the future?

It is my firm belief that the learning space should embody the variety of learning within. Our 20th-century infrastructure will simply not do for the future, and to this end, I have partnered with The Better Design Foundation (TBDF). More on TBDF later.

Second thing second
Don't you tell me what you think that I can be
I'm the one at the sail, I'm the master of my sea …….
(Lyrics of Imagine dragons’ Believer)

My students come from a community, called Magadi Road, that comprises of hard-working families who are heavily invested in the education of their children. My students are the children of daily laborers and incense stick makers who work long hours for minimum wages. The income earned by the parents is not enough to make the ends meet in most cases. So, my students carry the hopes and responsibilities of their families in addition to their own. My students do not let their backgrounds define or restrict them. They are highly motivated and are able to articulate their future aspirations of either becoming a doctor, teacher, or soldier. WE BELIEVE.

These aspirations are what drive them to come to school every day. They come into my classroom to learn and work with me to find a way to eventually achieve their goals. While one can admire and applaud their motivation, one can also see the crushing reality of the place they come to in search of an impetus. One may assume that simply adding a few benches and a blackboard would resolve this issue, but such solutions do not take into account modern views on education. We need classrooms that encourage teamwork, creativity, and dynamism - spaces where students learn from their peers and learn to ask the right questions. My goal is to create a space where students feel safe, comfortable and excited. To this end, I have partnered with The Better Design Foundation (TBDF).

TBDF is an organization started by ex-TFI fellows with experience in architecture and interior design. In partnership with FRDC - a large retail design studio, they have formulated a well thought out scalable solution to our current infrastructure issues. Our current classrooms have limited student-teacher interaction, inefficient space utilization, and a lack of diversity in learning mediums. Over the next year, I will be working with TBDF to transform my classroom in terms of equipment, technology, and structure keeping student outcomes at the center of this transformation. You can find more information on exactly how we imagine the classroom to look like here. Most importantly, I will be shifting my classroom from an instructional model to a collaborative one. My classroom will then serve as a model to other teachers, other schools, the local government, and to large institutions motivated to make a difference.

Last things last
By the grace of the fire and the flames
You're the face of the future, the blood in my veins
(Lyrics of Imagine dragons’ Believer)

I am very glad to be part of this campaign led by the students themselves and they are the reason I happily do what I do now. We have the opportunity not only to transform the lives of my current students but to also disrupt the entire education system. With all that said, we will not be able to do any of this without your support. A portion of the funds raised will be used to provide basic amenities like electricity, fans, lights, etcetera and then the larger chunk of it would be used for customized, flexible furniture - which includes height-adjustable desks, innovative seating, whiteboards, LED TVs, an in-room library and solar power systems ensuring the classroom is self-sufficient and sustainable - I will be working with TBDF to ensure the classroom has varied layouts and plans to accommodate every student that passes through my classroom and their unique needs. Every donation, no matter how small, would make a difference. We would be collecting funds and posting all the expenses which you can find here. You can also find our expected cost break up below. We will also be sharing regular updates with you. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at nikhil.lingutla2019@teachforindia.org or to The Better Design Foundation at contact.thebetterdesign@gmail.com.


Thank you,
Nikhil Lingutla
2019 Fellow
Teach For India

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