Tanmatra - Help My Children Fulfill Their Potential | Milaap

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 varun.g2017@teachforindia.org

Thank you very much :)
Ask for an update
12th March 2019
Hello Donors!

It's been a while since the last update and I am delighted to share all the progress we have made with you. Final exams are right around the corner and your donations have made this year the most successful one in Gangondanahalli! All of us at school are immensely grateful for every donation we have received over the past two years :)


(Above: After our final class trip at Bannerghatta Zoo)

This is the fifth update for both you and me to gauge our progress and set future goals. As stated, our four main priorities for our school site are: Sanitation and Hygiene, Stationary and Resources, Exposure and Access, and Infrastructure. These four areas will be addressed over multiple phases over two years. Below are some of the highlights of the work we were able to do, there were plenty of other smaller things that happened through the year that aren't mentioned in this update in hopes to maintain its brevity.

1) Dream Design Robotics Program
         During the first year of my fellowship, I was lucky enough to meet NASA Scientist, Dr. Gajanana Birur, who lent me two LEGO Mindstorm NXT sets to teach the children robotics. After working with the sets for a few months, I was amazed to see how well the children took to it and how it could be used to deliver a powerful learning experience. This led me to start the 'Dream Design Robotics Program'. With the help of Mr. Ashok Kamath, from Akshara Foundation, and Dr. Birur's own foundation, Birur Educational Foundation for Children, we acquired eight more sets and started the robotics program across eight other  low-income government schools.
         On February 2nd, we held a robotics competition among the eight schools involving over one hundred children. The competition was only able to take place thanks to the donations provided by you and BEFC. The program hopes to expand to several more schools across Bangalore next year. You can find pictures and videos of the competition over here.
       

(Above Left: Byatarayanapura's all girls team. Above Middle: Abu writing his code)     
 
2) Dramebaaz      
 At Gangondanahalli, we try to provide as many opportunities to our children as possible. Keeping with this tradition, this year we were again able to enrol our children into the Dramebaaz theatre program thanks to your donations. A group of 15 children practiced and performed 'The Pied Piper' just last month


3) Field Trips!
    Which kid doesn't love field trips? Part of the fundraised money was used to take the children on multiple trips throughout the year. Our kids were able to visit the aquarium, Cubbon park, and Bannerghatta National Park! These funds were able to let us organise transport, food, and tickets for all these trips.

      
(Above: The kids at Bannerghatta Zoo. Above Right: Kids at the Aquarium )

4) 'Just For Kicks' Football Program
  This year, our school was able to be part of the 'Just For Kicks' football tournament. We had a coach who trained teams of boys and girls throughout the year while they competed in the regional league. While registration for the program was free, your donations helped us organise transport to and from each game. And the best part? We are able to find some talent! (continued below...)


(Above: Kids after one of their practices)

5) BFC Soccer School
    Our U-12 goalkeeper in the boys team won the 'Golden Glove' for being the best keeper across the entire Bangalore city! In an effort to harness and develop his talent, I was able to enrol him at Bengaluru Football Club's soccer school at Vijayanagar. Hussain will be receiving world-class coaching through the next few months and we hope he will be selected to join the BFC Academy.


(Above: Hussain Pasha with his Golden Gloved trophy)

6) Water Purifier
     Fixing the water purifier seemed to be a much harder task than we thought. We had to begin with cleaning the underground water storage unit, then replace the old broken water tanks and pipes, and finally install the purifier system. But I am glad to inform that 425 children now have access to clean drinking water thanks to you!

   

7) Bathroom Renovation   
 One of the biggest projects over the two years was renovating the dilapidated bathrooms at Gangondanahalli. The entire plumbing system needed to be redone and a lot of remodelling. It took a lot of time, a lot of people, and a lot of money to make it happen, but we did it! A huge section of the communal bathrooms has been completely redone and the children and teachers are ecstatic about it. (Work is still in progress and will be completed within the week)
        

(Top left: The state of the bathroom before. Other two: After completion of 75% of  the work)

8) Benches    
We were able to provide benches for 4 classrooms in which children previously sat on the floor throughout the day. While these benches were funded through a different medium, some of your money will be used to acquire additional benches for other classrooms.

     

(Above: 4th grade classroom)


All of these things have only been possible through your donations. I can never be able to fully express my gratitude to each and every one of you. In one month, I will complete my fellowship at Teach For India and will be attending graduate school in the fall. However, you can rest assured my heart still lies at Gangondanahalli. Part of the remaining money will be transferred to the next incoming fellow and another part of it will be saved for scholarships to fund higher education for some of the children. If you have any questions/suggestions please feel free to shoot me an email at varun.g2017@teachforindia.org. As usual, all expenses will be updated on this excel sheet.


Thank you for being a part of this journey,
Varun Goverdhan
2017 Fellow - Teach For India
Hello Donors!

It's been a while since the last update and I am delighted to share all the progress we have made with you. Final exams are right around the corner and your donations have made this year the most successful one in Gangondanahalli! All of us at school are immensely grateful for every donation we have received over the past two years :)


(Above: After our final class trip at Bannerghatta Zoo)

This is the fifth update for both you and me to gauge our progress and set future goals. As stated, our four main priorities for our school site are: Sanitation and Hygiene, Stationary and Resources, Exposure and Access, and Infrastructure. These four areas will be addressed over multiple phases over two years. Below are some of the highlights of the work we were able to do, there were plenty of other smaller things that happened through the year that aren't mentioned in this update in hopes to maintain its brevity.

1) Dream Design Robotics Program
         During the first year of my fellowship, I was lucky enough to meet NASA Scientist, Dr. Gajanana Birur, who lent me two LEGO Mindstorm NXT sets to teach the children robotics. After working with the sets for a few months, I was amazed to see how well the children took to it and how it could be used to deliver a powerful learning experience. This led me to start the 'Dream Design Robotics Program'. With the help of Mr. Ashok Kamath, from Akshara Foundation, and Dr. Birur's own foundation, Birur Educational Foundation for Children, we acquired eight more sets and started the robotics program across eight other  low-income government schools.
         On February 2nd, we held a robotics competition among the eight schools involving over one hundred children. The competition was only able to take place thanks to the donations provided by you and BEFC. The program hopes to expand to several more schools across Bangalore next year. You can find pictures and videos of the competition over here.
       

(Above Left: Byatarayanapura's all girls team. Above Middle: Abu writing his code)     
 
2) Dramebaaz      
 At Gangondanahalli, we try to provide as many opportunities to our children as possible. Keeping with this tradition, this year we were again able to enrol our children into the Dramebaaz theatre program thanks to your donations. A group of 15 children practiced and performed 'The Pied Piper' just last month


3) Field Trips!
    Which kid doesn't love field trips? Part of the fundraised money was used to take the children on multiple trips throughout the year. Our kids were able to visit the aquarium, Cubbon park, and Bannerghatta National Park! These funds were able to let us organise transport, food, and tickets for all these trips.

      
(Above: The kids at Bannerghatta Zoo. Above Right: Kids at the Aquarium )

4) 'Just For Kicks' Football Program
  This year, our school was able to be part of the 'Just For Kicks' football tournament. We had a coach who trained teams of boys and girls throughout the year while they competed in the regional league. While registration for the program was free, your donations helped us organise transport to and from each game. And the best part? We are able to find some talent! (continued below...)


(Above: Kids after one of their practices)

5) BFC Soccer School
    Our U-12 goalkeeper in the boys team won the 'Golden Glove' for being the best keeper across the entire Bangalore city! In an effort to harness and develop his talent, I was able to enrol him at Bengaluru Football Club's soccer school at Vijayanagar. Hussain will be receiving world-class coaching through the next few months and we hope he will be selected to join the BFC Academy.


(Above: Hussain Pasha with his Golden Gloved trophy)

6) Water Purifier
     Fixing the water purifier seemed to be a much harder task than we thought. We had to begin with cleaning the underground water storage unit, then replace the old broken water tanks and pipes, and finally install the purifier system. But I am glad to inform that 425 children now have access to clean drinking water thanks to you!

   

7) Bathroom Renovation   
 One of the biggest projects over the two years was renovating the dilapidated bathrooms at Gangondanahalli. The entire plumbing system needed to be redone and a lot of remodelling. It took a lot of time, a lot of people, and a lot of money to make it happen, but we did it! A huge section of the communal bathrooms has been completely redone and the children and teachers are ecstatic about it. (Work is still in progress and will be completed within the week)
        

(Top left: The state of the bathroom before. Other two: After completion of 75% of  the work)

8) Benches    
We were able to provide benches for 4 classrooms in which children previously sat on the floor throughout the day. While these benches were funded through a different medium, some of your money will be used to acquire additional benches for other classrooms.

     

(Above: 4th grade classroom)


All of these things have only been possible through your donations. I can never be able to fully express my gratitude to each and every one of you. In one month, I will complete my fellowship at Teach For India and will be attending graduate school in the fall. However, you can rest assured my heart still lies at Gangondanahalli. Part of the remaining money will be transferred to the next incoming fellow and another part of it will be saved for scholarships to fund higher education for some of the children. If you have any questions/suggestions please feel free to shoot me an email at varun.g2017@teachforindia.org. As usual, all expenses will be updated on this excel sheet.


Thank you for being a part of this journey,
Varun Goverdhan
2017 Fellow - Teach For India
2nd June 2018
Hello Donors!

It's time for another school year and a perfect time for another update for all of you. This update will include all that happened towards the end of last year, as well as upcoming plans for this school year. My children and I are grateful for every donation received and we could never thank you enough for your generosity.


(Above: Drama team after their competition)

This is the fourth update for both you and me to gauge our progress and set future goals. As stated, our four main priorities for our school site are: Sanitation and Hygiene, Stationary and Resources, Exposure and Access, and Infrastructure. These four areas will be addressed over multiple phases over two years.

1) Eye Check Ups!
         Thanks to your funds, we have been able to provide eye check ups and glasses to some of my kids who need it. Students have often complained about not being able to see and about headaches. Thanks to your contributions we have been able to tackle this problem. We have been able to access exceptional care for our children and change their lives permanently. In the picture below you can see Abu and Hafeeza picking out their new pair of glasses. To the right of that is Afreen who is eagerly waiting for her first time to see an ophthalmologist.

 

2) School Bell System!
        Consistency and regularity is something that the children of Gangondanahalli desperately needed. Since the start of this school, there was never a regular school bell system incorporated. This often lead to teachers missing class, being late to class, and overrunning their allotted time. This also made it difficult for the children as they were never able to experience systematic days. The old school bell was antediluvian and a hassle for the children and teachers to use. Our new school bell has changed this. It is also incorporated with a system that tracks the time and rings exactly when it is needed to.


(Above Left: The old school bell. Above Right: The new school bell)

3) Hand Soap and Dispensers!
    Our school never had any soap for the children to use. This not only was a bad example for our children, but also never educated the children adequately about basic hygiene. This year I was able to acquire some soap dispensers and liquid hand soap for the children to use. The first day after installation was chaos. The children were so excited about having this available to them and some even spent upto 15 minutes just washing their hands. I have been able to contact Savlon CSR and they have agreed to provide hand soap free of charge for the remainder of the year.


(Above Left: Ashoka helping his little sister with the soap. Above Middle: Arbaz and his classmates excitedly washing their hands. Above Right: The initial supplies)

4) Field Trip!
  Thanks to your funds we were also able to provide a much needed field trip to some of our kids. This trip involved a metro a ride, a visit to the bookstore (each child got to pick out one book), and finally an enjoyable meal at McDonalds. The kids were beyond excited for this trip and it provided some great exposure for them. You can see the joy in their eyes in the pictures below.


(Above Left: Susanna Ma'am with the kiddos. Above Right: The children at McDonalds.)

5) Book Club Extension!
    As usual, the famed book club has been able to expand! The kids are really enjoying reading and being able to access so many books whenever they need. Below you can see Hafeeza who has almost finished with the Harry Potter Series!



All of these things have only been possible through your donations. I can never be able to fully express my gratitude to each and every one of you. I have exciting things planned for this school year and I will keep you updated with all of the happenings. If you have any questions/suggestions please feel free to shoot me an email at varun.g2017@teachforindia.org. 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
Hello Donors!

It's time for another school year and a perfect time for another update for all of you. This update will include all that happened towards the end of last year, as well as upcoming plans for this school year. My children and I are grateful for every donation received and we could never thank you enough for your generosity.


(Above: Drama team after their competition)

This is the fourth update for both you and me to gauge our progress and set future goals. As stated, our four main priorities for our school site are: Sanitation and Hygiene, Stationary and Resources, Exposure and Access, and Infrastructure. These four areas will be addressed over multiple phases over two years.

1) Eye Check Ups!
         Thanks to your funds, we have been able to provide eye check ups and glasses to some of my kids who need it. Students have often complained about not being able to see and about headaches. Thanks to your contributions we have been able to tackle this problem. We have been able to access exceptional care for our children and change their lives permanently. In the picture below you can see Abu and Hafeeza picking out their new pair of glasses. To the right of that is Afreen who is eagerly waiting for her first time to see an ophthalmologist.

 

2) School Bell System!
        Consistency and regularity is something that the children of Gangondanahalli desperately needed. Since the start of this school, there was never a regular school bell system incorporated. This often lead to teachers missing class, being late to class, and overrunning their allotted time. This also made it difficult for the children as they were never able to experience systematic days. The old school bell was antediluvian and a hassle for the children and teachers to use. Our new school bell has changed this. It is also incorporated with a system that tracks the time and rings exactly when it is needed to.


(Above Left: The old school bell. Above Right: The new school bell)

3) Hand Soap and Dispensers!
    Our school never had any soap for the children to use. This not only was a bad example for our children, but also never educated the children adequately about basic hygiene. This year I was able to acquire some soap dispensers and liquid hand soap for the children to use. The first day after installation was chaos. The children were so excited about having this available to them and some even spent upto 15 minutes just washing their hands. I have been able to contact Savlon CSR and they have agreed to provide hand soap free of charge for the remainder of the year.


(Above Left: Ashoka helping his little sister with the soap. Above Middle: Arbaz and his classmates excitedly washing their hands. Above Right: The initial supplies)

4) Field Trip!
  Thanks to your funds we were also able to provide a much needed field trip to some of our kids. This trip involved a metro a ride, a visit to the bookstore (each child got to pick out one book), and finally an enjoyable meal at McDonalds. The kids were beyond excited for this trip and it provided some great exposure for them. You can see the joy in their eyes in the pictures below.


(Above Left: Susanna Ma'am with the kiddos. Above Right: The children at McDonalds.)

5) Book Club Extension!
    As usual, the famed book club has been able to expand! The kids are really enjoying reading and being able to access so many books whenever they need. Below you can see Hafeeza who has almost finished with the Harry Potter Series!



All of these things have only been possible through your donations. I can never be able to fully express my gratitude to each and every one of you. I have exciting things planned for this school year and I will keep you updated with all of the happenings. If you have any questions/suggestions please feel free to shoot me an email at varun.g2017@teachforindia.org. 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
21st December 2017
Hello Donors!

With Christmas and the new year coming up, I thought this would be a great time for another update. Your funds have given me the ability to provide my school and children with so much more than I alone could have. My children and I value every single donation that we have received.
       
(Above: Children's day with my bunch of 5th graders)

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

1) The Karnataka government has recently switched all student records into an online system called the STS. Our teachers were finding it very difficult to be able to frequently access a computer and use the system. Thanks to your donations, we have been able to equip our teachers with a computer at school itself. My co-fellow and I are training the teachers on how to use the computer and maintain the online records.

 
(Above: Nagarathnamma Ma'am updating student records.)

2) Book Club Extension!
    As you have seen in the last update, I have started a book club with some of the kids that were excelling in English. The club started with 8 children and now we have expanded to 15 children. My hope is to have around 30 children invested in the book club by the the end of the year. In the picture below you can see one of my students, Hafeeza, with her favourite book. In just a couple of months, she has worked her way to the fourth Harry Potter book!



3) Football
  Through your donations, I have been able to acquire a few footballs and spark our children's interest in sports! We will be having a girls and boys team who will begin practice in January. Stay tuned for the next update to find out more on this.

4) Dramebaaz
    Dramebaaz is an initiative that drives life skills through theatre. We have signed up two teams from our school that will be performing a short play on January 24th. The kids are having a blast preparing for this and are learning a lot of valuable skills. If you are interested in attending the event on the 24th, please reach out to me.


5) English competition and Bangalore Literature Festival
 With the raised funds, we have also been able to give our children valuable exposure and access. In the last couple of months our children have participated in English competitions and were also able to attend the Bangalore Literature Festival. These kind of experiences are something our kids would not have been able to have without each one of you.

(Above: Asma, Hafeeza, Muskaan, Shahibaaz and Abu at the Bangalore Literature Festival)

6) Holiday Homework Packets!
With a long Christmas break coming up, I didn't want my children to lose out on time to improve their skills and grow. I have been able to compile various different resources into differentiated homework packets targeted at each child's growth. Thanks to your donations, I have been able to print, bind and deliver these books to the children.

7) Sports Day!
Recently, a few Teach For India fellows, organized a cluster wide sports day for our children. This was one of the few times our children have got the chance to showcase their talent and compete against children from other schools. Transporting a large group of children is usually a bit difficult, but thanks to your donations, we have been able to do so.

(My co-fellow Susanna with our sports contingent.)

8) Health Check Ups
Recently, preliminary health check ups were conducted for all the children in our school. Many of the children are reported to have eyesight and visibility problems. Going forward, we are going to be using some of the funds to provide the kids with spectacles. We will also be looking into other health related issues.

9) Robotics Club
Another exciting project we have undertaken is the school robotics club. Dr. Gajanana Birur, a NASA Scientist, has donated two Lego robotic kits to our school. I have been closely working with him to teach our children the hardware and software components of building a robot. Our plan is to have them compete in certain robotic competitions next year.

(Above: Ashoka, Abu and Likita with their first iteration of the robot.)

All of this has been able to happen thanks to 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 varun.g2017@teachforindia.org. 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
Hello Donors!

With Christmas and the new year coming up, I thought this would be a great time for another update. Your funds have given me the ability to provide my school and children with so much more than I alone could have. My children and I value every single donation that we have received.
       
(Above: Children's day with my bunch of 5th graders)

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

1) The Karnataka government has recently switched all student records into an online system called the STS. Our teachers were finding it very difficult to be able to frequently access a computer and use the system. Thanks to your donations, we have been able to equip our teachers with a computer at school itself. My co-fellow and I are training the teachers on how to use the computer and maintain the online records.

 
(Above: Nagarathnamma Ma'am updating student records.)

2) Book Club Extension!
    As you have seen in the last update, I have started a book club with some of the kids that were excelling in English. The club started with 8 children and now we have expanded to 15 children. My hope is to have around 30 children invested in the book club by the the end of the year. In the picture below you can see one of my students, Hafeeza, with her favourite book. In just a couple of months, she has worked her way to the fourth Harry Potter book!



3) Football
  Through your donations, I have been able to acquire a few footballs and spark our children's interest in sports! We will be having a girls and boys team who will begin practice in January. Stay tuned for the next update to find out more on this.

4) Dramebaaz
    Dramebaaz is an initiative that drives life skills through theatre. We have signed up two teams from our school that will be performing a short play on January 24th. The kids are having a blast preparing for this and are learning a lot of valuable skills. If you are interested in attending the event on the 24th, please reach out to me.


5) English competition and Bangalore Literature Festival
 With the raised funds, we have also been able to give our children valuable exposure and access. In the last couple of months our children have participated in English competitions and were also able to attend the Bangalore Literature Festival. These kind of experiences are something our kids would not have been able to have without each one of you.

(Above: Asma, Hafeeza, Muskaan, Shahibaaz and Abu at the Bangalore Literature Festival)

6) Holiday Homework Packets!
With a long Christmas break coming up, I didn't want my children to lose out on time to improve their skills and grow. I have been able to compile various different resources into differentiated homework packets targeted at each child's growth. Thanks to your donations, I have been able to print, bind and deliver these books to the children.

7) Sports Day!
Recently, a few Teach For India fellows, organized a cluster wide sports day for our children. This was one of the few times our children have got the chance to showcase their talent and compete against children from other schools. Transporting a large group of children is usually a bit difficult, but thanks to your donations, we have been able to do so.

(My co-fellow Susanna with our sports contingent.)

8) Health Check Ups
Recently, preliminary health check ups were conducted for all the children in our school. Many of the children are reported to have eyesight and visibility problems. Going forward, we are going to be using some of the funds to provide the kids with spectacles. We will also be looking into other health related issues.

9) Robotics Club
Another exciting project we have undertaken is the school robotics club. Dr. Gajanana Birur, a NASA Scientist, has donated two Lego robotic kits to our school. I have been closely working with him to teach our children the hardware and software components of building a robot. Our plan is to have them compete in certain robotic competitions next year.

(Above: Ashoka, Abu and Likita with their first iteration of the robot.)

All of this has been able to happen thanks to 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 varun.g2017@teachforindia.org. 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
Content Disclaimer: The facts and opinions, expressed in this fundraiser page are those of the campaign organiser or users, and not Milaap.
Rs.180,825 raised

Goal: Rs.300,000

Beneficiary: Varun Goverdhan info_outline

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