The road ahead is bright for Raj and Veeresh
Raghu and Sita, a couple, native of Kampat, a village in Andhra Pradesh’s arid district of Kurnool. migrated to Bengaluru seven years ago in search of livelihoods. Back in their village, they worked as marginal farmers in a small patch of land that did not yield sustainable income. They had huge debts to repay and lived in a small house with their extended family. When they migrated, their elder son, Raj was of the age to start primary school and their younger son, Veeresh was an infant. Being unskilled labourers, Raghu and Sita took up menial jobs in the city. Raghu worked as a construction labourer and Sita worked as a municipal sweeper. They lived in a shanty settlement in Doddakannelli. Their days were long as they worked in shifts as early as 6 a.m. and returned only in the evening. While they were away at work, Raj took care of his younger brother.
Raj was a diligent child ready and eager to learn. He had never been to a preschool. His parents too had a desire to enrol him in a school, but didn’t have easy means to do so. They enrolled him in a Government school, just a kilometre away from the settlement. But he could not continue for long because he was from a Telugu speaking background and the medium of instruction at school was Kannada. Since he didn’t understand Kannada, he neither understood what was being taught in class nor felt included in the process.
Like most of his friends in the community, Raj soon dropped out and remained out-of-school for two years. In 2017, Veeresh joined Gubbachi’s Connect Programme and Raj was absorbed in Gubbachi’s ProActive Programme. The boys boarded the big bus to school every day and eagerly attended classes at our bridge centre, only going back for brief patches during the year to their village to attend family events and cultural festivals. The boys enjoyed their days at school like children their age ought to and their parents felt safe and hopeful. The brothers made immense progress in their academics and co-curricular activities.
Today, Raj who has turned 14 years old is an active student in Gubbachi’s ProActive programme and is working towards NIOS certification. Veerendra, now 9 The road ahead is bright for Raj and Veeresh, now 9 years old, moved seamlessly from the Connect Programme to our Transform Programme and is poised to move to Grade 4 in the next academic year.
Raj and Veeresh have been examples of how Gubbachi’s portfolio of programmes form a continuum to ensure that the child is guided through the primary grades, on track with learning goals, so that he/she becomes a confident participant in the classroom of a formal school. Raghu and Sita continue to earn their living in the big city, but their time in the city has given them the support they needed. They gradually built a ‘pucca’ house in the village and with four years at Gubbachi they are now able to hold a certain vision of schooling for their sons.