Raising the Bar

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Amidst growing concerns over quality of education in the state run schools in rural India, the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) has emerged as the lone bright spot by producing thousands of outstanding students despite many challenges. Sudheer Goutham of Elets News Network (ENN) digs into the details of initiatives by Telangana SWREIS that set an example to all other state-run institutions

Students of Telangana SWREIS who scaled the Mount Everest

Students of Telangana SWREIS who scaled the Mount Everest

Despite challenges like social exclusion, economic insecurity, illiteracy of parents and the burden of abject poverty, in last three years alone, Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) has sent approximately 200 students to premier Indian institutes like IITs and NITs and hundreds to medical and engineering colleges in the State, which is exceptional for a government institution. Most of the beneficiary students are those from BPL families.

Students of Telangana SWREIS schools have been consistently showing extraordinary performance in the board exami nations vis-a-vis other State-run educational institutions.

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One of the biggest achievements in the history of the society has been the entry of its 22 students into the prestigious undergraduate courses in Azim Premji University, Bangalore for the year 2015-18 without any reservation.

While thirty positions eligible for full financial aid for entire country, Swaeroes could achieve a big haul of 22 seats. Girls dominated the boys with 12 seats.

In this regard Dr. R.S. Praveen Kumar, Secretary, Telangana SWREIS says, “It is a true game changer in the journey of these students towards higher education. Of Course, Azim Premji University extends full financial aid to the students from challenging economic background.”

Sreenivasa Rao of Azim Premji Foundation says, “We have been associated with the education department in the State for a pretty long time to improve the quality of education in rural government schools and Anganwadis. We interviewed hundreds of students all over India for admission into 100 seats but the confidence displayed by the students of Telangana SWREIS is remarkable. As a man from village and having studied in government institutions, I feel proud of this amazing achievement.”

Sigiri Srija, who got admission into Azim’s is a wonder kid. She studied in TSWR School /Jr. Colleges, Mallapur and Madikonda. She hails from Dharmaram village of Karimnagar. Her parents come from a economically poor background. Her father Lachaiah is a mason. Srija’s brother, Suryanarayana is physically challenged. He is bed-ridden and frequently suffers from convulsion. Srija’s mother, Madanamma stays home taking care of her ailing son. Srija says gripping her fists, “My only ambition is to reach pinnacle in my studies and get rid of the problems because poverty and health problems of my brother always work on my mind.”

Academics and non academic go hand in hand in Telangana SWREIS and this was proven when students of Telangana SWREIS hit the national headlines with their unique world record of scaling the non-friendly Mt. Everest at such a tender age creating sensation that made them juvenile celebrities.

It was for the first time that two poor tribal students from the remote areas of Telangana braved one of the world’s most unfriendly terrains. Malvath Poorna, from Nizamabad district broke the record as the youngest girl (13+) ever to conquer Mt. Everest and Sadhnapalli Anand, 16, from Khammam district is the first Dalit boy to scale the Mt. Everest, which is another record.

Despite extreme weather conditions- a bitter chill of -45 degrees of temperature that freezes bones and blood, and dead bodies on their way to the top, there was something distinct in the two young minds that drove them to success.

Meanwhile, Anand recalling the experience tells, “On our way we came across many dead bodies. Ridge was risky. A single faltering step here would mean death. There is no hope of getting even the dead body. But, they did not deter out spirits. I remembered two of our Society’s Ten Commandments- ‘Never Give Up and Never Fear the Unknown.”

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