“VIDYA is my freedom”
These heartfelt words, conveyed repeatedly and with complete sincerity, were expressed by the women at the MALI Foundation on Independence Day, August 15th, 2018. An invited participant in the celebrations, I was deeply touched by the depth of feeling and honesty in each of the women’s sentiments and it was in that moment that the true intent and significance of VIDYA’s impact became clear to me. My name is Kavya Ravishankar, and as a 16 year old living in Portland, Oregon, I was privileged to witness a stark difference in the standard of living and the resources taken for granted after I moved from Bangalore to the US in 2014, which lead to my involvement with VIDYA. From translating textbooks from English to Kannada, to helping teach English and Math at the local government schools, I have witnessed the substantial impact VIDYA has on the lives of the many people it serves by forging and maintaining meaningful relationships.
In order to further their level of involvement with the community, VIDYA is starting a new school in Chikkaballapur, Bangalore for talented students currently without the means to reach their full potential. In promoting a holistic STEM education, I teamed up with a local Robotics team, to begin Robotics programs in Mumbai and Delhi. To raise funds for their new ventures from the US, we organized fundraisers through local restaurants.
Similarly, we organized a Bollywood dance class, where the ticket sales for the event went towards purchasing new Robotics kits for the students. I have now started a fundraiser based on an online crowdfunding model using the GlobalGiving platform. Donated funds are allotted to the specific needs of the school such as furniture, classroom materials, or can be directed towards covering student tuition. The link to the donation website is https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/the-vidya-school-bangalore/; please spread the word and play a part in providing a comparable education to all the deserving children who will benefit from this school!