How a school in Karnataka is investing in knowledge to effect change

Topics Karnataka

Representative Image
A free and environment-friendly pre-school has come up in Siddapura district of Coorg, Karnataka. Christened Morning Glory, the school is meant for the children of plantation workers, tribal communities and the underprivileged working in Siddapura. The idea behind this initiative stems from giving back to the community. “This is an initiative to create a clean, healthy and environment-friendly atmosphere for underprivileged children. It is an all-inclusive free school,” says Jose Ramapuram, executive director of the Evolve Back Resort (formerly Orange Country), the people behind this school. 

The school is managed by the Bangalore-based educational foundation Building Blocks, while the funding and day-to-day operations are managed by Evolve Back. “We thought that we should do something for the local communities around our property. They have been a big support to the resort,” says Ramapuram.

The school is English-medium, and provides books, bags that are eco-friendly and plastic-free. Employing the use of architectural design, the school is boosting the imagination in the children. They (WHO) have placed blackboards on walls where the students can express their creativity. “In addition to these facilities, the children are provided with two meals daily and a health drink,” adds Ramapuram. “This helps in spreading the importance and knowledge of nutrition to their homes as well by educating their parents,” he says.

Morning Glory began its operations in June this year and currently has three classes — Nursery, LKG and UKG
Apart from being a free initiative, what makes the initiative different from others is the management’s focus on the environment and its preservation. The school has been constructed in a way that accommodates the vegetation and ground variations around the area. The idea is not only to provide opportunities to the children and their families, but also inculcate in them a desire to preserve the environment by focusing on waste reduction. “The children are at their nascent stage, and this is the right time to make them learn about environment 

conservation and waste management,” says Ramapuram adding there is a growing need to make the children aware about nature and its bounty. 

Morning Glory began its operations in June this year and currently has three classes — Nursery, LKG and UKG. It has already reached its full capacity of 60 students with four teachers. “We have also adopted the local government school that has classes from 1-8th. So, these children go to this school after passing out from Morning Glory and we will continue to support them with their homework, give them access to computers and audio-visual facilities,” says Ramapuram. 

According to Ramapuram, the cost of setting up the school was around Rs 1.25 crore and the estimate cost of running will be around Rs 20-25 lakh annually. Evolve Back plans to raise money for the functioning of the school via donations from their guests at the resort.

When asked about the plans for future Ramapuram says, “We are certain that we will succeed. We have two more hotels in Karnataka, one in Kabini and one in Hampi. There is a plan on expanding and opening a branch there as well.” The institution hopes more people will come together and improve the scale and scope of the schools. Challenges surely remain however to generate awareness on importance of education within the community in Siddapura, but Ramapuram is hopeful that education coupled with availability of meals will motivate more families to send their children.

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