Mangaluru: September 7, 2015: A group of 50 people, including businessmen, lecturers and other professionals, came together to form a support group named Akaanksha here last year to help rural government schoolchildren in their education is now attempting to spread awareness on health and hygiene among government high school students of rural Bengaluru.
Volunteers have been reaching out to rural schools in Dakshina Kannada through interactive programmes such as teaching general science through experiments, live demonstration of keyhole surgery and endoscopy and sky watch, a programme on astro-physics. They plan to extend this to government schoolchildren of Bengaluru in a phased manner.
Speaking to sources, Shreesha Bhat, research scholar, Physics Department, Mangalore University and managing trustee of Akaanksha Trust said, "We have reached out to nearly 35 government high schools of Dakshina Kannada through our educational programmes. Since a few of our volunteers moved to Bengaluru, we thought we should extend our work there.
We reserve the weekend for our work. We thought it best to begin with schools of Bengaluru rural since there are many NGOs doing various kinds of work with government schoolchildren in urban Bengaluru. However, our beginning was not easy. Convincing officials was difficult initially. They probably were not aware of our profile."
Their first programme was held at the Thyamagondlu Government School, Nelamangla on August 29. Akaanksha has nine volunteers helping in Bengaluru. The three-hour programme touched upon various aspects of health and hygiene. Dr Vidya interacted with girls on adolescence and hygiene issues. A health quiz was conducted. A session on myths and reality of first aid was also conducted through a play.
Of their expansion programme, Bhat said, "From November, we will reach out to more schools of Bengaluru rural. We also plan to organise weekly coaching classes on how to answer IIT exams as well as National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) for government schoolchildren of Bengaluru city. Since coaching is mostly expensive, we want to make it easy on government schoolchildren. Two members are already working on this project."