1. Year June 2009 – April 2010
2. Institute Name Bhakta Kannappa Gurukulam (a project under SSVVS Kendram)
Postal Address Gokavaram (village), Kothapalli (Mandal), Kurnool (dist.) - 518422
Telegraphic Address Not Availabale
Telephone 08517 200569
Contact Person/Designation U.Mallikarjuna Sarma; I/c Gurukulam & Secretary SSVVSK.
Cell : 94411 13985
3. Year of Establishment 18-11-1999.
4. Field & Nature of work Education including Vocational Training & Health, Nutrition.
5. Details of Work Done by institution including places covered and the number of children served:
Originally the Bhakta Kannappa Gurukulam was established at Srisailam on 18-11-1999, enrolling 20 boys from 8 chenchu gudems.
BKG is a Hostel attached with Primary School exclusively for PTG chenchu boys of Kurnool dist. Chenchu parents themselves discouraged us with their comments that their children would not stay in Gurukulam at least for a month. Anyway it proved a baseless statement. Gurukulam functioned at Srisailam from 18-11-1999 to 12-12-2002
2000-01; 2001-02 Academic years @ Srisailam :
(i) During the above period boys were attending the local Saraswathi Sisumandhir for regular studies
(ii) Gradually they came out of their inhibition “SHY” and began to mingle freely with other cast boys in Sisu-mandhir. Observed change in their dialect in group conversations, as well as growing interest in their studies.
(iii) Chenchu boys studying in 1st to 5th classes were showing good progress in studies, securing 1st and 2nd places in their respective classes.
(iv) One boy by name P.Sivirama Krishna from BKG @ Srisailam, was regularly sent to Sundipenta Project township (10km away) to study his 7th Class in Saraswathi Vidyamandir, which was identified as one of the best available schools, In 2001-02 he passed 7th in district level common exams in I class and stood 2nd in his class. ITDA Srisailam recommended him to prosecute his further studies at Adarsha Vidya School at Dupadu near Kurnool, which was notified by ITDA (SSLM) as one of the best available schools in Kurnool Dist. And sanctioned him the Scholarship.
(v) In the sports meet of Saraswathi Sisumandhir group of schools in Kurnool Dist., BKG chenchu boys won I & II places in 200, 400 meters running, as well as in Wrestling and Shot-put.
(vi) Kitchen, Dinning & Residential Accommodation for boys, staff and office was managed in two asbestos roof sheds; the space available was not sufficient and congenial for further development. We were on the lookout of an alternative
(vii) At the close of academic year 2001-02, one philanthropist donor (Sri G.Pulla Reddy, incidentally a native of Gokavaram Village of Kurnool Dt.,) on our request was gracious enough to donate 3 Acres of land and to construct suitable buildings at his cost (about 18lakhs), at Gokavaram Village, in Kothapalli Mandal, Kurnool Dist. Bhakta Kannappa Gurukulam was shifted from Srisailam into its new premises at Gokavaram, and started functioning with effect from 14th Dec 2002.
Academic Year 2002-03 - 21 boys from 8 chenchu gudems in the age group of 4 to 9 years were newly admitted apart from 9 boys shifted from Srisailam. Due to financial constraints the number of boys on rolls, were limited to 30. As many of the above boys belong to drop out category, they were put on foundation course of about 5months, appointing 2 teachers on whole time basis. The 9 boys shifted from Srisailam were admitted in to 4 to 7 classes in Z.P High School, Gokavaram near by.
Academic year 2003-04 – After foundation course of 5 months, the 21 boys were classified in to different classes 1,2,3 and started giving them coaching in Gurukulam itself. By the middle of academic year, 7 out of 9 boys (age of about 14years) admitted in to ZP high school, discontinued without notice. This is a peculiar situation we come across as they enter teenage. By their nature, apart from their laziness, they still want to enjoy unrestricted freedom in school/hostel. Any resistance on them lead them to discomfort and they resort to escape, unmindful of the consequences and future.
Academic Year 2004-05 & 2005-06 – Keeping in view the higher age problem, 2 boys of the original Srisailam batch, were sent to a near by Private Institute for better coaching with effect from 10-06-04 to enable them to appear in Board Exams 10th class, as private candidates. Keeping in view the practical, peculiar, psychological problems, early marriages, we preferred to induct children at the age of 4 years so that they get adjusted to the environment and samskaras of the Gurukulam, there by avoiding some of the teenage problems. Against a total strength of 39 boys were in the age group of 4 to 8 years. All these 37 boys were given classes in Gurukulam itself, simultaneously offering Vocational Training in CARPENTRY and ELECTRICIAN trades depending on their age and physic. 4 teachers were appointed to conduct vocational and other general subjects.
Residential Bride Course (RBC) – Under “Seva Siksha Abhyan” RBC was sanctioned by the District Authorities to conduct in BKG from Sept. 2004, for the benefit of existing 37 boys in the Gurukulam. It was run without detrimental to the Aims and Objectives of BKG in the development of chenchu boys, who were expected to stay continuously at least for 10years in the Gurukulam to successfully complete 10class (minimum). The strength in RBC was increased to 50 as desired by the district authorities, and were classified in to the following classes – 1st (21), 2nd (12), 3rd (4), 4th (7), 5th (6). This RBC scheme continued up to 30-04-2006 and further it was with drawn, as they felt it was deviating from the theme of the scheme.
During these 2 years, the financial burden was lessened on BKG on certain items. The nu,ber of Boys was also increased to 50 from about 35 as per authorities advice. There were many otems which were not provided under the RBC sanctions. Due to increase of the number of boys to 50, proportionately the burden on the institution was also increase, in turn pressure and tension. Thus over and above the funds available from RBC about Rs 500/- per boy per month was necessarily required to be met by the institution.
Academic Years 2006-07 to 2009-10 –
(i) 2006-07 - Student strength on rolls was 57 in Jun 2006, by Feb 07, it was at 55.
(ii) 2007-08 – Student strength on rolls touched 59, but by the end of Apr 08 it fallen to 44.
(iii) 2008-09 – By Jun 08 the student strength increase to 67, by Apr 09 it fallen to 46.
(iv) 2009-10 – In Jul 09 boys on rolls were 57 at the close of Mar 10 it was 47
In general the chenchus are lazy and do not show interest towards education, while they are good at skill. The parents do not bother about the progress of their children, they too take lightly unless some compulsion arises. Children at lower age group feel home sickness and once get back to home in terminal holidays, will be reluctant to report back. Some how to check this attitude of boys, Gurukulam is not permitting the boys in to hostel who fail to report in reasonable time. This is found in lower classes, any way these defaulters are reporting in the next year at the time of reopening of classes after summer vacation. Stern action of Gurukulam authorities is slowly yielding good results in the behavior of the boys and causing awareness in parents also,
Fields of Performance & No. of children Covered –
(i) Field of performance was Gurukulam, whether it was @ Srisailam during 1999 to 2002 and subsequently at Gokavaram Village from 2002 to as on date.
(ii) In the month of June every year new admissions take place. In the earlier years, we used to meet the parents in their gudems, and motivate them, to send the boys to education institution while enlighten them on values of education and the future as per our aims and objectives, we expect the boys after leaving the Gurukulam, completing minimum 10th class; with proficiency in 1 or 2 vocational trades & leadership qualities they should become the hub of development in their chenchu gudems, as well as lead on honorable life in the society.
(iii) Enclosed a statement showing “Yearwise – Gudemwise no, of chenchu boys studied from 1999-2000 to 2009-2010 at BKG.
6. Qualitative Assessment of the work if Institution :
Boys up to 4th class are retained in the Gurukulam, and given coaching in general education from “Sisu Class” engaging extra staff. From 5th class onwards to 10th class boys are sent to ZP high school, near by for studies as day scholars, while they stay in the Gurukulam hostel for all purposes. Further they are also provided extra coaching in the Gurukulam from 6.30pm to 8pm under the guidance of qualified teachers.
All aspects of Education viz. boarding, lodging, training, clothing, all other amenities including travelling expenditure are provided to boys at free of cost.
Carpentry, Electrician – long term courses and short term activities like Book Binding; Motor Rewinding, Archery (chenchu’s traditional game) are introduced from 4th class on wards, to make them self-reliant. We are also planning few more courses, waiting for better times, in view of the financial constraints.
Chenchus mostly are illiterates. They live on forest for their survival. They live aloof from the contemporary society, they lack general awareness of the society; their collection and sale of minor forest produce is not giving them a square meal, and they cannot meet even the minimum comforts, they cannot meet even the small travel expenses. Their earning capacity need to be increased to make them self reliant. As an alternative, vocational courses are introduced in the gurukulam. In the gurukulam, at present, the boys in 5th, 6th and 7th classes are in a positin to manufacture wooden furniture, and in position to do house wiring and rewinding of small motors which can provide better earnings. We are planning to introduce “Welding Trade” shortly.
As for as general Education is concerned they are doing well in the classes, also standing 1st and 2nd in their respective classes in school.
Boys are freely mixing with other cast boys, unlike some few years back, when they were keeping aloof from the society.
In play fields also they are topping in the vents like Running, High Jump, Long Jump, Badminton, Kabadi etc.
It is a regular phenomenon for chenchus (one or two families together) to go into forest along with children, to collect forest procedure, lay a temporary hut, stay there for about a fortnight and return with forest produce. In doing so they deliberately neglect the education part of their children. On the other side the parents are compelled to take the children with them to forest, as there will be none at the gudem hut to take care of the children, in the absence of parents for a long periods out of the gudem, at the same time it is inevitable for them to go in to deep forest, as forest is their only source of survival since ages. Further in view of early marriages, children get separated from their parents at an age of about 15yrs, to lead an independent life.
Hence it was thought of to divert the children right from their early age from facing the above undesirable practices, to develop interest in them towards education; to cause awareness on day to day increasing health problems; to make the boys self-confident and self-reliant with entrepreneur qualities, to lead a better life honorably in the society, and to help integration of these tribal brothers in the main stream SSVVS Kendram was founded, to draw suitable seva projects through this kendram, and to give a shape to our efforts in the welfare and development of PTG chenchu community.
A Mobile Dispensary supported by one of our sister organization is also being run with our Gurukulam campus as base, going round 34 gudems in the district, minimum 3 times in a month attending to all medical ailments in chenchus, men, women and particularly the children.
Further it is observed that education consciousness is growing in parents as well as children in the last five years, and unlike in the previous years boys & girls are joining the hostels sincerely and such number is increasing, and on our part we are planning, exclusive “Mobile Dispensary” visits to such hostels, also where we find need is more for Medical Activity.