My day out with Prerana

Albert Einstein once said, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school”. In Karnataka, the majority of the students tend to go to Pre-University colleges after their tenth standard. It is a crucial part of a student’s life and acts as a bridge to the future and is the first step towards a job. In urban cities, it is pretty easy to get into a PU College but it is not the case when it comes to rural places, where there is an appalling student to colleges ratio. I was always interested to know more about PU education in rural areas and while searching for information, came across Prerana.

Prerana is an NGO which provides financial aids to meritorious students from underprivileged backgrounds, from PUC 1st Year (11th grade) up to college or professional degree. Their motto is, “Vidya Daanam Maha Daanam”, which means “The giving of knowledge is the noblest charity of all”. Their main belief is that education is the most powerful means of fighting poverty. They also provide constant counseling to students. Till date, they have aided around 2500 students and currently have 850 students in their system.

I was fortunate to get an opportunity to see them in action and understand what they do. On the 6th of October, 2018, I woke up earlier than usual. I prepared myself for a long day and reached the Prerana office by 6:30 AM. Before I knew it, I was sitting in the back seat of a Mahindra Scorpio, en-route to Javagal. The day’s plan was simple yet daunting. We were slated to give scholarships to around 60 students, from Javagal Government College and Kalasapura Government College.

Javagal:-

Javagal is the hometown of the ‘Mysore Express’ Javagal Srinath, a fast bowling legend for India. We reached at 11:30 and were greeted by the principal. The second PU students were finishing their last exams and the schoolchildren were busy playing. The boys were playing catch with a rubber ball and the girls were immersed in a game of ‘Kunte Pille’, hopscotch essentially. After the exam was done, the shortlisted students were called to a classroom and were told the perks and privileges of the scholarship. After more speeches by the Principal and lecturers, it was time for the students to receive what they deserved. Some cried tears of joy, some smiled and some simply did not flinch. It was a pleasant sight, seeing their emotions on display as they collected their scholarships.

Kalasapura:-

After finishing up by 1, we headed to Kalasapura Government College. The students were busy waiting as their exams were done and they wanted to go home and kick-start their holidays. Yet again, it was satisfying to watch these students who have worked so hard in spite of not having some amenities and bag rich rewards for their efforts.

My hunger being quenched by some spicy bisi bele bath, it was time for me to head back. Thanks to our battered and bruised Omni breaking down, we had to stop and get it serviced. As we rumbled back, road line after road line fading into the distance, one thing I took away from this experience was that you always get fruits for your hard work, no matter what the circumstances are.