OSAAT Q1 2022 Newsletter

8 school openings and thousands of happy children!

We are happy and proud to announce the successful completion and opening of a record breaking – eight schools in the first quarter. This is significant considering the challenges we faced with floods affecting 6 schools in Karnataka, Belgaum District, and 2 schools in Andhra Pradesh. We sincerely thank the support of the Rashtriya Seva Samithi (RASS) for the Karakambadi project.

The Belgaum Project story:

2019 saw horrific floods in Karnataka and Maharashtra with hundreds of villages under water, destroying homes, schools, businesses, farmlands, hospitals and more. Such devastation takes its toll not just on the physical, but also on the emotional lives of children, especially as schools are a home away from home for them. When our team toured the areas, there was no doubt that OSAAT needed to move fast with tremendous resolve. 6 Government schools in Awargola, Rajakatti, Hubbarawadi, Musaguppi, Katrala and Melavanki were adopted.

Together with local government officials, school staff, and villagers, OSAAT volunteers worked tirelessly to build resources and funds for these 6 schools.

Phaniraj Sreenivasa, an OSAAT volunteer based in Bengaluru says – “We just completed Melavanki school, the last of the Belgaum schools we adopted in 2019. It felt like we were running a marathon, with the pandemic creating challenges in every direction; causing lockdowns, curfews and construction delays.”

Government school in Rajakatti village, Hukkeri taluk was inaugurated on December 15th, 2021. Minister of Primary and Secondary education and Sakala Karnataka Shri. B.C. Nagesh, along with major donors Shri. M.K. Satyaprasad and Smt. Jayanthi Girimaji graced the occasion.

Home to 276 kids, Rajakatti’s Government Kannada Higher Primary school was operating in two separate buildings, built circa 1965. Both buildings were in poor condition, with a leaky roof and crumbling walls. The heavy rainfall in 2019 had made the already inadequate classrooms even worse to fulfill the needs of the school, not to mention the unsafe and unhygienic conditions it created. With Rs. 44 lakhs spent on the school building, today it stands tall and proud with three brand new classrooms and a toilet block. The classrooms show off beautiful paintings on various science and math topics, serving as inspirational learning aids for kids.

Donors Ravi Girimaji and Jayanthi Girimaji were also very forthcoming with their support and generous donation. “We believe that education is a fundamental right of every child. Children are our future and each of us can help them shape the future of our country by giving them an opportunity to get educated.” With the blessings of the Girimaji couple, the children of Rajakatti now have the opportunity to get educated and build a bright future for themselves and the country.

The new building for the school with 3 new classrooms and toilets was completed and the inauguration ceremony was held on January 29, 2022. Amadeus Software Labs India Pvt Ltd., Bengaluru, was the sponsor of this school, and continues to donate generously to OSAAT school projects. The school serves 312 children in grades 1-7. More than 75% of the children are from families that support themselves as laborers in the agricultural fields in the village.

BEFORE: Awargola school in 2019 after the floods.

Thanks to the generosity of donor Mr. M. K. Sathyaprasad, Bengaluru, Musaguppi school’s construction of 3 classrooms was completed in January 2022. The project cost 33 lakhs.

Donor M.K. Satyaprasad was one of the first to come forward to lend a helping hand. Having witnessed OSAAT’s work firsthand, he had no hesitation to reach out and commit the funds. Speaking of his decision to get involved. He says – “When I see the poor children in the rural areas of India struggling to get even the most basic necessities, it is hard to watch yet another necessity like education slipping away from their fingers.” With his generosity, Satyaprasad has made it possible for the Musaguppi school to serve thousands of kids in the coming decades. He has also donated generously to the Rajakatti school, a gesture that has won the hearts of thousands of grateful parents.

The original school building was 95 years old and couldn’t withstand the floods. The school serves 328 children in grades 1-7. Children attend this school from 3 other villages in the vicinity of Musaguppi.

The generosity of Friends of CISCO, mobilized by Mrs. Vanitha Belur, USA, and the thoughtful donation of funds by Mr. Krishnaraj Rao, USA, were instrumental in providing the school with a new building that stands tall today with 3 classrooms and toilets. The new building was completed and handed over to the school on January 31, 2022. The school serves 210 students in grades 1-8.

Vanitha Belur says – “As a mother of two children, my heart goes out to parents who feel helpless when natural disasters take a toll on their livelihoods and their children’s education. I want to commend the many friends I have at my work place for joining me in contributing funds to rebuild the Katrala school.”

Krishnaraj Rao says – “It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to donate to the school projects undertaken by OSAAT. I was shown a very clear picture of Katrala school’s need and what OSAAT intended to do to rebuild the school. The school building had suffered so much damage after 12 days under water. The children had no other option when their parents were struggling to rebuild their own lives. It was a humbling experience.”

BEFORE: Katrala school building couldn’t withstand the severe flooding. It was submerged in water for 12 days.

Government Kannada Higher Primary School, Hubbarawadi village Hubbarawadi was one of those places where the entire village was destroyed – homes, businesses, schools, hospitals : and places of worship. Thanks to donors Vani and Gopal Hegde, USA, The school has 2 new spacious classrooms and toilets, constructed with a budget of Rs. 35 lakhs.

Gangavathi Pranesh, a stand-up comedian and author, well respected for his sense of humor and performances, graced the occasion during the inauguration of the new school building in October 2021. Vani and Gopal Hegde say that they believe in education as a way to build a better life for ourselves and the people around us. Their contribution to Hubbarawadi will energize the community for decades and give hundreds of kids in Hubbarawadi a fighting chance at a bright future.

BEFORE: The school in 2019 after the floods.

Government Higher Primary School, Siddarudhamath, Melavanki village, Gokak taluk: The school had a severe shortage of classrooms and a need for 4 classrooms and a toilet block was identified as critical.

Our heartfelt thanks to Sneha and Keerti Melkote, USA, for adopting the school with 587 students. This is one of the many schools that have received generous contributions from Sneha and Keerti Melkote. In the words of Sneha, “We were touched by the devastation Melavanki suffered during the floods and couldn’t imagine how the poor parents and children must have felt when the school, their only affordable means of education, was destroyed. We just couldn’t sit back and assume that the government or someone else would come to their aid. We wanted to give the people of Melavanki some hope that they were not alone and helpless.”

AFTER: Melavanki school today is a brand new 2-story building.

OSAAT wants to gratefully acknowledge the valuable contribution of Rashtriya Seva Samithi (RASS) in completing this Karakambadi project in Andhra Pradesh. RASS is a premier Social Service and Research Development Organization established in 1981 with the objective of serving needy, impoverished communities in the most backward regions irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

Back in 2020, OSAAT (India) volunteer Varun Subramanyam was instrumental in identifying and exploring the needs of the Karakambadi schools. The primary school, serving 100 children in grades 1-5 was direly needed of sanitation facilities. Zilla Parishad high school, serving 595 children in grades 6-10, needed 3 new classrooms and sanitation facilities and was facing issues with dangerously unsafe classrooms that had been damaged by water seepage over time.

With Varun’s recommendation, OSAAT made the decision to provide the Karakambadi schools with the badly needed facilities, a new toilet block for MP Primary school and 3 new classrooms for ZP high school, with funds approved and in place to the tune of Rs. 55 lakhs.

Our brand new website, of course! We have grown from “One School at a Time” to “Many Schools at a Time” in the past few years. Jupiter 360, our technology partner, is helping us present an image that truly reflects what we do, with sharper, crisper messages and visuals.

Please check it out and take advantage of the user based campaigns to celebrate your birthdays, anniversaries for the benefit of children in India. A great idea is to create a matching funds campaign or tag us on social media for letting your friends and family know about us.

Thank you to Mukund Padmanabhan and the Gurukrupa Foundation for their generous contribution for the ODiSI program. The funds will provide tablets to students and laptops to teachers in 3 schools in Karnataka.

Learn more about our ODiSI program by clicking here.

“Sangeetha Sandhya” – Join us for a musical extravaganza with popular tunes from Sandalwood and Bollywood on Sunday, April 3rd with “Raaga”, a premier Kannada band in the Bay Area. We plan to live stream the event in light of pandemic concerns. For tickets:

“Naatya Raaga 2022” – OSAAT’s ever popular 2-day signature event that has been bringing together over 600+ Indian classical music and dance artists annually, will be held as a virtual event. Registrations for the contests will start soon. Watch for the details soon to be posted on our website. We expect to see the best and the brightest stars on our prestigious stage.