(Stories shared by students and teachers of school campuses operated by Prashanthi Balamandira Trust (PBMT))
A Heart Touching Story of Akshaya
"Because my mom gave birth to 3 girls, my father left her and married another woman, so we stayed with our grandmother at her house. My mother was doing daily wage labor to make an effort to raise the three of us. There was no electricity at our home."
Prashanthi Balamandira High School
I will tell how God brought me here! Because my mom gave birth to 3 girls, my father left her and married another woman, so we stayed with our grandmother at her house. My mother was doing daily wage labor to make an effort to raise the three of us. After one year, my uncle got married, so my mother moved to a small house. I was going to school from there. There was no electricity at our house, so I used to read as soon as I came home from the school on daylight only. My mother would go to daily labor and come home late, so I had to take care of my sisters. My mother worried about this but now I feel that after my mother goes to labor work, only God is taking care of us.
one day, when I was studying in 5th grade, I was in school and some teachers from Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna trust came to the class asking if there were any poor students studying in my school. They said PBM School (Education For All) will give free education and will take care of all their needs. The teacher recommended me and told me to bring my mother. My mother came and the teacher asked my mother if she wants to send me to this school. My mom agreed happily. They told me to take the entrance exam on April 7th. I came here and took the exam. With my teachers’ guidance, I got 3rd rank in the entrance exam. Mother was so happy.
The next day, I had an interview and they said the result will be back in 2 days. They called me after 2 days and said I am selected and asked my mother to bring me to school to get admitted. As my mother went for labor work, my grandmother brought me to the school. Other children brought their belongings like suitcases, beds, buckets etc but I came empty handed thinking “What am I going to do?” but this institution gave me everything from clothes pins to a bed to sleep, like a father. My mother and I were so happy looking at the things. Even though the students who brought their own things forgot some at home, but this institution gave everything.
I studied in a Kannada medium until 5th grade, but here I joined English medium. It was hard for me. So I prayed to God. “God, I want to study in an English medium. God, please teach me however possible.” With His grace and teachers guidance, I got first in exam. After coming here, I have learnt sacred chants, devotional singing and how to behave with others lovingly along with learning how to be independent.
Now I don’t have any fear. I want to be a professor. After I become a professor I want to build a big institution like this and give free education for the poor and all. PBMT have established these institutions to save families like ours. In the same way, we all have to become selfless.
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Sugunesh with his 86 year old grandmother and his sheep
How his life changed by the helping hand of PBMT with free Education effort.
Sugunesh is from Kundavathi village located at the foot of Nandi hills, near Bengaluru, India. His mother Gayatri, house wife died due to family conflict when he was just 3 years old. His Father Muniraju who had a bad habit of drinking died when Sugunesh was 13 years old. He had a very loving sister Supriya who died due to ill health. Despite all these difficulties in the family he continued his studies in the government school. He lived with his maternal grandmother Anjanamma aged 86 years in a small hut in the same village. The family consisted of Sugunesh, Anjanamma and their livestock ( two sheep and a buffalo ).
Anjanamma’s only aim was to educate Suganesh in spite of challenging financial condition. Anjanamma is the sole breadwinner of the family. She has been getting Rs. 500 ($8) a month as old age pension from government of Karnataka state. His family comes under below poverty level, they have been getting free ration from the government. Mohan Babu his uncle, who has been working in a milk dairy is sending vegetables twice a month. Many relatives were living in surrounding villages but none of them were extending helping hands to Suganesh’s family.
In spite of difficult family circumstances and meager income, Anjanamma wanted to educate Suganesh and make sure he will do well in life. Suganesh is very hard working, disciplined and dedicated in going to school. He was inspired by Anjanamm’s support. His everyday routine revolved around cattle, government school and Anjanamma. Every morning, he got up at 5:30 AM. Then he went to the field spending time to graze the cattle until 9:30 AM. Before going to school he ties the cattle in a place where grass was available in plenty. He went to school without having breakfast. Everyday his first meal of the day was the mid day meal provided by government school. After having lunch, he again spent sometime on the field to change the position of the cattle where grass is available in plenty. After school at 4:30 PM, he was again back in the field and at 6:00 PM returned home. After returning home, he used to have tea with his grandmother and then spent sometime in studies. He was a topper in his class and also class leader and in charge of the library.
Actually, Suganesh never had breakfast until he was 12 years, until Annapoorna Trust (https://annapoorna.org.in/) with the mission 'Let no child go to school hungry ever' started providing free breakfast for needy school going children in 2012. Luckily Suganesh became the beneficiary of this noble initiative when he was studying in 6th and 7th standard. After he started having breakfast his overall health improved.
Suganesh is very good in sports and athletics. He participated in the reginal level running competition which was held in SSS Loka Seva School, Muddenahalli (http://pbmt.org), near Bengalure and won second place in the running competition. When he was in Muddenahalli campus for the competition, by looking at the very peaceful and scenic environment he got a thought that he should study in this campus. He participated in taluk (county) level running competition and won the 3rd prize. Headmaster of the government school Latha nurtured his inclination to join Muddenahalli School by supporting him to write the entrance exam. He showed his commitment by attending tuition to prepare for MDH entrance exam and finally cleared the exam. Latha spoke to Annapoorna Trust ( www.annapoorna.org ) for funding the hostel fees and this was subsequently arranged by the Trust. *Educational expenses are taken care by Each One Educate One Foundation (www.eachoneeducateone.org).* The Gift of Education is an initiative by alumni and alumnae of the SSS Seva Group of Institutions, Muddenahalli.
After Suganesh cleared the entrance exam, a team of teachers from Muddenahalli visited his house to study the economic conditions of the family. Apparently Anjanamma had sold their much loved buffalo and a sheep to purchase his uniform, trunk and basic necessities to enable him to the hostel. Finally, Suganesh decided to join the Muddenahalli campus for 8th grade. leaving his loving and happy grandmother Anjanamm and a sheep!. There is no end to her happiness because Suganesh is now in the safe hands of Muddenahalli institution who will nurture all his talents.
At the same time, Suganesh is completely elated after joining Muddenahalli. He started playing football and basketball and also started participating in Yoga. He is now more service minded and devotional towards god. He participated in state level 600 meter and 400 meter running competition. He is a natural leader and has been appointed as room leader and "surroundings cleaning" leader. Overall, he has improved in Math and English, although earlier he did not know the alphabets of English. Teachers are very happy with his behavior and conduct and his leadership qualities on the campus.
Now, Suganesh is a happy school going boy who does not have to worry about cattle, instead he has to spend time in studies and playing football and basketball. He is living in a serene environment with best of facilities with his loving brothers. He is studying in the 9th standard at SSS Loka Seva, Muddenhalli High School.
Sinchan, 6th grade, a touching story
"My father was diagnosed with Cancer and my mother had to spend a lot of money to get him cured. My father, however, passed away and we were very sad and miserable."
My father was working as a physical instructor in a private Polytechnic College. It was a happy life then. Suddenly my father was diagnosed with Cancer and my mother had to spend a lot of money to get him cured. My father, however, passed away and we were very sad and miserable.
Annapurna Trust was doing service at the hospital where my father was being treated. They met my mother and told her about the SSS Karunyaniketanam School, Tumkur being open in our district and suggested taking me there. My mother took me to the school and met the chairman who heard our sad story. The chairman gave an application. My application was filled and sent to the school, following which I wrote a test. The chairman personally visited our house along with a teacher to verify our condition. He then later called my mother to share the happy news that they have selected me to attend the school. He further gave us the news that Swami only will pay my hostel and admission expenses also.
I am very happy here. I learn Bhajan, Vedas, Yoga among many other things. All students are taken care of by the teachers, warden and chairman very well.
Nandhan, Grade 7
“I love my school!”
“I have been studying in Prashanti Bala Mandira Higher Primary School since my Lower Kindergarten. This School is teaching me sports and music, apart from imparting moral values in me. The teachers tell us epic and moral stories. My sister is also studying in this School in Grade 4. My father is a daily wage labour and he often tells me that this School is a blessing for us, since it gives us values-based quality education absolutely free-of-cost. He constantly advises me to utilise the time at School well, and learn all that is being taught”.
Mr Subramanya S, Assistant Teacher (PUC, TCH)
“I am fortunate to be working as a teacher in the Prashanti Bala Mandira Higher Primary School since the year 1998. This School offers the best of education completely free-of-cost, which is a very rare phenomenon in the world today. Spirituality is the basis of everything in the School and this disciplines the students to a great extent, and service mindedness develops in such a setting very naturally. There is a lot of respect for this School in our surrounding community. The last 20 years of my experience in the School has never made me feel exhausted. I am looking forward to be associated with the School for many more years to come.”