“Power can be destructive as well as creative. I chose to utilize it creatively” –Acharya Sri Rakum (Once a martial arts champion and now founder of school for blinds)
Modern-day schooling is all about competition and rat race to overpower your peer and stay ahead. Parents are made to stand in long queues to get their wards admitted to the school. Instilling compassion and ‘all are welcome’ feel are a rarity to find among the promoters of modern educational houses. But here is a multifaceted personality and compassionate soul—Acharya Sri Rakum who was a martial arts world champion of yesteryears. He had a flourishing career ahead of him in the field as he had demonstrated skills to break nine ice-slabs from the forehead and also had exhibited muscle power by allowing four-wheeler to cross over his chest way back in the year 1988. If he had decided to be in the same field, he could have built a lucrative career of name, fame, and money. But his inner voice pushed him to utilize his strength and power for a creative and compassionate cause instead of a destructive one. His multifaceted personality of fluency in multiple languages knowledge of naturopathy and spiritual inclinations led him to start a free school for visually impaired and has today developed as an institution that upholds the needs of members of the underprivileged class of the society like women, elders, children and disabled ones. Getting admission to prestigious institute in the city of Bengaluru might be an uphill task, but this school Acharya Sri Rakum School never rejects any application and provides the education to all those who come from even the remotest corners of the nation.
The Idea & Execution
Acharya Sri Rakum is the founder and principal of Acharya Sri Rakum School for blinds started in the year 1998 in the city of Bengaluru. The School was incepted with the motive of supporting born blind children who are rejected by both parents and society. Today the school comprises of students coming from varied backgrounds located in tribal belts and remote villages of the nation. The key feature of the School is that it runs solely on donations collected from the general public, patrons and corporate organizations and is not dependent on any govt. or foreign organizations for funding. As aforesaid Sri Rakum was a champion in martial arts with a bright career at Japan and Indian soil, when he shunned the life of power exhibition and took up the selfless-service cause.
Today the organization has grown to operate with three branches in the city of Bengaluru and the mode of its operation is really creative. One such creative practice is On the entrance gate of the School a notice board depicting the immediate needs of students like Soaps, Paste or other stationary items is displayed. Passersby who look into the board do their little service by contributing the needy items.
Inculcating Moral Values in Children
A fascinating practice of Acharya Sri Rakum School is to not only teach moral values and ethics from books but by ‘Practice what you Preach’ or ‘Walk the Talk’ principle. Here is an incidence that substantiates the same.
Once two old women approached Rakum school children for food by then, children had consumed the food, and they replied in negation. But Acharya Sri Rakum observed this incidence and asked his students to give away the food reserved for him. Such incidences have helped to instill moral values in the children in a concrete way.
The school helps students to acquire life skills through karate, yoga, music, dance, fine arts and crafts. It has a computer training center with screen-reading software to enable the visually impaired to operate computers.
A Multifaceted Service Spree from the School
The school works in serving underprivileged citizens with various programmes like:
Project Helping Hand: The organization has identified widowed women and is providing them moral and financial support to sustain in society
Project Elderly Women Pension: Women who are above age of 65 and dwelling in slum areas of city are provided with pension
Project Little Friends: This programme aims at reducing school dropout rate among slum children by providing school needs and ration supplies
Project for Disabled: Basic needs and educational needs of blind and other disabled youngsters are provided in the form of employment opportunities, Braille books etc.
Three Schools & their USPs
The three Schools operating at Indiranagar, Devanhalli and Arkavathy layout of Bengaluru city have their own USPs. Indiranagar School is the first school and concentrates in empowering visually impaired children. Whereas the Devanhalli School started in the year 2003 has objective to empower children of stone cutters in the region. It also houses a Cow-Shed (Go-Shala) and a Healthcare center providing free medicines to the needy. A non-conventional power generation center is also started. The Arkavathy School is imparting primary education in the form of pre-nursery, LKG, and UKG.
Sri Rakum focuses on imparting an education that teaches children the art of using fish rods instead of feeding them with fish. He opines these children have immense potential and the elders should show them the right path.
Kalam Fan Club wishes that selfless-souls like Sri Rakum multiply on this planet earth to show right path for the needy ones.