Every child in India, regardless of caste, creed or social background, has the right to quality education, proper nutrition and primary healthcare. This is the vision that underpins the daily work of Ramana’s Garden at its children’s home in Rishikesh.
Ramana’s Garden is not reserved solely for orphans but also takes in children at risk of being abused by violent parents or who are condemned to work in subhuman conditions, to beg or even to die of hunger.
Ramana’s Garden provides a home for up to 60 children, while the school has over 180 pupils: the children who live at the home and other children from the poorest families in the neighbouring towns and villages, the children of street cleaners, unskilled labourers, beggars, etc.
Ramana’s Garden represents for them a unique opportunity to study and to forge a brighter future.
The school at Ramana’s Garden provides free education from nursery school to 8th grade (children aged 13). Each child receives free books, school material and their uniform.
Ramana’s Garden represents for them a unique opportunity to study and to forge a brighter future
The school day begins at 8.00 am with a half-hour assembly and prayers, followed by a breakfast of milk and bananas, and ends at 2.00 pm, with a half-hour break for a hot lunch prepared using organic produce. For some of the children who do not live at Ramana’s Garden, this is their only meal of the day. Similarly, the school is their only means of access to drinking water and medical care.
The organisation of school life varies with the seasons. Sports classes, yoga courses and other activities alternate with traditional schooling, mainly taught in English although also in Hindi and Sanskrit. Saturday is the day for school outings. Ramana’s Garden began very recently to finance remedial classes outside school hours for children who find some subjects difficult.
The school has twelve teachers assisted by international volunteers, who are more numerous in the tourist season than during the monsoons.
Since 2012, the ALMAYUDA FOUNDATION has been supporting the school financially by covering the costs of the uniforms, books, lunch, fruit and milk, as well as warm jumpers and shoes for winter. Without this sponsorship, the school would not be able to accept 20 to 25 of the new pupils in its preparatory course at the start of each academic year.
Ramana’s Garden is also indebted to ALMAYUDA for the creation of the computing course for pupils in the 2nd to 8th grades (aged 6 to 13). Lastly, ALMAYUDA has intervened from time to time to replace furniture or electrical appliances destroyed by adverse weather conditions.
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