While Women March, Girls Rule

While Women March, Girls Rule

“On a day of action, the Spelling Bee was a moment of hope; a small but bright light of possibility and joy in a world that needs it.” On Saturday, millions of people around the world marched under the banner of “women’s rights are human rights.” They raised their voices to demand equal pay, equal opportunity, the right to leave home without being harassed on the streets, and the right, as former Karnataka High Court Justice Ram Mohan Reddy stated so eloquently, “to live independently, the life and lifestyle they want.” The knowledge of one’s rights and the ability to exercise them at all begins with an education, a fundamental right that is too often denied to children in poverty, especially girls. 62 million girls worldwide are out of school. And their potential, their freedom, and opportunity to live a life they want are dreams denied.  While the marchers raised their battle cry from Washington, D.C. to Antarctica, a quiet yet powerful statement was being made at Sahasra Deepika’s 8th Annual Spelling Bee in Bangalore. Children from poor government schools, children whose lack of fluency in English can often keep them in a lower strata, were given an opportunity through our Outreach Program to learn English. In cooperation with our corporate sponsor, Societe Generale Global Solutions CSR, over 4,500 9th standard students received tutoring in English. Kids who rarely, if ever, are applauded for their talents were given an opportunity to shine. The 166 finalists from 42 schools competed in the day-long challenge with enthusiasm and excitement. And at the end, four girls prevailed. The winner, Vinutha, faces many challenges...
Founders Awarded Karmaveer Global Fellowship

Founders Awarded Karmaveer Global Fellowship

T.V. and Vijaya Ramakrishna, founders of Sahasra Deepika International for Education, were awarded the  Rex Karmaveer Global Fellowship at the REX Conclive held at Delhi Public School, Gurgaon, on November 25th – 27th, 2016.  “REX KARMAVEER GLOBAL FELLOWS are people who have the intent to make a difference and are already making a difference by being voices of conscience and trying to make a difference in our world with their significant actions to be the change. We firmly believe at RKGF that to change the world we must first change ourselves and then help inspire the change with everyone we meet, know, work and live with. This is the bedrock of the fellowships and is based on this thought by REX founder Jeroninio Almeida: ‘I believe that everyone is a hero, a leader, a volunteer, a teacher and a champion of change. All we need to do is acknowledge and understand this and then help others to also understand the same. That’s all it takes to be a hero, a leader, a volunteer, a teacher and a champion of change. The whole idea of the REX KARMAVEER GLOBAL FELLOWSHIP (RKGF) is to recognize people who have the courage of conviction to think differently and walk the path less trodden and to act on alternative/ innovative ideas which may make a difference in our world.'”  RKGF helps life-changing innovators from around the globe to integrate within the REX and Karmaveer community. It helps them share their impactful ideas for action with a million audiences and transform lives through projects and ideas of hope. The idea is to bring together like minded,...
Resolve to Make a Difference in 2017

Resolve to Make a Difference in 2017

“Instead of looking at New Year’s as a chance to just reflect on ourselves, let us take this opportunity to think about those in need in our communities, nationally, and globally.” The New Year marks the chance for a fresh start. People take time to spend with friends and family, resolutions are made, and essentially, we are presented with an opportunity to improve ourselves. We are basically given a chance to hit a “reset button” on our lives, as we reflect on the past year and prepare ourselves for what lies ahead. Yet, not all children are given this chance for a new start every time January 1st rolls around. Some are stuck in cycles of poverty, oppression, and overall discrimination–especially girls. According to UNESCO, about 66 million girls worldwide are unable to go to school. Instead of looking at New Year’s as a chance to just reflect on ourselves, let us take this opportunity to think about those in need in our communities, nationally, and globally. Not only can we resolve to have a deeper understanding of the world’s issues, but we can also begin making a difference, large or small. Here is a quick start…a few facts about the issue of girls education: A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult. In Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, there would be a 10% decrease in the amount of girls under 17 who become pregnant if they were given an education. A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5. India’s GDP...
“Suma’s Story” to be Shown at DC SAFF

“Suma’s Story” to be Shown at DC SAFF

“Suma’s Story,” A moving short film about one of Sahasra Deepika’s first students, will be screened at the DC South Asian Film Festival on Sunday, September 11th. The film, produced and directed by Ms. Media Productions, shows the impact of Sahasra Deepika on the life of a young girl who was left at Sahasra Deepika by her mother–a mother who never returned. On September 10th, Sahasra Deepika Foundation for Education President Sarva Rajendra will participate in a panel discussion on human trafficking after a screening of SOLD the movie. All events will be held at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center in Rockville,...
Breaking Stereotypes, One Girl at a Time

Breaking Stereotypes, One Girl at a Time

“I am thankful that places like Sahasra Deepika exist. It gives me hope, that one day I will live in a society where being an Indian woman is not defined by stereotypes…” Being an Indian girl, while being raised in America and attending a predominately white school has its challenges; whether it be the difference in culture, religion, or ways of thinking. I have been fortunate enough to go to a school that strives to embrace differences and accept those with unique religious and cultural backgrounds. While the school itself embodies messages of diversity, it is hard to leave biases behind and embark on complete open-mindedness. Often times society instills racist, untrue, and hurtful messages within us and we subconsciously oblige. I have just finished 10th grade and am now starting to notice how our society acts towards those who are different, or those that they do not completely understand. Not only do I realize the unfair treatment that has been dealt to others, but I am starting to understand how I am also treated differently because of my ethnicity, in a place where I am a minority. I can recall a moment in the 6th grade while reading the book, Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan. In the book a 13- year old Indian girl is forced into an arranged marriage, with no say in the matter. The book then follows her through her married life. Her husband dies soon after marriage and her in-laws are so horrible that they leave her alone in the city. The students in my 6th grade class had not yet had any lessons...