Monday, June 7, 2010

The Godmother of Hungry Students

Via Citizen Matters

Meet Bhagya Rangachar and you would be amazed at the deep-rooted concern that she has for the lakhs of children belonging to the economically challenged section of the society.

"I had come to Bangalore, after my mother's demise to spend a year with my father in 1997 along with Radhika. She was admitted in a local school for a year with the plan of going back to the US the following year. Little did I know that I would settle down here. There was a very spontaneous stirring within me to follow my instincts and the birth of Children's Lovecastles Trust (CLT) India the same year!

Bhagya saw a few children going to Basavangudi Government School, which is located near her house, without lunch boxes in their hands. This disturbed her. That was not a small issue to be ignored by socially conscious Bhagya.

She felt she should start a mid-day meal program for the 250 children of the Basavangudi Government School. With the help of Ramaswamy Iyengar, a retired Joint Director of Public Instructions, CLT was born in 1997, later to be called as CLT India, which now operates from Jakkur.

"Funding was only one issue. I took on the responsibility personally as we had no staff to entrust with the stock of groceries and vegetables. So, every day I would drive to school with a car full of groceries and vegetables for the day and wait for the cook to arrive, and join the teachers to serve the food. I felt no child can concentrate on anything unless he is fed properly".

This went on for seven years till the Government of Karnataka introduced the mid-day meal scheme about five years ago.
Read her story here.

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