India trip: Vandemataram foundation

My name is Ananth Reddy and I live in Dublin CA and I have been in this country for 20 years. I am from Veldanda village. I recently visited India and also visited my old school in Veldanda and I'd like to share some of my thoughts and experiences with you all.

The main purpose of my visit was to attend a Silver Jublee Reunion of our graduating class from OU college of engineering. I graduated from BE from college of engineering in 1983. My father A Bachi Reddy who was a retired teacher from Vendanda (he worked in many schools in the region) and retired in 1978 and passed away in 2006 at the age of 84. I wanted to do someting in Veldanda school on behalf of my father for long time but didn't find a right channel to do until Sandeep mentioned about Vandemataram Program last year. I was skeptical about the program in the begining but sounded better than other options I had and wanted to give it a try and sent some money last year. I wanted to see how that many will be spent. I wanted to evaluate the program myself when I visit Indian and I got that opportunity during this visit.

I have to say that I am very impressed with the program seeing it first hand. It is shining under the leadership of Madhava Reddy Garu and guidance and credibility of Narsi Reddy Garu. I spent few hours in Veldanda school talking to teachers and students. I can feel the sense among student that the only way to better life is to have education and they are all trying to get it under very difficult situations. Vandemataram arranged for distribution of books in memory of my father and gave me an opportunity to share my life experiences with the current students of the same school I attended 32 years ago! The main purpose of this India trip was to meet with my friends from college and walk trough memory lane from 25 years ago. I want to thank Vandemataram for giving me an opportunity to walk through another memory lane from 32 years ago. I attended same school from 1966 to 1976 studeied 1st to 10th class. It was kind of emotional visit for me to walking through the same class rooms of the Veldanda high school after 32 years.

I was so impressed and honored to talk to a student who studied in Vendanda village and got admission into NIT Warangal this year. I was also told that he could have got into IIT had he been coached for it. I also extended an offer to students of Intermediate to sponser full expenses of their studies to any student who gets into Engineering or Medical collge. I just have to wait and see if my offer made any difference.

You can see the picture of this student along with his father in the attached album from my tripThe most I like about this Vandemataram program is that 100% of your contributions go to your own village or school of your choice. That is the instant gratification of doing something to your own village and people.

We should work on expanding the Vandemataram network in US by collecting the names of people from those villages and try to contact them to do somthing in their village through Vandemataram. Once we expand the program and have enough critical mass, we cal also work on getting the "non profit organization" status so that the contributions are tax deductable. There is lot of paper work related to this status and we do need enough members before we go in that direction.

I do encourage each one of you to contribute item to expand this program whatever way we can.
Also, don't forget to visit your own village on your next India trip to see how your contributions are working.
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