Visit to George Foundation.

10/Mar/2007
Bangalore, KA, India.

Visit to George Foundation

Every field visit to Foundations/ Homes we make, fills us with joy to see underprivileged being taken care well.

Sometimes our hearts heavy when we see lack of facility(in some cases we have even helped them!!). But this Weekend’s visit to “George Foundation- Ballinganapalli, (Near Hosur)” was an experience not felt before. This is one of the best managed institutions – par excellence in execution”. Writing this report will not suffice the experience but will create more interest. So lets get started !

Our hearty thanks to Mrs. Gracy who took us around & beautifully explained the Vision & work of the foundation.

Visit by : Udhay, Ravikumar, Tijju , Shiva

The report might look a bit lengthy, but believe me it’s worth the time u spend knowing about it ! This is reflection of our true experience there @ the foundation we visited on March 10,2007 !

About George Foundation:

George foundation is being run by Dr.Abraham George, an Ex-Artillery officer of Indian Army, subsequently migrated to US. An economist by profession, he has also authored a book “India Untouched”. (2004) (http://www.indiaunt ouched.com/)

Foundation started in 1995 with mission of helping the needy & Rural empowerment.

George Foundation mainly runs :

a)Shanthi Bhavan School
b)Baldev medical & community service centre – covers 15-20 villages of population 85k.
c)Rural Empowerment / Women empowerment

Medical & community Centre:

– Medical centre was started to cater the medical needs of the villagers in & around Ballinghanapalli & Devurapalli (that’s why name Baldev)
– The medical centre has a resident staff, few paramedics lead by Administrator Ms.Gracy
– The paramedics are well trained & the records are tracked with IT tools.
– A software tool called “EDPS(Early detection & prevention” has been developed. It’s a diagnostic tool. When query are answered as inputs
It gives possible Diagnostics. It’s been tested at PHC(primary health care centre, govt) & more than 85-90% accuracy.
– The patients records are maintained as medical history & each villager given with a ID card. In this way treatment becomes easy
I think IT has been used in very efficient way here
– Besides this pregnant women are given proper counseling for healthy delivery & to avoid anemic child being born.
– Hospital is very clean & are maintained on par with private setups.
– Regular medical camps are conducted & patients are followed up through a field worker who visits them often.
– As part of community program they also undertake village sanitation & cleaning drives.
– They are ready to share the EDPS software at a very nominal cost if it is being used for Noble causes. It seems they are
in negotiation with TN state govt for implementing it at PHC’s.

Educational Project – Shanthi Bhavan School :

About the school:
– The Shanthi Bhavan is an excellent setup for educating the underprivileged children in ICSE syllabus !!!!
– Class Grade – 1 to Grade -9 (Started 9 yrs ago). Total students ( 200+)
– All highly trained teachers (around 25) are residential. Teachers are very well paid to retain quality !
Qualification of teacher is min B.Ed & a degree. May are master degree holders.
– Has excellent play grounds, classrooms (we were surpised to see the classrooms on par with international stds),.
– Dormitory for the students are very good, neat(maintained by students themselves) & guidance of “house mothers”
– We just could not believe the facilities, it looked like “ International Residential School ” !! Again seeing is believing !
– Regular music classes, science exhibitions are conducted. ( we saw their displays on chart & they were pretty good)

Admission to school:
– Starts in March every year & intake is only 24 students/year/ grade (12 boys, 12 girls). Age is 3.5-4 yrs ONLY !
– The economic criteria is parents with 1000-1500/month salary or less / orphaned / Single parent with low economic condition.
– Selection is based on a psychometric analysis conducted by team of experts.
Idea is educate the best brains among underprivileged. They should not be deprived of basic education due to their background!
– Believe us , when we interacted with those children they are on par with any international residential school educated ones !

Student Life:
– All the teachers are residents there & each dormitory has “house mother”
– So each kid is well taken care of emotionally & intellectually.
– The facilities there are amazing – tennis court, basket ball court, all kids have sports cycle with head gears !!
– No particular religion is forced upon them .
– Children from all parts of India are studying there.
– Students can go home once in 6 months & parents can visit the kids every 3 moths.
– Has a good computer lab, library & canteen.

Rural / Women Empowerment :

– They are running few plantation farms to sustain income for school.
– Recently they have started with vineyard in abt 10 acres.
– The best thing about the project is that a systematic survey of land was carried out by scientists of ICAR, Horticulture depts. &
then decided that grape would be most economically viable crop. Having own forms of irrigation for farms !
– They also empower the farmers in surrounding villages , besides giving them employment in their own farms !
– Women empowerment by giving them awareness medically & also employing them in farms.
– A few training programmes were also conducted for Women to make them employable.

We have had the humble experience of seeing various educational projects elsewhere, but this has been the best we saw in terms of
Quality & Execution.
People might think quality is least when it comes to charity as basic needs are first.
We would like in different way. Say in regular charity foundations, we can probably create 10-20% max of best quality students.
But here 100% of the students are bright & they will make a lot of difference in the society. Impact would be really huge.

What help can we do ??

1) Another unique part of this project is this is wholly funded by Dr. George !
So they are looking for Donors in anyway . Because he is finding it difficult to sustain own funding for “Quality” !
For details see : http://www.tgfworld .org/donate. html

2) We can give them career guidance ,science teaching classes to empower them more though seminars.

3) They also accept volunteers to come, stay & teach there, if we have specialization.
http://www.tgfworld .org/volunteer. html

4) Spreading information of this Foundation, so that more people are benefited.

5) Medical foundation is in need of an Ambulance vehicle, so that they can also cater to emergency medical help !

More details : http://www.tgfworld .org/officials. html

HO Address :
The George Foundation
# 316, 5 th A Cross, 3rd Block, HRBR Layout
Kalyananagar, Bangalore 560043

Bus Route : Bus route 33 from Hosur . Morning one & evening one bus. Karnataka transport in process.

It was an enchanting experience to have visited the place & even know that such a place exists.
We stand to salute George & his Vision !!

Regards
shiva

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