It is true that at times we feel we are but a mere drop in the ocean; but is it not also true that it is every tiny drop that makes the ocean big?
And it is that feeling that started it all for Shri PV Rao, father of our CEO, Sudhakar Pennam, way back in Feb 2014.
Nethra Vidyalaya, is a residential school for visually impaired children, founded by His Holiness, Sri Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji, in Vizag, that was in dire need of funds and medical support.
Shri Rao, along with his childhood friend, a practicing Homeopathic doctor, then both 77 years of age, organized to set up free medical camps, bi-monthly, for treating and distributing medicines to these children. They helped in treating long-term ailments as well as built immunity and enhanced the mental well-being of the children.
It soon turned out to be more than a medical camp for Shri Rao. He began visiting it more often, and got deeply involved with its administration. He realized that the immediate need was to raise large amounts of funds for even the basic food and hygiene supplies. That’s when he insisted/requested his son visit the school to assess its needs first hand.
That visit in 2015 added another drop to the ocean. And then another. Since that visit, his son made it his mission to support the school in every way possible. Sudhakar, not only became its biggest donor but also brought in corporate support from his many organizations as CSR activities. More drops in the form of friends, family, engineering college mates, business associates and extended network began coming together in support of the noble cause, in whatever way they could.
Today the school has about 145 students plus a staff of -. A typical day at the school starts and ends with a prayer and giving thanks to the day’s sponsor and the almighty. Currently, the local head of the Kairos office in Vizag, Sashidhar Chandrasekharuni, has taken over as the one-point liaison for the entire operations of the school. He is responsible for organizing fund-raising events, promotional activities, hiring, and other operations as needed ensuring the smooth running of the school.
We express our deepest gratitude to our ever-growing list of generous donors that include, Mr. Ravi Srikakulam (Smart Deck Solutions Inc ), Ms. Swapna Mankal, Mr. Sridhar Chimaldinne, Mr. Devender R Aeerabolu, and Mr. Shesh Kumar Parlapalli. Sponsorships range from straight donations to sponsoring meals on special occasions, sleeping mats, and most importantly study materials in Braille.
Sudhakar had set for himself a target to cover all the costs for 200 calendar days every year. We are now comfortably covered for 139 days of the calendar year. We humbly seek true patrons with their generous donors to sponsor the rest. The school is also in need of improvements to the physical infrastructure and more staff to provide better care to the children. We are deeply grateful and graciously accept all the help and support that comes to us.
As Mother Theresa had said, “At the end of life, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”
And yes, every drop counts!
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