Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya, a musical school with a difference
What would you say when you hear that a Canadian couple moved to India and opened a musical Gurukul for the underprivileged children in India?
So back in 2018, I was travelling in a journey called LEAD Prayana by the Deshpande Foundation. A journey which helps you explore your true potential and the real India. We are stuck with our busy lives and social media so much that we just see India through someone's lens on our feeds.
So during this journey, I happened to witness this musical school, the Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya (KSV) located in Kalkeri, Dharwad district, Karnataka, providing musical and academic education to one hundred and sixty children having financial conditions, orphans or children having inadequate resources with single parents.
In addition, food, accommodation, health care, and clothing are also provided, and everything is free. There are no fees at all. KSV believes that it is the fundamental right of all children to have access to education, adequate food, healthcare facilities and to participate in their community’s cultural life.
The school spread across three acres of land, it is not like those formal ones with concrete classrooms, cupboards, benches and desks with smart classrooms or AC's. The classrooms and the student residence are inside small huts, with walls covered with mud and a ceiling and doors made of bamboo sticks. Children sit on the floor for their lessons, just like the old times.
I happened to spend a night with these kids at their hostel. It was a cold night. Shared a mattress with the kids, they even offered me their blanket. I don't know how to express how I felt at that particular moment. I was really moved by their hospitality. Even though they didn't have enough mattresses and blankets, they didn't even think once while offering one.
What's special about these classrooms and hostels are that they are named by the regional resources. Its good to see the classrooms are named after Indian Rivers - Kaveri, Ganga, Yamuna and many more. Similarly the hostels or the residence are name after Indian singers.
Its just surprising to know that no child at Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya (KSV) is charged for the tuition fees, food, shelter, books and music. Every year the students are increasing in the school and most of the students have sponsors. And KSV hopes to find the sponsors for the remaining ones.
“Empowering disadvantaged children gives them the opportunity to obtain qualifications in academics and music. Ultimately, this will enable them to find meaningful and well-paid employment which will have a positive impact upon them and their families,” -Adam Woodward, Director, KSV.
I shared my experience while I visited Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya and I was awestruck to see the value of Education given to the underprivileged children. I just want to say that it was my privilege to witness such love, gratitude and value of everything we (privileged) have in our life, be it our parents, a home, food, clothes etc. I just learned one thing from my visit to the Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya i.e. Be Gracious and I owe that to the children I met at KSV.
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Youtube Video of Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya :-
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You can also visit Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya's website - https://www.ksv.org.in/