Humble Beginning:

Divya Deepa Charitable Trust in 1992

In August 1992, inspired by Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo, Ananth Kumar settled in Srirampura village on the outskirts of Mysore. It was an economically, socially and educationally backward place. There he came across three boys who had appeared for 10th standard examinations. When he was informally interacting with them, they sought his help in algebra. But none of them had the necessary prerequisites such as a concept of negative numbers, square roots, basic concepts of algebra etc. So, he started coaching them mathematics, and the basics of English language. All the 3 children passed the 10th standard examination in the first attempt.

The people in the village started trusting him and that empowered him to be a partner in change. In that village, most of the school going children failed to reach the grades. They were dropping out from the schools due to multiple factors- Ignorance of the parents, Lack of conducive atmosphere at home, Limited infrastructure at the schools and more. So, he started conducting supplementary classes, free of cost for the benefit of these children under the banner ‘Divyadeepa’. Classes used to be held between 6.00 to 8.00 am & 7.00 to 8.00 pm. The village Government school headmaster gave permission to use the Government school building for the purpose. Introduction of supplementary classes prior to school hours and after school hours resulted in the improvement of children performance. Slowly children from neighboring villages also started joining. This grassroots level experience helped him to conceptualize his dream school – “Kaliyuva Mane”.

Gradually other activities were taken up which included sponsoring of children for personality development camps, yoga classes, arranging excursions for village children, creation of library for children, providing teaching aids, sports materials to the children, referring destitute children to other organizations, conducting health camps etc., The entire work was self-funded. He started income-cum-employment generation activities such as Screen Printing, Greeting cards making, Desktop publishing etc. Some youth from the same village were given gainful employment too.

In 1996, Padma joined Ananth Kumar as wife and collaborator. On 12th January 1999, Divyadeepa received the first public contribution. So, on 04-3-1999, Divyadeepa was registered as a public charitable trust and it became “Divya Deepa Charitable Trust”. With financial support by Shri L.M. Shah, Ananth Kumar’s ex-employer; the land of 2 acres and 33 guntas was purchased in the year 2003. Ananth shifted his family to the new location in 2004. Kaliyuva Mane (Home of Learning) was born in 2005, in Kenchalagudu (present location). The school was started in a hut. Initial strength was 14 children. The bank balance in the name of the Trust was Rs 5334.

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