There are few people who understand the reality of the numerous hurdles that many from underprivileged background have to face when it comes to obtaining a quality education and leading successful lives. K Satyanarayana is one of them. The Inspector General of Police (CID) in Andhra Pradesh, Satyanarayana runs a study circle to coach thousands of tribal students for free so that they can secure government jobs.
Satyanarayana comes from Pamulavaka village in Visakhapatnam. His parents were not educated and there was no one to guide him. But he completed his primary education from a Telugu medium government school and went on to complete his BA from Anakapalle as the topper of his class. Interested in using education to empower the underprivileged, he took up a career in teaching for four years. After this, he joined the Andhra Pradesh University to study Economics. It was here that he came across the idea of sitting for Civil Services examinations.
After cracking the exams, he was posted in the Uttar Pradesh-cadre and worked in the state for 18 years with different designations. During this period, he regularly took time off to teach children from rural areas.
He told The Hindu, “I came on deputation to AP about one-and-a-half-year ago. I was involved in social work in my native village and conducted awareness programmes for students. We opened the ‘Samarpan Study Circle’ in 2013 to offer coaching for competitive examinations.”
He started the study circle with the help of an ENT surgeon named Dr. B Ramachandran who had been involved in other such initiatives for a long time now. Incidentally, his clinic serves as the classroom where study circle sessions are conducted. The circle was founded with the intention of providing free career counselling to students and to foster a spirit of competition. Coaching is free for those who cannot afford the programme, while others have to pay a nominal fee of Rs. 2,000.
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The duo brings in specialised teachers from places like Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur, and Kurnool. Apart from free study material, students also have access to a library that has more than 50 arithmetic books and around 100 English books. It is also interesting to note that around 60% of the students are girls.
Students applying for government jobs from this study circle are often placed in the panchayat, CRPF, banking sector, and schools. At present, around 156 students are preparing for Group II examinations. Those who qualify can secure jobs as revenue officers, assistant secretaries, etc. Around 237 students are appearing for the police constable recruitment drive.
The study circle also organizes awareness campaigns for career guidance in schools. In February, they conducted such a programme for 3,000 students in Visakhapatnam.
On September 20, both Satyanarayana and Dr. Ramachandran visited a Zila Parishad high school located 40 km away from Visakhapatnam city to participate in the Grameen Vidya Jyothi programme, which recognizes exceptionally meritorious students from rural backgrounds.
Dr. Ramachandran told The Times of India, “Under GVJ concept, developed in 2011, career guidance and scholarship is given to the deserving and talented students for further studies and taking up a career. The parents of these rural students are mostly illiterate and can’t guide the children. So from time to time, career guidance programmes are organised in the schools where IAS, IPS officers, university professors and doctors provide career guidance to the students. The best and dedicated teachers are also felicitated besides the students.”
Apart from coming up with the concept of GVJ, Ramachandran also formed the Sangamithra Rural Development Scheme (SRDS) in 2004. It is an organisation that runs with the help of volunteers including teachers, doctors and reputed alumni of village schools. They organise regular medical camps, allowing underprivileged patients to make use of diagnostic services and medical kits that are distributed at highly subsidised rates.