Imagine playing your favorite game, not just for fun but also to support rural kids’ education. There’s lots of innovative ways to do your bit for society, but the Isha “Make a Life” Golf Jaunt is probably one of the more unique, fun and fulfilling ways you could find. Business leaders and professional golfers play a game of golf with Sadhguru, and the funds raised go towards sponsoring rural children’s education at the Isha Vidhya schools.

The golf jaunt happens every year, and this year’s edition took place at Willingdon Sports Club, Mumbai, on December 4. The 84 participants included business icons such as Harsh Mariwala, Chariman Marico Industries, Vijay Chauhan, CMD Parle Products, Atul Laul, President Reliance Industries Ltd, Rajesh Batra, Chairman Proline Apparels, and Sidharth Punshi, MD of JP Morgan India Pvt Ltd among others. The tournament followed the four-ball format with stableford scoring.

The Golf Jaunt in Tweets & Pictures

After an exciting day of golf, Mr. Shashi Shetty, MD All Cargo Logistics awarded the trophy for Overall Winner to Mr. Rajiv Raichand, Finance Director, Brookfield Multiplex. The overall gross winner was Jaideep Singh, MD & COO Rabo Bank.

Some statistics about the state of education in India

Just how much support do kids in rural India need when it comes to education? Here are a few statistics that should give you an idea.

  • Indian students were ranked second last amongst 73 countries that participated in the 2011 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), in which students from Tamil Nadu & Himachal Pradesh, the states with the best performance in India, participated.

  • The ASER (Annual Status of Education Report) report for 2011 states that 20% of students in class 8 cannot read from a Class 2 textbook. 58.1% of Class 3 students do not know subtraction.


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  • Isha Vidhya’s study of government school students in Tamil Nadu showed that 35% of students in Class 9 could not read or write their first language (Tamil), and did not have basic mathematics skills.

  • According to the World Bank, one standard deviation in student score on international assessments of basic literacy and numeracy is approximately proportional to a 2% difference in GDP per capita growth.

As a country with a significant young demographic, which according to studies, is likely to result in 70% of the population falling in the working age group by 2025, India’s future surely lies in the education of our children. Without quality education, not only is our future bleak, our demographic dividend could well turn out to be a demographic burden as well.

How Isha Vidhya helps

Part of Isha’s social outreach programs, Isha Vidhya is a non-profit organisation founded in 2006. It is committed to raising the level of education and literacy in rural India and helping disadvantaged children realise their full potential. Isha Vidhya runs nine rural schools in southern India with 6415 children. 58% of students are on scholarship-supported tuition and many of them are first-generation schoolgoers from their families. Isha Vidhya also encourages the eduation of girls, actively working with families and communities in this direction. 46% of students at Isha Vidhya are girls.

Schooling at Isha Vidhya is offered at either a very low cost or free of cost, depending on the economic situation of the child. Students have access to transportation to and from school. Lunches are provided at some of the schools. Students receive regular nutritional health supplements. School buildings are designed in open-concept, classroom clusters that are architecturally intriguing and inspiring for the students. In-school celebrations of traditional festivals and holidays help keep educational and cultural values alive.

The Isha Vidhya schools follow a carefully planned methodology designed to educate and nurture the wellbeing of rural children on all levels – academically, physically and mentally.

Isha Vidhya’s uniqueness lies in its high potential for scalability and replication. The Isha Vidhya schools follow a carefully planned methodology designed to educate and nurture the wellbeing of rural children on all levels – academically, physically and mentally. The approach has been specially designed to compensate for the absence of an English-speaking environment at home and the shortage of qualified teachers, creating a scalable model for delivering quality education.

Extensive libraries with print, audio, video and computer materials enhance the learning process. All the education at Isha Vidhya revolves around recognition and celebration of the identity, culture and tradition of the rural communities. From CD ROM lessons to organic farming, Isha Vidhya schools empower rural children to have vocational options.

Government school adoption

Through critical interventions in 56 rural government schools in Tamil Nadu and 460 schools in Andhra Pradesh, Isha Vidhya also benefits an additional 72,000 children. Isha has supported and enhanced these schools by maintaining the recommended pupil-teacher ratio of 35:1 with additional teachers, conducting training modules for teachers, student remedial classes for basic literacy & numeracy skills, as well as conducting a host of extracurricular activities such as yoga, sports and music.

Editor’s Note: For more information on Isha Vidhya, follow them on Facebook or visit their website.

Graphs courtesy: CC-BY