“The defining factor is never resources; it’s resourcefulness.” Anthony Robbins
As Sugata Mitra has said at the TED conference, the will to learn is a powerful force. The Gandhian Organization for Rural Development (GORD) seeks to cultivate just that. By funding government schools in villages, GORD aims to “create excitement among students and decrease dropout rates.”
While the efficacy of the Indian government school system has increased considerably over the past few decades, in GORD’s view, instilling the core factor of excitement within schoolchildren can make yet an even larger difference.
This is accomplished by providing funding for learning materials, sports equipment, computer learning, teachers, excursions, and basic water and toilet facilities.
The headmaster of the Burrakayalakota ZPHS (Zilla Parishad High School) had this to say about the excursions:
“I have always wanted to take my students for an excursion. It happened in the year before my retirement. This is a god sent opportunity for these children to venture out of their habitations for the first time in their lives. This injects inspiration and motivation to them and they also feel a sense of equality compared to their urban counterparts”.
The organization, since its inception in 1984, has grown substantially. Some objective data on funding since November 2005 confirms this:
Apr 2011: $28340.00
Apr 2010: $10425.00
Apr 2009: $8362.00
Jun 2008: $13510.00
Apr 2007: $11958.00
Nov 2006: $7870.00
Nov 2005: $5525.00