Sehgal Foundation is pleased to showcase some of our wonderful US-based supporters by sharing their contributions and experiences with Connect USA readers. In this issue Sravan Mandumula and daughter Medha (9th grade), who live near Des Moines, Iowa, tell us about their recent visit to one of Sehgal Foundation’s Transform Lives schools near Hyderabad (Telangana), India. Thank you, Sravan and Medha!
As a Sehgal Foundation member and supporter for last ten-plus years, I had been eager to visit some of the projects in India in person during our family visits back home. I was finally able to do so in November 2021. Thanks to Jay Sehgal and Salahuddin Saiphy, manager of the Sehgal Foundation Hyderabad location, for arranging a trip to Medchal Jilla Parishad school, 30 kilometers from Hyderabad. My daughter Medha also accompanied me on this school visit. Medha is a ninth grader studying in US, interested in learning about Indian schools and infrastructure.
Mr. Saiphy, together with the school principal, talked about the school’s history and how the school infrastructure has changed dramatically with the help of Sehgal Foundation in recent years. Building renovations, classroom expansions, furniture for the kids to sit and work, and kitchen modernization were some of the highlights. Two key water access additions were made: a biosand filtration system for safe water drinking, and creative no-touch handwashing/sanitizing stations for proper hygiene during the COVID pandemic.
Local community leaders and ward members joined the meeting and explained how the partnership with Sehgal Foundation helped the village achieve great success. Overall these projects and community involvement from the mandal made the school much more safe, hygienic, welcoming, and interesting for students and parents. This has helped reverse the trend of students leaving to attend private schools, which are 5 to 10 kilometers away. More and more parents are interested in sending their kids to this government school, which is within walking distance.
Congratulations to Sehgal Foundation and the local community on showcasing what they can do when they have local community involvement and receive sustainable support.
— Sravan Mandumula
During our trip to India in November, I visited the school in Medchal along with Dad. I always wanted to visit and see how the schools are in India. Seeing before-and-after pictures, I noticed that Sehgal Foundation made a big impact on the school. It was repainted on the outside and inside, which made the school look very nice. Inside each classroom, educational information for each respective grade, such as the alphabet and shapes, was painted on the walls to guide the students. Work on a playground made gatherings possible, and rebuilding the kitchen made it easier to prepare and serve food. They added a biosand water filter to provide clean and safe drinking water for the students. Future plans include more improvements on the playground and adding an outdoor stage platform. These are just a few of the types of improvements Sehgal Foundation has made to many schools in India. It was a really great experience visiting the Medchal school and seeing the impact made on the future of students’ educational experience. Having good infrastructure is key to the success of the students’ education. I hope to be involved, along with my parents, in helping more schools back home in India.
— Medha Mandumula