Mathru Educational Public Charitable Trust For The Blind

Project Brief: Mathru, located near Bangalore, is a residential school for visually impaired children from economically depressed families in the surrounding rural and semi-urban areas. Asha-CNJ donated $17,000 in 2004 for construction of a 10-room school.
Project Type: Residential School (description)
Primary Focus: children with disabilities (description)

Secondary Focus: vocational training

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: CentralNJ
Status: current / ongoing
Project Steward: Rana Nanjappa
Project Partner(s): Gubbi Muktha
Other Contacts: Pravin Shankar
Project Address: , C. A. Site 14, 6th A Cross,Vth Phase, Newtown,Yelahanka,
KARNATAKA  560064
Tel: 802-846-3992
Stewarding Chapter: CentralNJ
Oct 2011CentralNJUSD 10400
Jul 2010CentralNJUSD 10000
Sep 2009CentralNJUSD 8333
Sep 2008CentralNJUSD 8000
Jun 2007CentralNJUSD 7500
May 2007CentralNJUSD 722
Jul 2005CentralNJUSD 14325
May 2005CentralNJUSD 2325
Mar 2005CentralNJUSD 1000
Apr 2004CentralNJUSD 17000

Total = $79605

Mathru, in its Project Proposal Submission, had requested funds for six separate infrastructure purposes. They were:
1. A ten classroom school building
2. A training Center
3. Dining Hall
4. Hostel Building
5. Library/Braille Transcription Center
6. Furniture for above; and kitchen equipment.
After discussions with Mathru, and based on the priorities of their needs, Asha-CNJ decided in April 2004 to fund the construction of the school building.
The school was started in 2001 in temporary and makeshift premises. Every year one grade was added. By 2004 grades 1 through 4 were operational. The goal was to have a 10 grade school in 2010. With a 10 room building built first, Mathru could use the extra space for training � computer, music etc.- and transcription activities. It is hoped that as the classrooms are progressively occupied each year, funds would be solicited and become available for the remaining five purposes.
The land for the school and the other buildings was given to Mathru by the local government in recognition of its activities and community support. Within two months of Asha-CNJ�s decision to fund the school, i.e. in June 2004, Mathru submitted a professional architects plans and estimate for construction of the school building. At the same time a master plan showing the layout of the school along with the two centers, the hostel and the dining/kitchen facilities was also submitted.
Asha-CNJ is the first organization located outside India solicited by Mathru. Local donors and volunteer help met all their funding requirements up until now.
Mathru�s purpose is to give quality education to visually impaired children from grades 1 through 10 and prepare them to live a fulfilled life. The school is recognized by the Department of Welfare of the Disabled, Government of Karnataka. Since the students are from poor families in the surrounding rural/semi-urban areas, the school is residential. Food and health care is provided. In order to build the self-confidence and talents of the children, Mathru also has started a music, art and drama academy. The training given in the academy, along with the sports activities, life skills development etc. are intended to give the children a good start for an independent life, later. Besides the school, Mathru serves the community at large by conducting eye, medical, dental and blood donation camps in the surrounding villages.
Mathru�s goals as stated by them are:
� Providing quality based education for the visually impaired
� Providing vocational training and skills development
� Job opportunities
� Building confidence
� Socio-economic rehabilitation
Mathru Educational Trust for the Blind is a registered, non-profit, voluntary organization established on January 15, 2001. Ms. G. R. Muktha, the managing trustee lost her foot in an accident when she was 22 years old and studying for a postgraduate degree. Her own disability inspired and motivated her to help other disabled individuals. She decided to help the blind, created the trust and started the residential school in Yelahanka, Bangalore District to educate and rehabilitate visually impaired children. Ms. Muktha is a practicing lawyer, teaches at a college and is the editor of the Lawyers Lawbook.

At present, there are 42 students studying in grades 1, 2, 3 and 4. Mathru plans to add a grade every year until grade 10 is reached in 2010. The school is recognized by the Government of Karnataka. The children are also given food, clothing and health care. They are from poor families, born generally of illiterate parents who work in the fields and/or are daily wage earners from the surrounding semi-urban and village communities. Besides a formal education following the CBSE syllabus, the children are trained in music, art and drama at the Academy associated with the school. A computer with the appropriate software is available to give computer training. A braille inscription center is also functioning on the premises. The children have sports and physical development activities to instill confidence. They are taught cooking, cleaning, gardening and other life skills. Mathru gives vocational training as well, making candles, soaps, phenols, incense sticks, envelopes etc. Mathru markets the products made by the trainees and the profit is distributed among them. Children trained in the Academy have participated in street plays, drama and music programs in many places in Karnataka. Besides getting publicity for Mathru, these events serve to instill confidence in the children and encourage their talents. The press has acknowledged the work of the Mathru School by publishing articles about them. A DVD of one major public performance based on the Mahabaratha is also available.

Mathru works towards creating employment opportunities for the blind community. At present Mathru has given employment to two visually impaired teachers, one music teacher, one tabla master and a field worker. The Trust is sending one blind adult for further education towards a Diploma for Teaching the Blind. Another girl is being sent to the local Pre-University College. For the community at large, the Trust has organized many eye, medical, healthcare, dental and blood donation camps.
The school and all the associated activities run by Mathru are supported by local donations from businesses, charitable organizations and individual donors. Donations are made in cash and kind. Many dedicated volunteers who contribute their time and services also support Mathru. Asha-CNJ is the first non-India based group to make a donation to Mathru.

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Timeline:
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•2000
–School started with first grade
–Rented premises and "kutcha" sheds.
–Goal: Add one grade per year. Be a 10 Grade High School by 2010
•2002
–Subsidised Civic Amenities Plot allotted By local government
–Appeals made for funds and services to local donors & individuals
•2003
–Appeal and plans sent to Asha CNJ for funds to construct a 10 room school
•2004
–Asha CNJ issues first grant for school construction ($17,000)
–Appeal made for local funds to construct dorms, kitchen, dining room. community and computer center.
•2005
–Construction started.. Started 5 th grade
–Second Asha CNJ grant and WAH grant made ($18,000, $10,000)
•2006
–Construction completed. School moved to new premises.
–School named The Asha School in appreciation.
–ESlate successfully designed, built and tried out in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon Institute ( http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~nidhi/brailletutor.html )
•2007
–Started 7 th grade
–Application made to Central Government for grant to run school. When approved Grant will pay 70% of expenses.
mathru_india@yahoo.co.in