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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Inspiration:Meet Dr. Manga Devi, a Visionary, Teacher, and ‘Mother’ to Hundreds of Loving Children


Born on July 1, 1937, Dr. Nannapaneni Manga Devi is the Founder-Secretary of Sri Venkateswara Bala Kuteer and Chetana Charitable Trust. She was born in Tenali, in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. Dr. Manga Devi, after her post-graduation in History and Education, obtained her Doctorate in Early Childhood Education. Later, she joined the Government’s Women and Child Welfare Department to quench her thirst for service, which gave her an opportunity to undergo training at Gandhigram in Madurai. There, she physically witnessed the practicing of Gandhian principles. This motivated Dr. Manga Devi to get trained in the Montessori System of Education. She was convinced that children had to be nurtured with care, love, information, skills, and education to bring out the best out of them. Hence, she left her Government job to walk this new path.

Dr. Manga Devi’s close friend, who also shared the same ideologies, joined hands with her to work in the field of Child Development. In 1965, they set up a Montessori House of Children, Sri Venkateswara Bala Kuteer (SVBK), in Brodipet, the first of its kind in Guntur, with a single girl child.By the eighties, Dr. Manga Devi was a trend-setter in pre-school innovative teaching techniques, wherein she integrated various aspects of nature and art into informal teaching modules.By 1975, the phenomenal success of the first school at Brodipet – which had become a Co-Educational English medium Secondary School – motivated her to start another branch at Shyamalanagar, which was affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

Dr. Manga Devi’s meeting with Saint Teresa led her to serve needy women and children. This brought a sea-change in Dr. Manga Devi’s vision, and led to the formation of the Chetana Charitable Trust, a multi-purpose rural project in Chowdavaram village near Guntur in 1990. She initiated this to emphasise on three aspects: security, education, development, and welfare of children; rehabilitation and employment of the destitute women; and, shelter and solace for the old in the lively company of the little ones from the Children’s Village.

The project houses multiple activities viz., Nandana, a rural school for underprivileged children; Ushodaya, a residential English-medium school; SVBK College of Education, for Bachelor of Education; a School on Wheels; Children’s Village, a home for the homeless children; Anganwadi Workers’ Training Centre for rural women; Sandhyaraga, a home for senior citizens; Srujana, a Centre for Fine Arts; Krishi, a vocational training centre for the youth; Vigyana Vani, the Science Park; Raksha, a home for destitute women; Jeevanarekha, a family counseling centre; and, Swastha, a rural health centre and Centre for Alternative Medicines.

The child education-focussed and eco-friendly campus of Chetana comprises of the Science Park, sculptures and educative figures made of non-biodegradable items, plants of various species and medicinal values, an Auditorium, the Centre for Fine Arts, a library with over 5,000 books, space for sports and games, a toy library, etc. Dr. Manga Devi initiated classes in the open, and gardening, as a therapeutic routine activity for the beneficiaries. Cultural and theatrical programs are also part of the children’s development program.

Source,Credit & Full Story at:http://www.thebetterindia.com/77322/nannapaneni-manga-devi-stalwart-lady-joy-children/

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