When Dharma Ram was six, he walked into a Satya Bharti School with nothing more than a pocket full of dreams and a smile to match. His small family of two brothers, a sister and doting parents was happy in their small mud home but he knew that they struggled to make ends meet with their father working in gruelling conditions at a stone mine and mother battling last stages of Cancer. At school, he left behind his worries. With Bharti Foundation’s emphasis on holistic learning at all 254 Satya Bharti Schools, students like Dharma have discovered a special love for studies within remote rural contexts. Today at age 15, he studies at a Government School which also falls under the Bharti Foundation led Satya Bharti Quality Support Program. Through this initiative, the learning and best practices from Satya Bharti Schools are being scaled up to Government Schools, setting the scene for school excellence in far-flung villages. Two years ago, Dharma lost his mother to cancer and his father quit his daily job at the mines due to failing health. The family survived on a measly annual crop and occasional stints at the stone mines. Despite these circumstances, Dharma responded to the quality education being imparted at his school and exceeded all expectations as he won several medals at state level Science Quiz competitions. With this winning streak, his dreams are set in a new rhythm of reality, matching beat to beat with the tinkling of a pocket full of medals.

Beginning with a sound learning foundation of quality education at Satya Bharti School in the remote village of Jati Bhandu in Jodhpur District; Dharma’s teachers sensed his thirst for knowledge and encouraged him to hone his skills in every subject. In addition to a keen interest in Science, Dharma excelled in athletics, Kabaddi and even won prizes at Inter-School Art competitions! His Satya Bharti School continues to provide quality education at the primary level while encouraging and guiding students to pursue continued education at nearby Government schools. With this solid backing, Dharma Ram confidently moved on to Government Senior Secondary School, Dhandhaniya Bhaila. While joining a new school can be challenging for some, Dharma’s confidence grew when he learnt that Bharti Foundation’s focus on holistic development is being extended in this school too. By collaborating with the principals and teachers of Government schools and building on the existing wealth of knowledge, skills and passions of the teachers, Bharti Foundation shares best practices from Satya Bharti Schools to these Government Schools. Further, by encouraging an integrated learning approach to Science, the Foundation complements the academic methodology of teaching with application based pedagogy.

With these tools in place, Dharma Ram was immediately taken under the wing of his Principal, Lalit Kumar and the Bharti Foundation Academic mentor, Muhammed Naseem. Impressed with the young all-rounder, they began honing his skills in both scholastic and co-scholastic aspects, opening up a world of potential in him. His first feat was a State Level Science Exhibition organized by the Ministry of Human Resource Development for which he won the first prize. Exhilarated by his victory, Dharma shared, “At both my schools I learned that Science, Sports and Art are all leaves of the same tree of knowledge. My teachers at Satya Bharti School helped me overcome all obstacles in my foundation years. At my Government School I was given opportunities to excel. Though I miss my mother terribly, I know she is somewhere shining with pride, brighter than all my medals.”

Dharma Ram’s winning spell did not end here, he was then sent to represent his school at the state level SCIERT competition. Here too he returned victorious, winning third prize as well as immeasurable encouragement to continue pursuing his aspirations of a future in the field of Science. Consistent as a topper throughout, he is now part of a study group at his school, preparing to ace the upcoming Class X Board exams.

Proud of his star student, Principal, Lalit Kumar added, “Dharma Ram has always been a good student and I am happy that our combined efforts give opportunity to students from tough backgrounds to not only fuel their passion for knowledge but also confidently stake their rightful pace as victors.”