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A BRIEF REPORT ON St. ANDREW’S SCHOOL AT SIDDAPURA, BANGALORE

St. ANDREW’S Church was awakened to the call of serving the poor, hungry and needy children and their community 20 years ago under the prayerful guidance of Rev. S. A. Salins, the architect of our outreach programme, who steered the Pastorate Committee (the governing Committee of St. Andrew’s Church) to a course of benevolent action and involvement for the church to have a sincere concern for the poor and the down trodden—underprivileged otherwise, especially to establish a FREE educational facility in a slum area. Thus the SEVENTIES ushered in a new mission of the Church to ‘TAKING SIDES WITH THE POOR’ and thus the renaissance of the social activity or the outreach work of the Church bloomed into the execution with the formation of a registered Socio-economic Development Society in the year 1977.

The SOCIO-ECONOMIS DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY FORMED IN 1977 TO give expression to this response in three fold manner.

1. To provide basic education for the children who are otherwise bereft of such an opportunity.
2. To provide basic education in health to the people particularly to the women folk.
3.

To show mercy, love and compassion in deeds to all around us - the gospel of love and peace.


The project on the programme of education that was initiated with a humble beginning of establishing a nursery school in the slum, at Siddapura, near Lalbagh Gardens, Bangalore with its dedication on 15.5.1977 was by Mrs. EDNA GILL, the wife of the then Bishop of the Central Diocese of Karnataka, Rt. Rev. Gill. The school has reached glorious heights to day with the school up-graded to 7th standard as an AIDED SCHOOL with government’s recognition & status having 450 children on its rolls being tutored by eight teachers on the whole. The active participation and sharing of the resources of the people around, members of the church as well as the involvement of those residing in the slum have brought meaning to the out reach activity and today the school is ranked as one the best institutions in the nearby locality in Bangalore as far as the ethics and standards of education are concerned. The alumni of our St.Andrew’s school who pursued their studies further in colleges had become graduates to occupy responsible and respectable positions in the society, which speaks volume of the standards of education and discipline provided and imparted by the school.

The MID-DAY meal scheme provides children of the school every noon their meal which is supported solely with the voluntary contribution by the Church for the past five years.All the outreach programmes on education being carried out there are being entirely funded by the members of our congregation with their humble sacrifice. The St. Andrew’s community spends approximately 35-40 % of the Church’s annual budget to the cause.
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Building status of the School:

Originally when nursery classes were started in the beginning, a makeshift building had been put up by raising small donation from well wishers and “Shramdan” by the slum dwellers and the youth of the church. As however the school increased with more and more children joining and additional classes of higher standards were to be started, it was not possible to manage with the makeshift building although with periodic strengthening of its structure, since it could not give the additional space required for added standards, retaining the first one also for the nursery classes still. Hence a regular structure was put up in another plot of the land set apart by the slum for the school, with the voluntary support of the residents of Siddapura.

When the school became an AIDED institution, need for providing regular class rooms became almost mandatory. Though the funds required for building ‘pucca’ construction was beyond the immediate reach of the Church, the congregation members came forward to shoulder the added responsibility envisaged and were planning to pave way for limited expansion, since we could not leave the children of our school in the lurch after having provided them with education only up to 4th standard of 5th standard

The entire congregation rose to the occasion & took up the challenge, as they did in many earlier occasions while starting the school and we did complete the humble concrete structure of the school, we see today, although not enough to accommodate enough students as a full fledged school building of St. Andrew’s school needed up to 10th standard or more

 
 
   
With in the space and facility-limitations available in the school premises and in spite of all constraints, we have made enough progress & improvements for the school by:
 
Introducing and establishing a (small one almirah) library facility in the school for the benefit of the children with required books in English and Kannada and the library facility was inaugurated by the State Educational Officer in charge of these schools. He in fact was in great appreciation of the excellent progress we have been making towards improving the education-standards maintained by our school presently.
 
Our congregation members do always remember the out reach work of education we have undertaken in running a school for the deserving children and they visit the school on festive occasions, school days, Independence day celebrations etc and whole heartedly donate to the school modern aids or gadgets needed including free books and other stationery to the children. Recently free School bags were distributed to all the children with the help of a benevolent donor and the contribution from our Church.
 
One of our benevolent congregation members who was keen on supporting the noble cause of education we carry forward to these children in such an ambience, has organized for donation of free school uniforms to every student, marking the importance of our out reach social we have undertaken, through his influence with the Rotary Club of Bangalore.
 
An Eco-Club has been established in the School for creating awareness in the children on nature, environment and its conservation, with the help of A Rocha, a Christian Organization working for the protection and conservation of nature and its environment. We are planning to provide periodic programmes for the children connected with environment and its protection over the years.
 
PROBLEMS FACED BY THE SCHOOL & THE CHILDREN FOR WANT OF PROPER SCHOOL BUILDINGS/STRUCTURES:
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REMEDIAL MEASURES TAKEN BY THE CHURCH:
Since the school structures, both the old one accommodating lower standards and the concrete structure accommodating higher standards up to 7th are at very low level, when compared to that of the adjacent roads, rain water during the rainy season straight enters into the class rooms and the children are put to great inconvenience and classes could not be continued till the rain water is removed or till the rainy season is over. Suitable remedial measures were being contemplated for immediate implementation to raise the floor level of the class rooms with the help of our approved contractor, so that the work would be completed during the ensuing summer holidays. Yet the measures were only temporary and we must make room for adequate structure for the entire school to accommodate all children without any problems whatsoever. THIS WAS POSSIBLE ONLY WHEN WE GO IN FOR A STOREYED BUILDING FOR THE SCHOOL REPLACING THE EXISTING.
 
Further to implement the decision of raising the educational level of the school up to 10th Standard with adequate facilities, the structure so expanded to a single or two storeyed building will definitely satisfy the total requirements of the school building to upgrade itself to a standard educational institution in all respects.
 

As it has become absolutely essential, the Pastorate Committee went ahead without sparing any time and our St. ANDREW SCHOOL RENOVATION work has been initiated with the benevolent donation from the members of the congregation and the well wishers. The Renovation work has been completed in record time and has been successfully accomplished as planned with the first floor accommodating more children and the second floor space totally devoted to projects for the children such as computer room, library, science laboratory etc. The renovated two storeyed building now has enough class rooms, meeting the basic requirements of the school, replacing the old existed one accommodating the nursery, LKG and UKG during July 2010.

The renovated School building was dedicated to the glory of God, by our Moderator & Bishop The Most Rev. Vasantha Kumar during the month of July itself, in memory of late Rev. S.A. Salins who has been the architect of our social and outreach work and the Founder of our St. Andrew’s School, duly acknowledging gratefully, at this juncture all the support, donations, the valuable time and generous donations forthcoming from our own congregation-members and well-wishers of our Church uninterruptedly over the years. May God bless every one of our Church members and the well–wishers who have been always behind us and with us through out the corporate life of the community of St. Andrew’s Church, proclaiming gospel through the activities of our Socio Economic Development Society and Mission and Evangelism.

At this juncture we would llike to place onrecord our gratitude and indebtedness to one great philanthropist Mrs. Almitra Patel who has come forward to support our oble cause with her generous donation. She has been a philanthropist and educationist by nature to the core. Her philanthropic contributions can be understood vividly from the educational institutions she has been responsible for construction through her efforts and financial help standing as everlasting monuments of her charitable approach to help the downtrodden.She has been responsible for putting up school building in Uran, Mumbai and another school in Gujarat and yet another in Thanichandra in Bangalore at a cost of a crore and more. She has aided in putting up an Alcohol de-addiction centre in Bangalore recently.

St. Andrews remembered her charity and honoured her during the 146th St. Andrew’s day celebration in our church. We should again gratefully acknowledge that because of her close association with us and of her charitable grace as a participant in our out reach work in our Siddapura area where, to the surprise of all, a school building of two floors has sprung up, unimaginable indeed for us alone with her close involvement and efforts. But for her initiative we would not have started such a project of renovation and reconstruction of our school.

We are happy to see to day that the work we have started in a humble way with the prayers, guidance, advice and untiring efforts of late Rev. S. A. Salins, has been blessed many fold. Let us praise the Lord and give thanks unto Him! The community of St. Andrew’s Church is extremely happy today that we have been able to provide education to the downtrodden and poor children living in Siddapura, thereby reaching the gospel to the unreached!

We remember in gratitude to God, the words of the Psalm writer, as we find in Ps. 127: 1

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain”

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No.27, Cubbon Road, Bangalore-560001

Phone: +91-80-25591 874
Email: andrewschurchblore@gmail.com