Vandita Rao and E Rammohan Rao of the Rural Development Foundation (RDF) will receive the 30th Yudhvir Foundation Memorial Award for their work in providing high-quality education to rural communities in Telangana. The award ceremony will take place on April 30, and the Health Minister T Harish Rao will present the award.
Vandita and Rammohan founded RDF in 1996 after a suggestion to turn their ancestral home into a school. They wanted to provide education that was holistic and of high quality to rural communities, with a particular focus on educating girls. RDF has continued to provide this type of education, which is based on a strong connection with nature and creating classrooms of nurturers and protectors of the land.
Vandita designed RDF’s earliest ‘learn by play’ curriculum, which involved collaborating with the Andhra Mahila Sabha to upskill rural teachers. She built a team of committed educators who were able to stand tall despite trying circumstances. Rammohan integrated sports and social awareness into the curriculum, ensuring that no family paid beyond their means for their child’s education.
Through their leadership, Vandita and Rammohan have opened doors for their students, breaking down barriers based on caste and class. RDF’s alumni of over 2,000 students have made the journey out of poverty and financially support their families today. They are India’s future leaders, who not only respect our rich cultural heritage but are also ready to steer the country into the future as civic-minded responsible citizens.