I am much impressed to see the educational work being carried out by this school for the needy students and I wish and pray for the success of your endeavour.
Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, former PM of Tibetan Government in Exile
May 27, 2018
What a delight to be visiting Vidya Vanam. The initiative is laudable, work courageous… and a young generation will be equipped with a new vision and a variety of skills. Much creativity is in evidence and the children are obviously enjoying their time here. Their future is being sculpted with holistic education.
Vibha Parthasarathi, eminent educationist; former head of Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, New Delhi
It’s been such a pleasure to spend a morning at Vidya Vanam. The atmosphere is refreshingly different from the oppressive one of fear and submissiveness found in most other schools. Small and older kids alike chattering away and speaking to teachers with easy confidence – a real joy to see. One impression I got was that it isn’t only the children doing the learning here. It is as much teachers who are learning and growing.
Kavita Krishnan, well-known social activist
Thank you for welcoming me to your wonderful school. We are absolutely inspired by your students, faculty and vision. The tone of the art studio was especially impressive and we look forward to following these budding young artists, scientists, teachers and above all good and conscientious people as they grow.
Lauren Lovelace, US Consul General Chennai
The red earth and open sky above Vidya Vanam symbolises everything this school is: organic, home grown and imaginative. The teachers and volunteers are steered by Prema’s vision for a curriculum that is based on context, learning as participation. This is not just a constitutional vision statement; t is seen in the open smiles of the pupils, their listening attentively and spontaneity to explore all the ideas of thinkers, workshop leaders and subject conveners that are brought here to give them heart and head space. May it ever be so.
Vayu Naidu, storyteller, theaterperson and author
Dedicaton, sincerity, team spirit have combined to produce a vibrant space for children who desperately need it. Wishing Vidya Vanam more glories in its efforts to create great human beings.
Gnani Sankaran, veteran theatreperson
To visit an institution built on ideas, t o see these kids, so bright, so full of dreams s a humbling experience. This is the kind of service that gives hope in an age of cynicism and selfishness. May this project grow from strength to strength and benefit generations of forest loving children to live their lives with pride and joy.
TJS George, eminent journalist
"There's more than a school here, there is a vision. There are more than students and teachers here. There are the builders of a better society. There is more than a training here, there is a learning. The annual 'rice' theme was stunning. The students had several things about rice I never knew of. The debate on GM crops was astonishingly sophisticated - far more well-informed than the rubbish you so often get in the media. I am so glad I came to visit. Overwhelmed!"
P. Sainath (Indian journalist and photojournalist)
Dec 8, 2014
"Visiting Vidya Vanam and spending a day here talking to the students, teachers and also watching their involvement, preparation, excitement in preparing for the Annual day function and then being in the audience seeing the children perform was a life enriching experience ... Prema and Sriram's dedication and leadership in building Vidya Vanam and transforming not onlyy the lives of the children but the community in this region, by showing it through personal example, in a self-effacing manner is what all of us can learn and do in our own way. They have inspired me to look forward to life (when you want to retire and fade away) with hope and optimism to make my life fulfilling. Thank you Prema, Sriram and all of you at Vidya Vanam. Subha Mangalam."
Capt. Gopinath (Founder, Air Deccan)
Feb 15, 2014
"The hugeness of India's canvas makes every issue gigantic. The problems also magnify manifold and many of us despair. But, what makes this country remarkable is the efforts of so many to face these challenges and address them. These efforts of highly committed people, who work for an idea of justice and equality, but have the great gift of transforming them to creative action, nudge this country towards greater equality and justice. Vidya Vanam demonstrates that such efforts exist.
In my interaction with the children, the teachers and the management of Vidya Vanam, what amazed me was the equality, grace and poise with which these great ideals are transformed into simple clear action. It emphasised once again, that it is in the small and daily routine that important ethical values are expressed and evolve. One cannot but wonder at the minds and expressions of the children from traditionally discriminated and oppressed homes who come to Vidya Vanam, who flower and grow in knowledge and self confidence. This is an invaluable process, because it belongs to the real world of education which shapes minds and values.
The visit to Vidya Vanam under scored my faith in the possibility of seeing a better India. I thank you all for being there. I wish you every success in the years to come."
Aruna Roy (Social Activitist)
On visiting Vidya Vanam's Project Day on Dec 9, 2013
"Visiting Vidya Vanam was a treat to the soul. Seeing the bright girls and boys, so cheerful and so full of the freshest intelligence, made me feel hopeful of our future as a nation and a civilisation. I congratulate Smt. Prema Rangachary on her exceptional initiative and her success in bringing the highest standard of education to a part of our country that so needed it. The Principal, teachers, staff and the students of Vidya Vanam gave to my wife Tara and to me a repast of talent, intelligence and more: they gave us a sense of hope where despondency prevailed. Thank you."
Gopalkrishna Gandhi (Indian civil servant and diplomat)
Dec 17, 2012