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This year we were planning Janyaa Masterminds event in October and we didn’t want to do Dandia as Masterminds was more important for us. But then Apeksha approached us on behalf of her friends and we decided to be a silent partner by not getting involved with any logistics and helping with marketing and ticket sales. So we partnered with Jhankaar Beats and helped where we can. As always our volunteers were there to help on the event day and they did a great job.

Alima was another person who helped us a lot with the event details from Janyaa’s side. She handled quite a few discussions for us. Good to have someone like her who is calm and composed all the time. 

We were helping at registration and Sreedhar Racharla took the responsibility. He is just amazing. He was meticulous. He coordinated with volunteers and took care of entire registration process with our partners overlooking the process. Thanks to him, I could go late and enjoy the time with friends. That’s when I realized, I can have more such days with fabulous people coming into the team one after the other. Enjoyed the night with friends, thanks to wonderful volunteers and a great effort from Sreedhar.

We settled the accounts with Apeksha and Alima and that’s how that journey ended for 2013.

 2012 Memoirs

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Back in May 2012, Namita Sripathi wanted to volunteer for Janyaa and while talking to her she said why don’t we do Dandia. We told her that we thought about it but we didn’t get to it as we had other things to work on. She said she will help and we should do it. We spoke to Apeksha Anand from Jhankaar Beats about it and she said she will help us too. We discussed within our team and we decided to go ahead with it. That’s how Janyaa’s Dandia journey was born.

We started working on venue and we asked Raju Chidambaram in July if his band can play for our Dandia. He is the one who came up with the Disco Dandia concept. Do you remember that Raju? We decided the day as Oct 6th. He was kind enough to adjust the schedule of his other band members. On July 24th we finalized the band. We almost finalized the venue too.

The 3 musketeers who helped kick off Janyaa’s Dandia series 🙂

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The same night Venu received an email from Ena on working together for Utsav which they were planning for the same day. We emailed her back saying we are planning Dandia on same day indicating we cannot be part of it. She said why don’t you do it here and let’s talk about it. And that’s how we started off. Everything remained the same except for the venue – the passion to do Dandia, the team, the band, the hard work etc. continued.

Since then Janyaa team worked very hard for the event. VP was personally spending a lot of time on Utsav too. It was fun working with the girls. Ranjani Santosh: do you remember the long nights you worked on this? Venu would get emails from Karthi asking her to sleep :). Janyaa team was working on Dandia and V could afford to spend the time on Utsav. That was a great experience.

We didn’t have the budget to play our ad on radio. So we did not have any publicity on any audio/visual media. Venu gave Amitabh Bhargava both Utsav and Dandia posters and he was kind enough to help us put them up all over. We also started posting the event details online. We had 3 people do this for us. Shiva and one more girl posted on online sites. Amit Chopra (Priyanka Chopra) posted on meetups. We emailed them asking to post both Utsav/Dandia events. Amit suggested putting ads in local newspapers for Dandia. We replied back saying it will cost us and we cannot afford :).

We had a huge turnout. We don’t know how much the above marketing helped us. But we know for sure it was mainly because of few individuals we could sell majority of our tickets. Apeksha was the star selling few hundreds, Namitha sold couple of hundreds. Apeksha was very generous – she would sell to people saying the sales benefit Janyaa. She did not even use her own Jhankaar Beats. Same with all other friends. No wonder most people at the event were talking more about Janyaa. Usha rallied our SAP colleagues/friends and got couple of hundreds. They covered almost 3/4ths of the sales. Venu, Anwesa Chatterjee, Gayatri Palepu and few other friends covered almost the rest. Girls, you are just awesome. We filled up because of you.

Janyaa volunteers played a huge role as always. We couldn’t have done Dandia without them.

In the end we had an awesome event. We settled the accounts at SAP Cafe in the presence of the CEOs of Janyaa, Jhankaar Beats and WN, Sonam and treasurer for the event (Shobana). Janyaa shared the profits equally from ticket sales alone with WomenNow for providing us with the venue and for partnering with us. 

That was all the money we got from entire event – as that was what we were entitled to, as agreed. Boy, aren’t we glad to see it helped so many kids in India. And that’s how that fabulous journey ended for 2012.

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Well, here is another of our silent heroes – Manikanta Pachineelam. He is the techie who takes care of our website. How many times we go to him with all the changes? Mani, can you change the menu item, can you add this event, can you change the flier, can you add a registration page, can you change the registration page details – never ending requests. And what do we get back? Changes done in no time with no questions asked and no complaints. We wonder how can he be so patient.

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Mani has been with Janyaa from 2009. He has been helping us since then. What would we do without him. And we bet you have never seen him in any pics. That’s because all he cares about is Janyaa and not himself. He is another person in the team who doesn’t care about showing off, doesn’t want his pictures published or who doesn’t care about “recognition”. He just does his part in supporting Janyaa.

Janyaa is blessed to have someone like him in the team. And to add to this, his newly wed wife Veena donates money on her birthday to Janyaa. A perfect match for him. Her support to him is what it makes more special.

Thank you Mani and Veena for all your support to Janyaa. You guys are awesome.

Our experience tells us that when a person genuinely believes in a cause and works passionately for the same without expecting recognition/titles etc in return – that person will stick to the cause for good and ends up doing a fabulous job. Once you do your job well, fame follows. Or else you are more worried about gaining a name for yourself than benefiting the needy. Janyaa is privileged to have such people who have stuck with us for years. Kaushik is one such hero.

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Kaushik joined us because he believed. He believed in the concept, he believed in the people, he believed in the benefits children get from our work. Since 2009 he has taken up so many roles, handled variety of tasks from designing experiments, bringing sponsors, spreading the word at various events – to cleaning up after a fundraising event, to being a delivery boy to what not. Never did he find a task less or more important. He knew every bit counts and that we should roll up our sleeves and work to make it happen. If we need anything, the first person that comes to our mind is Kaushik. And he always says ‘yes’. He never worried about having a title or position or being on the stage or having his name splashed – nothing. All he focused on was the work to be done.

This year is extra special for Janyaa because we revamped the whole set of experiments. We added lot more, we added very creative/simple tools to teach Math, we adopted different techniques in our experiments, increased the quality and many other aspects for the children. Kaushik worked very hard from April in bringing these together. He helped in designing, coordinating with others, validating their experiments by checking the material/cost, making sure we are providing a simple but effective solution. We know how many long hours he spent over months to make this happen.

Thank you Kaushik. We don’t know what we would do without you. You made this happen. You delivered. You added lot of value to Janyaa and that’s what matters in the end. Janyaa is lucky to have you.

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We would also like to thank his better half Aarti Gupta for supporting him because without her understanding and support to Janyaa, it wouldn’t have been possible for him. Hats off to you girl. You are amazing.

*– Venu & Usha

If you have not heard of Janyaa before, now is the time to get to know about this great team and what they do. Janyaa, is a non-profit organization (NGO), that aims to change the lives of under-privileged rural children in India. Janyaa accomplishes this by equipping school teachers to help children solve everyday problems. The program ingrains math and science concepts by using ‘learn-by-doing’ techniques, by providing educational kits (including experiments and games) to the schools and train the teachers on the use of these kits. The results of our program is that the kids are creative problem solvers and innovative designers who can lead lives very different than their parents.

Something that might interest you more is the fact that there has been a tremendous support to Janyaa’s initiation and growth from the organization SAP, and from the employees of SAP alike!!

Venu Nadella, the founder of Janyaa,  is a SAP employee herself.  Not only did she brainstorm various ideas with her colleagues and friends from SAP before the initiation of Janyaa, SAP was also instrumental to the initiation of Janyaa in terms of financial assistance. There were several fund raising events conducted at SAP as well, that helped Janyaa, and the support that Janyaa received from her colleagues during these events is highly admirable! Kudos to all these amazing folks at SAP, and their help and continuous support is much appreciated at Janyaa!!

Some of the key members of the Janyaa team include SAP employees, Usha Hanumolu, Kaushik Macherla & Manikanta Pachineelam.

Usha Hanumolu, Vice President

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Usha Hanumolu, a software developer at SAP, Palo Alto, is the Vice President of Janyaa, and has been part of the program since its inception.

Kaushik Macherla, Secretary

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Kaushik Macherla, a software developer for SAP Labs, Palo Alto, is the Secretary of Janyaa, and has also been an active member of Janyaa since its inception in 2009.

Manikanta Pachineelam, Website Administrator

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Manikanta,  a senior software engineer in SAP Labs, is the developer and the administrator of Janyaa’s website.

Not only are these members playing key roles in the Janyaa’s program, they are also actively involved in running and managing the various events of Janyaa, like Ragaanjali (a cultural program with great maestros), Dandia Dil Se , Walk & Run Event, Sridevi – up close and personal, just to name a few. All the proceeds from these events go into helping our the rural kids.

Janyaa has also been a regular at SAP’s yearly Diversity fair for the past 3 years.

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The time and support of all these SAP employees, not only in terms of task execution, but also as a great source of creative ideas,  has been invaluable. Janyaa expresses its gratitude for your ongoing support and we look forward to your lasting partnership!!

Venu is now encouraging more SAP employees to get involved: “We need both financial and volunteering support,” she says. “Employees interested in making a positive impact with their spare time can get in touch with me directly to discuss volunteering opportunities from either abroad or on the ground in India.”

Start Getting Involved and Make a Difference – Join Janyaa

Janyaa has grown over the years and is gearing up to celebrate it’s 5th Anniversary! Come, join us for this event! Have fun with some amazing entertainment promised while contributing for a great cause!

You can find the event details at on Facebook

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It is one of those days that I get so caught up in stuff and ignore the needs of the tummy ….I ignore till the very last minute until I can no longer ignore it  ..the hunger hits me so hard that I can actually feel the low glucose level in my body ….followed by spells of dizziness…I can barely talk nor walk any more ….the brain function comes down to a bare minimum….. and all I am capable of doing at that point of time is drag myself to wherever the  food is available and devour on it. Even after eating quite a bit, the hunger pangs don’t die right away and they continue to hurt!

In moments like these where the hunger completely consume me, I, inevitably think of all those people in need, especially the kids who constantly have to deal with hunger on a day to day basis. And when my own hunger is taken care of because I can afford to, a wave of guilt passes over me just because, here I am, eating away to glory while there are millions out there barely having a morsel to feed on. A second wave of guilt usually then takes over …that even though I strongly empathize those going without food, I am doing nothing to solve the world’s hunger problem (apart from donating a bit of time and money to charities now and then, which feels like only a drop in the ocean).

Going through emotions happens every now and then, but today for a change, a new realization hit me in this train of thought and that brought a smile on my face! Janyaa !! Now, Janyaa’s one organization who’s enabling the students in need with a power to stand on their own! Empowering the rural and poor kids to be able to succeed in their life is a great solution to not only take care of this most basic need of hunger but also to achieve much, much more in life! And the success of one generation leads to the success of another! A very desirable ripple effect!!

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

The quote above has a great bearing on what Janyaa does!

If you would like to know more about Janyaa, and would like to participate in helping out doing your bit to change the world, please do check out,  http://janyaa.org/

Venu Priya Nadella, the founder of Janyaa, has recently been interviewed by the leading Telugu daily newspaper, “Andhra Jyothi”.

You’ll find the link to the Telugu article at: http://www.andhrajyothy.com/node/56578

And here’s a preview of the article:

వెరీ నైస్..వీరి సైన్స్  ఆంధ్రజ్యోతి

వెరీ నైస్..వీరి సైన్స్ ఆంధ్రజ్యోతి

Below is the English translation of the Telugu article that was featured with the interview.

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Ever wondered why a person carrying a weight on his back leans forward? What is Newton’s second law of motion? How does one hear noise? Now, who can tell me the answers to these questions right away? Aah, I see some of you scratching your head thinking, “Hey, we did learn about all these things back in our school days, but how do you expect me to remember all that now?” Keeping this problem in mind, four people began with an experiment to induce fun into learning, because, it’s not just adults who forget the things that they had learnt, but even kids tend to forget as well. But on the other hand, if they acquire these nuggets of knowledge through actual hands-on experimentation, the lessons learnt are never forgotten. Basing this very principle as the foundation, these four people began to relentlessly work towards creating a lasting scientific awareness amongst the youngsters!!

Talking about the situation of schools in India, kids in private and international schools have access to various learning tools. But what about the poor kids in the rural and government schools? The answer to that question is obvious – very limited source of tools, if any at all. That is the reason why we chose to concentrate on these poor students” says Venu Priya Nadella, the founder of “Janyaa” – a  non-profit organization (NGO) that provides hands-on learning Science & Math kits to students of rural schools across the villages and even cities of India.

After securing an Engineering degree from V.R.Siddartha College of Engineering, Venu has been working in US for the past 10 years as a SAP engineer. “One day as I was dwelling on a problem, it felt like I did not understand or even remember what I studied during my school years. What did I learn through all those years in school? Did I just attend school and merely answered questions in the exam, or did I actually learn something that could count towards life…..such were the thoughts running in my mind that day. Around the same time, India saw a surge of famer suicides. Following this news about the suicides had a deep impact on me, “says Venu Priya. “What is with all these suicides? Aren’t farmers or carpenters supposed to be leading a much simpler life in their villages? Why is there such a terrible tragedy with so many farmer deaths? Something about the system is not right” pondered Venu. She did some observation in US, and came to the realization that no aspect of what she learnt back in school actually is useful to her in life. And concluded that this is the root cause of several tragedies like the farmer suicide cycle. This realization led to the birth of Janyaa!!

Common household items themselves…..
It’s one thing to establish a non-profit organisation but to run that organisation in a way that’ll achieve one’s goals is a whole another thing. Kids who are good at studies usually have a good chance of receiving help in making further progress. But what about those kids who have been left behind? And the bigger question is, why did they get left behind? If these rural kids get a way to quickly grasp what they are learning, there is nothing stopping them“. Thinking along all these lines, the team at Janyaa decided to prepare & distribute kits of Math & Science to the students of the rural schools. “Not everyone can be a doctor or an engineer. What happens to all those people? If they have a good handle on Science & technology to go along with confidence, they should be able to lead a happy life right in their own little villages. The kits that we supply pave the path to these happy lives“, says Venu Priya. “Each kit has about 80-90 experiments. These experiments are provided to be in accordance with the curriculum and syllabus followed in the school.

The material used to come up with these kits is nothing but commonly used items. For example, to explain ‘ratios’, we use flowers and color pencils. They say that with the help of a small twig and 2 mangets, we explain why like poles repel each other. Barnali’s theorem is explained using 2 air bubbles. And the concept of ‘Center of Gravity’ is explained by just using a coin and a fork. All these items that go on to let kids run various experiments is what is contained in the kits supplied by Janyaa. This kit is given to the school as a whole. For Free. However, to make sure that the school teachers understand to use the kits in the right way, there are always volunteers to help them out. Volunteering is the key to the success of Janyaa. So, I encourage and appreciate volunteers to Janyaa

A Road to a Better Life ….
After the kits were given, if they are thrown into a corner and unused, there’s no way we can reach our goal. So, we supply kits only in those places where we have volunteers who ensure that they are indeed utilized. As a part of this precaution, we establish partnership with foundations like M.V.F, Spandana, Read India, etc. Starting off with 4 schools in Andhra Pradesh 2009, Janyaa now expanded to other states as well, including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Orissa & Rajasthan. Janyaa is serving as a road to a better life of these poor students in as many as 492 schools in the rural towns & villages”. A girl student from the Sankarpalli Government school at Patancheru, Hyderabad, says this beaming confidence, “It has become so easy to understand Science using Janyaa’s school kits. Now, I can easily answer my questions in my exams”. “Janyaa is running with the help of my friends in America. If the Corporate companies in India also share this same sense of social responsibility & join hands with us , we can make this program reach to many, many more students. And in the same tone, Janyaa extends its welcome to all the young volunteers as well!!” concluded Venu Priya.

Interview by: Aruna Pappu

On this Thanksgiving, we, at Janyaa are very thankful about the results reaping from the efforts of the program!

I’m taking it easy with my words here, as this post speaks for itself …with these encouraging words from the students and teachers of the schools which have benefited from the various learn-by-doing Math & Science toolkits provided by Janyaa!!

Zilla Parishad High School, Perveda:
“Most of the students here are from villages. If we teach them direct from textbooks, they find it difficult to understand. The material given by Janyaa foundation is very useful to us.” Ravinder, Head Master.

“Even without studying at home, we are able to do well in the school exams. Without studying by rote, we are writing the exams. We now like coming to the school and we are doing well in our exams”, Deepthi, Student.

Mumbai Malwani schools:
“Janyaa Kit has made the Students more attentive” – Teachers.

Indian Development Foundation:
“We thank Janyaa for such a wonderful effort for the development of scientific temper among students and making learning better.” 

R.K. Foundation, Bangalore:
“We are very impressed with Janyaa’s learn-by-doing concepts. We are very thankful to Janyaa. In future, if Janyaa supports us,  we will implement the program in Kerala and Orissa also”

!! Good multiplied by Good !!

Two charitable programs tying up their efforts together! What more can you ask for? The result can only be greatness! Greatness leading to educating more n more kids from the rural backgrounds!

A couple of weeks ago, Janyaa tied hands with R.K.Foundation in Bangalore. RKF is a public charitable trust established in memory of late Sri. R. Krishnan, & Smt. Ponnammal, with a view to help the needy. And Janyaa specializes in helping out the needy kids! This tie up is one of the best, and Janyaa is thrilled to announce that it is supporting 27 schools in Karnataka!! Yayy to that !!!

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R.K.Foundation is very impressed with the “learning-by-doing” toolkits of Janyaa, and seeing how these toolkits can help the kids, they are now eager to expand the program to two more states, Kerala & Orissa! Told ya, goodness just multiplies 🙂

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You all must’ve heard this a lot – that the Indian population put together makes up for 1/6th of this planet!! Phew!! But did you know about this tidbit, that the total number of kids in India equals the whole population of US !! Now, isn’t that interesting! ..I kinda like the fact that these numbers match 🙂 …why? Coz US is a major super power,  and that is definitely something to look upto, something to aim for…….if all the kids in India can get their act together, they can empower this planet with some additional super power !! India can produce another Obama, another Warren Buffet, another Bill Gates …

But, But, But ….the reality is so much more distant from this epic fantasy that we dream of! Reason being a big chunk of these kids don’t have an opportunity to grow into and be someone who can make a difference in this world! They are not even in a position to get the much needed basic education. Poverty rules the majority of the Indian sub-continent, sad but true 😦 😦 …And that’s where the amazing team of Janyaa steps in….to take a stab at this problem …to enable these poverty-stricken kids to learn, to maximize their potential, to get away from their misfortune and become individuals who can stand on their own feet and yep, get a chance to be another Gates or Buffet!!

DSC_0476Now just how do they do it?? How does Janyaa empower these poor children of India?? Aaahh, I knew you were gonna ask this, and so here I am, ready with the answers 🙂 …..Answer is simple – Science & Math!! Math & Science!! Yep, as simple as that!! Using a variety of practical “learn-by-doing” techniques, Janyaa prepares an assortment of Science and Math kits that are donated in the under-privileged schools of the rural areas……these schools heavily lack in terms of material to provide the basic education to the kids, so they hugely benefit from these kits. Think of these kits as little experiments that you do with stuff around your home to teach your child something ….like boiling water, heating too much?? Yep, reached the boiling point, so the water must evaporate! Something of that sort……It’s like learn through experimentation….learn through practical means!! That’s it, these kits form the crux of Janyaa!!

If the idea of Science & Math kits doesn’t sound compelling to you, listen to these success stories….Janyaa has so far empowered 492 schools and 117,000 students!! That’s a staggering number!!! These little kits of wonder allow the children to turn into creative problem solvers, innovative designers and what not!! And more importantly, enables them to lead lives that are wayyyy different, wayyyyy better than what their parents or grandparents have ever led !! Doesn’t that count?? You bet, it does !!!!

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Tempted to be a part of this life-altering program?? You are absolutely welcome!! There are a myriad ways how you can be a part of and do your bit for Janyaa! Donate a bit of your time, a few dollars from your wallet …and if time and money is not what you want to give, hey, how about sharing some of that cool talent you have?? Like you are good at photography, or maybe you can make cool videos, cool posters using graphical skills or perhaps you are one of those awesome engineers of the valley that can come up with great ideas for the Math & Science. Or maybe you love co-ordinating & volunteering events…Ya, all of these talents and more can help Janyaa reach more and more kids!! And if you don’t yet know how you can help, don’t you worry, just that desire to help is more than enough!! Contact us and find out how you can help make a difference in the lives of these under-privileged kids!!

For starters, spread the word !! Talk about it, tell your friends & colleagues!! And give it a thought yourself and start getting involved!!

Come on, let’s do some good stuff !!

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