Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-10-19 11:56 Sagara: Rakesh was in seventh standard when he tried to attack his father with a knife. The provocation was Rakesh denied junk food. Rakesh's act shocked the family. His father, a temple priest, was scared of keeping Rakesh at home any longer. A family friend suggested that the boy be admitted to a residential school. The family sent Rakesh, their only son, to Namma Vanashree Vasathi Vidyalaya, located on Varadahalli Road in Sagar taluk of Shimoga district. The school hasstudents from across the nation. Lunch time Rakesh, who consistently failed to clear all subjects in his class 7th, 8th and 9thstandard, finally cleared his SSLC in 2005. He now heads a software company in Bengaluru. Rakesh looks back on his life, and his school with pride and affection. "I have lost all my änger and now I can face any challenges in life, "he says . "I was lacking self confidence and I had no trust in anyone during my childhood as I had no siblings and was forced to study. But the school made me to open my mind and know the reality of life,"said rakesh. Vanashree Trust for Residential Schools, started by H P Manjappa, has no last bench and no teachers restricted for subjects. Every student must learn to cook six types of vegetables, repairing of six types of electronic goods, soft skills and basic machinery work. Classrooms "Today, I am an engineer because the school has helped me to focus on my strength and chose what I want not my parents choice,"said Rakesh. "Meanwhile I was also Thinking of suicide as I was hated by my parents for my actions during my primary school days, but now I can face any "challenge in life, says Rakesh. The best thing about ?Vanashree school, Rakesh recalls, was that there was no last bench, and teachers were not strict. "Students were asked to teach students and class rooms were designed as octagonally designed to avoid the four-walled system of the Gurukula, which made me and my friends focus on our careers," Rakesh said. Manjappa with students Vanashree residential school, its tagline Namma mane namma shale (My school-My home), offers its students students free of cost. The school has no watchman at the entrance. Students receive visitors and welcome them. The campus has over 600 students. About half of them resident in the school. There is separate boarding for the boys and the girls. Students help cooks in cooking and all daily chores. Speaking with Bfirst,Manjappa, trustee and founder of Namma Vanashree Vasathi Vidyalaya, said the school believed in teaching its students the art of living. "I can assure you that none of my students will commit suicide because we teach them the art of living," Manjappa said. "There is no rank-based studies. Only in SSLC, students have to study, but in lower classes, they have to think of practical things. The school has no classroom culture, so students can think out-of-school syllabus and focus more on their passion and strength," says Manjappa. Classrooms which are in octagonal structure have science models painted on its wall so that student can observe it daily and grasp the things by his own. Students are taught Yoga, Malla khamba and other physical exercises from LKG onwards. "We ask parents not to pressure children as ranks and distinction does not matter in life, but art of living does. The School teaches them to live and face society, "he says. All students in the school know Kannada language and can use the languageeffectively. Every student can cook almost every vegetable dish and repair electrical instruments like fan, electric grinders, television and electric power supply lines. All students are taught swimming and self-defence skills.