BCT was founded in 1976 by Dr. B.V.Parameshwara Rao, who returned to India after completing his PhD in the USA. Believing firmly that the progress of India lay in the well-being of its villages, he started several rural developmental initiatives that would become the model for others in the country

His first project even before the trust was formed was to build a high school for rural children in the village of Dimili, by mobilizing funds labor and initiative from the community itself. Seeking to extinguish what he terms the seven “types” of poverty-economic, bodily, mental, cultural, spiritual, political and societal-BCT has programs that encompass the fields of agriculture,health care,women’s empowerment,skill training for the disabled and in education. These programs are being used to transform the lives of people in about a 100 villages in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. Encouraging the villagers to take charge of their own sustainable progress and educating the youth to be the ambassadors of this change is the hallmark of BCT

Since 1994 BCT has been running a model residential high school for children in 6th to 10th standard. Around 100 children are chosen on the basis of merit when they finish their schooling in the BCT run primary schools. The students get skill-oriented, contedual education which helps them to be self-reliant upon completion of their education. They are exposed in equal measure to academic education according to the state syllabus, vocational activity and social animation at the village level. Some of the vocational activities include- small kitchen gardening, manufacturing of lacquered wooden toys, spinning khadi-yarn and minor electrical and mechanical repair works. The students actively participate in “Balamandiram” -a movement to create awareness among villagers of various aspects like health, hygiene, and literacy. The children travel to various villages to convey the message of roles and responsibilities to their elders through dance dramas. It may “take a village to raise a child” but each child can transform a village!

The goal of this project is to reproduce the successes of the model high school across the nearly 100 villages served by BCT.

This article could be seen online at http://projects.vibha.org/projects/model-residential-school/