I emigrated from India to America in 1976. In 1981, when I first returned back to my home town, Peddapuram, I went to see the elementary school that I attended. I was shocked to see the building. the tiles on the roof were gone and there were cracks on the walls. the windows and doors were missing and all the bushes around the building were over grown. Animals were roaming into school campus because there was no compound wall. I didn’t recall the school so run down when I was studying at the school, but due to lack of municipal funds over the years the school staff was unable to maintain the school campus. In equal despair was the teaching situation. There were only two teachers teaching thee 140 students. As I traveled around Peddapuram to visit all of the elementary schools and high schools, I learned the status of the rest of the schools were no better. The situation in neighboring villages is even worse. my home town is small with a population of 40,000 people. In our town, we have multiple small elementary schools and two high schools located on opposite ends of the town. Both of the high schools are state government aided schools, and though they are owned by private trusts, the government pays the salaries of the teachers.
After I returned to the USA, I wanted to do something to help improve the quality of education in my home town, so I started an organization called Americans and Indians for the Development of India. I received tax exempt status for my organization, so that I could donate 75% of my own income to the Batchu Foundation trust I created in 1986. Our primary goal was to rebuild the basic infrastructure of primary and secondary level schools in and up to 15 kilometers, around Peddapuram. In order to continue the support to theses projects, I created a corpus fund at a bank in my home town, and I donated all my assets both in India and USA to this fund. The interest on theses fixed deposits and the rents we receive on the properties we own, are the income we spend each year to continue the mission I started; improving the education of Peddapuram’s children through rebuilding their schools.
You can see in the following pages the work I have done with the help of hundreds of volunteers: teachers, elected officials, government civil servants, my family members and my friends in Peddapuram and its surrounding villages.
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every person who has helped to support our mission: especially the students, the teachers, the volunteers, my family members and friends. The work goes on because as long as there are children to educate, we will continue to support them.
Koteswara Rao Batchu, M. D.