Kotte Edukondalu teaches government job aspirants in about 33 centres in the Telugu states through live streaming.

Edukondalu is teaching his class in the ground of a Zilla Parishad schoolAll images sourced from Kotte Edukondalu
Features Human Interest Friday, April 30, 2021 - 11:31

Remember Chiranjeevi’s 2003 film Tagore where the lead character has a student network, an anti corruption force called ACF, across the states? In the Telugu states, there is indeed one such student network in operation, but it's for helping people in need, spreading knowledge and education, rather than weeding out corruption.

Kotte Edukondalu, a school dropout turned Excise Circle Inspector from Nagarkurnool district in Telangana, has a network of students in several districts in about 33 centres. Be it blood donation, setting up centres of learning for the underprivileged or preparing for government jobs, ‘The Mission’ students are ready to help.

Apart from his 9 am to 5 pm job, 39-year-old Edukondalu also coaches scores of students who aspire to get government jobs, be it central or state. So far, hundreds of The Mission students have managed to get government jobs in various departments by cracking the competitive exams. The coaching that Edukondalu provides is free.

The Mission logo

How it began

“It all started in the year 2015 in Nalgonda district with a small group of about 20 to 30 students, and slowly the number of students grew. Then, I got transferred to Nagarkurnool district in 2017, but the students in Nalgonda did not want to miss my classes. So with the financial help of my mother and by taking loans, I set up classes through teleconferencing mode. Slowly, the number of students in other districts also increased. Now we have about 33 centres where our classes are live streamed,” says Edukondalu.

These classes are held in the grounds and auditoriums of government schools, colleges and universities. And to attend these classes, the only requirement Edukondalu stresses on is discipline. There is no application process or fee. With the onset of the pandemic, The Mission started live streaming classes on YouTube for the first time in 2020.

Edukondalu, who is currently staying in a rented house with his wife and two children in Nagarkurnool, has invested about 18 lakhs, taking loans to set up these centres. 

Edukondalu’s student , M Santhosha, who is currently working as School Assistant in a government school, says that she took coaching from The Mission in 2016.

“I lost my father and our family was not in a position to afford any kind of coaching. So, after coming to know about Edukonodalu’ Sir coaching, I attended his classes. Before attending them, I was so depressed that I could not even qualify for a constable post. But then after attending these classes, I was told where I'm missing out in my preparation and I was given a proper strategy and plan to prepare. After this, I was selected for three jobs, including Panchayat Secretary, Forest Officer and School Assistant (SA). I chose the SA role and joined in 2017,” says Santhosha, her voice full of gratitude.

Edukondalu, who was once a Civil Service aspirant could not make it, as he was not in a position to afford coaching. However, he says that his preparation for the exams is what is helping him now to teach thousands of students.

“I dropped out from school in class 8. Back then, I did not know the value of education. I was only interested in sports, so I just dropped out like many other students. I'm not really regretting that because all those local games taught me several life skills. But thankfully, one of my teachers persuaded me to take my SSC exams later. After that, I have finished my Intermediate and got a government job through it. I then did my graduation through distance mode. Though I always wanted to be in the Civil Service and prepared for it, I could not make it, ” recalls Edukondalu. 

The Mission is solely run by Edukondalu and he teaches 13 subjects in the local language Telugu, including Political Science, General knowledge, History, Economics and others. Edukondalu says that he keeps setting time to brush up his knowledge and tries to remain up to date with the current affairs through newspapers.

“Usually when people prepare for competitive exams, completing a chapter in one subject alone will take a couple of hours. But I teach my students that all these subjects are interlinked, and we should not see them as separate entities. While we are covering a specific topic, we cover other aspects from different subjects as well. I believe this helps in memorising and making sense of the subject which is even better,” adds Edukondalu.

Over the years, lakhs of students have attended the coaching sessions. It's not the subjects alone that are being taught but also the life skills. “It's important for a person to deal with failures, so I also take classes for students on stress management, having emotional balance and other aspects, so that they don't feel depressed,” he says.

Though he is providing coaching on distance mode as of now, Edukondalu wants to set up an institute in future that will have a curriculum with a lot of games and life values while preparing students for competitive exams.

Read: Rescued from child labour, Mallishwari is now among Telangana's few women camerapersons

Watch Edukondalu's interaction with students in Telugu here : 

 

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