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Kalleda School — redefining attitude towards sport

By V. V. Subrahmanyam

HYDERABAD, DEC. 8. Kalleda Rural School in Ravoor village of Warangal, under the aegis of the Rural Development Foundation, is redefining attitude towards sports and education.

Quick to spot talent among the under-privileged — about 530 of them are on the rolls — the school management under the chairmanship of M. Gopalakrishna, IAS (Retd.), has hired three-time former National champion and archery coach Prabir Das from Kolkata.

The results are there for all to see, as most of the archers from this school established in 1996, are in the sub-junior and junior State squads for the Nationals.

The performance of V. Pranitha, who won a bronze in the 50m and 40m and second place in the 30m for the overall bronze in her maiden Sub-junior Nationals, was just the beginning.

Pranitha's achievement gives a hint of the abundance of talent in rural areas.

Kalleda School and Matendla in Medak are only two such schools in the State, which take care of the downtrodden and also tap sporting talent.

Coach Prabhir Das is pleased as 15 boys and girls train daily. His only worry is the lack of latest equipment and inadequate time for training.

"If we are provided at least another set of eight bows and arrows and given another four hours of training sessions daily, results would be much better," he said.

Pranitha said that the difference between herself and the gold medallist in the last nationals was that the latter had better equipment.

The Warangal girl's performance merited immediate attention, as the Tata Academy of Archery officials decided to enrol her. "I will join as early as possible," she said.

Pranitha, whose parents V. Keshava Rao and Vijaya are agriculturists, is a fine example of how talent, if groomed properly, can produce results. This is why schools like Kalleda — where kho-kho, kabaddi, volleyball and athletics are the other disciplines in which training is imparted — and Matendla stand out for their contribution to the world of sports.

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