IRDF Funded School Student Wins a Spot on the India Team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics

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India Rural Development Fund (IRDF) announced today that Pranitha, a student from its grant partner - Rural Development Foundation (RDF) schools in India, won a spot on the Indian Olympic Archery team.

Ms. Pranitha Vardhineni, a student from the RDF School - Kalleda Village, Warangal District, Andhra Pradesh represented India and won a Silver medal at the World Junior Archery Championship in Mexico in 2006. Mr. A. Raju also from the same RDF school won the Bronze medal in the team event at the competition.

The two students have consistently excelled in the state and national archery competitions, while they were still in school. Seventeen (17) year-old Ms. Vardhineni was earlier placed in first place at the National Ranking Competition in Calcutta and Raju stood second. Ms. Vardhineni and Mr. Raju are products of the archery program started five years ago at the RDF school and coached by Prabhir Das, a former national archery champion. The school has since produced other young archers who went on to compete in state and national level championships.

RDF, a non-profit, provides highly subsidized education in rural India along with free mid-day meals to all students. In addition to the archery program the rigorous academic curriculum maintained by the school helped two students achieve the 1st and 2nd place at the regional level for the 10th class board exams in the past year. Ms. Vardhineni's and Mr. Raju's achievements are even more remarkable given the meager background they come from. Majority of these families survive on farming with an income of a $1 per day!

Other Press Coverage:
1. Pranitha topped the Olympic trial - to represent India, June 30, 2008, The Hindu
2. Pranitha 'targets' Olympic medal - Oct 22, 2006
3. School proves a boon to rural students - Feb 16 2004, The Hindu
4. Kalleda School -- redefining attitude towards sport- Dec 9 2004, The Hindu

Archery Blog:

About IRDF:
India Rural Development Fund (IRDF) is a US based non-profit with a mission of accelerating social and economic development in rural India. India Rural provides grants for rural development projects run by non-governmental organizations in India. Our focus is on education, vocational training, health, family planning, and infrastructure development. IRDF works out of California in the US, and through its primary grant partner Rural Development Foundation (RDF) in Hyderabad, India.

For more information contact:
Erik Kaeding
India Rural Development Fund
Phone: 510 304-4048
Fax: 510 490-4949


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