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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Institution of Weekly Rice Durable Link to this BLOG
The Institution of Weekly Rice

© K. L. Kamat
Brahmin boy eating rice on a banana leaf

I had heard about the system of  Väränna (translated as "Weekly Rice") system of education in India, but I didn't know the details till now. 

Basically the system works as follows. Poor brahmin boys used  to go out of town for primary education and would typically stay at premises of a temple or a choultry. But they would have no food to eat. To spare the student the trouble and humiliation of begging everyday (which was also prevalent, but mostly applied to brahmin boys who were initiated into monkhood via munji and studied equivalent of today's high-school), compassionate families volunteered to feed the student one day of the week.  So, once the student located seven sponsors, he could focus on learning. Dividing the responsibility among seven families reduced the burden on them as well, since you had to play sponsor only one day of the week, yet the the family was entitled to the respect and reward of being charitable.

Apparently, in some parts of southern India -- as late as 1940s, and 1950s  this was a very common way to fund education for many poor families.

See Also:
• Brahmanical Education in Andhra Pradesh in 1900
• The Institutions of Agrahara, Mutha, and Aigala Mutha

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, July 10, 2003
Last Modified: 7/10/2003

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