Transforming a rural community

Rotary Club of Madras North has been associated with government schools in Napalayam village for over three decades. From the inception of the Old Napalayam Government School, our club members have contributed significantly in the construction of the school, setting up of infrastructure — computer lab, library, recreation centre, renovation of restrooms, organising tuitions for students, and many more such services.

A career guidance session in progress.
A career guidance session in progress.

Our senior members have always taken a special interest in the welfare of the school and students through the years, with members visiting the school on all major occasions like Independence Day, Republic Day, and festivals, spending time with students and teachers.

Last August, our team visited this as well as another government school, at Subbareddypalayam. We partnered with the College Dekho organisation to conduct a career guidance session, psychometric test and assessment of students. This was later followed by a 1–1 counselling session with Class 10 students. The College Dekho team had trained volunteers from Dr MGR Janaki College, who were pursuing a degree in psychology, and they supported us in conducting these counselling sessions with the students. It was a wonderful experience for both Rotarians and the students to identify their personality traits, interests and career aspirations. Many students expressed their interest in setting up their own businesses, taking up government jobs, joining the police force, pursuing degrees in engineering and arts, and diplomas in technical and various other courses.

Through this process, 30 students from three schools in Napalayam were identified for higher education. The process involved a series of interviews, evaluation and suggestions from the school principal and teachers.

Of these our club has shortlisted 11 students, all talented and high scorers, and will be sponsoring their higher education.


Five students who have completed Class 10, have been successfully enrolled in CPCL (Chennai Petroleum Corporation) Polytechnic College. Six students who have completed Class 12 have been admitted to Dr MGR Janaki College and started online classes.

A core committee formed under Special Projects – Napalayam was spearheaded by Durai Pandian and Arshiya along with president Venkataraman, Suresh Krishn and Kumar Rajendran.

We thank our club members for their generous contribution to make this wonderful journey, which will bring a positive change in so many families in this village. Our ultimate goal is to have more students from these schools pursuing higher studies, helped by our career awareness programmes and support for higher education. We welcome sponsors and partners.

Kindly reach out to us on rotaryclubofmadrasnorth@

The writer is a member of RC Madras North, RID 3232.

A dream comes true

During our visit to one of the government schools in Napalayam village, we met Asha, 17, a student of Class 12. She was excited and thrilled to meet us, as we were from the city. With all curiosity, she went on asking questions about places in Chennai, city life and our experiences. She later shared with us how her whole life revolved around her village and she hardly got a chance to visit any other place. When she was young, she used to visit Chennai during Pongal festival, and go to the beach. She really enjoyed her visits to the city. In later years, everyone got so busy with their work that they no longer visited Chennai. Despite formidable challenges in her family, this very hard-working student excelled in her studies. From childhood, Asha had a dream, which was to pursue higher education in the city of Chennai. But she thought this would remain a dream forever, To her surprise, after she took part in a career guidance programme which was conducted in her school by us, where she said she wanted to get a degree in commerce and become a bank manager, things came together. In due course, she was selected as part of a sponsorship programme and got admission in a prestigious arts college in Chennai. Now, she is happily attending the degree programme of her choice.

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