The focussed efforts of the Rotarians of RC Pondicherry Port, RID 2981, since 2018 to upgrade a government primary school in Poothurai, a village on the Tamil Nadu-Puducherry border, has resulted in the school getting new classrooms, a library, toilet blocks and drinking water facility. More recently, the club members donated a computer to the school. “Next, we are planning to install play equipment in the school ground. The children have been asking for it,” says club secretary Rajesh Candamourty.
The 25-year-old club has been associated with the school for almost six years. The school was in a dilapidated state then and “each time our member Srikant Sivaraman passed by it, on his way to attend our club meeting, its condition would affect him so much that he would suggest that our club should extend support to renovate it and make it attractive for the children,” says Candamourty. Initially the club members visited the school and distributed stationery kits and sweets to the students on special occasions and “with Srikant’s generous support we undertook to upgrade the school.” Around ₹20 lakh was spent over the four years when the club slowly added facilities to the school.
It is the only school in the village and has 135 children studying upto Class 5. “We will be ready to support it if it adds more classes as there is enough space in the campus,” he says.
The club supports RILM’s Asha Kiran programme in a big way and has sponsored the education of 66 children with a total contribution of ₹1.65 lakh. “While all of us collectively sponsored 33 children, club president M Nandakumar matched it with an equal amount to support 33 more children,” says the secretary.