It was a pleasant surprise for students and staff at the Government Primary School, Sanjay Nagar, in Uttarakhand when RC Rudrapur, RID 3110, gifted them stationery items, a whole range of books, furniture and other school supplies which were washed away during the massive flood that inundated classrooms and administration buildings. “The school premises went under five-feet water during the flood. As a result, the record room, furniture and book store were badly damaged. When this was brought to our notice, we decided to surprise the students with gifts that will help them to restart their academic activity,” says club president Vikas Sharma.
A couple of days later, Sharma and his team learned that the rain had also flooded the homes of 107 students from this school. “They lost their school bags, uniform sets, and study material during the rain.” Moved by the plight of “a student in a battered school uniform, we realised many of these poor students wear their uniforms at home too because they do not have any other clothes. Adding to their misery, the students were also missing school because they had no books and their parents couldn’t afford to buy the school essentials.”
Timely, quick action
In less than a week the club members reached the school with brand new school bags, new NCERT text books, notebooks, stationery supplies and toys, all worth ₹52,500. “The smiles and happiness on the students’ face when they received the new educational kits, were most satisfying to us,” smiles the club president.
Recalling the trauma the school management and the students underwent, Chanchlesh Kataria, school principal, says, “Just when the students had returned to school after the lockdown was lifted, the flood hit them hard. Although the stagnant water was drained and the campus was cleaned, it would have taken us at least six months to get back on track. But the Rotarians surprised us with their generous gifts, and we recovered from the calamity much quicker.”
Beaming with joy, Rashmi, a Class 5 student, says, “My friend and I used to share one pencil and make notes on the papers the teacher gave us. Now we have our own pencils and it will be so much easier to follow the lessons.”
Empowering rural women
A Rotary Saheli Centre at the Rotary Rudrapur Bhawan empowers women through skill induction. Vocational and personality development training is being imparted to 30 women from nearby villages in the current batch. “The centre has become self-sustaining and those who had completed training refer women from their villages needing a job to this place. The centre helps them earn a regular income through suitable training,” says Sharma. Recently the centre completed an order of 1,000 masks for the Yes Bank and 5,000 masks for a local politician, in the process helping each woman earn ₹1,000 in a span of five days.