Interactors make adults literate

Manju, Babita, Gudiya, Hema, Rakhi and Kajal are happy that they can now read Hindi dailies, sign their names, and transact business (buying and selling) without help from others. These six middle-aged women employed as domestic helpers, shop assistants and doing unskilled work at Naukuchiatal, a hill station near Nainital, have completed their two-month Adult Literacy Programme (ALP) conducted by the Interactors of RC Nainital, RID 3110. All of them wrote the exam formulated by the Rotary India Literacy Mission, and got their certificates.

All the 30 members from the Interact Club of Naukuchiatal involved in teaching the illiterate women are students in the age group of 10–18 years and studying in government schools. They hail from deprived, marginalised families, says Narinder Lamba, president, RC Nainital. The two-month, five-day a week ALP engaged the women just one hour a day, “where they are taught Hindi alphabets, simple reading, writing and arithmetic by the Interactors,” he says. The classes are held at Interact in-charge Poonam Sharma’s house “who is proud that her Interactors are doing a job of adult teachers. Now, the six women are handling their own household accounts, able to buy goods from the market, and command a new respect from the community.”

RC Nainital president Narinder Lamba with Interactors at Naukuchiatal.

Thanking her parent Rotary, Interact club president Jyoti Arya (Class 12) says, “We feel proud to have taught the women to read and write; This opportunity to serve the community has given us joy and motivated us to do more.” As community-based Interactors, they were supported by Nainital Rotarians in their ALP with reading material, study tools, stationery and mentorship. Since inception two years ago, the Interact club is doing cleanliness drive on Sundays. “The young boys and girls sensitise the public about the environment to ensure litter-free surroundings during cleanliness drives,” says Lamba.

 

Mental wellness

A clean-up drive in progress.

Club member Adnan Vahanvaty, who is a sound healer, holds a zoom session on Tuesdays in which around 50 Rotarians participate. They plug in their earphones for a ‘sound bath’ that relaxes their mind; and “come out of their shells to talk about their ­problems, anxieties and mental worries.” A guest speaker gives a motivational talk, followed by interaction. So far, the club has given HPV vaccination against cervical cancer to 101 girls and “our target is to vaccinate 150–170 girls by June-end.”

An Interactor tutors a woman.

The 72-year-old club with 39 members is sponsoring the education of 30 girls from Class 6 till Class 12 under ­Project Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao.

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