RC Kodaikanal celebrates 50 years
Rotary Club of Kodaikanal, RID 3000, celebrated its golden jubilee year by setting up a Rotary Study Centre at a 100-year-old government school in the hill town to provide extra lessons for underprivileged students from various schools and coach youngsters to face various competitive exams with confidence. The club is also arranging career guidance programmes to enable higher secondary class students to choose their course of study for better employment opportunities.
A football tournament, silambam competition, and several other contests were held to mark the club’s milestone year. Over 1,700 students participated and more than 400 children won prizes in these events.
Begun in 1973 with 18 members — mostly foreigners settled in the hills — the club now has 54 members, including eight women Rotarians. Its predominant focus has been on improving infrastructure in schools, including construction of toilet blocks and providing classroom furniture, says club president M R P A Karthikeyan. This year, as part of the commemoration “we distributed ₹2 lakh worth medical aid to needy patients and educational scholarships to students,” he adds.
The club has been organising RYLA every year since 2015. This year 60 students participated in a three-day RYLA. An orphanage at Perungadu, a tribal village, is being supported by the club since 2018. “We regularly provide grocery and other essential items, and dresses to the 27 children residing there,” says Karthikeyan. He recalls the club providing solar lights to Valangavi village in 2017. “It is a tribal hamlet 40 miles from Kodaikanal and with limited facilities. When we first visited it, we were appalled to see the place plunged in darkness and that prompted us to equip the homes with solar lamps and instal solar street lights there.”
The club has chartered eight Interact clubs and three Rotaract clubs. PDG Sam Babu is a member of this club.