A Rotary grant transforms rural schools

To bridge the wide gap between urban well-to-do schools and ­underprivileged tribal schools in remote areas of ­Maharashtra, RC Nasik, D 3030, has initiated a global grant project in partnership with Lewisville ­Morning Club (D 5790, Texas). A global grant committee, formed with 70 Rotarians and chaired by Nitin Pathak, visited the schools around Nasik to study the reality in rural classrooms. They came up with a solution to provide five major components comprising basic study material for students, e-learning facilities, teacher training, adult literacy and setting up libraries in schools.

The donor club from the US went into every detail of the project and even vetted the electricity bills of the beneficiary schools to ascertain the genuineness of their claims. A ­representative from that club, Caroline, visited Ghoti and felt satisfied with the need for such a project in these schools. The club received a grant of $40,000 last year when Anil Sukenkar was the president.

School students with the Cafe kits at the Ghoti school.
School students with the Cafe kits at the Ghoti school.

The ‘CAFÉ (Child Adoption For Education) Kit’ consisting of two pairs of uniforms, socks and shoes, five notebooks, a water ­bottle, school bag, geometry box and a pencil box were distributed to over 1,000 ­students in 23 schools of Ghoti ­village near Nasik, says club member Mangesh Apshankar.

The club distributed e-learning kits to 40 schools, organised two training programmes for teachers and is in the process of setting up libraries in the identified schools.

The fourth component, adult ­literacy, has been taken up by ­initially training the teachers in village schools. “A report will be submitted to the donor club and RI too will closely monitor the impact of this part of the project ­activity for at least three years through official visits and field ­documentations,” says Apshankar. Forty-four Interact and eight Rotaract clubs regularly take up adult literacy projects and teachers’ training in these schools.

Lack of basic amenities
like teaching tools, shoes, books, uniforms etc should not come in the way of acquiring education.

Radheya Yeole
President-elect, RC Nasik

“The idea is to offer a ­level-playing field to all. Lack of basic amenities like teaching tools, shoes, books, ­uniforms etc should not come in the way of acquiring education,” says Project in-charge and President-elect Radheya Yeole.

Thalassaemia camps

Thalassaemia camps were held in the Pune Vidyarthi Griha School in Nasik and Ashram Shala in ­Dhondegaon, in association with the Nashik ­Centre of the Parent Association of ­Thalassaemic Unit Trust. Of the 600 children screened in both the schools, 15 were found to suffer from ­thalassaemia minor, five from sickle cell disease and 196 were found to be anaemic.

The parents of the affected ­students were given counselling. The ­Rotarians advised the school ­management to adopt simple changes in their meals to make them more nutritious.

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