A Rotaract literacy project makes waves in Gujarat
A new project Each One Teach One was launched by RC Navsari Young Turks, RID 3060, with an aim to provide basic education to children affected adversely by the Covid pandemic. “Due to the extended lockdown, it was observed that rural students were deprived of school education as they don’t have smartphones to learn online,” said club president Gargi Patel.
Apart from educating children, the project reaches out to adult learners and strives to empower women through financial literacy. “We have been working over the last three months with these objectives. It all began at a financial literacy programme the club hosted for women of Samapore village in Navsari district of Gujarat,” said DRR Vatsal Khimasaiya, RID 3060. Around 100 rural women, along with the village sarpanch, were there at the event in which Rtr Chirag Bhadkan, a government-certified financial literacy trainer, gave a motivational talk to the participants.
In his talk, Bhadkan informed the delegates the various pension and insurance schemes available for women. He gave a step-by-step approach to save money and how to invest for better returns in future. “The financial literacy seminar was handled by eight Rotaractors and with good feedback, we got another opportunity to conduct a job fair seminar in the same locality,” said Patel.
After educating the women, the club approached a primary government school at Gadat village on the outskirts of Navsari. The students at this school were from backward classes and “did not have the resources to learn.” In August, the second part of Each One Teach One was held for students of this school with four Rotaractors teaching them basic English and drawing at a Faliya Shala, a makeshift school in the village. “We taught 16 students from Classes 2–5 and were stunned by their response as they wanted us to visit them the next week too.”
Finally, on Teacher’s Day (Sept 5), the third month of Each One Teach One initiative, the Rotaractors celebrated with students of Gadat school. “From 16, the number of students rose to 25. Now students who could hardly spell their names in Gujarati are speaking in English, a great transformation,” recalls Patel.
Around five Rotaractors taught English and arts through games to children. The winners were rewarded with chocolates. And in the morning, free breakfast was given to all children.
“More than the children, their parents encouraged their wards to join us. This was the biggest achievement of our club,” said club secretary Surbhi Jodhani. While each session cost around ₹ 1,000 to buy food and stationery for the children, it was definitely worth spending as the Rotaractors brought a new interest among rural children at the Gadat village. The club has decided to continue with this project every month in the coming years too.