It was a great learning experience for Rotaractors of RAC Madras Millennia, RID 3232, as they spent an entire day at Oana Malai, a tribal hamlet, at Uthiramerur taluk of Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu, engaging the families and distributing food packets, stationery items and notebooks to around 70 children. There are around 200 families living in this village with very little basic amenities, says S Piyush, club president. They joined hands with Geo Foundation, an NGO, to implement Project Dynasty, that reached out to tribal children and urged them to excel in their education as “that was the only way to improve their living status,” he says.
The two-year-old community club has 25 members, 90 per cent of them students. On their signature Project Vidya (knowledge), he says they have sponsored the annual school fees of five girls studying in Classes 1–5 at government schools. Last year, they paid the fees of two girl children from KG and Class 1. Recently, the club co-hosted three cultural events, fundraisers for Rotaract projects, which got a tremendous response from Rotaractors and college students. While Fizz with 14 partner clubs raised funds for renovating toilet blocks and buildings at government schools, another cultural fest Sunera organised with seven other clubs mobilised funds for installing sanitary vending and disposal machines at two government higher secondary schools; and for the last one, Flare, they joined with 12 other Rotaract clubs which led to setting up of a smart classroom at a government school. “It was a modern digital class with Wi-Fi, digital boards, projector, laptops and computers,” he says.
All the three Rotaract festivals celebrated the youth, their energy and passion with a host of events like face painting, ramp walk, mimicry, 60 Seconds Frame, Creo and a plethora of stage performances. “We were happy to be a partner in hosting the cultural festivals in which thousands of college students displayed their versatile skills,” recalls Piyush. Thanking their parent Rotary, RC Chennai Hallmark, he says, “without their mentorship and timely help in the form of resources and grants, it would not have been possible for us to do our service projects.”
An employee at Sutherland Global Services, a BPO company, Piyush says, “being a Rotaractor over the last four years helped me hone my skills in public speaking.” He is planning to become a member of RC Chennai Hallmark, and “as a Rotarian I will focus on designing school projects and take up initiatives like distribution of daily essentials like food and clothing to the underprivileged,” he says. Godspeed to him.