For the 50 Rotaractors of RAC Hindustan University, RID 3232, “it has been a life-changing experience at the week-long camp in Sirudavoor, a village near Thiruporur panchayat, 50km south of Chennai. We took up multiple projects including a census of the village under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) to submit a development scheme in that central government portal,” says club president P M Harikrishnan.
Groups of Rotaractors knocked on the doors of villagers for enumeration of their family details, caste, income, literacy level, livestock they possess, and diseases, if any, they were inflicted with. “We covered 400 houses and prepared a census survey which was uploaded in the UBA portal, along with a project proposal for which we are eligible for a central grant of ₹1.5 lakh,” he explains.
Named as Mission Swasth (healthy), during their week-long stay at Sirudavoor they organised a series of medical camps including exclusive ones for eye, dental and veterinary in partnership with Sankara Nethralaya’s Orange Vision Centre, Pammal; Chettinad Hospital; and Chengalpattu Veterinary Hospital. “Around 350 villagers were screened for chronic ailments and medicines were given to patients,” says Harikrishnan.
During their stay at the Thiruporur Government Middle School, “we cleaned the school campus, painted the walls, after which we did the same work at the ration shop and anganwadi buildings.” A traffic awareness rally was conducted to sensitise the public and students with the help of Thiruporur police in which placards and sign boards were used to deliver messages on safe driving, wearing helmets and observing the traffic rules.
Rotaractors conducted games and competitions on Swachh Bharat (Clean India) for government school students, and prizes were given to the winners. A cultural programme titled Healthy India was also staged with the help of students and youngsters. On the last day of their camp, the Rotaractors visited Mahabalipuram and “took up cleaning of the main seashore that was littered with plastics and discards thrown by tourists. We urged the locals and shop owners to keep their area clean by not littering their surroundings.”
On the first day, a derelict pond near Sirudavoor was cleaned with the help of volunteers from the Environmentalist Foundation of India, an NGO working to preserve nature. NSS bodies from Hindustan Group of Institutions were partners at the Rotaract activities in Sirudavoor.
Chartered eight years ago, the 160-member club was sponsored by RC Chennai Capital. Rtn Ashok Varghese, pro-chancellor, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science, is mentoring the Rotaractors and “he donates liberally for our projects.” The college has adopted five villages under the UBA scheme. A monthly due of ₹80 is collected from members.