Asma, a fourth standard student at Centenary High School, Secunderabad was all smiles as she looked at the brand new benches on the school ground. She does not have to sit on those decades-old rickety benches anymore and strain her back to write.
Thanks to the efforts of Rotary Club of East, West and 22 other clubs, students of 59 government schools in the capital and other districts would now sport similar smiles, as 2,600 benches were distributed to the schools for free.
This initiative was taken up under the Right to Learn – Literacy programme of Rotary International. The target was to ensure that no student in government schools in the State would sit on the floor and attend classes, said Ravi Vadlamani, chairman of Total Literacy Mission of Rotary International. The programme to distribute one lakh benches was launched last year. Already 70,000 benches were distributed to different schools across the State, claimed Mr. Vadlamani.
As part of the campaign, similar initiative would be launched next year to distribute another 10,000 benches to government schools in the State. Further, efforts were being made to attempt a Guinness Record by distributing 10,000 benches to 218 schools in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts at a special programme in Hitec city on November 23, he said. R.S. Praveen Kumar, Secretary – AP Social Welfare Residential Schools said there were over 300 social welfare schools in the State. About 1.5 lakh children study in these schools and most sit on the floor in classes. It is a major challenge and initiatives like this would benefit the students a lot, said Mr. Kumar.
The Rotary Foundation Trustee, Ashok Mahajan, Rotary International District 3150 District Governor T.V.R Murti and others also spoke on the occasion.