Around 1,500 college students from economically backward sections in Tiruchi district were issued free course textbooks under the ‘Book Bank' project of the Rockcity Welfare Association (RWA) at the Bishop Heber College recently.

This was the thirteenth consecutive attempt of the association to assist students of calibre hampered by financial constraints to buy essential but highly priced course textbooks.

A total of 33 student beneficiaries of the Book Bank project with an average score of 85 percent and above were given cash prizes and certificates as an incentive to their efforts.

An undertaking of the RWA Educational and Health Charitable Trust, the project has benefited around 15,000 students in over a decade. This year 1,343 students from 12 colleges under 15 disciplines were given free textbooks, according to Ashok Gandhi, Project Chairman. A grooming programme would be held for all beneficiaries, he added.

Collector, T.Soundiah who presided over, emphasized on the role of education, particularly to the poor and to women to uplift society. “If each rich person were to help educate a poor person, then the country would become a super power,” he said.

He pointed out that despite a number of government schemes and scholarships for college education, the issue of textbooks remained a question mark as textbooks were not provided by the government.

He encouraged students to embark on a house-to-house campaign collecting textbooks and dispensing them to the needy.

Chidambaram Pillai College for Women (CPC), Manachanallur bagged the Best Performing College trophy with most number of awards won by beneficiaries. CPC, Holy Cross and Seethalakshmi Ramasamy College topped the list of number of student beneficiaries for 2010. Donors, sponsors and staff- in-charge of the project at colleges were also honoured. R.Panchanadhan, Director, Talent Consultancy and K. Sekar, Principal, Chidambaram Pillai College appealed to outgoing college students to donate books for deserving students in the future.

The book bank invites applications from underprivileged students of the district under recommendations of their college principals at the beginning of every academic year. The books are passed down by the beneficiaries to the successive set of students.

Keywords: Book bankStudentsDonors