They spent 10 days at Hanumanthapura, a hamlet in Hassan district
Three students from the Northwestern University, Chicago, U.S., spent 10 days at Hanumanthapura, a hamlet in Channarayapatna taluk, as part of their International Outreach Network (ION) activities.
In association with the Bevu Foundation, an NGO, the undergraduate students Sathvik Nandamuri, Paul Kim, and Jerome Jeevarajan worked to clean a playground for the local government school, spread awareness on the importance of hygiene, and helped children learn rhymes in English.
Around 10 students of the university have formed the ION to spend their vacation doing social service. As their pilot project, they tied-up with the NGO and visited Hanumanthapura, a village with 35 houses.
“We reached here on September 4 and studied the village for two days. Later, we took up works on the playground. We set up a swing and a volleyball court for children,” said Nandamuri (20), who is studying Economics and Medicine. His parents, natives of Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, are settled in the U.S. “Spending time with schoolchildren was fun. They are enthusiastic to learn new things. We taught them to wash hands before eating, put waste in dustbin, among others,” said Paul (22), a native of South Korea, who is studying Business and Education.
Jerome (21), whose parents are natives of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, said this was the first project of the ION. “We will take up bigger projects in future,” he said.
Apart from airfare, all the expenses at Hanumanthapura are borne by the Bevu Foundation. The students will return to the U.S. on Wednesday.
Rangamma, a resident of the village, was the host for the students.
The foundation was started by Srinidhi Desikamani and Yamuna Srinidhi, who lived in the U.S. for 15 years. Desikamani quit his job to start the foundation and work towards improving the living standards of people in rural areas. Yamuna is an acclaimed choreographer. Since she is a native of Channarayapatna, the couple started their project with Hanumanthapura.
The village residents are happy with the work done by the students and the foundation.
“Our children get to learn a lot from these foreign students. They spent most of their time after school with them,” said Paramesh, a resident of the village.