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Weaning them away from sloppy slum life

Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao
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ON A Mission:Tiny-tots enjoying the toys arranged by the School on Wheels.— Photo: By Arrangement
ON A Mission:Tiny-tots enjoying the toys arranged by the School on Wheels.— Photo: By Arrangement

The uncared and unattended children in scruffy attire playing wildly in the Sammaiah Nagar slum suddenly get into attention mode on seeing the yellow colour bus. As it screeches to a halt, they all get into it eagerly.

It is their ‘School on Wheels’ for the past one month. It was the unique project launched by the Rotary Club of Hanamkonda in collaboration with the Amruthabindu Charitable Trust, first time in Andhra Pradesh, according to club president N. Manohar Reddy.

It is an ultra-modern bus with digital classroom, play equipment and teachers that aims at attracting the children to studies. “Our target is to bring those who never went to school and those who dropped out of school. This is part of our Rotary international aim of achieving 100 per cent literacy by 2017,” explains Mr. Manohar Reddy.

The yellow colour air-conditioned bus was launched four months ago by the district collector. It has been going round the slums and has so far covered over 1,000 children.

Speaking to ‘The Hindu’, Ms. G. Shanta Kumari, the teacher on the bus, said most of the children were found to be bright. “We play CDs of rhymes, alphabets, words and sentences. We show them various other things involving knowledge. Even those who never went to school learn all Telugu alphabets in five days. In a month’s time, we ensure that they learn words and sentences and are ready enough to go to school,” she explained.

Dr P Anjani Devi, a well-known gynecologist and a Good Samaritan, visited the school presently stationed at Sammaiah Nagar and donated lunch boxes to all the 25 children attending the School on Wheels. Interacting with students, she wanted the children to continue to attend the school till the end and not drop out early.

Mr. Reddy said they would cover all the slums before moving to villages to cover adult illiterates. With literacy as focus, the club has donated benches to government schools and textbooks and uniforms for poor children.

Rotary Club of Hanamkonda has launched a unique project wherein a bus goes to the doorstep of slum children to attract them to studies


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