Round Table waging a crusade against illiteracy

TIRUCHI, JULY 20. The Bakul Bahan School for child labour in Calcutta, the Kalyanpur school in Phibet, U.P., the Sahayog centre for slum children in Mumbai, the primary school for tribals, in Pachamalai in Tiruchi, and 220 other schools built during the last three years throughout the country are united with a common bond of harmony, love and concern for the future of the nation.

The Round Tablers of today, are waging a crusade against illiteracy under the ``Freedom through Education'', and ``Nurture the Future'' programmes. They have built 225 primary school buildings, besides providing basic amenities in schools like drinking water facility, class rooms, and laboratory equipment costing about Rs.15 crores, Mr. B.V. Ramanan, president, Round Table India, said. He hails from Tiruchi, and laid down office recently in Bangalore.

The Round Table has emerged as a leading non- Governmental organisation to take up community development programmes, and the response for joint ventures with the Government departments in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala has been excellent. In Andhra Pradesh, the Government had advanced Rs. 3.2 crores for the school building programmes of the Round Table. The Round Table Red Cross School building in Hyderabad was declared open by the A P Chief Minister, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, in the presence of Dr. Rangarajan, Governor.

The Round Tablers numbering about 2000 in 61 cities in the country, had contributed Rs. 51 lakhs to the Kargil fund. When the killer supercyclone hit the Orissa coast last year, the Round Tablers donated over Rs. 15 lakhs worth of food materials, and distributed over Rs. 1.5 crores worth of relief materials received from the Punjab Government and other NGOs to the victims in inaccessible coastal villages.

The Round Table also designed school-cum-cyclone- shelters which have five class rooms on the first floor, a borewell, and an open terrace where during emergency food packets could be dropped from the helicopters. Six such shelters each costing about Rs. 10 lakhs have been built and 14 more will be built shortly.

The response from the slum children for the balwadis programme in Pune, Surat, Patna and Bangalore was overwhelming and about 150 children attend each balwadi where they are supplied nutritious noon meals. The Round Table proposed to build 1000 such balwadis in different parts of the country shortly.