There exist a number of underprivileged, poor children who have to struggle hard on daily basis to have access to basic needs like books, copies, stationery etc. Even though they have the capability to study higher, they are sometimes forced to quit due to lack of basic requisites. Many affluent children on the other hand do not realize the value of these basic necessities and do not think twice while wasting them. To bridge this gap, SETU drove a fortnight long `Green campaign’ in the month of April. We collected used notebooks (which are normally thrown away) from 14000 students of 15 schools in Jaipur, recycled and refurbished their leftover blank pages into numerous copies, ready to be used just like new, blank ones! The old copies kept coming in and we refurbished a lot of new notebooks from those.
These notebooks were then distributed free of cost to about 182 students at our partner artisan group, called SWRC, at Tilonia. In the wilderness of Tilonia, a small, dry village in Rajasthan, many children of shepherds are engaged in tasks like grazing animals, collecting woods etc, along with their parents. Their parents still do not acknowledge the benefits of education and thus do not take interest in providing education to their children, especially the girl children. Since these tasks are to be done in the day time, the children cannot attend regular schools. When all efforts to get the children to schools in the day time failed, Barefoot College, a social welfare wing of SWRC started the concept of running evening schools for such children. Most of these schools are run in homes and community centers & have rather low strength of students per school. Currently 115 schools are being run by Barefoot College, out of which 80 are in Tilonia itself. The basic aim of these schools is to promote girl child education. Around 2000 students of age 5-14 years are studying in them, 75-80% of which are girls. Barefoot College, along with other social organizations, tries to provide the required books, notebooks, stationery etc. free of cost. However, there is always need of more and more supplies.
The children who received these notebooks were quite happy and this provided the necessary encouragement to SETU to continue our endeavors about social upliftment.