India is an enormous country both in land mass and population. It is made up of a multitude of different states that all speak different regional languages. English is considered the ‘link’ language in India.
The government of India has chosen English as its default language on all government documents, road signage and medical prescriptions and educational books. Imagine not being able to read any of these things because of a lack of English training, supplies, or a failure to grasp the language.
India’s children in public school have a distinct disadvantage when it comes to reading and writing in English. Recently, English has been adopted as the official language in all public schools. Teachers are challenged to learn the English language and teach it in their regional dialect using the government’s method. Therefore, the challenge lies in tutoring any child who cannot quickly grasp reading and writing in English to catch up with the rest of the class. Additional means are a necessity.
Once the children become proficient in English they can then move on to higher study elsewhere. Without a command of the English language however, their education stops. Obviously this is bad for the child’s prospects as an adult, and bad for the economy of their region as well.
The Rotary Club of Austin was contacted in July of 2017 to become an international partner with Bangalore Yelahanka District 3190 in India. Due to the formation of Global Grant #1863742, we will be able to meet the needs of 25,000 children in grades 3-7 with English listening, reading, speaking and writing skills for two years.
Many thanks go to our District and the Rotary Club of Austin for recognizing the challenge and the need for intervention. A total of nine clubs in our District and one club beyond have signed on to bring literacy to the poorest of the poor. Those clubs are (in no particular order): Rotary clubs of Georgetown, E-Club, Fairfield, Westlake, Killeen Heights, Flatonia. Caldwell, Rockdale, Pflugerville and in California: the Rotary Club of Montecito. We have worked closely with our Rotary partners in India to complete all necessary documentation and final approval is now in Rotary International’s hands.
“Alone we can do so little: together we can do so much”-Helen Keller