Rotarian on cycle sojourn to disseminate literacy message

A 25-year-old man from the City has been doing his bit to create awareness on literacy by travelling the nook and corner of the country on the humble cycle. 

Roshan Naveen, a resident of Jayanagar, has been pedalling down the streets and visiting government schools for the last five months.

His journey, he admits, began after he became part of the Rotary India Literacy ‘Teach’ Mission, which he joined in June this year.

“As part of the mission, I interact with children, school managements and local education officials to find out about the education, their problems and issues haunting them. At a few schools, there have no proper toilets and facilities. For instance, at one of the government schools in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 per cent of school students sit on the ground and learn,” he said. 

A member of the Rotary International Service Organisation, Naveen has covered 3,500 km and visited over 200 schools in 12 states till date. Talking about his experience at schools, he said, “It has been an amazing journey so far. The government schools in Odisha, Tamil Nadu and the Northeastern states of Mizoram and Tripura are good. But, there are no amenities at schools in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam. I have chosen cycle for travelling as it is the cheapest mode of transport.”

He said that in Murshidabad district, West Bengal, 80 per cent of the children below 14 years of age do not go to school, owing to child labour, lack of awareness on the Right to Education (RTE) Act, violation of RTE Act and other reasons.

Naveen is conducting a survey on the status of the schools he visited, in line with the mission statement of TEACH (T - teacher support, E - learning, A - Adult Education, C - Child Development and H - Happy School). 

“The survey report will be submitted to the local Rotary Clubs and Rotary India, which in turn will take steps to improve the schools,” Naveen said. “My mission is to cover 600 to 700 schools by January 2016 and see that illiteracy is eradicated from India by end of 2017, which is also the goal of Rotary India. I feel privileged and proud to be a part of this initiative,” Naveen added. 

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