Spearheading a cause

Spearheading a cause

Service project

Spearheading a cause

Imparting education with dignity is the need of the hour. On these lines is the 20th year service project of Rotary Bangalore South Parade at Government Higher Primary School (GHPS), Manjunath Nagar.

Rotarian UB Bhat was the chartered president of the Rotary Bangalore South Parade in 1996-97, and he and the team were scouting for a  sustainable project in the area of literacy when they found GHPS, Manjunath Nagar. “We found that the school hardly had two sheds and three classrooms and the  structure was in a dilapidated condition.

The student strength was just 68 and they lacked basic facilities,” he says. This is when Bhat, a management consultant and Rotarian Satish Naik, an architect; Rotarian Mohammed Ismail, a businessman and Rotarian Parthasarathy, who dealt with sports equipment — set out to transform this school. “We met the then headmaster Huchha Gangaiah and spoke about our interest in adopting the school in June 1996. The school lacked many things — a school bell, play equipment and a compound wall,” he says.

On August 15, 1996, Rotarian UB Bhat with his team celebrated the Independence Day with the children and dedicated some play equipment to the school. “We also donated a brass school bell.”

The team also hosted sports events and activities. “We invited the School Development Managing Committee of the village and corporators to the event. The parents of the children were also invited. We laid the foundation for two more classrooms,” he says. Bhat says that a medical camp with eight doctors from Chinmaya Hospital, Indiranagar, was also held at the school area.

 “By June 1997, we made  two classrooms. That year was the 50 death anniversary of the founder of Rotary, Paul Harris, and we had a theme which remembered his legacy,” he details.

Facilities set up at the school included a compound wall and makeshift toilets. The teachers were also trained. “The children were squatting on the floor and we provided 50 benches. By 2004 we ventured into a two-storeyed building. In 2008-09, under the 3H grant, we built toilet boxes, built a wall wherever it was required and contributed 100 more benches to the classroom along with books,” he adds.

Vocational excellence awards were given to the headmaster and the teachers too. “The then Rotary president Ravindra Patil helped in furnishing nine classrooms and I was the District Governor of District 3190.” In 2013-14, a medical camp was lead by then Rotarian president Vivekanand. A water filter and a steel gate were set up in 2014-15 under the leadership of Rotary president Gopal Rao. By then the building needed a revamp.

“The student count had gone upto 300. So a fund of Rs 15.5 lakh was raised.” Now, it is the 20th year of this project. “We took up the work in May 2016. Rotarian Rajesh and Pratibha were on the site and they made sure everything was in place. Rotary  president John Bruno, Rotary secretary Basavaraj and I
also used to assess everything.”

The school with an e-learning centre comprising computers and a projector, a library, safe drinking water facility, is now considered the ‘preferred school’ in the locality. “It has been a long journey. For me and other chartered members like Rotarian DR Venkatesh and Rotarian SM Baliga, this is a big milestone. This is a definite change.”
Rotarian UB Bhat says, “To learn with dignity is every child’s dream. We feel elated that we have contributed a drop to the whole seas of change required,” he says.

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