Pune's education department has decided to request students of Class XII to donate their used books and study material so that they can be given to the children of farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha areas.
Students of National Service Scheme with the help of local nongovernmental organisations will help in collecting and distributing books to students from underprivileged background.
The plan is to make sure that no student is deprived of education because of want of money to buy books. “The textbooks for Class XII are expensive. Though school fees can somehow be managed with the help of scholarships but expenses on books are seen as a burden on parents,“ said Meenakshi Raut, assistant deputy director of education, Pune division.
Class XII students will be requested to donate their books after their results are out.“Once they pass Class XII, they won't have any use for those books. If students intend to appear for competitive exams afterwards, they can donate the books after the exams,“ said Raut.
The idea to help students by giving them books struck Raut while discussing with NSS coordinators on how NSS student units can be put to better use for the society.“There are around 55 NSS units with each unit having above 50 students. The students who wish to donate books can contact the NSS re presentatives or the headmaster who will collect the books. Once we receive request from needy students, we will hand the books to them,“ said Raut who has taken help of local NGOs working in Marathwada and Vidarbha areas.
Raut said that the students can also donate study materials which are generally extremely costly and often the privilege of a select few in cities. “Availability of study materials is very less in rural areas. This scheme will hopefully help students from under-privileged backgrounds in rural areas to have an equal footing during competitive exams,“ observed Raut.
Even needy students from corporation schools can request for books. If successful, this project will be replicated in all secondary schools, said Raut. “We have already told NSS students to create awareness about this programme. If successful, this programme can bring a positive shift in higher education in rural areas,“ said Raut.