Published On : Wed, Jul 5th, 2017

Gondwana Masonic lodge lends a helping hand to tribal kids of Melghat

Nagpur: Since the last five years members of Lodge Gondwana no. 226, which is one of the 13 masonic lodges in Nagpur, have been going to Melghat for some exemplary charity projects.

One of their members, Mason Chetan Thakur started this with the village “Raksha” , a place 350 km away from Nagpur , which he identified along with another member Deepak Khanuja in 2011 for solar light project.This project aptly called “Jyotirgamaya” was initiated and taken up by Grand Lodge of India under the leadership of Capt. Balaram Biswakumar, who was then Grandmaster of Grand Lodge of India. First project was taken up in Raksha village followed by two more projects in 2012 in Bhawai and Lavada villages. When the Masonic lodge went to these villages they had discussions with villagers and teachers and found out that that there are Zilla Parishad schools in all those villages and students are provided with Books and Uniform but not provided with copies and other material, which made them difficult to complete their studies.

After they received this information they decided to provide them stationary like copies, pen, pencils, drawing books, crayons as well as school bags, shoes etc. According to Mason Prashant Yawalkar “we started this with one village and then took it to all three villages where we have installed solar lights. Three years ago we have added Anganwadi students too to the project and began providing them stationary, lunch box and sports material like Badminton rackets, shuttles, volley balls and foot balls. From last year we have added Cycles.”

About 5 cycles were given to be shared between the students and they can be seen cycling around the village in their lunch break and after school!

Another Mason Chetan Thakur quipped “the project is an annual ritual for us. All members of the Lodge Gondwana as well as our friends like Satish Zade, Mukesh Mahajan, Manish Aurangabadkar, Prasad Pitale and Sandeep Anajankar take active part by providing us financial aid as well as all support we need to complete the project. Best part of the project is there is significant change in the children’s performance. School bags and shoes are used throughout the year. They have learned to ride cycle.”

Participants of the charity work, even those not members of the Lodge, but volunteers like Manish Aurangabadkar say “It is very satisfying to find the change this project has brought in the lives of tribal students. The material we provide them is vary basic but it is very useful for them. Education is the most important and effective tool to bring meaningful change in lives of underprivileged.”

The lodge people felt very gratified when they received a letter of appreciation from one of the school’s principals, which written in Hindi, thanks the Masonic lodge for taking out time for his village children and motivating them as well as the teachers to do their best.