Nagpur: For hundreds of under privileged children of Uday Shikshan Sanstha’s School at Parvati Nagar and Utkhana, Round Table India is their lifeline. For those coming from the lower strata of society, Round Table India is not the well know right to information act. It is Round Table India (RTI), a non-political and non-secretarial organization comprising of 4.000 like-minded professionals, who’re helping to shape the future of children of a lesser god.
Nagpur Round Table 83 (NRT83) is Round Table India’s local chapter and is doing a commendable job by constructing classrooms and lavatories for schools especially the ones run by government.
Their biggest and long-term project is “Freedom Through Education” (FTE) under which they are building infrastructure, creating and refurbishing primary schools by establishing processes, systems and providing education tolls to benefit the underprivileged, says Sharad Agarwal from NRT83.
Since Independence, over 50 million children still don’t know what a school is all about. The cycle of poverty begins and ends with illiteracy. Interestingly, RTI under its ambitious program of FTE has constructed 5209 classrooms in over 1811 schools in rural, semi rural areas and slums as well. More than 1.56 million children have gained from this project. And by the time, the projects, 25 year-old cycle ends, around 5 million more kids will find themselves better placed in terms of literacy. In the decade gone by, RTI on an average has built one classroom a day.
“In Nagpur, Nagpur Round Table 83 had taken up a number of projects mainly involving infrastructure for various schools. Their efforts began in 2001 by constructing a new building for Arya Prathamik Shala in Sadar. Then they helped Uday Shikshan Sanstha’s School with a new building at a cost of Rs.6.87 Lacs. Recently, they inaugurated a new wing at Utkhana School at the hands of Area III Chairman 2014-2015 Tabler Piyush Daga, adds Sharad Agarwal.
RTI claims to be an organization with zero overheads. It ensures that every rupee donated or raised is pumped into FTE projects. “To meet administrative expenses, they raise money from their members. They are unique and different from other organizations in this sense, asserts Sharad Agrawal.
Uday Shikshan Sanstha’s Mangesh Kadu lauds RTI’s efforts in helping them built infrastructure. Mangesh Kadu claimed that the organization is doing a great job for the school. They came in contact with them through a common friend. As state government stopped non-salary grants for schools, it has become extremely difficult to maintain the building” he says. RTI lends us a helping hand. It constructed a new school building by replacing the old one that was in a dilapidated condition. Moreover, we were short of classrooms. RTI then constructed a new wing recently. Without such an NGO, it would have been difficult for government-run schools to survive, he added.
To construct a school for the Sant Gomaji Trust, RTI raised Rs 28 Lakhs. It is begin run by former MLA Ramesh Bang. “Individuals, corporates and even states help us with donations, some states have funded almost 70-90% of the project cost, says Sharad Agarwal.
RTI has tied up with multinational firm, Proctor and Gamble for their project “P&G Shiksha”, Oracle, Cognizant. They have contributed to liberate underprivileged children from the shackles of poverty, degradation and child labour. Under this partnership, many projects are under way in various parts of the country.”
RTI is a global organization. It has a presence in 54 countries. The strong network of 4,000 members is spread across 80 cities and towns in India.