School for Abandoned Girls in India
Wed 10th October 2018 at 12.50 - 14.00
Rotaract members Paula and Tania reported on their month teaching in the school
‘Rotaract’ – Rotary’s international network of service clubs for young people aged between 18 and 30 – is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.The good work it does was exemplified by two Rotaractors, Paula Aykol and Tania Savant, when they spoke about the month they spent teaching at a school for 70 disadvantaged girls in a remote part of India this past summer. The Kanya Gurukul School is supported by Rotaract St Andrews and its parent body, the Rotary Club of St Andrews. Paula and Tania were chosen, from the many St Andrews students who applied, to go to the school to help the girls, some as young as 4, with their English speaking and IT skills. The school is wholly dependent on donations and faces many challenges but Paula and Tania were hugely impressed by the girls’ eagerness and aptitude for learning and the devoted work of their two teachers. They had succeeded in giving their pupils a good grounding in basic English grammar, which the girls could now draw upon in conversation with native English speakers. The contact opened the girls’ minds to such basic knowledge as that Scotland is more than a train-ride away from India and that one can grow up speaking Hindi, as did Tania, without ever having lived in India. It was equally a learning experience for her and Paula as they came to understand that, for these girls, finding a husband will be essential for their well-being and personal safety. In his vote of thanks Peter Davidson remarked that Paula and Tania were themselves perfect examples of the benefits that follow from the empowerment of women.