Here, it is not important how much the school kids gave to the Uttarakhand Relief Fund, it is all about their compassion, their thoughts about their compatriots caught in cloud-bursts, flash floods, landslides and lashing rain. The thought of helping others in adversity is what counts the most. Most of the top-notch schools in the metropolitan cities taught their students through fund-raising the idea of giving away. Most of the school authorities attempted to create awareness among students with aid of clippings from newspapers and magazines, and recorded TV news about the natural disaster in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand’s Garhwal and Kumaon regions to make the students feel for thousands of flood victims including the pilgrims and the local inhabitants.
In most of the schools, kids were urged not to ask for money from parents, but donate as much as they can from their own pocket money, so that they may experience the feel of giving away. In some cases, the students, including the NCC and Scout and Guides themselves approached school authorities and offered to collect donations for the flood victims. Sri Sri Academy in Kolkata, working under the aegis of parental body Vyakti Vikas Kendra India (VVKI), has collected a sum of Rs. 1.4 lakh so far meant to be sent for Uttarakhand Relief Works through the International Association for Human Values Disaster Relief Funds. Schools like Ballygunge Siksha Sadan (BSS) are collecting relief materials through students, instead of cash, food items, used clothes in jute bags to be sent to flood-ravaged people through a local NGO in Kolkata. “We don’t believe in taking money from children, because they tend to forget the amount given in donation and there is no further responsibility or feeling attached,” said BSS Principal Ms Sunita Sen.
Meanwhile, students of a government school in Jalandhar have collected Rs 65, 000 and contributed the sum to the Prime Ministers Relief Fund. The money was collected with help of teachers. A teacher of Kendriya Vidyalaya in Jalandhar Amarjit Kumar said a bank draft of Rs 65,000 was handed over to the state government meant to be forwarded to the Prime Minister’s office in New Delhi.
The NCC cadets, on the other hand, are collecting relief materials and money from all over West Bengal to send them to Dehradun unit of NCC meant to be further sent to flood-hit people in Uttarakhand. “We’ve collected clothes, medicines, tarpaulin and other non-food items to be sent over in three trucks from Kolkata, Darjeeling and Gangtok in Sikkim,” NCC spokesman Captain BB Singh said.
Mumbai unit of Indian Scout & Guide Fellowship (ISGF), primarily consisted of elderly scout volunteers, has adopted 500 families from five flood-hit villages in Uttarakhand. On August 5, they despatched two truckloads of relief material to these flood-hit villages in Kumaon region. Each kit contains 33 essential items of daily use, including food items, kitchen utensils, candles, torches, clothes and blankets etc. Relief material was to reach Haldwani in four days from where it would be further sent to the interior Himalayan reaches of Pithoragarh and Dharchula. “Their base camps are 60 kms from Haldwani, from where the local scout volunteers from Bharat Scout & Guides would distribute kits to the needy persons,” said Mumbai ISGF General Secretary Vishnu Aggrawal. The villages have been identified with aid of local scout volunteers and government officials.