Joining hands with the district administration, school students from Kerala's Alappuzha district have given a start to an ambitious journey toward eradicating poverty. The initiative titled "Children for Alleppey" will have a batch of 100 students adopting one struggling family each and donating items every month to them. The initiative would also help build a sense of community service among the children and nurture a bond that goes beyond classrooms and textbooks.
Wiping Away Poverty With Kindness
In a first-of-its-kind initiative in the state, school students from Alappuzha will embark on an ambitious mission to eradicate absolute poverty in the coastal district. Starting on February 6, the initiative would bring together a batch of hundred students to adopt one family each and extend a helping hand to them through donations. The district administration has identified about 3,613 economically disadvantaged families and will be linking them with government as well as private schools.
Speaking about the initiative, Alappuzha district collector, VR Krishna Teja, said, "Through this programme, Alappuzha will become the first district in the country where extremely poor families will be uplifted." In other words, Alappuzha has begun eradicating extreme poverty in the district as of February 6. For the project to turn successful, several people from the district panchayat, MLAs, and ministers from the district would be effectively collaborating. It is also a noble initiative due to the fact that children are involved in the project. They would get to learn a huge deal about sharing and community service and would become responsible and compassionate citizens.
While Teja praised the collective efforts, he particularly hailed the role played by students and their parents. He conveyed that the entire credit goes to them as they have come forward to contribute to the initiative. A report by Free Press Journal quoted him saying, "Such initiatives will happen only in Kerala where the whole society has forward-thinking. They are coming forward." He also informed that one school has already stepped in to provide medicines to the poverty-ridden family they had adopted.
We have nominated one teacher in each school as a community service coordinator and a student as a community service leader. Everything will be coordinated through community service clubs," the Collector said.
Going Beyond Textbook Understanding Of Society
Now onwards, every first Monday of each month would see students bringing in their donations to families in need. A teacher has been nominated in each school as a community service coordinator and a student as a community service leader for this purpose.
Children have been encouraged to bring food, pulses, soap, toothpaste, or other items which can be useful to the families. The Collector made it a point to convey that rice and cash need not be distributed among the families. Rice is a provision already made available to families through the public distribution system. He urged students to contribute whatever it is that falls within their capacities and that "even if the item is small, it should be given in kind and not in cash." The directive also noted that it's perfectly fine if some students are not able to contribute, as it is an act of kindness and not a compulsion.
All donated items will then be collected in a box and distributed to the adopted families. So, if a school of 300 were to collect items and provide them to the officials, it would bring smiles to three extremely poor families. A few schools have also gone beyond their way and adopted one family for every 50 students. As it continues to bring in an overwhelming response from schools in the district, the administrative officials hope to take the message of kindness and happiness of sharing to the children.
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