editor's desk

How can we support local schools that need help?

There are some images that remain with you. Simple ones.

They remain because they are symbolic of a bigger act, a telling incident or a milestone.

Physical images get erased with time.

The image of a tiger painted on the wall of a Chennai Corporation school has remained me, well after the grease and oil of a street side automobile workshop layered over it.

It was one summer when the headmaster of this school invited us to collaborate in any way for the betterment of the students here.

A volleyball camp was on. So we arranged for buns, milk and bananas every morning for the players.

When the school re-opened and we found a paints company keen to carry out some 'beautification', we got a bunch of girls and boys to brighten their school wall; a small one really.

Every time I passed by, the fading images brought back memories.

It is a memory that comes back this summer as we are surrounded with stories of boys and girls from some of our local schools who have excelled in their exams but stare at an uncertain, difficult future.

These are stories that struck us hard when we at our newspaper decided to write on the achievers who had scored despite all odds.

The boy, displaced by a civic project who travels many miles to attend school but does not have the money to go to college now.

The girl who works at local stores during holidays, to raise money to help fund her school education and is keen to go to college because she believes that will fetch her a good job and a steady income.

These are not just stories of A and B. They tell us about our own neighbourhood. Of the lives of our young and poor and deprived. Lives lived not far from your bungalow and my apartment block.

This condition calls for not just donations made in May.

It provides a good opportunity to think of and create a project which allows the privileged and educated to reach out to these small spaces of education.

Just take the three or four schools run by Chennai Corporation in our area. Look at their core needs. Infrastructure. After-school education. Sports and extra-curricular. Counselling. Scholarships.

Can we network to reach out to these small spaces of learning? How can we do this best? Can we support sincere voluntary bodies or groups which are already working in small ways here?

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