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Book Bank comes to the aid of 5,000 students in Karnataka

Aug 08, 2017

Distributing free textbooks to underprivileged students, Rajasthan Youth Association announced that it is extending the activity to Bengaluru Urban and other districts.

Bengaluru: Around 5,000 economically weak students of various colleges in the state were provided with textbooks covering the year’s syllabus as part of Rajasthan Youth Association’s 43rd Annual Book Bank and Scholarship Programme. Annual tuition fee for more than 250 students will also be paid by RYA. The book distribution was held today at the Jnana Jyothi auditorium on Central College campus.

Speaking on the occasion, Karnataka IT, BT & Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge said, “Contributing towards knowledge transfer is one of the most noble forms of charity, and it is heartening to see so many youngsters benefiting from the Book Bank project. This makes me think that our future is in safe hands.”

He called upon the youth to not be afraid to ask questions. “Stay curious, always question and have the courage to make mistakes. That’s the only way you will learn,” he said.

Kharge was all praise for the Rajasthani community’s sense of social responsibility and spirit of entrepreneurship that has successfully steered many business ventures in the city. “The inbuilt bootstrapping spirit enables the community to lead enterprises to success. Wipro is one of the best cases in point,” he added.

Bangalore University Vice Chancellor Dr Ramesh congratulated the young beneficiaries of the project and thanked the association for its help, while Arjuna awardee Reeth Abraham encouraged the students to chase their dreams. “You have to learn to dream to achieve anything in the future,” she said.

The annual programme was also graced by Gajacharya Dr. Sri Vishal Munishree; Vidya Laxman, Director Technology, Tesco; and Dr Nirmal Sancheti, President, Terapanth Professional Forum, Bengaluru.

The Shershah of Kargil by Deepak Surana that delves on the life of the late Captain Vikram Batra P.V.C was also released on the occasion.

The association will also be creating a computer lab for Bangalore University’s Department of Commerce and providing 80 desktops, 20 laptops, six LCD projectors and five water filters to Central College and other colleges.

This year the RYA is expanding its charity from Bengaluru to colleges in Chintamani, Chikkaballapura, Andhahalli and Vemagal. In the past few years RYA has extended its reach from Bengaluru Urban to Kanakapura, Devanahalli, Kolar Gold Fields and Kadur,

More than one lakh students have benefited from the text books over the past 43 years while 5,000 students have received scholarships during the period as part of the Annual Book Bank and Scholarship Programme.

The undergraduate students studying BCom, BBM and BSc are selected for tuition-fee payment based on their performance in the previous year. The books are given away as a loan without any deposit and the students have to return them at the end of the year.

“We are proud to say that about 95 per cent of the students return the books in a fair manner. Regarding the tuition fee, once the students are selected, we remit the entire amount along with the other fee a student has to pay, directly to the principal of the college concerned,” said Prasan Parekh, Chairman, Book Bank.

The book bank project was started in Bengaluru back in 1975 by philanthropist, the late Padmashree Mohanlalji Chordia. He began by distributing 101 sets of text books to students from the economically weaker sections of the society. In 1976, he entrusted the Book Bank project to the Rajasthan Youth Association, enabling a larger participation. Since then the association has been continuing the good work while expanding its reach and activities, most of which are in the field of education.

“If any change has to happen in the nation, it will be enabled by educating the people. And we believe that the highest form of donation is education,” said Rajesh P Shah, President, RYA. He proudly pointed out that it was the third generation at RYA that is at the helm.

The RYA president called for more support from publishers and donors besides colleges in identifying the deserving students. “We aim to add to what the government and others do towards the cause of education. A large section of school-goers fall out because of lack of access to textbooks and paucity of funds. We see a higher percentage of girls dropping out after school. We aim to contribute in whatever ways we can towards bridging this gap,” he added.

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