Relating a country’s socio-economic growth to the rate of literacy is not just common-practice but a reasonable one at that. And for India, this relation poses a serious question. With literacy rates of 72% among the under-7 population and 66% in the adult population, we are still below the world average of 84%. Reasons for this are many. And for once, let us not look at the reason but the step, albeit small, forward.
There are, unfortunately, those who, in their entire lifetime do not get a fair chance at education. However, hundreds of children in Karnataka live their aspirations each year through the Devasiri Charitable Trust. Registered in 1996, with the intention of causing sustainable development, the Trust supports lesser privileged meritorious students by way of offering scholarships to pursue higher studies in competitive fields such as Medicine, Engineering and Management.
From a humble beginning, Devasiri Charitable Trust has now gone on to offer scholarships of a total worth amounting to Rs. 17 lakhs to 124 deserving students. Today, most of these beneficiaries earn salaries that are on par with any other urban earning professional in India.
However, what really spells the difference is the fact that the trust believes that the positive impact should lend itself to the entire family of the student. Keeping this aim in mind, intangible family values are given their due importance in the process of mentoring the students. Members of the Trust like to see an individual’s growth impact his/her family and larger community multifold.
Operating from the residence of the Chairman, Thathayya in Gangavati, Karnataka with the assistance of college lecturers, the Trust extends its activities to various other domains. In 2003, a free heart check-up camp was conducted in Gangavati, with over 500 people benefitting from the check-up and the consequent treatment.
The Trust now hopes to expand and channelize its efforts towards its future goals which include, providing free drinking water facilities at public places, conducting free health check-ups regularly, distributing free food on all important festival days and the like.
* National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) in June 2008