Rotary Project Day guided by PDG Puru
(See your green booklet from the Rotary Club of Salem Mid-Town
for info about matching grants, etc.):
Gugai High Secondary School
We’re greeted by 3,000 children, teachers, Rotary and government
dignitaries and treated to chanting and dancing. We donate an
encyclopedia to a school with no library. The Australians give
cricket equipment and a soccer ball, thereby becoming local
heroes. We hand out stickers. We take a quick tour and are off
again to the next stop.
Ammapet School, Salem
Once classes were held under a tree. With Rotary’s help, the
students have a huge, beautiful building. Again, we’re greeted
by Boy Scouts and other student groups. We’re given time to
wander around the building in small groups, so we have time to
interact with classes. I find Eric in a computer lab talking
with a group of boys who are pleased to have his attention.
Some of the boys show me the html coding behind the pages they
have created to welcome us. In the back of the room, I see a
computer with a testimony to Rotary like none I have seen
before: “Some one give and get back, what they give in other
forms, but Rotary always gives of only gives.”
Government Girls School
The power of Rotary hits me as I compare the tree and wall with a
“blackboard” that used to be the school (and is now the parking
space for bicycles) and the big building. Still, some classes
of 100+ children have no desks nor chairs. There are no
bookshelves or maps. Still, the girls in this building are
better off than those in a tiny, old building on campus where
Rotary has not yet started work. Rod and Evonne decorate the
top students with kangaroo pins and we photograph the children
After lunch with the Salem Rotarians and officers, we climb aboard
the bus again and head up the mountainside to Yercaud. We pass
monkeys, sheer red rock faces against dark green trees, coffee
plants and eucalyptus trees.
We see the work of Mother Louie, teachers and Rotary. We talk, play
with bubbles, hand out stickers, take tea and visit the lake.
The gardens are beautiful and Puru shows us orchids. Eric sees
a 1988 world map hanging in a classroom.
Up the road, we see the Anbullam Knitting Centre founded by Mother
Louie, where women make sweaters, hats and hoods, baby clothing
and other items to sell so that they can help support their
families. We shop and give them a market for their goods.
Mohanad Peak – visit to coffee plantation owned by Rtn. Mohan –
vanilla beans, coffee, antorium flowers; outdoor dinner at his
home in the moonlight and next to the camellias; spending time
with Puru and Rotarians