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Rotary Club of Hanamkonda has launched a unique project wherein a bus goes to the
doorstep of slum children to attract them to studies
The uncared and unattended children in scruffy attire playing wildly in the Sammaiah Nagar slum suddenly get into attention mode on seeing the yellow colour bus. As it screeches to a halt, they all get into it eagerly.

It is their ‘School on Wheels’ for the past one month. It was the unique project launched by the Rotary Club of Hanamkonda in collaboration with the Amruthabindu Charitable Trust, first time in Andhra Pradesh, according to club president N. Manohar Reddy.

It is an ultra-modern bus with digital classroom, play equipment and teachers that aims at attracting the children to studies. “Our target is to bring those who never went to school and those who dropped out of school. This is part of our Rotary international aim of achieving 100 per cent literacy by 2017,” explains Mr. Manohar Reddy.

The yellow colour air-conditioned bus was launched four months ago by the district collector. It has been going round the slums and has so far covered over 1,000 children. Speaking to ‘The Hindu’, Ms. G. Shanta Kumari, the teacher on the bus, said most of the children were found to be bright. “We play CDs of rhymes, alphabets, words and sentences. We show them various other things involving knowledge. Even those who never went to school learn all Telugu alphabets in five days. In a month’s time, we ensure that they learn words and sentences and are ready enough to go to school,” she explained.

Dr P Anjani Devi, a well-known gynecologist and a Good Samaritan, visited the school presently stationed at Sammaiah Nagar and donated lunch boxes to all the 25 children attending the School on Wheels. Interacting with students, she wanted the children to continue to attend the school till the end and not drop out early.Mr. Reddy said they would cover all the slums before moving to villages to cover adult illiterates. With literacy as focus, the club has donated benches to government schools and textbooks and uniforms for poor children.

Lok Satta volunteer Parcha Kodandarama Rao shares his experience during a visit to a police station at Birmingham, UK

At a time when the debate is on to spruce up police stations back home, a whistle blower and Lok Satta volunteer Parcha Kodandarama Rao visited a police station at Birmingham during his recent visit to UK and shared his experiences withThe Hindu.

“The very look of the police station in UK is pleasant as they look like a bank or a corporate office. One is very gently welcomed by a lady officer soon after entering into the station,” he said.

After taking an appointment, Sergeant Mark Hickman who is in-charge of No 1337, (Harborne, Birmingham, UK) took Mr. Rao into the station and gave a detailed account of functioning of the police in UK.
The entry into the constabulary force is through a written test, proficiency in English, diversity of knowledge, physical fitness test, and weightlifting.

The designations are interesting -- constable - Sergeant – inspector – chief Inspector – Superintendent – chief superintendent – Assistant and Chief Constable and the top cop is Chief Constable. He is under the control of the Home Secretary of the British Government.

Community meetings

Mr. Rao said unlike in India, the police in UK hold community consultation meetings once in six weeks regularly in a civic hall in which 50 to 100 people attend to air their grievances, if any, or views.

Some of the minor offences like traffic violations or brawls in pubs are tackled and settled through counselling.
“Broadly, the police there believe in the proverbial three ‘Es’- Engage- Educate – Enforce. Only when the first two fail, then the third is made use of,” he said. Some of the police stations are even provided with defibrillators and trained staff in cardio pulmonary resuscitation.

Sergeant Hickman apprised Mr. Rao that to police the police, there is an Independent Police Complaint Commission which can be approached by anybody, any time in case of a real problem or harassment by the police.


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