India’s literacy rate in many states is only 51% and I truly believe the key to improving the lives of many and cutting the poverty is in education. Thanks to Vipul Jain, a park ranger I work with in Ranthambore, I have been able to take my groups to several village schools in India. These schools are poor and badly equipped with just one or two small classrooms for 90 children, who have to sit on the floor. We as a group have collections and then Vipul buys chairs, pens, uniforms and other basic items for the school. I am hoping to take some used laptop computers out to these schools on my next few trips to India. It’s not enough, I know, but every little helps.
My 2011 groups gave generously and in December, I was able to see what had been bought with the money. Uniforms for one school, tables and benches for another. We also had enough left to buy books and school bags for a third school. In fact I took my December 2011 group to that village school and my clients gave the books and bags out to the kids. It was really lovely.