Final year students of Bishop Grosseteste University have raised £500 for 100 uniforms for Indian students at a special needs school.
The school is in the state of Tamil Nadu which is in the southern region of India. The school, which gets no funding by the government, relies solely on the donations made through SDETLAND Project. This organisation works with several Lincolnshire Rotary Clubs to help and support some of the disadvantaged and deprived children along the Western Ghats.
The Theology students had been planning and working for this trip since their second year. They were able to raise money through a series of events, including two quiz nights. The students flew out to India on 19 February, 2018 for an eight day trip.
Georgina Foxcroft, one of the students involved, said: “We asked the SDETLAND Project what they wanted and they said a uniform for the children would be amazing. They receive no government funding, everything they get is from donations and it was the one thing that the school really needed so we were more than happy to provide them.
“Being able to take the uniforms out ourselves and meet some of the children was fantastic. It made that connection more personal and proved to us that our efforts were worthwhile.”
BGU Theology lecturer Mark Plater said: “SDET do a wonderful job of caring for those who generally get left out of Indian society. Tribal people and the disabled are not well provided for by government agencies, so SDET (Social Democratic Education Trust) was developed as a charity to fill in the gaps.
“They provide hostels and special schools for children of such communities, and occupational training to help them move on to skilled jobs. I am really impressed with the dedication and commitment of their staff.”
Making the most of this opportunity, BGU students explored few more areas to get a glimpse of Indian culture and tradition. They visited primary, secondary, international and specialist SEN schools along with a selection of sites of religious significance across India.