CHENNAI, India — Ford India has once again demonstrated its commitment to Go Further, joining NGO partner Aid India to inaugurate a children’s library in Keezhakarnai village near its Maraimalai Nagar plant.
Excited kids ran around the small reading room that Aid India has provided in the village. Decorated with colourful festoons and balloons, the reading room has a small bookshelf that accommodates the collection of well-stocked books catering to pre-adolescent children. Aid India representatives promised to grow the children’s collection over time.
At the inauguration, scholarships were also awarded to select meritorious students to aid them in their higher education. The scholarship consisted of a set of reference books, a calculator, a solar lamp, a geometry box and a cash prize. The scholarships were given away by Dominic Savvio, general manager, Employee Relations, Ford India in the presence of other senior functionaries from the village and the local municipality.
“We are happy to extend a helping hand so that you can study hard and gear up for your future. A solid education is the only path to greater success,” said Savvio at the event.
Gauri Subramanian, project head for Aid India, spoke about how important support from parents is for the education of their children. “With innovative techniques, students learn a lot and are able to pick up the pace. However it is of vital importance that parents support their children not only at home but also by visiting the center and keeping track of their progress.”
The inauguration, as well as scholarship announcements, had the village kids pretty excited.
V. Sunil Kumar, a wide-eyed 10 year old boy from Dr. Ramakrishna Mission School, Malliangarnai village was thrilled to be selected as one of the 15 students to receive a scholarship. His mother V. Uma, who has lost her husband and struggles to support the family alone, thanked Ford and Aid India for their support in helping Sunil pursue his education and dream of becoming a doctor.
V. Manju Priya, an animated sixth grader from the Government School, Kattangulatur, said she liked to read Tamil story books and wants to complete her education to realize her ambition of becoming a district collector.
Savvio joined village elders and municipal officials to inaugurate the library by cutting a ribbon.
“This is a very proud moment for all of us, since children from our villages have been selected to receive these scholarships and we now have a fully operational library to compliment the students with good reading material. I personally would like to thank Ford India and everyone else who was involved in this initiative,” said J Shanmugam, joint vice president of Maraimalai Nagar Municipality.
As part of its ‘Operation Goodwill’ project started in association with the Ford Fund in 2012, Ford India has been working with its NGO partners on improving health, sanitation, education and skill building in communities around its facilities. As part of this project, Aid India will set up two more libraries and education centres later this year.
Savvio interacts with children at the library
Some village children at the newly inaugurated library