When the Venkatraman Memorial Trust was set up 14 years ago, the poor fishing village of Kovalam, near Chennai, offered little free education. There was no high school and its primary school was woefully inadequate and down-at-heel.
Today, thanks to the Trust, the primary school boasts new classrooms and excellent facilities and a 1000-pupil state-of-the-art high school has been built. The village has been transformed from its bottom-of-the-pile rating into one of educational excellence. The literacy rate has gone up from 60% to 95%. The Trust’s projects include a highly successful sponsorship scheme for the poorest children – there are currently 400 sponsored, 60 of whom are now at university. A further 49 have already graduated and are enjoying happy and fulfilling careers and seeing an end to the poverty which has blighted their families’ lives for generations. The sponsored children get together every Sunday for a variety of activities – arts and crafts, letter writing, English conversation, chess etc.
Appletons supply the wool for one of their favourite activities, tapestry in which they are now becoming very proficient and making a variety of different items. The present project is clutch handbags which are given as presents to supporters visiting the village.
Please click on the below link for more information about the Trust: