By Bhavnesh Mehta, past president of the Rotary Club of Bhavnagar Royal
Our team of seven Rotary riders crossed India and Nepal in December on a motorcycle rally to support education and raise awareness of efforts to combat illiteracy in India.
Leaders in District 3060 (India) came up with the idea following last year’s rally, a grand success, which celebrated Rotary’s triumph over polio. After the eradication of polio, Rotary members in India are most keen to see illiteracy eliminated. The Rotary India Literacy Mission, chaired by past RI Director Shekhar Mehta, has a clear objective of making India 100 percent literate by 2017 through the TEACH program: offering teacher support, e-learning, adult literacy, child development, and the formation of happy schools.
Our team included Chirag Gandhi, president of the Rotary Club of Surat; Ann Heena Gandhi; Manish Padaya; Gaurav Rathod; Devendra Khatana; Pranavrajsinh Yadav; and myself. For 16 days, we covered 3,060 kilometers from Darjeeling in northeast India to Shirdi in western India. We visited seven Rotary districts throughout India and Nepal, making stops at more than 90 Rotary clubs, 70 Inner Wheel clubs, and 50 Rotaract and Interact clubs. We also promoted the importance of reading to more than 120 schools. A total of 53,600 students took the pledge for literacy.
We had a unique opportunity to meet RI President Gary C.K. Huang, as he was attending a district event along our route. President Gary flagged us on during a special pit stop. We are also grateful to our district governor Ashish Ajmera and our literacy chair and past governor Mayur Vyas, who offered us considerable encouragement along the way.
Please join us in advancing literacy in India. Learn more about the Rotary India Literacy Mission and browse more pictures of our Expedition for Education on our Facebook page.