Sylvia Wright Trust – Tamil Nadu, India

Sylvia Wright Trust

Rangammal SchoolThe Rotary Club of Roundhay (Leeds) is the driving force behind an innovative project in a very poor part of South India.

Working with the Sylvia Wright Trust, also based in Leeds, they have funded a new IT room in Sylvia Wright’s school for 210 profoundly deaf children in Tamil Nadu.

Sylvia Wright is a former Leeds nurse who sold all her possessions to help look after the poor, sick and disabled in Southern India. In 1982, she gave up friends, home, car and her senior University post to devote her life to those less fortunate than herself.

Now aged 77, Ms Wright runs a 220-bed charity hospital, two day centres for 80 severely disabled children, the residential school for 210 profoundly deaf youngsters and a Nursing College for 80 students. She was awarded the OBE in 2008. Rangammal School already offers exceptional pastoral care and an excellent traditional education in basic premises but deaf pupils have been excluded from IT education by lack of computers and equipment.

The Rotary Club of Roundhay, District 1040 and The Rotary Foundation at Rotary International have raised almost £11,000 to set up the IT new room, with 30 networked computers, visual aids and internet access. This is now of huge benefit to the pupils who cannot hear and whose speech is often impaired.

They can now participate in state IT exams and will acquire life and employment related skills which will help them significantly in their future lives. As a bonus, the facilities can also be used in the evenings by the 80 student nurses Sylvia Wright is training in her adjacent Florence Nightingale Nursing College.

Bryan Atkinson, Past President of Rotary Club of Roundhay, said: “We are delighted with the results of our project and hope it brings a new world to the deaf students.”