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Saturday, 4 December 2010

Just another day of Rotary service

For the British (and one American) volunteers in northern India in November 2010, the focus was Rotary's End Polio Now campaign. For hard-working Indian Rotarians, the campaign is one of many ongoing projects.

This was the scene of squalor that greeted us as we arrived at a charity being supported by the Rotary Club of Delhi Saket. The club has been providing blankets for young men at this Muslim orphanage which has its own darul-uloom (higher-level madrassa). There we met a seven-year-old who is already a hafiz -- someone able to accurately recite all 6,236 verses (80,000 words) of the Qu'ran.

     The skull-capped youngster is just visible inside the archway into the classroom.

Accompanied by President of the Rotary Club of Delhi Saket, Farook Siddiqui and his club secretary Arvind, who was our driver, Catherine Ferrier and Jim and Sally Matthews took it in turns to hand over the blankets to the young men. Only by educating its young people can any emerging country transform itself from a chrysalis to a beautiful butterfly. Hopefully, these young men will have a part to play in India's progress.

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