Moved by seeing kids going to school barefoot in chilly December weather, young Jalore (Rajasthan) collector, Jitendra Kumar Soni started an innovative scheme that will help underprivileged kids to have shoes free of cost ahead of this Republic Day.
The Hindu – Representational Image
Soni, who named this innovative scheme the ‘Charan Paduka Yojna,’ decided to distribute shoes to nearly 25,000 underprivileged children in the first week of January. For its timely delivery, he has set the deadline as January 26.
Facebook – Policewala Jalore collector Jitendra Kumar Soni with kids
Facebook – Dr. Jitendra Kumar Soni, IAS
Remembering that time Soni said:
“I also attended a government school and know the hard work my father had put in to get me educated. I always wore clothes stitched by a tailor and never visited a big city.”
Recalling that visit, he said:
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“..I had tears in my eyes when I saw three students coming to the school without shoes in the shivering cold. Teachers of the government school told me that these children are very poor and their parents couldn’t even afford their books.”
“This incident triggered the launch of the scheme. I told the school authorities of 274 gram panchayats and three nagar palikas in my district to give me a detailed report on how many students come without shoes. As normal, non-branded school shoes cost just between Rs 200 and Rs 300, I thought people would help me if I ask them for support.”
bekahboo42- morguefile.com – Representational Image
With a round figure in hand and with the help of donors, Soni launched the scheme in full force in the first week of January.
Facebook- Sanjay Vasu
Not forgetting the people who came out to help his initiative, Soni also appreciated all the donors and said that some teachers were so touched by this initiative that they themselves took charge and ensured that their wards weren’t left in a position that they had to come to school without shoes.