VELLORE: Unlike hundreds of other messages on WhatsApp and social media, this one has come as Godsend for school students in flood- ravaged Chennai, Cuddalore and neighbouring districts.
The message reads “School students who’d lost their books, pls text ur address or call us. We’ll send u the books” with contact numbers 9486905884, 8148689993 and 8148761625.
The initiative was from a small group of software engineers, their friends and relatives based in Bengaluru, Chennai and Karaikudi.
“When relief material started to pour into Chennai, Cuddalore and neighbouring districts, we decided to help school students with textbooks, particularly for those in classes X and XII,” said 22-year-old S Sethupathy of Karaikudi, a software engineer working in Bengaluru.
“We’d received over 150 calls since posting the message in social media. We received around 50 calls from students and their parents requesting for textbooks, while the remaining calls from various places were yet to be verified. Ten of our friends, colleagues and relatives pooled in around `75,000 and started purchasing books in bulk,” he added.
Five calls were from students in Cuddalore and the remaining 45 were from Chennai, said Sethupathy. His father Sundaramoorthy, who is an executive engineer with the PWD, also chipped in.
Saravanan, a software engineer with WIPRO, said that though they intended to help all students, their priority was to get books for students who were going to take the board exams this year. The problem is lack of stock, Sethupathy said, adding, “If we are unable to get the books we needed, we will photocopy the books in PDF format from the education department website and distribute them.”