Story of Samuel’s dignity to life

We hold these Truths to be self evident. That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happinessthe American Declaration of Independence 
A group of People had a Vision.
To improve the Quality of Life through Education. To restore dignity to Life. These like minded people came together to form the Kutastha Public Charitable Trust.  To give effect to their vision, these people set out to help students who due to financial distress, would have dropped out of the education system.  Identifying deserving students, the Kutastha Trust has these past three years helped over 90 students by paying their annual fees, be it primary, middle school, high school students or college level. The criterion was not how well they fared in their exams so much as their eagerness to get education.
Project Samuel
Meet Samuel, 11 years old, a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair, but determined to go to school. This he does in a plastic chair mounted on a rusty wheelchair frame, pushed and pulled by his two brothers.
The distance to school is 4 kms. The time taken— over One hour. To reach school, Samuel and his brothers have to cross a stream. Their struggle, their laughing, good natured determination have been captured in a short but powerful French documentary by Pascal Plisson titled On the Way to School.
On the Way to School
The documentary highlights the plight of four children in different parts of the world for whom it is a daily struggle, often life threatening, to reach school.
Samuel’s story was captured in film by Ignite Films , Chennai, starring Samuel himself, his brothers, parents and schoolmates. The documentary released on Netflix in 2013 has had over two million viewers. Out of this emerged Project Samuel
The Way to School Foundation based in France, has offered to partner Kutastha Public Charitable Trust to help through donations in educating Samuel and other children in similar circumstances. The Trust was approached by Isabelle Delmas Project Manager of the Ways to School Foundation in this regard. This collaboration resulted in  two 3-wheeler for Samuel at cost Rs. 67500/-. The delight on Samuel’s face and the joy of his parents was reward enough. But wait! The story is not over!
PET Mobile
The documentary was viewed on Netflix in USA by Alice P. Weiss of PET Mo- Columbia. They make PET— Personal Energy Transportation. Highly cost effective wheelchairs, that are really sturdy wooden wheelbarrows with large rubber wheels that can be cranked by hand. Alice Weiss got in touch with Way to School Foundation and offered to send Samuel a PET mobile free.
What was started in a small way by Kutastha has gone global!
Helping hands
Samuel’s success story should not take away from the Kutastha Trust’s other achievements.
Keeping their vision for a Life of Dignity in mind, the Kutastha Trust has donated time and money to the cause of elders who find themselves bereft of family, now living out their lives in Old Age homes.
These past three years, members of the trust spend time with the elders at the Sri Vidhya Home, Ramapuram, Chennai, sharing festival moments with them, distributing clothes, sweets, food and arranging music programmes to uplift their spirit, or just lending a ear.
The Trust has further spent about Rs. 26000 in providing medicines for cancer patients.
In the three years since inception Kutastha Trust has forged strong links of helping hands reaching out to those who need help. The linked hands have spread across the globe to the US and to France!
You Can Help!
The Kutastha Public Charitable Trust has been recognized as a public charitable Trust by the Commissioner of Income Tax (Exemptions) u/s 12aa of the Income Tax Act.  Their Unique Registration Number is URN aactk5209f/05/15-16/T-0280/80G dated 20.8.015.
Donations to the Trust can claimed under S. 80G.
Donations
Contributions may be made to
Kutastha Public Charitable Trust
Punjab National Bank
R.H. Road, Chennai 600 004
Current Account Number 4386002100012872
IFS Code PUNB0438600
Let us forge a bond, reach across to help those in need.
By: Geetha Krishnamurthy

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