A group called Aviratha is helping economically poor kids with free stationery for a year The State Government has launched many welfare schemes benefitting students studying in government schools. The government has been providing text books, hostel facilities, school uniform, shoes and even bicycles to students but it does nothing when it comes to notebooks. Many parents, especially those from economically-weaker families, find it difficult to buy notebooks for their children. Lack of notebooks is attributed as one of the reasons for the increase in government school dropouts across the state. A group of volunteers, under the banner of Aviratha, have joined hands to supply notebooks to government school children, free of cost. “Our school has 300 students. The volunteers of Aviratha provide note books to the students of 30 government primary schools in Amruthur, Hobli,’’ says Ajay S, science teacher, Karnataka Public School, Kunigal. It all began when a group of around 30 likeminded people joined hands to promote national integrity, education, culture, health and mother tongue in 2007. “We came to know about the difficulties of students at government schools near Dodda Alada Mare (Big Banyan Tree) so we stepped in,’’ recalls Aviratha president K T Sateesh. The volunteers began with supplying notebooks to 200 students in 2008 and the number increased to 1,000 students in 2010. By 2017, they were supplying notebooks to 18,000 students of 220 government schools, in 15 districts. “Now, we are reaching 27,000 students in 350 schools. We are supplying over two lakh notebooks, worth Rs 30 lakh in this academic year,’’ says Sateesh.