Tuk tuk comes to town to support education in India

Children with the Tuk Tuk
Children with the Tuk Tuk

Arundel residents will soon get used to the sight of a tuk tuk whizzing around town.

This exotic new form of transport is in aid of Indian education charity FEAST (For Education and Social Transformation), and was officially launched at Arundel Church of England Primary School on Friday.

The charity has a number of Arundel supporters, and helps young Indian children whose parents cannot afford to pay for the costs of education.

On Friday, the charity’s founder Friar Jeremias visited Arundel Church of England School to officially launch the tuk tuk.

Andrew Simpson. head teacher at the school, said: “It’s a really worthwhile project – people from the church and school community working together to help support people in India.

“It gives children an understanding how different cultures are similar but also different to our own,” he added, describing how children had drawn comparisons between tuk tuks in the two countries.

Every year a group of sponsors visit the charity in Nagercoil in India and last year one of them, Charles Smiles, came home with the idea of buying a tuk tuk and using it to promote the charity in West Sussex.

Having bought the vehicle Charlie branded it with the FEAST logo and will be using it to boost the charity within Sussex at events such as the Arundel Festival in August.

Jayne Scrimgeour, FEAST organiser in Arundel, said: “Having the tuk tuk driving around the area branded with FEAST is a huge boost to promoting the charity.

“We hope it will encourage more sponsors to come forward and help to educate a child.”

While education itself is free in India, the costs of uniforms and equipment are beyond the reach of many families, the charity says.

According to the charity, just £96 per year is all it takes to fund those costs.

A spokesman for the charity said: “For a child of a fishing family in Tamil Nadu it is the difference between having a life full of opportunity or one of extreme poverty.”

More than 3,200 children are currently being educated by FEAST sponsors.

Members of the public who would like to hear more about the charity should visit www.feastindia.org.uk.