In 2018, Needham Rotary Club partnered with Raghav Rao of Hyderabad, India and his Rotary Club (RC Jubilee Hills) to add solar panels to schools there to help provide power and light. Sadly, he recently passed away. One of his daughters lives in Needham, and the family reached out to us to propose a classroom expansion project in his honor. Currently, the elementary and high schools in Film Nagar (suburban Hyderabad) are serving a population well in excess of capacity such that students are taught for only about half of the required hours of instruction. The plan is to meet this instructional need by adding eleven classrooms and eight toilets at a total cost of $150,000. 
Needham Rotary Club has committed $5000, and we would like to try to raise the incremental $7000 of funds together with like-minded clubs in our District sufficient to cover the cost of one classroom, about $12,000.
The deadline to raise funds is May 1st, so that construction can be completed during Indian school’s summer break. The Rao family has asked that the Needham Rotary Club act as the collection point for local donations as it would appear inappropriate for the Rao family to collect the funds directly.
This project is a tribute to a fallen comrade, Raghav Rao, who lost his battle with colo-rectal cancer on January 27. Raghav and his wife Champaka joined Rotary in Hyderabad, India almost two decades ago. They led Rotary projects that addressed the many needs of communities in Hyderabad, dedicating themselves to service before self. Both Raghav and Champaka eventually served as presidents of their Rotary chapter, Rotary Club of Jubilee Hills (RCJH). Raghav spearheaded the creation of a trust for the Rotary Club of Jubilee Hills that could accept donations from outside India. One of the first uses of that trust was to collaborate with the Rotary Club of Needham and clubs in District 7910 to install solar panels that would lower energy costs for the local government school, the Film Nagar School.

It was Raghav’s dream to see the 1500 students of this school receive the education they need. Through his chemotherapy he attended Rotary meetings, and pushed government officials to agree to an expansion of the Film Nagar’s school infrastructure so that it could support a full day school program for its 1,500 students. He passed away before he could see that project through, but his Rotary Club, his friends and his family are determined to do so in his memory.