THE Farmers Carnival Association yesterday handed out assistance to needy school children.
The assistance aims to help 371 students, with 236 students being primary school and 135 secondary school students.
According to association director and secretary Udit Narayan, the total cost of the assistance program for the year is close to $15,905.
"This assistance is in the form of school fees," he said.
The assistance scheme, which was established in 2001, has given more than $300,000 to the needy.
Mr Narayan said they compiled a list of students from each school and then handed over a cheque with the total amount owed to the school by these students.
"We do not hand over money directly to the students. Cheques are given to schools. We found out in the past that students who received assistance from us, and got assistance from elsewhere, demanded that the schools refund money to parents," he said.
The funding for this program comes from the money collected during the annual Farmers Carnival in Lautoka.
"We get the money from charity. We have only one major sponsor that is Vodafone. And we do not receive any help from the business community in Lautoka," he said.
Recipients Kaushik Chand and Aachal Sharma said they were happy with the assistance.
For Miss Sharma, it is her second year of receiving assistance and for Mr Chand, it is his first.
The association aims to collect more funds from the carnival this year.