Hyderabad: Digital empowerment of poor pupils
- Bala Vikasa, a city-based voluntary organisation, instils new hope among poor students, mainly orphans
- Distributes 1,143 smartphones and tablets worth over Rs 1 crore to underprivileged students
- The aim is to ensure that marginalised children do not lose out on education
- Sustains campaign with crowdfunding (Milaap) and support of Amazon Development Center, Franklin Templeton in India and Sopar in Canada
Priyanka, an orphan, was on Cloud 9 on being gifted a tablet for attending online classes. Following the outbreak of Covid pandemic, all schools and colleges across India were shut down since March and teaching shifted online.
While the children in urban private institutions areas got the opportunity of studying for the new academic year with online classes from June, rural students lagged far behind them and lost precious three months of academic learning.
The State government recently resumed classes in the online mode in government schools and colleges. But this presented a highly challenging situation to poor students in villages, especially orphans and children from underprivileged sections.
Some intervention by NGOs like Bala Vikasa, a city-based organisation, is raising hopes for the poor students, mainly orphans and children of widows in rural Telangana, who are bearing the brunt of the crisis with Covid disrupting regular schooling. And online education was out of bounds for children from underprivileged sections of society.
"I am so happy and thankful to Bala Vikasa and Amazon for giving me this wonderful tablet that will make it possible for me to study further," said the overjoyed Priyanka, while receiving the Tablet.
Till now, Bala Vikasa has distributed 1,143 smartphones and tablets worth over Rs 1 crore to poor students, especially orphans and children of widows, in rural Telangana to ensure that marginalised children do not lose out on education affected by Covid19 school closures. It received support from crowdfunding (Milaap) and CSR groups, especially the Amazon Development Center and Franklin Templeton in India, and Sopar in Canada.
"We are humbled by the quick and generous response of all our donors, but there is a lot more to be done. More children await such necessary aid to continue schooling," Bala Vikasa Executive Director Shoury Reddy said.
"It's a great honour for us to be able to help so many poor and marginalised students access education in these distressing times.
We believe that education is the foundation for a bright future of the country and we are glad to partner with Bala Vikasa which has been working with orphans and disenfranchised students for decades," said Sudeepthi Padma, Senior Manager, Amazon Development Center.