As the entire nation was reeling from the aftermath of the pandemic, children were put at risk of being the biggest victims. While children did not directly face the implications of covid-19 with respect to its effects on health, the socioeconomic effects of it would be life-altering.
Lakhs of children lost a parent or guardian to the pandemic. Suffering from this irreplaceable loss, consequently, many children also lost out on food security and equal learning opportunities to the virus. All these put together threatened to cause irreversible harm to their nutrition, education, and wellbeing.
In our humble effort to support the children who missed out on receiving equal opportunities which would help them grow, we partnered with Unacademy to create the Educate India initiative. Under the initiative, our aim was to provide children with nutritional and educational support to give the children what they rightfully deserve.
We collaborated with the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) to expand the learning horizons of children in the Child Care Institutions (CCIs) to improve upon their current foundational programs. Across 9 such CCIs, we provided 263 children with a Samsung tablet each, with a year-long subscription to Unacademy, one year’s supply of dry fruits to meet their nutritional requirements, and a year’s worth of stationery supplies.
For the children in CCIs who are already receiving a foundational literacy and numeracy curriculum from DCPCR, the addition of edtech-based learning would enable them to learn these very skills through a digital approach, making it more immersive and enjoyable with apps, videos, and games. Edtech-based learning also improves upon the engagement level shown by the children as compared to how attentive they are in a traditional setting of a classroom. Additionally, through the use of tablets, teachers would be able to monitor and track the growth of the children, while also being able to plan timely interventions for students who require additional support.
Beyond the effort of combining offline lessons with online resources, the food support we are providing will ensure children’s nutritional requirements are met to maximise their knowledge retention and growth.
The program was launched in Delhi on 26th August, with many esteemed guests in the presence. The Chief Guest, Hon’ble Minister Shri Kailash Gahlot, distributed tablets to the children, and emphasised on the importance of introducing edtech-based learning in a post-pandemic world.
The initiative was also supported by Ashoka University through its Child Rights Fellowship which focuses on the implementation of foundational literacy and numeracy outcomes for children in Delhi’s CCIs.
Feeding India has always been at the forefront of emergency response, especially during the pandemic with Feed The Daily Wager, Meals For Migrants, and, most notably, India Needs Oxygen. But that was only half the battle; our efforts are now focussed on improving the growth potential and opportunities for vulnerable children all across the country. Through the right nutritional support and appropriate interventions, we hope to provide equal access to a better quality of life for all children.