Our Common Purpose - Literacy India with their Socially Responsible Partners
Literacy India (LI), a non-profit organization working to empower marginalised children and women, has entered the 25th year of its operations. Using a combination of holistic education – formal and environmental learning – and skills training, the organisation has helped these under-served population groups to become self-reliant. Till date, 20000 lives have been impacted.
Since the beginning, Literacy India has believed that meaningful and sustainable change can only be brought about through an integrated approach where the value of quality education is strengthened by skill development leading to employability. To this end, its programme has been built on four pillars - Education, Empowerment, Employability and Environment. These four guiding principles have helped the organisation bring about positive change in the lives of its target beneficiaries/ communities.
The interventions offered by Literacy India cover the entire value chain that aids the economic uplift of human lives. From basic education to higher education, skill development to livelihood options, self-employment to job-readiness, the programmes are designed to instigate purposeful change. The skills imparted are kept relevant to the fast-changing world economy. Education and employability together provide confidence to beneficiaries to determine outcomes in their lives and instils in them an awareness of rights and duties towards the environment in which they operate.
Literacy India’s efforts have been further strengthened by patrons, some of whom have been long-standing partners, adding significant value. KPMG has been a major patron and donor. In keeping with KPMG’s commitment to further the cause of quality education, the accounting major and its employees have immensely contributed to Literacy India’s flagship project Vidyapeeth for 12 years now. Till date, the partnership and collaboration with KPMG has impacted more than 20000 children, women, and community members.
The KPMG team, under the able leadership of Mr Devang Bhandari, Partner, Deal Advisory and Strategy Impact Investment, Corporate Citizenship Lead, Global Services, has contributed in ways that have provided critical mass to the ongoing efforts of Literacy India. Quality education requires quality teachers, nutritional support for children, safe and clean drinking water, school bus to ferry children, especially from their homes, green electricity through solar power and fire safety equipment for the safety of people and property. The purpose of quality education would remain incomplete without these essentials more particularly the support by KPMG of over 2.5 lacs meals per annum for these children irrespective of the Pandemic situation.
Mr Bhandari, who has invested several hours of his personal time in interacting with children and been involved in story-telling sessions, says: “I have personally grown while interacting with the children. Their ability to overcome odds, stay happy and show the determination to succeed in life is very inspirational.” Appreciating the efforts of Literacy India, Mr. Bhadari says: “Captain Indraani Singh’s conviction has been the single force behind the growth of Vidyapeeth, their main education initiative. The community’s trust is immense.”
Vidyapeeth is a non-formal school under the aegis of the National Institute of Open Schooling – Open Basic Education Programme (NIOS-OBE) located in a corner of village Bajghera in Sector 112, New Palam Vihar, Gurugram, Haryana, India. It follows the NCERT curriculum and provides quality academic experience to children up to Grade XII. Any child between the ages of 7 and 16 years from economically weaker sections who is not attending school is eligible for admission. Children who have dropped out of school for any reason whatsoever or who have never attended formal school, especially girls, are encouraged to join Vidyapeeth. Free education, summer and winter uniforms, books, shoes, other stationary, mid-day meals, among a host of other enablers, are provided to all students to encourage retention and discipline. State-of-the-art ICT material is used by teachers to provide online multimedia education for faster and better reception and conceptual understanding.
The pedagogy in Vidyapeeth is based on “Learning by Doing’’. The school does not emphasise rote learning but focuses on the overall personality development of children through sports, vocational training, theatre, digital learning (including coding, robotics, smart classrooms) and experiential learning etc. Throughout the year students showcase their learnings in the school and/or in the community in subjects like English, Math, Hindi, Social Sciences, Science and Value Education. Children are encouraged to inculcate value-based education, develop interpersonal skills, and learn everyday behavioural-hygiene and life skills. Parents are invited to watch their children inaction as they learn and grow.As Ira Gupta Tuteja, Advisor - Corporate Citizenship, KPMG in India says: “KPMG in India is committed to enabling sustainable development through its focus on UN SDG-4, Quality Education. We acknowledge the importance of encouraging lifelong learning at schools to enable well-rounded development of students. By supporting Literacy India, we not only help build capacity of the organisation but also help empower students with skills, resources and knowledge to become successful.”
Captain Indraani Singh, Founder, Literacy India, says: “Literacy India and Project Vidyapeeth are thankful to KPMG for supporting the education of the underserved and providing essential items that go into provisioning holistic education for marginalised children.”
January 28, 2022 17:33 IST, Business Standard