What We Do
Literacy India, a non-profit organization, set up 24 years ago to empower and educate underprivileged Women, Children and Youth. Literacy India is working in states of Delhi-NCR, Haryana, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Ladakh, Gujrat, Chattisgarh, Orissa & Telangana. It has close to 106 centres across India with an outreach of 65,000 beneficiaries annually.
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has infected more than three million people in more than 150 countries. A scourge confronting all of humanity, impacting lifestyles, businesses, economies, and the assumption of common well- being that all of us have been mainly taken for granted. The outbreak of the COVID-19 posed fresh challenges on all aspect of life. The worst affected is the Poorest of the Poor and their families, Rural communities and their Children. Millions of workers who migrate seasonally to cities in search of daily wage labour have been severely affected by the Lockdown. Stranded far from their homes without income, thousands had to undertake journeys on foot across state borders for over hundreds of miles to their native places.
Food insecurity and the resulting health concerns are compounding along with class and gender lines, with the homeless, slum dwellers, malnourished women and children becoming even more vulnerable than before. In rural India, too, the scale of hunger is unprecedented. From the First Day of Lockdown, Literacy India was ready. It prepared to supply of Ration from local grocers across all its centres. The beneficiaries were contacted, and the team of teachers and staff was formed to distribute the items like Rice, Pulses, Wheat Flour, Salt, etc. For safety and protection, soaps, along with the Masks, were also distributed. All the Women groups who have been trained under Indha (What is Indha visit- www.indha.in) made Masks across all the centres for distribution.
Till date Literacy India distributed Essential Ration Kit & Masks to 15500 People in Delhi NCR, UP, Rural Rajasthan & West Bengal
No one thought of 40 days of Lockdown or its continuance. This is the time where many of our students were transiting from the old session to new. Some of them yet to complete their board examinations. Educators and our IT Team started experimenting with the students engaging with them by using technology. There are some students whose parents had Smart- mobiles with data connectivity. Initially, teachers began their engagement by using WhatsApp, especially with Senior students who were preparing for their board exams. After a few weeks of difficulty to use this medium to organize and deliver the content in a consolidated manner, the Educators started creating and aggregating content of their own using low bandwidth.
The use of free content provided by NIOS( National Open School) channels on YouTube and the Subject Matter Expert’s Videos were indexed. Free platforms like Khan Academy and Google classroom is being used to teach and organize the educational content. Entire teachers training on using these platforms were conducted using Zoom and Microsoft TEAM.
Most of the students are now onboard on Google Classroom Application. Teachers are now creating their own content using their own Video, Audio and PDF Books.
Craft assignments have been given to Pre-Vocational students who are in Stitching and Beauty Training. It was quite a Pleasant Surprise when we found that the students learnt to make Mask by using You-tube Videos for their self-use and for their family members.
Amongst the worst affected are the rural artisans whose livelihood was totally dependent on the daily work given by the Indha (What is Indha, visit- www.indha.in). Due to Lockdown, there had been no sales activity.
The old saying “Necessity is the father of invention “ became real when all artisans and the design team started to think about converting this Pandemic into a livelihood opportunity. It was learnt that Mask is one such item which acts as Guard against person-to-person droplet transmission of a virus. The team of experts started to work on the sampling of Masks and sent out designs to the artisans through WhatsApp.
These artisans started working from home in the making of Masks. Close to Ten thousand Masks were distributed in the community with their help, and another ten thousand Masks are in production.
Masks were given in the community, especially women, children and old people, in some places they were also distributed to the Police on Duty as well. Being made of Cotton, these Masks are organic and can be used multiple times after washing.
Due to this Lockdown, One of the effective means of utilizing the skill of this large number of volunteers was to use their expertise. There are currently more than 50 volunteers from Different corporates who are mentoring students in English language proficiency and communication. We are using the free platform of Duolingo for this purpose. There are also large campaigns initiated by them on Social media platform to raise funds for people impacted under COVID-19 Lockdown. They are fundraising on their Birthdays & Anniversaries. We are hoping in the coming days we will see the success.