As India stands on the cusp of development and modernisation, the growing need of the hour is to propagate education in the hinterlands of the nation that needs it the most. With the country’s literacy rate at 72.98% in Census 2011, there’s work to be done at the grassroots level as we head into an era that promises hope for the entire nation.
Tata Power, through its 100% subsidiary Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd. (CGPL) has tirelessly worked towards promoting quality education as part of its community development initiatives. It’s commitment to engage in activities that improve the community, has seen it launch the Shiksha Sarthi Initiative. The ‘Laakhon Mein Ek’ campaign was one such initiative by CGPL in association with the NGO Pratham and the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) Centre.
The campaign has reached out to more than 100,000 communities and villages across India, facilitating key learning interventions in rural schools. Launched in November 2015, the ‘Laakhon Mein Ek’ campaign was carried out in phases which commenced in Mandvi and Mundra. In the first phase, communities were mobilised to improve the status of education in their groups. The phase saw approximately 147 people registering themselves as village leaders and 207 individuals as village volunteers. 121 villages were reached out to and 117 report cards were shared in 117 villages to discuss the learning levels in children with their parents and community members. This data was then used to hold meetings with community members to discuss potential actions that could be undertaken to improve learning levels in children.
In the second phase, a ‘Reading Week’ was organised in the Shiksha Sarthi villages where children were encouraged to form their own groups and were given a set of activity sheets. These sheets were planned to encourage them to read and solve basic maths problems every day. The second phase was a huge success as massive involvement was seen from parents, locals and stakeholders such as Sarpanchs. The initiative saw participation of 1,900 children from 70 villages, with support from 126 village volunteers.
Tata Power has promised to strive towards working for the betterment of education and will provide rural areas with equal opportunities for learning in the future. A key component of the campaign was to engage the village Sarpanchs who yield considerable influence in the rural regions of India and this was carried out in the two phases. Community meetings were also organised that emphasised the need for quality education and regular attendance in schools to children and parents.
With the ‘Laakhon Mein Ek’ campaign, crucial momentum has been built to bring in a wave of learning and education in the rural areas of India. Education must be made a priority in all village communities and Tata Power’s CGPL, with Pratham will work relentlessly towards this goal in the days to come.