In the year 2020, the world has changed drastically, millions of people have lost their jobs, their livelihoods and their families, however, children have been hit the hardest as they have been deprived of their right to education as they are unable to attend online classes due to financial constraints. These children are unable to purchase devices for their online classes. Furthermore, those who have devices are unable to attend the classes due to multiple other factors such as lack of internet connectivity. This lack of education could have grave consequences, not only for these children but for our nation as a whole.
To put these words into numbers, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 320 million students have had to shift to “online teaching”, however, this ignores India’s immense digital divide which will leave millions of innocent children without an education. Furthermore, according to the 2017-18 National Sample Survey, only 23.8% of Indian households had internet access. Additionally, In rural households, which make up 66% of our population, only 14.9% had access to digital devices. To make matters worse, young people’s access is even less: A recent news report stated that only 12.5% of students had access to smartphones. These numbers are horrifying as they prove that millions of children are not being able to learn and grow due to financial problems.
The Bagiya Program by The Sanshil Foundation:
A garden of learning that has been created with a vision and mission to change lives. Bagiya is a remedial school that does bridge education and caters to the slums in and around Sector 50 Gurgaon. With over 150+ students currently enrolled, Project BAGIYA has mainstreamed over a 1000 students ever since its inception in 2009. Mainstream schools like Shikshantar, DPS Shiksha Kendra and Amitasha being a few of the schools where the students have been sent for their academic pursuits. Currently, 120 students are being supported academically and financially in mainstream education. Some Bagiya supported students are currently pursuing their undergraduate degrees and a few have found jobs in the corporate world.
Project BAGIYA integrates communities through holistic and academic learning. Pathways have been created through sports, art and craft and theatre activities. However, due to COVID-19 many of these children lost the ability to learn and attend these sessions because they didn’t have a personal device.
Currently, there are over 150 children currently enrolled in the online classes under the Bagiya program. They are children of daily wages labourers, part time domestic help/cooks, auto rickshaw drivers, street hawkers etc. In totality, they all come from financially constrained backgrounds where they cannot afford to purchase devices such as phones and laptops to continue their online education during the pandemic.
How We Can Help:
Our goal is to reach out to as many children as possible and provide them with the required means like internet data and devices to facilitate their education. Since India’s greatest advantage is the human resource, we as responsible citizens can do so by donating funds to The Sanshil Foundation for Project Bagiya. These funds will be used to purchase and ensure that these children receive mobile phones and internet data to continue their studies hassle-free. By donating funds you will be ensuring that these children can achieve bigger goals and set new targets for themselves in life
In these difficult times, we should try to re-invent, adapt and support them as a community and do our part to care for these children who are willing to work hard to lead a better life. Your selfless contributions will help us do our part in making this journey of education easier for children like Kajal, Kanchan and Pallavi and many others who can have a brighter future with your help.