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Equal Opportunity for Every Child Through Education

With a population of over one billion people in India, only one-third can read. But, it is the children of the country that are facing basic challenges. In rural areas, the population is growing but there is a shortage of teachers, books, schools, and public funds to cover education costs.

Apart from this, there is also a high rate of dropouts in primary-level schooling. Many see education as a high-priced luxury and sometimes a waste of time. This is owing to poverty as many families would prefer their children to work and earn a living.

However, India’s growth relies on a well-educated and skilled workforce. A shabby foundation in primary education can change the course of one’s life. Therefore it is important to ensure that children reap the benefits of education for a secured future.

Recently, the pandemic has adversely impacted schooling and education, and the system has witnessed severe disruption. Many schools in urban areas made a smooth switch to virtual learning, while rural India continues to suffer. However, BharatCares, a non-profit organisation in India has prioritized empowering the underprivileged digitally.

Providing equal opportunities

Bharat e-Shiksha is a flagship initiative under BharatCares (by SMEC Trust). It aims to make quality education accessible to underprivileged students. And it is currently being done through a network of Bharat e-Shiksha Volunteers (BEVs). Under this initiative, teachers and students in remote and rural areas are supported with educational content-loaded smart TVs. This gives them access to mentored learning as well as digital devices.

The Digital Learning Centres (DLCs) were launched in May 2021 and the organisation has conducted virtual sessions on topics like menstrual health, the importance of self-esteem, awareness on underage drinking, bullying, mental health, nutrition, and career development and so on. Through regular activities like book reading the organisation also hopes to impart life skills to the students.

The sessions aim to sensitize students from government schools beyond their academics and talk about topics that are taboo in Indian society. They also encourage STEM-based learning via labs and library models. This will help them in the long run and think about career options of their choice. The program is currently targeted at government schools with a special focus on students between classes 6 to 10.

Students will receive six hours of learning every day - three hours through smart devices and the other three through mentored-learning

To ensure more students participate in the program, group sessions are conducted in the DLCs on an offline basis. However, this is not practised across all the locations as it is a great challenge to find volunteers or resource persons on the ground.

To date, over 300 students have participated in the Bharat e-Shiksha program and benefited from the same.


Roshini Muthukumar

Roshini Muthukumar, a native of Chennai, started her career as a content writer but made a switch to journalism to pursue her passion. She has experience writing about human interest stories, innovative technology, entrepreneurs, research blogs, and more. Previously, Roshini has done internships with The Hindu, Metroplus and worked as a correspondent with The Better India.