Newgen’s Education Initiative Providing Opportunities for a Better Future. In last few decades, India has grown by leaps and bounds with significant improvements being witnessed in many spheres of life. Opportunities and growth rates are increasing with each passing year, yet there are pressing issues at our country’s helm which we need to combat, such as overpopulation, healthcare, sanitation and above all, education. We cannot envision life without proper education or healthcare facilities.
Many Corporates are taking an active role in improving the current state of education, healthcare etc. From donations to adopting villages and communities, or working closely with NGOs, companies are taking various measures to give back to society.
While many privileged families are able to send their children to schools having all the facilities available for an all-round education, millions of under privileged children, both in the rural areas and urban slums, have to combat the most unusual circumstances to attend school every day.
However, many of them possess the potential equal to their privileged counterparts. It is just a matter of equal opportunities being presented to them to prove their worth.
We at Newgen Software, a software products company, has for the past 25 years, helped organisations around the world gain a competitive advantage through increased efficiency and quality, enhanced service, and bottom line results. We believe in corporate responsibility and contributing to the communities in which we operate. While being focussed on sustained financial performance, we are also aware of the necessity and importance of social stewardship. As part of our initiatives to realise our CSR vision, we seek to, inter alia, promote education, care of abandoned children and gender equality. We actively contribute in the social and economic development of the less privileged children. We concentrate our efforts to raise the Human Development Index of our nation by enhancing their quality of lives.
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.- Nelson Mandela”
“Children, both in the rural areas and urban slums have to combat the most unusual circumstances to attend school every day. However, many of them possess the potential equal to their privileged counterparts. It is just a matter of equal opportunities being presented to them to prove their worth”
In order to support education for children, we founded Sadbhavna in 2006 to help educate the children from the communities around our office in Okhla, New Delhi. This was our first step in our CSR journey. This initiative aid lesser economically weaker sections of society to take on the challenges of modern day society through education, equipping them with basic life skills and personality development. Dedicated digital literacy classes are held for the children where they are taught the use of iPads and simple software tools. Children of our support staff such as security and house-keeping are also enrolled in this programme. Children from SOS Youth Hostel have also been invited to attend the Sadbhavna sessions. Some of the children who came to us through Sadbhavna were toddlers, some were seven or eight years old, while others were just entering their teens. Today, with their strong determination and hard work, some of them are pursuing professional courses, whereas others have taken up part-time jobs and are doing well. The ones who are still in school also aspire to pass with flying colours.
It was the experience with Sadbhavna Children and their continuous success stories that gave us the passion and courage to initiate our core CSR programme, Newgen Digital Discovery Paathshala (NDDP). This stems from our Managing Director, Diwakar Nigam’s vision to transform classroom sessions into fun-learning activities and to make school curriculum more meaningful. Under NDDP, school children are taught with the help of audio-visuals, presentations and iPads so that they learn textbook concepts digitally. This form of digital literacy created a conducive learning environment for children. Through Digital Paathshala, facilitators impart education using methodologies such as role plays, quizzes, movies and presentations while conducting sessions, making sessions highly interactive. This ignites curiosity amongst students about the subjects they are being taught while at the same time, helping them to hone their reasoning and logical thinking.
We approached the Delhi State Education Department and proposed to conduct the NDDP programme for a duration of five years at the Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Harkesh Nagar, Okhla. The school was officially adopted by us on April 1, 2016. During the academic year, April 2016 to March 2017, over 900 students of Classes VI and VII attended the Digital Paathshala sessions. In April 2017, students of Class VIII also joined the programme.
We have furnished the classrooms by providing i-Pads with MIFIS for internet connectivity for these classes to make the environment more favourable for teaching and learning. We provide screen, projector and speakers for AVs, additional stationary items like pencils, erasers, sharpeners, colours, notebooks, paper. We also reward students to motivate them. Keeping in mind that these are growing children who require plenty of nourishment, healthy snacks like biscuits, fresh fruits and juices are provided to them during these sessions.
So far, our efforts have shown results. Digital classroom sessions have nurtured students so well that they have shown tremendous growth in their academics. Today, over 1300 students at the Harkesh Nagar School and 200 children in Soami Nagar Model School have benefitted from NDDP. Going forward, we are planning to adopt the Government Girls Higher Secondary School at Tekhand where we will be conducting our programme for Grade VII and VIII students. We have covered schools in Okhla Phase 1 and 2. In future, we plan to go to similar areas such as Kalkaji or Greater Kailash and adopt one school per year.
We are much humbled when we hear the success stories of these precious children who have been regularly attending our digital as well as personality development sessions.
“With strategic thinking, well-planned programmes and balanced approach, the Corporate sector can make a huge difference. They can surely cater to the ample potential in the education sector and focus on eliminating the missing gaps in the education ecology”
SOS Village Adoption
In pursuance of our CSR vision, we have been collaborating with SOS Children’s Villages of India since 2014 to ensure holistic development of 30 children and their SOS mothers living in three Family Homes in Greenfields Village, Faridabad. We further expanded our SOS family by adopting three more SOS homes in Bhopal, where we work closely with the children from these SOS Villages. To enhance overall development of the children, we conduct personality development sessions at regular intervals. We also give career counselling sessions to students aged 14 and above to help them select the right career path.
We believe in corporate responsibility and contributing to the communities in which we operate. While being focussed on sustained financial performance, one should also be aware of the necessity and importance of social stewardship. With strategic thinking, well-planned programmes and balanced approach, the Corporate sector can make a huge difference. They can surely cater to the ample potential in the education sector and focus on eliminating the missing gaps in the education ecology.
Twenty-one-year-old Ramesh has been with Sadbhavna since its inception in 2006. He completed his graduation from Delhi University. He is currently working with OmniGlobe, Gurgaon, as an agent. However, he is keen to appear for the Indian Administrative Services entrance exams.“I have always wanted to do well in life. Coming from a village, I had to work very hard in school and college. The Sadbhavna sessions have helped megroom myself, select a career path and has given me the confidence to dream big,” says Ramesh.
Raveena was ten years old when she came to Sadbhavna in 2006. Today, she is a confident girl who is very keen to pursue a career. She has completed her graduation from Kamla Nehru College, Delhi University in 2017 and is presently interning in the CSR Department at Newgen; while also enrolling herself for a Masters Degree from an Open University.“I was the first person to be enrolled in Sadbhavana. I have barely missed a session in the last ten years. I was a very shy person but the personality development sessions have helped build my self-confidence. I am now an active participant in all of Newgen’s CSR activities,”
Priyadarshini Nigam is Head CSR at Newgen Software. She plays a pivotal role in driving Newgen’s CSR initiatives.