If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything then it surely is that the future is online and that digital education would be the ultimate path to gain knowledge!
While a many of us are already doing our bit in the development and education sector, there are few people who are going extra miles to ensure that none in the society stay deprived of knowledge or rightful education due to the pandemic (or say any other issue)!
Navi Mumbai based trio Lata Srinivasan, Pushpa Subramanian, and Vaidhei Pagaria have been working together for almost six years now — ensuring quality education, mindful growing and skilled knowledge to the deserving underprivileged section of this society.
Sampoorna Shiksha (Gyaandaan Foundation) was started with an aim to promote education, skill development, and various other activities for the upliftment of the children and adults alike in the less privileged regions of the country.
While the trio was driven by an intense passion to teach, the initiative was nurtured and promoted by their mentor, Mr. Venkatraman, popularly known as the ‘Pencilman of UAE’.
The samaritan has been supplying stationeries, uniforms, and various other items to 100+ schools in India. The schools he was associated with also needed passionate teachers. This is where the light was kindled — the twin educators, Lata & Pushpa, opened up their wings and took more students under their shelter. On the other hand, Vaidhei, a young energetic and dynamic person driven by the passion to teach, enrolled herself in E-Vidya Loka for teaching underprivileged children. In her term, she understood the needs of the children in backward areas and their enthusiasm to learn. Taking this experience, the three joined hands and gave birth to Sampoorna Shiksha.
Although they are active for the last six years, they officially promoted it as an organization in January 2020, and gained momentum during this pandemic.
“The first step was the deep passion towards teaching and the happiness and sense of fulfilment derived from it. We believe that every person has talents and passion. They are to be identified and channelised towards the upliftment of society and the community at large. This gives immense satisfaction and happiness.”– Lata
‘Wholistic Education For All’ is their mantra and USP. “We aim at not only providing formal education with open schooling options but also with skills for all-round development along with many volunteering projects which help both the giver and receiver,” she continues. “All of our initiatives are free of cost and open to all.”
Sampoorna Shiksha has been acting like a support pillar for many schools and children now. Recalling some of the old incidents which boosted their spirit, the trio shares, “we helped schools when they were running out of teachers. Pragati Wheels School did not have a Science teacher right when their exams were around the corner. Our educators lent them a helping hand and sailed them through. Another school in Jakhangaon, Satara, was not equipped with mandatory requirements for writing board exams. We helped them with our Happy Pariksha Kit.”
The pandemic has indelibly touched almost all aspects of our everyday lives. The prolonged school closures had differential impacts on children of different backgrounds. The number of dropouts has increased. To tackle this, Sampoorna Shiksha set up various centres across the nation where the students are digitally connected and various courses are conducted digitally.
Some of the recent projects started by the organization are:
Under the Skill4All project, Sampoorna Shiksha collaborated with CBDIT solutions and conducted the Tally Ace course. It is a 60 hours certification course for students who have basic computer knowledge. The vision is to conduct the classes in rural areas with 50+ programs and make more than 500+ students employable.
“In learning you teach, and in teaching you learn.”
Sampoorna Shiksha conducts spoken English sessions for teachers under the Training4All Project and helps them to become proficient in the English language and enhance the level of fluency while speaking. The course enables the teachers to adopt various techniques to teach their students and create an interest in the subject and help them to succeed in future.
“Girls in rural and semi-urban households are limited to performing domestic chores and taking care of siblings. They are discriminated against due to social norms and hence are restricted from going to school. They need to be empowered with education and skills to match their talents so that they can earn a sustainable living for their families and uplift their communities.
We regret that the people in the rural areas have accepted their conditions of life as irreparable. They also do not encourage or allow their children to educate themselves and uplift their conditions. We have understood that education – there is no substitute to that, be it formal, skill-based, talent-based if they are nurtured and correctly applied they can enrich a whole community at large,” says Pushpa.
Along with the Pagaria Welfare Foundation, the organization is also providing menstrual awareness to the students of ‘Children of the World’. Under their latest project ‘Laadli’, the team is distributing 20,000+ sanitary napkins to underprivileged girls and women throughout rural India.
While all of their projects and recent initiatives are heart touching, this one is my personal favorite!! Under Toys4All, the organization setup toy libraries for different age groups in all states of the country in collaboration with Toymate & Toiing. Children enjoy engaging themselves with different toys during the pandemic times. It also teaches them about sharing, helps develop their fine and gross motor skills and nurtures their creativity and imagination.
You can read more about their initiatives and projects in their latest issue.
So many stories and so many memories, they share, are the root cause they were able to come so far. A constant voice of help, a need to meet the demands and a dream to see happy faces everywhere is what keeps them going.
With the pandemic, a child’s destiny in the hilly areas has changed to the worst due to the inaccessibility of Wifi or internet in the remote areas of Uttarkashi. Sampoorna Shiksha bridged this gap through technology by installing their EShiksha kit in Kashika Learning Centre at Uttarakhand. The Kit consists of a projector and android based comprehensive curriculum of State Board syllabus and various lessons on skill development to empower all the sections of the community through education.
This is what the trio is hoping for:
- To provide education through NIOS to 1000+ students for class 10 and 12 by the end of 2021.
- Reach the entire belt of schools between Uttarkashi and Gangotri and give the children the right to education and provide them with an opportunity to make their own destiny.
- To harness and equip children with skills for self-development in remote areas through various projects.
- Enable people to volunteer effectively through various programs.
- To adopt schools in rural and backward areas and support them with all methods of self-sustainability in education.
“During the pandemic, some of our students took up jobs of loaders and other laborious jobs to earn and help their families. Education, they felt, did not provide the income which the unskilled job provided at that time. However, when the importance of their skill and education was upgraded with some amount of upgrading, they could get jobs, which provided them with income, dignity and good health also. This was an eyeopener to many other children also who were losing faith in education,” the trio further shares.
Their major impact states are Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Delhi, Uttarakhand, West Bengal & Tamil Nadu. Since due to the pandemic, all of their workshops have been shifted to online mode, they have participants & volunteers from all over India & the world.
“Education is a wealth which no one can rob you of or take away from you. The more you share it the more it grows. It makes you confident and self-reliant!”The superwomen ends it on a high note.
Sampoorna Shiksha is a no fund project and is completely driven by volunteers and managed entirely by the super trio. Whatever amount of funds is raised or received, is usually spent in stationeries and e-learning digital kits, sanitary napkins etc.
Stay tuned to this space and our series #PassionToProfession to read about more such women, their inspiring journeys and stories.
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