Partners with Nirmaan Organization to bridge the digital divide and aid learning for underserved students
Cognizant has donated 609 tablets and 20 internet-enabled laptops to government schools in Haryana at a function held at Government Senior Secondary School, Jacobpura, Gurugram, in the presence of Yash Garg, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Gurugram. The distribution drive in NCR is part of Cognizant’s nationwide ‘Digital Schools’ initiative being implemented in partnership with Nirmaan Organization.
The initiative in Haryana will benefit over 609 students of classes 9 and 10 and more than 25 teachers of government schools in the region. Cognizant has contributed more than INR 1.08 crore towards these devices.
The ‘Digital Schools’ initiative, launched by Cognizant aims to bridge the digital divide and enable access to education for students at Government schools.
Speaking at the event, Mukund Garg, Vice President and Centre Head for NCR, Cognizant, said, “As an organization that believes in the power of education to enable social progress and transformation, Cognizant will continue to serve the cause of digital inclusion in education. The Digital Schools initiative is our effort to ensure that rural schools in underserved communities overcome the extraordinary disruptions and digital inequalities brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and continue imparting education. On behalf of Cognizant, I thank the state, district and local administration, as well as our implementation partner Nirmaan Organization for their support.”
Cognizant Outreach, the company’s employee-led volunteering program and Nirmaan volunteers will conduct programs to train the students on using the devices effectively and will also support usage to ensure positive educational outcomes. Volunteers will also conduct training sessions for faculty members to empower them with digital skills and techniques to enhance student engagement and learning outcomes.
Commending Cognizant for their support, Mayur Patnala, CEO, Nirmaan Organization, said, “Cognizant’s support and partnership for the Digital Schools Program has helped mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the education of underserved students. We have been working hard to ensure children’s education is not interrupted. This program will strengthen digital infrastructure in rural schools and create teacher training programs to equip faculty members with the needed knowledge to harness digital technologies.”
As part of the Digital Schools initiative, Cognizant plans to donate 3,730 tablets and 188 laptops with internet across nine cities in six states at a cost of INR 6.7 crore. Nirmaan Organization and CBM India Trust (both non-profits) were identified as implementation partners. The project will be executed in a phased manner in Telangana, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Maharashtra by Nirmaan and in Kolkata by CBM India Trust for over one year.
The device distribution is planned in four phases this year. In the first phase, distribution was completed in Telangana and Karnataka where 500 tablets and 40 laptops were donated in April 2021 and Phase 2 has been completed in NCR and Maharashtra with donations of 1980 tablets and 80 laptops to underserved students in July 2021. Next month, distribution drives in Phase 3 and Phase 4 will cover West Bengal, Telangana and Karnataka, respectively.
Others who were present at the event included Gaurav Hazra, Vice President and Head of Government Affairs, Cognizant, BR Sikri, Vice Chairman, Haryana State CSR Trust, Gaurav Singh, Regional Head & Addl CEO-PMU, Haryana CSR Advisory Board, Indu Bokan Kasana, District Education Officer, Gurgaon, Mounika Konatham, COO, Education Initiatives, Nirmaan Organization, Anuradha Pulla, Program COO, Nirmaan Organization, and Sunil Kumar Sharma, Headmaster, Government Senior Secondary School, Jacobpura, Gurugram.