The recent pandemic has crippled every facet of life, globally. While big multinational businesses pivoted swiftly to accelerated digitization, all walks of life came to a standstill. Marginalized communities suffered the most with the lack of avenues to access the digitized world and thus remained confined to the four walls of their homes.
Education was one of the worst-hit sectors of the pandemic. Like several other countries, India, where the majority population is rural, faced many challenges accessing online education. Virtusa has always supported education and empowerment, among other initiatives like healthcare and wellness, environmental sustainability, and technology incubators with academic institutions under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in collaboration with various NGOs.
Virtusa realized the disproportionate impact on young minds due to the lack of access to online education. As the situation returned to normalcy, Virtusa collaborated with Oxfam India to ensure an easy return to school for kids under its CSR initiatives: Back To School and Digital Literacy.
Virtusa, in partnership with Oxfam, provided:
Oxfam India had worked at the forefront during the COVID-19 crisis in India to offer aid to public healthcare, food, and safety kits for marginalized communities. Being shut for far too long due to COVID-19, school facilities like classrooms and washrooms deteriorated. Oxfam India and Virtusa collaborated to refurbish these schools by providing the necessary support.
Oxfam and Virtusa provided improved sanitation facilities, a lab, and electronic equipment to ten schools in Chennai. We adopted five schools in Bengaluru. 10,000 kids have benefited through our collaboration to drive the ‘Back to School and Digital Literacy’ campaign. In addition to washroom reconstruction/maintenance, we set up an RO water treatment plant to help these schools. We further distributed essential kits that contained school stationery along with sports equipment.
We helped convert and refurbish a classroom into a digital lab equipped with the necessary computer, laptop, scanner, smart board, and projectors. The children now have the benefits of e-learning with access to three projectors, eight desktops, and twelve laptops distributed between the five schools. We also conducted a training session with children on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and with parents and PRI members on the RTE Act and Child Rights compliance.
With the reopening of schools, all students got a chance to learn about digital literacy in their new computer lab. Through this intervention, 537 students (269 girls and 268 boys) have enrolled in these schools to empower their minds while taking a step towards digital literacy.