Mumbai: The recent COVID-19 crisis has been a magnifier of existing literacy challenges, deeply affecting schooling and learning opportunities for youth and adults with no or low literacy skills. This came to light when children and young people had to make a rapid shift towards distance-learning solutions, particularly in formal education by attending virtual classes and disseminating study materials. ‘International Literacy Day’, globally celebrated on 08th September every year aims to create awareness and remind people of how important education is for personal and national development. This year’s theme focuses on Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
Nuvoco Vistas Corp. Ltd., a leading manufacturer and retailer of building materials in India understands the importance of education and has been contributing towards the country’s literacy rate through a dedicated CSR pillar – ‘Shikshit Bharat’. Under the aegis of this pillar, Nuvoco has been able to provide access to new-age education facilities like installing smart classes in approximately 50 government schools through project ‘E-Shiksha’ and improve the quality of Nuvoco has successfully made education accessible to approx 5000 students across locations through these initiatives. Even during COVID times, teachers in government school at Jamshedpur, continued teaching through online classes using the smart class facility.
As per the census of India, the country’s literacy rate in 2018 was 74.37%, a 5.07% increase from 2011. Despite the overall progress made by the country, literacy challenges still persist and are a glaring issue due to India’s vast and diverse population. Addressing this concern, Nuvoco’s project ‘Shikshit Sunderhattu’ (Winner of FICCI CSR Jury Award 2018-19 for Education) in Jamshedpur is helping tribal children from Sunderhattu and Sarenbera villages near its Jojobera Cement Plant. The children are provided with education facilities by the school ‘Birsa Prathmik Vidyalaya’, which currently educates 108 children (Nursery to class III) and has positively shaped the lives of more than 500 tribal children by bringing them into mainstream education. Additionally, Nuvoco’s Mejia Cement Plant in Bengal has been conducting supplementary classes for weak and economically deprived students in a village near the plant, while maintaining social distancing even during the pandemic with support of the local community.
Joydeep Chatterjee, Chief of Projects, CSR & Corporate Affairs at Nuvoco Vistas Corp. Ltd. , says “At Nuvoco we understand the impact and role of literacy and education in uplifting and transforming lives. Care is one of Nuvoco’s core values and we ensure we provide the best to society. With the government support we have created a unique approach to provide new age education to students across locations. Project ‘Shikshit Sunderhattu’ is one such step towards improving literacy among the tribals and we aim to replicate in other regions and continue to empower people.”