Report by Rashmi Ranjan Parida, New Delhi: Over 1000 employees from various corporates ran at the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020 for Smile Foundation helping them support the education of more than 1600 underprivileged kids under its flagship program “Every Child in School”. The education costs for supporting each child, which covers cost of books and stationary, teacher and staff salaries, infrastructure upkeep, nutrition needs among other things was provided through them.
HDFC Life, Prudential, Cello, Abott Healthcare, Ion Foundation, Polycab, Coversto, SBI Life, LIC and Schindler helped support the cause by enabling Smile Foundation to provide cost free education to these children.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation said, “To see such enthusiasm and participation from India Inc, reassures our commitment to bring in ‘Civic Driven Change’. Every Child in School is a unique campaign of Smile and is committed to ensuring that poverty doesn’t stand in the way of a child’s education. Through such generosity we can now safeguard continued education for at least 1600 more students for another year.”
An estimated 17.7 million children in India are out of school, working in hazardous conditions, living on the street, braving hunger, poverty and violence. The Mission Education programme, the overarching programme of Ever Child in School, identifies such out-of-school children from remote villages, tribal areas and urban slums, and provides them quality education. In addition to this the programme also looks after their health, nutrition, and holistic development through participation in co-curricular activities.
Last year 30,000 children across 22 states of India were directly provided education through 261 Mission Education projects. 51% of total beneficiaries were girls, while 74% of children were 1st generation learners from remote villages & tribal families. All of them received regular nutrition & health care support while the teachers received training in innovative teaching skills through the programme.