Partnered with NGOs in the education sector to provide a much needed boost to academics in India
India CSR News Network
NEW DELHI: Recognizing the role of education in nation building and in line with its commitment to creating value in the lives of its stakeholders, Monsanto, Monsanto is a sustainable agriculture companydelivers agricultural products that support farmers all around the world, has forged partnerships with leading NGOs to restore a school devastated by floods in Uttarakhand, set up libraries at government schools in Maharashtra, provide mid-day meals to schools across UP, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Orissa and Gujarat; while also conducting training programs for teachers in Bihar to enhance the learning levels in schools.
Poor access to education continues to remain a critical challenge in India, particularly in rural areas. Lack of infrastructure, proper text books and learning materials, poor sanitation facilities and forced child labour due to poverty are the primary contributing factors. With the firm belief that education can bring about positive changes and social development, Monsanto has initiated the following programs that aim to address these issues and help improve access to education in rural India.
Working with Room to Read: Maharashtra
Monsanto has tied up with “Room to Read” to set up libraries across 11 government schools in Maharashtra. This activity has directly helped more than 5,000 children by providing them with access to engaging learning spaces as well as high-quality reading materials. Through this partnership, Monsanto provides support to help develop literacy skills among children and inculcate a habit of reading amongst primary school children. The partnership also supports girls to complete secondary school with skills they need to succeed in school and beyond.
Mid-Day meals with Akshayapatra: UP, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Orissa & Gujarat
Monsanto has partnered with Akshayapatra in order to provide mid-day meals for around 45,000 children across Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Orissa and Gujarat. The organization strives to fight issues such as hunger and malnutrition in India. By implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in the Government schools and Government-aided schools, Monsanto is not only helping fight hunger but is also drawing more children to attend school. This initiative has led to many parents sending their children to school as their wards are now assured of at least one nutritious meal per day.
Inclusive classrooms in Deshkal: Bihar
To improve the quality of education, Monsanto has partnered with Deshkal Society to conduct teachers’ trainings & create inclusive classrooms in Purnea, Bihar.
This would improve the learning levels of 48,000 children in the district. Deshkal Society has initiated and innovated research, advocacy and grassroots interventions to further the inclusion and equity of marginalized communities in mainstream society. Issues of social exclusion/ inclusion, and marginality and diversity in education, culture and sustainable livelihoods are the main focus where Deshkal Society continues to develop and serve underprivileged communities. Through its unique partnership with Monsanto, Deshkal society has reached out to equip teachers with modern teaching aids and techniques, which will help them to create a more conducive environment for learning in schools across Bihar.
Sanitary hygiene to prevent school dropouts: Telangana and Maharashtra
A common phenomena in rural India is the high dropout rate among adolescent girl students, primarily due to lack of appropriate sanitation facilities in schools, making adolescent girls in rural India ill- equipped to manage their monthly menstrual cycle due to limited availability of adequate resources. This was seen as a major cause for dropout rate among girl children from schools.
To address this challenge, Monsanto, along with Action for Food Production (AFPRO), piloted to install a sanitary napkin dispenser in the girls’ toilet in one of the schools at Shameerpet, Telangana. On receiving a good response from the students and teachers on this initiative, Monsanto felt the need to upscale the initiative and provide the same to multiple schools. Hence the partnership empowered a women Self Help Group to initiate a sanitary napkin making unit, a great social cause & also an alternate source of income for the women members. Together with AFPRO, Monsanto is reaching out to girl students in Telangana and Maharashtra in order to ensure maximum attendance and reduced dropout levels.
Through these initiatives Monsanto is committed to addressing the issues identified with the aim of resolving some of the problems associated with rural education in India.