Enriching lives through digital education

By Priyadarshini Nigam

Newgen started Sadbhavna to help less-privileged children with their education and to equip them with basic life skills. This was an informal program initiated by Newgen volunteers and spouses. However, in the last ten years there are several success stories.

When the CSR mandate was announced by the government, Newgen decided to continue working with school children and develop e-learning skills amongst them. Newgen Digital Discovery Paathshala emanated from this ethos. The Digital Paathsahala is an interesting way to learn textbook concepts digitally. Government school children are taught lessons through presentations, Audio visuals and Ipads.

Sadbhavna was the first step that we took in our CSR journey. Sadbhavna was started in the year 2006- an educational program initiated by Newgen volunteers and spouses, to help less-privileged children with their education and overall growth.

The last ten years that we have spent with the children of Sadbhavna gave us the courage to commence with our core CSR Initiative, Newgen Digital Discovery Paathshala (NDDP). The initiative emanated from the vision of our MD, with an objective to empower children with Digital Education and digitally transform classroom sessions.

Digital Paathshala is a unique concept through which we impart academic curriculum digitally using IPads. Our facilitators use methodologies such as role plays, quizes, movies and presentations while conducting sessions, making sessions highly interactive. The idea is to generate curiosity among the students about the subjects they are being taught in the classroom.

In November 2016, when we started the NDDP pilot in Government’s Girls Senior Secondary School, Okhla, Delhi, we found that the children were sitting huddled on torn mats, on the floor. To create a better environment for the children, we provided desks and benches for 900+ children.

I am delighted to share that during the last academic year, April 2016 to March 2017, over 900 students of classes 6th and 7th attended the Digital Paathshala sessions. In April, 2017, students of class 8th also joined the NDDP program and we then furnished the classrooms for another 450 students. Today, over 1300 students regularly attend the NDDP program.

Reflecting back at the last year, our focused efforts to impart quality education have shown good results. We have furnished the computer lab allotted to us by school authorities, for conducting the NDDP sessions, catering to 1300+ students every week. The lab is now equipped with benches and tables that accommodate 100 students and projector for showcasing AVs. Last year, we also invested in 120 iPads and charging stations for facilitating these digital sessions.

We extended the reach of our CSR initiatives by adopting three families in the SOS Children’s Village, Faridabad in 2014. We further expanded our SOS family by adopting three more SOS homes in Bhopal, where we work closely with the children from these SOS Villages.

We have several success stories of children who have regularly attended Sadbhavna sessions. Twenty-one year old, Ramesh, has completed his graduation from Delhi University and works for a KPO in Gurugram. Raveena, after finishing her graduation from Kamla Nehru College in Delhi has enrolled for masters at the Open University. Meanwhile, she is interning in the CSR department of Newgen Software.

(Views are personal)

About the Author: Priyadarshini Nigam is Head CSR at Newgen Software and plays a pivotal role in driving Newgen’s CSR initiatives through programmes like Sadbhavna, Newgen Digital Discovery Paathshala (NDDP)  and SOS village adoption. Under her leadership, Newgen started the Sadbhavna initiative in 2006. It is an educational program for children and is designed to focus on their overall development. After almost a decade of its inception, the program is running successfully and has multiple successful stories to share.