I Am Kolkata , the CSR arm of Merlin Group has joined hands with Kolkata Police to support its initiative on digital education at your doorstep  for underprivileged children  today. The initiative christened, Pora Shona Darabe Na’ (Siksha Nahi Rukegi – Education will not stop)would empower school  children from below  poverty line families with digital devices to continue their studies. The initiative  has been also  supported by CRY and Airtel.

At a formal function, Mr. Saket Mohta, Founder, I Am Kolkata from Merlin and MD, Merlin group has presented fifty smart phones to Mrs Aparajita Rai, IPS, Deputy Commissioner of Police , Special Task Force, Kolkata Police. These Smart phones will be donated to the underprivileged children for their online classes.

Speaking on  the  initiative , Mr. Saket Mohta, founder, I Am Kolkata and MD , Merlin group said,“The digital education  initiative at the doorsteps taken by Kolkata Police is a much needed fillip  for holistic growth of   children. We feel privileged to have joined the noble initiative which is another step towards inclusive education and education for all. We hope our  contribution would  inspire  the lesser privileged children to pursue  their studies without any  hindrance. This will also minimize the total no  of drop outs in the early phase of education. The pandemic has created the need for digital education for all and this step is a right one towards that. We at I Am Kolkata are committed to contribute  to  our society in a meaningful  way through various welfare initiative. I hope our partnership with Kolkata Police would go a long way in future for the benefit of the society”

About 40 per cent primary school students could not attend online classes during the pandemic owing to digital divide, a report published by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen’s Pratichi (India) Trust . The study was compiled on the basis of experiences shared by hundreds of teachers across 21 state-run primary schools in Kolkata. Either these students don’t have a digital device, or they don’t have a good internet connection, or both. So, there is no reason to think that the experience will be different for high school students. As a result, the huge chasm is increasing between the poor and those who can afford the digital devices to continue classes from home.

Kolkata Police officials realized many students, especially adolescents, who cannot attend classes due to lack of digital devices get frustrated and often get embroiled in criminal activities. Keeping this in mind, the current collaborative initiative aims to engage children in education and other allied co-curricular activities through bringing online education to their door-step. E-learning has a huge potential and it opens a new vista to the new emerging world and bridging this digital education divide can help realize the potential of each student.

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