Education is an integral part of a child’s growth and development. However, not all children have this privilege and are struck down by poverty. Millions of children across India drop out of school to help their families make ends meet.
And over the years, due to the lack of education, they are unable to possess the freedom of a career choice with the support of education. Eventually, they get trapped within the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
To ensure this freedom through education, ALIG (A Literacy Initiative Group) Educational and Welfare Society was formed in 2008. It was first initiated with the simple goal of sponsoring the education of underprivileged students.
“We started by connecting sponsors to children in need. We would look for these children and help with the required funds to help them grow with education,” says Arshad Kauser, Executive Director, ALIG Educational and Welfare Society.
“Gradually, instead of only students, we mobilised our resources and started adopting schools. We started working with teachers and students and kicked off our education programme,” he adds.
ALIG Society works to ensure that children are empowered with education, health and skill development. The NGO has its intervention in four states – Jharkhand (headquarters), Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Bihar.
Around 70% of children in India are enrolled in government schools. ALIG adopts innovative pedagogical techniques in government schools, thus contributing to the UN sustainable development goals.
There are millions of children who study in government schools in India. To enhance their learning, ALIG Society has adopted innovative techniques to help them through its ‘Support a School’ programme.
“Through this programme, we conduct several activities that help the programmes that encourage English learning as well as other collaborative activities,” says Arshad.
With technology being the future of education, the NGO wants to ensure that both teachers and students are well-versed in using digital platforms. So, they introduced the ‘Digital Literacy’ programme to enhance the same further.
With a similar goal, the ‘Adult Literacy’ programme is an initiative that introduces functional literacy to the parents of government school students. The goal is to empower these adults to become literate with the support of ALIG’s well-defined syllabus.
Many children drop out of school once their family hits a financial snag. To reduce this occurrence among underprivileged children, ALIG Society offers the ‘Child Sponsorship Programme’ or CSP to children in need.
In addition, it also guides students in these government schools, helping them find meaningful careers. With its intervention, ALIG also sets up new libraries and enhances existing library schools.
ALIG Society is working with over 12,000 students through its educational interventions.
ALIG Society prioritises the health and well-being of all age groups. It teaches young adults about sexual and reproductive health, while it targets couples for awareness of ARSH (Adolescent Reproductive & Sexual Health). It also educates children on WASH (Water, Sanitation & Health), raising awareness about hygiene, handwashing, garbage disposal, and drinking water.
“We also conduct menstrual hygiene sessions for the girl children and their mothers,” says Arshad.
The NGO also promotes environmental awareness through activities like drawing, essay-writing, etc., to help children cultivate a sense of responsibility towards the environment.
In times of crisis, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown, ALIG distributed a million meals to families of these government school students.
ALIG Society helps women from underprivileged sections with skills like stitching, tailoring and embroidery to empower them to become independent. It also allows women and girls with computer-related and other skills to improve their job prospects.
These training programmes are further enhanced with the help of the Self-Help Groups (SHG).
“The women are trained to stitch clothes, make and design bangles, create embroidery works, Rakhi hampers, cloth etc. Our team helps them improve their livelihoods and optimise the products to have a good market value,” says Arshad.
In times when offline education became inaccessible, many students chose to drop out. Some who held on to a sliver of hope struggled with online classes. Many lacked the guidance to help them learn virtually.
In these times, ALIG Society partnered with BYJU’S Education for All to virtually ensure a wholesome learning experience for children.
“We collaborated with BYJU’S and provided the children with free BYJU’S learning content to help them learn digitally,” Arshad shares. “While the schools have now been reopened, we are encouraging students to use the app after school hours to enrich their learning further.”
BYJU’S Education for All hopes to make a difference in the lives of children with the hope of education. Together with NGO partners like ALIG Society, we want to ensure that more children have access to quality learning.
BYJU’S Education for All is on a mission to empower 10 million children by 2025 with education. Through the BYJU’S Give programme, you can contribute to this movement and help children with quality digital learning. You can donate an old device, which we will refurbish, and then use the money raised to buy a new device. In case you do not have a device, you can also donate to an NGO partner, who will use the funds to buy devices for children.
In both cases, we will load our BYJU’S Think & Learn premium content onto these devices and distribute them to children in need.
Also Read: Educational Freedom and Selfless Community Service: Round Table India’s Mission
Anju is a peace-lover, a video-game addict, and a childhood doodler who imagined that the scribbles were words. This storyteller enjoys a good read, some doodling, and learning new languages. One day, she hopes to write her own story someday, and hopefully in the French language, too! She never loses hope of making the world a better place to live in.
Arya C is a 4th grader who talks about her transition from the US to India and how BYJU`S has helped her at that. She also loves how BYJU`S has made learning a lot more fun.
Meet Sourabh who has a ton to say about his BYJU`S learning experience. His love for quizzes, games and other fun activities are paying off!
V Shriya is a class eight student who has been using BYJU’S for a year now. She shares her experiences with using the app and how it has helped her in improving her academic performance.