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International Education Day: Marico integrates technology to reach rural children

IVR based learning modules, digital classrooms, teacher support system through WhatsApp for Business form part of multiple rural outreach programmes


International Education Day, Marico integrates technology to reach rural children
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Driven by the conviction that children’s education is the cornerstone of future growth and progress of India, Marico’s Nihar Shanti Amla has been continuously imparting education to underprivileged children in multiple states of the country. On the occasion of International Education Day, Nihar Shanti Amla celebrated the fact that by using technology like interactive voice response (IVR), video meetings (skype) and cross messaging platforms over the growing telephony and broadband infrastructure of India, they have been able to broaden their reach and improve learning outcomes from all their rural outreach programmes and positively impact more than three lakh children.
 
The seamless use of technology has helped the brand make education more easily and effectively available in remote and rural areas of India across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. One of the most recent additions to their outreach programmes has been through an MoU that was signed with the Government of Rajasthan. As part of this agreement, the brand, aims to use technology to deliver teacher-training study material and teacher-support system to teachers in far-flung areas of Rajasthan. They have also developed a translation algorithm in partnership with the NGO LeapForWord that translates English into any Sanskrit-based language.

The brand is also working with several government schools in Madhya Pradesh for its teacher training programme using WhatsApp for Business as the medium of dissemination.
 
While technology has become entwined with and is enabling the urban lifestyle, there are still very large remote and rural parts of India that have been virtually digital-dark. Nihar Shanti Amla’s technology-driven education programmes have not only been helping educating children, they are also spreading awareness about the life-enhancing value of technology-adoption.
 
Koshy George, Chief Marketing Officer, Marico, said, “With purpose at its heart and commitment towards social progress, Nihar Shanti Amla has always believed that education is the core foundation for growth. With the help of technology, we are trying to bridge the geographical divide and make education with quality outcomes accessible to children. This is helping schools in remote villages achieve better learning outcomes, and we are also hopeful that this use of technology will bring positive changes in the lives of the children, their parents and their surroundings.”
 
Nihar Shanti Amla has been running an umbrella programme called Nihar Shanti Paathshala Funwala for the past five years to enable children to learn spoken English through simple, free of cost, IVR based training modules. In order to address the problem of limited number of teachers in government schools, the brand is also trying to bridge the gap with their Digital Classroom programme, which is running in Uttar Pradesh. These classrooms take a unique approach to teaching through remote volunteers who can connect online and teach children in these government schools.

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