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From Maggi to Movement to Magic!

Magic Poshan is an initiative, started by Inika Kandwal, Tanya Gupta and Shruti Koundinya, to provide underprivileged schoolchildren with essential nutrition as they don't have access to school mid-day meals during the lockdown in India. The JourneyOur story begins with one balcony, a cold night breeze, glistening stars, and 3 bowls of steaming Maggi. We were spending just another night of the community lockdown together, and we drifted into conversations about school, university and our lives. Naturally, we came around to talking about the pandemic and how it had taken away things we had looked forward to the most this year - whether it was starting university, going back to university, or just meeting the people we hadn’t seen in a long time. We sighed, ended this fruitless discussion, and joked “at least we get to enjoy our bowls of Maggi!” That’s when it clicked: Do the 400 students of our neighbourhood government school also have access to steaming bowls of food? How are they including nutrition in their meals at home during the lockdown? Turning Interest Into ActionAs we started with just the three of us, a passion for food, and a will to provide, we ran a self-funded pilot with 40 children to assess what would work. We created a snack pack made of eco-friendly handmade newspaper bags that contained Soya chunks, We-Mana protein bar and fruits. Our personal cherry on top was the comic strips we made for the children that were easy to understand, bilingual and illustrated the use of each snack.A week later we received news that the children wanted more. Magic Poshan was now alive and running! Immediately, we sent word out to our community for donations and were overwhelmed by the support - from not only Bangalore but also India and around the world! Because of these generous donations, we collected around 2 lakhs!This support enabled us to magnify our reach to more children and for a longer period of time. We are now reaching out to over 800 children from the Ramagondanhalli government school, Immadihalli government school and Siddapura government school. Additionally, we supplied WeMana bars to over 120 daily wagers, orphans, and frontline workers in our community. Our donors and supporters have helped us reach to more than double of what we had initially planned. Furthermore, through the generous people at the Annapoorna Trust, we are able to provide a 2 month supply of Saisure, a malt-based protein powder to be had with milk to children.Our journey doesn’t end here, however. These children have yet to endure upcoming months of lockdown and the realities of a post-COVID world.  We believe that magic lies in all of us, and since you’ve taken the time to read this, you’ve already begun your magical journey with us and the 800 children. We are committed to stay determined and provide essential nutrition for as long as possible and need your support to help make our vision a reality. 200 Rupees is enough for one child for one month. But your support is not only limited to donations. We are looking for support on our Instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn pages, as every follower can enhance our reach by hundreds. Last but not the least, we are looking to partner with brands or products that would prove beneficial to children during the lockdown. A little magic goes a long way. Help us spread the word.Who we areInika Kandwal is a second-year undergraduate student at The Hong Kong University of Science and technology, pursuing Environmental Management. Tanya Gupta is a first-year Economics and mathematics undergraduate student studying at The University of Toronto.Shruti Kundaniya is a first-year Design student at the Strate School of Design. Each one of us brings a set of unique skills and ideas to our team, along with our collective drive to spread some magic through happy and healthy smiles. We’re always pushing ourselves to reach out to more children and improve the quality of life for as many children as possible. Know more:We've documented our journey, who we are, our work and sources on our website: https://magicposhan.wixsite.com/websiteFind us on Instagram @magic_poshan, LinkedIn, and Youtube
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Home Schooling and Online teaching giving solution to shortage of Science and Math teachers

Subject: Home Schooling in Sikkim to bridge the digital divide When the schools were closed in March 2020 on account of the Covid-19 pandemic in Sikkim, little did we realise then that it's going to be so prolonged. In fact the situation started getting worse with each passing day, in terms of the spread of the infection in the country and the associated uncertainty. We quickly realised that the school closure is going to be a prolonged one. We immediately discussed the situation arising out of closure of schools and loss of studies for the students and decided to go for the online education, using all available platforms. One app, by the name "SikkimEduTech" which was in the pipeline was quickly launched along with the widespread use of whatsApp. We also decided to use one local cable TV, by the name Samvaad TV for telecasting pre-recorded lectures. We also used All India Radio for broadcasting lessons over radio. However, despite all these efforts, we found that our reach was limited to not more than 50-60% of the students and a glaring digital divide was evident between urban and rural areas of the state. The reasons were manifold, like poor network in rural areas, non-availability or poor quality of gadgets in many homes etc. Children were also missing their school atmosphere dearly. We then thought of a unique solution which was without any cost and very much doable. We discussed and considered the option of school coming to the homes of students if they were not able to go to schools. The idea came from some of our dedicated teachers who had started teaching children, either by going to their homes or calling 4-5 students to their homes, or some third place like a panchayat office, or even a flat ground in the village. We made it official and issued a circular encouraging teachers to do home schooling, in the way it was feasible for them. The whole idea was to enable the children to study who were victims of the digital divide. The safeguards and protocols issued by the Health Department were being adhered to scrupulously while teaching the children in this mode. The best part was that most of our teachers took to this enthusiastically. Today, I am personally a satisfied person that we could do something for our underprivileged and children located in difficult areas. The idea was successful since most of the teachers were residing in their school localities due to restrictions and fear of travel due to the pandemic and their enthusiastic cooperation. This was a simple no cost solution for us apart from being very effective. Another great opportunity came to us during this pandemic to deal with the chronic shortage of Science and Maths teachers in Sikkim. Sikkim and indeed the entire North East region suffers from a chronic shortage of good science and maths teachers. In fact, many schools, specially in rural and remote areas used to go either without them for most part of the academic year or to manage with sub standard teachers. With online teaching gaining traction, we suddenly discovered that one good Maths or Science teacher could easily cover 4 to 5 schools comfortably. This discovery suddenly provided us with a great solution at practically no cost. Now, we are able to teach our children Science and Maths, even in remote and rural area schools effectively. I hope this solution will help many areas of our country.  G P UpadhyayaAdditional Chief SecretaryEducation
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Transforming compassion into action: Supporting learning through e-volunteering

In these unprecedented times when life has come to a standstill owing to months of lockdown period in the country, people across diverse social classes are withstanding the worst of the social, emotional, and economic slowdown. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been critical in the country’s overall development as the growth momentum across varied sectors remains halted. One of the worst affected is the education sector, which saw sudden closure of all the educational institutes, thus interrupting the learning journey of millions of children across the country. School going children are undoubtedly the most vulnerable of the lot who are lagging not only in their studies amid physical closure of schools but are restricted to limit their social engagements like meeting their friends, teachers, or simply playing outside in the playground. Seizing this moment of the Covid-19 crisis, Learning Links Foundation turned challenges into an opportunity, as it embraced uncertainty and sought to reach out to their most important stakeholders, the students. To make this goal a reality, Learning Links Foundation teamed up with its partner organization, Hinduja Foundation. Together both the organizations charted a path to a shared future by conceptualizing an idea in the form of ‘iCare: Volunteer From Home’ program. Both the organizations mobilized their resources and talents to develop an inclusive, citizen-driven volunteering program built on the pillars of collaboration and compassion.iCare: Volunteer from Home is a unique initiative that offers an opportunity of volunteering where the citizens are given a chance to contribute to society and make a difference in the lives of those who are less privileged and need our support in these uncertain times. In the face of lockdowns and social distancing, the iCare program ensures the safety of all the volunteers as all the activities are conducted on a ‘volunteer from home’ basis, meaning that the volunteers need not leave their homes for conducting the activities. As far as the beneficiaries are concerned, social distancing norms and hygiene standards are adhered to for every activity session that is conducted in large groups. States covered: Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, TelanganaBeneficiaries: Students (grade 4 to 8 level) and their familiesLanguages used: Hindi, Marathi, Odiya, Kannada, Tamil and TeluguThe iCare program was launched with 11 Hinduja Group Companies getting their employees on-board as volunteers for the iCare journey. Learning Links Foundation carried out all the on-field coordination and implementation of session activities. Learning Links Foundation oriented the volunteers and appointed a support group comprising of volunteering coordinators to provide on-field assistance to the volunteers and ensure the smooth execution of the program.The program was conducted across 8 states in the country with 309 volunteers completing more than 1200 hours of volunteering activities. The volunteers interacted with children from government schools and their families and engaged them in a wide range of activities using technology-based online and offline interactive modes. The volunteers had the flexibility to either choose from conducting live audio/video calls through WhatsApp or share a pre-recorded audio/video of the activity of their choice. A multi-lingual interaction approach was encouraged where the volunteers opted for language preferences that children were most comfortable in. Around 1000+ students were impacted through online interaction mode. Children were engaged in diverse activities that focused on helping them learn subject-based content and build important life skills crucial in these challenging times. Efforts were made to address children’s unique needs while building their strengths. Many activities were centred around the theme of Covid-19, which were aimed at generating awareness on preventive measures to be taken during the pandemic. Children were given yoga lessons to motivate them to stay safe, healthy, and fit at home. Also, sessions on story-telling, poetry, communication skills, wellness, and craft kept students interested and gave a boost to their self-esteem and confidence while also nurturing their physical and emotional wellbeing.All the volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure that the beneficiaries were provided a source of engagement and learning during the pandemic lockdown phase. Throughout the iCare journey, the volunteering opportunities proved to be highly satisfying for the employees and incredibly motivating for all the beneficiaries. The contribution of each volunteer has been immensely acknowledged by the children. The parents have expressed gratitude for the sheer enthusiasm shown by the iCare team to support their children’s learning. “I participated in COVID-19 awareness video and Neeranjanmurthy sir from Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd. told us about the disease and gave information on handwashing, wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing etc. I liked the session very much. It was very informative. I would like to say my thanks to Neeranjanmurthy sir.”Lakshmi, student, grade 7GHS, Tholanawadi, Karnataka “I am grateful for this opportunity. My son is extremely happy and could not stop talking about the session. I want to personally thank each one of the team members for their efforts.”Father of Vinod (student of GUPS Lakhon ka Kheda, Rajasthan)“It was a very satisfying experience for me. I am planning to organize another session, hoping it to be very fruitful for the students.”Anand, volunteerAshok LeylandMore than 90% volunteers have expressed their keenness to pursue volunteering with iCare and if given another opportunity, would like to conduct more activities. This suggests a huge success of this program as it has provided new means of digitally connecting with stakeholders, engaging them in a common cause, and helping them make a positive change in people’s lives. For all the disadvantaged children and their families with limited or no access to technology, the iCare program has indeed become a symbol of hope and joy as their learning journey continues while gaining important life skills to face challenges in these extraordinary times. With the iCare program, the Learning Links Foundation and the Hinduja Foundation endeavours to connect and bring more and more people together who are willing to join the iCare journey and collaborate for a better future. The program offerings include support in terms of digital connect with the children and their families in rural parts of the country, customized content for activities, training sessions to understand grass-root level challenges, and ready at hand committed on-ground support group to ensure guidance at every stage of the program. This program, in all its uniqueness, is sure to guarantee the development of values and commitments while fostering a sense of responsibility and engagement in all the participating stakeholders. For the volunteers, the very act of contribution and giving one’s time and effort is a gesture of immeasurable value and satisfaction. For the students, this program is a source of learning and motivation while developing new knowledge and skills. For the parents and the larger community, it is a sense of relief for them to see their children being active and engaged in productive learning when the schools have shut for an indefinite period.Learning Links Foundation and Hinduja Foundation aspires to bring together and welcome energetic, selfless, and compassionate individuals and groups to join them on this beautiful journey and make this program a greater success.  
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Gratitude for a compassionate community!

As we continue to wait for the lockdown to be lifted, I hope you all are doing well and staying safe. The daily updates of the impact of COVID-19 takes me through a tsunami of emotions. At the same time, my heart is filled with gratitude for the resilience of our youngsters and the dedication of our volunteers. It is amazing to see that everyone, irrespective of their other commitments, have come together to do their best and ensure that learning continues.Every other day, we have online sessions scheduled on various topics and it is fulfilling to see the enthusiasm and zeal of the youngsters towards learning. There is a spark in their eyes, a love for learning irrespective of the method and their questions have left me awestruck. And, yes, there is fun and laughter in the sessions too. At times, we have internet glitches. On one such occasion, the youngsters commented, “Oh! Sir, has got struck! He has become a statue. Oh God! What to do now? Let’s say ‘release’ and see if he unfreezes.” The best part was that the minute they said the word, the facilitator was back online again! The joke was shared with the faculty and the session was magically filled with laughter.These youngsters are not only enthusiastic about learning but also love teaching Kannada words to facilitators who don’t know the language. I have never noticed such unbridled enthusiasm in a long time; it brings out their authentic character through the things that excite them. Their enthusiasm is infectious and beyond words or stresses that sometimes take hold of life.The most resounding compliment I heard recently was from Krishnan, who heads the Shiksha program at Udhyam. He told me that our online efforts were effective and wanted to know more about how we overcame the challenges of dance sessions through webinar. Well, what do I say? Thanks to our volunteers Smita and Srilaxmi who facilitate the session on dance, it is amazing to see how seamlessly the youngsters learn the steps and enjoy every minute. We are happy to see their continuous zeal in all our virtual learning sessions and are sure that giving them access to joy in learning will make it a lifelong journey.The enthusiasm and eagerness to learn are uplifting and propel us to want to do all that we can to ensure that learning continues through this crisis.A heartfelt thanks to all our volunteers -- Santhosh, Radha Radhakrishnan, Amit Jain, Ravi Maney, Divya Raghavan, Dileep V, Naveen Bhargav, Sunitha, Anchal, Anjali Prayag, Brijesh Patel, Srikala Bhashyam, Nita Thadaka, Preeti Prayag, Shamya Dasgupta, Dr Shashi Rao, Srilaxmi, Smita, Aditya Bose, Jyothi Kunjoor, Jean, Malarkodi , Arunima Chandra, Lakshmi SS, Sherly Kumar, Shalika ,Shilpa N, Venkatesh Murthy & Nagaraj Deshpande -- as their support is an expression of our wish to sustain the learning process. The compassion you have shown towards the youngsters we work with is an inspiration for us all. Thank you for helping us out, truly grateful to you.I am aware that it is a very difficult time to ask for volunteer support, but it is also a time to spread the joy of learning and making a difference. There is no joy greater than lending a helping hand. So, if one wishes to share his/her journey, or is willing to facilitate online sessions, do write to us at – [email protected] or call me on +919945602202 
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A Happiness Bag Serves Both Education and Nutrition

Originally from Raichur, Sophia has resided in Bangalore for the last six years having migrated to earn a better living. She is the mother of two boys, the older in Class 1 and the younger is two-years-old.  Prior to the birth of her youngest, Sophia was a brick layer earning a daily wage, because of a cesarean birth and the complications that followed, she gave up her job, leaving her husband the only breadwinner in the family. Unfortunately, with the lockdown, her husband, a tractor driver for BBMP, lost his job. She says, “Our rent is due from past two months, which is ₹1,500. We have two acres of agricultural land in our hometown. We have given it for rent and receive ₹10,000 per year. We have very little money remaining of it and don’t know what will happen when it is exhausted. We are managing with rations provided by our local authority. Also, as we do not have any facility for online classes, the school provided old books, so that our child can study until the school re-opens. This Happiness Kit provided will help us a lot. I thank you all for the support.”'In a recent survey conducted by The Akshaya Patra Foundation among parents, teachers and children of these schools, 96% of families revealed loss of livelihoods, while most families claimed a two-third reduction in daily intake of food. To support these government school children and their families, the Akshaya Patra Foundation has rolled out the Happiness Bag programme across the country. Through this programme, a Happiness Bag containing dry rations, educational material, and hygiene products for children, including sanitary packs for girl children, are distributed to the families to ensure the continued nutrition and education of these children until schools open. Akshaya Patra shares stories of beneficiaries through our COVID-19 Relief Efforts, as well as of our Mid-Day Programme to show you how a small act of generosity can impact and change somebody’s life.
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Wall of Gratitude Salutes DeCorona Champ, Gaurang Rathi, IAS

On the occasion of our Independence Day, through the "Wall of Gratitude", we salute leaders like Gaurang Rathi, IAS, (Municipal Commissioner - Varanasi, CEO - Varanasi Smart City, CEO - Kashi Vishwanath Trust) and all those in the CivilServices who have been navigating our villages, towns and cities through Covid19.“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” – Mahatma GandhiIn a world confined to its own worries, it is leaders like Gaurang and teams that they lead who have constantly reminded us that service indeed knows no boundaries.Our sincere gratitude to you, Gaurang Rathi and your fraternity for being our #DeCoronaChamps. Leaders like you elicit hope and faith that we shall overcome these clouds and sunny days will soon be a reality!The video is a peek into Gaurang Rathi's past 125 days, based on research by the SetuWorks team. Link for the video: https://lnkd.in/dCi9eaqAbout the Wall of Gratitude -Rewind - On 2nd April, we initiated the "Wall of Gratitude" to thank the silent champions of Covid19. They are catalysts to the efforts of the frontline warriors as they help us navigate through these times. Each of them, from different domains ranging from IT, Education, Social Sector, Health, Waste Management, FMCG, etc. represent thousands of leaders and role holders like them. These 'behind the scene' rockstars or as we call them #MyDeCoronaChamps are so purpose driven & rooted that they do not even consider they are doing anything special. The tribute was a surprise to them as well!7th Aug 2020 onwards - On completing 125 days, we felt it is an opportune time to reconnect with our champs and share a glimpse of their lives and their thoughts as they busied themselves in taking care of all matters, professional and personal. We hope it also fills you with gratitude and you find ways to show it to many more #DeCoronaChamps around you. 
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Smartphone Recycle Scheme

Let's ReflectHow many of us have changed our mobile handsets in last five years? I don't think i even need to count; almost all of us would have switched a better gadget with every new launch. But the second and most important question; how many of us have bothered about its recycling? Where are those old gadgets? Are they unusable or we simply discarded them because we got a better one? The Digital DivideWe have all heard of the news of a poor couple in district Kangra of Himachal Pradesh, selling their only source of income their cattle, a young girl in Kerala committing suicide because she couldn't join the online classes and many other unknown stories that portrayed the digital divide and have just not made to headlines but haunt every child, every parent, every teacher and every aware and sensitive individual. In the times of pandemic; while systems, institutions and teachers are gearing themselves and engaging with more and more digital learning; this is one of the most disturbing issues.The InitiativeWell with all these thoughts in mind; Dr. Kalpana Sharma, Principal Swami Vivekanand State Model School, Baneda, Bhilwada, Rajasthan thought of a unique and innovative scheme; "Smartphone Recycle" scheme. While visiting children and households for enrolment, for awarness rallies, and for active participation in online classes;Mrs. Sharma was faced with this challenge of lack of resources and the inability of the parents to afford the same. While at home; she saw one of her old gadgets which was still in working conditions, just that it could not manage my excessive data load. It started by that one step in donating the old handset to one of the needy child on the 74th Independence day and inviting others to do so. This noble cause was noted by many enthusiasts and donors and became the news in Rajasthan and thus the chain began. There are independent donors who contact schools and donate their old gadgets which has also become one of the ways of recycling e-waste.   
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GovTech In Insurance Delivery Ring-fences Poor From Health Risks

Vimala Devi of Lakadhar village in Shimla district never imagined her stomach ache could amplify into a critical health crisis. After bearing the pain for a month, Devi was admitted to Kamla Nehru Hospital, Shimla. To her family’s dismay, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. A surgery was the only remedy to treat this malignancy.Devi’s family lacked the financial wherewithal to meet the steep expenses of cancer treatment. All hopes would have been dashed but for a cashless card that lit up hope. The health card provided by Himachal Health Care Scheme or Himcare offered surgery and other treatment for free. Myriad families like Devi’s are benefiting from the flagship scheme Himcare run by the department of health & family welfare, Himachal Pradesh. The state has been running this scheme since January 1, 2019 to offer cashless treatment to families left out of the ambit of Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. The scheme offers a family floater cover of Rs 5,00,000 per year. Himcare scheme is designed to inch closer to ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) which identifies universal health coverage with financial risk protection as one of the critical targets. Almost 90 million people across the world are impoverished by mounting health expenses every year. In India, the scenario is unsettling as on an average, each person spends $109 per year from his own pocket to access health services. Today, around 60 per cent of the insurance market in India is government led. And, this builds the case for an efficient delivery of insurance solutions. This is where Himcare stands out. An engagement with Odisha-based GovTech major CSM Technologies, paved the path for Himachal Pradesh Government to put in place an automated monitoring and evaluation system, thus creating a win-win situation for all stakeholders.Before CSM rolled out this solution, the Department of Health & Family Welfare, HP confronted many hurdles in scheme implementation. First - the lack of centralised information made the process tough for authentication and verification of beneficiaries.  Multiple back and forth performed manually for empanelment of hospitals and verification of beneficiary’s credentials had turned irksome. The whole process devoured time, lacked transparency and raised risks of frauds and duplication of records. Himcare Scheme Monitoring System smoothened the jagged edges with an automated ICT platform wherein layers of data pertaining to beneficiaries, hospitals, medical records, treatment packages and claims are authenticated and validated through data mining and warehousing.  Both government and private hospitals can be empanelled under the scheme. The automated system generates health card and offers a DigiLocker for saving it. Settlement of claims is governed by a four-stage verification process. Moreover, the system provides for a Grievance Management System and offers an ‘Audit and Support Service’ where empanelled hospitals are audited by the Third Party Administrator (TPA) to appraise their services.The end-to-end automation solution has delivered and the metrics below speak volubly of its success during 2019 and 2020.Applications Received: 469567Health Cards Issued:  423960Cards Renewed:  97129Active Families/Cards:  307723Empanelled Hospitals: 269Cases Discharged:  102978Claims Raised by Hospital:  90597Claims Initiated for Payment: 67098Claims Settled/Payment Successful: 64789Amount Paid (To Hospitals) for Settled Cases:  Rs 50.53 croreSchemes like Himcare are kindling hope for the poor and disenfranchised- people who have dreaded exorbitant healthcare costs. And when such cashless schemes get a generous sprinkling of the right ‘GovTech’ solution, it changes the way the government connects and delivers to the bottom of the pyramid.CSM Technologies has devised and implemented similar solutions for State Governments of Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
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Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya Sangathan: Revolutionising public schooling in India

Launched in 2015 by the Shri Naveen Patnaik led government of the eastern seaboard state of Odisha with the objective of bridging the rural-urban educational divide through the provision of high-quality education to the masses, the Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya Sangathan (OAVS) is a first-of-its-kind publicly funded initiative in the country that sets a precedent for other states to follow. Managed by an apex body (general body) headed by minister, school & mass education, Odisha as president, the OAVS — comprising 214 presently operational CBSE affiliated Adarsha Vidyalayas and 100 more in the making — provides 58,712 underprivileged children from class VI through XII, including 33,049 girls and 33,895 children from SC/ST communities free English-medium education. As a ‘model school’ sited in each of the 314 block headquarters of Odisha, the Adarsha Vidyalaya envisions to promote academic excellence in other government schools in region.“We launched an unprecedented initiative to provide free quality education to underprivileged children through CBSE affiliated English-medium schools so that no deserving child of Odisha is deprived of his/her right to learn. The Adarsha Vidyalayas have been playing a key role in making progressive education accessible to children in far flung regions of the state while integrating the students of small towns and villages into mainstream education. I strongly believe OAV will create leaders who are capable of scripting Odisha’s growth and transformation story,” says Shri Naveen Patnaik, incumbent chief minister of Odisha whose commitment to upgrade and transform the public education system in the state is evident  in the steadily increasing budgetary allocation for the sector over the past few years. Distinguishing features of OAVS OAV offers classes from VI to XII with two sections in each class and an intake capacity of 40 students in each class.Admission is based on performance in an entrance test and students are admitted only in class VI.The test is largely non-verbal and objective in nature and is designed to prevent any disadvantage to children from rural areas.Teacher-pupil ratio of 1:25.50 percent reservation for girls in each category.The reservation of seats in SC/ST category is at par with the percentage of SC/ST population in the respective blocks.Bridge course materials are developed to enable smooth transition from Odia medium to English medium.English is the primary mode of instruction and Odia is offered as second language.Uniformity in logo, school uniform, badge to instill respect, pride and community spirit among the students.Moreover, ever since Dr Bijaya Kumar Sahoo, founder-mentor of the Bhubaneswar (Odisha) based SAI International Education Group, took charge as OAV’s first advisor-cum-working president in June 2019, he has been introducing a slew of measures to contemporise education at the Vidyalayas and develop them into ‘centres of excellence’ in public education. Among them:Implementation of the principles of 5T (Teamwork, Technology, Transparency, Time bringing in Transformation), in true spirit.Launch of the innovative website for OAV head office as well as for each school, which provides comprehensive information for students.Implementation of a robust ERP system that helps in tracking the academic and non-academic progress of each child, monitoring performance of each school and leveraging larger technology-based analytics for better evaluation.Creation of academic development school calendar, annual planner, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and academic calendar for students.Establishment of processes through drafting and implemention of policies and procedures.Capacity building for teachers through continuous teacher education programmes.Redesigned the curriculum through an optimal blend of academics, co-curricular activities and sports for the holistic development of students.Introduction of professional career counselling and coaching facilities for children.“Blending technology with academics, improving the school’s infrastructure, creating road maps, for academic as well as non-academic pursuits and bringing more accountability into the system, have accelerated the transformation of the public schooling system within the OAVs. The outcomes were visible within a short span of six months since my association with OAV. The website, ERP system, close monitoring and my weekly review of all the Vidyalayas has helped bring back the focus of all the stakeholders into the seriousness of our work and made them realise the magnanimity of the vision behind this initiative. We are fortunate to have very young teachers, full of passion and enthusiasm. Healthy competition among the OAVs has led to better outcomes. Moreover, our regular teacher training programme has helped enhance the competency of teachers and enabled them to upskill,” says Dr. Sahoo.Ensuring learning continuity amid the COVID-19 pandemicPerceiving the Covid-19 induced disruption as an opportunity rather than a challenge, the OAV management responded promptly to the announcement of the nationwide mass closure of educational institutions in March 2020 with a multi-pronged interim strategy that includes:Motivating the school staff: Dr. Sahoo reached out to the principals and teachers of the 214 operational schools, motivating them to do their best in these troubled times.Leveraging technology for online learning: To ensure learning continuity of students, the OAV management introduced innovative virtual teaching-learning solutions by leveraging digital platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, WhatsApp, among others. Teachers also provide guidance over phone to students with limited or no access to the Internet.Creating online learning resources: Teachers prepared learning content for students and uploaded them on the school website for students to access. Video lessons were shared through the YouTube platform.Dr. Bijaya Sahoo with OAVS studentsDespite the challenges of Internet connectivity and limited access to smartphones for a large majority of students from rural areas, OAVS has been able to reach out to almost 70 percent of its students and continues to provide them virtual learning. Door step delivery of books: The school management arranged for the text books to be delivered to the students right at their doorsteps with the help of its committed teaching staff.Teachers as COVID warriors: Assuming the role of COVID warriors during the ongoing crisis, several Adarsha Vidyalaya teachers have been efficiently managing the TMC’s (Temporary Medical Centre’s) as well as the QC’s (Quarantine Centers).Uninterrupted mid-day meal supply: With the Covid-19 induced shutdown of schools making it impossible for the mid-day meals to be served at school, the teachers also distributed food ration in lieu of mid-day meals to the children.Strategy for board exams: The Vidyalayas’ strategy for this year’s CBSE board exams included provision of one-on-one mentoring to students. Extra classes and remedial sessions were conducted after school hours by the dedicated teachers which helped students achieve the recording-breaking results in board exams.“Keeping with the vision and mission of our hon’ble chief minister Shri Naveen Patnaik, we in Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya are committed to make it a role model public educational institution in the country. We strongly believe we can build a better Odisha through the Adarsha Vidyalayas,” says Dr. Sahoo.The story has been extracted from https://www.educationworld.in/odisha-adarsha-vidyalaya-sangathan-revolutionising-public-schooling-in-india/ 
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