The AP Janmabhoomi initiativehas enabled NRIs to connect with their homeland and extend help to the smaller towns and villages through digitised classrooms and improvised Anganwadi centres.
Two thousand four hundred government schools in Andhra Pradesh have become digitised since October 2016. On an average, there are six digital classrooms added every day, impacting over seven lakh students, which has resulted in a 17 percent increase in attendance.
Over 100 Anganwadi centres in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts have been modernised. The centres are using technology to improve nutrition and healthcare among pre-school-going kids and lactating and pregnant women and enhance the quality of education.
These projects, which impact over 10 lakh people, have become a reality because of the Andhra Pradesh Janmabhoomi Initiative, a joint venture by the state government and the NRI community hailing from Andhra Pradesh.
Digitisation of schools a necessity
Recognising the importance of digital empowerment, the programme has equipped 2,400 of the state’s government schools with interactive whiteboards and digitised content. These enable comprehensive classroom learning experiences for students and teachers alike.
This project is jointly funded by the state government and the NRI community in a 70:30 partnership amounting to an external donation of Rs 45,000 per school.
“The digital classrooms give essential knowledge of the systems and various subjects in a simple way. They are helping the students and increasing their interest in learning,” B Soumya, a teacher from Ananthapura district, says.
The smart classrooms help teachers explain topics through interactive videos and graphics. Further, teachers also have an option to customise textbook content to suit the needs of the students.
Providing content in both English and Telugu, the state government hopes to extend this programme to 5,000 schools this year.
Anganwadi centres gets a makeover
The Anganwadi centres facilitate public health service to children up to six years of age, adolescent girls, and pregnant and lactating women.
“The administration and state of Anganwadi centres have fallen prey to a lot of criticism in the recent time through allegation of inefficient management to lack of resources. The Janmabhoomi Project seeks to root out these shortcomings and restore the Anganwadi centres to their intended utility and glory,” says Etee Dubey, a member of AP Janmabhoomi.
To ensure maternal healthcare and early childhood care, the project trains Anganwadi workers in collaboration with Sodhana, a local NGO.
Further, the workers are trained to provide pre-school education to toddlers.
“India is my home and I am concerned about the growth and progress of the young diaspora. I want to help strengthen the education system. These concerns are ignored by many because of limitations of income or facilities,” says Chitra, a resident of North America.
She donated Rs 3 lakh to the Andhra Pradesh Janmabhoomi Initiative and was instrumental in constructing an Anganwadi centre at Kavuluru village in Krishna district.
Facilities like toys, educational aids, television, and regular medical examination are made available in the centres.
Construction of crematoriums
The government is also focusing on construction of crematoriums, referred to as Mahaprasthanam, in every village and town. The work is implemented and executed by the Gram Panchayat under the technical guidance of the Panchayat Raj Engineering Department.
Today most villages have burial grounds in open fields. Hence, through this initiative, the team hopes to ensure that last rites are pre-paid for properly and that rituals are performed with dignity.
Currently, 25 pilot projects have been initiated across the state while the government has an ambitious target to complete 1,500 crematoriums with a budget of Rs 3 lakh.
With the newly formed state struggling to create employment, joint initiatives like these will go a long way in impacting social change.