‘Phone Uthao Classes Chalao’ – Hindware initiative facilitates ‘Shift to Digital Learning’ amid the pandemic

With several students unable to continue their studies due to the digital divide; Mr Shashvat Somany, Vice President- Strategy at HSIL decided to launch 'Phone Uthao, Classes Chalao’ initiative of providing such students with smartphones with ‘MA My Anchor,’ a non-profit organization. Get Complete Details Here.

Nov 27, 2020 18:46 IST
‘Phone Uthao Classes Chalao’ – Hindware initiative facilitates ‘Shift to Digital Learning’ amid the pandemic
‘Phone Uthao Classes Chalao’ – Hindware initiative facilitates ‘Shift to Digital Learning’ amid the pandemic

The year 2020 has been the year of the pandemic; the year that ushered in lockdowns brining life as we know it to a complete halt. With almost every aspect of our life affected by the pandemic; we soon evolved and adopted new ways of doing regular things. One such major shift was seen in the way students learned! Physical and in-person classes soon transformed into digital learning solutions, but not everyone was able to adopt this change easily.

With the unlikely scenario for reopening of schools in the near future, schools too became a part of the digital drive. As many students tried to switch and adapt to the online mode of education which eventually was tagged as the ‘new normal’, the normal did not come easy for many students. A section of students found it difficult to cope up with their studies because they did not have access to basic necessities such as smartphones. 

'Phone Uthao, Classes Chalao’

With several students unable to continue their studies due to the digital divide; Mr Shashvat Somany, Vice President- Strategy at HSIL decided to launch the initiative of providing such students with smartphones. An initiative that started with the campaign 'Phone Uthao, Classes Chalao’ wherein Mr Somany’s partnered with ‘MA My Anchor,’ a non-profit organization committed to the welfare of the underprivileged children. The organisation has been driven by its objective of creating awareness and to promote child education and sanitation. HSIL Ltd or its proprietary brand Hindware, on the other hand, is a household name in the Indian market and is a leading manufacturer of faucets, sanitary ware and packaging products.

'The wish that every child has the opportunity to learn is close to my heart. But this year, as you know, schools have been closed for more than 7 months now due to the pandemic. There is a learning crisis with millions of children missing out on education in our country. We also know that not every child has a computer or a smartphone with internet. There is a chance that many children, especially girls, are not likely to ever go back to school. Through this campaign, we wanted a quick adoption of any of the innovative ways to ensure continuity in learning at home. So we thought of the simplest one! We urged everyone to join us in making a difference by donating their spare smartphones for this cause. The drive is on and as of today, we have donated over 50 phones to two different schools, Govt Senior Secondary School in village Sherpur- Haryana and the Govt Secondary School in village Chowkaria- Rajasthan. The requirement for these two schools has been fulfilled and we are now reaching out to more schools to assess their requirement.’

Mr. Shashvat Somany

Mr. Shashvat Somany

Vice President - Strategy at HSIL

Phone Uthao, Classes Chalao - Goals 

The initiative aims to eventually create a smartphone library in schools so that the phones are issued to students enabling them of their Fundamental Right to Education. The campaign has received over Rs. 5 Lakhs in funding and also partnered with phone manufacturers in India, for the supply. As of now, the initiative has forged partnered with two government schools where the smartphones are donated. In the next phase, partnerships are to be forged with other government schools across the country. The schools will also provide training to students on how to use a smartphone for online classes and they will also monitor the usage of the smartphones distributed.

"For most of us, owning a phone is a normal thing, in a remote village where one family has one phone or no phone, it can be a great challenge for young students to prepare for their Board exams through online classes without a smartphone. "Phone uthao, classeschalao" is a joint effort of Shashvat Somany, VP-Strategy, HSIL and MA My Anchor Foundation. Interestingly, it is being driven by volunteers through and through. This emergency situation, the world over, is a first for all of us. It was natural for everyone to take a little pause and understand the pandemic and its adverse effects. We all did that and when we clearly realized the segments which were going to be deeply affected, we quickly structured this campaign". The initiative is urgent & purely need-based, the benefits can be seen immediately. The aim is also to eventually create a smartphone library in the schools so that the phones are issued for students, ensuring access to their Fundamental Right to Education. We have covered 2 schools as of now. We are aiming to make a difference and are calling to all those who can come in our support."

Sushmita Singha

Sushmita Singha

MA My Anchor Foundation

Phone Uthao, Classes Chalao - Achievements

Mr Shashvat Somany said that he wishes that every child should be able to learn. Owing to the pandemic, however, there is a learning crisis causing millions of children in India to miss out on education. Given the fact that not every child has a computer or a smartphone with the internet, Mr Somany said that it might lead to many children, especially girls not ever going back to school. He said that the sole purpose of this campaign was a quick adoption of any of the innovative ways to ensure continuity in learning at home. As such the campaign requested for donating of spare smartphones for the cause. Mr Somany said that the drive is continuing and as of today, 50 phones have already been donated to two different schools, Govt Senior Secondary School in village Sherpur- Haryana and the Govt Secondary School in village Chowkaria- Rajasthan. He concluded by saying that the requirement for these two schools has been fulfilled so far and now the aim is to reach out to more schools to assess their requirement. 

"When MA My Anchor Foundation approached us asking for the requirement of smartphones and further educated us on this initiative by HSIL, we felt overwhelmed. We were not expecting any help like this, however, it was on top of our list of requisites. With the new norms, we did see the initial days of struggle where we were trying to re-work the curriculum and the way the syllabus will be covered etc. With the 50 smartphones provided to us, i feel relaxed that the online classes can go on smooth now and our children will not miss out on their studies any further."

Ms. Nisha Sharma, Principal

Ms. Nisha Sharma, Principal

Govt. Senior secondary school, Village Sherpur, Haryana

"When I was issued a smartphone from the school, I was thrilled. It was the first time i was holding a touch screen in my hand. It did not take me much time to explore the features because I had heard about it from here and there. My teacher helped me in understanding the online classes platform and how to operate that from home. I enjoy seeing my classmate's faces during the online class. Our side, the regular schooling had come to a halt only. It was like a long vacation. But it feels good to get back to my school books. We enjoy the videos and presentations on the phone."

Suman

Suman

Student of Class 12th - Govt. Senior secondary school, Village Sherpur, Haryana

Phone Uthao, Classes Chalao - How to Join the Drive

Anyone willing to donate a spare phone can be a part of the Phone Uthao, Classes Chalao initiative. You can reach out at phoneuthaoclasseschalao.com and a pick up adhering to all COVID-19 norms will be arranged any day between 9 AM and 6 PM. Phones with minor cosmetic damages are also accepted as long as there are no significant functional damages such as browser not working, camera not working, etc.

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