Dharma Life launches digital tutoring Programme for over 3 lakh rural children


New Delhi, September 9: Dharma Life launched Lighting Up Young Minds Learning (LUYM Learning) a digital tutoring programme for children in rural areas whose education has been impacted by Covid-19 disruptions across its network. The programme plans to reach over 3 lakh children in rural areas through varied activities including E-reading, MOOC session and vaccination awareness videos. The programme deploys Dharma Life’s village-level female changemakers, called Dharma Life Entrepreneurs, to connect children with guided digital lessons.

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LUYM Learning aims to ensure the continuity of quality education, awareness of health outcomes and development of life skills for rural children through guided digital lessons. The local Dharma Life Entrepreneur will leverage the existing educational infrastructure wherever possible to deliver the lesson. Dharma Life has already successfully piloted the model with 150 children across India.

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Dharma Life is a social enterprise with a network of 17,000 rural Dharma Life Entrepreneurs (DLEs) with over 75% women, spread over 50,000 villages and 14 states of rural India.

According to Dharma Life Founder & CEO, Gaurav Mehta, “The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the education of children globally. In these unprecedented times, the education of approximately 290 million children in India has been impacted, with six million out of school. The effect of COVID-19 on education of rural children has been especially detrimental, with no technical support and access to smartphones. We are trying to bridge this gap with our Lighting Up Young Minds programmeto ensure the continuity of quality education, awareness of health outcomes and development of 21st century skills (World Economic Forum) for rural children through guided digital lessons.”

Dharma Life has developed various learning modules with a focus on peer-based learning covering topics such as STEM and 21st century skills. These courses are being offered in combination with English and Mathematics courses. In a span of next 2 months, the initiative will look forward to scaling up LUYM Learning to reach a greater number of students across India.

LUYM Learning is part of Lighting Up Young Minds (LUYM), a programme which has reached more than 2.5 Million children till date across 14 states in India running behavior change campaigns, reading sessions, extra-curricular activities (arts, music and sports), etc. The LUYM initiative is a part of Dharma Life’s ‘We for Village COVID response’ which is supported by various partners including TRANSFORM (Unilever, EY, FCDO), Wheeler Institute of Business and Development at the London Business School, elea Foundation, Good Energies Foundation, Shell Foundation, DOEN Foundation and Accenture, to name a few. Please refer to http://dharmalife.in/we-for-village.php for the full list of partners.

Celebrating International Literacy Day by raising awareness for literacy and education among children and families in rural India, Dharma Life conducted a massive open online course session (MOOC) with rural children. During the programme, WhatsApp was used to share an E-book across India, and share reactions with a post-reading activity. Rural children also used their smartphones to record videos raising awareness for vaccination.

About Dharma Life:  

Dharma Life is a social impact organisation (founded in 2009) that is dedicated to poverty alleviation and  inclusive progress through rural livelihood creation, women and child-led community development and  digital technology. It focuses on improving the quality of life in rural India through an entrepreneurship  model that provides rural women with livelihood opportunities and low-income rural households access  to socially impactful products and services. Rural entrepreneurs are identified and trained to become  social change makers in their villages by addressing the issues of awareness, accessibility, and  affordability for social impact products as well as services. These entrepreneurs also drive community  development led by women and child empowerment through behaviour change activities. Dharma Life is addressing key SDGs, with a focus on Gender Equality, Livelihood & Digital Education,  Clean Energy & Climate Action, Mental Health & Physical Wellbeing. To counter COVID-19 related  challenges, Dharma Life is also increasing its focus on areas like Mental Health, Gender-related violence,  livelihood creation, Family Planning and Maternal & Child Nutrition. To date Dharma Life has created a network of 17,000+ rural entrepreneurs, more than 75% of which are  women entrepreneurs who have reached more than 23 million beneficiaries in 50,000+ villages, across  14 states of India. 

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