Mumbai: Global Citizen India has partnered with ‘The Green Batti Project’, a platform for development catalysed by India’s youth, to enable citizen-driven participatory action towards improving underserved school infrastructure for under resourced communities.
The partnership was formed to engage India’s youth around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all. Quality Education is imperative to achieving the mission of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030. By 2020, 64% of the Indian population will be in the working age group, making it a youth-driven country that shapes the economy, and the ability of India to become free of extreme poverty. Only educated and healthy children can lead their communities out of poverty, and all children deserve equal rights to a quality education.
The first offline activity will take place in Mumbai on 22 October where 1000 volunteers below the age of 35 will visit schools across Mumbai to collect empirical data on the quality and quantity of resources available–e.g. sanitation facilities, desks, chairs, blackboards and other key infrastructural facilities. The survey will capture quantitative data with the help of a mobile application to map the infrastructure requirements. By collecting key data from underserved schools, the participants will provide a large amount of ‘real-time’ information that will help address these infrastructural deficits in a tangible manner. The data can be utilised to make focused efforts to improve the state of infrastructure within the schools. After identifying the gaps, governments and corporate partners can be mobilised to invest CSR funds towards these improvements, allowing students to learn more efficiently and teachers to instruct more effectively. This offline day is an opportunity for India’s youth to become a voice for those who are most in need, and collect impactful data in the hopes of holding leaders accountable and ensuring school funds are allocated where they are truly needed most.
The municipal body responsible for these participating schools has played an important part in allowing this action to take place by opening up their school campuses to these young volunteers. With their support, next year’s Global Citizens will participate in a similar offline action only this time, they will return to these campuses to assess the progress made on the changes suggested from the year prior.
Malvika Dwivedi, Program Manager of the Green Batti Project said, “This is the perfect opportunity to encourage young individuals to take the lead to improve infrastructure in underserved schools of Mumbai. The outcome of such a large-scale, data collection drive will provide enough evidence to make a tangible difference, and this is exactly how volunteering efforts should be channelized.”
Bhavya Bishnoi, spokesperson for Global Citizen India Festival said, “The delivery of quality education begins with the availability of infrastructural resources such as stationery, desks, toilets, and other key facilities. Due to the lack of available resources in underserved communities, several schools function without the bare minimum infrastructure required to provide quality education to the students. One of the biggest challenges facing policymakers, development professionals, non-profit organisations, and corporate donors is the knowledge deficit in terms of the materials required for a well-functioning school. The offline action of volunteering is an ideal platform for Global Citizens to contribute their time and energy in a meaningful way, specifically, towards enhancing the quality of infrastructure in Indian schools.”
The inaugural Global Citizen Festival India will be held in Mumbai on 19 November 2016, and will be headlined by Coldplay, JAY Z, Aamir Khan, Arjun Kapoor, A.R. Rahman, Arijit Singh, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Dia Mirza, Farhan Akhtar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Katrina Kaif, Malaika Arora Khan, Monali Thakur, Parineeti Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, Sakshi Malik, Shah Rukh Khan, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Shraddha Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha and Vijender Singh.
Eighty percent of the tickets to the festival will be given out to Global Citizens who earn them by taking action. For more information about the artists, schedules, and event, please visit www.globalcitizen.in and follow @glblctznIN on Twitter and Facebook, and on Instagram using #GlobalCitizenIndia.
Those interested in volunteering to earn free tickets can register at http://www.thegreenbattiproject.in/globalcitizenindia/