LEARNING IN GRAVE TIMES
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the word.” This wonderful thought by Nelson Mandela condenses the core idea based on which the Youth Empowerment Foundation works. The future of the nation lies in the potential of the youth and to empower them by providing education is what that has to be done. Learning things about what interests you and surrounded by the resources and the opportunities best suited to your taste makes your intellect drive you to the full potential. But sadly, a number of people are devoid of such facilities or some might be pushed to take extra effort in creating opportunities. The difficulties faced by these vulnerable sections have become more serious with the current COVID crisis. Students, especially the little ones, are missing the experience of interactive learning in the schools. Moreover, since a number of people who are dependent on daily wages are finding it difficult to seek jobs, their children will be under the pressure of not being able to access the costly online learning which has been the alternative taken by a number of schools to maintain learning. But people are compelled to sacrifice a lot for their children to attend online classes and those who are unable to afford smart phones, internet, etc, are denied education. Nearly 56 percent students lack smart phones. An all inclusive educational plan in these urgent times has not been implemented at a practical level. To solve the issue, the whole pedagogy needs a great change. There are also people who send their children to school for the sole purpose of them getting access to nutritious food for their survival. Mid Day Meal Scheme in schools was a huge boon for the children. But with the pandemic, they are not getting enough nutritious food which makes it extra difficult for them during this crisis. Therefore, in terms of both education as well as survival, the children are facing issues. The Youth Empowerment Foundation, in order to give relief to the students at the time of crisis, has started an initiative called the Project Love in a Backpack under Project Milaap. Here, the students receive love in the form of a backpack, a kit of stationary items like pencil, notebook, etc and food items like snacks and juice. The Youth Empowerment Foundation will gather the kits from supermarkets whose managers will be arranging the items in the kit. And as a safety precaution against the COVID 19, the delivery will be at doorstep. The main intent of the project is to spread positivity and the importance of learning through a backpack. Such an act will not only bring a sense of relief but also builds a sense of hope and confidence in the young minds to face the adversities. It is the activities of such kind that keeps the world going. Let the ray of hope shine in the lives of the youth, especially students who are suffering a plethora of social and psychological and united we will be able to overcome any crisis.