1. Hold My Hand:
Hold My Hand is a non-formal education project which commenced in 2008 and focuses on strengthening the educational base of first generation learners. It is a flagship project of SI Calcutta. Tutorial classes in English and other subjects are conducted for underprivileged children to supplement their formal education. Till March 2015, these classes were conducted for the children of classes III and IV of a Kolkata Municipal Corporation run school in Chetla, Kolkata . From 2015-16, the programme is being conducted for students of Sujata Devi Vidyamandir High School, a girls school under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education . Along with a teacher,SI Calcutta members give inputs in reading /soft skills through story telling , quizzes and other activities.
From the academic session of commencing from 2018, Bengali has also been included in the syllabus. Children are encouraged to express themselves. Special attention is given to weak students. Prizes are also given to reward merit and sincerity.
The children also participate in activities on special days such as World Environment Day , World Literacy Day etc , which helps to build up awareness regarding the subject in focus.
We are grateful to our sister club SI Olympic Rainforest, who have supported this project.
2. Assistance to Society 5O:
Society 5O, a women’s organisation founded in 1989 runs a preparatory school for children called Shishu Theertha, a medical clinic, and vocational training for women in the outskirts of Kolkata. SI Calcutta has been associated with the school since inception, and contributes to the teachers’ remuneration in the primary section.
3. Digital Literacy Programme
‘Literacy in a Digital World’ was the theme of International Literacy Day 2017. Digital literacy refers to the ability to perform tasks effectively with the help of technology.
In view of the relevance of the subject in today’s computer and technology driven world where banking, money transfers, retail purchases etc , are all encouraged through online methods, it was felt necessary to educate & empower women to deal with these complex transactions which are still difficult to understand for many people.
A programme on Digital Literacy with emphasis on banking & money transactions was organised in collaboration with State Bank of India, at their Learning Centre in Kolkata. The participants comprised of girls aged 17-25 years, who were computer literate & used mobile phones. They were sponsored by Institute of Social Work, Kolkata. The focus was on making them aware of various digital modes through which money transactions could be conducted in everyday life, including use of ATM cards, virtual wallets, online banking, & most importantly, awareness of the security measures necessary when using the internet.
The participants were introduced to safe computing & procedures for online banking. They learnt about useful apps for their phones designed by banks to keep track of accounts, & how to report loss of debit/credit cards. The project thus bridged the gaps in knowledge resulting from continuous technological upgradation in banking and cashless transactions, thereby empowering the girls with tools for financial planning.