EPAM has joined the national Lead India 2020 initiative to help disadvantaged Indian youth fulfill their hidden potential. 54% of the country’s population are young people, but many of them are living below the poverty line and do not have access to quality education. EPAM is creating a Digital Learning Center to train students and provide them with leadership training, math, English, and computer classes.
In 2004, EPAM launched its global University Program to provide specialized IT training for university students in Central and Eastern Europe to meet growing industry demand. Now, EPAM is going to expand its educational program to three new locations: the United States, China and India.
In India, the company’s vision of social development is similar to the Lead India 2020 program based on former president Abdul Kalam’s vision for India. Prof. Sudershan Acharya has integrated Abdul Kalam’s ideas and created the Lead India 2020 training program, “Individual Development leads to National Development.” Students who form the Lead India National Club in their schools deliver trainings to their peers and graduates of the Lead India 2020 training program and set goals to become change agents in society. The Lead India initiative targets active young people, including youth who are living below the poverty line and young people who are physically challenged.
EPAM is not the first business partner of the Lead India 2020 initiative. Many other multinational companies also participate in the program. EPAM designed its own way of contributing to the program. In May, Sudershan Acharya, the founder of Lead India 2020, visited EPAM to discuss techniques with our employees to help fill the gaps in Indian education and create an action plan.
EPAM proposed two activities to support the Lead India 2020 initiative. The first is to create a Digital Learning Center that provides computers to train about 1,000 students or unemployed youth. This will create employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth from government schools around Shamshabad Airport in Hyderabad, India. We will also provide train the trainers (ToT), a course for EPAMers from India and other Lead India 2020 volunteers about how to teach youth. The second activity is to provide trainings to 50-100 girls in a Mandal near Hyderabad. The curriculum will include leadership, vocational job and computer training, as well as math and English classes. This long-term activity will take three to five years and will help them become self-reliant to continue their education, get a job or start a business. We will monitor the progress at the end of each quarter. EPAM will also organize a health camp to identify malnutrition and eyesight problems.
EPAM’s contribution to the education of Indian youth is a part of its global social responsibility strategy. EPAM has just become a participant of The Business Call to Action – a global United Nations Development Program initiative which uses business investments to fight poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.