Our CSR team in India recently partnered with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) to support several education initiatives that promote digital literacy among thousands of underprivileged children in the state of Telangana. Our EPAM team helped to launch two computer labs, one at the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) in Chitkul and the other at the Telangana Minority Residential School (TMREIS) in Bhongir, both of which are government-run schools. The Social Welfare Department of the Telangana Government under the committed leadership of Dr. RS Praveen Kumar, an IPS officer and secretary of the Telangana Residential Educational Society, worked closely with the EPAM-CII initiative to oversee the implementation of the CSR programs.
Under the Telangana government’s Ministry of Scheduled Caste Development, TSWREIS runs 500 residential educational institutions for students from fifth grade through the university. They educate approximately 300K students a year and cater specifically to the needs of the marginalized children of the Scheduled Caste from the remote rural areas of Telangana. Similarly, TMREIS oversees 204 minorities residential schools and two residential junior colleges with more than 100K minority students each year. Many of these children are the first generation of their families to learn how to read and write. EPAM India’s CSR initiative presents science and computer programming education as an opportunity for children to lift themselves out of poverty by acquiring the necessary skills to pursue promising careers in STEM-related fields.
EPAM has so far provided funds for desktop computers, network infrastructure, electricity, desks and chairs for the classrooms. In addition to the two computer labs, we also provided additional funds to set up science lab equipment for physics, biology, chemistry and mathematics courses and books, bookshelves, and writing competitions. Our goal is to use these resources to make science interesting, encourage interactive learning, and ignite a reading revolution that will inspire the children of today to become industry leaders of tomorrow.
On November 14, 2018, India’s national Children’s Day, the EPAM-CII initiative inaugurated the TSWREIS’s new computer and science labs. Shamilka Samarasinha, EPAM’s Global Head of CSR, was one of the chief guests in attendance. During the event, Samarasinha touted the importance of education as a focal point of EPAM’s CSR initiative and called for the establishment of more labs like these. Dr. Praveen Kumar, who was also present for the event, praised the efforts but insisted that it’s easy to setup labs like these, while the hard work of ensuring the future successes of the students will require ongoing support.
The EPAM-CII initiative conducted competitions in the adopted schools and distributed prizes on Children’s Day. The winners received EPAM bags, sippers and mugs. As a token of appreciation, the EPAM India team even gave prizes to the students who had performed well in drawing and story writing competitions.
EPAM will continue to work with CII to identify potential programs and institutions that qualify for support, to oversee continued CSR initiatives and to track the progress of the programs in the long run to ensure that the program fulfills EPAM’s values and goals in the best interest of the children.
Health Camps for School Children
EPAM understands that it’s important to care for both the mind and the body. That’s why, as part of its overall CSR initiative in the region, EPAM entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in its partnership with SHARMA Families Charitable Trust, a medical NGO formed by a group of philanthropic doctors in 2013, to create health camps for school children. The following are some the activities they conducted in November 2018 at the Chitkul school:
- Hosted a talk on nutrition by National Institute of Nutrition
- Hosted a talk and movie on running presented by Hyderabad Runners
- Community Based Emergency Response Training (CBERT) by the Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI)
- Pediatrician visit
- Pre-Screenings for a variety of medical conditions
During the medical camp, 50 short-listed students were screened and 12 of them were taken for further examinations and treatments.
This is what doctors @ HEALTH CAMP said regarding the camp:
"Interacting with students earlier during health camp conducted on 11th November and later during First Responders Training program on Children's Day was very amazing experience. In spite of girls coming from poor and underprivileged strata of our society, their confidence, eagerness to learn and good grooming was impressive. Principal and schoolteachers need to be complimented for their efforts in all round development of students under their care. We also acknowledge good hospitality and support extended to us by school authorities and cooperation from EPAM staff during our visit. Our interaction with Mrs Shamilka Samarasinha, EPAM Global CSR Head also gave us good insight into various CSR initiatives taken by your esteemed organization."
In addition to the health camps, we have entered an MoU with Ashray Akruti, a medical NGO that runs an educational institution with residential facilities for hearing impaired children. They also provide market aligned skill training for the hearing-impaired youth, provide early intervention facilities to children with disabilities, support and facilitate cochlear implant surgeries and hearing aids and appliances for hearing impaired children.
On November 15, 2018, the NGO conducted an ENT medical camp at Telangana Minorities Residential school, screening about 70 students, out of which 26 were medicated. No special cases were identified.