Be it shifting its operations online or working on the ground to spread awareness and distribute essentials, Agastya’s efforts during Coronavirus pandemic has been swift and effective.
Amidst this pandemic, Aagstya has been working on developing modules to educate people on COVID-19. The teams across the country have been volunteering their hours to raise funds to buy and provide food supplies and masks to those in need. Summer camps have been conducted through online which is an integral part of Agastya’s pedagogy. The series of art and craft activities were organized like making posters and flipbooks to low-cost model making. They are designed to bring out the best of children’s’ creativity and can be made using the material available in their homes. With a specific focus on skill development, online teacher training sessions were also conducted for teachers in states like Tamil Nadu, NCR, Gujarat, Sikkim, Karnataka, AP, Odisha and others. More than 2 lakh children and 4000 plus teachers have been reached through these sessions so far in the outreach activities spanning 21 states.
The regional teams in Maharashtra and Gujrat have contributed Rs.1 lakh + towards covid-19 relief also Agastya has raised Rs.25+ lakhs for dry ration distribution. About 15000 plus beneficiaries were reached through the relief activities.
In a shining example of the innovative methods promoted by Agastya, two of our instructors, Pandurang and Balaji, converted a cow shed into a classroom when they could not conduct classes in their homes. They reached out to more than a 100 teachers through the online workshops conducted in the shed, proving that learning doesn’t have to stop.
The digital programs have not just been restricted to children. 100+ women across Maharashtra and AP who are parents of children reached by Agastya, are being taught the design thinking process, which is an iterative process that encourages innovative and out-of-the-box thinking to find solutions to problems. Through these classes, the mothers are taught to develop 21st century skills, which are an integral part of the design thinking process. They also helped to recognize and design thinking as a way of life and inspired to teach and pass on the knowledge they gained at Agastya to their peers.
“At Agastya, we believe, every crisis – unprecedented or otherwise – gives birth to an opportunity,” says Ramji Raghavan, Chairperson of Agastya. “We are exploring partnerships with both corporate and government organizations to make our infrastructure and people available in the fight against COVID-19 – our Mobile Science Labs, Labs-on-Bikes and Science Centers to deliver personal protective equipment and food,” he added.