Run by the Times of India newspaper with the support of UNV, ‘Teach India’ is mobilising people to volunteer two hours per week to teach underprivileged children and adults. UNV is providing four Indian national UNV volunteers – placed in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai – to help match the volunteers with the NGOs that need them. The UNV volunteers will also liaise with schools, the private sector and other partners, and contribute general expertise on volunteering.
Achieving universal primary education is one of the UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The ‘Teach India’ campaign aims to address the issue in a country where a third of the population remains illiterate and perhaps 42 million children from ages 6 to 10 do not attend school.
The private sector initiative has attracted major affiliates including Nokia, Barclays, Ernst and Young, as well as Indian multinationals, including Reliance, Aditya Birla Group, Tata Consultancy Services among many others.
Senior executives, such as Lalit Malik, Vice-President of American Express has been volunteering to teach a classroom of students aged 4 to 13. “The kids are fast learners,” he remarked. “I have earlier taught MBA students but I can tell you that this experience is very enriching.”