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CSR: Novel initiative Phone Uthao India Ko Padhao will make kids in rural India better English speakers

The English language is widely considered to be a marker of progress. Moreover, in practically all spheres of economy, it also enhances employability. But there is a wide difference between the way city children and children in villages learn to speak English. Since 70% of the students in India are from an economically poor background and most of them are first generation learners, they lack guidance of English language from their parents and other elders. Nihar Shanti Amla, India’s No1 Hair Oil** has launched a new initiative to engage the socially conscious citizens and bridge this gap between learned and spoken English. Named Phone Uthao India Ko Padhao, the initiative is aimed at providing basic English speaking skills to underprivileged children by connecting them to volunteers in urban centers on a phone call.
Launching nationally on International Literacy Day, #PhoneUthaoIndiaKoPadhao is an extension of Nihar Shanti’s Paathshala Funwala program that has been running for the last 5 years and has provided an opportunity to children to learn English through pre-recorded IVR based modules. Designed in collaboration with leading educationalists and NGOs in the country, these IVR modules have been helpful in reaching out to more than 7 lakh children and helping them start on a path to learning English in a fun and engaging manner.
Nihar Shanti Amla has always been a brand with purpose at its heart. Committed towards social progress, the brand believes that education is the core foundation for growth. In order to impart quality education through a medium that connects well with children, they have been running multiple programmes under the Nihar Shanti Paathshala Funwala umbrella. With Phone Uthao India ko Padhao, the urban volunteers who register need to only commit ten minutes of their time in a week and help these children practice spoken English modules on a phone call. These children call through a toll free IVR number and are connected to a volunteer anywhere in India who is available at that time. During this phone call, the kids can either practice what they have learnt through their pre-recorded modules or are also free to ask questions on topics they may have learnt in their English class in school. The idea is to help them speak in English on a regular basis so as to build confidence.
Through a pilot program that was tested in Lucknow earlier this year, more than 70,000 calls were received so far and volunteers engaged in 55,000 minutes of quality learning for these children. Basis the encouraging response that the pilot received, the program has now been launched nationally. A novel and simple way of making a difference towards a child’s life, Phone Uthao India Ko Padhao is a program meant for anyone and everyone who can speak English and can help a child build on the same skill.
Over the past few years, Nihar Shanti Paathshala Funwala has led massive rural outreach programmes that have positively impacted 7500+ villages with call volumes upwards of 10 lakh from 3 lakh unique children in these villages in the past year.
Through a number of other projects, Nihar Shanti Amla also works with Educate Girls (EG), an NGO which provides quality education for all underserved and marginalized girls by mobilizing public, private and community resources thus improving access to education and school quality and achieving behavioural, social and economic transformation for all girls in India’s gender gap districts thereby creating an India where all children have equal opportunities to access quality education. In the past year the program has impacted 2 Lakh beneficiaries in Dhar, MP and Udaipur, Rajasthan.
Nihar Shanti Amla is committed to improving educational outcomes for children in India, specifically underprivileged children, and they do that by committing 5% of their pure profits towards children’s education.
This International Literacy Day, all that the brand is asking you to do is Take this Call and be a part of a movement to impact the lives of children in rural India, by taking out only 10 minutes of your time in a week. Register to become a volunteer.

**Based on the volume share data within value added hair oils as defined by Marico (excluding coconut & mustard oil), from Kantar WorldPanel’s household purchase panel for the period Apr’18 to Mar’19 in All India Urban & Rural**