Project Utthan giving students from rural hinterland wings to fly

April 29 , 2024 By Jatin Upadhyay, Project Manager - Education

Chandan Jain is a resident of Salpura village in Kawai, Rajasthan. He has disability in one hand. His father suffers from paralysis, leaving a severe financial constraint on the family. His mother, trained in stitching by the Adani Foundation, approached the Adani Competitive Coaching Centre hoping to get due guidance from there. The centre supported Chandan’s journey to prepare for Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Selection Test (JNVST) for admission into the prestigious government-run Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya.

Like Chandan, 19 students - all coming from underserved communities - from across the country secured admissions into JNVs this year. This means they will receive free education and residential facilities from classes 6 to 12, starting in the academic year 2024-25.

These coaching centres are a ray of hope for meritorious students like Chandan and his peers as they not only help in securing a bright and promising future for these children, but also bring a huge relief to their families, who are otherwise struggling to make ends meet.

Adani Competitive Coaching Centers (ACCCs) are part of our holistic interventions under Project Utthan. Started in 2018 by the Adani Foundation – the CSR implementing arm of the Adani Group – Project Utthan aims at improving the learning outcomes of children in government schools through various initiatives.

The Foundation conceived the idea to set up ACCCs after realizing the need to provide necessary support and resources to students to sit for competitive exams. It established the first such centre in Raipur in 2018. Over the past five years, these centres have witnessed a steady stream of success stories, with more than 400 students qualifying in various central or state government competitive exams and scholarships.

As of today, there are 28 such coaching centres which are training around 448 students for JNVST, National Means Cum Merit Scholarship (NMMS), Gyan Sadhana Exam (GSE), and Primary Scholarship Exam (PSE).

Moreover, ACCCs actively encourage students from Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes to compete in exams such as those for admission into schools like Eklavya Model Residential Schools, Utkarsh Vidyalaya and Model Schools, aiming to uplift and empower these communities by strengthening their base through educational opportunities.

The success of ACCCs is a testament to the Adani Foundation's commitment to improve the quality of education at the grassroots holistically through Project Utthan. By modifying coaching programmes to meet the unique needs of students across various geographical locations, the Foundation tries to ensure that no dream remains unattainable for deserving students.

Looking at the larger picture, Utthan is specifically tailored to address the challenges that children at the rural level face on the ground. Its interventions include facilitating computer literacy via 'IT on Wheels’ initiative, building reading corners, providing necessary reading materials and stationery items to facilitate learning, renovating school infrastructure and equipping them with advanced technology and smart classes, painting school building walls as part of Building As Learning Aid (BaLa paintings) to make learning more fun and interactive for children, and running specialized coaching classes (ACCCs) for children to improve their overall academic performance. The Foundation also runs dedicated ‘Adani Evening Education Centres’ to provide coaching in subjects like Mathematics, Science and English to help students perform better in their board examinations.

Utthan brings about a paradigm shift in the educational scenario of rural India, especially in remote areas where educational aspirations of bright youths are still met with significant hurdles and modernizing ways of educational tools is a huge challenge. Our ‘Utthan Sahayaks’ are the real heroes who drive this ambitious project on the ground.

Additionally, sports, too, forms a key area of our intervention under Utthan, wherein Sahayaks provide specialized training to help students excel in cluster, zonal, district, and state-level competitions. Students with exceptional abilities are given the opportunity to enroll in district-level sports schools, where they receive modern training, proper nutrition, and exposure to tournaments, alongside quality education in esteemed schools across Gujarat. This nurturing environment ensures that young athletes have the support they need to thrive both in academics as well as athletics.

Initially started with 17 primary schools and 2,598 students in Mundra, Gujarat, Utthan has swiftly expanded its reach over the last few years, now spanning 254 schools across five states. Till now, it has had an impact in the lives of more than 38,000 students.

Utthan reiterates the Adani Foundation's commitment to empower and enlighten young minds through education. As we gear up for a fresh academic year, the stories of Chandan and his peers inspire us to dream big by using the mightiest tool of all – education.

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