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‘Sapna, Bachat, Udaan’ initiative in India aims to inculcate Savings Habit in 90,000 Pre-tweens and Women

Galli Galli Sim Sim" is the Indian adaptation of the hugely popular "Sesame Street" TV show that airs in Britain

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New Delhi, October 26,2016: Leveraging on the recall value of the muppets in widely-watched childrens TV show “Galli Galli Sim Sim”, a five-year initiative is aiming to reach out to 90,000 tweens and women in three states to inculcate in them the savings habit.

“‘Sapna, Bachat, Udaan’ is the Indian adaptation of the global programme ‘Dream, Save, Do: Financial Empowerment for Families’. Financial empowerment is critical to help people plan better and assist in alleviating poverty in India,” Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Director of Sesame Workshop India (SWI), told IANS in an interview.

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(“Galli Galli Sim Sim” is the Indian adaptation of the hugely popular “Sesame Street” TV show that airs in Britain.)

“It goes beyond just saving money, it means having goals and aspirations, planning and finding the right information to achieve those goals. The idea of financial empowerment originated with a goal to ensure that families have access to the knowledge and skills which will put them on the path to making sound decisions (both financial and non-financial) which can help lead to financial security,” Banerjee said.

To this end, “Sapna, Bachat, Udaan” focuses on 20,000 children aged 3-8 from low- and moderate-income families in Delhi, and 70,000 similarly-aged children and their caregivers in Rajasthan and Jharkhand to help them acquire healthy financial skills and behaviour.

“The programme provides engaging content featuring the ‘Galli Galli Sim Sim’ muppets, language for discussion and effective strategies for spending, saving and sharing,” Banerjee said of the programme, which is sponsored by the MetLife Foundation.

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Isn’t 3-8 years too young for a child to imbibe the culture of saving and, more so, persuade their parents to do so?

“Multiple studies have recognised that the early years (0-6 years) are a critical period during which children develop their cognitive, physical, social and emotional skills that they need for lifelong learning,” Banerjee said.

“Thus, starting early with key life skills can help build a stronger learning foundation for children. Sesame Workshop’s approach to financial empowerment is to establish fundamental skills and strategies for young children and the adults in their lives to help increase knowledge and change attitudes about setting goals and planning and promoting behaviour change that engages families, particularly heads of household/women, in mindful financial behaviours.

“Money is part of a child’s everyday life beginning at an early age with observations of the money habits of adults, and continuing with observation of these habits throughout their entire lives. It is, therefore, important for children to develop a strong foundation that encourages wise decision-making (financial and non-financial) — thus contributing to their future growth and achievement,” Banerjee said.

In Delhi, the programme is based in low-income urban settlements of Shahdara. SWI has converted a vegetable cart into a mobile TV, which is taken to the streets of the selected area where mobile community viewing (MCV) sessions are organised for children to watch educational and entertaining videos on financial literacy.

“Related workshops are conducted comprising activities and games using ‘Galli Galli Sim Sim’ material where the messages of financial empowerment are reiterated to the children. The initiative aims to reach 20,000 children (via multiple touch points) in Delhi through MCVs (community sessions where families and children come together to watch the entertaining, educational videos on financial literacy) and workshops conducted over a period of three years in collaboration with the implementation partners,” SWI Content Head Meenakshi Khanna told IANS.

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In Rajasthan and Jharkhand, the programme is being implemented in villages through Self Help Groups (SHGs) which are local committees of women who come together to make small regular savings and contributions to conduct microfinance activities.

“At these SHG meetings, facilitators engage women and their children with ‘Galli Galli Sim Sim’ educational material about financial empowerment. In Jharkhand and Rajasthan, the initiative aims to reach approximately 70,000 women and children,” Khanna said.

From the content perspective, the programme focuses on addressing three main themes:

* “We can do it” — Having a positive attitude, confidence, and aspirations

* “How we can do it” — Knowing behaviour related to self-regulation and executive function that can help achieve goals

* “What information do we need to know?” — Having the knowledge and information needed to achieve financial empowerment and achieve one’s goals.

And with the initiative now being on FM Rainbow 102.6 MHz, the message would definitely be spread further.

“We’ve already started receiving positive feedback from the children who are learning the habits of planning and saving in Jharkhand, Delhi and Rajasthan,” Banerjee said.

“We would be happy to extend the programme to other locations as well. We seek support from other state governments and other interested partners to scale-up the project in order to reach out to more children and caregivers,” she added. (IANS)

 

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Delhi University Students Win the Enactus World Cup 2017

India wins the Enactus World Cup 2017

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Delhi University
India wins Enactus World Cup 2017. Twitter.

New Delhi, Sep 30: After an extremely tough competition between different students across the world in the Enactus World Cup 2017, Team India, represented by Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS), Delhi University emerged as the winner. The winning projects were project UDAAN and Mission RAAHAT.

Supporting the Government of India’s Digital India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan mission, RAAHAT strives to effectively eliminate open defecation and provide safe sanitation in the urban slums; whereas, UDAAN aims at narrowing the digital divide between rural and urban India by setting up computer centres.

The Delhi University college team was led by the college’s faculty advisor, Anuja Mathur and student president of SSCBS Student President Aditya Sharma. The winning projects included 34 more members. The Enactus India and Enactus SSCBS were presented the Ford Better World Award of USD 50,000.

Also Read: Three Indian Women on Fortune’s Most Powerful Business Women

President and Global CEO, Enactus, Rachael A. Jarosh congratulated the Indian for winning the world cup and called the projects- RAAHAT and UDAAN, inspirational success stories of Enactus students, who are sowing businesses. She said that the projects address the real world challenges efficiently and innovatively. Enactus India President Farhan Pettiwala said that the two projects created by Delhi University students contribute to the country’s betterment, as they support the Government’s civil and social agenda.

Enactus is an international nonprofit organisation, with 72,000 students from 1,700 universities in 36 countries, which held its annual global event in London from September 26 to 28. A selected group of 3,500 students, business, government leaders and academicians across the globe were present at the event. Participants for the final competition round are qualified from over 72,000 university students. Each team has about 17 minutes to present their projects of entrepreneurial action.

Enactus works to nurture the entrepreneurial skills of students, and to address fundamental, social and economic challenges by developing innovative and experiential learning opportunities for students.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

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Over 5,000 Plant Varieties in Last 3 Years sent in by Tribal Farmers to protect the species : Minister

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Tribal Farmers
tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years (representational Image). Wikimedia

New Delhi, June 8, 2017: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday said tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years through Krishi Vigyan Kendras for registration at the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Rights Authority.

It will play an important role in the development of climate resilient and sustainable varieties in future, he said at the National Workshop on Empowerment of Farmers of Tribal Areas here.

“New technological innovations in agriculture must reach to the fields of tribal areas but before taking such steps we must keep in mind the unique conditions of these areas, which are the gift of nature and therefore, we should promote natural farming in those areas,” he said, as per an official release. (IANS)

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