The chance to learn

By Anjali Kakkar June 30, 2015

Gurgaon, India, has the highest number of professionals per square inch in the country. It houses practically every big name in the corporate world. Its buildings were designed by some of the most renowned architects, and its retail malls stock practically every international brand.

However, beneath the tall skyscrapers and glittering buildings, the Millennium City of India has a gloomy side. Supporting this city’s growth are migrant laborers, who come to Gurgaon for an opportunity to work. Their children are often found playing along the roadside while their parents lay the bricks of schools that serve children of the more privileged class.

“There is a huge inconsistency in the city when it comes to education,” said Ayan Dutta, managing director of Trade & Structured Finance and treasurer of Cargill India. “We are aware of the staggering number of children who linger on the outskirts of mainstream education, many restricted and, even more so, unmotivated to attend school. The statistics are all easily accessible, yet a sustainable solution is much more elusive.”

To help these children, Cargill partnered with Agrasar, a non-profit organization working in the field of human capital development and social security of the disadvantaged communities in India. Together we launched a pilot program to provide structured learning to underprivileged
children aged 4-14 in a Gurgaon village that is home to more than 20,000 migrant workers.

Sixty children initially will be enrolled in the first three months at the Agrasar Bachpan learning centre. The program is designed to go beyond academic learning to nurture all-round development and growth. If the pilot is successful, the program will have the capability to serve 150 children each year.

Speaking on the significance of the initiative, Dutta said, "Cargill is proud to be associated with Agrasar Bachpan, which is committed to making early educational experiences meaningful and positive. This initiative presents a platform for children and their parents to take charge of a future full of promise: a future that India seems to be drawing closer to each day.”