10 October 2008

Publisher creates its own development programme

A development programme created by a private sector company? It makes perfect sense when you are India's largest newspaper publisher and the issue is something as fundamental as literacy.

India's Grass-Roots Teachers
55,000 volunteers from India's five biggest cities have signed up for Teach India, an initiative backed by the Times of India and the UN Volunteers programme working to spread literacy, and more importantly, quality education. In the first leg of the program — the biggest of its kind in India and possibly the world — 3,000 volunteers have already started teaching 53,000 children. "I want to take these children beyond just clearing exams," says Iyer. "I want to give them the power to think."
Run by the Times of India, one of India's leading English-language dailies, in collaboration with UN Volunteers, the program has already received over 100,000 applications from would-be volunteers and is struggling to accommodate them all. "Such a visionary and large-scale program has only been possible because we've been able to get the media, civil society and corporate sector together," says Adeline Aubry, a former UNV program officer under whom the initiative was launched. India has had a long tradition of volunteerism, she says, "but Teach India gives them a giant common platform for a common cause."

Read more in TIME magazine.
Learn more about the project from Times of India.