Cargill India and the United Way of Delhi National Capital Region provides a new approach of experiential learning to the children in Haryana
Mr. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, inaugurated first of its kind Science Center in Gurgaon in the presence of Mr. Siraj Chaudhry, Chairman Cargill India and Mr. Thiagrajan, MD, Agastya International Foundation
Gurgaon, 15 January, 2014: Today, Cargill India along with the United Way of Delhi National Capital Region and Agastya Foundation announced the launch of the first of its kind Science Center for children in Gurgaon. The center will serve as a resource bank and a teacher training center reaching out to over 10,000 students annually.
Aimed at empowering students and teachers with experiential learning, the science center was inaugurated by Mr. Sam Pitroda, advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and innovation.
Cargill India has contributed Rs. 50,00,000 to United Way Delhi National Capital Region to set up the science center at the Government Senior Secondary Model School in Gurgaon (Sector 4/7 adjacent to Gymkhana club), Haryana. The science center will act as a hub for students and teachers of the community to learn and teach the concepts of science, ecology and mathematics through a participative approach. It will reach out to 10,000 students and 125 teachers in a year enabling local schools and educators to deliver improved content and quality of education to under privileged students.
Announcing the launch, Mr. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, said, “The potential of Science Centers across the country as instruments and agents of percolating scientific temper, innovation, and therefore socio-economic development is under utilised. The National Innovation Council is working to promote innovation through science museums across India. This initiative by Cargill India and United Way in Delhi National Capital Region is a great example of a new-age approach to science education and it gives me immense pleasure to be a part of this launch in Gurgaon. I hope more schools, parents, teachers, children and other stakeholders will join hands to make best use of this place and more such centers will be opened across India with public-private partnership. The Government of India has also made a commitment in the 12th Five Year Plan to promote innovation through science centers across India”
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Siraj Chaudhry, Chairman, Cargill India said, “Cargill is committed to helping serve the community that we operate in. We are proud to support United Way of Delhi National Capital Region and are excited for this new Science Center that will reach out to 10,000 students and 125 teachers in a year. Cargill India has always been known for its innovative ways to support the community and social development and this science centre is another step in our effort to continue that tradition. We hope to enable young students and teachers to harness their potential and create an exciting environment for learning.”
Mr. Virendra Sharma, Principal, Government Senior Secondary Model School commented, “The implementation of the Science Centre is a great step forward towards curricular enrichment. This would provide students of schools without laboratory facilities the opportunity to conduct experiments and learn. The hands-on learning experience will lead to significant improvement in the quality of education and stimulate curiosity among the children.”
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 142,000 people in 67countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit Cargill.com and its news center.
About Cargill Community Giving
Cargill helps build vibrant and stable communities by supporting long-term solutions to reduce hunger, improve education, and protect the environment. We contribute 2 percent of our global consolidated pre-tax earnings (based on a three-year trailing average) to communities. In fiscal 2013, Cargill donated more than $69 million in 53 countries.
About United Way
United Way is a leading volunteer led, non- profit organization that endeavors to leverage corporate, employee and leadership talent for community development. By the virtue of being located in geographic community it addresses the root cause of key issues and is accountable for aligning resources to bring out constructive difference in the community. United Way prides itself on being an effective ‘impact maker’ who bridges the gap between the corporate sector and the civil society by collectively helping build sustainable communities.
United Way is a global network of more than 3,000 local non-profit organizations operating in more than 41 countries and territories that work to advance the common good of communities by focusing on education, income and health. These are the building blocks for a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family and good health. United Way is a path that includes hope and opportunity for everyone.
United Way Worldwide
United Way is a worldwide movement of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 41 countries and territories. It advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all, by focusing on education, income and health. The United Way movement mobilizes millions to action—to give, advocate and volunteer—to improve conditions of the society they live in.United Way’s global network provides the foundation for increased community impact in all communities. It consists of interdependent capabilities distributed at the global, regional, national and local levels, strengthened by centers of excellence.
United Way of Delhi National Capital Region partnered with Agastya International Foundation in 2010 to promote ‘science-literacy’ in government and NGO schools in Delhi and NCR through Mobile Science Lab (MSL). The project has thus far impacted over 82,000 students of grades 6th to 11th, 3000 teachers in 200 Government schools across Noida, Gurgaon and Mewat. The launch of the ‘Science centre’ will further the cause of promoting science and technology to the young students.
Agastya International Foundation is a transformative educational Foundation. Since its formation in 1999, Agastya is actively engaged in propagating hands-on learning among poor rural children and teachers. It streams its vision and mission to rural India through a variety of channels including Mobile Labs, Science Centres and a Creativity Lab located on a 172-acre campus near Bangalore. Agastya advisers and members include entrepreneurs, scientists, educators, philanthropists and teachers. To date, Agastya has directly reached (face-to-face) 4 million children and 150,000 teachers in 28 districts mainly A.P. and Karnataka. Agastya’s hands-on program aims to spark curiosity and addresses significant gaps in the education system including lack of practical exposure to science concepts and poor teacher student interaction. The main goal is to provide access to, attract and retain vulnerable and disadvantaged children to quality educational programs. The programs are holistically designed to spark creative-thinking and problem-solving skills, improve learning achievement and expand opportunities. Agastya’s educational intervention programs complement government programs.