Case Stories

March - 2017

Name: Mrs. Jaspreet Kaur
Subject: English Mistress
School: Govt. Girls Senior Secondary School, Barnala

Since the commencement of Digital Equalizer program inGovernment Girls Senior Secondary School, Barnala, in April, 2016, Mrs. Jaspreet Kaur, a laboriousEnglish Teacher of the school has dedicatedly been a part of the program. Mrs. Jaspreet is a visionary teacher who wants her students to grow in their lives as responsible and competitive citizens.She says that learning takes place with awareness where one is conscious while reading, writing, listening or speaking. In this modernera of technology based system of education, it is not a distant thing to understand the need of the students and let them grow their own intellect through activity basedlearning. Mrs. Jaspreet believes;

“English, as a language is always a work in progress.The idea is to have fun with it while you learn”

Challenges:
Prior to DE intervention, observing the constant apprehension amongst students to understand and comprehend English words and phrases was a major issue standing ahead of her. This also lack of enough practice, hence, low confidence amongst students to use the English language effectivelywas reflected in their results. This was troublesome for Mrs. Jaspreet and she was struggling to find out innovative methods to create interest amongst her students and ensure learning at their own pace.

Role of Digital Equalizer:
Commencement of DE in her school proved a great relief to herhurdle for effective methodologies and resources to deal with challenge of students’ English reading & comprehension abilities. Mrs. Jaspreet Kaur was supported with lot of digital content/ animated videos and classroom strategies to make teaching – learning a joyful practice in her class.

Commencement of English Helper under DE program, proved another milestone to deal with the challenges of English teaching – learning. Technology enabled solution of English Helper does not only aided her students to improve their fluency in spoken English but also helped to enhance their vocabulary, reading-writing skills and comprehension. She considers English Helper software as an effective and engaging tool to learn in the context and according to pace of the teacher.

She expresses, “Under Digital Equalizer, I found therearevastarrayofmethodologiestoexploreand fix the classroom needs for better outcome. It has not only helped me in engaging my students through audio-visual content but has created the desired interest in my students which definitely leads to improved learning. It’s true thatreading and listening have their own impacts but watchingorviewingatopiccreates long lasting impact.Therefore,whenonelearnsby watching and practicing,itresults ineverlastingimprint on his/ hermind.DE’s intervention has definitely helped shape my students’ personality and transforming them to be confident and keen learners.”

Now she ensures students’ attention and focus through different activities which helps them to learn and have fun at the same time. For an example, she divides her class in two groups, Group A and Group B. One participant from either of the team will speak a verb and the oppositeteam member will express that verb through action. This initiative helps students to learn through thinking, applying and expressing their understanding.


Outcomes:
She ensures that in each of her class, her students are divided into groups and tasks are divided amongst them to ensure they put in their efforts as a team and understand the importance of team workwhich caters to overall personality development of her students. She credits DE for enhancing the self-esteem, confidence and fluency among her students by introducing English Helper as an added advantage in herclassroom.


Now, the academic record of his classroom clearly reflects that his students have reaped the benefits from the aforementioned innovative strategies applied in her classroom.Taking a look at her class 6th results (Fig a), going from a mere Grade C and D at the beginning of the year to an impressive Grade A and Bas of now.This testimonial is enough to acknowledge the accelerated performance of her students splendidly.

Acknowledgment:
“With the innovative methodologies introduced by AIF’s DE program there is a positive change in students’ participation in the class. It enhances the student learning as well as helps create a friendly environment thereby, instigating a culture of teaching – learning in classroom. English is not a phobia anymore among students.They are expanding their knowledge and are all the more curious about applying it in their daily lives. DE has helped the students and teachers alike to widen their horizons and take the teaching-learning experience to a whole new level.”
Mrs. Arun Garg, Principal
Govt. Girls Sr. Sec. School, Barnala

February - 2017

Swachh Vidyalaya (A positive change)


Student Name: Kamalpreet Singh
Class : 10th
School Name : Govt. Sr. Sec. School Dharamgarh Sangrur, Punjab

"Each setback is a lesson. Each lesson makes us better”.

Kamalpreet Singh was finding it hard to come to school regularly due to his homely conditions and his own disinterest towards study. Kamalpreet is a 10th grade student and was very negligent for in academics and used to be a last bencher in past. He comes from a lower economic class family and after his father’s sudden demise he was flooded with responsibilities and struggles. Under these circumstances, he found himself unable to concentrate on studies.

Digital Equalizer Program has had a tremendous effect on Kamalpreet’s perception about studies. Since he has been part of DE program in his school, the different approach of teaching-learning practiced by teachers, mold Kamalpreet’s attention and interest in class. It was now visibly evident that the DE Way of Teaching (DEWoT) and Flip methodology were having an effect on him and helped bring back his focus on academic front.

Mrs. Naresh Gupta a science mistress in GSSS Dharamgarh has made full use of the DE Program by implementing the right kind of Micro-Innovations to improve the LIG (Learning Improvement Group) students along with Kamalpreet. The audio visual techniques used under DE methodology triggered Kamalpreet’s intelligence and interest which further aided in enhancing his knowledge beyond what he had known. His teachers have also used right kind of praising techniques which they have learned under DE Program. The application of “The Growth Mindset” approach helped the teachers to understand the challenges in dealing with students like Kamalpreet and overcome these effectively as a result Kamalpreet and other students started feeling valued in the class. Under the Project Enabler, which focuses on the bottom 20% students of the class, Kamalpreet gained back his lost confidence and now proudly act as a self-initiator in group projects and planning classroom activities.

His teachers have noticed that he has shown considerable improvement in his academics, where at the beginning of the year his CCE results showcased him as an E grade student, now in his recent exams he successfully jumped to ‘C’ Grade student.


Kamalpreet participating in classroom activities and presentation

Kamalpreet owes it all to the innovative techno-pedagogy approach. He says,“With the ongoing program of Digital Equalizer, I feel very fortunate to be a student of GSSS Dharamgarh. Through audio-visuals, I am able to grasp and memorize concepts with considerable ease. I am no more hesitant to interact with my teachers or to present my ideas in front of class. Through technology integration and project based learning, I feel more liberal to work on my ideas and explore my potentialities to higher levels.”

Kamalpreet’s Science teacher shares“Initially, Kamalpreet’s attention span in class did not last long maybe due to tough circumstances at home. But, I along with other teachers always strived to make situations better for our students through different teaching techniques. But, when I and my fellow teachers were introduced to DEWoT and Flip processes, our whole perspective of teaching-learning experience changed for the better. I have definitely found it as a much needed aid for making my class interactive and participative. Now, I can see visible changes in Kamalpreet’s overall personality and academic performance. I want to thank AIF for letting us teachers explore a whole new pathway to guide our students to become an independent and confident citizens of the 21st century”

January - 2017

Name: Ms. Jagriti Gour
Subject: Social Science and English Mistress
School: Govt. Sr. Sec. School Kalyan, Patiala

GSSS Kalyan is a senior secondary school situated in the district of Patiala. Digital Equalizer program was introduced in this school in April 2016 in order to provide a platform for the teachers to support them with the latest techno pedagogy skills. The objective of the program was to enhance student learning outcome.

Jagriti Gour is a DE teacher who teaches Social Science at GSSS Kalyan. She got associated with DE program in year 2008 when she was in another school Govt. High School Lalaochhi and since then she has been actively practicing DE methodology in her classrooms. She is a keen learner and proactively participates in different seminars and workshops to sharpen her own skills. She constantly thrives toward trying to bring innovation in her teaching practices for a positive outcome among the students. She follows the motto of ‘walk and work’ along with the students.

“I am fortunate to be a part of DE program again in my current school. I am very thankful to AIF team and the computers teachers who supported me all the way to develop technical skills and integrate the same in teaching – learning practices. Now, I am not only making use of the technology in my daily teaching practices but also utilizing it in other areas such as school monitoring work, admin work and official communication etc. This has built up my confidence level which added to my personal and professional growth” – says Ms. Jagriti Gour.

While explaining the current scenario she says, “Teacher is no longer the dispenser of the information, but rather plays the role of facilitator, setting project goals, providing guidelines and resources.” DE methodologies has helped her to adopt and implement a student centric learning approach through which she is able to bring significant change in overall development of the students.

One of the important changes in her teaching methodology was based on the theory of ‘Multiple Intelligence.’ She believes that each student is unique and intelligent and need different approach; therefore, she always wanted to develop content through which she can make the learning process easy and interesting for the students. With the help of AIF trainers and computer teacher she learnt how to use computers and developed projects for the students both for Social Science and English. She has made PowerPoint presentations and videos for different topics like Constitution and Functioning of Loksabha, Rajyasabha, Disaster Management, Nouns, Adjectives, Prepositions etc. She has observed in her classroom that visual retention lasts for a longer duration and with the help of projects/ activities she has been able to make the learning process more effective and interesting.

Jagriti shares that, “Social Science is often considered to be very boring subject and engaging the student for the same is one of the biggest challenges.” With the help of the Edukits she is using the integrated lesson plan with videos and presentations which is helping the students to understand the concepts in a much more effective way. Now her students reflects much more interested and curiosity to learn through videos and getting involved in activities. She has special observation that using the FLIP methodology has really helped in developing the critical thinking of the students. Some time they even come up with certain questions which I am not able to answer at once, but make sure to clarify it.

Additionally she says that different level of assessments of higher order and lower order questions not only help her to gauge the understanding of the students but also boost the rigor level of the students. She has witnessed a remarkable difference in the understanding of students reflected through assessment, activities and confidence level. She validated her statement with CCE result of her class where nine out of 15 students under project Enabler have shown improved learning outcome over the period of last three months.

Jagriti Gour further adds that, “DE program helped a lot in terms of my personal and professional development. It has exposed me to the variety of innovations and strategies which has built up my capacity to bring higher level of achievement in my students. It also helped me to connect with the teacher change maker movement where my innovations and efforts are recognized at a bigger platform.”

Shri Rajesh Modi (School Principal) says, “I am very happy with the way Digital Equalizer program has benefitted both the teachers and students in my school. AIF is playing a critical role bringing out the best talent of the teachers like Ms Jagriti Gour. We appreciate the support and guidance of AIF Team in implementing the best practices in our school. I would recommend that this program should continue extending its support to us.”

December - 2016

Name: Krishna Pandey
School: Pehal Elementary School C/o Govt. High School, Karampura, Amritsar

Krishna is a 14 year differently able child. He hails from a poor family, originated from Uttar Pradesh and came to Amristar three years back in search of better job opportunities. His father works as a labourer and his mother Baby Kumari is a homemaker. He has two younger brothers and one younger sister.

Vishal Pandey, his younger brother studies in 6th class at Govt High School Karampura, Amritsar. Vishal came to know about “Pehal” a Govt. Resource Centre at his school for the students with special needs. He enthusiastically told his parents about the same as they were not able to find any special school for Krishna, but they did not pay much attention to him.

One day when Krishna’s uncle Chotu Yadav went to Pehal to fit a water purifier, he was amazed to see different methodologies which are being used by the teachers to teach the children with special needs. Teachers were helping the students in various co-curricular activities in the classroom and students were joyfully participating in activities. Out of all this, one of the things which captured his attention was small computers (Tablets) being used for teaching these special kids. He was impressed by watching the students using tabs and the way they were engaged with the animated content. He came home and spoke to Vishal’s parents and got Krishna enrolled in Pehal centre in March 2016.

Pehal, a government resource centre for differently able students with majority of hearing impaired. The American Indian Foundation Trust has set-up a TAB Lab class equipped with digital content in sign language with a dedicated special educator in Pehal centre for these students. AIF’s intervention has helped significantly for overall improvement of these special students. Students take more interest in a class led by activities and technology, therefore, learning takes place.

Krishna Pandey, who was enrolled eight months back, has shown a significant improvement in his overall development. Krishna was least interested in studies, never used to pay attention in the classroom activities in past. But, when introduced to the tab-lab for the first time, he showed keen interest and was able to operate it from the very first day. Exposure to this technology gave him the confidence to learn more. With the help of animated videos with sign language, he is able to understand the concepts and started participating actively in classroom as well.

November - 2016

Name: Mr. Gurcharandas (English Teacher)
School: Govt. High School Khudani Khurd, Ludhiana, Punjab

GHS Khudani Khurd is situated on the outskirts of Ludhiana city. Digital Equalizer program was introduced in this school in April, 2013. After implementation of DE methodologies, teachers came across innovative teaching – learning concepts i.e. DE Way of Teaching, Flipped Classroom, effective integration of ICT into curriculum and so on.

The objective of Digital Equalizer program is to empower teachers by building their capacity to create a mindset which will in turn help them to develop a conducive environment for the students. Digital Equalizer approach work towards converting the students as active constructor of knowledge instead of passive listeners. It also encourages the teamwork, collaborative and creative learning among the students.

Mr. Gurcharandas (English Master) is a hardworking and pro-active teacher, but, he always faced a problem that the students did not have a proper foundation in English language as they preferred to converse in their mother tongue, Punjabi. He acknowledged that the students face problems in comprehending and understanding the language which affects their speech and confidence.

After introduction of the English Helper under DE program, he found the innovative and technology enabled solutions for his students. English Helper classes helped students to improve their fluency in spoken English, enhance their reading skills and comprehension, enrich vocabulary and learn to write better. The English Helper’s software is effective and engaging as it is based on the principle of learning in the context at the pace of the learner.

To keep a track of the students learning and ensure that they are learning effectively, he has made an activity booklet and English Corner as an initiative to promote, improve and make them learn English in an effective manner, helping the students to develop different skills like visual, concentration, observation and so on.

His class students faced reading and writing problem in English. He developed remedial strategies using English Helper software which helped in improving the learning of students. Options like picture dictionary, word meanings and pronunciation in Read to Me software improved reading of students. In addition, the teacher used pedagogical strategies and developed writing skills by assigning tasks to different levels of students in a group. His class students’ confidence and self-esteem has improved significantly.

In addition to this, Mr Gurcharandas keeps a track on all the students and especially the challenging ones. He maintains a Quality Improvement performa for the challenging students in which he records the scores of all those challenging students and with his skill based teaching, he has helped his challenging students to improve their scores from 50% to 90% in a short period of time.

Mr. Gurcharandas acknowledges the contribution of DE program for making his teaching experience more lively, interactive and productive as there is substantial improvement in students’ performance of his class.

School principal has given his unending support to the DE program. He says, “With the innovative methodologies introduced by AIF’s DE program I can see a positive change in students’ participation in the class as they have become more confident and enthusiastic to learn new things. The focus on behavioral change within the traditional mindset of the teachers have resulted in tremendous outcomes for the school. I wish DE continues to extend its roots in our school in future as well."

October - 2016

Name of Teacher: Mrs. Bhawna Garg, (Science Mistress)
Name of School: Govt. High School Sanghera , Barnala, Punjab

"Sanghera is a high school situated in district Barnala. Recently Digital Equalizer (DE) program was commenced in GHS Sanghera in April, 2016. The program aims mainly to build a conducive environment for teaching – learning by using technology as a platform. This is only possible by extensive teacher training to enhance the skill set which the teachers possess. Under DE program we want our students to become proactive constructor of knowledge and not just listening without understanding. Our focus through this program is to develop critical thinking and creativity among students so that they are able to think out of the box and be critically involved in learning process.

Mrs. Bhawna Garg, (Science mistress) is a passionate teacher with 17 years of rich teaching experience who always tries to bring in a creative element in her teaching. She is a teacher who actively participates in new activities and is always curious to learn new things which are beneficial for her student’s growth as well as her own professional enrichment. She finds DE methodologies as ‘need of hour’ and appreciates the program for making her teaching experience more engaging and productive.

With the help of the techno-pedagogical approach she is making the best use of technology in her classroom to teach the students. She expressed, ‘’DE way of teaching has not only helped me for better student engagement but has shown significant improvement in students’ overall performance. In past, I used face difficulties to teach the topics like digestion, metabolism, chemical reaction etc. only with the help of text books and boards as we could not demonstrate the actual process. But now by integrating ICT tools (digital content) into teaching - learning, I am able to execute the lesson more effectively. This teaching approach has enabled the students to understand the concepts well and connect it with the real world application. Further, the reflection activities help to trigger the critical thinking among students and help me to assess the level of understanding and area of reinforcements.”

She goes on and elaborates, “It gets difficult at a time to ensure that all students in a class are meaningfully engaged and learning. Under DE, I applied the strategy of peer learning in my class. I have made groups of students of mix match performance level to ensure parity. These strategies have not only ensured maximum student participation but also helped in the improvement of bottom line students of my class. Whenever a specific assignment is allocated to them entire group is responsible to complete the assignment and ensure that each member of group is aware of the solution. This way I am able to track individual student participation.”

In last few months, students’ engagement and response rate have been substantially improved which is clearly reflected in their home-works and class tests.

Mrs. Bhawna Garg says, “I would like to thank AIF for providing us DE platform for more creative and doable ideas for betterment of education. I wish DE should be part of our regular training across the state.”

School principal Mrs. Kamla Devi has been a tremendous support to DE program. She says” I am really happy to see the student’s learnings and their increased level of confidence due to the program. This program has benefitted our teachers as well. I wish DE program to bring more positive changes in our school as well as others.”

September - 2016

Name of the Student : Preeti
Class : 8th
Science Mistress
School Name : GSSS Ropar(G), Punjab

"Low self-confidence isn't a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered--just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better."

........Barrie Davenpor

We can boost the confidence of students and bring a positive change in their behavior by motivating students. I want to share Preeti’s story because she has shown considerable change in her behavior. Preeti is an old student of mine, who was very shy. She is very good academically but because of her shy nature she would never participate in class activities and poured all her attention to a silo of just her books.

We consulted with her teacher and assigned to her the responsibility of cleanliness of the school as a part of Swachh Vidyalaya Campaign. With the guidance of DE trainers and teachers she took the initiative of cleaning the school and its surroundings. She involved other students in cleaning the yard and the ground of the school. She collected all the garbage from the school and disposed it with the help of her friends. She ensures that no one littered in the school. Teachers were very happy with the way she conducted cleanliness drive in the school. This boosted her morale and she became much more confident. She is not a shy girl anymore.

Preeti said that she was overwhelmed and scared when she was given the responsibility of the cleanliness drive. But with the help of her team members she was able to perform this task very well. Teachers were very impressed by the way the students conducted the drive and also by how well Preeti led her team during the cleanliness drive. Preeti’s efforts are appreciated by all her teachers and she has now been made the brand ambassador of the Swachh Vidyalaya Campaign of her school.

The little step has brought a big change in Preeti’s behavior. She has actively started participating in classroom discussions and other activities. She was already good in academics, so now she is actively helping her classmates with their problems in the studies.

Preeti’s parents are also very happy with the change in her behavior. They said that, earlier she used to be very shy and never interact much. But now she not only helps in maintaining cleanliness at home but also guides and helps her neighbors to keep the surroundings clean. Her helpful nature has resulted in appreciation from her neighbors too. This change in Preeti’s behavior came about because of the guidance and motivation of her teachers and DE trainer.

Preeti said that she is very thankful to her teachers and DE trainers for making her a part of the Swachh Vidyalaya Campaign. It is very evident from Preeti’s example that we can provide learners the motivation to become confident.

“Preeti is a student who had come out of her inhibitions and makes us to reflect that how self esteem of a student can be improved by assigning responsibility to a student. There is a significant change in her and has become inspiration to others”

- Karamjeet Kaur , SS Mistress

August - 2016

Experifun Kits – a way of learning with fun

School Name: GHS Handiaya, Barnala
Teacher Name:Mandeep Sharma
Science Mistress
Class: 6th and 8th

Concept for Experiment: Insulator and conductor (Charger sensor)
The best and safest method of philosophizing seems to be first to inquire diligently into the properties of things, and establishing those properties by experiments, and then to proceed more slowly to hypotheses for the explanation of them. - Isaac Newton

The experiment plays a key role in teaching science. Science instruction without any experiment is hardly conceivable.Science is taught like History in our classrooms – no exploration or experimentation leads to Rote Learning. The Rote learning approach fails to instill creativity, curiosity, innovation and makes children lose interest. Experifun brings first of its kind innovation based learning platform called in-class for urban and rural schools to radically transform Science teaching and learning in classrooms.

Background:
Mandeep Sharma has 8 years of teaching experience as a Science teacher in district Barnala. She became a part of DE program in 2014 and is a proactive participant under the program. She liked the experiments of Experifun kits provided by American India Foundation as it helps in providing basic concept clarity on Science topics.There has been a consistent result improvement of her class since she started practicing innovative practices under Digital Equalizer program.

Challenge:
According to her,while teaching a chapter on Electricity, the words like insulator and conductor are not clear to the students. Students are not able to relate the topics of Science with real life applications due to which they go for rote learning and often forget.There are some topics where the exact procedure is not understood if we go by the book.

Impact of Experifun:
That was the time, when AIF introduced “Experifun kits” under Digital Equalizer program for demystification of science concepts through experiments and activities. The solution was provided by the experiment of Conductor and Insulators which is mapped according to the chapter onElectricity for Science subject. The experiment was started by connecting the battery and inserting the insulator point to the conductor.After this the circuit was kept on any metal or steel ,for e.g., scale etc ,with the pointers kept on that material and to check if LED light is lighting up or not.If it is lighting it means that current is flowing, if not then there is no current.

Miss Mandeep Sharma, Science mistressof GHS Handiaya says “As soon as I had opened the kit students become curious to learn.These kits are of great help for the clarity of concepts to the students as soon as they see the experiments.Kids attention was full.Without these kits we face little problem while clarifying the concepts .”

Learning:
After using the Experifun kit the students practically saw and did the experiment on the topic which they studied earlier. She says, “6th class students at that very moment were able to identify and tell me that which one is conductor and which one is insulator because of its functioning which we have studied in the book.” Students learnt about the procedure regarding flow of current. Students also felt confident that the concept is clear and they had the enthusiasm toperform the experiments themselves. They had an urge to learn science differently. A post assessment was conducted for students to assess the learning of students on insulators and conductors and there was 100% result achieved by the students

Expressing her gratitude towards the program she says, “I would like to thank AIF for providing us the DE platform for more creative and doable ideas for betterment of education. I wish DE should be part of our regular training across the state.”

Student of class 6th Sonu Kumari says,“I have learnt about the insulator and conductor concept very easily with the help of kit. Otherwise, from book it becomes little difficult to understand the concept of charge transfer which are also used in our daily lives.”

Stepping Stone - DE Program

Name of Teacher: Samandeep Kaur, (Social Science Mistress) School: Govt. Sr. Sec. School Kaleke, Barnala,
Punjab Digital Equalizer (DE) program was started in GSSS Kaleke in April, 2013. After implementation of DE methodologies, teachers came across innovative teaching – learning concepts i.e. DE Way of Teaching, Flipped Classroom, effective integration of ICT into curriculum etc.

The objective of Digital Equalizer program is to build capacity within the schools via extensive teacher training, motivation, skills enhancement and support for students’ learning outcome. Under DE, we work towards converting the students as active constructor of knowledge instead of passive listeners. DE encourages the teamwork, collaborative and creative learning in students.

Samandeep Kaur, (Social science mistress) is a pro-active teacher who acknowledges the contribution of DE program for making her teaching experience more lively, interactive and productive as there is substantial improvement in students’ performance of her class.

Mrs. Samandeep Kaur was very curious to use technology in education but didn’t have any knowledge prior to commencement of DE in school. It became matter of interest for her to participate in all training, learning and sharing under DE program. With the help of “DE team” as well as her own learning attitude, she is quite capable to use technology for curricular and co-curricular activities. She is happy because now she can teach the students on computer as well as on LFD and regularly uses her own mobile phone to search information related to her subject. The techno pedagogy interventions of DE classes are helpful in improving learning outcomes of students. She always collaborates with other teachers and shares best practices with them.

According to Mrs. Samandeep Kaur, "DE program is completely different from traditional teaching methodology (chalk and black board) and is a boon in today’s era of education. Every time you have to get in touch with technology whether it is about computer, laptop, mobile, internet or any other kind of digital appliances. Every day we need to self-update our knowledge before going to class. The concepts of DE way of teaching and Flipped etc. really helped me to cater the interest of my students, which leads to active participation, self-learning, and improved outcome.”

DE program helped her a lot in improving her skills to cater the interest of students towards study.

She further elaborated, “By adopting different methodologies like DEWoT, Flip Classroom etc. she feels the change in students’ learning behavior & attitude towards studies which ultimately resulted in the improvement of their results. Moreover the DE program has increased the attendance of my class whereas earlier the scenario was completely opposite.”

Expressing her gratitude towards the program she says, “I would like to thank AIF for providing us the DE platform for more creative and doable ideas for betterment of education. I wish DE should be part of our regular training across the state.”

World No Tobacco Day - “I Quit Campaign” By The American India Foundation (AIF)

World No Tobacco Day was first introduced by the World Health Organization to be celebrated on 31st May as a most recognized event all over the world in order to make people aware of all the problems and health complications occurred by the tobacco chewing or smoking.

It is very necessary to stop the use of tobacco on global basis as it leads to many illnesses like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (also called COPD), lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes, chronic heart diseases, emphysema, variety of cancers and etc. Tobacco is used in many forms such as cigarettes, cigars, bidis, creamy snuff (tooth paste), pipes, gutkha, chewing tobacco, hand rolling tobacco, snuff, water pipes, snus and many more. It becomes important to educate people about demerits of tobacco products and stop using it.

I Quit Campaign:

Considering the daunting threats of tobacco products, AIF in collaboration with school authorities launched “I Quit Campaign” to educate students and community members under Swachh Vidyalaya, Swachh Bharat initiative.

Several activities i.e. speech, students’ talk, door to door rallies and oath to quit tobacco were organized by AIF team and school authorities to educate and sensitize students and their parents about demerits of tobacco and smoking. In some of the schools, health camp was also organized to spread awareness on the hazards of smoking and tobacco chewing.

This initiative proved a great success when some of the parents took oath to quit the tobacco voluntarily. The school authorities also decided to conduct a counseling session for the parents during PTMs.

AIF personnel distributed gifts to the students who had delivered speech and poems during the event.

I am using tobacco products for past many years, but today I came to know how hazardous it is not only for my own health but also for my dependent family members!. Today I promised myself to get rid of this deadly addiction and live a healthy life. Ramdeen, village – Garhwala, Amritsar

References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_No_Tobacco_Day http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets

Anjali Puri Class 10GGSSS Nangal, Distt. Ropar, Punjab

This is a story or a girl who dreams of becoming an IAS officer in spite of having seen several hardships at home.

Anjali Puri is a 15 year-old girl studying in class 10 in GGSSS Nangal, Ropar. She belongs to a very poor family. Her father is a truck driver; mother is a mid-day meal worker and has got two younger brothers studying in classes VI and VIII. They live hand to mouth since the monthly family income is even less than Rs. 5000/-.

Nevertheless, hardships haven’t deterred Anjali’s morale; she aims to become an IAS officer! Anjali has already started walking on that path by not just being a pro-active participant in extracurricular activities as well as academics but also bringing laurels to school at every front.

Anjali says, “I used to get fascinated to see some children working on computers. I am very thankful to The American India Foundation Trust to make dream come true for me in my school under Digital Equalizer program. Now I, along with all other students in my school, learn so many new things daily using computer and internet. This program and AIF trainer helped me a lot to achieve great heights academically as well as in extra-curricular activities.”

She says Digital Equalizer program by The American Indian Foundation played a major role to help her reach there. It transformed her life in a way that information available online gave her plethora of ideas for participation in different types of competitions. Learning through audio-visual aids through edukits helped her to gain better understanding of concepts and longer retention. NFLAT coaching and TEFES videos by AIF also made her aware about importance of earning, saving and budgeting etc.

Anjali stood first in her class by scoring 91.6% in annual exam of class 9th. She is also among top 5% winners for INSPIRE award 2014-15 at state level in Punjab and secured third position in Vigyan Goshti 2014-15 at district level in Ropar. She is a regular participant of co-scholastic activities from her school in annual science fair, declamation contest and drama.

Now Anjali has started providing tuitions to primary students in evening time. She charges small amount from these students which helps her to fulfill her educational needs and small contribution to his family.

Anjali is not only favorite student of teachers but also the role model for all other students in school. Her confidence level speaks of her leadership qualities in school.

“Anjali Puri is a brilliant student. She is doing enormously well in her academics. She made us proud by participating and winning in many activities and contests like Inspire Award, Vigyan Ghosti etc. She is well behaved, well disciplined and obedient student having good leadership skills. I am very thankful to AIF for initiating DE Programme in schools. Both the teachers and students are getting good exposure and innovative practices for better teaching – learning experiences.”