During 2020, Ramboll’s CSR activities focussed mainly on uplifting underprivileged communities through educational support and restoring livelihoods affected by the pandemic. One such initiative was supporting Silver Linings an NPO (Not for Profit Organisation) that helps visually impaired children continue their computer training and education through the pandemic.
Silver Linings, focuses on inclusive education for visually impaired children, empowering girls and women, facilitating the reduction of preventable blindness and the inclusion of people with a disability into the mainstream. In addition, Silver Linings also have a hostel for sight-impaired girls.
Ramboll’s support to Silver Linings has helped in establishing a computer centre for visually impaired students in Delhi. Eight students are currently being trained at the centre while 25 students are receiving telephonic training from their homes.
Computer education for the visually impaired has been identified as a growing necessity so that the education these students receive is on par with today’s market needs. Apart from computer education, students also learn music, English communication skills, mathematics and storytelling. Additionally, awareness on sexual harassment and child protection is also imparted to the students to make them independent and develop their skills holistically.
Pallavi Adhikari is one such visually impaired student who joined the centre in 2017. With constant effort and hard work from both Pallavi and the staff at the centre, she was successfully integrated into Class 5 of Salwan Public School within six months. She is entirely independent and uses her laptop effortlessly for her school projects. Pallavi is proficient in braille, tailor-frame, computers, and e-book recorder. With education moving to a virtual platform due to COVID-19, teachers are continuing to teach Pallavi over the phone and online.
Sahil Kumar is a 9-year-old boy with low vision due to a neurological problem. He needed additional lessons from the trainers at the centre as both his parents are illiterate. The trainers taught him braille, abacus, tailor-frame, and computer typing, where he has made good progress. He has since joined an English medium school and is achieving good grades.
Silver linings has been able to provide virtual classes through the year to about 841 beneficiaries in total.