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Community Development, Recent Events

FCDP and TMS Kollam: Reducing the digital gap for students in need

The Fishermen Community Development Programme (FCDP) and Theeradesa Mahila Sanghatana (TMS) entered another phase of COVID-19 relief activities with the support of BREADS Bangalore. It is a joint venture aiming to reduce the digital divide and to lend a helping hand to deserving students who cannot afford electronic gadgets and technologies to access the online classes conducted by schools.

FCDP identified deserving students with the support of benefactors and well-wishers, and in a simple ceremony on 9 June 2020, Mr. Devarajan – Circle Inspector of Janamaithri police station, handed over a television to a family with three students in Pallithottam, Kollam. The initiative stems from the realisation that the resumption of online classes by schools in the situation of persisting lockdowns, excludes a lot of children who cannot afford or access electronic gadgets and modern technologies. It was understood that many children were on the verge of dropping out from schools because their parents could not afford expensive smart phones, laptops or notepads. Continuing its work to reach out to deserving families and students without means to electronic media, FCDP and TMS distributed TVs and smartphones on 24 June 2020 in the presence of Smt. Honey Bechamin – Kollam Mayor, Adv. Vinitha Vincent- Counsellor, Fr. Sunny Uppan- Parish Priest, Fr. Joby- FCDP Director, Dr. Sindha Mendez and Ms. Agnes John- TMS president and others.  Televisions were distributed to students to enable them to learn from the exclusive Malayalam television programmes for curriculum learning developed by the Kerala government in collaboration with a media channel.

Assisting students and families of expatriates in difficult situations, FCDP and TMS distributed televisions, smart phones and grocery kits on 26 June 2020 at the FCDP office on 26 June 2020. Mr. Rajeev – RTO, Kollam while distributing the items to the beneficiaries, highlighted the need to work together and support each other. FCDP specially thanked BREADS Bangalore and the generous benefactors for supporting them in this intervention. On the occasion, Fr. Joby Sebastian (Director, FCDP & TMS) said that this was the beginning of a new initiative to facilitate access to online classes. It is hoped that during the coming days FCDP will be able to provide TVs or phones to the remaining deserving students and also network with others to support the families of NRIs who have lost jobs abroad, to help them find livelihoods in the near future.

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