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Helping students in rural communities in India stay in school

Distribution of COVID-19 preventive materials to government schools.
Credits: © Bala Vikasa, India, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected vulnerable populations in rural India and created barriers to continuing education for children in these communities. With Canada’s support, SOPAR-Bala Vikasa worked to keep children in rural India in school by enhancing COVID-19 safety measures.

The organization helped make schools in rural India a safer place for children by providing protective, monitoring and hygiene measures. These include infrared thermometers to check body temperature before students enter the schools, automated sanitizer machines, and foot-operated handwashing stations. They provided COVID-19 information and helped set up student committees to ensure safety measures were followed.

Within just 15 days of launching the program, school attendance increased by 85%. In total, over 69,000 students benefited from the COVID-19 measures brought about because of Canada’s support.

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