Bridging the Digital Divide
The ‘Digital Divide’ in Education caused by COVID-19 is an issue that has been overshadowed by the human devastation that has been witnessed. However, it is a potential catastrophe that could leave an entire generation of children (particularly those from economically vulnerable communities) with insurmountable learning gaps and stunted emotional growth. Ensuring equitable access to digital devices and the internet is the only realistic solution that can help alleviate this injustice. In collaboration with Delhi@2047 partners, the Delhi Government is planning to provide tablets to all students in Grades 10 & 12. This initiative will empower students from Delhi Government schools to continue learning in the same manner as their peers in private schools and develop the necessary skills to be competitive in a world where the lines between online and offline have been blurred.
The past year has been very tough due to COVID, especially for children. With schools being closed, children have been cooped up at home. Lack of psycho-social support, particularly in the second wave of the pandemic, has left many children isolated in their homes, which may result in mental health issues including anxiety, depression, among others. DCPCR (Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights) has initiated a mental health initiative for children who have been impacted by COVID and are under mental stress. DCPCR plans to set up a mental health support unit with a required number of counsellors, therapists and other experts where children can reach out for psycho-social support.
REHABILITATION OF CHILDREN VULNERABLE TO SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN YAMUNA PUSHTA, DELHI
Every year thousands of children run away from their homes due to abuse, violence, neglect and various other reasons. However, these innocent children are oblivious to the risks and vulnerabilities of crowded urban spaces like Delhi which may range from sexual abuse, economic exploitation, violence or drug abuse. Delhi Government has been constantly working to rehabilitate children through prevention, care and support. Delhi Government in collaboration with Delhi@2047 partners would like to pilot a community-based program targeted at prevention-treatment- rehabilitation for children living in the Yamuna Pushta area.
SCHOOL CLINICS IN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
Children studying in schools often require first-aid or emergency help as they may get injured during sports and other activities. Besides this, we also see that there is no culture of screening children for deficiencies both physical and cognitive. Screening children at an early stage can help with the diagnosis and organizing the required support. Following the philosophy of Mohalla Clinic, Delhi Government would like to set up School Clinics in all Government Schools. These clinics will have well qualified medical staff including mental health professionals who will conduct regular screening of children for vision, hearing, dental issues, etc.
SAHELI SAMANVAY KENDRAS
COVID has impacted the livelihoods of millions in India. The impact is even greater among the skilled/semi-skilled workers, women being the worst hit. According to a McKinsey report, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable in times of crisis. Our surveys in Delhi have also shown that a larger number of women have lost their livelihoods as compared to men. This has tremendously increased the vulnerability of poor women. In the light of this crisis, Delhi Government has embarked on a skilling programme for women. ‘Saheli Samanvay Kendras” (SSKs) will be housed in Anganwadi Centres.
With a vision to host the Olympics in 2048, the Delhi Government has endeavored to develop world-class sports facilities across the city and create a conducive ecosystem for sports to flourish. Delhi Government has for the past several years been investing in upgrading the sports infrastructure. However, many of the schools, despite having adequate space, still do not have well-developed playgrounds. The provision of well-equipped and levelled playgrounds is a basic and immediate necessity to enable athletes from Delhi to win medals at the national and international level. In collaboration with Delhi@2047, the Delhi Government is planning to develop world-class playgrounds across Delhi Government Schools.
CITY OF LAKES – DELHI
Water bodies act as a buffer to store floodwater, recharge groundwater levels, and reduce ambient temperatures and the urban heat island effect. Delhi being a landlocked city, these water bodies also act as natural reservoirs to store excess water during rainfall and prevent flooding. Delhi also produces 500 MGD of recycled water which is currently being wasted. This recycled water can be stored in the proposed lakes which can further reduce the water deficit. ‘’City of lakes’’ is a Delhi government initiative to rejuvenate water bodies. In the first phase, 250 water bodies and 15 lakes have been identified. 50 of these would be rejuvenated by December 2021.