Times of India: July 29, 2016
New Delhi: State Bank of India and tech giant Oracle have come together for corporate India's largest volunteering programme to bring 'digital fluency' among underprivileged school students. Under the programme - D-Change - both the organisations will deploy resources, including staff and equipment, to train students in the basics of using information, communication and technology (ICT) tools.
"This is a joint employee volunteering initiative aimed at skilled workforce development in the country. Driven through the SBI Foundation, the program will focus on three key areas of education, women empowerment and rural upliftment," said Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman, State Bank of India. She said that the partnership was unique for three reasons, it is the first CSR initiative supporting digital India and is corporate India's largest volunteering initiative. This is also the first time that companies from two diverse sectors - IT and finance are coming together.
Oracle's president emerging markets, Middle East and Asia pacific Loic Le Guisquet who was in India for the program said that Oracle employees across the world have been volunteering for more than two decades. "We extend our 20-year old relationship with SBI to support India's mission of creating a digitally empowered society. We are bringing together our core strengths and a very large employee volunteer strength, to make this a reality," said Guisquet.
Besides students the programme also includes parents. "They will receive training from these students, that will help them learn how to, easily and independently, access electronic delivery services and, online services. To encourage parents to practice their newly acquired skill sets, schools will keep their computer labs open over the weekends," said Bhattacharya. This program will be launched in Rotary Bangalore Vidyalaya in Bengaluru and Mandal Parishad High School, Kondapur in Hyderabad on Aug 6, 2016.
"Our employees have always been into volunteering. Even during the Chennai floods when all the ATMs were down, they went door to door helping people withdraw money using mobile point of sales terminals. With this partnership we will be putting in place a structured and sustained system of volunteering," said Bhattacharya. She added that the bank's objective was to scale up the programme to 100 schools soon.
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