VIA Program - How Social Innovation is Relevant
The lockdown has forced us to the four walls of our homes, it has certainly helped us find solace in our families, dusting off our hobbies, trying our hands at cooking experiments to name a few. However, among us are a few, who are not capable of understanding the gravity of the situation and the reason of being all locked up. They used to look forward to spending some time in their school – a special school for differently-abled children. Due to their limitations in moving around, they cannot play or run around. They are confined in movements and some are even bedridden. To get rid of their boredom during this lockdown period, there is a major dependency on mobiles, tablets and televisions. How can the screen time be replaced with some creative time? That is how the idea of the VIA program was envisioned and I am really proud to get involved in taking the technology sessions and driving the initiative along with a wonderful team of enthusiast.
VIA stands for Vocational, Informative and Activities, designed exclusively for the specially-abled children during the lockdown period, where they represent a set of sessions that educate, engage and entertain the children, all at the same time. The program has been crafted such that, the skills inherited and explored during this time, will act as stepping stone towards their future. The children are introduced to the world of technology with simple experiments in the latest digital skills and basic programming, to pique their interest in the current trends and to take them to a world of possibilities. Another highlight is that every day starts with awareness and informative session about COVID-19, by their own teachers and consultants.
More than 50 sessions were conducted as part of VIA. As mentioned earlier, the sessions focused on aspects of technology (Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality experiments and Programming Fundamentals), vocational skills (crafts, mask making, embroidery, cooking etc), physiotherapy exercises, personal hygiene, career and educational opportunities for the children and maintaining positive outlook and mindset during this crisis, motivational talks and a glimpse into the post COVID-19 era. Thanks a ton to all the experts for conducting the wonderful sessions and for all the wholehearted support.
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