Saajhi Samajh

Unlocking Minds: Key to the Locker Room

Let's create a better world for our adolescents with shared understanding.

A fruitful webinar with

Mr. Manish Sisodia

Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and
Panel discussion with Experts and Key Stakeholders

90 mins of topical discussions

Gain insights with education and domain experts

Network, Interact & Share

Saajhi Samajh in News

Dy CM Sisodia talks about collective responsibility of society to help shape young minds

Our Panelists

Our first panel comprises a few high school students who will share their perspective on the issue being discussed. This will be followed by a panel discussion with key stakeholders, moderated by Mr. Chetan Kapoor, COO Tech Mahindra Foundation. We have assembled a diverse panel of speakers comprising school teachers, policy influencers, educationists, and most importantly, parents.

Dr A L Sharada

Dr. AL Sharada

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Dr. AL Sharada

She is the Director of Population First and spearheads the media advocacy campaign for Gender sensitivity – Laadli, which had initiated conversations with many influencers in print and bring electronic media, writers and other content developers through awards, fellowships etc. She is a member of the CBFC and also initiated gender analysis of ads and films in Print media.

Tara Stafford Ocansey

Ms. Tara Stafford Ocansey

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Ms. Tara Stafford Ocansey

She is an education specialist with over ten years of experience managing education research and implementation teams from diverse education settings across numerous countries. Currently, Tara is leading a social emotional learning (SEL) initiative with over 200 schools in Northeast Nigeria through the USAID-supported Strengthening Education in Northeast Nigeria (SENSE) activity to promote psychosocial well-being in teachers and students.

Mr. Sankalp Khanna

Mr. Sankalp Khanna

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Mr. Sankalp Khanna

He is an education consultant and the co-author of the SEL curriculum ‘Identities in Conflict’ that focuses on identity formation through the lens of gender, religion and philosophical inquiry. He has been teaching for the last 11 years and presently consults to the Heritage Xperiential International School about enrichment of their SEL program.

Mukta Naik v1

Ms. Mukta Naik

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Ms. Mukta Naik

She is an architect & urban planner by training and a Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. She works on issues of urbanisation, with an emphasis on housing and migration. Her work also looks at the employment experiences of youth and women in India’s challenging labour markets. She is deeply engaged in civil society efforts in Gurugram.

Ms. Neeru Lohiya

Ms. Neeru Lohiya

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Ms. Neeru Lohiya

Presently working as a Mentor Teacher in Directorate of Education, GNCT Delhi. Experienced and accomplished TESOL certified Teacher of English, with 24 years of student interaction experience in State run schools of Delhi Government, trained at NIE, Singapore. Facilitate In-service and Pre-service Teacher training workshops organized bySCERT focusing on teaching methodologies, curriculum development, lesson planning and teaching strategies.

Mr Ravi Gulati

Mr. Ravi Gulati

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Mr. Ravi Gulati

He co-founded Manzil – a youth-led non-profit providing a space & learning resources for low-income children & youth. He also facilitates Delhi Government school principals’ leadership learning with SCERT, & enthusiastically mentors many other youth initiatives addressing a diversity of social issues. Ravi is a graduate of SRCC and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad.

As we stayed locked down to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, our physically distanced world was suddenly rocked and shaken by the shocking incident in the virtual space that is now infamous as “Bois Locker Room”. This deeply disturbing incident involving adolescents has exposed the deep-rooted malaise of misogyny and misplaced masochism in our society. 

How acutely has this deviant social attitude, influenced by patriarchal prejudices and gender disparity, taken hold of our young minds? Why is our education system not being able to counter this dangerous trend and weed out perverse cultural biases? Don’t we need a greater symbiotic link between formal education and parenting and familial interventions at home? 

The time to confront these complex and inconvenient questions is now. How can we move forward to reform our education system to unlock the young minds from the dark shadows of societal prejudices? To know more about this perplexing issue, please join us at our annual event Saajhi Samajh at 4 pm IST on June 3, 2020 (Wednesday).  

We are grateful to have Mr. Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Delhi, along with key stakeholders such as teachers, parents, and educators to reflect on the critical questions and set the ground for a positive agenda: 

  • Role of school education in shaping the “inner being” of children
  • Ways to enable teachers to respond to the psychological and emotional needs of children and teenagers.
  • How to enrich and reinvent school curriculum – especially for the middle graders – to shift the focus towards socially sensitive issues including Gender Sensitivity, Societal Responsibility, Ethical Decision Making, Inclusivity among others?
  • How can social media and technology be best leveraged for engendering positivity in children?

To know more click here.

This webinar is part of the seminar series of Tech Mahindra Foundation, titled “Saajhi Samajh” (or Shared Understanding). This initiative aims to create a broader platform for discourse on issues relevant to enriching teachers’ training in India. Through the Foundation’s flagship program on Education called Shikshaantar, over 30,000 teachers from government primary schools have been trained through a series of capacity-building workshops in major Indian cities.

In this series, two seminars have been conducted on Teacher Development. These have brought together an array of experts, specialists, field practitioners, civil society participants, government representatives, and educationists. The upcoming third in the series is being organsied as a webinar to respond to the physical distancing norms at the time of this pandemic. The show goes on to provoke societal response and to broaden outreach and awareness.

Glimpses of previous years of Saajhi Samajh

The previous edition of Saajhi Samajh, held in April 2018, was a resounding success, in which the Keynote Address was delivered by the then Director of Education, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, Ms. Saumya Gupta. A detailed report of this event is available here.

SAAJHI SAMAJH 4

First Aid in Schools - Role of a Teacher

Saajhi Samajh 3

Working towards enhancing First Aid in Schools to create happier & safer classrooms!

An insightful session with key stakeholders from the thematic domain with

  • Launch of Teachers’ Capacity Building Program in First Aid & CPR
  • Release of Research Report – ‘First Aid for Improving Safety in Schools: A Teacher’s Perspective’

SAAJHI SAMAJH 4

First Aid in Schools - Role of a Teacher

Keynote Speaker

Name

Designation

Saajhi Samajh 3

Working towards enhancing First Aid in Schools to create happier & safer classrooms!

Event Highlights

60 mins of topical discussion

Understand the significance of improving First Aid in Schools from domain experts & educators

Learn, Interact & Share

Our Panelists

We have assembled a diverse panel of speakers comprising of educationists, emergency care experts and most importantly, teachers as our core influencers. The panel discussion was moderated by our TMF faculty member at ITEI-EDMC.

Saajhi Samajh 7

Dr Vanshree Singh

Keynote Speaker

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Dr Vanshree Singh

In-charge of St. John & First Aid Training and Director, IRCS- Blood Bank

She is a doctor with post-graduation in Transfusion and Transplant Sciences from Bristol University. Working with the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) since 1997, she has advanced training on Blood transfusion medicine (from ICMR), First Aid (from International Committee of Red Cross) along with various accreditation certifications from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India. She has played an instrumental role in upgrading the IRCS NHQ Blood Bank (in 2010) and making it a ‘state-of-the-art model blood bank’- one of her many noteworthy achievements. She has also worked in collaboration with the NDMA for developing school-level First Aid protocols (Modules & App of First Aid).

Saajhi Samajh 8

Dr Subroto Das

Panelist

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Dr Subroto Das

Padma Shri Awardee Co-founder, Lifeline Foundation

He is the winner of one of India’s highest civilian awards, Padma Shri for his exemplary work on Highway Trauma Care. He co-founded Lifeline Foundation along with his wife, Sushmita (after surviving a life-threatening accident in August, 1999 on one of India’s busiest highways), with the aim of reducing the 1,50,000+ annual highway deaths in India. He is the only Indian to be honoured with the Asian EMS Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asian EMS Council in 2015, whereas The Times of India calls Dr Das ‘the country’s best known EMS expert’.

Saajhi Samajh 9

Dr Seema Sharma

Guest of Honour

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Dr Subroto Das

Padma Shri Awardee
Co-founder, Lifeline Foundation

He is the winner of one of India’s highest civilian awards, Padma Shri for his exemplary work on Highway Trauma Care. He co-founded Lifeline Foundation along with his wife, Sushmita (after surviving a life-threatening accident in August, 1999 on one of India’s busiest highways), with the aim of reducing the 1,50,000+ annual highway deaths in India. He is the only Indian to be honoured with the Asian EMS Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asian EMS Council in 2015, whereas The Times of India calls Dr Das ‘the country’s best known EMS expert’.

Saajhi Samajh 10

Dr Nidhi Kewalramani

Panelist

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Dr Nidhi Harish Kewalramani

She is a medical graduate and an alumnus of Symbiosis University as well as BITS Pilani with a specialization in Hospital and Healthcare Management. She is a doctor with strong base in statistics and believes in data driven number methodology to the core extent of all strategic and management decision. Dr Nidhi holds an experience of almost 15 years in diversified healthcare fields like Hospitals, TPA, Healthcare BPO, Healthcare KPO, Healthcare LPO, and Healthcare Education Management. Presently, she is the chairperson for Tech Mahindra Foundation SMART Healthcare Academic Council and is heading the SMART Healthcare Academy for West region. She is a designated external expert on board of Faculty of Vocational (Medical) Studies for Parul University, Gujrat. Also, she is working as member of governing council for UNICEF MahaPeconet NGO platform.
Saajhi Samajh 11

Ms Renu Sharma

Panelist

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Ms Renu Sharma

Teacher at East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC)

Presently working as a teacher at the New Seemapuri – 1st School of EDMC, she holds a total of 22 years of experience in teaching. Also, a mentor teacher, she is the recipient of the State Teachers’ Award (in 2019). Apart from being a teacher, she is an eager and motivated learner, and strive to bring innovation in her classroom. Through her innovative teaching techniques, she supports and motivates her students to give their best in every endeavour of life.

Saajhi Samajh 12

Ms Rupsha Mitra

Host & Presenter

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Ms. Rupsha Mitra

Host & Presenter

Saajhi Samajh 13

Ms Varsha Gupta

Moderator

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Ms. Varsha Gupta

Faculty (Mathematics) at our ITEI-EDMC

About Saajhi Samajh 4

Introduction

September 11, 2021 is recognised as the World First Aid Day to increase awareness and accessibility to First Aid. The inception of this important milestone was first established in 2000 by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It is important to build a protected and safe environment for all and especially for small/young children as they may find it difficult to comprehend risks and impulsivity. Hence, a healthy environment with adequate safeguards becomes an important need for their sound development and advancement. 

The World First Aid Day theme in 2021 is ‘First Aid at School’. 

Children spend maximum of their time in school. Along with this factor, there are a greater number of children enrolling in schools every year. Global bodies such as World Health Organization (WHO) also points out that injuries are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among children under the age of 18 years. Each year around 875 000 children die because of injuries and tens of millions more require hospital care for non-fatal injuries and many of them are left with some form of disability which often has lifelong consequences (WHO, 2020). Schools are institutions where children explore and develop their social-emotional and academic thinking to become productive and healthy members of society.  

One of the most important ways in which school safety can be supported is by having bystanders who are well versed in First Aid and related practices. Anyone can train for first aid, regardless of educational background. Teachers become the primary caretakers when children go to school. Therefore, teachers can provide frontline protection to students in case of any unforeseen emergency if they are equipped with First Aid knowledge and understanding. They can also become catalysts of disseminating the knowledge and awareness of First Aid practices among their students that can further be imparted to the student’s family members and the community at large.

Context: TMF and its work to create happier and safer classrooms by empowering teachers

Tech Mahindra Foundation (TMF), the CSR arm of Tech Mahindra Limited, is committed to creating happier and safer classrooms by empowering teachers, educators, and leaders in knowledge, skills, and attitude domains aiming for effective school governance. Through Shikshaantar, one of its flagship programs in Education, the Foundation has trained over 36,700 teachers of government schools in major cities of India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. In Delhi, the Foundation has been working in partnerships with the East Delhi Municipal Corporation since 2013, and with the North Delhi Municipal Corporation since 2018, by running the In-Service Teacher Education Institutes (ITEIs) on their behalf. 

Various workshops under the Shikshaantar umbrella aim towards enhancing parental involvement, the capacity of teachers and teacher educators on leadership, pedagogical skills, and competencies related to subject teaching-learning. For creating a conducive and safe learning space, Foundation has initiated multiple interventions to create awareness about child safety, mental health awareness program, empowering teachers with counselling skills to ensure students well-being etc.  

Launching Tech Mahindra Foundation’s School Safety Program under its Shikshaantar Program and Release of Research Report on Improving First Aid in Schools along with Teacher Training in First Aid

The Research Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of TMF has prepared a research report titled ‘First Aid for Improving Safety in Schools: Understanding teacher’s current knowledge of First Aid Practices and the Way Forward’ based on a research study conducted by the Unit in 2020-21 in New Delhi. The report is focused on how school premises can be developed as safe and conducive learning spaces with appropriate First Aid responses with teachers being the catalysts and playing an important role to ensure the safety of children.   

The findings have helped pave the way for TMF in conceptualising a School Safety program for teachers as a way forward. By utilizing TMF’s dynamic platform of teacher training and experience in healthcare skilling, the Foundation launched its School Safety program (under its Shikshaantar Program) that will impart knowledge and training to teachers in First Aid, child safety guidelines, mental health awareness program, mental health counselling, etc. As the first step, the program intends to train a total of 1,000 teachers in First Aid and CPR during the first year.

Saajhi Samajh – The Fourth Edition

The fourth edition of Saajhi Samajh was held on 13th September 2021 and included a virtual launch and panel discussion that were hosted online by Tech Mahindra Foundation. It was followed by offline First Aid and CPR training with a batch of 20 teachers on the same day. A diverse panel of speakers comprising key stakeholders across the board – school teachers, medical professionals, policy influencers, educationists addressed the importance of school safety, role of a teacher and First Aid knowledge.

In the past, The Foundation has hosted three seminars with a focus on Teacher Development, bringing together an array of experts and specialists. These events, titled “Saajhi Samajh (or Shared Understanding)”, is the Foundation’s attempt towards creating a broader platform to enable advocacy through discourse and discussion on issues related and relevant to the development of teacher training and education in India.

SAAJHI SAMAJH 5

Eye Health for Children - Leading through Knowledge

Saajhi Samajh 3

Working towards enhancing First Aid in Schools to create happier & safer classrooms!

An insightful session with key stakeholders from the thematic domain with

  • Launch of Teachers’ Capacity Building Program in First Aid & CPR
  • Release of Research Report – ‘First Aid for Improving Safety in Schools: A Teacher’s Perspective’

SAAJHI SAMAJH 5

Evolving Role of Teachers in Eye Health at Schools

Working towards Eye Health Awareness in Schools to create happier & safer classrooms!

An insightful session with key stakeholders from the thematic domain with

  • Release of Research Report – ‘Teacher’s Perspective, Awareness and Understanding of Student’s Eye Health’

SAAJHI SAMAJH 5

Evolving Role of Teachers in Eye Health at Schools

Saajhi Samajh 20

Working towards Eye Health Awareness in Schools to create happier & safer classrooms!

#LoveYourEyes

Event Highlights

60 mins of topical discussion

Understand the significance of Eye Health Awareness in Schools from domain experts & educators

Learn, Interact & Share

Speaker's Profile

Saajhi Samajh 21

Dr Umang Mathur

Executive Director
Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital (SCEH), New Delhi

Following his residency in Ophthalmology, Dr Umang Mathur did his fellowship in Cornea and Anterior Segment from the LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad. He has been associated with SCEH for over 20 years and has contributed to the turnaround of the hospital. He has been involved in developing and implementing quality and sustainable eye care systems at this institution. Besides his cornea, cataract, and Lasik surgery practice, he has an interest in community ophthalmology and developing human resource for eye care. He is an accomplished surgeon and performed cataract surgery on the former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. He founded the Eye Bank at Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, which is today among the leading eye banks in north India. Dr Mathur has several publications in peer reviewed journals and participates actively in national and international conferences. He is an active member of Project Prakash, a NIH/NEI funded research project with the brain and cognitive sciences department of MIT (USA), that is studying development of vision in the brain. Dr Mathur has trained over 200 long term and short term fellows in cornea, anterior segment pathology and cataract surgery.

Our Panelists

We have assembled a diverse panel of speakers comprising of educationists, eye and vision care experts and most importantly, teachers as our core influencers. The panel discussion was moderated by our TMF faculty member at ITEI-NDMC.

Saajhi Samajh 22

Dr Rishi Raj Borah

Panelist

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Dr Rishi Raj Borah

Country Director, Orbis India

Dr Rishi Raj Borah is the Country Director of Orbis India, an international non-profit bringing people together to fight avoidable blindness and help change the way the world sees.

He has been an integral part of the eye care initiatives in India for nearly 20 years and developed innovative, impactful and sustainable home-grown eye care initiatives for communities across India and Nepal, impacting the lives of millions of children.

Dr Rishi is responsible for the strategy and implementation of Orbis programs in India, Nepal and Indonesia. He is also a Board Member of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight India.

His excellence in the field of eye care has been widely recognized. In the recent past, Dr Rishi has received the IAPB Eye Health Hero Award in 2017 and the IAPB Vision Excellence Award in 2020 for his outstanding contribution to the eye care community.

Saajhi Samajh 23

Dr Amruta Tripathi

Panelist

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Dr Subroto Das

Padma Shri Awardee
Co-founder, Lifeline Foundation

He is the winner of one of India’s highest civilian awards, Padma Shri for his exemplary work on Highway Trauma Care. He co-founded Lifeline Foundation along with his wife, Sushmita (after surviving a life-threatening accident in August, 1999 on one of India’s busiest highways), with the aim of reducing the 1,50,000+ annual highway deaths in India. He is the only Indian to be honoured with the Asian EMS Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asian EMS Council in 2015, whereas The Times of India calls Dr Das ‘the country’s best known EMS expert’.

Saajhi Samajh 24

Ms Preeti Monga

Panelist

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Ms Preeti Monga

Founder CEO & Trustee, Silver Linings Trust

Blind since childhood, she is the Founder CEO & Trustee, Silver Linings Trust, who has been working towards education and empowerment of the blind, inclusion of disabled and prevention of blindness and directly as well as indirectly impacting millions of lives since 1987. Preeti is the first blind Aerobics Instructor in India, a celebrated Motivation Speaker and a highly effective counselor! Numerus prestigious awards have been bestowed upon her, including the National Award presented to her by the President of India for her ground breaking work towards employment and self – employment of people with disabilities in 2013. Also, she was honored with the Exceptional Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award by the Delhi Government in 2015. The ‘Red and White Bravery’ Award, the ‘Rajeev Gandhi Manna Seva’ Award and the Ashoka Fellowship are among some of her other significant achievements. She is also a nominated member of the Delhi State Advisory Board on Disability, and part of the Governing Council of the Skill Council of Persons with Disabilities.

Saajhi Samajh 25

Ms Lalita Maurya

Panelist

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Ms Lalita Maurya

Leader, Mentor Teachers of Hindi Group

Presently the Leader of Mentor Teachers of Hindi Group, she teaches at the UNUV R-Block, New Rajinder Nagar Karol Bagh Zone of North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). She holds a total of 12 years of experience in teaching class 5 with Hindi, English, Social Studies and Environmental Studies subjects. She strives to bring innovative teaching learning experience for her students in the classrooms.

Saajhi Samajh 12

Ms Rupsha Mitra

Host & Presenter

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Ms. Rupsha Mitra

Host & Presenter

Saajhi Samajh 27

Ms Prachi Gaur

Moderator

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Ms. Varsha Gupta

Faculty (Mathematics) at our ITEI-EDMC

About Saajhi Samajh 5

Introduction

World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. This year, the World Sight Day will be observed on 14 October 2021 with the theme: Love your eyes. 

1 billion people around the world have a preventable vision impairment or one that has yet to be addressed. Out of these, 90 million children across the globe have vision loss due to lack of eye care services.  World Health Organization states that globally half the cases of blindness could have been prevented with early intervention. Therefore, early detection and addressing vision loss among children brings huge benefits – transforming lives, boosting educational attainment and enabling children to reach their full potential. Since children spend a considerable amount of their time in schools; school-based screenings can identify other vision issues, helping to get them addressed promptly. Without action, vision loss among children is projected to grow rapidly in the years ahead.

Teachers are therefore the frontline protection for a large population of school going children. School health programmes need to recognise this to create a pool of vigilant teachers and do capacity building with knowledge for the first level of scrutiny and intervention. This can play a significant role in promotion of eye health and in prevention of more serious diseases. The objective of these eye health programs can be to build awareness and knowledge around eye health issues, help with early detection and early warning, and enable the schools to strengthen the provision of improved eye healthcare services for the students. 

On the occasion of World Sight Day, 2021, Tech Mahindra Foundation released a research report on ‘Teacher’s Perspective, Awareness and Understanding of Student’s Eye Health’.

The objective of this study was to understand how the teaching community can play a more effective role in detection of vision related impairment and problems at the early age of children. In doing so, a research has been conducted with government school teachers of Delhi to identify perceptions, challenges, and solutions to eye health and related problems. The analysis is based on information drawn from primary data, key informant interviews and literature reviews.

TMF and its work towards creating happier and safer classrooms

Tech Mahindra Foundation (TMF), the CSR arm of Tech Mahindra Limited, resonates with this understanding. The Foundation is committed to creating happier and safer classrooms by empowering teachers, educators, and leaders in knowledge, skills, and attitude domains aiming for effective school governance. Through Shikshaantar, one of its flagship programs in Education, the Foundation has trained over 36,700 teachers of government schools in major cities of India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. In Delhi, the Foundation has been working in partnerships with the East Delhi Municipal Corporation since 2013, and with the North Delhi Municipal Corporation since 2018, by running the In-Service Teacher Education Institutes (ITEIs) on their behalf. 

Various workshops under the Shikshaantar umbrella aim towards enhancing parental involvement, the capacity of teachers and teacher educators on leadership, pedagogical skills, and competencies related to subject teaching-learning. For creating a conducive and safe learning space, the Foundation has initiated multiple interventions to create awareness about child safety, mental health awareness program, empowering teachers with counselling skills to ensure students well-being etc. 

The Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of TMF has prepared a research report titled ‘Teacher’s Perspective, Awareness and Understanding of Student’s Eye Health’ based on a research study conducted by the Unit in 2020-21 in New Delhi. The report also highlights how teachers can be the catalysts and play an important role in the eye health of children.

Saajhi Samajh – The Fifth Edition

The fifth edition of Saajhi Samajh was held on 12th October 2021 with a release of Research Report and Panel Discussion hosted online by Tech Mahindra Foundation. A diverse panel of speakers comprising key stakeholders across the board – school teachers, medical professionals, policy influencers, educationists addressed the importance of school safety, role of a teacher and importance of eye health. 

In the past, The Foundation has hosted four seminars with a focus on Teacher Development, bringing together an array of experts and specialists. These events, titled ‘Saajhi Samajh’ (or Shared Understanding), is the Foundation’s attempt towards creating a broader platform to enable advocacy through discourse and discussion on issues related and relevant to the development of teacher training and education in India. 

Saajhi Samajh in News

Glimpses of Saajhi Samajh

The previous edition of Saajhi Samajh, held in April 2018, was a resounding success, in which the Keynote Address was delivered by the then Director of Education, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, Ms. Saumya Gupta. A detailed report of this event is available here. The third edition of Saajhi Samajh was held on 3rd June 2020, wherein Mr. Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi delivered the keynote address, and was well accepted by the youth and academia (the detailed report can be downloaded here). The fourth edition of Saajhi Samajh was focused on enhancing First Aid in Schools and included a virtual launch of school safety program and panel discussion, spearheaded by industry experts and educators.

SAAJHI SAMAJH 6

Including Disability at the Workplace: From Aspiration to Action

A Call to Action for Employers in Corporate India

Keynote Speaker

Mr CP Gurnani

CEO & MD, Tech Mahindra Ltd.

Let us shape inclusive workplaces together!

Event Highlights

SAAJHI SAMAJH 6

Including Disability at the Workplace: From Aspiration to Action

A Call to Action for Employers in Corporate India

  • An insightful discussion on making workplaces inclusive
  • Employers & employees shared their journey as well as work experience

Let us shape inclusive workplaces together!

90 mins of topical discussions

Gain perspectives from Industry Leaders and Specially abled Individuals

Network, Interact & Share

Keynote Speaker's Profile

Saajhi Samajh 30

Mr CP Gurnani

CEO & MD, Tech Mahindra Ltd.

Mr CP Gurnani (popularly known as ‘CP’ within his peer group), is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tech Mahindra Limited. An accomplished business leader with extensive experience in international business development, start-ups, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, Mr. CP Gurnani (popularly known as CP) led Tech Mahindra’s transformation journey, and one of the biggest turnarounds of Indian Corporate History – the acquisition and merger of Satyam. In a career spanning of over thirty-six years, CP has held several leading positions with Hewlett Packard Ltd, Perot Systems (India) Ltd. and HCL Corporation Ltd. CP has also served as a Chairman of NASSCOM for the year 2016-2017. A chemical engineering graduate from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, he is a distinguished and active alumnus of the Institute. CP has also been felicitated with an honorary Doctorate degree by Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology. He also serves as an active Chairman of IIM Nagpur.

CP has been chosen as the Ernst and Young ‘Entrepreneur of the Year [Manager]’, CNBC Asia’s ‘India Business Leader of the Year’, Dataquest ‘IT person of the Year’– in 2013 and Business Standard ‘CEO of the Year’ in 2014. He was also awarded the ‘Best CEO of the Year’ at the Forbes India Leadership Awards held in 2015. A recent addition to the bucket was ‘Asia One Global Indian of the Year – Technology’ in 2016. CP was also listed among the top 100 global CEOs as part of The Wall Street Journal CEO Council 2016.

CP strongly believes in promoting child education. He is on the Board of the Tech Mahindra Foundation and has been actively guiding the foundation & its projects. CP, along with his wife Anita, have also founded ‘Titliyan’, an NGO located in Noida spreading smiles, happiness and education to more than 240 under privileged children.

Our Panelists

For this session, we have assembled a diverse panel of speakers comprising of leading industry experts including corporate veterans and professionals from the government, social sector and the civil society altogether.

Saajhi Samajh 31

Mr Ravindra Singh

Panelist

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Dr Rishi Raj Borah

Country Director, Orbis India

Dr Rishi Raj Borah is the Country Director of Orbis India, an international non-profit bringing people together to fight avoidable blindness and help change the way the world sees.

He has been an integral part of the eye care initiatives in India for nearly 20 years and developed innovative, impactful and sustainable home-grown eye care initiatives for communities across India and Nepal, impacting the lives of millions of children.

Dr Rishi is responsible for the strategy and implementation of Orbis programs in India, Nepal and Indonesia. He is also a Board Member of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight India.

His excellence in the field of eye care has been widely recognized. In the recent past, Dr Rishi has received the IAPB Eye Health Hero Award in 2017 and the IAPB Vision Excellence Award in 2020 for his outstanding contribution to the eye care community.

Saajhi Samajh 32

Ms Aradhana Lal

Panelist

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Dr Subroto Das

Padma Shri Awardee
Co-founder, Lifeline Foundation

He is the winner of one of India’s highest civilian awards, Padma Shri for his exemplary work on Highway Trauma Care. He co-founded Lifeline Foundation along with his wife, Sushmita (after surviving a life-threatening accident in August, 1999 on one of India’s busiest highways), with the aim of reducing the 1,50,000+ annual highway deaths in India. He is the only Indian to be honoured with the Asian EMS Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asian EMS Council in 2015, whereas The Times of India calls Dr Das ‘the country’s best known EMS expert’.

Saajhi Samajh 33

Mr Prateek Madhav

Panelist

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Ms Lalita Maurya

Leader, Mentor Teachers of Hindi Group

Presently the Leader of Mentor Teachers of Hindi Group, she teaches at the UNUV R-Block, New Rajinder Nagar Karol Bagh Zone of North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). She holds a total of 12 years of experience in teaching class 5 with Hindi, English, Social Studies and Environmental Studies subjects. She strives to bring innovative teaching learning experience for her students in the classrooms.

Saajhi Samajh 34

Ms Shivani Dimri

Panelist

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Ms Lalita Maurya

Leader, Mentor Teachers of Hindi Group

Presently the Leader of Mentor Teachers of Hindi Group, she teaches at the UNUV R-Block, New Rajinder Nagar Karol Bagh Zone of North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). She holds a total of 12 years of experience in teaching class 5 with Hindi, English, Social Studies and Environmental Studies subjects. She strives to bring innovative teaching learning experience for her students in the classrooms.

Saajhi Samajh 35

Mr Ravi Gopal

Panelist

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Ms Preeti Monga

Founder CEO & Trustee, Silver Linings Trust

Blind since childhood, she is the Founder CEO & Trustee, Silver Linings Trust, who has been working towards education and empowerment of the blind, inclusion of disabled and prevention of blindness and directly as well as indirectly impacting millions of lives since 1987. Preeti is the first blind Aerobics Instructor in India, a celebrated Motivation Speaker and a highly effective counselor! Numerus prestigious awards have been bestowed upon her, including the National Award presented to her by the President of India for her ground breaking work towards employment and self – employment of people with disabilities in 2013. Also, she was honored with the Exceptional Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award by the Delhi Government in 2015. The ‘Red and White Bravery’ Award, the ‘Rajeev Gandhi Manna Seva’ Award and the Ashoka Fellowship are among some of her other significant achievements. She is also a nominated member of the Delhi State Advisory Board on Disability, and part of the Governing Council of the Skill Council of Persons with Disabilities.

Saajhi Samajh 36

Ms Chhavi Bhardwaj

Host & Presenter

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Ms Preeti Monga

Founder CEO & Trustee, Silver Linings Trust

Blind since childhood, she is the Founder CEO & Trustee, Silver Linings Trust, who has been working towards education and empowerment of the blind, inclusion of disabled and prevention of blindness and directly as well as indirectly impacting millions of lives since 1987. Preeti is the first blind Aerobics Instructor in India, a celebrated Motivation Speaker and a highly effective counselor! Numerus prestigious awards have been bestowed upon her, including the National Award presented to her by the President of India for her ground breaking work towards employment and self – employment of people with disabilities in 2013. Also, she was honored with the Exceptional Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award by the Delhi Government in 2015. The ‘Red and White Bravery’ Award, the ‘Rajeev Gandhi Manna Seva’ Award and the Ashoka Fellowship are among some of her other significant achievements. She is also a nominated member of the Delhi State Advisory Board on Disability, and part of the Governing Council of the Skill Council of Persons with Disabilities.

Saajhi Samajh 37

Mr MSB Sudheer Babu

Moderator

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Ms Preeti Monga

Founder CEO & Trustee, Silver Linings Trust

Blind since childhood, she is the Founder CEO & Trustee, Silver Linings Trust, who has been working towards education and empowerment of the blind, inclusion of disabled and prevention of blindness and directly as well as indirectly impacting millions of lives since 1987. Preeti is the first blind Aerobics Instructor in India, a celebrated Motivation Speaker and a highly effective counselor! Numerus prestigious awards have been bestowed upon her, including the National Award presented to her by the President of India for her ground breaking work towards employment and self – employment of people with disabilities in 2013. Also, she was honored with the Exceptional Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award by the Delhi Government in 2015. The ‘Red and White Bravery’ Award, the ‘Rajeev Gandhi Manna Seva’ Award and the Ashoka Fellowship are among some of her other significant achievements. She is also a nominated member of the Delhi State Advisory Board on Disability, and part of the Governing Council of the Skill Council of Persons with Disabilities.

About Saajhi Samajh 6

Background

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed on December 3 every year to promote the understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities.

Persons with disabilities (PWDs), according to the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

The 2011 Census reported that there are 2.68 Crore Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in India. Close to 1.2 crore people are in the working-age group of 15-59 years, although 64% continue to be non-workers. This translates to almost a staggering 78 lakh people. Reports published by the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization suggest that these disability numbers are under-estimated. Instead, they suggest the population of PWDs in India to be 7 crore – making the employment scenario for the PWDs bleaker.

 Given this situation, it is not surprising that PWDs are often seen as a liability for the family and society.

Why Inclusive Workplaces for Persons with Disabilities?

On the policy front, India has made some big strides in the disability inclusion sphere. The Disability Act, 1995 paved the way for social protection and inclusion of PWDs, while India’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) reinforced India’s efforts in this direction. In spite of the policies, there is a long way for both the private and public sectors to realize the paradigm shift to the world of social inclusion of the PWDs.

Even today, PWDs still do not experience equal access to education in mainstream schools or colleges or find suitable/desired job roles in workplaces. While policy directs every employer not to discriminate on the basis of disabilities, the world continues to harbour its ill-founded inhibitions and lack of confidence towards the work-related capabilities of PWDs. Such notions further percolate as a societal stigma among them. However, at the same time, there are many organizations that also feel that there is an advantage in hiring PWDs owing to their loyalty and the ability to be more focused at what they do; this also helps in increased retention rates. But overcoming the fear of social stigma and employers’ perception still remains a challenge.

The population of PWDs represent an untapped pool of skills that can only help the business grow, but due to the existing misconceptions, prejudices, physical and information barriers their connection with the outside world is deeply affected.

TMF and its work for the PWDs

Tech Mahindra Foundation, the CSR arm of Tech Mahindra Limited, has been working for Youth with Disabilities for over 7 years now. Its employability program, titled SMART+ (Skills for Market Training for Youth with Disabilities), prepares young men and women with a diverse range of disabilities (visual impairment, hearing/speech impairment and locomotive disability) for workplaces. The program provides hands-on training and exposure to the rich curriculum and learning resources that help them develop life-skills and support them with jobs to become financially independent. The Foundation works towards ensuring that PWDs have an equal opportunity and the access to a better future. This program has impacted over 10,671 beneficiaries in 11 major cities of India, including Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chandigarh and Vizag.

Saajhi Samajh – The Sixth Edition

The virtual discussion, titled ‘Saajhi Samajh’ (or Shared Understanding), is a quarterly conference by Tech Mahindra Foundation to address issues and topics ranging from employment to education that has a direct bearing on society including its own set of beneficiaries.

Continuing to advocate its tradition, philosophy and ethos, the sixth edition of Saajhi Samajh aims at bringing out affirmative action steps from employers and experts on how we can promote the idea of an inclusive workplace for PWDs. This edition of Saajhi Samajh was held on 6th December 2021. It was conducted as a virtual panel discussion among some leading industry experts from the corporate as well as professionals from across the social sector, government and civil society.

Glimpses from Latest Edition of Saajh Samajh

Saajhi Samajh in News

Glimpses of Saajhi Samajh

The previous edition of Saajhi Samajh, held in April 2018, was a resounding success, in which the Keynote Address was delivered by the then Director of Education, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, Ms. Saumya Gupta. A detailed report of this event is available here. The third edition of Saajhi Samajh was held on 3rd June 2020, wherein Mr. Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi delivered the keynote address, and was well accepted by the youth and academia (the detailed report can be downloaded here). The fourth edition of Saajhi Samajh was focused on enhancing First Aid in Schools and included a virtual launch of a school safety program and panel discussion, spearheaded by industry experts and educators. The fifth edition of Saajhi Samajh was conducted on the occasion of World Sight Day, wherein a panel discussion with experts was organised and an exclusive research report was released for better understanding of significance of Eye Health. 

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