Delhi CM launches ‘Desh Ke Mentors’ programme
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday launched the ‘Desh Ke Mentors’ programme under which the nine lakh students of classes 9 to 12 in Delhi government schools will be connected with noteworthy citizens who will offer them career and general guidance. Actor Sonu Sood had been appointed as the brand ambassador for the programme on August 27.
Kejriwal said that through this program, “children will get an elder brother, friend or sister with whom they can share everything”. “In our families we see elder brothers and sisters guide their younger siblings. If we replicate the same model on the national level, this whole country will become a big family. People will start seeing beyond the fault lines of caste and creed, they won’t see the religion of the person they are talking to. All these walls that have divided our society will completely fall down and unite the country,” he said during the launch of the event on Monday.
The mentors will engage with students over the phone for 10-15 minutes daily to guide them on various aspects of life, the government said in a statement. Interested citizens from across the country can become mentors by registering on the Desh ke Mentors app.
The app, which was developed by a team from Delhi Technological University (DTU), will connect students and mentors based on how their profile and interests align.
“Under the ‘Desh Ke Mentor’ programme, nine lakh students studying in classes 9 to 12 will be able to search for a career. To help guide these students, the Delhi government aims to create a movement of youth volunteers who will act as guides for them,” the government said in a statement.
The programme includes a two-month mandatory mentoring module and another optional four-month module.
“Mentors from various professional and academic backgrounds, between the ages of 18-35, will guide and support 2-5 students studying in Delhi government schools. They will help the students in their overall development and personality development by sharing their knowledge, skills and expertise in various fields,” the statement added.
The Delhi government said the programme would help in fulfilling the emotional needs of children as well as guide them on their career path from experienced citizens.
Kejriwal said, “As a child grows up, they feel a variety of pressures from peers, family, siblings, and others. It is very difficult to deal with all of it as a child. This is why cases of depression and suicide are so high in the age group. We want these children to get a non-judgemental helping hand… Desh Ke Mentors will also be able to properly guide and counsel the children on their careers.”
Kejriwal also urged people to join the initiative as it would be their contribution towards nation-building: “I appeal to all the people of the country, please join this initiative and help build this country...I am not asking anyone to help a group of children, just take the responsibility of one child and help them grow.”
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio, said the programme will address the problems faced by students of classes 9 to 12 while deciding their careers. “If someone wants to join the police force, someone should be there to guide them and let them know of the process and research for them as a mentor. If the parents are confused on how to help their child choose their career, there should be a mentor to guide and help the students into taking the right decision. It is usually problematic in Indian households where professions are chosen by generational patterns and it often restricts the child in following his/her interests. The mentor’s work is to provide help, guidance, and ideas, and the child’s responsibility is to do hard work, smart work, and putting in consistent efforts and talent,” he said.
The CM also said that the number of students in Delhi government schools had increased from 16 lakh in previous years to 18.70 lakh this year. “..The way 2.70 lakh students left private education for government schools, it speaks lengths about the standard of education we offer,” he said.