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India: Aviva launches Mobile Learning Centers with Save the Children to bring underprivileged children closer to education

  • An initiative by Aviva Street to School and Save the Children to provide underprivileged children access to education right where they live
  • Funds raised by Aviva through international “You are the Big Picture” campaign in 2010
  • Mobile Center to have trained teachers, counselors and vocational instructors on board
  • Aim to reach 3,000 out-of-school children over a period of two years
  • Close to 1,000 underprivileged children to be mainstreamed into formal education

 Aviva Mobile Learning Centers’ – two yellow buses equipped with learning and teaching materials for underprivileged children, were launched by Aviva plc along with Save the Children today in Kolkata.

The first Mobile Learning Center was flagged off by Sri Savan Chattopadhyay, Hon’ble Mayor of Kolkata at the St James School. Also present on the occasion were Mr Rupankar, a renowned singer, director PBSSA, Mr Gaurav Rajput - director, marketing Aviva India, and Mr Thomas Chandy, CEO, Save the Children.
As a part of Aviva’s Street to School programme, the Mobile Learning Centers aim to provide underprivileged children access to quality education where they live – be it unauthorized settlements, pavements, railway stations etc. These yellow buses will have trained teachers, counsellors and vocational instructors on board, and will be equipped with teaching learning materials, including audio-visual equipment.
After 60 years of Independence, elementary education became a fundamental right for children between 6-14 years of age in India on 1 April 2009. However, the Right to Education is yet to become a reality for a large group of street children and child labourers working under hazardous conditions.
Thomas Chandy, CEO, Save the Children, said: “Kolkata is home to the second largest number of children living and working on the streets of any city in India. A majority of these children have little access to good, quality education. In the light of this situation, Save the Children, in association with Aviva, came up with the novel concept of starting two Mobile Learning Centers to reach out to street children and child labourers in the city.”
“The Aviva Mobile Learning Center is a good example of NGO–corporate partnership to address child rights violations,” added Mr Chandy. 
Speaking at the launch, Gaurav Rajput - director, marketing, Aviva India said: “At Aviva, we recognize that Education is Insurance for a better future. We envisage a better, stronger, more educated India and for this there is a need to enrich underprivileged children who are the building blocks of our country’s future. Through the Aviva Mobile Learning Centers with our partner Save the Children, we intend to bring underprivileged children who cannot go to school due to various reasons, closer to education.
"I would also like to thank everyone who uploaded their photo in our global campaign - ‘You are the big picture’ – last year; 60,000 people in 200 countries shared their photos and without their contribution and support, this wouldn’t have been possible. We will also be utilizing the books from the Aviva Great Wall of Education this year, in the Mobile Learning Centers”.
“You are the Big Picture” was a global campaign run by Aviva across six countries last year. The campaign was launched in Delhi and Mumbai in India. The campaign invited every citizen across the six countries to upload their picture on and Aviva donated £1 towards Save the Children projects for every picture donated by them. A portion of funds raised from the campaign have gone towards the Mobile Learning Centers with Save the Children India. There are more projects in the pipeline which will be announced shortly.
The Aviva Mobile Learning Centers will reach out to 3,000 out-of-school children over a period of two years. The project aims to mainstream close to 1,000 underprivileged children into a formal system of education. Apart from providing education in accordance with their age, these centers will also set up a strong referral system to ensure appropriate care for children at risk and in need of care and protection, and link them with skill development programmes.
The flexible nature of this outreach programme has the potential to reach out to more than 10,000 children across squatter and slum settlements in Kolkata.
Notes to editors: 
About Aviva:

  • Aviva is the world’s sixth largest* insurance group, serving over 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific
  • Aviva’s main business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £47.1 billion and funds under management of £402 billion at 31 December 2010.  We are the largest insurance services provider in the UK and one of the leading providers of life and pensions products in Europe. 
  • ­Aviva India is a joint venture between Dabur Group and Aviva Group. Current paid up capital amounts to Rs 2,004 crore. Dabur Group is the 74% shareholder while Aviva Group holds 26%. Aviva Group is a UK based insurance company and one of the world’s oldest insurance Groups, with a history dating back to 1696.
  • Aviva’s products have been designed to provide customers flexibility, transparency and value for money.  We address all lifecycle needs of a customer – savings, protection, investment and retirement.
  • Aviva is the global bancassurance leader and in majority of our countries, bancassurance is the only distribution channel. In India too, we pioneered the concept of Bancassurance.
  • In the 2011 FTSE4Good index, Aviva is recognised as the top insurance company for corporate responsibility in the world, out of more than 100 other organisations in our sector. The Reputation Institute’s 2011 rankings, also place Aviva as the UK’s “most reputable” financial services company.
  • Aviva is also keen to reach out to the underprivileged that have not had access to insurance so far. Through our association with BASIX (a micro financial institution) and other NGOs, we have been able to cover millions of lives.
  • The Aviva media centre at includes images, company and product information and a news release archive
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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2010
About Save the Children:
Save the Children is the leading, independent child rights organisation that works in India and in over 120 countries around the world. In India, Save the Children works in 12 States focusing on strengthening child rights in the key areas of inclusive education, child protection, health and nutrition and emergencies. Through our programmes so far, we have brought positive change to the lives of over three million children and their families in India.


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