Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday launched a programme under which students of classes 9 to 12 of Delhi government schools will be guided by dedicated mentors in exploring diverse career and life options. The 'Desk ke mentor' programme, which has Bollywood actor Sonu Sood as its brand ambassador, entails "adopting" up to 10 government school students to be mentored by citizens who are successful in their respective fields.
The mentors will take out 10 minutes every week to guide the students over phone. Interested citizens can adopt up to 10 children studying in the city's government schools as part of the initiative. "Through this programme, the children will get an elder brother, friend or sister with whom they can share everything. Not only the people of Delhi but people from all over the country will become mentors of such children. A person living in any part of the country can become a mentor by registering on the Delhi government's app," Kejriwal said at the launch.
"If a child fulfils their dreams with your hard work, then you are doing the biggest deed of nation building," he added. Explaining the programme in detail, the chief minister 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 and a guiding light." This programme will see mentors enrol from across the country, Kejriwal said.
"We have developed an app through which anyone from across the country can join this revolution. They don't need to come to Delhi, they don't need to spend money," he said, and appealed to people of the country to join this initiative. "If one child can become a better citizen because of your initiative and guidance then you have contributed greatly to the cause of nation building. You are not just preparing a single child, you are nurturing the future of this country. I am not asking anyone to help a group of children, take the responsibility of one child and help them grow," he said.
Around nine lakh students are enrolled in class 9-12 in Delhi government schools. The 'Desh Ke Mentor' initiative has been developed under the 'Youth for Education' programme by the Directorate of Education to provide guidance and support to these students. "We need a mentor at every point in our lives. But it is needed a bit more during school years. I was fortunate that I had a father who was a teacher and an elder brother who was very knowledgeable. They motivated me a lot. Similarly through this programme, we want to give students such elder brothers and sisters who can guide them and help them shape their careers," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.
Dignitaries including Olympic silver medallist Ravi Dahiya, singer Palash Sen, comedian Saloni Gaur and RJ Aadi shared their experiences and interacted with the children at the launch.