The havoc created by COVID-19 has left thousands of students in the lurch, forcing many to drop out of their academic studies due to lack of financial support. Being sensitive to the present situation, MICA - The School of Ideas has launched MI-EMPATHY, a pan-India project to support COVID-affected students, in collaboration with the Association of Development Communication (ADC).

MI-EMPATHY will act as a catalyst between organizations, offer networking support, project formulation, implementation, documentation, crowd-funding, and contact mobilization. The project aims to support post-school students in distress. The first phase will focus on around 3.8 million students who are in technical institutions. As part of the initiative, the working group consisting of MICA faculty, staff and students, and members from ADC will collect information, define the methods of due diligence, and set up the criteria for selecting and prioritizing the deserving cases.

Dr.Shailendra Raj Mehta, President & Director, MICA, said, “In these difficult times, MICA has partnered with the Association of Development Communication (ADC) for the MI-EMPATHY initiative. We will leverage our expertise in development communication and strategy formulation. The faculty, students, and staff from MICA will work with the ADC team in project formulation, its implementation, and documentation on a purely voluntary basis.”

This initiative intends to use effective communication to reach the affected students, collect information from them, and reach out to institutions and the government for support. Sharing more details, the brain behind the effort, Prof.Arbind Sinha, senior faculty at MICA and Vice-President of ADC, said, “In the past one and a half years, many students across the country lost their earning member(s) on account of COVID. As a result, several of these students cannot pay fees and are forced to drop out. Our idea is to create a model involving all the stakeholders including institutions, state, and central governments and benevolent givers with a philanthropic mindset.”

“MICA with its brand name, its social commitment, expertise in communications management, and its huge network can take the lead provides all necessary support”, Prof.Sinha added.

Once the team gathers the data, they will connect such students with teaching and training organizations and request them to support them in their academic pursuit on compassionate and humanitarian grounds. MI-EMPATHY team will also be approaching Central and State Government departments and other philanthropist organizations and individuals to support and fund this noble cause.

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