JODA: Tata steel’s Ore Mines and Quarries (OMQ) Division has established two skill development centres at Joda block, with an objective to enhance and upgrade the skills of youth. As a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Tata Steel has partnered with NIIT Foundation, a premier not-for-profit education society set-up by the promoters of NIIT to operate these centres.
Inclusive development, exploring employability issues at the grassroot levels and building a sustainable training-cum-counselling model for under-developed students are key objectives of this intervention.
The Centre at Joda West of Keonjhar district was set-up on August 2015 benefitting youths from Joda municipality, Bichakundi and nearby areas. Similarly, another centre has begun functioning at Jurudih from December 2017, which will cover Jalahari, Khondbond, Jurudi, Guruda, Joribar, Bamebari, Jajang, Hesabeda villages and other nearby areas.
These centres largely focus on basic computer courses and spoken English courses to enhance the applied skills of students. The computer courses include a Certificate Course in IT for Beginners (CCIB), Social Networking, and Advance Certificate Course in Word, Excel and HTML. The spoken English courses are offered in three levels and all these courses can be availed at a very nominal course fee.
Tata Steel has provided all basic infrastructure like furniture and computers for the Centre. NIITF is entrusted to manage day to day running of the Centres, mobilisation and faculty support.
Till date, 409 youths have enrolled in these programmes offered by the Joda Centre, out of which 318 have been graduated so far and 84 are currently continuing their courses. At Jurudih, 55 students have enrolled in the first batch of computer class and 17 in spoken English class.
The story of multi-talented Farheen Saheen hailing from Joda Muslim Basti is inspiring to those who aspire to take up these skill development courses. After graduating from Joda Women’s College, she had no choice but to go back to the regular part-time job of giving tuition and engaging in occasional bridal mehndi work. Her dream of becoming a teacher had already shattered somewhere in her journey.
But when she heard about Tata Steel`s Skill Development Centre at Joda West, nothing could stop her from joining the course. She took six months of quality spoken English course. After graduating from the centre, she got placed with a job at Brihaspati Science College, Joda as a data entry operator cum office assistant and is now earning Rs 4000 as monthly salary. She never hesitated to laud the contributions of Tata Steel for the amazing transformation of her life.
Similarly, another girl, Laxmi Munda hailing from a modest family of Bileipada village recalled, “After my father expired, there was a huge burden on my shoulder to contribute in the household and family affairs and I was confused about my career. I enrolled myself in Centre at Joda. My life got transformed after completing two month CCIB course and six months of spoken English course. Soon after, I was confident of doing something and now I am serving as a computer teacher at Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Bileipada and also handling office works. I am earning Rs 3000 per month as remuneration contributing to my family.”
These Centres are providing a good platform to many youths like Farheen and Laxmi to fulfil their dreams. Going forward, the Centres will play a major role in bringing the much-needed transformation for the aspiring students of Joda and Khondbond area.