IndiaCSR Awards: Essar Foundation Felicitated with Best CSR Project in Education

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Project Indradhanush directly addresses the immediate need of alternate and improved learning system for middle school in the region. This program focuses exclusively on ensuring that the basic fundamentals of Science and Mathematics sink into the minds of the students so well that they are able to match skills of the best in the world. The beneficiaries of project Indradhanush were those residing on the periphery of Essar businesses in Gujarat. The project catered to both urban and rural sectors in Jamnagar and Hazira.

IndiaCSR News Network

NEW DELHI: : Essar Foundation has been conferred with the prestigious India CSR Community Initiative award for its CSR Project in Education. On behalf of Essar Foundation Radhika Agarwal received the award from the hands of Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, DG & CEO, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs and Rusen Kumar, Founder & Managing Editor, IndiaCSR and CSR & COMPETITIVENESS during the Annual India CSR Awards Ceremony held at PHD House, New Delhi on April 6, 2015.The award winning case study featured in special edition CSR & COMPETITIVENESS, March 2015. CSR & COMPETITIVENESS is publication of IndiaCSR group.

India presents a unique paradox wherein, on one end it is one of the few countries to successfully enter Mars and on the other hand, it ranks an abysmal 76 on the global innovation index. India is at the low end, be it in IT exports or Pharma, industries that thrive on innovation.

This is further established by ASER reports, which identifies lack of focus on Science and Mathematics as the principal reason and Gujarat ranks quite low on this.

The ASER report 2013 on Gujarat, clearly suggests gap in learning levels, particularly Science and Mathematics. The same was reinforced by an internal study by Essar Foundation, even though the results were marginally better than the state average in Surat. Extracting from the conclusion of these reports, Essar Foundation recognized that only radical solutions can help India rise.

Children are natural learners, and this propensity to learn needs to be nurtured incessantly through several means. School is one of the most significant personal and social environments in the lives of children, and teachers are the single most important factor in creating an effective and inclusive educational experience. A child-friendly school recognizes, encourages and supports children’s growing capabilities as learners by providing a culture, teaching behaviors and a curriculum that are focused on learning and the learner. The landmark legislation that revolutionizes school education in India, Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act.

Project Indradhanush : It directly addresses the immediate need of alternate and improved learning system for middle school in the region. This program focuses exclusively on ensuring that the basic fundamentals of Science and Mathematics sink into the minds of the students so well that they are able to match skills of the best in the world. The techniques applied in teaching methodologies broaden the horizon by hands on experience thereby enhancing visualization and application skills in a child.

Essar Foundation designed ‘Indradhanush’ to celebrate freedom of learning. It is an elaborate edutainment carnival, methodically ideated to promote the emergent culture that learning can be fun and can take place beyond textbooks and classrooms.

The essence of Indradhanush is defined in its scope to unleash reasoning and creativity in children, to spread their wings of freedom and learn how to think and not just what to think.

The festival is a gateway to move beyond conventional education and adapt the progressive form, which with its resourcefulness can unburden the undesirable pressure on a child

To achievethe elaborative goals and objectives, an extensive survey was completed by Essar Foundation. Derived from these findings, a reckoned operational methodology was adopted to disseminate the project.

During conceptualization the team reached maximum number of schools in Jamnagar and Hazira and had discussed in length about the subjects where students face problems in grasping and learning. To enable appropriate demonstration that fits into school curriculum, meetings and discussions were held with subject teachers of Science, Mathematics and English from both government and private schools. These interactions helped to strategize content for presentation in the event so that students and teachers can acquire maximum benefit.

To leverage optimal value from the resources, multi – pronged strategy was adopted and channelized. The Foundation partnered with NGOs who were thoroughly acquainted with the catchment area and therefore, better equipped to cater requisites for implementation of the project.

Their access to the interiors of the region, awareness about standards of education and chalking out models accordingly, and negotiating with local administration had supported towards the goal.

Various resource institutes have been contacted for bringing diversity in experiments thus, breaking the monotonous way of learning. For example, ‘JeevanTirth’, Gujarat, attracted visitors with 100 different experiments based on concepts that are already included in curriculum. Similarly, there were other institutes to whom briefing and specifics were given in order to develop newer models and experiments to fit into the project concept.

To illustrate ‘Learning with freedom’ which is an integral theme of the project, other attractions were arranged like showcasing of popular films, story narrating and an open forum for children to exhibit there models developed from the lessons and learnings.

The project involved its stakeholders by forming committees at different levels and designating roles for each.A committee was formed at the District Administration level, which involved Essar personnel along with government officials. This committee was responsible for complying with all formalities and seeking due permissions as and when required for project implementation. The second team involved NGOs and Essar personnel. This was accountable for content development based on information collated from schools and resource institutes.

Besides, an admin wing was formed,the members of which were in control of human resources and volunteers to manage and support the event, fire & safety department personnel who were deployed in the venue to avoid any untowardly happening and an ambulance, which was placed for service in case of an emergency.The technical aspects of the event were disseminated by the organization while the Foundation funded the entire event.

About IndiaCSR Awards

Instituted by IndiaCSR group ‘IndiaCSR Awards’ is an endeavour to promote reporting and communication in the CSR domain in our country. It is a milestone and an iconic event that acknowledges the unique and extraordinary contributions in the CSR domain. This is a premium honour that recognizes the most admired and outstanding CSR initiatives and ventures in India. The awards acknowledge the noble contributions in the CSR domain that are raising benchmarks by bringing radical and transformative change in the development arena through innovation and excellence.

The IndiaCSR Awards, in 21 categories, were opened to all organizations registered in India that engage in social responsibility. The Awards was opened for nomination by all companies, corporate funded foundations and partnerships operating in India.

The vision of the initiative is to identify and recognize the corporate best practices of ongoing Corporate Responsibility initiatives in various domains in the country and mission is to inspire, encourage, and facilitate corporate social responsibility awareness and practices among corporate India.

The aim of the Awards is to recognize the best CSR and innovative projects, and translating best practices into concrete action on the ground. The awards encourage the organizations on social projects or programmes to increase the recogniznition of CSR principles in their operations. This exciting and need based initiative focuses on successful partnerships between business and society, with particular emphasis on collaborative projects that tackle contemporary social issues through innovations and action oriented interventions.

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