Bengaluru-based Quess Corp will continue its focus on the education sector and undertake steps like building infrastructure, student and teacher development programmes. Diksha Yadav spoke to Guruprasad Srinivasan, President, Global Business Services and Smitha B.S, (Corporate Social Responsibility) CSR Head at Quess Corp on CSR initiatives taken by the organisation. Excerpts:
Tell us about your CSR initiatives.
Education remains the top priority of Careworks Foundation (CWF) and we will continue to work in this area. As of now, the foundation has adopted 54 schools in Bengaluru and is working to build infrastructure including the most basic things like toilets, labs and providing electricity and clean drinking water.
We are planning to add 50 more schools in the coming years and take the tally to over 100. We are currently based only in Bengaluru, Shimoga and Chennai but we would like to take out initiatives to other states as well.
CWF has been set-up under Quess to focus on education and health of children. The emphasis has been to improve the lives of the people from remote and rural parts of the city.
Our endeavour is to build a strong employable workforce and we are planning to pick students and train them from early stage.
How did you manage to get the funds for CWF?
CWF is mostly funded by its parent organization called Quess, but we have other contributors also who are coming on the board to join hands with us in this great initiative. We also have partnered with Karnataka Education department who is supporting us to a great extent.
Please tell us about school renovation initiatives of CWF
CWF has initiated a programme – ‘School Development Programme’ – under which we focus on the infrastructure development of the schools like building labs and playgrounds etc.; running teacher and students’ centric programmes.
What is the foundation doing for the students on the health front?
The foundation is working on various mental and physical health programmes for these children. We have found mental health to be one of the problem areas. The foundation is helping children with learning disabilities, lingual problems, and even drug abuse. We have created specific modules to deal with these issues.
The students are also being taught life skills and lessons on health & hygiene.
What has been your assessment of the outcomes of your programmes in terms of mitigating students’ drop-out problem?
Our assessment says that there is 36% of increase in the enrolment numbers in all our schools. Providing adequate infrastructure in schools has given us encouraging results. It is little hard to tell the exact figures but the drop-out numbers are reducing.
We are also working in preschools where parents are being encouraged to get involved in school activities. They get to know that a lot of good work is happening in the school. A lot of word of mouth publicity is also helping the cause.
Please elaborate on your hygiene and sanitation plan available for the children?
We are building toilets and even maintaining them. Apart from this, we run a lot of programmes through our school cabinet. We also create awareness by spreading knowledge about sanitation and hygiene among the students through our ‘life skill’ program.
Which talent exhibition programmes is CWF is currently working on?
CWF enhances the existing programmes of the government and tries to take care of the extracurricular activities of the students. One such programme is ‘Pratibha Kaaranji’ which helps children to learn the skills and exhibit there.
We have mentors in art & craft, music, and other extracurricular activities, who go to different schools to teach the students.