Tata Steel Launches Project Aakansha for Ethnic Group in Jharkhand

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JAMSHEDPUR: Tata Steel’s Tribal Cultural Society (TCS) today launched Project AAKANSHA at its premises to facilitate education for the children of ethnic communities of our society.

It is a unique initiative of TCS in the area of education. This initiative has brought together children of 8 villages of Patamda block, namely Gobarghusi, Dongageral, Chhotabanki, Loraidungri, Patipani, Burudih, Dholkocha, and Oppo as well as  Birhor colony of West Bokaro. These children belong to the Sabar and Birhor tribes and have no access to the benefits that we see the privileged children enjoying. Their parents work in the forests where they cut trees and sell the wood. This is their only means of livelihood and the children generally spend time by playing around the village.

TCS took the initiative of improving the condition of these children and bringing them into the mainstream with the help of awareness and education. TCS believes that education is the first step to change the lives of these little ones for the better. Thus, TCS pledges to support the education and up-bringing of 128 children who have been enrolled into residential schools up to the matric level.

There were several concerns at the outset of Aakansha like how would the parents take to our proposal, will the children be able to adjust into a new surrounding, how and who would manage such young children. Another major concern was to ensure that these children do not lose their identity of their tribe, their own social systems, and yet join the mainstream. It was also difficult to find a school which was ready to take these children. However, the authorities at the Holy Cross School, Chowka acceded to our proposal and the pilot project was on. The results of the pilot project were so encouraging that the decision to expand the programme was taken. There was remarkable improvement noticed in these children. The children who were then shy, hesitant and could babble only in their mother tongue, now can sing, recite and talk endlessly in Hindi.

This process was not an easy one, painstaking efforts were put in by the team. Each and every household of the 8 Primitive Tribal villages of Patamda plus the Birhor Colony  in West Bokaro were visited, parents were counselled on the importance of education and the proposal. Only when they understood and consented to send their children away for schooling, these kids were brought to Jamshedpur. Realizing that the parents can barely support their children, arrangements were made to take care of all the needs of the children at school. Trunks, clothes, items of daily use like soap, slippers, school bags, basic educational kits, all were distributed to these children when they were brought to the Tribal Culture Centre. In all 128 primitive tribal children have been admitted to 4 different schools namely  Holy Cross school, Chowka, Loyola school Chaira Dhalbhumgarh, St Thomas school Gamharia and St Roberts school, Hazaribagh,

TCS is confident that with the support of Tata Steel and it’s generous employees and associates, this mission will be accomplished. This initiative was formally launched at TCC, in the presence of all the children and the school representatives,

Mrs Surekha Nerurkar was the chief Guest on this occasion. In the ceremony a newsletter on Aakansha was also launched which would be published quarterly and will bring forth the developments made in the direction of this initiative. Thus, AAKANSHA is a program that strives to fulfill the aspirations and dreams of these children invisible to the society.

Tata Steel’s Tribal Cultural Society (TCS) is an organization that has been constantly working for the upliftment and development of the tribal groups in the East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Seraikela Kharsawan districts of Jharkhand.Their efforts also extend towards the Primitive Tribal Groups. Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) are the rarest tribes that reside in East Singhbhum. They are extremely poor with very low level of literacy and ever diminishing population. TCS has been constantly trying to improve the socio-economic conditions of these PTGs. TCS is also working for Birhor colony of West Bokaro (Collieries).





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