Tata Steel nurturing SC/ST communities in Jharkhand

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IndiaCSR News Network

JAMSHEDPUR: Tata Steel over the years has been actively involved in the development of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities through its social outreach programmes across all segments that include sustainable livelihoods, healthcare services, education and training, youth empowerment, preservation of ethnicity and culture of indigenous communities, among others.

SC/ST constitutes a considerable percentage of the population in the state of Jharkhand. One of the ways to improve the socio-economic development of the state is through expanding the reach, depth and diversity of the education programs in the state.  The literacy rate in the state of Jharkhand as per Census 2011 is 67.63% as compared to the national average of 74%.

tata steelThrough focused interventions in education in its operational areas in Jharkhand, Tata Steel aims at not only addressing the educational needs of different age and gender groups by increasing the access to education but also improve the quality of education.

Camp School is one such initiative which aims to mainstream girls who have dropped out from school, with the formal education system, through 11-month residential school education program. The company runs two Camp Schools – one at Pipla Centre, Jamshedpur block in East Singhbhum district and the other at Noamundi in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. In the last ten years, more than 1,900 drop-out girls have been mainstreamed into formal education through the efforts of Tata Steel in Jamshedpur and Noamundi.

The mid-day meal kitchen, in partnership with Government of Jharkhand and ISKCON Food Relief Foundation, is supplying mid-day meals daily to nearly 71,000 students, of which more than 35% belong to SC/ST communities across government schools in and around Jamshedpur. Tata Steel provides infrastructure support to schools and colleges across all locations by constructing school buildings and boundary walls and providing drinking water and toilet facilities as well as benches and desks. In peri-urban Jamshedpur, 137 schools and colleges have been provided drinking water facilities. A total of 57,900 students are being benefitted of which 63% belong to SC/ST communities.

Tata Steel has been strengthening government schools through school libraries and children activity centres. The company has initiated this programme in 30 villages of Noamundi, in partnership with Eklavya, Bhopal. The programme aims at improving the quality of education in government schools through quality books and activity-based classroom learning.

Education still remains a distant dream for a number of poverty-stricken tribes. ‘Aakanksha’—an ambitious project of Tata Steel’s Tribal Cultural Society is making this distant dream come true for children of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in Jharkhand. Launched in 2012, the project aims to impart education to children of the Paharia, Sabars and Bihors—identified as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in residential schools. In FY15, 234 tribal children were enrolled in seven residential schools like St. Robert School for boys and girls in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand.

The provision of fellowship opportunities for meritorious students, belonging to the SC/ST communities has been an important part of Tata Steel’s endeavor in the field of education. On an average, every year more than 3,000 meritorious SC/ST students have been benefitted by Jyoti Fellowship and Moodie Fellowship programs.

Tata Steel has stepped in to create capabilities through scholarships, coaching and training programmes. The company has also rolled out a special and ambitious project ‘Tata Steel Scholars’ giving wings to the dreams of SC/ST students aspiring for professional education. 83 students have been identified and supported to pursue higher studies from premier institutes like Xavier Institute of Management in Bhubaneshwar and Jabalpur as well as IIT Mumbai, BIT Mesra, BIT Sindri, ISM Dhanbad, NIT Jamshedpur etc.

The company support youth to undergo various skill development programmes through expert organisations. The company offers Skill development programmes at Tata Steel Skill Development Society (TSSDS) managed institutes, namely,- TSSDS Pvt ITI at Tamar, near Ranchi,- Tata Steel Technical Institute (TSTI) at Burmamines, Jamshedpur and  Hospitality Training Centre at Kolebira in Jharkhand. In the last five years, the company has provided employability training in trades like construction, automobiles, motor driving, welding, computer hardware and software, etc.  to over 11,000 youth, out of which about 3700 youth have found employment. The company also support SC/ST girls in nursing training.

Sports as an integral part of Education is a key focus area for Tata Steel. To identify and nurture talent among the SC/ST communities, the company organized several sports tournaments and conducted training camps. Tata Steel took the lead to organize a joint Tata group tournament involving Tata Motors, Tata Power and Tinplate for athletics as well as football. In FY16, the football tournament witnessed participation of 1,760 teams with 28,000 tribal youth.

To develop leadership skills among youth and to inculcate values in them, Tata Steel conducts Moral Re-Armament (MRA) Camps. Both rural and urban youth, predominantly from the SC/ST communities are trained on moral values. So far, more than 1,500 youth from Jharkhand have attended MRA workshops through residential camps.

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