With the increasing demand for energy and resources, effective management and conservation of the same has become critical. Recognizing the power of school children as vital catalysts, Tata power established 'Tata Power Club Enerji' - an energy and resource conservation community in 2007.
The program works with school children, who becomes change agents and sensitise their families and neighbourhood towards conservation and imbibe moral & civic values through dynamic and innovative practices.
Starting with a pilot program in Mumbai, the club educated and sensitized 12 schools covering 6000 students on the importance of saving energy. Steadily expanding its reach and content, in 2011 the program rolled out their resource conservation module, with a focus on the importance of natural resource conservation, receiving an enthusiastic response.
Furthermore, the team received a generous grant from the ICICI Foundation to scale the initiative nationally.
This led to further expanding the scope and reach, becoming a national program, covering 533 schools across Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru ,Kolkata, Belgaum, Jamshedpur, Lonavala ,Ajmer and few more cities.
Being the first initiative of its kind, there were a few stumbling blocks to navigate to ensure continual growth.
Teaching children needed a different type of skill set, not necessarily available at the corporate side. So, the program engaged with teachers from an NGO. However, with increasing scale, the program required a structured approach to ensure quality and evaluation.
Tata Power developed a detailed structure and strategy, from concept and design, to resource planning and monitoring. Now the program is self-sustaining, with a volunteer base and multiple checks to ensure quality learning.
Close attention has been paid to content and engagement, given the target audience of children who tend to have a shorter attention span. Multiple touch points were formulated to creatively engage with students, with both online and offline activities. This bouquet of touch points, including quizzes, drawing and painting competitions, as well as storytelling.
Another challenge was collaboration with schools. Tata Power directly engaged with Principals of various schools, handholding them through the years and winning over their confidence.
The focus was to build a national program, extending beyond the corporate's locations. Consequently, the program launched 'Mini Club Enerji' - self-run groups with 5-25 members where schools could run the initiative on their own.
The program focusses on guiding members through these four stages of engagement, to develop a self-sustained community that will take the cause forward.
Club members undergo four stages of sensitization, using innovative models and knowledge on practical energy saving tips to enhance their skills and empower them to go out and make a difference by sensitizing their community. Year-round activities stimulate interest, educate and sensitize the school children, who help propagate to the community.
Empowering them to take the cause forward, members take the message of energy and resource conservation to the community, through rallies and plays covering multiple themes of Energy & Resource Conservation, Fuel Conservation, Water Management, Waste Management, Disaster Management, Afforestation, Moral & Civic Values Conservation.
Encouraging children to read their own power bills, and inculcate saving tips to reduce their bill, the program tangibly recognizes children who actively participate in the program by nominating them as 'Energy Champions'.
Active outreach members who help spread the energy conservation message are crowned as Energy Ambassadors.
With 1,2 lakh Energy Champions and 1,7 lakh Energy Ambassadors, this program is the illustration of a human chain - taking the cause forward.
Over the last 10 years, Club Enerji has become a testimonial to how a corporate can inspire change and help the next generation actively combat change.
Covering 533 schools, the program has sensitized over 19 million citizens to save more than 25 million units of energy - equivalent to 25 thousand tonnes of Co2. By launching an online module, it has also reached international geographies like the US, UK and south east Asia.
Looking to form an extended green community, this nation-building program is actively looking to combat climate change by reducing CO2 footprint and saving resources.