Tata Power has taken up number of income generation activities. The Rural BPO by Mannat Foundation (a trust promoted by Tata Power) at Khopoli, Maharashtra has made 213 rural educated youth employable with annual earnings of approximately Rs. 1.56 crore. An additional 532 youth were provided with skill development training and are ready to be employable.
A total of 324 farmers have been supported for agriculture and sericulture. Self-Help Groups (SHG) were formed by women members in village. The leaders have been trained on management of the SHG, Income Generation Trade and linking with government for financial support. 89 SHGs comprising 1,480 members have saved approximately Rs. 12 lakh.
Mr. Balaraja Bhat, Head-Belgaum Plant, Tata Power, said, "Tata Power believes in the philosophy of improving quality of life of the communities living in and around its area of operations. It's heartening to note the acceptance of these programmes by the people and further motivates us to design more such programmes. We are committed to being a 'neighbour of choice' for the communities in and around our areas of operations."
Ms. Anjali Bhusan Gaikwad, 28 year old graduate is living in Khopoli village in Hydros with her husband, child and in-laws. She has been working with a local Bakery for six years and has monthly earning of Rs 1500. Her husband, a driver, met a road accident and doctors recommend complete bed rest. She took a loan for treatment of her husband and to manage the house. Need to repay the loan worsened her situation. Therefore, she started looking for a better job outside in spite of community traditions. She got to know about the BPO at Khopoli from the awareness camp on gender discrimination and economic empowerment organised by Tata Power. She appeared for an interview in BPO and got selected. Now, she is earning Rs. 5700 per month. Anjali expressed that "The training in BPO has made her more confident and knows to deal with people. I am able to manage my family well while repaying the loan regularly". She purchased a vehicle and drives to office to save time and travel cost. She is also helping her younger sister to continue her studies apart from managing her family efficiently.
The rural BPO is a facility for providing employment to 350 youth. Visitors, Tata Power employees and government officials have visited the BPO and appreciated this effort.
Swarup Vardhini, a local NGO in Maale, Hydros provides training course to adolescent girls to be an assistant to nurse as healthcare staffs. Tata Power and Swarup Vardhini signed an agreement to start a training program in its catchment area. A total of 25 girls were enrolled in the first batch after successful completion of entrance examination. Now, 18 of them have written their final papers and started internship in Pune based hospitals. Nanda Tai says that I derive immense satisfaction doing social work and helping others. Though I am getting paid for it but money is not my source of motivation. Tata Power provided infrastructure, transportation cost for trainee and all operational/ management cost of training.
Ms. Lata Kondiva Gore is a 17 years old girl from Bhandaskhonda village in Hydros. She is HSC passed and an intelligent girl. Family financial condition had restricted her to wind up her studies. Tata Power had shared the information about this one year course on nursing training with village leaders. She got to know about the course provided by Tata Power from her village leader. He convinced her family to appear for the test. She qualified the entrance test and took admission after three months. She worked hard to cope up to cover up the completed courses during her absence and now in line with others. She used the local public transport daily to reach at the centre, which was reimbursed by Tata Power. To maximize the learning, she enrolled for computer training course, which is run by Tata Power at the same location. After clearing her examination, she is working with Manav Savardhan Hospital at Pune and earning Rs. 5500 per month. She explains, The course has given me enough confidence and allowed me to be independent. I want to continue further studies to complete SSC exam. Further, I will go for three years nursing course to become a nurse.
Tata Power has implemented many health related activities includes Mobile Medical Services, specialised health camp and Awareness on Health, Hygiene including HIV/ AIDS etc. Mobile medical services and health camps serve about 19,640 patients. It also covered 45,890 people across Mumbai to increase awareness on HIV/ AIDS.
A multidimensional approach is required to address all basic needs of the people with an effective plan in consultation with the community, local administration and local NGOs. After the baseline and need assessment, it was observed that health infrastructure and facility needs to be improved for quality and effective health service in the area. This area is generally neglected and affected by various epidemics such as dengue, cholera, malaria etc. Though Tata Power organised health camps every year in different project affected villages, it couldn't impact the occurrence of diseases, which required regular healthcare services. Therefore, the team set up a health check-up centre at Naraj Marthapur. Two specialist doctors (one each Allopathic and Homeopathic) from local city visit this centre on alternative days. Apart from diagnosis and treatment, they conduct health awareness on health, hygiene, basic sanitation etc. Homeopathic medicines are provided free of cost. The team has organised number of awareness camps on common diseases. These medical health centres will be succeed if the number of cases of people affected by these epidemics comes down over time.
Tata Power has undertaken different initiatives at locations like creating educational infrastructure (renovation of classroom, sanitation etc.), providing education materials to 691 students, special coaching for children and adult literacy etc.
The major initiative under this was comprehensive education program i.e., providing special coaching in 300 Primary schools of 272 Villages, across Nirsa block in Jharkhand. This has covered 13452 students by 762 volunteers.
Tata Power has also provided computer and English speaking classes, which benefited 395 youth including students.
A unique one year long Sports (Football) coaching program was arranged for 38 students at Haldia (West Bengal) keeping in mind the local culture and passion of students and youth as this have helped in retention of students in school.
Maithon Power Limited (a joint venture of DVC and Tata Power) is supporting "Education Project" in 262 villages of Nirsa block in Jharkhand aiming at improvements in learning level of children of age group 5 to 14 years, with equal emphasis on bridging the gap between community and village school system.
In the early 2009, education in Nirsa left a lot to be desired. A survey conducted by 'Pratham', the largest non-governmental organization working to provide quality education in India, revealed about 40-50% of children (5-14 years old) had learning abilities way below the accepted national standards. The pre-test learning levels conducted for 6500 children studying in standard I-V uncovered the fact that about 70% children were below the national standards of learning.
Realizing this and taking note of the social situation in the area, MPL took the issue of education under its wing and joined hands with Pratham - for Block Excellence program in the Nirsa block of Dhanbad, Jharkand. The program started with 100 villages during the first year, covering around 6800 children, with the aim of improving the learning levels in the immediate region. This led to bringing in a successful tripartite cooperative between PRATHAM, MPL and District administration, all of whom, wanted to an overall improvement in the education standards in the undeveloped sectors of Nirsa.
The success of the first phase paved the way for scaling up during the current year, to cover the whole block spread over 262 villages, covering 13460 students (51% girls) through mobilizing about 769 volunteers (including 42% women). The project is implemented in 227 primary/middle schools and 73 community classes (for child labour children and drop out cases), which are being conducted in various locations ranging from shaded corners under trees to temple grounds. 160 brick kilns makers' children, covered under bridge school program were also brought under the regular education system.
The project has deployed a unique and active approach towards learning - i.e. learning by doing, hinging on non-textual based activities to promote the culture of education and including teaching children techniques of addition and subtraction through the usage of stick bundles placed in groups of 10. Preschool students are engaged in basic mathematics using coloured balls so that they grasp the concept of numbers and colours at the same time. English songs are placed in the curriculum to promote the students' comfort levels in the language.
In order to involve parents and community into the education system and assess their awareness about their child's learning status, an Innovative program "Child Testing Mela" is initiated. The program involves two days mobilization phase where Village Education Committee (VEC) (comprises of school teachers, headmasters, panchayats samity members, community and parents) are reached out through community meetings and household visits, seeking their participation in the event. The Mela consists of tests in three main subjects - Hindi, English and Mathematics, along with display of learning tools, books and methodology. It has received overwhelming response, with appearance of hundreds of children in the age-group 5-14 years in various tests, and sizeable presence of parents and community members, especially women from near-by villages have approached the committee for conducting tests for their children. Display stalls of learning materials and tools caught the attention of parents and community along with the children.
The project was an overwhelming success and the education situation of the block was transforming briskly, showing substantial improvement in learning levels, with 70-75% increase in learning level of the children, and expectant participation of community in the education system. Even the Mukhia (Village Head), Panchayat members and Village Education Committee started realizing the scope and requirement of their intervention in areas like proper monitoring and improvement of education infrastructure and quality of education in schools of the village. The project also succeeded in developing an understanding among parents that by "Merely sending their kids to school cannot ensure that their kids are learning" and a key realization that they are equally responsible for their child's poor learning status by not visiting the schools and tracking the learning progress of their child.
The project further lead to improvements in teaching methodology of Government teachers and increased their motivation towards engagement with children and work towards overall child growth, as the approach undertaken is constructive and effectively supplements what the government teachers were doing previously. Even child labour which was rampant in the area especially in brick kilns has remarkably reduced with most children receiving regular education, in consultation with their parents.
The major reason of the success of the initiative can be assigned to the team of volunteers coming from the same community. They contributed immensely in developing a closer bond between the community and the education system and also started realizing the importance of education in their own life and most of them resumed their own pursuit for higher education, and vocational skills.
Haldia plant wanted to promote sports and culture in the community by identifying talent among students. Football is a popular sport and schools requested Tata Power to support and promote this. A total of 30 students (including 16 SC/ST) between the age of 14 to 16 years were selected to undergo one year training under guidance of the Tata Football Academy, Jamshedpur and local coaches. The objective was to have a skilled school Football Team of that would be readily available to participate in various inter school and state level competitions. It also provided several types of sports equipments for football training and a small gymnasium was setup for physical exercise for all selected students. Two local coaches were assigned by the school for the coaching. Class Room training/ Sports Guide Book of TFA were continued. Food for all players was provided on the training days. Students, parents and the school management are hopeful for the future and are grateful to Tata Power for this initiative.
As per need of the community, Tata Power has initiated a range of infrastructure activities for providing safe drinking water, asphalting roads for better accessibility and developing local and community assets for public use.
The 2001 census of India put urban sanitation coverage at 61% of the population having access to individual or public toilets. Two-and-half billion people lack access to even simple pit toilets, which is three times as many people as lack access to clean drinking water and results in two million preventable deaths per year, mostly of children under five from intestinal diseases.
Therefore, CR team undertook sanitation program in Tunda village, Mundra Taluka of Kutch district in Gujarat. The target was to construct sanitation units (Toilets) for each family in partnership with the government by involving the village committee. CR team work focused on implementation, filling critical knowledge gaps regarding sanitation and harmful effects of open defecation. After the awareness campaign, CR team mobilized the community to declare open defecation free zone and built sanitation units. CR team got a sample design keeping in mind of local requirement and geographical condition. Each family built their toilet as per their requirement following the common guideline and design of Tata Power with constant support and supervision of the dedicated field team. This construction work was done by local contractor, who earned a handsome livelihood. A total of 262 sanitary units had been successfully built covering 83% of families. The village has a proper water supply system as each individual has access to tap water provided by the Government in addition to village well. CR team is in the process of covering the remaining 17% families in the village, further it would make the village eligible for Nirmal Gram Puraskar.
Under this initiative, the entire activity was managed by community itself with support from the CR team, which created greater sense of ownership. The average cost of each sanitation unit was in the range of Rs. 9,000 to Rs. 20,000. On an average, the community contributed 34%, Government contributed 7% and remaining 59% was by Tata Power. Government provided grants to below poverty line (BPL) families only. After completion of the unit, verification by CR team, community satisfaction sessions were conducted and Tata Power extended its contribution to the respective beneficiaries.
Tata Power has supported various social and cultural issues to promote and sustain them in the community. Tata Power organised International Women's Day and sponsored Sports and cultural programmes in addition to supporting and organising the CSR conference. Programmes supported by Tata Power include Rann Utsav, promoted by Gujarat state government; Tribal Cultural programme at Jojobera; Cricket Tournament at Naraj Marthapur, Odisha; CSR Conference (Turnaround in mineral industry: Role of CSR) at Dhanbad; and Tubectomy laparoscopic camp and National Deaf Cricket Tournament held at Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.
Tata Power has taken up several initiatives for increasing awareness on environment protection and management. As part of this, approx. 4,56,750 saplings were planted across. Environment education was impacted to 3,726 people.
Inter School Quiz competition on Wildlife and Natural Resources was organized at Naraj Marthapur on 22 January 2011 in the premises of DAV Public School, Cuttack on the occasion of World Wildlife Week (17th to 23rd January). Twenty one schools in and around Cuttack had undergone three rounds of selection such as written test, second round (Buzzer round) and final round (Rapids fire round). Final three groups such as Board of Secondary High School, Cuttack stood first, Revenshaw Collegiate School stood second and DAV Public School, CDA stood third. They were rewarded by Sub Collector Cuttack and GM-Odisha Project. Mr. Purushottam Thakur, General Manager, Projects, Tata Power, said, "Tata Power believes that it is essential to inculcate the importance of nature and wildlife conservation in kids to enable them to become informed citizens. Hence, we thought of an interesting yet informative medium i.e., quiz competition which got kids excited and also made them aware about this important issue."
The sacred groves, locally known as Devrai are patches of ancient vegetation, are protected by local people who dedicate it to a deity or a forest spirit. There are around 3,260 scared groves concentrated in Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, and Hydros (Maval and Mulshi talukas) of Pune district in Maharashtra. These are facing desecration of a different kind. Attractive land prices, increasing urbanization, overuse by believers, land-use change for developmental projects like dams, roads and mines and a change in beliefs have degraded these mini-biospheres, which was rich in biodiversity and gene pools. Tata Power along with Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research (BVIEER) started an environment education program focusing on conservation of sacred groves since 2000-2003. This resulted in protecting these sacred groves and around 30 groves in Mulshi alone.
The focus of energy was to increasing awareness on electrical safety and energy conservation, use alternative energy such as bio-gas plant, efficient chullah and solar light. Tata Power supported farmers for installing five bio-gas plants, provided 100 efficient chullahs for less smoke in addition to installing solar street lights. These programmes have benefited the community on safety and conservation of energy and cost-effective energy.
Naraj Marthapur observed that the project affected villages have problem of mobility in the night as they didn't have street lights. After consultation with village leaders, 45 solar street lights were installed at completely dark or accident prone areas. This has helped to develop good rapport for the Company. At night, village meetings are conducted and local residents socialise with each other.
Mr. Purushottam Thakur, Head - Naraj Marthapur Project, Tata Power said "This is a unique and innovative initiative that Tata Power has undertaken and also forms a part of our sustainability agenda. We are certain the people will appreciate our efforts towards lighting up their villages. We will continue to extend our support to these village communities."