BALCO is driving development in Chhattisgarh
BALCO – Education is key to the global integrated framework of sustainable development goals. Education is at the heart of the efforts to adapt to change and to transform the world within which we live. A quality basic education is the necessary foundation for learning throughout life in a complex and rapidly changing world, and plays a pivotal role in driving the development of the region and nation at large.
Facilitating the fulfillment of sustainable development goal 4 that aims to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ by 2030, BALCO is enabling a transformative change in the region of Chhattisgarh through its various interventions to spread education. The company’s endeavors in the field of education range from pre-primary education through NandGhars to higher education with special emphasis on technical education and promoting digital education through Project Connect and vocational education through Vedanta Skill School.
Balco NandGhar facilitating holistic development of children in early stages
NandGhars are a transformative leap dedicated to benefit rural children and women in India. A measure undertaken by Vedanta under the Anil Agarwal Foundation Initiative, together with the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD), the project aims to ensure that rural India is not left behind in India’s march towards progress. The state-of-the-art Anganwadis in the form of NandGhars are proving to be a model resource centre for the community.
Through NandGhars BALCO is striving to facilitate a conducive learning environment with the help of multiple interventions in order to ensure that a child can develop to its full potential and contribute towards the socio-economic development of the country.
Presently, 262 NandGhars are transforming the lives of over 18000 children spread over the state of Chhattisgarh by providing them with best-in-class curriculum, interactive learning through BALA (Building as Learning Aid) paintings and digital learning. Thus, helping the children to develop their cognitive abilities by improving the level of preprimary education.
Aiming to ensure the holistic development of children during their formative years, NandGhars are also educating females regarding the ways and means to cook nutritious meals and importance of nutrition to prevent malnourishment. Over 3100 pregnant and lactating women have been educated till now in Chhattisgarh.
Project Connect improving school education
Inclusive development hinges upon ensuring quality education. Proper schooling prepares individuals for social and civic responsibility, builds social capital and encourages effective cognitive development. In line with this, Project Connect initiated in the year 2016, is supplementing the community’s needs for quality education especially in Science, English, Mathematics and Accountancy (SEMA) through field instructors and volunteers from amongst BALCO’s employees. The Project mainly focuses on improving the learning environment in government schools by working on improving students’ grades, capacity building of teachers and career counselling through employee volunteerism.
Strengthening students’ academic and extracurricular performance the project intervenes through a fourfold strategy of conducting regular classes, remedial classes, working with dropout students and organizing summer and winter camps.
The regular classes have benefitted over 2500 students through direct intervention in six government schools on SEMA (Science, English, Math & Accountancy) subjects. The remedial classes have benefitted over 200 students from neighbouring communities through regular doubt sessions in evening. Strengthening the pillar of inclusive education, ‘Community Connect’ is being conducted regularly with parents, teachers and Panchayati Raj Institution members in the community to gauge the existing status of school going students and identify the dropouts, followed by readmission.
Further focusing on personality development, the project also entails regular summer and winter camps edifying the students on art & craft, dance, music, calligraphy, spoken English, Vedic Mathematics, Pottery, Yoga and Aerobics et al.
Vedanta Skill School linking education with livelihood
With objective of empowering youth with employability skills, through imparting skill development education to them, BALCO partnered with Learnet Skills Limited to establish the Vedanta Skill School in Korba, in 2010.
The Vedanta Skill School imparts free residential training in six trades, including food & beverage, welding, sewing machine operation, solar PV technician, electrician and fitter. The 45-65 days training programme is designed as per the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) guidelines, and Vedanta Skill School imparts these trainings in convergence with government schemes like Mukhya Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (MMKVY), NABARD, Skill India Impact Bond (SIIB) and National institute of Solar Energy (NISE). The success of the skill school at Korba led to the established of two more centres at Mainpat and Kawardha in year 2017 and 2018 respectively. Till date, more than 10,000 youth from Chhattisgarh have been trained at the three skill schools and have found employment in various industries across the country. Beyond training the youth, the institutes are playing a crucial role in improving employment rate, quality of life, reducing inequalities and improving many other aspects of life in the region.
The organization is also making quality education accessible in Balconagar, Korba through BALCO supported Delhi Public School which was established in the year 2012 to provide quality education to the children living in and around Balco Township. The school is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi. Since its inception, the institution has been rendering its commendable services to the society in the form of nurturing global citizens. Within a short span of time the school has distinguished itself in the field of education as well as in the various cultural and sports activities.
Talking about BALCO’s intervention towards making education accessible, Mr. Abhijit Pati, CEO & Director, BALCO, said, “At BALCO, education is a key pillar in our community development endeavours. With the right skills and education, our youth can play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Chhattisgarh and India. Through the multiple projects, we aim to foster education for different age groups along with promoting avenues for skill development among the local youth, helping them avail opportunities to learn employable skills, thus paving way for their financial security and holistic development. BALCO believes in enabling each individual in the community with the resources they need to empower themselves, and our various community development programmes are aligned to that vision.”
Sharing her opinions, Riny Dubey, Principal, Government School, Godhi, said, “BALCO is helping us to create a conducive learning environment for our students which is highly commendable. Our student will certainly reap the benefits of these interventions and will further lead the development in the region.”
Sharing her experience, Amrita Pando, Vedanta Skill School Student, said, “Joining skill school is a major milestone in my professional journey as the institute has played a crucial role in building my skill set. I feel extremely thankful to BALCO for enabling me to support my family financially.”
At BALCO, socio-economic development of communities is paramount and an integral part of running a sustainable business. The company touches the lives of about 1.5 lakh people annually through deep interventions in education, sustainable livelihoods, women empowerment, health wealth & sanitation, sports & culture, and infrastructure development. BALCO’s social endeavours reach over 123 villages, covering 4 districts of Chhattisgarh viz. Korba, Kawardha, Surguja and Raipur, and its CSR policies and systems are framed and implemented in a manner to deliver sustainable impact on ground, making these communities an equal participant in the progress of the nation.