Creating an inclusive road for the underprivileged community
Creating an inclusive road for the underprivileged community

By auther pic. Jyoti

July 15, 2019

Creating an inclusive road for the underprivileged community

Anganwadi Centre in Joda

‘In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder in the business but is, in fact, the very purpose of its existence.’ – J.N. Tata. This outlines the Corporate Social Responsibility goal of Tata Sponge. With its multi-pronged CSR initiatives, Tata Sponge reaches out to 34000 beneficiaries, predominantly tribal residing in 38 Revenue villages and 27 Hamlets under 5 surrounding Gram Panchayats in Joda of Keonjhar district in Odisha.


As the education scenario in the district is far from encouraging, Tata Sponge has taken up several initiatives to improve the situation. ‘Project Prarambh’ is one such initiative to support the Government-run Anganwadi centers to improve the pre-school education among the children. With the project cost of INR 225 Lakhs approx, the Company has constructed 67 model Anganwadi centers with spacious classrooms, kitchen and store room, long verandah for children, toilets, drinking water facilities and play equipments. The Compound walls are adorned with beautiful paintings  on children known as ‘Bala Paintings’. All these have impacted the performance of Anganwadis with high attendance in the classes and delivery of better pre-primary standard including a better health regime which is being followed for these children. Tata Sponge also constructed 25 boundary walls in various Anganwadis and Primary schools creating confidence amongst the parents in sending their adolescent daughters to attend the classes.


The Residential Bridge Course is a unique approach to support destitute children like school dropouts. The Company has facilitated a residential center to provide them age-appropriate education with the help of an NGO named ‘ASPIRE’ and bring them to the mainstream by putting them in a regular Government school. Children from the surrounding villages are admitted and provided with facilities. Tata Sponge leadership in order to elicit the interest of the children to dominate and to show their potential in science exhibition from 2014, under the ‘Project Vidyarthi’ that coincides the date of inauguration of the Company, making it one of the several interventions undertaken.


‘Project Protsahan’ is another initiative of the Company with an objective to provide scholarships for higher education to meritorious students from the economically backward family of the community. The villagers, those who were mainly dependent on cultivation had limited income leading to acute poverty due to lack of technical agricultural expertise. As one of its initiative, Tata Sponge felt the need for supplementing their income. Thus, they initiated organizing loans from the District Mineral Fund under the ‘Vaadi Project’ for the farmers. Regular agricultural training programs were organized for the farmers; distribution of agricultural implements and fertilizers added to the yield. Their income levels have gone up considerably due to multi-cropping and vegetable farming. On the other hand, Vidya Shakti Niyas, an organization run by the spouses of the company employees has promoted and sponsored expenditure on duckery and goatery to supplement the income of the nearby villages. Besides several other Self-Help Groups have been formed who are imparting training on producing rice flakes, fried snacks, incense sticks, phenyl, etc.


The Company in its CSR plan has recruited job oriented training programs. ‘Project Saksham’ is one of them. Wherein collaboration with Government agencies has developed an in-house vocational training module for fitters, welders, mechanics; imparting a year job training on trade scales on a paid stipend. VSN also provides one and a half month training under ‘Project Abhiyan’ to youth from the vicinity. Besides driving, the training also provides basic service maintenance of the vehicle.


The Company along with its other CSR program has put special thrust on healthcare, drinking water and sanitation. ‘Project Swabhiman’ is one such project that aims at covering the immediate 5 surrounding villages around Tata Sponge’s plant covering 1200 families and make them Open Defecation Free villages by 2020. The project model includes a household toilet, a bathroom, and a community water supply facility in partnership with VIKAS. Regular awareness camps are being organized for the villagers to bring about the attitudinal change towards health and sanitation.


Going by the fact, tribal population possess a hidden talent of some core sports, Tata Sponge has also made a focused approach towards promoting sports in the schools and villages through a special project called ‘CRIDA’. Last but not least, the Company sponsors various organization to promote cultural activities in the villages amongst tribal youths.



Tata sponge with its CSR vision has created a platform for the inclusive road for the underprivileged community in its immediate neighborhood.


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Jyoti, a post graduate of International Business, is working as a Senior Analyst Communication in NGOBOX and CSRBOX. A resident of Ahmedabad, she likes to spend her weekends in solitude by reading, with a steaming cup of coffee to give her company.


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