Empowering Tribal Girls: HDFC's Game-Changing Initiative in Sports

In India, a number of factors, including geographic location, educational attainment, social standing, and age, have a significant impact on how empowered women are. The primarily patriarchal structure that dominates the community and households in much of India is a significant contributor to the gap in the implementation of laws and policies to address issues, including discrimination. As a result, women and girls have less freedom of movement, less access to health care, education, and decision-making, as well as a higher incidence of violence.


Empowerment of Tribal Women

It is a good opportunity to think about how we may hasten India's transformation and the achievement of its Sustainable Development Goals as we celebrate its 76th anniversary of independence. More work needs to be done even if our nation is still making tremendous development in many areas and has an impact on the lives of our marginalized communities.


According to the 2011 census, 8.6% of India's population are classified as tribal, making them one of the most disadvantaged groups. These disadvantages include poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, health issues, geographic isolation, and lack of access to services.


47% of India's tribal population is made up of women who have a strong sense of community and an in-depth knowledge of their ecology. According to studies, tribal women hold important insights on more important topics like climate catastrophe, forests, and sustainability since they are the culture keepers and archivists of long-forgotten tribal customs and traditional knowledge.


The proverb "When you empower a woman, you empower a generation and the nation" is quite true. As India develops rapidly, it is imperative that we foster tribal women's collective agency in order to make Sabka Vikas (everyone's development) a reality. Yes, the moment has come for fair progress and affirmative action. 


HDFC: A Game Changer

Since education is a crucial component of establishing a nation, the bank has made it a top priority. The education programs offered by HDFC Bank Parivartan have an emphasis on teacher preparation, scholarships, career counseling, and infrastructure support. By making these efforts, HDFC hopes to raise the standard of education throughout the country.


Nearly half of India's mineral resources are found in Jharkhand, but 40% of its people still live in poverty there. The state's population, which is predominantly tribal, also has significant levels of deprivation.


Given this problem, the Bank's Holistic Rural Development Programme (HRDP) aims to end cyclical poverty and deprivation in these communities by strengthening VHNCs (Village Health & Nutrition Committees), improving cropping practices, farm schools, remedial academic classes, and numerous other programs. 


In more than 143 villages, including those in 8 districts of Jharkhand where projects have been completed, Parivartan has been working to build sustainable communities, benefiting approximately 25,003 households.


Empowerment Through Sports

The hockey game was introduced to the indigenous girls of Khunti, Jharkhand, by Parivartan. Parivartan is the umbrella brand for all social projects at HDFC Bank. Due to a lack of resources and opportunity, the town had an enormously gifted pool of girls who had gone unrecognized. The bank offered free hockey coaching in 16 villages in the region with a specific focus on enrolling dropouts in addition to those who regularly attend school in order to instill confidence and inspire them to venture out. 


They became more confident and had better communication skills as a result of the training, which also helped them learn to say "no" when they disagreed with something. This aided in their self-protection and vision-building. The hockey players quickly started to be looked up to by their family, friends, and fellow students. 


Similar to this, under Parivartan, football was introduced to the tribal girls in Jhinkpani, West Singhbhum district. All of the target villages have responded to the program with an incredible level of interest. The bank has also made sure that female coaches are hired because they will inspire the athletes to envision themselves in positions of authority. Additionally, their presence gives them a sense of security, which encourages others to join.


Impact of Parivartan

The Parivartan program from HDFC Bank seeks to mainstream socially and economically marginalized communities throughout the nation by promoting empowerment, progress, and development. We recognize & support initiatives that work to grow & progress communities as part of our commitment to creating sustainable ecosystems through a variety of collaborations.


HDFC BANK - CSR - Education

HDFC's educational initiatives, which span a large geographic area, contribute to the development of favorable and productive learning environments. Infrastructure upgrades include renovations, the placement of libraries, the construction of research labs, the provision of sporting goods, etc. Teaching educators alternative pedagogies and soft skills, locating and promoting innovative techniques


Offering remedial classes, learning camps, and relevant teacher training materials guaranteed the quality of education.


A two-phase scholarship program for female athletes and coaches called "Unstoppable - Karke Dikhaungi" was jointly launched by HDFC Bank and the GoSports Foundation. The program will find exceptional female athletes from all throughout the country and encourage them in their pursuit of sporting achievement. 


India's female athletes confront a variety of obstacles, including poor infrastructure, a lack of financial support, constrictive cultural norms, etc. The program seeks to address these difficulties. The program will strive to increase equality and diversity in Indian sports by producing new female champions and role models for the community in addition to meeting their travel, training, equipment, coaching, and sports science needs.


The program also focuses on important issues like menstrual health and hygiene, mental health, safe spaces for women athletes to unwind and recharge, and prevention of sexual harassment (POSH) through research, outreach, and advocacy to bring about change in India's sporting ecosystem and empower athletes to rise to the top and forge their own paths without having any second thoughts about participating in sport.


Way Forward

For millions of tribal women, the election of Droupadi Murmu as President of India offers hope. Additionally, it is an opportunity to put tribal issues at the forefront of the national conversation. When tribal communities and tribal women are positioned at the center of solutions, the course of India's growth can be substantially altered. This will be a game-changer as India embarks on its "Amrit Kaal" (the 25 years building up to the centennial of independence).


There are several instances of tribal women, both as individuals and as a group, paving the road for inclusion and advancement. The equality lens must be worn if tribal women are to be heard and for their invaluable talents to take flight. Their views must be amplified in public venues.  


To guarantee that they have an acceptable degree of high representation at all levels and that they have opportunities for their opinions to be heard during multi-stakeholder conversations on local development, their tales need to find a far larger space in the dominant narrative. 


Additionally, giving them access to learning systems would greatly aid in developing their knowledge, skills, and leadership so they can stand out in the crowd. In order to empower women in India, a multifaceted strategy that takes into account the variety of societal institutions that influence women's lives is necessary.


CSRBOX is Asia's largest CSR platform with an in-depth CSR portfolio of over 1050 companies and 10000+ CSR projects. The platform works as a bridge between the development sector, and business community, government agencies and academic institutes to bring together opportunities on one platform and create a knowledge base for thematic interventions. A few of our clients are UNICEF India, IBM, BOSCH Ltd, HCL Foundation, Genpact, Diageo, Bajaj Foundation etc.We have projects, platforms and partnerships (3Ps) based approach for social impact in India