Thursday, 16 April 2015

Self defence is the best defence........

It’s more than two years since the nation stood united in its anger and revulsion at the horrific rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in the national capital. If you are a woman, whether you grew up in a rural or urban region, lived at home or ventured into a new city away from family, worked in office or manage your house full-time—the fear of sexual harassment is real and constant. In 2014 over three lakh women were kidnapped, raped, molested and almost 670 women in the country were being sexually harassed daily. Of course, those were just the reported numbers—the actual cases of violence against women were much higher. If you count all the women who are raped by the time they turn 18 that are almost 40 percent of the entire demographic of women rape survivors.
Despite active debates among lawmakers in Parliament, awareness campaigns and a host of measures to curb violence against women, the statistics in 2014 is no less grim. Delhi in the north, Assam and Tripura in the northeast, and Rajasthan in the west are the most unsafe states for women in India.
Vedanta foundation had organized two workshops on women’s safety focusing on the women who doesn’t have accompany while returning from school, college, work etc in Vitthalwadi, Mumbai and at Ringus in Rajasthan by free of cost. Around 850 girls were taught simple & effective Self-defense techniques without the need for formal martial art training like using immediately available tools like dupatta, watch, glasses, bangles, bricks, keys, chain, buckle, pen, etc. 

Through the workshops foundation is boosting the path of awareness, assertiveness, verbal confrontation skills, safety strategies and physical techniques that enables one to successfully prevent, escape resist & survive violent assaults or dangerous situation are tackled.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Vedanta Foundation: A Challenge in Communication - Dr. Lona Nayak

Vedanta Foundation: A Challenge in Communication - Dr. Lona Nayak: It takes a lot of grit and determination to organize a system for improved communication with project affected people (PAPs) and make pl...

A Challenge in Communication - Dr. Lona Nayak

It takes a lot of grit and determination to organize a system for improved communication with project affected people (PAPs) and make plans for the rehabilitation to be carried out in that area.……………….

Although lack of communication is a major pitfall while dealing with tribal communities in project areas, I believe that sufficient level of information and communication between project management and local communities can easily bridge the gap....My former services demanded my expertise in dealing with the
tribals and maoist and develop strategies for the development of project-affected people (PAP’s). I recall, a milestone that I achieved immediately after my continuous dialogues with the PAP's was a positive participation of local communities in the rehabilitation and resettlement committees. During the committee meetings many problems of the tribals were discussed for instance, choosing the desired habitation for
displaced families, health and hygiene and many others. There were several occasions when the project has suspended activities as protesters were demonstrating against future mine activities. I have always maintained that regardless of the tensions, the management should continue its social engagement workshops... 

I believe that sufficient level of information and communication between project management and local communities can easily bridge the gap....

Dr. Lona Nayak, CEO,
Vedanta Foundation

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

8th March 2014 - Women's Day Celebrations


This is the age where women empowerment is taking a turn. On 8th of March all over the world it is celebrated as international women’s day to emphasize women power.
Vedanta Foundation has not left a stone unturned to commemorate this day and to make the day a special for women.
On 8th of March Vedanta Foundation along with Sesa Sterlite limited arranged a program at Vedanta nagar – Lanjigarh   to felicitate women employees and local female residents. The program started nearly around 11 a.m with lighting of the lamp ceremony by honorable guests. The guest list comprised of Sankutala  Nandruka (Deputy Chairman, zilla parishad, Rayagada), Shukla Chakraborty(Principal ,DAV Vedanta International school), Jyostna Mishra( Lady supervisor, ICDS, Lanjigarh), Swarnalata Mohanty(Principal, Anganwadi Training centre, Bhawanipatna), Adarsh Gupta(president, ladies club, Sesa Sterlite limited), Tapaswini Mishra(Principal , DAV, Rourkela),Dr. Mukesh Kumar- President and COO SSL and H.K Mohanty- Principal AWTC

The occasion was ornamented by a host of programs like welcome song by Khusi centre students (girls), introduction speech given by Balakrishna (Area coordinator of Vedanta Bal chetna, Lanjigarh, child care unit of Vedanta foundation). A welcome note was given by Ms. Tapaswini Ray (Asst Area coordinator). Cultural programs like music and dance enhanced the occasion by giving viewers special attraction.  The special point of attraction of the occasion was a pledge that was taken by all the members present in the event on women empowerment. The program ended with prize distribution ceremony where prize were distributed to all the participants.
The entire program was successfully arranged and managed by Vedanta Foundation representatives  Balkrishna Rath and Tapaswini Ray in coordination with representatives of CSR team of Sesa Sterlite limited Mr. Kaustav Ratan Kundu (Head HR), Jalaj Malpani (Finance head),Ranjan Sharma(CSR head) and PR team of Sesa Sterlite limited.

The occasion was attended by local villagers, community heads, Child care workers, ASHA workers, Khusi centre girls’ students, Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery students (ANMS) from Muniguda High school. The event was also attended by print and electronic media persons.

The occasion ended nearly around 2p.m with accolades from everyone present over there.

Best Use of Technology

Vedanta E-Shiksha @ Schools Program

While one considers the great strides taken by India in popularization and streamlining of education in the Country, the gap between knowledge levels of the urban and rural students is still large enough. All said and done the rural students across India have to still battle with non–availability of the minimum facilities for education. The quality of education is not even standalone not to say about the levels of the highly priced private education in the Country.

Although there is growth in all sectors in India, the most benefits accrue to a small percentage of populace who stays in the urban environments. The rural environments do not even get to have the basic infrastructure and reel under poverty naturally without even being cushioned.

The Government, the biggest player in rural education, is in-charge of running and managing around 80% of all recognized schools at the elementary stage. Over the years, it has launched many programs to combat negative statistics like 40% illiteracy rate and 85% dropout rate. Education has also been made free for children between 6 to 14 years of age or up to class VIII under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009. All these have brought certain small benefits to the rural population in some of the clusters, but the major part of the country does not seem to have been covered properly.

One of the most ambitious projects of the Government launched is aptly named ‘Education for All’ that is ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’. The initiative has to be given full marks for being the largest of any such education initiatives in the World. Although a huge investment has gone in to this initiative one has to agree that the ambitious project has faltered somewhere along and has not been able to deliver any positive results leave alone the results desired.

One can understand the fallacies of an initiative of the Government due to inherent mechanism deterrent to its growth and functioning. At the same time the Government circles themselves have come up with an excellent method of combating the problems by going in to the Public Private Partnerships (PPP). The PPP has brought in miraculous positive results in sectors where it was thought that the initiatives would fail. PPP has an in-built mechanism of clearly identified partnership structures, sharing of objectives and have specified performance indicators for delivery.

One such success story worthy of the kudos is that of the PPP with Vedanta Foundation as one of the agencies.

Vedanta E-Shiksha@Schools is the flagship program of Vedanta Foundation. This is one of the largest projects undertaken under the Central Government’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme. The acceptability and assimilation in this project is increased as the project uses award-winning e-content for learning the core subjects and provides computer education in vernacular / local languages. The multimedia elements present in the e-content are compliant with the state government syllabus. Hence they help students to understand concepts easily and retain them for a longer period of time. In addition to the digital content, computer education books are provided to each school. At the end of the year these books are handed over to the school library for any further reference by the children. Once the students gain the necessary skills to manage work on a computer they automatically become confident and ready to refer to the books in the Library. The larger objective of the program is to create self sufficient skilled individuals. The training and skills make them independent.

To impact 10,000 schools, benefiting over 1 million children with technology-led education

To improve student performance in academics and facilitate their overall personality development

To decrease the dropout rate and absenteeism

To improve motivation level and knowledge of teachers with a scalable Teacher Training Program

To implement an innovative and creative curriculum that enhances the learning process

The Public Private Partnership in this unique project envisages that the operational responsibilities of running the program further are handed over to the School authorities after a period of THREE years. As the school has been a consistent partner in the program, it has all the input necessary to implement the program further. Thus there is a smooth transition.
The continued effectiveness which is the most important factor of this whole process is organized through Teacher training and empowerment, identification of locally based suitable human resources, who will carry the program forward for newer children arriving. Thus the implementation of the project is complete and positive.

Vedanta E-Shiksha@Schools has made an indelible impact on the quality of education in some rural areas of the Country. At present 2933 Government schools across Maharashtra, Goa, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Orissa have been receiving quality education through the ICT. The benefits have been accrued to more than 3 Lakh students across the board.

In order to assess the academic performance of the students as well as the qualitative improvement in the infrastructure of the School, a third party baseline survey is conducted in every state after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with that State Government.

Education as a right of every young citizen of India has been imbibed very deep in the governance of the country. The education need not be just held as a right but we must also ensure that the right type of education to every child making the future functionaries of India globally successful. A purposeful life is evolved in to a successful life through the kind of education we are providing at Vedanta E-Shiksha@Schools.

As an organization dedicated to the betterment of the downtrodden, we take pride in the fact that we are helping to steer the overburdened rural education system in the right direction by providing ample opportunities to the less privileged rural children…

Vedanta Foundation donates blankets to villagers in Odisha.

Vedanta Foundation distributed around 175 blankets in Rengopali, Sindhbahali and Bundel villages in Odhisha on Jan 18, 2014. The initiative is a part of the ongoing CSR activities in the region.  Activities like these are in line with the foundation’s
philanthropic vision of up lifting the lives of the under privileged in distant villages.
These villages in the northeast face extreme winters and due to extreme poverty, villagers cannot afford woollens. Need based interventions form a core part of the Foundation’s social development strategy.
Also, sustainable social development forms a key part of the foundation’s ethos. Vedanta Foundation was set up in the year 1992, as an extension to the company’s efforts for focused sustainable development of the underprivileged population of the country.

We believe, progress of any country can be fuelled only through consistent inclusive growth. Vedanta Foundation aims to bridge the inclusive growth gap of the country through its focused social development programs.

Senior Superintendent of Circle Jail, Cuttack applauds Vedanata Foundation

On January 16, 2014 Office of the Senior Superintendent of Circle Jail, Cuttack at Choudwar sent an appreciation letter to Vedanta Foundation for carrying out welfare activities for jail inmates in 2011 and 2012.
Extract of the letter:
Cost of organizing marriage  ceremonies have shot up drastically in past few years.  Lower middle class families are the worst hit due to lack of finances. To support  mass marriages in this catego
I would like to thank Vedanta Foundation for its spontaneous involvement in various welfare programmers undertaken in Circle Jail, Cuttack at Choudwar. This initiative will definitely help prison inmates to live a respectable life after they finish their imprisonment term.
Around 140 inmates have completed basic computer training and have also got certificates.
The foundation had also organized eye camp on 23rd April, 2011 and later spectacle distribution held on December 13, 2012.
This is the proposal for starting few more programmes
1)    Tailoring, training unit inside Circle Jail
2)    Supply of one computer with printer
3)     Repairing of two computers
The Foundation believes even jail inmates should get a chance to start life afresh after their imprisonment term.
By carrying out welfare programmes for them, Vedanta Foundation believes even jail inmates have the right to live a dignified life in society.

Our aim is to make them find decent place in society.