On India’s 63rd Republic Day, top-ranking public officials, including the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, gave away scholarships instituted by the Essar Foundation to underprivileged students in the districts of Dantewada, Sukma and Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh state and Malkangiri in Odisha state.
Essar has a significant presence in these districts through its iron ore beneficiation plant, pipeline and other associated assets.
The Chhattisgarh CM, Dr Raman Singh, participated in the flag hoisting ceremony at Jagdalpur and awarded the scholarships at the end of the programme. He appreciated the efforts of the Essar Foundation, adding: “Thanks for taking this unique initiative. This will set an example for others to follow. This kind of a step contributes towards the State Government’s initiatives to boost higher education, especially in underprivileged areas.”
The Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade at Dantewada was Bharat Sai, Parliamentary Secretary, Forest & Public Grievances, Chhattisgarh Government. He gave away the scholarships at the event.
In Malkangiri, Odisha, Pushpendra Singh Dev, Labour & Employment Minister, Government of Odisha and Chairman, Planning Commission, Malkangiri District, handed students the scholarships.
The scholarship initiative elicited a lot of praise at every location. The programme had the added benefit of building a positive image for Essar among stakeholders including the district administration, vernacular media, local politicians and local communities.