On August 18, 2012, the Essar Foundation launched its Employee Volunteering Program (EVP) at Vadinar (Jamnagar, Gujarat). With this the Vadinar facility becomes Essar's first field location in India, after Mumbai, to initiate full-fledged EVP. The objective is to sensitize employees towards the local community, develop new skills and forge stronger relationships.
Designed to align with the community requirements, the first series of activities address the requirements of anganwadi* workers. The initiatives will work towards capacity-building of the anganwadi care-givers (AWCs) and help them acquire better pedagogy mapped to early childhood education.
Education being one of the thrust areas of the Foundation, a lot of its activities involve capacity building of teachers, giving them the requisite skills for effective pedagogy.
The concept for volunteering activity was to for employees to help the AWCs, under the guidance of a suitable resource person, to co-create teaching-learning materials and elements used for pedagogical improvements.
The activity was spread over two days. On Day 1, an orientation session was organized where 20 Essar volunteers and ladies' club members
were explained the importance and objective of the program and their role in
handholding the AWCs in creating and learning by the resource person – a well-known
early children learning expert who has dedicated his life to inventing creative
modules for rural schools with minimum or no cost of production.
The expert then demonstrated the various aspects of creative teaching learning methodologies using puppets, toys, charts etc., and how these can be used as an effective tool in pre-school education.The program on August 19, was inaugurated by Ms Illaben Rane, District Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) head with a number of senior Essar officials attending – Dr. Gopal Jayaraman, Head – HSE, Energy Business; Mr. Jyotindra Vachharajani, Head – Corporate Relation; Mr. P. Rajshekhar, Vice President, EOL; and Mr. Palanivelu P. General Manager, HSEF, EOL.
A group of 22 AWCs from Jhakhar, Singach and Vadinar villages, including two Child Development Project Officers of Khambhaliya and Lalpur taluka, participated. The activity involved creating toys and learning aids from waste and underutilized materials under the guidance of the expert. The puppets and toys created were donated by the employees to the anganwadis of Jhakhar, Singach, Vadinar and Timdi villages.
The program was well-received, with the ICDS team looking to scale this initiative to the
block and district level.