Tata Motors CSR: emPowering Women

09 March, 2018

Accelerating Gender Equity and Parity

Tata Motors through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, continues to take forward the Group legacy of emPowering women as an integral part of its efforts in improving quality of life of the key communities being served. Through its CSR, the company continues to relentlessly strive in its endeavour of nation-building, sustainable development, accelerated inclusive growth and social equity. It does so through its CSR projects deployed in partnership with NGOs for communities proximate to its all of its manufacturing facilities (Jamshedpur, Pune, Lucknow, Pantnagar, Sanand & Dharwad) and corporate office (Mumbai). The company policy on CSR categorically mentions 'ensuring diversity' in order to leverage the demographic dividend of our country.

EDUCATION (Vidyadhanam): Education is often referred to as the ultimate leveler that prepares and equips an individual regardless of her socio-economic background, enables her to realize her true potential and accelerate gender parity. Tata Motors has always encouraged 'holistic engagement' with the entire spectrum of formal education - focusing on secondary education, not just on the academic but also the physical and sociological development as well as inculcation of values. Key projects include: -Special coaching classes, Scholarships, Co-Curricular activities, Competitive Entrance Exams coaching (e.g. IIT-JEE, IAS) and Financial Aid to students studying in premier institutes (e.g. IIT Bombay, IIT Gandhinagar, Govt. College of Engg Pune)

HEALTH (Aarogya): This CSR programme focuses on maternal and child health by adopting a holistic approach and striking a balance between 'preventive healthcare' and 'curative healthcare' interventions. Key projects include: Addressing Child Malnutrition, Preventive & Curative Health Services and Health Awareness amongst adolescents. The National Drinking Water Plan of Tata Motors under the Amrutdhara programme (under aegis of Sumant Moolgaokar Development Foundation) aims to serve potable, safe drinking water to communities.

EMPLOYABILITY (Kaushalya): Our skill development programmes aim to build the capacity of unemployed youth by providing vocational training in marketable trades. We also help farmers and women augment their income through our agriculture and allied initiatives. Key projects include: Training in Technical & Automotive Trades (e.g. Motor Mechanics, Driver Training), Training in Non-Automotive Trades (e.g. Carpentry, Hospitality, Tailoring) and Training in Agriculture & allied trades (e.g. Floriculture, Honey-bee keeping)

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION (Aadhar): Under the Tata Affirmative Action program, the company serves the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities including females, focussing on Entrepreneurship and Employment (in addition to Education & Employability).

As we all celebrate 8th March 2018 at UN International Women's Day, we take a look at four CSR projects which are positively changing the lives of women in our communities in myriad, small ways:-

1. Ease of Cooking for Tribal Women

Firewood collection and carrying an overhead load of around 25 kg during transit from local forest to home is one of the most arduous activities for many tribal women in Thane and Palghar districts (of Maharashtra). For an average family of five, women have to make 80-100 such trips annually. In the existing cooking practices involving use of firewood, women typically face following problems: i) Drudgery involved in firewood fetching activity cause health hazards that include neck ache, back ache, calf muscle ache, and fatigue. It is quite tiresome activity for the women who are affected by anaemia, ii) Women spend around 450 work hours annually to fetch firewood. During the firewood fetching period, they can not avail the locally available wage labor activities, iii) Firewood fetching also disturbs child caring activity of the women and iii) smoke generated during cooking cause irritation in eyes, cough and sometimes head ache.

Since, November 2016, Tata Motors under its CSR in partnership with NGO Shree Nityananda Education Trust (SNET) and Dr. Vijay Honkalaskar, PhD from IIT Bombay have disseminated the Twisted Tape Pack (TTP) technology incorporated in the traditional cookstoves to around 8,000 tribal and rural women in six blocks in Thane and Palghar districts. It is estimated that the dissemination work has saved around 16,00,000 women work hours expended in firewood fetching and cooking activity. A qualitative assessment of the utility of the technology carried out on sampling basis reveals perception of women that in addition to reducing the firewood required, this intervention reduces time of cooking, reduces blackening of the palms, reduces irritation of eyes and cough due to the hitherto smoky firing of the cookstoves, lesser attacks of hot gases on face and reduced health expenses.

2. Livelihoods - key to emPowering females

Tata Motors through its company promoted society Samaj Vikas Kendra (SVK) at Lucknow has partnered with Wockhardt Foundation which has been effective in transforming lives of several women in the last two years. The partnership is aimed at providing skills for nursing and general duty assistant to the youth from underprivileged backgrounds. After the course, the students are equipped to take up jobs as domestic/ professional nurses for patients and elderly at their homes. The skill because of its high market demand has garnered good salaries for the successful students. For instance Savita Devi, a housewife with 2 kids, benefitted this program, bolstering her overall family income. Her husband, who is a carpenter, didn't earn enough to meet their monthly expenses. Savita decided to join the training program and after successfully completing the course, she got a job in Portia Healthcare Centre, which helped her earn a salary of about Rs. 10,000 per month. Today, Savita is a confident wife and a supporting mother who is efficiently contributing to the financial strength of her family.

Another example of initiatives for empowering women is SVK's collaboration with Okhai (https://okhai.org/ set up under the aegis of Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development). Under this CSR project, Tata Motors Lucknow through SVK has been mobilizing village women to undertake special training in embroidery and stitching craft enabling them to earn a livelihood for themselves. Recently the craft of these women found patronage from Okhai which gave a global platform to their craft through online marketing. Today these women receive the designs and raw material from Okhai which they convert into final product with their intricate embroidery work. The women have today streamlined their processes and efforts through a self help group which helps them coordinate with various stakeholders. Over the years more than 400 ladies have been trained under the scheme who are not only finding financial strength through the program but also social dignity and their own individuality.

3. Caring for Children = Caring for Mothers

Tata Motors under its Aarogya CSR project on 'Addressing child malnutrition' has partnered with Nutritional Rehabilitation, Research and Training Centre (NRRTC) at Urban Health Centre (UHC) - a peripheral unit of Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital (LTMGH) in Dharavi, Mumbai. It has a 30-bedded Pediatric ward with about 600 severe malnourished children (about 45% females) being treated annually with Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT).

Sanvi Sakpal (one year old baby) is a patient suffering from a medical condition 'Thalassemia Major' as a result of which she requires monthly blood transfusion. A resident of Mahabaleshwar, she came to LTMGH hospital for the treatment of Thalassemia and was referred to NRRTC since she was also malnourished. With the anthropometry of weight 4.84 kg, length 62 cm, Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) 10 cm, she was falling in the category of Severe Acute Malnutrition. After 3 months of MNT treatment supported by Tata Motors under its CSR, she now weighs 6.71 kg, length  67 cm, MUAC 12.8 cm and is now recovered from severe acute malnutrition state to normal state. When asked about the treatment, her mother said, "I am very happy to see my child gaining weight and coming out of malnutrition. Earlier it was challenging for us to help her gain weight but now the MNT provided and the treatment provided at NRRTC has helped my child to a great extent"

4. Promoting health and wellbeing in Pregnant Women

Tata Motors has partnered with NGO Prasad Chikitsa (PC) in Maharashtra for deploying Aarogya project which focuses on nutrition for 800 children across 20 govt. anganwadis of Thane/Palghar dist. of Maharashtra. Under this project, the NGO also additionally reaches out to approx. 100 women (pregnant women and nursing mothers) on a regular basis through health talks and nutrition counselling. The program has been instrumental in empowering the women with the correct Knowledge, attitudes and practices to counter malnutrition in this region.

Janhavi Jayvant Mali was registered at Gaigotha Anganwadi since her 3rd month of pregnancy. She earlier missed out on most of the days of nutrition since her mother-in-law advised her to stay at home and help out in the household work. Janhavi suffered from nausea due to pregnancy and was unable to gain weight in her first 3 months. PC's outreach worker saw the drop in attendance of Janhavi and went to her home for a visit during her 5th month of pregnancy. Janhavi Mali along with her Mother-in-law were counselled by the PC outreach worker about the benefits of good nutrition not only the health of the mother but also on the birth weight of the baby. Along-with nutrition Janhavi was also administered medicines to take care of her pregnancy induced nausea. It was ensured that Janhavi visited the Anganwadi on the immunization day and took her 2 doses of Tetanus Toxoid shots as advised during pregnancy. In October, Janhavi Mali delivered a healthy baby boy. The baby weighed 3 kgs at birth thanks to the right nutrition, counselling and care taken by Janhavi of herself with support from Tata Motors CSR nutrition Program. The yet to be named baby boy is very active and healthy and weighs 7.5 kgs as of Feb'18. Janhavi is now a regular at the Anganwadi with her health baby boy and eagerly takes the Nutritional supplements and Iron and Calcium tablets given by the program at the Anganwadi. The baby boy has also been immunized as per age, Janhavi Mali has now fully understood the importance of Nutrition and immunization. She feels blessed to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby and wishes other women derive the same benefit from the Nutrition Program.

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