Every girl should have the courage, freedom and means to design a life of her own dreams, a life marked with her own choices and decisions, and a life unburdened by the inheritance of her mother’s silence. Marching towards the realisation of this ideal, NTPC Vindhyachal, India’s largest power plant, has undertaken Girl Empowerment Mission (GEM) to aid the holistic development of girls aged between 10 to 12 years. The beneficiaries of this CSR initiative hail from 22 villages located around the Vindhyachal project. The basic objective of this initiative is to ensure that girls of this tender age are able to overcome their hesitation and find their voice in this patriarchal society. GEM strives to be the wind to the wings of the girls’ aspirations, and get them to dare to dream. Launched on pilot basis in 2018 in the Vindhyachal, Singrauli and Rihand region, the GEM initiative is now being implemented across all NTPC projects and stations.
NTPC Vindhyachal organised a follow-up winter session for 103 girls who participated in the month-long summer session of GEM programme in the month of May and June, 2019. The Regional Learning Institute of NTPC Vindhyachal hosted these little gems from 22nd to 29th December 2019. During this residential programme, the participants were exposed to a number of disciplines including Yoga, martial arts, and dance. Classes were organised to help them brush up on their English, Computers, Social Science, Environment, and Gender sensitisation lessons among other topics. Further, the faculty deputed to run the classes taught the students essential life skills through regular interactions outside the classrooms, leaving them with invaluable lessons which cannot be captured in bookish texts. Movies such as Nil Battey Sannata were screened for the children to subtly communicate essential teachings such as importance of education. Further, sports sessions were organised everyday to enable the holistic development of students, such that they learn the critical values of sportsmanship and team spirit. The girls were encouraged to voice their thoughts and opinions through debate competitions, which help them develop critical thinking skills.
Apart from classroom learning and extra-curricular activities, NTPC Vindhyachal organised a hearty Christmas celebration for the young ones. NTPC Vindhyachal Executive Director Shri Debashis Sen, CGM Shri Sunil Kumar, Suhasini Sangh President Smt. Karabi Sen, Vice President Smt. Usha Kumar, GMs and HoDs participated in these celebrations with the children. The celebrations began with the girls presenting hand-crafted Christmas greeting cards, which carried the signatures of the 103 participating students, to all dignitaries. The girls sang Christmas Carols with the NTPC Vindhyachal management, following which they were greeted by Santa Clause’s cheery spirit. The girls also scribbled their sentiments on the leaves of a gratitude tree, which was displayed during the merrymaking. The celebrations ended with a dance session, which left the girls grinning from ear to ear.
Gushing with joy while sharing her experience during the GEM programme, Mahima, a class 6 student said, “The didis taking our classes taught us great values and treated us with a lot of love and care. I made so many friends in this programme! Thank you, NTPC Vindhyachal for bringing us all here!”