India’s largest power generating company, NTPC, to improve the lives of women and the girl child in the country, selected about 2000 students in the second year of its flagship Girl Empowerment Mission (GEM) program under its CSR initiatives. As part of this noble initiative, NTPC enrolled girl students, between the age groups of 10-12 years, from 20 locations across the country that are in proximity to NTPC power stations that include Dadri, Koldam, Farakka, Kahalgaon, Talcher-Kaniha, Auraiya, Singrauli, Unchahar, Anta, Vindhyachal, Simhadri, Korba, Sipat, Kayamkulam, Ramagundam ant others.
This GEM program (4-week residential workshop) was launched on May 20, 2018, wherein almost 400 girl students participated from various schools of the vicinity of NTPC’s 03 power stations of Vindhyachal, Singrauli and Rihand (VSR) region, making the program a grand success. Out of these, 30 girls (10 from each location) have been selected and given admission in the schools running in respective NTPC Township. In addition to this, the total expenditure on education of these selected girls are also borne by NTPC.
It was significant that a remarkable improvement has been witnessed in the girl students (participants of GEM workshop), the GEM participants, through periodical follow-up/ interventions, are now being continuously monitored by NTPC with an objective to improve their academic performance. The monthly/ quarterly progress of the students is also being tracked by NTPC, in consultation with the respective schools where they are studying.
After the successful completion of the pilot project and overwhelming response by local villagers, NTPC Ltd replicated the GEM program 2019 across the 20 selected locations in the country. This project focused on providing various opportunities to uplift the girls from these remote areas, introducing developmental interventions that enabled them to be more self-reliant and confident. While ensuring social equality for girls, the program aimed to nurture students, in the age bracket of 10-12 years, for coming years.
The course content for the program includes the basic academics i.e. subjects like English, Maths, Hindi, Environment Sciences (EVS), and Computers. In addition to this, training is also imparted in other aspects of life and social skills that include apprising them on hygiene, sanitation, effective communication and inter-personal relationships, gender diversity issues, to name a few. The extra academic activities that are a part of the course gave the participants exposure to arts and crafts (drawing, painting, craft works, etc.), dance, drama, instrumental & vocal music. Also, compulsory self-defence workshops and yoga training have been planned during 04-week long workshop to teach the techniques to protect themselves.
Recently, a week long Girl Empowerment Mission (GEM) winter workshop was held from October 7th to October 13, 2019 in NTPC Talcher Kaniha. The workshop was organized as a follow-up program to the Summer Workshop held earlier this year. 108 girls from nearby villages, schools participated in the workshop which was aimed at maintaining continuity in their learning process.