The Essar Foundation was launched in early 2011 to be a catalyst for positive change in society. The Foundation’s mission is ‘to improve the quality of social and economic life of neighborhood communities and make a positive contribution to the life of all those who are directly or indirectly impacted by Essar’s business, products and services’. It works with communities that are physically close and seeks to strengthen emotional bonds.
The guiding principles of Essar’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities are based on the 3E framework that encompasses Entrepreneurship, Environment and Education.
The value of education cannot be emphasized enough. Despite the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) and significant investments in the field of primary education by the government of India, the joint review mission (JRM) of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the government’s main program for universalization of elementary education, revealed around 44 million children do not go to school. Another critical problem with the Indian education system is the drop-out rate. More than 50 per cent of children who join in Class I drop out by Class VIII. According to the JRM report, nearly 2.7 million children drop out of school every year, (source: Annual Status of Education Report).
The Bal Vividha festival was organized in Vadinar’s Timdi Village between February 17 – 19, 2012. During the three-day festival, a number of fun activities were organized, such as the Book Mela, TV Chashma, arts and crafts, and creating new things from waste materials. The Book Mela was especially noteworthy, as it aimed at inculcating the reading habit in children by showcasing a vast collection of books at the event. Apart from this, cultural program were also organized, which included garba dance and drama competitions. Through this festival, the children and teachers gained new perspectives on learning; something which they had not been exposed to in the past.
The festival turned out to be a huge success, with as many as 3,000 children from 22 nearby schools participating.
Source: Essar Foundation – Annual Activity Report 2012
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