The incoming batch of 2022-24 of PGDM visited various foundations involved in community development activities as part of their Management Orientation Program, ‘Abhuday’. The objective of the program was to encourage students to learn about the nature of work undertaken by various corporates and non-profits towards the development of the communities.
One of the sites visited was NATCO Foundation, the CSR arm of NATCO Pharmaceutical Limited, which is focusing on the areas of education, healthcare and livelihood. The students were briefed on how NATCO was running and supporting several schools. They also got an opportunity to interact with the NATCO school children and teachers and understand the challenges of student enrolment and dropouts in schools. One of the student teams visited Bala Vikasa International Center (BVIC), a community driven development organization working towards innovative solutions for underprivileged communities. Mr. Shoury Reddy Singareddy (Executive Director-BVIC) explained students the need for partnerships and involvement of the communities to ensure sustainability of development initiatives. At Tech Mahindra Foundation, the students got an opportunity to see the initiatives of Tech Mahindra in the areas of upskilling and employability through its skill centres.
Students also visited, GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF), which is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the GMR group. Besides education and health, one of the thrust areas for GMRVF is Skill India, under which the group offers around 30 vocational courses ranging from two to six months in variety of areas like electrical repairs, refrigeration and air-conditioning maintenance, excavator operation, computer operations, industrial and domestic tailoring etc. The courses meet the National Occupation Standards for skill training and are offered in partnership with industry partners, enhancing the relevance of the courses as well as improving the job opportunities for candidates. A very similar model of skill development was also witnessed at Swarna Bharat Trust, a unique partnership between an NGO and various corporates. The visit was facilitated by Cyient Technologies which runs a computer training institute providing courses such as Auto CAD, GIS, Mapping etc. The trust brings together several corporate partners like Granules India, Union Bank, Gati-KWE, L&T to provide vocational courses. These residential courses provided free of charge allow skill building for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
The visit allowed students to appreciate the various types of engagement models and partnerships towards community building. As Ms. Yamini, MD at Pharma Pathshala, Granules India mentioned, “This is a nice initiative for students to build their awareness and also interact with the participants and contribute by helping their fellow citizens from underprivileged communities to gain confidence.”
Post the visit, many students expressed their interest in taking up volunteering opportunities and pursuing internships in these foundations so that they could also contribute towards the society. Dr. Romina Mathew, Chairperson (Community Connect) at IMT Hyderabad mentioned that this visit is an outreach program to create awareness, which would be followed by other engagement activities throughout their course, wherein students are sensitized towards social issues and motivated to contribute their bit. The expectation is that they graduate not only as business leaders but responsible citizens working for communities around. In the past, IMT-H students have worked on social projects with several organizations like GMRVF, BVIC, LEPRA, Tharuni, Sphoorti, Goodclap, etc. Recently, the institute had conducted a Computer Literacy Camp for children from neighbouring villages of Shankrapuram and Ghansimiaguda.