The incoming batch of 2023-25 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.
Students 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 trust brings together several corporate partners like Cyient, 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.
One of the student teams visited Bala Vikasa International Center (BVIC), a community driven development organization working towards innovative solutions for underprivileged communities. They got a chance to know about programs like widow rehabilitation, orphanage care by core women groups, hostels for cattle, water purification centres, trainings to local leaders etc. The students were explained 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.
One of the teams visited the Vocational Training Centre run by Nirmaan, an NGO focusing on empowering underprivileged communities through education and skill development programs. Students were impressed by the passion and commitment of the team and their transparent and efficient to managing resources to maximize their impact.
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.” The visits also allowed students to interact with the various beneficiaries of the programs and appreciate the far-reaching impact of such initiatives. As a student mentioned, “The students of the vocational course, they were so excited to be able to get an opportunity to study and were appreciative of the things like a free text-book and notebook. This made us realize the privilege we have, and things that we take for granted, means so much for them. I hope I can use my skills to help others in need!”
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. The institute has also conducted Computer Literacy Camp for children and Financial Literacy & Wellness camp for women from neighbouring villages of Shankrapuram and Ghansimiaguda.