International Literacy Day: Vedanta Aluminium enabling rural communities’ access to quality education
Jharsuguda: Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, is working to bridge the literacy divide by enabling rural communities’ access to quality education. In pursuit of this aim, the company has been running several high-quality educational interventions, right from supporting pre-school education to implementing e-learning programmes to address the learning gaps created by the pandemic over the past two years. These programmes have been a key enabler in increasing the average literacy level of Jharsuguda district from 70.55% (2001) to 78.86% (2011), benefitting more than 6,400 children till the previous academic year.
Commemorating the efforts of the teaching fraternity, Vedanta Aluminium felicitated teachers of government schools at Jharsuguda for their noteworthy contribution in promoting literacy and education in the region, in the presence of Ms. Pushpa Minz, District Education Officer, and Mr. Pradipta Sa, Additional District Education Officer.
Some of the education initiatives currently being run by Vedanta Aluminium include:
- Supporting more than 5,000 children’s access to early childhood education through aanganwadis
- Infrastructure development in government schools at Jharsuguda under ‘Mo School Abhiyaan’, an initiative by the Government of Odisha, benefiting more than 1000 students
- Vidya Graha, an e-learning program conceived to provide recorded lectures and online career counselling to students from classes 8th-10th, thus augmenting classroom learning in government schools of Jharsuguda
- Vedanta Mini Science Centres, which provide innovative models, experiments, and instruments to more than 1,200 students to enhance their aptitude and skills in learning science and mathematics in effective and interesting ways
- Vedanta Computer Literacy Programme (VCLP), which imparts basic computer literacy and training to those who do not have access to proper training on using computers
- Vedanta-DAV Education Support Program which supports the education of meritorious students from peripheral communities at DAV Public School, Jharsuguda
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Education Project to impart knowledge on the basics of AI to students and build AI-based solutions for real-world problems
In Koraput district, Vedanta Aluminium’s Mining team has been distributing school bags to over 5000 students, encouraging them to restart school after the gap induced by the pandemic. Additionally, Vedanta Aluminium’s employee volunteers have conducted career counselling sessions for secondary school students in the region.
Speaking about the company’s endeavours to improve literacy and education levels in the region, Mr. Sunil Gupta, CEO – Vedanta Limited, Jharsuguda, said, “We are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ‘Quality Education’, for we believe it is fundamental to the equitable and inclusive development of our local communities. It heartens us to see these programmes catalyse the rise in literacy levels of Jharsuguda, which is reflected in higher matriculation/higher secondary passing percentage in the region.” Mr. V Srikanth, CEO – Mining Business, Vedanta Limited, added, “Our developmental initiatives are tailored to the needs of the regions where we operate. On International Literacy Day, we recommit to bridge the literacy divide and improve our local communities’ access to quality education.”
Appreciating the company’s educational interventions, Ms. Pushpa Minz, District Education Officer, Jharsuguda said, “Access to quality education is a prime enabler in ensuring sustainable development of a region. I commend Vedanta Aluminium for running several education interventions at Jharsuguda, that have created an aspiration for quality education among local communities in the region.”
Vedanta Aluminium’s social interventions in the domains of quality education, healthcare, skill development, women empowerment, water and sanitation, and community infrastructure reach out to over 79 villages in Jharsuguda and nearby areas, benefiting nearly 1.7 lakh people in a year. It empowers more than 4000 women from over 339 SHGs, provides doorstep healthcare services to about 32,000 people annually, gives educational support to more than 6400 students, has planted more than 1.48 lakh trees in partnership with locals at the community level.
Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.26 million tonnes in FY22. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 4th in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2021 world rankings for aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.