Hindustan Zinc’s initiative to improving literacy in rural and tribal areas

New Delhi: The country’s leading metal and mining company Hindustan Zinc is actively turning rural talents to subject matter experts by providing them with the right facilities and opportunities. From enabling rural students to get selected in the country’s top engineering colleges, becoming the pride of Rajasthan through winning championships in football, nurturing the future of the country through Anganwadi and pre-school education, building an inclusive world by bringing children with special abilities into the mainstream society to an important education program to bring forth rural and urban talent, Hindustan Zinc is bringing forth promising students in every field and across all age groups.

Hindustan Zinc’s Shiksha Sambal program provides subject teachers who supplement school staff and help improve results of rural students. The company provides high potential students with coaching to prepare for competitive exams of IIT and other top tier engineering institutes through its Unchi Udaan program. The company facilities higher education, residential camps, as well as Zinc football academy for rural football sports talents. It is conducting programs in collaboration with the government for education, health, and nutrition of children. Even during the COVID pandemic, classes were help through virtual mode with students of Shiksha Sambal and Unchi Udaan. Sometimes, the teachers even made home visits to enable better learning experience to the students while ensuring all the safety protocols were followed.  The program staff ensured pre-school education and nutrition of the children of Anganwads through Khushi and Nand Ghar program.

Since 2007, Hindustan Zinc has provided a platform through Shiksha Sambal that is reaching out to more than 64 state schools for quality education in rural schools in 5 districts of Rajasthan i.e. Chittorgarh, Bhilwara, Rajsamand, Ajmer, and Udaipur. Out of these, more than 7,300 students have been benefitted this year. Hindustan Zinc is strengthening the quality of education in these rural schools in collaboration with Vidya Bhawan Society.

Shiksha Sambal program provides additional support to the students and school teachers through its highly experienced field instructors. Through the programsummer camps and winter camps are organized, extra and regular classes are arranged, additional aids teaching material to the students and books and materials for library and laboratory are being provided to the schools and their use is ensured. This effort of the Shiksha Sambal program with state teachers is visible in the board exam results of the schools involved in the program. In the last five years, the results of these schools have been on average better than the schools around 10th and 12th which are not connected with the Shiksha Sambal.

Under high impact program like Unchi Udaan, excellent coaching is being provided to selected high potential and promising students who have given the best results despite coming from humble and underpriviledged backgrounds.These students are given intensive coaching and training to clear competitive exams of highly prestigious engineering colleges like IITs and gain admission there. It is a four-year school integrated residential coaching program in Udaipur run in partnership with Resonance Adventures Pvt. Ltd. and Vidya Bhavan Society. Along with guidance to these students, the responsibility of providing regular education of Physics, Chemistry, and Maths to the students of class 9th to 12th is also being fulfilled. Till this year, 184 students in 6 batches have benefited from this program and have cleared their exams with 100% results.

A total of 40 students were selected through a competitive evaluation process in the 6th batch of the Unchi Udaan program. 26 students of the second batch who cleared JEE got admission into government engineering colleges. Out of these one student is studying in NIT Jaipur and 12 students in MBM Jodhpur.

Zinc Football Academy is developing grassroots football players with unique F-Cube technology for rural football players. The team of Zinc Football Academy recently won the title of Champions of Rajasthan in Under 18 and has represented Rajasthan in SGFI and Subroto Cup.

Under the Women and Child Development Department ICDS Anganwadi Project by Hindustan Zinc, the all-around development of more than 60 thousand children is being ensured by working in partnership with 3145 Anganwadis. During the uncertain times of the COVID pandemic Hindustan Zinc collaborated with ICDS Department and UNICEF to disseminate e-learning videos to all Anganwadis. Emphasizing the importance and need for reducing malnutrition, health check-ups of 1.32 lakh children were conducted and 423 Community Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) camps were organized through which 2,302 severely malnourished children were identified. With a lot of hard work and persistent effort, 963 of these children eventually came out of the severely malnourished category. Vedanta Nand Ghar provides a safe and friendly learning environment to the children, playing a vital role in connecting children with education through safe drinking water, electricity, and digital learning facilities. Out of 3,145 Khushi Anganwadis of the state, 314 centers have been converted into Nand Ghar in the last three years.

Through Jeevan Tarang program, efforts are being made to develop more than 660 specially-abled children to make them self-reliant and let them live a dignified life by providing all kinds of support and learning abilities so that these children can become financially capable members of their families. Hindustan Zinc has taken commendable steps for technology-based education for blind people and sign language training for dumb and deaf children and strengthening their education.

Given the achievements of the Sakhi SHG women empowerment project so far, an initiative was taken to promote education of women under the second chance program of UN Women. Rural women who had dropped out of school or were unable to complete their higher education due to reasons like lack of educational opportunities or early marriages found a golden ticket through this initiative to finish their higher education.. In the years 20-21, 377 Sakhi women took the 10th and 12th open school examinations through 2nd Chance Education Initiative.

Hindustan Zinc provides scholarships under the Yashad Sumedh scheme to youths doing their engineering course. The company is also providing free studies to the girls of the villages around their work area to pursue higher education in Vedanta Post-Graduate Girls College, Ringus.

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