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Education
Published on: Aug. 14, 2020, 4:55 p.m.
The Vascon way of looking after labourers
  • Labourers’ children watch a movie

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India

Vascon Engineers is committed to impart all needy construction labourers’ children with education and developing their skill to improve their lives, says the company’s founder chairman R. Vasudevan. This is the primary agenda for the Vascon Moorthy Foundation (VMF), which he has set up 13 years ago in his father’s memory.

VMF, the company’s CSR arm, not only focuses on education but also includes health check-ups and vaccinations to these children as well as others belonging to the economically weaker section of society. It also takes care of better hygiene, safe drinking water facility, a healthy environment and better living condition to improve its beneficiaries’ quality of life.

The Foundation works to prepare these children to join nearby formal schools as early as possible and succeed in a mainstream academic setting. The enforcement of the Right to Education Act had made enrolment into formal school easy, especially for children of migrant families. The focus is not only to provide basic education but also provide the right opportunity to the deserving candidates to pursue their dreams, with scholarship programmes for students for senior classes and even college.

In the belief that outings and field visits are important to give children more exposure, not only to enhance their education but also to let them have fun, one day is dedicated every year to take the children on a picnic.

Going beyond formal and informal education, Vascon has tied up with the Uday Gujar Foundation to set up a skill development centre, which trains students in spoken English and communication as well as job-oriented courses like Tally ERP9 with GST, travel and tourism, driving and career counselling. The centre also has a hostel within the premises that can accommodate 100 girl students.

 

VMF also conducts preventive and curative health care camps for the construction workers with the help of Pune Municipal Corporation and Niramay, an NGO. These camps give free medicines, vitamins and iron supplements, Anaemia being a severe problem among the women, most of the female workers are also given iron and folic acid supplements at every site.

Migration being a way of life, the laborers and their children are deprived of preventive health care programme. The Foundation tackles this by ensuring that the children get immunised against polio, measles and other sicknesses. There are also awareness programmes for various diseases.

Vascon was one of the first construction companies in Pune to set up crèches at all its sites, more than 30 years ago. Being in a hazardous industry, Vasudevan explains, safety of children on sites is very important as both the parents work. It has also established day-care centres with the help of Tara Mobile Crèches, where the children get nutritious food, snacks, toys and animated movies. “Of course, they get pre-primary formal education too!” he adds.


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