Ford to spend $250,000 on seven Tamil Nadu villages

Tue, May 22 2012 14:57 IST | 1 Views
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Chennai, May 22

Global automotive giant Ford Motor Company will spend $250,000 on the education, safety, environment and health and welfare of the seven village communities around its plant near here, a top company official said Tuesday.

"We have got a grant of $250,000 from Ford Motor Company Fund managing the initiative Operation Goodwill in partnership with its international grant maker, the Global Giving Foundation. In the first phase, we will be spending $125,000 on the four ares of our focus through three non-governmental organisations (NGO)," Michael Boneham, the company's president and managing director, told reporters here.

Ford has a plant at Maraimalainagar, around 50 km from here. The move is part of the company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative.

According to Boneham, the company will run the programme with the assistance of Global Giving, local NGOs, volunteers and employees of Ford India and Ford Global Business Services.

He said Ford's subsidiaries in India - Ford India and Ford Global Business Services - have been carrying out CSR activities through their employees all these years and as the grant is received for the first time it was decided to rope in NGOs who are focussed on these areas.

He said the three NGOs will have to complete their projects within a year and there are strict monitoring mechanisms.

"We will make a separate announcement as to the remaining amount of the grant," he said.

According to him, the grant under the Operation Goodwill programme of Ford Motor Company Fund is one time as of now.

The three NGOs that will be executing the projects on behalf of Ford are Aid India, Society for Technology and Advancement for Rural Action (TARA) and Society for Poor Peoples Development (SPPD).

One of the projects under the grant includes setting up 20 after-school tutoring centres near Ford's factory to coach government school students. The project will be executed by Aid India.

"The objective is to ensure that every child achieves basic outcomes in language, maths, English and science and gets prepared to face the world with confidence. We will train teachers who will train the students," Balaji Sampath, secretary of Aid India, said.

"We are going to reach out to 14 schools in seven villages where we will be providing access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities through installation of 14 water filters and 14 toilets for the girl students. The average student population per school is around 700 and we hope to benefit around 3,000 girl students through our toilets," Meghna Das, manager, environmental programme, TARA, said.

She said a need assessment will have to be done during the first six months and the project execution - building of toilets and others - would take another six months.

On its part, SPPD would train women in the age group 18-45 in the seven villages in tailoring so that they can get good jobs in garment units or they can become entrepreneurs, said its secretary J.Raju.

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