Press Release

Tata Chemicals extends support for the educational needs of the salt pan workers’ children
Ahmedabad, September 14, 2009

Joins hands with Cohesion Foundation Trust to run hostels in Kutch region

Continuing its efforts as a socially responsible corporate citizen, Tata Chemicals, under the aegis of its flagship community initiative, the ‘Desh Ko Arpan Programme’ (DKAP), today announced its partnership with Cohesion Foundation Trust (CFT) to support students’ hostels in the Kutch region of Gujarat.

Traditionally, the salt production in Gujarat is undertaken by families, (including children) belonging to the most deprived socio-economic classes. Due to the lack of sustained employment, salt pan workers along with their children migrate to various locations across the state in search of livelihood, which disrupts their education and they end up dropping out of schools.

Taking a cue from this problem, Tata Chemicals has identified the need to extend support, for effective and sustained functioning of seasonal hostels for salt pan workers’ children thereby ensuring that they do not migrate and have continuous schooling at the village.

In the first year, Tata Chemicals will be supporting 4 hostels run by Cohesion Foundation Trust, which accommodate 120 children i.e., 39 girls and 78 boys.

On behalf of Tata Chemicals, Yoginder K Alagh, director, Tata Chemicals and Arup Basu, chief operating officer, chemicals business handed over a cheque of Rs11,97,400 to the project.

This welfare activity for children’s education will create a platform at a later stage to indulge in holistic welfare - education, health and livelihood – of salt pan workers and the community.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Basu said, ”The Desh Ko Arpan Programme is in line with the Tata group philosophy of ‘giving back to the society’ and we identify issues that reflect these values. Through this programme, we have also created a platform for millions of Tata Salt users with an opportunity to make a contribution that transforms the lives of underprivileged children across the country. The continued success of the programme has been our biggest encouragement to continue and explore newer issues. The consistent support of our customers, predominantly the homemakers, in making the programme meet its objectives is heartening.”

Adding further, Rajesh Kapoor, chief executive officer, Cohesion Foundation Trust, said, “TCL’s ‘Desh Ko Arpan Programme’ is in congruence with Cohesion’s mission of socio-economic development of vulnerable sections. This will strengthen initiatives on the livelihood security of the marginalised sections, such as salt workers. The specific initiatives under education programme will definitely give a boost to the similar interventions taken up by us, for the children of migrant communities. It needs to be emphasised that the association with TCL will boost interventions in improving quality of life of the families of the underprivileged and marginalised salt workers.”

About ‘Desh Ko Arpan Programme’:
Tata Salt, the pioneers and leaders in the branded iodised edible salt category, reiterated its commitment to support underprivileged children across the country with their 'Desh Ko Arpan' Programme (DKAP), which has entered its seventh year. As part of the ongoing social and community development initiatives of Tata Chemicals, the programme contributes a part of sales from every kilo of Tata Salt sold across the country to a worthy social cause. 'Desh Ko Arpan' programme reiterated Tata Salt's commitment to allow its millions of consumers to collectively contribute to the progress of the society and nation, at no extra cost. The continued success and the impact that has been managed in the last five years, is the biggest encouragement to continue this effort.

About Cohesion Foundation Trust:
The Cohesion Foundation Trust was set up in 1996, as a Proposed Public Trust by a team of professionals, most of whom are alumni from leading institutes of India like Indian Institute of Management, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Institute of Rural Management, Indian Institute of Technology, NIIT, etc. It was registered in 2001 under the Bombay Public Trust Act. This group came forward to form a multi–disciplinary team after having acquired grassroots and other levels of experience in different facets of development. It has been covering sectors like natural resource development, disaster management, information technology, health (especially reproductive and sexual health), education, child rights especially of the girl child, savings and credit and other facets of sustainable livelihoods and infrastructure development. Currently, Cohesion has presence in about 432 villages of Kachchh, Patan, Banakantha, Baroda, Navsari and Rajkot. The organisation has about 70 full-time staff with diverse backgrounds such as rural management, agriculture, social sciences, education, rural studies, civil and agriculture engineers, etc.