GUWAHATI, Dec 12 - Philanthropic organisation Tata Trusts today said that it is planning to increase its initiatives in the Northeast region as part of the effort to empower and transform communities in different aspects of life.Addressing a press conference here today, Tata Trusts head (North East) Biswanath Sinha said that the organisation is working in diverse areas across all the seven States of the region.
“Tata Trusts’ Northeast initiative strives to address developmental issues in the seven States of the region through the provision of enhanced livelihood opportunities, improved agricultural practices and sustainable use of natural resources. Tata Trusts’ endeavour to do so by creating an effective channel for the dissemination of knowledge and expertise in the region,” he said.
He added, “Tata Trusts strives to function as a centre of excellence to proactively promote sustainable innovative solutions for a vibrant economy in the Northeast region. The goal is to design and implement innovative solutions that are environmentally sustainable to improve quality of life focusing on low income households with an emphasis on human resource development.”
The organisation has been operating in the Northeast region for over 10 years now.
Sinha said that Tata Trusts will reach its target of training one lakh youths annually on various vocational skills across the country after two years.
“Last year, we had fixed a target to train one lakh youths nationally every year on various skills. However, we could only train 20,000 in the first year,” he said, adding that of the total trainees last year, more than 1,000 were from the Northeast.
Sinha said that Tata Trusts has also helped in creating around 50 micro and small enterprises comprising first generation entrepreneurs in the Northeast region.
In Assam, Tata Trusts has covered more than 30,000 households in 285 villages across 15 districts of the State through various projects.
“Our areas of activity include agriculture and allied activities, skill building and micro enterprise, education, sports, health and nutrition, and water and sanitation. We have a range of projects under various themes,” said Tata Trusts Regional Head (Assam) Partho Patwari.
“We will try to increase the geographic coverage of our various projects under different themes in the days to come,” Patwari said.
He said that in the field of agriculture and allied activities, Tata Trusts is working among the tribal households of Boko block of South Kamrup for creation of durable assets and for income generation by intensification of homestead orchard and livestock rearing.
In addition, it is also engaged in the poultry sector in Dudnoi and Khowang for income enhancement of locals through women-led small holder’s poultry business entity, and also in the handicraft and handloom industry to promote food security and income generation through technology infusion and enhanced production at various places across Assam.
In the skill building and entrepreneurship development vertical, the focus is on providing and enhancing skill of informal sector workers, on health skilling and entrepreneurship development.
In Assam, Tata Trusts is also working in 118 schools covering 15,600 children in 13 districts.
It is focusing on adopting an integrated approach to technology in education “to improve teaching and learning processes and foster authentic and project based learning for older children and adolescents”.
The objectives are to bridge the digital divide and foster digital citizenship, create learning interest and improve attendance and retention, enhance learning achievement, and improve learning processes and pedagogy.
Patwari said that in Borigaon of Nalbari district, Tata Trusts acts as a programme support partner to a self-sustainable drinking water pilot project to provide access to safe drinking water.
“The project delivers 6,000 litre per day of treated water to villagers and reduces the arsenic and iron levels as per Indian drinking water standards. In addition, ‘Zilla Swachh Bharat Preraks’ (ZSBP), a programme run jointly by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation along with Tata Trusts with the objective of ending open defecation by 2019, is operational in 23 districts where currently 25 ZSBPs are working in the State for implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission,” he said.
Tata Trusts is also offering international football training to young talents from Northeast in partnership with ‘U Dream Football’.
A ‘Tata Trusts U Dream Football Programme’ has been launched with focus on promoting exceptional talents from the region.