Esops in Education
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Our Employee Social Options (Esops) program supports employees in creating volunteering projects based on the needs of underprivileged communities in and around their place of work. Employees generate ideas for projects, prepare annual activity plans, implement each activity, and monitor results. To fund these employee initiatives, each sector targets to donate 0.5 percent of its profit after tax to the central CSR fund and 0.5 percent to Esops.
Education is one of the strongest categories of Esops activity. We support local schools, children’s homes, and educational institutions with stationery, books, bags, uniforms, and building materials. In 2009, the Farm Equipment Sector (FES) in Mumbai distributed books and educational material to 2,127 tribal students. Through our Shramdaan projects, we help make children’s place of learning a place of beauty by painting buildings, cleaning the premises, and planting trees.
We also share our time and our knowledge with students through mentoring and teaching. Many of us teach weekly classes on topics like career counseling, computer literacy, English, and passing standardized tests. We design our educational programs to meet local needs. When an agricultural crisis caused a series of farmer suicides in the Vidharba region of Maharashtra, FES responded with training programs to help resource-poor youth find other employment opportunities. Mahindra Spares and Mahindra Lifespaces Developers have each organized vocational training and career counseling seminars for school dropouts, helping to inform, prepare, and connect people with job openings in their area.
We also organize games and extracurricular activities for students who would otherwise have no recreational activities. Mahindra Intertrade built an educational and recreational area for 50 local village children in Nashik, helping to make school a fun and positive experience.
One of our most exciting educational initiatives is Nanhi Kali, which provides complete sponsorships to send girls to school. In 2009-10, 1,668 Esops volunteers sponsored 2,550 Nanhi Kali students and 200 Esops volunteers ran in the Mumbai Marathon to raise money and awareness.
Our educational programs create hope and opportunity in areas with few job prospects. By improving the quality and access to education, we expand people’s choices for their own futures and help make our neighborhoods safer, happier, and more prosperous.