The GMR Group’s corporate office is based in Bangalore. In keeping with the Foundation’s mandate to serve the under-served sections of the society wherever the Group has a presence, activities of GMRV Foundation were initiated here from December 2006.
Initiatives in Bangalore:
The Foundation’s intervention was started in a slum called the Indira Priyadarshini Colony on Bannerghatta Road. Activities in the colony commenced with the Republic Day Celebration held for the community children.
Education Initiatives in Bangalore:
Bala Badis: A Bala Badi has been started in the colony in February 2007 that is modelled on the Bala Badi concept and framework developed by GMRVF. The Bala Badi not only provides joyous learning to children in the 3-5 age groups but also inculcate good habits in them. Efforts are made to develop the innate abilities of the children through activities like songs, games etc. A nutritious snack is provided to children at these centres. At present there are about 17 children who are regular at the Bala Badi. The Foundation also facilitates meetings amongst the children’s mothers for strengthening the various initiatives undertaken at these centres. Two mothers have been selected to oversee and mobilise community support for the Bala Badis and lead the initiative.
Bala Badi centre, has become the hub of community activities like health check-ups, community leaders meeting and story telling sessions.
Tuitions: Free tuition classes are being provided for children in the colony. At present around 20 children from Std. V to Std. VII are benefiting from this. Soon tuitions will be started for high school students as well.
Other activities such as story telling etc. are organized for children in the community. The staff of GMR also participates in such activities. For instance, weekly story-telling sessions are being facilitated by employees.
Health: Health check-ups for all the Bala Badi children and community women were organised in March 2007. Subsequently, an awareness session on basic health care and hygiene was organised for the community women. This was facilitated by a volunteer doctor.
Hygiene: Renovation of Public Toilet was identified as the most important need of the community. About 70% of the community members are dependent on the public toilet in the area, which has been in bad condition. With the support of the community, GMRVF has initiated and completed the renovation of the toilet.
Women Empowerment: Tailoring classes have been started for women in the community. 17 women are being trained in the first batch.
Youth Club: One youth club has been formed in the community. They would initially focus on keeping the slum premises clean, and later get involved in other activities of the community. The Foundation is going to start English speaking classes for the members of this group. An employee from the GMR Group has volunteered to take these classes.
Awareness generation: Several awareness generation programmes are being conducted for the community members in the colony. On World Environment Day a session on ‘waste management’ was conducted. A resource person from Uthsaha, an NGO working on the issue, was invited for the same. This encouraged youth in the community to take up responsibilities like setting up of waste bins etc.
Going Forward: Two communities comprising of construction labourers dwelling around the slum have been identified. The Foundation will soon commence its activities for the communities.
The Foundation has received permission from the Education Department to work with government schools to improve the quality of education. An MoU has been signed between the department and the Foundation at two schools. GMRVF’s work in these schools will include infrastructure development, providing Vidya Volunteers to act as additional teachers, facilitating and conducting teacher training workshops and supplying teaching-learning material etc. A number of employees have volunteered to assist in the activities to be conducted at these schools.