Tuesday, September 2, 2014

‘Pehal’ initiative

A ‘Pehal’ initiative of United Technologies and United Way of Delhi
Awareness drive on tuberculosis and HIV prevention in Chakarpur village, Gurgaon

As part of ongoing ‘Pehal’ initiatives among community of migrant labourers inhabiting Chakarpur village, Gurgaon,United Technologies Corporation (UTC) in partnership with United Way of Delhi (UWD), organized an awareness drive on tuberculosis and HIV prevention for the community. The initiative is part of sustained interventions under ‘Pehal’ to not only build capacity of the community through improved education, healthcare and habitat but also address their vulnerabilities.

‘Pehal’ initiatives, since 2012, have been targeted at over 2,000 families of migrant labourers, 10,000 people in all, living across 20 slum clusters in Gurgaon; the labourers have migrated to Gurgaon from various parts of India and are typically daily-wage earners. ‘Pehal’ initiatives have been conducted with active volunteering by employees of UTC subsidiaries in India (United Technologies has manufacturing facilities across India, including in Gurgaon).

Also, as part of the current initiative, a session was organized with ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) and ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife) workers to apprise the community of the ongoing Government sponsored healthcare schemes, making them better placed to avail of these services as well.

The following activities were conducted among the community members during the awareness drive:
·         Follow up on primary health condition, including eyesight
·         Testing for HIV
·         Sharing of experiences among community members on the change in their way of life and outlook since start of ‘Pehal’, in an interactive session with employee volunteers of UTC subsidiaries in India.

Under ‘Pehal’ various initiatives have also been undertaken since the program commenced, such as the following:
·         A job fair that connected the community youth with prospective employers, which also apprised the youth of the skills and habits to develop for the jobs they aspire to have. Organizations such as Costa Coffee, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Sodexho and Vaango participated at the fair. The fair was attended by 58 community youth, 21 of whom received offers for employment with salaries of up to Rs 144,000 annually. The youths hail from households in the community where average income is Rs 60,000 annually. Employee volunteers of UTC subsidiaries in India have assisted the community youth develop life-skills that have helped the youth join the economic mainstream.
·         Opening of a healthcare centre at Chakarpur village to provide curative and referral services from a qualified medical practitioner. The healthcare centre operates in the evenings to deliver medical care to the greatest number of labourers during their non-working hours, and can cater to over 7,000 patients a year.
·         An awareness drive on proper sanitation and healthcare as a prerequisite to building the capacity to participate in economic opportunities. The activity included UTC India employee volunteers joining ‘Pehal’ project officers and members of the migrant labour community to manually clean the neighborhood, setting an example for the inhabitants to follow. Under the drive, 21 toilets in the community have been refurbished to render them usable to all community members at all times.
·         Eye testing for all members of the community, and advice on keeping healthy eye sight. Good spectacles for everyday wear were provided at a nominal charge to those prescribed eye lenses. An interactive session was conducted on personal hygiene through simple everyday habits, including regular hand washing, nail cutting and hair cutting. 

‘Pehal’ aims at holistic development of the target community of migrant labourers, through active volunteering by employees of UTC subsidiaries in India. Interventions under ‘Pehal’ have been customized basis the living and working conditions of the community, and will facilitate sustained betterment of the community.

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