Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A ‘Pehal’ initiative of United Technologies and United Way of Delhi

Drainage development, bank account openings & exhibition-cum-sale of hand-made products at the community of migrant labourers in Chakarpur village, Gurgaon

Gurgaon, October 10th, 2014: As part of ongoing ‘Pehal’ initiatives among migrant labourers inhabiting Chakarpur village, Gurgaon, United Technologies Corporation (UTC) in partnership with United Way of Delhi (UWD), organized drainage development, bank account openings and an exhibition-cum-sale of hand-made products at the village. The initiatives will serve to make the living conditions of the migrant labourers clean and healthy, enhance financial discipline among community members and provide an outlet for remuneration through hand-made products.

The initiative is part of sustained interventions under ‘Pehal’ to improve education, healthcare and habitat of 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 mostly daily-wage earners.

The following activities were also conducted under the current initiative:
·         Counselling of households which have girls aged 9 to 16 years, to allow the girls to continue formal schooling. ‘Pehal’ is supporting the girls with extra tuitions, and the earnings through the exhibition-cum-sale will encourage the households to allow the girls to continue with their education.
·         Sharing of experiences among community members on the change in their way of life and outlook since start of ‘Pehal’.

‘Pehal’ initiatives commenced in 2012, and underscore the current Government initiatives of ‘Swachh Bharat’ to maintain cleanliness and ‘Jan Dhan’ to promote financial inclusion. ‘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). Some of the previous activities have included 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. 
·         Testing and preventive healthcare advice for tuberculosis & HIV, and an interactive session 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.

Interventions under ‘Pehal’ have been customized basis the living and working conditions of the community and will facilitate sustained betterment of the migrant labourers.

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