CSR boon for Gamharia villages

Jamshedpur, Jan. 23: Many only dream of potable water and computer literacy in the semi-urban areas of the state, but for those living in Gamharia block of Seraikela-Kharsawan, it is a dream that is close to being fulfilled.

The Rs 3,500 crore Adhunik Group of Industries today embarked on a path to provide computer literacy and pure drinking water to residents of the block through a self sustainable model that will involve panchayat samity representatives, Nav Nirman Sansthan ' the social arm of Adhunik Group ' and two group companies, Adhunik Power and Natural Resources Limited (APNRL) and Orissa Manganese and Minerals Limited (OMML).

The signing of the MoU for the two projects named 'cyber village' and 'amrit dhara' took place today at the APNRL office in Padampur, around 25km from Jamshedpur, under the supervision of Gamharia block development officer Sadhu Charan Deogam. The PPP mode projects will start benefiting villages by March 15.

Initially, 3,000 people living in five panchayats ' Kandra, Rapcha, Dugdha, Burudih and Dumra 'would benefit from the cyber village project while the amrit dhara project would benefit over 10,000 people in Gamharia block to start with.

The initial cost for the cyber village project is pegged at Rs 9 lakh and that for amrit dhara is Rs 50 lakh.

"This is a pilot project and if successful, we might provide similar benefits to the entire block," said Naresh Goyal, president (power) Adhunik Group.

The group's head of corporate social responsibility Rajesh Ranjan said the twin projects are based on creating a self sustainable model which would be owned and maintained by villagers.

"We will support gram panchayats in building their capacity to run the twin projects in their respective areas for three years. After that they would be encouraged to run it on their own. We will chip in if they express their inability to run it on their own," said Ranjan.

The cyber village project in each panchayat would have a batch strength of 100 students, who would be taught for six months. The course content would include MS-Office, financial software (Tally), internet operation and other office management software. The candidates would be selected on the basis of a test. The building would be provided by the panchayat, while computer, stationary and office furniture would be provided by Adhunik. A heavy duty UPS would also be provided at each station in view of power scarcity. Students would have to pay a nominal fee of Rs 110 per month.

The amrit dhara project would have community water stations (deep boring facility) with reverse osmosis filtration plants at Kandra and Gamharia block headquarters. Water would be supplied in jars at a rate of 50 paise per litre through a coupon system. The quality of the water would be checked by an external agency every three months.

Piyo Hansda, Dumra panchayat mukhia said the cyber village programme would benefit rural girls.

"Earlier girls faced problems as computer centres are located in urban areas of Gamharia and Adityapur. It is not possible for girls and women to go to such a distance from their village," said Hansda.

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