Ranchi, Sept. 29: Till a few days ago, they used to work as domestic helps. Now, they are security guards.
For 50 girls of Khunti and Gumla districts, life has suddenly changed for the better, thanks to ArcelorMittal.
The steel behemoth, which is building a 12MTPA Greenfield steel plant and a captive power plant at Torpa and Kamdara blocks in Khunti and Gumla districts, respectively, is sponsoring these girls to undergo a security guards’ training course.
A part of its corporate social responsibility programme, the venture entitles the girls to a monthly stipend during the training period.
Sunanda Sanganeria, the Delhi-based manager (communications) of ArcelorMittal, said the project was started with 24 girls in April 2009. Training for the first batch is over. Classes for the second group of 26 girls are in progress. Besides self-defence training, the girls were offered tips on fire safety measures, road safety guidelines and traffic rules.
The company has roped in local NGO Bharatiya Kisan Sangha for imparting the training. The NGO, in association with the CID, CRPF and retired armymen, is conducting the three-month training in Ranchi. Women trainers were also roped in to lay stress on theoretical and practical aspects of security jobs, besides teaching them how to handle sensitive issues at work.
“These girls are mostly victims of trafficking and migration. Many of them used to work as domestic servants. The state chapter of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) helped us place a majority of them as security guards in industrial units, a hotel and Jharkhand Education Project Council,” said Bharatiya Kisan Sangha secretary Sanjay Kumar Mishra.
Nirmala Topno (18) of Chitapirhi village in Torpa block, who underwent the training in the first group, said that they were taught to salute and parade. Another girl Premlata Herenj (18), said: “We used to work as domestic helps in Delhi. We face a lot of problems in villages. So, we opted for this training to eke out a living.”
Vijay Bhatnagar, the chief executive officer of ArcelorMittal, India, said: “High incidence of migration, especially among girls from our project area, led us to think about permanent ways to build capabilities among young people.
The company intends to invest over Rs 40,000 crore in the Jharkhand project and has been allotted iron ore and coal mines in the region. But acquisition of riyati or private land is proving to be a major hurdle amid villagers’ protests.