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Fostering Employability through Education

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Armed with the vision of ‘Empowerment through Education’ Tech Mahindra foundation the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Tech Mahindra Limited has been ardently working on three key focus areas – Education, Employability, and Disability.

By working on these 3 core areas Tech Mahindra foundation has impacted close to 4 lakh beneficiaries which have helped them rise both socially and economically.

‘The overarching theme for Tech Mahindra foundation has always been empowerment through education. This is what the founders of the foundation had envisioned’ said Mr Chetan Kapoor, CEO of Tech Mahindra Foundation speaking exclusively to Vizag Industrial Scan.

Elaborating on the employability vertical of the foundation he informed that it was made a subset of education in order to impart relevant training.

Tech Mahindra foundation through its 92 SMARTs (Skills for Market training) i.e. 12 SMART academies (one of which is located in Vizag headed by Mr Sai Prasad Nerella) and 80 SMART centres across India it works towards providing vocational training to the youth of the country and making them industry ready and employable.

Initiated in 2012 Tech Mahindra foundation’s SMART academies and centres claim to have skilled over 175000 youth and trains about 25000 youth annually with a placement rate of 75-80%. These youth are typically between the ages of 18-24 wherein the average age is around 21.

‘We are probably the largest skill development programs in urban India’ said Mr Kapoor.

What is noteworthy is that the Smart academies and centres complement each other. The academies are run wholly by Tech Mahindra foundation while the centres are run through its NGO partners.

Each centre focuses on 2 sectors while an academy focuses on three sectors. For instance an academy focuses on Healthcare, Logistics and Digital technologies while a centre can choose any two sectors from 45 different sectors to train on. 

Soft skills is however an area which is common to all wherein every SMART academy/centre attributes a certain amount of time orienting soft skills.

An aspect that the foundation takes pride in is skilling women and people with disabilities. ‘One of the important things that our founders had set the course for us was that at any given point in time at least 50% of all our beneficiaries must be girls/women and 10% with disabilities. 

This made us not only gender neutral but also inclusive in our skilling drive’ said the CEO.

He informed that 9 centres are specifically attributed for imparting training to people with disabilities.

‘An area we are focusing on is children with disabilities. This we believe is a greater need now’ said the CEO. 

The foundation has thus chosen 35 NGOs which are actively working in this domain area and has also invested in these NGOs. 

Mr Kapoor informed that 5500 children having disabilities such as speech hearing impaired, visually impaired, intellectual disability are being provided therapy through assistive technology provided for by Tech Mahindra foundation.

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