IITGN’s Construction Workers Welfare Programme bags HUDCO National Award

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IITGN’s Construction Workers Welfare Programme bags HUDCO National Award for “Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment 2013-14"

Ahmedabad, Gujarat, April 26, 2014 -(PressReleasePoint)- IIT Gandhinagar’s Construction Workers Welfare Programme has been recognized with the national HUDCO Award for “Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment 2013-14." The award, which included a Rs 1 lakh cash prize was handed out at the Annual Day of Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, by Anita Agnihotri, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) on April 25, 2014.

IIT Gandhinagar was cited for the housing, safety and welfare practices it has implemented for construction workers and for the contributions of its community volunteer group, Nyasa, which runs educational programmes for the children of construction workers.

IIT Gandhinagar Director Sudhir Jain said: “Social engagement is a high priority for IIT Gandhinagar. We strive to sensitize our students to their social responsibilities. We can only be effective in doing that if we demonstrate that same commitment in our own practice as an Institution. We are therefore constantly looking for ways to engage with and contribute to the local community, of which we are a part.

IIT Gandhinagar ensures dignified and sanitary housing conditions for construction workers by including special conditions in all its contracts that obligate contractors to construct clean, hygienic and well ventilated workers’ housing with adequate water supply, electrical and sanitation facilities.

To ensure worker safety, contactors are required to implement safety measures and two days of mandatory safety training for all workers. A comprehensive group insurance cover of Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000 is also required for all workers and their supervisory staff. In addition, regular health camps are organized to monitor worker’s physical health and cultural gatherings are held periodically to promote their mental well-being.

The Institute has created a Contract Worker Benevolent Fund to cover unforeseen medical emergencies and a Children’s Education Fund, which provides financial assistance of up to Rs 10,000 per family per year for the educational expenses of their children. It has also established a Palaj Village Outreach Fund for outreach activities in the village.

In September 2013, the IIT Council commended the Institute and recommended the adoption of its exemplary labor welfare practices by all IITs. The IIT Council said: “The work done by IIT Gandhinagar was appreciated, wherein the CPWD contractor mandatorily provides for basic safety and welfare measures, including residential facilities, crèches, monitoring for the payment of dues/just wages, grievances redressal mechanism, etc. The exemplary practices of IIT Gandhinagar should be introduced in all IITs and be shared on the IIT Council Website. The SCIC (Secretariat of the Council of IITs) will continue to monitor the progress made in this regard.”

Nyasa, which started in 2011, operates two schools at the permanent campus site in Palaj and one at its temporary campus in Chandkheda. Between them the three schools service nearly 200 children of 2,000 construction workers. The students receive free nutritious meals and are aided in enrolling in regular government schools. The IITGN community also offers financial help to students interested in pursuing formal education.

Press Contact:
Dayananda Meitei
Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN)
VGEC Campus, Chandkheda – 382424
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