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Tejaswinis of Tata Steel meet President of India

New Delhi, March 17, 2010

~ Project Tejaswini, a pioneering initiative by Tata Steel towards women empowerment ~

Tata Steel’s ‘Tejaswinis’ today met Her Excellency, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the President of India, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. These women, a total of eight, are a part of Tata Steel’s pioneering women empowerment initiative – Tejaswini. Each of them portrays the story of ordinary women with an extraordinary achievement.

The Tejaswinis who met the President today include Mrs. Mandakini Tah (Junior Technician), Mrs. P Gyaneswari (Ambulance Driver), Mrs. Jasumati Patel (Air Conditioning Machine Mechanic), Mrs. Asha Hansda (Dumper /Bull Dozer Operator), Mrs. Baby (Over Head Crane Operator), Mrs. Parwati (Pipe Line Fitter), Miss Sefali (Loco Operator), Mrs. Jusmi Tudu (Sr Technician) along with Ms. Urmila Ekka (Sr. Manager - Human Resource & Industrial Relations), Tata Steel.

Applauding the Tejaswinis on their feat, Smt Patil said, “It is a pleasure to learn that Tata Steel is undertaking such a noble initiative towards empowering its women employees. The achievement of each of the Tejaswinis is exemplary. They inspire us to go beyond the ordinary. I wish Tata Steel and its Tejaswinis the very best in all their endeavours. “

Project ‘Tejaswini’ was launched in 2002 to provide women employees at Tata Steel with a platform to unleash their potential, who otherwise would have lost their jobs due to a surplus in labour. These are women from the developing and upwardly mobile strata of society and had been working as 'attendants' and 'office girls', never hoping to go beyond cleaning and serving tea for the rest of their lives. Then, as part of Project ‘Tejaswini’, these women were first encouraged and then extensively trained to master the art of heavy machine drivers and their caretakers. Thus, what began as an experiment gradually turned out to be a phenomenal success. The result is that these ladies today have made their mark in the male domain as heavy machine such as crane, dumper, payloader and loco drivers, machine operators, etc.

At Tata Steel, this journey began many decades back with the introduction of several policies meant exclusively for the welfare of the Company’s women employees. These policies like the first maternity benefit scheme and others, ushered a sweeping change in India’s approach to labour welfare, with many of them becoming laws under the Indian constitution. Project Tejaswini is another such pioneering initiative undertaken by Tata Steel to ensure that its women employees walk hand in hand with the male taskforce and emerge, thereby, as a truly empowered lot. The Company operates on the lines of inclusive growth following responsible business practices that focus on sustainability, social and environmental growth which are aimed at improving the quality of life of the communities that it operate in.