GE’s CSR Focus
on Women Empowerment
GENERAL ELECTRIC INDIA
GE is a digital industrial Company with diverse capabilities in energy, healthcare, transportation & aviation. GE is proud of its legacy in India since 1902 and has over 18,000 employees and 21 manufacturing centres across the country, In a significant endorsement of India as a major global manufacturing destination, GE unveiled its new ‘Brilliant Factory’ at Chakan in Pune. The John F Welch Technology Centre in Bangalore is the largest integrated multidisciplinary Research and Development Centre, globally for GE.
Diversity & Inclusion
We are a global company. With operations in over 140 countries, GE employees reflect both the local communities we serve and the people with whom we do business. We see diversity and inclusiveness as an essential part of our productivity, creativity, innovation and competitive advantage.
GE has a strong focus on Sustainability, Corporate Citizenship and Inclusion. In this context, great emphasis has been given to diversity and gender. Accordingly, GE places great emphasis on women empowerment, both in terms of its staff and policies, as well in its social development endeavours as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
GE has a dedicated Women’s Network, which is highly active and works to promote the cause of women empowerment within GE.
Women Empowerment in CSR
In our CSR strategy, GE India adopted women empowerment as a key focus area. In its implementation of CSR activities in 10 locations across India, attempt is made to ensure that women beneficiaries occupy centre-stage either as direct beneficiaries or as major participants in the programme.
Given their central role in households, women as beneficiaries not only directly benefit from the programmes but their empowerment goes a long way for the overall development of the family and eco-system of a given area. Few women receive proper medical care, even during pregnancy and nursing. Starting from birth, girls do not receive care and commitment from their parents and society. This necessitates activities that help women gain greater prominence and voice.
Creating Impact Through CSR
While all our CSR programmes have strong inclusion of women, some of our programmes are exclusively focused on women’s safety, dignity, education, self-confidence, health, sanitation and hygiene.
National Capital Region
Safety for Girls: Greater NOIDA – We have provided for a dedicated Tata Sumo vehicle to a Girls Home in Greater NOIDA run by Udayan Care. The vehicle helps in transporting the children and young women from remote areas to their in-house vocational training centres as well as accomplishing the schooling, medical and other needs of the girls, staying at the Girls Home. The vehicle has greatly served the purpose of ensuring security for the girls.
Women’s sanitation, Gurgaon – We have signed up with Sulabh International to provide for a community toilet facility for women, managed by Sulabh International. This is primarily aimed at highly marginalised sections of society. The aim is to provide for dignity as well as clean sanitation facilities.
Lighting and safety: In Marhaura, we have one of our most significant projects of building railways locomotives. Women have been the main beneficiaries of the more than 100 solar street lights installed by us to cover 13 villages.
Education, safety, hygiene and sanitation: In the neighbourhood of our factories in Pallavaram and Padappai (close to Chennai), we have reconstructed toilet blocks for girls in schools at Pallavaram and Padappai, close to Chennai. A major sensitisation and awareness programme has been conducted for more than 400 girls in both the primary and senior school sections at Pallavaram, touching the aspects of their personal safety, sexual abuse, hygiene, sanitation and health.
At Hosur, we have taken up major renovation work, including toilets, at the Government Girls High School. A compound wall has been erected for increased safety of girls by preventing any form of encroachment to their privacy. We have also completely renovated the chemistry laboratory in the school facilitating greater interest and resources in imparting practical knowledge of the subject.
Livelihood training: We have started a livelihood programme of vermi compost making and marketing to more than 100 women. In addition, a separate women’s empowerment programme is underway which focuses on their all-round socio-economic health and increased incomes.
Hygiene and sanitation: We have provided for Individual sanitation units to 50 households in a village. In partnership with the Town Panchayat of Shahabad, we have also provided for a community sanitation unit at Shahabad town, both of which have greatly enhanced women’s hygiene, sanitation, dignity, and safety. The programme has been greatly appreciated by the women.
Durgapur, West Bengal
Safety and Health: We have installed solar street lights in 4 tribal villages for improved safety and security of women. The women who would not venture out in the dark, now find it safe to move through the village streets with no fear for their personal safety. Similarly, we have provided solar lanterns for improved safety, security and comfort. This has helped discontinue the use of kerosene lamps, which were harmful both from environment and health perspectives.
Water: A drinking programme covering 4 villages has not only ensured availability of drinking water, but has helped reduce the drudgery and saves valuable time for other productive activities.
Self-Help Groups: We have created 18 Women Self Help Groups (SHG) in 5 villages which are actively involved in the CSR programmes implemented in the location.
Livelihood training and awareness: We have also provided for financial literacy and financial planning training to 250 rural women, thereby enabling improved livelihood and socio-economic empowerment. The programmes includes awareness of schemes and programmes of government for women empowerment.
Vocational training: We have started a vocational training programme to benefit 250 women in Vadodara, for general duty assistant in healthcare and sewing machine operators in apparel sector. The aim is to build self-confidence and empower them with income-earning prospects.
Water: Collecting water is generally the responsibility of women in rural households. This takes away their considerable time and energy when they have to go far to fetch the water. We have installed hand pumps, in addition to a safe drinking water plant to address women’s discomfort and drudgery in carrying or collecting water.
Improved infrastructure: The improved facilities and infrastructure provided by us in the village Milk Collection Centre has reduced the long queues and waiting time for their turn, thereby saving their time for other activities.
Education: We provided for the first science laboratory in Bhamchandra High School, Pune, realising that there was no school offering science in 11th and 12th classes in a radius of 25 kilometres. This has been of great help to girls, as due to the distance involved, they either chose Arts despite their penchant for science or all-together dropped out. The impact was to be seen immediately, as 24 girls joined the first batch in the 11th class.
Safety and Mobility: Aimed at increased mobility, safety and self-reliance, we have distributed bicycles to 68 girls studying in the 10th class in the same school.
Hygiene and Sanitation: We constructed three toilet blocks for girls in 3 schools addressing the concerns of privacy, hygiene and sanitation.