Corporate Social Responsibility
Beyond Prison Bars
We can proudly say that we have the heart of academicians. Pearl Academy believes in investing time and effort on its people. Prelude: The wheel is the biggest symbol of industrial revolution. Mahatma Gandhi, hailed as ‘Father of the Nation’ brought about a revolution in the freedom movement of India through his spinning wheel – the Charkha. The wheel of a sewing machine is now set to bring a social and economic revolution amongst a section of India languishing in its prisons which the society knows as ‘prisoners’ and ‘criminals’. I, Bhavna Chadha and Bela Guptafrom Pearl Academy saw them in a different light – these prisons as incubators of some of India’s greatest talent and the prisoners as India’s talented workforce.
“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying” Andy Dufrense, when he enters the prison in the popular movie Shawshank Redemption
Mira Raghav (name changed) is young, 24 year old from a small satellite town of Delhi NCR, currently serving a 7 year jail term.
Her crime - Attempted murder of her mother-in-law who abused her for dowry. Mira took this extreme under repeated demands of dowry harassment and now finds herself languishing under the thick walls of Jail No 6 of Asia’s largest prison complex – Tihar.
“My husband has remarried and my father has passed away. By the time I get out of jail, I don’t know where I will stay or what I will do”, says Mira.
There are thousands like Mira, where the future is very bleak. Listening to similar stories led to the birth of a ‘Fashion Laboratory’ at Jail No 6, Women’s Prison, Tihar Jail.
It is easy to label these women as criminals but when both of us dwelt a little into their circumstances and what pushed them over the edge to commit these crimes, often stories of struggle and survival came to the fore. These stories became a guiding force for our endeavour to set up this lab where these women could get rid of this label of being a ‘criminal’ and live with dignity as mothers, daughter and most importantly, as women who can contribute to nation building by becoming a part of the workforce.
The one resource that is aplenty in a prison is time. This time, if given the right vocation would have not only led to a positive reform among the prisoners but also provided them hope to lead a life filled with self-worth and dignity. The fashion lab is a state of the art facility with the latest equipment with complete industrial standards of machinery, pattern tables and sewing machines. The inmates will be imparted training for basics in design and construction of women’s garments.
“I am a responsible citizen of my country”
New session for UG Foundation commenced on 25th July 2016. For one week these students are engaged in an event called Pow Wow (plethora of various creative workshops). This event came to an end on 28th July 2016. This is the first step to foundation student’s lives being born and nurtured into various creative courses offered at Undergraduate level at Pearl Academy. As a culmination activity, students were taken to Indian Agricultural Research Institute, commonly known as PUSA, to participate in a campaign called “I am a responsible citizen of my country”. They planted 100 saplings towards saving environment and going green. There were 50 foundation students and some faculty members who participated in this event. Dr. S. S. Sindhu – Head Division of Floriculture and Landscaping got all necessary arrangements done for this event.
Transforming India at Purkal
“The Purkal Youth Development Society is a registered charity dedicated to enhancing the lives of disadvantaged rural youth through education. While doing so the children are to be sensitised and helped to preserve the beautiful Himalayan environment and the local cultural traditions”
Enabling Young Minds to #BeSomebody
Pearl Academy has undertaken a project to support PURKAL YOUTH DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY (PYDS) www.purkal.org/in
Registered in 2003 – PYDS is an NGO situated in the Himalayan foothills and is dedicated to enhancing the lives of underprivileged people in the community.
Pearl Academy is contributing to PYDS in the following ways:
3 Students to live their Dream
Three students from PYDS have been selected to study at Pearl after they have completed their class 12. All expenditure of these students; fee, hostel charges and monthly pocket money, will be borne by our institute. After they have graduated they will be productively employed by the industry. It is expected that these students will go back to their school and render their own contribution towards the development of other students in the school.
Empowerment thru knowledge
Student and faculty volunteers of Pearl Academy are engaged with doing project with “Stree Shakti” – a part of women empowerment cell of PYDS. Purkal Stree Shakti Samiti (PSSS) translates as ‘an organisation for empowering the women of Purkal’. It is a registered Society dedicated to enhancing the lives of the disadvantaged women of the Community by empowering them. It is a non-profit organisation.
Sponsorship for 25 Children
‘Change 25 young rural lives’ – under this initiative, Pearl Academy will sponsor 25 students, who are studying in their class II. This sponsorship covers all the expenses for every child in this class for a year. All these children are from very poor families who live in the village and can’t afford to have quality education and are unable to access opportunities available to those who are able to afford good schools and good tutoring. Sponsorship provided by Pearl Academy for these 25 students will take care of their academic performance, physical fitness, vaccination and inoculation, uniforms, field trips, dance, music and yoga, sports and learning resources.
83 Computers Donated
Moreover to ensure that students at PYDS have sufficient skills to take on the challenges of tomorrow, Pearl Academy has also contributed 83 computers to this school for their IT lab. This helps the students in enhancing their learning process and connects them to the rest of the world.