Feature Stories

Investing in Education to Uplift Communities

 

  

The Sembcorp Gayatri Power Complex operates in the Nellore district of the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is surrounded by 42 villages comprising over 31,000 residents. These communities face multiple challenges, ranging from illiteracy, unemployment and poverty to gender inequality and poor health. Girls, in particular, contribute to a large proportion of the school dropout rate because public transport is infrequent and deemed unsafe for them. Following extensive engagement with members of the community, education has been identified as a key enabler for the long-term improvement and development of the communities.

Sembcorp implemented a host of initiatives to holistically address the community’s educational needs, one of which was the provision of free transportation to schools. This initiative was implemented to counter high dropout rates due to the inaccessibility of the schools.

Four years on, this initiative has benefited at least 470 students, including 300 girls. This has significantly improved the percentage of girls completing higher secondary education from 76% to 98%, and helped close the gender gap in school attendance. To date, we have invested close to S$300,000 in education initiatives for the communities in the vicinity of the power complex, benefitting 19 schools and over 1,600 students.

As part of Sembcorp’s efforts to contribute to the global sustainable development agenda, this initiative directly addressed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 (Quality Education), one of the underlying SDGs that Sembcorp has an impact on. This is also aligned with SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), one of the supporting SDGs that Sembcorp has adopted. In particular, this addresses the target to reduce the proportion of youth not in education. These efforts have helped ensure that a greater proportion of girls in the surrounding villages achieved literacy, thus bringing the community closer to eliminating gender disparities in education.

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