Mahindra Truck and Bus Division (MTBD), a division of the Mahindra Group, felicitated 14 girl children of its truck drivers through the Mahindra Saarthi Abhiyaan with a scholarship of Rs 10,000.
Launched in January 2014, the first celebration hosted in Pune felicitated 14 girls in the company’s headquarters in Chinchwad.
Speaking on the occasion Nalin Mehta, CEO of MTBD said, “There are more than 70 lakh truck drivers in India today and I look forward to the day when every truck driver’s daughter will be highly educated and self-sufficient. Mahindra Saarthi Abhiyaan is a pioneering effort and a salute to these drivers who despite all odds, have shown great mettle in educating their children, especially their daughters.”
Before embarking on the project, the executive committee undertook need assessment within the truck driver communities across India, to understand what help MTBD could offer. A survey was undertaken with drivers from Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Barbil and Ahmedabad, revealing that the average age of a truck driver in India is 38 years, with an average monthly salary of Rs 12,000.
Moreover, a truck driver’s family consists of two children who go to municipal schools with an average expense of Rs 12,993 per year on education. Hence the amount of Rs 10,000 was decided on for the scholarship. Further analysis showed that it was endemic to dissuade the girl child from higher education due to socio-economic reasons. Within the driver community, out of 100 girls only 20% attain their secondary education and 10% make it to higher secondary education.
With the help of NGOs and through a direct contact program, by executing road shows in prominent dhabas on highways, branding at transport nagars and direct field activations, the project was successful in garnering more than 1,300 applicants from transport hub locations and impacted a total of 1,800 drivers. MTBD chose leading consultants PwC to ensure a proper process was followed including set guidelines and authenticated documentation.
Mahindra has planned to felicitate each girl selected for the scholarship in the presence of prominent personalities and the company’s management team by giving each of them a demand draft of the said amount along with a certificate in recognition of this achievement.