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Jindal Prerna Awards

A Success Story

Barmer district in Rajasthan is a beautiful but harsh land. Scorched, desert, water starved with not more than a single harvest in a year, it straddles high rates of illiteracy, strong caste divisions, lack of transport and communication making the district a difficult place to live.

Traditional customs like child marriage are common here as is evident from the fact that a 15 year old class 8 student, recently became a father.

However, there is a visible change which is turning such records around.

Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK) and Jindal Steel Works (JSW) recently awarded 124 couples from the very same district for their display of Responsible Parenthood Practises. This includes most importantly the fact that the girls were all married after 19; had their first child at 21, spaced the next child after 36 months and was followed by sterilization of one partner.

Shyama Ram and Poori Devi. Between both of them she is more educated - till class 5. Going against the tide, she was married at 19 and they have limited themselves to 2 daughters. Poori Devi is clear that it is only if the mother marries late, can she take care of herself and her children.

Uda Ram and Hemi Devi. While he is a graduate and works as a social worker, Hemi Devi is not educated. Marriage at 19, first child at 21, limiting themselves to 2 children followed by sterilization of one partner, they were selected for their high degree of motivation and forward thinking as role models for the community.

These are the kind of couples that JSK seeks to promote through its Prerna strategy. The aim behind it is to discourage early marriages and early pregnancies, prevent maternal and child mortality, promote sterilization and popularize birth and marriage registration.

It seeks to leverage the strength of different economic and social sectors for this purpose.

Barmer was the meeting ground for one such innovative and highly successful partnership. For the first time a corporate business house - Jindal Steel Works partnered JSK for implementation of the Prerna strategy in a district. In an exemplary example of corporate social responsibility, JSW collaborated with JSK and the district administration to identify and award 124 such couples within a short time span of a month.

The award ceremony was held on 3rd July 2009 at Mahaveer Town Hall in Barmer where the awardees were presented with Kisan Vikas Patras and certificates. The programme was chaired by Mrs Shailaja Chandra, ED, JSK, Mr. Ravi Jain, District Collector Barmer, CM & HO Barmer, Dr Ganpat Singh Rathore, Mr. Upinender Singh and COO, Raj West Power, JSW. The programme was also attended by Add. CMHO, Dr Jitendra Singh, representatives of Health, WCD and Panchayati Raj departments and the district media.

The award ceremony was the culmination of strong partnership and collaboration between JSK and JSW and the district administration. It included holding a workshop on Prerna strategy in the district which was attended by more than 550 ANMs, AWW, ASHA Sahayoginis, Gram Sevak Sarpanches and Pradhans, Panchayati Raj and other departments at block level.

JSW is a part of USD 8 billion O. P. Jindal Group under the leadership of Mr Sajjan Jindal. The JSW group has interests across various sectors Ė Steel, Energy, Cement, Aluminium, Minerals and Port & Maritime Infrastructure.

The Prerna strategy awards highly motivated couples from backward districts in the country in the following categories:

  • Girlís marriage after 19 years of age (Reward of Rs.5000/) and giving birth to the first child after the age of 21 years (Award of Rs.7000/ if itís a girl child & Rs 5000/ if itís a boy).
  • Keeping a 36 month gap between first and second child and one parent getting sterilized after the second child is born(Award of Rs.7000/ if itís a girl child & Rs 5000/ if itís a boy)


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